Shameless pre-FAQ promotion: My young adult paranormal novel, SPOOKYGIRL: PARANORMAL INVESTIGATOR, was released by Dutton Juvenile in 2012. It's about a quirky 15-year-old ghost hunter trying to survive her clique-ridden high school while looking for the truth behind her mother's death. School Library Journal calls it "a funny, fresh story with some chilling scenes and a likable and smart protagonist." Most major bookstores have it in stock -- if yours doesn't, be sure to ask about it! You can also pick it up on good ol' Amazon: amzn.com/0525425845
(Or drop me a note if you'd prefer a signed copy!)
FAQ! Updated March 12 2013.1) Do you sell your work?
Sure do! Check my Etsy shop (www.mintconspiracy.com) to see what's available.2) Can I buy something without being a member of Etsy?
You'll need to sign up w/ Etsy (it's super easy) to buy anything directly from my shop. If you'd rather not do that, contact me and we can discuss a private sale. I prefer payment through PayPal, but I also accept postal money orders in US funds.3) Do you take commissions?
Depends. I don't often take commissions for entirely new designs. My 2013 rate for design time is $32/hour, and most new designs take between 4 and 8 hours for pattern drafting and initial plush construction. That gives you an idea of the cost involved if you want me to design and construct a plush based on a description or concept art from you. Please note: I cannot create plush items based on trademarked characters from cartoons, video games, etc..However, if a plush you like is sold out in my shop, I may be able to recreate it
if I haven't retired the design. I can also recreate designs in other colors if I have those colors in stock, and sometimes small alterations are possible. Either way, it doesn't hurt to ask me. There's no extra cost for this kind of custom order.
What about an existing design in another size? This can be tricky. In some cases, like with Somethings, I can just resize the pattern and make bigger and smaller versions (within reason). In other cases, I can't because I don't have the appropriate supplies in other sizes (like Petunia's heart-shaped nose -- I don't have bigger noses, so I can't make a huge Petunia).
Depending on the commission in question (mostly for larger commissions from buyers I haven't worked with before) I may require partial payment upfront. 4) Do you do art trades?
Not usually -- I don't have time.5) This design of yours looks exactly like [cartoon/anime/toy/whatever]!
I realize the Somethings look a bit like Furbies, Pikachus, and something from Totoro. Here's the thing -- little fuzzy lumps with ears aren't the most original things ever,
and I'll be the first one to admit that. The Somethings have been an inside joke for years, and the present plush design was loosely inspired by a tiny animated gif I used to use on a forum back in 2000-2001. That's where the concept came from, and it took off from there.6) If I like one of your designs, can I make a plushie just like it?
Sure, as long as you don't try to sell it
-- just please give me credit for the concept if you post your version anywhere. I can't give you my patterns, though, as I sell my designs for a living.7) Can you do a tutorial showing how to make a Something?
. I'd love to make a more general sewing tutorial at some point when I have the time.8) Wait, you sew everything by hand?
Just about. I usually only drag my sewing machine out when it's Halloween costume time.
For fleece designs, I prefer the scalloped edge my hand-sewing method provides. For furry monsters, it's just a pain in the butt to wrestle layers of thick fur through a machine.9) What kind of stitch do you use when you sew?
I believe it's called a whipstitch. I tend to work with fleece and other somewhat stretchy materials, and I've found that the whipstitch tends to get along well with stretch. After the stuffies are turned and stuffed, I close the final seam with a sort of baseball stitch, which usually blends into the fabric pretty nicely.10) What fabrics do you work with?
Just about everything I use is synthetic
-- polyester fleece, synthetic fur, polyester fiberfill. (I'd never use real fur -- I'd rather see it stay on the animal, thanks.)11) What kind of eyes do you use on plushies?
I use a variety of plastic eyes (and noses, etc.). They're general known as craft eyes or safety eyes
, and they have plastic stalks on the back that are inserted through a tiny hole in the fabric and secured with a plastic or metal washer. They're extremely secure, although I don't recommend them for baby toys -- anything plastic can be cracked, chewed off or otherwise removed by a motivated kidlet. However, they're far more secure than things like buttons. If you're looking for some, check your local fabric stores (Joann usually has a limited variety in stock near the googly eyes and jingle bells) or search the supplies category at Etsy.com.12) How come this or that plushie isn't in your store?
It might not have been up for sale, or it might have already sold. I retire designs when I get sick of sewing them.13) How come you didn't respond to the comment I left?
I'm horribly terrible (or terribly horrible) when it comes to comments and responses, especially when chronic eyestrain issues force me to limit my time at the computer. But I do read and appreciate everything, I promise.14) How come you don't ship to my country?
Although I do ship internationally, I've had to limit the countries I ship to. This is partly because of various countries' custom rules and regulations, and partly because I had too many shipments to certain countries go missing. First Class Mail International cannot be tracked, and any other shipping method is ridiculously expensive, especially when we're talking about mailing a few small plushies. I couldn't afford to keep replacing lost shipments. If you're curious about which countries I ship to, the list can be found at the bottom of every listing in my shop (www.mintconspiracy.com)
.15) I live outside the US. If I buy something, can you mark the customs form as "gift" and/or fudge the value so I don't have to pay customs fees?
Naw, guys, I'm sorry but I really can't do that. I'm just following the law.16) I clicked a link to your shop, but it just reloaded the DeviantArt page. WTF?
I dunno what DeviantArt is doing to my links, but it makes me a sad panda. My shop can be found at mintconspiracy.com.
(to be continued as more questions pop up)