Thursday, August 28, 2008

Temporary "Closure" for Custom Orders

I should have put up this "notice" much earlier, but it just dawned upon me yesterday. So, I'll stop taking in all custom orders for The Laughing House for the time being. Minimum: 3wks, Maximum: 2 Months.

This is because, my Mom who made all the purse/pouch thats on sale in my shop, is coming to Singapore this Sunday. And, I dont have a sewing machine here ;)

Actually, I'm thinking of buying a sewing machine soon, with the intention of learning, and picking up some skills from her, this time round. However, having been through a semester of Home Economics back in Secondary School, I have an idea of what sewing is all about. Back then, as a 15 year old girl, I dont enjoy it much, hehe...

So, I'm pretty realistic with my expectation this time round, that there's a high chance that I may still "not enjoy" sewing. But, I'm giving it a shot anyway. Cus, I'm running a shop that's selling handmade/sewn items after all, and I feel it's important that I know the details that goes into making a pouch/purse for my customers.

Let's say, I'm giving myself a second chance at sewing. And if I'm able to get the hang of it, I'll give myself 6 months to a year before I re-evaluate. As all my customers can vouch for, my Mom really has great sewing skills (so does my Grandmother, my Aunts and Cousins, from her side). Now, I just hope, this runs in the family :D hehe...

Monday, August 25, 2008

What to BUY from JAPAN?

My husband will be going to Japan this Saturday for training, and he asked me what I'd like him to buy from there. Most of the time, when he goes away on business trips, I wont bother to ask him to get me anything. But since Japan is not a place he (or us) will go very often, I feel that it'll be such a pity if I dont take this opportunity to ask him to buy me something from there :D

A friend of ours already asked him to buy some cosmetics/skin care products from there, hehe... I love shopping, and buying things, but it seriously depends on how "deep" my pockets happens to

I heard things there are really cute, nice, and often times, pretty unique! I do have a few things in mind, but am wondering if his "taste" is really the same as mine, haha... I wont want him to come back with a suitcase full of stuff which I won't wear or use! But then again, the idea of getting surprise items is just too good to miss! ;)

Any suggestion what is a good buy from JAPAN? Please leave me a note, I'd appreciate hearing from all of  you who've been there b4 :D

Friday, August 22, 2008

2 more NEW necklaces ;)

I knew I was going to make these Garnet and Blue Lace Agate beads into a double strand necklace when I got them. It's just that I was never in the "mood" to piece them together. After telling my customers a double strand is along the way (for the longest time), its finally here ;)

It has a regal look to it (in my opinion) so, its named Royal Garnet :D The garnets has this rich deep "wine/burgundy" colour to it, that reminds me of royalty ;)

This piece can easily be twirled gently, to create a beautiful interwoven look.
This chain necklace was meant to be matched with the garnets, but I felt it was a bit odd together. So, it ended up by itself. I've yet to decide if I want to add anything else to this design.

I've gone weeks and even a month without making any new pieces at all, so this time round, getting 2 pieces done in a single night, was quite an achievement for me, hehe....

In a way, it was quite "unintentional", especially the 2nd piece (which I've yet to name). I'd wanted to pair it up with the garnet piece, which I've alrd strung, but decided against it at the last minute. At the same time, I've alrd put the chains together, and thought, it looks nice on its own. Now, I'm still deciding if I'll be adding anything to the design along the way :D

Feel free to let me know your opinion, and...a suitable name along with it, will be great!

Thanks for looking! ;)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


A very tricky piece to photograph, due to the nature of the gemstones, Labradorite's colours, which gives different hues from different angles. To top it off, I'm no expert at photography,, this is the best I can manage ;)

Simple design, featuring the Labradorites to display its own beauty.

Here's introducing Iridescent, my latest piece of necklace. It's named such, as I want to highlight the quality of these Labradorites, which at one glance, appear a boring grey. But in actuall fact, they are really one of the most beautiful stones I've ever seen. 

There's a play of colour when you look at them from different angles, ranging from dark blue/purple, to the greenish yellow and even orangey gold! 

Paired with Thai Karen Hill Tribe fine silver (99.9%)  faceted tube beads, this 18.5" necklace ends with a vintage flower toggle clasp, also in fine silver (oxidized for an antiquated look)

Thanks for looking, I hope you'll love it as much as I do ;)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Medal for Singapore, at last!!!

