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New sport rolls into the Gateway area

Jun 15th, 2008 1:47:44 am - Subscribe

Sport Jerseys CAMANCHE — A little over four months ago, a group of five young ladies met in Tara living room in LeClaire to discuss the formation of a roller derby skating team in this area.The group, including Bebber, Annie Colby, Natalie Glenn, Danielle Colby-Cashman, all skaters, decided to go for it and contacted Sandy Mussman, owner of the Roller Den in Camanche. Sandy was very supportive of the program and has let the Roller Den become home of the Big Mouth Mickies.Team members include Whiskey Whipper, Fannie McSpankin, Lil’ Miss Cheata, Femme Natale, Brutal Baby, Elizadeath 666, Dannie Diesel, Carbomb Betty, Molly Toy, Irish Pirate Queen and Deadly Dolly.“We are now getting out, making ourselves known, and looking for more players. Sunday we will be at the March of Dimes benefit at the Roller Den,” Bebber said.The occasion is a toy and book drive benefiting the neonatal intensive care unit at Genesis Medical Center’s East Rusholme Street campus in Davenport.The Big Mouth Mickies, a part of the Boondock Babies roller derby league, plan on competing in volleyball at Clinton’s Riverboat Days, make appearances at Clinton LumberKing baseball games and help, as a team, at the annual Iowa-Illinois Mississippi River Tugfest on the LeClaire side of the river.So how did the team get started?“Danielle used to live in the same housing complex in Chicago with a member of the Windy City Rollers and became interested in the sport,” Tara said. “When Danielle moved back here (LeClaire) she brought the idea with her and is coach of the team.“We have only been working at it for about five months and we have a team of 15 players, including three going through orientation,” she said. “Getting a team together snowballed much faster than we expected. Other newly formed teams in the region have taken a year to a year and a half to be bout-ready.”Roller derby contests are called bouts. Each bout contains three 20-minute periods which are divided into two-minute jams. At the start of a jam, the pivots and blockers gather in formation at the starting line, and then skate as a pack. The “jammer,” the only player able to score, tries to catch up and break through. A team gets one point for each opposing team member the jammer passes in each lap of a jam.“We could compete right now, however we will work through exhibition bouts until later this year to be good enough to win. Our players come from Camanche, LeClaire, Clinton, Rock Island, Bettendorf and Davenport.”Tracey V. Wilson, writing for Entertainment’s “howstuffworks” wrote, “Imagine a hockey game, but replace the ice with a roller rink. Swap out the baggy jerseys for fishnet hose and tank tops, and abandon ordinary names in favor of pseudonyms such as Hot Legs Hooligan, Tanya Hyde or Demi Gore. What you have is a reasonable facsimile of women’s roller derby.”The league, which may consist of one team or as many as five, is a member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. Bouts are held on flat tracks, such as the Roller Den, not on banked tracks as with professional derby bouts.The Big Mouth Mickies will be competing against teams from Cedar Rapids, Rockford, Des Moines, Peoria, the Quad-Cities, Waterloo and other area clubs.“We selected that name (Big Mouth Mickies) because most of us are Irishmen and thought we could identify with it very well,” said Annie Colby“At the present time we have one team but have a satellite team in the works,” Bebber said. “Anyone interested in becoming a player may contact Sandy Mussman at the Roller Den, (563) 259-1613, or go to our Web site, www.myspace.com/bigmouthmickies.”Girls must be 18 years old to play.The oldest team member on the local team is 38, with most in their mid-20s to mid-30s. Each girl goes through rigorous qualification and testing to be ready for competition.The team should be able to start scrimmaging and playing exhibitions in July.Endurance and skating practice use traditional roller derby drills, modified hockey drills or exercises players have developed themselves for ability to start and stop, skate at high speeds, dodge obstacles, dodge other players and fall without injury.The group, according to Bebber, is not a group of so-called roughnecks but a group of “girly-girls.”She said, “Our team (Big Mouth Mickies) is composed of Barbie Dolls, cheerleaders and fighters. They come from all walks of life — waitresses, students, medical assistants, and even an exotic dancer.“I am a full-time student at Scott Community College in pre-law. Annie is full time at SCC then will attend St. Ambrose University with a physical therapy major. Natalie is a real estate agent with Ruhl & Ruhl,” said Bebber.Because of their schedules, practice times are in the evening.