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

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Things I am doing inside these cold days.

 Besides books and movies and painting pictures on canvas,  I am making some cloth dolls with  my friend Elaine,   based on a sculpt I did in 1990.  Everything circles back around it seems.  
All those years ago, I sculpted a mold for a doll head.  I made only six doll by it and it has been under my bed in a box ever since.    Elaine has offered to make some molded cloth heads from that mold for us to share and I am to paint many of them.   Elaine will paint some also as she is a great doll maker.  
Here are the heads I am working with.

    Dolls 3 and 4 sitting in Elaine's green pitchers as their Gesso coat dries.

 Dolls 1 and 2 as I began them


 The red haired boy is doll 1.




 Dolls 1 and 2 drying in crocks in my kitchen



Some of these new dolls are a long way from done with arms and legs and more, but the personality is there.   
Doll 3 below drying in my kitchen.



 The bonnet on this doll, is an antique. It goes sweetly with the wonderful dress hand sewn by Rachael Kinnison.



 Number four is  another red haired boy.  The first one went to live with Elaine.



I am trying to get one of the big cloth dolls put together each week, here is the redhaired boy I kept, The other lives with Elaine. I want to make him some brown cotton velveteen britches, my inexhaustible garage will no doubt have velveteen in the huge shelves of craft storage, some of it has moved with me since before I met Jackie. The little boy's tunic is civil war age bought off Ruby Lane some months ago.





number 5 is a  dark eyed little girl with wispy hair.
   
 I also have plans to publish a pattern to offer for a different cloth doll I made  some years back. 

  Old Spoon was made, signed, and dated in June of 1983.  She was one of more than 75 cloth dolls I made in the early 1980’s.   Only three were  of this pattern, the rest had faces with a center seam making a nose. I love Spoon the best, as her features rely on paint alone for her features.   At Thirty inches tall and firmly stuffed, she is a substantial doll with an interesting three part head..
 This doll was sold to a local friend who wanted an old fashioned rag doll for her grandchildren to play with.  Spoon played enthusiastically with all the children and has many stories to share now if she could speak to me.  Around 2010, the grandchildren were all grown and scattered and Spoon came home to me, soiled and disheveled but undaunted. There is a tire track from someone’s tricycle across her throat and stains of unknown origin on her stockings and her once sweet antique real child’s frock was torn and needed replacing.  Her white unders were also unusable.  Rug hooking friend Barb Carroll loved Spoon on sight, and sent her a fine blue  checked dress from Pennsylvania, made of homespun fabric.  The doll enjoys clothing for small children of long ago and has several frocks but her favorite is the blue check from her Aunt Barbara.  Spoon has retired now from rough play and gives new meaning to “Hanging out with friends” as she hangs on a wall in my bedroom among other cloth dolls and old samplers and sewing rollups.  e 


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Going through old photographs




Picture of a happy woman.



Snow is unusual in Fredericksburg"
Our first shop on Cherry Road. We lived there 1980 till 1992.

When I was gone for a few hours, Jackie built a snow bear in the yard to surprise me.



Ice hanging from my backyard studio, a great work space!

Red houses are always pretty in the snow. 

Our red cape in the country was beautiful in the snow also! Back door here.

I was about 65 here that seems young to me now!



My wonderful studio beside the red cape with a neat herb garden.

We loved our country life with room to plant 20 pecan trees and have a large garden and keep a few pet goats, they were white Cashmere and incredibly clean and sweet.  The second spring we had six kids and were overjoyed with them! Raised as lap goats, they were gentle and friendly and we loved interacting with them through out the day.



The kids loved to climb in Jack's lap and cuddle. Any time he would sit down near them, they would run to him for petting and play. 



When Maggie was born in an ice/sleet storm, her mother rejected her and kept only the larger twin brother, so Maggie was bottle raised, She was immediately understanding about house training and never one time messed in the house,  I made many many trips outside with her as with a new puppy.

I have never loved any pet more than Maggie, with countless fine dogs and many dear cats and a number of horses long ago.


We lived in the tiny studio building while Jack rebuilt our cape house.


A sweet life.  e
PS.  Thank you to so many who have sent comments!  

Friday, February 8, 2019

February already. where does time go?

Nothing outstanding to post, just a happy life going along.  I continue to paint a little on my own and have started back to paint class with my friend Carla, after being pretty much house bound with a bum knee.  You can see a photo I am working from here on a monitor beside my easel.

 My brother came for my birthday and spent a night here, we ate at a trendy new place and visited with a lot of the great grandchildren around my birthday cake.  It feels pretty special to be 88 and I am grateful for each good day. Four generations below.

Spending a lot of January in a recliner with ice on my knee, I binge watched all six seasons of Longmire at one time. I read an action book by Grisham and another by Baldacci.  I sewed a little for my wooden dolls, they continue to charm me above all other dolls right now. These little English woodens are the only dolls I have really old enough to go with the furniture Jack and I liked best. Here is another one on her way home from restorers in Canada.   A little beauty, when most of the ones I have are quirky.

Today my doll making friend Elaine came for a visit and we played dolls a while.  She is making some face masks from my Izannah style mold I sculpted back about 1990.  There will be some for both of us to keep.  Pictured are the first two she has made. Following are my original doll as well as my favorite cloth doll named Spoon for the shape of her head. So between painting and playing dolls I am having a nice winter, hiding out from the cold, (it sleeted all day today).  
 These make big dolls about 26 inches tall.







Best, e






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