Friday, October 29, 2010

No Reason to LOVE

Simply love ETSY's "new" treasury system, where I can pop in anytime, & create a list, as & when I feel like it! No more waiting & "rushing" for it (like in the past) hehe...

Last night I was notified of being included in another treasury, a BNR (Buy & Replace). Really nice ^^ cus, it actually meant that my item is featured, & if someone buys anything from The Laughing House, their item gets to be featured in replace of mine.

Sounds cool :) But, I didnt sell anything so far, hehe... It's fine, I appreciate the extra exposure & the increase in enquiries today! ^^

Anyways, seeing that treasury made me want to create a list myself.

Here's what I put together, from my favourites.

Do you need a reason to love ('em)? I dont, I just love ('em).

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cash Budgeting Purse... Send YOUR own Fabric? ^^

This is a newly completed (1 hour ago?) Cash Budgeting Purse, made with fabric sent to me by a customer.

With Batik inspired interior, it does have a touch of Modern/Ethnic fusion appeal :)

It's not the first time whereby customers asked to send in their own fabric. Now, I'm wondering if I might as well set up a new listing in The Laughing House, for a Cash Budgeting Purse (Send Your own Fabric) ? ^^

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mini Everyday Bag now in STOCK CLEARANCE!!!

I'm discontinuing the Mini Everyday Bags & has decided to add them in STOCK CLEARANCE section. Check them out for UNBELIEVABLE prices you won't wanna miss!

A cheerful mini handbag which will conveniently contain your basic needs for daily use. This bag is small & compact, but with an interior spacious enough to fit a small water bottle, short folded umbrella, book, wallet, cosmetics etc.

One side of the bag has a small zippered section, which allows access to that entire section of the bag, which is a different compartment from the main section. Since it has its own small zip, it's also a safe pocket to put your cash, keys or other valuables in.

The bag is also fully padded to give it a plush feel & added body, but yet very much light weight for a carefree swing.

If you're a petite person, you can even carry this mini bag over your shoulders ^^ perfect for the Modern Women on the Go!

Total strap length: 11.5"
Zip length: 7.6"
Total length of bag: 9.8"
Base length: 6.5"
Base width: 3.5"
Height (of bag compartment): 5.5"

* While stock last ^^

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bible Cover (Damask in Spring)

Fits my large Life Application Study Bible comfortably, with room for "more" ^^
Front section, great to hold notebook, pens, notes etc.

Made with Robert Kaufman's Damask in Spring, this XL Bible cover measure 15.5 x 9.9 inches when opened up, & will fit a large study bible measuring 9.4 x 6.4 x 2.2 inch (thats the size of my Life Application Bible shown in the pictures) with room for more.

Fully padded, and stitched across for a plush country feel, the Bible Cover will protect your bible from wear n tear, can easily be removed n machine washed.

Love this piece & want a cover customized to FIT your Bible, in YOUR choice of fabric?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Super Mini Coin/Key Purse

Similar design as with our iPhone Case, but made smaller & without the card slots

What we did for my brother, with the "finger-hook"
Super Mini Purse, perfect for a bunch of keys ^^

Have you ever wished that you have a "proper" purse to hold all your keys in? Well, my brother did, & we made one Super Mini Purse, especially for this purpose.

We chose a solid dark brown for the exterior, & tan for the interior. Nice & small, compact & handy! This Super Mini Purse with a tiny zippered section is perfect for his keys, & handy to keep loose change in as well!

Then a returning customer came along, and asked for a custom order for a Mini Coin Purse. I suggested this design to her, & she went ahead to order one, minus the "finger-hook" as she preferred it "hook-free" (I assume).

The first picture in Large Dots Aqua is the final completed piece, & I love it!

