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

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas eve, quiet but still sweet

Christmas in Fredericsburg this last 40 years has always meant for me crowds of family, beutiful meals, piles of greenery and pinecones, Christmas music and the meaningful Christmas eve church service.  Decorating our house and shop, indoors and out was big for me. No electric lights ever but rather ropes and wreaths and branches  of natural greenery and fruits.    Except for the young chidren,  presents were  never a focus.   My first Christmas eve service here in 1980 was in one of the old stone churches, Zion Lutheran, entirely by candle light.  The way in was lighted by candles in brown bags of sand, southwestern farolitos, called locally, luminarias.   The Lord's prayer was spoken in German and the beautiful Silent Night was of course sung in German. A special blessing of the children was a sweet feature also.  

Re reading the sentence above, I think how Jack and I marveled at our construction crew as they worked to build our tiny retail shop that December,  the men would call out to each other in German, English and Spanish, illustrating the blend of cultures here in our little town.  Although now more of a tourist's town than ever, it is still a sweet place to live.  

This second covid Christmas I have very little of the outward celebration visible, but am saticefied with keeping in touch with family and friends and enjoying the glorious Christmas music of Hauser and Bocelli.  My kitchen table went from fall decor to December, and a little table top tree stands unadorned in the living room. Some of my many grands and great grands went to church in far away Dallas this evening and other family was here in our small Fredericksbug church.  Some of the famly came to visit today and we sat outside  unmasked in the fresh breeze,  with amazing warm bright weather. Tomorrow will see our temps in the 80's!  

My daughter Cheryl in Colorado sent a warm red nightgown for my Christmas. I managed two large batches of our favorite chocolate candy and distributed that.  I also painted some family dogs and those have been fun to give.  I am grateful for a safe warm comfortable home and friends and family I love.  I am one month away from 91 years of age and feel grateful to have many things going well inspite of the challenges we all have this Christmas.  Faith, Hope, and Love, and the Greatest of these is Love.  

Friday, November 12, 2021

October into November

As others around me venture out more, I remain very isolated because Covid is different for people in their 80's and 90's even after a booster shot.  The internet is a huge blessing in my life,  I interact with many friends on line in special interest groups, painting, collecting dolls and sewing for them as well as enjoying Antiques.  

There are two outdoor seating areas in the yard, one in the front yard and this one beside the house in the little brick courtyard.  There were more mums and pumpkins added after these pictures were made, but they show the pleasant setting. I enjoy company safely in the yard.

The breafast area of the kitchen is colorful for fall also, and it has a view of the atrium not shown.  

This modern small house has so many interesting spaces to showcase favorite antiques with the varied ceiling heights. 

The red cupboard was part of our kitchen in the old house before the fire. All of the woodwork was like this, Jack built me the sweetest kitchen I was ever in. I have 6 of my big still lifes hanging in this kitchen. The subjects are mostly Jackie's pottery collection. I love to paint, why don’t I do it every day? Internet addiction, my bad.

Anyway I painted this week, have painted Bailey's little border collie Gus. I am thankful to have many interests, these fill the days pleasantly along with keeping up with grands and great grands, but at a little distance.

Friends have asked how am I in this shut in time?  Hanging in.   Selfie at 90.   e

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

August, ready for a change to fall.

 Like all of us, I have experienced a wild ride this summer, weather events and world situations and family issues to help with have left me almost dizzy.   The best I can manage is to lend a helping hand when the opportunity is near me, and send donations and prayers to some at a distance.  From that pount, I find solace in the little ordinary things of my life, like my small yard and it's growing things, the beauty of nature like the sunsets God paints on an ever changing canvas, and the sustaining love of family and friends.

My paint brush is a magic carpet! So many artist friends are on the computer sharing our painting.     And I have always had a work basket with a bit of handwork close by, like my mother before me.  

Lovely pieces of raggedy quilts from Sarah Havener can lead to things like this. The doll Thankful's original clothing included an early Shaker bonnet. I used it as a pattern shape but not keeping it plain and simple.
The top of the quilt became the lining of the bonnet. The pattern pieces are shown for anyone to use also. The pieces were cut out and individually bound in tape or ribbon, then sewn together by means of the binding. The old one has a fall as you see.

The top of the old quilt is bright inside the bonnet.

Below, Charity in the new bonnet.

It is time to think of Indian Corn and pumpkins. So inspired by a basket of favorite rug wool, I stitched these Pumpkin colored Pin Keeps made from rich wool plaids and lovely Paternayan crewel yarn.  Besides being tuck ins or splashes of color in a basket, these little hearts are intended for years of use as pincushions.   I offer them now on my blog shop under the banner ONeill's Antiques in the right hand column. Use mixed in your fall d├ęcor along with bittersweet and Indian corn and then as sewing needfuls or small gifts.  The pin keeps are backed in various brown woolens and are about 5 by 4 3/4 inches.   I have used one like these for over 20 years. 

Let's try to turn the pages in the calendar to sweeter days.  Thank you  friends for reading here. Best, e

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

A bit more active on line

Go look if you like, O'Neill's Antiques & Art (oneillsantiques.blogspot.com)  accessible from the right hand of this blog page.  The site will be heavy on smalls, mostly textiles and dolls that I can mail easily, continental US only.  I also expect to offer some of my own paintings there, both framed and unframed for ease of Mailing.  There are a few hard copies of my rug book listed there.  Today I have listed a sewing roll up. 

