Thursday, August 14, 2014

Guest Post from HATalk e-Magazine

We all know someone who has battled with cancer and has had to deal with hair loss due to chemotherapy. It can be really difficult for cancer sufferers to find comfortable and stylish ways to cover their heads so one young British crafter has come up with an ingenious solution – knitted wigs!

Louise Walker is a 22-year-old Commercial Photography graduate from England with a real penchant for knitting. As well as knitting more conventional hats, Louise has recently developed a line of knitted wigs. This novel form of headwear has been winning her lots of press attention, including an article in the UK’s Daily Mail and a feature on English TV Channel ITV.

The pastel colours and unique shapes of the wigs make them a great style option for any trendsetter wanting to stand out from the crowd. Plus, as Louise only uses high-quality wool and yarn, the wigs are comfortable and warm, making them a good choice for cancer patients suffering from hair loss as a result of chemotherapy and still wanting to feel fashionable.

Here are a few more examples of Louise’s knitted wigs, all photographed by Louise herself, which were originally featured in Issue 86 of HATalk e-magazine. As you can see, the designs have been carefully planned and each one takes many hours to complete.

To learn more about Louise’s work and tryout some of her free knitting patterns, visit the Sincerely Louise blog. To read about hundreds of other unique and inspirational headwear ideas, subscribe to HATalk e-magazine today - Red Hatters only pay $19.95 a year!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Royal Fit Tips From Queen Sunny

Sunny Mathews is the Queen of the Virtual Fit ‘n Fabulous Chapter which has 231 Members from 38 States and 5 countries who have an interest in fitness. Sunny shares great tips she's discovered and creates fitness challenges for Members of the Red Hat Society on both Facebook and the Red Hat Society's Members-only Queens and Members Board with the ultimate goal of inspiring them to lead healthy lifestyles. Fitness is the final "F" in the Red Hat Society's Passion Statement: Fun, Friendship, Freedom, Fulfillment and Fitness. We believe that a healthy Hatter is a happy Hatter, and we love to recognize women who are making positive changes in their lives. You can find inspiration from Queen Sunny in the weekly Friday Broadcasts, and the upcoming issue of Red Hatter Matters.

 If you would like to join the Fit ‘n Fabulous Virtual Group online, go to and request to join the group.

Hunger vs. craving: What's the difference?

Have you noticed that when food temptations strike, it often has more to do with your mood than when you last ate? You may crave food to relax, relieve stress or boredom, soothe anger, or cope with loneliness, sadness or anxiety. Indulging in cravings during these emotional times may lead you to eat too many high-calorie, sweet, fatty foods.

Everyone has a food craving at times — and yes, chocolate is at the top of most people's list. The first step to managing your cravings is being able to identify when you’re truly hungry. 

Are usually for comfort foods, such as chocolate, sweets and fatty foods
Are often caused by negative feelings
Lead to eating that makes you feel good at first, but then guilty
Increase during a woman's pregnancy and menstrual cycle
May be stronger when you're dieting, especially if you're giving up your favorite foods
Can occur even after you've recently eaten
Pass with time

Usually occurs when you haven't eaten for a few hours or more
Results in a rumbling stomach, headache or feeling of weakness
Doesn't pass with time
Isn't just for one specific food
Can be satisfied by a healthy snack or meal

If you have a craving, distract yourself. Try calling a friend, listening to music, taking a walk or bike ride, reading, or writing. If a negative feeling is causing your craving, use positive self-talk, exercise or a fun activity to improve your mood.

courtesy of

Thursday, August 7, 2014

She's the Queen of the Month

This month, we have selected a local Queen (of two Chapters) and Ambassador Marlene Matthews.  She was born nearby in Santa Ana and lived there until she married and moved all the way to the city of Orange, less than 10 miles away.  After high school she received her A.A. degree from Santa Ana College.  She met her husband, through mutual friends, not long after he returned home from serving four years in the Air Force.  They have now been married 52 years and are parents of two grown daughters and proud grandparents of four grandsons.

Marlene was a stay-at-home mom until her girls reached junior high, at which time she began working as a school photographer and assistant tax accountant.  Her hobbies include water aerobics, thrift store bargain hunting and “as many craft projects as I have time for.”   Among her crafts projects have been several memory albums of RHS conventions.

