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Monday, November 15, 2010

Viva la [design] Difference!

 During my recent visit to New York, I spent a lot of time just looking about. One of the things that was so evident is how much more specialization a place can offer when there is a large populous. In the Midwest, or other places of less dense population, there is the same spectrum of tastes for aesthetics and invention, but businesses and entertainment venues that cater to the ends of the spectrum can be scarce because the numbers to support them are small.

My last post addressed this from the "abundance" side, but it also applies to the design side.The hotel I stayed in was the Pod Hotel. It caters to the more independent trendier traveler who appreciates good design, but also is frugal! Right down the street was the Waldorf Astoria, with a very different aesthetic and function.

I found them both to be great examples of wonderful design for a specific part of the aesthetic spectrum. They are examples of businesses that need a customer base who looks for the specificity they offer. The Marriots and Hampton Inns can survive most anywhere because, while they may not have anything that would make them unique, they do provide an aesthetic and service that is both functional and useful to a huge number of people, but only in the dense population centers will you find the Pod - where people are still willing to share a bath and have small spaces in exchange for contemporary design and a global feel or the Waldorf Astoria, where opulent exclusivity reigns.

This same can be true for so many things, fashion, entertainment, food, etc etc... You guys in the city have such a great choice... but, as my husband said, you have to share it with about a million other people! One day I saw Bon Jovi playing (Today Show) on the Rockefeller plaza and that evening heard a Requiem concert in a cathedreal, more ends of the spectrum!

Loved my visit, but sure am enjoying the quiet and the landscape today! And for my abundance and specificity there is always the internet and Travelocity! "I'll be back".

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Abundance in NYC

I am visiting NYC and am overwhelmed by the abundance of inspiration and just stuff!!!
Bolts and bolts of fabric on floors and floors of store at Mood Fabrics,  Bins and Bins of thread next door. Down the street aisle after aisle of zippers, buttons or snaps... and upstairs windows hint at the armies of mannequins and dress forms hard at work!

A visit to the F.I.T. museum showing the new fashion trends in Japan and Eco friendly fashion through the years. Walking down 5th Avenue. Marketing on Times Square.

Amazing food design in Chelsea Market. From the cupcakes to the lobsters... all are beautiful!

And that is only day 1 and 2!!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

jill2day at work...

I have been in high production mode lately. I am getting ready for shows in Chicago (December) and Chantilly, VA (end of January) as well as the holiday season on Etsy. Boy has it been work and fun... Here is a little peek into my day(s).

I head down to my studio each morning and line up Nellie, Doris, and Evy (my three dress forms) and we get started. I have shelves of previously bundled sweater parts. So I decide what this particular day should be... a red day? a tweedy neutral day? or a multicolor fun day? Once my color appetite has been identified I grab the appropriate bundle.

I then spread the parts out and look for a starting point. Sometimes it is a unique collar structure, sometimes it is a pattern that has a particularly intriguing color combination, sometimes it is a unique "hand" that the fabric has. The I start sculpting the parts and pieces together. I don’t use patterns, because each reclaimed sweater is different and has different idiosyncrasies that must be honored and exploited! If I am using an existing bodice or neckline, that may determine the size… and which of my ladies gets to go first. If I am using color as my starting point, I have to decide what ratio of each of the different fabrics will go into the scheme… and sometimes hunt through my stash for the little extra dash of purple that wasn’t in my original bundle. Slowly but surely, the dress forms go from naked to covered with pins and pieces. During this process there is a great deal of stealing from Nellie to give to Doris, and the like…

Finally the ladies are prepped. One then steps up to the serger machine. The machine is threaded with the appropriate color(s) and the sewing starts! A seam here, a tuck there, a replacement here, a new idea there, the garment is still morphing through this process.

At the end of the day, or the next day, or the next… the garments are sewn.

