T: Thoughts, Things

B_Tobin_Tunnel_040718

T is for Tobin’s Tunnel. Yesterday, it was clear and sunny. B and I walked out to Mussel Rock at low tide, and came upon the remains of Tobin’s tunnel. It was first blasted out in 1874 so the landowner could enjoy scenic carriage rides along the beach without having to detour around the headlands. Very soon the tides, winter storms, and finally, the 1906 earthquake made other arrangements of the work. This is the only section that remains. (NOTE: The geologic and social history of this area is truly fascinating; I recommend a google dive. The best is Shawn Heiser’s SFSU thesis, Living on the Edge: Environmental History at Mussel Rock, 2010.)

B_tobins_mussel_rock

T is for triptych. The view looking west, over the ocean. That’s Mussel Rock on the right, with the wooden posts sticking up, and old highway riprap, which forms part of the seawall, in the lower right. The San Andreas fault line is directly underneath us.

brick_riprap_040718

T is for trails. The network of trails leading down to the beach — when there is one — are the remains of the old Ocean Shore Railroad (abandoned in 1920), and the Ocean Shore Highway (bypass over the headlands completed in 1957).

SF_quilt

T is for thread. I am eagerly awaiting the San Francisco pattern I ordered from Haptic Labs to hand-stitch a small quilt. Serious goodness in this shop. I’m sure I’ll have much more to say when it arrives.

T is for thought. I can’t say I’m fond of this particular enamel pin, but the copy that accompanies it struck a chord:

“Handmade is as much a path as it is a product, an ethos that creeps into every aspect of life. When we make things for ourselves, we take a singular pleasure and satisfaction from every use, sure of its provenance and intention. The creations of our hands become the warp and weft of our days, until life becomes a tightly woven tapestry inspiring us with purpose and pride.”

first_batch_bottled_040118

T is for tea. Fermented kombucha in this instance. My daughter gave me a book of recipes and a large Weck jar at my birthday. This is my first batch, brewed with Yorkshire Gold — a two-week-process in my chilly kitchen — bottled for second fermentation. That’s Meyer lemon + ginger in the Weck, and ruby grapefruit in the cute recycled bottles. Yum and Salute!

Wheelie Has an Outing

Wheelie_teapot_122917

Today, Wheelie and the rest of us (literally, I’m guessing half the Bay Area) ventured out to the Cal Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. But first, we were hungry, so we found an awesome nearby neighborhood restaurant called Hakka, on Cabrillo Street. Highly recommend!

plate_techtonics

We considered global plate tectonics.

color

As always, the ongoing Color of Life exhibit is fascinating. Wheelie discovered an affinity with the polymorphic Gouldian Finch.

Claude.jpg

We enjoyed visiting Claude in the Swamp, from a downstairs Steinhart Aquarium vantage point.

claude_fan

But I feel fairly certain that this little girl in front of us was enjoying it the most.

CA_reef

Not being divers (yet!), the local California coast kelp forest exhibits are mesmerizing.

jelly_00

The jellies never fail to entrance. Ever.

jelly_01

Wheelie discovered another kindred soul.

living_roof_00

The culmination of every visit to Cal Academy of Sciences, for me, is the pilgrimage to the living roof. One of my very favorite places.

living_roof_01

Wheelie likes it, too! She feels her spirits soar.

 

Alcatraz Afternoon

alcatraz_model

There’s a 1:87 scale model of Alcatraz Island at Pier 33. (You can get a good overview of the model in this video made by Family Travel Fun.) The guard tower in the dock area was especially well done.

light

Poking around the island and its buildings is a compelling and visceral history lesson. This trip I became interested in the textures of decay. Here is a light on the Electrical Repair Shop, just past the Guardhouse and Sally Port.

OFF_OFF

An interior light switch in the New Industries Building.

paint

A map of peeling paint on a cement support column.

pipe

Overseen by pipes, velveted in rust.

sheet

There was a new art installation in the New Industries Building, but I found this partial view more interesting.

sink

A busted sink and commode. And pipes.

sink3

Closer to the sink. It looks friendly.

post_exchange

Looking north towards Marin, the remains of the Post Exchange, built in 1910, as a general store for soldiers and their families. (When Alcatraz became a federal prison in 1934, the PX was converted into a recreation hall and officer’s club, with a dance floor, gymnasium, two-lane bowling alley and soda fountain.) It was destroyed in a fire in 1970.

The quotation on May’s welcome page, “New ideas need old buildings” is from Jane Jacobs.

Nope.

s_091916-01

I am not going to meet the HBS bloggers build deadline for September 26, 2016, and I am using cute kitten photos to distract from my mingled sense of failure, regret and self loathing.

s_091916-02

I *have* met all my work and all most of my volunteer deadlines.

s_091916-03

Feel free to judge me, but look at my belly first :)

S_091916-05.jpg

Though I will continue — and finish —  the build, I’m more than a bit scattered and distracted with other projects.

S_091916-04.jpg

Sweet dreams, best beloveds.

 

it’s that time (again)

Yes. We are moving. Well, actually, packing in preparation for moving.

Yes. We are moving. Well, actually, packing in preparation for moving.

About an hour and a half up the coast, to Pacifica. Very excited for new beginnings, very sad to depart the Soquel hills and the superior Santa Cruz County climate.

Finding a new house (oh, and working) is why I’ve not been doing any building the last few months. But I have been stitching — sometimes late or in the middle of the night — on the Animals rug, and a new, smaller rug project: Peacock.

Peacock, designed by Roger Bell in 1913–14.

Peacock, designed by Roger Bell in 1913–14.

I came across this remarkable book, Bloomsbury Needlepoint From the Tapestries at Charleston Farmhouse by Melinda Coss. It is both great art history and charts of designs by Duncan Grant, Roger Fry and Vanessa Bell.

You want this book.

You want this book.

Roger Fry’s original 1914 design was worked on 10-count double mesh canvas, and measured 22 xx 15 inches (55.9 x 38.1 cm).

Roger Fry’s original 1914 design was worked on 10-count double mesh canvas, and measured 22 x 15 inches (55.9 x 38.1 cm).

My version is on 49-count silk gauze with Gütermann silk, 227 x 153 stitches, 4.625 x 3.125 inches (11.75 x 7.9 cm). And although I wish Gütermann had more and better shades of greens and blues (especially), this piece gives me the comfort and focus I need right now. Thank you, tiny needlepoint!

 

in San Francisco

the labyrinth at Land’s End

Lovely family stroll and picnic along the cliffs at Land’s End. Good to see my ocean again, and just enough wind to salt the air. I have history here.

Look into the sun and smile