Category Archives: Expressions

Big Net Changes for Dawne Design

I Need Your Opinion

With my desk moved under the living room shutters, I love my ceramic crane against the gorgeous glass background.

Oh yes, I’ve been absent from here for awhile — but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. 😆

Although I’ve really enjoyed blogging for free on, I realized that my glass business needed a more professional site — one that allows for a store, PayPal payments, a quick view of what I offer, & most especially, a site where the blah, blah, blah of my blog is not a mandatory read but a choice.

Of course, going ‘professional’ costs a few $$ but maybe not as much as you think.  At about $10 per year, the first step was registering a domain name: — which I did a few years ago [2? 3?].

At that time, I simply made a graphic in Photoshop that acted as an index [in tech-talk a ‘static landing page’] pointing to my free Dawne Design & Dawne Thoughts blogs, as well as what I was hoping would be my sales site — Rustic Glass Fusion.

But whoa, that site didn’t tie into my glass blog & it was a real pain trying to keep it up-to-date.  Why was I doing this the hard way?

So, I took the big step of purchasing my own hosting account.  I looked at a few hosting companies but that can be a confusing world for the newbie site builder — how do I choose?

Since I really love WordPress, my biggest priority was ensuring my host allowed installation & that they kept up-to-date with the latest version.  Most do, but how easy was the process? Some have great tools to help with this; some do not.

Since I’d registered my domain name at, I found their prices quite reasonable & they promised ‘one-button installation’ for WordPress.  Again, to keep things easier for me, I decided to keep everything with the same company.

Now at $5 per month,’s ‘Plus’ plan is pretty reasonable — the problem is you need to pay for at least a year up front.  So, my birthday present to myself this year was forking out $60 to cover my first year.  Easy, peasy & then I was set!

This is where comes in — the same ease at creating a site as but with much greater flexibility to make it uniquely mine.  Of course, this also means a bit of learning for me but netfirnetfirms control‘s tools make even that a lot easier:

  • installation really does happen with the click of one button;
  • their Knowledgebase provides detailed instructions & video tutorials to help with every aspect of managing my new site;
  • support includes an easy-to-use 24/7 text chat with technical specialists — I used it twice & found it quick, friendly, & most importantly, easy to understand instructions
  • [support also includes telephone access but I haven’t found the need to use that yet].

Although there’s tons of WordPress ‘themes’ you could pay for, there’s even more freebies — I found everything I need in the Responsive theme.

IDD org full was extremely pleased with what I created [left] in only a couple hours — oh yeah :-D, I was patting my own back.

You can check out the full page at

It’s pretty simple right now but, oh yeah, I have lots of plans … like tutorials, store, PayPal payments, slide shows, …

Here is where you’ll find my glass work — panels, windows, shutters, headboard, garden planters, lamps, … you name it, I’ll try it.

Best of all, my Dawne Design blog is separated off from the ‘business’ section — on its own tab on the top menu or it can be reached directly at

I invite you all to sign-up for future posts about making glass projects & what I do with them around my home — top right on blog page.

Another bonus is a sub-menu with tabs to all my other blogs:  Dawne Thoughts with my thoughts on everyday life; Dawne Enlightened where I deal with mental illness; & my new about the joys & concerns of the modern grandparent.  There’s also a choice to come here for the old Dawne Design blog — at some point I will move these old posts to the new blog, … later.

So, after all that blah, blah, I’d like to ask your opinion of the new — good, bad, or neutral.  I’d like to hear it all, please.  Please leave a comment [viewable by all] or, if you prefer, check out my Contact page where you can fill out the form & send a private message to me.

Thanks so much — I appreciate all your comments.

Vanessa Dawne Studio of Design

Functional glass & wood art on Vancouver Isle




Moving Furniture Creates Zones

My desk & chair fit perfectly under the glass shutters.

I know I ask a lot of this skinny mobile home but by moving a couple of key pieces of furniture, I formed zones for:

  1. a skinny area for both desks along wall with corner bookcases & glass shutters,
  2. a larger tv/conversation area in the middle with the couch & entertainment centred & the two Ikea chairs forming a U,
  3. my glass work area with tons of shelves stretching into the kitchen.