Singapore's dream of a medal finally materialised on Friday when the women's table tennis team defeated Korea to enter the final against China. That was the 1st time I watched a table tennis match live on TV, and I must say, I was really won over!

My husband said, its probably because I'm watching a game where a Singapore team is playing, and I'm rooting for them. Probably :)  I must also give credit to the grit & fighting spirit of the Korean women. Judging from the match, it's really hard to say who's the better team, its really a close call most of the time.

In comparison, tonight's game is not as exciting as the semi-finals. As Jiawei, the Singaporean team captain said on Friday, they fought that day's match, as though it's the finals. True enough, I sensed a more relaxed mood in the players tonight. Cant blame them though, they are alrd relieved, having delivered a silver medal to Singapore, a nation awaiting an Olympics medal for the past 48 years. 

If I were to judge, based on tonight's match alone, I'd say China's team of Zhang Yining, WangNan and GuoYue are the stronger players, and they are deserve the gold medal.

Although all 3 players of the Singaporean team are "talent-imports" from China, I'm on the side that believes this medal belongs to Singapore. Let's put it this way, if they lost the match, wont people be saying that "Singapore lost the match/medal" ? They wont be saying, "China lost the match." Why? Because the players are representing the country, in this case, Singapore. 

I feel as proud as the rest of the nation, of the achievement of this team. Well done, Jiawei, Yeugu & Tianwei!!!

Goodbye Tourmaline, Hello Opal!

I'm so pleased to have sold my Tourmaline Charm Necklace so quickly after it was listed :) It did receive many compliments from customers, and visitors who viewed it from my FLICKR account and the ETSY forum as well.  Still, it was a pleasant surprise :D

I knew these Peruvian Blue Opal beauties are up next in my shop for listing. These stones, has been sitting on my table for almost a week, but I simply cant get working on the design I had in mind, as I still have yet to come to terms with it completely. So, the delay.

Few days ago, I sneaked out of the room while my kids were sleeping, and decide to just try my hands at these opal, and see what came along. And,... Voila! This piece was linked together in minutes, it was so easy to piece together, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out :D though, very different from what I had in mind few days ago.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Christian Carnival

I first knew abt Christian Carnival when I visited Rodney Olsen's Website few days ago. It's a platform for bloggers who are Christians, to present some of their thoughts/views etc that reflects Christianity in some ways. The posts itself may not focus on Christianity though.

He happens to be hosting this round of Christian Carnival, and I thought it would be interesting to "submit" one of my last week's post, The Olympic Dream where I touched on a little about Christians being compared to an athlete, in terms of endurance, perseverance etc.

I'm pleasantly surprised to know, that my post has been included with other regulars with their  "thought provoking" posts (in the words of Rodney)

Check them out here: Christian Carnival 237

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tourmaline Charm

Tourmaline Charm (Necklace), made with faceted tourmaline stone, simply wire wrapped, and hung on a fine 925 silver chain. A simple, clutter free style, great to add charm & beauty to casual, everyday wear.

The tourmaline (gemstone) is translucent, with a hot-pink (fuchsia) centre, and light greenish sides. Thats how they got their name, Watermelon Tourmaline :)

I'm finally coming out of the "colour-less" closet, and will move on from creamy pearls/silver combo. I still love them! But, simply cant resist the colours of the gemstones sitting patiently inside my toolbox ;) They've waited long enough, and I'd be doing them injustice hiding them away for too long! hehe...

I bought 5 pieces of these Watermelon Tourmaline, but they are all different shapes/sizes. So, I chose the largest of them all (abt 10mm), and made a pendant out of it. I decided not to add anything else, or create any design whatsoever, as the stone itself is really pretty, and should be allowed to take centre stage for the beauty to shine forth.

With the smaller stones, I'd wanted to make matching earrings. But realised that the drill hole is realllly tiny, and I dont have thinner silver wire for that purpose. So, I'll keep them on hold for the time being ;)

Hope you'll love this piece, I really do!

What's Your "Olympic" Dream? (Part 2)

To continue off where I left off, I eventually took up volleyball again in Secondary School, and went on to become captain of my team during my lower secondary school days, and played competitively. However, we werent quite a formidable team, and lost more than we won, hehe :P

Anyways, I had no regrets as I learnt to face the challenges better (mentally) compared to when I was 9yrs old.

