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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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Get Shwopping for Oxfam on 9th May

Tomorrow is the biggest shwopping event of the year – it’s the One Day Wardrobe Clear-Out in aid of Oxfam. I’m loving volunteering as an Oxfam Fashion blogger (here’s my previous blog post for oxfam) and I will certainly be getting involved with all the shwopping!

It’s time to rifle through your drawers and pick out all the things you’ve not worn for ages, then take them down to your local Marks & Spencer store to take part in the shwopping event. You’ve probably seen the advert on the telly with my favourite uber-glamourous actress Joanna Lumley but here’s a little more info: On 9th May 2013, Oxfam volunteers will be at selected M&S shops around the country to collect your shwopping donations and you should be able to find a shwopping box in your local store. No matter what you bring along, every single donation is put to good use and is either resold, reused or recycled by Oxfam – earning extra cash for the charity whilst giving you something back too: at the One Day Wardrobe Clear-Out for every donation of unwanted clothes you make, you’ll receive a £5 off voucher for when you spend £35 on clothing, home and beauty at M&S.

shwopping donation

If you get along to a shwopping event tomorrow, make sure you take some snaps and use the hash tag #wardrobeclearout so we can see all your wonderful donations. You may think that your little donation might not be much but our collective shwopping can make a big difference to the charity – last year’s One Day Wardrobe Clear-Out saw approx 750,000 garments were donated, worth around £400,000 for Oxfam – so get shwopping tomorrow!

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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!