Happy Birthday To While Darcey Sleeps!

Morning! Grab a piece of cake and a glass of sparkle because we are celebrating!


This little blog is 2 years old! So in the words of Craig David lets “re re wind” and have a look at how far that unicorn has flown!

The 10th of December 2014 was the first entry on this blog and the first anniversary of me suffering a panic attack and developing anxiety and panic disorder.  This major upset had left me feeling like this…….

But then I went to therapy and a wonderful lady restored me basically to factory settings, so what to do with myself now? Too sick to return to work for HM Government it was up to me to find an occupation that fitted around my disabilities. That’s how While Darcey Sleeps was born, an umbrella name for this blog and my painting/craft business. It was so called because I could only work while this madam was asleep!

After a suggestion from family I started painting and did a few test run dog portraits for friends of my daughters…….


This has become the backbone of the business, and for me a dream come true, to paint and get paid for it feels incredible.

For me the equal pleasure is to write this blog every week and not confine our discussion to  crafts, we have talked about everything, from colour…….


To make up…….

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

Fashion (especially hand bags!)………

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

To gardening…….


We have had a good time…………


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

We have laughed…….


And we have cried……


Through it all, this has been the best place to hang out, I hope you have found it useful or thought provoking or just enjoyed the pictures.

My unicorn will be stretching her wings this year, making more, talking more and generally taking it to the next level, know this for sure, this sparkly door will be open to anyone, 2017 is going to need all the love we can give it and all the support we can give each other.

So here’s to us, and another year of spangly, glittery, emotional, funny experiences!





A Birthday Trip To The Mother ship!

Hello darlings! did you miss me? it felt seriously weird not to talk to you last week, butI was (cue the music) Partying like its my birthday!

As you probably know I reside in the lovely county of Sussex, which is great but I am definitely a Londoner still in my heart, so at the slightest excuse we escape back to the “smoke”.

On this birthday themed mission I had three goals:  go to Selfridges and buy some Ellis Faas make up, go to Liberty and visit their haberdashery and end up at the restaurant Dirty Bones. Here is what went down……..


You know something good is going to happen when you see these doors (thanks to my American friends for sending us Mr Selfridge) but this time the main event were the Shakespeare themed windows, have a look at these…..

I love this quote and this shop is certainly full of devilish temptation!

After walking round cooing and aahing at the lovely stuff on offer I bought a milk chocolate mascara, a lovely medium brown eyeshadow and a super red lipstick for the winter ( yes I’m having another go at red lips!) here they are……..

Purchases made it was off to Liberty, now if you are not familiar with it, this is a London institution built in the 1890s and then majorly renovated in 1924 using the timber from two ships (yes, ships!) the HMS Impregnable and the HMS Hindustan, have a look what they did with all that wood……….

Aint it something! sadly haberdashery was a little disappointing, it used to be much more eclectic and was a little Rowan dominated for me, but hey ho, a tea cake in there cafe sorted me out!

Where do you go if you have just eaten a tea cake? to dinner of course! Off to a new one for us in this lovely hideaway called Kingly court……..


Apologies for the light but this was one of those particularly grey London days!

Dirty Bones is on the second floor…….


Look how quick I can move when there is a burger at the end of it!! Dirty Bones turned out to be a runaway hit, my burger came with black treacle bacon and Gorgonzola cheese and was placed on the coolest table ever !!……


Yup, it was a pinball machine!

I didn’t take any food pictures, it always feels a bit intrusive and unless you catch it straight away don’t bother! no one wants to see half eaten food!

Sadly it was then time to go home, pain, impending bankruptcy and worry about the parents dealing with their furry grandkids had caught up with us but not before we caught one last picture…………


Yes its Stella McCartney, which always makes me think of the Absolutely Fabulous episode where Edina stands outside and screams “Stella!” give it  a look on YouTube! we all shouted but she didn’t come out!

Next week there may be a little video for you -if I can wrap my head round the technicalities!!

Have a cracking week poppets


Karen xxx


Cry Freedom!

Oooh baby am I excited! on one of my 5 trillion visits to medical facilities recently I read about the launch of a new make up range from a company called Freedom. This company want to make professional quality make up available to everyone, this means the price point is ridiculously cheap. This really was my invitation to go over to their website and get crazy! heres what I bought……


I bought this collection of 5 lippies for the princely sum of £5! the colours are lovely, quite sheer but still packing a colour punch. I have super dry lips and found them very moisturising.

Next, an eyeshadow kit……

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

This is the Proshade and Brighten Mattes Kit 1 and it is £2.50, yes you heard me correctly! the colours are soft texture and have a good density of pigment. I just could not get any light for a swatch picture, check out my finished face at the end.

I was getting properly carried away by now and bought a mascara and an eye primer…….

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)IMG_3937

The mascara was the pro volume version and did manage to give my lashes some length and volume which with my sparse lashes was a miracle !it was £2.00 and it has stayed all day something more expensive mascaras have failed to do. The primer was fab! it evened out my lids perfectly and kept my eyeshadow where it was meant to be and for £2.50!

Finally I bought a Glamdoll palette in Vintage Doll……

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

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

This has everything you could possibly need in a slim palette and they are currently reduced to£6.00!

Heres me wearing the nude eye palette and lipstick from the Bares collection….

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

So, my verdict is that these are ridiculously cheap products that deliver a quality finish, and most importantly my hyper sensitive skin did not react at all. Head over to http://www.freedoommakeuplondon.com and see what takes your fancy!







Scrub, Polish And Sparkle!

