FAQ

questions & answers, faq

Please click here for information on: Purchasing, Payments, Layaway, Postage & Shipping

CAN I ORDER OR ASK FOR CUSTOM OR COMMISSIONED WORK?
One of the most common questions I get asked is: " Do you take custom orders? ". But I'm sorry to let you know that I don't take any custom orders unfortunately. All my designs are made on a one and off basis.
Commissions stifle my creativity and I love the freedom to make whatever I like and its how I’m happiest working. I feel it is better for the Milly Me Designs concept and most of all its originalty to make my designs free of the contrains of commissioned designs. 
This in the long run enables me to be more productive, efficient and above all creative. And it will benefit you as a collector as well.

WHERE CAN I BUY YOUR DESIGNS?
The majority of my creations are sold through my website, but not as often as I like to unfortunately. Usually they are time-consuming pieces to design and to make. It takes approx. 4-6 weeks before a new piece is completed.
After I a new piece is completed I write the "story",  particular characteristics, pricing and purchasing details.  
My pieces are available on a first come, first served base. Read below to find out how to be informed about new work that's coming up. 

HOW CAN I KEEP UP-TO-DATE WITH NEW WORK THAT'S COMING UP?
I give regular updates in the blogposts of this website. Whenever I have new work available I will give dates and times and a 24 hours notice by e-mail for members of the mailing list with a sneak-peek. 
If you want to be the first to know about the newest pieces and when they become available, please consider joining my mailing list. This give you a first chance to buy one of my pieces.
I will also update my  Facebook page  for those that prefer to hang over out there. 

HOW DO I SUBSCRIBE TO THE FEED OF YOUR BLOG?
In order not to miss a piece that might become available, it has proven wise in the past to subscribe to my blog updates. If you already have a Feedburner account and know how to subsribe to RSS* feeds, then this would be easy for you. You have several ways to get site updates: via e-mail, Yahoo, iTunes or via e-mail. Click here get Milly Me Designs updates via Feedburner RSS feeds.
You can also easily subsribe to follow the blog through Bloglovin' by following this link. Please edit your profile on Bloglovin' to receive mail updates every thime one of your blog favorites make an update, otherwise you won't receive the notifications, and therefore can likely miss the sale of a new piece or the announcement of a coming update.
* Really Simple Syndication

HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE FOR YOUR DESIGN WORK?
Everything is priced differently as I love to change the size and scale of items. But as a rough price guide: between € 250,00 - € 500,00 and more.....
The price is based on the amout of hours that went into creating each piece, the size and the materials that I used. The prices are as stated on the website, I don't offer discounts!

DO YOU SHIP WORLDWIDE?
Yes I do. Every piece is shipped priority insured for its value. Please read my terms of service & conditions for additional information about purchasing, payments, shipping and delivery etc.

DO YOU MAKE EVERYTHING YOURSELF OR DO YOU HAVE ANY HELP?
Everything is made by me. I do all the designing, sewing, printing of labels and certificates, photography, maintaining this website.........the lot.
I have a lot of help from my husband who assits me with all the necessary daily household chores such as: vacuum cleaning, walking the dog, maintaining the garden etc. I consider myself very lucky.

WHAT TRAINING DO YOU HAVE?
I learn to sew, knit and crochet from my mother.  I went to the fashion school for 2 years. I followed a two day class how to make a teddy bear and that's it. I'm mostly self-thaugt.

HOW LONG DO YOU DESIGN/SEW FOR EACH DAY?
Approx. 8 hours, sometimes longer, it depends on the piece. I don't work on weekends. I really feel physically regenerated after a proper weekend's rest. I firmly believe the single most important reason not to work on weekends is YOUR SELF. Granted that sounds awfully selfish, but I've learned to put aside time of introspection. And this proved to be a 'life-saver'. On Saturdays, I usually spend more quality time with my husband and my dog, but Sunday is my lazy day. It's a day to enjoy, to relax and to refresh myself.

DO YOU DO 'TRADES' OR 'SWAPS' OR WORK WITH SOME FABRIC THAT I HAVE MYSELF?
No, I don't.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
Since I have true love for:  old toys, antique laces & ribbons, worn out fragile and damaged clothes, well hugged bears, it's more than obvious that I have a passion for the so called vintage styled teddy bears.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT BEEING A TEDDY BEAR DESIGNER?
Oh gosh, where shall I begin.....? 
Milly Me was born out of pure passion for fashion, fabrics and many other crafts in 2004. In the beginning I had an embroidery studio where I use to digitise embroidery patterns. In 2007 I launched a website at the world wide web. From my embroidery studio I grew into the world of reborn baby dolls. I designed handmade reborn baby outfits and sold them through the website. It was while visiting the doll and teddy bear shows in Holland that I fell in love with teddy bear’s faces. More and more I was drawn towards bear making. Designing and making teddy bears is a lot of fun. It has changed my life in a powerful way: it has opened countless new doors; it’s enabled me to meet amazing and talented people; and, I’ve learned more than I ever have about life and creativity.
Many of my skills that were obtained and developed in my childhood now come together. Whether it is about sewing, embroidering knitting, crocheting, working with metal and wood, I use it all. I’m never satisfied, I’m always looking for new techniques, I’m always exploring new things, I’m always eager to learn. By far I get the most satisfaction when a design becomes difficult and I succeed to make it. I am very happy when I challenge myself to make something I’ve never done before. I’m aware of the value of good craftmanship, I experience a lot of joy in its recognition.

