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2017 Trends, Love or Hate em – OHMJAM.com

My signature colours bouquet

2017 Fashion trends – hmmm, while I’ve been lazy and indulgent for the past couple of months and couldn’t be happier, I have kept my eye on what’s happening in the fashion world.  AND it’s  not entirely true that I’ve been lazy although I have used the excuse that my studio is under renovation and I simply can’t get motivated until it’s completed.  The problem is I haven’t done a lot about finishing it.  Instead I’ve been renovating myself and indulging in things I love, knitting for one.

First off I decided it was time for a change of hairstyle so I got a pixie cut and went lighter than I normally do.  My poor hairdresser stood at the ready saying “are you sure?” with a worried look on his face.  Thankfully he said “no” when I showed him a pic of the haircut with a platinum blonde model.  I was not meant to be that blonde.

Secondly I’ve gone vegetarian again.  I started a few years ago and felt so healthy, I can’t remember why I stopped but I somehow recall that it had to do with stress from a job that exhausted me.  My only problem with being vegetarian is that you have to find things to make and make them tasty enough to keep you on track.  It’s not that I hate cooking, it’s just that cooking takes time.  Time is one thing I hate to waste on anything that I’m not passionate about – I like cooking and I’m an adequate cook but I’m definitely not passionate about it.

Thirdly, I’ve gone back to meditating daily, the joy in my day.  I have been meditating for years but every once in awhile I fall off and get too busy.  Truth is we’re never too busy to take time to recharge – another excuse I make.

All that I have been doing of late seems to be associated with reconnecting with parts of my past and isn’t it interesting that fashion trends also seem to be taking a walk down memory lane.   There’s almost a Dr. Zhivago look for 2017 winter with vintage fur, high collars, the Russian look and velvet making a comeback on the runway.  Coincidentally, I watched Dr. Zhivago just last night, who could resist the romantic look that this inspires.  After all aren’t the men of today all sporting sporting either a mustache or beard?  This is a look I can certainly live with and on the OHMJAM scorecard it scores a 7 from me (provided the fur is fake).  LOVE

Russian Hats from Dr. Zhivago

Other comebacks include 70’s plaid – I put a lot of plaid into my 2015 collection.  Plaid is something that will always make a comeback.  I give plaid a 7.

Colours for the fall are Red and Chocolate Brown.  YES, these are two colours I can live with no problem.  Red brightens up and aligns with the fall colours and brown accentuated with the golds, and oranges in the fall  is so rich, I love the look.  These colours score a 9 with me.

 

Glittery boots are in – not or me thanks.  HATE although I was not a fan of UGGS when I first saw them in Australia, before they made a big splash here in Canada.  UGGS have sort of grown on me since then so maybe if I see enough glittery boots done well, I’ll have a change of heart about them.  Score 0.

Couch Florals for the Spring/Summer – I love big splashy florals but do I want to wear this?  NO.  Score 0.

Couch Florals REALLY!!!!!

Big Belts are in again and oh how I wish I could still wear the ones I wore back in my 20 inch waist days.  Bring em on.  Score 9.

Big belts

Dare I say it – shoulder pads are also coming back and I couldn’t be happier.  I have tried everything imaginable over the years, including weightlifting but nothing has worked to make my shoulders larger or broader.  Here’s the thing girls – clothes just hang better on a woman when she has shoulders.  I score them a big 10 and hope they stay forever.  Not too big though.  However, the Deconstructed look is back in style and I’m not too crazy about that.

Lastly the Leisure look is in.  Living in the country you rarely see anybody in anything other than jeans or a track suit.  Admittedly, that took a bit of getting used to but a couple of winters in snowbelt country made me a convert.  So the leisure look is one I’ll be happy to see.  There are deisgners that can make a track suit that’s wearable almost anywhere.  Just one note to those designers – not all girls have skinny legs.  The leisure look scores an 8 from me.

Lower hemlines are also in and I predit a lot of longer, flowing, romantic dresses for the summer.

That’s my take on the fashion trends for 2017.  What are your favourites?

In the meantime, Keep Creating!

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Ready for the Holidays by OHMJAM.com (Online Fashion Boutique)

Purple was the Colour Theme this year.

