April 3, 2009

Etsy Musings: Bead Passion

Happy Friday lovies! Excited for the weekend? I know I am! Last week I introduced you to a brand new catagory that I’d be doing every week or two which would be called Etsy Musings. If you missed my original post I hope you’ll go back and have a peek at it.

As part of my brand new series today I’ll be introducing you to Helen who’s from the Philippines and runs a shop on Etsy entitled Bead Passion.

I’m very excited to introduce you to Helen and her amazing art so jump ahead for a review of her products, an interview with her, and a special steal and deal at her shop!

Helen makes jewelry. I know sounds kinda boring right? So what she makes jewelry what’s so special about that? Well Helen actually makes a special, unique kind of jewelry that should appeal to anyone who 1. loves cupcakes and 2. adores anything with a kawaii flair! Whether we are talking earrings, bracelets, or necklaces, Helen has you covered for a “sweet” jewelry experience. A majority of her items are themed with cupcakes in mind which makes for a unique and sweet jewelry experience. All her cupcake creations are made with polymer clay and are teeny tiny in size for a perfect little piece of conversation starter jewelry! I discovered Helen November of last year and have since been terribly addicted to browsing her shop for her latest creations. I think one of the main reasons that Bead Passion appeals is the ridiculously inexpensive price tag! Each piece is handmade, takes a hour or more to make, is amazingly unique, yet carries a price tag of $10-$20 USD at most! Helen’s unique creations are both cute and budget friendly! We all love that don’t we?

Helen was kind enough to allow me to interview her and ask a ton of silly questions about how in the world does one go about creating such a tiny cupcake!? Plus she included some amazing images of her creations for us to enjoy! Take a look at what Helen had to say below!

What made you start selling on Etsy?

I’ve heard about Etsy in 2006, when my cousin suggested I try selling my beaded jewelries there. Back then I had no idea how online selling was supposed to go there. Then I discovered making jewelries out of polymer clay last year. I have never been so passionate with any other crafts as much as I am now with polymer clay. That’s because these are really unique, one of a kind creations. You can never make 2 pieces exactly alike, that’s the beauty of handmade. So I finally got the courage and confidence to sell online as an international market. It helped also that my husband has been very supportive of my Etsy activities all along. He even made my banner.

I couldn’t agree more with Helen. Truly her pieces are all very unique and one of kind! Some of her cupcakes are too lifelike, must keep away otherwise I’ll take a bite!

Have you sold on any other sites prior to Etsy?

I used to advertise my products on a local buy and sell site, www.davaoexchange.com

I noticed many of your jewelry items are foody in nature like cupcakes and slices of cake? Why food?

Some people love books, dogs, or cats or gadgets. But I believe that the common denominator among them is food, who doesn’t like food? 🙂 Cupcakes, I think, is magical food. It’s the most charming dessert ever invented!

Helen’s excitement about cupcake was positively delightful and it really made me smile when I read her response. I couldn’t agree more truly cupcakes are magical food!

How long does it take you to make a single pendant?

On the average about an hour. But that is only for sculpting the piece. It doesn’t include conditioning the clay, baking, and then glossing.

How does one even make such a tiny cupcake? What ingredients are used? Do you need to bake them?

Based from my experience, you will need patience and a lot of love. You will not be able to achieve a quality piece when you are in a hurry or you’re just making it for the sake of selling.

These tiny cupcakes were handmade with polymer clay. Polymer clay is like the clay we used to play with when we were little but baked to harden. Before you start, you need to condition the clay to make it soft and pliable, either by kneading with hand or rolling in pasta machine. I use both depending on the amount of clay I am working with. Then you mold your desired shape by hand. There are many available tools to help with sculpting, molding and texturing. There are also liquid clays to help you achieve a more realistic frosting effect. Once done, the cupcake is baked for about 30mins at specific temperature depending on brand of clay used. Then it allowed to cool. Afterwards comes glossing. For my dessert clay, I do not gloss because they look more realistic with a natural matte finish. However, I would do so upon customer request. Polymer clay has a wide variety of colors, so painting is not necessary in my case.

Are there any shapes or forms you’ve attempted to make but weren’t successful?

I could hardly make face sculptures. I attempted to make several character clays, I can say they look fine but are cartoonish in nature. I made a cake topper for my son’s 2nd birthday and another for a friend, also some religious sculptures, Mama Mary and St.Anthony (you can see these at my flickr photos www.flickr.com/photos/accetera) I’m hoping to achieve realistic sculptures and am currently practicing. Who knows you might see some serious sculpting in my shop in the future.

Which are the hardest parts when making an item?

The hardest part is conceptualizing and making the initial design. Making something new is always a trial and error thing for me. That is why, I usually charge high for custom orders. Also I find it difficult and time consuming, to condition the clay. My hands and arms hurt 🙂 Also mixing clay colors to achieve the shade I needed is difficult.

I’ve seen jewelry like yours on Etsy and other sites before but it’s much more expensive! How do you keep your prices so low for a craft that obviously takes so much time?

I didn’t realize my prices are low 🙂 My price is based on degree of difficulty to make a piece. Those $5 and below are items I can make within less than an hour, those I’ve mastered doing. I think it also helps that I have a supply shop (www.beadhub.etsy.com) so I can get my supplies in bulk, making them cheaper. These are the chains or wire components that comes together with the clay accessory.

Is there anything else you can tell us about jewelry making?Anything else you want to add?

All handmade items are meant to be treasured. Part of the artist is in there. Like for my item, it is more than a piece of clay, its a piece of art. Please continue to support handmade. Etsy’s got a lot of great artists!

Helen was such a joy to interview as she’s obviously very excited about what she does and her passion for it shines through in her replies to my questions. Her little pieces of “art” are an absolute joy to behold and makes me want to collect ’em all!

Here are some photos that Helen included with her interview for me to post along with this Etsy Musing.

Here’s a photo of my cupcake pendant that I purchased a few months ago. When I purchased it came wrapped in a sweet pink box with a pair of fork and spoon earrings (hey, you need utensils to go along with that cupcake), a sweet note from Helen thanking me for the purchase, and a chain for my charm, all this for $10 USD bucks?! Loves it!

Helen extended a nice coupon for my readers. If you purchase something from her and message her after you’ve checked out telling her you read about her on my blog she’ll include a few surprises with any order that’s $10 USD and above. You’ll get a handmade dessert cellphone charm, stickers, and a pair of earrings! But be sure to tell her where you read about this so she knows to include your extra goodies with purchase plus the coupon is good until July 1st so if you’re not wanting to shop right away, make a wish list and buy it later on!

I hope you enjoyed my first Etsy Musings post and I sure hope you’ll visit and show your support to our fabulous artist Helen at beadpassion.etsy.com

If you do purchase please share your order with me! Curious to see what everyone buys!

Stay tuned next week for another awesome Etsy Musing!

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About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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