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, March 17, 2018

Die Kunstler Show and sale.

It was an interesting day here, this was the day our art club had its first outdoor show and sale under one of the Marktplatz Park pavilions.  We had good attendance with great support from the city and the local paper that put our story on the very front page. A man from the city hung our  large banner,  visible from Main street saying art show here today. I was pleased at how many people walked through and there were many sales.

  A group of the members put up a whole row of show panels 7 feet tall at one end, maybe 40 or 50 feet wide, without a lot of Zig to the Zag that holds them upright. The whole thing blew down about 3:45, paintings and all!  At least 50 paintings were hanging on it when that wall went down!  Those artists mostly gave up and left after gathering all their things.  A few had broken frames.  I was at the other end, just on a big Picnic table with a fabric cover on it, and my biggest painting  blew down earlier, so I laid all my paintings flat on the table, they did not look as good by a long shot as they did on the table easels I had for them but they stayed put.   When the wind gusts had come through earlier in the day, and my own large one went down, you could hear loud bangs all around the pavilion, Bang! Bang,  as paintings fell here and there, many times. The first was enough for me, I laid mine right down.  We will all plan a bit differently next year. March is a windy time.

Kathy is a photographer as well as a painter.

 Jack and I used to do big outdoor antique shows, even as far away as Massachusetts, so I know about wind.  He would look for a place with a pole or tree of some kind and tie his biggest cupboards to that.  We were showing in a tent one time at the Round Top show and a major part of the tent fell!  Cupboards went down, full of glassware and all such.   Another time we showed here in Marktplatz and a canvas side of the pavilion came loose from ropes and blew in and knocked over a whole row of furniture and stuff. Awesome!   Still nothing compares with the time a tornado hit the little show at Round Rock Texas, Helen has stories to tell about that one. I think the roof may have come off the motel she was in with others.  I remember Zella Tucker the show manager had eyes as big as saucers that morning.  We had great adventures and wonderful trips in our antique business.  e

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A tiny china doll, Sophia Smith

It is always a nice day when  a wanted doll arrives. Opening the package is suspenseful, and then the  happy surprise when she exceeds expectations. This little treasure came to me from Carla Thompson of Oldeclectics  on Ruby Lane.   She is an exquisite 10 inch early china in original clothing and still with her original all leather body. The leather hands are mitten shaped for one so tiny. The little feet are greatly worn from dancing.  At some time she suffered a bashed head but was lovingly repaired.  A  perfect example of this very same Sophia Smith model, (there are several similar) in a little bigger size is on line right now offered for $5000.  So I love this one with her signs of a busy past life!

The thin cotton fabric of her skirt and shawl delights me. The bottom of the skirt is decoratively pinked  instead of hemmed. You can see the brown leather body barely showing  at the neckline. The skirt is flattened so I will place a little roll of fabric under it to puff it out just a bit.

A doll of this mold in the Strong Museum

Sophia Smith as this style of china head is known by doll collectors is one of my favorite styles. Fine China dolls are a pleasure to live with. I have a large perfect one by a different maker pictured below.

The frozen Charlotte below is dressed in her original dress and cape. This example is a covered wagon style.   She is 3 1/2 inches tall and stands nicely in the doll cabinet unsupported. 

Many of my chinas are gathered in  an old cradle. The three small ones are a parian Alice, a Kloster Veilsdorf brown eyed so called Greiner style china, and  another Sophia also with brown eyes. From the shape of her shoulder we know she once had a jointed wooden body.

 Thank you for sharing this special day with me.  e

Monday, March 5, 2018

a Big Sturdy Blond Greiner

With warm bright weather, my sun porch is a sweet place to sit and read or sew.  I spent a nice afternoon resizing a dress to fit a thirty inch blond Greiner who came to me in her old unders and stockings but no dress.  She has a petticoat, a chemise and lovely split drawers, which along with her old stockings seem original for her.

Her condition is overall very nice. Her old body is firm and  sturdy, with a few stains and patches. She has the expected scuffs and wear but has no restoration nor needs any. Unfortunately an area of her Greiner label has been torn away as someone attempted to remove part of it probably saying extended 72.  I have had this mold with just the Pat 58 date, in a smaller size, also blond. This head must have been made in a transitional time as she has the earlier Greiner hair style also seen in dark haired ones with a 58 label.

I shy away from cutting up a period garment in nice condition just to dress my old dolls! This time it was a bit easier because of a significant stain near the hem in back.  The little calico baby dress is certainly older than Miss Greiner herself.   I removed a six inch length of the hem and from that fashioned flared sleeves to extend the original ones.   An alternative if you have a nice dress you do not want to  cut up, is to make undersleeves of a cream colored fabric or lace and gather that in place to lengthen the sleeves. A too long dress hem may be turned up many inches, even 10 or so. At the waist a ribbon or an apron pulls in the fullness.

The dress after shortening it to the doll's ankle length

a closer look at the calico

And look at the wonderful old printed doll apron! This is a very large one fifteen inches long.  The tiny hand stitches on the narrow hem are almost too small to see.   It is a "pinner" type but I certainly do not intend to put any pins in this little top.  If ever needed it will get one small stitch in each top corner holding it against the dress.  Readers are welcome to copy it with a waterproof brown marker. I have spread it out to facilitate this.  

This precious antique bonnet is machine stitched, likely on a  singer featherweight like I have.   My friend EP always hated to put a bonnet on mache's because it hides their hair.  I think of her each time I tie bonnet strings under a doll's chin.

I by no means paint at my easel everyday right now, as I like to do.  But I think and paint and view art in galleries or with friends  or online everyday.    Art is a jealous master, my mind paints 24/7 when I am into it.  I need to take  a day or two sometimes just to enjoy my dolls and sew for them.   e

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