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

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ten years ago

Birthdays are to be glad about, as long as one has a measure of health and a body that still mostly works ok.  I have a few creaks like the tin woodman, but  overall am ok.  Daughter Beth had a little birthday supper for me last evening, and throughout the day I heard from and visited with others in our large family.  Eight candles on the cake, one for each grand child and great grand.  We look forward to baby girl Ramsey to be born in February.
84 and hoping for more.

4 generations

Birthdays are also for looking back and here are some sweet pictures Sue Spivey took of the last workshop in the red cape. The year was 2005, when lightening was to strike the cape and change our lifestyle completely.

 The big sun porch was 40 feet long, the full width of the cape, making a great place for the workshops.

Our dining room was the old kitchen with a wide hearth.

The living room or sitting room would have been called the hall in the 18th century. It was not large, just under 16 feet square.

The cape was originally built in 1768 in Willington CT.

My wonderful little studio building!

Garden between the studio and the shop building.

Cashmere goats made charming pets.  If I would walk or sit near them most would come to nuzzle and be petted, they were armloads of downy sweetness for me. However they would butt each other around a bit.

Words cannot express my love for the little farm. e

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Patterns to enjoy a lifetime?

Did I hear a raven say "nevermore?"  I have come to think that the generations after me will not be collectors of antique dolls, nor collectors of much else! With a mobile life style from continent to continent,  only clothing and electronics and a few basic things can keep up with these young people. Artwork can be projected and changed at will. Great granddaughter Bailey will keep her sweet old Martin guitar and not too many other treasures in a few years as she moves out into the world.  Young women no longer pour over patterns of table ware with the same fervor as my friends did.   Still some of us in more settled circumstances enjoy living with  these things.  I cringe at TV shows devoted to how to get rid of Stuff! As my friend Jeannie says "We love our stuff!" 

Had a great happening at the thrift store today, almost did not go, I do not go often these days.  And there waiting for me was a great amount of one of my dish patterns, Wedgewood flying cloud in red. It is English made, since the 1960's when I bought my first of it. It will not take a dishwasher or microwave but crazes badly  when used that way.  It is a cheaper version of the classic Spode pattern Tradewinds, now discontinued I believe, as it has a real gold edge on it.   I have but do not use a small service of the tradewinds which is made with the earlier shapes of Chinese export porcelain, with a helmet shape to the creamer and so on.   I love many of  the 20th century English Spode patterns which are copied from 18th century ones, green Fitzhugh, and Indian tree and on and on.   I keep my kitchen cupboards always at the bursting point and enjoy setting a pretty table.  When we were buying at estate sales Jack used to grin in resignation and say "We never met a dish we didn't like!"    

Above are the ones I added today to an already good size service.

Spode tradewinds

Spode Indian Tree, made in England and now in China.

Tonquin bought in the 1960's, looks nice in the kitchen of this house now.

And a basic blue, Spode Italian now coming out of China at a great rate.
The blue is not happy in my gray/green kitchen and I have passed most of it on to the daughters except a small set.  Beth, Sarah and Cheryl all have  some of the same things I do in glassware and china so we can borrow back and forth, with Beth having a large amount of Spode's Christmas tree and Sarah having the lovely Spode Woodland.  We are out of step with the times but even dinosaurs can laugh and play.  e

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Today I march in spirit with the million in France who celebrate the right to  artistic expression, which along with weightier creations, surely includes the light hearted blogs and journals so many of us write and publish in freedom.

Speaking of the many cartoons published this week about the tragedy, my brother Chale wrote on his site.....
"And perhaps the saddest, since the magazine Charlie Hebdo paid tribute to Charlie Brown in their very name."


Friday, January 9, 2015

Cold weather good for Rug Hooking

In some way I do not fully understand, all of this global warming is causing us to hit new lows.  My long suffering whaling rug is once more getting some attention, I hope I can finish it soon!
My rug called "Old Chalk Deer" is always a favorite to use at Christmas time. This year he went over the mantel.
Years back he was a bright spot over a side table at the Cape. 
Here is a pretty version of this pattern belonging to Penny S. and hooked by friend Ann  H.  I am adding a cloth sleeve to the back so the rug can be hung.  I love her color choices!  e
 My inspiration for this design comes from the Staffordshire deer figurines of the late 18th century and right on up to late 19th which hark back to Chinese figures of spotted deer which I do not find a picture of right now to share with you, and reinterpreted in the chalkware of Pennsylvania later.  Here are a few examples. e


Monday, December 29, 2014

More art minded in 2015

I hope to go back to my painting this year.  I am happy at it.  I truly love paint and the application of it.  Even so, it seems such a waste of time as there is no need for more little oil paintings of a mediocre sort.  The world is full of millions of them!  Jack said to think of it like golf, just enjoy the doing of it and strive to get better as you do it, whatever the definition of better may be.   That goes down hard for me as I am a production minded person.    I wrote my brother this and here is his reply:  (My brother is a writer among other talents.)

I agree with Jack. I think our happiest moments are those in which we are lost (or found) in creation. Completely "in the zone" of creating something that didn't exist before. Not every seed will sprout, not every sprout will grow, but in the moments of preparing the soil, planting the seed, and tending the sprout, there is hope and joy. Each plant which survives may then thrive. Not all will be beautiful, not all will be strong, but together they make a more beautiful patch of earth. Likewise with your paintings, among which will be the ones that make you very happy. But you won't know which ones until you pick up the paintbrushes and enter that creative, timeless zone.
Pictures show a gorgeous old house on one of the prettiest farms in our county, where I attended a great party yesterday.  There are many painting possibilities there! 

Here comes 2015, I am a happy person grateful for many blessings.  e

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pardon me, I had to show a grandchild!

Actually a great grand.   Here is Macy with a pacifier and an I pad.  She is a force of nature!   e

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas parties in my home

A Christmas party is such a natural, because the house is already done up and people are already in a holiday mood. Yesterday's block party went so nicely and people seemed to have a great time. They all just talked and talked and continued to graze off the table so I could tell it was going well. I cleaned up and washed everything and got in bed a little after 7!

Before the party I moved all the antique chairs out and hid them, 5 went in my shower! I opened the sunporch and had extra seating there for 9.

Table almost at the ready, a little more was added.. and the pitcher held punch without bubbly and the bowl with.

Cheryl stayed through the party yesterday and so did one of the couples, to help me with people. We had one on a walker and several with canes.Cheryl is so sweet with Anna her next door neighbor who is in her 90's. Anna has lived in many places, moved here from New York, is originally from somewhere in the Balkans I think. She was dressed so pretty and had her hair done and took on over the antiques. This block is mostly a retirement enclave, but two couples are younger and working still. Martin and Maria are beautiful and so loving. Maria made a great cake for yesterday.  Our newest couple on the block, brought a little wrapped plate of fudge for each one of us!  She teaches and he is writing a book this year. Many of my neighbors volunteer heavily in the community. 
This will be another sweet day.

A post script now added for Sunday's party:
 Same song Second Verse.

 I had 28 people in for Punch and cookies on Sunday afternoon, 2 til 5, which stretched till after 6.   This was for a few friends and family and so enjoyable.  I will hope to do this one again next year and larger.  I put out fresh foods and made new punch and set the sled full of poinsettias by the front door again.   Last night I put away foods, washed the punch bowl and tray and small silver pieces, and made a start at cleaning up all the rest. Today I will put the house back in order a bit and  turn on music and just relax the rest of the way into Christmas.  There is a little Asti Spumonti left and a lot of cookies.  Hope all of you are having a sweet Holiday Season. e

A great granddaughter and a granddaughter

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