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

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Setting a pretty fall table

Look at the gorgeous damask table cloth from Penny’s garage sale a few minutes ago!  It even has a stripe of green to pick up the green cupboard behind it!   And it is exactly the length of the 8 ft table Jackie made and so pretty with brown dishes.  My kitchen does not like light or medium blue, (indigo is ok), so I have gone to brown and white dishes now and let go much but not all of the blue.
 I will probably serve from the round table in the kitchen on Wed afternoon with this cloth doubled in half there for a small tea. Beth is making a pound cake for the occasion. 
Color is exciting to me and I get almost high on it sometimes, just had to share this.  Color was a big factor in my joy at rug hooking, and now that my hands do not want to do much of that, I love painting.  Cypress trees here turn the greatest red orange next month!  I will be painting them.     e

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

My New Stove

When Jackie and I moved from our big house to this little garden home I was reluctant to leave my good cook stove to be sold with the house. Jack said we will buy you a fine new one, lets not move this.  So it came to pass that I had a top of the line beautiful range which offered a choice of conventional or convection cooking. Mind you I am a reasonably savvy tech consumer. After three years of throwing out pies and pumpkin bread and getting along with just the micro and letting my daughter roast meats at her house,  I have purchased a simple one and am so happy with it.    I came across this seasonal picture the other day and here I am, long gray locks and all.  Simple is often better!  e

Get started Hooking, updated

A nice email for me a few days ago, as follows:
"I am interested in learning to hook rugs and wondered if you could recommend a source?  I would also love a copy of your book. Is that possible? "

Dear Friend, Thank you for writing.   I hope you will love hooking rugs and it is an easy craft to learn the basics for, and then there is endless fun trying new colors and textures and designs.  My rug book sold out long ago.  I offer it now as a pdf to download to your computer for $15, see sidebar of the blog.   On screen it is far prettier than the book!  You can print any or all of it as you choose for your own personal use only.

Wikipedia has a nice free  article about rug hooking at
 I think it is a helpful overview of the craft.  Note the mention of using knits or jerseys for the strips in earlier times.  More on this later on, maybe after Christmas.

 There are many  how to hook demos on You tube. Mavis does a good job with this one at
http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/primitive-rug-hooking-basic-supplies-and-how-i-draw-patterns/  Notice she recommends Lori at Notforgotten farms, a  regular reader on this site and one talented lady.  I have a hundred friends who have a rug business, so it is hard to recommend even two here because of all I cannot fit in!  Please forgive.

 Trisha Travis shot a very short video of how I hold a hook and use it.   Link here      http://youtu.be/HKe6kWWWBgI
Sorry it does not show my fingers but you can look anyway.  Thank you Trisha.  My son in law Gary promises to shoot another closer in soon.  I will post it here. 
In addition, if you will click on the banner "For Cathy" my blog posts for beginning rug hookers will show for you. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

I have Paint on my Face (Book)

I do have a FB page... https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008490639239  and it is open to all to read.

Thank those of you who have asked for friend status there, It is not that I don't feel friendly, it is just that up until now I have not been active there, not posting family news or activities and such. I held that page just so I could belong to groups on face book or access my grandchildren's pictures.  My doll collecting and antique interests etc are not there.   I continue to enjoy this blog as a venue for those interests. I love when you comment on the blog posts, what you like what you don't like and why and how it parallels your own personal interests and so forth. Keep on!   Comments do not post instantly, because I have to approve them to keep off spam. But I do get to them and do love to have them.  I have made many friends in the blogger sphere and am grateful for you. This blog is where I am for you.

Today because almost all of my artist friends have active FB pages, I fell into line with that and have notes and photos about my paintings there.  By sharing there and opening up to critiques from my peers I hope to further my journey as an artist.    What a wonderful thing the internet is for many of us.   e

Thursday, September 17, 2015

September Gold Part I

I was treated to a luncheon this week with collector friends in a home featuring an extraordinary collection of Americana.  Outstanding textiles were showcased  among lovely early furniture with charming accessories all in a gracious home with large rooms and set in a jewel like yard.  Yes I know that is a lot of superlatives but how else could one begin to describe it!?  This was a meeting of one of two antique collecting groups I am fortunate to be part of. A heartfelt thanks to our talented hostess!

Of course I was drawn to the many hooked rugs. The samplers were another focus of the collection.  Following are some of the more than 60 pictures from that day.   I apologize for the darkness, my sweet little canon camera was not with me.
A beloved classic, Bluenose.  The old schooner is gone now but a replica, the Bluenose II sails the north Atlantic coast.

