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

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Soft spot out of harm's way

My new Dell tablet came today. Yes I know apples are better in many ways and we have several in the family. But this will be easily compatible with my other computers and I am thrilled at having a new toy. For a painter it offers so much!  I like to paint en plein air , but almost everything I do is really done from a photo carried home and painted here inside.  The cameras on the tablet let me see large what the photo will be and carry it right to a spot beside my easel where I can sit and paint in comfort.  How wonderful the blend of handicrafts and traditional arts with technology that amplifies our efforts!  Quilters use the latest technology certainly, and doll makers swap notes and designs almost in real time across continents and oceans. How great is it that we can visit this way!?
So as I looked for a safe place to charge it for the first time tonight, the new tablet landed in the lap of dolls in an old cradle. A fitting picture of how my life is now, loving the gentle old things and being on the edge of great new possibilities in the communication of ideas.   It is still about color and design and texture, no matter what means we use to say it. e

Saturday, February 16, 2013

19th century Quilted baby bonnets

  Over time I have had a number of these quilted bonnets both for adults and children. Still have 3, one with the silk lining coming to pieces.   My dolls wear these smallest ones.

I believe they were worn indoors in extreme weather as well as out of doors. Keeping baby’s head warm was an important goal, and much needlework was spent on these bonnets. An easy way to replicate them is to use parts of an early quilt, not overly thick, and a binding at the edge. I enjoy the name of the skirting at the back of a bonnet, the word bavolet. is defined as “flounce sewed to back of bonnet, covering hair and neck".  In the case of bonnets for infants like this, the small flounce is not very significant.  

The brown and blue bonnet is modeled by an early Greiner doll with the stamped letters PaT Head on her shoulder plate. This stamp was used before the paper labels saying Greiner's Patent head. All of the Pat Heads have a rather different  squirrelly expression.  She does not like to cover up her great old curls.  This doll was dressed by Rachael Kinneson.  

Birdie is the name of this bright eyed Voit doll. She wears a lovely old dress that was a gift from friend Phyllis, and a dear quited bonnet.  E

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A nice day with friends

Yesterday the antique study club I enjoy so much met in the big log home of my friend Penny.  It was a beautiful party in every way, but the part I want to share here is the little doll that lives in Penny's kitchen on the counter. Petite and business like, it is clear the doll is most  helpful there and never in the way.  She is Jan Conwell's little Cinderella, and elicited many cries of admiration from the guests.  The tiny mouse on the doll's head scarf, and the bird on the end of her broom, and the well executed clothing were all noted.  Beloved doll person Helen P. Took this picture of Ciderella, as I was without my camera.  E

Click on pictures to enlarge them.

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