Thursday, November 17, 2011


Love hats! Rarely wear them - hate hat hair almost as much as I love hats - but love hats, head-dresses, wreaths, crowns, tiaras, head scarves, and wonderful Audrey-esque hair-do's.

Think that I must have got this from my Dad, who tends to grace the suburbs wearing a straw boater in summer and a large felt fedora in winter. He has an extensive collection: can at a moment's notice produce anything from a fez to a deer-stalker. And he and Mum have always loved a good dress-up first exposure to the press came as a grubby faced babe-in-arms cradled by an Arts Ball bound bambi look-alike mother (why? still remember the feel of the foamie antlers of her costume but have never understood the reasoning.) Really doing a far better impersonation of a deer caught in the head-lights than my glamourous Mum I made it into the Sunday papers in the days when there wasn't a great deal going on in Brisbane, obviously. Maybe hence Dad's predilection for the deer-stalker? Moving right along...

Gail Davis as the original female super-hero
I was many things out of the dress-up cupboard, but my favourite alter-ego of all was Annie get-your-gun Oakley. I had the fringed vest, the cute skirt, the cowb'y hat, and the six-shooters, with holsters, to match, and stalked around the flower beds of our family home shooting imaginary baddies for hours at a time. How healthy is that! We're talking early 60's here, when the world was in love with the USA, Disney ruled the hearts and minds of Australia's young, and we could all sing the theme song of Davy, Davy Crocket, king of the wild frontier, without have any idea where the wild frontier was, or even what it was.

This early love affair with a happier period of American influence lead me to make a number of stylised wig-wams to sell at market, and from there, naturally, to papooses and feather head-dresses. And of course, best fun of all has been the feather head-dresses...they take a disproportionate amount of time, but are much, much fun to make.
Annie's put her side-arm to bed long ago, but then I always actually preferred the more colourful side playing Cowboys and Indians on the state school oval at lunch-time, and bows and arrows are so Robin Hood (with the Richard Greene American accent) after all

Wimcee will have a full compliment of feather head-dresses (plus lots more) at the Mathilda's Christmas Market tomorrow (19/11) at Eagle Farm Racecourse in Brisbane.

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