Quite a few problems were fixed.  Now, there’s a nice flow through the 26′ x 11′ space.  Now, there’s enough seating when a visitor comes over without having to move a chair into place.

And now, I have room for another shelving unit in my glass work area — of course, I have to buy the lumber & get it built first.  😉

My work table was piled high with junk but eventually I did find a place for [just about] everything.

It’s ready now for the start of my next commission — a 14″ x 18″ panel.

I’m excited to get going on this one because I’m going to experiment with depth of perception by grouping small glass pieces among the larger pieces in the design.

Hopefully, the idea in my head can be translated by my hands to the lead & glass design, … hmmm, we’ll see.

I was quite surprised my drafting table fit so well under the shutters but with its tiltable top & movable sides, it was no problem to lower it.

I especially love my ceramic crane with the stained glass panels of the shutters as a background.

Day or night, the sleekness of the bird’s neck & head is beautiful.  And I have a wonderful new writing spot.

Vanessa Dawne Studio of Design

Functional glass & wood art on Vancouver Isle


Check It Tuesday – writing √. . . next back to glass work

CHECK IT √  — tuesday Status Report:  **

√   wk 20–> writing freak
x   wk 18/19–> down & out  😦
√   wk 17–> business cards & grand-daughter joy
√  wks 14 through 1 –> please see Check It √  page index

This Week’s Project [+ previously missed weeks]

The drama has ended.  A little bundle of straw was placed on top of the stress mountain from the past year — I declared ‘enough’ — they ridiculed & attacked — I exploded back.  My shame was public.  Now, although not the way I wanted nor envisioned, the truth is out — I am beyond relieved.  I feel free — me again.

😆 Continue reading

A Special Birthday Wish

Happy 3rd Birthday to my Sweet Grand-Daughter

More at Dawne Thoughts — Sweet Life — Where to Start?

Vanessa Dawne Studio of Design

Functional glass & wood art on Vancouver Isle



Check It Tuesday – organizing x business & family √. . . next writing & glass

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Okay, yeah, I changed the name but haven’t changed being late!  A whole week!  Eeek!   😦 CHECK IT √  — tuesday Status Report:  ** √   wk 17–> business cards & grand-daughter joy x    wk 16–> down & out  😦 … Continue reading


Check It Tuesday – organizing √ . . . next more org & glass gift

Notice the name change?  I figure since I’m always late trying to post on Monday, I might as well admit defeat & change the day.  A baby step to less stress.  😉 CHECK IT √  — tuesday Status Report:  ** … Continue reading


Check It Monday – cleaning √ . . . next organizing

Yeah, late again!  Can’t seem to much right these days — exactly why I need to get better organized!  😉 CHECK IT √  — tuesday monday Status Report: √   wk 14–> cleaning house & keeping it clean √   wk 13–> … Continue reading


Check It Monday – CityScape & Purple Wave Windows √ . . . next

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Yes, I know this is Wednesday — oops, let’s blame it on Labour Day, okay?  😎 CHECK IT √  — Monday Status Report: √   wk 13–> CityScape framed & Purple Wave window installed x   wk 12–> missed Saanich Fair due … Continue reading


Check It Monday – Skinny Bench √ . . . next CityScape & Purple Wave Windows

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CHECK IT √  — business Monday Status Report: √   wk 11–> Skinny Bench painted [link to be added] √   wk 9&10–> Glass Only art show & summer fun √   wk 8 –> Fire & Ice Abstracts finished … Continue reading


Make It Happen Monday . . . Fire & Ice Abstracts √ . . . next Summer Fun

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MAKE IT HAPPEN! — Monday Status Report: √    wk 8–> Fire & Ice Abstracts finished & Gallery submitted [link to be added] x     wk 7–> Winter Ice Abstract [Gallery 2] to putty stage √     wk 6–> Summer Heat Abstract [Gallery 1] to … Continue reading


Make It Happen Monday . . . Winter Ice Abstract x . . . next Try, Try, Try Again

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MAKE IT HAPPEN! — Monday Status Report: x     wk 7–> Winter Ice Abstract [Gallery 2] to putty stage √     wk 6–> Summer Heat Abstract [Gallery 1] to putty stage ½√ wk 5–> Gallery Abstract 1 concept drawings & glass supplies √    wk  4–> … Continue reading


