crafts: easter & bonnets

When we first moved to New York I had a pocket map of the city. It was in the form of a small guide book and included a short list of things to do. To pass time I would often read, and re-read, over the list. I’m not certain why but a few things in particular always stuck in my head. Like the Bonnet Parade on Easter Day. Prior to the birth of my son the only holiday I managed to make a big fuss over was my birthday. But these days I feel like I need to spread the love, put down roots and start traditions. Sure we can go to church, and church is a good place to be on Easter Day, but the Bonnet Parade won. Now, from everything I’ve read the guide book detailed the event as a parade where people wore clever bonnets (or hats) that they had spent the year crafting. With this being New York you can imagine the thought and effort that would go into some of these festive sombreros. And so I began to craft.

Now, in my head I’m Martha Stewart. Well, actually… in my head I’m better then Martha Stewart but that would probably be ridiculous to admit. It doesn’t matter how crappy my creations turn out, mentally I think I can create things that are equally drool worthy. Now, I’ve created a few things that are spot on spectacular but I’ve created even more things that were pretty disastrous. But no matter the end results, I feel certain I can out craft Martha. Let’s just say that my mom did a great job at instilling confidence in me.

Last year I decided to make three hats for the Bonnet Parade. The first hat I started on was for my husband. It turned into a huge undertaking that resulted in a lot of work. The construction was difficult. After several dedicated weekends consisting of shopping, buying, cutting, gluing and questioning my logic I had a not so masterful masterpiece. All I could do was repeated over and over that I don’t make bonnets for a living. Unlike MS, I don’t have a creative team of brilliant minds and unlimited resources. The end result was less then a masterpiece. Having spent so much time on the first hat I had little energy to dedicate on mine. In the end, my hat recovered birthday hat was worse. Graycen’s looked fabulous but all I had to do was attach a butterfly to his blue corduroy apple hat so anything less then stellar would have been embarrassing.

As Easter Day approached I began to feel hesitant. My creations stunk and what could more embarrassing then having to parade yourself amongst the public in something you designed that truthfully looked pathetic. But my husbands a trooper and he wore his crappy hat. My son was six months old and had no say in the matter. We arrived at the parade late morning only to discover the parade isn’t really a parade. Yes, streets are closed off. A handful of people wear hats. An even smaller group of people get decked out in fabulous Gatsby attire. BUT a much larger group of people stare at the silly folks in hats. In truth, so few people wear hats that if you have dared to don one people will compliment you. They’ll sing you praise and then with a huge smile ask if they can take your photo. Many many people asked for our photo that day. Grown men kept telling my husband how cool his hat was. In those moments I felt like I really did outshine Martha. Not that it matters because we had did what we set out to do. Roots were laid and a tradition was started.

All year I’ve been thinking of ways to outshine last years crap creations. I didn’t think it would be hard but here we are, a month away from Easter, and I haven’t started. I’m worried folks but this weekend (or maybe next weekend) I promised to get my bum in gear.

A few months back I got an email from a stranger. He asked me if I had attended the Easter Parade. He was vague but I went with it. Shortly after, this photo arrived in my inbox. It was such a treat to see that one of the many many people that took our photo had taken the time to send me a copy. Thank you Alan!

New York Bonnet Parade (2008), Photo by Alan Lungen

New York Bonnet Parade (2008), Photo by Alan Lungen

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2 Responses to “crafts: easter & bonnets”

  1. pearls and green tea Says:

    Thanks for your comments on my blog! The paint color here is Benjamin Moore 2134-30 iron mountain. You are not crazy..that’s what this blog is for! Please let me know if you have more questions. 🙂

  2. Cousin Says:

    Go to church!!! 🙂

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