“We have four practices a week and everyone must be there for two unless there is a legitimate excuse,” Tara said. “We practice at 7 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, 8 p.m. on Wednesday, and 9 p.m. on Thursday. Our practices include games like bloody musical chairs and blood and thunder, roller derby’s version of ‘King of the-Hill.’”Annie, who is the “quiet one but noisy when I have to be,” said, “Tuesday is sort of a play day practice and not really as structured. Practice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday lasts three hours and Thursday two. We have a lot of moms on the team, why we have late practices, but they can fall down and take a bruise. Someone has described roller derby as hockey meeting NASCAR with skirts.”Bebber said, “Everybody has to be insured and have a supplemental insurance covering roller derby to be sanctioned,” said Bebber. “The supplemental is an inexpensive coverage. And one of our major (corporate) sponsors is Dr. Jay Kitzman, a chiropractor, who has arranged for the girls to have chiropractic care.”The Big Mouth Mickies include President Tara Colby Bebber, Le Claire; Treasurer Annie Colby, Le Claire; Coach Danielle Colby-Cushman, Le Claire; Tammy Remry, Clinton; Amy Hook, Clinton; Mary Jane Baldwin, Clinton; Linda Roelens, Rock Island; Natalie Glenn, Davenport; Mary Corsiglia, Bettendorf; Lisa Corsiglia, Bettendorf; Becca Clark, Davenport; Keegan Heisner, Le Claire; Nicole and Kamera, Clinton.
mood: meh
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All at sea: Gallic charm with a tropical twist

Jun 15th, 2008 1:47:02 am - Subscribe

Just south of the island of Guadeloupe there is a delicate scattering of islands named Isles des Saintes. We arrived there after a 36-hour sail from Union Island, and headed straight for the harbour at Terre D’en Haut, the largest of the islands.We were all tired after the long passage, and after a quick supper, our sons, Oscar and Luke, headed for their cabin to play quietly and read. Juliet and I brewed tea and sat in the cockpit, looking out towards the twinkling harbour town which, with its rolling skyline, looked as though it might have been drawn by a child.The next morning we piled into the dinghy and headed for the village. Closer in, we saw a square, and beyond that a little church steeple whose bell was chiming the hour – five minutes late, I noticed. Once we were ashore it became clear that the island was not dominated by tourists but was home to a thriving and very French community. With my schoolboy French I stopped a villager and asked where we might buy some croissants. “Crussels!” Luke exclaimed, and as we made our way along a narrow lane, Oscar shouted, “Dad, I can smell them.”He was right; the air was full of the unmistakable scent of baking bread. We sat on some nearby steps and gorged ourselves on freshly baked baguette and croissants, washing them down with home-pressed orange juice in the boys’ case, and strong black coffee in ours.The village was waking up and we watched as wizened fishermen wearing straw hats pulled wooden boats towards them while their hardy wives opened shutters and hung washing out from tin-roofed balconies or stopped to gossip on street corners.It felt wonderfully surreal, almost as if we had discovered a Mediterranean island in the heart of the Caribbean. Old wooden houses in the French colonial style sat in the perfumed midst of tropical gardens dripping with abundance. Wherever we looked our eyes were rewarded. Hibiscus, gardenia and frangipani grew alongside breadfruit, mango, papaw and cashew trees, and it was exciting to see old Mediterranean ways of doing things given a tropical twist.Cane tables and chairs sat in the cool shade of a pergola made of the thick fruiting foliage not of a grapevine but of a passion fruit vine; a garden path was bordered by trees heavy with starfruit rather than lemons. The boys ran ahead, and we felt safe to let them go as there were hardly any cars on the island, only bicycles and scooters.We headed for the south of the island, past a tiny airstrip to a palm-fringed beach where we cooled ourselves in the sea. Later we ambled back into the village and headed for a little waterfront bistro called Ti Kaz La. There haven’t been many opportunities to eat out during our trip so as we seated ourselves we were all grinning with excitement.The place was breezy and cool and run by people who knew exactly what they were doing. A few moments later I found myself staring at a perfect steak, straight off the outside grill, with the freshest of salads; Juliet’s mahi mahi had been seared to perfection. I also ordered a large glass of chilled white wine and savoured every sip while I watched the boys explore the beach, which began where the restaurant ended.As the sun began to sink, we went to the the square and browsed through some of the shops and galleries. Oscar and Luke, meanwhile, had joined a throng of children, not remotely daunted by the language barrier, and as the streetlights came on above the square the ever-growing tribe invented games and filled the air with laughter. We knew the boys were safe, and it was good to see them enjoying the freedom to run about without a care.Later that day we pulled away reluctantly and set our course for the Virgin Islands, the next stop on our journey north.