Make It Happen Monday . . . Summer Heat Abstract √ . . . next Winter Ice Abstract

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MAKE IT HAPPEN! — Monday Status Report: √     wk 6–> Summer Heat Abstract [Gallery 1] to putty stage ½√ wk 5–> Gallery Abstract 1 concept drawings & glass supplies √    wk  4–> Porch Cleanup & Valance photos [link to be added] √    … Continue reading


Make It Happen Monday . . . Gallery Abstract 1 ½√ . . . next Gallery Abstract 1 fini

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MAKE IT HAPPEN! — Monday Status Report: ½√  wk 5–> Gallery Abstract 1 concept drawings & glass supplies √    wk  4–> Porch Cleanup & Valance photos [link to be added] √    wk  3–> Flower Power leaded [link to be added] … Continue reading


Make It Happen Monday . . . Porch Cleanup √ . . . next Gallery Abstract 1

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MAKE IT HAPPEN! — Monday Status Report: √   wk  4–> Porch Cleanup & Valance photos [link to be added] √    wk  3–> Flower Power leaded [link to be added] x    wk  2 –> Glass cutting/leading Flower Power √    wk  1 … Continue reading


Make It Happen Monday . . . Flower Power √ . . . next Porch Cleanup

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MAKE IT HAPPEN! — Monday Status Report: √    wk  3–> Flower Power leaded [link to be added] x    wk  2 –> Glass cutting/leading Flower Power √    wk  1 –> Paint Bedroom Shutter Sliders — project #30 Elegant Blue Wonders Since … Continue reading


Make It Happen Monday . . . Flower Power . . . up again

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MAKE IT HAPPEN! — Monday Status Report: x    wk  2 –> Glass cutting/leading Flower Power √    wk  1 –> Paint Bedroom Shutter Sliders — project #30 Elegant Blue Wonders Me–the expert procrastinator–decided to participate in Kristi’s Make It Happen! Monday, … Continue reading


Make It Happen Monday . . . Shutters √ . . . next up Flower Power

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MAKE IT HAPPEN! — Monday Status Report: √    wk  1 –> Paint Bedroom Shutter Sliders — project #30 Elegant Blue Wonders Last week, Kristi, at Addicted2Decorating, started a weekly challenge, aptly named ‘Make It Happen Monday’ whereby she, and anybody … Continue reading


Make It Happen Monday . . . Paint Shutter Slides

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One of the hardest things about being creative is actually finishing projects.  So many times, I will start a great project, get it in place, & then go onto the next exciting project without actually finishing the previous one. Now … Continue reading


First Snow Thoughts

I’ve posted at Dawne Thoughts on our first snow with pics — and a video — of our dogs zooming around the yard: The dogs race around the yard enjoying our first snow. Since we only get a few days … Continue reading


A Quick Visit

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A pretty little light came to visit:


Guess What Suffers When I’m Busy?

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I must admit that I’ve been quite negligent to this poor website.  The “I’ll get to it” too easily comes to mind.  Yes, I’ve been busy — helping my sister move in Calgary & then glass projects here at home. … Continue reading

Not Curtains, But . . .

One of my greatest pleasures of living in the country is that curtains are not needed for privacy.  I can undress in my bedroom with no worries of anyone seeing in the bare window.

The huge living room windows, facing the water-side of the property, let in glorious light that floods the whole place.  From the first day I got Lady, she has always slept with me on my bed — now I sometimes find her snoozing out there in the chair, soaking up the early morning sun.

The only reason to cover them would be to hide the ugly brown frames — if this was my place Continue reading

ChristChurch Multiple Cathedrals Damaged

There are many churches in ChristChurch, New Zealand, that have been damaged as a result of three earthquakes in the past six months. 

The ChristChurch Catholic Cathedral — Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament — was severely damaged in the September 4th, 2010 earthquake. Continue reading

ChristChurch Triple Tragedy

The image above is of the ChristChurch Catholic Cathedral — more info Feb. 27th.  The images & story below are of the ChristChurch Anglican Cathedral.

