What to do for the holidays and gift giving?

I think everyone reading this will already be part of the choir, so I won’t let this turn into a rant – I swear!

With the Bombardment having begun before Halloween was even over, and now the US has had its weekend of shopping/ feeding frenzy, which seems to affect a lot of us up here in the Great White North too, it all leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Encouraging local shopping, supporting the artisans in the area, and trying to keep from running amuck  are annual events for me and my hubby.  The entire concept of gift giving out of obligation is an incredible marketing tool – so at least if you are getting it on sale, then you are winning too right?

We don’t give gifts anymore.  Or at least in a very limited way.  If we do give something physical, it’s either a re-gift [ if I cannot use it and you can, I’m happy to pass it along any time of year – holiday time included!] or it’s a piece from a local artist or someone we know even if they are not local.

We give to charity on your behalf most of the time.  Last year, I set up the Canada Helps Eco-TAV/TAV Creations page to let our friends and family know what charities we give to.  And sometimes we let the recipient choose by giving a gift card.

Our support of the economy happens all year round, so we try to not go crazy this time of year, but sometimes a bit of crazy is fun.

This year, I’ve used some of the reclaimed textiles that have come my way to make fun little and big reusable gift bags.  Based on my classic Eco-TAV Pouch design, these bags are also french seamed with the flip top, and can be typed with your own ribbon or in the case of the smaller ones, just flipped and they’ll be fine!

I’ll be putting photos and details up on my Artisan page soon, and will figure out some sort of special offer for those purchasing the standard Eco-TAV Napkins and Pouches – if you get a set, you can have them gift wrapped in a gift bag… that kinda thing.

I do have to say that it feels a bit funky, offering a holiday special, and helping feed the beast of consumerism, but I guess I can remind myself that at least I’m encouraging folks to use re-usable stuff, not disposable… #torn

Happy Holidays … 😀

To Whet Your Appetite…

Witches Gathering: October 30, 2010

Once again, Eco-TAV has contributed to the prizes in for the winning costumes!

Details from the Witches Gathering WEBSITE:

October 30, 2010

Doors Open: 7 PM

Traditional Wiccan Samhain Ritual: 8- 9 PM

Costume Contests/Drumming/Dancing/Libations: 9 PM – 12:30 AM

Dancing And Libations continue until 2 AM

Where is it?
This year the Witches Gathering is moving to Mavericks / Café Dekuf on Rideau Street in Ottawa, Ontario.
Mavericks and Café Dekuf
221 Rideau St. (near the corner of Rideau and Cumberland)
Ottawa ON

This year’s theme is: A Night in an Enchanted Gothic Garden
This year for Samhain, take a midnight stroll through our gothic garden, where beauty and horror live side by side. Tiptoe past the gargoyles and crumbling tombs. Tread warily through tangles of black roses, nightshade and belladonna, and try to ignore the ravens that watch your every move. Life and death, growth and decay, all are intertwined in this shadowy place. Exploring the dark pathways, you will come face to face with the fantastic, the mysterious, the macabre and the bizarre. As the moon rises, what dark secrets will be revealed?
Join us as we invoke the dead and explore our darker sides this coming Samhain…a time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest…

October 17, 2010: Ottawa Dancers’ Bazaar

Eco-TAV will be once again participating as part of the TAV Creations/ Halyma’s Belly Dancing For Fun booth at the upcoming Ottawa Dancers’ Bazaar!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Knight’s of Columbus Hall, at 260 McArthur , between the Vanier Parkway and St. Laurent Boulevard

Doors open from 12 to 4 p.m.

Free Admission and HOURLY DOOR PRIZES!

Come check out the new stock I’ll be working on – or pick up some great holiday gifts well in advance of those last minute December shopping trips!

Market Organics has renovated!

