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. ~Edyth O’Neill

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

home from a lovely New England vacation

Remember to click these pictures to see them larger.

Dear Friends, Jack and I have just returned from a lovely two weeks in New England. I cannot tell you how sweet it was to see a few friends and revisit some of our favorite places, and just soak up the scenery and the architecture and the crisp air of the place that we so love. Jack said he really just did it for me because I wanted to go, but he said at the end that he too had relaxed and felt relieved of some of the cares we have had here. We have lots of photos to share on this site.

Right back into full action, this morning roofers arrived to do our house on Courtney, then tomorrow it will be Jack's father's house to re roof, and last our own home. Fredericksburg had a terrific hail storm earlier this summer. We have been on a waiting list for sometime to have them redone. We are repainting and refurbishing and cleaning up the two houses on Courtney, one to try to rent again and one to ready for sale. Much much to do there, Daughter and son in law Beth and Gary are taking the lion's share of the work load! Our own house is dirty and out of order and the yard looks like a wilderness, with every weed in full seed. It did not get this way in 2 weeks, but in months of neglect as we dealt with other issues. Now to quietly dig out and reclaim our lives.

A box of little things we bought on our trip has come in the mail. Nice little textiles, doll clothes and bits of patchwork to play with. A happy find for me was a wooden sewing clamp with a pin cushion on top. I have added a photo of a shelf full of sewing birds and other iron things, and in the top right corner is one of these blue and white wooden ones. Can anyone tell me what this is? County of origin and time frame? I have two pieces of this now, have seen little blue and white painted sewing tools of this genre at round top in years past, always expensive. Best, Edyth

Sunday, September 12, 2010

This is the doll head made by Marjorie Yost granddaughter of Mary Merritt. It is signed and dated (INSIDE) by her some 20 years ago. I knew her slightly when Jack and I used to visit the museum about twice each year. I never knew she had made dolls! I have since seen a Greiner reproduction on ebay made by her.
This head had a very yellow bad (to me) paint job , Sorry Marjorie! I have repainted her and will glaze her a bit. It was such good fortune to find a great photo on the doll magazine to work from!

I will glue strips of muslin inside the shoulders to make them stronger and thicker. They are very thin, as were the old ones of 1840 from which this mold was likely made. I often strengthen shoulder heads this way before placing them on a body. Mr Greiner had a good idea. This is a large head, about 8 or 9 inches tall and will make a 32 inch doll. I will post her again when she has a body. E

white crepe Myrtles

I read somewhere that crepe myrtles are to Texas what lilacs are to softer parts of the country, just as Indian Hawthorn must substitute in our gardens for azaleas. Our back yard has enjoyed months of bloom from the great white crepe myrtles "Natches" which ring most of the back, and now they are quiet but a smaller variety is still splendid along the path. When we came to this house 5 years ago next month, the whole back yard was untouched by a gardener, having only rough wild grasses and a huge crop of grass burrs. Adding favorite plants has helped to make us more at home now.


Our family gathered to remember Jack's father yesterday. The old gentleman passed away at just a month shy of 99. He lived a glorious life!

He is shown here holding small Jackson, my great grandson.. Rest in Peace Grandpa

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hearth Cooking anyone?

Go to our Ruby Lane shop to see Jack's latest offering:


Two fascinating 19th century brass fireplace clockwork jacks. The first marked Salter Warranted and the number 25. The second unmarked as far as I can determine. These clever devises will turn meat hung before a cooking fire, first one way then the other with an audible CLICK for up to an hour and a half on one winding. Open hearth cooking enthusiasts will entertain and amaze their friends while cooking their meal to perfection. When the food is removed from the device it automatically stops until weighted down with something else to cook. It will not turn without the weight pulling downward. One original heart shaped brass key is included that will wind them both
Condition; The first is in excellent condition with overall dull brass finish, should polish to bright brass easily if desired.
The second functions but needs some brazing on the brass shell and has heavy patina over the whole exterior. This will work without its brass shell and one can observer the clever mechanism as it operates.

Size; the first is 14 inches in length
The second is 13 inches long

Price: $125 for the two
Shipping: $20 USA I found only one more of these for sale on the web today, it is in England and is 300 British pounds.

Jack has been demonstrating these turning curiosities for me all day.

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