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

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

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

Oh Baby! We Have Been Busy!

Good morning kitty cats! I am so very sorry I haven’t blogged I forever but oh my goodness I have been busy! I have not had my traditionally quiet start to the year and a lot of this has been down to one little boy – more of that later.

So, grab a coffee and a seat, you are definitely going to need a seat, there are some pictures of such cuteness, your legs are going to give way! Here’s what’s happened …

I finished my Ezo Momonga! the cutest flying squirrel became a superhero squirrel with flower powers as her name is Aiko….

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She soon flew off to her new home!

There was an a Easter fair which I have lost all  the photos from but unicorn chicks were a big hit!

I have made a heap of things for this bundle of scruminess! His name is Tate and his mum and nana are huge fans of my stuff and apart from the elephant ( and Tate!) I made everything in this photo…..

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I told you to sit down didn’t I? so, because Tate’s family are such great customers and now good friends it seemed a no brainer to crown him our brand representative!

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In this photo he is wearing a handmade crown crafted by the super talented Andi, you can visit her at http://www.facebook.com/kwirkyknits. His blanket was also made by me, with a new style Oakley bunny that ties in with the fabulous Jody Pyott blanket design …

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Tate will also now help me test baby specific makes, I need his teeny fingers to test holes for me!!

In between all this I opened an Etsy shop!

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This is our cover picture and I will be stocking it as I go along.

I also read a very interesting article on branding so I spent some time with an app called Color Harmony which extracts colours from your photos, and made a pallet unique to While Darcey Sleeps….

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You can expect all my social media to feature these colours and I will be redoing the blog to match our new identity.

Finally, in a spare few minutes I painted this commission ……

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Such a privilege to paint the beautiful Molly for her owner who was missing her terribly. The commission came from a good friend and customer who has commissioned me twice before, for gifts for her friends, isn’t she a sweetie?

And breathe! so now you are all caught up I promise to be back more regularly and keep you up to date on some new products!

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

 

 

This Week I’ve Mainly Been …….

Good morning my little cupcakes! If I wrote a piece that fitted the above title it would contain one word….Painting! I’m in my usual mad panic before Lindfield Arts Festival, here’s what I’ve done recently….

This last picture still has some work to do and ideally I would like to do another one, probably a horse but ideally a unicorn!

So what do you do in your spare time when you craft for a living? You do more craft obviously! Here’s a couple of projects I have on the boil currently. Let’s start by talking about one of my heroines -Twinkie Chan……


This is the first book I had by Twinkie and I love it! Full of food related items, I’m sure  I will need this cupcake scarf for dog walking!

It was a no brainier to get her second book….


I will be starting this taco pencil case when the painting frenzy slows.

This next project is what I’m doing this week when I’m not painting…….


Needlepoint is so relaxing and requires very little mental input, don’t ask me where I got this or what it’s called, it’s been sitting unloved in a bag for at least a couple of years!

What do you do in your downtime? I know there’s a lot of creative people that follow this blog!

Have a a superb week,

Kisses 

Karen xx

Success!!

MORNING!!  sorry for shouting but you find me in good cheer, I have actually achieved stuff this week! I’m not feeling much better but have managed to shift my mood enough to get stuff done.

The biggest achievement for me was doing some sewing, sitting at the sewing machine for some reason really aggravates my neck and shoulders so I was really grateful for this super easy foldover clutch……..

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

I picked up the faux leather in Berwick Street and I love its squishiness, for the lining I just couldnt resist this bonkers print……..

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

Next time I make this I will use a more glamerous zip, this was very much a practice run but I am really pleased with how it turned out.

I also have managed to do a bit of painting……..

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This will be one of the pictures I take to Lindfield Art Fair, I finally think I might be able to capture our bluebell wood, I could’nt resist using a picture with Darcey in!

Now for a design that has actually changed since this picture was done, I’ve also gathered all the supplies……

The new design is way more kawaii and will be a little felt project.

Also in the planning stage is my first project from my handbag designer book, I am first going to tackle a purse……

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

I love that macaron fabric and can you see the pink wallet underneath? projects are now going into these as I gather materials, hopefully it will result in work being done and time not being wasted looking for stuff!

