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, November 9, 2020

Mary Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?


Children do not learn nursery rhymes anymore.  My garden grows very well!  It is nip and tuck now dodging the first killing frost, the average date for which is November 10th.  The trees are dropping leaves, not a lot of color here because of drought.  But afternoons are bright and in the 70's.

Sugar snap peas are starting to climb, no blooms yet. That bare spot holds newly planted beet seeds. Boxes beyond hold young lettuce and spinach and then garlic chives.  

I prepared this box today and planted it with beets also.  I had some eggs that had gone past their date so I broke them and added them and other kitchen scraps to the soil as I was filling the container. The top layer is just miracle gro potting soil, which does well sprouting tiny seeds.  How happy the roots should be when they reach the enriched layer below. 

There are two large pots with tomato plants that were started late summer from cuttings, and they are full of tomatoes. These big pots will easily move inside with me to the sun porch at the threat of frost.

Another view of these second season tomatoes by the rain barrel..

These have been the three big ones, over my head now, still have a hundred little tomatoes that will not ripen by frost. I will blanket them a few times to hold off the cold as long as I can! Many of the ornamental bushes in my yard will stay green through the winter, like holly with berries for the birds, and my much loved magnolia tree, Little Gem.  My small yard is so much pleasure now that I am mostly homebound due to covid.  Penny called today to say she is planting strawberries in hanging baskets today.  Maybe next year I will try that.  e

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Staying at home these days.

 I continue to enjoy my container garden these pretty fall days.  I hope to paint more soon. But lately I have been sewing for some of my early dolls.   This one is likely from the last quarter of the 18th century.

  Many years ago in a pile of scraps at Brimfield, an early brown and white print fragment caught my eye and came home with me for $7. One sleeve was torn away from the funny short garment and the brown dye had eaten many holes in the fabric, leaving it fragile as a cobweb. Now I know it was a short gown, an unlined everyday cotton garment from maybe 1800 It had a charming pleated fan tail in the back. I have finally made a jacket or short gown for one of my woodens. Phoebe is pleased enough with it, though she would have liked it to be a little snugger in the waist. Hooks and eyes close it in the front.

A perfect early sampler used for her apron is softly folded over a draw string and not pressed, out of respect for this nice old textile.

Picture taken before hooks and eyes added.

Phoebe is serious about her spinning.

The old day cap she wears will be replaced with a plainer one by and by.

The blue polished cotton was once the lining of a melting silk quilt.

The dolls are pleasant company but I also enjoy friends who visit in my yard, The weather here still allows that. Stay safe, edyth

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