Friday, April 27, 2012

It is that time again at jill2day! T-shirt tunics are coming. Starting next week I am switching from sweaters to t-shirts for production!

Turquoise floral

Pink patterned
Click here to see some examples from last year.

I have just posted 14 groupings of fabric on my Facebook fan page. If you would like any of these fabric groupings made in your size, go check it out and follow the instructions. Also, on some of the groupings, you are able to choose to have it made in either the Panel or Asymmetrical style, and specify a sleeve length.

East Indian Print
Three of the groupings are shown here on the left. (clicking on the caption will take you directly to my Facebook page with the picture) I am making, them for the shop, and so if I should be making them in a particular size, now is the time to mark it.

This is NO OBLIGATION to you. I will make it, post it, and let you know when it is available... then you can choose to purchase it, or leave it in the shop! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Where all the woman are beautiful and the kids above average!

(as Garrison Keillor would say!)

Not the venue,
just a welcome sign
I saw downtown!
The jill2day road show is at the River Center for the American Craft Council arts and craft show. It is a very well run show and great artists around every corner! It is a very good thing I have little shopping time!

Yes, selling items is the purported purpose of attending these shows, but truth be told, that is about three on my list! the real "first" is the people! I have been lucky enough to meet a few of my Etsy customers (and fellow sellers) at shows I have done.  Add to that the show customers who 'discover' me at shows and the other artisans who become my compatriots in set-up and tear-down dramas and help to pass the hours (and chocolates) during the show.

Yesterday was the first day of the show, and I met groups of mothers and daughters, sisters, and friends out for a day shopping together; Some very interesting couples who are enjoying walking through life together; and many both professional and non-professional artists and craftspeople.
Nancy rocking her new sweater!
Seth and Nancy were one of the couples who entered my booth... you know how some people have sunshine surrounding them? Well this is one of those couples! From Seth's enthusiastic smile and photo taking  (and you can tell from his blog, that is his 'normal' state of mind!), to Nancy's glee at wearing her new sweater, you could tell this is a couple who are enjoying life!

I had better get going, and get to the venue to prepare for another busy and fun day... more tomorrow! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Etsy; its not all snuggley!

'stache cup cozy
The shops on Etsy are not just soft garments and pretty jewels! Once you make it through the sparkles and pottery and cowls and arm warmers, there is another world of off-beat and different shops. There is a wonderful edginess to many of these shops. I love this part of the selling community, because it usually means the sellers are a bit "edgy" and fun in the forums and teams also! There are four sellers that come to mind immediately when I think about "edgy". I would like to introduce you to their unique shops.

apple cozy
Diane at KnotWorkshop is a crocheter... but not your grandma's crochet (as they say in the car commercials!) Being able to use her items at work, is one of the very few reasons I would enjoy the corporate world again. I fantasize being back in meetings I have previously sat through, and think how much better they would have been with a 'Stache cup cozy!
Then when the noon whistle sounded, I would release my apple protected by my KnotWorkshop cozy and let the attitude shine! It would have kept me smiling all morning long.

It is my fervent hope to sit and have a shot with Diane some day, just so I can hear her wonderful quips and snark in person!  Who knows, maybe I could even learn how to crochet from her!

shadow box
paperanji is a shop after my own heart. You have seen my posts on the various rocks, moss and bones that I find in our area. My kids too, hauled home more things than I can remember. Finding a store that celebrates these goodies is a visual treat.
smoking allowed
Whether you need just a beautiful rock or piece of moss for your project, or a shadowbox of intriguing things for your wall, paperanji is the one for you to visit.
When you are done in that shop, head over to her second shop, resonanteyes, and browse through it. There you will find her artwork. Anji is a tattoo artist in Portland, and her artwork is the natural outcome of that talent. As someone who has not smoked for many years now, but still misses it everyday, I love her section of smoking fetish paintings.
heart and femur

Monday, April 16, 2012

10 foot art

I heard a wonderful assertion one time. It was that a truly creative person should be able to see creativity within 10 foot around them at any given time. I really believe this. We are always surrounded by stimulus. I challenge myself with this idea often. Sometimes with my camera, sometimes drawing, sometimes craft, once in a while even by writing! Many times they are just thoughts and images in my mind. It is an especially useful exercise in transit and in waiting rooms.

The above three images are from a recent walk. I stopped and looked. The leaves, puddle, and recently sawed wood were all there. The photos were taken with my cell phone, and have not been retouched or cropped. The color was amazing to me. I am happy that I saw these within my 10 feet.

I have ordered some custom fabric with these images printed on it. (a great site to do that is It will be the base fabric for an art quilt. I haven't done one of those in a while, and have quite a 'hankerin' to do one.

