I’m a grocery bag hoarder. I go around grabbing free totes as well as purchasing them from supermarkets such as Village Grocer, B.I.G., and Jason’s Food Hall. Not that they ever go to waste; I keep a few in the car for work, food, or to throw baby stuff into, and I keep some at home for those same purposes. So I don’t believe that one can ever have enough grocery bags. That’s why, for today’s DIY post, I decided to make one out of a bolster case.
Most of the time, when I buy sheets in a pack, they come with two pillowcases as well as a bolster case. I don’t, however, own a bolster. Hence, they all sit in the closet collecting dust in groups of colors. Instead of letting them go to waste, I decided to repurpose them.
A lot of people use pillowcases for their projects, but I like bolster cases because 1) I can make two bags out of one, and 2) the drawstring on both ends of the bolster case allows me to skip making a closure for my bag. The first thing I did was to cut the case into half, and then stitch tabs on both sides of the cut seams to ensure that the seams don’t come apart from the cut. Then, just sew the newly cut line up to make the hem of your bag.
Next, I made a shaped template for my daughter to use as a guide to make a pattern onto the case. It was a fun process for her, and she managed to get them quite orderly! You can also make a potato stamp for this, but since I’m not very skilled at carving, I preferred using the template instead.
Now, the next step is quite simple, but I couldn’t photograph on my own. All you have to do is fold the upper part of your case down to a comfortable “flap” size. Once you’ve established your flap folding line, just cut slits on both sides of the case about 1″ down from your folding line. You must cut the slits right through to the other side of the case, as this will be where your sling will go. For the sling, I used a cloth belt that I had in my closet. You can just use a long strip of fabric to insert into the slits, or a belt like me. Tie a knot with both ends of your belt to secure in place.
And there you have it, a bolster case bag! What makes this one special to me is that my daughter made the patterns, and each time I use it on a grocery trip out, I am reminded to buy her something nice ;p I still have the other half of the case to make a bag out of, so I’ll get to it while you guys have a go at this! Happy DIY Wednesday!
It’s Monday, and Jacqie’s in Japan spreading the Gin & Jacqie love around! Which brings us to this Monday’s perk-me-up about a Japanese boy and his French bulldog. Tokyo-based mother, Aya Sakai, has been posting up awwwwweeee-some pictures on Instagram of everyday bonding sessions between her boy and his best friend, and seriously, it doesn’t get any cuter than this. If you’re having a gloomy start to your Monday, we can assure you that your day – and week – will turn around after following Aya Sakai and her snippets into this amazingly adorable friendship. And if you’d like a peek into Jacqie’s journey around Japan, don’t forget to also follow US on Instagram!
Have a great week ahead, folks!
This week’s Mother’s Day giveaway comes from none other than one of our favorite local handmade brands, Oh & Ah! We wrote about Oh & Ah wayyyy back when (click to read), but the brand has expanded heaps since then. With new products under their legally charming belts, Oh & Ah has proven that a little innocence and a lot of good design sense goes a really long way. We asked them to recommend three of their latest products for those of you who aren’t familiar with the brand, and here’s what they picked:
“Our Bus Series has been really popular among the Lapan crowd. There are three designs available for purchase: bus sekolah (a long yellow school bus for RM79), bus mini (a smaller model in pink at RM59), and our latest addition which is the zoo bus (RM79). Right now, the bus mini is sold out.”
“Another favorite among customers is our Elephant design light (retailing at RM230). These lights are made of clay, and are attached with a lightbulb AND dimmer. We love hearing what people decipher this clay guy to be; some have said monkey, others have thought of him as an odd-shaped man, the list goes on… However, to us he is an elephant!”
“These little guys sunbathing on patches of grass have been on constant repeat through our collections since the days of setting up shop at Art for Grabs. We love them because to us, they represent Malaysia’s hot weather, where so many enjoy a wonderful sunbathing temperature of 30 degrees almost all year round. Now they’re available on easy-to-wear rings, adjustable to fit all sizes. They retail at RM39 each, and are really fun conversation pieces to have on hand (pardon the pun!)!” <—EDITOR’S NOTE: Ellie couldn’t resist these adorable sunbathing dudes, and has bought a few already!
