Yep, they are every Singaporean’s favourite childhood snack — that also simultaneously divides any table of friends (“I bite the sugary bit first!”/”No way, that’s the part I save for last! How could you.”). If there’s anything that perfectly encapsulates the mania of 90s old-school nostalgia, it’s this humble round biscuit, with a bright sugary top, that’s now everywhere and immortalised in more ways than any Egyptian Pharaoh ever was (Ozymandius, who?). Magnets? Earrings? Cushions? Yes, yes and yes — and you’ll find them all here. SG50 may be sooo 2015, but here’s to the actual gem of the year.
Livin’ It Up
Home is where the heart is, and our heart’s with these items. Dress up your crib with these babies.
Let it be your guiding light in the dark and all that, with this Gem Biscuit USB Lamp ($34.80), by Meykrs. It’s a little night light that’s powered by a USB cable, and comes with a 1 hour timer switch that you can activate just before you drift off to sleep. Sweet dreams are made of these. Available at Naiise and Hipvan.
This will be the talking point of your dining table, and you get to own a piece of irony too — I mean, a sugary snack that dispenses savoury seasoning? Tricksy. Designed by LOVE SG, the Iced Gems Salt & Pepper Shaker ($29.90) allows you to shake it off in style, especially since good old ceramic’s given a nice glossy glaze and a gilded base. Fancy gems, indeed.
Still, if you’re thinking of a totally different home decor style, one oozing with retro, pastel vibes (read: sg hipster), then this wheniwasfour Foodie Wooden Coaster ($5.50) makes for the perfect table setting. They also have ice pops, kueh lapis and ang ku kueh designs to up the local foodie flair. No more unsightly water marks on your raw wood table.
Honestly, plushies aren’t really our thing, but it’s mighty hard to resist these cuddly beings that are much easier to own, than say, a cuddly kitty/puppy. Rest your head on that cushion, topped with a wheniwasfour cushion cover ($28) in a nice cotton linen, wrap your arms protectively around these Meykrs cushions ($29.90) or have squishy comfort on the go with their keychain ($9.60). Sure, the love may only ever be one way, but you won’t know the difference.
Ah, who needs chi-chi oil paintings when you can go for quirky art prints. Our ever-reliable source has to be Society6, where artists upload their work and the company prints them in various forms, including canvas prints, tote bags, wall clocks, mugs, pillows, throws, duvets… Basically, everything. Catch them at the right day, usually weekends, and you’ll even score free shipping! Here’s an eye-catching piece, simple and clean, by Melanie Yong. $28 for an art print, $85 for a canvas print, and $30 for a stunning clock, at Society6.
Made For Wear
Don’t just pop ’em into your mouth, wear them like you mean it.
wheniwasfour happens to be owning this gem biscuit madness by the way, so you’ll find their pastel prints on all sorts of stuff, including this tee ($32.90). Printed on 100% cotton preshrunk jersey knit, the t-shirt’s a not-so-subtle way to declare your love for the snack, while you can store all the snacks you want in this roomy silkscreen tote bag ($24), that looks a tinge more rustic than normal due to its unique printing method.
Pinterest-worthy pins are also a thing, if you happen to like these things. The Fancy Gem Biscuit Pin ($15.90) is a hearty trio that works like a tiny superhero team on a mission to brighten up a plain white tee or bag, while the enamel ones ($15.90) are like a cuter version of those kinda nerdy Young Scientist badges we used to fervently collect. Or, the NAPFA Gold ones if you’re the healthy sort, tsk.
More wheniwasfour accessories, now in ever-lovable stud earrings ($14.90) and rings ($15.90), because wouldn’t it be ridiculous if you wore a shirt, carried the tote bag, and also flashed your favourite biscuits every time you do that “hand adjusting hair” pose for your #ootd? Two in one, earrings and ring, both sorted. Made from polymer clay, they actually look like the real deal. Just, mm, keep them away from babies and promise you won’t actually munch on them when you get hungry.
Can gem biscuits get any smaller? These are the tiniest ones we’ve seen, in the form of globe rings and necklaces (from $20.25) by thepigbakesclay, aka Lixuan, who has a passion for creating minature food-based accessories from polymer clay. For a bunch of other things she sculpts, think kueh lapis, rabbit sweets, gummy bears and Hello Pandas. Some of these are tinier than your finger.
Just take a close look at the amount of detail on these earrings ($26.08) and rings ($20.44) — the pastels look genuinely pastel-ly, the sugar tops look light and airy enough to eat, while the biscuit base has got some legit golden-brown dusted effect going on. Hands down, the most intricate we’ve seen, made also from polymer clay by dollfoodminiatures on Etsy. Milla and Olya Li are actually a pair of food jewellery designers from Russia, and their handiwork, everything from fig stud earrings to French dessert ones are amazing, down to the glaze. These iced gem ones take the cake though.
Yep, you’d want them permanently bound to your study table.
If the idea of a gem biscuit house hasn’t stuck with you yet, these Ais Gem Magnets ($60 for 5) should make a convincing impression. Designer Winston Chai manages to make them look like perfect specimens, and they even come in a biscuit tin that makes us feel like hunting down all the old-school biscuit shops that still exist today. Hey, there could be one around your neighbourhood!
One can never have enough notebooks, so we’re ending the post with these two sweet ones from wheniwasfour. First, an A5 power duo Fancy Gems & Ice Pop Notebook ($21.90) with fancy gem biscuits in the front, and an ice popsicle design at the back, printed on a textured fabric and binded with an exposed coptic stitch so you knows you got yours handmade. Next, their now-classic print on a sturdy paper notebook ($15.90), with lined paper, blank paper and, get this, grid paper, so you can truly live out your childhood and continue penning the Singaporean version of the Series of Unfortunate Events, one where the unlikely Xiao Ming or Xiao Li are the protagonists.