alvin’s mini messenger bag

so. i went and got more leather, one of which alvin promptly claimed as his own.

since my husband only owns one bag which he uses everyday (one. bag. i still can’t get over how ridiculous this is and i live with this fact everyday.) and rarely shows interest in bags in general, i cannot, in good conscience, deny him this piece of leather.

he wanted something smaller than his messenger bag, but still big enough to fit an ipad mini, a small notebook and an assortment of things he totes around everyday. the bag took me two sessions to make; i finished the body first then added the straps, pockets and other little things later on.

i also used an old belt buckle to connect the ends of the straps; i couldn’t figure out how to attach it so alvin had to help. he also measured and cut the straps because i realized that that was the part i dislike doing the most, haha!


alvin and his new bag!

mini messenger front & back

front and back

mini messenger details

the bag has a pocket!

mini messenger details 02

off to work!

show & tell

i’ve been in love with leather for a while now and have been wanting to try working with it, just to see if i can, because, you know, how hard could it be, right? (oh, how my raw fingertips are laughing!)

i attended a leather cuff crafting workshop a few months ago which came with basic leather tools, and i have been itching to get my hands on some nice leather ever since. i was finally able to go to marikina a couple of weeks ago, where, after rummaging through shelf after shelf piled high with rolled-up leather, i found a couple of interesting ones.

2015-04-18 10.43.51

dark and light blue leather from otto in marikina

after days spent poring through various leather crafting video and blog tutorials, i held my breath, crossed my fingers and started cutting.

the dark blue leather became this:

blue distressed front & back

i love this bag’s flap!

blue distressed details

dark blue bag details

and the light blue leather turned into this:

blue tote front & back

front and back

i was stumped for a few days because i didn’t have one long, continuous strip of leather for the strap, then i thought: rings!

blue tote details 02

front and side details

blue tote details 01

bag details

there are still a lot of details and little things i want to polish but, all in all, i’m happy with how the two bags turned out. now, i need to go get more leather. 🙂

the reupholstery project

alvin and i bought a couple of dining room chairs early this year. mainly because we realized we didn’t have regular-sized chairs and i was hugely pregnant, which made perching on the bar stools we were using as dining room chairs slightly difficult. we found some sturdy, folding ones on sale at s&r and grabbed them. they were very comfy.

unfortunately, they were beige.

i’ve been itching to reupholster them since day one but what with waddling, giving birth and taking care of a helpless baby, it was hard to find time to do it.

last night, because it was alvin’s birthday (really, his birthday had nothing to do with it), we finally hunkered down and transformed the icky beige seats into something more fun, and lucky you get to have a blow by blow. 😀


get a couple of chairs with drab-colored seat cushions.


unscrew the cushion from the frame.


find fabric you really like and cut it a few inches wider than your cushion on all sides. ours was canvas.


staple the fabric onto the back of the cushion. (we couldn’t find flat staple wires so we made do with cable staple wires and just pounded them flat, haha)


screw the cushion back on.


ta-daaa! instant new chairs!


before and after.

the bag strap project

i have a gray, patterned canvas tote bag that i instantly fell in love with the first time i saw it. it was the right size, was affordable, and all in all, almost-perfect. my one complaint was that its white canvas straps could be an inch or so longer, so i bought it with the thought of replacing them, thereby sealing the bag’s perfection.

as with most of my diy projects though, this one got shelved for a bit in favor of more urgent day-to-day things; the straps’ length wasn’t perfect but it wasn’t unusable, i reasoned. when i plopped the bag in the machine for a wash a couple of months ago though, the straps emerged with a light pink stain, which i took as the universe’s way of prodding me to make good on my promise to replace them.

so how do you replace a gray, patterned canvas tote bag’s pink-stained straps? just follow these four easy steps.

1. find a gray, patterned canvas tote. make sure its straps are pink-stained.

the bag with the stained straps

the bag with the stained straps

2. find new straps to replace the old ones with. i was initially looking for a black leather belt to use but i lucked out because i found this white one at the first thrift store i went to. i like to think of it as the universe’s gentle way of telling me to replace white with white. in case i still didn’t get it, she even added extra motivation: it was on sale so i only paid 84 pesos for it! real leather for 84 pesos equals really happy jona. 🙂

textured leather belt from the secondhand store

textured leather belt from the secondhand store

3. have handy husband remove pesky buckle. measure and cut the belt into your desired length.

the would-be bag straps

the would-be bag straps

4. remove old straps and sew in new ones! i wanted to do this myself but, unfortunately, i didn’t have the right tools for it so i had to ask mr. quickie for help. finally, step back and admire your ‘new’ bag with its upcycled leather straps!



hello unit 422!

we decided we were going to paint stripes on our new living room wall, and so we googled diy tutorials, hustled a couple of quarts of free paint (thank you, leftover paint from a project from a year ago!), and spread some old newspapers on the parquet floor. how hard could it be, right? 🙂

painting 101


we officially declare you ‘the rustic focal wall’! :p


other images from our 3-day move.

stuff against walls

i am in love with these curtains.


being handy, my wonderful husband has learned since, can be really tiring.