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..
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 …
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….
I’ve also done something way outside my comfort zone and submitted this painting to Grayson Perry’s art club , this is my piece …
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!
Finally, I am so happy to have a portrait commission that has turned into two this morning,! Here’s a progress pic….
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.
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!
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….
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…..
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!
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 …
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!
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….
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 ……
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!
Oh my loves how I have neglected you! I have literally been up to my elf ears in orders! I have also been to my first fair in a while….. lets see what happened!
As you can see the set up of my stall was very different to normal, I had read an article in Mollie Makes magazine, it said that your stall should look like your online images- so I made everything pastel and made some box shelves into little shops! the sign in the middle was a cheap purchase from http://www.Next.co.uk and actually changes colour!
It certainly worked! I sold a lot of unicorns…
These two went along with a couple of different colour ones which I failed to keep pictures of!
I did keep a picture of a Mercorn…
who also found their forever home. I also sold some bows and baubles like these ones .
so all in all a huge success!
Of course there were a million orders too!
There has been a couple of these flying out, one in his traditional Christmas PJs and one in some snappy blue ones……
Fa la La llama has been so popular that I am dreaming up a different kind of llama for you to put your Easter chocolates in!
Of course Christmas orders wouldn’t be complete without this guy…..
We have also sold a lot of these sleepy bunnies……
made from special yarn that is anti microbial, so preventing germs being carried to even the smallest of babies.
There were lots od unicorns including a customer request for a Victoria Sponge unicorn with blue hair! I must confess I wasn’t sure but……
She just might be my favourite!
I also made a bunch of videos for my Facebook advent calendar so pop over to @whiledarceysleeps on Facebook to see what I have been up to!
I would also like to thank my personal cheer squad Michelle, Tracy, Ilisa, Victoria and Lucy, you guys have kept me going through a tricky year health wise .
2018 has been my most successful year yet, but I have lots of plans for 2019 that are going to blow your socks off! and I will most certainly be following this advice from GBBO winner Nadiya Hussein
all that remains is to wish you a Happy Christmas and the most amazing 2019!!
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………
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…..
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….
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!
Well good morning to you! I am afraid dear reader that things at While Darcey Sleeps towers are in disarray! I’ve been suffering with some numbness in my hands which I have just found out will only be partially treated by some physio.
I’m sure you can imagine that hasn’t put me in the best mindset for writing a cheery blog! However it has put me in the mood to look back at my achievements and the posts on this blog, this will be more than enough motivation to help me keep going. here are some of the important bits from the past year…….
We spent a lot of time in Chinatown, mostly eating and buying cute stuff.
I spent a lot of amazing time with the management board of my company.
We were often tempted by the lovely shops in London!
The management board conducted a lot of research into bluebells!
I painted……..a lot!
And sewed…..a lot!
I marvelled at the strength of the human spirit.
I protested (just a little bit).
I laughed and cried when Bob won.
and I stopped doing that!
But best of all I spent time with you guys and I am lifted every time I see how many of you visit my corner of cyber space.
So, Monday afternoon I have an emergency rheumatologist appointment after which I will be pulling my socks up, stiffening my lip and as Beyonce says “getting back to business”, and a proper blog post will be yours next week.
Hello cupcakes! Today’s post has only one photo, is unashamedly sentimental and maybe not your cup of tea. At this point I would normally tell you that your excused, but I really hope you stick around this week.
My baby turns 18 this week….18! How did that happen? It seems like yesterday that the surgeon ( yes a Caesarian, due to her being 8lb 9 oz and insisting on laying sideways!) lifted her over the curtain. After being warned that she may be sleepy as she hadn’t had the stimulus of birth, I was not ready for the bright blue banshee that appeared. She was roaring like a lion and her fists were clenched ready to take on the world.
We went to a room on the labour ward as it was the only one available. My girl laid on my chest and as another brave mother yelled into their contractions, she looked at me and raised her eyebrow with the weary expression of someone who needed sleep. At that moment I knew I had met my best friend.
