Fabric, fabric everywhere. I’m back in my studio which still isn’t finished but there’s too much fabric to wait until it is.
Summer has finally arrived and brought with it a lot of rain, torrential rain at times. The beach is happening and I’m slowly getting inspired to get back into the thick of things.
Was it the rain, bad news recently received or missing my family and friends in Australia? I don’t know but I confess I haven’t felt like doing anything. Overwhelmed is a not a new feeling but one I haven’t felt since leaving the corporate world, yet it has returned. Add disillusioned to that and you’ve got a myriad of emotions.
I usually keep so busy that I don’t have time for such thoughts or emotions. However, this time I became reclusive. Shopping can usually get me out of any funk but I’ve had no desire to shop. A new hairdo can lift my spirits so I got a fabulous haircut which helped for a few days. I spent time working out at the gym, it helped a little. Then I finally pulled some fabric and started creating a new wardrobe and suddenly it felt like a cloud had been lifted.
Getting started was easy, I made a pair of jeans and put a glitzy zip fly in. Nobody will know it’s there unless…. but I will. It’s kind of like that feeling you get when you wear your sexiest under garments.
I’m not usually a fan of pink for myself but I do love daisies, so my next project was a pink pant suit. Pale pink pants and a pink daisy top from the fabric shown at the top of the blog.
As I started to make these outfits, I began to get excited and couldn’t help but pull out more fabric. Well I admit I went to Pinterest and Instragram to get inspired by things I love and while there isn’t much I don’t love, I do love colours and textures.
Here’s some of the fabric I’ll be using for my new wardrobe. Now all I have to do is find the time to do it all.
Hopefully I stay inspired long enough to complete my new wardrobe.
Who doesn’t love the Oscars? Viola Davis summed it up best in her acceptance speech when she said “We are the only profession that gets to celebrate what it means to live a life.” and we get to see them doing just that in their performances. We also get to see actors dressed in the creations of today’s fashion designers, what’s not to love?
This year while there were some mishaps in the production, the designers didn’t disappoint. Here are my picks of the Best dressed (not necessarily in order).
This white one shoulder cape is simple but elegant. The choker and bag are the perfect accessories to this outfit.
I often think that less is more and this Dior gown is proof of that. Dunst is stunning in this design.
I sometimes think Marchesa is a bit too busy for my liking but this is the perfect balance of texture, flair and fit.
Ralph & Russo, one of my favourite designers rarely disappoint and Priya was one of my favourites last year as well.
I don’t know this designer but when Johannson walked on the stage the dress was flowing like liquid and was just revealing enough.
Jessica Biel would look good in a sack but she really stuns in this beautiful gold creation which hugs her perfectly.
Last but certainly not least. I have never seen Halle wear anything that wasn’t perfect for her. This modern Grecian style by Versace is absolutely stunning.
These couture pieces have inspired me to get busy.
I have decided it’s time for me to get back to basics; so what exactly does that mean?
I have been working feverishly for the past two years on projects, neglecting my designs and the one thing that sustains me – creative expression. As a Homeopath, I know better but I haven’t slowed down long enough to listen to the messages I’ve been receiving.
It all began before the holidays when everything in my house seemed to break down but didn’t. Let me explain – my appliances are all fairly new yet just two days before a dinner party my range started making noises, not unlike a motorcycle. Then the fridge started making similar noises, there was a clogged sink which made it impossible to do my washing. I was too busy to deal with most of it however, I had no choice but to deal with the clogged sink.
As if that weren’t enough, the flu kept me off my feet for several days causing me to reflect on my life and I realized it was spinning, not out of control but not going in a direction I wanted. The holidays provided me with an opportunity to spend time with friends, people whose company I enjoy, I suddenly realized how much I missed spending time with my friends and doing the things I love. The strangest thing though was the appliances that I chose to ignore stopped making the noises – without repair.
I decided I needed to freshen up my studio which was in an absolute state of chaos, I decided it was time for a colour change as well – red and white. Then I began to purge, 3 trips to the dump later and I’m almost ready to get back to work.
