FAQ :


 Divided into SHOP, CRAFT and PERSONAL Questions

 SHOP RELATED QUESTIONS 


Q. Do you SELL your charms?
A. YES! As long as it wasn't inspired by a fellow crafter/artist I sell my charms and figurines on Etsy. I list them in batches about once a month and announce the updates with at least a day's notice on IG and FB before listing. Just keep your eyes out for the next batch listing!

Q. Why is your STORE EMPTY? (When will you have more pieces listed?)
A.  I try to UPDATE the STORE ONCE A MONTH, with an announcement on FB & IG at least a day before listing new pieces. Due to only being one person making all the things as well as handling all the behind the scenes stuff it takes to sell the pretties, updates tend to SELL OUT PRETTY QUICKLY, usually within 5 minutes.


Q. How much is a CUSTOM/PERSONAL/SPECIAL REQUEST?
A. I am not taking any custom orders for the foreseeable future. I can recommend some other talented artists who do take customs: Gingerbouf Ramamlama Creatures, MsMableStory (email: msmabelstory@gmail.com), Lost and Found Charms, Mondoinundito , and  Royalty Femme.

Q. WHY don't you take CUSTOMS?
A. I have tried making customs. I very much enjoy working on an individual project with the ideas or input of the person it's going to but I have not found a way to make it fit in my business plan. Selling my handmade creations is my only source of income. Because of this and to keep my charm prices from being ridiculous I have to be as productive as I can every single day. If I take on a custom I usually spend 3-5 full days on that one piece - to make a sustainable wage from that sort of time investment I would have to charge an astronomical amount for the custom, which I am not interested in doing. In addition to this, my entire shop update production gets pushed back by however many days I spend on the custom leaving many people waiting longer than they would have had to. I also frequently have lots of new ideas, so as long as I have people who are interested to see my original creations manifested I need the flexibilty to create new things! For those wondering when I will be open to taking customs again, I will only be able to take them on once I have a steady income that does not rely on me working on my store every day.

Q.  Do you do TRADES?
A.  I don't have extra time for trades for much of the same reasons as I don't take on customs. I am in fact still in the process of several trades that have taken me over a year - I really don't want to take on any new ones until I have the free time to properly give people the attention they deserve and not keep anyone waiting for over a year.

Q.  When will you RESTOCK your store?
A.  If my store is unstocked I am most probably working on restocking it. I aim to stock my store every two weeks but realistically I restock my store ONCE A MONTH. Things tend to sell out pretty fast so if you don't want to miss out make sure you follow my IG @TheLittleMew and I will announce at least the day before listing what time I will be making my uploads live.

Q. Can you RESERVE a listing for me?
A. I'm sorry but it wouldn't be fair to everyone else. I USED TO MAKE EXCEPTIONS for people who had really trying circumstances that made them miss out, but as of the Nov 2015 update I will not be making exceptions for reservations anymore! Being so cold goes against every fibre of my heart but I will go mental if I try to keep making individual listings - I just logistically can't do it. If you can resist asking that will help me so much! Also, you would be amazed at the amount of times I've received tales of tribulations across all platforms leading to me finally caving only to have the person not end up buying their reserved listing😹 #why???

Q. On average how much do your CHARMS COST? (All prices in USD, subject to change.)

Charms
- Dragon, Unicorn, or Elk Chibi: $45-50
- Skull Dragon, Unicorn or Elk: $50
- Chibis: $45-50
- Mini Unicorns: Tutorial up on YouTube as I am not planning to make any more of these :)
- Shark and Whale etc. charms - $40-45
- Robins, Owls other birds: $35-40
- Hugging Bear Cubs: $40
- Hugging Seal Cubs: $40
- Hugging Tiger Cubs: $45
- Hugging Sugar Glider Baby: $40
- Mushroom Head Faries: $35-$40
- Molangs, Catbugs, Pokemon etc: *Discontinued* about $15 - $20 (I have tutorials for some of these on YouTube, and will be making more)
- Turnips, Mushrooms etc: These are usually 'shipping only' made for those who can't afford a piece from the store updates <3

