Sunday, May 31, 2009

Etsy Featured Shop 10 (Part 2)

Buy Handmade
A little something about the seller:
We are two young artists whom enjoy making beautiful items and sharing them with the world. For additional information....ask and you shall be told...

We make everything from scratch. Nothing is pre-bought or factory made. All metals are melted or bought in sheets and are of pure quality (silver 925 and so on.) This is true as well for all metal wire used in our work. Purity is one of our main goals.
I love this shop for its simple yet unique designs. Some of the jewelries found here are the types that I'd personally wear & enjoy it for a long time to come. Hope you'll enjoy them too :D

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Etsy Featured Shop 9 (Part 2)

Buy Handmade
A little something about the seller:
I'm a mother and full-time journalist so making cards is more of a hobby than a business to me.

I design colorful and fun note cards that I think my friends and family would enjoy finding in their mailboxes but I am open to custom creations and invitations.

My cards feature a variety of colors and materials that I either purchase from local craft stores or create by hand. Some of my card sets take more than an hour to complete because of the detailing I add, such as ribbon handles on my purse-shaped cards.
If you love handmade paper crafts, then you'll love visiting this shop. The handmade cards & hang tags are so beautifully put together! Her wedding favor bags are simple & elegantly designed as well... no wonder they made it to the front page of Etsy's Wedding Gift Guide!  Check them out now! :D

Etsy Featured Shop 8 (Part 2)

Buy Handmade
A little something about the seller:
I'm a freelance graphic designer/crafter. 
Tiny Space is a small home studio with love of printed + handcrafted goodies. Apart from crafty things I offered in the store, my other goal is to provide you professional graphic design services to help your business stand out from the crowd. Please convo me to find out how I can help you out!

Design is truly my passion, and whenever I'm free, I will be sitting in my home studio designing and crafting.
Ah....another graphic design shop & service for Etsy seller on a budget! ;)  Check out this shop for more designs & custom orders!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Etsy Featured Shop 7 (Part 2)

Buy Handmade
A little something about the seller:
Hello everyone! I'm Daphne. I live in Greece and I love making things with all kind of materials!
I also do graphic design but there's nothing like making things with your own hands!
I started with crafts four years ago just as a hobby and now i just can't stop!
Check out this shop today for more fun & quirky handmade jewelry, magnets & belts! ;)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Be Spoilt for Choice with NEW FABRICS Selection!

I had to restock on 2 fabric designs for 2 of my customers who wanted a custom order, and decided to go ahead and indulge myself in getting more new designs ;)

To all The Laughing House loyal customers, these new designs are bound to delight you with their cheery & BOLD prints from designers such as Erin McMorris, Michael Miller & Kitty Yoshida. 

For those of you who preferred the traditional heavyset elegant designs, I did not forget about you, & stock up on some Amy Butler's designs as well. 

Aviary lovers, grab your limited choices while they last ;) Cus, past experiences told me, that those designs with bird prints on them, are the first to go... (out of stock) :D

Feel free to contact me at The Laughing House for your custom orders of Organizer Purses, Bible Covers & CD Visor Holder. See you there soon ;)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Etsy Featured Shop 6 (Part 2)

Buy Handmade
A little something about the seller:
Let's see...
How do I define myself?
I am a wife first to a wonderful guy who indulges my crazy painting gig!
I am a stay at home mom to two of the funniest kids you will ever meet! (4 and 3 yrs.)
I work part time doing so many different things I can't list them! Besides this ETSY gig I also work for an online wedding invitation company doing piecework. I will do basically anything legal if you pay me! :) I have done it all and I LOVE to work!
But life finds me here for the time being, taking care of my little lovelies, and my home and painting any spare minute I get.
I stumbled upon this shop when I was blog-hopping one day, & was immediately charmed by these "peggies"! I must say, they are one of the cutest families around ;) 

I'm considering getting a custom order for my own family as well, but that'll have to wait till we move in October :D It's exciting time indeed! Check out this shop now to customize your own little peggies ;)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Etsy Featured Shop 5 (Part 2)

Buy Handmade
A little something about the seller:
Hello! My names Emma. I've been drawing and creating ever since I can remember so when it came to choosing a career I knew that I wanted to find the most creative job I could. I've been working as an Illustrator and Designer for 12 years now but my life long dream is to set up my own business selling my work so I am so excited to have opened up this little shop!

