August 17-19 I participated as a vendor at the Red Hat Society FUNvention, which drew 50+ year old ladies in red hats and purple outfits from all over Virginia. I shared a booth with the very talented Merle Blair, of Foxy Lady Designs, who makes beautiful flower-laden hats and beaded hat pins. I contributed tons of red and purple hat and scarf pins in the Love Notes tradition. Our side-kick and mastermind of our partnership was Helen Hickson, who despite a dislocated shoulder kept up our spirits all weekend -- and fetched us lunch.
Part of the joy of the vendor area is meeting other artists. In particular, I met one Dawn Anderson of Dawn Anderson Designs who makes her own clothing and hat patterns and is an absolute genius at hand-sewing. Dawn gives workshops and sells kits for making one's own hats, including the pillbox variety and wild Zigfield Follies types.
I also met Nicole Janan of Red Hat Glamour. Inspired by her red-hatter mom, she has hit the ground running with outrageous high-heel "ring bling" caddies, which are made out of dress shoes and hold rings and other baubles. She also makes treasure boxes and aprons. She's very creative, and very into red and purple.