Thursday, February 25, 2010

In Print . . .again.

I went to the mailbox the other day, and my new March/April BelleArmoire magazine was there. That was nice, but it got better! I started thumbing through it and voila... there were some of my cuffs. Dubbed "Rocker Chic Cuffs" and right there in full-page glory (page 43, just in case you need to know!) were two pairs of my reconstructed cuffs. I had no idea they were going to be in this issue, so what a nice surprise!

I love the lace and cashmere ones, and hope to be able to make more of this type. I found a lace supplier, so will order some lace soon. They are a lot of detail work, but very unique. I had a pair like them in, only in grey and black. I would love to see them in red or cream!

Makes me want to go hang out at B+N and just point!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Time Out!

I am heading out this week to meet a brand new person and spend some time with 'kin folk' I haven't seen in a while. My niece recently had a baby and my nephew and his family will be visiting the lower 48 from Alaska. Everyone will be in the CO area, so I am headed out there too! (wouldn't want to miss the fun!)

It is a good time for a short break from the shop, and I hope all my wonderful customers will understand. I will make the wait worthwhile! When I get back, I will be starting many new sweaters for spring, gearing up for the 25 on 3/25 at 3:25, and also introducing a new category: custom bundles!

I am starting the application process for several art fairs this summer and fall, but Etsy will always be my first love! I am just not sold that people in crowds on a 90 degree day will want to buy sweaters, so I am focusing more on the fall and Holiday shows. This is my first time going through some of the jury processes, so we will see what happens... maybe I will be in a venue near you! (Looking at Alexandria VA, Chicago IL, Madison WI for starters)

I will "talk" to you all when I get back, hopefully hubby and dog will do fine while I am out and about.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A birdy Saturday morning!

Well there is more snow coming... I don't need a weatherman to tell me this! One look out the window confirms what all the birds know. There are swarms of birds at our feeder this morning. The mourning doves, cardinals, blue jays, chickadees, finches, junkos, and downy and Flicker woodpeckers have all been waiting their turns (in a hierarchy only they understand).  The squirrels patiently wait for the dropped seeds.

The feeder is right outside our window and right by our table, so the birds have all gotten very used to us being around. I love watching their antics!

Friday, February 19, 2010

25 on 3/25 at 3:25

I will be heading out on a short vacation (shop will be in Vacation mode for a few days) and then when I get back will be sewing like crazy.

I will be posting some items, but will be having a real "opening" on March 25.... 25 new reconstructed sweaters will be uploaded to on March 25!

It is the start of spring here and the start of winter in the south hemi, so we are all ready for somehting new!! I Think this will also give me a chance to "clean up the shop", maybe a new banner, some new categories, etc... so I'm going to get started now!! See you!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The birth of my bundles of joy!

Wow - what a day!! Yesterday one of my favorite thrift stores had a 50% off sale, so I went to buy recycled sweaters for my upcoming spring production! I bought mmmmaaaaannnnnyyy sweaters! The colors were so wonderful. So the next move is to then organize and prepare.

Luckily the Olympics is on!! So today I spent the day cutting apart sweaters, organizing them by color, letting them influence me, and then sorting through them to make bundles, all while enjoying the sports of winter!

At the end of the day, my floor was covered with these wonderful "bundles" of color. Each bundle has all the pieces for reconstructing a sweater; big strips for sleeves, ribbing for backs, necklines for bodices, strips for the skirts and (for coats) chuncks for the the hem trim. Most of the bundles were influenced by one fabric of a multi-color tweed, stripe print that set the scheme for the rest of the colors. Each bundle/sweater ends up having parts from about 6 sweaters, so having a huge number of sweaters to chose really important.

Soon my little bundles of joy will become full grown reconstructed sweaters! I am actually thinking about just posting some of the bundles on my Etsy site, so my customers could choose the color bundle they like, and then I could make their custom coat from that.... not sure if people could visualize or not though... will have to think that through more. Comments about that idea?

Sunday, February 14, 2010


One of my loyal customers contacted me not too long ago and asked if I had bright yellow and also black and white checked fabrics. I replied "sure" and sent her this pic of some fabrics. I asked if these were team colors or what was her inspiration. Turns out she used to live in NYC and loves the Yellow cabs... and bright yellow in general! She has sinced moved, and wanted a long vest to remind her of those days in NY.

