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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sonia Mack's website is up!

You can register for Sonia's section Le Soleil Brule online at her website.

Island People in the Air!

Since I don't know anyone who registered online, well except one person who is still awaiting an email confirmation from Island People, what is the feedback from everyone who registered yesterday?How was the registration process; was it easy , are costumes sold out, were you able to get he costume of your choice and most importantly what section are you in?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Rockin and Rollin!!

Yes allyuh I survived the earthqauke! Firstly I want you guys to know I am petrified of only two things; earthquake and lightning, hell for me will be an earthquake in a thunderstorm because whenever earthquake hits I am usually the first person out the buildings, so I can't imagine anything worse than running out the builiding into lightning!

So I was on my way to the office, stopped for gas at the station at Barataria and as I came around the roundabout by Maritime Plaza I rush a lady to get in the lane of traffic, all of a sudden I feel the car shake, I say "ay ay the bitch bounce meh!". Only to realise the shaking not stopping! The asphalt started moving like maracas waves, and me there feeling like I am in the bocas! I sent down my window, asked the guy in the car next to me if he was feeling that and he replied that it was coming over the radio...earthquake!!

Well I started praying that a lightpole would not fall on my car and after what seemed like forever it was over. All the power was gone, none of the traffic lights were working so it was even more traffic backed up. As I came over the Lady Young I saw small boulders strewn on the side of the road and when I got to work the building was in darkness. Thankfully I was not at work when it started because I would be hyperventilating all now, three walls on the top floor are cracked straight down! Someone was standing NEXT to one of the walls when they saw the crack appeared!

The electricity returned when I was in office, then we lost power again and now it is back so I am now online . Thanks for all the enquiries as to my safety, I am ok!

The Saga of Le Soleil Brule

So my girlfriend went to register with Sonia Mack yesterday, having never played with her before she and another friend who was not present had to be placed on a waiting list. Two other friends of hers, past masqueraders of Sonia, also went to register and they were able to choose a costume from what is left as all the front lines and option C is sold out.

I was told that one of the friends who registered wrote down her bra size and was challenged by an employee of Mrs. Mack's as to the "truth" in the size she claimed to be wearing. The girl was then told by said employee that she HAD to try on a bra of that size and that the employee HAD to see her with it on, because everyone had to try the bra! Now, I don't know what is regular practice with other bands but when I heard that I was shocked, since when did you have to prove to an employee of the mas camp if your bra fits or not, suppose you have body issues and don't want a stranger ogling your breasts?

Besides, if you choose your costume smaller than what your size right then, possibly with the anticipation of loosing future weight, that is your business since the only one suffering when it does not fit is YOU! Apparently, the girl was told that Mrs. Mack wants all her masqueraders looking their best on the road and a proper fitting bra is a MUST. Now I can see where she is coming from with that argument, but again, if the woman wants cleavage popping out of the bra and she finds that is looking good who cares? I remember when I played with Sonia Mack she told both me and my girlfriend that we should take an extra large bikini when we have always worn medium! She and her daughter said THEY wore medium so it was impossible that WE wore medium (I guess because was HAVE an ass). Would you believe when we collected the costume the underwear was massive? We had to hightail it to Chaos and buy a MEDIUM panty!

My friend said to add insult to injury, the girls who registered before did not try on a bra, I guess they all looked like their correct size and were not challenged. In the end the friend left quite upset and refused to try on the bra in front of the employee (but still made registered with a down payment) and was told she had to try on the bra at sometime in the future for Mrs Mack to see (she is currently out of the country). My girlfriend says her friend has no intention of trying the bra for anyone and she is waiting to see if she does not if they will kick her out of the section and refund her money.

Oh, and ontop of that after they left my friend who was put on the waiting list and wears a B cup was called and told that she could return to the mas camp and register anytime yesterday (her spot was not guaranteed to be there today) as they had B cup bras but the other girl who is a D cup will have to wait as they are not too sure if they have any D cups available. Now forgive me if I am wrong, but I thought the procedure for ordering your costume was that they ordered it to your specifications and not that your measurements had to fit what they had in stock? So then are the bras already pre-ordered and when all the D cups are gone tough luck?That is the weirdest thing I am yet to hear! From my experience you write on the registration card what ever is your size and they make the bra to fit you! Well you know if I was there I would have asked that question, in fact if I were there I would have convinced them to leave that madness one time!

My girlfriend is yet to register since she as well got fed up of the drama and did not return to the mas camp. She explained to me that her friend put a B cup as her size because she is going to have breast reduction surgery soon (plastic surgery is becoming quite popular in Trinidad) and the girl did not feel she had to explain to anyone nor return after the surgery to try her bra and prove anything to them especially since she is a paying customer (you know the customer is always right!). So my friend is still without a section and at this stage she is ready to give up.

I am trying to convince her not to, but the idea of waiting until Carnival Sunday to get a cheap costume is getting more appealing to her as the days go by. All in all I get the feeling she might end up where her "crew" is and I will be seeing her in burnt orange and copper. Stay tuned for the finale of this saga.

Trevor Wallace

I have uploaded professional pics of Trevor Wallace's presentation for 2007, "On the Cat Walk" to photobucket . Here are the original sketches/designs of the costumes (click on images to make them larger)






As you can see those drawings are fabulous! It's a pity that what is represented there failed to be reproduced in the actual costume.

Sources have said that the band is labour of love, surviving without practically any sponsorship, while trying to offer their masqueraders affordable costumes and an all-inclusive experience. It is a pity that the big sponsors can literally pour money into the coffers of the larger, popular bands who have basically little need for that money with the price of their costumes (sponsorship is the icing on the cake) yet the smaller bands that really need help are left wanting. I wonder if Digicel or TSTT were sponsors of Trevor Wallace would we have seen those designs on paper "come to life" in reality?

