I get asked a lot of questions sometimes! O: And it's not that I don't mind answering, it's that sometimes I get asked the same question again and again and I don't have time to explain it every time.
So I made up this quick list of commonly asked questions!
Updated on 11/30/2012
► What kind of clay do you use?
--- I use polymer clay, it's an oven baked clay that hardens at 275°F (130°C), so you do not need a kiln to bake it. The brands I use are Sculpey, Sculpey III, Sculpey Premo!, and FIMO. You can find these at basically any craft store [and at Wal-Mart in a starter pack with 12 colors ($13 I think?) or just in white (around $6)] and the prices range from $0.99-$3.00 depending on the brand. I almost always buy my clay from Michael's Arts and Crafts.
► How long do I bake it? How do I bake it?
--- It depends on how thick your clay is. Read the package! It will tell you everything you need to know about how long to bake. It's also a bit of trial and error, and I will never be able to tell you an exact time to bake it, you will have to figure that one out yourself. Experiment!
To bake it, just put it on a piece of foil on a cookie sheet and put in the toaster oven or oven at the specified temperature. Never wrap your charm in foil, you will burn it. It's not a baked potato.
► What does polymer clay look like? I can't find it in the store.
--- It looks like this: [link]
► Okay... but I can't find this clay where I live!
has a great list you can use to find where to buy polymer clay in your country! You can find that here: [link]
► How do I turn my creation into a charm? What do I need?
► Ive seen you use popsicle sticks in your charms before, is wood safe to put in the oven? Are headpins safe to put in the oven?
--- Yes, both are completely safe at the temperature polymer clay bakes at. Don't touch wood or metal fresh from the oven (or your hot charm, for that matter) because it will be very hot to the touch, but it will not burst into flames. As for putting metal in the oven, what are cookie sheets made of? Metal, right? xD It's entirely safe.
Do not put any plastic in the oven for any reason. This is NOT safe. It will also make a huge mess. And stinky fumes.
► My clay is too hard/soft, what should I do?
or My clay seems to be having a weird reaction to plastic, what should I do?
or My charms always seem to be way too brittle after I bake them, have I done something wrong?
see this! all of these questions relate to plasticizers in clay, and this guide covers all of them.
► Can you paint polymer clay?
--- Yes, you can. I would recommend you paint after you've baked the clay and with acrylic paints. You can
paint before you bake, but only if it's something very small (like JUST eyes or a mouth). Wait until the paint has entirely dried before you bake the clay. If you're unsure about this or it makes you uncomfortable, then paint it only after it has baked and entirely cooled off.
The cheap little $0.75 bottles work best because the paint is thin and can be applied with any old brush in 1-2 coats.
► How did you make _______?
--- If you want to formally request a tutorial, you can send me a note. I want to make sure if I make a tutorial for someone, they're actually interested in learning how to make a certain item, and not just passing by.
Remember to check all the tutorials here before you ask. [link]IN ADDITION, THERE ARE SOME ITEMS I WILL NEVER DO TUTORIALS FOR
because these items are popular/expensive and make up a good portion of the commissions that I receive. Letting out all my secrets is like opening my wallet and inviting everybody to grab what they want from it. Remember this is a business to me, not a hobby. These things pay my bills. I will never ever do tutorials on:
- Full-body Chibis, regardless of size. (though the head version is here [link]
► Okay cool, but how did you get it so shiny?!
--- I use a glaze.
Sculpey sells gloss glaze and satin glaze, and in my experience don't even bother with the satin glaze if you're not going to use it all up within a month. Every time I buy it, it turns super thick and gooey after just a few weeks, while the clear glaze remains easy to apply.
► No not the glaze... the glitter!
--- My signature "style" is to add pearlized clay to everything to make it sparkly. You can use pure mica pigment or purchase any polymer clay with "pearl" in the title and it will be glittery.
► I saw you made [CHARACTER] ... but you didn't include their [blah] or their [blah]! And this color is different!
--- Was it a commission? Remember when I do custom work for someone, sometimes they want a character seen WITHOUT certain items/trademarks. Or maybe they want them with something crazy for an inside joke. Or maybe they wanted the colors to be changed, or done a certain way. I didn't exclude something to make you angry or confused, I simply did what the commissioner wanted. As long as the person who paid me is happy, I don't care what a character is holding or not holding, or what colors they have. I would be more than happy to remake the charm to your specifications if you want to pay me for it.
► How long have you been working with clay?
--- Since August 2010. O:
► Where did you get the name "Grandma Thunderpants?"
--- It's actually a Venture Brothers reference!
