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  • My Teacher, My Guide, My Inspiration

    Once, maybe twice in your life you are fortunate enough to find someone who's love, guidance and knowledge changes your life. In my most recent years that person has been my millinery teacher, Jill Pfieffer. Her talent for making hats is so immense because anything she didn't quite know the answer to she would explore with her creativity. With her it was always French Room - or hand made, as we would say.

    Jill was fortunate to have been raised by a mother and grandmother who passed on their skills for sewing and pattern making. She was also encouraged to cultivate her own tastes and make things on her own. I think this gave Jill the ability to create beauty in almost every area of her life. Here are some examples from my short time of knowing her:

    * Having to live in a small apartment? Well, look at how handy all my things are and check out the view from my window!

    * Having poor health? That's okay because I have two cute drivers that pick me up every day for my trip to the doctor (she called them "the boys").

    * My client doesn't want me to use animal materials (wool, for example)? Fine - I will figure out how to block synthetic wool and improve on my technique at the same time!

    I admired how much she loved her life. I also admired how much confidence she had in herself.

    I learned today that Jill passed away. I don't know the circumstances. But in my selfish mind all I can think is "how am I going to do without her" and "who is going to answer all my questions?" I know if Jill was sitting here with me she would probably say "you know what to do - just think."

    Jill loved all the people in her life - especially her daughter, her son and her grandchildren. She spoke often about them because she always shared with you everything that was going on in her life.
    I miss you, Jill. And I hope you know how much you were loved by all your students.