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, April 1, 2021

Sewing dresses for my Izannah Walker doll.

 This child just loves red! When I first started to collect antique dolls in the 1950's my mentor, in addition to my own mother who always loved dolls, was Stella Hart in Cleburne TX. Mrs. Hart collected and sold fine dolls and taught me so much. In her 80's then, she said she did not collect bisque dolls, as they did not seem old to her. Those were what she knew as a child. She had two beautiful old cotton dresses, both brown prints which I wished were in tatters so we could dress dolls in the fabric. Not so, they were nearly perfect. Years later while living in FT Worth, I saw the two dresses in the possession of Elizabeth Patton, another doll collector who was cutting them and I was able to buy small amounts of each. I used the prettier one on a doll and parted with her over time. But here in 2021 is a piece of the other dress still in my sewing stash and now right for an Izannah dress! It is the brown print pictured and will have an apron of an early red orange. I may bind the little apron with a bias of an early very dark brown print.






 

The dress below was finished for Charity yesterday. It is sewn by my tube dress method found else where on my blog. http://edythoneill.blogspot.com/search?q=tube+dress    A beautiful piece of orange red calico was inspiration for this one. The wonderful old print was never used, it was only a small piece given to me years ago by Connecticut dealers Barbara and Don Ladd. The apron is just laid on her lap until I extend the sashes a bit to tie in back.






And here she is again with that darling antique apron Aunt Dixie gave her. 

 The above indigo dress is borrowed from a nice china head doll, and is made from early fabric bought at the Comfort Antique show quite a while back, about a dozen years.   Each scrap of these old textiles is special to me and has a story behind it.  This is so much more fun than the necessary things I should be 
doing!  e






Saturday, March 13, 2021

Art has gone on line.

 Visual Artists are doing their thing, painting, taking classes ,  attending conventions, and selling their work.  I have signed up for a large on line convention next month.  Each day's activities run from 10 or 11 in the morning till 9 at night.  If you know me well now, I will fall asleep during  some of that and wake to watch more of it as best I can.  So I have put real thought into how to be present as much as possible.  All of you watching who paint or want to paint, consider this and join me there.


Anticipating attending Plein Air Live in April, it seems ironic to buy a new outdoor paint box for this totally online indoor event! Other art classes have worked well with a laptop  beside a big easel in the studio/library. But the idea of remaining in this stiffly upright position for 9 or more hours a day for three days does not appeal. Better to arrange painting and note taking in a comfortable recliner.

I love the gear and have eight pochade boxes, the favorites are Guerrilla’s. That is after parting with a number and does not include the Mabef French easel. My output of paintings does not come close to justifying the collection of gear.  This newest one is the Ugo medium size, tried out today. It feels wonderful in hand. The palette size is very small. This one could also work as a lap set up to paint in the front seat of my van. For comparison the guerrilla 6 x 8 thumb box has an even smaller footprint but is much bulkier.  All the boxes have different strengths.

TV providers were long ago discarded here for the large TV, which runs off a lap top by HDMI.  On the left is an Ott lamp for the canvas in my lap.  Also out of the way to the left  on a small table are drinking water, phone, TV controller, snacks and eyeglasses. A large junker towel covers my lap and both chair arms. 


To the right are the laptop and a jar of  water for the water washable oils, paper towels, and a note book.  Having the  large image visually directly over the canvas is a big plus.  (camera makes it small.)  





Let me know if any friends here are going too!   e


Friday, February 12, 2021

Thinking of wonderful winters past.







Snow is unusual in Fredericksburg. We had a big snow once when we lived on Cherry road. 
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 made a mistake in the house 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
Yes I know I have posted these before, happy times are worth revisiting!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

90th Birthday

90 is a big one! I had a nice cupcake party in the front yard, super windy so masks were relaxed a bit for a few close shots. My brother attended by face time, and gorgeous flowers arrived from my sister and her family , right in the middle of the party. I am alone so much because of covid, so a party was awesome.

There is a certain feeling of "I made it!"


Lovely Granddaughter Sarah who has given me 4 great grands. I have a very large family, only a few here for the birthday visit, but I heard from many of the rest.

Masks off just a minute for a picture with great grandmother. A strong wind was blowing, see our sideways hair.





The man of the hour was here!


 

Friday, January 1, 2021

Same song different verse

 A fresh year is starting off with bright cold beautiful weather here in South central Texas.  Many of the same issues from 2020 will be with us yet a long time, so I am trying to re commit to making my own weather and experience good things as much as possible with friends and family.   This does not mean my head is in the sand over environmental, racial, political and medical issues, I am passionate on all of these!  So much I cannot fix, but that must not ruin what can still be good. So in that spirit I share here the daily pleasantries that hold my life together.  May it be a relief from doom scrolling.

My small space of nature is a joy in every season. Yesterday for a few hours we had snow falling mixed with a much needed rain. Tonight there will be a hard freeze.  With the house still lightly decorated for Christmas, I am enjoying all the sweet cherry tomatoes I can eat. This will be the last for a long while now, as I had drainage problems in the big pots on my sun porch, and the lovely big plants have now given out.  In the kitchen by a bright window there are two green tips in water, which I hope will  be tomato plants by February to plant fresh.  This favorite variety is Husky Cherry Red.




Today I cut the first of my broccoli heads, crisp green and beautiful! Cutting out the head in the center, allows more florets to form on the sides as a secondary gift from the same plant. 

Since I was alone on Christmas, being leery of even the most careful family gathering, decorating was kept to a few bright spots and one small tree.  My newest Izannah Walker doll is compatible with the one that came to me earlier this year and the two
 little sister dolls are sweet together. I will leave this tree up a few more weeks.




 And Bears just because they make me smile!

I flooded the house with music for the last several weeks. Two favorite Christmas albums of Pavarotti's rich voice rattled the rafters.  My favorite tenor Andrea Bocelli played day and night.  I even tried a little painting of him singing. I did not want to paint from another person's still photo so stopped a frame on a YouTube video to paint from that. 


 My brother and I watched a Christmas special of Bocelli's streaming,  Bro in Austin and me in Fredericksburg but feeling at least somewhat together in the experience..  My computer is my link to people and events.   Now in 2021, my great teacher in Taos plans to teach painting by Zoom.  I can hardly wait!    e


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