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 Eye Of The Tiger!

Good morning kitty cats and don’t worry, the title does not mean I’ve taken up boxing!

This lunar New Year ushers in the year of the tiger, so it seemed the perfect time to add a little striped person to my range!

Let me introduce Tai Shan (named after the wonderful Tai Shan Scherenberg from Landscape/portrait artist of the year)….

This one has gone to his forever home❤️

What a perfect design to show the switch from plastics, Tai Shan features an organic cotton yarn, recycled plastic bottle stuffing and these new eyes…

Embroidered eyes replacing the plastic ❤️

The embroidered eyes take a little longer but I love the freedom they will bring to colour choice and of course no plastic!

Little Tai Shan needed a playmate so this is the design for his sister…

Tai Shans sister Toko which means hope

I’m excited to say that I have a custom order for Toko, and that’s about all I can say as it’s a surprise gift…….

I managed to finish a personal project before orders started coming in, this gorgeous Christmas stocking from a pattern published in Mollie Makes by the super talented Sewing The Seeds Of Love…

It really is huge!

It’s going to be our St Nicholas day stocking, it will save me wedging pressies into shoes 😂

I’ve been taking a course to finalise my book idea, so Welcome to Darcey’s Wood is definitely happening, and the wood remains our happy place!

It really is a slice of heaven

Finally, im looking to upgrade my art skills!

The lovely Freddy from last year!

Freddy is my usual style but I’d like to try a more detailed style and to that end,I’ve put myself on the waitlist for Bonnie Snowdons art academy – I’m so excited!

First on the list for the new style is my lovely Jasper cat….

Please ignore the washing!

I think that’s enough to keep me busy for this month!

Kisses

Karen xxx

And Just Like That…..It Was Christmas!

Crikey that has been a year! But no musings from me just yet, let’s just enjoy the last few makes and some fun pics 😊

These reindeer were the last things out the door…..

I think they look so cute walking along 😉

I had a couple of surprise orders for shark ornaments!

I think it came out really well!

I’ve also been beavering away on an epic scarf for my daughter, using West Yorkshire Spinners yarn and a pattern by Zandra Rhodes…

She couldn’t be persuaded to model, so here’s Mr WDS!

I liked it so much I made myself some gloves from the same book…

That signature pink is very Zandra!

I’ve been busy decorating the house, even the bathrooms get their own…

And of course Buddha gets his own tree!

I think he looks pleased with Douglas Firbank!

All that remains is to wish you a very happy Christmas- it may not be the one you wanted or planned for but joy can be found if you look hard enough.

Stay well and I’ll see you on January 1st!

I may have used a filter 😂

Kisses

Karen xxx

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….

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

A Tiny Japanese Lesson, Bargains And Themes – They -Are A -Changing!

Its October! woohoo! its nearly my birthday!! I shall be 54 which actually seems quite old- good job I am still around 8 in my head! I have been super busy since we last spoke, with all of this!

So, lets kick off with our Japanese lesson! We are huge fans of Japanese culture in our house, we love sushi,cherry blossom and hello kitty! its this fascination thats helped me find my style- lets look at the words you will see if you follow me on Instagram!

 

Amigurumi (編みぐるみ, lit. crocheted or knitted stuffed toy) is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures. The word is a portmanteau of the Japanese words ami, meaningcrocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll.

So you can see everything I make is an amigurumi, but theres another two aspects to my designs, first kawaii which means as an adjective….

Kawaii (in the context of Japanese popular culture) cute.
“she paints elephants that are extremely kawaii”
and as a noun,the quality of being cute, or items that are cute.
“even in a cosmopolitan city like Tokyo, kawaii is everywhere”
So cute like these……..
Finally there is the Chibi element, Chibi can be seen as an insult if you say it to a person as it mean short, very little etc. However, in the world of Japanese comics Chibi means drawing a person or animal shorter then normal, with an oversized head and shortened limbs, to appear more child or baby like…..
Roll all three together and you get these….
Cute little critters!!!
Now onto some of the other changes that have happened at WDS towers! First off and in the interests of full disclosure, I am now linked to two affiliate schemes- what does that mean?
Well, if you scroll right to the bottom of your page you will see a link to buy a Mollie Makes subscription and a link to a fantastic paper craft shop called Craft Stash. These links in very different ways will generate income for me if you click and purchase from them.
Now I will NEVER recommend a site that I do not believe in 100%, I have been a subscriber to Mollie Makes since it began and have frequently used their projects on this blog….

Craft Stash is an amazing paper crafting store with everything from card making, dies, stamps, to planners and journalling ( and you all know how much I love a planner). I will post a link to their special offers when I think its something you will love, and here is an offer you will definitely love!

Grab a Christmas Bargain At CraftStash! Up to 70% off dies , stamps & accessories!!

Last but not least I will be changing the appearance of the blog before I see you again to make it easier to find links and adverts and so they don’t interfere with content.

Right, I am off to finish a lovely Christmas make, off you pop and be awesome and I will see you here on the 15th!!!

Kisses

Karen xx