Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Patchwork gift bags

If you're like me, you have a gazillion paper shopping bags at home. I now carry my own reusable shopping bags and always turn down store bags, but I think I've accumulated enough through the years to open my own store. Taking a cue from one of my treasured finds, a bayong covered in scrap fabric by What If Handmade, I decided to reuse the shopping bags as gift bags by covering them in scrap gift wrapping paper.

shopping bag wrapped in scrap gift paper
Between the smaller wall calendar bags and these bigger shopping bags, I won't have to buy gift bags for a long, long time.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Say NO! to SM

I've been an SM girl for as long as I can remember. I love the convenience of shopping for almost everything in one place, and the fact that I can choose from a wide range of prices and quality. I love that BDO branches in the malls have weekend banking and long weekday hours. I love that both my BDO account and my SM purchases give me reward points, and that I can buy anything from their stores with them.

But you know what they say about former lovers being the worst enemies.

SM does not care that it razes trees and farm land for its malls. It doesn't care that people around them lose their livelihoods. It doesn't care that it puts its employees and residents at risk when they build on unstable and dangerous land.

I've decided that I do not want to continue financing the unconscionable and irresponsible activities of SM. Shopping in their stores stops right now, and I will be closing my BDO accounts and changing my credit card within the next few weeks.

The thing is, I'm just one person and what I'm going to do won't even be an ant bite for this behemoth. Will you boycott all SM companies with me?

This lists all the SM companies and affiliates I know. If I've missed any, please write the name of the company in the comments and I'll add it to the list.
  • SM Malls
  • SM Department Store
  • SM Supermarket
  • SM Hypermart
  • SaveMore
  • Makro
  • Science Discovery Center
  • SM Residences
  • M Place
  • Hamilo Coast – Pico de Loro
  • Tagaytay Highlands
  • Taal Vista Hotel
  • SMX Convention Center
  • Banco de Oro
  • China Bank
  • Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu
  • Toy Kingdom
  • Watsons Personal Care
  • Baby Company
  • Our Home
  • Sports Central
  • Ace Hardware
  • Homeworld
  • Kultura Pilipino
  • Forever 21
  • Uniqlo
  • Prime Spots Inc.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sturdy little things

Back in 2010, I wrote that I use old wall calendars as drawer liners. Though not quite card stock, the paper of these calendars is thick and, therefore, very strong; except for a good wiping every now and then, I haven't had to change them since. Which means that I now have two years' worth of calendar paper.

I was at a loss on what to do with them, then I realized that, because their photos and artwork are really pretty, I can make them into small gift bags.

gift bag made out of calendar paper
[Just for the record, the ribbon is also reused from old gifts and the gift tag is an old business card of mine with outdated information. The foam sticker is new but is part of the gift of a friend who knows what I like doing in my spare time.]

If you don't know how to make your own gift bags yet, I found instructions on mairuru's blog (text and still photos) and a video on YouTube.

Of course, the other side looks kind of funny.

gift bag made out of calendar paper
At least my friends will know that I'm trying to help Mother Earth even in small ways, and that they're a part of it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Magic green powder

I started getting gray and white hair when I was only in my twenties, and I started coloring my hair when I was thirty. Everything was fine until six years ago when I decided to get a temporary tattoo during a beach trip. The "henna" applied by the artist turned out to be black henna, which has synthetic dyes containing PPD (para-Phenylenediamine). This direct application of PPD on my skin caused a severe allergy; my upper arm swelled, the tattoo design blistered and it was hellishly itchy! PPD sensitivity is lifelong, which means that I am now forever allergic to anything that contains PPD (and other similar chemicals besides). Unfortunately for me, most commercial hair dyes, whether home- or salon-applied, contain PPD.

Stubborn girl that I am, the experience didn't stop me from continuing to color my hair with commercial hair dyes for several years. The coloring is supposed to stay on the hair for only ten minutes, there was little direct contact with my skin, and I only had to color my hair three to four times a year. But through the years, the allergy progressively worsened until I finally decided to stop coloring last year.

Then last month, a poorly-trained waitress handed me a friend's senior citizen card just because I was the only one at our table with white hair.

I don't think I'm particularly vain, but even that was a little too much for me.

So I decided to color my hair again, but this time with 100% pure henna. I figured, it's been used as a dye since antiquity and we should know by now if it causes adverse reactions, right? And I've never heard of anyone having an allergy to henna.

That was two weeks ago and, so far, everything seems to be good. My scalp didn't itch and the henna didn't cause an inflammation of the skin on my nape. The coverage isn't quite what I prefer and it seems to wash out faster than commercial hair coloring, but hey, my skin seems to be happy and I'm sure Mother Earth is too. So, as long as no one hands me another senior citizen card until it's really mine, I will be satisfied.