Painting the walls also made me realize I wanted new art to put on the walls. My oldest son has an innate talent but my youngest son started painting more recently and has become just as talented. People would say they got that from me, I assure you they did not, they got that from my father. I, however, hate not being able to do things I want to do so I enrolled in an art class. Art, like fashion is subjective – you either like a person’s work or you don’t so I wasn’t terribly intimidated by the awesome work that the other students created. My piece was nothing like the others, not as good but what it did for me was open me up to the possibilities. I also realized I didn’t have the proper tools and you can’t create anything without the right tools.
My studio renovation is almost complete, I’ve decided the flooring needs to be changed and as soon as the weather permits I will be making a trip to IKEA to get a couple of pieces that will not only allow me to store but to display my fabric and then it’s back to basics – back to designing. I received an email from a gal who modelled one of my designs at my fashion show last year, she commented on how much her dress was like the one that Adele wore at the Grammy’s this year, she said I was ahead of my time. It’s time to get back to doing what I love – being expressive through design.
I’ve come to the conclusion that life is too short not to spend it doing what you love, with people that inspire you and make your heart sing. So I’ve resigned from the projects that have taken time away from what’s important to me. Stay tuned for what’s next, I promise it won’t be dull.
Here we are – Labour Day and fireworks, the end to summer fun, time to get back to reality. When my sons were young, I would get excited the week before labour day because it meant I could take them shopping for new clothes – any excuse to shop gets me excited.
Now that I’ve moved to a location that is all about summer, the beach and fun – I’m suddenly not so enamoured with summers anymore. It’s been a hot, dry summer – my grass is now straw and the only time I really enjoy the heat is when I’m in or around a pool.
This year I’ve been lazy – well that’s not entirely true, I’ve been incredibly busy but not with designing. In June the Wasaga Film Festivalcommittee met to discuss the 6th Annual Festival and to my surprise more than half of the committee resigned, including the chair and co-chair. The three of us that remained looked at each other and asked ourselves ” can we abandon this after 5 years of hard work?” The answer was obvious – NO, this year the Town had decreed Wasaga Beachas Film Festival month, next year is Canada’s 150th Birthday. That alone meant we had no choice and so it began. We have literally been working around the clock to plan next year’s Festival.
If I had seen this quote 20 years ago I would have laughed at it. Fortunately I’ve matured since then, now I get it. Income is a necessity of life but making an impact, doing for others – that is what gives us a sense of purpose.
Suddenly I have a new passion, sharing stories through film, discovering film makers. I suppose it really isn’t a new passion, it’s all part of the creative force within me.
This month I find myself needing to stretch myself even further to accomplish some of our goals and that’s okay because while it’s a challenge, it’s all part of my growth.
I have a manuscript that’s been sitting around collecting dust, it’s my story. I’m quickly realizing that it’s a story that needs to be told. One day my Grandchildren will want to know my story and it should be told by me. Finding the time to complete it is another matter but knowing me I will.
In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the Fall, the colours of the leaves changing on the trees, a little rain, pumpkin spiced lattes and finding time to start a winter collection to showcase. It means getting back to the business of fashion and design.
Yes labour day has come again and now we get back to thinking about work. It’s not all bad, it’s all about perception. First order of business for me – to do the spring cleaning I never got around to doing in March. I hope you all had a wonderful summer and are looking forward to Fall as much as I am.
Grace, another definition – a way of moving that is smooth and attractive. I’m going on a bit of a rant today in the hopes of reminding people that they have choices – you can choose to be gracious or surly.
I am blessed to have friends who are the most caring, loving individuals you could ever meet. One of them gave me this book recently. She is one of those women that people just naturally gravitate to. She doesn’t have to be the centre of attention yet she often is because she speaks intelligently and acts with grace.
I have another friend who doesn’t have a lot but is always willing to share what she has with her friends. She has a smile for everyone and rarely an unkind word for or about anybody. I’m always amazed because people will do just about anything for her. I tease her that it’s because of her brownies that are the best but the truth is, it’s her kindness that shines.
I also have a couple who are always supportive, encouraging and kind. I’ve known them a short time yet they have taken me under their wing and have found ways to brighten my days and don’t hesitate to share.
