Time to simplify….


I was talking to a friend recently about energies in things that flow through our lives. Sometimes we need to simplify what’s on our plates to create space and right now my life is yelling at me to do just that. The space created will help to nurture peace and I suppose the trick is not to fill it with anything else…we shall see.

I have a new business venture that is gaining momentum, a new home that is in need of much tender, loving care and loved ones that deserve my time without interruption, so, I am taking a break from blogging.

You are all wonderful in your unfailing support and flowing care and I appreciate all the sparkly moments that the last four years have created between us all. Blogging has also helped me to find my writing voice and that is a gift in itself.

I may, or may not, come back to blogging and I feel it’s important not to label or contain this intention in any way. I wish you all much love and happy flow in your lives. Thank you for all your love and know that my love stays with you.


Boris the Wonder Dog…..


This week I have been blessed to walk in all weathers with lovely company by my side. My pockets are full of poo bags and my arm is fitter from throwing balls. My companion is a joy and he has not left my side as we have pottered and worked through our days. Boris made friends in the workshop with all my visitors, he loved going to see Mum and Dad and travelling about with me all over the place. We sang together in the car, discussed (often) his need to chase squirrels and cats, flowed with where he wanted to walk, discovered that his favourite spot is the meadows by the River Dee and curled up and slept side by side. The theme of this week has been peace and laughter and life is moving on today. My heart knows that we will have time to flow together again before too much time passes. Boris the Wonder Dog is a blessing and the sun is playing out across his fur as he lies beside me as I am writing.

Blessings as life flows forward…

There was a little boy in the park this morning and he had cycled right down the path away from his Dad who was pushing a baby in a buggy. His Dad called out to him to turn round and come back and the little lad dropped his head silently for a few minutes, so his Dad called out again. The little lad turned round and said ‘Why Daddy? Why do you want me to go backwards?’. I smiled at his Dad, as Boris and I passed by, and said ‘I love your little one’s logic’.

Blessings as life flows forward…

The past few months have been hectic and transformative. It is a good few years down the road from the divorce and my lovely daughter has battled with her feelings over the breakdown of our family unit. As always, there are many elements to this. As has happened a few times before, her feelings have erupted into anger and it came my way. She has chosen to have no contact and while this loss defines her thinking and actions, there is nothing I can do but stand back, flow love and accept her choices. My love for her ‘is’ and if she needs me then I will be there for her. I have learned to let go of all expectations and outcomes and I have also learned to live with grief.

Blessings as life flows forward…

Cancer has visited a few times in my life and a recent routine test showed that it had come to visit again. I continued to flow with love in my life, setting up a new workshop and making what I felt drawn to. Jim brought different items into the workshop and I flowed with re-vamping those too. It is all blending together. No expectation on how the business will develop, I am just following my heart and flowing with it all. My heart song is in everything that is being created and amidst all this I am deeply connected to my spiritual centre within. I went to see the consultant to have the cancer cells removed and she could find no trace of them. She double checked and took further tests and then afterwards sat me down and looked at me. If I close my eyes I can see her face now…’Jane, there has been some powerful healing going on here. I can find no trace of cancer whatsoever and given your history I have double checked everything to make sure.’ She wants to keep a close eye on me and I will go back in a few months.

Blessings as life flows forward…

A customer came to collect a piece that has been created for her this week and her reaction when I took the cover off brought tears to both our eyes. We hugged and loaded it into her car and she paused to go back inside and look around the workshop. ‘Jane, please can I have a heart?’ she asked. I followed her gaze and she was looking at a sign I am making to go outside the workshop. It’s a huge heart.

Blessings as life flows forward…

I’d rather have an ‘Oops…’ than a ‘What if?…’…

River sunset

I took a few days out this week and disappeared to Wales and it was bliss. I stayed at a friend’s haven in the middle of nowhere alongside a babbling river with only the sounds of nature for company. I took this picture at sunset one evening, as the clouds turned to gold and the swallows filled the sky. It is rare to feel that kind of peace amidst our noisy days.

