Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tips on Packing For a Red Hat Convention

These great packing tips were posted on the Red Hat Society's Queens and Members Board by Marcy the Queen Bee of the FUN-Key Flint Red Hat Society Chapter (Michigan, United States). We hope they help everyone who is getting ready for the 2014 Golden Gate Gala this August. If you have any additional suggestions, please feel free to share them in a comment.
OK, Red Hatters -- let's help those of us who know how to pack for a Red Hat Society convention as well as those of us who don't know how to pack for a Red Hat convention. Some of us are great packers and some of us are not-so-great packers but we can always learn from someone else.

I will start the ball rolling so you can enjoy the "Golden Gate Gala" in San Francisco this August.

  • ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS travel in your colors -- red and purple or pink and lavender. Clothing that is not in our colors takes up valuable space that could be used for new purchases.

  • Extra-curricular activities such as swimming, jogging, exercising, etc. are in our colors. I have found inexpensive swimsuits in purple at the end of the season.

  • Extra-curricular activities such as sightseeing or tours and special themed events are in our colors. This includes any special attire for activities BEFORE and AFTER the convention.

  • Print out the agenda. Next to each activity, list the things you will need -- slacks, t-shirt, jacket, tennis shoes, visor, or cocktail dress, red satin heels, dressy red hat, bling, etc. If you know how to use Excel, you can list each day and the events, then fill in the blanks with the clothing, shoes, hats, and whatever.

  • Place everything you think you MIGHT need or use on your bed or another flat surface. Remove half of the things you placed on the bed and you will still have too much!

  • Some of your jewelry can be placed in plastic fishing tackle containers that have removable dividers. Smaller items such as earrings and rings can be placed in plastic craft containers or pill containers.

  • Invest in multiple sizes of the plastic bags that you can squeeze the air out of. Place slacks in one bag, shirts in one bag, underwear in one bag, pirate gear in one bag, ad infinitum. Once you squeeze out the air, you will be able to place the bag in your luggage and not worry about the contents shifting. The plastic bags are reused for packing to go home.

  • Roll your underwear, belts, socks, nylons, and other small items and stuff them in your shoes or inside your hats or purses.

  • There are special containers at pharmacies and dollar stores for your medications. Pill bottles take up valuable room in your suitcase. I use a plastic container, tape it shut and then place it in a ziplock bag. One of our Members places each day's meds in a small plastic ziplock bag used for beads and jewelry. (You can find these small bags at your local pharmacy or craft store.) She labels each bag for AM or PM or whenever. If you take special medications, include a list of your medications and the dosage.

  • You will be on your feet a LOT during the convention. Those sexy, strappy heels will look great with your ballgown, but they will not work when you might have to change your clothes 3-4 times in one day! Take a pair of comfy shoes or slippers for walking to and from your room and change into your sexy strappy heels when you get to the ballroom!!! You will also need comfy shoes for travel and sightseeing.
Some of you might be bringing large hats to the convention. You have two choices -- you can wear your hat for travel or you can pack it! And if you are flying, you MIGHT be able to put it in a bag in the overhead compartment. I have purchased two mesh picnic gadgets and use them for my hats. I pack one stack of hats and place the picnic gadget over the crown of the top hat and place the stack in a suitcase. I then take the second stack of hats with a picnic gadget and place it upside down in my suitcase. Small items such as belts, nylons, underwear, etc. are then placed in the surrounding spaces. My two stacks of hats will look similar to this (imagine the hats in the mesh cages):

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Red Hat Truck Exchange

The Wasatch Front Red Hat Chapters from Utah celebrated their annual hoot with a Red Hat Trunk Exchange. Members loaded the trunks of their cars with Red Hat items they no longer used, and met at the parking lot in the city park and bartered, exchanged, or donated the items with each other. This provided an opportunity for new Red Hat Members to acquire needed hats, clothes, or bling. The Hatters also collected $225 as a contribution to the ALS foundation in the name of one of their beloved Queens (Carol Kay) who passed away from complications of the disease. Items that remained after the exchange were gathered and donated to the local thrift store that donates its profits to ALS.

What a great idea for a local shop 'n' swap! Thanks to Queen Beverly of the Rinkled Red Hots for sharing this activity and the accompanying photos.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Golden Gate Gala Photo-A-Day Challenge

                                                                                         Google Image

We’re now 30 Days away from the 2014 Golden Gate Gala, and we would like to introduce the "Photo A Day #RHSSanFran2014 Challenge". This is a great way to countdown to the upcoming convention and start playing with the #RHSSanFran2014 hashtag on social media. Below is a list of daily photo captions or challenges. We would like you to share one photo each day that best describes the captions listed below and post them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #RHSSanFran2014.

