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

Friday, December 16, 2016

Sharing a lovely Christmas with friends and family. part 1

Fredericksburg goes all out for the season.  We even have an ice skating rink in the park on the square for a few weeks each December. That is a rarity in this part of the country.   The buildings on our historic Main street are outlined in simple white lights but from that point nothing else is simple!  My brother promises to be here at Christmas and we will try to have pictures of some of the lighted center of town here on my blog, but for now it is decorating time in my house and a little tour through some others.  Have been to two great parties this week and also had a few friends stop by. 

Being with friends I have known for half a lifetime is a special joy at this time of the year.  This lighting makes us look faded but I promise we are vibrant ladies with amazingly full lives. 
As a coincidence, the three of us have all had a lot of enjoyment in the publishing world, one as a writer for Maine Antiques Digest years back covering shows in Texas, one as a contributing editor of Simple Life magazine since its inception and  I have a long time very pleasant association with Early American Life magazine which has published a number of my small "how to" articles in a more than twenty year span.  There is one in the current December issue.
I am the youngest one in this shot and I will be 86 in January 2017.  At my last check in with my doctor, he said with an earnest look, "How are you?"  I answered "I am busy and happy and I do not hurt, so who has more!?" This continues to  be so as I look toward the coming year with hope and gratitude.  

My Spiced peaches are  in the yellow bowl, recipe is  at the end of this post.

Only Barbara would think of placing a nativity set on a cake stand.

I must do a painting with this goose! I have half a dozen others started at present, need to finish some. 

Penny's ship model was borrowed for my painting over the mantle.

The Elephant in the Living Room.

I enjoy my three Santas from Becky Lowe.

Dolls love to be by the Christmas tree.

My Mother crocheted the suit on this cotton Santa 72 years ago for my Brother's first tree.

Jackie enjoyed the fine furniture in his room.

Nice Stoneware flasks and a Staffordshire bust of George.

Lafayette in a nice old painting.


Pickled peach recipe   (a recipe from 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.

Thank all of you for the warm expressions of friendship and good wishes. I read and re read all of them. I wish all of my readers a sweet holiday season, and to those of my Christian faith, a very Merry and also tender and sweet Christmas.  My family had four generations in church last Sunday morning, where Jackson sang in the children's choir.  As the senior one, I felt like the Queen Mum, happy and grateful and proud of my family around me.     e


  1. I really enjoying reading your blog, thank you for sharing such wonderful Christmas pictures, your friend does such a beautiful job decorating for the holidays, Merry Christmas, Julie

  2. Oh, my dear!! I just realized who you are! You were featured, I believe, in Early American Life Magazine some time ago…which I have subscribed to for decades! I spent my teenage years in San Antonio, and I so admire your beautiful home and your talents…Merry Christmas!!!

  3. Such Beauty for the eye All of it so wonderful The stone fruit and the blue box with ornaments That elephant Oh my Thank you for sharing your friends and your decorating So enjoy your pictures and blog Have a very Merry Christmas And don't the little ones make it

    linda m

  4. Love the pictures of Barbra's home! I really enjoyed last year's too. Becky's Santas are wonderful. Their facial expressions are so kind and wise. Marry Christmas, Edyth! PS You are right, dolls do enjoy being near the tree!

  5. It looks like everyone had a wonderful time and a beautiful photo of the kids. We tried a santa photo with my grandsons, one wanted nothing to do with him. If he only knew it was really his grandfather, lol. Love seeing your home and how beautifully it is decorated. I love hitting the antique consignments at Christmas and looking for vintage pieces.


  6. Merry Christmas, Edyth. Your blog continues to inspire and enthrall with your gorgeous collection and warm, welcoming updates and dialogue. Thank you for brightening the season with your beautiful spirit!

  7. Thank each of you for these warm words! I am humbly grateful for internet friends. Isn't it amazing how this has extended our circles and broadened the ways we share with others.

  8. Thank you for all the wonderful pictures of all the Christmas treasures and collections in the homes. I loved to see your doll dressed in red by the Christmas tree. And the Santas and the sleighs and the ornaments in the blue wooden box are wonderful. Thank you for your blog, Edyth. Merry Christmas to you and yours. ~ Christine

  9. Love,you post...and beautiful pictures....thanks for sharing!!!

  10. What a lovely post. Such beautiful images of Christmas and the wonderful friends who are enjoying it. I thank you for the recipe. I think my grandmother used to make these at Thanksgiving. I was happy to see that I did not have to track down fresh peaches at this time of year! Merry Christmas to you.

  11. Edyth dear - This year I took out the trusty antique sled, set it on the counter, filled the underside with the greenery, fruit,pinecones
    etc. I did not use the Putz village on top this year, but substituted
    an antique Noahs ark with animal pairs, surrounded by Victorian era
    toys...charming, thanks to your initial inspiration to me. I needed
    something delectable to bring to a gathering soon and you did it again, dear lady, spiced peaches... relatively easy and delicious..
    Thank you for the suggestion. A very blessed Christmastide filled
    with good health, well being and Heavenly graces to you and yours.

  12. So many beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing.
    That crocheted Santa is priceless. How lucky to have him.
    Merry, merry Christmas.

  13. Merry Christmas Edyth! Jack is close by watching over you I am sure, enjoying all the Christmas enchantment right along with you as always~ I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow & a Blessed 2017! XOXOXOXOX rachael

  14. Your home is just gorgeous, just found your blog and loving it!

  15. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures . I look forward to your blog and really appreciate you taking the time to post all the information and eye candy.


Blog Archive