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, January 26, 2015

Ten years ago

Birthdays are to be glad about, as long as one has a measure of health and a body that still mostly works ok.  I have a few creaks like the tin woodman, but  overall am ok.  Daughter Beth had a little birthday supper for me last evening, and throughout the day I heard from and visited with others in our large family.  Eight candles on the cake, one for each grand child and great grand.  We look forward to baby girl Ramsey to be born in February.
84 and hoping for more.


4 generations

Birthdays are also for looking back and here are some sweet pictures Sue Spivey took of the last workshop in the red cape. The year was 2005, when lightening was to strike the cape and change our lifestyle completely.

 The big sun porch was 40 feet long, the full width of the cape, making a great place for the workshops.

Our dining room was the old kitchen with a wide hearth.

The living room or sitting room would have been called the hall in the 18th century. It was not large, just under 16 feet square.

The cape was originally built in 1768 in Willington CT.

My wonderful little studio building!

Garden between the studio and the shop building.

Cashmere goats made charming pets.  If I would walk or sit near them most would come to nuzzle and be petted, they were armloads of downy sweetness for me. However they would butt each other around a bit.

Words cannot express my love for the little farm. e

Almost in full hair.  Below on the right is Banner our year old billy. Cashmere goats are so incredibly clean and pretty though the billys do smell very gamey when mature.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Patterns to enjoy a lifetime?

Did I hear a raven say "nevermore?"  I have come to think that the generations after me will not be collectors of antique dolls, nor collectors of much else! With a mobile life style from continent to continent,  only clothing and electronics and a few basic things can keep up with these young people. Artwork can be projected and changed at will. Great granddaughter Bailey will keep her sweet old Martin guitar and not too many other treasures in a few years as she moves out into the world.  Young women no longer pour over patterns of table ware with the same fervor as my friends did.   Still some of us in more settled circumstances enjoy living with  these things.  I cringe at TV shows devoted to how to get rid of Stuff! As my friend Jeannie says "We love our stuff!" 

Had a great happening at the thrift store today, almost did not go, I do not go often these days.  And there waiting for me was a great amount of one of my dish patterns, Wedgewood flying cloud in red. It is English made, since the 1960's when I bought my first of it. It will not take a dishwasher or microwave but crazes badly  when used that way.  It is a cheaper version of the classic Spode pattern Tradewinds, now discontinued I believe, as it has a real gold edge on it.   I have but do not use a small service of the tradewinds which is made with the earlier shapes of Chinese export porcelain, with a helmet shape to the creamer and so on.   I love many of  the 20th century English Spode patterns which are copied from 18th century ones, green Fitzhugh, and Indian tree and on and on.   I keep my kitchen cupboards always at the bursting point and enjoy setting a pretty table.  When we were buying at estate sales Jack used to grin in resignation and say "We never met a dish we didn't like!"    

Above are the ones I added today to an already good size service.

Spode tradewinds

Spode Indian Tree, made in England and now in China.

Tonquin bought in the 1960's, looks nice in the kitchen of this house now.

And a basic blue, Spode Italian recntly out of China at a great rate.
The blue is not happy in my gray/green kitchen and I have passed most of it on to the daughters except a small set.  Beth, Sarah and Cheryl all have  some of the same things I do in glassware and china so we can borrow back and forth, with Beth having a large amount of Spode's Christmas tree and Sarah having the lovely Spode Woodland.  We are out of step with the times but even dinosaurs can laugh and play.  e

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cold weather good for Rug Hooking

In some way I do not fully understand, all of this global warming is causing us to hit new lows.  My long suffering whaling rug is once more getting some attention, I hope I can finish it soon!
My rug called "Old Chalk Deer" is always a favorite to use at Christmas time. This year he went over the mantel.
Years back he was a bright spot over a side table at the Cape. 
Here is a pretty version of this pattern belonging to Penny S. and hooked by friend Ann  H.  I am adding a cloth sleeve to the back so the rug can be hung.  I love her color choices!  e
 My inspiration for this design comes from the Staffordshire deer figurines of the late 18th century and right on up to late 19th which hark back to Chinese figures of spotted deer which I do not find a picture of right now to share with you, and reinterpreted in the chalkware of Pennsylvania later.  Here are a few examples. e


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