With all of my designs I try to use the most environmentally friendly methods as possible. I'm all about recycling and using FSC, sustainable or recycled materials.
Check out this shop featuring whimsical handmade greeting cards, art prints & quirky Thingamajigs! With love, from London

Monday, May 25, 2009

New Bible Covers

Here's our latest piece of custom order Bible Cover, in delightful Apples & Pears in Chocolate fabric. Personally, I'd prefer that the fruits stand upright (vertical) instead of horizontal... but there isnt enough fabric to do it that way. But, this turned out equally pretty I think ;)

Before the "criss-cross" sewing was done, our natural inclination was to use a dark brown thread, since the matching fabric was in dark brown. But I remembered a customer who once commented that her item looked "harsh" with the dark brown thread criss crossing across her (coasters, if I dont remember wrongly). So, I decided to go ahead with cream thread instead. My mom commented, that it looked nice, and made it "stands out" without coming across as harsh.

This custom order fits my Rainbow Study Bible perfectly, & I used it for these pictures.

For my personal practice purposes, I'd decided that the Bible Covers will be the perfect beginner's project. My mom agreed, that it's the easiest piece to start making.

The past few days, I'd observed briefly how she made the Bible Covers... and realized, it's not as simple & straight forward as I'd previously thought.

In order to make sure that the piece turned out perfectly, a lot of effort is made to mark various positions (for handles, as well as the criss crossing) This was made even more challenging when the order was for an XL sized Bible Covers. As our sewing maching is a small & basic model, with a "big head" , and small table.

According to her, using old or industrial type of sewing machines would be better, as they usually have large working space (table) with a small head, thus our view is less obstructed (when doing the criss cross sewing across)

Wish me luck! I'll start my official attempt at this after we move to our new flat, around October ;)

Who knows, for practice purposes, I may even take orders, for free :D I'll let all my readers & customers know again, when I'm ready to take such orders.

For more pictures of previously made custom orders (Bible Covers) CLICK HERE. Thank you for checking them out!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Etsy Featured Shop 4 (Part 2)

Buy Handmade
A little something about the seller:
I live in southern Iowa. I am a carpenter and a chess player. I have always been fascinated by mathematics and carpentry. Making puzzles is a nice blending of both of these interest. I love the different scents that the wood puts off when sawing, and the tactile feel of it while sanding and cutting. I make puzzle boxes, and jewelry boxes as well and will be putting them on Etsy soon.
Not the typical jewelry or purse & bag shop you often see on ETSY. So visiting RolfeCreations is a nice change for something unique and an "intelligent" handmade gift ;) 

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Etsy Featured Shop 3 (Part 2)

Buy Handmade
A little something about the seller:
I've been making jewellery as a hobby for many years and am self taught.

I'm always enthusiastic about learning new techniques though I like to keep my jewellery relatively simple and elegant. I often think that simple tends to be more striking. I strive to make pieces that will survive fashion changes.
Looking at this shop, reminds me of my early jewelry making days, when I like to flip through Japanese books featuring all the striking, yet seemingly simple jewelries. I was so fascinated by what I saw, that it wasn't long before I decide to pick up jewelry making. Now that I'm into this for almost 3 years, I know that it's really not as easy as it seems. Certain skills really does require patience, & lots of practice!

Check out this shop today for some impressive wire wrapped jewelry!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Etsy Featured Shop 2 (Part 2)

Buy Handmade
A little something about the seller:
Hi, I'm a graduate student in the California Bay Area. I love my digital camera and taking pictures of plants. I'm fortunate that I live in the Bay Area, where there is so much natural beauty so close to my home. I hope you enjoy my photography!

