Things are looking up


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My hatmaking table is full right now. As I cleaned up the studio after a long day, I felt depleted. What I needed was to go and find some sanctuary.

I let my camera lead the way.

The light was already fading in the low areas of the marsh when I got there.

Blog-ForestBeachLoop5So I decided to look up instead…

Blog-ForestBeachLoop5BBlog-ForestBeachLoop6Everything seemed to be reaching for one last glimpse of the sun.
Blog-ForestBeachLoop7One more ray of golden light.


I could almost hear the sea whispering through the tall grass, Sweet dreams, ’til the morrow, I wish I may I wish I might
Blog-ForestBeachLoop10I could see that someone was already tucked in, dreaming of tomorrow’s catch…

Blog-ForestBeachLoop8And the sun was finding its own soft pillows to rest upon for the night.
Blog-ForestBeachLoop11Returning home I felt so much more relaxed, already eager for tomorrow’s work.

Maybe there’s something to be said for looking up.

‘Til next time, thank you for visiting Hats and Horses!


Behind-the-scenes with the “Chelsea” Derby chapeau


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I am often asked what goes into creating a custom chapeau by MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS®.

The creation process for each of my hats is as unique and individual as the women who will wear them.

CustomHatsMedley1I recently received a Derby hat request from a lady named Suzanne who lives in Kentucky. Suzanne was especially interested in my black and white polka dot Chelsea hat for her 2015 Oaks/Derby adventure.

Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-1Suzanne sent me her head size and her payment, and we were good to go!

Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-3With anticipation I headed into the studio, got out my tools and cranked up my tunes (Brandi Carisle and Yo-Yo Ma have been two of my favorites this summer).

Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-4As in painting, my fabrics are my paints. They can be textured, bold and bright or soft, silky and subdued.

The Chelsea foundation would be created out of a polka dot fabric with hot pink taffeta for the underbrim. A double bow with tails and a sash needed to be fashioned out of just the right pink trim taffeta.

Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-5 Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-6The excitement started to build as the fabric was marked and cut.

Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-7Stitching for the Chelsea got underway and a delightful polka dot “canvas” was soon created.

Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-10Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-11Time for Chelsea to get her trimmings!

Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-12Each trim element was carefully pressed and hand stitched together, one piece at a time.

For the finishing touch, a custom MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® label was sewn into the lining of the hat.

Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-19BOne of the fun surprises with this particular Chelsea design is that the polka dots of the fabric shine through when the hat is held up to the light!

Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-21 At last our Chelsea was ready to make her journey to Suzanne in Kentucky.

Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-23In the morning before she was shipped, Chelsea received her final “tweaking” to make sure everything was just perfect.

At last the moment had arrived for Chelsea to be carefully settled into her custom MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® hatbox that was lined with vanilla colored tissue to create a comfy “nest” for her travels.

Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-27A garment tag was enclosed with a postcard.

Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-24The shipping box was addressed and taped.

Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-29Another MAGGIE MAE DESIGNS® chapeau was ready to set sail from Cape Cod!


In a few days, Suzanne let me know that Chelsea had arrived and that she loved her new Derby chapeau.

Suzanne and Chelsea are indeed ready for the amazing Run for the Roses adventure that awaits them at Churchill Downs!

Blog-ChelseaHatCreation-2Thank you for visiting Hats and Horses and letting me share this behind-the-scenes creation of the Chelsea Derby hat with you.

Until next time,


Slow Down, You’re Movin’ Too Fast


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Ever have one of those weeks where no matter how hard you try to get things done faster, you just keep on getting further and further behind?

It was Saturday evening and I really needed a walk. I needed to clear my head. I needed to figure out how to organize my Sunday. Get a head start on the hatmaking work week ahead.

But this Saturday night on Cape Cod, there wasn’t a single parking spot to be had.

Blog-ForestBeach30Sunday morning dawned and I decided to brave the crowds once again. I headed for Forest Beach and there was plenty of parking.

I’ll just stay for a minute, soak up some of the beauty, and get back to work, I thought.Blog-ForestBeach31Just then, a crow called.

And called.

I swore he was talking to me, as he caw caw cawed himself silly.

Blog-ForestBeach32I pressed on feeling pressed for time.

And as I was hurrying up the first hill I saw this little green man with a bright red flag. In fact I nearly feel over him in my rush!

Blog-ForestBeach33I took a deep breath. Okay. It’s Sunday. Maybe it would do me some good to slow down. Like the man says. Still, I couldn’t for the life of me see how it would help me get a better handle on the work week ahead.

A tiny sparrow along the marsh cocked his head toward me. He didn’t seem to be in any hurry to go anywhere at all.


It was so peaceful along the marsh. And as I pointed my lens I could literally feel my shoulders drop as I began to relax and take in the beauty…

I decided to just keep following the road in front of me. So I’d be a few minutes later getting back to my schedule, what harm could that do?

Blog-ForestBeachLoop3I made it to Mill Landing and heard a kingfisher scolding me.

They can be like that.

Blog-MillLanding55 The buoy in the channel seemed to be telling me to just float…

Blog-MillLanding56 The cormorant in the far distance put in his two cents telling me, “Hang loose, baby, let your wings dry.”

Blog-MillLanding57A tiny sparrow on a fence caught my eye. He seemed to be looking at something across the road.

Blog-MillLanding58And there he was, a gorgeous box turtle, crossing the road but movin’ slow…

I was beginning to feel like everyone was ganging up on me. Maybe it really was time to stop, slow down and smell the flowers.

Or the rosehips.

Blog-MillLanding61I was surprised as I headed for home that I felt refreshed, kind of energized by it all.

And I smiled to myself as I thought about all the beauty – and new friends – I would have missed if I had not listened to that crow.

Or the green man.

Or the sparrow in the marsh, the cormorant or the turtle…

Blog-MillLanding62I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit here to Hats and Horses.

‘Til next time!



End of the Day


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After a long yet satisfying day in the hot hat studio, it was SO good to get out and take a deep breath of sea air and soak in some of the beauty that surrounds me.

I really don’t have any words to add except…. ENJOY.

Blog-ForestBeach22Blog-ForestBeach24Blog-ForestBeach23Blog-ForestBeach25Blog-ForestBeach26Blog-ForestBeach27Blog-ForestBeach28Blog-ForestBeach29Blog-ForestBeachLoop1Blog-ForestBeachMarsh4-CoyoteHillBlog-ForestBeachLoop2‘Til next time, thank you for visiting me at Hats and Horses!

















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