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Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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Making large wall-art using A2 poster

I recently bought some frames at a bargain price from The Range and wanted to make my own unique artwork for my bedroom. The frames were very large carved wooden frames in a lovely dark wood that I thought would go perfectly with my bed frame. I loved the frames, but they weren’t being sold in the empty-frames section -  they were discounted in the ‘wall art’ section. The frames were the surround for an art print of a paris scene, but that wasn’t why I was buying them – it was simply for the frames. It’s a great idea to look in the wall art department when you’re looking for frames, because you can often get frames at a cheaper price, as long as you don’t mind taking out the existing artwork. I got a slightly odd look at the checkout as I bought two of the same artwork, but of course, I was already brewing up ideas for new artwork for my wooden frames!

I encountered a couple of hurdles when using my new frames. First of all, the artwork had been glued in to the mount surround, so rather than just slipping out the print and adding my own images as I had anticipated doing, I had to actually cut the image out of the mount so that I could use it as a surround for my new photos. The second hurdle was that the aperture of the mount was just that bit-too-big to house the image that I had planned to print out using my home printer – A4 and A3 were both slightly too small and would leave a gap around the image.  After a quick look online, I found out that I could get A2 poster prints of my images, and this would be plenty big enough for me to trim off the edges and would fit the frame perfectly.

diy making large wall art cat poster prints printed com

So I chose a couple of images of my pet cats. I know it’s a little cheesy, but these are the very first photos that I saw of my cats when I was browsing the Animal Care website years ago to find a cat to adopt. These two cats had to be rehomed as a pair, and when I first saw the photo of my little black cat I was smitten – and when I saw her tortoiseshell sister I was sold. I have loved these cats for the past five years since they came to live with me back in August 2008, so these photos are very special to me, because they are the first glimpse I ever had of my furry friends. So I sent these lovely photos to be printed (I also found out that I can get business cards printing with printed.com but that’s another story!) and they soon arrived and I set to work putting them in the frames. Obviously, I was going to lose part of the print because the frames are square and the posters were A2 but I centred the cats in the frames and snipped off the excess at the edges.

I love my new massive artwork, and I hope you’ll agree that they look pretty good in the dark-wood frames. I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford this size of frame normally, so it was well worth me hunting in the artwork section of The Range to find large frames at a good price – let me know if you find any bargains this way too! 

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A special prize from Joanie’s Gifts for July’s Inspiration Challenge

If you’re a long-term follower of my blog, you’ll know how much I love lucky cats and oriental design, so it’ll come as no surprise that I’ve chosen my collection of lucky animals as the starting point for July’s Inspiration Challenge. And I’m delighted to say that the lovely Joanie from Joanie’s Gifts shop has offered a prize for this month’s challenge!

inspiration challenges for July maneki neko

Joanie owns a fabulous online gift shop which retails very reasonably priced handmade treats, fashion accessories and interior design items. Whether you’re looking for a wedding present, birthday gift or something unique for yourself, you’ll be sure to find something amazing in her shop – I’ve personally never failed to find what I’m looking for on her site – from greetings cards to jewellery!

And most appropriately Joanie specialises in oriental gifts and, in fact,  my tiny little lucky cat above came from Joanie’s Gifts! She has very kindly offered to give a prize of a small lucky cat and a lucky cat purse to one lucky contributor to this month’s Inspiration Challenge! All contributions will be put into a draw and the winner will be chosen at random on the 1st August 2013. So check out what we made last month, and have a think about what YOU could make this month!

Anyone can join in – just tweet me with your progress and send me your projects by email to cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk or on Twitter to @CassiefairyTutu by the end of July 2013. It doesn’t have to be a perfectly crafted item - it’s just for fun, a chance to try something new and a good excuse to get creative over the summer holidays - plus you might win Joanie’s lovely prize!

It would be great to hear your suggestions for August’s Inspiration Challenge theme so please email with your ideas or photos for next month. Happy making!

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My Maneki Neko obession – The ultimate must-have fabric…

Can you believe your eyes..? That’s right… Maneki Neko print fabric! Have all my Christmases come at once?! I can tell you right now that I NEED this lucky cat fabric. The only thing stopping me is that it is a fairly small piece (you can tell by the tape-measure at the sides), and is fairly highly priced… and would it really go with my retro-inspired living room design?  I’m going to umm and ahh over it for a while and figure out what I could use it for – any ideas, anyone? leave me a comment below :)


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My little Maneki Neko obsession…

I don’t think it’s too much of an overstatement when I say I love these lucky cats! My love of all things kitsch has been well documented over the years (I think it started when I was 16 and began to choose my own decor!) and I’ve been admiring these tacky plastic cats in takeaway restaurants for ageees.

Little did I know that owning one would be so easy – no adoption process, no shipping from some far-flung asian land, nope – just a quick browse on the internet brought up a plethora of these cheeky little kitties that I could buy right here in the UK.

My first Maneki Neko cat was bought for me by my husband for my birthday and it was garish-gold, plastic-y and – best of all – solar-powered! How tacky is that?!! But he’s my special cat (called lucky) and he waves at me all day long thanks to that solar panel. And sometimes, when I look at him at night - and he’s not waving already his little paw – he starts up waving at me. And this really scared me! After the first couple of times he did it, I thought it through and (although convinced that he could see that I was looking at him) I realised that it was probably more likely that the light from my lamp must reflect off my face and therefore, when I turn towards the lucky cat I bounce some light towards him and start up his solar-powered paw.

I watched the ‘Catwoman’ documentary by Joanna Lumley recently and the lucky lady got to visit the home of Maneki Neko and see hundreds of these little lovelies as well as hear the ‘legend’ of this lucky cat. Apparently the story goes that a wealthy nobleman was sheltering under a tree near Gotoku-ji temple in Western Tokyo during a thunderstorm. The lord saw the temple’s cat beckoning to him and followed; a moment later the tree was struck by lightning. The wealthy lord believed that the cat had saved his life and became friends with the poor priest and the temple became prosperous. When the cat died, supposedly the first Maneki Neko was made in his honor. There are many other stories of the legend of the lucky cat, but all around the theme of the cat bringing wealth, safety and happiness. So that can’t be bad can it?!

My husband has since bought me a large ceramic lucky cat while he was away for work in Preston (don’t worry, it’s still very glittery and tacky!) and I’ve even picked up a lucky gold pig money box. I don’t want to get too carried away with this collection, but I’ve got my eye on this chubby little fella and some Maneki Neko fabric too!