I have some off-Etsy interests as well -

*I am a vegetarian (5 years and counting) and am a member of the EtsyVeg Team. I love discovering and enjoying creative vegetarian food.

*I ride a scooter (Yamaha Vino 125cc), and I'll soon be upgrading to a 250cc motorcycle. I'm a member of the prestigious vegetarian riding club "Satan's Carrots." Actually, it's a club that my fiance and I started, all in good fun.

*I brew beer with my fiance in our home. We've made about 10 batches so far, and most were well-received by our friends!

*I'm kind of obsessed about Belgian and Belgian-style beers, and all craft beers in general.

*I'm a biologist. Hopefully soon I'll have my PhD.
Check out this shop for other great photography to brighten up your office or home with some "greeneries" ;)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Etsy Featured Shop 1 (Part 2)

Buy Handmade
A little something about the seller:
I have loved creating art pretty much my whole life. I caught the bug when I was in elementary school and my 2nd grade teacher nicknamed me her "little artist." I use many media, but my favorite is colored pencil and graphic design.
Some of you may have known that I'm no graphic designer, & am always impressed with anyone with any graphic design skills at all! One of my earlier "soft spot" (if you can call it that!) was collecting custom made banners, hehe....cus I cant make my own, & am too lazy to really learn how to make 1 myself. So much easier to simply order one, and let a creative graphic designer do the job for me ;)

Check out EDUB today for your custom graphic needs!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fabric Choices for May-Jul

Monaluna Birds in Summer
Brown Lacework

This is an announcement to all my customers at The Laughing House: ;)

My mom is in Singapore for a 2 month's visit, and did not bring any of our fabrics with her (they are all in Indonesia). We're still able to accept custom orders, however with limited fabric choices during these 2 months (May- Jul).

During this period of time, only the Japanese fabrics are available for custom orders:

However, I've promised 2 of my customers that I'll be getting new stock of fabrics especially for them: Monaluna Birds in Summer &  Amy Butler's Brown Lacework.

So, if you'd like to custom order a Bible Cover or Organizer Purse, with a specific fabric that you have in mind, which I dont have on my list at all, pls feel free to contact me (by leaving a comment on this post) or thru email: and I'd be happy to add your "wish list" on my next fabric shopping list ;)

* Provided I've not gone ahead with the order when your request came in, hehe...  else, it'll have to wait for my nx round of fabric shopping list. 

I look forward to hear from you soon! Thank you once again for your kind support to The Laughing House :D


Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Selection of Japanese Fabrics

Don't drool, but here's the latest selection of Japanese fabrics especially purchased for all my customers @ The Laughing House ;)

There are up to 15 designs here, and you can check them up close on my FLICKR account HERE.

Please contact me to custom order your favorite Organizer Purses or Bible Covers with these new selection & Thank you for checking them out! I hope you'll love them ;)


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Here in Your Presence

Sang this song in church, & love it so much, it kept repeating in my head today. Truly in God's presence, everything fades away and all focus can only be on Him! 

Found in Your hands, fullness of joy
Every fear suddenly wiped away, here in Your Presence
All of my gains now fade away
Every crown no longer on display, here in Your Presence
Heaven is trembling in awe of Your wonders
The kings and their kingdoms are standing amazed

Here in Your Presence, we are undone
Here in Your Presence, Heaven and earth become one
Here in Your Presence, all things are new
Here in Your Presence, everything bows before You

Wonderful, beautiful, glorious, matchless in every way
Wonderful, beautiful, glorious, matchless in every way

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bought & Sold our Flat, Finally!

We've been "flat-hunting" actively since 18 April, and went flat viewing on the 18, 19 & 20th. Followed by a long break when our agent went on a (national) reservice.