Then it is onto the “proofing”… into the washing machine while I hold my breath. They tumble about in the Dreft detergent and the hand wash cycle for their allotted time and then on to the dryer for the delicate dry cycle. Most make it, some don’t. One of the hazards of using reclaimed fabrics is that it has had a previous life… if there were wear spots or tiny moth holes that didn’t show up before, they will be gaping after the wash cycle. Threads that were cut short grow in the agitation. And some stains actually appear after washing!

Once they are out though, they are soft and have a cohesiveness that just didn’t exist before the individual pieces had this shared experience! Then they are tagged and rechecked, photographed, described and then listed on Etsy or packed up for a show.

Then it is time to find them homes and get them on their way to their new life! These photos are some from some of my latest "litters"! Spicy is a great coat inspired by the color combo in the print panels. Bay is a shorter jacket that where the existing bodice and collar was the starting point.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My time of year!

If you were around here last year, you know my affinity for Fall. Some people love summer's heat, some love January as a new beginning, some can't wait for the first snow... but for me it is when the leaves change and the cool breezes flow all night!!

Sunday we had one of those perfect fall days. Warm weather you know that you don't deserve and blue sky that sets off every color with a vibrancy that contain just a drop of orange in every highlight and violet in every shadow.

I took a long walk and brought my camera with me... here are some shots of the things that inspire me and the reconstructed garments that are a result of this inspiration. They were all recently posted in my Sweater section on jill2day. Hope that you enjoy this brief look through my eyes.

For those of you who don't get to walk through the woods kicking the leaves as you go, here is a short video (be sure to have your sound on if you want the full leaf kicking experience!) of my trail:

video

Monday, October 11, 2010

Do you FACEBOOK?

I have found facebook to be so much easier to post in than this blog, that I am afraid I have been derelict here. It takes just a second to say "hi" or post something there, and I am on my personal page everyday keeping up with kids, grandkids and friends (real ones!).

I am just letting you know, that you are welcome to join the fun on my Facebook fan page (facebook.com/jill2dayfans). I will continue to post here too - I know that some people just do not like using Facebook, and I understand that.

I would really like some feedback from you about this... do you do both? Prefer the blog? I want you to be well informed and in contact! Thanks! Jill

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chasing the light!

Photography is always a challenge for on-line sales! It requires lots of photos, and they have to be well lit and show the product well. That would be so easy if one could hire professional photographers, but alas, that is not financially feasible for one-of-a-kind products. So that means it is a DIY project!

I am fortunate to have photo direction experience, but what that really means is that I have lots of experience telling experts what to do with all their professional equipment in their studios... not doing it myself. So Sasha, my mannequin and I have a good time struggling with where and when to shoot. Natural lighting is by far the best for shooting, but my house doesn't rotate with the sun.

That means that at one time of year, the loft area is perfect, but as the sun gets higher, Sasha, my tripod and I move to take over the bedroom. In the fall, the sun lowers, and all of the wonderfully indirect light there becomes flood lighting.

Last week, we decided to look for a new spot. At one point we found our desperate selves nestled in the bathroom!!! The lighting was great - we have solar tubes in there that create perfectly diffused light (maybe a bit too straight down though). After a shot or two, neither Sasha or I could take the humiliation anymore. It is one thing to have the pile of bills and printer just out of the shot (loft) or even the laundry basket or bed just behind the tripod (bedroom). Fighting the wind is also not too bad when we decide to shoot outside. But, neither of us thought the bathroom was dignified enough for jill2day photos, so we headed back to the bedroom armed with huge mirrors and smaller time frames...but I did take this shot to commemorate the try!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Virginia Beach Neptune Festival

I just got back from showing at the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival... It was great!
   Those of us in the Midwest don't get to watch the waves too often, so that combined with a full moon, wonderful customers, dolphins jumping, a hotel right across from my booth and great (even if hot) weather, made for a very enjoyable four days.
   The show was along the boardwalk of the beach, so with the back flap open, I could watch "the waves roll in and then watch them roll away again" as Otis would say! There were many artists there, and I got to meet a few of them. One of the heartening things was how many people had both heard of and go on to Etsy to shop! I met a person who was familiar with my blog ("hi") and best friends of one of my great customers.
   I was thrilled that even in 95+ degree weather people were open to the purchase of sweaters and scarves! It is so much fun to see people try on and discover jill2day garments. That is another thing I don't get to see too often because of the on-line shop. It is such a great way to get feedback on how I can make things better, or just what I should make more of for you all!!
 So now that I am home, I will apply all that learning to my new items!! 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sweaters for the sweater challenged!