She gave me the "go ahead" to do the custom sweater. Here is a picture of the finished project! I think it is so much fun! This is another reason I love doing custom projects... customers come up with the best ideas - and ideas I would never have thought of! Have fun, Stephanie, riding around in your "Taxi2day" reconstructed sweater vest!

Got a great idea for a custom project? Just convo (email) me through the "contact jill2day" button on my Etsy shop home page, or go to my shop and click on my custom project icon.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Etsy Help for Haiti

There is a shop on Etsy named Hearts for Haiti. It was established as a central port for sellers and buyers who wanted to do something for the Haitian cause. Sellers have donated over 3000 items and of those over 2000 have sold raising almost $30,000 for Doctors without borders.

If you haven't visited this site yet, you might want to take a look. There are lots of great things available - including one of my scarves. Maybe you will find something that will be fun for you to purchase, and as a result your money will go directly to Doctors without borders. CLICK HERE to go to the shop.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Etsy Viewer poll...could use your vote!

Etsy has weekly polls regarding their sellers' items. These are to find viewers favs amongst the items. This week is fashion week! My Avalanche2day reconstructed sweater made it through the first round of voting, and is now in the second round! If you want to cast a vote, please click here!

Summertime, and the sweaters are coming!

Even though the view outside your window may not look like it, spring will be coming soon. I am starting to gather cottons for my spring and summer reconstructed sweaters for my etsy store.  I scored lots of beautiful colors yesterday, and next Monday am planning a major purchaing adventure.

SO - help me out here - what "must haves" do you look for in summer sweaters? Short or long; colorful or neutral; cardi or pullover; any special necks or closures?

I know that I love my big slouchy cotton v-necks that can be either on their own or top a layer or two. They are my spring and summer sweatershirts! I also love big cardis that can go over anything when I am on the porch in the evening, or keep the AC chill off - no buttons or zips, just hug to close! Spring is also when I break out the vests. Great for that in-between time when a jacket is too much, but I need something....

Let me know your thoughts. Some would call this marketing research - I prefer just calling it fashion gossip!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How do you look at a museum?

Today, on Etsy, there is a forum discussion about artists and how they view their own work and those of "their heros". It started me thinking about how overwhelming the museum experience is for many people. If I may, I would like to give some of you, who have trouble knowing how to make it through an art museum, a hint that helps me.

When I get to the museum, I set a goal for myself. It is impossible for me to survive or enjoy a museum for long if I just wander and soak! (Although that can be fun now and then) I usually set myself on a scavanger hunt. One day (when I was painting more) I spent the entire day checking out brushstrokes and paint application for making highlights. Another time I just looked at the composition of everything...breaking it into simple shapes. One day I just looked for blue. One time I went with my son, who was about 16 at the time, we spent about 2 hours just looking at the designs etched into the swords and other weaponry - an area I had only walked through on my way to the "real art" before!

I have found this is a great way to get me to spend time with artists and works that I may have otherwise ignored. It is a way to bypass any judgements made purely on subject matter prejudice and, instead, look at technique or process. It gives focus and adventure to the experience.

 The last time I was in Chicago,  I decided to check out the ways artists have worked on faces and eyes. Here are a few of my phone pics of some of the pieces.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Handmade shoes, a slide show

I was checking the NYT today- hoping for some news about the upcoming fashion week. But found something better. Here is a great slideshow showing the process of a handmade shoe project. They are so beautiful, but I don't think I can handle the five-inch heel. The great goat-shed-making, ankle-breaking event of 10 years ago pretty much put an end to my stilletto days! (like they ever existed!)

check it out "A Vision in Five-Inch Heels"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Shades of Spring

Might be time to start thinking of Spring... if for no other reason than we are all getting tired of thinking of Winter!
In looking for what the spring trends are the repeating word is Neutrals. The reports on the top trends from Fashion Week (Spring 2010) talk about all of the nudes and neutrals on the runways.
I have found numerous off-white and the light sand sweaters as I have been shopping. They attracted me mostly because of the textures. The lack of color allows the weaves and stitches to revel in the light and shadow and not be distracted by color or patterns. This new cardicoat - AVALANCHE2day - uses many of those materials. I like the way the textures work. I like the idea of it working through the winter and into the spring - all depending on the layers you pair with it.