TRIBE is SOLD OUT

Well at least online:

from TRIBE's website:
Our ONLINE Inventory is sold out and Online Registration has been closed off. We do apologise for any inconvenience. Sections are still available inhouse (see below for availability). Persons wishing to register can visit the Mas Camp between the hours of 11am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Overseas masqueraders wishing to register can email us at sales@carnivaltribe.com for payment options.

Just for the record these sections are not yet showing sold out so I guess costumes are still available at the mas camp:

Bat
Imp
Jab Molassie
Pierrot Grenade
Cow Mas
Majorette
Midnight Robber
Pierrot Grenade
Jean and Dinah

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Friday the 29th at 8:00am

That's the time Island People's website is scheduled to be up and running. And for all those who love to say that " we" like to go on "hearsay" and"she say" and "dem say" let me just state that I have gotten that information from calling Island People's mas camp personally. And all the other times I have reported on the dates/times for registration it is either by speaking to someone at Island People's mas camp or one of the section leaders for example Sonia Mack and Crystal Amming.

It's not MY fault that one half of the commitee seems to not know what the other is doing/saying and therefore the information they are giving to the public contradicts each other. Like I said, how I buy it is how I am selling it!

Hiawatha for 2007

The TnT Mirror featured this write up on Legacy's 2007 presentation in last Sunday's edition. The concept of an entire band of Fancy Indians is something I am eagerly waiting to see.


Mirror Carnival 2K7

Legacy’s Big Mike goes for American Indian theme for C2K7
By ANTHONY ‘Lexo’ ALEXIS


LEGACY’s bandleader, “Big Mike” Antoine continues to introduce fresh, new, innovative ideas to the Carnival culture; his questing spirit I would imagine demanding no less than themes rich in fabled lore, romance and history.

Two years ago designer Big Mike declared his creative prowess in his presentation titled Legacy, a theme that found its sequel in Kingdom for C2K6.

For 2007, Big Mike is brimming with pride and unbriddled confidence as he launches another strong theme -- Hiawatha -- a tribute to the Native American Indian, their rich history, culture and spirit.

He gushes: “The American Indian theme is one dear to my heart as it also represents one of our traditional mas forms.

“We’ll be going very big with this one, setting a high standard when all our designs are completed.

“We want to thank the people for all their support and following our success in 2006, Legacy will surely be a force on the road for 2007.”

Big Mike told me that Legacy’s Band launch will take place on Saturday, October 14, at The Anchorage with music provided by Legacy’s road band Traffik, featuring Shurwayne Winchester.

In other news, Big Mike and the Legacy crew have just returned to Trinidad having completed another successful summer tour of Carnivals around the world, this odyssey took them from St. Martin to Barbados, across the Atlantic to Paris, London before moving on to Boston and New York.

The Legacy team proudly represented T&T mas and culture, once again winning a number of awards, some of which included Band of the Year for the eight consecutive time at Brooklyn’s Labour Day Carnival.

And in Barbados, Most Colourful Band and the Socaholics Award went to Legacy.

Big Mike’s team also chalked up second place Individual of the Year Award with a costume designed and built by Big Mike titled Sugar Queen.

Look out for Hiawatha for C2K7.

Letter to Island People Mas

The following letter sent to Island People Mas and the other agencies listed below speaks volumes, thank you Angelina for sharing it with us as well:



September 27, 2006



Island People Mas Camp
#11 Stone Street
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad


To Whom It May Concern:

Dear Island People:

For the past couple of weeks there have been numerous amounts of questions and speculations about your organization and treatment towards your loyal and new masqueraders who would like to play with you Carnival 2007. It has been said that your customer service thus far has been horrible and disrespectful; and one can only imagine if we are being treated like this now, what should we expect come Carnival Monday and Tuesday?

Is your organization going to treat us to a wonderful and unforgettable on "de" road experience or are we to expect the abuse that was thrown to my friends, to their faces, lining up to register at your Mas Camp. And I quote, “Island People is not begging anybody to play with them, and you free to go elsewhere if you not happy with our service.” Secretly we know some mas makers may think this way, but it should not be blatantly thrown in our faces. And why does an overseas masquerader have to pay full price? An explanation would help as to why such a drastic measure is in place. Could you not have suggested half down? After your hiccups for Carnival 2006 could we trust IP to deliver our goods? If we can forgive you for your inaugural year why is your organization treating us like this?

We are not stray dogs looking for food. We are Trinidadians, along with every other Caribbean Islander and people across the world. Is this how you want to represent our culture, and our heritage?

To really understand the impact of how your customer service is affecting everyone, visit some of the blogs that are circulating on the web. This is an excerpt from a heavily frequently visited blog. “Every Mas maker thinks that way: "We not begging anyone to play in our band.” Let’s be REAL this morning please! They put out a band, you like what they offering, pay your money and join them. I have no problem with that mentality, its business after all. BUT!! And this is the KEY difference: It seems EVERY OTHER Mas maker except Island People has grasped the concept of treating their potential and confirmed masqueraders with some respect. i.e. you don't have to play with us, we not begging, but you are after all the ones with the buying power so here, and we would be happy to have you, so: take an up to speed website, here's an email with all you need to know, enjoy the airconditioned room while you wait to register, you thirsty? No, problem, help yourself to water and gatorade while you wait, and for all our overseas masqueraders, we've hooked y’all up with a payment system to help the process along. That! My darling is how you do business!” (Anonymous)

It’s easy for your committee to ignore and dismiss these blogs and not be concerned. But this blog has had 24,467 hits to date from all over the world, and people are reading and taking note. Through this blog and other online chat forums people are expressing their disgust, anger, and frustration with regards to your organization. And these are people who are registered with you, and or thinking about registering. Negative remarks can influence and open the minds if not all, but the majority of the people that support or are thinking about supporting Island People.

