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!

While Darcey Sleeps Workshop!

Hello my lovelies! I’m so sorry it’s been so long but in my defence I have been sooooo busy! So busy, that it’s feeling like Santa’s workshop or in our case Darcey’s workshop! And there will be more about that further down 😊

But first let me tell you what I have been up to, I have finally got my festive food and drink decorations range finished! And one of them has become a runaway success, please meet Pete, the pig in a blanket….

Pete and his friend Coco chocolate

We are a partially vegan household and I had to find a meat free version for my range!

I obviously also needed a mince pie, this is Matt….

He’s in his metal tin because he knows you are too busy to make them all the time, and he promises not to tell anyone 😉

Here’s the finished box, which will be in my Etsy shop soon….

Top row: Sid sprout , Bryon the Baileys coffee and Matt mince pie, bottom row , Coco hot chocolate, Pete and Edward nog

I have also been busy with your orders, this order was so pretty to make ….

A rainbow bear for Luna Moon Dyes

The customer runs a tie dye company, and wanted a suitably rainbow bear, and also a rainbow and a moon. Check out her beautiful creations here : http://www.instagram.com/Luna_moondyes

And now for the super exciting bit! My kit patterns have been out for testing and look ……

My sisters unicorn
And her polar bear
And a blingtastic unicorn from my mum

These kits will be on sale in my Etsy shop on 1.11.20 and will come with everything you need including a hook, needles, yarn and stuffing. They will be branded Darcey’s Workshop as you guys will be doing the work,

I will let you know when they are in there and will try and get more festive goodies in there too.

Look after yourselves ❤️

Kisses

Karen xxx

Testing and Etsying!

Good morning my little cupcakes! I was no sooner back than I forgot to write a blog last week!! anyway lets take a lightning tour through what’s been happening!

I designed my first boy doll….

The customer had just had a new nephew and after I made these for her ……

She asked me to design a little boy! I think he turned out really well!

One of my best customers and now a dear friend commisioned these two….

A keyworker bear named George to help her grand babies understand the whole mask thing- purchases of this bear donates £2 to Mind.

And a T Rex called TJ who was for her son who has autism and is a gaming fan, this toy donates to a local autism charity.

The commissions didn’t end there! this giraffe girl and her little giraffe is going to a precious little one that turns three soon….

I think there will be lots of this onesie wearing dolls, so keep your eyes peeled.

Lets get the champagne out as I had an Etsy sale, I had just two things listed, and this one is now on they way to USA!

I will try really hard to get some stock in there soon!

I have also sent out a test kit … to my lovely mum and look what she did!

Although she is an experienced crocheter, she had a complete mental block around going around in the amigurumi style! I think she has done amazingly well. the next stage is to send both kits to another tester and the beginners kits to 2 complete beginners.

Finally, husband has had time off and has done an amazing job with the garden, “assisted” by these jokers…

Don”t they look serious?

Check back next week to see what we have been up to!

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

There’s Method In My Madness!

Good morning my little Cupcakes!! Its been a busy 2 weeks and I have had some lovely comments about my imagination, especially on this video….

 

 

So rather than show you new makes, I thought today I would share some of my designing process with you!

Its fair to say that I can be a bit disorganised, lets take this blog for an example! I do have a tendency to just sit and babble on a bit, share some pictures and run away! but now I have this…….

A lovely free gift from The Girls Mean Business that came with my 2019 Awesome Marketing planner! It helps you plan out what you are going to say, so expect more coherence!!

My design process however is a bit more chaotic! now that I have confidence in my ability to design, inspiration comes at me from everywhere!

I see fairies sleeping with dormice in trees like this ….

which led to this  ……

This book got me thinking ……

and one of my unicorns took a turn for the worse…….

Food inspires me all the time…….

So I have the inspiration, next I draw a design…….

Sometimes! a lot of the time I just go straight to the hook…

Like my Butterkittycorn Aurora! I am trying to be more organised and write the patterns down, in my lovely planner….

One of my goals for 2019 is to produce some patterns for you so that you can make your own magical critters.

I hope you have a little insight into my design process or the lack of it! while we are on the subject of next year, here is a little video about a material that will help me bring squishy magical creatures to life!

 

Have a magical couple of weeks and I will see you on Sunday the 18th November, but if you are local I will be at the Lindfield Bonfire Society fair at the King Edward Hall from 10.00am, if not and you feel like a bit of shopping from your sofa please join me and a lot of talented makers at this event……

 

You can find all the details on my Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/whiledarceysleeps

 

Kisses

Karen xx

 

 

I Am Falling For October!!

Good Morning you lovely people! well, two weeks have passed and I have aged a year! and if you are in the mood for more conundrums, my sister and I are born on the same day but are not twins!!  the has such a bad sense of direction that she couldn’t even find her own birthday! but seriously she’s the best present I ever had. A couple of days before our birthday I found this rose in my garden which I thought was very appropriate!………

The autumn or fall is making its mark in the woods near WDS HQ…….

And on the theme of change, we have had a makeover! what do you think? im hoping you will like the fact you can find the follow buttons etc a bit easier.

Some new makes have happened, firstly Sakura, the cherry blossom fairy…..

 

and Rudi the CE tested reindeer, who is safe for children from birth………

 

and both are for sale in my new shop at http://www.mycrafty.co.uk/while-darcey-sleeps and also on the shop ’till you drop page on the this blog!

This little pincushion is a prototype pin cushion with some decorated pins……

This is Miss mIllie cat and she loves cake! she is based on my darling Millie cat who loved all food! watch out for the improved versions coming soon!

What is coming soon? On Friday 19.10 I shall be releasing some clay jewellery with Halloween and Christmas themes, I made these a while ago …

Expect more glitter, cute faces and maybe some spooktacular themes!

I also want to find some time to start two projects with very new to me techniques, heres your clues…..

Have a fab day and don’t forget to follow me on facebook for the very latest news!

Kisses Karen xx

 

 

 

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