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, December 25, 2013

Linens for a Doll's Bed

These pictures are from a few years back. As this year is closing I am consolidating my huge photo files a little and enjoying many as I go through them.  This small rope bed has a pretty shape and was fun to dress up. I made a little pad of reproduction fabric to serve as a mattress tick, and used ecru linen for a bolster cover trimmed in a scrap of tatting.

After trying several combinations from both old and new fabrics, I sewed the little quilt featuring one small old square in nice brown and blue combinations. This little project was a sweet size to hand quilt and went together quickly in two afternoons. The doll size blue chest of drawers in its original paint is a treasure Jackie found for me at the Boerne Antique show one year.   A collection is almost an album of memories, fully as much as my big photo file is.

The doll was made by Elaine, the small rug by her mother Martha, both sweet gifts to me. e

Thursday, December 19, 2013

For Cathy, Simple is so often Sweetest.

A rug hooker wrote from Australia: 

hi Edyth
I have recently started rug hooking and love it .  I was looking through your blog and noticed you put a quilting hoop on your work - doesn't this squash the wool??  I would love your help on this as my quilting hoop isn't large enough to cover the whole outside of my pattern.  And there are no rug hooking shops anywhere in Australia!! 

I also want to say I downloaded your book and absolutely love it - thank you for your inspiration.

Have a wonderful Christmas - 

Blessings Leigh

My answer to her: 
Hi Leigh, I use a 14 inch quilter's hoop as my preferred hooking frame after having tried many other things over the years. Note 14 inch not 12.  This hoop is fairly sturdy, not a light weight one.  The trick to make it large enough to go over a thick thing like our hooked rugs, is to use a slightly longer bolt in it. A bolt very much longer will not go in it because of the curve of the hoop, but you can use a bolt 1 inch longer than usually comes with it. In my case it is a 5 1/2 inch bolt instead of a 4 1/2 inch one. I know your measurements are different from ours, but the idea is to get a slightly longer bolt.  

I do not think the hoop hurts any of my hooked passages at all.   Best wishes, Edyth

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas decorations with another friend

The pictures of these vignettes do not begin to suggest the beautiful rooms surrounding them.  They do show exceptional combinations and placement of  antique and vintage items for seasonal pleasure.  See for example the nautical group combining sea shells and shiny Christmas balls.   The lady of the house is a superb decorator, adept at keeping everything nostalgic and understated.  Maximum use is made of table top trees. The one with little clusters of stone grapes  beside a marvelous collection of stone fruit is  outstanding.  Thank you Barbara for letting me share these  here. Be sure to click on each picture to see it larger.    edyth


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas at my house lasts a long time

I have two trees up this year and will leave them up some time. I enjoy the decorations from years back, three of these were on my brother's first tree 71 years ago. Some of the oldest ornaments I have bought from ebay a few years ago remembering the ones like them from my grandmother Minnie.  The CD player has lots of Christmas music.  A favorite disc is Manheim Steamroller's Christmas Extraordinaire.
My rug hooking nest on the couch is right in under the edge of the taller tree.   The sweetly faded but still whole coverlet under the tree is almost a cranberry pink. I found it at a local garage sale on the ground for almost nothing. Washed and cared for now it has a starring roll each Christmas. So our fortunes can change even when we are brought very low!

A little greenery and fruit say enough about the season on these old cupboards already very busy.  Some years I have used a lot more. I am just feeling my way in this smaller new house.  e

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Christmas party with friends

The whole Texas Hill country seems to fill with lights and music and celebration for this month.  A crèche is on our town square, carols are sung everywhere in German and English and Spanish, in the churches with great musical offerings and in the public places also. Merry Christmas is written on banners across our Main Street.   In homes there are so many happy gatherings.  Here are some pictures to share, I took 72 today, cannot put them all in. 
  Our hostess for this party decorates with a large collection of Santa's, stone fruit, and old leather books, with small antlers here and there among greenery, pine cones and old silver pieces.  The inclusion of small old oil paintings in among the vignettes adds so much!  It has taken years of focus to achieve this.  The mix varies a bit each Christmas, as new things are added, or family changes like the coming of several grand children make fragile glass ornaments stay in their boxes, while more cotton ornaments are featured.  Of course the arrangements are different every time. Enjoy, Edyth




Served in the flutes with 3 cranberries in the bottom of each, was a nice mixture of Pomegranate soda, ginger ale and a splash of champagne.

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