Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Welcome to the Real (chicken) World

Just 3 days ago we rescued 10 battery hens from imminent death. Every year the battery farms discard their egg produces after 18-20 months and sell them off for next to nothing to the producers of dog food or chicken nuggets. Knowing the state they are kept in we were very apprehesive about their condition and if they would survive even the trip home.

Survive they have - and then some!! These girls are finally getting a chance to see what being a chicken is all about. For the first time in their lives they have felt the warmth of the sun, scratched in dirt, walked on grass, eaten bugs, flapped their wings, been rained on and had more space to walk around in than they know what to do with.

Being Vegan we wont be eating any of their eggs but will be giving them to friends or selling them to clients if and when the production increases. Each night since we got them we have taken our picnic blanket and glasses of wine and sat in front of their cage and watched their antics. And some people say animals don't have personalities! They have obviously not watched a brood of chickens working out their pecking order.
I am already planning an extension to their coup - having resuced a few more than originally planned they are fighting for the best positions. The best part about our chicken coup is that it is relocateable and we can move it around our property. Unfortunately I doubt we will ever be able to let them roam completey free around the acreage as there are too many foxes and hawks around, but also 2 of our 3 dogs are just taking too much interst in them (well, at the moment that is).

On the work front, I have been updating the DIVA Consignments site as more girls are sending through their pre-loved suits. If you have anything that you no longer need or want for competitions why not consider getting it listed at DIVA CONSIGNMENTS . You have never been to Diva you can check out the site and see what other girls are listing.

I have been gradually updating most of the pages on the STYLE ON STAGE website too and these will be published very shortly. It is a mammoth task and as some of you know, working on your own website/s is time consuming.
I will post again soon, with news and updates from both sites and let you know how our new girls are going!
take care

Friday, November 13, 2009

Back in blogland!

How awefully disgusting is that - over 10 months since my last post. I am mortified - but also a little amazed. Just goes to show how busy I have been throughout 2009.
I am finalising all the left over orders that girls don't want or need until 2010 and Allison and I are taking some time off to do 'STUFF' together. Today was new car shopping, tomorrow is vegie patch and garden stuff, and I think Sunday is 'cleaning out Jo's storage room' day. That one will be a mammoth undertaking, it is full of shoes, fabrics, lace, apparel, and pretty much anything that doesnt fit elsewhere! On top of that my ebay store was officially closed during the year and I am still to go through the stock that is left over and make final decisions on what to do with it all!

One of my last posts mentions my daughter graduating highschool - and I thought I felt old then! She officially moved out of home the other weekend and is living with her best friend at North Lakes. She has been working full time now for the Optical Superstore as an Optical Dispenser and is quite the independent woman! I think we have seen her a handful of times this entire year and the next time we get together will probably be Christmas Eve. I might have to make a trip into Brisbane to have lunch one day before then. Geeze, I even have to check her facebook page to see what she has been up to!

Ok, news on the Style on Stage front.... things are growing beyond all expectations and as most know, I had to close orders very early this year to ensure the orders I aldeady did have got completed and delivered in time. I can tell you there were some close calls. I had 80 bikinis that were all needed for the one weekend - 40 for a show here in Brisbane and the other 40 needed for shows on that same weekend around Australia. You can imagine how fratically I was working to get them all out - and then that just set me back for suits were needed in the following weeks. All in all I think I did close to 200 bikinis in that July-October period and was still conducting 30-50 hours of posing sessions a week. It all equated to a lot of sleepless (literally) nights.

But honestly, how many businesses these days can say they have had to turn business away? I am so thankful for all my clients and realise that without them (you) there would be no Style on Stage.

Once again, I have a few things in the pipeline to mention soon, but I am just getting the finer details all perfect first, so keep an eye out for some news and information right here!

On that note I have three hungry canine critters that are wanting their dinner so I had better say goodbye. I would like to promise I will be posting more regularly but I have been told that I shouldnt make promises I know I cannot keep, so I will just say "I will do my best!".

Take care

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Good Start to a New Year

I certainly hope you all had a more exciting New Year's celebration that we did. We just aren't really into the whole 'Happy New Year' thing. We snuggled up with each other and a glass of wine to watch a movie or two and then headed off to bed around 10.30pm. That suited us both just fine. And what is even better, is to find out we weren't alone! I have had a few clients admitting to similar NYE's.

