Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Meaning of Sisterhood

Sometimes, for no rhyme or reason, a person’s world is rocked to the core, and their life is forever changed. We are sorry to share that one such event took place this past December. 

Just days before Christmas, Lady Google Patty, of the Purple, Red and Ravishing Chapter (California, United States) lost her husband in a horrible car accident. She not only lost her life partner, but her family lost its sole income provider.

Immediately after the incident, Patty was contacted by her Queen Diana Hillis-Bradford to offer comfort and ensure that she would do anything she could to help her family.

“I did not know how to survive from that day forward, but Diana went out of her way to organize a fundraiser for us, and everyone in my Purple, Red and Ravishing Chapter chipped in to help.”

Queen Diana worked tirelessly to promote the fundraiser on every social media outlet, and she was by Patty’s side lifting her spirits and driving her to RHS functions. The fundraiser took place on January 26, 2014, and it was a huge success. Hatters participated in a silent auction and raffle giveaways, and RHS fun.

“I feel so blessed to have her as my Queen, and I am blessed to be part of such a wonderful group.”  

We would like to thank Lady Google Patty for sharing this testimonial with us. Your family is in our thoughts. We would also like to recognize Queen Diana Hillis-Bradford for jumping right into action and reminding us of what makes this Sisterhood so incredible. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Guest Post: HATalk e-magazine

Here's a special Valentine's project which has been shared by Red Hat Society international partner HATalk e-magazine. To make this attractive heart with its unusual eye-catching centre, you will need:

·        Piece of hessian or burlap, large enough to fit into an embroidery frame·        Piece of felt - a 12 inch (30cm) square should be sufficient
·        Several foil chocolate or candy wrappers in your chosen colour
·        Embroidery frame
·        Large crochet hook
·        Scissors
·        PVA (Elmers) white glue
·        Card for heart pattern
·        Marker pen
·        Felt for backing

1) Draw a heart shape on the card, approximately 3” (7.5cm) wide, and cut it out. 

2) Cut a piece of hessian or burlap to fit the embroidery frame. Place the heart template in the centre of the piece and draw round it using the marker pen. Put the piece into the embroidery frame and tighten it up well. Cut the felt and metallic wrappers into half-inch (1.25cm) strips.

3) Hold a strip of felt about 2 inches (5cm) in from its end underneath the point of the heart. Push the crochet hook through the hessian  above it, just inside the line of the heart and loop the felt strip over it. Pull it through the hole onto the right side and form a loop 1/2 an inch (1.25cm) high. Push the hook in again about two threads away from the first hole, along the line of the heart shape and repeat. Add new strips in as necessary. 

4) Continue creating loops until you have edged the heart shape with felt loops. 

5) Now you can fill in the centre of the heart with the strips of metallic wrapping using the same method as before. This is trickier to do as the strips are both slippery and inclined to fold, but persevere and you will soon find you have got the method. Try and keep most of the strips coloured side uppermost, although a few silver ones here and there look quite attractive. When you have filled the space, tuck as many of the loose ends through to the front of the piece as you can, and trim off any ends to the same height as the loops. 

6) Take the completed heart out of the embroidery frame and cut around it, leaving an inch (2.5cm) of hessian around the edge. You will fold this under later. From the hessian you have cut off, cut another heart shape using the card template as a guide. 

7) Spread some PVA glue liberally over the back of the piece. A plastic knife is useful for this. Try and get the glue onto the hessian strands between the loops as it will adhere best there and help to hold the slippery metallic loops in place. Place the cut-out hessian heart over the glued back and press it well into the glue. Put the heart in a warm place to dry. The glue dries clear so won’t be seen. 

8) When the glue is dry, cut into the inch wide hessian around the edge of the piece and run another generous line of glue around the edge of the hessian. Fold the flaps of hessian over onto it, pushing any frayed ends into the glue to keep the shape neat. Leave the piece to dry.

9) To neaten the back of the heart, use the template again to cut a further heart shape from the red felt. 

 10) Using the same method as before, glue the felt heart to the back of the heart that you have made, tucking in as many stray ends of hessian as possible. Allow to dry. Any remaining ends can now be cut off.

The heart is now complete and can be used to trim your hat. It can be attached to a hat band with a few tiny stitches. It makes a very striking decoration! 

 For more great projects that you can make at home, subscribe to HATalke-magazine today  - Red Hatters get over $40 off the normal price!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Special Winter's Tale Giveaway!

