Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lemons and Lemonade

The shop needs replenishing, so I guess I won't take Sunday off! Now that "sweater weather" has arrive, people are buying and enjoying. I have gotten some very nice fedback from customers lately and also a "threepeat" customer. It is so wonderful to know that people are enjoying these items that have brought me so much fun in the making.

Maybe I should rename my shop the "lemonade stand". I was a victim of the "downsizing" economy in early spring, and took the time to think about turning to my art for solice and income. That is how my Etys shop was born. Well, I certainly am enjoying drinking the Lemonade made from the lay-off lemons!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

done, done and done.

... Three new sweater coats just went up in the shop. You saw them in progress earlier, but now you can see them in all their glory- Peachy2day, Landscape2day, and Violet2day. My model isn't available for a couple of days, so I have posted them without the benefit of a live model, but will add them later. Hope you enjoy... lost of stash left, so off I go to create more!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The process of creation

I love the process of creating almost more than seeing the final product. I love seeing the creative process of other artists as well. So assuming some of you like that also, here are some pictures of the cyclone I create when in my studio!

My husband has referred to my process as the destruction; I prefer the term reconstruction! I do not usually have sketches of what I am going to do. I do have a pic in my head, and occasionally some roughs, but usually it is just a lot of auditioning colors; trying on (my son never comes into the studio without whistling first to warn me he is coming!); holding up; squinting; ripping apart; resewing; looking for the right texture, etc. Here are some of the evidence of destruction/reconstruction!

On the left is one of my sweaters about 1/3 of the way done.

Below are two completed sweaters drying out. I always wash the sweaters when they are done. This gives them a great chance to prove their worth! I put them in both the washer and dryer (delicate) and will lay them flat when they are almost dry. This gives them a cohesive "hand" a fresh smell, exposes any unstable seams or threads and lets them know I love them and want them at their best for their new homes.

Now I am off to photograph, write some snappy copy, and list these in my shop...
So look for Peachy2day, Landscapes2day, and Violets2day on in the next day or two!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Repeat customer - what a compliment

I am so pleased. Today I got my first repeat customer order. It is such a validation that she was pleased with my item!! I am so happy that I am making things people can wear, surround themselves [literally] with and enjoy.

I have made a lot of artwork in my day, but I have to say that these sweaters are the most rewarding (in all aspects of the word) projects I have ever done. Bye now - off to the studio!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Trying to do the right thing: Goodwill purchasing

I was looking at a review about Heather Mills new line of clothing today, and several of the comments were aimed at how "green" or "responsible" is it to make new clothing out of old. It was put forth that for those of us who go and buy these articles at the thrift stores and then cut them up to resell them, we are just depriving people who need to shop there of the items. It is a thought I had [yesterday] as I piled sweaters into my cart at Goodwill.

Thinking through it further, I see two scenarios:
1- items donated; people employed to clean, stock, etc; item purchased and worn
2- item donated; people employed to clean, stock, etc; item purchase; item repurposed employing me; item sold again employing etsy or other ventures; item purchased; item worn - possibly negating the need for purchasing new goods and maybe... item eventually donated, people employed to clean, stock, etc; item repurchased...

Beyond that, Goodwill themselves has had campaigns aimed at the general public urging us to shop them instead of traditional retailers. Here is a quote from Goodwill's F&Q page:
"If I shop at a Goodwill store, will I be depriving disadvantaged people of stuff they need?
No. Goodwill serves disadvantaged people by educating, training and placing them into jobs. By becoming gainfully employed, these individuals gain resources to buy the things they need. Many disadvantaged people who are in training or are employed by Goodwill Industries are offered vouchers or discounts at Goodwill retail stores."

However, I do think this is a great example of how doing the right thing is never clear or seen the same by different individuals.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wow, score!

Went to several thrift shops today and restocked my stash... found a plethora of great sweaters. Even managed to find a couple of zipper fronts that will be the basis for my next couple of coats, the most incredible deep aqua blue wool, and a fantastic marled orange brown with a beautiful weave... so I will be busy sewing away the next few weeks.