So what is happening on the SOS front?? I have a bookload of orders to begin and quite a few orders that were postponed in 2008 for various reasons. So after having a good amount of time to chill and relax, I am back into it all officially tonight. I started cleaning off my work table so that I can see just a teeny bit of wood (lol) and made a list of orders that need working on first.

I still need to do a stocktake of my men's posing trunks and to make sure I have a good starting quantity of swarovski crystals as well as finish going through all my fabrics (and trust me -there is heaps and heaps of it) to decide what I want to keep and what I would like to sell off on ebay.

Yes, I have had an ebay store for years now - but as SOS got bigger the time I had to stock my ebay store diminished. There are still a few things on there - mainly dance and lace trims - but I have sold posing shoes and posing trunks on there in the past. With the increase in Ebay's charges and rules & regulations it is very nearly time to opt out and when that happens I will be announcing my newest online store..........
Oh, I am not going to tell you about it yet. There are one or two people out in Blogland that know already but for now I will keep it a secret. Just keep an eye on my blogs and facebook groups and you will find out oh so soon enough.
So, enough procrastinating for tonight. I have a bikini to finish and a few others I would like to commence. I feel the creative juices starting to bubble again and I cannot wait to start producing some beautiful suits for you all to wear!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The OMG Factor

Sitting quietly watching a dvd this afternoon, Allison starts babbling incoherently and pointing to our family room window. This is what was happily strolling past.....

I felt so honoured to think that this stunning creature - all 100+ cm of it - had graced us with it's presence. Why, only last week we came across a Koala in one of our gum trees nursing its baby. Now that was precious!! Our property really is a piece of paradise.

On another note, I can relax and sigh now that Christmas Lunch is over. As it turned out - it was a great success and there was no need for the stress and worry afterall. I had spent over 2 days cooking and preparing the food - and that is no mean feat when you are trying to create vegan food that will satisfy diehard meat eaters. All in all, the salads were scrummy (especially my roasted sweetpotato, pine nut and spinach salad) but the biggest success story was the icrecream "xmas pudding" I had made. Chocolate icecream with cherries and pistachios around a centre of vanilla icecream blended with a puree of wild berries...Mmmmmmm .... and it was all made with Sogood soy icecream - and no one was the wiser!

I have started dabbling with RAW foods. It is a bit like taking veganism to the extreme. My body reacts not so favourably with carbs and being vegan I have no options but to eat carbs. A raw diet consists of mostly vegetables and fruit with a little nuts and grains - but nothing is cooked. The flavours of the foods are amazing and I have found some amazing recipes - I just have to get Allison to 'warm' to the thought of eating cold food - lol

I have been updating the Style on Stage website and filling in some of the 'blanks' that I hadn't gotten a chance to finish until now. Please be patient though - there is still so much more to do before I am finished. Actually, I don't think a website is every finished, there is always something to update or amend.

Allison is working all this week so we wont be doing anything huge for the coming new year's celebrations. Like most years we will either go out for dinner or have a special night in. I also doubt we will see the new year in - I cant remember the last time we did - it just isnt something super important. Goodness, I spent enough drunken New Years Eve's in my younger days to keep my interest in another at a bare minimum.

I hope you all had a great Christmas day yesterday and have something special planned for Wednesday evening, whether it is a private get together or a party. 2009 is looking like it will be a huge year for bodybuilding competitions and I am certainly looking forward to playing my part in it.

Take care until my next (infrequent) blog!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh My, Dont I Feel Old!

This is my daughter Layla, she graduated High School on Friday! It just doesn't seem possible that 15 years has passed since we moved from Townsville to Brisbane. And to make matters worse she is celebrating 'Schoolies' this week (on the Sunshine Coast thank goodness - at least she has a brain - lol).

Her Gradutation was great. Not only did she receive the Cultural Award (for her drama/theatre work) but she also sang not one but 3 solos. Allison had to keep nudging me in the ribs telling me not to cry. I am the world's biggest cry baby and did well not to walk out of there with major panda bear eyes!

So what is my little MC (monster child of course) doing now? She is auditioning for one of the Drama/Theatre/Acting degrees at QUT. I am picking her up from Roma St Station this morning and then driving her into the QUT Kelvin Grove Campus. Having never been there myself I am a bit nervous about getting her there in time - but we have over an hour to find the place and I am just about to download their campus map off the internet - so here's wishing her luck!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm OK!!