Just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday 22 FEB 2011, ChristChurch, New Zealand [Monday ~ 5 p.m. my time PST] was hit with a killing earthquake — Continue reading


Little Jobs Count Too

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The bare light bulb of the hallway really bugged me.  Besides looking really ugly [yes, I tried hiding it with ceiling paint], it was also low enough that when I sat on my bed writing, its bright light speared me … Continue reading


Leftover Projects

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Often so busy with small projects, I find I sometimes let the big ones slide the wayside.  And I’ll just as often let these little details interrupt my progress on a big project — glass I got a month ago … Continue reading

Personal Design in Accessories

With the walls painted [except the bathroom & that section behind the wood stove awaiting a colour decision], some furniture built, & the kitchen cabinets almost finished, I’ve been unpacking more ‘stuff’.

Crazy for storage boxes, they’ve stored absolutely everything I’ve collected since my last major purge.  Continue reading

Cool Lights — Bed & Dog

Got some very cool lights from overseas — a small order that took a good month to get here.  But it was certainly well worth the wait!

The type for my stained glass bed posts are battery-operated tea lights Continue reading


Following a link from WordPress, I found a great poem on A Day In The Life of a Daytrader for me today — a little behind schedule with my to-do list piling up again.  I took a rest but I can’t quit.


It seems I have a lot on the go & often have not taken the time to document it to put up a weekly entry here.

But I will ponder these wonderful words [author Anonymous?], ‘pull-up my bootstraps’, & produce something, . . . anything ASAP.

Success is failure turned inside-out.

Weekly Creativity

I’m taking up the challenge from WordPress to write something here every week — a similar assignment [to post weekly creative acts] in one of my last university courses was the reason for the creation of this site.

Currently, I have a few projects ‘on-the-go’:

  • Bed Headboard –> I now have all the glass & lead to make the stained glass panel but need to get some plywood [or maybe an old door] & padding to make the fabric portion — hopefully before the end of January.  As soon as I complete my pattern, I can start cutting glass.  Since my carpenter got a router Continue reading

My Kind of Snow

See the little flakes of snow on your screen?  This is exactly how I like my snow!  You can change the direction of the flakes with your cursor.

Thank goodness we’re all green & blue here, hee hee.

[Check out Dawne Thoughts where the snow looks really neat on a black background!]

Puppies Galore

Well, I certainly haven’t been here much — what writing I’ve had time for has all been on Dawne Thoughts!  And that hasn’t been much — too busy moving & taking care of newborn Labrador pups.

It seems impossible with all the dogs I’ve had as companions through almost every year of my life, but it’s the first time I’ve been present at, & actively involved in, the birth of new life — other than my own three sons.  It was a glorious event — but just as nerve-wracking & worrisome as when I had my own children. Continue reading

Country Song

Sitting here thinking, I should write a cowboy song.

My poor old RV is leaking, my water pipes are bursting, my septic sure is flowing, but going everywhere wrong. Continue reading

Dawne of Design

A new name for use in search engines — Dawne of Design.  It comes from my registered business name of Vanessa Dawne Studio of Design which is pretty cumbersome — searches don’t want to type a lot so I need something short & sweet [Dawne Design brings up too many other Dawn Design names first].

Simply A Dawne of Design Thought

Reflection III – Creative Group Project

I don’t usually like group projects in university courses.  Yeah, it’s great meeting lots of neat people [usually younger than my own children!]; yeah, it’s cool when that final product is presented to the class — I marvel at what can be created when a group puts their brains & skills together.  But the road to that product is fraught with even more difficulty than the usual rocky road I travel to complete an assignment. Continue reading

Vanderhoof 2008 August

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Reflection II — Creative Personality

The Ultimate Theory of Personality
Dr. C.George Boeree
Psychology Dpt, Shippensburg U.