Figures
- Little Mew Mascot: $85
- Dragon and Unicorn figures (with bases/accessories): $250

- Animal Figurines in general: $50 - $75
- Flutterbunnies: $35-40
- Flowerbed, Skull or Pumpkin Flutterbunnies: $65 - $70
- Leaf Raft Flutterbunnies: $40
- Large Whales/ Sea creatures: 70
- Tapir: $75
- Deer: $75
- Jackrabbits: $75
- Red Pandas: $60
- Seal Cubs: $50
- Tiger Cubs: $65
- Galaxy Tigers: $150
- Large Lantern Dragons: $400-$500

- Customs - NA (Sorry, I don't take customs due to not having the time to devote to an individual project)

Note: Prices are on the higher end for how small the pieces are, but the amount of time and care put into each one is beyond even an original miniature painting as the creatures are hand sculpted before painting. No material costs have been factored into the prices, they are purely based on the time it takes to make them. The clay colours are custom mixed and all the materials used are artist quality to prevent colour fading.

Q. How much is SHIPPING? (All in USD, I only charge for the actual shipping and absorb the rest of the packaging costs.)
A.   INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING (Not Tracked) $9.50
INTERNATIONAL COURIER (Tracked) $25 (actually costs $38 - I absorb the rest as it satisfies my own peace of mind as well)
SHIPPING TO AUSTRALIA is a flat rate of $5.50
COURIER TO AUSTRALIA (Tracked) $15
NZ NATIONWIDE SHIPPING is a flat rate of $3.00

Q. What if my treasure arrives damaged?
A. These little guys are not replaceable so I will do my best to get them to you safely. If they do arrive broken despite my efforts, these are your options:
1)  You are entitled to a full refund including the return shipping if you are willing to send it back to me. That way I can fix it and relist it. A lot of my pieces break even while I am working on them and I simply repair as I go.
2)  If your treasure arrives broken and you are happy and able to fix it yourself with superglue and whatever help I can provide over the net, I will give you a discount code to be used in the future :)

Q. Why ‘The Little Mew?’
A. The small sound that kittens make is the thing that makes me happiest in this world. I used to rescue cats and take them home when I was a child and such responsibilities could be ‘shared lovingly’ with my parents. I would often hear that cute, vulnerable little sound and follow it to a kitten who needed a home. My spirit charms are also small, sweet and fragile creatures who want to be adopted :)

CRAFTING RELATED QUESTIONS

Q. How do you keep your CLAY CLEAN?
A. By behaving like I have OCD - washing my hands, wiping down my work table, wiping my hands with baby wipes, rolling a scrap ball of clay between my palms before starting and then scraping the inevitable pieces of dust off my pieces as I work, which usually means I need to reshape the piece I'm working on! It's a lot of fun, this clay thing :) I also use a piece of tape to remove bits of dust from my hands and from the clay itself. Once baked if I still have dust on my pieces I use acetone (nail polish remover) to remove it.

Q. Where do you BUY POLYMER CLAY?
A. If you can't get it locally, I can recommend Fast Penguins, an excellent store on Ebay
If you're based in NZ I can recommend Golding Craft for Du-Kit Clay and Gordon Harris or Tazart for Premo.

Q. How do you do the GRADIENTS in your pieces?
A. I use a 'SKINNER BLEND' technique which I have a mini tutorial for on my Lagoon Naiad tutorial here. You can also just search 'skinner blend' on YouTube :)

Q. What PAINT do you use?
A. Any acrylic paint I can get my hands on, usually the cheapest (in NZ the cheapest are still about $6-$10 a tube). Update- Aug 2016 I switched to professional artist acrylic for its lightfast qualities. The paint I chose is Windsor & Newton Artist Acrylics- they are taking some getting used to, but the colours are beautiful.

