Old enough to know better

August 1, 2014

“Old enough to know better” is the name for an exhibition I’m doing with my husband
Deryk Houston at Sooke Harbour House where we’re featured artists for the month of September. That’s only a month away!

The title of our show was inspired by one of Deryk’s recent paintings. He completed it on the lawn of the Empress one recent Sunday while I basked in the shade and it included the two of us floating above some farmland that has lots of the qualities of the Saanich Peninsula where we’ve been volunteering and building a labyrinth/sculpture park for Woodwynn Farms Therapeutic community for hopefulness. If you’ve seen this blog before, you’ll know that lot of our time is spent there… no wonder the beauty of the area permeates our work.

Deryk’s painting is here

Too Old to Waste Any More Time

Too Old to Waste Any More Time

“Old enough to know better” also relates to my hoarding (I call it collecting inventory) tendencies when it comes to vintage glass and to the titles of my pieces, which are named after old movies or old jazz standards. For me it’s all about linking the past to the present – through preservation, upcycling, reworking, etc.

How Deep is the Ocean?

How Deep is the Ocean?

This glass on glass mosaic got its title from an Irving Berlin song that was written in 1932 – old enough to…….

Long Shadows – evening at Woodwynn

July 29, 2014

We aren’t often at the farm in the evening, so we haven’t seen any sunsets in a while. But tonight we were there and it was really special….

photo 2



The Labyrinth area – then and now

July 24, 2014

A busy couple of days….. the overgrown and undulating area where the labyrinth is going to be needed to be flattened and the South Island Excavating team did the job in style!

October, 2013

October, 2013

Excavator did its job today - Thank you South Island Excavating!

Excavator did its job yesterday and today – Thank you South Island Excavating!

Ready for the next phase.

Ready for the next phase.

Petition for Homefulness

July 18, 2014

woodwynnshedThere is a civil suit against Woodwynn and I’m hoping people will sign the petition to stop this action.

If Woodwynn lost, the impact would be devastating to many people who have worked very hard.

The arguments against the farm relate to the agricultural land reserve rules – the farm wants to house more people (participants in the program) than would normally be allowed and it would amount to a small part (less than 1%) of the farm being used in a way that wasn’t in the ALR rules. The municipality *could* apply to have the rules modified for a special purpose like this – because the farm really is doing good work with the homeless. But instead, the municipality has decided to take it to court and losing the case would mean the farm would have to shut down.

In its five years of operation, no resident on the farm has ever caused a disturbance. The only police files relate to people from outside who came and trespassed and even vandalized the farm.

You don’t have to be a local in Central Saanich to sign the petition. There are regional, national and even international implications for the treatment model used on this farm.

I guess that’s all. Hopefully it helps you to understand why I am lobbying for this.

Here’e the link to the petition.


Love to Woodwynn

July 12, 2014

Maybe you already know that Creating Homefulness – Woodwynn Farms is looking for support via letters, emails, etc. to the Central Saanich council. I’ve helped with that… and today I spent a bit of time doing some personal reflecting there – making a heart from Woodwynn’s own straw, used twine and Queen Anne’s Lace. A bit of expression of love from me to the farm.


heartonbench heartinair heart1

I’m still thinking on this and hope that anyone in the community who feels negative about Woodwynn’s goals will take a closer look. Perhaps they will see what I see….

Pop Up Piano

July 5, 2014

Lots going on – including this project of Deryk’s. A decorated outdoor piano for the public to play.  It’s at the foot of Oliver street in Oak Bay. Inspired by John Lennon – Deryk has titled it “Imagine”. There are three (2 other artists did them as well) around the neighbourhood. The pianos were donated and the project involves the municipality of Oak Bay, the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association and Tourism Oak Bay. – See more at:




Piano in Oak Bay

Piano in Oak Bay


And… there’s a tribute to me and the kids on the back!

amySam_nameonPiano elizabethnameonpiano

Beyond the Wall – Volunteers at Woodwynn

May 24, 2014

I have worked on the little thistles within the wall of Apple Tree Lane – and in spite of ripping their roots and pouring vinegar – they are persistent. New shoots appear within days – right in the holes I leave.

Hello, it says, I'm back!

Hello, it says, I’m back!


Does my face show how I feel about the return of the thistles?

But what’s inside the wall is NOTHING compared to the labyrinth area outside the wall.

Thank goodness we had help today. Woodwynn had about 80-100 volunteers and ten of them were assigned to thistle duty! It was amazing how much progress was made!

Here are some photos:

Deryk looks like Van Gogh with his new hat!

Deryk looks like Van Gogh with his new hat!

The thistles are very dense at the beginning of the day. Note that you can barely see the door of the little barn.

The thistles are very dense at the beginning of the day. Note that you can barely see the door of the little barn.

The group tackled the job with good humour and lots of energy!

The group tackled the job with good humour and lots of energy!

So much clearer now after a few hours of teamwork. So much clearer now after a few hours of teamwork.

Now you can see the little barn door quite easily.

Now you can see the little barn door quite easily.

Two quails enjoy the new view!

Two quails enjoy the new view!


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