So sorry for abandoning you lately... It has been a busy month or so for me.
Changing from the t-shirted summer to the cozy sweater winter stock has been more time consuming that I thought. I thought that I had the pacing of all this figured out. (Keep in mind I just started this venture last July!)  I had planned sort of a kick-back summer; make a couple t-shirts a week and get a jump on sweaters for fall. Well thanks to the wonderful enthusiasm and appreciation of all of you, my t-shirt making turned into a full-time gig! What a wonderful surprise and fun it was, but now the strata of unsewn sweaters sit glaring at me from the shelves of my studio!
However, I have managed to come up with some new sweaters and some new concepts or, as I think of them, Sweaters for the Sweater Challenged!! There are many of you (us!) who for reasons of biology or regionality, find sweaters just too warm. So here are some alternatives:
DRESSES: I have included reconstructed dress designs in my new offerings. (see the Dresses and Skirts section of the shop) These are great because they are loose and twirly (think cool air flow!) but still soft and cozy - and of course made form the recycled fabrics. They really are like wearing a robe all day! Many of you loved the t-shirt dress idea this summer, so thought I would try it for winter as well. These are great over leggings, or pants as well. The one in this picture is Saturday.
SCARVES: I love these scarves both for self or gifts. (see the Scarves and Shawl section)They are great for anyone on your list, and they work as shawls or as mufflers. Each reconstructed scarf can be tied or looped or wrapped and are a great fashion statement over your turtleneck indoors or coat outdoors! The one pictured here is Arizona.
SKIRTS: This may be my favorite addition to the shop. (see the Dresses and Skirts section of the shop) I love these skirts... all the twirl of the coats, but with the option to wear what ever suits your mood (or temperature) on top!  They all have an elastic waist band, and I will happily adjust it to fit your waist. Check them out! The one shown is Onyx.
SHRUGS: Okay I might not be using the term right, but I couldn't think of what to call these versatile little wraps.(found in the Shrugs and Boleros section) All different fabrics, but cropped (not too short - and usually longer in the back) and not buttons or snaps, they just slip on when the AC is too warm or the nights get chilly. For those of us in the cold area, they are a final layer of warmth against the winter chill. These are great to keep on the back of the chair at the office! St Paul is the one shown here.
And, finally [insert drum roll here] are the TWO-PIECE DRESSES: Wear them together or separate for so many different looks! (they are also in the Dresses and Skirts section of the shop) The cut of some of the tops are a little shorter to elongate the skirt/leg, but they still have the lower back. These would be so great for travel. just add a pair of black slacks and a pencil skirt and you are ready for anything!

Anyway... I am excited about these and the new coats and sweaters... to check out jill2day if you haven't been there recently.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NEW SHOP for Vintage finds!

We have found (in our basement) and inherited a great number of "vintage" items in the last year. That, coupled with the many open hours that my college son has during the summer, made for an opportunity! He and I have opened a vintage shop on Etsy. It is Dot2day, and will feature vintage items of all sorts.

Some of the categories will include "cut glass" (Grandma Dorothy had quite the collection), Frankoma Pottery (my collection to be dispersed) and many knick-knacks, linens, and other things as we come across them.

The plan is to upload new things every couple of days, so you might want to check in often if these type of items are of interest to you! Enjoy, and know the proceeds from purchases made will be donated to the "Higher Education of Lanny" fund, and the experience will be helping to unleash another entrepreneur on the world!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bundles of Potential added today!