Q. Do you use CHALK PASTELS?
A. YES, I use them to cover large areas and to create gradients. The ones I have are from Mungyo and were bought on eBay (link coming) I will be upgrading to artist quality as soon as I can afford it :)

Q. What GLAZE do you use?
A. Gloss- Holloway House Quick Shine Floor Polish
     Matte - Golden Polymer Glaze with UVLS (matte)

Q. Where do you get FINDINGS and PACKAGING?
A. Ebay and Aliexpress - I usually buy in bulk.

Q. What BRAND of CLAY do you use/recommend?
A. Mainly Sculpey PREMO and NZ brand DU-KIT. Colours are limited and clay is expensive in NZ so I tend to mix my own colours, and double the amount of any colour I create by adding 50/50 Du-kit translucent. This also adds strength and a softer texture to the clay. I use Premo because it has been reviewed as the strongest clay (Polymer Clay Tutor review), where Sculpey III is the weakest and most brittle (PCT review). I find Fimo almost impossible to work with as it takes too much conditioning to get it out of its crumbly state, and once I get it softened it actually becomes sticky! It's highly likely that I just got some old blocks though.

Q. HOW LONG have you been using polymer clay?
A. I started with my own creations in June 2014, but had tried it a few times in 2013 using Lilacsprinkles' tutorials.

Q. I want to START polymer clay. Can you give me some tips?
A. I would recommend starting the way I did by binge-watching Louize or LILACSPRINKLES' videos on YT. She teaches you how to blend two pieces together, what glaze to use, how to keep clay clean, what tools you may need to start with, and how to make some of the cutest charms I've ever seen all with the most adorable humble voice that makes you feel like even if you mess up you're doing OK!

Q. What CAMERA do you use?
A. I use a Canon Rebel T5i for photos and a Canon IXUS 155 for video. I use natural light and a when filming I use a cheap stand from ebay.

Q. What PHOTO/VIDEO EDITING SOFTWARE do you use?
A. I use GIMP, an easy-to-use freeware and also Picmonkey, an online photo manipulation program (I recently upgraded to premium to get all the features). For videos I use Adobe Premiere Pro.

Q. How can I PROMOTE myself?
A. I find INSTAGRAM the most efficient way to start promoting your crafts. The best way to get started is to develop geniuine relationships with other crafters, post every day or at least a few times a week, use natural daylight for your pictures (take the picture outside in the shade to avoid glare), and use relevent hashtags to avoid ghost followers. You don't need a fancy camera, Alex or Polymomotea uses his phone to take pictures and just with good lighting and holding everything steady he gets great shots. Pictures are the primary way you're communicating so make them as nice as you can. Don't use a filter if possible because keeping it natural will give people a better idea of what your creations look like!
Once you're comfotable with IG start with a YouTube filming simple charm updates in the best quality you can manage (get a cheap tripod from eBay to film with, no shaking!). Make sure you get all your family and closest friends to help promote you.


PERSONAL QUESTIONS:

Q. What’s your heritage?
A. My mother is an English/African mix and my father is Indian/Portuguese.

Q. How old are you?
A. I am 31 years old! I think it's really important for those younger than me to know that because you are probably better at clay than I would have been at your age :)

Q. What do you do for a living?
A. Running and creating for TheLittleMew is my full time job. I studied Event Management and used to be a receptionist for the Accor group.

Q. Where did you grow up and why do you have an American accent?
A. I grew up in the UK, an international ‘forward thinking’ community in India (check out Auroville here), and Kuwait. I developed an Americanish accent from the American school I attended in Kuwait, and from the strange hybrid accent that is usually spoken in Auroville. I used to have a proper cockney accent when I was a child.

Q. Is New Zealand as beautiful as they say?
A. New Zealand is stunning. That being said, I think England gets a bad rap as it is also a truly lush and beautiful country and in some ways quite similar to New Zealand. One of the most beautiful things about New Zealand is the Maori culture and the respect they have for their land... it adds immeasurably to the value people living here and travelling through perceive.

Q. Who are your biggest online inspirations?
A. Watercolour artists like Frannerd, Iraville and Pearfluer are a huge inspiration!

     For a daily dose of good energy I watch Taylor R's vlogs <3

      I'm inspired by people who create beauty and by those who stive for positivity and kindness.


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