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.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and bought and sold antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. Some of the posts featuring rug hooking are gathered under the banner For Cathy. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Goodbye to fall for this year

As the leaves blow around they stir so many memories. Some who read this will remember Jack and I had a big red house in town for a few years as well as the little cape in the country. 
 We were still working on it here, the fence became gray after a coat of paint and a great many small trees and bushes were added.  Just the same I had pumpkins on the porch.

 Our cape in the country was the house of our dreams, Jackie put untold work into it for us.

 My favorite quilt pattern has always been pineapple log cabin.  See what great colors this one had! Another name for the pattern is Windmill blades.  I do not have one now but always hope one will turn up. Brian and Cora sent the bittersweet from Connecticut.

 I had wonderful gardens those years!   See the pumpkins we grew! 

 Patches the cat was good help.

Eleven small big tooth maples were carefully nurtured so that one day they could make color against the red buildings.  The crepe myrtle turned red and the pecan trees gold so there was a wealth of fall color  for our little New England house. 

 Christmas for 2016 is coming with its share of nostalgia also.  But it too will be a sweet one.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my family and friends who read here.   This is a time to be thankful for so many blessings.  Among these I am thankful my pretty kitchen and think of how Jackie worked hard to leave me in a safe sweet home when he knew he could not stay here long.  Of course we built our red cape with the hope it would be our forever home on this earth, but that was not to be.  So see what a pretty kitchen we made in this modern little garden home where I am grateful to be. 
We used his pottery collection as a theme in the kitchen and all surfaces were planned to compliment the redware and stoneware.
 Onions are gathered in a fine Redware bowl we believe was made in Maine. These onions are in two of my paintings. The counter top makes a strong statement and was not a choice for the faint of heart! 

See the rich and varied glaze on this early Boston marked piece.

This very sought after stoneware is the work of Frederick Carpenter, and Jack collected at least twenty of these pots.  The earlier is marked Boston then the pottery moved across the river and was afterwards marked Charlestown.

Now I have six of my recent paintings hanging in here, and have just finished making a peach cobbler pie for our family Thanksgiving dinner.  All four generations will be there at Daughter Beth's and it will be one to please Norman Rockwell. 

 Friend Dixie went to considerable trouble to secure and travel to pick up and then mail the little ship model from an auction in Maine last month. It is a one off home made model of an actual working fishing vessel I believe.  See that tiny wooden ball on top of the center mast? I lost that in a huge box of peanut packing and it took two hours and three passes through it all to recover the little bit of wood!
Langhorn's Tavern in Virginia was owned by my ancestor Maurice Langhorn. 

Footnote: I have had email from a new reader here, a person very knowledgeable  about early American pottery. He has a great blog on the subject:  http://www.earlyamericanceramics.com/ 
This is wonderful reading!    Go look.     Best, e

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Painting and Playing with Still Life

I remember many times in the past  calling my collector friends and asking "What are you doing?"  Sometimes the answer would be "Playing" which we both understood  meant arranging and rearranging interesting old items to make pleasing vignettes of our antiques.   Now that play has circled back again in my life in a different guise: arranging interesting things to paint and make a nice composition. 
Sometimes I am rolling apples or onions around on a kitchen table to catch the light from the window just so.

Lately I have borrowed little ship models from friends.  Here is a sweet example:

What adorable little lures! I have a small painting laid out with these swimming by the little schooner.

Finished are two paintings of another ship model.

Glare on both of these photos makes the very dark backgrounds look much lighter. The one above is on indigo while the one below is a rich chocolate.

The beautiful frames are from Andy Ybarra.

A buy on eBay brought me this adorable ship in a bottle, not old, an advertising piece for a rum company in the 1990's. This is the schooner Bluenose out of Nova Scotia.  A well known older hooked rug pattern of the Bluenose is one of my all time favorites.

This popular pattern was made in a number of sizes,  Sandy has a large lovely old one hooked to a glory!
Nautical hooked rugs are among my favorite things. 

The bonnets from friend Jean's collection shown below date mid 19th century. A painting of these may be titled "Conversation'. 

You can see I am having a good time these days.    I have lately been offered very nice representation for my paintings on Main Street in Fredericksburg, and am honored.    It is a town full of art and people who appreciate it. At present I am surely painting for enjoyment, but on the other hand these paintings are stacking up down the hall on the floor and some of them will have to go somewhere!     Not sure just how to move on this yet. My little ones are easy to sell and send and are not stacking up.  When I have more of them I can offer them on this site.  Some of the larger ones will have to go in a gallery soon.  Shipping them would be a bear.    edyth

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Fall Sale

Crisp bright fall days make good times for yard sales.  Some friends and I had a variation of that on Barbara's lovely screened back porch yesterday.  Our guests came by invitation, there was no sign or ad for our event in this intimate space.  Barbara and Jean had antiques to offer and I had my paintings and also a small table of Christmas things. Linda had a pretty display of her jewelry.  I would have liked to include photos with people, but after the sale started I never got back to taking pictures. So here is a taste of it.  

The tavern table with lovely turnings was from Maine.

A lucky person took home this wonderful comb back Windsor chair.

Barbara's homemade ginger cookies and pomegranate punch.

You can see some of the jewelry on etsy at

This was the first time I have shown my paintings this year and they were well received and I am much encouraged! Several friends came who are really interested in art and their comments are special.  And these four little ones sold!  

Bittersweet and Indian corn and pumpkins make a festive set up.

 All were priced and offered for sale except two large ones I may have giclee's made of.

One buyer said these paintings remind her of 17 century paintings and I was thrilled she recognized it. That is exactly what I am studying:  chiaroscuro, the play of light and shadow as mastered most famously by Rembrandt and taught today by David Leffel and his pupils of which my own instructor is one.   Leffel applies this technique to fine antique oriental porcelain and the like, while I am using it to paint the humble American pottery and less formal antiques Jack and I collected.  This gives my own paintings a personal voice.  Search Google images for David Leffel and see his amazing work!

Note, detail of the wooden doll above:
She came as just a carved wooden head and torso with a hole from shoulder to shoulder as on a Motschmann doll.  I made a tube of cloth holding the arms Jack carved. To give her legs, I sewed drawers with the legs and gathered the top edge around her waist. So no glue or other fastening mars the doll herself. There is no paper mache molded over the wooden base, she is a wooden doll with a very thin layer of gesso under the paint of her head. Worn spots tell the story.

Of course I had to buy some little treasures.
It was a great day, thank you Barbara.

PS If you would like to have a cupboard for your dolls like the one Jack made for mine, the pattern and instructions for it are in the new December Early American Life Magazine.  e

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