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, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving week begins

I am enjoying holiday cooking with my new stove. Decorating and cooking are going forward as I am focusing on Christmas here because Thanksgiving will be celebrated at Daughter Beth's.  Several little dinners and three parties are planned here. This is the day for pumpkin bread and spiced peaches.
Under the tree sits Elvis the second, the first great Steiff bear like this, big as a toddler, was lost and it took me nine years to find another like him.  He got his name because he growls when tipped, with a lovely baritone that which I interpreted as "I wanna be your Teddy bear!"  
I wish all of you a happy week.  e

Saturday, November 21, 2015

House upside down

I am completely into working over the house for the Christmas Holiday time. I got the small tree finished yesterday and the large one is down from the attic and set in place. A table and a footstool and my large rug hooking basket have been carried out of the living room to give more room for people and I have finished the mantel.  For the season, my deer rug hangs over the mantel rather than the Oliver Cromwell ship rug.  Wreaths and garlands and ornaments and sleds and pine cones and on and on must be found.     From year to year I am never sure I can gather myself enough to do all of this, but so far so good. It is further complicated by the fact Jackie died at Christmas, all the while telling me he wanted me to go on living fully after he was gone.    Friend Ruby Lee called yesterday and said what are you doing? I said I am decorating the tree, and have music on, Manheim steam roler’s Fum fum fum comes on and I dance fast around the room til I am out of breath and then Auld Lang Syne comes on and I cry some. Either way I am still living life fully  and passionately. 

Cold damp weather makes it less easy to work but I expect to have the major decorating done soon.  The sun porch is used as a staging area and is a jungle right now, but must be tamed to handle overflow guests on party days.   I plan parties on Dec 6th  8th and  13th.    I will also be cooking a lot this week, which is something I do very little of normally.  I will have company over the Thanksgiving weekend. The town expects 25,000 visitors this weekend so it is impossible to eat out and I must have food here for some of us about four days.   Daughter Beth will have 20 of us in on Thanksgiving day itself. 
My van will be away from me being worked on during some parts of this,  a bummer.   I was run into by a fast running deer last Monday evening right here in my neighborhood.  She ran off fast so I hope was not much hurt. But my dear Vanessa that I have had 14 years had never had a dent before.
I enjoy the bustle of the Holiday season and love our little town decorated for Christmas. Downtown buildings are outlined in light and it is a wonderland.  We have banners across the street saying Merry Christmas and a crèche in the center of town.  We don't have reindeer in our Christmas parade but we do have llamas! My little grandchildren love them!   e

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Music with Joy!

For more than a dozen years my family has celebrated Christmas with Marshal Styler's CD "Silent Night".  Having known this gifted keyboard artist from a distance for a long time, now I enjoy knowing him as a friend and hearing him play about town here in Fredericksburg.   He is first of all a pianist grounded from childhood in the classics, and has melded that with his own new age compositions on a synthesizer.

 Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpesYHXCwXA&list=PL-G0l9bNc7CZjUuHN-I91FHnYkPPYcZwK&index=13  to hear a selection from the mesmerizing  album "Jericho". 

Other favorite albums for me are "Seven Falls"  and of course "Silent Night".

All of his beautiful CD's may be ordered at this link:  http://www.marshallstyler.com/    e


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Great weather for a lovely hand knit shawl

In 2010 or 2011 my hostess in Maine for a precious stay in her guest house took me to visit a friend who had a rug hooking and knitting shop. A shawl like this was in the window and the maker of it agreed to send me one and did in a few weeks. I really love it, but have forgotten the name of the shop owner and also the sweet knitter. I would love to hear from them both so I can say thank you all over again. Some wearables are just for a little while and others become more dear with the passing of time.  This one is a jewel.

 Photo shows  Marshall's little Maltese. Precious!   E

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Christmas Fences

Mending fences is not just a rancher's chore.  The little antique ones to go around Christmas trees can need a bit of help sometimes too.  The ones I have bought in the past have mostly been found in Pennsylvania.  I have owned and sold them in many styles over the years.   I have some long pieces of green fence which stay out year round on top of two glass doll cases.  This uses 8 feet of it, but I have more that matches it.

 Perhaps someone will make a square fence for a table top tree from this large fence someday like this one I use around my feather tree.

Some of the more sought after of the smaller scale fence is twig fence, marked Germany on the bottom.  I have had yards and yards of this and am so glad it was sold before our house fire in which so many wonderful Christmas treasures were lost.  Twig fence is particularly charming in a Putz scene, but is also effective used around tiny feather trees.  Fences were made of metal sometimes, and of Feathered wire like the feather trees, and also of wire or wire and wood combinations.

I watch for Old Christmas things all year long, and here is the square fenced tree base I bought from Barbara this summer.  It came to me with some ill advised spontaneous paint additions in red and green on the outside of the palings only.  I elected to  match the older ivory white paint and try to reverse the red and green added paint.  Note I did not say original ivory paint, as close inspection shows this little fence was originally dark green! However the square base has no trace of green under paint, so when ever the fence and base were joined, they were given a unifying coat of ivory white. I only painted over the red and green, not the entire piece.

The result pleases me, as it still shows wear on its old paint. Beside the fence is a long garland of beads I bought from Trisha in September, another piece of sweet old Christmas trim..
The dolls like to have their tree up for a long time, I am late getting to this this year. Even though our family is planning Thanksgiving dinner still,  I am thinking beyond that to two early December parties I hope to have here.
I will make a big peach cobbler pie for Thanksgiving at Beth and Gary's
 house.  Great Granddaughter Bailey will make two pumpkin pies. That recipe came from Judy K how many years ago!  close to 40!  
In a side bar of this blog, there is a banner to click that takes you to a list of short slide shows. One of the slide shows is Red Cape Christmas, showing Christmas decorations in our old house.   e

Monday, October 26, 2015

Sunday Brunch in Fredericksburg

The Sunset Grill is deservedly well known for delicious foods.  Visiting cousins and my brother Chale being here too made a perfect reason to go enjoy the patio and great vegetable omelet like no other I have tasted before.   
Here is a picture with the cousins, I seem to be sleeping, blinked at the wrong time...
 My brother Chale with me 
I should play tourist in my own home town more!  I always have a good time when Chale comes from Austin to stay a few days.  e

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Painting makes for nice days.

 I got back in my paint last week and it felt so good for my spirit. I haven't been painting for a few weeks, mostly because I was concentrating on the Plein Air Painter's guide for Fredericksburg Texas.

Here is the little painting, oil 6 x 12 of Gloucester Harbor's Ten Pound Island Lighthouse.     e

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