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

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Arranging my tiny paint area


My tiny library is stretched to the limit to hold my book shelves and a large very full computer desk plus my painting area. By moving things just inches here and there without two inches to spare anywhere, I have managed to work in my shadow box which has been most unhandily stored in another room. I think this set up will work if I do not gain a pound, or accidentally lean over an inch. On one side of my smallest easel I have my auxiliary computer screen to paint from photos and on the right side is a shadow box for still lifes plus a small table for the palette, unseen in the photos but completing an L shape work area.    Low on the left are extra brushes and low on the right are drawers with paint tubes.  Access to one of the tall book shelves is certainly limited, but hey you can't have everything!  Paintings hang up high all around the room.   Hanging from the door of the art supply closet is a painter's apron that says East Studio Art League, Taos NM, a reminder of the sweet time I was privileged to paint with that great group. The wildlife paintings are by my daughter Cheryl who lives in Colorado.
Here is how a shadow box is used to help a painter see form and light and shadow:



I enjoy painting Jackie's early American pottery collection like this little redware pot. e

Monday, October 15, 2018

Cogswell's Grant as inspiration for so many collectors of American Decorative Arts.



The summer home for Bert and Nina Little, Cogswell’s Grant was very inspirational for Jackie and me. We spent precious hours there and studied everything we could find written about that stunning collection.   I have the four main books Nina wrote and the nice hardback books that were Sotheby’s auction catalogs for the Little’s collection from Pumpkin House and many articles clipped from mags about both houses.  

 The Little’s rug collection was one to study in depth.  I designed and hooked a mat named Pumpkin House after the Little's home in Boston.   I also designed a traditional bed rugg.  A favorite design  is named Cape Ann,  others bear the names of MA towns, Like Newburyport and Hadley Welcome,  and Ipswich.  They were worked with dark off black back grounds and lots of red like Nina’s favorites.   

The Littles made it clear they were “living with a collection”, not trying to  “recreate a period home”.  There is a vast difference.  Living with a collection allows stone fruit from the early 20th century to mix with 17th century tin glazed earthenware (delft) whereas recreating a period home would not!      We studied the lighting  from C G and so we used iron bridge lamps and for tables had  red ware jugs with simple shades.   In rural west central Texas 40 years ago with almost nothing around us to learn from, Jack and I studied American Decorative arts with tireless  passion.   We made over forty trips to New England to buy for our home and our small antique shop, and saw as many museums and historic houses there as we could.

Absorbing what we could learn from the collection of Nina and Bert Little was so important for us.  This was before there were Google Images, and tours on Youtube and collections of photos on Pinterest.  Then one needed a reference library in hard form and we were unstinting in adding to ours.  All of that burned when the Red Cape was lost, but a great many volumes were gradually bought again, and I have them within arms reach in my little library in this small modern home.  So many memories are also within reach for me, triggered by something like a letter from my friend Joy who wrote yesterday of her visit to Cogswell’s Grant.

Joy Photographed two wooden dolls there and I share a different photo of one of them here.  It is a nice English Wooden  of the late  18th century, about 24  or 25 inches. I judge she was redressed mid 19th century. Not my photo.





Bed rug designed by Edyth O'Neill and hooked by Trisha Travis.



 Above blue basket rug is  taken from an old one. Jack made the tea table, I wish the beautifully carved Spanish feet showed more against the rug.











Saturday, October 13, 2018

Apologies for not posting

It is fall and I am mostly house bound, not much to write about, Knee got hurt again, same one. This time I was lifting art supplies into my van and twisted it someway, so now on a walker again almost 4 weeks. Greatly improved now, hopeful to be ok again soon. No more lifting if I can help it.

 No way to travel to Taos this fall, so much there is uneven ground where I go.  The best I know to do about that is to be so grateful I had a lovely long time there last year, and have friends who send me news and great photos with permission to paint from these.

My computer is a great deal of company for me, I keep up with lots of friends I know in face to face relationships and many I know only on line.  I am thankful for all of you!  This helps keep my life full and pleasant, if not quite to the point of happy, till I get my feet back in under me so to speak.   I paint some, have sold a few more small paintings including some onions in a still life two weeks back. sold barely dry.  That always encourages a painter.

I sew some for my dolls, have a dear old wooden new to me, from an auction up east. I really enjoy this one, heavy and sturdy and full of mischief.  Not a delicate flower.

And each day as the news comes on, there is reason to be thankful for the blessings I have in family , snug home and good friends, and a measure of heath in general.  I care deeply about environmental concerns, but have always tried to keep this blog out of politics so will not change now!  As ever, I repeat that all of us have a stake in this world we live and breathe in and artists have a strong voice for conservation of this beautiful earth and all its creatures.    A few random picture follow... e






My Bailey is back in Wyoming.    e


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