The Orples Visit Swannanoah . View 3

Those pesky little Orples are at it again. They reprimanded me for posting the wrong photo the other day (see Swannanoah . View 1), and have insisted I come back and re-post. They also insisted on coming along to supervise.

Olivia and Oscar tagging along to be sure I am posting correctly.

Olivia and Oscar tagging along to be sure I am posting correctly.

Wow, it’s a long way down. On the upside if the Orples do fall, they can bounce to the bottom, although, they do bruise easily, so let’s hope they don’t fall.

Swannanoah. A Peek Inside. View 2. Going Up?

Yesterday, Sunday, October 26, 2014, I finally went to Swananoah for the first time in 25 years. I grew up about 8 miles from the mountaintop palace, as the crow flies, and never knew it was there until I was a grown woman with children of my own. As explained in my last blog post,Swananoah is the sister mansion to the Maymont mansion in Richmond,Va.


 You are gazing at opportunity knocking on the door. As renovations take place, there will come a day when the ‘guts’ of these walls will be covered again, leaving one to wonder what’s behind the plaster. Look while you can.  The newel, railings, and banisters are all metal, probably iron, although, honestly, I am not sure. Given the amount of marble throughout this breathtaking structure, that metal might be bronze. I’d tell you if I knew for sure.  I really enjoyed the rustic appeal of this wondrous old palace and am thrilled that someone intends to restore it. If ever it becomes a Bed and Breakfast, or a Hotel, as is rumored, I hope to spend at least one night there, on top of Afton mountain overlooking the Shenandoah Valley.

With all of the stair photos I took yesterday, I’m wishing I’d visited Swannanoah before they had the ‘stair’ challenge in 2012. I posted two entries, at least, in that challenge. Check ‘um out: Stair one, stair two, if you have the time, and inclination, to browse further.

Swannanoah: A peek inside . View 1. looking down

Standing at the top, look down, there are so many amazing things to see.

Standing at the top, look down, there are so many amazing things to see.

Preview Post Some staircases are so cool, especially when they just keep on going, from one floor, to the next, up or down. Add light to the sheer coolness of the stairs themselves and you get a double dose of delight, teasing the mind and the eye.  I went to Swannanoah today.  They will be open one more weekend this fall, then they will open their doors again in the spring of the year. If you’ve checked out any of my Maymont Posts, you will see that the Dooley’s, the owners of this palace, also owned Maymont in Richmond, Virginia.  Unlike Swannanoah, which fell into the hands of siblings, Maymont was donated to the City of Richmond, and as a result has been maintained, both through city funds and generous private donations. Everybody loves Maymont. Swannonoah, the Dooly’s summer home is currently privately owned and is under renovation. and is opened to tours periodically, for the time being. It is rumored that the owners are hoping to turn the palace into a Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, or similar. The palace is supposed to be haunted and they do some spooky stuff on top of Afton Mountain at certain times of the year. Wikipedia has an article on the Estate, and there are articles if I’ve tickled your curiosity, here. I took some cool photos today, and will share more of them here and there. Right now, I’m going to bed. Besides, I think when you post ‘um one at a time, each photo basks in its own glory a wee bit more. For now, please enjoy this capture in the afternoon sun.

Reconnecting with Etsy

It’s been a long day, chasing forgotten passwords and trying to remember how to post on Etsy. Time has slipped away so insidiously since last I blogged. For awhile, I slipped out of the computer (every day) world, altogether. I simply got overwhelmed—probably, more typical, than not, for old folk like me, so I decided to focus on writing, and making a living, instead. But alas, as was announced recently, 2 out of 3 of my books have been launched on Amazon. Book 3 of my newest series is in the works, and I’m ‘almost’ ready to pick up where I left off a year or two ago.

Hand knit, one of a kind shoulder bag.

Hand knit, one of a kind shoulder bag.

For the past year, I’ve been extremely ill, Some of the medicines I was talking effected the nerves in my hands and feet. At one point, I couldn’t even turn the key in the ignition of my car due to numb fingers. But I discovered the therapeutic wonders of knitting and crocheting. And as a result of exercising my hands, and in an effort to create an income, have made quite a few unique purses while I’ve been unable to work elsewhere. The photograph above depicts one of my pocketbooks. It took me about 3 evenings to knit the pocketbook shown. Sometimes, when life hands you lemons, you just gotta make lemonade, I suppose. Thus, today I began posting on Etsy,  again, blowing the dust off of that account.  It would be nice to be able to buy more yarn, to make more stuff, to sell, to buy more yarn, to make more stuff. LOL — sort of like buying those plastic storage containers so you can buy more stuff to put in them.

Since time still eludes me, today’s blog topic will be one of my Etsy posts. That’s not to say that I’ll be posting daily. I honestly don’t see that happening, so why elude you or myself? If you’ve dropped by, please feel free to check out some of my older categories. I tried to add variety to my blog and intend to, again, as time allows. In the meantime, please enjoy today’s visit,

Weekly Photo Challenge . Through

This used to be the run-in shed that Magi enjoyed on the farm. I liked the fact that it had two openings, to allow the horses to go through, either way.

Looking through the run-in shed.

Sunday Photo Challenge . Design #3

This is a mechanical plan I’ve been working on with a local engineer. This job began last June and was put on hold for whatever reason. Now it appears to have come back to life, so I’ve been ‘tweaking notes’ tonight, and have once again run out of time. Since I have nothing else to share, I will share this. This is a typical mechanical plan for a commercial building. In this case, a daycare center to be built for a local church.

Mechanical plan for a daycare center.

This is an example of a client wanting to stray from color, using only black and white. This sheet will be embedded into a plan drawn by others, so I drew the engineers title block and saved it as a blank prior to doing this drawing. If the same engineer uses my services in the future, I will be one step ahead of the game. This is a classic example of a ‘spoon fed’ job. The client simply told me what he wanted and gave me the notes to go with his sketch. It was up to me to draw it to scale and make it an attractive addition to the rest of the plan set. That works for me.

Sunday Photo Challenge . Design #2 . Kite In A Tree

On March 7th, I gave you a peek at a drawing I’ve been working on for a presentation post to represent the month of March. The final drawing will be posted on Writing and Illustrating‘s website on March 27. When I think of March, I think of windy weather, and therefore, I think of kites. Thus the subject for the theme for this drawing.

Flying a Kite . still tweaking the original idea. (#2)

The orples are helping Jack get his kite out of the tree. Sometimes, it appears, orples are handy to have around.

The colors are a lot brighter in the printed drawing. I need to figure out why I am losing color scanning, then posting. Hmmmm, anyone out there know why this might be?