Your lack of communication to your masqueraders thus far has been cryptic.

Here’s some advice; “If you want to muzzle people like me and everyone else that are criticizing you, there’s something call damage control. Take out a press and media release, addressing the situation and assuring everyone that Island People have made changes to their organization and customer service and promise that come Carnival Monday and Tuesday 2007 THERE’S NO WHERE ELSE YOU RATHER BE, BUT WITH IP!”

I hope you do take this letter into consideration and make changes.


Respect!

Thank you,

AHRoberts
Angelina Haylee Roberts
New Jersey


CC: Alan Green
Editor
Trinidad Express
35 Independence Square
POS, Trinidad
W.I.

Natalie Williams
Head of TV News
Trinidad Express
35 Independence Square
POS, Trinidad
W.I.

Dominic Kalipersad
Editor-in-Chief
The Trinidad guardian
22-24 St. Vincent Street
POS, Trinidad
W.I.

Peter Ray Blood
Associate Editor, Features
The Trinidad guardian
22-24 St. Vincent Street
POS, Trinidad
W.I.

Daily News Ltd.
23 A Chacon St
POS, Trinidad
W.I.

Mr. Terry Joseph
Public Relations Officer
NCC
Queens Park Savannah
POS, Trinidad
W.I.

David Cameron
Public Relations Officer
Queen's Park Savannah
POS, Trinidad
W.I.

Ms. Candace Ali
Communications Coordinator
Tourism Development Company
Level 1, Maritime Centre
Barataria
POS, Trinidad
W.I.

Mr. Donald Little
Chairman
NCDF
143 Belmont Circular Road
Belmont,
POS, Trinidad
W.I.


Ms. Sherma Mitchell
Communications Specialist
Ministry of Tourism
Clarence House
125-127 Duke Street
POS, Trinidad
W.I.

What's up with Island People's website?

So, I get up this morning and click on islandpeoplemas.com, the page loads as normal, I press "enter " and nothing! The website is down, and this after they announced on their website and via email that online registration was to begin ON or before September 27th......today is the 28th and nothing yet!

Well, hopefully the website being down is a sign that they are making changes and all those ball and chained to their computer will get a chance to register today.I refuse to comment on the whole situation because I am fed up of beating a dead horse.

On another note my friend went back to the mas camp yesterday with the rest of her posse and they decided on Le Soleil Brule (great choice!). Today they are off to Sonia Mack's camp since you cannot register for her section at the mas camp on Stone Street and hopefully she is not sold out as yet! I am curious to see as masquerders who have never played with Sonia if they will be able to get into the section. Though I cannot understand how it can take them four days to decide on a costume!

The drama is never over ! Iwill keep you guys updated on their quest for a costume in the Sahara.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Update!!!!!!!!!

For those waiting for Island People keep close to your computer between 6:00pm to 7:00pm as I was informed that was the time online registration is expected to begin, but in the meantime keep checking the website!

edited to add: it is now 7:26 and nothing......I read on IMIX that "someone" at the mas camp said that registration will be fully loaded by 11:00pm tonight. Again, don't blame me if you are chained to the computer for the rest of the night! Good luck to you all (go for Sacred Sand!!)

By the way Harem Girl Orange is SOLD OUT, Sahara Sunset frontline is SOLD OUT and Nubian male is SOLD OUT.

Also Dame Lorraine female is now completely SOLD OUT. I registered a friend of a friend at the mas camp this afternoon and she was able to get one of the three remaining costumes in Option B.

New to Mas? Here is what to expect

Alright, I am going to try to answer New to Mass's question on what to expect:

Saucy - Can you please give a run down on what to expect on actual Carnival day - like costume pick up, food, drinks, rest periods. Does the band really so all night or do they break off and meet back on Tuesday and until what time.


Costume Pick Up:

This information is usually disclosed about two weeks before Carnival with a notice on the band's website,via email and press advertisements. informing of the costume collection period. Each section is assigned a specific day for pick up and they stress that you can only collect THAT costume on THAT day. However, if you an overseas masquerader you also have one day set aside for those who will be coming to Trinidad the week of Carnival.

On the day of costume pick up you pay off the balance on your costume (if you have not done so before) collect your box/bag with your costume, inspect all the pieces to make sure you have gotten everything advertised especially look for your security bands; one for all-inclusive and one that allows you to be in the band (imprinted with the name of your band). Then you oogle your goody bag (which has lots of useful stuff like nail polish,glitter etc) and if you have any queries look for someone in charge and have your issue addressed. This year TRIBE also gave out a little info booklet with practical information like the line up of the sections, meeting places and times for Monday and Tuesday etc. Most bands will give you a flyer of some sort with this information.

Carnival Monday:
After Jourvert get home and get some rest, make sure and get all the paint/mud off your body. Then start getting ready to go and meet the band, most bands meet between 11:00 am to 12:00 noon at a pre determined venue/assembly point. When you find the band you fall in your section, or the section of your friends, family or significant other that you will be hanging out with for the day. The vibe on Monday is total freedom, as you don't have to worry about looking cute in your fancy costume.If your band is all-inclusive no breakfast is served but you do get lunch and snacks, and the first thing you should do is take a drink for the road! The band then parades through the streets along a route that takes you through Port of Spain, St. James and to the Savannah where you get 5 minutes of glory to run wild for the camera on stage. Next year's route is uncertain since there are no plans for a Savannah stage. You dance, wine and jump up until sundown, some people go later but by 6:00pm to 7:00pm I usually look to head out of Port of Spain.

