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, July 9, 2017

New Mexico really is the Land of Enchantment.

Taos, New Mexico is one of the most spiritual places I have ever visited.  Many people agree with me on that.  There is raw and striking beauty with incredible light in the thin cool clear air.  As our young people say today, awesome.  Taos has been an important artist colony for a hundred years or so. Taos mountain dominates the landscape with many moods in differing light and differing seasons.

 I visited  Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos with my brother in November of 1991. The focus of the nine day trip was the study of Native American Jewelry  and a bit more broadly, enjoying other crafts like weaving and pottery making.  Chale showed me the museums and the missions and we visited some of the local craftspeople in several small villages and bought Cerrillos turquoise from the hands that had cut and cleaned and polished them.   We visited Acoma and a number of communities.  I proudly wore my own jewelry and was thrilled to have a stranger stop me on the plaza in Santa Fe to ask where I got my Isleta Cross Necklace.  I made it in that style and signed it was my reply.

 Since my first piece of silver with turquoise was purchased for me by my aunt Maurice when I was 15, I have loved this jewelry which is so natural for women of the southwest to wear.  In 1990 or 91,  I purchased a Navajo bracelet from a dear friend,  Eula.    I expressed a desire for a good collection of turquoise and silver to Jackie. He replied "Lets make some ourselves."  I was stunned but thrilled.    We signed up for a 6 session local silver smithing class which taught basic silver work focused on modern styling.  That was enough!  We were off to a fun adventure with our new craft as I studied all I could find to read on the Native American jewelry, liking particularly the Navajo work and also the earlier crosses of the fur trade.   I greatly enjoyed a book called "Heart of the Dragon Fly".  This book tells how the double barred cross of  St Stephen worn by the early Spaniards reminded the native Indians of their own symbol for water, a dragon fly  with its four wings. So the Indians quickly adopted the dragon fly cross and the Spaniards were pleased they had made so many converts.

Jack and I ordered a full array of tools and silver from Gallop NM, and found a supply of good  turquoise in Fredericksburg from a woman whose late husband once worked in the oil business in New Mexico and Arizona and had been a lapidary in his spare time.  With all of this,  I happily pounded and stamped and soldered, and Jack liked to work with old silver coins which he was very good with.  We bought dimes from the 1930's and Jack made wonderful dime beads.  Some of our work was sold to close friends and a little of it belongs to family members but I have over half of it to wear myself still. 

So this explains my interest in viewing the great collections of jewelry in New Mexico.








My Daughter Cheryl plays guitar well. 







 That mountain still calls me, I may have to go back.  As an aside,  I can see interesting hooked  rug designs inspired by elements there.  

Other posts on this blog showing some jewelry are:
Friday, January 6, 2012
Friday, September 5, 2014
More but  I cannot find at present. A lot of repetition here.   e




Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A nautical hooked rug to love

Some years ago I decided to hook a copy of an antique rug picturing a whaling scene.  Barb Carroll printed it for her pattern collection called "honoring the past" and sent me a pattern as a sweet gift.    She named her pattern "Moby Dick" even though the old rug had a gray whale and not a white one like Moby.  You can order the pattern from Katie now.


Many of us have hooked rugs for years and years, and often we work our rugs in the company of like minded others.  Large workshop groups and smaller less formal gatherings over time have given me a circle I think of as "my rug hooking friend"s.  So friendship is woven into the hooked rugs I live with.   We exchange wools, and ways to bind rugs and color suggestions, but only occasionally do we really work on one another's rugs.  My new rug is one that several friends have worked on.  I began it and felt I would not finish it due to the weight on my hands.  Trisha took it home and worked one of the sailing vessels and more. I added more and more, enjoying the striated background and whale the most, till the rug was barely over half done and there it has sat unfinished for years in a huge basket along with  beautiful wools planned for it.  Last year Debbie came along and offered to complete it for me!  Now she has returned it, having a seamless blend with my original hooking, and binding and finishing the rug superbly!    This six foot long beautiful textile is glorious on the long dining table Jack built for us years ago.  Thank you Debbie, my feelings are beyond words.  warmly, e







Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Fredericksburg is a delightful town for artists and art lovers


Depending upon how the dates fall, several art events are clustered more or less tightly at the beginning of each month for me here in Fredericksburg. There is so much to see that I cannot begin to take in even half of it.  What I did manage to enjoy this past several days was a rich experience.