As the first-born of six children, I know I have some of the stereotypical personality characteristics as discussed by Jeffrey Kluger in “The Power of Birth Order“, but I also know that many other factors have “created” my personality. Continue reading

Reading Break

“There’s always someone who ruins a photo”
(image from one of millions of emails forwarded by friends & family)

Wow, time sure does fly when you’re having fun, eh?  Of course, beautiful spring weather like we’re having on the big Isle right now sure helps too.  Lady & I have been having wonderful walks to the lake — an amazing assortment of dogs for her to play & swim with.  And, although I seem to take lots of pictures of her, none portray Lady’s joyful & curious nature!  Of course, the best opportunities always come when I don’t have my camera with me. Continue reading

Baby Elephant Seal

Elephant Seal Pup, Great Race Rocks, Feb 7, 2010
[photo by Ryan Murphy;

You just have to check out the Race Rocks website [under Pantheism–>right].  A baby elephant seal was born Feb 6th or 7th & they have pictures.  Also, check out the video Continue reading


The winter forest of birch trees on our property in Vanderhoof — bare but entwined, as if to keep each other warm.  How many times did I see this silent scene when doing dishes?  Did I ever get a picture?  The house is gone now — the little kitchen window broken into tiny pieces.  An image lost in time.

The small sketch I made of Bella & Sam sleeping Continue reading

Mini Berry Cakes

Strawberry Shortcake is my favourite dessert but, even with guests, I rarely consume a whole cake in one day & by the next day the berry juice has soaked into the cake — not nearly so appealing.  These mini versions are healthy, quick & easy to prepare, allow each person to “customize” their portion, and provide leftovers just as tasty for days afterward. Continue reading

Book Response — “The Poisonwood Bible”

Pantheism of

The Poisonwood Bible

published by HarperCollins, New York, 1998

It is through art — literature, sculpture, painting, photography, theatre — that a culture survives.  And, it is through art that the truth of a culture can be seen.  In “The Poisonwood Bible“, Barbara Kingsolver tells a stark, honest story of European conquerors of the African Congo from the Reverend Price family’s arrival in 1959.

Shock.  Shame.  I was often shocked in history class:  grade 10 “Apartheid” South Africa — What do you mean they have separate washrooms?  Still?  Continue reading


Serif, Sans-Serif, Monospace, Arial, Comic Sans MS, Courier New, Georgia, Monotype Corsica, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Trebuchet, Verdana
Sans-Serif:  Black, Mid-Red, Mid-Orange, Dark-Orange, Mid-Yellow1, MidDark-Yellow1, Mid-Yellow2, Mid-Dark-Yellow2, Mid-Green, MidDark-Green, Light-Blue1, Mid-Blue1, Mid-Blue2, Mid-Blue3, Dark-Blue3, Mid-Purple, Dark-Purple

FINALLY!  Continue reading

Rough Seas

Such a calm moon in a calm sky

Whoa — it’s been pretty rough around my place lately!  Living in an RV at Thetis Lake is cheap & close to nature but it also means I’m a “mini-homeowner” & get all the same problems that go with owning a home — mini-sized but still capable of causing major disruption.  And not having water is pretty major. Continue reading

Reflection I — I Am Creative

“One does not discover new lands

without consenting to lose sight of the shore

for a very long time.”

André Gide

My “hard-wiring” is definitely more from the logical side of the brain — math, spelling, etc.  For most of my life, my creative side was totally frustrated at my lack of drawing skills — I used to think that was what made a person creative.  But I’ve since discovered that even us logical people can be creative in a vast assortment of ways — I thought this was succinctly quoted by Scott Amson [French artist Marcel Masse?] that the creative “journey is not to find a different landscape but a different eye”.  That is exactly what I need to do — use my creative eye.

As usual, when told to “be creative”, I found it hard getting started & Continue reading


Okay, read the directions.  That usually helps.  It certainly did after two frustrating hours of paper jams in the printer — the troubleshooting section recommended going through the back — aah, there’s my problem!  So I found the little button for polls — let me know your favourite pet!

Animals & Technology

Stormy Stonehenge (photo by Gustl, Germany --

Well, of course there would be problems in this wonderful world of technology I am dealing with!  There is a small image of me [an Avatar for you technies] in the sidebar — really!  And, I made up a poll about your favourite pets & expected to see it on this page — mmmm, it is Open, but where is it?  No, no Widget to move, mmmm.  And, I even downloaded a couple of “fancy” fonts to use in the header & typing here but guess what?  That’s right — I have to learn a bit of HTML tagging — sorry, not today, my mind is still in music class.

Now that’s where technology really comes in handy — music.  Continue reading