a girl and her hat

November 2, 2011 at 8:33 am (craftiness n' colors)

“A hat is a magical, marvelous thing that sits on top of your head.
Why in the world would you choose not to wear one – when you could wear one instead?!”

– The Mad Hatter
(Wonder Pets)

For Christmas last year, my aunt gifted the girls with a box full of books. Books are always welcome around here – we can never get enough! But Zia C somehow always picks out the best books that no one has ever heard of before. . . and they quickly become favorites!

One of those titles is Zara’s Hats, by Paul Meisel. . .

It’s a really cute tale about a little girl named Zara, who helps her father design beautiful feathered hats to sell in their shop. One day, they run out of feathers, and Zara’s father Selig goes off on a cross-continental voyage to find some. While he is away, Zara misses her father terribly, and seeing the window of the hat shop dark and empty makes it even worse. She decides to decorate a few hats with Papier-mâché animals, flowers, and ribbons just to make the shop look cheerful again. To her surprise, her hats are a tremendous success, and sell out as fast as she and her mother can put them together! When Selig comes home (mysteriously unable to find feathers), he is so proud of his little Zara and her beautiful hats! This story is based loosely on the true story of the author’s great-grandfather, who ran a hat shop in the early 1900’s, and his grandmother – Zara. There’s even an old black and white photograph of them on the back cover, which Teagan and I think is really neat!

It should come as no surprise to you that our crafty little Puff wanted to make her very own ‘Zara’s Hat’ pretty much from the moment we finished reading the book for the first time! We started with Papier-mâché – just like Zara did in the story. T has never crafted anything this way before, but she caught on very quickly and had a great time with it. Of course she chose to make a brightly colored (mostly purple) elephant, and did a darn good job of it (with just a little bit of help). For some unknown reason she decided that he didn’t need legs. . .

I, however, am no Selig. I neither know how to make a hat, nor do I happen to have them lying around for small children to embellish, so we used an old denim sun hat that was a bit too small with a hole worn in it, and a LOT of hot glue! Since I was busy wielding the glue gun and keeping my daughter from burning her fingers off, I didn’t have a hand free to take any pictures of the decorating process, but T had a fabulous time picking out ribbons, sequins, paper flowers, glitter, gems, and feathers (yes. feathers. I think that’s cheating, but whatever…) to use and sticking them ever so carefully in just the right spot. She chose to fold up the ‘brim’ and picked a pretty flowery ribbon to run along the bottom. TA-DA! I present you with Teagan and her Zara’s Hat:

Isn’t it a beauty??! She is so proud of her creation, and yes. She actually WEARS the thing. Like, out of the house! It’s absolutely ridiculous, and so completely adorable that I can’t help but get a big grin every time I look at her! You only get to be four years old and rock a hat that awesome once in a lifetime. . . and though I do wonder if deep down inside she knows how utterly silly she looks, I will never be the one to tell her!

As Selig would say: That hat is a masterpiece, and “good enough for the president’s wife!”

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