Category Archives: On a more personal note

Remaking my dog’s harness…

I took some time over this month, around seeing clients and working on gorgeous wedding gowns, bridesmaids and other fabulous pieces, to do some camping.

early morning on Pog Lake.

The #StudioMascot, Sprocket, of course came along with us. Her present harness, which I bought in the spring to replace her previous ones that had clips that snapped, is made from a combination of straps. All of them solid and stiff, with strong rings connecting them.

The family…

Sadly, the hard straps and her barrel chest did not work well for the 18km walk day.

Blisters developed in her “armpits” and I did not realize until we were taking the harness off of her back at camp.

She’s very stoic at times.  But the sores needed to heal.

 

We switched to just attaching the leash to her collar and that worked for the most part – when the mole popped onto our site, we have to wrestle with her to keep her from chasing it, but otherwise, the leash on her neck was fine for our walks. We enjoyed the remaining time on the campground and sighed deeply as we packed up to come home.

One of her old harnesses I used to re create a new one.

Back in the studio, I immediately grabbed some of her previous harnesses, which I keep in case I can use the parts. I checked  them to see what I could do to get her into a more comfortable but still functional harness.

The choice was made to use one that offered a padded chest support as a pattern and  I extended the length of it.  I used part of the original straps and added reclaimed ones that I had taken off my husband’s back pack.

Thus, I was able to create a cute denim harness that works well and won’t cause her discomfort if we go on long walk in the future.

Out for a test drive with the excess strapping still there until I confirmed it was big enough to fit her chest.
Side view shows the bit of extra at her neckline, which I darted for the finished product.
New elastic was installed into the triangle and straight spine strap from the original, and new waist strapping.
Before I darted the centre front, still was comfy. but the dart creayted just a bit better fit.

 

And a trip to the vet for updating her shots proved the concept of the harness fully!

 

Costume styling- a fun change of pace!

Costume styling is also one of my things – or even just inflicting my costume visions upon friends and having them be talented enough to do their parts!

And TAV Creations helped dress everyone – with assistance from a few awesome sources and the members of Meowvellous themselves!

All of the members assisted in personalizing the pieces they wore, with 2 dresses from the now closed Norde bridal, my own corset having been made by my student/ friend Letitia; embellishments added and the skirt made by TAV Creations < me> and the crinoline from the now closed Luxe bridal salon.

Some causal clothing from my personal closet topped things off for our sexy dude, along with her own fabulous pieces!

And…drum roll please….  I give you…

2nd place winners of the 3rd annual Pete’s Lip-Sync Battle on May 5th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE – VIDEO of the performance!!:

It’s Official – 2 locations to serve you!

Although it’s in black and white, here’s the sign for the door.

Sign for suite 203, My studio is at 739 Ridgewood, suite 203, this is just off Riverside, near Mooney’s Bay, in the strip mall, up on the second floor. My workspace is a small area where you will both change in and have the fitting. If you wish to bring someone with you for a second opinion, please limit it to one person per visit, as it is a very cozy space. Appointments are booked for 30 minutes maximum and usually only take about 15-20 minutes. Payment is due at final pick up, though "pay as you go" is fine if that is better for your budget. Payment options are: cash, Visa, MC, email interac, and paypal. HST is applied and indicated to all final totals. Availability : I see clients Tuesdays and Wednesdays, occasionally Thursdays, and most Saturdays, in general I can be in from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. - occasionally later. Starting June 3, I will be available later most days I am in, for after work appointments Let me know if there's a day/time that suits you and we'll set it up! I may have other clients having already booked the time you want, so you can send me a few of your preferred choices and I'll confirm which are available! Email is best, so that is it written down where I can refer back to it, but for last minute changes, my phone number is 613-241-3397. Please note: due to allergies resulting in respiratory reactions, the studio is as SCENT FREE as I can maintain. PS. you can also visit my website for more details on my process: http://tav-creations.com/ecotav-couture/alterations/ “The Present is a Gift from The Past, and an Inspiration to the Future.” -Tracey “Halyma” Vibert, TEDxOttawa Talk, December 2009. Ridgewood

 

Today, I start paying the rent on the studio space I’ve made my second sewing home since last June!  Thanks to the lovely ladies at Luxe for helping arrange the transition to my new adventure!

Still by appointment only, so book me well in advance as the summer is filling up!

I look forward to serving brides, dancers, and other creative souls in both my home studio < with a mascot>, and my new   studio at 739 Ridgewood, suite 203,  just off Riverside, near Mooney’s Bay, in the strip mall, up on the second floor.

Time to get biking!

