All my work mornings < here in the TAV Creations studio as well as at the bridal salon> for the past few weeks I’ve been up and at it at 5:30 a.m. so I can start sewing at 6:30/7 a.m
I just could not do it today.
Yes, I have clients coming and work needs to be done and the A/C helps a lot, but not sleeping well for the past two nights has lead to a break down of the process. Heat and I do not play well together.
So this morning, I’m doing the housework I have not had time to do, with 10-12 hour shifts at the Part time job, as well as with my own work. And I’m cleaning up emails, updating web pages and a few other tech things before I with back into sewing mode.
I also am re-organizing my work schedule for the new few days to allow me those breaks I need to not go completely bonkers before I start my annual August sabbatical.
I appreciate having work and I love my clients, and I know that taking care of me, makes me better for all around me…today’s mantra I think – maybe the mantra for the next 10 days…
So, Here I sit in my design studio after having spent yesterday beginning prep on a costume for my alter ego, Halyma, and I stopped because I cannot decide which direction to go next.
A “Renovation” of a second hand silk chiffon beaded 2 piece dress into a dance costume to complement that of the lovely Eurika for an upcoming show on June 6.
I have a straight skirt to work with, already opened up the slit and will insert a circular piece to add flare and movement and it happens to be the fabric that matched Eurika without going overboard.
The question is the top.
I can attach the present fully covering existing top and create a baladi dress, for which I will have to lower the neckline, take it in to create some shape < a blouson style won’t quite work>. The bottom of the top has the same scallop detail as the hem of the skirt, so it will create a line at the hip – but I will have to shape it, so that it looks more flattering than a straight horizontal line.
Or I can go out, get a bra and cut the top up to cover it, use the sleeves and create a finished edge to the top of the skirt.
Yesterday I had an unexpected break between clients while in at Luxe Bridal and so I took the time to first run a quick TAV Creations errand < fabric store!> and then I still had time to I went over to Mooney’s Bay Beach and enjoyed a few moments of sunshine and relative peace and quiet.
This morning, I was able to take the lower photo in the park near my home studio and again, enjoyed some peace and quiet before getting heavy into today’s TAV Creations sewing jobs.
And changes flow through my life constantly; I think that’s why I live by appointment and booking, in order to maintain some sense of control 😉
The end of 2013 was marked by taking a break from working steadily with a local bridal salon that I had previously enjoyed working with, for about 3 years. As their needs shifted, my time with them also shifted to occasional referrals and job opportunities, which enabled me keep close ties with the lovely owners.
While I really enjoyed the creative adventures I was able to go on with my clientele – nuns, dancers, and brides alike – and I did need the break from the constant tulle, I did miss working with Luxe Bridal‘s owners and clientele. But the change of pace and more colour in my sewing space was a much needed benefit!
2014 brought about some major changes in my living quarters/ workspace, bringing about a move to a new apartment building and some financial juggling. And as mentioned, I was still working on occasion with Luxe…
After some preliminary discussions at the end of 2014, and some soul searching on my part, we determined a win-win situation where I can once again enjoy helping some of their lovely brides get the final tweaks on their dresses. I have really had to determine my own strengths and establish some systems to maintain a healthy respect for my own creative process and time.
So in January of 2015 – after one last “referral” dress, I began my 3 month trial of working part time, in-house at the Luxe Bridal Dalhousie location. It’s a bit of a joke about it being that 3 month probation period since I have worked with them in the past, but this is a new journey on so many levels for all of us!
And here we are at the beginning of April 2015.
April brings a shift in their world as the shop has moved to a new location, out of downtown < boo, I could walk to the other location>, with a fresh approach to more appointment based bridal service that will allow them to focus even more on the brides who book time to come in and receive their own personalize time with the consultants. Be sure to check them out online and on Facebook to find out more!
And I’ve now done my first bit of sewing in the new place – after setting up my own chair . We still have stuff to figure out with the new location, but I am looking forward to the adventure and maybe even cycling there in a few weeks when the weather is warmer and the bike paths have cleared!
My title, remains, Couturiere... or… if you have trouble with pronunciation, I’ll accept, while within the walls of Luxe Bridal, Alterations Specialist.
Note: I’m more than a seamstress, I’ve got paperwork that proves that, and while seamstresses are already a force of awesomeness, I’ve done my time to push myself to a slightly quirkier level…
And yes, TAV Creations is still rocking the creativity…
If you need some sewing done – be it creative design work or you are shopping for a wedding dress, I continue to be available to serve in whatever capacity helps bring your dream garments to life – costumes, bridal, religious, or otherwise!
I’ll just be found working in the back of Luxe Bridal on Wednesdays and Thursdays and some Saturdays…so forgive me if I don’t reply to emails as quickly on those days!
And, Lisa and Madeleine, thanks for inviting me back to the whacky fun!
A randomly painful tooth that has not yet been dealt with but emits signals to the mother ship randomly and causes moments of inaction.
Some new work related adventures that I will chat about at a future date, with time allotted there that has been enjoyably important but obviously time taken away from other projects.
New clients and return clients also being in focus as rent and bills gotta be paid, so they will always come first!
And some personal moments that were joyfully self absorbing, and equally time eating, and absolutely had to happen!