We resumed our flat viewings again on the 4th, 5th & 7th May. Through these 6 days viewings, we've visited approximately 16 flats in total and narrowed down to 3 favourites.

The 1st, was a clean, simple & pleasant unit which was in Pasir Ris St 72, also Blk 736 (almost the same address as our current, Yishun St 72, Blk 736, hehe...). This unit was also the cheapest amongst our top 3 choices. But, also the furthest from the MRT station, and situated on the 5th floor. 

I was really hoping for a unit thats much nearer to the MRT station, and preferably on a high floor (8 n above).

The 2nd unit (which we eventually bought) was at Blk 612 Elias Road (also situated along Pasir Ris Dr 1), 9th floor and 15 mins walk to the MRT, or 2 bus stops away. We liked the layout of this unit, which has a spacious living area, and a small balcony & kitchen, which is exactly the way I wanted it.

The owner of the unit also maintained the place quite well, such that we need not do a major or extensive renovation.

The 3rd unit, was at Blk 512 (cant remember the street number)& situated on the 14th floor. This unit was in perfect condition, and really needed zero renovation at all. The owner's design & deco goes almost perfectly with our taste. However, the layout of the flat made it look a lot smaller than its 129 sqm floor area.

However, our agent advised us from getting this unit, as it was at least 50K higher in value compared to unit #2, simply because it was at the other side of the canal (unit #2, & #3 were separated by a canal, with unit #3 a tad nearer to the MRT). Especially since the walking difference was not more than 5 mins, he felt it was not quite worth coughing out the extra 50K.

My husband & I prayed about this, and discussed it further between us, and agreed that Blk 612 is a perfect balance of everything we're looking for in a flat. Namely:
- proximity to MRT (15 mins walk, or 2 bus stops away)
- bus stop which is just 2 mins walk away
- a primary school of our choice for Hans within the Pasir Ris area just 5 mins walk away
- relatively young age of the blk (14 yrs old)
- an open concept layout, with large living space, small balcony & kitchens, and a service balcony for laundry etc.
- high floor, corner unit, with a floor space of 129 sqm
- within our budget, yet with minimal renovation required.
- a cycling track right from our unit all the way to Pasir Ris Park & the beach.
- wet market & shops approximately 5 mins away
- playgrounds, and a pleasant surrounding.

On Saturday 9th of May, we finally came to an agreement with the seller, & confirmed our intention to purchase that flat, with a $500 deposit, and our agent bargaining for an extra time for us (as we have yet to sell our flat in Yishun).

After settling the purchase of this Pasir Ris flat, we went back happy & excited... ready for round 2 of the "excitement", hehe...

Our agent is preparing to market our flat aggressively that evening starting from 630-930 pm, and has lined up several buyers & their respective agents to come & view our flat. It was work on my part as well, as I had to put in extra effort to clean & tidy up our flat more than usual, to present it spick & span, clutter free & enticing to our potential buyers.

Raymond (our agent) came up just b4 the 1st viewer was to come, just to make sure that all's in order. He told me that he, & his boss were amazed at the high valuation report that our flat has gotten, in this economic crisis. He was expecting it to be 220-240K, and we got 255k ! Which was a record high for a 3rm flat within our vicinity. Praise God for his blessings...we were so thankful, n knew that his favour was upon us, when the valuer came to do the valuation 2 weeks ago.

So, he asked me to consider the COV (cash over valuation) that we'd like for the sale of our flat. His advice was, at least a minimum of 5k, and I was quite embarassed...but asked him, if it was realistic to ask for 20K. He hemmed and hawed...heehe.... I knew I put him in a spot. He said, our value is already higher than expectation, so... asking for a high COV may actually turn the table against us, as buyers could be put off by the price. He asked me to reconsider, but stated that final decision is ours, and he'll oblige accordingly.

I asked my brother, and he was up to me to decide. I asked my husband, and he suggested, we can use the purchase (of our Pasir Ris flat) as a benchmark. If we can settle it COV of 4K there, then we just compare it with the recent transacted price of another Yishun flat within our vicinity, and top it up a bit. But since, our value was already record high, we can easily top the last transacted price even with a low COV.

