The One In Which The Things Got Done!

Hello kitty cats! Well I spoke too soon! COVID found me at the beginning of April – I’m glad it was the milder version and that I had 3 vaccines on board, it still managed to give me a horrendous cough, headache and shattering fatigue. The good news is I’m back to normal whatever that means lol!

Let’s have a look at what’s been happening, to do that we need to dial back to January- to when I started looking at goals for this year.

I read this book and followed Gemma James on Facebook ,Instagram you name it…

https://www.gemmajamescoaching.com

The key thing that resonated with me was Gemma’s use of the word upgrade – so I set about doing just that, first I wanted to upgrade my pet portraits so I have joined this ….

I’m working through the tutorials as we speak!

I did I live draw with Bonny a few weeks ago and this happened…..

A little Easter lamb

I have finally finished my crochet course, with an Ebook and a Facebook Group of tutorials ….

You can jump on this course by signing up here..

https://mailchi.mp/a59881afcc02/karenscrochetheroes

Once you’ve signed up I’ll send you a payment link and then the Ebook and FB group link will fly to your inbox – and did I mention that it’s only £5?

While all this excitement has been happening I’ve been working on getting some stock into my shop, including this cutie…

https://etsy.me/3s4mWBX

I’ve also started another order for my friends at Epic Bizzi Box – a shoal of angel fish….

My design

Finally there’s a new range coming! The teeny sweeties, here’s the lemon meringue lamb…

My Facebook group really helped me with this concept, are you in Darcey’s pack? Join here…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/darceyscrochetpack/

I think that’s enough for today – oh I forgot I shall be taking part in the Folksy spring Fair – I’ll pop the links and the discount code on soon!

Kisses

Karen

The Eye Of The Tiger!

Good morning kitty cats and don’t worry, the title does not mean I’ve taken up boxing!

This lunar New Year ushers in the year of the tiger, so it seemed the perfect time to add a little striped person to my range!

Let me introduce Tai Shan (named after the wonderful Tai Shan Scherenberg from Landscape/portrait artist of the year)….

This one has gone to his forever home❤️

What a perfect design to show the switch from plastics, Tai Shan features an organic cotton yarn, recycled plastic bottle stuffing and these new eyes…

Embroidered eyes replacing the plastic ❤️

The embroidered eyes take a little longer but I love the freedom they will bring to colour choice and of course no plastic!

Little Tai Shan needed a playmate so this is the design for his sister…

Tai Shans sister Toko which means hope

I’m excited to say that I have a custom order for Toko, and that’s about all I can say as it’s a surprise gift…….

I managed to finish a personal project before orders started coming in, this gorgeous Christmas stocking from a pattern published in Mollie Makes by the super talented Sewing The Seeds Of Love…

It really is huge!

It’s going to be our St Nicholas day stocking, it will save me wedging pressies into shoes 😂

I’ve been taking a course to finalise my book idea, so Welcome to Darcey’s Wood is definitely happening, and the wood remains our happy place!

It really is a slice of heaven

Finally, im looking to upgrade my art skills!

The lovely Freddy from last year!

Freddy is my usual style but I’d like to try a more detailed style and to that end,I’ve put myself on the waitlist for Bonnie Snowdons art academy – I’m so excited!

First on the list for the new style is my lovely Jasper cat….

Please ignore the washing!

I think that’s enough to keep me busy for this month!

Kisses

Karen xxx

The One In Which It All Changed – And Got So Much Better

Hello again my lovelies! And here I am as advertised! It’s time to get a cuppa and find out all the excitement that’s coming your way in 2022!

But first the serious bit! Over the last few years I have got busier and busier, you have commissioned me to make – well everything! Here’s some of my faves….

Beautiful lizards
Chair bunnies of a rabbit charity( wearing his top hat to look more in charge)
And the coolest bats in town!

This has been fantastic but my poor arthritic hands and elbows have taken a hit, and I’ve been having steroid injections into joints to keep going .

Which is fine ( I have a lovely dr who does them) but not a situation that can continue forever.

So, from January I shall be limiting my commission orders to two per month and I’ll let you know when those spaces have been filled .

What happens if they don’t get filled?