This is just one of the new bundles I posted today - INDIA. It is a great color combination, and would work in any of the three choices - a panel shirt or asymmetrical shirt ($57), or a dress ($77). There are lots more bundles to choose from in my size4you section.

I am doing lots of each these reconstructed garments for people who reserve a bundle. You can see these in either the custom reserved section, or the sold section of my shop... the photos may give you a better idea of the "before and after" of these bundles of recycled tshirts.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Real plants and memorable people on the Military Ridge Trail

It is summertime on the Military Ridge trail again. This brings together my two favorite activities; non-running and non-gardening!  I can walk the trail fast enough for exercise, but slow enough to enjoy the view. I can enjoy the plants without all that pesky digging and weeding!

Today, as I walked, I realized how many people were marching through my memory as I saw different plants. The sumac reminded me of my lifelong friend, Marta. She used to dye fabrics with natural things like the sumac and onions. These particular grasses remind me of Chris. He is my buddy who had the finest of parties every June for many years. We artists would congregate and do Plein Air for the day. These grasses appeared in all the paintings I did (and the seeds were embedded in the paint as well!) I love the very subtle color shifts this grass takes as it moves in and out of the sun.

Then there are the family representatives. "Acky berries" will always bring a smile to my face, as I now know that warning a two year old against partaking of dangerous berries can be generalized by that same two year old to all berries. But the edible berries remind me of Annie (niece) who loves them, Nernie (grandfather) who grew them, and Jon (hubby) who has an annual battle with the birds over them! The milkweeds are for my sister who loves their wonderful aroma and lets them wander through her garden.

Boy, I love my non-gardening and non-running and my friends and family!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lots more bundles, lots of uses!

Today I posted many more bundles, and with each of them you get to "choose your own adventure"! Each bundle can be turned into a panel style tunic, an asymmetrical tunic or a dress... whatever you need. There is a huge variety of colors and prints, and several have already been spoken for, but lots are left. so go check out the Size4you tunic section in Jill2day.etsy.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Celestial Seasonings Tea shop

I am visiting the Boulder, CO area for some vacation with my sister's family. Yesterday we went to visit the Celestial Seasonings manufacturing Plant and shop. It is a fantastic place to sip away - tasting all of their different flavors. Iced or hot, fruity or spicy - it is all there for the tasting.

While one is sipping, one can also look at some great original artwork that was done for their packaging and promotional materials, a collection of original teapots done for a contest they once held, and a dress made out of their tea packages! All very fun.

I didn't realize that this company was also responsible for the line of TERRA veggie chips(one of my fav snacks). However, they don't "sample" those!

In the section about the history of their company, they still had the original Singer sewing machine with which the tea bags were sewn. Fun to see the humble beginnings.

If you are ever in the area, and have viewed all the natural beauty of the area, I would heartily recommend this as a refreshing stop.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Reconstructed Skirts now on jill2day!

Here are my first skirts, reconstructed from recycled t-shirts. They are comfy, casual and easy care... just like the reconstructed, refashioned t-shirts and sweaters that are on jill2day

I really had fun with the variety here! Some primary colors, some camo fabrics, and some beautiful blues and purples!

I opened a new section in my shop for these SIZE4YOU skirts. These will be sized to your waistline before being sent to you. Thee wide elastic encased in the waistband will be adjusted once you have provided me with your measurement.

Monday, June 14, 2010

California here she comes!

My buddy called and wanted some new duds for her upcoming California trip. She is both a great fabric artist and an adventurous woman, so she wanted something "fun" but yet "age appropriate"! (but with her that would be her internal age - which is many years younger than her external age!)

So we went through my reconstructed garment idea bundles of recycled fabrics and she chose my 'lion' and 'chocolate' fabric groupings.

We decided to maintain the asymmetry of the reconstructed t-shirts, but add the length so she can wear them as dresses or over leggings on cooler days.

