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

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday morning

Dennis and Peggy own a fine restaurant in the center of old Gloucester.  Dennis is making chicken soup for the restaurant this morning and I will have that with crusty French bread and butter for lunch.. The restaurant is Halibut Point in a historic building.

Here are pictures of some of my treasures gathered this past week. The indigo and white coverlet has had the fringe cut away in some misguided effort to neaten it. The strong graphics are undiminished and carry it still as an interesting early textile for those of us who love them.

  My friend Penny has been in Vermont this past two weeks weaving a plaid blanket for her home.  I cannot wait to see it!  Peggy's sister Cathy is a very productive weaver even with a lot of family still at home. Cathy made the two little mats in salmon and green, I am delighted to have them to use under feather trees at Christmas.

The little blue doll socks and the blue doll dress and the delft tile give you a hint as to one of   my favorite colors. The doll shoes are a gift from Peggy and will go home to one of my Greiners.. Also destined for the doll cabinet is the small sampler dated 1794.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Country antique show

Another day of sunshine. Driving west inland the trees are showing more color. Barbara, Peggy and I went to an outdoor show, decorated with fall things, then to the Angel House shop, and two shops in Sturbridge. Missing below is a picture of the coverlet I bought, a bit rough but with eagles not to be resisted.  Diane Halprin of Townsend Mass was set up there and we visited her some. This was more of a primitive show than the three of us wished. Still there were many cross over pieces, some nice early redware, chairs, and my coverlet among them.

I am grounded now with the mother of all head colds, and will miss the flea market tomorrow. A bummer.  I have had chicken soup.  e

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sailing in Gloucester Harbor

Two hours at sunset...   tomorrow a little country antique market. You can always click on a picture to see it larger.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Studying the Linen Head dolls

Amazingly the stunning bright fall weather is holding!  This Thursday morning Peggy and I set off for Bridgewater Massachusetts, over bridges and through tunnels and engulfed by the mighty traffic of Boston. Our destination was the home of doll collector Cyndi B. She and her daughter Jen are making a study of the molded linen head dolls from the mid 18th century. Cyndi has three examples of these rare dolls and is writing an article on them as have I.  My pictures and thoughts on them are posted on Maida at present and I am expanding on this for a future presentation.   Neither of us yet has real evidence where and by whom these mystery dolls were made.
Link for MAIDA.     http://www.maidatoday.com.

While Cyndi and I discussed the linen heads we are intrigued with, Peggy enjoyed the impressive collection of other types of Antique dolls. Then came the challenging drive home to sweet Cape Ann

All of this week there have been film people set up in Rockport.  We saw them working near where I was painting from a pier earlier. This Thursday as we drove to Cathy's home and her guest house where I am so happily nested, right up to Cathy's driveway we found the crews and their equipment working here in the woods. This will be used in an HBO series by the name of Olive Kitteridge. I want to watch for this one.

Tomorrow I hope to go sailing!  e

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Antiqueing in NH

The trees are showing some autumn color here and there. Barbara, Peggy and I drove a little way up into NH stopping at favorite shops, Fern's, Austin's and Parker French. I was thrilled to be in old haunts I never expected to see again. I bought small and with the thought that anything purchased must be mailed home, but I enjoyed all of it. Purchases included an old book of the white pine series showing Peggy's house. Also bought was a small framed sampler or at least a piece of cross stitch, and a deep indigo doll dress. The dress is hand stitched with old brown thread.  Another item for the doll family is a tiny pair of robin's egg blue doll sox.
The last stop was a bit of a stretch, as we made it to York Maine to see York gallery, and I fell in love with a very large 18th century portrait of a woman in a green dress.  There was also a great ship model, and a nice papier mache doll.  I resisted all of these.  The three of us had dinner in downtown Portsmouth at Rosa's.   A long day, but one I will not soon forget.   e

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

a Doll's Tea Party in Rockport

Tuesday was another golden day. The light in Rockport is so special, and this is one of the reasons it is the oldest continuous art colony in the US.  Cathy drove around the harbor to take a few photos.

After lunch Peggy and I went to visit her friend Prudence Fish. Pru began to collect antique dolls as a little girl. Her mother's older friends began to bring her their dolls, some of them very fine. This built a very good start for her collection.   After a bit Pru served tea and snacks and we looked for all the world like 3 little girls having a tea party with the dollies.  I guess that is just what we were.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Dollmaker's Studio

After a trip to the health food store, like no other I have seen, Peggy stopped in Gloucester for me to reserve a space on the schooner Thomas Lannon next Friday for a cold sunset sail just around in the harbor two hours.

This was a day at Peggy's house watching her make a bonnet for a doll that may be mine if I am very lucky. Her fingers worked the straw braid deftly, and by and by, there was the brim of an 1840 style bonnet. Then Dennis made a fire and we ate by the fireside. How sweet it is to be in a dear early cape for long lovely hours. Surely there cannot be many to whom it means so much.  I appreciate beyond words that Peggy and Dennis share this with me.

One of Peggy's dolls is pictured below. You can see why I want one.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday dawned with a downpour

To my great sorrow the flea market was rained out. I invited Cathy for blueberry pie early, then did chores about my little house. Peggy picked me up for a trip to the Wenham museum where we enjoyed really studying the doll collection.  We stopped at another apple farm and I bought a pie to take to Cathy's Sunday night supper where about 14 of us ate at a great table together. I spent a quiet evening. The guest house is really spacious and has flowers at the doorway. Clover  the family dog, is getting to be even more my friend, e

Saturday, September 21, 2013

a quiet day in an unforgettable setting.

As Peggy was busy with grandchildren, Barbara graciously invited me to spend the day with her. I sat inside some and hooked a bit and also took many photographs. Barbara needed to go to a nearby library, so we enjoyed that drive together, stopping at a busy apple farm. We had apple cider donuts!   My first. I also bought a blueberry pie to bring home to my little guest house. Barbara showed me the Parson Cape house and i took pictures outside. Then home to a supper of crackers and cheese and apples of course.
I am hooking doll size rugs attempting to finish one for Cathy and Peggy each before I leave. With my hands as they are, it will be a challenge to work just a little and quit. E


Friday, September 20, 2013

Old Homes of New England page 110 !

On Friday Peggy and I drove through Essex and Ipswich as Peggy told stories of the homes we were passing, old houses are clearly her passion. We visited her friend Barbara, mistress of a fantastic first period house filled with an admirable collection. If you have the book above, by Roderick Blackburn then you will know how it was. 

That evening Cathy and I took sunset photos at Plum Cove. E

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Painting in plein air with a picnic

Thursday I painted out on a pier at Rockport. Peggy sat beside me doing a bit of handwork from a basket. My subject was a fishing shack that is the most painted structure in the country and thus known as motif number one. Then we picnicked on crackers and cheese

Walking a little way we were on bearskin neck, a tourist area with quaint shops, our destination was a strudel shop with a small balcony overlooking the harbor. My pastry was cherry strudel. Back to Peggy's house I hooked a little on a small project I will picture for you by and by. Peggy seved a delicious supper of baked haddock and an onion and tomato and cheese tart, surely a cousin to a pizza but  in a delicious pie crust she had made early that morning. She added beets lightly pickled and her home made apple sauce. Peggy is a fantastic natural cook, an artist in her kitchen, making everything seem simple and fresh and light. She and Dennis have a fine restaurant in the old part of the city.

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