The One Where I Actually Did The Things

Happy April everyone! March was a funny old month here at WDS HQ, COVID found my husband, but not me – yet, and I’ve managed to make progress on some things that mean a lot to me.

First, we need to welcome this little dachshund puppy, a lovely commission piece for a birthday girl….

I call her Emmy after my husbands german aunt.
It was a challenging piece to make but I’m super happy with it!

Then I managed to get one piece of Easter stock made and into my Etsy shop🎉 this is a Beau the bunny…

I can’t tell you how soft this yarn is!

The next piece is inspired by Christine Cherry from The Great Pottery Throwdown,

I was so sad to hear her story of not being able to find brown skinned fairy dolls. I hope it goes without saying that I would make darker skinned unicorn dolls if I’d been asked ….. but is that enough? No!

I want everyone to see makes that resonate with them when they look at my shops – so I needed to make this girl….

This is Teraji – a name that means hope or faith, we could all do with a bit of that!

Finally, I’ve managed to progress my learn to crochet course! It’s going to be called 5 days to crochet hero, here’s a taste….

If you join me for this challenge you will receive an e book straight to your inbox, and there will be a private Facebook group for you to watch video tutorials and ask questions!

I’ll pop on here with the links just as soon as it’s ready, so keep your eyes peeled!

Kisses

Karen

Spring has Sprung!

Hey kittens! Is it just me or is this year flying past! This is what happened in February!

I made 15 little starfish for my lovely friends at Epic Bizzi Box!

They really looked like a box of sunshine when they were packed!

After watching The Great Pottery Throwdown, and listening to Christine explain that she had difficulty finding brown skinned fairy dolls, I decided to make one of the unicorn dolls with a beautiful darker skin tone – here’s a work in progress pic…..

This beauty will be finished soon!

I also got to make a sleepy tiger for Leona Burton of Mums In Business International – if you are a mum or a woman in business, check them out, it’s an amazing, supportive organisation! https://mib.international/

Obviously the tiger had to be in MIBint colours …

This is Toko – it means hope

New commissions have also been flying in and I’m super excited to make a dachshund puppy ….

This is Emmy – named after my husbands aunt ❤️

In other news we had a storm, this tree in the wood near us, managed to crumple the steel fence separating the wood from the railway….

And while we are on the subject of the wood…..

The bluebells are here!!!! I can’t wait for their perfume

And finally, I can’t write without mentioning the situation in Ukraine, I hope that the conflict can be resolved without further loss and as I type there are negotiations happening.

It was appropriate that these came out over the weekend, flying the blue and yellow for Ukraine…

Look after yourselves and if you are in a position to donate, please try and support the various charities in the area.

Kisses

Karen xx

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….

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

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

Happy New year!!

Good morning! I thought I would pop in and wish you Happy New year! has 2017 been a happy year for you? the truth is that years contain everything, the highs and the lows, the ecstatic moments and the absolutely awful ones.

My year has been pretty much brilliant, my little business has gone from strength to strength. I have made friends and gathered more customers and we have had a blast.

I am sure you know that I am a huge fan of the mother of all drag artists RuPaul not only for his artistry but for his common sense advice – my favourite of which is that we should all find our tribe- the people with which we share values and goals and opinions. I am so lucky as I have most definitely found mine and they rock!!

It has not been a year without sadness, family members still facing health problems and my own health being a challenge have presented their all too familiar problems.

The loss of a little boy in our community and the continuing illness of a friends child make me angry and frustrated at the wickedness that is cancer.

I have just filed my tax return and I have increased my turnover by 56%. I couldn’t be prouder or more grateful for the support you all give me. I have huge plans for next year and hope that I can get out to fairs more often to see more of you in person.

This coming year will be a challenge for the Uk as a whole, I don’t think Brexit has worked out whichever way you voted. That is going to present its own set of a problems and it is in this atmosphere that we see the rise of extremism of every shape and colour. I hope that we can respect each other and resist the more hateful ideologies that are springing up.

So, in closing, my wish for us all is this – I think its a Buddhist prayer and I apologise if I have it wrong-

May you be safe

May you be happy

May you be free from harm

oh and may you find your tribe and love them as much as I love mine.

Kisses

Karen

and a big lick from these nutters xxx

 

I Am Falling For October!!

Good Morning you lovely people! well, two weeks have passed and I have aged a year! and if you are in the mood for more conundrums, my sister and I are born on the same day but are not twins!!  the has such a bad sense of direction that she couldn’t even find her own birthday! but seriously she’s the best present I ever had. A couple of days before our birthday I found this rose in my garden which I thought was very appropriate!………

The autumn or fall is making its mark in the woods near WDS HQ…….

And on the theme of change, we have had a makeover! what do you think? im hoping you will like the fact you can find the follow buttons etc a bit easier.

Some new makes have happened, firstly Sakura, the cherry blossom fairy…..

 

and Rudi the CE tested reindeer, who is safe for children from birth………

 

and both are for sale in my new shop at http://www.mycrafty.co.uk/while-darcey-sleeps and also on the shop ’till you drop page on the this blog!