Aside from volleyball, I also love playing badminton and swimming as well. I always took pride in the fact that I'm a "long distance" swimmer, easily doing 50 laps in a single swim (non-stop). However, the same cant be said for long distance running. In fact, I always felt totally beaten and lousy whenever I attempt running, as I'd feel that I dont have the stamina to complete a run properly.

2 years ago, I decided to try running again as a more "attainable" sport. This, not in terms of results, but more of time & convenience sake. Being a mother to a toddler, I've totally put aside any exercise regimen. And, I can feel my body "protesting" against the lack of workout. I have a huge park very near my house, and thought, that jogging can be something I'll be able to do conveniently on a regular basis (If I'm disciplined).

That was when I decided to take on my "unbeatable monster" (running) face on. I set goals, and paced myself, starting extremely slowly, and giving myself ample time to achieve the set goals. From, running 1 round around the park (500m), with walking in between...increasing it to 2 rounds, 3 rounds.. and so forth. In few weeks time, I was comfortably slow jogging 5-6 rounds (3km) continuously.

At that time, I set out to achieve my 1st goal of running 5km. After abt 2-3 months since I first started running, I was able to achieve 5km on my thrice weekly run. It was a totally satisfying and confidence pumping experience! I felt that, I've "beaten" my "unbeatable monster" that running is not for me, and I have poor stamina etc.

My goal back then, was to continue running till I reach a 10km distance, and eventually join a women's 10km run in the city. Yes that was, and still a goal till now, hehe..

You see, I got pregnant a 2nd time when I just reached my 5km mark, and that 2nd pregnancy caused me to feel totally "upside" down most of the time. I just had to lie down and sleep almost after work everyday (I had started working again at that time) Needless to say, the run, the goal, was put on hold, indefinitely....

Now, my 2nd child is 20mths old, and I've yet to revisit my running dream. The Olympics being here, simply "advertised" all the feats, perseverance of the athletes who came this far. And, this reminds me of a 2 yr old dream, buried snugly in the closet. 

It's something that I still want to achieve, a 10km run. Now really, getting my sports shoes out of the shoe closet is really the hardest step to take. The day I do that, will be the day I took another shot at my "Olympic" dream. If only I can stop procrastinating, and just...start. ;)

What's your Olympic dream?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

What's Your "Olympic" Dream? (Part 1)

I was just blog visiting a moment ago (strangely I was unable to "backtrack" to give you the link to that blog) whose author asked "What's your greatest sporting moment?"

I left a comment there, so if YOU are that author, feel free to comment here, and let me know it's you, so that I can find your blog again ;)

*Update: That auther is Rodney Olsen. Glad you dropped by Rodney! ;) (Click on HERE  to get to his blog)

Anyways, that earlier question from that blog made me share the fact that I enjoyed sports & games as a kid, even up till now, though the opportunities & time is highly limited, being a stay home mom to 2 kids below the age of 5yrs.

I was personally selected by my primary school volleyball team's coach to be in the school team. And my primary school was (still is) a reputable sporting school that excelled in sports, especially volleyball. Unfortunately, at that age, I dont have the strength of character enough, to persist in a sport that I truly enjoyed and (I believed) I had potential in. The first June (school) holiday had me return to Indonesia to be with my family. This made me miss a whole month of training.

When I came back to school in July, and the training, I felt totally "left-out" seeing the progress my team mates (those who were previously "weaker" than me) had made in a month! Suddenly I felt inferior, and I was not able to shrug off that feeling, and persevere, to catch up with the rest of the team. Within weeks, I decided that I'll quit the team. I came up with all sorts of excuses, and I can tell, the coach was very disappointed in me. So was I.

I'd watch them train, wistfully...thinking that I could have been a part of this team that went out and win competitions, had I swallowed my pride and humbly trained well to compensate for the lag. 

Do you have similar "regrets" ? Well, I've long put this past behind me & learnt the lesson behind this incident. If you think you have what it takes, and yet took it for granted, did not practice, did not persevere in the face of challenges, whatever you have, will be taken away from you.

Be faithful in the little, and more will be given to you! Yes, these are scriptural :) and there's truth in them!

The Olympic Dream

Beijing's "Bird's Nest" stadium at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics.

Another 4 years had passed and now the 2008 Beijing Olympic game has begun. I just watched the opening ceremony (briefly) was spectacular indeed! The Chinese government spared no effort (and money) at creating a lasting impression on the biggest event of the year. 