Would you like to book an appointment? Contact me either via email – tracey@tav-creations.com or fill this in:

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

 

 

Early morning sewing…

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

6 a.m. morning walk before heading into work

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…

To Bedleh or to Baladi – that is the question…

Yeah, sorry.

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.

The fabric...
The fabric…

The project:

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.

Eurika Sea Baladi 2014

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.

green silk top

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.

Decisions, decisions…

Returning to the fold…

The nature of my work life has always been fluid.

Some weeks I’m super swamped with dance related gigs and classes, sometimes I’m working on EcoTAV pouches and napkins, sometimes I’m trapped in layers of tulle and cannot get out!

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…

a Luxe blog post 2015 - 05
The view from my new TAV Creations home studio is great!

 

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… 🙂Couturiere Certification

 

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!

The spirit of the Luxe Selfie!
The spirit of the Luxe Selfie!

So…Life happens and your plans adjust

I had Grandiose Plans… And then Life had other plans for me.

Nothing too serious.

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…

Blue and white bags

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…

Designs for BAzaar 2015

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:

 

Designing…

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 co-create.

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.

all hand beaded
all hand beaded

 

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 🙂

Details:

Dancers Bazaar, Sunday March 8th, 12 noon to 4 p.m., 250 McArthur, Knight’s of Columbus Hall. Free parking and free admission. Facebook event  Organizer’s website

And remember, if you actually want something custom made, that’s what I do – email me!

Elevator pitch and other thoughts

 

TraceyThere’s that concept of the 30 second elevator pitch to promote/ introduce/ explain what your job is.  That one was always easy for me: “I sew, and I dance and I teach both, but not at the same time :-)”  I don’t define myself with labels, but with verbs – and that makes sense to me!

People will describe me as a “seamstress” and I inwardly cringe.  Yes, according to the official definition, that is one of the aspects of my reality.  I really do like to think I am so much more than that.  I design, I read people’s minds and pull their ideas out and bring them to life, I create new concepts for them to explore as we journey through making their garment – whatever it is.  And yes, I hem pants too – and that part of my job is not really creative, but it takes at least a modicum of awareness on how the whole procedure works!  [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrA2yPrMlkw]

HalymaMaybe I need to approach the label Seamstress in the same way that I approach Belly dance – empower it in my own mind and revel in it!

My signature on my emails starts with “Creativity Abounds”.  I am thinking of using that on my website – when we get it updated [ hopefully sometime in the next month]  So, I invite creative titles and inspired labels 🙂

And I have had an epiphany regarding folks reactions to my telling them about my Eco-TAV products.  Many folks simply react in a pleasantly positive way, even if it is not something they see themselves embracing right away.  But I have had what seemed to me to be an odd reaction from other business folk and a few non business type folk.  Suddenly I was being told about a similar but different product and it was implied or occasionally stated that I should copy it. What?  What??  Why would I do that?  Why would I want to do that?  Would I want someone doing that to me??? No…So with much restraint, I would try to reply with a simple, thank you, possibly adding a clarification if the product in question involved the use of plastic – I don’t do plastic.  Speaking of not doing plastic – here’s a local company’s video of my Eco-TAV Napkin…They have an absolutely fabulous all natural insulated lunchbag too!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecF8YU02YRI]

My epiphany was that these good friends were merely trying to help.  So I thought they deserved credit for their intentions, and I genuinely thank them for their links and face to face suggestions.  I can only design, engineer, test, supply, make and market a limited number of products, so I think I’ll stick with what I have come up with, and improve upon them.

While some were inspiring, it is a fine line to be original/unique when working with simple concepts – bags and fabric, so one really has to make the decision to not outright steal someone else’s idea/combination etc. Well, if one wants to look at oneself in the mirror and see some integrity.

Many of the suggestions that have come my way, were created by artisans setting up their own online stores, with the opportunity for anyone to buy their goods online as easily as mine. We all have similar goals, ideals and creative skills, and I hope to encourage everyone to check us all out – and see what you like!  While some brand loyalty is great – just stopping using the disposable stuff is the first step -so choose the eco product that will work for you!  I’ll send you all to Artfire first – Etsy is easy, and great too but Artfire is new and cool!

So, let’s embrace the creativity – support artists, entrepreneurs, and farmers!  Share your knowledge, share a smile if that’s all you’ve got, add a kind word if you are inspired!

On a side note – this weekend is full of artistic events to support :

~St. Brigid’s on St.Patrick will be full of paintings and artwork – in support of something fabulous I am sure – but there is no website!  So, just check it out if you are in the neighbourhood!

~ La Petite Mort on Cumberland hosts a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders starting Friday evening til Sunday.  Details are online here!

~ Lansdowne Park will be full of Women this weekend for the National Women Show.  I do not have a booth at this one, but may go check it out Saturday morning!