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, November 29, 2015

A Link to Christmas folk art crafts. go see!


Whimsy and music and a gentle child like view of some of the finest  decorative art of the season.    Thanks to my friend Gail for this.  Let me know what you think.  e

Saturday, November 28, 2015

We are thankful for so many things

As my brother was here from Austin, I served dinner for just four the night before Turkey day.  My uncomfortably straight 18th century chairs are seldom really used much.  They are replaced by up to a dozen padded folding chairs so it is pleasant to linger at the table and talk a bit. I have had assembled sets of bannister backs, yoke back Queen Anns, sweet old windsors,  and sturdy little Pennsylvania painted chairs.  My pick now maybe would be the loopback windsors.

The peach pie with pecans on top was waiting in the kitchen for Thursday.
Part of our very large family gathered at my daughter and son in law's home for a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  On the big day Macy cannot wait so has to have a snack.

It seems a long wait for lunch.

Macy is four and nearly reading ready. She recognizes many of her letters and understands that they have sounds. I was 4 1/2 when I read Dick and Jane for myself. 
 Bailey and Blake

Kitchen cabinets are being remodeled. The house has a large pantry room plus a second stove as nice as the first, and a second refrigerator.
 Many hands in the kitchen. I have not pictured nearly all of the food.
Bailey is very good in the kitchen. She made two pumpkin pies. Her signature piece is her pound cake from an early recipe that her Great Great Grandmother Watts used.  That cake was made for today by Sarah.
1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, three cups flour, four eggs, 1 tsp baking powder, a pinch of salt, 1/2 cup of milk and 1 Tbles of vanilla.  Bake in bundt pan for an hour and fifteen minutes at 325.   To complicate things just a bit, the current generations add a little more sugar and a fifth egg.

There are five young children today to settle in.  We stand in a circle while Gary says Grace, remembering the men and women serving the country.  Then everyone takes a plate from the long table to fill in the kitchen.  These are Sarah's pretty Woodland dishes.
Norman Rockwell would approve I think.    e 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving week begins

I am enjoying holiday cooking with my new stove. Decorating and cooking are going forward as I am focusing on Christmas here because Thanksgiving will be celebrated at Daughter Beth's.  Several little dinners and three parties are planned here. This is the day for pumpkin bread and spiced peaches.
Under the tree sits Elvis the second, the first great Steiff bear like this, big as a toddler, was lost and it took me nine years to find another like him.  He got his name because he growls when tipped, with a lovely baritone that I interpret as "I wanna be your Teddy bear!"  
I wish all of you a happy week.  e

Saturday, November 21, 2015

House upside down

I am completely into working over the house for the Christmas Holiday time. I finished the small tree yesterday and the large one is down from the attic and set in place. A table and a footstool and my large rug hooking basket have been carried out of the living room to give more room for people and I have finished the mantel.  For the season, my deer rug hangs over the mantel rather than the Oliver Cromwell ship rug.  Wreaths and garlands and ornaments and sleds and pine cones and on and on must be found.     From year to year I am never sure I can gather myself enough to do all of this, but so far so good. It is further complicated by the fact Jackie died at Christmas, all the while telling me he wanted me to go on living fully after he was gone.    Friend Ruby Lee called yesterday and said what are you doing? I said I am decorating the tree, and have music on, Manheim steam roler’s Fum fum fum comes on and I dance fast around the room til I am out of breath and then Auld Lang Syne comes on and I cry some. Either way I am still living life fully  and passionately. 

Cold damp weather makes it less easy to work but I expect to have the major decorating done soon.  The sun porch is used as a staging area and is a jungle right now, but must be tamed to handle overflow guests on party days.   I plan parties on Dec 6th  8th and  13th.    I will also be cooking a lot this week, which is something I do very little of normally.  I will have company over the Thanksgiving weekend. The town expects 25,000 visitors this weekend so it is impossible to eat out and I must have food here for some of us about four days.   Daughter Beth will have 20 of us in on Thanksgiving day itself. 
My van will be away from me being worked on during some parts of this,  a bummer.   I was run into by a fast running deer last Monday evening right here in my neighborhood.  She ran off fast so I hope was not much hurt. But my dear Vanessa that I have had 14 years had never had a dent before.
I enjoy the bustle of the Holiday season and love our little town decorated for Christmas. Downtown buildings are outlined in light and it is a wonderland.  We have banners across the street saying Merry Christmas and a crèche in the center of town.  We don't have reindeer in our Christmas parade but we do have llamas! My little grandchildren love them!   e

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Christmas Fences

Sunday Dec 5th early am, update
Nice buy on ebay tonight for twig fence sections. Easy to add back a few missing twigs.   Marked Germany

Mending fences is not just a rancher's chore.  The little antique ones to go around Christmas trees can need a bit of help sometimes too.  The ones I have bought in the past have mostly been found in Pennsylvania.  I have owned and sold them in many styles over the years.   I have some long pieces of green fence which stay out year round on top of two glass doll cases.  This uses 8 feet of it, but I have more that matches it.

 Perhaps someone will make a square fence for a table top tree from this large fence someday like this one I use around my feather tree.

Some of the more sought after of the smaller scale fence is twig fence, marked Germany on the bottom.  I have had yards and yards of this and am so glad it was sold before our house fire in which so many wonderful Christmas treasures were lost.  Twig fence is particularly charming in a Putz scene, but is also effective used around tiny feather trees.  Fences were made of metal sometimes, and of Feathered wire like the feather trees, and also of wire or wire and wood combinations.

I watch for Old Christmas things all year long, and here is the square fenced tree base I bought from Barbara this summer.  It came to me with some ill advised spontaneous paint additions in red and green on the outside of the palings only.  I elected to  match the older ivory white paint and try to reverse the red and green added paint.  Note I did not say original ivory paint, as close inspection shows this little fence was originally dark green! However the square base has no trace of green under paint, so when ever the fence and base were joined, they were given a unifying coat of ivory white. I only painted over the red and green, not the entire piece.

The result pleases me, as it still shows wear on its old paint. Beside the fence is a long garland of beads I bought from Trisha in September, another piece of sweet old Christmas trim..
 Here is a combination fence and table to make a great tree stand, I have never seen this form before! Thank you Tricia L for sharing this charming antique.
The dolls like to have their tree up for a long time, I am late getting to this this year. Even though our family is planning Thanksgiving dinner still,  I am thinking beyond that to two early December parties I hope to have here.
I will make a big peach cobbler pie for Thanksgiving at Beth and Gary's
 house.  Great Granddaughter Bailey will make two pumpkin pies. That recipe came from Judy K how many years ago!  close to 40!  
In a side bar of this blog, there is a banner to click that takes you to a list of short slide shows. One of the slide shows is Red Cape Christmas, showing Christmas decorations in our old house.   e

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