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Back in the Studio with Fabric by OHMJAM.com

Daisy pant suit pink fabric
Daisies in Pink

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.

new denim fabric
Glitzy zipper jeans

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.

Dress or top? Silk fabric
Pink and Gray Silk

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.

silk fabric
Rich Brown tone, silk


Red Anchors jersey fabric
Crazy for Red & Anchors






pants or top polester blend fabric
Two Shades of Gray (& white)
textured fabric
White and Black Fall Jacket

Hopefully I stay inspired long enough to complete my new wardrobe.

In the meantime, Keep Creating!

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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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My Picks for the Best Dressed at the Oscars 2017 by OHMJAM.com

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).

Karlie Kloss in Stella McCartney



This white one shoulder cape is simple but elegant.  The choker and bag are the perfect accessories to this outfit.


Kirsten Dunst shines in this Christian Dior gown.












I often think that less is more and this Dior gown is proof of that.  Dunst is stunning in this design.

Georgina Chapman wearing Marchesa of course.

I sometimes think Marchesa is a bit too busy for my liking but this is the perfect balance of texture, flair and fit.

Priynka Chopra wearing a geometric Ralph & Russo



Ralph & Russo, one of my favourite designers rarely disappoint and Priya was one of my favourites last year as well.


Scarlett Johannson in Alaia












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 in Kaufmanfranco

Jessica Biel would look good in a sack but she really stuns in this beautiful gold creation which hugs her perfectly.

Halle Berry in Versace

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.

In the meantime, Keep Creating!



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Back to Basics (Designs by OHMJAM.com)

The Basics – Tools

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.

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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It’s Summer you say by OHMJAM (online fashion boutique for Women)

Feet up - not a chance
Feet up – not a chance

They tell me it’s Summer but what is it they say ‘the best laid plans’? We’re a month into the season and I’ve accomplished very little of what I planned to do – gardening, going to the gym, yoga, hanging out with friends and enjoying life. Why you ask, why indeed. I am now one of the co-chairs for the Wasaga Film Festival and what a lot of work we’ve been doing to make the 6th Annual, the biggest and best yet.  After all next year is Canada’s 150th birthday and we’re hoping that people will come to our Red Carpet Gala on April 29th, 2017.

This year we’ve changed a couple of things, we’ve added a culinary category and we’re excited about a filmmaker challenge that we’re extending to all in South Georgian Bay “A Day in………”.  Check it out on our Facebook page and if you live in the region or know someone who does, help us spread the word.

The most exciting thing that has happened in the past week is that I received the most wonderful news about one of the M’s in OHMJAM. My beautiful and oh so talented granddaughter who I just happened to blog about exactly 4 years ago to the day, has qualified to represent Australia in the 2016 Oceania Championships in Fiji in later this year. I couldn’t be any prouder if I tried.


 Maeve Romanella
Maeve Romanella

 athlete qualified to compete at the Oceania Championships in Fiji later this year.

Okay well I’m off to do what else?  WORK and more WORK.  Although I did take the evening off last night and went to see Augusta Ray and her band sing.

August Ray and her Band with Kathy Wadham from Music Heals the Soul
August Ray and her Band with Kathy Wadham from Music Heals the Soul

WOW she’s 17 and already a power house singer and entertainer.  Her new CD is up on iTunes so check it out.

I should never have stopped for coffee on the way home tho, I was up till the wee hours thinking about all that I have to do this week.   I hope you all have a safe and relaxing Canada Day long weekend and stay tuned for news about the Wasaga Film Festival 2017.

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


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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