Sunday, January 26, 2020

Snowflakes, Doilies and Zentangle

Kensington/Normal Heights Library in San Diego, SoCal. 


With the early mornings weather in the 40's (that is darn cold for San Diego), our Zentangle class today was all about snowflakes and doilies.  Fifteen lucky folks sat in with me and we learned four new tangles and added some color to our doilies.  

Whether you add color or leave like traditional Zentangle tile black and white, the results are the same - amazing.  You be the judge. Would you add color to your snowflake doily?

Always a highlight of class to see all the pieces put together to see how similar but yet different they are with our own flair to the project.

Stephanie went home and added more color to her snowflake.  Very nice.

Have you started your Zentangle journey yet?
Look on my calendar for the next class near you.

Side story:  At today's class, Lili shared an interesting trial she found on web.
Nasa did an experiment with spiders and drugs.  The results are not surprising.
Click on site below or copy and paste.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Zentangle Snowflakes

The North Clairemont Library found snowflakes today in San Diego, Ca.  The weather has gotten down to low 40's in So Cal.  That's cold for us.  Therefore this class of Zentangle snowflakes wasn't so far off as we used the Zentangle Method to fill in our "string".  The string just happened to have the shape of a snowflake.  Fourteen folks joined me to create a fun winter idea as we wait for warmer weather.  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Below is Barbara.  This was her first Zentangle class.  So glad she joined us. She took her volunteer time away from the Friends of the Library to enjoy some relaxing time. You can always find  Barbara at the library. Thank you for your time.

(FYI - they are always in need of more volunteers - stop by your library and ask how one or more volunteer hours, will help continue classes like Zentangle at the libraries.).

Friday, January 17, 2020

From Zentangle to Lighthouses

This is a story of how things come full circle sometimes.

I've been teaching Zentangle classes since 2014.  A student/Kim Fahlen, attends many of my classes. I had asked some students what new classes they were interested in me designing for the coming year. First person to respond was Kim,  "a lighthouse".  So I put that in the back of my mind.

Earlier that year, I taught my first class at Osher Lifelong Learning @ San Diego State University.  I saw that one of the other classes offered in the catalog was a tour of the Point Loma Cabrillo Lighthouse here in San Diego. The Coast Guard oversees all lighthouses. I have a friend/Bill Withers that told us his father was stationed here in San Diego and they lived at the lighthouse for several years while he was a young boy in the early 1950's.  So I planned to invite my friend - Bill to attend that class next semester.  So I put that in the back of my mind. (I have a lot of stuff in the back of my mind).

Kim had invited me to teach a Zentangle class for her Red Hat Society group.   After class, I had mentioned going to Point Loma Lighthouse class with Osher and my friend.  Kim said, "I am the instructor for that class".  That's when I share with her that my friend, Bill, grew up in the lighthouse.  She got very excited and wanted to meet him.

A night for dinner at Bill's house, he shared a book that a friend gave him about the lighthouse because she knew he lived there as a child. I saw one of the authors was Kim Fahlen.  To my surprise -  Kim and her twin sister Karen Scanlon had written a book about San Diego lighthouses and have interview many "lighthouse brats" to retrieve stories and historical information.

The following is a recount of a special day.

You bet ya I wanted to be a fly on the wall when I arranged a meetup with the twins and Bill.   I had never been on a tour of a lighthouse.  I had only seen from a far.  We set a date with Bill, his wife JoAnn, Karen, Kim, my husband Tom, and I.   Here are some stories and pics from our special day.  

We meet at the top of the Cabrillo Park.  From left to right, Tom, Karen, Joann, Bill and Kim.

Kim and Karen have access to the grounds of the lighthouse.  We drove through the gates, parked and all walked up to this beautiful location that looked frozen in time.  Bill stopped in front of the massive grassy area as he excused himself and walked to the edge of the compound.  You could see he had a moment with many emotions, memories, and some tears as he took in all those memories.

