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The End of an Online Era || Changes at Whidbey Life Magazine

After five years of continuous publication, Whidbey Life Magazine (WLM) will no longer publish weekly articles to its website and will cease the distribution of its weekly newsletter.

As architects of the online and print publications, the team that replaced founder Sue Taves when she retired set its sights on two goals: 1) maintaining high journalistic/graphic standards and 2) compensating writers, editors, and eventually photographers for their time and talents.

Nine months later, the members of that team concluded that these goals—high standards and fair compensation—could not be achieved for both publications. WLM has not been able to generate sufficient advertising income to sustain its online magazine. In light of these publishing realities, the team has recognized the need to consolidate roles, simplify operations, and suspend the online magazine in its present form.

A Place to Call Home: The Imagination and Influence of Whidbey Island Architects

From grand manors to one-room cabins, all kinds of houses exist on Whidbey Island. Although several things influence the size and appearance of our built structures, the budgets and tastes of the owners are primary among them. And to some extent, the diversity of island houses reflects the diversity of those who design them—our local architects.

Is there a style or type of house that represents the quintessential Whidbey Island home? Does the influence of place exert a unifying effect? Or any effect at all?

Four island architects reflect on how the spirit of place shapes their aesthetic and finds its way into some of our island dwellings.

Spring/Summer 2017

From the Managing Editor – Welcome to the seventh print edition of Whibey Life Magazine. In this issue we celebrate two iconic places on Whidbey Island, one much older than the other. Lavender Wind Farm is located on Ebey’s Reserve, its adjunct garden shop in historic Coupeville. These five acres of “lavender fields forever” were […]

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! The Latest Print Edition Is off the Press

Do you know who Whidbey’s king and queen of trash are? Have you ever wondered how to get a horse out of a bathtub? Do you know who designed the home on the hill that you’ve always dreamed of living in? What’s the secret to those amazing scones at that shop in Coupeville on the corner of Coveland and Alexander?

You’ll find the answers to these and other questions in the Spring/Summer 2017 print edition of Whidbey Life Magazine, which was delivered to the island today.

Whidbey’s Whales Return on Cue

We call them Whidbey’s whales. We hold parades for them. There’s a whale bell to ring if someone sees one. Langley has a whale center, and the island is home to the Orca Network, an organization known worldwide for following and championing every kind of marine mammal. But, whales are citizens of the oceans. Just like lots of humans, they may come to Whidbey to visit, rest, enjoy a fine meal, and then move on. Also like humans, they don’t all act the same. Of all the species that swim in our waters, gray whales are celebrated the most.

Discovering Whidbey Island’s Tsunami Funnel

About a thousand years ago, the Seattle Fault snapped in an earthquake. Within a few seconds, portions of Bainbridge Island and West Seattle rose more than 20 feet. Land that had been wet was suddenly dry. The residents of Whidbey Island undoubtedly felt it, too. So did the water. A tsunami surged north and south, up and down Puget Sound. Fortunately for Whidbey, the island is skinny from that angle and much of the water passed on either side. Unfortunately for Cultus Bay, it and the two headlands that bracket it, Scatchet Head and Possession Point, were pointed straight at the wave. The tsunami swept into the bay, channeled by the ridges, ran past the high tide line and began to climb the hill.

Whitesavage and Lyle Hand-Forge Public Art on Whidbey

You’ve probably seen their art. That’s the nature of public art. It’s in our lives whenever we’re in public places. Sometimes it’s startling and hard to ignore. Other times it blends into the urban environment seamlessly. Seamless and artistic is a difficult balance to achieve, but Jean Whitesavage and Nick Lyle are a pair of Whidbey artists who have managed that for years with art that’s lasted for decades. They are sculptors who work in metal, steel mostly, on public art projects around the country.

Local Artists Help Northwest Basketry Evolve

People were able to live on the island by using what grew here. Containers that we take for granted today were the result of hours of harvesting, preparing, and weaving for indigenous tribes. Cedar, spruce, and cattails were some of the materials woven into baskets, but those words make the process sound simple and limited.

The Camffermans Gave Langley’s Art Its Start

They called it Brackenwood. Until the Camffermans moved to Whidbey Island in 1915, it was known for potlatches, longhouses, lumber, and fishing — with a bit of lawlessness for flavor. By establishing Brackenwood, their art colony, on Whidbey (Whidby at the time), the identity of the island, and Langley in particular, changed. In a few years, two passionate people created as great an influence as hundreds had done over decades.

Artists of Whidbey Island || Thoughts on a Photograph

Consider what our world would be like without photography. Unless you’re living off the grid, you’ll likely see hundreds of images today.