If It’s Macarong, I don’t want to be right!

I am OBSESSED by macarons! Obviously they are an absolute joy to eat, crisp outer shells, slight chewiness and luscious cream centres, but they are so much more to me, the cute chubbiness of their shape and the myriad of pastel colours.  Pantone have predicted pastels colours again for fashion this year ( more of that next week) so let’s embrace the pale hued wonders that are macarons!

My obsession started with my kitchen, and in particular these worktop protectors.

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This lead to my entire kitchen taking on a full on patisserie theme, here is the top cupboards, the base ones are violet.

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So that led to a whole bunch of macaron craftiness, these little macarons are a free pattern from http://www.craft-seller.com

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These feltie ones are from Mollie Makes

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This little keyring I made myself, inspired by the gorgeous ones that they sell at Laduree, the best macaron shop in my humble opinion! I might do a tutorial for this, if you want!

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Finally, and before we suffer a sugar overdose, here is Nina Ricci’s perfume La Tentation de Nina which smells of …..a macaron shop! Laduree again to be precise.

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So there we are my sweeties, now tell me what consumes you, what your passion is.

kisses

 

Karen xxxxx

I said whoooooo do you think you are!

I am afraid that headline is only funny if you are a fan of the Spice Girls! So, on a beautifully crisp, cold,December morning we went to the National Portrait Gallery in London, to see the Who Are You  exhibition by Grayson Perry.

It was one of those delightfully bonkers days that only seem to happen in big cities.

There were reindeers at the station

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There were Santas in a mass cycle maybe for charity or maybe just because they could!

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If you are not familiar with Grayson Perry, he is a multi media artist who is also a transvestite. He has an outstanding ability to speak and understand anyone from the Duchess of Cambridge to those struggling with everyday life, maybe because he does not fulfil a “normal” role within our society.

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Recently, he made a series for Channel 4 exploring the nature of identity and making art works to reflect each individual’s story.

He explored diverse issues that affect our society, from a white, single mum who converted to Islam to a man suffering from Alzheimer’s who was slowly losing all sense of who he was.

The artworks were stunning, for the two examples  I mentioned he made a Hijab ( headscarf) charting the woman’s journey from troubled teen to devout Muslim and a jar covered with pictures of his life and dark areas of dead brain for the Alzheimer’s sufferer.

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I bought this bag which represents a small, part of a huge tapestry called Comfort Blanket  which defined what it was to be British. I love the way he has made the Queen look like everybodys  Nan!

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So inevitably this subject makes you think about your own identity, here are a few pictures that define my own identity.

 

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So, who are you? Send me a photo that sums you up!

Kisses

Karen xxx

Work Starts With A Cough And A Splutter

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It’s back to work at WDS HQ, it should have been last week but I have had some sort of virus that made me sound like a Marks and Spencer voiceover but made me feel like i had been runner by one of their lorries.

So here is what is on the drawing board ( or actually the dining room table!)

I will be dusting off the needle felting equipment to make something from this adorable book, I’m not sure how, but I bought it from Amazon , it’s all in Japanese, so this will be an adventure!.

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I am making twin bears in this lovely swirly fur that I picked up at a boot fair, the colours make me think of peppermint creams.

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I am also designing little felt projects using this wonderful box of felty goodness which I bought from Felted Fancies Supplies on Facebook  it’s vintage colour way makes me think of the twenties so I will start with this design for a little felt flapper.

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On days when the creative flow is not moving, I will make some cards with this beautiful range by Santoro,         These are available from  www.theglitterpot.co.uk

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I will be spending more time looking at Craftseller magazine, for inspiration and quick makes.

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And of course painting, painting, painting, this is my latest dog finished.

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So its off to work we go!

Kisses

Karen

Terrified At The British Library!

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A few weeks ago we went to the Terror and Wonder exhibition at the British Library. It was a fantastically sunny day making both the soviet slabs of the library and the gothic gorgeousness of St Pancras station look amazing.

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Inside didn’t disappoint either, I was terrified , reading a letter that was supposedly from Jack the Ripper. The wonder for me came from seeing an Alexander McQueen dress in the flesh.

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This is my sketch of the dress, plus one from the same collection and Mcqueens explanation of the lace being punctured by the antlers, he sacrificed the very expensive lace because he wanted the model to look like she had rammed it with her antlers. McQueen said that he dressed women so that other people would be scared of them, mission accomplished!

It was clear from the exhibition that the gothic influence spreads across our history, and continues to do so,

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Here is my favourite Goth item, Chanels Rouge Noir.

and guess what Pantone have named colour of the year?

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Marsala a very romantic hue.

All the vampires and swooning maidens has made me think of gothic teddies! Off to the drawing pad!

Do you like the romance of gothic or are you more Steampunk? Leave me comment.

Kisses

Karen

Clean Sheets For All Of Us

It has been freeezzinnggg at WDS HQ the last few days! Our lovely woods have been rendered Narnia like by the hardest of frosts, magically clean, white and sparkling.

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Everything looked brand new,

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And that’s what we get tomorrow a clean, sparkling new year, a year in which we can do everything or nothing, a year to go to the gym 6 times a week or once a month or never.