A mixture of Spode Woodlands and a companion pattern set a fall theme.

A simple but effective large hooked rug peeks out from under a second table.

Fall colors in a penny rug.

Portraits large and small are used throughout the rooms. This charming child took my heart.

Does anyone else remember the nice lampshades we used to have of crewel embroidery on hand woven wool blanket pieces? 

Home made yeast rolls!

 A rare early sifter woven of splint like a basket has a tiny homespun patch. This once belonged to CT dealer Brian Bartizek's mother, a dealer collector herself for more than fifty years. I love knowing where a piece has been.  I was privileged to know Phyllis B  ... and stayed in her home several times when Jack and I were in New England buying for our shop. She lived in an early red house above a pond on a picture perfect farm.  The barn full of antiques there was something to experience!   
 This post is continued in part 2.   e

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

September Gold Part 2

Outstanding smalls include numerous pieces of chalk ware.
See the stone fruit used as bookends on the middle shelf.

Many of the redware pieces used as lamps were wired by Jack and I think this is one of hundreds of lampshades I made years ago. 

These pictures only suggest the collection of samplers which is on view everywhere in the house.

Portraits everywhere.

A classic early butterfly table hides here in a too dark picture. I am always happy to see pieces we have sold in the past, now in good collections.. I still have three of these in my living room.

Chalk again.
The china head doll with a covered wagon hair style was found in a local estate sale.  This type of doll is one of my favorites. Think of the children she has helped to raise!
We are all waiting for a turn in the weather to signal cooler times.  There is just a touch of color in the foliage so it will be pretty soon.  This lovely party ushers in the season for my friends and me.
There is a nice complex of hill country houses furnished in a more primitive style coming here soon I hope.  Best, e

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Little Red House, my Mother's miniatures

Aside: The table from the 1600's was one of Jack's very favorite finds ever. It is safe with friend Jean now. 

My mother's dream was to have a salt box house. She raised me to think one should have a dry sink and a pewter collection and a pencil post bed and such to keep house rightly.  Her guide in everything was The American Home magazine, as we lived in the south far from the style of house mama wished for.   She crocheted rag rugs and made ruffled curtains and watched for old ironstone or crocks to turn up at Goodwill where she was a faithful customer for years. 

The time came when she knew she would never have her dream and so she turned to miniatures and much of the rest of her life lived in a doll house when not taking care of real life needs for her family.   Mama made the salt box doll house herself, calling upon my stepfather sometimes to saw something. The chimney was quite a project.  I remember helping hold it as we scored it with a screw driver to make "bricks".  The floor was laid of a narrow old wooden blind.  The shingles were cut of cork and put on one at a time.

She made many of the furnishings herself, using old drawer bottoms for thin wood.  The tiny quilts were a marvel of handwork and eyesight! She saw everything in a different scale from the rest of us.  Do you see the lamp shades of toothpaste lids? Tiny pea gravel became potatoes.

There were several dolls in the house, one a blond German china head doll named "Resurrection".  Resurrection was a little head found in the Comanche city dump, picked up by a junk dealer back in the time when dealers in old iron and bottles and such picked through the dump for merchandise.  I found her in a rusty tin coffee can in the dirt floor of a garage where his grandchildren had played with her. I surely left no stone unturned in my quest for antiques. I was in my 20's and living in west central Texas at that time.   I purchased the little head for  75 cents and made a body for her and dressed her, then Mama claimed her for the doll house a few months later.  From spring in the dump grounds to fall at the Texas State fair with a blue ribbon was a remarkable journey for Resurrection!  Mama entered her little house in the fair in Dallas that October and of course it won all hearts.

At first the little salt box house was not as full as it was in later years, as Mama saw other things to add.  The knickknacks were about half and half, commercial doll house findings and home made things. My stepfather carved a duck decoy to go on the mantel  My brother and I made two ladder back chairs and I wove seats in them.   I made the clay stoneware crocks for the salt box house years later and she added them.  She made quite a number of room boxes, several complete houses and at least two country stores.

We have not kept all of them, they are cumbersome to care for.  But my daughter Beth has three of the nicest ones including the red saltbox.  A small closet is devoted to them and there is lighting and Plexiglas for them.
Sometimes the closet door is opened and my mother's great great grandchildren get to gaze in wonder.    My mother, called Nanny to her grandchildren, is still much in our hearts and minds as many of the family sayings which we banter back and forth are hers.



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