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, July 23, 2017

"In God's House", San Geronimo Mission, Taos New Mexico

This title because the defeated Taosenos  took refuge in God's house.   Men, women and children lie buried there. The vibrations in this plot of earth are almost palpable.  This is the mission site in Taos Pueblo where over 150 people were burned alive and blown apart by canons as the US army took over Taos in 1846/47.  That ended the resistance but not the suffering of the indigenous people.

I was painting the church ruins this week and my brother sent a photo of our mother in 1953 standing beside the slowly melting tower of old San Geronimo. I had never known of this picture and was quite amazed to see  it!    Deja vu.  The bell tower was a little taller then.   A newer mission by this name was erected nearby in 1850.  e

Added Note:  Thank you for all comments. I am sorry this format does not do conversation back and forth for us all.    Diane, yes the beautiful old Spanish missions are filled with stories.  I have also painted one in Questa NM. I hope to be there and paint the one in Ranchos de Taos soon, San Francisco de Asis. Thank you for the compliment on my painting.

My Facebook page is art centric, for those who might be interested.   My FB page has little that is personal on it, no grandbabies or rug hooking or antique collecting.   My blog is directed at friends as we share these common interests.  e

always glad to hear from friends at joneill816@austin.rr.com

Mother in 1953

My mother as a young woman.

There is more to read and a picture of the ruins today at  


Sunday, July 9, 2017

New Mexico really is the Land of Enchantment.

Taos, New Mexico is one of the most spiritual places I have ever visited.  Many people agree with me on that.  There is raw and striking beauty with incredible light in the thin cool clear air.  As our young people say today, awesome.  Taos has been an important artist colony for a hundred years or so. Taos mountain dominates the landscape with many moods in differing light and differing seasons.

 I visited  Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos with my brother in November of 1991. The focus of the nine day trip was the study of Native American Jewelry  and a bit more broadly, enjoying other crafts like weaving and pottery making.  Chale showed me the museums and the missions and we visited some of the local craftspeople in several small villages and bought Cerrillos turquoise from the hands that had cut and cleaned and polished them.   We visited Acoma and a number of communities.  I proudly wore my own jewelry and was thrilled to have a stranger stop me on the plaza in Santa Fe to ask where I got my Isleta Cross Necklace.  I made it in that style and signed it was my reply.

 Since my first piece of silver with turquoise was purchased for me by my aunt Maurice when I was 15, I have loved this jewelry which is so natural for women of the southwest to wear.  In 1990 or 91,  I purchased a Navajo bracelet from a dear friend,  Eula.    I expressed a desire for a good collection of turquoise and silver to Jackie. He replied "Lets make some ourselves."  I was stunned but thrilled.    We signed up for a 6 session local silver smithing class which taught basic silver work focused on modern styling.  That was enough!  We were off to a fun adventure with our new craft as I studied all I could find to read on the Native American jewelry, liking particularly the Navajo work and also the earlier crosses of the fur trade.   I greatly enjoyed a book called "Heart of the Dragon Fly".  This book tells how the double barred cross of  St Stephen worn by the early Spaniards reminded the native Indians of their own symbol for water, a dragon fly  with its four wings. So the Indians quickly adopted the dragon fly cross and the Spaniards were pleased they had made so many converts.

Jack and I ordered a full array of tools and silver from Gallop NM, and found a supply of good  turquoise in Fredericksburg from a woman whose late husband once worked in the oil business in New Mexico and Arizona and had been a lapidary in his spare time.  With all of this,  I happily pounded and stamped and soldered, and Jack liked to work with old silver coins which he was very good with.  We bought dimes from the 1930's and Jack made wonderful dime beads.  Some of our work was sold to close friends and a little of it belongs to family members but I have over half of it to wear myself still. 

So this explains my interest in viewing the great collections of jewelry in New Mexico.

My Daughter Cheryl plays guitar well. 

 That mountain still calls me, I may have to go back.  As an aside,  I can see interesting hooked  rug designs inspired by elements there.  

Other posts on this blog showing some jewelry are:
Friday, January 6, 2012
Friday, September 5, 2014
More but  I cannot find at present. A lot of repetition here.   e

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