Carnival Tuesday:
You will be so excited that you wake up early since the band meets between 7:00 am and 8:00 am. So, you have to get dressed, made up and leave the house as soon as the sun comes up. If you have not had breakfast and are playing in an all-inclusive band, don't worry breakfast is served on the road as soon as you meet the band. If your band is not all-inclusive eat breakfast please! As you get your first look of the band in full costume you start checking out other costumes, admiring the ones that looked so much better on the road and those that did not live up to the photos. Mingle, greet your friends and section mates , the excitment builds as the music pumps you up. Finally you start moving, the band will continue along the same or similar route as Monday, it might be a slower movement since more bands come out on Tuesday. Occasionally you might get stuck behind another band and your band either waits or goes another route. Music will be at full blast of course, the front line H.O.s will be looking pretty and lots of people will be lining the streets to look at you in costume, you will feel like a beauty pageant contestant, all eyes on you!

Your destination is the Savannah stage and everyone wants to get there early. As your quest to enter the Savannah nears you will have to wait, usually in one spot, inching forward until you can actually see the stage and all the spectators.The sun will be beating down on you at this time but you will be too filled with adrenaline and Johnny Walker to care. At that time you will be asked to get in your sections and the drinks trucks will disappear to the side of the band. As you inch towards the stage anticipation grows, you see other masqueraders already on stage having a ball and you cannot wait for your turn, security will be in place keeping sections from running unto the stage before time. The frontline H.O.s will be to the front of the section and security allows them onstage first then they open the man barrier and allow you to charge forward like a banshee from hell. Nothing I write can describe what it is like for those 10 minutes or so of wild frenzied abandonment, you have to experience it yourself.

Too soon security will start gently ushering the maquerders off the stage with some slipping past to go back and join the other section poised to come on stage. Coming down the ramp is like coming down from your high. Faces of strangers will greet you at the end of the ramp, some looking for a friend or family member while others, including the kids, are looking to beg for piece of your costume. As you politely say no and move on you look for the rest of your section and keep moving. At this time the band is ready for a lunch stop (if your band is all-inclusive) and you make your way to a park at St. Clair where lunch stations are set up. This is your only official rest period; you partake of the food, drinks, relax , use the rest rooms, fix your makeup and catch your breath before hitting the road again.

Your legs will feel as if they are rubber after that little rest but you have to press on, ideal time to take a drink for gas as the day is long from over. Your route may take you to other judging points (you are also judged at the Savannah) where you will be required to get into sections again. There is no big stage to cross , you will be jumping up on the street in front of judges and spectators (also you can cross these judging points before getting to the Savannah). A variety of snacks are served in the afternoon, from sno cone to boil corn to ice cream and lollies. As security becomes more lax as the day comes to a close the "stormers" (non costumed civilians) do try and fall in the band. The dancing through the streets continue as the band's route takes you through St. James and as it begins to get dark some people start making their way to where their cars are parked, the traffic to get out of Port of Spain is usually terrible and some try to get out early. The die hard Carnival babies press on until long after it gets dark, I cannot say how late they stay because I am ready to head home by 8:00pm.

And as you leave the band and head towards your car, with no music spurring you on and saturated with alcohol your feet will start to hurt like you never believe, feeling like lead with every step you take all you will be doing is praying to sit down fast! Finally, as you make your way out of Port of Spain and Carnival Tuesday comes to a close, the last strains of Machel's song hits you from a music truck that passes by and you smile,wondering to yourself how long until you can do it all over again!




Registration today....well sort of

I see Island People Mas is now sending me emails, I got the one about the scam yesterday and now this one about registration:

Hey,

Ok today is the day!!! Online Registration begins!!!

If you live outside of Trinidad, please visit our website today to register. Please read the registration instructions carefully and then immediately wire your money to Island People Mas in Trinidad.

As of now, there is no exact time that registration will start. Please continue to check the site frequently. Sorry we cannot give you an exact time.

Thanks

Island People Mas

www.islandpeoplemas.com




Ahm, is it just me but don't you think the fact that they cannot give a time is unexcusable!!!!!!! I am sorry for all those sitting at their computers all now constantly refreshing the page! Good luck!

After Carnival Cooldown

I promised Hottie Hottie that I would post photos of Maracas Beach from my visit there on Sunday:





For those newbies who will be making the trip to Carnival for the first time in 2007, Maracas beach is also the scene of the Ash Wednesday cool down. I have not been to an Ash Wednesday cool down in years! The traffic to get in and out of Maracas is a great deterrent as well as the fact that it really isn't about "cooling down" but just another day to prolong the feteing, drinking and wining.

To me the perfect respite after Carnival is Tobago, and if you have the same idea the time for looking for guest houses, hotels and flights is now! Trust me, you will not be the only ones with the idea of enjoying Tobago's serenity after the bacchanlia of Carnival. Inspite of the popularity of this blog and my fervor for Carnival many Trinidadians do not share my passion and either go camping, down the islands, to another country or head over to the sister isle to escape the "madness".

