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 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 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….

Coming To A Mailbox Near You!!

Good Morning! its Me! in the middle of the month! who’s excited? I think you know I am!

Lets start with some good news! I have upgraded the blog so that soon you will be able to order and pay me on here! I will be clumping products into simple categories, for example CE tested (child safe) toys like these ……

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Will be one category with a flat rate price of £8 and then I will put them into postage bands – Uk, Europe and the rest of the world. As a guide shipping will be about £5 from anywhere in this lovely world. Thats right we are shipping everywhere!!!

It also allows me to place videos! so expect see more of this….

Now, lets have a look at whats happened in the last couple of weeks! this commission was gifted, so now I can share with you…..

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I loved doing this, I have painted for this client before and she always supplies such amazing photos! this is her friends dog sitting in his going out chair!

My competition winners were announced, the over 10 winners mum ordered her a Battenburg unicorn, so with the under 10 and the runner up prizes this made a lovely queue for the post office!

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Now, Andreja who won the under 10s prize chose the colours for her blue maned unicorn and that, together with some input from Mr Darcey Sleeps inspired this…

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A mercorn! This design is well on its way, so you will have a finished picture soon.

I shall be spending the next couple of weeks on a mountain of gingerbread men, oh, and i’m just going to leave this here……

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Confused? all will become clear! lol!

See you in a couple of weeks- with a video!!

UPDATE: I have added a couple of pages, by the time you come back in a couple of weeks they will be up and running!
<!– START ADVERTISER: Buysubscriptions.com – Immediate & BBC magazines from awin.com –>

<a href=”https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?s=406653&v=1866&q=191089&r=524345″&gt;
<img src=”https://www.awin1.com/cshow.php?s=406653&v=1866&q=191089&r=524345&#8243; border=”0″>
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<!– END ADVERTISER: Buysubscriptions.com – Immediate & BBC magazines from awin.com –>

 

Kisses

Karen

The One In Which I Was Nearly Late…..

Good afternoon my darlings! So there I was reading my good friend Shell’s blog post when I realised I should have done one!! So here is what is happening at WDS HQ this month!

While we are on the subject of Shell, she ordered two mermaids from before Christmas, I was true to my New Years resolution and used the opportunity to design my own……….

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and this is Shell! she also ordered one for a friends daughter….

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Not sure if this one has a name but I do know that making these knotted wigs for them has been my favourite thing! I wish you still had to put your profession on your passport- because I would have mermaid wig maker!

I also redid my bunny pattern and used this amazing yarn which self patterning flowers …

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he also has a little backpack which you can fit a creme egg in! These have proved so popular that I cannot work quick enough to get any in the shop!

With the next make I went back to my beginning and made a bear, a bear that wants to play at unicorns…….

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This is Blossom and I will be putting her in my shop tomorrow, she is the softest bear with the sparkliest eyes! I hope she finds a special someone 🙂

I also got a commission for a portrait of some gorgeous dogs, can’t post a picture until its gifted but its a great commission as its in black and white- something I haven’t done in forever!

Finally, I am so excited to have a stall at the Paper Daisy Easter Boutique Market on the 31st March. I think i might have to grow more hands to keep up with orders and make some stock! If you are local to Sussex in the UK we will be at the Shoreham Centre all day 🙂

Right enough chatting to you lot, its back to Easter bunnies for me!

Kisses

Karen xxx

 

 

Happy Birthday To While Darcey Sleeps!

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

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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…….

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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…….

PANTONE-Color-of-the-Year-2016-v1-3840x2160

To make up…….

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

Fashion (especially hand bags!)………

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

To gardening…….

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We have had a good time…………

 

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

We have laughed…….

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And we have cried……

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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!

Kisses

Karen

 

 

The Terror Of The Blank Space!!

Morning!! As you know I made a plan to spend at least a couple of weeks of January trying to perfect my fur painting (awfully specific I know), if you are a keen follower of this page  you will know that last week was a bit of a ‘mare for me so work didn’t start until this week.

I grabbed my lovely large canvas and…….OH MY FREAKING GOODNESS IT IS SO BLANK!!!

blank-canvas-2I was suffering a complete crisis of confidence, I hadn’t really picked up an oil brush for about 25 years!! Time for a bit of music therapy, I started blasting Gwen Stefani’s  What Are You Waiting For  on my return trip from dropping husband at the station, the lyrics are just perfect, dealing with Gwen’s own crisis of confidence on setting out one her own. So with “take a chance ‘cos you might grow” ringing in my ears, I sketched the Millie cat………….

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So far so good, with arthritis making its presence felt that was that for day one. I then picked up this marvellous book, and…I could not believe how hard it was!

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By the second day I had something approaching fur……..

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I started to relax a bit and made a bit more progress……

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I then tackled the eyes……….

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It was at this point that i could see that oil is a very different medium and that it produces a very realistic look. The picture is still a long way from finished but I’m loving it, and I hope that this will be an option I can offer clients in the future.

Have a great week.

kisses

karen xx