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

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Phone keeps

There are hundreds of ways to carry a cell phone, I have not been good about keeping mine with me in the past. Now I have an IPhone I enjoy.  Looking on line at the dozens of hard leather bags there, both for over the neck or over the shoulder,  I did not see one that seemed to be for me.   Having studied ladies' antique pockets and sewing  rolls and little bags to keep embroidery scissors at hand, a variety of pretty little keeps filled my head right away!  A pretty phone bag could be made of crewel embroiderd upholstery fabric.  Or one of the little oriental rug copies that used to be given with tobacco products.   How about one for rug hookers or a bag trimmed in wool applique?  As a lover of old quilts, I started with quilt fragments.




I have finished two patchwork phone bags. I wear them around my neck, not cross body. The pink one is snug enough that the phone does not jump out of it, the slightly larger log cabin one has a brown button and a loop at the top.

For my next one I have turned to southwestern inspiration.

Denim and silver are almost a uniform for me. I enjoy the southwestern jewelry I grew up with and have loved all my life. So I naturaly turn to the American Indian's medicine pouch or the mountain man's possibles bag. The medicine pouches are mostly smaller than I need and the possibles bag is slightly larger. Many people wear the leather possibles bag cross body as a purse, or for shooting supplies which it carried in earlier times. A hunter might hold it over his head when crossing a creek, Keep your powder dry! (and patches and dried food stuff.)

A pretty medicine bag made by a Taos craftsman is typical of newer ones.


One with a painted pony was made by my daughter Cheryl and me, and one with a claw on it by contemporary Espanola  craftsman Lynn Canterbury.


On this velveteen bag the ornament is an Apache prayer stone, mounted in leather by a contemporary Indian artist.  Among early trading goods prized by Indians, fabrics ranked high in exchange for beaver pelts.   Velvet was worn with deer skin and broadcloth and soon, calico.  



My brother says "An ancient-styled medicine bag with 21st-century technology. 

Wonderful!"  e



Sunday, July 3, 2022

Blue Corn, just dreaming of it so far.

Fall decorating will be with us before I can blink,  a painting takes me a while to work out and execute and dry and make little changes .. so I have wanted to do some fall still lifes for years and never manage it!  Christmas overtakes me while I am still just thinking about pumpkins.  So yesterday I began to imagine what I might paint,  I love the blue corn of Taos, actually have some seeds from Robert Mirabal but never planted them. The fun of corn husks is unbounded, it can be whatever one imagines!  I have a Taos flute, and a wonderful small drum made about 40 years ago by Red Shirt, a Taos  Pueblo drum maker of note.   Tonight I have sketched a possible arrangement.

 I need a huge cardboard box, or some hinged cardboard pieces like the side of a box,   to contain the light and make nice shadows and set up a clip-on light. Then I will have to work in a slightly dark room with a light above my easel and my chair and paints and on and on, setting this up in a front bedroom, have to move in a long white work table and shove the sofa over,   keeping paint off the bed coverlet and little sofa with plastic covers, and so forth.  This is how I have done my big still life paintings in the past, and why there have not been many for years  now.     



Appologies for dull coloring on these images, the paintings are more vivid and colorful in reality.






My tiny and crowded library where I normally paint from pictures on a screen is intact and ready to use at all times, wonder what I can do to bypass the difficult set up described above.  Photos never catch all the precious reflected colors in the shadows, and reflected light off nearby objects, nor allow one to slightly move this or that over without messing up the shadows.   Still I may end up setting the box up at night on my back porch at night and taking pictures of it.  Then paint off my monitor instead of much preferred  life.  




 My usual painting area is so small there is no room to back up and see the painting as a whole as I work on it.   Jack thought I would clear out his bedroom with its marvelous north light and make it my painting space when he was gone.   Instead I have kept his room very much as he left it.  All the pewter and pottery in the cupboards throughout the house are where he placed them. I just dust them and keep them in place.  He has been gone 10 years this coming Christmas.    Jack told me he wanted me to continue to write and paint and keep on doing things. That seems to have worked well till lately, I am getting lazy. The extreme heat and higher than usual humidity are a factor I think. So let’s think about fall.  e

Blog Archive

Visits