Pigeon Point Tobago:


Consequently accommodation in Tobago gets booked long in advance of Carnival. A very good website for Tobago reviews, photos and other information is My Tobago. I also like using Tripadvisor for reviews and photos from real people. To accommodate large groups I think a villa might be a much better deal than a hotel, Island Real Estate is a good site to browse Villas for rent and a very popular Villa is Villa De Lena which rents for $200.00 US a night year round (though I checked the calendar and it is booked solid from January to April!). A really nice place to stay for a group is Sandy Point Beach Club (not the hotel) , it's a timeshare establishment but you can also rent units for a week or less . The facilities are well maintained with three hot tubs, a small pool, beach side bar, small restaurant and it is within walking distance to Store Bay. You can also book locally at their office on Ethel Street St. James or by calling 1-868-628-9832.
My other two favourite hotels in the Crown Point area are Kariwak and Toucan Inn, Kariwak is really nice and relaxing (and they used the space quite well, you can see my pics on tripadvisor) and Toucan Inn is a nice, simple place to stay and both establishment serve excellent food.

Barbados is one of my favourite islands and since you asked I will share several affordable places to stay, you know Feburary is still peak period so prices are higher. If you want simple, affordable accomodation with kitchen facilities to prepare your own meals, on or close to the beach here are my top pics:

1.Southern Surf Apartments
My friend stayed here for Cropover and found it to be quite nice (check tripadvisor for reviews!). It is opposite Rockley/Accra Beach and you can walk to Bubbas, Cheffettes and several other eating places in the area. Also, you are on the ,main bus route to catch the dollar cab to Bridgetown and the Gap.

2.Coral Mist and 3. Blue Orchids
Sister hotels on Worthing Beach which I personally find is a GREAT beach. They were refurbished a couple years ago and offer apartments AND studios. The location is ideal as well, close to the Gap, a supermarket, Lucky Horseshoe and the Carib Beach Bar. Again, transport is not a problem as they are also on the main road.

4.Yellow Bird
Basic hotel at the entrance to the Gap. If you plan on bar hopping or late nights at Ship Inn this hotel is great beacause you are far away from the noise so you can sleep at night, but close enough to stumble back to your room after a few drinks.

5.Accra Beach Hotel
More "upscale" than the others this Hotel is on Rockley/Accra Beach and has a sweet pool (no kitchen facilities though). I think they are doing some construction in preparation for the Cricket World Cup next year but if you want something beyond the basics the accomodation hereis great. The food is kinda expensive but you are within walking distance to several places for a eat.

Harts "New" Costume

When I played with Harts my friends and I would always register early for one of the all girls sections, which sold out first, only to discover a "new" costume pop up later on looking absolutely fabulous. If a costume design is not popular or receives an overwhelmingly negative response from potential masqueraders Harts usually takes the bull by the horns and makes a change to the costume . I have seen it happened the year we played in a lovely teal blue all girls section only for them to release a stunning gold costume a few months after we registered!And subsequent years after that I would always see a "new" costume make it's way unto the website after the band has launched and sold out sections.

Visit their website today and you will see they have already made changes, El Dorado is no longer a yellow disaster, they have changed it to a gorgeous peacock themed costume.

OLD DCOSTUME:


NEW COSTUME:


Although you can still see the old costume in 36o degree gallery.


I also noticed that they changed the photos of several sections like Herland (they removed the photo with the black female model) which now has a better angle of the headpiece, Nevada (they removed the stripper wigs from the models) and Xanadau (which looks like a totally different shade of purple in the new photo). I think they also need new photos of Imagine which is an entire costume made with huge rhinestones and Paradise since you can't see the real beauty of either costume from the photographs they have posted.

Maybe some other bands should take Harts initiative and upgrade certain costumes *coughcactaiandimpcough* especially if they know the costume design is not warmly received by masqueraders. I mean would it kill them to admit that they dropped the ball when it came to a particular costume and go back to the drawing board for the sake of giving masqueraders great choices? Once again Harts will always be the leader, I applaud the fact that they are always taking the initiative to tweak their designs and give the customer more options for a fabulous costume.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Just back from Island People's Mas Camp...

My friend who was in New York on vacation is back home and since she did not organise her business when I told her to she missed out on Sacred Sand. So we were off to the mas camp this afternoon so she could inspect what's left and hopefully make a decision.

Firstly no more sections are sold out, Sacred Sand, Goddess & Defenders, Oasis, Jewel of the Nile and Arabian Dancer A &B are still the only ones gone. Now the first visit I had to the mas camp was pure madness and I did not get to inspect the costumes as I wanted to. So, this afternoon I took my time as there was no crowd (there were still a lot of people viewing and registering) and examined the costumes giving my friend my honest opinions on her possible selections.

Sacred Sand is my number one choice, it's a very detailed costume and the handiwork shows. The bra is worked with pearls and beads, you can see it took time to create. The belt is not just a strip of sequins and applique but looks as if sand dollars, pearls and beads are hand stitched to what looks like a silk fabric. Oddly enough the smaller headpiece looked much better to me with the costume as I find it compliments it more than the large headpiece with the pheasant feathers.

My second choice would be the Arabian dancer with the tall headpiece, I so LOVE that bodice/top with the beads coming to the front. The bathing suit is made similar in design to what is used for the Cow Mas section in TRIBE, except this one meets to the middle and hooks to bottom piece with an O ring. Then they worked the bra with rows of gold beads which gives the effect of beaded gold fringe, I love everything about that costume.

As you can see the favourites are what is sold out, my friend was very disappointed that Sacred Sand was gone and of what remained she had a criticism of each one:

Mirage's colours were too pastel, she did not like the headpiece for Sahara Sunset, Taureg looked "cheap" (her words not mine), Raiders looked like a Catwalk outfit, she was not feeling Le Soleil (though I love that costume), she did not like the green of Cacti, Arabian Princess looked under decorated and she hated Sirrocco Winds (especially the "gaudy" backpack).

The costumes that are possibilities are Nubians (and for those who wanted to know the entire bra is beaded with fine, red beads), Harem Girls and Sahara Jumbie which is a VERY pretty costume! The only caveat is that Jumbie might be too dark for one of the other girls who my friend is playing with and Harem Girls are colours they played in this year.

