Tag Archives: Jane Thorniley-Walker


I seem to have caught a cold, which has been a perfect excuse to light the stove and bake comfort food, while messing about on Photoshop with a doodle I did in Wiltshire. Actually, on Sunday I was taken on a magical mystery trip which involved driving over the Yorkshire Wolds, which are quite foreign to me. The landscape there is similar to Wiltshire in many ways, big and yellow and so different to the North York Moors only a few miles away. The Moors here are just starting to turn purple while the grey sky throws buckets of rain over everything and the garden is starting to look a bit mad and overblown.

It’s lovely to fill the house with flowers ,still wet from the garden ,and cobble together meals from the vegetable patch. But today I made a sad discovery when I found Lola ( previously Nameless Chicken) stone cold dead on the chicken house floor, she was quite an old lady so I don’t suspect fowl play (oh dear !) . Now there is only  Evil Penguin left so I suppose I’d better start looking for some friends for her,anyone have any Buff Pekins for sale?

I’ve just driven back from the village through big puddles, dodging the toads and hedgehogs who seem to be holding some sort of street party. I was going to spend the evening drawing the owl, who I still have after the gallery day , but I think I’m going to retire to my nest with a book and some hot lemon and honey.

I managed to track down the photographs taken by the Northern Echo and thought I’d be very naughty and share them with you. I’m not sure if I will get done for breach of copyright; obviously as a designer/artist this is an important issue so If I’ve done wrong could somebody please let me know so I can remove them…

The next event “Art in the Shed”, is planned for August Bank Holiday in Osmotherley and will be in aid of Street Child Africa.Hopefully I will have got some more work framed by then and there’s bound to be some lovely cakes on offer too since Jane is organizing it!

Goodnight and Thank you for all the votes!  x

Reading: “Cloud Atlas” David Mitchel   ” Griffin And Sabine Trilogy” Nick Bantock.   Listening to : JuJu “In Trance” and news of riots in London on Radio4.



Moose Necklace – special commission !

Hello again. “So soon?” you ask. Well I need to tell you about the new gallery where Jane Thorniley-Walker and I took our work today. Golden Brown Coffee in Darlington is just setting up it’s gallery on the third floor of the cafe. Its a fantastic space (and the coffee is great) where our work will be in the first exhibition which opens on Sunday 19th June, between 11am and 4pm. There’ll be champagne, holistic therapies and of course lovely art and coffee!

“Is It Spring Yet”

I’d also like to thank Frances and Bobby Terry for selling so much for me at the Roots event at the weekend. Its so hard to be a salesman for your own work, it can all feel too personal, so it was lovely to have someone else do it for me.

Oompa Loompa or Smurf?

In case you think all I do is sit around drawing moose and bears here is a mug shot of me taken at the weekend. It was raining like mad so Rupert decided to take me down the aptly named Crackpot caves instead of up Helvellyn. GOOD GRIEF, it was amazing, with wonderful rock formations, underground pools and this column of limestone something-or-other. However, the nightmare crawl along a tiny tunnel will live with me for ever. I could feel the panic rising and tried to forget the passages in “Birdsong” about being trapped underground. Luckily I have never watched “The Descent” because my own fears were enough to convince me it was a once in a lifetime experience!


Catching Up

Hello! Yes I’m still here, although it seems like ages since I last wrote a blog post, sorry. There is so much to tell you; I’ve been pretty busy, although maybe not very productive! Last week I took a small selection of my work to an event in Darlington where a friend had kindly offered to give me a corner of her stall (very kindly as these events are not cheap , even if you did get a lovely packed lunch delivered to your table!) Anyway, Jayne’s sales skills are amazing and she managed to sell quite a few of my brooches and purses while I embroidered a t-shirt, demurely, in the background!

It was interesting to visit what was essentially quite a “high end” gift fair and listen to the other stall holders comparing sales with previous years. Finding the right market, literally, is so difficult. It was lovely to see another friend from CCAD with her bright and cheerful stall, Lizzie & Peach selling kids accessories such as pencil and notebook cases, brooches and patchwork apples ( end of term “apple for teacher” gifts!). Both Jayne and Debbie have a business sense that I envy and almost makes me wish I’d done Business Studies instead of Textiles…

Last week I also had the good news that the Zillah Bell Gallery has agreed to show my work; so if you want to buy the original drawing of the Witchmountain Bear (as seen at the top of this page) get yourself to the Winter Exhibition which opens on November 27th. Meanwhile, as I sit waiting for the big break that will justify my years at college and the permanent clutter of my studio( kitchen table) I am sewing t-shirts for the Designer’s Marketplace, learning my lines for “The Good Hope” and day dreaming about autumn days in the mountains.

