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Spring, Designers & the Latest by OHMJAM (Women’s online Fashion Boutique)

Georgian Bay
Georgian Bay

Spring, a prelude to summer and my favourite time of the year.  Many designers get inspired by the elements – not me, I can hardly think let alone design.  All I want to do is get outside and feel the warmth of the sun, tend to my garden,

Dahlia from my garden
Dahlia from my garden

watch the birds and listen to them singing.  I’m blessed to live in Canada where we have changing seasons, however, I’ve been missing family and friends in Australia lately.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could magically transport people?

This week was one of those weeks I would have loved to be in Sydney for the Sydney Film Festival where Damian Walsh-Howling was screening his latest work Messiah.

Sydney Harbour
Sydney Harbour
Damian Walsh-Howling
Damian Walsh-Howling

I so wish I could have attended with my family both to see the film and share in the excitement. Instead I cruised Georgian Bay. Not that I’m complaining – well maybe just a little.  I managed to watch the trailer of Messiah on YouTube and I have to say the cinematography is amazing.  Can’t wait to see the film in its entirety.  It looks spectacular.

In the meantime, I’ve been familiarizing myself with some of the Australian fashion designers.  A couple of them are now categorized under ‘my faves’.  One in particular is Nicola Finetti who was born in Italy and studied architecture in Rome before settling in Australia.  He brings a hint of his studies to his fashion as his pieces all have structure whether it be an assymetrical skirt or a cut out where you least expect it.  I’ve never studied architecture but I too like to bring structure into my designs.  He also brings florals into his pieces and seems to enjoy combining fabrics and textures.   It’s not uncommon for designers to like the same elements and that got me to thinking the other day, how does one become more popular when designs are similar?  I often get people coming to me asking me to make a piece for them like they’ve seen in a magazine.  I get it, I’ve done the same thing – seen a piece somewhere and made it for myself but I always add my own spin to it.  To be honest with you I cringe every time someone asks me to do that because it stifles my creativity.

I can look at someone and know whether what they are asking for is right for them – so the dilemma then becomes – doing what they want or asking them to put their faith in you and let you design something uniquely theirs.

Nicola Finetti
Nicola Finetti
Elie Saab and OHMJAM
Elie Saab and OHMJAM

When it comes to similarities – Taylor Swift wore this gorgeous piece by Elie Saab, I did the piece on the right for my spring/summer 2016 collection and it got rave reviews too.

Here’s another couple of pieces by Finetti that I love.

Nicola Finetti Designs
Nicola Finetti Designs

It’s time to get busy and start working on my autumn/winter 2016 collection. But I’m going to take a break and enjoy the summer – I’ll be working but on pieces for myself, I looked in my closet the other day and said I’ve been living in the country for nearly 3 years now and it’s all too easy to go for comfort rather than style.

I’m off to make home-made ice cream for tomorrow as I will be spending the day swimming and lounging by the pool with friends.  It’s a rough life but someone’s got to do it.

I’m excited about next week too,  I’m getting a lesson on how to use my new camera properly so I can change up my website www.ohmjam.com with my pieces as I design them.

Lastly I’ll be finishing off the month of June by going to a concert – to see Frank D’Angelo and his 15 piece band – can’t wait.  Hopefully I’ll have pics for you in July.

Frank D'Angelo hits Collingwood
Frank D’Angelo hits Collingwood

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of June and as always Keep Creating!

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All Fun and no Work – by OHMJAM (Online Fashion Boutique for Women)

It's May
It’s May

Fun and no work – you would almost think so but it isn’t so. I’m working on a couple of pieces for a client now, one is from my spring collection and I’m gearing up to do some prom dresses. However, May is another busy month of social activity for me and the first event happened this week.  Several Wasaga Beach residents, myself included trekked down to Toronto to the Hard Rock Cafe for a Beach Party hosted by Wasaga Beach Brewing Company and Beach Booster Radio.  Rather than bore you with all the details, I’ll share some of the highlights with you.  Twenty of us headed down by bus and it was a great ride too.

Wasaga Transit takes group to Hard Rock, Toronto
Wasaga Transit takes group to Hard Rock, Toronto
Arriving at the Hard Rock
Arriving at the Hard Rock
Pat Anderson & Brent Ruston, lawyers at Anderson, MacKeigan LLP meet Bobby Curtola
Pat Anderson & Brent Ruston, lawyers at Anderson, MacKeigan LLP meet Bobby Curtola

I was delighted to see that Bobby Curtola had joined the party and even more delighted that my friends Pat Anderson and Brent Ruston, (Anderson, MacKeigan LLP) Toronto lawyers who are also sponsors of the Wasaga Society for the Arts came to try Beach 1 Cerveza and meet some of the members and I got a pic of them with Bobby. Pat’s daughter Jennifer was here last year and was instrumental in naming the WSA.

David Cubitt, President of Wasaga Beach Brewing Company with Bobby Curtola
David Cubitt, President of Wasaga Beach Brewing Company with Bobby Curtola
Wasaga Beach Mayor Brian Smith joined David, Bobby and Peter Wilkins (also a partner of Wasaga Beach Brewing Co.
Wasaga Beach Mayor Brian Smith joined David, Bobby and Peter Wilkins (also a partner of Wasaga Beach Brewing Co.)

