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


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!