It was four months ago that I started off by sharing Joanne’s space and painting some old bits of furniture that I had collected. Now here we are in our own workshop, with windows looking out over the trees by the River Weaver, making plans and tackling all sorts of things. Little did Jim and I realise at the start that our respective businesses would dovetail as naturally as they do, along with our thinking and ideas. There have been some wonderful ‘Oops…’ moments along the way and much hard graft interspersed with laughter. Although everyone in my circle has been asked to stop me ever trying to make roman blinds again. I think that was a moment where my ‘nesting’ instinct, coupled with my eternal optimism, went a step too far when I insisted on making blinds for the workshop windows! It has taken four weeks and a few incarnations, and we now have blinds at each window that are rolled up by hand and tied with ribbons….marvelous! There was also a telling moment a few weeks ago when Jim called to say that he had found a vintage metal desk, so we made plans to bring it over to the yard and I started work on ‘Mickey’ as we very quickly nicknamed him. Less than twenty four hours later I was on the phone to Jim gasping for help. I think the conversation went along these lines:

Me: ‘I have no blood left in my arms and my whole body is vibrating.’
Jim: ‘What have you been doing?’
Me: ‘Have you ever used a metal sander?’
Jim: ‘No.’
Me: ‘Fancy trying one out?’

He arrived the next day as eternal optimism had blinded me (yet again) and I was looking at a project way beyond my capabilities and physical strength. We spent a few days working together and ‘Mickey’ is now match fit and ready for sale.

Mickey 6

I arrived back at the workshop from Wales this week and had a catch-up cuppa and natter with Ray, our special yard manager, while we shared pieces of my Dad’s 85th birthday cake. Ray, Jim and I are in complete accord on our gratitude for the caring connections that weave together on the yard.

Bless John and Chris (our old yard neighbours who restore cars) for sharing their space and expertise as we beavered away to restore ‘Mickey’. Mike and Gazza, who mend motorbikes on the yard, have put us in touch with a chap who does sand blasting. I have a feeling that this connection will be fruitful as Jim and I are faced with some very ‘poorly’ projects that need this kind of start to their restoration. Anthea, who runs a beauty salon on the front of the yard, often brings me across to her space so she can restore my hands to a pretty state and refuses to take a penny for her loving care. She has gifted me a box of disposable gloves and I cannot understand why! Jimmy, our friendly yard builder, who has put a lovely new sink and worktop into the workshop (see, nesting again!) and sorted a dodgy window out. He kindly bobbed down the road last week and mended Mum and Dad’s roof, because access was a devil and Mum did not need the heart failure of Dad even attempting to get the job done himself. Lee, who does car repairs and MOT’s, for rescuing me when I got locked in the other evening. Mum very quickly baked him a cake! Last, but by no means least, Ray, flowing care to us all on the yard, who pops in daily with suggestions, things he has made and diagrams of ideas. Things would never have evolved this well without his loving care and support. Also, ‘Mickey’ is currently tucked into Ray’s office on the yard, because we could not fit him in through our door.

There was a lighting problem in the loos on the yard and I emerged the other day to find Ray, John and Lee standing just outside the loo door. My face must have been a picture….John, never one to miss a bantering opportunity, said ‘We were listening to you Jane!’. I burst out laughing and suggested that they all surely had urgent work to attend to elsewhere….

Every business starts with an idea or two, but it is people that make it happen. ‘Oops..’ moments occur, laughter is never far away, banter is ever present, help is plentiful. Our yard has loving support and that is a blessing in which we all thrive.


Letting the light in….

Pur place

Sometimes life seems to hit the ‘warp factor ten’ button and our ‘life plates’ are full with too much to deal with all in one go. I have not written anything for a few weeks now and that is always a sign that I am overloaded and the things that maintain my balance are getting lost.

There are many light filled energies nestling in my life garden and loving thoughts and care weave around them all. My heart knows that if I fill my head, heart and life with these thoughts then all my words and actions will flow forward from these loving energies and all will thrive.

My heart is full of love for……

My Mum and Dad and their safe harbour, loving support, understanding and jokes. So many evenings lately Mum has placed a hot meal in front of me, when I can barely keep my eyes open, as Dad gently asks how I am getting on. As I move on to my new home in October, (only fifteen minutes away by car), I will be but a heartbeat away. Bless my property developer friends Carl and Victoria for offering me a lovely new home. A bonus of this is that I can now care for their lovely dog Boris when they go away…happy days.

Jim, my earth angel, who stands like a rock as the seas have got stormy. His loving tenderness and thoughtful care are constant and the picture above shows one of our favourite spots where we curl up together to natter and giggle. Blessed are the moments he has stroked my hair, taken me by the hand and shown me hidden gardens, canal walks, secondhand shops full of treasures, steamy coffee shops, fairy lit restaurants and nature reserves. Close to tears one day, he noticed and got me driving the pitch roller at his local cricket club to distract me. Vans, tractors, diggers and now a ride on roller, I loved it. When he said ‘Lean on me, I am not going anywhere’….he means it.

