Life in a slow place that quickly steals your heart.



The Kingdom of Naramata’s Crown Maker

IMG_4902.jpgRather prosaically, a Crown Maker is called a jeweller but I think this intricate art form needs a more suitable moniker. How about latin? Factorem Coronam comes closer to capturing the magic of this sorcery. Naramata’s Queen of Crowns is Darlene Jones and here are some of her diadems to die for.

No shrinking violets allowed.
Fairy tale right?


Ice Queen
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How exotic is this one?
Even her deer creations sport crowns.
Detail from a sun goddess crown.


Darlene herself sporting one of her amazing creations.


Dubbed by her daughter as a “Glue Ru”, she has perfected the art of making the ordinary extraordinary in her jewel box Naramata studio. Within minutes I was trying on crowns, hats and headpieces with the artist who believes in making the world a more colourful and sparkling place.

Here she has transformed a photograph of her grandmother and given her some bling. Darlene looks like her. 

“As you can see I’m a magpie and am very attracted to sparkle,” says Darlene who gets lost for hours in her art. She also gets huge satisfaction when her “earth mother-type friends transform themselves into goddesses,” with the addition of a crown. “It touches something childlike in them and it’s amazing to see what happens when they see themselves as beautiful. I’m a big advocate for big girl dress-up.”

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Crowing selfie.
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Darlene’s dazzling studio.
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A crown fan from way back, this is my coronal, or nuptial crown beautifully made by my mother-in-law.
This little number came home with me. This is a perfect example of why blogging costs me money but pays me in so many other ways. Thanks Darlene. Happy to have more of your flamboyant art. 

The pink hat

Jaunty angle
Jauntier angle
Serious town
Happy town
Jaunty and bearded

Women with hats: capellophile or millionophilia

My daughter and her lovely pals

Although there is no “official” word for hat collector, there has been some attempt to create one. Millinophilia, derived from hat maker, or milliner is one possibility and a second is capellophile, using the word capel which is latin for hat or headdress.

Whatever your term it, my growing collection of vintage and new hats is turning me into a mad hatter. In celebration of Easter bonnets, here are some of my frillier women’s hats. The hats come out to play often and are great for photo shoots where the wearers adopt some version of “hat face”. It’s a pose and expression brought on by the hat. Hat face is either a very serious face with an upturned chin in a regal pose or a silly smile.

Do you remember Marlo Thomas in That Girl?

Hat collecting turns out to be an affordable hobby with many only costing $20 or $30 and collecting works equally at home and on holidays to just about anywhere. There is also a good deal of nostalgia involved as I picture my mom choosing from among her hats stored away in flowery hat boxes.

This cotton-candy pink number screams Easter

I don’t even remember which hat was the first in the collection. They can be found at yard sales, auctions, antique and vintage stores and you will find them even when you aren’t looking.

The back of this hat is lovely
Takes a brave sole to wear this one anywhere but in a Star War’s movie

Some of my hats were reasonable and others more expensive. The more flamboyant the more expensive. If you add in French hat maker labels like Agnes, Chanel, Yves St. Laurent and Christian Dior, the price goes up. The more feathers the more money sometimes reaching up to $300 or $400. If the hat comes in its original box, so much the better. The fun of collecting is amplified by the possibility of wearing the hat. I don’t know how many times I’ve tried a hat on, found it fetching, bought it and chickened out actually wearing it.

I call this one the meringue

Cloche, high crown, tilts, doll hats, cocktail, pillbox, fedora, wide brim, beret, boater, Breton, cartwheel, turban, halo, peach basket, picture hat, sailor and slouch…so many hats for only one head.

“In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it…”



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