Monday, August 31, 2009

Mini Day Totes

The first time we made a Mini Day Tote, it was with an unflattering piece of floral fabric, with dark brown matching cotton. The reason we used that "unflattering" fabric was because it was our first attempt, & we want to be free to make mistake with it.

That 1st piece turned out really well, but then it's really not attractive at all... simply not visually stimulating. 

So, I put that up as a "custom order" piece instead. So far, only 1 other customer had ordered this design, but in a larger size. So I named that the Day Tote, & this original size as the Mini Day Tote ;)

This time round, I decide to go ahead & have 3 pieces made in the (then) new fabrics I just received. My mom has completed them & here they are up for sale at The Laughing House now.

The below pictures shows a piece in the Lava Flowers in Pink fabric. Hope you'll love it ;)

The ring handle is big enough for the tote to be carried on the arm.

I put in a Long Accordian Purse, Mini Accordian Purse & a Camera Case to give my customers an idea of how big/small the interior is. Room for more actually ^^

Side View

Standing Upright... Pretty! ;)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Going against the "colour" grain

Aren't these pretty? A customer requested these Accordian Purses to be made with this fabric & pink lining, instead of the usual yellow or blue. 

I had to repeat myself twice when I told my mom about this order, as she wanted to double check that I didnt take it down wrongly.

Initially, I was a bit doubtful, but thought it may go well after all, creating a "candy colour" effect. In fact, I've been "put off" several times at how dull this fabric looks with light blue lining. Seeing the actual completed items, I was really impressed!

Customers do know best (sometimes) hehe... After all, they know what colours "represent" themselves & makes them happy owning a purse in those particular combinations.

This reminds me to always be daring enough to choose colours "outside the box" cus you never know what rainbow effect you'll come up with next! :D

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places"

When we "embarked" on our journey to purchase a new flat & sell off our present, we remembered to submit this matter to God in prayer. We asked Him to lead us with wisdom & to protect us along the way.

Finally we found a unit that we liked & purchased. We were thrilled that our own unit was sold off that very night itself. We thanked God for such perfect timing.

Few weeks down the road, our agent started warning us of a few potential problem, and asking us to be prepared for the worst case "scenarios".

Number 1, my CPF money (from the sale of the flat that's under my bro's & my name) may not be transferred back to my account in time for the purchase transaction of our new flat (to be under my husband's & my name). If this is the case, we'll need to take up a "bridging loan" of an estimated 15-20K. We'll have to come up with this amt, either thru our own savings, otherwise through a bank loan (& paying for the interest which'll be incurred during the 2-3 months loan, which I feel is totally not worth it).

Number 2, our (new flat's) seller apparently is in no hurry to do the submission & complete the transaction (in contrary to the impression we had during our agreement meeting). If they really dragged this process, by the time our flat's sale is completed, & we had to move out, we'll have no place to stay... until our purchase is completed. The gap period is about 1 month, and we still want to have some renovations done, which will be another month. Total gap period of 2 months, me, hubby, 2 kids, & my bro who'll continue to live with us.

We were not really stressed by either situation, but was a bit upset that things were not going as smoothly as we'd wanted it to be. Praying about this matter, I regained my trust in God, that He'll take care of us & our every need, what comes may. What is the worst that can happen to us?

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Luke 12:22 onwards.

Then come the time for our son's primary school registration. I submitted this matter to God to0, believing that God knows what's best for him, & our family, despite what I think.

I had my eye on a popular neighbourhood school which is really close to our new place. However, I was dismayed to find out on registration date, that the school needs a confirmed letter of our (new) address. Failing to produce that, our son will get zero chance of getting in. As the school had literally filled up all vacancies & more (whose address are within 1 km of the school) are still applying. This means, the school will definitely go into a balloting phase even for those with a confirmed address within 1 km. We definitely don't stand a chance if we're applying with our current address.

So, we went to the 2nd nearest school from our new place. The school still has lots of vacancy... & I was glad to know that they'll be going single session from next year onwards, meaning school will start at 8am instead of afternoon sessions (12:30pm ?) which is the case with primary 1 & 2 students in other schools.

I put away the disappointment of the earlier "rejection", & decided to give thanks to God for the way things had turned out. As it was, Natalie's (my 3yr old daughter) nursery classes for nx year will start at 8:15 am. The timing is perfect for both kids, & I'll have almost a whole morning to myself from nx year onwards! Hallelujah!!! hehe...

Back to the flats, the delay in the transaction completion (for our purchase) meant that we don't have to worry about coming up with the 15-20K bridging loan. 1 problem solved. Now, we need to seriously look for a place to stay for about 2 months.

Since my 2 kids are still young, & given our present small flat, they still sleep with us till the present. So, renting a whole unit (with minimum of 2 bedrooms) will actually be a waste. We needed only 1 room, yet with the freedom & privacy of a whole unit. This, I found to be a really challenging task.

God reminded me of his presence in my life, & asked me to once again submit this matter to him. 

My agent is quite worried for us, & urged us to try to discuss for early move in with our seller. My neighbours on the other hand, lamented at the "bad luck" we had regarding this matter, & helped us to look around for a short term rental anywhere.

Short term rental, with 2 kids in tow, is really a challenging task as I found out. Most want at least a 6 months tenancy, or if we're just renting a room, a maximum of 2 persons only. Many rejected us outwardly the moment I said that we have 2 young kids with us. Quite discouraging really.

Then I came across an online ad, by a landlady for short term rental. We visited, discussed, & decided to go for it. You see, the room is rented out by a young Chinese (from China) couple, who owned a unit in a condominium near our present place. 