mood: sullen
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A new wave in High end Fashion

Jun 15th, 2008 1:46:10 am - Subscribe

Ladies Under Garments Si Galerie, a posh new fashion house is set to open its doors on Jumeriah Beach Road this Summer. Set in a chic villa on Jumeriah Beach road, Si Galerie takes luxury and individual attention up a few notches- even by Dubai standards! Award winning Lebanese fashion designer Walid Atallah is one of many to launch exclusively at Si Gallery, offering ready to wear dresses and individual consultation opportunities. Si Galerie will be making its first public appearance at the Bride show from 23rd- 26th April 2008.Si Galerie will bring the best Haute Couture, Pret du luxe collections, wedding gowns, couture jewelry, shoes, bags and haute couture fabrics to fashion conscious ladies in the Middle East. This upmarket store will cater to both Arabs and Westerners, bringing everyone together in the name of fashion. Si Galerie aims to provide a relaxing, non commercial fashion experience to ladies in the region. By building a fashion community, the store will have an exclusive coffee bar where ladies can mingle. Si Club member will enjoy the luxury of being invited to beauty technique workshops, yoga classes, coffee mornings and various other interactive activities which will be ongoing.Click Here!“We are bringing a new approach in retail to the Middle East. At Si Galerie we believe in hand made, unique garments which are tailor made to fit your body. Whether you buy something off the rack or choose to consult one of our in-house designers, you are guaranteed that the purchase is a one-off item, made to wrap around your body perfectly” explains Si Galerie’s MD, Rajesh Sajnani.Si Galerie will be home to ‘Sa Soie’, a brand of exquisite French silks, each piece under this brand will use exclusive pure silk fabrics to create an exclusive Couture collection. Ruviva is another in-house brand, made of Italian fabrics and designed by Arabs. Si Galerie will have a very special collection of Haute Couture Fabrics, with an experienced designer at hand it will be a paradise for discerning clients to create some unique and exclusive pieces of Art, using their imagination and taste. The widest range of Couture jewelry (also available to order), shoes and bags, all hand made in leather and brought straight from Italy will also be on display, exclusively at the outlet. Other items available will be elaborate Abhayas and Moroccan Kaftans soaked deeply in Arab Culture.Young Talented Lebanese designed, Hanine Houchaime, will bring her youthful yet simple line to the outlet as well. With fashion tie-ups in a large selection of countries, Si Galerie will be able to arrange for designers to fly in from different corners of the world to meet personally with you to design an outfit of your liking. Many more big fashion names will soon be exposed under the Si Gallerie umbrella, wait and see for the surprise at the Launch this Summer!By visiting the Si Galerie stand at the Bride Show on 26th April you will have a chance to win an exclusive evening dress designed by Walid Atallah exclusively for you- he will even be present at the show to hand your prize over to you!About Si Galerie: Si Galerie is an innovative and unique concept of making the latest trends available to fashionable ladies in the region, all under one roof. The store, located on Jumeriah Beach Road will be made of 7 rooms, including one wedding studio, and will attract ladies of all backgrounds with hold one thing in common- their love for fashion. By arranging one-on-one consultations with designers, and tailor making every item to fit your body perfectly, Si Galerie takes fashion very seriously. World renowned fashion designers including Walid Atallah and Houchai will be displaying their signature brands at the outlet. Another 8 designers will soon be revealed under the Si Galerie umbrella.