For a start I shall be making stock for the shop and I shall be bringing you some of the designs that I keep promising, like this one….

Yes it’s a Christmas doll but I’ll be starting this in January 😉

And maybe more things you or your little ones can wear, like this ….

A little bunny hat – the new ones will be crocheted

Plus of course making things for Epic Bizzi Box like these …….

A box of turtles and crabs!

Let’s talk about paintings now, I have loved the commissions I’ve done this year, like these…….

What a cutie
How dapper is this guy?

I want to extend this part of my business this year, because it’s not quite as stressful on my joints, I shall taking more commissions and testing out whether I can paint some landscapes and flowers😊

While we are on the subject of testing, I have started doing some digital illustration …….

Miss Darcey in a very cartoon style

I’d like to try some portraits digitally and I will be looking for testers for these 😊

Finally, I am going to write a book! Welcome to Darcey’s Wood will come out next year, to be followed by Milo’s magical forest, both centring around the wood near our house!

I’ve actually got a free ebook coming out at the end of this month, here’s a sneak peek …….

It’s called Darcey and the Big Treat!

Follow me on Instagram to sign up for a free copy!

Thanks for reading and I hope you are as excited as me for the New Year!

Kisses

Karen xx

Oh wait! There’s one more thing, there might just be a couple of ideas for subscription boxes on the boil, here’s the vision board so far….

Hello Is there anyone there?

Its been so long since I blogged im sure you have all forgotten me! but I haven’t forgotten you!

It has been possibly While Darcey Sleeps busiest year ever, its also the year that I got invited to apply for Kirsties Handmade Christmas – I didn’t get in but it made me do some lovely designs lol!

Its also been the year that I have thought more seriously about how I can still be creative while recognising that some of my joints are not enjoying crocheting 7 days a week.

I have made some decisions about how next years work will be structured, and I think you are going to like it – for one the design below will be bought to life!

I am going to make you wait until 1.11.21 for all the details, as I just need to get them exactly clear in my mind but I promise you are going to love what’s coming!

Its time for the unicorn to fly even higher ( im sorry if you are new here but thats an old joke) 🙂

kisses for now

Karen

Did I Blink And Miss January?

Hello kittens! And we are off to a flying start at WDS HQ! And we kicked off with a brand new design for a Friends obsessed munchkin..

He’s her lobster ❤️

I also made a where’s Wally or Waldo but I cannot find a picture? Which seems appropriate lol!

I then started a big order from one of my lovely returning customers, the first one is a larger version of the very popular sleeping unicorn …

We used all the pinks!!!!

And then to something a little sad, this little criceratops is for a a newborn whose mamma was taken from him way too soon. I personalised him with a rose that was her favourite flower and entwined their initials on the other side. I hope that he will get comfort from this in the years to come.

I made a bunny in a different style, designed by a very talented little girl….

Look at the cheeky thing in my lettuce bowl

I’ve also done something way outside my comfort zone and submitted this painting to Grayson Perry’s art club , this is my piece …

This is called Madness

Why have I called the piece madness? Because these woods have been a way of controlling my panic disorder, because they smell sooo good during bluebell seasons, the dogs and I become intoxicated and when I couldn’t see the bluebells during the first lockdown I was heartbroken!

And while we are on the subject of the woods, I took this picture on one of the coldest days recently -look at the frozen pond!

Such a cold morning

Finally, I am so happy to have a portrait commission that has turned into two this morning,! Here’s a progress pic….

This is handsome Freddie

Just to say I am closed until the 15th of March, in order to finish some orders and to get some Easter stock into my shop! There is one lonely bunny in there if you want to pay him a visit http://www.folksy.com/shops/whiledarceysleeps

The last thing I want to tell you is I have been vaccinated! I’m so very grateful for the way the NHS a has taken care of me and my family during this pandemic – I have no words for how much that little injection means to me.

Stay safe and I’ll see you soon

Kisses

Karen

There’s Method In My Madness!

Good morning my little Cupcakes!! Its been a busy 2 weeks and I have had some lovely comments about my imagination, especially on this video….

 

 

So rather than show you new makes, I thought today I would share some of my designing process with you!