She first became familiar with The RHS when a close friend joined what turned out to be a closed Chapter.  So Marlene started her own Chapter, describing this as “the best thing I’ve ever done.”  She thoroughly enjoys her “Ramblin’ Roses” gatherings but says the highlights of Red Hatting, for her, are the annual Red Hat Society international conventions.  She has not missed a single one since Dallas in 2004!  Marlene says “I’ve made HUNDREDS of new friends all over the country/world.”  The most prominent of those friends is her “BFF and the Sister I never had,” Queen Marcy LaSalle, who lives way across the U.S. in the state of Michigan.  Their contact began on the RHS website and they first connected in Dallas in 2004.  Now, Marlene and Marcy are known among a great many Red Hatters, as “the M & M Sisters.”  They are both grateful for the “Scarlet Sparkle” that has become their treasured friendship.

When asked her secret for keeping her Chapter strong, Marlene says that she has kept it to 20 Members, allowing them to become very close over the years.  When it came time to enroll them as Supporting Members, Marlene paraphrased a famous statement from JFK (President John Kennedy):  “Ask NOT what the RHS can do for YOU…but what YOU can do to support the organization.”

Marlene showed herself to be a real innovator when she started her second Chapter, “Wenches Gone Wild,” a group of women who enjoy dressing as pirates (in red and purple, of course) and swaggering hither and yon.  Taking their cue from Marlene, lots of other Hatters have also started RHS pirate Chapters.  In fact, they have become so popular that Marlene and Marcy (her First Mate) host an all-pirate private event following the formal close of each International Convention.  If you’re going to the San Francisco convention, keep your eye out for those bawdy ladies sporting eye patches, knives between their teeth, tricorn hats and even (some) with stuffed parrots riding on their shoulders.  And watch out for those blunderbusses too!  Arrrrrrrrrrgh!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Four Monkeyteers’ Annual Weekend Getaway

In 2012, Queen MotorMouth Christy (Louisiana, United States), Queen Diva with Bling Pat (Louisiana, United States), Queen Tenacious Vera (Alabama, United States) and Queen Jester of Jewels Linda (Kentucky, United States) held their first weekend getaway. The women had become close friends on Facebook and the Red Hat Society’s Members-only Queens and Members Board, and they decided to take their friendship offline. After an unforgettable weekend, they decided to meet every year for an annual ladies weekend. Here’s their story, told by Queen MotorMouth Christy:

Although we had communicated many times via Facebook and the Queens and Members Board, we had not met face-to-face, so we decided this would be the perfect opportunity! After much discussion and planning, we met in Memphis, Tennessee and rented a cabin. What followed in July 2012 was a weekend of fun and laughter, site-seeing and Sisterhood, and we decided there must be annual Girlfriend Getaway for us. We called ourselves the Four Monkeyteers, as we had come together as an offshoot of the Sock Monkey Sisterhood Chapter. We toured Graceland, the Gibson Guitar Factory, and Beale Street, having the time of our lives!    

In June of 2013, we met up again; this time in Biloxi, MS.  We stayed in a condo overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, and we spent our weekend casino-hopping, playing in the sand and waves on the beach, and even taking a side trip to New Orleans, as Linda had never been there.  Our day in New Orleans included Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the Superdome, and (of course) beignets & coffee at Café Du Monde!  Our evening of casino-hopping in Biloxi was done in Red Hat pirate garb, much to the delight of those who saw us enjoying ourselves as only Red Hat Society Sisters can!

This year in July, our destination of choice was Branson, MO.  Linda and Vera had never been there, Pat hadn’t been there in about 15 years, and I go every year with my husband.  We rented a cabin on Table Rock Lake, where we woke each morning to absolutely GORGEOUS views of the lake and incredible temperatures and weather.  We added an extra day to this weekend, which of course added to the fun!  We got to see John Sager perform at the Uptown Café, rode “The Duck” up to the top of Baird Mountain and then down INTO Table Rock Lake, and had an “old-timey” photo made.  We also made time to drive to Ozark, MO to have lunch at the famous Lambert’s, “Home of the Throwed Rolls” – and they DO throw hot fresh rolls across the dining room to whoever wants one!  When we weren’t in Branson doing the touristy things, we relaxed and enjoyed tons of conversation and laughs at the cabin.  And we just couldn’t figure out why everyone laughingly thought we might be “trouble” in the making!

The Fun, Friendship, and Sisterhood that we four share would never have been possible without the Red Hat Society. Thank you so much, EQM Sue Ellen, for this wonderful disorganization in which we STAND PROUD as Supporting Members and Queens!