Finally a project that is just inspiration at the moment……..

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See that Dolce bag? I love it! but at over £1000 it is just not a reality, but look closely…its crocheted in a shell pattern, could we crochet the pieces, add some leather handles and then decorate with some shiny bits and bobs? well i’m the little blogger that thinks she can, this is going to take a while so I may start posting progress pictures.

I’m hoping for another productive week but next week will be a different sort of post, hope I see you here to show you!

Have a great week kittens,

Kisses

Karen

How To Make A Bag Out Of Bluebells!

Hello loves! It’s no secret that I am absolutely nuts for the bluebells that carpet the woods at this time of year, I have taken roughly a bazillion pictures (yes I’ve counted), here is just one…..

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

In the past I have tried to prolong their magic by wearing Jo Malone’s gorgeous Wild Bluebell fragrance ( http://www.jomalone.co.uk), I have brought bluebells in from our garden……

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

The colour is without compare and how gorgeous is that little flower bridge? I am so lucky to have given it a home when my mother in law downsized.

This year I have decided I will try and paint a proper picture of them, I will be exhibiting again this year at our local arts festival and I think a picture of our local woods will go down well. I am determined not to rush and I will use all the proper grown up techniques…

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

Not much to see and actually now residing in the bin, I wasn’t sufficiently happy with my washes so instead of painting something else I will try and try again!

So then, pretty much as it does every day, my mind turned to handbags, I have tried to find a really pretty backpack, these are my favourite at the moment but only if they have handbag style top handles so that I can carry it conventionally or on my back if needed, I started to see a bluebell coloured, satin backpack with zips and decoration in the green of their stems…

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

Again I’m going to take my time with this, I need it to be the most perfect shade of blue and the right zips etc. Of course then my mind started seeing the perfect tote in rose coloured fabric…….

I’m blaming this lack of focus on my bluebell induced mania! Hopefully I will have some of the picture to show you soon, follow me on Instagram for the most up to date images!

Have a cracking week

kisses

Karen

 

 

The Bare Necessities Of ……This Week

Morning! today I have another bunch of products that are rocking my world at the moment, and it needs rocking as I have a chest infection (caused by immune suppressing drugs) and my liver function is up the wazoo (caused by the aforementioned drugs!) so I’m feeling a little less than better!

First, and I am as late as I can be to this party, I have upgraded to an iPhone ….

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I guessed you wouldn’t enjoy a picture of a phone you guys have probably had for the last decade so here is my Harley Quinn cover!

So, I took said phone and took these pictures, first of another daily essential – scented candles….

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This candle is from a brilliant mens shop, Eustace and Arthur in the lovely Somerset town of Langport which is handily where my husbands family live! every time he visits he brings me another “town”, this candle named after the village Curry Rivel (yes really), smells delightful and has an unmistakeable note of curry about it! Inexplicably they don’t have these on the website but they do have brilliant gifts for men, head over to http://www.eustaceandarthur.co.uk and take a peek.

Next up, another product that I should have brought a long time ago …

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This gel top coat by Nail Apothecary is phenomenal! it extends wear on my flakey, chippy nails past the  one day that I usually manage. It was a snip at less than a fiver, I got mine at http://www.asos.com.

There comes a time in your life when you need more than a good moisturiser before you put make up on, step forward primer…..

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This is the cutely named Spackle ( the American word for Polyfilla) by Laura Geller, she has a different version for every concern- redness, hydration, sun protection and this one which is slightly tinted for the vampirish like me, it smooths evens and provides a great base for foundation. This tinted version would be all you need for a weekend face. Available from lots of online beauty retailers.

Finally, the pot of Dianthus that I used for these pictures……..

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If you are not familiar with this plant please pop along to a garden centre, apart from their gorgeous and prolific flowers, their perfume is insane- floral and with a heady note of clove. This tiny pot scents my whole patio.

I hope to finally be well enough to head to the sewing machine next week, so expect a sewing themed post next week including the pattern company that will be making me bankrupt!

Have a great week

Kisses

karen

PS After my darling hubby bought me a table easel, I was finally able to finish this portrait of my dear departed Millie, not bad for my first foray into oils for yonks. Don’t worry, she really did look as fed up as this most days!

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