Setting up at Sooke Harbour House

July 31, 2012

Here’s a link to the set up for Sooke Harbour House. Harbour House Aug 2012

Thanks again to the Sooke Harbour House Art Gallery!

And here’s a slideshow of all the mosaics:

Deryk’s paintings are here:

Thanks again to the folks at the amazing Sooke Harbour House!

The Goddess Journey

July 9, 2012

The Goddess Journey

Our daughter Amy has created a beautiful, personal book using her lampwork goddess creations as a way of expressing her feelings about the many dimensions of womanhood.

She describes it as:

… a collection of photographs of my goddess beads with some of my writings about the story behind each one. It’s available for sale through Blurb. I am so proud of this piece of work as it had some very special meanings for me. I worked on this project while I was going through a difficult period, and it really helped me to find my strength and safety in my life amidst a lot of chaos…..
when writing about it in her blog at:

The Goddess of Fathomless Deeps

I think I agree with Amy when she says…. “A Woman’s Soul is an Ocean.”

The blurb link for this very special book is:

Amy’s Goddess Beads

July 2, 2012

Tutorial Video (Amy making her Goddess beads)

Watch for her book “The Goddess Journey” – soon to be available via Blurb.

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“.

Local Colour – an art exhibition with Deryk Houston and Elizabeth Wellburn

May 29, 2012

“Local Colour” is the name of the exhibition that Deryk and I will have for the month of August in the fabulous Sooke Harbour House.

Beautiful Soft Folds - acrylic painting by Deryk Houston

Beautiful Soft Folds – acrylic painting by Deryk Houston – $2000

Deryk will show several of his acrylic paintings (including this one, called “Beautiful Soft Folds.”)

“Local Colour” is an exhibition title that suits us both.

Thank Your Lucky Stars  (glass on glass mosaic)

Thank Your Lucky Stars (glass on glass mosaic)

Much of Deryk’s work is inspired by nature and the lush fertility of our great West Coast – he truly does depict the colors seen locally and he has an amazing feeling for movement and vibrancy.

More about Deryk’s work at:

See: a web page of all of Deryk’s paintings in the exhibition.



My work is made from recycled glass which I collect from friends, nearby thrift stores and yard sales. I love broken chunks and I melt individual pieces in the kiln so they are flat enough to adhere to my base glass — windows discarded from heritage houses that I use as my canvas. I think I am preserving some of the local colour as well and I am always inspired by the stories behind the discarded glass. I may not exactly knowthat those now-chipped amber water goblets were someone’s treasure back in 1960, but I can guess that there was a day when they got put in a box and sent to charity. When I flatten them and add them to a mosaic, I feel like I am giving them a new life.

Autumn Sonata - glass on glass mosaic

Autumn Sonata – glass on glass mosaic

I will exhibit about seven or eight glass-on-glass mosaics, including my latest pieces: “Autumn Sonata” and “Thank Your Lucky Stars” (as usual, these are named after movies).

More about my work at

Sooke Harbour House is a fantastic location. We are delighted that they will be showcasing our work. So, if you’re in that area during August, please drop in. The gallery can be viewed by anyone who comes by. You don’t have to be a guest of the hotel or restaurant, but you can count yourself among the lucky if you *do* happen to be there for a meal or a vacation. It truly is “world class.”

Goddess of Flow

April 13, 2012

Our daughter Amy is writing a book that showcases her glass goddesses and explains their meaning.

Here is an example of what she has written for one of the pages, including images of her art. I can’t think of a better metaphor for life.

When working with hot glass,the right amount of flow is needed. Too much, and you can lose control of the piece – its shape becomes lost. Not enough, and the work becomes stuck, the glass unformed. Glass needs heat to
 melt and flow, but not too much all at once, and the right balance 
must be found.
The same is true for life.
When things are flowing right, life can be wonderful. Too much, and it can be out of control. And with not enough, once can become immobilized. The
 Goddess of Flow finds the balance that allows emotion, sensation,
and thought, all to flow perfectly, without creating over- or
It is like a song played at just the right tempo.
It is a connection with nature and being perfectly in tune with the 
universe. It is something we all have the power within ourselves to 
achieve – the Goddess of Flow helps to show us the way.

Secrets and Compassion

March 31, 2012

I guess I have to end this month with a cryptic blog post. I usually like to be as clear as possible but this time it’s just not possible.

Some of my friends will know what I am referring to here. If you don’t, you will have to guess about the details, because there are other people’s secrets that I don’t want to disclose. Things I’ve discovered only recently.

Much of it “gelled” for me in month of March, which has been an amazing time for me. I can truly say that it has been a totally unexpected lesson about love and the mysteries of the human mind. And it has brought me to a significant revision of what I thought I knew about certain aspects of my own “story”. Almost too late, but not quite 🙂

There’s a reason I wasn’t able to learn this earlier, but it’s not the reason I had imagined. It involves more fear and sadness than the arrogance I had believed was at its core; it’s a kinder, gentler and more vulnerable story and it resonates with me in a way I didn’t expect. It’s really about a person trying to get by, doing the best she could with what she had.

How deep can a secret be? How much can one brain hide from itself? Why would someone need to hide something so completely? No one on the outside can know for sure but I now look at a particular person and realize that I might not have been that different had my circumstances been the same as hers.

Marshall Rosenberg says:
“Everything we do is in service of our needs. When this one concept is applied to our view of others, we’ll see that we have no real enemies, that what others do to us is the best possible thing they know to do to get their needs met.”

I brought white tulips as a white flag. Later I found myself bringing books, art supplies, candy, pictures and daffodils.

The Birth of Venus

The next piece of art I created myself (a glass on glass mosaic) was based on Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” although I didn’t see the connection until after the work was complete. The morning after I finished the piece, I looked at it with fresh eyes and realized what I’d done. Not a copy but definitely a tribute. I gave its its rightful name and acknowledged that although the original work that inspired me is still my favourite historical painting, it doesn’t apply to me any more and never had. It was never true that I’d been blown in from the sea, fully-formed.

Who knew?

I look in the face of dementia and imagine my own mind slipping away — what will I remember when that time comes? what will I forget? What skills will I draw on to make everything appear socially normal when the foundation is actually crumbling? I doubt I’d have the charm and grace to carry it, but who knows. Perhaps it *is* there in my DNA. Is there any degree of choice in this?

As for right now, I hope I have found (and can maintain) the right balance as I proceed on this adventure.