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So when you write those New Years resolutions, remember if you don’t achieve them this year, you will get a whole new one on 1.1.16 and can try again. It’s not how many times we fail, it’s how many times we try.

Happy New Year

kisses

Karen

PS have you got any resolutions this year? Please share so far i have just made one to paint my nails more often!

Merry Christmas!

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Morning all! Well it’s here, it’s Christmas Eve! I just want to say Merry Christmas and encourage us all to breathe over the next few days, and remember that it doesn’t matter if there is no brandy butter or you don’t remember to serve up the peas, enjoy the moment and treasure the company.

I wish you the best possible Christmas, and if you are one of the numerous public servants and other industries that work Christmas Day – thank you x

Kisses

Karen

 

 

 

 

Deck The Halls And The Bathroom And The Kitchen!

Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year, I adore that you can breakfast on Quality Street ( is that just me?), glitter nail polish can be worn everyday and your house can be as festively mad as you want.

It is also a fantastic time for the crafty amongst us, magazines and books start whipping us into a frenzy from September onwards, and I have stitched, knitted, beaded and crocheted more than my fair share.

In years gone by I have ruthlessly colour schemed, set themes for each room and quilted table mats accordingly. I have reached a point now where for me it’s more about the history that comes with each piece , or that it’s so cute or kitsch that I have to have it.

So here is a little taste of what Christmas looks like at WDS HQ and remember the only purpose of decorations should be to make you smile!

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An idea nicked from Pinterest!

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Hello Kitties in the bathroom!

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Remember paper concertina decorations? These are ENORMOUS ones from Rockett St.George.

And here’s  a roundup of stuff either made by me or my super talented mum!

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Finally, here is Darcey, the reason my blog is called While Darcey Sleeps is because I only really get creative while she is napping! I think she’s gorgeous I hope you do too,

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Kisses

Karen

Get Your Rocks On!!

Bling and embellishment are everywhere this time of year, have a peek at my moodboard!

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The jewelled clutch is a season staple. However, they can be expensive, (check out the blue D and G one above, just a mere 5000 pounds) , they might not have the right colour embellishment for the look you want to rock on New Years eve and if your me there is never enough sparkle! I had to have an MRI of my head a while ago and my friend Nikki said she didn’t know why they were bothering as all they would find is glitter and handbags!

So here is a so simple it hurts tutorial, just one word of warning make sure you buy flat bottomed gems and not chatons which are faceted, guess which ones I bought? Doh!

First gather your supplies, a plain clutch mine is from http://www.beyondretro.com, your flatback jewels and strong glue that bonds all materials, mine is Glu and Fix all purpose, Evostick make a good one too.

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Plan out your design, before you start sticking!

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And then when you are sure, start sticking your rocks on baby!

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Allow your project to dry for the recommended time (patience) , and then enjoy! For me a sparkly bag calls for a sparkly mani, the colours here are Chanels rouge noir and Ciate Gingerbread

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Share your bejewelled beauties with me on Instagram using the hashtag #rockson.

And check back with me on Monday for a peek into the festive decorations at While Darcey Sleeps HQ! and maybe a visit from Darcey herself!

Kisses

Karen

 

How I Found The Key To My Imagination And Restarted My Unicorn

It was December 10th 2012 and I was dying, my vision was hazy, my arms were numb,my heart was pounding and I could feel my pulse in my throat. I felt as faint as the damsel tied to the railway lines but remained frustratingly conscious.Terror had gripped every fibre of my being as I waited for death-but I wasn’t dying i was having my first panic attack.

Calm, good in a crisis, everyone’s go to gal had lost it in spectacular style. years of hiding my emotions of trying to be a Kirstie Allsop/Nigella/super mummy hybrid and childhood abuse that I thought long forgotten  had repeatedly kicked my brain until it finally lay down and quit.

The weeks that followed were the hardest I have ever lived (even the ones when I had cancer) taking rubbish to the bin a mere 20 feet away was terrifying, the ground would seem miles away and I was consumed with the fear of collapsing.

In desperation I went to A and E twice, to the gp twice until I got an appointment with the doctor who knew me best, quietly and sympathetically he asked a few questions and diagnosed panic disorder and depression. he upped the antidepressant that I take for pain control and told me I would wait 10 weeks for talking therapy. he may as well have asked me to fly, I took the decision to see a psychotherapist privately, surely the wisest decision I have ever taken and I started to recover.

Fast forward 2 years and here we are, with me starting a little painting and crafting business and with this blog. I will be talking about painting but not too often, I will share my pick of crafty gorgeousness I find on the web,it will have my pick of bags and beauty, and some foolproof make it with your eyes shut recipes that i have found and rely on, and a tiny bit of gardening which I hate but I do prefer flowers to weeds!

The blog will evolve over time and get prettier and easier to use  but it was really important to get it up today!

And where does my headline come from? the beautiful bag below made by http://www.itsnotmeitsyoulondon.com it really summed up how I felt at the beginning of this tale.

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So join me if you will, hold on tight and lets see how this unicorn handles!

kisses

Karen

ps please share any stories you have of losing your key as I discussed my problems with people, I realised I was not alone and it really does help to share.