  1. This is me!
  2. What’s on my packing list!
  3. My favorite convention accessory is...
  4. This is my go-to travel hat.
  5. Feathers, bling and all shiny things. 
  6. Let’s see those Trading Cards!
  7. These shoes were made for dancing!
  8. The Golden Gate Gala activity I’m most looking forward to,  is…
  9. I’m traveling to San Francisco from…
  10. Eat dessert first!
  11. Throwback!  Here’s a picture from a past convention.
  12.  Because I’m Happy! 
  13. Let’s see those Name Badges! These are a must-have for any RHS event.
  14. Beach Blanket Babylon hats are grand! Here’s my most outrageous hat.
  15. Keep Calm and Eat Chocolate.
  16.  San Francisco dreamin’! I’m most looking forward to seeing this in-person.
  17. Throwback! This is my favorite past convention shirt.
  18. Quote of the Day
  19. Smile for the camera
  20. These shoes were made for walking!
  21. Something red/pink.
  22. Something purple/lavender.
  23. My outfit of the day. 
  24. I never leave the house without my…
  25. My favorite lip color is…
  26. My favorite meal of the day is…
  27. My bags are packed!
  28. Here’s a photo from the road.
  29. Meet my travel buddy or buddies!
  30. San Francisco, I have arrived!  Make sure to use our hashtag #RHSSanFran2014 with all your pictures!
Make sure to use our hashtag #RHSSanFran2014 with all your pictures!

Here’s a sample post:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

She's the Queen of the Month!

Queen Gail Snell

Topend Flames
Northern Territory, Australia
Queen Gail Snell (Topend Flames, Wulagi, NT, Australia) was born and grew up in Sydney, NSW, Australia. At 18, she joined the Women's Royal Australian Air Force (WRAAF). Trained as an Aircraft Plotter (Radar) she was posted to Darwin where she met and married a Royal Air Force Security Dog Handler. During their marriage they had three children. After losing their home and all of their personal possessions in Cyclone Tracy, they moved to Perth, where they lived for several years before divorcing.

Gail spent 25 years working in the Federal Public Service, in both Darwin and Perth. Her first position was as Human Resource Manager; later she served as Ministerial Officer to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.
Her interests range far and wide, and include gardening, reading, sewing, cooking and traveling (her official title is "Queen Gail Travel-a-lot" for good reason). Among many other places, she has traveled to Egypt, China and Africa, where she walked with lions. She says, "I have flown over the Arctic Circle where I enjoyed a lunch with a Red Hat Queen in Fairbanks, Alaska."

For 18 years she has been kicking up her heels with a group of women who love to line dance. A few years ago the group formed a Chapter of the RHS as a way to ensure that they would keep in touch after they got "too old to dance" (which hasn't happened yet). Gail says they are now enjoying themselves at both line dancing and Red Hatting.

In 2010 she attended a large Red Hat gathering in Paris, where she met women from many places, some from other parts of Australia. Eventually, Gail and another Darwin Queen organized a week-long gathering in their own neck of the woods, they called "Red Sunset and Sparkles", drawing 250 Australian Hatters (and one from abroad)!

She relates that her Chapter meets two to three times a week to line dance and supplement these gatherings with group dinners, making sure to celebrate each other's birthdays and Christmas together. Other activities include movies, lunches, gardening workshops, etc. They often enjoy joint functions with another Darwin group called The Palmy Plumes.

Queen Dawn and her Chapter provide a marvelous illustration of creative ways to stay connected, form new friendships and keep the fun in Red Hatting! HATS ON!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Guest Post From International Partner: HATalk e-Magazine.

Royal Ascot is England's most famous and fashionable horse racing event. Well known from that infamous scene in My Fair Lady where Eliza Dolittle says exactly the wrong thing, Royal Ascot has been one of the world's best places to go hat spotting since 1711.

We went along to 'Ladies Day' at Royal Ascot last month and have just published a special bonus edition of HATalk e-magazine containing over 140 images of the hats and headpieces that we saw there.

Here are just a few of them...

To download the entire Royal Ascot special edition of HATalk and the brand new July issue, plus over 100 other hat making downloads, subscribe to HATalk e-magazine today - Red Hatters pay only $19.95 a year!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ribbon Wreath Craft Courtesy of the Rockin' Rubies & Rhinestones Chapter

Inspired by the door prize of a red and purple ribbon wreath won by Queen Barb of the Rockin' Rubies & Rhinestones Chapter at their April Bunco event, a group of Rockin Rubies & Rhinestones Chapterettes gathered to make their very own ribbon wreaths thanks to Craft Coach and Host Carol Rynex.

Attendees each brought 20 yards of their personal choice of 2 1/2 in. wide wired ribbon and embellishments to create their own designs. And because a craft this cute deserves to be shared, Queen Barb courteously supplied Hatquarters with the following instructions. Enjoy! 

CRAFT:  Ribbon Wreath 
You choose Colors, Theme, Design.
Versatile for Home, Office, & Gifts! 