I also found two little treasures for myself. A great wool plaid shirt jacket that looks to be from the forties and will be so wonderful this fall especially with my wide retro pants, and a great thermal Eddie Bauer shirt - lime green that is the best turtleneck I have ever found. I am still kicking myself for not buying the almost new line green Swedish clogs a couple of weeks ago!

Can't wait to hit the thrift stores on the way up and back when I take my son to school, and also in Milwaukee area.

It is amazing the treasures to be found at Goodwill et al. Happy hunting to all you fellow thrift hunters.
Here is my "pile 'o cuffs" to be photo'ed and listed today. Tomorrow I have a Showcase for Accessories so I want to show these new little gems.

I was so happy to see two very high-end ads in the NYT Style Mag last week that had wristlet/cuff in them. One was a Louis Vuitton ad and the other Missoni! On the Missoni website there are some very interesting articles about the creative process, knitwear items and quilting - check them out!

My friend, Maggie, has said that they are all over England right now, so I am hoping they will be a hot seller for the Holidays this year!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Alterations are easy

Well I learned something today. Reconstructed sweaters make for beautiful alterations! I had a customer e-mail me that she loved one of my items, but needed it sized differently.

Therein lies the beauty of my construction methods... need more room at the hips or chest - add another panel! Need sleeves larger - add a strip either horizontal or vertically as needed! Need things taken in a bit - just nip and tuck. It all enhances what is already there... so if you see a sweater you love, but are worried about the size, just "convo" me from the home page of my shop (click the "contact Jill2day" in the right column) and I am sure we can work it out!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sneak preview of Pepper2day

SOOOO Excited, 3 new reconstructed sweater designs to upload to my shop today - and I will give you a preview first!

This is the Pepper2day sweater coat I will be offering in my shop today for the first time. I can't begin to tell you how fun it is to put on. Makes you want to twirl - or at least kick up your heels!

It is very similar in style to my Fall2day coat, but with a "hotter" color scheme. Go check out the store around noon and everything should be up and available.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Speaking of quilts...

I got word the other day that my art quilt of "Chris' barn" won the Whistler Award at the show it is in. It is in the Quiltscapes show at the Whistler House Museum in Lowell Massachusetts.

2nd shop opened today:

When I first opened my shop, I had both my sweaters and my quilted jackets in the same shop. The look of the shop was confusing! The look ( and probably the customers) of the two different items are very different. I removed the jackets for a while and the shop looked so much more focused! But alas, many people do like my jackets, and I still wanted them available.

I have opened quilt2day to contain all of my quilted items. Right now it is just jackets, but I will be adding some of my art quilts to the shop as well.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Intro to my stash and shop

Some artists have paints, some have beads, some have yards of silks... me, I have piles of old sweaters! From these I make reconstructed clothing - sweaters, coats, cuffs or wristlets. I add vintage buttons and other touches to make each one totally unique.

It is impossible for me to have anything but one-of-a-kind garments. I [probably] will never find the same fabrics. I don't use any patterns. Each design grows as it is made.

Recently I opened a shop at I have been very excited to see the response to my offerings. My very first inquiry was from Australia, and within days my analytics let me know I had been viewed by people from Bangkok to Finland to England and all points within the US! It truely is the world wide web!

I have also found that opening a virtual shop is much the same as having a brick and mortar shope. You need to be responsive to your customers; work within the regulations of your venue and your state; keep your stock available; promote your business, and on and on. Lots to learn, but I am having a blast!

I have also found a whole new world of artists on Etsy. The many forums and other communications allow each seller to meet and learn from the others - a great help in getting started. So here it is and here I go...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Gift Bags

We all love presents, so each of my reconstructed garments are gift bagged and tagged with a custom care and thank you tag.

If the customer has ordered the item for themselves, they will feel gifted nonetheless! If they have ordered it for a gift, they will still be able to take it out and inspect it without destroying the gift wrap.

Hope you all enjoy this little extra.

Just listed several new cuffs, and wristlets take a look!