Now, if it's functional, UNIQUE & cute, I'll definitely want to share this "new" improvised design to all The Laughing House customers :)

Super Mini Coin/Key Purse is now listed as a custom order which can be made according to YOUR choice of fabric ^^


Monday, October 18, 2010

BOXY Pencil Case

Newly completed custom order: Boxy Pencil Case
Again, with our signature handmade "pillow charm" for ease of use of the zip. From this side, it appears that there's an "opening" which may "leak" out the contents inside. However, a flap has been added from the inside, to prevent this from happening :)
"Roomy" & boxy, for convenient storage & use of your stationaries ^^
The interior, all done with professional finishing, such that you wont see any raw edges at all.
A snap button is included at the tail of the zipper to keep it neat & firmly "stuck" to the body.

How do you like our new BOXY Pencil Case? :)

Although the main design is nothing new in the market, we have truly made it unique with the addition of our handmade pillow charm & the interior "flap" to prevent the contents from falling out.

Frankly speaking, this is because it was our first attempt at making this kind of pencil case, with no sample at hand to "study" how we were supposed to make it.

So, it was kinda like a mistake in our pattern making, turned into a new "interior design" hehe...

I think it turned out really well! Unique & functional, as in with all of our items at The Laughing House ^^

This BOXY Pencil Case is now listed for custom order, in YOUR choice of fabric!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Eat Pray Love

Another treasury love, this time featuring my Bedroom/Home Slippers (Clematis Natural) by DrawCity.

Eat Pray Love is a beautiful treasury featuring yellow & green colours with a general theme of... eat, pray & love :)

Thank you DrawCity for the inclusion in this beautiful selection!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Administrator: The WIFE's Role

Newly completed Long Accordian Purses (aka: Cash Budgeting Purse) made with our latest batch of fabrics.
Long Accordian Purse: Pretty Flowers in Lime
5 main sections to budget around various needs: eg. groceries, entertainment, transport, eating out etc. A zippered section is included for lose change, save-keeping of small trinkets etc.
How do you do your Cash Budgeting? If you have such a plan, that is... :)

In the Married For Life (MFL) course me & hubby just completed recently, we came across a chapter about the roles of the husband & the wife.

One of the role of the wife is, being the administrator (based on Proverbs 31 woman, vs: 13-27).
"Skillful & godly administration will enable a wife to increase & multiply that which her husband has provided... As you seek the Lord, He will instruct you regarding the prosperity of your home." ---> taken from MFL book.

In the past, I couldn't care less with money matters, letting my husband handle everything. Paying bills, checking account, how much to save etc...

I felt I'm not very good at money matters, thus justifying my lack of involvement in this.

When we learnt about this God given (annointed) role for the wives, we sat up & decided to sit down & discuss this matter further at home.

Little did I realize that my lack of interest or involvement in money matters actually "burdened" my husband to a certain extent, which are often picked up (by my "radar") as irritation or sensitivities over money matters, when I felt that I'm not a spendthrift wife.

But having learnt about this godly principle, gave me the courage to start fulfilling my role in this area. Buoyed by the confidence in knowing that it's a God-given role to me as a wife :) just as God annointed the men to lead the family.

Despite me having my own income thru ETSY, we decided to live within his single income alone. And, we made a plan on how to do it.

Starting from September 2010, we looked thru all the "non-negotiables" (insurance, transport, fees, parents support etc) & set those aside.

Then we looked at the "negotiables", such as entertainment/eating out/monthly groceries.

We made a plan to start buying all our consumables (tissue/toilet papers/rice/milk poweder/diapers/soaps/detergents etc) in bulk, monthly. That way, we can plan & budget how much to set aside each week for grocery shopping for home cooked meals.

It took some time to adjust to it. But, I'm so glad that we made this change. Cus, I dont waste time going to the supermarket every 2 or 3 days (sometimes 2 or 3 days in a row!) simply because some condiments/soap etc ran out, & I had to go back even though I've just been there yesterday! This often leads to me buying more stuff than what I really need.