So, I gave the mandate to our agent, that the sale COV of this flat, will depend on how much we're able to settle for the purchase of the Pasir Ris Flat (which was eventually settled for 6K), or a few K higher than the last transacted amount within our area, whichever is higher.

He got that, and said 8-10K is reasonable then...but he'll market it at 18-20K, to give room for buyers to bargain with us.

As one after another buyer came by to our flat, I can sense that most (if not all of them) immediately liked our place, and soon they started calling my agents with offers. Finally, one young newly wed couple called with an offer of 8K. My agent triumphantly reported that to me, ... however not that things are rolling by so quickly, I found that I've yet to fully digest whats the actual amount I'm really looking at.

So, I told him, that I'd rather wait. He looked at me incredulously, and told me that this is a good & sincere offer which I should seriously consider, or end up losing this buyer. I stood my stand, & told him I prefer to wait...since we're only on our 1st day of "sale".

He said OK, but without reminding me to look at this from different angles:
- our "advertising" is a new listing...thus garnering much "traffic" & enthusiasm, which may wane over the days.
- this buyer, (according to him) appears to be an impulse buyer...thus they came up with a high amt at 1st offer. If I lose them now, he feared no one may offer as high an amt as them.
- if our flat is still unsold over the nx few days (despite good location, high floor etc) this may cause speculation amongst other agents, with ideas that we're unable to sell our unit. This may lead them to have stronger bargaining platform, and we may lose our appeal.
- since we've also confirmed the purchase of our new flat in pasir ris, I need to quickly sell this flat, as my name needed to be removed from this property asap, so that my CPF money tied down here can quickly be re-chanelled into our new property.
- this said & done, it's a pity to turn this offer down.

I agreed with him on all points, but said I'm willing to take the gamble (actual reason is, I'm not quite mentally prepared). So, he went down & informed them my decision. 

While he was downstairs, I quickly prayed...and asked God to give me wisdom so that I'm able to weigh all the options clearly, and come up with an amount I'm comfortable with, so that my agent will know a figure to fight for me.

After praying, I analyzed that, we bought this flat at a 5K COV, and spent about 20K on renovations. We've lived here for close to 10 yrs, and the age of this building is now probably 40 yrs +/-.  Given the current economic situation, when a lot of flats are selling at or below value, I figured that if I can get 10K back, (on top of my favourable valuation) its quite a good deal alrd. 

So, when Raymond came back, I'm much more mentally prepared, and told him I'd accept an offer of 10-12K. He said OK, and proceed with the other viewers who are steadily coming in at about half hourly intervals.

During one viewing, he pulled me aside, and said I got an offer for 10K already, but the buyer is not willing to give us 1 month's extension (which Raymond put down as a requirement, to give us time to settle the purchase of our new flat, renovation, paperwork etc). He said, again he was amazed by the turn of events.

Later in the night, he received call from the young couple's agent (who earlier offered 8K) and was surprised to hear that they're still around, even after 2 hours! They want to talk to him again. So, he turned to me and asked, if they offer 10K now, what is my decision? I looked at him, and um.... hehe... "my advice to you is, take it. :) "

So, after all the viewings of the day are done, he went down to meet them. And he called my about 10 mins later, and asked, if I'm willing to leave behind my sofa set & dining table. I was puzzled...and said, I dont mind, but they're in pretty bad shape. He said, it don't the couple's agent is just trying to get more "value" out of this purchase, and said it'll be good if I can do this, to settle this quickly and also as a sign of goodwill gesture. 

I thought, it's fine with me, since we intend to get new furnitures anyway. So, thats it! The couple & their agent came up again, and we signed the contract & some paper work...they also produced a cheque for the deposit to confirm the transaction.