mood: peeved
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Finalists Selected for the Independent Handbag Designer Awards

Jun 15th, 2008 1:45:25 am - Subscribe

Hand Crocheted Garment New York, NY (PRWEB) May 3, 2008 -- Handbag Designer 101, the handbag designer resource, announces today the long awaited results of the finalists for the Independent Handbag Designer Awards. Over 600 applications were received from around the world ranging with diverse backgrounds from South Dakota to Colombia to Lithuania. The Independent Handbag Designer Awards is the only design competition of its kind in the world for handbag designers to receive credibility and recognition to stand out in today's competitive accessory market. The winners will be announced on June 18th at the IHDA event at the New York Historical Society.Finalists compete for a variety of prizes such as an apprenticeship with Henri Bendel's handbag accessory design team for the Best Student Made Handbag; an opportunity to have their bags on Bag Borrow or Steal for the Audience Fan-Favorite, to design an original 360 Vodka eco-luxury handbag for the Best Green Handbag; a feature in Taunton Press' CraftStylish.com and a brand new Singer Curvy 8763 sewing machine for the Best Handmade Handbag; a chartable donation to their cause for the Most Socially Responsible Handbag, their bag featured on ABC's All My Children and a free booth at WWDMAGIC Accessories Show in Las Vegas (worth over $7000) for the Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design as well as other press-related accolades, a trunk show and being part of a trunk show and window display at Henri Bendel in addition to being named the best in their respective category. "These 25 designers whether they are established or emerging, share a common passion, commitment and creativity to make a unique handbag while being role-models for entrepreneurship and small business," says Emily Blumenthal, founder of Handbag Designer 101 and the Independent Handbag Designer Awards. "Each designer is well deserved in their recognition for in each category of Best Student-Made Handbag, Best Handmade Handbag, Most-Socially Responsible Handbag Best Green Handbag, and Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design."These 25 finalists were chosen by a preliminary judging panel of Handbag Designer 101. The winners of each category will be selected by a prestigious group of individuals. They are Ann Watson (Fashion Director at Henri Bendel), Lisa Smilor (Associate Director for the Council of Fashion Designers of America), Dani Stahl (Style Director of Nylon Magazine), Dana Palzkill (Senior Vice President of Product Management for Bag, Borrow or Steal), Rebecca Weinberg (Emmy Award Winning costume designer and stylist), David Zyla (3-Time Daytime Emmy Nominated Costume Designer for ABC Inc./All My Children) and Julia Poteat (Assistant Professor of Fashion Methods for Parsons The New School for Design) will decide who has created the "Top Handbag Design" and select a winner from each respective category. These finalists, whose bags all must be made under their own label, representing a wide range of styles and designs, in each category are:Best Student Made Handbag - The finalist's bags are students who have successfully started their lines while still in school. This award will be presented by Ann Watson, Fashion Director at Henri Bendel.- Rebecca Allen, Rebecca, AI Miami University, Florida- Lissa Jooijman, Hydralis, Technical University Eindhoven, The Netherlands- Dana Van Daele, Grey Sunshine, The Fashion Institute of Technology, New York- Clara Yoo, C L A R A Y O O, Parsons The New School for Design, New York- Lina Motoki, Lina Motoki, Parsons The New School for Design, New YorkBest Handmade Handbag - The finalist's bags must be sewn, crocheted, knitted or any other material where the designer themselves is making their bag by hand or machine. This award will be presented by Debbie Stoller, Author of the Stitch 'N Bitch Series and Founder of Bust Magazine.