2 months down the road, now: I plan the meals I intend to prepare for the family on a weekly basis. And, when I go to the supermarket, I buy all the meat/vegetables/cooking ingredients etc at the same time, & sticking to my weekly budget :)

It worked so well, that my husband started praising me (not verbally), in a HW assignment on MFL on what (good) qualities on the fruit of the spirit he saw in me. One of them is self-control :D = in money matters. I'm really encouraged by that ^^

Now, we know where every cents of his salary go to. It's all "track-able" without it being tedious or time-consuming as I used to think (by keeping receipts, & "categorizing" them etc).

It's all done thru the Cash Budgeting system :D

To top it up (as the cream), I get to see really how my ETSY shop is doing, & the profit I'm earning each month. This, after being truly disciplined to not "merge" Etsy money, with daily use/needs etc. Purely using Etsy money, for Etsy related stuff: buying supplies/postage/stationaries etc. And, I get to keep them all to save up for rainy day, or a planned holiday :)

God's biblical wisdom is always there for us to see, we just need to follow it, make some changes if need be, & we'll realize how much simpler our lives can be.

If you're a wife, do not "hide" under the pretext of "I'm not good at money matters" any longer :) Rise up, submit this matter to God, & allow him to lead you in the role that he has assigned to you.

You'll be blessed, like I am ^^

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

All in a day's work

Recently completed custom orders, packed & ready to ship ^^ Each time at this "point" in time, I'd feel somewhat like a Santa Claus, bag full of gifts, hehe... except, these are not "gifts" really, I sold them :D
Off to the post office we go!

What's a typical day for you? I used to work in a hospital as a Medical Technologist, the typical 8-5 job. Pretty routine in itself, except that I'd meet very different ppl as my patients, so that part is really interesting, & rewarding at times, taxing & frustrating on others, hehe...

Now, ETSY is my "day" job, aside from being a stay home mom ^^. What's a day like for me now?

730-830am: Sent kids to school, home for breakfast with the newspaper.

845-900am: Off to check emails, orders, enquiries etc.

900am: start "WORK"=== cutting fabrics, sewing etc

12- 1400: daughter back from school, hugged/kissed her, chat her up a bit, lunch etc, then put her to bed for nap. If I'm tired, I'll nap for 10-30 mins too.

14:15: Son back from school, made sure he eats well, showered, & went to bed for aftn nap too.

14:45: back to "work" === more sewing, or cutting fabric, or drawing pattern for custom orders of different sizes.

16:00: kids woke up. "Fruit" time with the kids ... checked their HW if any.

17:00: they'll ask to be outdoor. Bring them out cycling, to the park or nearby beach.

18:30: back home for dinner/shower etc :) Time with the family from here on.

* 7pm onwards, me & my husband may need to go out for some church related activities/meetings, about twice a week.

I may start "work" again around 10pm, when kids are settled in bed. This time, mostly listing/renewing items, flickr/blog, twitter/FB

So far so good, I enjoy "WORK", & my family time ^^

What's a typical day for you, Moms? :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

It is WELL with my Soul

In church today, a visiting Pastor from Indonesia (Ps Marganti Sihite) told us the story of Horatio G Stafford at the end of his sermon.

Horatio, a prosperous lawyer & devout Presbyterian church elder in 1870s was the man who penned the hymn "It is well with my soul".

I've heard of the heart wrenching stories behind some hymns. However, the story behind this one actually reminded me of a biblical character: Job.

This man lost his massive investment properties in a huge fire, then a planned holiday in Europe with his family, turned into a tragedy when the ship his wife & 4 daughters were in met with an accident & sank. (He was delayed for business reasons)

His wife survived, but his daughters drowned.

"After receiving Anna's telegram, Horatio immediately left Chicago to bring his wife home. On the Atlantic crossing, the captain of his ship called Horatio to his cabin to tell him that they were passing over the spot where his four daughters had perished. He wrote to Rachel, his wife's half-sister, "On Thursday last we passed over the spot where she went down, in mid-ocean, the waters three miles deep. But I do not think of our dear ones there. They are safe, folded, the dear lambs."