Two costumes that did not wow me in person were Oasis and Jewels of the Nile. We both found Jewel of the Nile to be too busy, almost coskel with all those different colours and although I still like Oasis the costume is too blue! Hard to explain but the colour overpowers the design, and I don't like the odd shade of light blue used on the shoulder pieces of the front line, it does not match the rest of the costume. The biggest let down for my friend was Goddess and Defenders, she hated that costume in person and that was also one of her original choices. I have to admit the star bra looks very tacky and the feathers are not as white as I remembered, maybe it was the lighting but they looked off white. And the "beads" they used on the belt and regular bra looked flimsy and dare I say cheap!

After spending a lot of time going over the costumes my friend left still undecided and disappointed in the choices she had left. Tomorrow she will be back to make a down payment with the rest of the girls who are playing with her and hopefully they can come to a decision on a costume.

Oh, I noticed a nice trial area for bras which is a great addition to the mas camp as you can be properly sized and one of the young ladies said online registration will begin TODAY. I found that to be odd because I checked the website when I got home and you still cannot register online! Maybe she means later this evening I don't want to speculate and have all the people waiting for online registration falling asleep at the computers tonight!

Beware of Island People Scams!!

I just saw this on Islandmix.com, someone posted the following email that they received from Island People Mas:

Dear Island People Mas Family,

We have recently learned that people are unofficially and illegally collecting money on behalf of Island People Mas. Please do not give your money to or register with anyone who is not listed on our website as an official person handling registration.

The only person you should wire money to is Melanie Williams of Island People Mas. Anyone else who is collecting money is NOT affiliated with Island People Mas. There is no person handling registration outside of Trinidad. The two ways to register are 1. Online (accompanied by a wire transfer to Melanie Williams of Island People Mas) and 2. at the Mas Camp in Trinidad.

All official emails should come from info@islandpeoplemas.com

Thank you,

Island People Mas

PS: thanks for your immediate and overwhelming interest and support in The Sahara for Carnival 2007!!!!

But look who.......GENESIS!!!!!!!

Well yes, I have to be out of the loop Genesis launched on Saturday and it serves them right for dropping a "suprise" launch on us because I heard the crowd was "sparse"

Carnivalscene.com as well as Island Events have photos of their presentation for 2007, "Troy" check out the costumes!

On the Catwalk....Bob Mackie

Last evening my husband and I made our way to the media launch of Trevor Wallace and associates Carnival presentation for 2007 "On the Catwalk...Bob Mackie". The all-inclusive medium sized band is designed by legendary Wayne Berkeley and comprises of 10 sections.

The gathering of media personalities, friends and invited guests for the viewing made for a relaxed atmosphere when we arrived. Complimentary drinks and eats were served while we mingled, chatting with several friends that both of us met there. Not too long after we arrived the show began with an Indian Dance, followed by a 10 minute interlude and then the costumes were displayed.

A small stage was set up around a pool, which somewhat hampered the viewing of the costumes as the entire viewing area was significantly decreased by said same pool. The models had to show the costume in pairs, and with some very elaborate headpieces it took some maneuvering to get around each other as they passed on the "catwalk".

To be honest with you I don't get the connection with the names of the sections and Bob Mackie, especially since some of them are named after drinks such as creme de menthe!However they certainly channeled Bob Mackie in the "dramatic" headpieces and costuming. I was quite surprised of how many sections included black, especially for the men and to me the costumes could have done with more sequins and glitter since they are using Bob Mackie as an inspiration. It was nice to see that the models wore both whole pieces and bikini displaying the options available for each section and I am liking the skirt idea, no beaded waist belt for this band!

At the end of the presentation I had selected a few favorites among the costumes while others I had to wonder "what were they thinking?" I like "Creme de Menthe Frappe", "Soir de Paris" and "Vino Demi Sec". Upon leaving we were presented with a media kit and in it were drawings of the costumes and those drawings had the Wayne Berkeley stamp all over them, they were in one word FABULOUS!!!!! I guess the translation of those drawings into actual costumes was somewhat lost since what I saw on paper was not accurately represented in reality. All in all the costumes were nice, but I had greater expectations seeing as they were supposed to represent the magnificence that is both Bob Mackie and Wayne Berkeley.

Here are some photos from the launch (I will be adding more to my album on Photobucket).
click on the photos to make them larger:

Parfait D'Amor




C'est Si Bon




Purple Passion




Lemon Lime Sorbet




Creme de Menthe Frappe




Vino Demi Sec




Chanson D'Amor




Soir de Paris




Serpent Sting




C'Magnifique






On the Catwalk

Monday, September 25, 2006

TRIBE section updates..edited Tuesday 26th September

Dragon - SOLD OUT
Fancy Indian - SOLD OUT
Dame Lorraine Option A- SOLD OUT
Jab Jab Orange - SOLD OUT
Jab Jab Fuschia - SOLD OUT
Jab Jab Yellow - SOLD OUT
Warrior Spirit - SOLD OUT
Jamette - SOLD OUT
Jab Molassie Frontline - SOLD OUT
Fancy Sailor- SOLD OUT
Fireman - SOLD OUT

Sections Still open:
Cow Mas
Majorette
Pierrot Grenade
Midnight Robber
Bat
Jab Molassie
Dame Lorraine B
Imp

Pre and Post Carnival Beauty Issues

I received an SOS email of sorts asking for advice on a pre and post Carnival beauty regimen, Now I had not thought of all these points before so I am thankful for the author of that email for providing me with some new ideas. I know I can answer a few of these questions, but others (like the tanning issue) I am in no position to answer, so therefore I am looking for advice from the "experts" .

