Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Interview Series: Week 6 - Jilly's Stuff Eye Catchers

This week, the hand-made nut will bring you something a little different.  Something that hopefully will catch your eye.  Okay, enough with the bad puns...

Today I bring you Jill of Jilly's Stuff Eye Catchers of Zibbet.  Jill makes, as her shop name implies... Eye Catchers.  What are Eye Catchers, you ask?  Well, keep reading and see if Jill and the beautiful ornaments she makes don't catch YOUR eye as well!

Name:  Jill Wilson
Craft:    Eyecatchers
Favorite material (or medium, whatever you want to call it!):
Old and new jewelry, beads and findings and anything that sparkles. 
Most Popular Seller (whether it be online or at shows): 
There are so many.  I do love any seller who creates items that are different and unusual.

Industrial Abstract Eyecatcher
This one certainly caught my eye! I could stare at this for hours, I think.

What got you into your craft? 

My love of large, bright and very colorful  jewelry.  These I would never wear and this was the best way I could think of to show them off.

How did you learn your craft? 

All is trial and error.  My background as a Michael’s Custom Framer taught me how to experiment with colour and really be creative with it.

I've never hand one of these, but it would be a very bright reminder of where you left off!

What about YOU? Who is the artist behind those wonderful items?

I am a young senior with a happy hubby, 13 year old son and a new puppy.  I love nature and find inspiration in everything I see.  My most favorite pastime is shopping at the local thrift shops.

This one would have so many places, it's hard to even list them all, let alone think of them all!

What is a typical "working" day for you? How does it usually start and end? How many hours do you spend crafting? How many hours do you spend on other things? What about distractions? I know we all have them! Do you usually accomplish all you wanted to?


My day usually starts at 5:30am with coffee and the arrival of Charlotte, a toy fox terrier that I look after weekdays for my girlfriend.  As the 2 dogs play, I enjoy my coffee with my computer checking out my shops, facebook, ebay and anything else that I find.  After getting my son off to school it is then time to sit for a few minutes and see what is on my craft table.   The rest of the day is spent with dog walking, housework, meals, marketing and networking and the usual household stuff.  I can get about a couple of hours a day into crafting if I have the supplies on hand.

I can't even begin to try to explain why I love this one. I'm not fond of gold, but this one just strikes me.

What happens when you Oops? Everyone gets one sometime or another! Do you get frustrated and destroy/start over, or do you go with the flow and see what comes out in the end?

I usually start over again.  An oops usually means that the metallic thread wasn’t strong enough.


What is your design process like? How many tries does it take to be happy with the final product?  

Usually just a couple of trys and, once again, only if I have the supplies on hand.  I take the focal point and start to arrange the beads and findings from there.  I start with two main colors and work from there.

This one reminds me of the fallen leaves in the north. One thing I do miss in the south, colorful Autumns.

What is your greatest roadblock, be it government regulation or that little frustrating thing that just likes to sneak up and stop you in your tracks? Broken needle? Jump ring jumping out of your pliers? Thread knots? Cats? Dogs? The family hedgehog rolled about in your yarn basket?

Gotta be the dogs.  There is always a need to go out for a walk.

This would be a perfect ornament during holiday season, or many other times a candle-light would be welcome.

All important pricing... Do you have a formula? Do you wing it? Do you feel your work justifies your prices?  


I price by double my cost of materials and add in for time.  As each eyecatcher has a different focal point I can price accordingly.


And of course, is there anything else you'd like to say to our "viewers at home"?

Do what you love and love what you do.  With time and some direction you can end up doing what you love to do most.


Important advice, and from one crafter to another, well taken.  I hope that others appreciate that not only do we love what we do, but we're not machines.

Visit Jill, and her wonderful eye-catching work at Jilly's Stuff Eye Catchers on Zibbet!

And now allow me a moment...
This is my sixth interview, and I have brought forward so far seven wonderful individuals who make things with their own minds, hands and hearts.  Nothing we all do is machine made for us, we actually get our own two hands involved, whether that means working needles, pliers, the sewing machine, or any other tool that helps us take raw materials and shape them into things that we then offer for sale.  We don't price cheaply, and you've seen some evidence of HOW we price, but perhaps, I hope, you're beginning to understand why.

When you buy handmade, you're first off, supporting someone local, not someone who drives into a city and sit in a huge corner or penthouse office, put their feet up, and watch money roll in from work done in another country.  You're not supporting a CEO of a Big Store and lining his pockets, you're helping someone local or close to home, or even across the world who doesn't just wait for their product to come from a machine, ready made, cheaply made with cheap materials.  You're purchasing something lovingly made by hands that love what they do with quality materials, and is quality made that will last, if not a lifetime, close to it, and may last lifetimes after your own. (I mean, think on it... I am still using bedroom furniture that my great-great-great (I think that's right) grandfather made for his granddaughter at the time, my great-grandmother, and not only does it still function, it's still beautiful.)

Don't just be willing to pay Big Store's CEOs, or support a factory in some other country.  Bring the jobs back to your home.  Support the hand-crafters.

I'm not done yet! I still have a few more responders to the calls!


Abracadebra Designs said...

Hey there, Great interview. Jilly's stuff certainly is eye-catching. Best of luck to her on Zibbet. I am loving your write-up on buying handmade, too. Keep up the good work.

Kalla said...

Thanks, Debbie! :)

I'm hoping to open some eyes, and bring handmade back to the foreground where it belongs! Local and handmade items are some of the best there is! Thank you for reading, commenting, and your support!


luvncrafts said...

Great feature!! I have one of Jillys' books marks. It's very pretty!!