Everybody had a great day whether it was sitting on the patio or inside

Joe Bickerstaff from Beach Booster Radio chatting with guests on the Patio
Joe Bickerstaff from Beach Booster Radio chatting with guests on the Patio
Enjoying lunch inside
Enjoying lunch inside
Rebecca Stephens, Singer/Songwriter
Rebecca Stephens, Singer/Songwriter

Then after lunch we were treated to some entertainment by Bobby and our own local Singer/songwriter and recording artist Rebecca Stephens who also performed at the Red Carpet gala.

By this time it was time to head back to the bus to go home and as you can see from all the smiling faces – we had a great time.

 Bye, Bye Toronto - now it's your turn to come visit us at the Beach
Bye, Bye Toronto – now it’s your turn to come visit us at the Beach

So once again thank you Beach Booster Radio, Wasaga Beach Brewing Company, Hard Rock Cafe and all those who made it such a terrific day.

In the meantime, Keep Creating!

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Wasaga Beach Film Festival presented the 5th Annual Red Carpet Gala by OHMJAM (Online Fashion Boutique for Women)

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Wasaga Beach 5th Annual Film Festival

Exactly one year ago I signed on to be part of the Wasaga Beach Film Festival Committee (WFF) and it’s been a whirlwind ever since.  During the year we accomplished a lot, we re-branded, we changed the date from January to April 30th in order to attract more visitors and lastly we incorporated a non-profit organization – The Wasaga Society for the Arts.  I decided to present my spring/summer collection by way of hosting a fashion fundraiser wherein I wanted to introduce the Board members to the community.  That was barely over when we started gearing up for April which the Town decreed “Film Festival Month”.

In addition to all the View and Votes that were held throughout the month at various venues there was the launch of Wasaga Beach Brewing Company’s Beach 1 Cerveza.  Not only is David Cubitt one of the owners of Wasaga Beach Brewing,  he’s also a  fellow WFF Committee member as well as a sponsor.  Thanks to Wasaga Beach Brewing we had the great iconic Canadian Bobby Curtola not only attend the red carpet gala but he performed as well.

The evening started off with the Telstars performing, if you haven’t seen them check out their website for their scheduled events.  The Wasaga Beach Glee Club delighted the audience with their rendition of Video killed the Radio.  The Spoons  took us back when they sang Romantic Traffic.  Collingwood’s 2015 Idol winner, 12 year old Emma Wright wowed the crowd with Something in the Water (check her out on YouTube).  The last performance of the night came from Bobby Curtola with Fortune Teller and I have to say he still sounds fantastic.

The awards presentations were particularly important to me as I had a family member – Iris Walsh Howling who directed a beautifully written Australian film – Water Water, by Janet Brown entered.   I personally thought it made a poignant statement on the fragility of life .  It won the Silver award in the International category.   I was elated for them.   That wasn’t the only excitement of the night for me, the next came when my friends Kathy Wadham and Kevin DeAbreu’s local film “Alive” won Platinum in the National category and then won the overall Master.  It was so well made and deals with a matter close to all Canadian’s hearts – men and women in the Armed forces, Veterans and their families.

So many of our local businesses had submitted films in the advertising category and all of them were top class films.  It was difficult to pic a winner I’m sure.

Overall the night was amazing, it felt like being at the Oscars.  Congratulations to all the winners – you can all be very proud of your wins. I wouldn’t be surprised if next year we have even more entrants from all over the world.  Our festival was truly the event of the year and I’m so proud to have participated and to be a part of this talented community.  Thank you to all the people that gave of their time to help us make it such a huge success.

It’s May already, the last four months have flown by so quickly I’ve hardly had time to catch my breath. It was hectic to say the least and I can’t remember when I’ve been as busy other than when my boys were young and I was racing from work to hockey arenas to get them to their games on time.  However,  may is another busy month as I have yet more events to attend.   Before I share a few pics with you leading up to the Red Carpet Gala, I would be remiss if I didn’t share a pic of the two M’s in OHMJAM who competed at the Australian Taekwondo Nationals last month and walked away with a number of medals.  So proud of them, not only are they smart and beautiful, just add courageous to the mix.  Call me proud.

The M's in OHMJAM winning more gold and silver medals at the Australian Nationals in Taekowndo
The M’s in OHMJAM winning more gold and silver medals at the Australian Nationals in Taekowndo

Here are just a few photos leading up to the Red Carpet Gala.

 

Don’t forget to Keep Creating!

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Grace by Definition – a controlled, polite and pleasant way of behaving – by OHMJAM (Women’s online fashion boutique)

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.

IMG_3977 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. arrogance

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.

In the meantime, Keep Creating!

 

 

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Spring has Arrived, a New Season – How about a New Wardrobe – by OHMJAM (Women’s online Fashion Boutique

Allium

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 the Wasaga 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.

Hand Painted dishes
Hand Painted dishes

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.

Cute and Casual
Cute and Casual

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 info@ohmjam.com and let’s talk about updating your wardrobe.

 

Sale prices for month of April.
Sale prices for month of April.

In the meantime, Keep Creating!

 

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OHMJAM FASHION FUNDRAISER/GALA in support of The WASAGA SOCIETY FOR THE ARTS – by OHMJAM

Ohmjam_program_frontI 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.

Ohmjam_program_back

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

You can see the fashion show on our video.

In the meantime, Keep Creating!

 

 

 

All the latest from OHMJAM (Online Fashion Boutique for WOMEN)

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.

FASHION FUNDRAISER/GALA
FASHION FUNDRAISER/GALA

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).

April & Philip Worrall
April & Philip Worrall

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.

Moores' Clothing for Men
Moores’ Clothing for Men
The Groove Project
The Groove Project

 

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 Project performing 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

 

Keep Creating!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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