IT’S NEARLY CHRISTMAS!!!!!! and with it the need to look a little glamerer (its a word) than normal. There’s parties and gatherings and family meals, and its nice to look and feel a bit special when everything else is so sparkly.

So I have three products to help you sparkle and shine through the festivities. First up, a new brand to the UK Frank Body, I bought their nearly miraculous scrub…….

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

It ‘aint pretty, its major ingredient is coffee grounds, and it makes the bathroom look and smell like a messy branch of Costa, it also ‘aint cheap at £12.95 a pack but oh my days its good! it firms, softens and tones, and blurs the appearance of stretch marks! they also have a complete range of skincare which I will definitely be investigating. Pop over to http://www.uk.frankbody.com

Next, our polish is provided by a powered facial brush, mine is a Magnitone, but there are millions on the market, Now, I have come late to this new invention and am probably preaching to the converted but the difference this gadget makes to your skin is amazing! my very dry, very sensitive skin has been transformed and I need about half the moisturiser I normally use. My brush came for the luxury discount site http://www.achica.com

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

Finally, the sparkle is provided by this amazing collaberation between Urban Decay and Gwen Stefani……

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

This actually belongs to my daughter but she has kindly lent it and swatched it for you……..

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

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

These shadows are the softest, most pigmented, most bendable shadows I have come across. Not cheap at £40 but how about a late addition to the Christmas list? Just a word on the swatches, daughter has vampire like- I mean very pale skin so bear that in mind when deciding if its for you. Have you decided that you can’t live with out it? its out of stock at a lot of retailers, but at time of going to press it was available at http://www.feelunique.com and http://www.debenhams.com.

The next time we see each other it will be Boxing Day! don’t expect much sense from me as I will be heading off to the family homestead for a pot luck feast with the reli’s, so let me wish you the most peaceful, joy filled Christmas possible, now go out and shine like the little stars you are!!

Kisses Under The Mistletoe

Karen xxxxxx

PS and a Christmas lick from our CEO and VP, Darcey and Milo




Do your Facebook and Instagram feeds contain a lot of images captioned with #Blessed? Mine does and it made me think what I have that would merit that description, this is what I came up with.

This Saturday most of my family are gathering to celebrate my Mums birthday and the arrival of our new puppy. I love my family so much, it is full of talented and loving adults and six of the brightest, funniest children you could wish for. Here we are on a family holiday ……….


So far, so #blessed right? Not completely, all the adults have had health scares and the majority live with serious chronic illness, some of us have faced life threatening illness. Throughout our trial and tribulations we have always had the unconditional support of the red head in the centre of the group – or mum!

My mum has dealt with her husbands illness for the best part of 40 years, her own illness, and for the last two years a condition that can only be managed by aggressive steroid therapy. I could tell you how brave she is, how generous, but let’s just celebrate what makes her great.

My mum loves make up as much as me, one of my earliest memories is of her alpplying her cake mascara, for the youngsters amongst us this what it looks like……..


In in fact she loves her make up so much, she has made us promise that is she is ever in a coma, we will come and put her make up on and dye her hair which brings us to its colour…..


Her hair is Titian red naturally, now it receives a little chemical assistance 😉

She is also multi talented, she makes coffee cake that would make an angel cry…..


And knits, sews and quilts, here are the quilts she made my dogs, yes you heard me correctly, dogs…


She is the queen of malapropism, for example “the cheese straws have a touch of canine pepper in them”!

So thats just a few of the things that make my mum great, and in the most public way possible,I wanted to say….

Happy Birthday Mummy!!!!!


Karen xxx

One Wedding And A Cardie!

So there it is, the invite is on the doormat and the joyful occasion of your friends nuptials is on its way. Inevitably that means the purchase of a new outfit, at this point it is worth mentioning I am generously proportioned so the danger of a dress making me look like a sofa are dangerously high! Here is how my wedding outfit came together

i tend to do most of my shopping on the net as most of the curvy retailers are to be found here. I usually shop the Curve range at ASOS.com or at SimplyBe.com. On this occasion I couldn’t find anything there so I headed to a relatively new player:- Violetta at Mango, and turned up this little beauty…..


It was super flattering and perfect for the forecast 22 degrees…more of that later! Now I had to source some accessories, my gut instinct with these is to go very coordinated but I am trying to be a bit more adventurous, I found this gorgeous bag in the Next sale…..


The pale pink and gold really seemed to work, so now I needed similar shoes. These are a problem for me because of my arthritis, I normally live in trainers or FitFlops but that just wasn’t going to do! This is when Clarks came to the rescue! They have lots of cushion soled shoes and sandals and these fit the bill and will do me for the rest of the summer….


Then we move to accessories, I needed some simple gold pieces and found a necklace from Accessorize and a ring that I had that was on offer from Achica.com…….


That just leaves the face, I wanted a soft pink, kind of vintage feel and Bourjois came up trumps with this palette, called Rose Vintage! I stuck with them for lips and this Rouge Edition Velvet in Nude-ist, which is actually quite pink! I used my usual foundation – Bare Minerals Bare Skin and waterproof mascara (obvs!) again from Bourjois……..


As for scent, I didn’t bother! Has she finally lost it? I hear you cry, no, I was wearing some perfumed body butter from Perfectly Handmade another brilliant business run on Facebook by the lovely Amanda. The Cinq products she makes smell very much like another perfume with 5 in the name! Check her out at http://www.Facebook.com/perfectlyhandmade.

Finally the weather it turns out that it was approximately 13 degrees on the day and my neighbour had to rescue me with a lovely pale gold cardie! It was a lovely day despite the weather and lovely to see an old friend so happy.

Have you got any weddings this year? I would love to see your outfits if you do!


Karen xx