Bill brought pictures from back in the day to share with the twins.  I think they could have looked at them all day.  They were fascinated.  Bill did let them take the pics to spend more time looking at all that was there for them to document from the era.
Sharing stories with Kim and she documented

We were lucky to meet Neil, Ohana Lighthouse restorian, who has been working to restore this beautiful lighthouse back to it's original beauty.  He has worked on lighthouses all over the world.  I believe he said six in Hawaii. Neil is in the center. 

Kim said they had just recently taken down the scaffold that had been embracing the lighthouse for quite some time.  The lighthouse was near falling down before the restoration.

There are three homes on site.  Still occupied to this day.  
Below is the home Bill lived in as a young child.

The view was gorgeous today with large waves, glistening ocean and lots of activity in the water.
Even the Californian Schooner was sailing today.

Now a little history.  Below pic, Old Point Loma Lighthouse (first built on top of hill).  This is a reminder of different times.  Of sailing ships and oil lamps and the men and women who tended these isolated coastal lights.  It was a demanding job.  A dedicated keeper was on duty 24/7 a day with no vacations. This lighthouse was completed in 1854 with a Fresnel Lens, best technology of that day.  This watched over the area for 36 years, except foggy nights.  The light was reported visible for 30-32 miles so the sailors said.

What seemed like the right location had a serious flaw.  Fog and low clouds often obscured the light.  In 1891 the keeper, Robert Israel extinguished the lamp for the last time.   They moved to the bottom of the hill to the new light house.

During our day at the lighthouse, we were told the restoration and painting of the inside of tower would render us unable to walk up stairs..  All the stars were lined up for us today.  Unfortunately, the painters were sick but that left the tower open for us to sneak up and experience the spiral stairs and amazing view from the top of the tower.

Below is Bill at the top of the tower.  Bill was popular by the kids at school to by chance get invited to play at the lighthouse on the weekends.  Sometimes, with supervision, they were allowed up the tower for a fantastic view for a kids delight.

Below is Bill and my husband Tom at the top of the climb.. They played little league together as kids in Clairemont, San Diego.  Their daughters also played softball together.  Friends for a lifetime.

I'm not gonna lie, it was a little bit scary up at the top.

Karen and Kim have dedicated about 16 years to volunteer at the lighthouse.  Not only do Kim and Karen know a "ship" load of information of lighthouses, but also about every six weeks, volunteer to clean the lens (and walls and ditches) of the old lighthouse.  This six hour task is no easy chore.  They look at it more like a cherished opportunity.

They use their grandmother's old linens to wipe each layer of glass that radiates in prism colors.

Each lighthouse featured a unique beam.  Some flashed or rotated to signal the mariner of their location.  Point Loma's was a fix white beacon, lit with whale oil.   “It never needed to rotate, it was the only lighthouse out here,” Scanlon said.  “A mariner could be traveling by and see that this was a steady, fixed white light,” Fahlen said, “and he could know he was nearing San Diego.”

KPBS did a story on Karen and Kim in 2017  
Twin Sisters Keep Historic Point Loma Lighthouse     Check out entire article here:

 Interesting side story:  below Kim (left) and Karen (right) are identical twins.  Rare, however, stand about six inches difference in their heights.

I hope I got everyone's names and information correct.  It was a lot to take in.
So glad I got to be part of this day.  I will definitely need to visit again.
Put this stop on your bucket list next time you are in the San Diego area.

Pic below from left:  Kim, Cole (civil service to the coast guard lighthouses), JoAnn, Bill, Janet, Tom, Marilyn (Neil's wife) and Neil.  

Bill had been wanting to share pics and stories with someone interested in his past at the lighthouse but couldn't never find "that" person.  So odd how this all came around to be.
We had a blast listening to Bill's stories of his youth and Kim and Karen's historical knowledge.
Thanks Bill, Karen and Kim for a memorable day.