I am sooooo ready for the Holidays; to have some alone time as well as time with friends. I’ve been going non-stop since September and I’m exhausted. It’s been wonderful things that have kept me busy but I definitely need to relax and recharge before the new year. I didn’t realize until today that I haven’t stopped since January when I was preparing for my Fashion Fundraiser which was held in March. Since then I’ve been going full on with the Wasaga Film Festival and the Wasaga Society for the Arts.

So exactly what has kept me so busy – first off I hosted a luncheon for the amazing Liberty Silver in early October.  We then took her to RogersTV to do a taping for our October 19th Press Release.October 19th, we appeared on Georgian Bay Life and then immediately raced to meet with Ian Adams, Reporter for the Wasaga Beach Sun

The Wasaga Film Festival Committee
The Wasaga Film Festival Committee, Linda McGill, Kathy Wadham, Carol Romanella, Ronald Domerchie, Debbie Colleti and Aimee Lococo-Sarabura.

There was a lovely night at the Gayety Theatre to listen to Moses Znaimer, a wonderful Show at the Simcoe Theatre where I saw a fabulous Musical called No Chance in Hell and a great Creative Symposium also at the Simcoe Theatre with Guest Speaker Jeremy Frieberger from CoBalt Connects.

November there were non stop meetings and telephone conferences, with a little trip to Molly Blooms in Collingwood to do a fundraiser.  Then one of the most exciting things happened at the end of November, the first M in OHMJAM fought her way in Taekwondo to represent Australia in the Oceana Championships in Fiji.  She took home a bronze medal.  I couldn’t be more proud of her.

Maeve represented Australia in Fiji
Maeve represented Australia in Fiji

While Maeve was off representing Australia, I was in Collingwood in the Santa Claus parade, trying to portray blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield.  Kudos to us as we came third in the Non-Profit category.

Hollywood Characters from the Silver Screen - the Wasaga Film Festival Committee
Hollywood Characters from the Silver Screen – the Wasaga Film Festival Committee
The Wasaga Film Festival's Santa Parade Float 2016
The Wasaga Film Festival’s Santa Parade Float 2016

Third for a first time entry wasn’t at all bad but what was really special was that we actually won first prize in the Wasaga Beach Santa Parade.

Throughout all of that we were prepping for our Youth workshops which happened yesterday with Brett Heard.

Brett Heard - from Fresh Baked and The Incubator Studio
Brett Heard – from Fresh Baked and The Incubator Studio

We decided to make the third workshop available to all ages as so many people had expressed an interest in wanting to learn how to do a film.  I was delighted with the turnout and got to learn some valuable information.  I am hosting a dinner party next week and wondering whether I should spring it on my unsuspecting guests that I want them to be part of my film or tell them in advance and hope that they still show up.  Either way I will hopefully film the preparation of the meal if my oven works.   Turned on the oven today and it sounded like there was a Harley in my kitchen – please please let me get it repaired this week.

What I did learn yesterday will not only help me with the film I intend to make but I have a manuscript that’s been sitting collecting dust for far too long.  I think I may take advantage of the holidays to take it out, dust it off and get working on finishing it.  Wish me luck.

Next week is still a busy one with more preparations for the holidays – baking, sewing, wrapping presents and I have another household project that I would love to do – I found some fabulous tiles that I want to install downstairs.  Will I get it all done? We’ll see but I promise to let you know by the time I write my annual year end blog.

I hope you’re all ready for the holidays and that you’re able to spend it with loved ones and good friends.

In the meantime, Keep Creating!

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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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Silver Award, International Winner – Janet Brown from Australia by OHMJAM

Janet Brown
Janet Brown

I am delighted to have as my guest this week, silver award winner – Janet Brown from Australia. Janet’s short film titled ‘Water, Water’ was the silver winner in the International documentary category at the Wasaga Film Fest. The film was written and produced by Janet and directed by my dear friend Iris Walsh-Howling. I first saw the film when Iris posted a link on Facebook and I was immediately taken by the rawness of the film. I have since referred to it as a poignant film about the fragility of life.

I have since discovered that Janet has literary articles and short stories that have been published in Australian anthologies and journals in U.S. academic and literary texts.  Her short stories and plays have won prizes in both Australia and the U.K.