So, here we are, mere days before the upcoming Dancers Bazaar, and I have a very busy day today < yes, I’m taking time to blog>, tomorrow and Saturday with client work.
So what does that mean? It means I’ll be taking a new approach to the Bazaar.
I had planned on making a pile of new “back packs” and I got 2 made. I may get a couple more made between now and then… but … here’s one set that will be for sale…
I also have a small selection of my ecotav napkins and pouches in their classic hemp and cotton fabric that will be available for purchase at the Bazaar. they can be used for dance items too!
There are also the remaining pieces I made a few years back that have been joining me for the past few events and I would like them to go away. You can see them here on my Artfire Page.
So, some of you may have seen the following photo earlier in February when I was beginning to percolate on what to do. And so here’s the plan…
I have begun to measure and hang many of the beautiful pieces of fabric I have available for designs, and I have begun to illustrate potential ideas that might inspire you to join me in an adventure of co-creation.
What that means is, various pieces of fabric will be hanging in my booth and a variety of sketches will be there for you to peruse. each sketch will also indicate the amount of fabric required for that design and a labour price. so if you like it and want it or a variation of it, we will talk about timing and what is needed to make you your custom piece.
If a piece of fabric that I have suits, you’ll purchase it that day to seal the deal and we’ll book appointments for fittings etc.
If you have your own fabric and like one of the designs and it’s a match, we’ll talk!
You’ll be able to join me in my little mini consolation studio and enjoy the concept of having something made especially for you!
Hope it’s fun for us both!
I’ll also have:
some used pieces on my rack on behalf of colleagues selling off their older costumes.
So, here I sit, surrounded by beautiful fabrics I have collected, been given, and love them all dearly.
And I am preparing to start creating pieces for an upcoming event in early March where I will hope to sell pieces I have created and put my heart and soul into, hoping the right combination of size, style and colour will find it’s happy new owner.
But it’s completely illogical to my nature.
I design for my clients, working hand in hand with them to bring a shared vision to life. They give me a starting point, some silhouettes, so colours, some concepts, and then I let my creative juices flow, drawing up ideas and offering them their options based on budget, time, and any other relevant factors.
Every piece is an original, every piece is a creation born from energy combined by two of us.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe my personally generated designs are lovely, and have great potential to be personalized by the person who purchases them, either with my help or with their own styling.
Most people don’t see what I see. I have created pieces that I considered beautiful canvasses that can be reworked with beads or tailoring and made into completely awesome pieces. But people often only see them as too plain.
By keeping them plain, I keep them budget friendly, so that the dancer can choose how much more she wished to spend on embellishment.
This grey velvet became my costume, but started as a one piece baladi dress that had no beadwork. Then I decide I would just rework it for myself – and it turned out to be my featured performance costume for my Halyma’s Bellydance DVD # 1.
In the early days of sewing for the Bazaar, I used to create pieces while thinking of specific dancers who might like them, and quite often, I was blessed with their agreement and purchase. Since I would tend to make them in the correct size for that dancer, it worked out well.
But I started to feel like I was almost victimizing those dancers and coercing them into purchasing by using my powers for evil.
I have continued to create simple pieces, but found that, without focus on a specific dancer to inspire me, many of the pieces remain unsold. So they will be heavily discounted at the upcoming event in hope that will find a new home.
I think I need my muses back.
So, if you come shopping on March 8th at the Dancers’ Bazaar and see something that looks like it was made for you, and it’s in your size – feel flattered – you probably inspired me
One thing that 2014 taught me was to never say never but to pay attention to the results of your choices.
I enjoyed creative freedom I haven’t had in a while, and was able to make some beautiful costumes for lovely dancers:
I was honoured to be one of 3 recipients of the Experience Asie Award for my work with towards creating a strong bellydance community in the National Capital area.
And I was able to re-habit the Queenship of Mary Community, as well as continue sewing for many of my return clients.
I also discovered I have to be OK with saying no. No is not meant to hurt others, it’s meant to take care of myself so that I can be my best when I say yes.
I have to schedule in “downtime” throughout the month, not just once a year when we take our family holiday. Recharging once a week is important and even if I have to split it between a few days, I’ll be scheduling in my times so that I don’t overbook/ overdo.
Anxiety attacks are an interesting way for my body to tell me to stop. Fortunately, so far, they have been short-lived, only once while driving, and I am looking into reducing stress and eating better to help alleviate them, before they develop more.
And as I start 2015 with the usual mix of confirmed and potential sources of income and opportunities to be practical or creative – when things fall into place, I get to do both – I am doing my best to revisit past sources of inspiration – writing, and cooking for sure.
I also will hopefully find the time to get back into creative drawing and maybe even painting – but no pressure.
I hope that everyone finds their path in 2015 without rancour, minimal stress and kindness to themselves and others.
Join us for the Level 3+ Sewing Course – practically a club! We’ll cover anything you may have missed, not quite fully understood, want to practice, etc from the previous 3 levels, as well as explore any new topics the group would like to cover.
Mondays, March 24, 31 and April 7 from 7-9 p.m. at the Routhier Community Centre.
Which room ? to be determined – but you can NOW SIGN UP!