Jane Thorniley-Walker is busy painting scenery as well as having done this lovely drawing for the poster.She is an inspiration, her tireless energy when it comes to her artwork puts me to shame…enough computer stuff, its time to “make”!


A Little Piece of Heaven

The sunshine does seem to put a different complexion on things. This last weekend felt like a holiday; padding around in bare feet,lounging in the sun reading ( or better still, being read to) and taking an early evening drive to Whitby to eat chips and watch the sun go down. It was lovely having a house full of friends and kids, although I’m sure its not right that the teenagers were all asleep long before the adults!

I told you I got most of my design samples back from the NewLeaf agent didn’t I? Well at least I don’t have to worry about breaking their copyright rules now so I can share a few images with you. The question is, what on earth do I do with nearly 100 samples? What can I recycle them in to?!

You can see Toast,the model for one of these designs, snoozing by the watering can, enjoying the sunshine.

So,how very British to be discussing the weather! But it has been lovely and everyone seems happier, if a little redder! Next weekend Jane Thorniley-Walker is opening up her shed gallery again so if you’re in Osmotherley on Saturday follow the signs and take a look.

(Reading: ” My Other Life” Paul Theroux  Listening to:6Music in general, “The Bones of You” Elbow )

“O Tell Me The Truth About Love”

Who thinks I need a better camera?Yes ,me too, although a bad worker always blames their tools! Today I have been horribly lazy and apart from eating almost half a Camembert I have achieved nothing ( doing nothing and eating cheese is bound to lead to trouble).

Anyway todays offering is mostly about name dropping some of my creative friends and doing a bit of altruistic promotion….

At the “We Are Open ” shop yesterday the sun was pouring through the windows and highlighting the ample bossom of the model with my t-shirt and necklace on it! Behind her ,on the wall you can see some of Sarah Ford’s embroidery. She was at CCAD with me and it made me wonder…how many of us are still trying to do creative stuff and with what kind of success?

This stunningly beautiful portrait is by Penny MacBeth and I had to share it with you because I love the way she’s used fabric, print and painting to create a really unusual take on the traditional family portrait.This is Lally her daughter and the niece of Jane Thorniley-Walker who makes wonderful mosaics, paintings and pastel drawings like the snowdrops below. Calling round for a coffee in Osmotherley leaves me both inspired and ashamed of my lazy cheese eating ways!

Now apologies again for the terrible camera work;I think I must atone for my bad habits by running ( walking) down to the post box to send that Hearts for Haiti brooch to its new owner, Thank you so much Jayne.

( Reading: “Staying Alive, real poems for unreal times” Ed. Neil Astley. Listening to: “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk” Rufus Wainwright)

East of the Sun, West of the Moon

I bet the suspense was killing you…did the big red hen lay me an egg? Well, yes she did and very cross she was too when I tipped her out again to retrieve it. I haven’t made a cake though, I’ll have to wait till Friday when I should have three!

Tonight I’ve been finishing off these pieces because tomorrow I’m going with Jane  to see Les Prince, the  framer, who will probably curse us,as he’s the busiest (and best) framer in the North.

I’m wondering if my obsession with bears will ever end. Last night I Googled “Bear Art” and found some really lovely images, many of them illustrating a Norweigian fairy tale called “East of the Sun, West of the Moon”. Ok, I’m a hopeless romantic but I just love these Northern myths of trolls casting spells on people and turning them in to bears ; until love breaks the spell and sets them free.(Sometimes bears can be trolls in disguise though!!)

The wind’s getting up again and the plumber failed to mend the heating so I’m off to bed, to hibernate and lose myself in a bit more Tove Jansson. x

“When You’re Falling, How D’you Tell Which Way Is Down?…”


Ok, I know it’s been a while…is anyone still reading? I stopped saluting at magpies in the hope that my luck would change, and it has , in strange ways; though not always in the ways I’d wanted.

These pictures are from an exhibition being held this weekend in Jane Thorniley-Walker’s newly revamped shed. It’s in aid of Street Child Africa and will hopefully be the first of many.


Here is the work of Heidi Turner and below are some of Jane’s landscapes.Jane also showed some lovely mosaics one of which is an owl which I would have loved to buy if I was a bit richer.


Meanwhile, it looks like a few galleries are interested in showing my work later in the year so I’m hoping to pull myself together and get some new work done.

Please keep reading, I will try to be a bit more reliable in future! x

(Reading: ” The Bedroom Secrets of The Master Chefs” Irvine Welsh, Listening to: “When You’re Falling” Afro Celt Sound System)