In the past month, tide pools have become a common theme in my current artwork. How did this happen, I wondered? One piece started out as an “improv” color work rug, and then turned into a stylized tide pool. The other was a small quilt originally inspired by someone’s outer space art! As I worked on it, I realized that it was more tide pool than outer space. Both were projects that I took with me on my recent trip to Anaheim.




This is the second year we have gone to Anaheim, and the second time we have visited Crystal Cove before the rug hooking retreat started.


Thanks to encouragement from my rug hooking friend, Mary Lynn, I even rolled up my jeans and got my feet wet, walking cautiously over the rocks.


Crystal Cove seems like a place where you step back in time. It is clean and not over crowded. And if you walk down the beach away from the restaurant and the cabins, you come to the tide pools.


The water is so clear, you can see the little hermit crabs scurrying along the bottom of the pool.



When my brother, sister, and I were kids, our dad would occasionally take us to the tide pools. Of course, they were different tide pools, since we lived in Northern California, and Crystal Cove is in Southern California. The tide pools were magical–little microcosms of the sea, full of all kinds of interesting sea life–sea anemones, the occasional starfish or sea urchin, and of course, my favorite, the hermit crabs. I loved our trips to the tide pools.

The more I work on my projects, the more I am reminded of, and enjoy, one of the best memories of my childhood. Taking us to the tide pools didn’t cost my dad anything except his time. Which, looking back, was a very costly and precious gift. My dad was a junior high principal, and on Sunday he usually taught Sunday School and/or preached. To give up his one day off was a very big thing. But it didn’t cost money.

It saddens me when I see parents spending money they don’t have because they think it is the only way to show their kids they care. Its just not true. We were not deprived as kids. We had the occasional trip to Disneyland and other more expensive vacation destinations. But 50 plus years later, our trips to the magical tide pools are still giving me wonder-filled memories, and enhancing my artistic endeavors.

Looking forward to our day at Crystal Cove next year, when new memories will bring back old memories.


P.S. Thank you to Mary Lynn, for sharing her wonderful photography with me.


18 thoughts on “Tidepools

  1. Oh my, I was right there walking the beach with you gals as I looked at the photographs you shared. Those little tidepools offer all kinds of things to explore to enrich the soul. It is amazing how all this stuff shares our world. (Notice I said “our” world” meaning us humans, but really, it is so much more than that. I am on the east coast and love the wetland marshes and the birds and plants that live there. Such a treat for the eyes and soul. Thanks for taking me on your tidepool walk. mickie

  2. This is sweet. I think some of my kids’ best memories will be of us playing board games on a random Tuesday night, or going camping and walking in the woods. And you are so, so right – it doesn’t cost anything to let your kids know you care. ❤

    I love that tide pool quilt, btw. So pretty!!

  3. Just beautiful Debby – all of it. I, too, wish we could teach today’s parents what will matter more than the gadgets and classes and constant craziness.

    • Thanks Helen. I have to be careful what I say, since I was never a parent. But I was a kid, so that kind of qualifies me to have an opinion 🙂

  4. That rug and quilt are gorgeous!

    I agree on the spending. We actually returned a Christmas check from John’s folks because they had sent us gifts and then this check. We don’t need it and they certainly don’t need to be spending it! It was a bit awkward, but I would have felt terrible about it, especially since they already spent money coming out to visit us last fall.

    • Thanks, Lori!

      Don’t get me started on people over-spending-over-giving at Christmas! No one wants to hear me rant about that 🙂

  5. Tidepooling is one of my favorite things to do! We took our kids a lot, and it’s probably something we should do again soon. Did your dad take you to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve ones? They are magical indeed! And they are bringing some nice magic to your art, too.

    It will be interesting to see what our kids remember most fondly when they grow up. I’m just glad we have pictures, in case they don’t remember the stuff we did! 🙂

    • I don’t remember those tide pools. I think we went to the area below Carmel–Point Lobos?

      LOL. I do think pictures help a lot with memories. We had albums and slides, and looked at them often, and then we re-lived the moments. So fun!

      • Oh, then you’ll have to come out to the coast and go to Fitzgerald, they have wonderful tidepools! Point Lobos is fantastic, when I was into photography, I went on a “photo safari” there – can’t take a bad picture in that place.

        My husband’s family was all about the slide shows. He got them all online and made CDs for the other family members, so we have that properly archived! Now we need to get around to scanning our own pre-digital items sometime…

  6. I love that you have such memories of “time” vs “things” with your dad. And that tidepool rug is stunning – just think, when it’s finished, you’ll be able to walk on tidepools every day! Your quilt evolving into a sealife scene is pretty amazing, too…your talent impresses me muchly. 🙂

  7. Gah! California is at the top of my bucket list. I love how different the state is from top to bottom and every type of weather. It’s so true – I was a young single Mom when Hannah was little. One of my favorite things to do was to pretend “what should I be when I grow up?!” I prearranged behind the scene tours at a bakery, at the fire station, etc. – didn’t cost a thing, but nearly 20 years later, she still remembers those weekly trips!

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