Its fair to say that I can be a bit disorganised, lets take this blog for an example! I do have a tendency to just sit and babble on a bit, share some pictures and run away! but now I have this…….

A lovely free gift from The Girls Mean Business that came with my 2019 Awesome Marketing planner! It helps you plan out what you are going to say, so expect more coherence!!

My design process however is a bit more chaotic! now that I have confidence in my ability to design, inspiration comes at me from everywhere!

I see fairies sleeping with dormice in trees like this ….

which led to this  ……

This book got me thinking ……

and one of my unicorns took a turn for the worse…….

Food inspires me all the time…….

So I have the inspiration, next I draw a design…….

Sometimes! a lot of the time I just go straight to the hook…

Like my Butterkittycorn Aurora! I am trying to be more organised and write the patterns down, in my lovely planner….

One of my goals for 2019 is to produce some patterns for you so that you can make your own magical critters.

I hope you have a little insight into my design process or the lack of it! while we are on the subject of next year, here is a little video about a material that will help me bring squishy magical creatures to life!

 

Have a magical couple of weeks and I will see you on Sunday the 18th November, but if you are local I will be at the Lindfield Bonfire Society fair at the King Edward Hall from 10.00am, if not and you feel like a bit of shopping from your sofa please join me and a lot of talented makers at this event……

 

You can find all the details on my Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/whiledarceysleeps

 

Kisses

Karen xx

 

 

Coming To A Mailbox Near You!!

Good Morning! its Me! in the middle of the month! who’s excited? I think you know I am!

Lets start with some good news! I have upgraded the blog so that soon you will be able to order and pay me on here! I will be clumping products into simple categories, for example CE tested (child safe) toys like these ……

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Will be one category with a flat rate price of £8 and then I will put them into postage bands – Uk, Europe and the rest of the world. As a guide shipping will be about £5 from anywhere in this lovely world. Thats right we are shipping everywhere!!!

It also allows me to place videos! so expect see more of this….

Now, lets have a look at whats happened in the last couple of weeks! this commission was gifted, so now I can share with you…..

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I loved doing this, I have painted for this client before and she always supplies such amazing photos! this is her friends dog sitting in his going out chair!

My competition winners were announced, the over 10 winners mum ordered her a Battenburg unicorn, so with the under 10 and the runner up prizes this made a lovely queue for the post office!

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Now, Andreja who won the under 10s prize chose the colours for her blue maned unicorn and that, together with some input from Mr Darcey Sleeps inspired this…

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A mercorn! This design is well on its way, so you will have a finished picture soon.

I shall be spending the next couple of weeks on a mountain of gingerbread men, oh, and i’m just going to leave this here……

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Confused? all will become clear! lol!

See you in a couple of weeks- with a video!!

UPDATE: I have added a couple of pages, by the time you come back in a couple of weeks they will be up and running!
<!– START ADVERTISER: Buysubscriptions.com – Immediate & BBC magazines from awin.com –>

<a href=”https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?s=406653&v=1866&q=191089&r=524345″&gt;
<img src=”https://www.awin1.com/cshow.php?s=406653&v=1866&q=191089&r=524345&#8243; border=”0″>
</a>

<!– END ADVERTISER: Buysubscriptions.com – Immediate & BBC magazines from awin.com –>

 

Kisses

Karen

New Car, New Standards!

Whoops! I am so late with this months post! in my defence it has been unbelievably busy here at WDS HQ!

First up I bought a new car…….

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This is totally not the car that I went out to get, I was wedded to the idea of electric but it was just too expensive. Then there were nice cars but they didn’t come as automatic ( I can drive a manual, I just won’t!) so we ended up with this Nissan Juke which I love because it looks a bit like Batmans car that he takes to the supermarket! Thanks to Barnard and Brough (the oldest Nissan dealership in the country) for their usual marvellous service.

It was daughters birthday in March and also Mothers day, so we had a trip to London. We bought many books and ate much dim sum! my lovely girl bought me these…….

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I haven’t seen cut orchids so years and the bunch she got me filled two vases 🙂

On to crafty matters, March was spent making stuff for the Paper Daisy Easter Market. I designed a few more patterns including this rose flower fairy…

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and a spring time version of my baby unicorn…….