This little pincushion is a prototype pin cushion with some decorated pins……

This is Miss mIllie cat and she loves cake! she is based on my darling Millie cat who loved all food! watch out for the improved versions coming soon!

What is coming soon? On Friday 19.10 I shall be releasing some clay jewellery with Halloween and Christmas themes, I made these a while ago …

Expect more glitter, cute faces and maybe some spooktacular themes!

I also want to find some time to start two projects with very new to me techniques, heres your clues…..

Have a fab day and don’t forget to follow me on facebook for the very latest news!

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!
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Kisses

Karen

A Purple Poodle, A gingerbread Man and a Unicorn Oh My!

Good morning to you and welcome to September! I have spent most of August making Christmas things and purple poodles!

Before we get to the goodies, I wondered if you would like to know a bit more about me? lets start with my qualifications for this business…

None! I have a C grade o level (ask your mum) in art and a few others none of which have anything to do with what I do now!

My business was a reaction to illness making me unable to work in my usual trade – working for the government -and rediscovering art after receiving therapy for what used to be called a nervous breakdown. My darling mum, retaught me to knit and crochet, bought me books and yarn and encouraged me to make.

While we are on the subject of family, I met my husband at work, he wooed me by making fishcakes and bringing them into work with rolls and tartare sauce- it was a no brainer! I moved into his flat that looked out onto the Thames (another no brainer) and very soon we had our daughter – the prettiest, smartest, funniest girl in the world.

We moved out of London when I quit work and now we live in Sussex – its a lovely place for 360 days of the year, the other 5 I have to get back into London, breathe the pollution, shop and eat in places I don’t usually, and return to the ‘burbs refreshed!

Oh and we got these two….

 

On the right you have Darcey, the girl with only 2 speeds – on or off, when I started this business I could only work while she was asleep- this was another no brainer moment, my business had to be called While Darcey Sleeps! on the left her slightly odd “brother from another mother’ Milo, he is a poodle ….and an evil genius!

Which as they say in the movies brings us to here! I have been working hard on marketing this year and for once started my Christmas makes in August, which is when you have to do it apparently! So, here are some of what you can expect from me, first up Noelle the Christmas fairy…..

GlitterPhoto_Aug312018_135742-1

This girl can be any colour you want , I just made a traditional one to get us all in the festive spirit! she features a handmade candy cane charm made by me!

What would a Christmas be without a unicorn make from me? heres something a little different, a tree bauble…..

Again you can have this in any colour you like, more festive, more sparkly just let me know!

A Christmas classic is the next make…..

smaller than my usual makes, they are designed to hang on the tree, not scented but could be? and if you fancy a larger one just shout!

Finally not Christmas related but an ideal gift, my first Patisserie Poodle!

This is Violetta the blossom macaron poodle, she is inspired by  these kinds of macarons….

IMG_5805

I made her blossom macaron charm and she will smell like parma violets- yum!

I will also start shipping to the rest of the world! next blog will have the shipping rates but if you cant wait to place an order  drop me a message or email ( all details on the about page).

I will be back mid month to catch you up on whats going on in our little corner of heaven, in the meantime have a lovely couple of weeks!

kisses

Karen

 

 

 

The One In Which Harry Left And Meghan Got Tested!

Hello Darceyettes! It certainly has been a busy month at WDS HQ! the Unicorn Bakery unicorns were very well received and the two that were all ready made were sold on the night and I got orders for two more – for me with my limited capabilities that constitutes a sell out! you have seen Victoria sponge and Baroness Bertha Von Battenburg but here is Harry……..

As you can see Harry is a carrot cake unicorn, he has sparkly blue eyes and wears the colours of the Blues and Royals on his wings, as this Harry is a military unicorn! He smells beautifully of cinnamon and wears a slice of carrot cake round his neck.

This Harry has gone to live in Scotland and didn’t wait long enough to see his Meghan

( see what I did there ). So here she is ……

IMG_20180629_053922_436

Meghan is a lovely sponge cake unicorn with a lemon and elderflower cream mane, have you noticed that she looks a bit different? this is because she is going to be CE tested! this means she will be certified safe for children over 3. I have had to change my design a little bit, like embroidering her signature flowers instead of making them separately.  It does however mean that she will be pushed and pulled this week – don’t worry I will spare you the pictures!

I have definitely decided to do some more polymer clay, my Pinterest boards are filled with images like this……..

 

I hope that gives you an idea where this is headed. Sign up for the newsletter to find out more!

I have also received a commission for a new dog portrait but I am sworn to secrecy for quite a few weeks! so, heres an oldie but goldie to prove that I can paint!

IMG_4673

Finally I have booked a fair for November, not a Christmas fair but for our local Bonfire society, we have lots of these in Sussex the most famous being the Lewes celebrations staged by several societies. It is very popular and can get a crowd of 90 000! Here is a typical picture….

440px-Lewes_Bonfire,_Lewes_Borough_Bonfire_Society

That has been my month and I have even more lovely things to do in the weeks ahead, to be honest I have the best job ever!!

Kisses

Karen