Monday, 16 November 2015

The Hat Lady and Arni

Arni found me through Catherine Curtis, where I have some promotional postcards. Catherine was making a dress and jacket for his wife, Sheila, to wear at a family wedding in St. Martin. Sheila needed a hat to go with it.

Arni and Sheila, warm, friendly and charming, came to meet me at my studio. Sheila gazed at the hats on the shelves and called them my babies. "That's what I call mine," she explained. It's quite the nursery she's got going, too - about three hundred hats! No wonder they call her the Hat Lady!

Catherine had given them some fabric cuttings from the dress she was making. Sheila knew she wanted something like a cloche, in white straw to go with the white background of her dress, embellished with the fabric. We talked and laughed and played dress-up, as I took notes. One sample in particular made Sheila smile, and I knew that would be The One. Arni wasn't so sure, preferring another, more traditional sample under consideration. Sheila pointed out that her choice was distinctive and unique. Arni had to agree and Sheila's choice carried the day.

Sheila really enjoyed the creative process of seeing her hat come into being. She had a clear vision of how her hat should be, and I worked to realize that vision. Many hugs accompanied her thanks when she came to collect it.

And Arni had to admit that he really liked it, after all.

The Hat Lady and her husband left with more than what they had commissioned. The "babies" at home welcomed a bunch of new siblings that day.

Just as well they don't need to be fed. Just loved.

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