Photo by Daniel N

Four weeks ago at The SC’s hospice creative arts support group, we were asked to paint our grief on paper using a choice of two colors from the palette provided.  The first photo above is my visual/visceral projection of this request, which I would not attempt to describe without producing an essay. We were then asked to take our ‘piece’ home and transform it, sharing it later with the group. Last evening I displayed my finished project; I had known immediately that it would take the form of headwear. I had constructed a primitive paper sculpture and attached it to a buckram base typically used for cocktail hats, which for some unknown reason I was able to locate in my studio.   I then added a peacock feather (I love movement in my accessories) along with a teal/green ‘mini painting,’ both of which a friend had included in a display placed near the guest book at Nelson’s memorial service.  Around the time of Nelson’s death I was gifted a collection of vintage veiling by another generous friend; a red vintage veil became the finishing touch to my interpretation of transformation. This hat with veil allowed The SC to peer out from under and through her grief and provided hope that any stage of distress can be changed with time, desire, self acceptance and focus. The process also reinforced the concept that hats provide healing!


  1. Wow. That is a wonderful excercise and physical process. Actually working on transformation in a physical, aesthetic, crafted – fashion. Wonderful concept and wonderfilled you. Love.

  2. The lesson is that transformation from one state to another not directly obvious is possible given imagination, inventiveness, determination, and a bit of effort. That is certainly worth remembering, and I would be remiss if I didn’t also say that I think the hat is delightful.

  3. Only you could transform these pieces into such a wonderful creation. I would have loved to see you in your hat store!

  4. My favorite combination! Keep letting your creations pull out the grief from the dark corners pain loves to settle in. Sharing your journey with people who love you heals us of our unique, private pains,too. What a wonderful venue for ‘sisterhood’ across the oceans you have created,Judith! More power to SC!

  5. I should know that whenever I visit your page I will be emotionally touched, moved and inspired. Since I’ve been considering learning to make hats to help me earn my keep in this world, and channel my creative energy, seeing this, cinches my interest in millinery. I will be connected to you by learning this trade, and I can’t imagine a more powerful way to be more like you.

    I love how you transform elements in your life into elegant statements about living. I love you.

  6. I see in your creation…the heart and the spinal cord. How deep can one get with another “Spiritual Soul”….(interconnectiveness… with those two most important organs. Oh, Judith…there are soooo many people out there wishing and praying for such a “Divine Love” you guys continue to have…in this Spiritual World! Take special care….

  7. Hello my dear fried, your blog had disapeared from my blogroll, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.
    I have you back on board.
    I love the bigger photos and your fabulousness.

  8. J,
    Your image is gorgeous, so full of heart, joy, and brimming with life! I love the colors too! And trhe chapeau you have crafted is truly grand: at once sweeping and gentle.
    Brava, brava!
    I think of you often, and wonder if your road is becoming easier to tread. I hope so. I know each day can present a new, and sometimes startling, challenge.
    I am back in Arabia for a while, and enjoying my own rest in the midst of a tumultuous time. I am grateful to be here until I am needed again in Chicago.

  9. Love the hat…what else would you create? I’m inspired and amused at your delightful and insightful comments on your changed life. Thank you for continuing!

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