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


  1. Dearest e,

    Oh, my. Here I am again, loving your most recent entry. What a gift. Once again you have transported me to a place I've yet to visit. How uniquely quaint but impressively grand it all is. I've even vicariously traveled to another time! How I love it. As a novice photo-detective of sorts, I so enjoy picking out the details in each of your images.Each is wonderful. Your efforts are not wasted on those of us who adore your lyrical posts and artsy bent on everything. I'm sure we each feel we've simply taken a seat across from you and had yet another nice visit. Such a peaceful bit of inspiration you've once again managed to inject into this universe simply by sharing with us. Without fail you seem to always leave us wanting more. Where shall you take us next?
    Thank you once again. :-)

  2. I am so glad you are getting to do this again! ��

  3. Edyth you should come to Santa Fe for Indian Market~ you would LOVE it. I am super bummed Ill be in England this year when its going on....Aug 19 &20....last year there was miles and miles of Native American artists selling their wares~ and they all love to talk about what they do~ its fabulous. https://www.swaia.org/ xoxoxoxox rachael

  4. you have led such an interesting and art-ful life - you are blessed - enjoyed seeing your photos - Mel

  5. What a great story about the Native Americans and the double barred cross. I'm so glad you had this art trip to visit on Memory Lane. What great food for the soul.😊

  6. I also fell in love with New Mexico for the first time as a young teen in 1969. I visited Santa Fe, Espanola, Taos, Chimayo and was struck by the warm days and cool evening air, the adobe, the sticks used for fences, the earthiness, the beautiful sky, the Sange de Cristo mountains. I visited once again in 1973, and would love to return again some day. I enjoyed your post here, and your art work. I hope you post again soon.


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