- Renee Parrill, Flamestitch- Dawn Kelly, Dawn Kelly- Laura Nelli, Nelle- Shara N. Brown, Accessory Niche- Darren Wallace, Darren WallaceBest Green Handbag - The finalist's bags that are made out of sustainable, recycled or organic materials. This award will be presented by Allyn Feldman of McCormick Distilling's 360 Vodka.- Evelina, Vegan Queen - Eco Luxury- Tracy Penwell, Dressed Up Cat Fashion Re-fashioned- Jonathan Marcoschamer, Ecoist- Suzanna Scarola, Bellabags- Nazly Villamizar, NAZLY VILLMIZARMost Socially Responsible Handbag - The finalist's bags meet certain ethical and moral standards in regards to production, employment and philanthropy and have impacted the local culture of the country of manufacturing. This award will be presented by Kendall Farrell, Executive Director of the Bottomless Closet.- Christiane Valdez, La Chica Chic, Made in Brazil- Nyasha Manyonda, Afrobag, Made in Zimbabwe- Qy: Caroline Swarbrick and Marie De Ryck, Hatti Trading, Made in Nepal- Jamila Hubbard, Mad Imports, Made in Madagascar- Bridget Reid, PFYH, Made in Canada via PeruBest Handbag in Overall Style and Design - This category represents the best executed handbag in overall style and design and will be presented by IHDA, Jana Hanci, CEO of LaunchBags.- Julie Lazarus, Elezar- Wendy Lau, Edidi- Diego Rocha, Diego Rocha,- Georgia Thompson, mass london ltd- Lui Antinous, Lui AntinousThe final category to be celebrated is "Audience-Selected Handbag" where fans can vote for their favorite independent handbag designer based on the 25 finalists on Handbag Designer 101 and Bag Borrow or Steal. This award will be presented by BBoS' Chief Marketing Officer, Jodi Watson. This designer that received the most votes will be announced the night of June 18th at the IDHA event with the other category winners. These aforementioned category finalists' work can be seen at http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/awards/finalists_2008.Legendary handbag brand LEIBER will receive the IHDA ICONOCLAST Award. For 45 years, LEIBER has been a leader in luxury accessory design. Currently, LEIBER has broadened its customer base by evolving the product to meet the needs of a younger customer while remaining true to its heritage. LEIBER has stood the test of time and continues to earn international acclaim with their innovative handbags and accessories, and most recently selected as "Most Prestigious Handbag" by the Luxury Institute's Luxury Brand Status Index and will be presented by its CEO, Milton Pedraza.The main underwriting sponsor of the IHDA is LaunchBags, the one-stop shop for all things handbag. From inception to sale, their services support, emerging and established talent in the accessories industry. Additional sponsors include: Women's Wear Daily, The Luxury Institute, WWDMAGIC, Bag Borrow or Steal, Henri Bendel, The Fashion Business Improvement District: The Fashion Center, Commerce Bank, Rosenthal & Rosenthal Inc., The Garment Industry Development Corporation, Parsons The New School of Design, Wathne Limited, M&J Trimming, TUKATECH, Leather Suede Skins, Rosen & Chadick Fabrics, RIRI Zippers/Pacific Trimmings, Verve NYC, Digital Plus, Clothing Labels 4U.com, 360 Vodka, Glaceau, POM Wonderful, Casa de Vinos and the Bottomless Closet.For complete information or to purchase tickets for the Independent Handbag Designer Awards, check out www.handbagdesigner101.com or www.hbd101.com.Handbag Designer 101, the handbag designer resource, was inspired by the need for the handbag designer, aficionado and fan in all of us as one knows we can never have too many bags. Handbag Designer 101 and Independent Handbag Designer Awards trademarks are owned by handbagdesigner101.com, a privately held company based in New York City.