So why would I want to rant? Because I received a message yesterday that made me so sad for the person that sent it. She wrote to tell me how disappointed in me she was because I didn’t promote her more, talk about her during my radio interview, ask her to be one of the models for my recent Fashion Fundraiser and she went on to blame me because people had left before she performed. I won’t mention her name, she knows who she is and now I hope she’s got the attention that she was seeking.
I spent months working on the event, my personal life took a back seat during that time as I woke each day to reply to emails. I spent considerable time on Facebook promoting the event. I spoke at various groups that I am involved in about all that was planned. I contacted people to see if I could get them to sponsor the event. I contacted 5 fabulous women I didn’t really know to model for me. Then I designed and made the clothes that they modeled. I planned and executed a fundraiser/gala for about 170 people single-handedly because it was important to me that the community attend a function that was worth attending. I was representing the Wasaga Society for the Arts, a group of people devoted to doing their part to promote arts and culture in our community. Someone said to me the other day “my only complaint was that the fashion show was too short, the clothes were so beautiful we wanted to see more”. Indeed I wanted to make more but time didn’t permit and the evening was about bringing awareness not only to OHMJAM’s 2016 Spring/Summer collection but to the Wasaga Society for the Arts. Not looking for any kudos for what I did, I took the job on and I’m happy that I did because I got to meet even more gracious women and now the community knows who the WSA members are.
Remember it costs nothing to be kind, grateful or gracious and it’s always the best choice.
Spring is here and it’s one of my favourite seasons, flowers are in bloom, people are anxious to get out and about, and perhaps best of all – you can put away the winter boots, hats, coats and finally show off that figure you worked so hard all winter to get. Even if you didn’t work at it, there’s no better incentive to get busy than to shop for a new wardrobe.
I took a much needed break last week to enjoy Easter and get caught up with friends after spending months working like a mad woman to present my 2016 Spring/Summer Collection at OHMJAM’s Fashion Fundraiser/Gala in support of the Wasaga Society for the Arts. The event was a huge success attended by over 150 people. Now it’s time for me to get down to business – first order of business is to finish a dress for me to wear to theWasaga Film Festival Red Carpet Gala on April 30th and I’m leaning towards a dress the colour of the allium (featured here).
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, anybody can buy fashion but style is what you do with it. My latest collection is about simplicity and being timeless. It’s no secret that I adore black and white anything. Even my last home was all about black and white. It started one day while walking thru the Bay, I saw these hand painted dishes and had to have them. They were so different, so unique – the only problem was my dining room was a Tuscan room filled with orange and soft yellows.
I did what any (well maybe not) – I bought the dishes and then painted the dining room black and white. I made white slip covers for the chairs and trimmed them in black. That one little purchase turned into a bit of an obsession for me. There’s no denying that black and white exudes sophistication, elegance, it’s also crisp and bold. It demands your attention and there will always be black and white pieces in my collections.
Alas I’m not all about black and white because I love colour and texture so I incorporated reds, greens and blues into the collection. This red and white combo was about fun and comfort.
Comfort was the goal with this outfit. The skirt has soft pleats starting at the hip and can be made in any colour stripe or solid. The raglan sleeve blouse is a shirt style without any buttons. Seem to young for you – once we reach a certain age we tend to hide our arms and what better way to do it than with a raglan shirt. Wear it with a skirt, shorts or your favourite jeans. It doesn’t have to be done in polka dots or cotton, it can also be done in a jersey print or solid. It shows just the barest of midriff and cleavage but isn’t revealing so if you don’t want to show off your midriff, wear it over a little camisole or put your bikini on and wear this little number over it. Remove it at the beach, then put it back on when you go for lunch.
That reminds me have you got your dress for the Red Carpet gala in April? If not book a consultation with me and to celebrate Film Festival month, I’m offering a 15% discount. Any of the pieces in my collection can be yours in your choice of colour so give us a call at 416-721-4884 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk about updating your wardrobe.
I promised to share pics and details after the OHMJAM Fashion Fundraiser/Gala in support of the Wasaga Society for the Arts which took place on March 18th, 2016,so here I am doing just that and what a night it was. We all know the story of the cobbler’s children who had no shoes – well I worked so feverishly to meet the deadline that I didn’t even have time to make a gown for myself but it didn’t matter so long as my models were gorgeous and they did a fabulous job of showcasing my Spring/Summer 2016 collection.