Janet has a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Victoria University and a Bachelor of Science Education from Melbourne University. In addition to all that she does, she also teaches writing courses and workshops. Amongst her many accomplishments are the following:

– A Hole in the Ground – Janet co-wrote with Joanne Ryan, Directed by David Myles
– One Plain, One Purl was a winner of The Write Stuff playwriting award in 2004 and produced in 2005
– Dolly Stainer of Kew Cottage, Directed by David Myles
– Le Jardin De Ma Mare, Directed by Judy Ellis
– Small Bites (2010)
– Making Waves (2011)
– You was a finalist in the Gala of the 2010 Melbourne Short & Sweet Festival at Chapel off Chapel
– Sand, 2015

Her first short film Water, Water was filmed on the Victorian Surf Coast and has screened in Spain, within Australia and now has won in Canada.

Water, Water
Water, Water

Welcome Janet and thank you for taking time out of your very busy schedule to do this blog.

Janet I can’t tell you how happy I am that you not only submitted your film to the Wasaga Film Fest but that the judges were able to see what I did and award you the silver. I admit to letting out a very loud squeal when the win was announced at the red carpet Gala. I was told I should have gone up to accept the award on your behalf but I was so thrilled and emotional I couldn’t move. Now I know what it feels like to be at the Oscars and I’m so sorry you weren’t here to be honoured. How did it feel when you got the news?

Carol, Thank you so much for your interest in our film and encouraging us to submit it to the Wasaga Film Festival.  When Iris phoned me to say that you had just posted about our win on Facebook, I was absolutely elated.  Unlike yourself, I was jumping around the room and carrying on like a happy child.  It was such a lovely feeling to have the judges acknowledge our work.   

Where do you get the inspiration for your work and for Water, Water specifically?

The inspiration for my work can come from anywhere, and it does come from the strangest places at times.  My first play,  A Hole in the Ground, co-written with Joanne Ryan, was based on a community campaign to fight the proposal to build a toxic dump in Werribee, where I lived for many years.  Joanne and I were both involved in the campaign.  It was a political play, intersecting with the personal lives of real people who we knew.  At the opposite extreme, I have recently written a short story for adults about a little boy with feathers, it’s speculative fiction I suppose, and the idea just came from a fleeting image in my mind that I wanted to explore.  It hasn’t been published yet,  Other times I might be inspired by a tiny comment I hear in a conversation or interview.  

Water, Water’ started as a short story and it came about because there were massive floods in Queensland and Victoria, Australia, a few years ago.  I saw news footage on television showing the devastation and listening to people talk about staying and rebuilding their lives and homes.  I wanted to explore the sentiments of someone who made a different decision.  It is not often we see films where the main character is a middle aged woman, and I think that mature women are very interesting.  They have had loads of life experiences that give them challenges, insight, wisdom and daring, so that was where the idea originated from.  

I totally agree.  Claudia Clarke, the sole actress in the film did such an excellent job of telling the story and making us realize that this was a woman with very little fight left in her after life had taken its toll.  Tell us about Claudia and how you came to have her in the film?

Claudia is a beautiful actress, so talented.  She is highly respected for her live theatre work and played the role on stage in 2012 as part of a touring production of short plays called ‘Making Waves’.  When I had the idea to make the film version, I really wanted Claudia to be our actor again.  I feel that she had a huge responsibility with this film, and her performance is so poignant and real, I am very lucky she took on this project. 

I’m of course biased when it comes to Iris because she is so wonderfully talented and creative but how did it happen that Iris Walsh-Howling directed this film?

Iris Walsh-Howling with Janet Brown and Claudia Clarke
Iris Walsh-Howling with Janet Brown and Claudia Clarke

Yes, Iris is incredibly talented, and we have been friends and interested in each other’s work and projects for the past ten years since I moved to the Victorian Surf Coast,  It is a region where many creative artists live and work.  I’d been thinking about a project to work on specifically with Iris, so you can only imagine how delighted I was when she agreed to direct ‘Water, Water’.  Iris has a unique creative sense.  Her projects have an individual stamp on them that is inspired by her great knowledge and experience of theatre and performance-making, without being derivative, and then re-invented and energized through her own creative genesis.  I do mean ‘genesis’  like a birthing of something completely new and fresh.  Apart from that, I like to work with people who are a pleasure to work with. The process is as important as the outcome.  

I’ve been to the Victorian Surf Coast and to Lorne specifically and the similarities to Wasaga Beach are amazing. I read that you spent a lot of time in 2014 submitting the film to festivals both in Australia and internationally.  How did you determine which festivals to submit the film to and was the Wasaga Film Fest on the radar at all?  Any advice you would give to people wishing to submit their films?