They will pack well, be perfect for the weather, and show off her wonderful personality! Thanks, Nancy, it was fun working with you on these!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thinking Winter Scarves

It might be 90% outside, but I am already starting to think about the Holiday season. last year they came fast and furious not to long after jill2day opened in August. But this year I have some time to plan.

Several shops inquired about wholesale purchases of my reconstructed scarves last year, but there was no way I could produce enough to make it reality. This year, however, it will be different! My new industrial machine and a college kid home for the summer, combine for real potential.

I already have my son cutting hundreds of strips of recycled sweater fabric for me (at a price, of course!). Then I can take those and sort them into some really wonderful combos of color and textures to make into reconstructed scarves. Production on my new machine will take care of the rest. I have been shopping and storing fabrics for months now, so plenty to work with!

If you are interested in purchasing wholesale scarves from me (or know a store where they would be a good fit), please see the WHOLESALE page here in my blog, or email me at jill@jill2day.com.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thanks, thanks, 1600 times thanks.

On August of last year I posted my first item to the Jill2day store. It has been a joyful and thankful ride since that date. Today I hit 1600 hearts on my shop. I am never sure why those round numbers feel so good, but they do. I also know that there are many reasons for "awarding" a heart, but nonetheless I just want you to know that I appreciate everyone of you who has taken even a second of their life to look at my shop! This past 9 months have been almost as fun, and scary and anticipation-filled as previous 9 month birthing endeavors I have had!

I never knew what a wonderful group of people I would meet just by clicking one little "get started" button to open my shop. I have met wonderful people from all over the world - both Etsy shoppers and sellers. I now start my day connecting with three efriends made on the positive forum of Etsy. I have shared, in a small way, some of the joys and heartaches of my customers; The comfort of a cozy sweater during health issues; A sweater and scarf to help remember a Mom's hugs, A vest that holds memories of New York taxis; A fun and funky garment in a previously unfound size, A garment with a shot of confidence for that special presentation!  And so many "just for fun" purchases were made from my shop.

I have made art most of my life. I have made my living doing graphic design most of my life. But never had I had so much fun and satisfaction making creations! I never knew that the "virtual world" of ecommerce could also be so personal and rewarding.

Thanks to all of you, for your enthusiasm, your inspirations, your kind thoughts and your continued patronage of my shop. I promise lots more to come...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Common threads presentation went great!

This morning I gave a presentation to the Common Threads Quilt Guild in Menomonee Falls (just outside of Milwaukee) Wisconsin.

What fun!! It is a vibrant group of about 80 talented women. I knew a few of them from our bus trips to the Quilt show in Chicago, but many new faces. The best part was when they had their "show and tell". Some amazing quilts. Just so inspiring. I will be so tempted to break out the quilting UFOs I have and get to work! But, alas, nose to the sweater/tshirt inventory!

I had a Power Point presentation with about a gazillion photos of work, and work in progress and also included much info about Etsy. Only about half of the audience was aware of it, so hopefully this presentation will bring some new people to the Etsy shops.

I loved doing this, and the response seemed to be positive (and the coffee and cookies were great!) Thanks for the opportunity!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Natural Sculpturers

Living out in the country has its challenges, but also its joys. Wasps, and other insects are both. While I will admit to still Being a bit fearful, I am also in awe of these insects.

Here are two of their newly started homes that they have attached to various parts of our deck area. Both of these are only about 2-3 inches wide, but absolutely beautiful. I am anxious to see how big they get in the next few weeks. Fortunately there is an alternate deck on the other side of the house!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reconstruction as Ressurection!

A customer contacted me, and said she had a favorite band shirt that she loved, but jst doesn't wear traditional tshirts very often. So she sent it to me, we added some additional shirts (one she sent, some I had) and made a new tunic for her. I love this one... funky enough to be fun, but constructed to be less casual and more useful! I can see it over pants, jeans, leggings. It's all good!

If you have any old shirts you would like incorporated into a new shirt, let me know and we'll work together to make something fantastic, and full of your memories.