Although I'm not a citizen of the People's Republic of China, however being a Chinese, I do feel a sense of "connection" and pride at seeing what China has achieved, a dream that took a century to fulfill. They literally encapsuled 5000 years of history in a single night.

I remembered the very 1st Olympic games that I followed was in 1988 (cant remember the city…could be Barcelona?). Both my older brothers were sporting enthusiasts and would follow the games and events religiously. Being with them much, naturally led me to have the same interest in sports and games.

This Olympic will be no different. I’ll be following the various events (swimming, track & field, gymnastics, table tennis, diving) as closely as my schedule allows, and will catch up on those I missed by reading the newspaper.

From the news, I often heard about athletes who failed the dope tests, and I just couldn’t quite comprehend the reasoning behind the action, apart from the obvious reason (I mean, surely they knew the risk etc??). Until few days ago, when I read in amazement that many of them were actually in the dark themselves.

Especially those from communist countries, children just beginning their sporting careers were literally “fed” with stamina/physique enhancing drugs by their coaches, instructed by the State. All those while, they and their parents were led to think that those were vitamins.

Their mentality is, get all the children out there “enhanced”, and surely 1 in a thousand will get to stand on the podium receiving a medal, and bring glory and wealth to the country. That’s downright dirty, not to mention “cruel” as many of them not only failed to achieve their sporting dreams, they were also robbed of the chance to know if they could have ever made it with their own ability in the first place. Hearing about the many physical suffering they had to go through because of ill-health due to the after effects of the drugs were just heart wrenching. One girl, grew up becoming a man (literally) because of the hormone drugs taken during her early years. Another suffered 3 miscarriages along the way... *sigh*

A Christian's walk is often likened to that of an athlete undergoing training, or running a race, marathon etc. There’s a spirit of excellence, endurance and perseverance that I as a Christian can learn from these athletes who went through years of training, discipline and sacrifice, just for a moment’s glory in the Olympics that comes around every 4 years. I definitely would want to witness the triumphs and failures and be inspired yet again by the people who literally gave up everything to be number #1. 

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dissatisfied Customer

Not quite sure if it's "allowed" to mention names here, although this is my personal blog. But I decided to just vent my frustration here, without mentioning the name of the company of which I'm the dissatisfied customer.

Few months back, I bought some cards for my jewelry shop, WINNIEL.  I intend to use them as my promotional tool which can double up as my business cards as well.  1 month down the road, no cards in sight. I informed them, and they sent a replacement set to me. During that time, I decided to purchase a 2nd set, with a different design. This time, its for The Laughing House, as I was confident,  that the 1st order simply got lost in the mail, and will definitely reach me, the 2nd time round.

2 weeks come and goes, still no cards in sight. And I inform them again, they systematically apologized, and promptly sent out a 3rd batch. By now, 3 months has passed, and I've yet to receive them in the mail, be it the 1st one they sent, or the 2nd...3rd "replacements".

I wrote to them, and requested a refund. They apologized and refunded my 2nd order, but not the 1st order, as Paypal will only allow refunds if its within 2 months of transaction.

"So, do I get burnt in this transaction?" I asked them, (nicely of course) , they were sorry and compensated me with a coupon. I asked them what's the coupon for? It's for a new order, with free shipping included.

Hehehe....I dont know whether to laugh at them, or to ...&%^!@#$??? lol...

I explained to them, that a person in my situation, would have totally lost trust in them, and wouldn't dream of buying anything else from them, unless I see some kind of "light" at the end of my 3 months long "tunnel".

This is reputable online company in the UK. And I pointed out to them, surely something is very wrong somewhere, if my orders were sent a total of 5 times, and all 5 of them do not reach me at all. I've checked, my address is entered correctly (for those of you wondering).

1. UK mailing system is poor. (I've ordered other stuff from UK, and it reaches me well within the 2wks limit)
2. SG mailing sytem is poor. (My sent items, or other orders reached me safe and sound)
3. Their system is poor.

Am I just ONE unlucky customer? Or are there million others who complained of not getting their orders, with no refunds, simply because we gave them the benefit of doubt and waited past the 2 months limit given by Paypal?

Something need to be done (their end). My part, I'm merely venting my frustration here, while considering my nx move as I wait to hear back from them again.

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