Tag Archives: designer

Sell, Sell, Sell by OHMJAM (Women’s fashion boutique)

This is how social media marketing is making me feel.

Sell, Sell, Sell, Buy, Buy, Buy!

I suppose I will seem a bit like a hypocrite but I have been pushed to my limits. It started the other day when I saw a brief video by Sivarama Swami entitled ‘Yoga has Lost its Soul‘. https://youtu.be/cN80EQGlxOI In the video we are reminded that “the original yogis, Krishna and Patanjali taught their students austerity, simplicity and renunciation of worldliness in order to attain enlightenment. Fast forward to 2018 and yoga is now a market worth $80 billion. Yoga marketing has gotten the upper hand but it’s no laughing matter, the purpose of yoga was not making money but rather self realisation”.

Suddenly a light went on in my head after watching the video, well not quite but I’ve been in a quiet, reflective mood since the beginning of the year and I’m finding it hard to hide from commercialism, consumerism. I feel like everywhere I look, someone is trying to sell me something I neither want or need. Don’t get me wrong I’m guilty of consuming much more than I probably need, as evidenced by my closets full of shoes, purses and clothes much of which I don’t wear; my CD/old record and book collections; and kitchen gadgets I’ve never used, not to mention a studio full of fabric. It seems we spend the first half of our lives acquiring things and the second half disposing of those things in order to simplify our lives.

I started out really enjoying Instagram and Pinterest, thru social media I got a glimpse of culture, art, photography, fashion/interior design but now it’s full of videos of reality characters selling products. What has happened to work hard and you can be successful? Now it’s ‘get on a reality show and you can become rich by advertising our product”. Is coffee really better because George Clooney drinks it? Is your life really going to be better because you used something that some reality star sold you? I think not.

A couple of years ago I was asked to make a prom dress for a young lady. Her mother didn’t have a lot of money and the daughter wanted a specific colour.  Sympathetic to her situation I agreed to make a dress and I even went shopping with them to find a suitable fabric. We found something on the last call rack, I think it was $5.00 a metre. I designed a dress.  Needless to say the fabric wasn’t easy to work with and after two fittings it stretched. I realized I had to change the design of the top. The mother in the meantime found a hideous so called  “designer dress” (made in China) on sale for $20.00 and bought it, then asked me to attach the ugly sequened top of the ‘designer dress‘ to the bottom of the dress I designed. I was dumbfounded by her request and refused. I finished the dress which turned out beautiful, the daughter was delighted with it and proudly wore it to her graduation.  So the question then becomes is a dress with a designer label, one that couldn’t sell and ended up on the sale rack at less than it cost to make really better than a custom designed dress? Of course not but people will buy it simply because of the label.  We’ve become numb or senseless, we’ve been lead to believe that if a super model or even a reality star wears it, it must be the best. IT’S NOT.

By the way, I have nothing against Reality TV, I watch it although some of it is getting a little too nasty and negative for my liking.  I watched an episode of the Bachelor last week.  It occurred to me that some of these girls act crazy, not because they are but so they won’t be forgotten when they aren’t proposed to.  Then after filming they can get an agent and do what – SELL of course.

WAKE UP PEOPLE.  Not all Reality TV is REAL, it’s scipted – REALITY IS THE LIFE YOU’RE LIVING and it won’t suddenly become better because you wear a designer label or you drink some tea or protein drink that a super thin reality star is selling. We watch so called ‘REALITY TV’ and see all the glitz and glam but the reality is this, it’s not all glitz and glam. How many of those reality star’s houses are going into foreclosure, how many are being sued or have gone to jail?   Call me crazy but I just can’t sit back and watch any longer without voicing an opinion.  My problem isn’t with someone trying to sell their merchandise but with the fact that normal, everyday people make some wonderful products and work hard to get them on the market.  So if you must buy and let’s be honest, we’ll always have to purchase things, then buy local so that your community can flourish.

Buy local

The #metoo movement has ignited and now #Timesup is focusing on not only sexual harrassment but a myriad of other issues including pay equity and inequality.  Well maybe it’s time we start looking at how powerless some local businesses are against the mega giants.

Well that’s my rant for the month, I’m off to the gym where I just might do a yoga class.

In the meantime, Keep Creating!

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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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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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.








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!




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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Introducing Tania Wood by OHMJAM – Online Boutique

I wrote about meeting Tania Wood a couple of weeks ago and  how impressed I was with her.  I asked her if she would share some of her art and photography with my readers and she graciously agreed.

tania4Tania’s quiet and unassuming but getting to know her has been such a joy because behind that quiet demeanor is a woman who loves nature, art, beauty and fashion.  You get a sense that beneath that calm exterior is a strong woman who knows what she wants,  she’s fearless.  She’s the kind of woman every Mother wishes her son would bring home because you know you could become best friends with her.

This winter was a difficult one for many in Simcoe County, Tania and her husband Jeff were no exception.  They had to contend with no heat for almost a week (the result of a broken furnace) as well as no water for days (the result of old city plumbing that needs to be fixed but can’t be until the spring thaw).  That would be enough to send anyone screaming but Tania takes it in her stride and uses it to her advantage, by taking down the dining room wall.  They bought their house less than a year ago and are in the process of renovating.  Every time I see her it seems another wall has come down; soon she will have run out of walls to hang her art.  In the face of all of this her house is spotless and one can’t help but wonder where she finds the time because she has 3 jobs.

Every time I’ve seen her we’ve both been in a rush but we know we share the same appreciation for art and nature and from that appreciation has come a decision to collaborate but I’ll tell you more about that when it comes to fruition.  In the meantime, here’s what I’ve learned about her.

I’m surprised to discover that she’s only been painting for the last 3 to 4 years, her work looks like that of a trained artist.  You can see some of her art and photography here:

Tania what inspires you? 

Anything from a crack on the sidewalk to the colour combination on someone’s clothing. 

What message do you want to convey with your art/photography?

The various emotions that I felt while making a piece of art.

Do you have a preference, working on canvas, wood, etc.?

No I like painting on anything that I can create art on.

It’s obvious that you love to photograph nature.  Have you painted any nature scenes?

Yes, the nature paintings are mostly an abstract recap of something that I particularly enjoyed during my winter trips south to Mexico.

You’re also a landscape designer/gardener, where did you learn that?

I love working with my hands and picked up the skill from on the job training; as for the design part of it, that was self taught.

Of all the things you do, which is your favourite?

Painting abstract on canvas.  I find it so exciting to start off with a blank canvas with a colourful line up of paint tubes waiting to be made into something.

Is there anything that you would like people to know that they wouldn’t see from looking at your work?

Each painting has a strange, unexpected motivating story behind it, something that inspired its creation.  Also most of my work is created on something that is being discarded because it’s served its purpose and people are done with it.  So most of my work is created on recycled materials.  For example, old mirrors, old paintings, signs, hardwood flooring cut offs… with the hardwood flooring cut offs, I match them up like a puzzle and then glue them together to create a custom shape, then I create on it

Tania’s even resourceful when it comes to creating.  That’s my kind of gal.

Stay tuned because you will definitely be hearing more about this talented young lady.

Well it’s also the last day of March and we’ll have our spring/summer collection here by next week.  April is going to be busy starting off with taping for the “Women with Vision” television show where I’ll be showing a couple of pieces from our collection.  Also if you’re in the area pick up a copy of the Women with Vision Magazine as there’s an article about me.

In the meantime, Keep Creating!






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