My new workshop has windows and is flooded with light and looks out over the trees by the riverside. Jo, my sculptor friend, who pops in for tea and a catch-up (as I have only moved across the yard from the space we shared together) loves it. Ray, our yard manager, is a rich source of inspiration on woodworking, life and laughter. His templates are creating all sorts of wonderful wooden items. John and his son Chris, my old next door neighbours on the yard, kindly shared their work space with Jim and I last week, so we could re-vamp a metal desk project together. The banter was a joy and filthy dirty, but happy, Jim and I had a crash course in metal working. This fortuitous little episode is the spring board for our new salvage business, so Jim, his buddy Matt and I are now ‘JJM Salvage and Design’.

Roger, our loyal family friend of so many years, has kitted me out with every tool I could ever need, so whatever I go to make now, I have the right gear to hand. Bless him from the bottom of my heart, as I could not have made the workshop move without him.

The love, healing, care, support and laughter flowing from my treasured friends is the song that weaves through my days. I love you Chris, Emma, Tracey, Laura CS, Jo BB, Debs, Angie, Laura B, Peter and Wendy. Hugs for you all.

Love, light and cherished energies as we all flow forward together.

Rainbow colours……

Dad and I at the Railway

At lunch today Dad asked if I would like to come along with Mum and go to his model steam engine club’s ‘Track Day’. The first words out of my mouth were ‘My hair is filthy Dad, full of sawdust and paint, have you got time for me to have a quick shower?’ He nodded and I flew upstairs and was back down in ten, complete with wet hair, assuring them both that it would dry in the wind. It did!

Dad’s club track is in some old woods and as we drove up the climbing farm track to reach it we stepped back in time. The club’s track, workshop and clubhouse are nestled around old Oak and Horse Chestnut trees and beautiful lily filled ponds at the top of fields with sweeping views across the countryside. We all had a wonderful afternoon walking round, meeting and talking to club members, looking at beautiful model steam engines and locos, sharing mugs of tea (Bob ringing a bell to announce the urn was up to steam) as we all rode engines around the track. Picture a lot of beaming men playing with trains and you have a good idea of the happiness emanating out of those woods this afternoon.

The sun dappled through the leaves and I now have treasured heart memories of riding behind Dad as he drove us round on a loco and Mum took ‘action’ shots. It is years since we did this together and it brought back the steam sounding memories and the coal smells of my childhood.

Delicious cups of tea too, as only men in sheds can make….

Rainbow colours….Happy Father’s Day.

Feeling a way forward……


Joanne and I had a natter this week and agreed that is was probably a good idea if I had all the internal walled-in space in our studio to create my new pieces in, especially if it involved wood dust. There will probably be a lot of wood dust! This arrangement has the hallmark of all our discussions and agreements and is woven with flexibility, so we can roll with the changes we both need as and when they happen. We had an arm around each other and were laughing as we nattered and Jo’s son kicked a football about us. Every time he scored a goal that came close to whizzing past us, I would put a hand out to deflect it (without looking at him) to spare his Mum getting clobbered. He is gifted with deft foot control that lad and neither of us woman want to dull his passion. He is also at that wonderful age where woman are an alien species and most certainly discuss ‘boring’ things at length. There was much laughter echoing around our studio warehouse that afternoon and loving banter.

Jo also kindly pointed out where all the spare and gifted wood was kept and said I could use anything that I might need. This turned out to be a great help.

I got stuck in and started to clear the space and plan where my various creative ‘stages’ would be set-up. Not as easy as it sounds because I have not the faintest idea how some of these stages will manifest. Anyhoo…..

Dad has gifted me two of his old bench tops and being a precision engineer they are beautifully made and will probably outlast all of us. I have had a few offers from kind souls (who know what they are doing) to come and make the frames and install these bench tops, so I made sure that the space was cleared around where I wanted them to go.

John (Grandfather Clock fame) popped in and gifted me a chop saw, more wood and other useful bits and pieces, which I am very grateful for as the chop saw came in very handy indeed.

