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

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

That Was The Year That Was!

Hello my little cupcakes! How ya doing? it occurred to me that this is the last post for this year ( I’m a bit slow on the uptake) so lets have a look at what happened…….

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It wasn’t a great year health wise! finally, after 12 years I have a correct diagnosis for all my aches and pains, and by the beginning of next year I might have some effective treatment!

It was an AMAZING year for my teeny tiny company and it pretty much is all due to this…..

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This unicorn ( a copyright free pattern from the now defunct Craftseller magazine) was ordered a total of 6 times! for me that constituted a viral hit!

I then had a sell out fair……..

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Where I sold a bunch of bows and some things I had designed my self. This really gave me the confidence I needed to design for myself….

And this has meant that I have worked very single week since June and will be working up to Christmas Eve! Incredibly I was also asked to Kirstie Allsops Craft fair ( i couldn’t go as I had no stock!).

Whats in store for While Darcey Sleeps in the coming year? Im going to get child safety accreditation for my makes, I’m going to keep designing in the kawaii style (Japanese for cute), I’m going to sell patterns, kits and fabric felt and I’m going to plan to be ready for Kirstie this year!

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This blog started in December 2013, a year to the day after my first panic attack, that original blog post had a picture of a bag that had summed up how I felt……

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How appropriate that everything unicorn has made me have the most successful year!

The first person to follow my blog was Mrs P and she said “I can’t wait to see where that unicorn flies”, well Mrs P, that unicorn is getting turbo chargers!

Grab on everyone and lets see just how far this unicorn can fly!

Love you lots

Karen xxxx

 

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

Happy Birthday To While Darcey Sleeps!

Morning! Grab a piece of cake and a glass of sparkle because we are celebrating!

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This little blog is 2 years old! So in the words of Craig David lets “re re wind” and have a look at how far that unicorn has flown!

The 10th of December 2014 was the first entry on this blog and the first anniversary of me suffering a panic attack and developing anxiety and panic disorder.  This major upset had left me feeling like this…….

But then I went to therapy and a wonderful lady restored me basically to factory settings, so what to do with myself now? Too sick to return to work for HM Government it was up to me to find an occupation that fitted around my disabilities. That’s how While Darcey Sleeps was born, an umbrella name for this blog and my painting/craft business. It was so called because I could only work while this madam was asleep!


After a suggestion from family I started painting and did a few test run dog portraits for friends of my daughters…….

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This has become the backbone of the business, and for me a dream come true, to paint and get paid for it feels incredible.

For me the equal pleasure is to write this blog every week and not confine our discussion to  crafts, we have talked about everything, from colour…….

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To make up…….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Fashion (especially hand bags!)………

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

To gardening…….

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We have had a good time…………

 

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

We have laughed…….

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And we have cried……

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Through it all, this has been the best place to hang out, I hope you have found it useful or thought provoking or just enjoyed the pictures.

My unicorn will be stretching her wings this year, making more, talking more and generally taking it to the next level, know this for sure, this sparkly door will be open to anyone, 2017 is going to need all the love we can give it and all the support we can give each other.

So here’s to us, and another year of spangly, glittery, emotional, funny experiences!

Kisses

Karen

 

 

Quit The Kvetching!

Its a fact that some languages convey a meaning better than english, one of my favourites is kvetch, it a yiddish word meaning to complain persistently. The last year has proved a tricky one with my various illnesses taking a definite turn for the worse.

So why not have a good kvetch! well, its great for a little while but then I needed to move on and find ways round my increasing disability. This meant practical solutions not just my usual meditate and eat more avocado approach.

First up……….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

I’ve chopped my hair off! my shoulder arthritis means that lengthy blow dries are not possible. Thanks to the super talented Sammy Thomas for this easy to do..’do.

Next, trainers as “normal shoes” just don’t cut it….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

These were a proper bargain, Stella Sport for £39.99 from the Next sale. Their high tops stabilise my hyper mobile, arthritic ankles and they make me feel sassy!

My beloved car has the single most important change I made way back when I was first diagnosed….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

An automatic gear box, I just change gear to drive and I’m done until we stop, very good for the aforementioned shoulders. The other thing it has is a very small turning circle, this information is available online for all cars and really does make a difference for parking etc.

Handbags are a passion for me, here is one of my faves…..

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

The Modalu Pippa, named after Pippa Middleton it is beautifully made and quality touches everywhere…..but man alive its heavy, so I am currently on the lookout for something lighter, I think this might be it….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Currently 30% off in the Radley sale, and in one of the key colours of the season, Coral.

The most difficult adjustment has been my decreased ability to work, this painting has taken forever and is still not done……..

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

But the fact is I am still painting and I will be sewing in the coming week, so all is not lost! And I’m still writing this blog even if my right index finger is partially dislocated and it has rendered my typing speed to that of a continent drifting, but I will always write this blog I would miss you lot too much to quit!

Kisses

 

Karen