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

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A heart warming start for the holiday season was this party today.


 I took a large bowl of my Pickled peach recipe   (clipped from a magazine in the 1950's)
1 large can Del Monte peach halves
½ cup sugar
½ cup vinegar
1 stick whole cinnamon
½ teaspoon whole cloves
Two days Before Serving:
Drain peaches reserving 1 cup syrup. In sauce pan combine syrup, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon and cloves.  Simmer uncovered 5 min. 
Add peach halves, a few of which may be studded with one clove.  Bring to a boil, cool, cover,  and refrigerate at least two days.  I remove the spices on the third day if some are left so they do not get too strong.
 To serve, drain peaches and heap in serving dish.  I double and triple it for large groups.

 The peaches are simmered a few minutes in the vinegar and spices and sugar and then refrigerated for two days.

Little touches in my kitchen remind my of my mother, so long gone now except in the hearts of her family. Mother loved the American Home Magazine. She loved Ironstone and pewter and ruffled curtains and house designs by Royal Barry Wills.  She made her kitchen curtains of this Pennsylvania Dutch design, and a scrap of it is made into a hot pad 60 years later beside my own cook stove. I am very like my mother, the apple does not fall far from the tree.  Do you see something like my "Bird and Pomegranate" rug design? 

 This will be my first time to use the huge Canton pattern punch Bowl.  A modern adaptation, it blends well with all things old and blue.  It is a perfect bowl to show off  my spiced peaches!

 I arrived a little early and took pictures before the party started. It was hard to pick as everywhere one looked there was another spot of interest, each distinct and well done.  As another treat for me, so many arrangements like this one incorporated a hooked mat.

 This unusual arrangement centered by a piece of driftwood  set the stage for our lunch.

 Our hostess loves all things Maine and also some things Texas, making a uniquely decorated home.

Seafoam colors of Blue and teal are repeated throughout.

A fire was welcome on this cold day!

As there were about 24 of us, two small tables were set like this one in the library.

A great group of this Texas Collectible, hand decorated pottery with bluebonnets, made for Tourists mid 20th century anchor one wall of the sunlit library.  And look at the blue cupboard full of homespun blankets!


Other blue items carry out the theme  also.

 A collection of Native American drums and beadwork fill another corner.


 The kitchen too is beautifully decorated. A lovely Rug hangs by the entry to a large panty room.
 Small collections are everywhere.


 Seashells are part of the Maine themed wall in the dinning area.


 A side table in the living room holds a group of painted tin.


 When friends arrive, the focus is on greeting one another. This warm group of collectors have known each other half of some very long lifetimes.   What a gift it was to see each other and hug and exchange news, some coming from over two hundred miles away for this gathering.

So many old stories to relive!




 Food was served on the kitchen island , centered by an amazing collection of stone fruit.

 Dear Friends since 1978.

Thank you my blog friends for coming along on this party with me. 

Christmas shots of this house plus my current house  are on this blog in Dec 2016,  

  e

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A Fairy Among the Pumpkins

Some years ago, sweet friend Jan Conwell gave me this little nine inch doll to paint, I love to paint them and have never really modeled any myself but my large drape mold back about 1990. Jan does a fantastic job making Izzies. Thought you might like to see her playing among my pumpkins. Thank you Jan!  e







This 26 inch one I made in1990 before Dixie published her Izannah Chronicles. I had no great Izannah faces to study, and had never held one in my hand.  I had seen some in collections of friends and in museums.  She has a stiffened cloth head made over a sculpy drape mold of my own making. This doll and her sisters were all sold, then years later I bought her back from the collector friend in California.  e


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Arranging my tiny paint area


My tiny library is stretched to the limit to hold my book shelves and a large very full computer desk plus my painting area. By moving things just inches here and there without two inches to spare anywhere, I have managed to work in my shadow box which has been most unhandily stored in another room. I think this set up will work if I do not gain a pound, or accidentally lean over an inch. On one side of my smallest easel I have my auxiliary computer screen to paint from photos and on the right side is a shadow box for still lifes plus a small table for the palette, unseen in the photos but completing an L shape work area.    Low on the left are extra brushes and low on the right are drawers with paint tubes.  Access to one of the tall book shelves is certainly limited, but hey you can't have everything!  Paintings hang up high all around the room.   Hanging from the door of the art supply closet is a painter's apron that says East Studio Art League, Taos NM, a reminder of the sweet time I was privileged to paint with that great group. The wildlife paintings are by my daughter Cheryl who lives in Colorado.
Here is how a shadow box is used to help a painter see form and light and shadow:



I enjoy painting Jackie's early American pottery collection like this little redware pot. e

Monday, October 15, 2018

Cogswell's Grant as inspiration for so many collectors of American Decorative Arts.



The summer home for Bert and Nina Little, Cogswell’s Grant was very inspirational for Jackie and me. We spent precious hours there and studied everything we could find written about that stunning collection.   I have the four main books Nina wrote and the nice hardback books that were Sotheby’s auction catalogs for the Little’s collection from Pumpkin House and many articles clipped from mags about both houses.  

 The Little’s rug collection was one to study in depth.  I designed and hooked a mat named Pumpkin House after the Little's home in Boston.   I also designed a traditional bed rugg.  A favorite design  is named Cape Ann,  others bear the names of MA towns, Like Newburyport and Hadley Welcome,  and Ipswich.  They were worked with dark off black back grounds and lots of red like Nina’s favorites.   

The Littles made it clear they were “living with a collection”, not trying to  “recreate a period home”.  There is a vast difference.  Living with a collection allows stone fruit from the early 20th century to mix with 17th century tin glazed earthenware (delft) whereas recreating a period home would not!      We studied the lighting  from C G and so we used iron bridge lamps and for tables had  red ware jugs with simple shades.   In rural west central Texas 40 years ago with almost nothing around us to learn from, Jack and I studied American Decorative arts with tireless  passion.   We made over forty trips to New England to buy for our home and our small antique shop, and saw as many museums and historic houses there as we could.

Absorbing what we could learn from the collection of Nina and Bert Little was so important for us.  This was before there were Google Images, and tours on Youtube and collections of photos on Pinterest.  Then one needed a reference library in hard form and we were unstinting in adding to ours.  All of that burned when the Red Cape was lost, but a great many volumes were gradually bought again, and I have them within arms reach in my little library in this small modern home.  So many memories are also within reach for me, triggered by something like a letter from my friend Joy who wrote yesterday of her visit to Cogswell’s Grant.

Joy Photographed two wooden dolls there and I share a different photo of one of them here.  It is a nice English Wooden  of the late  18th century, about 24  or 25 inches. I judge she was redressed mid 19th century. Not my photo.





Bed rug designed by Edyth O'Neill and hooked by Trisha Travis.



 Above blue basket rug is  taken from an old one. Jack made the tea table, I wish the beautifully carved Spanish feet showed more against the rug.











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