Then my space fell quiet……the frame offers did not come to pass and I stood there pondering, Thermos flask cup of coffee in hand and my ‘thinking’ head on. ‘Well’ I thought to myself ‘if I am going to create wooden furniture then I must surely be able to make bench frames’.

For two days I ‘felt’ and logic’d my way forward and the top picture is the result. Each night I would return home filthy dirty and barely able to stay awake, but so driven to get the job done that I may well have had enough ‘light’ within to power the National Grid.

Graham, my DIY treasure trove shop man, and I had a hilarious conversation where I went in requesting brackets to secure my benches, because ‘wibbly wobbly’ work surfaces are not an option when using power saws at speed. I was a little unsure what I was looking for, so he kept showing me things and I was standing there shaking my head….till we solved it. He thought I meant to secure garden benches as I did not want them to be stolen. He had a light bulb moment when he realised I meant workshop benches and he congratulated me on being one of his most entertaining customers and then gave me exactly what I needed. He broke open a huge pack of washers and took out a dozen, because he is that kind of a guy and did not want to waste my money by selling me the whole pack. Bless him.

So now I have two fixed benches and I am clearing and setting up the rest of my creative area.

I sat quietly with Dad this morning and we talked through my first design and then Mum, Dad and I went out to look at wood options this afternoon, so we could plan exactly how I was going to make it.

Each time I feel fear that I am in way over my head, I pause, say ‘It’ll be OK’ in my head and inch forward, plus my attempts at describing technical things can cause grown men to laugh, which could be seen as spreading joy!

No-one has told Bumble Bees that they cannot fly…..

Bumble Bee

I recently painted this little chap, at a client’s request, onto her re-vamped hall stand. Did you know that aerodynamically bees are not supposed to fly?

For the last week I have sat painting my designs onto furniture and looking out onto all the space available in the warehouse unit I share with Joanne. Ideas started to float up…..

I started to voice the ideas I am having about working with wood and making my own furniture pieces and goodness me, life kicked in. Sparkly energy started to flow and Dad’s voice was the first to make himself heard. He and Mum had already been talking together and wondering if I would be better off making everything myself. Mum put me in touch with a friend whose partner works for a bespoke kitchen company. He gifted me his time one evening and filled my head with all sorts of technical stuff and promised to come to the workshop and show me how to make the things I have started to design. His brother, who works for the same company, has also offered to come and help and their boss was happy to have a meeting with me. I spent a sleepless night thinking through all the things I could do and planning. I went to the meeting next morning with every intention of asking the kitchen company to spray my work, so I could get a professional finish. I was on the receiving end of kind smiles and a firm belief that I could do the whole thing myself. ‘After all’ they said ‘why pay us?’ These kind people spent time giving me all the technical information I needed on spray painting.

I am being gifted the kindness of strangers who I know will become friends. I have always believed that a rising tide raises all ships and the kind and supportive connections that are being made locally are magic. Blessings….

I made a list of all the equipment I would need and talked it through with Dad, who sat smiling and listening. ‘I have a few things on that list that you could have’ he said. Some serious bench top woodworking power tools are now stored down at my workshop ready for installation, along with some sturdy bench tops. Blessings….

I then had a message from an old friend who asked what I was up to lately. I told him and he immediately came back saying that he used to make Grandfather clocks, which he no longer does, and I was welcome to all his tools. His offer covered the rest of the power tools needed on my list. Blessings….

An old family friend came for lunch yesterday, listened to my plans and is gifting me the spray painting unit I need. Blessings….

Throughout all the planning David has been in touch and is supporting me so I can buy the paint and materials I need to get started. We may have been unable to sustain our relationship, but our loving friendship is a gift. Blessings….

Mum and Dad came back from a steam fair on Sunday and Mum held up a special purchase they had made….the perfect vintage item to finish my first project. Blessings….

Christine Moran, my dear friend, reminded me that I always say ‘Pants over tights and flick that cape…’ to others and it was time I said it for myself. Blessings….

All this equipment coming into the workshop is a far cry from my initial tentative plans on hand painting old furniture in a corner and I was braced for Joanne, my workshop sculptor buddy, to protest a tad. She isn’t and is simply flowing more space and supportive enthusiasm my way. We can share the tools, because they will help both of us to create. Blessings….

Life may have tumbled very hard indeed lately, but I may never have found this authentic voice inside if it had not. Loving support and kindness is the burnishing polish that flows through my days as the tumbles bring a new surface to the light. Blessings….

Many blessings and love.

Jane Thorne

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