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 


  1. Thank you for sharing the process of these beautiful dolls . You have given them such sweet faces . Glad spooner was well loved but I bet she's ready for a little peace and quiet.
    Linda m

  2. Lovely post. Spoon is adorable.

  3. Hello Edyth, I am smiling at your beautiful work. My sweet 4 month old granddaughter is sleeping in her car seat, her mommy just brought her and your dolls look so much like her precious round face. They are very true to life. I just had to tell you... Have a wonderful day. Wish I lived in Texas... Pat

  4. Your dolls are wonderful! So glad you are making more.

  5. Hi Edyth! Yes, please continue this post as you make progress on these lovely dolls. If only I could sit with you and watch you paint. Perhaps someday you may offer a class for those of us who live near-by....would be a fascinating study.....

  6. Love all your dolls and the process of making them. I would love the pattern of your spoon doll. I have made cloth dolls for years and appreciate the work that goes into making each doll. Thank you for sharing. Carolyn B


Blog Archive