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, January 18, 2012

A Nest not so Neat

Since my friends Helen and Elizabeth and teacher Evelyn Newton introduced me to rug hooking in 1978, I have loved it with a whole heart. I had always expected it to be my joy and comfort in case I should ever get old! (am 81 this month). '

Instead 7 years ago we moved from our farm to town and in the process, I worked hard at putting in a new yard for the new house. The side and front were planted well, but the back yard was totally just weeds and grass burrs by the thousands. On one unhappy day I took in after the weeds with a hand pump of Round up, and within 30 to 45 minutes had a hammer thumb on my right hand, ruining the tendon. The company does not make that style of dispenser any more! I kept it wrapped for months and after 7 months it worked normally if not stressed. Writing long hand gripping a pen turns out to be something I cannot do much of. Sadly, Rug hooking is another and so is hand sewing. I once made bed hangings and they had a number of 90 inch french seams, all by hand. Such was my ferver to have everything as right as I could for our old red cape. I often urge my friends and my daughters to take care of their hands!

Since that happened I have done very little hooked work, and once I could do a square foot in a day. I have decided to work on a few much wanted pieces again, just a few strands at a time, and so have made myself a winter nest on a couch with great natural light. The baskets in the photo were gifts from Barb Carroll.

The Bird is a start to replace my partridge pillow which was lost in our house fire. I love working with all the different shades a really great palette of wool allows. Variation is the key to a beautiful surface to me. The whaling rug is a copy of an old one, also printed by Barb at Woolley Fox. Two dear friends have hooked a little of it a while back and I have done some. I love this pattern and want it to lay on our long table. Maybe with the hooking moved into the living room I will remember to put in just my few strands each day or two. Taking care of my right hand has to be priority. Have a Great Day, Edyth

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