I could see some running shirts, sport team shirts, or those shirts you buy on vacation but never wear once you get home... any of those made into a contemporary wearable art.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Reconstructed tshirts...Before and Afters




The first of the "idea bundles" that I am offering in my jill2day Etsy shop's size4you section have bloomed into full shirts... thought I would share some of the before and afters with you.

These three were reserved, but there are many more available!! More coming soon!


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

size4you - NEW SECTION IN MY SHOP

I am starting a new shop section today, SIZE4YOU, that I hope will help you, my customer, see what I have on hand and to have input on the size I should make it; and for me to be both productive and efficient. I have listed fabric bundles in my Etsy shop. They are listed in a new section called SIZE4YOU. These “bundles“ will be made into shirts within a week or two, so you have a chance to let me know what size I should make, and reserve them in advance!
The process will go like this:
If you would like to have one of these shirts made in your size, convo me (click “CONTACT JILL2DAY” on my shops home page) and let me know which one you want, your chest measurement, and the length of sleeve and hem you would like. If you are the first to contact me:
1- The listing will be temporarily reserved for you while I am making the shirt in your size.
2- I will convo you when the shirt is finished, photos are posted to the item, and the description is changed to show all measurements,
3- You (exclusively) will have 48 hours to purchase and pay for it.
4- If you do not purchase it within the 48 hours, I will remove the reserved, and it will be available to anyone.
This means that you can have “risk-free” input on these shirts and be the first to purchase the finished shirt.I will be limiting this unpaid reserve to two items per customer at any given time - but if you want to purchase and pay for the bundle right away, you may purchase as many as you would like! If I do not get any input on a bundle by the time I go to make it, I will make it up, photo it and move the listing to the “TSHIRT” section of the shop.

Why am I doing this? I have been trying to figure out how to better provide you with reconstructed t-shirts in the style and size you are looking for when you are looking through my Etsy shop. Doing one-of-a-kind shirts is efficient - doing custom items to match someone’s vision is not so efficient. That is because each item is dependent on the specific graphic and colors I can find at any given time - it is not always possible to find the right “parts” at the right time. The style of each shirt (I.E. the neckline) is also often dictated by what I find - not by pre-planning or by cutting fabric to a pattern. Recycled parts are combined into a new order, the garment is not made “from scratch“! That is why they are “reconstructed shirts” as opposed to “tailored shirts” or “sewn garments”. I also strive to keep the prices as low as possible, which means my production and shopping time has to also be efficient!

Hope this works for you all. I think it will allow you to always see what is coming up and what I have on hand.Here are few that have been posted: Shoofly, Mickey, Retro Beer

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How sanity was kept during insane times.

Yesterday I wandered through downtown DC. Great people-watching and conversation-snippet eaves-dropping. I came across the Renwick and went in. It is now on my list of favorite places. It is a small and intimate museum in the middle of the museum behemoths that surround the mall.
There was a special exhibit on the first floor (more about that later) and the second floor has one major room and three side rooms. The Grand salon is set up salon style (as its name would indicate) with the paintings side by side and stacked upwards toward the 40 foot ceilings! The ceiling itself is a large skylight .

It is admittedly not the best way to view the paintings (especially for someone who has been scolded by many guards for having her nose to close to the brush strokes), but it has just a great sense of history and place. The side galleries hold craft of all kinds, from the requisite Chihuly glass, through fiber, wood and a giant “game” fish, it showcases both the range technique and range of emotions in craft art.

The special exhibit, The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946,  was the real highlight. The range was again amazing. (sorry - no photos allowed) From some crude, functional furniture, to some exquisite carvings and stitched works, it portrayed the work of people of all ages, genders and occupations. The commonality was that search for beauty or/and sanity in the midst of some very insane times.