Okay, so if you don’t live / shop in the Byward Market area of Ottawa, you may not have a long term relationship with the store once known as the natural Food Pantry, and for the past few years, known as Market Organics. Located at 126 York Street, just a bit away from Dalhousie Street and a really good shawarma place called, Garlic Corner, Market Organics has been a great place to get organic foods, funky vegan stuff and more for myself and @wtl for years.  We usually get our B.Goods Cookies there if we are not near the B.Goods “Mobile Bakery”, and while their prices and selection may not compare to big box places like the Bulk Barn in quantity, the quality of what we find there and the convenience more than makes up for it!

So, in case I forgot to mention it at the beginning of this post, Market Organics was also one of the very first retailers [ see the list to the left of the others] of Eco-TAV Pouches.  In the past, when the location was smaller { half the size} and crowded with oodles of stuff, the pouches were pretty much invisible.  I missed last weekend’s grand re-opening 🙁 but was able to pop in today for my fix of bulk choc chips, aforementioned cookies, almond milk , etc.  And I saw my babies!  There, to the left as you stand in the single line waiting to pay for your purchases and perusing the fresh baked goods, hanging below a hand written sign suggesting” Why take a paper bag when you can get a Reusable bag”, there were a healthy selection of Mini Pouches, and Large Pouches.  There is NO ECO-TAV LOGO on DISPLAY, but you’ll see it when you look closely at the care-label on the flap!

The Eco-TAV Mini Pouches really are just the right size for a single yummy cookie from any of the bakeries that supply the store.  And the Large makes a great place to assemble a wondrous collection of a prepackaged  Market Organics sandwich, fruit and perhaps a lovely side of couscous or salad from their fridge!   It keeps it all just fine to get you to your snacking destination and is large enough to create an eating surface 🙂

Shameless self-promotion done now.

Back to the new layout!

I chose to enter by the front of 126 York by fluke, I did not actually realize that the other entrance on the side is now closed off.  So, I walked into the building and was directed leftwards, into the store.  FLOORSPACE!!! OMG!  If you were ever in the store when it was only half the size, you may remember how there were always little ladders, and boxes to walk around as staff was constantly restocking shelves!  Now, I can envision an entire impromptu dance number in the entrance area alone!  They have a sidebar/nook/ eating area ‘ cause they have a little cafe set up!  Woot!  I was not able to try any of the food, but it looked like a small selection of yummies – salads and gourmet coffee – I’ll be back to test that one of these days for sure!

So, after getting over the initial shock of walking into a huge open space with shelves full of stuff, I kept walking around the horseshoe shaped layout to see what I could see!  Food first, then fridges, then around the corner for cosmetics, vitamins, and the bulk foods are still along the inner wall, though rearranged, of course.  I kept going and found the new check out system with the “Please form one line” sign and two cashes.  These are a bit smaller in counter space, but you are no longer competing with the baked goods for surface area to put your purchases down while paying for them.

You can get your baked goods while you wait in line – great marketing and yes, I picked up one of my favorite Bread and Roses vegan peanut butter squares [ they come in a tiny plastic bag, but what can you do when you know they are really tasty and only offered in the prepackaged manner?].  They always remind me of the peanut butter balls my mom used to make when I was a kid – covered in chocolate, and full of sugar – but these are so much healthier – I swear!

Anyhoo – if you get a moment, pop in, say hi, buy and Eco-TAV Pouch from their display, fill it with yummy baked goods and support 3 or even 4 small businesses in one shot!

On a side note, I am now frequenting the Bridgehead on Richmond Road near Churchill/ MEC, and the lovely lady [ manager?] who served me gave me an “own mug” discount for both my stainless steel mug and my Eco-TAV Pouch! She was very adamant that yes, this discount would be given anytime someone uses something “reusable”!  So, while the head office is really not  interested in carrying the Eco-TAV line, yet, the stores have been very supportive – especially if you are nice about it!  My home Bridgehead location on Dalhousie has been great from the start and kudos to them for that!

Keeping it shades of green!

Tracey

Changes are a comin’

Hey all,

It’s been a while since I have posted, mainly due to having to change our server where we’ve got all this techno stuff hosted etc.