There are a number of websites like Withoutabox, Filmfreeway and Reelport that list film festivals around the world.  They cover everything from the most prestigious festivals like Cannes and Sundance right through to smaller community festivals.  Each festival has its own criteria – length of films, filming equipment used, categories, issues (ie some festivals are just about films on the environment, women’s issues, disability, diversity).  Some are free to enter, some are costly.  You can upload your film and follow the calendar to choose the film festivals that interest you for your project.  It;s very time consuming, and some of these festivals have up to 5,000 entries, so  the chances of being screened are really limited.  I did not know about the Wasaga Film Festival in 2014.  Perhaps I missed it, perhaps it was not on these sites.  We were selected for screening at the Puertas Film Festival in Spain and the Barossa Film Festival in South Australia so we are very proud of our little film.

My only advice to other film makers would be to really consider what you want to achieve with your film and, if you want to explore the festival track, choose the festivals carefully.  It is great for the film team’s reputation if you are selected for screening and even more if your film wins a prize – we have been absolutely delighted how the news of our silver prize at Wasaga has been received.  People are now taking extra interest in our project and our work.  Thank you Wasaga!!

You also have a degree in Science Education which seems so far removed from Creative Writing.  I am probably one of the few people that would understand since I majored in Business Administration in my earlier years, went on to study and become a Homeopath and then finally a fashion designer.  However, people always tell me that I have to be one or the other or people won’t take me seriously.  Are you an academic first and a creative second or is it the other way around?

To be honest Carol, I am quite sure that I am a creative artist, a writer, first.  My science studies (we are going back more than 30 years!) probably gave me an approach to my creative projects where I feel I am always experimenting, firstly with the idea, the inspiration, that’s the question I am exploring.  Then, my method, how best to ‘do’ this.  What’s the form, the approach – a story, a play, a novel or non-fiction.  But unlike science where there are quantitative results and outcomes, with creative work the outcomes, or the final product, have a different measure.  My Master of Arts  studies were in Creative Writing, and I worked at Victoria University as an academic skills lecturer some time ago, but these days any teaching for me is usually in community learning centres as a creative writing teacher – such fun.  

Tell us a little bit about you Janet, what would your friends tell us about you if given the opportunity?

Oh dear, what would my friends say about me?? I would love to know too!

What’s next for the multi-talented Janet – another film, book or play?

Your comments are very kind Carol, thank you.  I have been asked to write a performance piece based on the real-life experiences of people with mental illness, so the first step is research and interviewing.  This is to be staged in October 2017.  Usually I have a few projects in various stages of development and I am fine tuning another play script about a woman who has been a prime minister and is very ill.  We don’t see the lives of powerful women represented very much on stage.  So often the main roles are of women as victims.  One of her daughters is a photographer and she documents her mother’s illness experience by taking photos.  She hasn’t asked her mother permission to do this and intends exhibiting them, to the horror of the other daughter who feels this does not respect their mother’s privacy.  I am interested in the line between the personal and the public, privacy, and this era of social media does it even exist?  

It all sounds awfully serious doesn’t it?  Mind you,  I have a funny satirical musical that I would love somebody to produce.  It is called ‘infiltration‘….. a media mogul has had a kidney transplant and he thinks the ‘spirit’ of his kidney donor is taking over…….

What pearls of wisdom would you like to leave us with Janet?

Everybody has a story to tell.  Listen carefully. 

I couldn’t agree more.  You can reach Janet by email at janetbrown.m@hotmail.com and you can view ‘Water,Water’ at https:/vimeo.com.

Janet Brown, Iris Walsh-Howling and Claudia Clarke Celebrate their win.
Janet Brown, Iris Walsh-Howling and Claudia Clarke Celebrate their win.

Thanks again Janet and as always 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.

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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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Going home, Women and Friendships by OHMJAM (Online Fashion Boutique for Women)

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.

Beautiful Bridal Party
Beautiful Bridal Party

 

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

Eden Baylee
Eden Baylee

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.

Miss Hair
Miss Hair

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.

In the meantime, keep creating!

 

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A Little Clarification by OHMJAM (Online Fashion Boutique for Women)

Hand or Custom Made
Hand or Custom Made

 

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.  Sewing terms

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.

Style and tasteUntil next time Keep Creating!

 

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