Interview with the Artist: PuffPastry

I’m always amazed at the beautiful things people are creating with clay, these days. When the work is in miniature form, it’s even more fascinating!

Please meet clay artist, Vivien of Puff Pastry Shop!

Her etsy shop is stocked with a delightful assortment of teeny, tiny treats that are a feast for the eyes! Shopping there may make you hungry, but don’t worry – no calories are involved! Vivien turns her clay art into an adorable collection of rings, necklaces, earrings, and pins!


She graciously agreed to this interview and has even included a 20% off coupon code for my readers. Look for it at the end of this post!

Were you interested in art as a child?
Yes. I loved making things out of paper. I’m not sure my mother was pleased about me leaving little paper scraps all around the house, but I remember her showing my little paper animals to visitors. I don’t have any of my drawings anymore, but I still have a paper deer, bunny, pig and some other creatures.

tray This tray pendant measures less than 2 inches – imagine how tiny the indivdual pastries are! 🙂

What were some of the earliest projects that you created?
I used to collect fabric scraps from my mother’s sewing projects and cut them into little squares. I sewed them together to make a “quilt” for my doll, but back then I didn’t realize a quilt needed backing, stuffing and actual quilting stitches!

The sweet treats you make are the most exquisite little treasures! When did you first become interested in working with clay, and have you created other items using clay?
I loved Play-Doh as a kid. I had a set with molds for making vegetables. I loved the peapods the best! My sister had a cake-making Play-Doh set that I liked to play with as well. At my elementary school it was also traditional for the students to make a different clay item each year. We made canoes, pots and owls. (My favorite was the owls!)


Do you also enjoy making life-size pastries with “real food” ingredients?
I love to bake. It’s funny because I’m not a good cook when it comes to savory food, but people like my almond tarts, apple bread and lemon bars very much.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Just going to the grocery store is great for hungry inspiration! Also, a lot of times I get pretty materials and then decide what to make with them later. Unfortunately, it also means I stockpile craft supplies, sometimes for years!

Do you keep any examples of your best work – just for yourself? 🙂
Hahah. That’s a secret. =) Actually, I keep the not-so-nice things for myself, because I don’t like selling things that I feel aren’t up to my standards.


What advice would you give to people who would like to begin selling their art, but could use a few pointers?
The most important things is not finding what is popular, what sells well, or what is profitable, but what makes you happy. Selling can be hard sometimes, but if you enjoyed the creative process it makes it worthwhile. Also, ask for (and listen to) critique. It’s fun to hear “Wow your stuff is great” but the people who say not-so-nice things about your art can be very helpful to you as well.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks everyone for reading my interview! As a thank-you I’d like to give all the readers of Bead Happily Ever After a coupon code to my etsy shop. For the month of March 2009, enter HAPPY20 in the “Notes to Seller” at checkout for 20% off your total order! The discount will be given as a Paypal refund or you can wait for a special invoice.



Crazy For Cake!

I baked an old favorite on Saturday. My Mum always made this cake when I was a kid. We grew up on it. Come to think of it, she made all kinds of cakes – all the time. That might not sound particularly amazing until I tell you that she had six kids, including a set of twins. You should have seen her camped out at the stove, making grilled cheese sandwiches or pancakes for all of us “starving Romans” (as she called us). Each day, we used to come home from school to have our lunch, and I swear there were times when she was at the stove continuously cooking and handing out plates of food from the time we arrived until we returned to school for the afternoon session!

Raisin Spice Cake

Raisin Spice Cake

But, as I was saying, on Saturday I made a double batch of this recipe that was such a staple in Mum’s kitchen. Known as “Depression Cake”, it became popular during the 1930’s when eggs, butter and milk were expensive and often difficult to obtain. This cake had none of those ingredients. It’s made with raisins and spice and is not only delicious, but you’ll adore the fringe benefit of aroma-therapy while it’s cooking – the entire house will be full of wonderful fragrance!

Here’s the recipe. No frosting is needed and it’s just the thing to have with your tea or coffee!

RAISIN SPICE CAKE ( or “Depression Cake”)

Boil together for 5 minutes:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (Lard in the old days.)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 cup raisins

When cool, add 2 cups of flour sifted with 1 tsp. baking soda and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Mix thoroughly and spread into an 8″ round baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.