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It was a fantastic day, here is a bit of my stall……

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So onto the new standards! I am finally going to take the huge step of certifying my makes as child safe. I already ensure that I use safety filling and eyes and that yarns are baby safe, but this will make it official and allow me to put the CE mark on my makes.

Alongside that I would like to do some collectable and luxury versions intended for older children and grown ups, I am really looking for an excuse to use these yarns….

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Aren’t they fab? made locally by the super talented Bryony from Spectrum Fibre and they are even more amazing in the flesh! I can just see some fairies and dragons and all sorts of magic creatures made in this.

Finally, thanks to everyone that ordered from me in the first part of the year, you really help me to reach higher and further than I ever thought possible.

Next Monday will be the official reopening for orders, so hit me with your toy requests and don’t forget I am now available for portrait requests ( or anything else that you need painted).

So its kisses from me and goodbye from them ….

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The One In Which It Was Really Cold!

Good morning cupcakes! well winter has well and truly come to my little corner of Sussex! we have had actual snow – which is a big deal for the south of England, look at my silly poodle pretending to be Scott of the Antarctic…..

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Fortunately snow doesn’t stop work as I only have to commute to my armchair 🙂 I painted this commission ……….

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It really was such a great exercise as I haven’t done monochrome for ages, I had to buy a lot more shades of black and grey (yes there are different ones!) and found out that Chinese Ink is a lovely warm black which makes for great depth.

I crocheted a herd of these bunnies with their creme egg backpacks…..

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These two thought it was a bit too cold to hop to their new homes!

I have lots to make for this great event………

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But I am not helping myself by being distracted by things like this……..

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This past fashion week Gucci sent their models down the runway with these dragons, it really got me thinking about some pet dragons I could make – maybe pastel, maybe linked to your birthstone? I am going to try and resist the temptation to make some until after my fair.

I had made this Easter Bunny girl for my fair…..

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But one of my amazing customers snapped it up! along with this mermaid…..

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I have found the only way to keep myself organised with my work schedule is to plan and plan again! and the only way you can keep me interested in planning is if I have amazing stationery! so in the picture you can see my unicorn latte bookmark from my mate Shell at http://www.shellsccc.com, beautiful stickers from What The Fox Designs (you can find her on Etsy.com) and peeking out is my lovely planner from http://www.kikki-k.com

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So enough of this chit chat kittens, you need to go to bed or work or school or whatever awesomeness you are doing and  I had best crack on and make some stuff!

kisses

Karen xxx

 

I Have Become Comfortably Numb!

I hope you understand that the body of this blog was written before the events in London and it is humorous in tone, therefore I have inserted my thoughts on those events  above it.

Here we are again, back in the middle of a senseless act of terrorism. This time on the streets of the city that I worked in for many years and still like to visit. I had to contact my husband who frequently works near by to seek reassurance that he and his colleagues were safe.

I have no words that will make any sense of the murder of both civilians and one brave police officer that literally stood in the path of a mad man.

What can we do? nothing except carry on and refuse to let those that are filled with hate change our minds on anything.

We must support our police officers and those of the ambulance and fire service who have to walk into scenes such as those.

We must continue to demonstrate that only love wins.

Morning my little pains au chocolat! it has been a bit of a week here at WDS towers, I have had two visits to  the medical profession in the last two weeks and they were equally challenging! Visit one confirmed that the numbness that I have been experiencing is as a result of damage in my neck and has limited treatment options…….

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Visit two confirmed a laundry list of diagnoses also with- yes you’ve guessed it – limited treatment options….

So whats a girl to do? I tell you what girls do – we go and run the world thats what! or if you are me you did this…….

I ate a considerable amount of chocolate……

I designed and made this…..

I have a craft fair booked with the amazing Paper Daisy Events who do marvellous publicity for their artists , so I went and looked at my entry……

I walked these morons…….

They really are morons Milo won’t climb the stairs at my mums and uses the stair lift!

( check out my Facebook page for the video)

And I did all the grown up things like taxing the car and networking and just flipping got on with it because thats what girls do!

Kisses

Karen

xxx