For those in the Brissy area know only too well the storm we had yesterday.

What started as a gorgeous HOT sunny Sunday morning soon turned crazy. The storm hit us around 3pm which is about the same time my internet crashed. By 4pm we had no power. That in itself isnt a bad thing. I can cope with no power for a reasonable length of time, but when your partner is at work and you are alone in a dark house with nothing to do but read a book by torchlight and eat cold food for dinner, it isnt the most enjoyable evening.

Dont get me wrong, we needed the rain and I love hearing it on the roof and looking out the window across the valley behind us, knowing the land is getting some much needed water. But to have to waste an entire evening curled up on the couch, reading... well, what can I say!!

I am all for enforced R&R but when it is your ONLY option, well, it sucks big time. Luckily the power was back on by the time I got up this morning at 6am. I have managed to answer all the emails that came through from yesterday and also finish baking the 'lemon delicious' slice I got half way through yesterday afternoon. Mmmmm the house smells so yummy now!! Is 8.30am too early to taste test it?? NEVER!!

So what is on the SOS front (SOS = style on stage)

Orders and inquiries are coming in steadily every week for bikinis and comp prep. It is awesome to see so many girls getting in early. I think this year scared a few; the first time in the 7 years I have been doing this that I have had to turn girls away. And to answer your question, no, it is never too early to start your prep!!

I have done a huge update of the website and added a heap of new info. You can check what was updated HERE .

I have found a few new fabric suppliers and am (eagerly) awaiting the samples to arrive. There is nothing more I love than getting new stuff for the business. Fabrics, crystals, shoes, it's like having a great excuse to go shopping!

DIVA Consignments is coming along nicely - the website will be up and running asap and new stock is coming in steadily. So for those that don't know about it you can check the DIVA Blog and see what it is all about. More stock is needed though girls - so go check what you dont need anymore and consider selling it at DIVA Consignments!!

On another note, I get heaps of people wanting to know why I have gone vegan and of course - that age old question "so what do you eat?" ..... I am setting up a blog (yes, another one) but this one is more just for Allison and I to post things about how and why we decided to go vegan as well as some great links to restaurants and resources as well as some great recipes. I am hoping it will shed some light on a few things - like vegans arent all hippy extremist treehuggers that are out to ruin everyone's lives - lol -but regular everyday people that are interested in environmental and ethical issues. Once it is up and running (it is there, just havent posted anything yet) I will post the link and I hope you will drop by every so often to check things out. Trust me, it can be quite eye opening at times - and I promise not to post anything too 'graphic' .

Ok, time to say goodbye for now- lots to catch up on today.... and I had better have some brekky, the smell of that slice is killing me!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Oh How Sweet..

... it is to be sitting here watching Idol with my notebook on my lap, our bird on my shoulder and one of our furry critters at my feet AND NO BIKINIS TO DO RIGHT NOW!!

Yes, I have admitted I watch Australian Idol - but I have a legitimate excuse - honest!! Chrislyn is one of my daughters best friends. I have watched her grow over the years from a very insecure young girl to the amazing performer we are seeing now. It is truely amazing to see her up there!

So what have I been up to today you may ask?? Well, since I have no urgent orders I have managed to have a teeny sleep in, eat pancakes (vegan of course) with icecream and maple syrup for breakfast, work on a few website projects and walk our 3 furry critters. Feeding time at our 'zoo' is always interesting with the 2 goats fighting for attention & food, and the three dogs doing laps in the kitchen while waiting for their dinner to be served.

I had the pleasure of speaking to Lia this evening also. My heart goes out to her at this most difficult time, and I, like most of you reading this will be there for her in the coming weeks!! I went through a similar situation with my own mother 6 years ago, so I understand what it's like.

On a different note..... I now have half a dozen or so orders for 2009 - and that doesnt include the ones from girls that have pulled out of this years shows. I gotta love it when they get in early for costumes. So, if you know you are competing don't be afraid to contact me whenever you are ready to order your new bikini. I will inevitably start getting busy again fairly early in the new year so it really is never too early!!

Diva Consignments has a blog now too - so add it to your favs so you find out when the website is up and running and when new items are available. Girls, for those of you looking at selling off some of those unwanted bikinis or posing shoes, get in contact with me so I can include them on the new website.

I had better head off now - Idol is over and I need to vote for Chrislyn!!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!