What is in you ten feet today?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pillow Talk or Pillow Fight?

gray pillows
Once again I find myself with bits and pieces too precious to throw out! This is when I am so glad for my quilting background. I love making these pillow covers.
purple pillow example
of easy opening
They are so colorful and soft... and very easy to take off and wash! Plus they look as at home on a contemporary leather couch and an overstuffed upholstered sofa! They will even look great on your bed quilt (before hubby throws them on the floor!!
I sell them as covers which saves you the postage of mailing a pillow form. Those can be easily purchased in your area.The envelope design makes inserting the form (or one of your old throw pillows) into the cover easy-schmeasy.
24" tan and cream pillow
tan and cream afghan
Don't forget they would also pair up with one of the afghans from jill2day, too!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tax time 'fun' !!

adding machine can be found here
Long before I had my Etsy shop, jill2day, I started my working life as a bank teller, and, while I have declared a real disdain for math, I actually loved that job. Every night, we would reconcile our drawers using an adding machine (yeah - the old ones with actual paper in them!!). That was my favorite part of the day. I learned what numbers indicated you had a transposition, and felt that every cent left unbalanced was a personal affront to my success in life.  My adding machine was not quite this old (it was electric) but I love this one from the Etsy shop, AuntBlanchesHouse I can almost smell the oil and ink and hear the chu-chunk of the handle! Maybe if I had this machine, doing my monthly books would be more fun that just another couple of hours on the computer!

get this tax book here

A number of you may be working on your taxes this weekend, so I just thought I could find some things that might help you a little.

If you are really behind on your taxes, you might want to check out the directions in this book from 1959. It is available in the Etsy shop VintagePossessions. I am sure the tax codes haven't changed much since then! And remember, as it says on the cover "Uncle Sam says 'its your duty that you don't pay more income taxes than you should'" [political editorial not included here!]
get button here

When you are done with your taxes you might want to remember these sage words from the Etsy shop DesignsbyLindaNeeToo
I saw this button the other day and, as the kids say, LOL'ed!!  This is only one of the many buttons she has in her Etsy shop  I could be tempted to wear a different one every day. 

We are all low on cash these day ... well most of us anyway... I had no idea of the existence of these tokens. I found a bunch of them on Etsy some recycled into new objects some just left to their own devices... Did you know they existed?


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

1928 McCalls Dressmaking Book

I recently ordered a vintage book from Etsy seller Anna3. I can't talk about that book, because it is a surprise for someone, but she also sent me a surprise! I don't think she had a clue what joy she was spreading with this little gem! It is 'Dressmaking Made Easy', published in 1928 and authored by Laura I. Baldt, A.M. and assistant professor of Household Arts Teachers College, Columbia University

A vintage book is a joy in its own right; that wonder of where it has been and who has held it before you have. The cover with cloth-bound texture and pages with just the right amount of mustiness to them. Then add to that my years and interest in graphic design; the type styles and the illustrations that immediately evoke a past era. And then for the subject matter to be dressmaking... well, enough said!

However the highlight for me was right here on page one. I am so grateful for my studio, and reading this made me realize what solice and import the "sewing room" brought to generations of women for whom their creativeness was merely regarded as "women's work".

I can not wait to sit and read through this book. I am sure it will have some great practical advice for me, but more importantly, it will be a reminder to me of the long line of creative and productive women who threaded many needles before me.

It will also remind me that an unexpected gift can bring much pleasure to its recipient!And we should all 'gift' each other with good thoughts, kind words and, occasionally, a book!

Here are a couple of the illustrations from the book!

Monday, April 9, 2012

What a doll

As a kid, I was never a big fan of dolls. Yes I had Louise, who was a large doll given to me by my Aunt, and a doll (not quite a barbie) for which this same aunt made beautiful handmade garments. My bestie Cathy and I did sit on the front porch steps and play with these quite often, but mostly I played horse or soldier with the twin boys next door.

such cute jeans!
Since opening jill2day on Etsy I have discovered a whole new world of dolls and doll clothing made by craftswomen. Three of my Etsy buddies are purveyors of such wonderful items, and I thought I should introduce them to you!

The first is Pattie, of dressurdolly2. She makes wonderful one of a kind shoes and clothes for dolls. I am astounded at the detail she adds and the fun she has doing these.

Her clothes go to grandmas and aunts who lavish their young relatives, to collectors who take great care with their own dolls, and of course, to the young doll owners themselves. So whether you are looking for a stylish leopard coat for winter, or these great denim overalls for summertime fun, check out her shop!
ode to Mom!
Then there is my buddy, Denise, who makes Halfpenny and Pegtale dolls for her shop HeartStringsHandmade. These dolls are wonderful little morsels of creativity. With their pixie size and tiny details they are just so engaging.
black and white glamor!
She make theses dolls for every holiday and occasion (including wedding toppers) and everyone is original and one-of-a-kind. Denise has a very loyal following for her East Coast shows, and is relatively new to Etsy, but a rousing success so far.

I love this black and white doll, because it is true "everything IS more glamorous in black and white!" Next time you are looking for that special little gift, be sure to check out her shop. And while you are there, make sure to notice the great coasters she also makes!

Finally, there are the wonderful dolls from the world of LoopyBoopy. Colleen lives in the big easy, and her dolls must feel so at home in that wonderful place. These are art dolls made for the serious collector and appreciated by art galleries. They have both angst and vulnerability and will just steal your heart the moment you see them.

sorry slugs
Colleen has recently added the "Sorry Slugs" to her shop. these are just the perfect 'little sumpin' gift for your bestie or someone who just needs a lift!