Skin firmness:
Women are naturally plauged by cellulite, regardless of if you are skinny those annoying bumps show up on your legs or butt and excercise does not always help. I know there are several creams, lotions and potions out there that claim to firm, tighten and lift areas prone to cellulite. Mas stockings helps to give your legs a smooth look, but has anyone had experience with anything that works ? Recommendations for firming products are wanted.
p.s.I was sent this link for reviews on cellulite creams: LINK

Tanning:
If you are of the lighter pigmentation coming out of winter to hit Trinidad with pale, pasty skin is not cute! I vacation alot and I am always browsing my vacation forums and I have read about self tanners, bronzers, mystic tan and tanning beds being utilized BEFORE going on vacation. Some of the posters swear having a tan gives you added protection from the sun so you won't burn. To me the tan just looks healthy and makes your skin look great. From my reading I know tanning beds are not recommended because of skin damage, but the spray on tans and self tanners are. I also want to know if anyone has used the airbrushed makeup for legs that promised to hide all the "flaws".

Seeing as I am already a caramel complexion and do not need self tanners, it would be nice if others who do use it give a review of products they use.

Hair:
Now my hair is short at this time and I am thinking of leaving it that way for Carnival, since I am wearing a hat or extending it with a pony tail extension so I can wear it to the side seeing as I have a backpack and wearing hair down my back is out of the question. One year I had visions of long hair, so your girl went and got extensions put in, all 16 inches of human hair that my friend brought for me from Detroit. Well, from the moment I reached downtown and that heat started I felt SO hot! All that "extra" hair was killing me so I had to find a rubber band and up in a ponytail that hair went! Braids seem like a good option but you have to be careful that it is not done too tight, apart from getting a massive headache you can also damage your hairline if the braids are so taut you look Chinese. So can we have your hair tips/horror stories or advice?

Here is a hair tip from that email:
The decorations on the (any) backpacks and the position of them may cause some snags and breakage. My sister and I usually wear our hair pinned in either a stylish chignon, or a simple, elegant plaît ( just faancy ways of saying that we does tie up we hair, but still make sure that cuteness is ever-present).

Also, hair prep is key. Not everyone has the fortune of hats like e.g. the Firemen, Cow Mas-ers and Jeans and Dinahs (doh mind that some of the hats still have de top of yuh head all exposed—any coverage is still coverage). Most of the costumes' headpieces have some sort of headband as its foundation, which means that your hair is going to be subject to the same constant sun that your skin is—perhaps even more, since you're in a crowd, and assuming you don't tower over everyone else, your body would be shaded at least a portion of the time, whereas your exposed area of hair stays exposed, unless you're sure to constantly stand in the shade (provided by your personal valets (I know of an H.O. last year who asked her security personnel to serve such a purpose)). One must make sure your hair is as protected as your skin.

I can't endorse any particular product, but I use lots and lots of anti-frizz (silicone based). It works wonders against all the moisture in the air (sweat, cool zones, wildness of people just flinging water in the air in sheer excitement and drunkedness …) and my hair still stays soft and "movey." Anti-frizz may not provide sufficient hold or control for all, but a good rule of thumb is to make sure your products are alcohol-free. You're probably putting enough alcohol into your system on the road; you might as well not have your hair dehydrated before you even leave your house. Can you imagine the brittle mess you'd have to deal with come Ash Wednesday morning?

Also, I must have my ends trimmed after my Carnival adventure. Apart from it being logical, it's almost always necessary. Before Mon and Tues, I usually go to the beach and/or pool, so that sun/salt/chlorine combination just strips my hair of most moisture, so in addition to the post Carnival deep conditioning,I just get rid of my abused ends (kinda like pruning a tree of the yellowed leaves—it makes the nutrients be better distributed to the more "deserving" parts). And, it goes without saying that my pre-Carnival hair is always well-tended and the picture of health, because there is NO WAY that I'm investing that much in the rest of the package and forgetting the tresses. So, I have my hair trimmed a few weeks before my trip, too.

For the road, and since I pin up my hair, I usually slip a few hair pins in the back of my ponytail so as to have spares for friends or loved ones who've come loose, etc. Those come in as handy as the stash of safety pins in my bikini belt (à la Kevian). I don't like carrying stuff, so I try to have my emergency supplies hidden away somewhere on my person.
Post Carnival Skin care:
After the two days of subjecting your skin to the fierce Caribbean sun what do you do to pamper your skin ? I will share my secret, even though I slather on sunscreen I alwys manage to get a "tan" and my body feels as if it is radiating heat. To cool down I use a aloe vera gel by Banana Boat that soothes the skin. To help my skin get back it's original colour I use Vicco Tumeric. Now don't laugh, I know it sounds like some "cheap" litttle lotion you buy at Pennywise but it really works to fade the tan quickly. I first used it after Carnival a few years ago since my mom is always buying new stuff to try and she had a tube of Vicco around. I also exfoliate with a body scrub (not recommended if you have a sunburn!). I would love to hear how others get their skin back in condition after the brutal exposure to sun on those two days.

Feet:
In my earlier post I listed a tip that says to soak your feet in warm water and epsom salts after pounding the streets all day, soaking your feet helps ALOT after Carnival. If you have a foot spa use some aromatheraphy oils like cucumber or mint in the water to soothe the feet. Also, again, I stress that you keep your pedicure simple, no toe nail extensions or long toe nails. Your toes will be getting constant pressure against the sneakers/boots and you don't want to loose a toe nail after Carnival!

