It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like ……you know the rest!

I’m not going to lie peeps, it’s chaos at WDS HQ! It’s been my busiest year yet and I’m still beavering away!

First of all, I was invited to apply for Kirsties Homemade Christmas- I didn’t get on but it made me design new Christmas decorations like this retrotastic snowball,

Who remembers these as a kid? Gateway alcohol lol

Shall we have a look at what else I’ve been up to this year, I think you will agree my customers have the best ideas!

These hugs and kisses monsters have been one of my faves…

A Manchester United and a Trans Pride monster

A very special make for a little one heading into surgery this week…

This crazy wig was requested by his mum as he is not so good visually and needs a sensory experience

And of course, Christmas isn’t Christmas without a slice of cheese!

Made for customer who has a cheese obsessed friend

And so many more, including a festive sloth..

I found the cheeky thing swinging around my easel

But perhaps one of the most important things I made was this unicorn …

Gaia the ethicorn!

This unicorn was made with organic and recycled yarns with a recycled plastic bottle stuffing. Plastic eyes were substituted with embroidered eyes and I think you will agree she’s beautiful.

Sustainability is going to be a big push for me this coming year, and I hope that I can offer all of my core designs in a sustainable version by mid 2022.

When I’ve not being crocheting I have been writing a book! This year has brought me some wonderful connections to some talented women I’m going to put their links at the end) – who have taught me you can do anything! So, I wrote a free E book for children called Darcey and the Big Treat!

This is where Darcey finds out that being kind is the best thing we can be

If you would like a free copy simply click the link and fill in the form

https://linktr.ee/whiledarceysleeps

Finally, I want to thank all my customers and everyone that interacts with my social media and reads this blog!

I’ll be back on Christmas Eve with some pics and on the first of January with plans for the New Year!

Look after yourselves

Kisses

Karen

Ps there is an awesome sale in my Etsy shop, 20% off cuties like this one.

Www.Etsy.com/uk/

Links:

https://www.gemmajamescoaching.com/ for the most practical advice you can get around manifestation

https://theloabox.com/ for their fantastic boxes filled with all your law of attraction needs

https://claire.simplero.com/ the original and best marketing coach and even though you are too late for the hard copy planner, there is now an awesome digital version! I will earn a commission if you purchase one but to be honest I’ve been recommending Claire for years!

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

While Darcey Sleeps Workshop!

Hello my lovelies! I’m so sorry it’s been so long but in my defence I have been sooooo busy! So busy, that it’s feeling like Santa’s workshop or in our case Darcey’s workshop! And there will be more about that further down 😊

But first let me tell you what I have been up to, I have finally got my festive food and drink decorations range finished! And one of them has become a runaway success, please meet Pete, the pig in a blanket….

Pete and his friend Coco chocolate

We are a partially vegan household and I had to find a meat free version for my range!

I obviously also needed a mince pie, this is Matt….

He’s in his metal tin because he knows you are too busy to make them all the time, and he promises not to tell anyone 😉

Here’s the finished box, which will be in my Etsy shop soon….

Top row: Sid sprout , Bryon the Baileys coffee and Matt mince pie, bottom row , Coco hot chocolate, Pete and Edward nog

I have also been busy with your orders, this order was so pretty to make ….

A rainbow bear for Luna Moon Dyes

The customer runs a tie dye company, and wanted a suitably rainbow bear, and also a rainbow and a moon. Check out her beautiful creations here : http://www.instagram.com/Luna_moondyes

And now for the super exciting bit! My kit patterns have been out for testing and look ……

My sisters unicorn
And her polar bear
And a blingtastic unicorn from my mum

These kits will be on sale in my Etsy shop on 1.11.20 and will come with everything you need including a hook, needles, yarn and stuffing. They will be branded Darcey’s Workshop as you guys will be doing the work,

I will let you know when they are in there and will try and get more festive goodies in there too.

Look after yourselves ❤️

Kisses

Karen xxx

Testing and Etsying!

Good morning my little cupcakes! I was no sooner back than I forgot to write a blog last week!! anyway lets take a lightning tour through what’s been happening!

I designed my first boy doll….

The customer had just had a new nephew and after I made these for her ……

She asked me to design a little boy! I think he turned out really well!

One of my best customers and now a dear friend commisioned these two….

A keyworker bear named George to help her grand babies understand the whole mask thing- purchases of this bear donates £2 to Mind.

And a T Rex called TJ who was for her son who has autism and is a gaming fan, this toy donates to a local autism charity.

The commissions didn’t end there! this giraffe girl and her little giraffe is going to a precious little one that turns three soon….

I think there will be lots of this onesie wearing dolls, so keep your eyes peeled.

Lets get the champagne out as I had an Etsy sale, I had just two things listed, and this one is now on they way to USA!

I will try really hard to get some stock in there soon!

I have also sent out a test kit … to my lovely mum and look what she did!

