Letter writing is a dying art form

Dear Jane,

Thank you for the lovely wishes – you are in my thoughts more often than you think ๐Ÿ™‚ I am starting early with my birthday celebrations by enjoying a glass of wine, snuggled on my couch with my boy, watching the Olympics. While I am certainly NOT happy about getting any older…I think I’m pretty lucky to be exactly where I am sitting right now ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s been awhile since you have had an update – seems like time is passing faster than I would like… After the article was published in the Saturday Style section of the Citizen, I’ve had several more sales but more importantly, some amazing words of encouragement from total strangers. They have given me the confidence to continue – and that is exactly what I am going to do ๐Ÿ™‚ In March, I will be starting to develop a long, flowy, silk chiffon maxi skirt for tall women – think light fabric just billowing in the wind as she/I walk by! Very excited! But as usual, I’ve needed to teach myself (yet again) on how to construct it (I can’t seem to let things go undiscovered) and so this became my #1 goal after New Year’s Day.

After (some) trial and error, I have finished my best version yet this past weekend! I’m thrilled because not only is the fabric is a little unusual but the actual construction is straight and strong – and I am so excited to wear it! Now, I have no illusions here – I still need to have them professionally constructed for the business ( I’m not exactly that quick…) but I have a good template to work with now and I know exactly what I want.

As for my writing, it seems to have hit a block lately – perhaps because I have been focusing all of my creative energy into a more tactile format…but I’m sure that it will come back to me – I enjoy it far too much to simply let it go…

Enjoy the day with your family on Friday – our guardian angel is watching us. I continue to pass by regularly to say hello and leave a little something of thanks behind ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope all is well ๐Ÿ™‚ Big hugs all around!
Love Alissa xo


A new-found respect for the fashion photographer


My attention is always being pulled in the oddest of directions. And with a fashion show, one would expect that my attention would be squarely focused to the MASSIVE stage in the middle of the MASSIVE room but true to form, the obvious does not hold my interest for very long. I was particularly interested and drawn to the photographers situated at the end of the runway. For there they rest, silently waiting in the shadows for their prey; once the scripted pose is achieved, their furious snapping begins. And just as fast as it all starts – it ends – and they simultaneously drop their weapons as she floats away.

It was the same scenario for each person that graced the end of that stage. And oddly enough โ€“ I was completely mesmerized by the pattern. But donโ€™t tell that to the designer presenting on stage. It will be our little secretโ€ฆ

I guess the stage show didnโ€™t draw my attention like it should have because it all seemed to be rather contrived. Way too controlled despite the lively music. Not to mention the fact that EVERYTHING is beautiful at a distance. And I happen to be someone who genuinely appreciates fine details โ€“ which are next to impossible to observe in low lighting on a moving subject. But it was my observations of the photographers as they scrolled through their shots, clearly deleting the ones that were not worthy of the space, that offered me the sense of authenticity that I was seeking from the event. Their presence also provided me with an interesting and creative point of view with which to observe, because each photographer was vying to get a slightly different shot than the other, even though they were all presented with the exact same material to work with. I watched as some moved about the room, capturing different angles, all in the hopes of communicating the emotion that the designer was hoping to achieve; even if the model was unable to convey it clearly.

A fascinating evening indeed for very different reasons than one would ever imagine.

There are no limits in art

The only thing that I have done today is surround myself with art and inspiration at the National Gallery of Canada and the Sakahan exhibit. I spent an unknown amount of time lying on my back in a dark room mesmerized by 5 large 18-wheeler tires with a screen in the hole – images of floating, fire and water, all lulling me away from this world and into another.

Even my boy couldn’t help but be pulled in. And the exhibit gave me a great opportunity to teach him that there really are no limits in art.

And offered me the same lesson to keep pushing beyond what I think I am capable of. Who knows where it will take me.

Now it all makes sense…

So many opportunities for error...

So many opportunities for error…

I finally understand why these discount “designer brand” big box stores exist – pattern errors.

Sitting in class yesterday made me realize that pattern making is truly an art and a gift – and a dying skill in a world of computerized cutting, foreign production and mass-manufacturing.

Not that I ever imagined that I would take on this responsibility for my business! But I feel that it is critical for me to understand all aspects of the fashion industry so that when I do hire my technical staff, I at least can tell when the wool is being pulled over my eyes…

This is going to be a real challenge to overcome. Good thing that I am stubborn as hell.