Spring has Sprung!

Hey kittens! Is it just me or is this year flying past! This is what happened in February!

I made 15 little starfish for my lovely friends at Epic Bizzi Box!

They really looked like a box of sunshine when they were packed!

After watching The Great Pottery Throwdown, and listening to Christine explain that she had difficulty finding brown skinned fairy dolls, I decided to make one of the unicorn dolls with a beautiful darker skin tone – here’s a work in progress pic…..

This beauty will be finished soon!

I also got to make a sleepy tiger for Leona Burton of Mums In Business International – if you are a mum or a woman in business, check them out, it’s an amazing, supportive organisation! https://mib.international/

Obviously the tiger had to be in MIBint colours …

This is Toko – it means hope

New commissions have also been flying in and I’m super excited to make a dachshund puppy ….

This is Emmy – named after my husbands aunt ❤️

In other news we had a storm, this tree in the wood near us, managed to crumple the steel fence separating the wood from the railway….

And while we are on the subject of the wood…..

The bluebells are here!!!! I can’t wait for their perfume

And finally, I can’t write without mentioning the situation in Ukraine, I hope that the conflict can be resolved without further loss and as I type there are negotiations happening.

It was appropriate that these came out over the weekend, flying the blue and yellow for Ukraine…

Look after yourselves and if you are in a position to donate, please try and support the various charities in the area.

Kisses

Karen xx

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….

Project Calm Photo Walk

Hello you gorgeous people! I have a visual treat for you today, last week I took delivery of this lovely book-a-zine……….image

It is chock full of things to do that help you relax-not yoga and meditation so much (although they are in there) more about different creative things you can do.

The idea that really resonated with me was a photo walk, documenting a walk that you do everyday or one that is a complete one-off. As I’m still not a 100% I went with my usual dog walk. So, first I gathered my team……..

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

Cute! and off we went, I haven’t documented the few meters it takes me to get to the woods, but here is its rather grand gateway………
Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

This is an ancient woodland dating back many hundreds of years, although its being nibbled away by recent building developments I still feel very privileged to have it on my doorstep, so off we go!

First, along the path that runs parallel to the railway….

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

At the end of this path is a huge mound that the dogs love to run up and down to give me heart failure……..

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

Once my nerves are settled its off across the fields………..

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

At the end of this field is a huge oak tree that must be at least 100 years old (can you see the houses just behind)……..

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

Off up the hill to what I thought was a bomb crater but I am reliably informed its earthworks from the 40’s when my house was built, either way it is magical looking as the water is always black looking………

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

Needless to say I don’t feel the need to follow the dogs down that hill!

After a few twists and turns we end up here, crossing one of the two main streams……

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

Then the path takes us pass the local school…….

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

This primary school really makes the most of their situation and the children attend forest school, have treasure hunts and reading sessions all in the wood.

The dogs make the most of the surroundings and climb the occasional tree……

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

I know I always bug you with the first bluebell sighting, but this path uncovered this beauty……

When all the others are out it scents this part of our walk beautifully.

This next path has my favourite view in any kind of weather…….

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

I’m not a church going girl but it always reminds me of walking into a church, something about the light filtering through the trees looks like stained glass to me.

I’m not sure who built this little meeting place but the dogs love it…….

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

And then its time to head for home, over the second river and up the hill….


I think the picture walk was a great exercise, it helped me focus and decide which things might interest you and in doing so I kind of saw the woods with fresh eyes. I will definitely do another one, maybe in a couple of weeks when I am going to the V and A museum for a sketching class!

Have a fabby week

Kisses

Karen

 

 

 

A Day In The Life Of ? Me!

This blog is frequently read in France and therefore I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to everyone touched by the events of last night xX

I think I have the best job in the world, painting and making pretty things and it would be reasonable to think that I float around all day in a painting smock, but in reality I have to be quite organised so here is my day!

First task of the day is walk the dogs, this is a physical struggle for me but I rely on it to keep my anxiety at bay, and when you have these woods on your doorstep it’s easy to get moving…..

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Poor Milo has had his “snip” and has to stay home….

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Then it’s time for breakfast, up until now this has not been healthy, but I am trying my best to eat better in an effort to reduce my pain levels. So this morning I had a banana and almond butter shake and some chocolate tea…..

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Its time to do some work! While the dogs sleep I start some painting, i gather all my equipment, paints and iPad………

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I can only work for about an hour before stiffness sets in but that’s enough time to get this far……..

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After a rest it’s housework, and then lunch……

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It hasnt been this healthy for ages, but this Mexican bowl of quinoa, guacamole, cashew cream and tomatoes it was yum!

Its then time for my second work session and the afternoon is for craft and stock for craft fairs, this afternoon was a glittering session for my Fimo Christmas decorations……

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When the dogs wake up its back to house work, cooking and playing with these two….

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Do you love how proud Milo (on the right) looks?

So how does your day go?

kisses

karen xx

Clean Sheets For All Of Us

It has been freeezzinnggg at WDS HQ the last few days! Our lovely woods have been rendered Narnia like by the hardest of frosts, magically clean, white and sparkling.

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Everything looked brand new,

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And that’s what we get tomorrow a clean, sparkling new year, a year in which we can do everything or nothing, a year to go to the gym 6 times a week or once a month or never.

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So when you write those New Years resolutions, remember if you don’t achieve them this year, you will get a whole new one on 1.1.16 and can try again. It’s not how many times we fail, it’s how many times we try.

Happy New Year

kisses

Karen

PS have you got any resolutions this year? Please share so far i have just made one to paint my nails more often!