Fast forward through the no sleep nights, the trauma of the first day at school (with tights turned inside out as she couldn’t bear the feeling of seams), through Brownies and Guides, the endless consumption of sushi, the millions of shoes and everything else that brings us to today.
Still my best friend she is a remarkable person, funny, clever, beautiful with a drop dead sense of style. Like her mother she is able to look at a page in a fashion magazine and unerringly pick the most expensive item! She has more ankle boots than you can shake a stick at and a vast selection of make up.
More importantly she is principled and able to stand up for those less fortunate. She is politically aware and able to see through the claims that politicians make.
She is deciding on a direction at the moment and I am giving her the space to do so, because whatever she does is fine by me as long as she is happy.
If you are reading this absolutely sure that you don’t want children you are not alone, neither did I! But once I saw that kidney bean on the ultrasound I knew I would do anything to protect her. What was a definite surprise baby became the best gift I have ever recieved.
Why no pictures? Because she is intensely private and will be aghast if she reads this, but here’s the thing ..I had to tell you all how much I love her and have done from the first time ever I saw her face…
Morning petals! I was just packing away my Valentines card and it set me to thinking how lucky I was to have such a great gift from my husband. The gift wasn’t particularly expensive but it was chosen with careful thought and a whole treasure hunt set up to find it……………
I applied a magical filter to these photos because it felt so magical to me! As an Alice in Wonderland nut it couldn’t have been more perfect. The gift?……..
A bottle of love potion tea from the tea wizards at Bluebird tea in Brighton, this black tea tastes like a dark chocolate rose cream. Next to it a jar of Valentines fudge from Brighton too, full of strawberry it was delicious!
What did I do for this lovely man? Hmmm… I really thought I had nailed Valentines with this comic themed card…..
Pretty cool right? The gift was not so inspired, a comic that he had chosen himself. This is where we get to the point of this weeks post, what does love look like the other 364 days of the year? What do we do for each other that still says I love you and I care? That lovely husband bought these home on Saturday when I was being tortured by arthritis……….
And this morning before 8, I made sushi and packed this bento box…..
Because when it come to love the devil really is in the details, its not found in the grand gestures or the expensive gifts, it is the small considerations often when you least feel like it, that show you care.
I expect you have heard this at weddings “love is patient, love is kind etc,etc ” well actually a lot of the time love is shouty, love is moody and other things unrepeatable here. It is at those moments where we need to dig deep and demonstrate our love.
So in the words of a lot of chat show hosts – be kind to one another, and next week I am hoping to have a great DIY for you.
Happy New Year, Bonne Annee, Buon Ano Nuevo, Frohes Neues Jahr, and last but not least Anni Beatum! can you tell which way I voted in June? anyway I’m a bit early, the New Year will start tomorrow and this girl is excited.
Why? because 2016 was kind of pants for the most part, various family members have been ill as I have I, more times than I care to mention! Also for me personally the big decisions that were made went the wrong way, what had seemed inconcievable – a UK no longer in Europe and that man as President became a reality, lets hope that the people at the sharp end can make all that work. Lets not even list the massively talented, clever and influential people that passed this year…
In the midst of all this craziness, good things happened, all the family members are better or well on their way and lots of good things happened to While Darcey Sleeps, and I made some changes……….
I have also taken time out over the holidays to do some personal projects, for the first time I have successfully knitted some lace…….
And a very easy hat…….
And now I’m knitting a flamingo…….
Professionally there will be some changes in the New Year, I will still be making cute but in an effort to differentiate from all the other talented people there will be more of a luxe edge, more sparkle, more glitter and maybe less traditional subject matter!
There will be lots of painting, and lots of practicing, my business took off very quickly and didn’t leave a lot of time to try new things, so that will be a priority.
There will be a few more giveaways so keep your eyes peeled, the first one is SOON!!
All that is left is to wish you the very happiest of New years and thanks for being a visitor to While Darcey Sleeps!