Although she is an experienced crocheter, she had a complete mental block around going around in the amigurumi style! I think she has done amazingly well. the next stage is to send both kits to another tester and the beginners kits to 2 complete beginners.

Finally, husband has had time off and has done an amazing job with the garden, “assisted” by these jokers…

Don”t they look serious?

Check back next week to see what we have been up to!

kisses

Karen

Pandemic, Panic and Privilege

Hello kittens! its been a while to say the least but this time I have an excuse 🙁

****This is not a cheery post and covers all the horrors of COVID19, please pop by next week if this is too much- I totally understand*****

Unless you have been asleep or on Mars, you will know that the entire world has been in the grip of a pandemic- so serious that it makes those post apocalyptic movies look very tame!

Here in the UK we tried to suppress the virus for a while and then we entered a full lockdown on the 23rd March, this meant you were allowed out only for essential reasons i.e food shopping.

After walking the dogs that morning, me and more importantly, my 21 year old daughter received letters classing us as vulnerable because of our asthma and were told to shield at home for at least 12 weeks. Not allowed out for any reason except medical treatment. I immediately felt like I was shut in a small box because walking in the woods next to my house is my anxiety therapy.

This was the picture I had taken that morning…

It was 15 weeks before I returned to the woods.

Life then became about virtual queues for food shopping, very occasional trips out for my husband – with the manic decontamination that followed- and trying not to panic..

It was hard, thousands of people were falling victim to this insidious virus and there didn’t seem to be much of an idea how to treat it. It also became clear that being as overweight as I was, led to poorer outcomes if you were one of those that ended up in ICU. Every day brought a horrifying toll of deaths.

I decided that now was the time to lose some weight and I started to exercise with some DVDs from Jessica Smith…

Simple, low impact and based on walking, I started with 15 minute ones and gradually worked up to more. Did it make my pain and fatigue worse – you betcha! but the fear of death was one hell of a motivation. It also sweated away a lot of the anxiety that was ever present.

We started to clap every Thursday night at 8pm, I went to the front door to clap with my neighbours and to draw strength from their smiles and waves, and the occasional laugh most notably when my next door neighbours child escaped carrying his saucepan that he had been banging, and was hotly pursued by his sister and then his mum! most weeks ended with a few tears, frustrated by being kept indoors and so desperately worried for frontline staff and the ever increasing death toll.

I spent loads of time in the garden

Mostly with the dogs, here is Milo! but sometimes just to sit and breathe and look at the sky- the weather has been for the most part amazing – and to count my lucky stars that we have a garden, it has been the first time that I have become aware of what an immense privilege a garden is.

I sat and cried a few times as well, mostly for the dead but also for my shielding colleagues stuck in flats and tower blocks,I can’t imagine what that has been like 🙁

Hubby has set up his outpost of the Home Office and has worked all day, everyday since the lockdown- contrary to some of the media reports!

I worked as well, my fabulous customers, old and new kept me super busy, in difficult times I have never felt so grateful to them, here’s some of my lockdown lovelies…

Sadly, I also made these……

These hearts went to our ICU unit, one for the person who was sadly leaving us and one to be sent to their relatives, with a card from the angels that are our nurses.

Whats happening now? well I’m allowed out – hooray!- but still advised to avoid crowded spaces. Numbers of infections has decreased- with sporadic local flare ups-, as have deaths, and we are living an uneasy life alongside the virus. I walk in our woods most days and a little of the peace that this brings has returned.

Life moves on and I have a new sense of urgency and focus, we literally do not know what the next year will bring, so….

Ive also made a big business decision, finally, this will be the year that you are able to buy a crochet kit from me! there will be this bauble …

and also a polar bear bauble!

All the details on progress and more will be in next weeks blog, I just needed to address these horrific few months first before being my usual bright and breezy self!

So, i’ll see you next week, stay safe and big hugs to anyone touched by this virus and my eternal gratitude if you are any kind of frontline worker, including the amazing delivery drivers, postal workers, and anyone who works for Amazon and Hermes! without you I wouldn’t have been able to continue trading!

kisses

Karen

Oh Baby! We Have Been Busy!

Good morning kitty cats! I am so very sorry I haven’t blogged I forever but oh my goodness I have been busy! I have not had my traditionally quiet start to the year and a lot of this has been down to one little boy – more of that later.

So, grab a coffee and a seat, you are definitely going to need a seat, there are some pictures of such cuteness, your legs are going to give way! Here’s what’s happened …

I finished my Ezo Momonga! the cutest flying squirrel became a superhero squirrel with flower powers as her name is Aiko….

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She soon flew off to her new home!

There was an a Easter fair which I have lost all  the photos from but unicorn chicks were a big hit!

I have made a heap of things for this bundle of scruminess! His name is Tate and his mum and nana are huge fans of my stuff and apart from the elephant ( and Tate!) I made everything in this photo…..

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I told you to sit down didn’t I? so, because Tate’s family are such great customers and now good friends it seemed a no brainer to crown him our brand representative!