The reason why I grew into the bear world was the fact that I love to make a complete piece of art: a vignette. Sometimes I find it very hard to say goodbye to a piece that took me a lot time to complete. If you work on a piece for a long time, it creates a kind of chemistry between me and the piece that I bring to life. I feel very proud when I receive feedback from the collector to let me know how happy she or he is with the new add to its collection. I love photography and to work with Photoshop. I make my own business cards, certificates, labels & tags. I also like to maintain my own website.

Tough creativity cannot be thaught, it can certainly be nurtured. I may get suddenly inspired into a burst of creativity when buying that beautiful piece of antique lace or silk to add to my stash. I guess that one of the things I like best about the bear world is to be creative, the freedom to live in an “adult fairy tale land” in which I can bring teddy bears and rabbits to life. One of my challenges is to think like an adult but act like a kid. Adults who are trying to be creative face a lot of creative roadblocks along the way: there are rules about what is and what isn’t allowed, how we’re supposed to behave and not. Those rules are there for a reason ( I don’t say that they are bad), but they can inhibit your creativity. Instead I try to use as much of my natural intelligence as an adult as possible, sometimes I really try to act like a kid. To maintain the wonder that I had when I was a young child that could play with her dolls and bears is endlessly facinating. It may be hard to encapsulate in words, but when a bear or rabbit touches a heart it can be magical.

I love the freedom and the exciting challenges that come with running my own business. A typical workday does not exist in my life. Each day brings something new, and I think that’s why I never lose my passion or get bored. I love the personal connection with my customers and readers. And there is tremendous joy in sharing your passion with like-minded people! What I love most is that I never feel like I’m working. Often it feels like I am having fun in "one big playground "!

WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR .........?
I love to shop. My favorite places to look for things for Milly Me Designs are market places, flea markets, teddy bear & doll fairs, craft shows, all kind of shops like Ikea, Action, Intratuin, and online at Etsy or Ebay, etc.

DO YOU SELL PATTERNS?
No I don't. But I'm seriously considering whether to sell my patterns in an Etsy shop.

WHAT KIND OF CAMERA DO YOU USE?
I am whithout a doubt a Canon girl and I use a Canon EOS 400D with a Canon EF 24 - 70mm F2.8 L USM II macro lens. I also use a Canon IXUS 100 IS, which is much smaller and easy to take with you when travelling or attenting shows & fairs.
I'm aware that both are not the moste recent cameras. But perfect camera's i.m.h.o. I don't believe that the camera and equipment matter much. And I don't think you should keep up with all the new stuff that comes out!  Let me be clear: "Cameras don't take good pictures, the photographer does!"
Believe it or not, I use my Canon IXUS very often to take the website pictures. It depends on the weather circumstances as I never use flashlight only daylight to take my pictures.
Play with your camera and try its settings is my advice to you. "Learning by doing" is my motto. A good photographer uses the camera to snap that image. It's only a tool. Once you understand how to envision an image you will be able to take a good picture. Your passion and creativity are by far more important than expensive camera gear.
Powerful cameras (not to mention cameras on smartphones!) are more accesible than ever these days, but it is about the fact whether you will use your eyes, skills and camera settings to make a perfect image.
So bear in mind that: "It is not what kind of camera you have, it's how you use it, it's what you do once you have it! And even if you have bad pictures.....don't  worry to much about it as they can be fixed in Photoshop too."

HOW DO YOU EDIT YOUR PHOTOS WITH WORDS AND THINGS?
I used Photoshop CS3, but I just got CS6. If you don't have Photoshop, don't worry, there are several great alternatives like GIMP , Paint.NET or PicMonkeyAll of them are free for both commercial and personal use. 

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY GRAMMATICAL & SPELLING MISTAKES?
I'm Dutch and therefore not a native English speaker. While it’s true that my spelling and grammar could be much better, I really do my best to write error-free as much as I can. I would give my right arm away to speak and write English very well.
My hope, however,  is that you will focus on my designs, my pictures and my posts that I love to share with you. So if my bad spelling drive you nuts, well I am sorry for that.

I WANT TO BECOME A TEDDY BEAR ARTIST TOO, WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS?
I hope to continue to inspire myself and stay in touch with the teddy bear community, yet keep myself challenged with new features and techniques, as well as create original pieces that distinguish my designs from others. I feel this is one of my biggest challenges. What I would love to say to those who want to become a teddy bear artist/designer: follow your heart and keep following your own path. Other artists may try to push you in a direction that might be right for them, but not for you.
Try to "build your own brand" give yourself time and space to grow, to explore different styles, techniques and to discover things. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Put yourself into situations where you know you will probably fail. It may seem pretty weird, but I’ve discovered that this is very important as it will help you to become more creative. Be prepared to fail, jump into new and challenging designs. Learn from your mistakes! Try not to let it affect your self-esteem, but use it as an opportunity to get better. 
You should be comfortable asking for feedback, but don’t let anyone’s opinion keep you doing from what you’re doing. Once you’re completed your first bears you can ask others to give feedback. But don’t let critisism, even the constructive type, stifle your creativity during the creative process. Challenge yourself, explore new things, and cherish your doubts . Don’t be afraid to criticize yourself too. Actually, be harder on yourself than everyone else is. Always ask yourself: " How could I have done this better..?” I’m not giving in until my doubts are gone and I can’t give negative answers to my own questions. If you can’t find fault with your own work, you’re probably not trying hard enough. So never ever stop questioning yourself! Explore and make new designs, try to step out of your comfort zone and be proud of what you have created, allow yourself that "feel-good-factor" and become the best you can be..........but only at your own pace.


As with all my work, including clothing and accessories, it is for the Adult Collector only and not for playing!