The generous peeps of Oh & Ah are giving away three Hello Marks (first picture of this post) to three lucky followers of Gin & Jacqie! There are two ways you can win yourself a handsome little bookmark by Oh & Ah:
Facebook: leave us a comment on our Gin & Jacqie wall and tell us about a favorite story or book your mom used to read to you when you were younger.
Instagram: snap a picture of your favorite childhood storybook as read to you by your beloved mom, and hashtag #ginjacqie #lovebooks so that we can keep track of all entries. Please note that if your account is set under Private, we will be unable to see your tags, so do leave us a comment on our Oh & Ah instagram pic to inform us of it!
This contest will run from today up ’til the 24th of May 2013. In addition to their generous prizes, Oh & Ah are also giving away a 10% discount
to everyone! Simply type in “iloveumom
” upon checkout on their shopping site
to redeem. This discount lasts up to the 30th of June 2013, so stop wasting time and get to purchasing some awesomely handmade stuff!
So sorry for the shortage of posts this week, we’ve been busy running around finalizing some new products and preparing for a big project that we’ve completely lost track of time! Still, we took a little time to DIY to ease our minds from the stress that has seemingly enveloped us and is squeezing us into an airless room made to torment claustrophobics with. Okay, I exaggerate… but I’m sure you’ve had those days. Anyway, back to they DIY. We bought some chalk paint, got busy painting some mini jars to organize our desks with, and now we have cute little chalkboard jars! Easy peasy! This would be the perfect customizable touch to your party treats or kids packs, although we must remind you to replace glass with plastic for fear of them dropping the jars!
Happy DIY Wednesday!
For those of you who are fans of homemade soaps (we are!), you’d be no stranger to this familiar name of the local homemade industry: The Kinder Soaps Company started its humble journey when mother Michelle Ho noticed eczema patches forming on her adorable little one. Having gone through the same when she was younger, Michelle knew she had to do something to ease the itchiness and sores of her daughter. So she took matters into her own hands. Upon Googling a “natural” product that could help with the situation, she realized that skincare formulations regularly include chemicals, be it in small amounts or damaging quantities.
With this newfound understanding and knowledge, Michelle started Kindersoaps in hopes of giving the market an all-natural skin brand that is made especially for the skin-sensitive among us.
We asked Michelle to recommend three products for newbies to the brand, and these were her recommendations:
A lot of our customers have dry or dehydrated skin for a myriad of reasons – ranging from minor dehydration, to being constrained in air-conditioned environments. As such the majority of our products aim to protect and rehabilitate dry skin conditions.
Summer Fizz has been a popular choice as the first step towards moisturizing dry, mature skin. Its refreshing lemonade-like scent comes from the use of rosemary, peppermint and sweet orange essential oils. Together with apricot kernel and camellia oils, plus the deep reef red australian clay, they work to pep up tired skin and ensure that you step out of the shower feeling comforted and revitalized.
Our 100% oil based Dry Skin Relief Skin Treats oil is a terrific, all-natural moisturizer which is best applied after a shower on damp skin, so as to ease absorption. Unlike cream-based moisturizers which are emulsions, ours has no water content, therefore enabling us to skip using preservatives entirely. The oil is light and sinks easily into the skin after 3-5 minutes after gently massaging it in. Customers are taken in by its creamy, vanilla-like scent, with hints of sweet orange. Just a few drops can go a long way in keeping the skin from drying out.
For even more intense, long-lasting moisturization on the go, our Double Duty Balm is definitely worth a try. It works wonders to heal dry, chapped lips, and can be used anywhere on the body where there is dry flaky skin. It also soothes and prevents sunburns and is a terrific alternative for people who are allergic to aloe vera (which is commonly used to treat sunburns).
