The One In Which A Goal Was Achieved

Hello kitty cats, it seems like 5 minutes since I last spoke to you! At the beginning of the year I set myself some goals, one of which was to embark on the Bonny Snowdon Foundation course.

I have managed to finish this course and the final tutorial piece…

The reaction to this piece has been amazing and I’m so thrilled to say that I’ve actually sold this one!

I’m also so grateful for all the interest in portraits – I’ll be letting you know when I’m taking commissions very soon.

But Karen, we are here for the crochet! Never fear there’s been lots of that happening, including this order….

Two little sugar plum mice fairies and two nutcrackers went out this month – you guys are so good at being ready for Christmas!

This little chap is called Garic …

I can’t tell you how cuddly he is! Sorry about the pic but at least you can see my new drawing desk!

The most exciting commission happened this month. A lovely lady called Robyn ordered an I Am Brave monster for a guide camp ( to help any guides that were feeling homesick)

Well, Rodney had such a whale of a time that he disappeared 🙁

Imagine my delight when Robyn’s partner ordered a replacement and asked me to send it off secretly for him!

As you can see he was very happily received!

In between crochet I managed to squeeze in another tutorial…

This floofy bunny was so interesting to do, I’ve one more tutorial to do then it’s on to actual portraits!

September has more beautiful orders in store and … my daughter is off to uni🎉

Kisses

Karen

Christmas in July and Blue Dogs

Hello kitty cats! It’s fair to say that this year is running away with me!

July has also been full of Christmas orders which has made me feel like we are at the the end of the year! Let’s look at what’s been going on…

These mini Christmas monsters are all ready for my customers 4 grandchildren❤️

A sugar plum fairy mouse

I’ve finally started to get my Nutcracker themed decorations moving, this mouse will be joined by a Nutcracker soon

Finally for crochet, I’ve made another wholesale order for my friends at Mini water adventurers -this time it’s been dolphins …

Don’t they look cute!

I’m so thankful that orders are still piling in, I appreciate this more this year than any other ❤️ one of the orders is for a design I haven’t made in a while….

A lovely 4 legged unicorn

This time this unicorn will be all about the glitter!

Of course I’ve been pushing along with my coloured pencil course, I’ve done eyes, noses, and now my final tutorial piece…

Practice definitely makes progress!

I’ve learnt so much- especially about the amount of blue that you need in dogs fur!

Lastly, I’ve done something very brave that almost certainly won’t come off …but it involves John Lewis….

Kisses

Karen

Xxx

Always Be Proud

Blimey! It’s July! How’s that happened? And July means that Pride month is over – except it isn’t, because for LGBTQ this is their lives 24/7 and 365 days of the year. Because of this I tell this story every year…if you’ve heard it before feel free to skip 😊

Let me tell you the story of Martin, a colleague of my grandmothers and the most fun human being you could meet, fond of riding his motorcycle to Fortnum and Masons and buying a big box of rose and violet creams.

When I was 14 I was taken to visit him in hospital – he’d been “queer bashed” a disgusting term for nearly being kicked to death for being gay.

He proudly showed me his hip where his attackers had kicked him so hard that a piece of his pelvis had come off – but he wanted me to see the print of the DM that his attacker had worn – “such an ugly shoe” he said. We gave him his violet creams and went outside to cry. It was that hospital room that changed my life for ever and makes me speak up and out for this community.

Years past and Martin left for his native Wales to open a wine bar, but the next time I saw him he was on the breakfast news. You see by then he had AIDS and he wanted to be able to swim in his local pool- but they had banned him, society wasn’t finished with kicking him.

Now, you’re thinking but that was years ago- and it was but it was only 2 or 3 years ago that a gay couple were beaten in Brighton, so for us not in the community June is Pride month but for them it’s everyday and they deserve to live those days in peace.

If Martin was alive he’d be saying enough of this lovey show them what you made! so let’s go… here’s the latest tutorial I’ve done for my coloured pencil course….

Leopard eye tutorial

I’m not ashamed to say I’m dead proud of this! I’m loving learning these tips and tricks that are elevating my art further than I thought I could go! It’s Labrador eye next 😬

I’ve been designing for Christmas- I know it’s early but I have several things that I realllly want to make before I get too busy, like this Christmas train…

The gingerbread express

And this Christmas monster …..

We all know one! They’ve had the decorations up since November and have been wearing their festive shorts since March

To be honest that is me 😂 this lovely order went out this week..

A mini Nox monster to see you off to sleep
And the teeniest of octopuses 🐙

We also had the first trip into London for 2 years and tripped gleefully around the Victoria and Albert museum, this is just some of the gorgeousness we saw….

It was bliss! And lunch in the dining rooms where these tiles line the walls…

Is the biggest treat!

Finally, I have to get a tiny surgery on my left hand at the end of the year so if you need a crochet something in your life – now’s the time!

Kisses

Karen

The On In Which I Got The (Pencil) Point!