It comes from an episode where there was a giant garage sale on the Venture Compound and Triana finds a giant pair of underwear, along with some other "kitschy junk." She proudly holds up the giant underwear and calls it "giant grandma thunderpants." Now for some reason this line always stuck with me as super hilarious, so in 2010 when I went to name my shop, I didn't want it to just be "my kawaii clay shop #5985" or anything, so I thought about what would be a good name that really stuck with people. In the end, I decided that grandma thunderpants as a name would either haunt or delight people-- but stick with them either way. That's why I chose it.
► Do you do art trades?
--- I very selectively
do art trades. I don't do this to be mean, I do this because I don't have a whole lot of time to do art trades with everyone. I also can't only do trades, because then I would have lots of cool loot but I wouldn't have money to buy more clay.
I may approach you with an offer if I'm interested, but please don't hesitate to offer a trade if you do any of the following:
- My Little Pony customs
- Plushies of any type
I tend to be interested in things I can't make myself, but if you do clay works I may still be interested. Very rarely do I trade for drawings, sorry.
► I want to request a charm... but I don't have money. Will you make it anyway so I can see it?
--- Requests are currently closed, I just don't have time for it.
I always take suggestions, but please understand there's a very good chance I won't do it. I don't want to let anyone get their hopes up, I'd feel guilty!
► Where's your custom item information?
--- My commission info is here: h[link]
and I love you.
► Do you accept points commissions?
--- Yes, I do! O:
I'll accept only five points commissions per month. I will calculate the amount of points needed by converting exactly the cost of the item to points. 80 points = $1 USD, so something that's worth $15 will be 1200 points, and so on. I know a lot of people are used to seeing like 5 point commissions and 30 point commissions, but 30 points is equal to like $0.20 and there's no way I could make anybody anything for that, ahaha.
You will also be charged in points the shipping/handling costs. US orders shipping is $3.00, which is 240 points, and for International it's $7 so 560 points.
You can see at any time if there's a slot open by checking my latest journal entry: [link]
► Why don't you accept Paypal!? I love Paypal!
--- It's a long story, but in short Paypal doesn't love me. They froze my account on what they said was a "routine security check" and that I needed to simply go through some verification steps to confirm the account was mine. I went through all of their requests up until they asked me to scan my Social Security Card. At this point I was freaking out thinking I'd been on a phishing site all this time because who would ever ask you to scan that card? I called Paypal's offices and they confirmed it was a legit request, but I was still iffy about it, assuming somehow this was an enormous elaborate scam, so I had several people log into their Paypal accounts and call support and ask the same question, and finally I realized it was a legit thing. So I called again, tried to fight it, and in the end in a fit of frustration I finally scanned the damn thing and sent it to them. Three days later they told me they'd reviewed it and still did not believe I was the rightful account owner.
So I called again, asked what was up, and ... that's about it. Despite knowing the correct answers to every single security question, passing all the security tests including phone confirmation, and then scanning my social security card, they did not believe I was the account owner and I could not have my account status restored. I had about $50 in my Paypal account so I requested that they put the money in the savings account tied to the Paypal account, and they declined, saying they would not do it for 120 days. So I waited exactly 120 days, called back, and FINALLY got them to give me my money. On top of this I requested that they remove my bank account information, and then I was informed that they kept records of that information for ten years, so even if I removed it, they would still have my banking numbers for ten years
So needless to say, Paypal and I are not bffl, but in fact I've found it to be one of the most invasive and frustrating websites to ever use. I understand some people are very loyal to Paypal and have never had issues, but please understand my side of it, too. I'm one of those who had a very bad experience with them, so I really am not about to start giving them more of my money. As an alternative, I accept Google Checkout, which is 100% secure and only requires you have a Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover card. And doesn't want scans of your very private information.
FOR OTHER CONCERNS
This is the item disclaimer from my website. It might answer your question.DISCLAIMER AND ETC.
While our items are very cute and childlike, please do not give them to small children or pets for any reason. Some small parts can break off and become a choking hazard. Do not for any reason chew on or put our charms in your mouth. While polymer clay is non-toxic, the glaze used to protect the clay is not and can make you sick if you ingest too much of it.
Keep in mind all of our items are handmade and thus may differ just slightly from the images you see on this website. Every item is unique and no two items are made exactly the same. It is not suggested that you wear your goodies in the shower or while swimming. The glaze protects the charms but the small metal parts holding it together might tarnish if exposed to water for extended periods of time.
Have any questions for me? O: Don't be afraid, ask me! I'm always eager to help out.