The landlady, readily agreed to rent us the room, for 2 months, with 2 kids in tow, & even allowed me to cook! (Many other owners preferred that I don't cook). The bonus: 1) this couple works during the day, so we'll literally have the whole unit to ourselves. 2) there are swimming pools, tennis courts, gym etc 3) it's within walking distance to the nearest MRT station 4) it's still within our present neighbourhood, meaning my son can continue his kindergarten in the same school. His school bus has agreed to continue the service for us at the same rate, even though it's considerably further. 5) it's a familiar neighbourhood for us, but a station closer to town ;)

Talk about the goodness of the Lord! As I looked back, I realized that everything has fallen nicely for us afterall, despite the "hick-ups". Sometimes I asked & wondered, why did God allowed all these to happen? Why don't He just make things smooth sailing that way I'd wanted them to be?

This is simply another testimony of God's faithfulness in my life. How He wanted me to depend on him, every single step of the way, big & small matters. This dependence, creates a thankful heart in me, knowing that I'm truly well taken care of!

All the happenings of late reminds me of this verse from Psalms 16:6 "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance." I can truly claim this verse, with a wonderful testimony of God's faithfulness & promise to match!

If things are not going smoothly for you right now, I hope this will encourage you, to turn to a loving God for help & guidance. 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bali Pictures Part 3 (Rama Beach Resort & Villa)

Love the big pool in this resort.
Has a nice relaxing, holiday atmosphere. 
It has just the right amount of crowd, yet not too noisy. Quite a great beach resort for a family vacation. The "cottages" surrounding the pool are areas where people lounging around the pool can order drinks, & still remain in the water.

After 3 nights with my in laws at the first hotel, we moved to Rama Beach Resort & Villa, which I've booked in advance from Singapore, for S$110 for a Deluxe room.

The original plan of the family was for them to leave Bali on Saturday morning, & since we're only flying back to Singapore on Monday afternoon, my husband asked me to book at another place, for our last 2 nights in Bali.

I chose this resort for its close proximity to the Kuta Square, yet not quite right at the heart of it. It's within 2 mins walk to the main beach area (though this side of the beach is not exactly the most beautiful nor pristine part of Kuta beach) :D and about 10 mins cab ride to the Ngurah Rai Airport.
I booked a deluxe room for S$110, again through Agoda.Com , & was pleasantly surprised to find out that we were actually given a free upgrade, to a Pool Villa, which was several "notches" up in standard! The last I checked, the Pool Villa actually costs S$276!

I'm also quite puzzled at the reason why we were upgraded, hehe... Well, my brother in law said, it's God's blessing, be thankful! We are indeed :D

Cus, when I was choosing the room, I thought to myself, how nice it'd be to book one with a private pool. But at the same time, I don't feel quite ready to splurge on that amount, and settled for the deluxe room instead. So, this was truly a blessing from God ;)

Who's cuter? :P
This is the children's wading pool (the rectangle area surrounded by the pillars), whereas the area where the "waterfall" is, onwards, will be the deep pool.
The view of the restaurant right in front of the pool. Also the place where we have our breakfast.
Our very own private pool ;)
Patio outside the room. The pool is on the left side.
Natalie looked plump here, but its because of her "posture" right before the picture was taken. She was sitting on a rock, right outside our villa.
Love how big & spacious this bed was! It's actually the size of 2 super single bed joined together...but, a single bed :D The 4 of us can fit in here comfortably, with enough space for 1 more person actually ;)

I forgot to take pictures of the room when we first moved in, when everything was still in "perfect" condition, hehe... Well, better late than not! The above was taken after the kids & I took an afternoon nap, on our 2nd day there :D
Again, the kids simply loved the bathroom with its full length bath tub, generous floor space, and 2 separate cubicles for the toilet, & shower area.

Hans & Natalie right before an afternoon swim, again...hehe..
We enjoyed our dip in the pool on the last day of our stay. Our flight was 3.15pm, so at a late morning, we just relaxed in our own room, playing water in our own private pool, before heading to the airport after lunch time.

It was a truly relaxing & enjoyable stay to finish off our short Bali family vacation. ;)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bali Pictures (Part 3)

Hans & Natalie in the wading pool on the 2nd morning we were in Bali.
Had a brief chance to be a "wedding photographer" to my 4th brother in law who resides in Canada with his wife. They've been married for 3 years, and this trip back to Indonesia via Singapore proves to be a great chance for them to take their outdoor wedding pictures.
I thought it's a really great idea. They bought their own suit & gown (which she bought off the rack for only Canadian $90!) No expensive studio & photographer's fee! In Singapore, they took outdoor shots in the Botanical Garden, Labrador Park & other nice places... taken by a friend whom they flew in from Jakarta. This friend do it for free, as he wanted them to be his model for his personal portfolio profile, while they simply paid for his airfare & lodging while in Singapore.
Since our whole family were holidaying in Bali, this 1st hotel that costs Rp 350,000/night (S$50) proves to be private & has nice backgrounds that'll be great for another outdoor shoot. So they took out their wedding gown & suit (crumpled & wearing slippers & sandals, and asked my other brother in laws to take more pictures for them. Many of them turning out really cool btw!

It was truly a fun & lighthearted morning ;) It also gives me ideas of what we can do for our upcoming 10th anniversary (in 3 yrs time, hehe...) It'll be a great chance for me to don the white wedding gown again without the hassle of planning for a wedding banquet! :D
Natalie enjoyed that morning under the sun, with her new dress which we bought the previous evening at Tanah Lot for Rp 25,000 (S$3.70). I bought several more dresses for her & myself in Bali for about this price. Too good to resist, hehe...

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