The theme of the event was Women on the move in Wasaga Beach because while we’re pretty casual and laid back here, make no mistake we are a force to be reckoned with. I don’t know the stats but I’d be curious to see just how many women operate businesses in Simcoe County. Not only do they run businesses, we have some of the most talented, beautiful and athletic women I’ve ever seen. Case in point – my models. There’s no denying they are all natural beauties.
As Treasurer of the newly incorporated Wasaga Society for the Arts (WSA) that I would launch my spring/summer 2016 collection with a fashion show. I also thought that it would be the perfect occasion to also introduce the members of the WSA to the community and bring awareness to the fact that we’re here and we want to do great things. Great things only happen when a community comes together to make it happen and after Friday night I have no doubt that we have the people to do just that.
I’m sure my readers are tired of me continually going on about where I live BUT we truly are blessed to live in this little bit of heaven where the sunsets are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen and the people always greet you with a smile. A short drive and you can be in Creemore where Creemore Brewery is or to Collingwood which is quickly becoming home to many who are tired of the fast paced, often too hectic lifestyle in the big city.
Since moving here I have become involved in a social committee, the Wasaga Beach Film Fest committee as well as the WSA and I’m also in a book club. I have been in the homes of many of our residents and I’m always in awe of the artwork that hangs on the walls (many of which are done by the resident), the photographers who live here and share with us regularly the beautiful scenes they’ve captured and the fact that almost every home here has a library. We have a myriad of talented people from all walks of life. Yes we are a tourist town but we are so much more.
My Fashion Fundraiser turned out to be a wonderful evening thanks to all the people helped me take it from just another event to a night to remember. Here are a few of our guests and models for your enjoyment.
I accomplished what I set out to do and we managed to raise $2,500.o0 for the WSA. I want to extend a personal thank you to everybody that participated.
OHMJAM Fashion Fundraiser in Support of the Wasaga Society for the Arts
Now it’s time for me to get back to the gym and get ready for our next big event – the 5th Annual Wasaga Beach Film Festival.If you’ve never been to our Red Carpet Gala, it’s another event you shouldn’t miss. I’ve got a month so lots of time to make a gown for this cobbler.
It’s the middle of February already, can you believe it? Well I certainly can because time is flying by and I can barely keep up. It’s an exciting time for me as I’m preparing to launch my spring/summer 2016 collection. Since last March when I had participated in the International Women’s Day Fashion Show, I have transitioned to Women’s fashion and I’ve been doing custom pieces. This year I’m letting everybody know that my label OHMJAM (Olivia, Hayden, Maeve, Jack, Ali and Mia) has arrived in Simcoe County and I’m adding a little panache to the mix by hosting a Fashion Fundraiser for the Wasaga Society for the Arts (WSA) of which I am the Treasurer.
Since moving to this ‘little piece of heaven’ as I refer to Wasaga Beach, we have seen changes. Change is not always a good thing but in this case, the changes are positive and necessary. In the past year I have gotten involved in the community, I almost felt an obligation to do so because of my family ties (an aunt and uncle who were one of the founding families in Collingwood). In doing so, I have met so many amazingly talented people. We also have our share of very opinionated people. A year ago I probably wouldn’t have understood some of the opinions that are often expressed but I do now. Life here is very different than life in the big city, it takes some getting used to but once you do, it’s hard to go back. The lake, the view of the escarpment from the beach, the beach, the birds, the natural habitat, the beautiful homes, the warmth of the residents, it’s all enticing, intoxicating and addictive. Our goal – we want to share it all with the world. One way of doing that is the Wasaga Film Festival, now in its 5th year. Changes have been made there too, they’ve re-branded, changed the date of the red carpet gala to April 30th and have incorporated the WSA, the umbrella under which the film festival will now operate. This year is exciting as we have new members, new partners and new plans, I’ll save that for a post after the Fundraiser.
