Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities. ~ Edyth O'Neill

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Exciting Magnolia Pearl shop opening in Fredericksburg TX

Photo copyright Robin Brown, Robin on the right. 

Robin Brown designs and produces a very successful line of outrageous clothing, with equally stunning price tags.   Go see Magnolia Pearl in Fredericksburg on Google or Face Book.  Some of the pieces make me feel like a princess and some like a chimney sweep.  It runs from silly to beautiful but all of it brings a smile to the wearer as well as to the beholder.   Her clothing is enjoyed nation wide and is all made here in Fredericksburg using unusual fabric, much of it from France, including beautiful linen in greige and sand and neutral creams.   I love the  few pieces of it that I have in my own closet and it is fun to see it about town, always worn with a dash of elan.  Each piece is eye catching and the bold label sewn on the outside makes it unmistakable. 

Today on Hwy 290 East of Fredericksburg, the winery road,  Magnolia Pearl opened its newly expanded retail outlet in a huge three story post and beam barn.   It was a fun occasion with people looking at each other as much as at the clothing in the shop.  Wine was offered, I had water, and the crepes with peaches were divine!  Rebecca Rather reined like the celebrity chef she is, in a well appointed kitchen open for us all to enjoy.  It was a lovely party!
I added one wonderful sea foam green linen shirt that looks like an artist's smock.

 Carol Hicks Bolton in the center.

 Rebecca in the center wielding a spatula.

I stopped at my favorite peach stand on the way home, for Fredericksburg Gold.  This was a perfect summer day.  Yes that pale pink ruffled top has the MP label on the back.  E

Monday, June 6, 2016

A pleasant informal gathering to welcome summer

Iced tea and cake served on a screened in porch make a perfect little summer party.  Barbara's house was breezy and cool even with the afternoon in the low 80's. She served delicious light treats and flavored tea.

The outdoors seems to be part of every room, light airy and open.

Beautiful little arrangements everywhere show that this is the home of a talented decorator/collector.
Cool light blues speak to the summer of easy soft slow days.

I am proud to have one of my paintings tucked high in a cupboard.

Cheryl has recently painted a portrait of  a dear family pet and it has a prominent place in the house.

Barbara's hand as a gardener is evident all around the house, inside and outside, complete with hummingbirds to entertain us.  Thank you for such a special afternoon! 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Glorious spring here.

Our neighbor has a lovely collection of Iris in bloom right now. Cheryl has painted some of them with pastels.

Flowers are everywhere. My own dooryard is lovely.
Above is the back yard.

Patio viewed from the back.

I have five of these pretty old shutters, not sure what to do with them yet.

By the front door. Mexican Oregano is about to put on an extravagant display.

View of patio from the front.
When Jan B and my Jackie were both in their final year of life, Jan and Bill brought us a straggly young Little Gem Magnolia plant which Jan had intended to plant and never got in the ground. I did finally get it in the ground that fall and then the next May after it had come out pretty well, a devastating  hail storm just tore it to pieces leaving only a forlorn stalk.  Anyone else would have surely yanked it out and started over.   But I could not and instead said soft things to it and brought extra water and acid fertilizer to encourage it. It is four feet tall three years later, and has the sweetest blooms.  Now I want to make a painting of some.  
My brother wrote:  "Lovely story about the rescued magnolia. I could imagine a series of watercolors telling the story of "the little magnolia that could." From uncertain beginnings to devastating experiences onward to health, happiness, and strength through love and nurturing, which allows it to provide beauty and joyful scents." 
I am trying to set up a still life with a huge pewter pitcher and some blooms from the little tree.  The tree/bush is so small I do not want to cut it much. Cheryl is horrified that I would take any little branches off! The English ale jug or pitcher is an incredible piece. We shall see what I manage to do or if I manage to do anything.  This jug is one of the first pieces we acquired when we began to collect seriously, it was from the collection of Elizabeth Lees in Ft Worth.

I love the worn old oriental rugs and the feeling they impart to a room full of early furniture. From paintings of the 17th and 18th centuries, we know that the rugs were many times used as table coverings, and not as often on the floor.  The rugs I have bought over the years in sales and flea markets are mostly mid 19th century and later. 
 In handling one there is always a fine dust on my hands no matter how many times I have gently shaken it or washed it outside on the drive way.  (Never vacuum one.)  Always the fine dust is there if it is real and old and hand-woven.  I said to Jackie one time that I thought this is just a residue of desert sand and camel dung for years and years before the rugs were sold to dealers for export.  He laughed big and said these rugs were made for sale and never saw a tent or a camel!  
 I am not so sure about that in the case of the small pieces that were bag faces.  A long woven piece was folded in half to make a bag for nomadic families to carry possessions on their animals. One half of the piece was never to show and was plain tabby weave or perhaps kilim weave.  The half intended to show was the face of the bag, a lovely little rugglet.  Today I have just opened a second package from friend Jeanie who has sent me some as backgrounds for my still life paintings. They are thrilling to me!  Thank you Jean!  Here are the beautiful little bag faces she sent this time:

They will enhance paintings I hope to do in the coming months. Can you see the shape we quilters know as Ohio Star imbedded in the design?  Folk art world around echoes the same themes.    e 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Gonic New Hampshire redware

These six pieces are likely from Gonic NH.  The green and copper colored glaze is much loved by collectors.
Jackie loved the pitchers!

The high colored pitcher in the center is one I have painted.

Here is a beautiful mid size jug.. yes that is a large cookie cutter!

Gorgeous little jug in strong condition.

Above pieces are from our O'Neill collection.   The nice five inch jug below was sold by Skinners some time ago.  Not ours, shown just for color. It is most like our brightest pitcher.
Above link is a good article on this pottery and the families that produced it, a glimpse into Early America.  Caution you must not have the hyphen in the link.    e

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