  • Straw wreath (10-14 inches, plastic-covered)
  • Floral Pins (U-Shaped)
  • 2-1/2” wide WIRED ribbon (20 yards any Color/Pattern/Mix)
  • Scissors
  • Wire-Cutters (cut thick floral stems)
  • Flowers / Craft Picks / Bows / Embellishments
  • Hanger (Soda-Can Tab-Ring or Sawtooth-Metal-Fastener)

  • For easy-cutting, let the ribbon-spools unwind on the floor
  • Wrap & loop 5-in. long pieces of ribbon around each other several times
  • Cut through the ribbon loops (both ends--top & bottom) creating 5-in long (2 ½ in. wide) ribbon strips fusing 2 different colors/patterns of ribbon 
  • Loop 2 colors of ribbon together cutting both at same time
  • Cut ribbon strips to start (as needed, cut more 5-in. ribbon strips)
  • Take one 5-in. length of the ribbon-strip and fold the ribbon in half
  • Put one floral pin through the bottom and then cut the end (gathering ribbon at base-center)
  • Insert the ribbon, pushing the floral pin in near the bottom, inside of the wreath (keep wreath flat on table).
  • Repeat the process until the ribbon rows are all around the  inside. Fluff the ribbon pieces as you work.
  • Position/Insert flowers/Craft picks/Embellishments with floral pins securing to the straw wreath.
  • Continue inserting the folded ribbon pieces with floral pins until they fully cover the front & sides of the plastic-covered straw wreath.
  • At the top, back of the wreath, attach the hanger (secured with floral pins) 
  • Hang the wreath, & enjoy! 

Craft from: Carol Rynex of the Rockin Rubies & Rhinestones from Chantilly, VA

Want to submit a craft to the Red Hat Society? 
Send your craft instructions and photos to, and we will include it in one of our Thursday craft posts. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Announcing the 2014 Golden Gate Gala Social Butterfly Photo Contest

In keeping with the 2014 theme of "Stand Proud: We're Not Invisible, We're Invincible!", we are going to show the world how we play at the Red Hat Society's Golden Gate Gala International Convention through our 2nd Annual Social Butterfly Photo Contest.

Participating in the Social Butterfly Photo Contest is easy as 1-2-3! 
1.Snap photos throughout the convention on your Smartphones or tablets.
2. Upload and write a caption for the photos using the #RHSSanFran2014 hashtag.
3. Share them on any one of the following social media outlets:

Twitter           Instagram  

Please note that you do not have to use all three of these social media outlets to be considered in the contest. Just use whichever outlet you are most familiar with. 

How can you win?
We are looking for two women who best convey the essence of a Red Hat Society convention through their photos. The first winner will receive her wings on Friday, August 22 at the Bling Rush Romp, and the second winner will be announced on Saturday, August 23 at the Chocolate Fantasy Ball.

Let's get the conversation started! Share photos of your packing lists or any goodies you are bringing to the convention and practice using the official convention hashtag now. We can't wait to see your pictures and interact with you!

Want to learn more about hashtags? Watch this video created by Hatquarters.

For step by step instructions to hashtagging on your Smartphone or tablet, keep reading:

1. Be sure you have downloaded the Facebook app to your device.
2. Open the Facebook app.
3. Once you're in the app, click "Photo" which you should find at the top of your screen.
4. Next, your Camera Roll should appear and you can select a photo, or you have the option to take a photo.
5. Select the photo you would like to share and click "Use" at the top right. (We chose a photo of our packing list and some items we are bringing to San Francisco.)
6. Write a caption for the photo and be sure to use the #RHSSanFran2014 hashtag.
7. Then click "Post".
8. Once the photo has posted you will see that you can click on the #RHSSanFran2014 hashtag and see what everyone else is sharing.

1. Be sure you have downloaded the Twitter app to your device.
2. Open the Twitter app, click on the icon at the very top right of screen that resembles a feather in a box.
3. Once you're in the app, click "Photo" which you should find at the top of your screen.
4. Next, your Camera Roll should appear and you can select a photo, or you have the option to take a photo.
5. Select the photo you would like to share . (We chose a photo of our packing list and some items we are bringing to San Francisco.)
6. Write a caption for the photo  and be sure to use the #RHSSanFran2014 hashtag. (Remember to be short and sweet, because Twitter only gives you 140 characters to work with.)
7. Then click "Tweet".
8. Once the photo has posted you will see that you can click on the #RHSSanFran2014 hashtag and see what everyone else is sharing.

1. Be sure you have downloaded the Instagram app to your device.
2. Open the Instagram app and click on the camera icon, which you'll find at the bottom center of your screen.
3. This will automatically open your camera and allow you to take a picture, but if you would like to use a photo you have already taken, you can click on the square at the bottom left of your screen.
4. Next, your Camera Roll should appear and you can select a photo.
5. Select the photo you would like to share and click "Next". (We chose a photo of our packing list and some items we are bringing to San Francisco.)
6. Now you can choose a fun a filter you would like to use on your photo or just click the "Next" button.
7. Write a caption for the photo, and be sure to use the #RHSSanFran2014 hashtag.
7. Then click "Share" in the blue bar at the bottom of your screen. The cool thing about Instagram is that it will allow you to sync your Facebook and Twitter accounts and share one picture across every platform.
8. Once the photo has posted you will see that you can click on the #RHSSanFran2014 hashtag and see what everyone else is sharing.