Wow, what a month May was! I finally got started on Bonny Snowdon Academy course and mind blown!

I feel like I’ve been given the keys to a very special door, techniques I’ve never heard of and colour theory that I didn’t fully understand have all been beautifully explained – let’s start with the art I’ve done in the past….

The gorgeous Teddy!

As you can see it’s a watercolour pencil, with a sketchy feel, now let’s have a look at the more realistic studies I’ve been doing with coloured pencil…

A study of short fur..
A study of long fur…
And the little mouse we did in art club!

I hope you can see that this is going to lead to more realistic portraits! But what’s been happening with the crochet Karen, I hear you ask!

Well for the first time in recorded history there’s stock in the shop!!

All these cuties are waiting for you!

I’ve also been working on lots of monsters, these two sold in the Folksy Spring Market…..

The new mini monsters are proving very popular!

There’s a brand new monster on the block, this is Nox..

Nox is ready to lull you off to sleep, with his moonlit star face and special satchel for you wishes (or worries) and fluffy slippers too!

I’m now open for orders, I have a few orders to process -mainly monster!

Oh and my new rose came out, behold…

Eyes for you from http://www.Sarahraven.co.uk

What’s the coming month got in store? More of everything including a Black Forest themed bear!

Have a super June!

Kisses

Karen xxx

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

2021 Is Dead – Long Live 2022,

Hello kitties! Well that was a fun year 😬 I have never had so many vaccinations, but more of that later!

I have been incredibly fortunate this year to keep my little business afloat but many others have not. I shall be trying to do all my gift shopping from small businesses this coming year and I hope you will be supporting them too.

Small business is able to deliver your exact wishes better than anyone, just take a look at this lobster….

A new year is a time for new goals and my key one for next year is to make my toys more ecologically sustainable.

I started this journey last year with Gaia the Ethicorn…

I would like to transform these bunnies next, and try an embroidered eye for them too..

I will also need to retest these designs in line with the new CA mark for childrens toys.

This little one will be making a comeback and with a matching hat for the perfect newborn gift…

There will also be a sheep and a tiger version (it will be the year of the tiger soon!)

What about me? Well, it’s best summed up with this…

I shall be braver in my work and braver in what I wear! See the closing paragraph for my brave new hat!

Before go I need to say this, it’s been a horrible year and it hasn’t be helped by the “discussion “ that has happened around vaccines.

Let me be clear I am vaccinated as much as I can be, and if they offer me more I shall take more.

I want everyone to be safe but just because someone chooses not to take the jab, doesn’t mean I get the right to call them a covidiot- and similarly I don’t want to be called a sheep!

Let’s try and take the emotive language out of this and other debates and try and respect each other’s position, because one thing is for certain, we are and always will be better together, and we will need that unity to face this New Year.

So, I send you all my love and gratitude for your support this year, and I hope we all have a more peaceful 2022.

Kisses

Karen ( in my cupcake kitten hat – pattern by Tiny Owl Knits)

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….

Alpacas And Squirrels And Bunnies Oh My!

Well hello dear reader and can I just say you are looking amazing 🙂 its been a busy time as usual at WDS HQ and i have some new makes to show you but first i want to tell you about Ezo Momongas!

My mate Shell is always on top of whats super cute on the interwebs and look what she found…..

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These are Ezo Momongas and they are Japanese flying squirrels and for me they were just crying out to be made! so I drew one…..

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Hmmm….thats just a flying squirrel and this is when I realised that I have a definite style and always a story that goes with my designs, so here is Eiko…….

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Eiko, whose name means Crystal child or flower child depending on how its written was born! She is a squirrel superhero and will help people young or old to build confidence with either the power of crystals or flower scents! I shall get cracking on bringing her alive very soon.

A design from the last blog is now a reality! this is Alejandro the alpaca…..

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Now I must point out that his baskets are meant for creme eggs or mini eggs- but I ate them! so here he is with some daffodils. This design is CE tested and will be in my my craft shop in the next couple of days.

I also got sidetracked by a wonderful suggestion from another friend Tracy……

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This cheeky unicorn decided to get himself a bunny hat (which is removable)! he will also be in the shop and you will be able to order him with a creme egg sized backpack or chocolate scent or both!!

I have put this bluebell themed unicorn in the shop, made to order..

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This actual unicorn went off to a lady that has had a horrible time of it, I was inspired to gift her in the memory of a lovely young lady called Jenny who passed away. Her mother asks her followers to do a random act of kindness on Jenny’s birthday and to tell the recipient of that kindness that Jenny sent them.

I have also been making a huge order for a fantastic customer and I have made some of these blossom bunnies…

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These are also in the shop to order from a variety of colours!

you can find my shop at http://www.mycrafty.co.uk/shop/while-darcey-sleeps

Finally I am gearing up for an Easter fair run by the marvellous http://www.paperdaisyevents.co.uk  on the 13th April, so that crochet hook of mine should be on fire by the next time we speak!

See you soon

Kisses

Karen

 

 

 

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