What an eventful day! Raymond repeated that I drove a hard bargain (which I honestly don't think so)... but he's happy that it's settled so quickly, and within my given mandate to him. I smiled, and thought that I may have gotten a better deal if we wait a day or two....or maybe not? hehe...

Anyways, an afterthought on this matter is, we humans are always greedy for more. Now that it's settled at this, I'll have thoughts of higher amount, but it also means more time (days or even weeks) & more effort on me as homeowner, and also more advertising & promoting on Raymond's part. For all that extra, just to get another 2k more... I decided to be contented with this, and be thankful to God for his grace, favour & provision instead.

Now, we've settled the sale of this flat, bought our new place, all within budget, with a lot more profit from the sale of our flat, enough to cover us for renovation, and buying our new furnitures. All we can say is, God is good indeed! We give praise & glory to God for the smooth & quick transaction for both deals, and not to forget, for bringing us a competent agent who gave us good advices along the way.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Etsy Featured Shop 18

Buy Handmade
A little something about the seller:
There is something magical about clay - it is so maleable and pliable. There is a piece of me in every piece I create. I spend many evening hours on the wheel, hand building, and glazing these pieces. All the colanders have different handles and different hole patterns. The Bailey line is of course inspired by my dog. ;)

Those who own them ♥ them - see what the buzz is about:

Also, see how they are made:

Testimonials ("Lisa's ceramics are irresistible..."):
An enchanting "Mom & Dog" shop, you'd enjoy browsing through them as much as I did! Check it out soon :D

Monday, May 4, 2009

My Camera is on LEAVE!!!

Yea, it took off one day...and went on a 9 days leave. Off diving in the Philippines waters that is...with my brother... haha...what fun! It's enjoying life, diving...and seeing things down below which I'll (probably) never get a chance to see!

It'll only be back on Saturday...*sigh* I'm already missing it, and not being able to take pictures of new earrings that I've completed few days ago.

Yes, 2 new pieces on the queue now :) featuring Kyanite Briolettes, wire wrapped, and hooked onto long "kidney shaped" earhook! (I've never featured this type of ear hooks in my shop b4)

For now, check out my last piece of the  Copper Delights section of earring, Pink Lentils ... where old meets new, in a truly MODERN VINTAGE style!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Organizer Wristlets in our LATEST FABRICS!

I've just listed 3 of our Organizer Wristlets made in the latest fabric on our stock. From top left (clockwise): Monaluna Birds in Summer, Wallflower in Grey, Monaluna Birds in Summer & finally Wallflower in Sky.

They are great for Woman on the Go, Mommies, Frequent Flyers...Artists, Make Up Artists! If you look at the other pictures, you'll understand why :)

Compact yet spacious, this trendy wristlet will help you organize your basic needs when you go out. Carry your notepad, purse, cosmetics, passports, get the idea :D

The Laughing House is all about creating unique, functional pouch & purses in trendy designer fabrics for the Modern Woman on the Go! So, check them out, & tell me what you think!

* Custom orders in YOUR choice of FABRIC are always welcome, feel free to contact me!

Thank you for looking!

Collage, Picnik.Com

I visited a blog yesterday (I'm sorry I don't remember which blog it was) and the writer wrote about trying out where she learnt how to do photo collage. I've been wanting to do this as well...and since I'm not exactly a photoshop expert, just never worked on it.

I was delighted to be able to do the basic, where I can put a few photos together, and put them into a single picture! I think this will be great if I want to advertise my shops :D

What do you think of the above? It was the matching (Memory Heart) Necklace/ (Pink Sugar)Earring Set that I made few days ago.
I went on to try another, with photo scrapbooking style. Selected 4 pics that we took in the Cingjing Farm, Taiwan...and voila it was all set! hehe... easy pea-sy! However, I'd wanted to change the positioning of the photos, but too bad I cant backtrack to the previous step.

But, not too bad for a beginner huh? Hehe....Now I know where to go nx time I need to "style" up my pictures!

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