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

Sunday, October 21, 2007



I have spent a happy day working on the elephant, he was oxford gray to begin with before the fire. I have him painted back to an approximation of that, just a tad darker. On one ear see the little hole where he lost his precious steiff button? He had it when we bought him. I made him a new blanket of my rug wool and a bit of paternayan yarn to chain stitch and briar stitch the trim. I like the way his eyes are mounted, black shoe buttons on a little circle of cream colored felt. Now he will go on top of the doll cabinet, and be out of the gloomy storage room, a happy thing indeed! Edyth

Friday, October 19, 2007



There are still a few burned toys in storage that I plan to try to bring back to presentable toys. One was a medium large Steiff elephant, with the beautiful heavy metal wheels. My boy dolls used to ride him! I had Jack bring him home from our storage area yesterday. The toy has been treated in an ozone chamber two years ago to help with fire smell. All of the retreived dolls were treated with this big commercial ozone machine.
My thought is to hand stitch a covering on him, another skin over the blackened one. He is intact, just scorched dark, even black in some places. His stuffing is excelsior, (wood wool) and is strong. But if I take off his fur he will fall apart. I have considered using velveteen to cover him and make new velveteen ears and tail. Would a very low pile mohair be better, OR?? Jack suggested that I simply paint him, and make a fresh wool blanket. This would preserve his shape best of all and that is what is so charming about him. The original gray color shows on his side where the blanket is moved aside. This elephant used to always like to be under our Christmas tree with other old toys. Christmas is coming! Edyth

Friday, October 5, 2007

The new man at Penny's house!



Earlier this year Penny selected one of my paintings for her home. Jack framed it for her this week. I photographed it in our dining room before she took it home to her wonderful big log two story house!

the new dolly



Wednesday we had such a splendid day, the weather was perfect as we were in line a few minutes after 8 for a 9 o'clock opening, having left home at 5 am. Friends took Tyler to school and back for us. We got home before 4. We could have looked longer but my body would not walk more. It was fun to see all the dealer and collector friends that we have known for 30 years and more. Round Top is like a great party! We did not buy anything today but one large 33 inch doll, a flat top china with an 8 1/2 inch head, perfect and on a good body with nice shoes and a melting but pretty dressing gown over a nice slip and pantalets. She is not a rare doll, but has a beautiful presence. An interesting thing is that she came from a collector in Ok city, a prominent person in UFDC for many years, The dealer I got the doll from promised to send the name of the former owner.
In another booth there was the pair of Georgian woodens, man and woman dolls from the Merrit Museum collection 9000 for the pair and another great wooden doll from the Whyel museum in CA, shown in the book Heart of the Tree which I should buy, the book not the doll!!! There were some nice children's clothes, but nothing that just hit me. I enjoyed the wealth of old Christmas stuff as always. I was looking for a good ark, or a good wooden horse, did not see either one, but in past years there have always been some! Also there was only one good carriage, and usualy we see 4 or 5 of them at that show. It was in a light green paint, not pretty to me. I will buy another good one if it turns up.
Next week I will put up a tiny Christmas tree for the dolls, inside one of the doll cases. The dolls leave their tree up all winter. Not sure where I can fit a larger one this year. Have to work at that . I am in a holiday mood already.
Best, Edyth

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