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

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!

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

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’m So Sorry!!

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!

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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…

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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……

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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…..

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We have also sold a lot of these sleepy bunnies……

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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!!

Kisses

Karen

 

 

 

The One In Which There Was Much Planning …And Cake!

Good Morning Darceyettes and welcome to May! there has been much activity at WDS HQ and its pretty much all down to this and my lovely daughter! first ……..

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This is the Awesome Marketing Planner from the equally awesome Claire at The Girls Mean Business.

It is no exaggeration that this has completely changed my mindset and will change my business overtime . It helps you with every aspect of managing your business and is on offer at a 1/3 of retail price making it just £10.00! If you have a small business I give you permission to click through to here http://www.thegirlsmeanbusiness.com. Not only do you receive the planner there are online tutorials and an amazing wall chart!

Now on to the more sparkly, unicorny news! I have decided on my first make to face the CE test! this unicorn will be tweaked and tested by the middle of the summer………

 

I have sourced all the relevant material and just need to get my testing gear together!

And while we are on the subject of unicorns, in a quiet moment at our last craft fair, my super clever daughter came up with the idea of themed unicorns aimed at children over 10 and adult collectors.

The theme we have decided to start with is cake! so, I present to you ………..

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I have decided on two initial designs………

On the left is Victoria sponge and on the right the gloriously named Baroness Bertha Von Battenburg! Bertha got named by my mate Shell at http://www.facebook.com/ShellsCCC, isn’t it fab!

I have all the supplies arriving for these this week including scents! Each unicorn will also have a slice of cake charm, I tried crocheting one……

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But i’m not delighted with the result so I will be making one from polymer clay.

In the future there will be two more British favourites and then European favourites like macarons from the Unicorn Patisserie and American specialities from the Unicorn Bake House!

There is no doubt it has been a super busy month so when we have had a chance me and the CEO Darcey ( and VP Milo) have made the most of this……

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the ancient bluebell wood that is a stones throw from WDS HQ, I wish I could give you some idea of the smell!

By next month I hope I will have sorted out a newsletter sign up which will have all the other news that doesn’t make the blog, and special offers.

In the meantime have a super day!

kisses

Karen xxx

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

 

Happy New Year!

Hello my loves! hows everybody head? I’ll try and keep it quiet 🙂 Here we are with a whole New Year, a slate wiped clean, 365 days of potential, 52 weeks to get all manner of things done……

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or not.

We all know how easy it is to let life interfere with…well life, the one we want, the thinner, fitter, trendier, more successful life that we all dream of.

So Mrs know it all ( I hear you say) what can we do? I can only share one pearl of wisdom with you- plan, plan and plan again! get yourself a really lovely planner or notebook, there’s this one………

This pink Kikki K one is my hub for all things business related, I put my work schedule – what I am making on a week to week basis in there, I also jot down patterns and ideas and list materials, knowledge and tools that I need to get to make those ideas happen.

And this one………

This Daily Greatness journal is arguably the most powerful, its the one that makes you list things you are grateful for or the mindset that I want to channel for the day, it effortlessly lets you focus on being open to new things. It also allows you to set goals weekly, quarterly and for the year. Its expensive so I bought mine on Ebay!, here is

If you need any help with a positive mindset, why not channel this oldie but goldie from Nadiya Hussain from the Great British Bake Off…….

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Does all this positive thinking and endless planning work? yes it does, but it’s not all pretty planners and positive thoughts. It’s sometimes about just keeping going, keep picking yourself up, keep trying to eat better, exercise more and make that business idea a reality. It’s perseverance and slog that gets the job done.

I shall be slogging away with you, even though last year was the most successful I have had, I shall be striving for more.

The materials I use will be upgraded……

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There will definitely be more sparkle!

Every single item will be of my own design……

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and each design will be refined, this bunny will be getting a backpack, big enough to hold some Easter chocolate!

I will start the process to ensure that all my makes can carry the child safety mark…..fullsizeoutput_4d4

This unicorn will be one of those both redesigned and tested for safety.

On a less serious note I will keep dreaming………

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Because mostly every plan starts with a dream!

All that is left is to wish each and every one of you a 2018 full of love, health and happiness.

Kisses

Karen

Ps if you want to keep up to date on the daily goings on at While Darcey Sleeps HQ pop over to http://www.Facebook.com/whiledarceysleeps, there is also a handy shop now button that takes you through to my shop ( you can also commission a portrait through it!)

 

 

 

 

 

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

Onward And Upward!

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…….

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

We spent a lot of time in Chinatown, mostly eating and buying cute stuff.

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

I spent a lot of amazing time with the management board of my company.

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

We were often tempted by the lovely shops in London!

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The management board conducted a lot of research into bluebells!

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I painted……..a lot!

And sewed…..a lot!

I marvelled at the strength of the human spirit.

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

I protested (just a little bit).

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I laughed and cried when Bob won.

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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.

Kisses

Karen xx