R-J readers create elegant, whimsical Easter bonnets

It’s a popular tradition, among some, to greet Easter by donning a brand new hat.

Seriously. For proof, just check out the lyrics to that Irving Berlin classic, “Easter Parade.”

It is thus that we decided to tip our hats to Easter, and the arrival of springtime it heralds, by asking our creative readers to design and craft their own Easter bonnets. As always, our readers didn’t let us down, offering up a selection of custom, handcrafted hats that are, by turns, fun, sophisticated and witty.

Taylor Austin’s homemade bonnet is a virtual Easter diorama. Austin, 11, adorned her hat with such springtime staples as bunnies, chicks and flowers, and, if you look closely, you’ll even detect a few ladybugs hidden amid the scenery.

We don’t know how Mae West felt about Easter, but suspect the legendary Hollywood bombshell would be happy to wear this hat by Faye Haas in any Easter parade. Haas actually made it several years ago as part of a Mae West costume, but it’s sophisticated enough to look at home in any gathering.

A fine Easter bonnet doesn’t have to be a fancy Easter bonnet. That’s a proposition Hazel McClendon proves with her Easter visor bedecked with furry chicks, songbird silhouettes, eggs and a springlike garland.

Doris Currington’s Easter bonnet reflects her love of rockhounding and the lapidary arts. She decorated her bonnet with tumbled and polished stones and gems she has collected on rockhounding excursions. By the way: Currington can tell you a story about every one of them.

Ann Peterson’s Easter bonnet resembles a garden that can be worn atop the head, with flowers, butterflies and sunglasses perched on a gardener’s hat. Notice, by the way, the watering pail. Peterson notes that finding tinsel to represent the falling water isn’t easy this time of year.

Sandra Wrenn’s Easter bonnet is an explosion of flowers, Easter eggs and other various Easterish knickknacks. Note, by the way, the collection of bunnies, carrots and other such touches hanging from the hat’s brim.

Can you tell that Barbara Grater is a fan of Oscar Goodman? Her Easter bonnet features Las Vegas’ always-ebullient mayor, with such Vegas-specific touches as dice and gaming chips mixed in among the flowers and Easter eggs.

Mary Smydo turned to the future, and silver wrapping paper, for inspiration for her bonnet. Her futuristic affair is, perhaps, the sort of fashionable head covering Jane Jetson might wear in an Easter parade a half-century hence.

Louisa Voisine went in a delicate, classy direction with her bonnet, which features flowers, feathers and ribbon in springlike tones.

Francesca Ridgley’s bonnet is a sort of mobile travel scrapbook. Along with Hawaiian leis, Ridgley’s hat features lapel pins she has collected on travels around the United States and the world.

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