Pictured here are some from a few years ago at a workshop event:

The one I am offering for sale:  

Thank each of you for reading here, e


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Sewing dresses for my Izannah Walker doll.

    When I first started to collect antique dolls in the 1950's my mentor, in addition to my own mother who always loved dolls, was Stella Hart in Cleburne TX. Mrs. Hart collected and sold fine dolls and taught me so much. In her 80's then, she said she did not collect bisque dolls, as they did not seem old to her. Those were what she knew as a child. She had two beautiful old cotton dresses, both brown prints which I wished were in tatters so we could dress dolls in the fabric. Not so, they were nearly perfect. Years later while living in FT Worth, I saw the two dresses in the possession of Elizabeth Patton, another doll collector who was cutting them and I was able to buy small amounts of each. I used the prettier one on a doll and parted with her over time. But here in 2021 is a piece of the other dress still in my sewing stash and now right for an Izannah dress! It is the brown print pictured and will have an apron of an early red orange. I may bind the little apron with a bias of an early very dark brown print.


The dress below was finished for Charity yesterday. It is sewn by my tube dress method found else where on my blog. http://edythoneill.blogspot.com/search?q=tube+dress    A beautiful piece of orange red calico was inspiration for this one. The wonderful old print was never used, it was only a small piece given to me years ago by Connecticut dealers Barbara and Don Ladd. The apron is just laid on her lap until I extend the sashes a bit to tie in back.

This doll loves her red dress!

And here she is again with that darling antique apron Aunt Dixie gave her. 

 The above indigo dress is borrowed from a nice china head doll, and is made from early fabric bought at the Comfort Antique show quite a while back, about a dozen years.   Each scrap of these old textiles is special to me and has a story behind it.  This is so much more fun than the necessary things I should be 
doing!  e

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Art has gone on line.

 Visual Artists are doing their thing, painting, taking classes ,  attending conventions, and selling their work.  I have signed up for a large on line convention next month.  Each day's activities run from 10 or 11 in the morning till 9 at night.  If you know me well now, I will fall asleep during  some of that and wake to watch more of it as best I can.  So I have put real thought into how to be present as much as possible.  All of you watching who paint or want to paint, consider this and join me there.

Anticipating attending Plein Air Live in April, it seems ironic to buy a new outdoor paint box for this totally online indoor event! Other art classes have worked well with a laptop  beside a big easel in the studio/library. But the idea of remaining in this stiffly upright position for 9 or more hours a day for three days does not appeal. Better to arrange painting and note taking in a comfortable recliner.

I love the gear and have eight pochade boxes, the favorites are Guerrilla’s. That is after parting with a number and does not include the Mabef French easel. My output of paintings does not come close to justifying the collection of gear.  This newest one is the Ugo medium size, tried out today. It feels wonderful in hand. The palette size is very small. This one could also work as a lap set up to paint in the front seat of my van. For comparison the guerrilla 6 x 8 thumb box has an even smaller footprint but is much bulkier.  All the boxes have different strengths.

TV providers were long ago discarded here for the large TV, which runs off a lap top by HDMI.  On the left is an Ott lamp for the canvas in my lap.  Also out of the way to the left  on a small table are drinking water, phone, TV controller, snacks and eyeglasses. A large junker towel covers my lap and both chair arms. 

To the right are the laptop and a jar of  water for the water washable oils, paper towels, and a note book.  Having the  large image visually directly over the canvas is a big plus.  (camera makes it small.)  

Let me know if any friends here are going too!   e

Friday, February 12, 2021

Thinking of wonderful winters past.

Snow is unusual in Fredericksburg. We had a big snow once when we lived on Cherry road. 
Our first shop on Cherry Road. We lived there 1980 till 1992.

When I was gone for a few hours, Jackie built a snow bear in the yard to surprise me.

Forty years ago.  

Ice hanging from my backyard studio, a great work space!

Red houses are always pretty in the snow. 

Our red cape in the country was beautiful in the snow also! Back door here.

I was about 65 here that seems young to me now!

My wonderful studio beside the red cape with a neat herb garden.

We loved our country life with room to plant 20 pecan trees and have a large garden and keep a few pet goats, they were white Cashmere and incredibly clean and sweet.  The second spring we had six kids and were overjoyed with them! Raised as lap goats, they were gentle and friendly and we loved interacting with them through out the day.

The kids loved to climb in Jack's lap and cuddle. Any time he would sit down near them, they would run to him for petting and play. 

When Maggie was born in an ice/sleet storm, her mother rejected her and kept only the larger twin brother, so Maggie was bottle raised, She was immediately understanding about house training and never one time made a mistake in the house.  I made many many trips outside with her as with a new puppy.

I have never loved any pet more than Maggie, with countless fine dogs and many dear cats and a number of horses long ago.

We lived in the tiny studio building while Jack rebuilt our cape house.

A sweet life.  e
Yes I know I have posted these before, happy times are worth revisiting!

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