So in the meantime I’ve been doing some accounting and examining what I can continue with in regards to the Eco-TAV line.  I know these pieces are a great diea, but it’s just me.  I do the designing, sewing, marketing etc.  I am totally grateful for the few locations who have joined my adventure and sell my products through their retail locations as well, so I want to make sure I can continue with that.

Upon realizing that my time is limited, and my costs do need to be considered in the equation, I’ll be continuing with one fabric type for the napkins and pouches: the 55% Hemp/45% Cotton.  The 100% hemp is lovely, but the cost is almost double to get it, and I don’t buy fabric in large enough quantities to allow for greater discounts.

THUS PLEASE NOTE:I’ll be selling off my remaining stock of 100% hemp pieces over the next while and donating 30% of my profits to the fund-raising efforts of the Ottawa Browncoats and the Serenity/Dr.Horrible showing that will raise money for iSisters and Equality Now.

I’ll also have a booth at the Environment Week Fair on the 2nd of June 2010 at L’Esplanade Laurier Building. I will be there from 9 AM to 2 PM.

Although it is described as an “information” booth, I will have stock with me, and can process orders discretely for those interested!  Or you can still order online of course!

Okay – back to work for me!

Keep it shades of green,

Tracey

What’s up with these pod camps?

I have been hearing about podcamps/ barcamps/ democamps  for a couple of years now I guess, and while I have yet to attend one, there is certainly a buzz about them.

But what are they? I hear that they are not limited to “social media” types nor just “techy” fests. If so, are regular folk attending?

I guess maybe Ottawa’s Cupcake Camp last year was a “pod camp” of sorts, but really it was not what I think most of them consist of – but it was fun! Just FYI, I believe another will be coming up soon…

So, I am asking for help in alleviating my ignorance…

If you can explain to me – and anyone who happens to stumble across this post – what a podcamp/ barcamp/ democamp is to you, endlessly karmic gratitude will flow into your life – I swear!

And even better, if you have already posted on your own blog information about podcamps – or any similar open concept gatherings, PLEASE post the link in the comments so that I can take some time to check out everyone’s information and have it handy in one place for reference!

Your time is much appreciated and your help is invaluable!  I am seeking knowledge so that I can look into setting up a potential event for one of my own niche interest groups.

Also post any info about any upcoming events that might be a good way for me, and anyone for that matter, to check things out in person to get a well rounded, in person idea of what these events are like.  My schedule is pretty full, but if I can make it – I’ll be there!
Thanks in advance,
Tracey

March 6, 2010-Ottawa Dancers’ Bazaar

TAV CREATIONS PRESENTS the Ottawa Dancer’s Bazaar
Saturday, March 6, 2010

12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Where:
260 McArthur (Knights of Columbus Hall), Ottawa, Ontario.   Google Map

A Dancer’s Bazaar
The largest gathering of Ottawa area dancers with the best selection of new and used costumes, fabrics, music, accessories and more to buy, sell, swap and trade!

Open to all – free admission

Meet teachers, check out class schedules, get costume information, and much more!

Something for everyone – young and old – men and women! Come on out and enjoy the afternoon!

The Dancer’s Bazaar now hosts over 40 tables of goods and services to appeal to the shopper in us all! All booked with a variety of local and out of town vendors for your shopping pleasure!

Looking for zills? Sticks? Veils? Skirts? Music? Anything you can think of, and many things you might not have thought would come in handy – tote bags and cover-ups, baladi dresses, and accessories to complete any outfit! Whew! There will be new stock from Egypt, Turkey and of course from our local artisans and designers. And be sure to check out the many deals for used costumes as well.
There are many vendors who are connected to the belly dance community who are offering products and services that might not automatically seem like a bellydance purchase, so come with an open mind! Remember this is a cash and carry event – credit cards are not likely to be accepted by most vendors. And as in the past, many new vendors will be coming out, so there will be a huge selection of products available!

10 TIPS for Shopping at the Bazaar!

Take the online poll and tell us what you want!

Get the bilingual Miniposter (404 KB PDF) with all the details!