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

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Hill Country Spring, a Beautiful Experience

In Fredericksburg one of our favorite drives to enjoy the bluebonnets and other wild flowers is the Willow City Loop, between Llano and Fredericksburg.  The loop is a winding hilly very scenic hour long experience at a creeping speed with many pauses to take pictures. It is not legal to stop and park or to walk on the sides of the road.  One day last week my daughter Cheryl drove and I snapped pictures for us to enjoy in our painting workshop going on at present.  Blue bonnets are stunning in life but not easy to catch in a little rectangle from our cameras. The color is past imagining and the scent heavenly.  But here goes anyway with a few of my 70 shots that day.

This morning I enjoyed a party in a great home built about 25  years back on 35 acres by David and Judy Bland. In addition to the main house there are also 7 bed and breakfast houses  plus numerous picturesque outbuildings, stone fences, windmills, a stone bridge and on and on.  Stunning grounds, not manicured exactly, but what I call "managed natural".  The present owners do a splendid job with it and have improved the gardens and terraces and such. I took a lot of pictures of the little log and stone outbuildings and backed dear Vanessa into a very sturdy tree and I quit at that point and drove her home.

The main house has a large wing at the back that greatly increases the size which is already bold.

This is the back porch looking toward the garage.

A small pool and a Lady Banks rose by the garage

A tree house!

Looking back at the porch

Beautiful seating groups are everywhere. 50 people would not fill them, our group was over 30 and it was sparsely distributed.

A Guest house


Another guest house
   Explore the website to see more if you like. Settler's Crossing has been called one of the top 10 bed and breakfasts in the nation by Travel and Leisure.
 In one of the guest houses you can see a rug I hooked, an early version of my Ohio Coverlet design in all blues and off white.  There are other hooked rugs both old and new.  The website is not very simple to navigate, but under accommodations the cabins are listed and a click on each gives more views.  e

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Sandy sent this to share!

Good Morning Edyth, I love your new eggs and always admired the hen and the old eggs you had done years ago and really enjoyed seeing the great new ones you just did!
As you can see, we always do eggs too, the big duck bowl was my mother's and I fill it with a few of the many the family has made over the years. My youngest brother loves to do eggs and his are always delightful. He did the big goose egg with the Little Prince on it as well as many others. But the piece de resistance this year was the scherenschnitte egg made by my artist friend Pamela for me with the bunnies on a scooter and pulling a large egg wagon under the tree. The paper cutting is so tiny and she glued it onto the egg.  Isn't it fun!!!  Fondly Sandy.

Pam worked from a book on the paper cutting craft, does not remember the designer.  If a reader here can inform us, I would like to credit the designer.  Thank you Sandy!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter week

 I asked my oldest daughter today if she remembered coloring Easter eggs together when she was little. Yes!  Now my granddaughter is coloring eggs with my great grands.   
Sarah's four children
Hunting eggs is serious business, holding her mouth just right.
Found a good one at preschool egg hunt.
I painted a few eggs yesterday to go around my old hen in the kitchen. All but two of the painted eggs I used to have burned in our house fire, It has been 10 years this spring and I am just now getting around to replacing some!  The two large eggs are dated 1999. Amazing how time rushes by.  I hope I will paint some more bye and bye.

To glaze them (or a doll head) I use Liquitex medium, either gloss or matte plus Ceramcoat burnt umber liquid acrylic.  For inspiration I used to borrow pieces of my mother in law's lovely Quimper. Now I go easily to Google images and pull up hundreds of pictures. 
When Jack and I married, I had a nice small collection of old Staffordshire hens. He took a dim view of them as they were not old enough for our furniture and not American either.  I let all go but the one large one shown above. She lives behind a cupboard door out of sight except at Easter.  However Jack did later buy for me a red and white one at an auction in Pennsylvania, styled after the earlier Chelsea hens with peeps. I treasure these two Staffordshire hens, I would be afraid to buy more now because the date of manufacture varies so widely. There were a number made in the 1950's and 60's, sold at Adele Hunt's in Dallas for one example.  They are so good I would not be sure, particularly if they had been crazed in a dishwasher. 

