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 loved 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. 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

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

A doll party in Fredericksburg

 Friends Dixie Redmond and Elaine McNally were here for a wonderful visit, Dixie has written about it and taken a stack of pictures. So instead of trying to write it all for readers here, I invite you to see her post:   Northdixie Designs      Within that post are several other links, also follow those for background.

Antique Izannah Walker dolls are the inspiration for much of our doll making for all three of us. Here are three old ones we studied closely, comparing construction and painting.  


  Because of Covid, I try to avoid having people inside my home, but the sunporch with big windows and an exhaust fan has such great circulation of air it is almost like being outside. We had two wonderful afternoons. 


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Company is coming all the way from Maine!

So, I have cleared away my sewing clutter to enjoy this beautiful table runner, copy of an antique one. This was the last large piece I tried to hook and when it became apparent my hands were not going to finish it, a sweet friend, Debbie, took it home for a few months and brought it back as a splendid echo of an early American folk art treasure.     Thank you Debbie, love it! 

Friend Trisha Travis worked one of the ships. 

Jack made our eight foot table from two wide boards than once were part of the buttry in our 1768 cape from Connecticut.

 I am grateful to have this beautiful hooked piece, mine only because of the encouragement and help from friends.  Barb Carroll printed a version of it and the linen to hook available from Katie Hartner at Nimble Thimble.   The shape of my whale and a few other small details differ a bit.   e

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Oh Canada!


Daisy loves hooked rugs too!

Oh Canada! Hooked rugs are to love too! Marilyn L in Canada adapted my rug pattern "Sea Fever" to commemorate the tall ships of Canada in the Atlantic. She changed the flag and sails to reflect our neighbor's flag and maple leaf symbol. I still get email from many Rug hookers and enjoy them.

What a Lovely thing to be doing in this cold weather, thank you, Marilyn. e

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Bonnets for the Dolls in this cold weather.

I am on a bonnet binge. Here is a sweet old one that fits some of the Greiner dolls, too large for the Izannahs. I hope to make a pattern from it for smaller ones. It is a slat bonnet with places to insert cardboard stiffeners between lines of stitching in the brim. I use it without those. All machine stitched.

Here is a bonnet I made yesterday, from old quilt fragments. (No, I did not cut up the quilt you see!) The bonnet is modeled on a lovely doll made by Paula Walton in 2013. The fabric, indigo with tiny stars, is often found on quilts made in the time frame the old Izannahs were made. I have two quilts using this fabric. The front edge of the bonnet's brim was made from an edge of an old quilt to add a look of age. If I had had a larger piece of the fabric right at hand, I would have made the fall about 3/4 inch linger. All stitched on my fingers, thankful I can still sew some. The ties are tape from Burnley and Trowbridge dyed with natural indigo.

Remembering one I made last August and showed here. Also made of old quilt fragments. Different shape to the brim and no bavolet (fall).

Sweet trifles to fill a cold shut in day.   

Old bonnets in my painting, "Whispered Secrets" oil on Canvas, 24 x 18.    e


Thursday, January 27, 2022

January, cold here for us.

January is my birthday month.   As I am hiding out from covid, no indoor party was planned.  The day was bright and pretty but too cool for sitting in the yard together,  so a drive by birthday was the result. It worked out very nicely.   I had four generations here, a fine showing of family stopping by for cake to go and the little ones sang happy birthday.  Linda brought balloons and Beth made the cake and Debbie sent flowers.  I felt well celebrated.  

My beautiful Granddaughter Sarah.

                                                              My son Carl.

Flowers from a sweet long time rug hooking friend

                        A snow scene started a while back, getting closer to finished.  On Cape Anne.

Selfie in guest bathroom mirror on my 91st birthday. The guest bathroom has over a dozen paintings hanging. The small room has a skylight, so it shows paintings nicely. Most of my Cape Ann paintings are there. I use a hooked rug with a whale for a bathmat. My daughter Cheryl painted the large ship, but not from life. e

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas eve, quiet but still sweet

Christmas in Fredericsburg this last 40 years has always meant for me crowds of family, beutiful meals, piles of greenery and pinecones, Christmas music and the meaningful Christmas eve church service.  Decorating our house and shop, indoors and out was big for me. No electric lights ever but rather ropes and wreaths and branches  of natural greenery and fruits.    Except for the young chidren,  presents were  never a focus.   My first Christmas eve service here in 1980 was in one of the old stone churches, Zion Lutheran, entirely by candle light.  The way in was lighted by candles in brown bags of sand, southwestern farolitos, called locally, luminarias.   The Lord's prayer was spoken in German and the beautiful Silent Night was of course sung in German. A special blessing of the children was a sweet feature also.  

Re reading the sentence above, I think how Jack and I marveled at our construction crew as they worked to build our tiny retail shop that December,  the men would call out to each other in German, English and Spanish, illustrating the blend of cultures here in our little town.  Although now more of a tourist's town than ever, it is still a sweet place to live.  

This second covid Christmas I have very little of the outward celebration visible, but am saticefied with keeping in touch with family and friends and enjoying the glorious Christmas music of Hauser and Bocelli.  My kitchen table went from fall decor to December, and a little table top tree stands unadorned in the living room. Some of my many grands and great grands went to church in far away Dallas this evening and other family was here in our small Fredericksbug church.  Some of the famly came to visit today and we sat outside  unmasked in the fresh breeze,  with amazing warm bright weather. Tomorrow will see our temps in the 80's!  

My daughter Cheryl in Colorado sent a warm red nightgown for my Christmas. I managed two large batches of our favorite chocolate candy and distributed that.  I also painted some family dogs and those have been fun to give.  I am grateful for a safe warm comfortable home and friends and family I love.  I am one month away from 91 years of age and feel grateful to have many things going well inspite of the challenges we all have this Christmas.  Faith, Hope, and Love, and the Greatest of these is Love.  

Friday, November 12, 2021

October into November

As others around me venture out more, I remain very isolated because Covid is different for people in their 80's and 90's even after a booster shot.  The internet is a huge blessing in my life,  I interact with many friends on line in special interest groups, painting, collecting dolls and sewing for them as well as enjoying Antiques.  

There are two outdoor seating areas in the yard, one in the front yard and this one beside the house in the little brick courtyard.  There were more mums and pumpkins added after these pictures were made, but they show the pleasant setting. I enjoy company safely in the yard.

The breafast area of the kitchen is colorful for fall also, and it has a view of the atrium not shown.  

This modern small house has so many interesting spaces to showcase favorite antiques with the varied ceiling heights. 

The red cupboard was part of our kitchen in the old house before the fire. All of the woodwork was like this, Jack built me the sweetest kitchen I was ever in. I have 6 of my big still lifes hanging in this kitchen. The subjects are mostly Jackie's pottery collection. I love to paint, why don’t I do it every day? Internet addiction, my bad.

Anyway I painted this week, have painted Bailey's little border collie Gus. I am thankful to have many interests, these fill the days pleasantly along with keeping up with grands and great grands, but at a little distance.

Friends have asked how am I in this shut in time?  Hanging in.   Selfie at 90.   e

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