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, June 28, 2015

My thoughts about Painting

“You will recognize your own path when you come upon it,
because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.” —Jerry Gillies 

When I was growing up the only two paths I ever recognized as worth pursuing for my life work were writing and painting. So much intervened and there would still be times when I touched on painting, but I never focused on it as the central thing it must be. More than one lifetime is needed.

Certainly art has been part of my life always, textile designing, decorating a period house, and creating and selling truly hundreds of decorative art pieces, such as fraktur and oil paintings of make believe children in a "primitive: style.  I enjoyed them greatly and they were well received.

But the study of fine art as my mind sees it, (my brother reminds me of how wide a field this can be)  and the creation of paintings in a contemporary impressionistic realism had always been kicked down the road with other cans until about 10 years back.  In March of 2005 I felt all my ducks were in a row and that I could begin to paint. The house was done, the doll collection was in good order with almost all dressed well, and the rug retreats were set up to happen several times a year, and the rug pattern business was going smoothly. Jack and I were easing into a slower pace.

I bought a French easel for outdoor work and made my first three efforts at plein air painting.  I still have two, do not remember what the second one was.  The first one is framed and in my library as a keepsake, simple but it shows where this journey began. The third one I painted sitting outside our red cape and the  bright sun messed up my colors a lot, but I said "that's ok, I will paint it many more times". When we drove away to New England a few days later that was the last time I would ever see it before lightening struck it and started the fire that changed our lives. 

We flew home to chaos as our son flew to Maine to retrieve our little van partly filled with antiques from the trip.  Our way of life, the business, the farm, all were lost one way or another. 

I was so shaken by it that I slept on washed but fire stained sheets for six weeks before I could gather myself to go to Walmart and buy fresh sheets and towels.  Jack began radiation treatments in two weeks time for what was known to be a battle he could not win, but would fight for almost eight years. Sweet friend Sylvia brought us a few things to wear from her church because we could not seem to gather ourselves to go buy simple needful things. A daughter fed us for 30 days from her kitchen, as we found a house  to rent and began the move to town.  I was 74 and trying to find new bearings and hang on someway as my world spun out of control.  And then Katrina happened.   My friend Virginia  urgently requested supplies to help Katrina victims, about 28 hard luck cases her church had taken on. Virginia is a little bit my senior and she was working and cooking for them till 8 o'clock at night!  As I responded by gathering wheel chairs and walkers and crutches and other things needed, I made the first steps toward healing inside. Katrina helped take me back to reality.

There have been three moves and much effort to recover the house hold in a fashion. New linens and rugs and kitchen things are used alongside the furniture and accessories saved first by the firemen and then by friends who helped mightily to scrub it all.  Since the fire, over a hundred antique dolls have been purchased and years of work have been done on them as I have tried to replace in some fashion that part of my collection.   Curtains are made and hung and a new yard has been established.  Maybe enough ducks are in a row again to make a fresh commitment to painting.  For the last several years I have showed up in front of my easel more and more.

I am enjoying it so much and feel blessed to have this time. As with so much in life it is not the destination but the journey.  Regardless of the merit of one's output, painting makes everything one sees more vivid and meaningful. It adds a wonderful other dimension to daily existence.  How great is that!?
 
House On Schubert Street,  Sold, thank you,   e

Friday, June 19, 2015

Tag sales are Fun

Especially if held by an antique collecting friend.  Ultimately I went to this one three times and Linda went twice. Wish I had pictured the nice Navajo pattern hooked rug she bought. 



I am ever and always attracted to textiles, even just pieces of hand woven things.
 
The soft blue runner is linen and wool.  The deep color of the old book backs attracted me.
 
The large format book was printed in 1888. Nice red to go with Christmas arrangements.
 
There were bits of Old Christmas  to bring home even if it is June! 
 
 A hand knit  stocking holds toy tidbits. I will add a small antique doll.
Two forlorn fragments of tiny Christmas trees are projects and a nice little fence needs a tree to fit.
 
 
Best of all is a deep blue Staffordshire plate now a glowing lovely sapphire in my red cupboard. 
  e.
 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Shopping in Fredericksburg and Mary's new book

Mary Emerling Curated Home, a new book was presented tonight at a shop on Main, Timeless Menagerie.  A friend gave tickets to Linda and me and we enjoyed beautiful food and wine and a chance to see what is in fashion.  Clothing was very current Fredericksburg.   The people were the most interesting to me. Carol Hicks Bolton with three generations of her family was there and Susie whose daughter owns Haberdashery, and Magnolia Pearl owner/designers and their lovely silver dog were there.  It was a fun, light hearted thing to attend.   It is good to shake up my thinking about beauty and see other things done well. 





 
 I am always interested in the art work, I thought it was quite good.







 

I love the little garden spaces behind so many of the shops. And of course always the music. This young man was good!  e

Classic car show

There is a never ending round of things to see and do in our busy little burg. Our Markplatz park in the town's center was a shady relaxed venue for the Masons to hold a show of old cars last weekend. There was art walk on Friday night with a dozen galleries open, and the car show on Saturday and Hondo's on Sunday after church. In addition I did a number of other things  on those three days also! 

The Masons do so much good with the money they raise in various ways, the car show was free to happy folk just strolling around looking at all these great rides. The entry fees from exhibitors and the sales of barbeque and beverages brought in a nice little sum for the Masons as well as giving a lot of people a good time. A win win thing.  So much is free to enjoy here!





Always plenty of music. There were tables and chairs in shade here.

There were about a hundred and thirty cars entered.



I sat with friends behind their pretty Corvette.  e

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