This Valentine’s Day, you are invited to believe in miracles as you get lost in Winter’s Tale - a story of love, crossed-destinies and the age-old battle between Good and Evil, starring Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay and Russell Crowe. Click here to view the film’s trailer. We are excited to announce that in addition to free screenings, you will have the opportunity to win a movie poster signed by the stars of the film, a signed movie soundtrack or a signed copy of the book “Winter’s Tale”. Click here to learn how! Winter’s Tale opens in theaters on February 14th.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Your Heart Comes First

It’s no secret that women are multitasking phenoms! We can cook, clean, take care of our loved ones, talk on the phone and answer emails simultaneously without even breaking a sweat. While multitasking is a great trait to have, sometimes getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of our busy schedules leads to us ignoring one important thing: our own health. Have you ever felt an intense pressure in your chest when you were completely stressed out?  Did you just ignore it and chalk it up to heartburn or maybe gas? Sometimes we become accustomed to brushing issues off and waiting for discomfort to subside, but staggering statistics are showing that this way of dealing with things could potentially lead to a not-so-happy ending.        

The Red Hat Society is comprised of some of the most amazing women in the world, and time and time again, you show us that there are no boundaries to the depths of your hearts. That is why Hatquarters believes that supporting the American Heart Association’s Go Red Campaign will bring awareness to the dangers of cardiovascular disease to our Sisters and lead to longer, healthier and happier lives. 

Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the NUMBER ONE killer of women and young women? It claims more lives than breast cancer and lung cancer combined, and unfortunately the symptoms of a heart attack brought on by cardiovascular disease often go unnoticed.  The good news is that, according the American Heart Association, 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented by making heart-smart choices like eating healthy, exercising and abstaining from smoking.

Being knowledgeable about the signs of a heart attack could save your life! Here they are:

Signs of a Heart Attack From the American Heart Association:
  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1...Get to a hospital right away.

The next time you are at a Chapter event, we encourage you to make sure that every Sister knows about the threat of cardiovascular disease. Maybe, make a game of the five signs of a heart attack listed above, and laugh your way to health. Most importantly, Hatquarters encourages you to make 2014 your year to make heart-healthy choices. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

She's the Queen... OF THE MONTH!

Angela Burke The Improper Bostonians
Boston, Massachusetts

Born in Boston, Queen Angela Burke spent the major part of her childhood in Medford, Massachusetts.  After high school, she moved on to Northwestern University, through which she received on-site training in medical transcription at Massachusetts General Hospital.  She began her career working for the Chief of Neurology there, eventually working her way up to become the Director of Physician Support Services at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA.  After 24 years she says she “retired” to help her husband with their 50’s Diner and Home Made Ice Cream Shop in Haverhill, MA.  The shop has ben sold, but Angela still does some office work for her husband’s small paper business.

Although both were married before, Angela and her husband have been married for over 30 years.  Angela has two children, five step-children and 20 grandchildren between the ages of 4 and 24.

Her favorite way to spend time is with her family, old friends and all of her RHS friends.  Her newest hobby is making photo albums online, scanning pictures and digitizing them to make a photo album for each year.

Christened “The Improper Bostonians,” Angela’s was the first Chapter of the RHS to be formed in the whole state of Massachusetts – back in May of 2001!  She recalls that, since the RHS was so new at that time, they were stopped everywhere they went by people wondering who they were and what they were up to, and adds, “To this day we are stopped by many and have been asked to take pictures with them.  ...we’re stopped at the airports by pilots, members of the armed forces and curious people wondering what we’re all about.”

Her favorite aspect of Red Hatting is “the camaraderie and fun...lots and lots of fun!  I always look forward to attending the conventions...seeing new states and again meeting new people.”  She goes on, “I was fortunate to attend the New Year’s Day Parade in England one year as well.  While in London, I met several wonderful women from Maryland and Delaware.  The following summer, they came to visit and stayed at my house.  We still keep in touch now.”

A true supporter of the RHS, Angela has added the title “Ambassador” to that of Queen.   It is amazingly fitting that this, the month of February, was her turn to be featured as Queen of the Month.  She ended her email with these words:  “I know there are some who feel it is not necessary to pay international dues, yet every other organization makes this a requirement.  I use the analogy to potential members the RHS is a tree...we, the members, are branches.  If the branch breaks can you say you’re still part of that tree?”