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.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and loved antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Friday, June 17, 2022

 

A rug hooking friend, Barb Carroll passed away last week, she is the one to whom I sold my rug designs. She had long since sold them on to Katie Hartner,  A Nimble Thimble in Tyler Texas.   Barb Carroll was a pillar of the rug hooking community. Her enthsiastic use of color was unbounded by convention and her work was marked by exuberant color.  She was also a warm wonderful human being beloved by so many of us.

  I remember the day we met, my friend  Virginia Munroe told me of a class she was taking, and said I must drive to San Antonio to meet that teacher. I went, and at the lunch break Barb came out in the hall to sit down and share her sandwich with me,  and we were good friends for all the years after that.  She is the one who gave Old Spoon the blue checked dress of what I believe is real home woven fabric. The word ‘homespun” is tossed about freely, but this is the  real article, as evidenced by the uneven checks. Sometimes the weaver would put a little more of one color or the other before changing her weft.

  Old Spoon was made, signed, and dated in June of 1983.  She was one of more than 75 cloth dolls I made in the early 1980’s.   Only three were  of this pattern, the rest had faces with a center seam making a nose. I love Spoon the best, as her features rely on paint alone for her features.   At Thirty inches tall and firmly stuffed, she is a substantial doll with an interesting three part head..

 This doll was sold to a local friend who wanted an old fashioned rag doll for her grandchildren to play with.  Spoon played enthusiastically with all the children and has many stories to share now if she could speak to me.  Around 2010, the grandchildren were all grown and scattered and Spoon came home to me, soiled and disheveled but undaunted. There is a tire track from someone’s tricycle across her throat and stains of unknown origin on her stockings and her once sweet antique real child’s frock was torn and needed replacing.  Her white unders were also unusable.  Rug hooking friend Barb Carroll loved Spoon on sight, and sent her a fine blue  checked dress from Pennsylvania, made of homespun fabric.  The doll enjoys clothing for small children of long ago and has several frocks but her favorite is the blue check from her Aunt Barbara.  Spoon has retired now from rough play and gives new meaning to “Hanging out with friends” as she hangs on a wall in my bedroom among other cloth dolls and old samplers and sewing rollups. 
A painting came  to life last week when my sister and brother in law visited and brought their beautiful Sheltie, LanSir, along. He is just an armfull of love! And he accepted me in a friendly way immediately , after Judy coaxed him to jump up on the couch to get at my level. At first I said I will get down on the floor to have a picture made with him and they all said at once "No! We could not get you up!"  I laughed and said true. LanSir has been to school and has beautiful manners in every way and is a much loved member of the family.  I have painted LanSir twice from Photos. I would love to have such a dog in my life!  I could not care for one at present. But I can love this one.



Part of a painting of a bison shows above me, that is one my artist daughter Cheryl painted some years back.





Here is a different gorgeous Sheltie I painted for a friend lately. They seem such intelligent wonderful companion dogs.   In years past I have had several great German Shepherds, and loved them much. I could not handle and train or bathe such big  bears now.
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