This Mother’s Day celebration, Michelle has kindly donated a few of her bestsellers – the Summer Fizz soap bar – to our lucky readers! From the 11th to the 17th of May, simply describe your mom in ONE sentence on our FACEBOOK WALL to be in the running to win a luxuriously lathering bar of your own! On top of that, all winners will be notified with a discount code to enjoy any online purchases made at www.kindersoaps.com!
Good luck, and may you be kind to your skin
Mother’s Day is just two days away, so what are you waiting for?? From now ’til the 11th of May, grab our exclusive gift set of Glamorous Katie and Audrey Organizer at only RM89.90! Also, we’ll be giving a FREE gift card with every order up ’til that same date! So hurry, you might have had an excuse not to buy that one gift for your mom, but to give up on two at such an awesome price?!… That’s just irresponsible ;p
Closets turn office spaces are the new ingenuity, and Natalie Wright’s closet office space fits just right with us! Neat, organized, and just an ideal use of space, we wouldn’t mind being cornered in this little office! For more images and Natalie’s workspace tour, visit Apartment Therapy, and for some tips on how to convert your extra closet into an office, check out these nifty notes.
Since we’re celebrating Mother’s Day for an entire month here at Gin & Jacqie, we thought it’d be apt to introduce you to Emila Yusof, one of Malaysia’s talented and established artists. “….an illustrator, a children’s book writer, a blogger, and a seasonal traveler” is what Emila describes herself as, but first and foremost, she’s a loving mother. She has published many children’s books that bring to light our local cultures and heritage, and is currently working with big names to illustrate travel covers and advertisements.
While the illustrations are a great bonus to visiting her personal blog, it’s her posts as a mother and a traveler that keeps us checking in. Her recent travel log to Hong Kong Disneyland with her son was a helpful insight to parents hoping to visit soon.
So if you’re a parent looking to get to know another, we highly recommend Emila Yusof. Light, entertaining, and filled with loving illustrations, her blog and journey will keep you inspired.
1. Mama maternity dress in black RM79.90 2. Gin & Jacqie’s Piper baby bag 3. Gold-framed aviator sunglasses RM19.90 4. Cardigan in beige marl RM39.90 5. Brown sandals RM79.90
When I was pregnant, affordable maternity fashion was hard to come by. Because of the ridiculously high prices of maternity fashion found around KL (the price of a basic pair of maternity shorts with elastic waistband was easily going for RM99) I was fully dependent on just buying sack designs from department stores to get by my constant shifting shape. In fact, one thing that I learned after my first pregnancy was that I needed clothes that would transcend through pregnancy and beyond. A woman’s body can transform tremendously, and while pregnancy does bring out the best glow, it can also bring to light a lot of insecurities, even more so postpartum. I realized that my old clothes couldn’t get me through the months before I lost the weight, neither could my pregnancy clothes fit due to the shrinkage of my body. Not only that, but breastfeeding affects fashion in a way I never expected! Everything I wore had to be easily removed and accessible, and easy to clean. Needless to say, I wasn’t looking like the fashionable mom I desperately wanted to be!
Most are unaware of this, but H&M has been carrying their maternity line in our local stores, and the pieces are as affordable as they are functionally comfortable. In fact, I’ve purchased a few pieces postpartum, and they relate as well now as they did when I was still equipped with a newly deflated belly. One of my favorite buys was the Mama Maternity dress, and it is on constant cycle with my Gin & Jacqie Piper baby bag. The combination of both keeps me stylish in a subtle manner, and the bag’s print brings a little fun into an otherwise basic outfit. Paired with sandals (swollen postpartum feet), classic aviators, and a comfy cardigan, this is a great ensemble for those cosy days out. Replace the sandals with a nice pair of flats, and you’ve got yourself a work to drinks outfit!
Change is hard for everyone, whatever the situation may be. But with change, comes progress. And with progress, comes great and affordable fashion that supports us through the many stages of moving forward. Have a great Tuesday, folks!