After announcing the fundraiser, people have jumped in to help make this a spectacular event and I’ve met some truly fabulous and supportive people. The models for this event include Joanne Blohm-Smith, Michelle Seip, Dr. Krista Markew, Deborah Bullock and Celeste Berges – all beautiful women who are representative of the ‘women on the move in Simcoe County’ which is the theme of my event. I didn’t know these women when I approached them to model for the event but none of them hesitated to get involved and that my friends is how a community comes together to make things happen.
In addition to the models, Taura Smith has offered to do the hair and make up; Rocco Galletta from Imagine Jewellery agreed to accessorize the women; April and Philip Worrall offered to entertain us with a latin dance (and more).
As if that wasn’t enough to get excited about, Moores’ Clothing for Men in Barrie have partnered with us to offer a special discount for the men who want to dress up for the event.
There’s still a month left to the event and as if all of this isn’t enough, we have Wayne Buttery and the Groove Projectperforming along with a couple other special guests.
This truly is going to be an event you won’t want to miss. Come out enjoy the show, meet the WSA Board members and hear what they want to accomplish, enjoy the show and spend the rest of the night dancing. You can get your tickets at the Wasaga Beach Chamber of Commerce.Hoping to see you there, in the meantime
I just returned from a few days in Toronto, during which time I got to hang with some of my girlfriends; attend a wonderful wedding and survive traffic. The trip couldn’t have come at a better time because just days prior I had been excluded from an event with a group that I’ve been involved with and have given much of my time and energy to. I wasn’t excluded by the group but by the woman who arranged the event. Her reason for excluding me was hers although after observing her for months, I can only speculate and it’s interesting to note that with the exclusion of me, she was the only woman in attendance with a group of men. Being excluded was hurtful but made even worse when I discovered that she had lied and told one of the men that she had invited me but I had refused.
I’m one of those women that loves to support other women. For years my career in Management put me in a position where I had the opportunity to mentor young women. I have always had beautiful girlfriends and I’ve never understood the concept of being jealous or threatened by another women. As the Grandmother of 4 girls, I want them to grow up as confident, strong women and pray they will never feel the need to exclude another woman to benefit themselves. They have all chosen to participate and excel in sports, there’s no lack of confidence or beauty there so I doubt I ever have to worry about them.
Normally I would never share such a personal experience but in this day and age, I’m truly shocked that any woman would want to behave in such a manner. It’s actually unbelievable to me because you see I am blessed to have amazing girlfriends. For example here’s a photo of my gorgeous friend Jen with her beautiful bridesmaids. You know a woman is confident when she chooses 4 equally beautiful women and puts them in stunning dresses.
We’ve been friends for about 13 years having met while studying to become Homeopaths and during that time she has been a light in my life many times. She is one of the most positive, caring people on the face of the planet. It’s not that she has had an easy life, she hasn’t but she’s never complained, she’s a strong woman and she’s always been there for me. I sat and listened to everyone at her wedding say the same thing – she’s beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. By the way her beautiful, unique dress was made by Joy Pottinger, a talented designer.
While I was in the City I stayed with another friend, Eden Baylee who is an accomplished writer. I met her 14 years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and she became my angel by telling me
that I would be fine. She had gone thru cancer a year before and quickly became my supporter, mentor and friend. At only 5’1″, she’s a power house, a beautiful, strong woman and a brilliant writer. I urge you to check out her website edenbaylee.com and read one or all of her books. She is a huge supporter of other authors and has raised money for people she hardly knew to help them with their son’s cancer treatment.
We spent 3 nights talking into the wee hours and I never tire of chatting with her.
I managed to dine with another friend – Miss Hair, talented singer, artist and another beautiful human being.
I’ve known Harriet since she was 7 years old – she was in school with my oldest son. It hurts my heart to say I wasn’t very nice to her when she was a youngster but I was a single mom, struggling and I didn’t have the time , I didn’t know how to be soft or kind but that was then and this is now. She was forgiving enough to forget the past and allow me into her life. Now I think of her as the daughter I never had and I adore her.
These are only 3 of the amazing women I know but these are the women who picked me up last week and reminded me that there are still beautiful, supportive women out there. The women I know and am proud to call my friends are all accomplished – doctors, lawyers, accountants, moms and housewives. I celebrate my friends and their friendship, I couldn’t imagine ever excluding them in any way.