mood: vexed
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Art of the spa -- desert style

Jun 15th, 2008 1:44:33 am - Subscribe

As we slip into soft, fluffy robes and rubber sandals, one of my two spa companions whispers that this will be her first massage. Ever.Oh my . . . what?!We are at the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, one of the top resort spas in Arizona, if not the United States. Given the location, she is probably about to have the best spa treatment of her life."OK, I need to know," she leans in. "Will they see me naked?"I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing -- on the one hand, it will be a great "first time."On the other hand, she is setting the bar pretty high.She may leave here believing that all massages come with an optional sage "smudging" ceremony to purify the space for healing, complimentary fresh-squeezed juices, change rooms outfitted with everything from plush towels to high-end toiletries, and treatment rooms that could be on the cover of Architectural Digest -- not to mention some of the best practitioners in the industry.There is a reason so many people come to Arizona for spa treatments. There is a sense of wellness here, a sense of calm, that is worth seeking out.And Scottsdale has honed the spa treatment to a fine art.We make our way to the elegant waiting area, where three masseuses await. Two women, one man. His hands look like they could pound the knots out of a waterlogged rope. He steps forward for my friend.Oh, this is going to be good.We whisper hushed farewells as we are ushered into separate treatment rooms -- my "virgin" friend for a Desert Aromatherapy massage, my experienced friend (who makes regular pilgrimages to Arizona and this spa, in particular) for a Jet-Lag Recovery massage, and myself for the Desert Purification body treatment.I'm ready to relax and detoxify.My masseuse has the skilled hands of a much larger person, and quickly sets to putting my body into a state of relaxation.She applies a body mask of "native grains", a sticky mixture of cornmeal, oats, and clays (in keeping with the organic theme of these treatments, the mix is free of preservatives, artificial colourings or synthetic fragrances).The mask sits on my skin like a poultice, soothing and warm.The next step, having it exfoliated off with a natural-fibre cloth made from the Ayate cactus plant, feels wonderful. Almost as wonderful as the aromatherapy oil massage, featuring organic juniper, sage and rosemary essential oils, that follows.As my treatment winds up, I'm given the gift of my very own cactus loofah for exfoliation at home. Somehow, I know the ritual just won't be the same.Every element of this treatment is derived from the desert and Native American traditions.It's the kind of thing you would, quite literally, only find in the southwest, and one of the reasons so many people continue to flock to the desert for treatment.You could say that Scottsdale is known as something of a mecca for spa-goers.It's not just the use of adobe clay, pure aloe vera, ground jojoba seeds, sage and juniper, or Sonoran desert honey, though that is what gives Arizona spas their desert flavour.It's also the impeccable service and the spectacular settings -- many of the best spas are destinations in themselves, from their desert oasis locations to their architecture and decor.There is also the matter of sheer volume. Scottsdale has more spas per capita than any U.S. city. With roughly 130 spas here, and a population of 232,000, it's clear this is an industry geared toward servicing those who flock to the desert for both body and soul.At the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the setting is spectacular; a 44,000 square-foot luxury spa that occupies its own wing of the elegant Fairmont resort, with many of the rooms open to nature -- the sunny rooftop pool flanked by elegant cabanas, the glass-walled restaurant, the waterfall that connects all three levels of the facility.It's apparent from the many hushed, blissed-out patrons padding softly around, that the setting works to put you into a state of relaxation before desert-inspired treatments even begin.But desert-inspired means more than just using a cactus loofah. You can take it one step further -- there's a spiritual element to the spa treatments here in Arizona.The Centre for Well-Being at The Phoenician, for example, offers private sessions in astrology, hypnotherapy and guided meditation.Eurasia Spa at Scottsdale Resort and Athletic Club starts every spa session with a Cosanti Bell ritual.At the Boulders Resort, the Golden Door Spa offers an experience called equilibrium bottle interpretation, designed to give you a picture of your true self.You can have your toes read at the Mandala Tea Room and Apothecary.There's something to all this good-for-the-soul stuff. When I finally emerge from my treatment, scrubbed, massaged, exfoliated and little lightheaded, clutching my very own cactus loofah, I wander out to the spa plunge pools.There lie my travelling companions, limp and smiling, one of them weeping quietly under a cool, cucumber-scented face cloth."I am having a moment," comes her muffled voice. "I am just so, so happy right now."Now that's a spa experience.
mood: toxic
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