On Thursday night, Die Kunstler, the art club I belong to, hosted as guest artist Tony Pro, Executive Director/Instructor at the Coppini Academy of Fine Arts in San Antonio.   Tony has just returned from the annual conference of The Portrait Society of America. For our club demo, Tony chose to paint an oil sketch of Ron Drynan, the husband of one of our members.  I was early enough and lucky enough to get a very close up seat and watched every stroke of this beautiful work! The crowded room was still as we sat enthralled for two hours, and ended in heartfelt applause. Tony spoke often to us as he worked, starting with a few strong directional strokes on which to build the design of his painting. These are phone shots and sometimes the camera was not held steady.

Nora Dempsey introduced our guest.

I sat right in under the lamp! I watched stroke by stroke.

Maryneil Dance and Nora Dempsey with me

Break after an hour

Our viewers had two screens to better see the action. 

 The very beautiful oil sketch.  Tony explained his use of negative space and strong dark passages.


First Friday night is our monthly Art Walk with about 15 Galleries open.  Here are some shots at RS Hanna Gallery's new address on Main Street:
Flowers are part of the art here.

Maryneil Dance in front of some of her work.

A fountain of gardenias!

HOT   Southwest flavors

Cool and sweet here


I enjoy the horses by Lindsey Bittner Graham
More beauties here from Lindsey Bittner Graham

 By Bob Rohm above
John Austin Hanna

John Austin Hanna has been my favorite hill Country Artist for over 35 years!   

Saturday brought an opportunity to watch Barbara Mauldin work her magic.  Imagine soft and pretty cactus!  Barbara can tame it all. 
Barbara begins with a strong basic abstract design. 


Three happy hours spent in an absolutely perfect Spring afternoon!

The painting went home with Barbara for the finishing touches. Just Great.  

Above, another cactus painting by Barbara already hanging in the gallery.

At the other end on the porch of this great early Texas building, now Fredericksburg Art Gallery, Barbara's husband Chuck Mauldin paints a three legged cow, for which we teased him.  Pretty soon it had all four legs and was in line with his many other wonderful  southwestern scenes. 
 Below also by Chuck Mauldin.
Fredericksburg is a sweet place to be in the Spring.  e

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A morning at Enchanted Rock State Park

With the February weather pretending it is March instead,  this warm bright day was perfect to enjoy the park.  Enchanted Rock takes its name from two great rock domes. The climb to the top is ok for cub scouts and up, but not quite something for me these days. I climbed it several times with Jackie years ago.  All of the youngsters in our family love an outing there.

To show me some of the most scenic spots along Sandy Creek through the park today, I had for a guide a friend named Robert Deming.   He is a member of Friends of Enchanted Rock, a group of volunteers who help protect and maintain this great natural area.    Robert was a good sport as I required considerable assistance up and down the creek banks to visit three water falls and a number of spots of quiet beauty.  In my defense,  recent rains had cut deep gashes in many parts of the path and the going was plenty rough.  Robert documented these with his camera as we went along so the uneven spots can be addressed in time for the thousands of tourists who will come soon now.

I am not sure I could haul my painting gear along here to paint. Can you see the heron in the center left above? 





View from the front seat of Vanessa where I parked to paint.  Soon I will have my happy rolling studio out in these hills for blue bonnet season.



Not much color in the park yet, hard to get enough contrast in my painting.  8 x 10 oil on panel

  After Robert went on about his day, I stayed a short time and painted a small oil sketch from the front seat of my car.  The value of this is not how great the little painting is not, but rather how much joy I had being there and doing this.  As ever the story is not about the destination but about the journey.  e

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