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In this photo he is wearing a handmade crown crafted by the super talented Andi, you can visit her at http://www.facebook.com/kwirkyknits. His blanket was also made by me, with a new style Oakley bunny that ties in with the fabulous Jody Pyott blanket design …

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Tate will also now help me test baby specific makes, I need his teeny fingers to test holes for me!!

In between all this I opened an Etsy shop!

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This is our cover picture and I will be stocking it as I go along.

I also read a very interesting article on branding so I spent some time with an app called Color Harmony which extracts colours from your photos, and made a pallet unique to While Darcey Sleeps….

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You can expect all my social media to feature these colours and I will be redoing the blog to match our new identity.

Finally, in a spare few minutes I painted this commission ……

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Such a privilege to paint the beautiful Molly for her owner who was missing her terribly. The commission came from a good friend and customer who has commissioned me twice before, for gifts for her friends, isn’t she a sweetie?

And breathe! so now you are all caught up I promise to be back more regularly and keep you up to date on some new products!

Kisses

Karen xxx

 

 

Alpacas And Squirrels And Bunnies Oh My!

Well hello dear reader and can I just say you are looking amazing 🙂 its been a busy time as usual at WDS HQ and i have some new makes to show you but first i want to tell you about Ezo Momongas!

My mate Shell is always on top of whats super cute on the interwebs and look what she found…..

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These are Ezo Momongas and they are Japanese flying squirrels and for me they were just crying out to be made! so I drew one…..

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Hmmm….thats just a flying squirrel and this is when I realised that I have a definite style and always a story that goes with my designs, so here is Eiko…….

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Eiko, whose name means Crystal child or flower child depending on how its written was born! She is a squirrel superhero and will help people young or old to build confidence with either the power of crystals or flower scents! I shall get cracking on bringing her alive very soon.

A design from the last blog is now a reality! this is Alejandro the alpaca…..

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Now I must point out that his baskets are meant for creme eggs or mini eggs- but I ate them! so here he is with some daffodils. This design is CE tested and will be in my my craft shop in the next couple of days.

I also got sidetracked by a wonderful suggestion from another friend Tracy……

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This cheeky unicorn decided to get himself a bunny hat (which is removable)! he will also be in the shop and you will be able to order him with a creme egg sized backpack or chocolate scent or both!!

I have put this bluebell themed unicorn in the shop, made to order..

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This actual unicorn went off to a lady that has had a horrible time of it, I was inspired to gift her in the memory of a lovely young lady called Jenny who passed away. Her mother asks her followers to do a random act of kindness on Jenny’s birthday and to tell the recipient of that kindness that Jenny sent them.

I have also been making a huge order for a fantastic customer and I have made some of these blossom bunnies…

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These are also in the shop to order from a variety of colours!

you can find my shop at http://www.mycrafty.co.uk/shop/while-darcey-sleeps

Finally I am gearing up for an Easter fair run by the marvellous http://www.paperdaisyevents.co.uk  on the 13th April, so that crochet hook of mine should be on fire by the next time we speak!

See you soon

Kisses

Karen

 

 

 

Genuine Calorie Free Chocolate Bunnies!!

Good morning my lovelies! How has 2019 been treating you? I have been super busy with orders which was a nice surprise but I have also been designing and planning out new things to bring you for the whole of the year! lets dive straight in shall we?

I have been designing some flower fairies that I hope will be popular for all sorts of occasions, here are the first two……

This is Amnesia Rose, she is inspired by these gorgeous and quite rare roses…..

She will feature the roses signature colours of pale lilac, coffee and dusty pink, she will have a rose charm and be scented with a traditional tea rose fragrance.

This is Freya Freesia…..

Inspired by the beautifully fragrant flower and this colour palette,…

She will also be scented to match her flower and have a tiny Freesia round her neck.

There will be more of these and I will also be looking at whether these can be CE tested for children under 10.

On to Easter! I shall be bringing back some designs from last year but with some added extras, this girl is coming back….

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and there will be a sheep and maybe even a chick version, you can also choose to add a flower fragrance or chocolate or fudge..you get the idea!

There will also be lots of these bunnies….

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Again these can be scented or opt for a full CE tested version 🙂

And we have a brand new design………

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Meet Alejandro and Angelica Alpaca! they have a jolly saddle bag that will fit two kinder or creme eggs!

And what about the rest of the year?

There will be:

Proper dolls with a ballet theme.

Surfing bunnies

Flower unicorns

Day of the dead girls

and loads more for Christmas!

Finally we have a reward scheme! this will run all year and I will keep track for you

  1. Newsletter subscribers get postage and packing for a £1!
  2. Your second order from me will be reduced by a £1!
  3. your third order will be reduced by £2
  4. Your 4th order by a whopping £3!

If you haven’t already, read the very first post on here, it detaIls how a very amusing bag helped me find my way out of depression and how unicorns have special meaning for me- so standby because this unicorn just got turbo!

kisses

Karen

xxx