Dear Etsy Friends: One interesting part of the exhibit was some beautiful jewlery items - mostly brooches. They were crafted from found objects and trash... and were so finely done it was amazing. These were not made to be "eco-friendly" or "green" They were simply a product of necessity... it was necessary to create, and it was necessary to create with what you could find.

I will admit to being a true believer in “folk art” - that art that is made for no reason other than it must be made, by individuals who may or may not consider themselves “artists”. Folk Art, Tramp Art, Outsider Art, Craft, Women’s Work; call it what you will, but enjoy it’s genuine spirit.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New reconstructed tshirts ... and one dress!

I just uploaded several new recosntructed tshirts... all made from recycled shirts. A little birdie or two the hugs and kisses tic tac toe (shown here), Elvis, some rock and roll... check them out!!

Along with the shirts I listed one new dress. Or beach cover up... or ??? However you decide to wear it, just make sure to eat your spinach first! I think I will make some more of these. I tried this one on while photographing it, and decided it is one of the most comfy hot weather things I could wear! Check them out at my Etsy shop jill2day and let me know what you think!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Two sure signs that spring is well on the way

This morning the walk from the house to the mailbox was really beautiful. It stormed last night, so today the world is that specific color of green that only happens after lightning has reawakened the grass. On my way up the driveway I saw a bluebird, woodpecker, robin(s), and mourning doves. The songs of those birds, as well as many more unseen, was just an amazing chorus of notes.

Just before getting to the end of the driveway, Jon’s Lilacs welcomed me. There is no smell quite as evocative or sweet as lilac bushes. Here is the Midwest they usually appear at everyone’s Grandmother’s or parents, home, and their scent is as much a part of spring as is the increased hours of the day.
The apple tree by our front door is in full bloom. I haven’t seen our possum since the last of the apples disappears in January, but the tree is working hard to make sure that there will be plenty for him and the birds next winter.

Living in a log home has both it benefits and disadvantages, but one of the fun aspects is the many bird nests that nestle in the corners during the year. One year we had seven nests on the house and porch corners. Of course, the birds do not understand why we find it necessary to use our doors (or the garage door openers) and get very indignant when we go in and out of THEIR house.

Hope you are also having a good spring - whateverthat is in your area of the world!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Bottom Line


The devil is always in the details in my reconstructed sweaters! Here are three hems that I have recently used on my coats. Each has their own flair. The top one (used in Animal2day) is a scalloped hem that gently runs across the bottom of the coat. It is especially nice on a knee length or shorter coat or on the more petite woman that doesn't want a lot of detail on her garment.

The second coat is an example a my pieced hem on one of my reconstructed cardi coats (this one is Roar2day). It is a great hem on the "twirly coats" - this hem can add length to the bottom of the coat and is great on the longer coat to either add hem line interest and contrast, or continuity and length.

The third hem is a triangularly pieced hem. It doesn't add as much length as the above hem, but it does add texture and visual interest to the bottom of the garment.

Of course there are as many (or more) options in the front closures and the sleeves - that is what make jill2day garments truly one-of-a-kind!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Vogue and I agree!

I was looking through my new Vogue (APR) today, and there on page 140 was a highlight of all of the "skin" showing for this spring! "Leopard prints on the prowl this spring"
Well who'd a thunk it... here I just listed two new "skins"! With some great encouragement from a custom client, I recently went hunting for all of the animal prints I could find. I made her custom coat, but had lots left over, and so I listed Roar2day - a grey, black and white long coat and Animal2day a shorter smaller sweater. Both are perfect for the spring cool nights and will be perfect come next fall, too!
Personally I think they have more flair than any of these fashions on the pages of Vogue!

For the birds

The birds in our yard give me so much joy! Everyday they wake me with their singing, they flight about flashing their colors, the cavort and beg at the feeders. I figured they might like some special nest decor this year.

I have started hanging a few of my serger scraps out on one of the trees, so they can have some color for the nest building! I am hoping next winter when the nests are abandoned and the summer visitors have left for warmer climes, I will find some of the nests in the bare trees lined with these scraps!!