"It Is Well with My Soul"

Horatio wrote this hymn, still sung today, as he passed over their watery grave."

I cant imagine what the most of us would have turned to in the face of such suffering. Most would have "broken apart" literally, or hardened our hearts, turned bitter, & blamed God.

As in the words of Job:

Job 1:21 (New International Version)

21 "Naked I came from my mother's womb,
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised."

May us always count our blessings daily for EVERY good thing that God has blessed us with. Treasure & love the people around us, & be able to release everything back to God should the time comes for him to take back when he so choses.

Believing in the faithfulness of a loving Father who always wants the best for us.

May the name of the Lord be praised!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Whispered Wishes. A Treasury ...

I hardly visit the treasuries these days, partly because it takes so long for the page to load at times.

However, I went ahead to check them out today while doing something else. And, I noticed that the general layout has changed somewhat.

There's actually a "preview" of the various treasuries, along side their given titles.

This particular treasury caught my eye, for its colour scheme & intriguing title: Whispered Wishes.

So whimsical, so victorian, so vintage, so dreamy, ... so beautiful! I'm charmed ;)

(other descriptions from the comments: frothy, ethereal, ladylike, sweet, soft, romantic, fairy tale, gorgeous)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sneak Preview: Bedroom Slippers

Here's a "sneak preview" of what's to come at The Laughing House :) No prize for guessing, hehe...

I've been wanting to include bedroom slippers for a long time now, but never gotten around to doing it.

Until my mom's last visit here 2 months ago, & I discussed this with her. It got her quite excited really, cus it's actually going back to the basics (for her) :D

As, our family used to run a foot wear manufacturing business in the past (when my dad was still around) but has since stopped as my mom's retired (or semi-retired, since she's helping me with some of the work now).

Once again, I needed to tap on her know-hows, & she agreed readily to start making a few pairs as sample pieces, just to test the market.
Natalie happily "posing" with her new pair of "home" slippers. This reminds me of my early childhood days, when I'll have a new pair of "home" slippers everynow & then, especially when my mom was experimenting with a new design, or material etc.
A charming bedroom slipper made especially for Natalie's 4 year old feet ^^
I cant quite keep this "Secret" much longer, though I wish I can have them listed soon. It's just that I've been so busy keeping up with all the custom orders that I dont quite have the time to photograph & list them yet.

Well, now that the "cat's out of the bag", I hope this will motivate me to quickly list them up. Hm... hopefully tomorrow morning if I can finish up with another custom order first.

So, check back at The Laughing House soon for a range of Bedroom Slippers bound to catch your heart ♥

Price Adjustment (October 2010)

Once again, I began to mull over the pricing of the items for sale in The Laughing House.

When I first started selling (some 3 years ago), I had the idea of selling lots of lovely handmade items at a reasonable (think = low) price. The items sold, at an uneven rate, & I received lots of compliments from my customers on how beautiful the purses are, not to mention the high standard of quality.

Then I started to read on the Etsy forum & other website, the importance of pricing your items correctly, from a business standpoint.

It's fine if I'm doing this as a hobby (only). However, this is more than a hobby or interest to me. It's basically my "job", where I earn an income (not merely to supplement) for personal financial independence, while I strive to be a "present" wife to my husband & mom for my kids.

Presently, the orders are streaming in steadily, both from old returning customers to new ones who found The Laughing House by chance, or through word of mouth.

After thinking (& praying) about this, I decided to sit down & re-evaluate the pricing of every single items in my inventory.

The (amt of) materials used, the amount of time needed, & the difficulty (or level of challenge in terms of "skill") of creating/constructing an item. From the small to the big, the old to the newer designs.

As a result, some items were adjusted from 10-20% upwards. I'm being "conservative" in this, as I already have a steady stream of "followers", & feel it important to strike a healthy balance in doing this.

If you are an old customer of The Laughing House, feel free to contact me directly if you have any issue or opinions about this matter. I'd be happy to hear from you! ^^

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