Four Generations

Referee Rabbits in Chief Gary and Johnny.

Hinged basket handles cause lots of issues!

There were 12 of us to say Grace in a circle before a beautiful brunch. e

Friday, March 27, 2015

Tasha Tudor memorabilia

Tasha fans are invited to look at my doll blog for a study of a few dolls associated with her such as simple kit dolls of the 1970's.  Did something more follow?  edyth 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Gabriel, Newburyport Weathervane Hooked Rug Angel

Cynthia Norwood has hooked my rug design Newburyport.  I am thrilled to see her color choices and great feeling of movement and life in the rug. The wonderful Weathervane spun and flew for many years in Newburyport, Massachusetts.  The original old silhouette angel which was made in 1840 by Gould and Hazlett of Charlestown, MA, for the Universalist Church, was later mounted on the People's Methodist Church. This Gabriel had its portrait painted in 1937 by Lucille Chabot, under the auspices of the WPA Federal Art Project for the Index of American Design. Then, over a century later, the US Postal Service chose that artwork for their popular 1965 Christmas stamp.  The vane now has a beautiful worn patina which translates to the lovely surface on Cynthia's rug, just as I hoped it might, and I especially like her treatment of the open book.

In Cynthia's own words:

Newburyport was a fun rug to hook as a fundraiser for the 2015 ATHA Biennial to be held in San Antonio in September. The design lends itself to the use of multiple fabrics in each field or area. The funds raised help offset the expenses of hosting the rug hooking event in our region. The event is held every two years in a different section of the United States and that area is responsible for making sure the event comes out in the black ink. So we have fundraisers.
If you are interested in making a donation for a chance on this rug, contact Cynthia at canorw@aol.com for more information.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Projects, hearts heads and ??eggs?

How do all of these go together?  It has been almost ten years since our house fire. It has been a hard and full ten years, with three moves, much to restore and pack and unpack and downsize and my sweet husband was fighting a battle he could not win.  Jack wove fresh seats in 20 chairs, and I restored a great many dolls. We redid two houses lightly during that time. We managed some very good times in among all of that.  

The garage of my present house holds anything but my old lady minivan, Vanessa.  Instead there are rows of high shelves piled high with boxes and boxes in front of boxes holding yarn or bits of leather and scraps of old coverlets and dozens of things I think I might get to or work on again.  There are skeins of flax (old ones) for doll hair in case I ever make a queen Ann style doll. You get the idea. I am still in a way trying to find my way back to the page where I was when it all fell apart.  Some projects long waiting do get resurrected a bit at a time or discarded to never never land.

I had wanted to make some heart shaped pin cushions for Valentine's day last month. The makings did not come to hand. Today I decided to get the old hen out for Easter, she always sits on the kitchen table or a sideboard. Once she was surrounded by a nice clutch of hand painted eggs to which I added a few every spring or so. I painted them mostly in Quimper designs. All were smoked badly and thrown away except two large ones inside the hen covered dish itself.  Barb Carroll has a couple I gave her long back, she loves that pottery.  I have not painted another in ten years!  Now seems like the right time to remedy that so I went digging  in the cold garage for a long time and gave up, then had one more go at it and wow! there was the box marked eggs and hearts!  How did that happen to be combined? But more exciting for me was a box marked wig heads!  I thought they were long lost!  instead here they are , two nice large reproduction ones ready for me to repaint as I like. I am thrilled to find them after years of thinking them lost.   How does anyone ever get bored?  E, who is in a happy messy house right now.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Dolls for my red cape is my new doll blog

Because Antique doll Collecting is a passion with me it often seems to take over my journal blog, My Red Cape.  So I have created a new one just for Dolls and doll related interests. There will continue to be some overlap but less I think. Go see the gorgeous pictures from many sources as well as discussions about related crafts and needlework from time to time.  Enjoy! e

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