Women become stronger when they have other women to lean on and learn from. I hope that none of you fall victim to a woman who is so insecure that she’s threatened by a woman who doesn’t need validation.
June has been a rather interesting month thus far and the last two weeks have certainly gone quickly. Astrologically it was supposed to be a fabulous month for me personally but that hasn’t been the case, not that it’s been bad, it’s just that it hasn’t been fabulous YET. I’ve managed to do a little gardening which I don’t necessarily like but I do love the end result. Unfortunately I just don’t have the time.
I had a medical test done last week, not that I felt I needed it but once we get to a certain point in life – the government sends us letters informing us that it’s time. I was fine despite the fact that I was having this procedure done at a new hospital which can make one a little nervous but I always like to think positively. I was nevertheless fine up until the nurse told me I had to have someone spend the night with me because I was going to be given propofol. In case you don’t know what it is – it killed Michael Jackson. At that point I was ready to jump off the table, pull the IV out and say “changed my mind”. I didn’t and obviously it went well – at least I felt fine afterwards, not so great a few days later though and now I wait for the results.
I also had a photography lesson which helped me realize that despite having 3 cameras, all of which are perfectly fine – the only problem they have in common is ME – I need to learn how to use them.
The purpose of this blog however, is not to tell you what’s going on in my life but to clarify a few sewing terms for you. One of my clients asked me to make a prom dress for her daughter. I drafted the design I had in mind and she loved it. The daughter wanted a particular colour of purple and so we went together to look for fabric. I was glad we went together because purple was not what she wanted at all but in fact fuschia. Unfortunately the only fabric they had in her chosen colour was horrific to work with. The fabric kept stretching and after redoing it for the 3rd time I realized I had to make an alteration to the design. In the interim however, my client had lost faith in my ability to make it work and went to shop for a prom dress. She found a $23.00 dress that carried the Guess label and then asked me if I could take the top from the purchased dress and attach it to the bottom of the dress I designed. I was mortified to be asked but agreed to have a look at it. It was black and the top was nothing more than a stretch sequinned top and would have ruined the look of the dress I had designed, the colours would not have worked together. It would have been hideous, not to mention for the amount of work involved I would have had to charge twice as much as the dress I designed and the one she purchased together. I refused.
So here’s the thing – people are prepared to buy anything that has a known label whether it’s quality or not. Here’s what you need to understand – when you purchase a custom made dress it is by far more valuable than a dress with a known label because it has been hand made for YOU.
What is a label after all? If I took any of my pieces and photographed a celebrity wearing them my label would be more desirable whether it was worthy or not because of the person who wore it. What does that say about you and your self image? Not much.
Here’s the other thing, people keep asking me if I will take in a dress they purchased – I AM A DESIGNER, I DON’T DO ALTERATIONS unless it’s on one of my designs.
These are the definitions I would ask you to familiarize yourself with so that you can make an educated decision the next time you want a dress that will make you look like a knock out.
A SEAMSTRESS – is a person who makes their living sewing. They can range from someone who does a hem, fixes a zipper to someone who can make a custom dress from a pattern.
A TAILOR is a person who makes, repairs, or alters clothing professionally, especially women’s suits and men’s clothing.
A DESIGNER designs clothes which are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. They consider who is likely to wear their garment and the situation(s) in which it will be worn. They have a wide range and combinations of materials to work with and a wide range of colors, patterns and styles to choose from.
While everyday wear is considered a more conventional style, unusual garments are mostly sought for special occasions such as evening or bridal.
When a designer makes a piece for an individual, it is often referred to as haute couture/tailor or custom made. Today most clothing is designed for mass markets and is considered casual or every day wear.
Haute Couture is French and basically translates as elegant sewing and has literally become more well known as the business of designing, creating and selling custom-made high end women’s fashion.
So never belittle that dress you’ve had made by someone whether it be a seamstress, tailor or designer just because nobody else has something with their label. Wearing a label that other’s don’t have means you have made a conscious decision to be well dressed with a design that will set you apart from the crowd.
Oh and in case you’re wondering – I redesigned the top of the prom dress and it turned out stunning. That’ll teach you to not have faith in me.