And if this isn't enough dolls for you, check out my treasury with 16 more dolls to see! 
these dolls can be found at these Etsy shops: dorsetclothing   Henandchick   Snapshot and dustyattic

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Snuggley for your home

fun and funky patchwork
A while ago, I started making afghan blankets for jill2day. It all started with my reluctance to throw out even the smallest pieces of "left overs". I would throw small parts in a box as I made my sweaters, Then eventually cut them into squares or rectangles. One day I finally had enough so I mad myself a "blankey" to use while watching TV (My hubby tends to like the house a lot colder than I do!!
This bright patchwork one (on left) is an example of a "scrappy" quilt.Just a joyous jumble of lots of color and texture.

But, coming from a quilting background, I couldn't help but think of also making some out of intentional color schemes. These three are examples of those - loosely based on strip or log cabin quilts, with coordinated colors and textures. You can see more of these in my afghan blanket section of jill2day.
literary snuggles!
Sometimes though, I find another type of inspiration or design idea! I found an atrocious sweater one day... knit to look like a newspaper, it was a truly awful sweater, but a great piece of fabric! I am guessing it was like new because the recipient (I am sure someone got it as a gift - not for themselves!!) had never worn it! But I was thrilled to find it... I took it home cut it up and surrounded those pieces with additional black white and khaki pieces. Here is the result. A great afghan for a library room or reading chair! So fun.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A gift from the wildlife!

just had to share this photo...

We have no tulips in our gardens, but evidently a squirrel or bird thought that was a mistake on our part, and planted this little red harbinger for us!!

It is just so sweet standing there all on its own celebrating spring!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ghost Animals

 I was driving down the road one day and saw what I first thought was a pigeon - not an unusual site amongst the barns of Wisconsin. However it just wasn't the right size or shape.

I turned the car back and went to check it out. Here was an all white pheasant in the middle of this flock of "normal" ones. As you can see by the picture (yes - I just happened to have my camera with me!!) He stands out like a sore thumb when compared to the camouflage of his flock mates.

A few months later I was visiting my son and family, and this white squirrel was in their backyard. he has a bit of a brown spot on his ear, so I do not think he was an albino - just white coloring. he was absolutely beautiful. But, living where I see hawks out cruising for food every day, I couldn't help but think what an easy target he would be.

I have never seen the pheasant again, and the kids said the squirrel has never returned to their yard. I hope they are okay, but nature is not kind to those who don't have the defenses evolution has given them, so I doubt it. But it was a thrill to see them both.

I have made an Etsy treasury showcasing some other beautiful white are four of them. To see all sixteen of the items I found click here.
These items can be found at these shops:   Carpiss   Gypsyharte   Flowerandpearlstudio   Aleksander

Monday, April 2, 2012

100 - Thanks to each and everyone of you!!

these are some of the shops in my treasury: Dorsbien    HeavenSent    Hobbiesfromtheheart     Midwooddesign
I see this morning I have broken the 100 followers mark for my blog! I am doing a happy dance right here in my kitchen (while holding my first cup of coffee!!)

Thanks, now I no longer feel like all I am doing is talking to the wind (although that can be very therapeutic!). I will try to keep things interesting and moving along.... In the meantime I made a treasury in Etsy to celebrate! Check it out! jill

Sunday, April 1, 2012

1950s childhood revisited!

see this listing at
This morning I took a time travel trip back to my childhood in the 1950s!

Etsy has so many wonderful sellers, both handmade and vintage. I looked up many of my childhood memories after breakfast this AM, and here they were; preserved in the pages of Etsy!

We can start with the Captain, Bunny Rabbbit and Mr. Green Jeans... of course Miss Francis and Ding dong school was also there, as was Romper Room. But The Captain was probably even Wil Shatner's Favorite Captain! I so loved that show and can still feel the carpet under my knees as I knelt to watch everyday.

GraceParadise is the
home for this horse now
But when it came to playing, nothing was better than my imaginary horses. I had one just like this (in black though). While using it, I perfected every known horsey sound that could be made with snickering lips or stomping feet. I was so sure I could grow up to be a wild horse on the western plains if only I could learn the language!
this book is available
at SprinklesCorner

My copy of the Saggy Baggy Elephant was very well worn, and this cover is embedded in my mind's eye! Our copy had probably been pre-read by Joan or Jack, but that hadn't damaged it, and eventually I claimed it with my early cursive signature planted on the cover page.The idea of that tiger running in those circles was amazing to me!

this can be found at ElectricEstateSale
In my 'tweens I became an avid collector of the fine china figurines being supplied in abundance by Japan. Dogs of every breed, including the Dachshund, size and quality had one side of my shelves while the horses (I found a chalk one and a copper one just like my old ones!) had the other. I think I could list virtually every breed of dog or horse long before I knew the state capitals! These are only a few of the treasures I found. If you want to see the entire Treasury of 16 items that I collected, please click on this link to Etsy.