Lampwork by Amy Hall

June 30, 2012

It’s pretty wonderful having a daughter with this kind of talent!

Together, we are the “Two Glassy Ladies“.

Mosaic accepted in Sooke Fine Arts Exhibition

June 27, 2012

I’m really happy that my submission was accepted into the Sooke Fine Arts exhibition July 28 — Monday, August 6, 2012.

The complete list of artists whose work will be on display is here:



Remembering Auntie Elvira

June 23, 2012

A lot of childhood memories came back for me today. And a lot of early-in-our-marriage memories bubbled up for both me and Deryk. It was definitely worth the trip to participate in the celebration of my aunt’s life. To connect and reconnect.

It was amazing to hear the stories of her boundless energy and to see how much she was loved. Not everyone lives a life that would lead to such a gathering.

What is a family? There are so many aspects….

I am tired from the journey but feel I have write something to express my love for the people I celebrated with today. My family. Even though I haven’t seen some of them in decades – they are part of me in a very real way. I felt accepted and acknowledged. I thank them all from a very deep place.

Perhaps we all find various parts of ourselves in many places. Close-knit or scattered. Bloodlines or fate. Things we know or things that will never be revealed to us. At this moment I think I can live with the gaps.

Test for a project I’m working on

June 20, 2012


Happy Father’s Day

June 17, 2012

Carving by Clifford Wellburn

Carving by Clifford Wellburn

If you can celebrate this day with your father, then please be sure to enjoy the opportunity. If he’s not around, then cherish the things you remember and the things you know.

My dad, Cliff Wellburn, carved these balls in a cage from a single piece of juniper wood. It’s an amazing design because the balls can’t be removed from the cage and yet there are no joints.

I think this particular carving was one he made during a summer when we vacationed on Galiano Island, back in the late sixties or early seventies. He made others of the same design, and he also carved several chains from single pieces of wood with no joining as well. When finished, each chain would be longer than the block of wood it came from.

I recall being fascinated as I watched him make these items. He called it whittling rather than carving by the way (I had forgotten that till this moment). Now that I’ve looked it up I realize that whittlers use only a knife while carvers use lots of other tools. Whittling describes his process perfectly – sitting on a deck chair on the beach with just a pocket knife.

For the ball and cage piece, the balls started out as square blocks attached to the cage posts. Then he’d carefully detach them from the posts and start smoothing them out into rounded shapes. Apparently it was very tricky to ensure that they didn’t get too small or they’d fall out of the cage. What’s really cool about the one in this photo is that the core of the juniper is a darker colour than the edges, so the posts are naturally lighter. The piece was not stained. I can remember the smell of the shavings.

I set the carving on the piano this morning and took a photo as a tribute – thinking about the work he did. Happy Father’s Day!

100 years old – and ready to party

June 11, 2012

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Over the years this house has acquired quite the patina (oooh….. an “Antiques Roadshow” kind of word, but it *does* fit).

I think most houses have their own personality but this one has a big personality PLUS the wisdom of being One Hundred Years Old!!

Imagine — a hundred years of giving shelter and warmth. An amazing contribution. I wonder what kind of future the builders imagined when they completed the work? They certainly didn’t know about television; a fireplace is the focal point of the living room. They did know about big family dinners and we love our dining room.

Lots of people have lived in and hopefully enjoyed this house. During our time here, there have been homestays, house exchange folks, long term guests…. tons of residents and visitors and we’ve always tried to make them feel welcome.

We don’t really know what happened for the first three-quarters of the life of this house and we’d love to eventually do the research… (well, we do know some of the rumours and we did find those gin bottles and love letters behind the furnace when we moved in).

And, my own little bit of whimsy…. from the moment set foot in this house, I envisioned a hundredth birthday party for it. I have no idea when it was first occupied, but the title says it was built in 1912, which might just be the date the water was connected, but it was enough for me to have made plans to celebrate its centennial on Canada Day (July 1) 2012. I’ve carried that thought for over twenty years. And it turns out that the date is also the date for the first block party we’ve seen since living here. There will be food and live music! Bring an instrument and/or a plate of appies.

So, for those of you who read my blog and know how to find me – this Canada Day day you’re invited to join in and visit the big old house once again and be part of what we hope is a great day.