Teeth:
I thought I would throw this one in here because so many women, and men, want to get photographed or make their way onto television or some other form of media. If this is your goal, and even if it is not, the easiest way to look "young and fresh" when you are smiling from ear to ear is with nice white teeth! You can get your teeth professionally whitened but there are many products that you can use in the comfort of your own home such as whitening toothpastes, Crest Strips and the Natural White 5 minute tooth whitening system. I can't vouch for the strips or toothpaste (maybe someone else can give a review) but I know someone who uses Natural White and it works.


Here is looking forward to your product reviews/tips in any of these areas! You know we all have to help each other out so that we can put our best face and body forward come Carnival (yes is serious business here !)

Inspiration

I am in the mood for looking at inspirational makeup pics, these all have the drama that is needed for Carnival.

Oasis


Jab Jab/Sahara Sunset


Imp


Le Soleil Brule


Sapphire Ice/Summer Passion


Tuareg


Mirage/Dame Lorraine

A makeup tutorial for the above look and more can be found at LimeCrime.net

24/7 online registration with TRIBE

Today is a public holiday in Trinidad so in-house registration is closed, however you can register with TRIBE online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In-House Registration is available at the Mas Camp (NOT Cascadia) Mondays to Fridays 11 am - 6pm.

Check the website for more details!

About those face jewels.......

Seems like the Trinidad Guardian's beauty section is in the spirit of Carnival, imagine my surprise when I saw yesterday's article by Kirk Thomas on dramatic makeup using gems!





"There are ways to create this look on your own. Following is a step-by-step guide that will bring out your own peacock-enhanced beauty.

You will need:

Turquoise blue eyeshadow

Dark green eyeshadow

Pink lipstick or glittered lip gloss

Crystal eyeshadow or glitter

Gems — all shades and sizes of blue and pink

Spirit gum

Make-up

  • Apply your foundation and powder and allow it to set before the application of the gems.
  • Using spirit gum, lightly dot the areas that you want your gems to be placed, allow them at least 15 minutes to dry before sharp movements.
  • Use your turquoise eye shadow over the entire eye socket area. Apply a few coats to intensify the colour.
  • Use the dark green shadow in the creases and corners. It doesn’t have to be neat or precise for this application to look great."

©2003-2004 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

The entire article can be found online at Trinidad Guardian Womanwise Magazine.

ALSO

I found a website called The Henna Page that shows how to apply the gems, they are into henna but one page is dedicated to the application of gems and I thought it would be useful. Also, if anyone knows someone who can do gilded henna like on that site let me know. I think the desgins are amazing and I could rock that on my lower back or belly instead of doing the usual stick on body jewels !




You can also get the Swarovski crystals at Mehandi.com (they have some gorgeous designs as well)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

On-line Makeup Lessons, Help and Tips.....

In my earlier post about Carnival Makeup I gave a link to Kamla Koon-How Regrello's free makeup application guide, here are some other links that will help those who have no clue as to where to begin when it comes to makeup application:

Kamla Koon-How Regrello's Makeup Guide:

http://www.applymakeup.com/

Candace Corey Blog:

http://candacecorey.blogspot.com/

The Make Up Girl Blog:

http://www.themakeupgirl.typepad.com/

Make Up Rox:

http://community.livejournal.com/makeuprox/

Magic in Make up:

http://community.livejournal.com/magic_in_makeup

Trica Sawyer TV:

http://www.triciasawyer.tv/index.php

Kevyn Aucoin:

http://kevynaucoin.com/index.php

Model Mayhem Stylist Chat(Has LOTS of links to everything from primer to feathers!):

http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=65200

Model Mayhem - threads about body jewelry, crystals and rhinstones:

http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=54714

http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=36176

http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=56761

http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=38209

Model Mayhem - Primer chat:

http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=52647

http://www.modelmayhem.com/posts.php?thread_id=65387


I hope this gives you girls some inspiration, I am out for the rest of the day so enjoy!!!!!!

Alternative Monday Wear and Other Accessories

Last year I discovered these hot shorts online and thought they were PERFECT for Monday wear however I actually bought them at Eye Candy in West Mall which has lots of Carnival accessories. The store is right next to Hallmark and you can get everything from glitter, crystals, hot shorts to fake eyelashes and navel rings. So for those of us living in Trinidad don't worry, you can get nearly everything you need come Carnival between that store, Wonderful World, Samaroos and Micels.



For those of you living in the U.S., or who prefer on-line shopping, you can find these shorts in 6 colours at My Diva's Closet, as well as these sequin shorts that come in gold or black:



On a side note, my Diva's Closet also has fishnet pantyhose and all types of feathered and rhinestoned fake eyelashes.


Then there are these lame shorts found at American Apparel, they have matching bikini tops and I love the colours;




American Apparel has store locations in the United States, Canada and London. Check the website for more details and directions.

For the more adventurous divas among us who want to channel their inner "Nylon Pool" or "Rain" a really cool idea is the Rhinestone Bra and Skirt/Belt, you can get the whole set for $90.00US.



Original Nylon Pool bra (found at Siren's Secrets) for $209.95!!!!


You can get the whole set or either the bra or skirt at on-line stores such as Siren's Secrets which carries a range of crystal clothing and accesories, Flirty Lingere, Cat Dancerz and Od Girl.

And if you are looking to channel your inner Goddess, I found these two bras at Siren's Secrets , however these don't come cheap at $90.00US and $120.00US respectively, the skirt retails for $150.00US





And if you want to go all out to complete your look, glam it up with all the other accesories available such as the chokers, bracelets and head gear


..... the only thing is someone might mistake you for wearing 2006 Rain frontline "costume"......




oops,what am I saying that costume was scrapped after "someone" showed exactly where to buy all the "components" of the costume, but I think the design migrated to Poison in the end, hmmmmm.
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