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

Pandemic, Panic and Privilege

Hello kittens! its been a while to say the least but this time I have an excuse 🙁

****This is not a cheery post and covers all the horrors of COVID19, please pop by next week if this is too much- I totally understand*****

Unless you have been asleep or on Mars, you will know that the entire world has been in the grip of a pandemic- so serious that it makes those post apocalyptic movies look very tame!

Here in the UK we tried to suppress the virus for a while and then we entered a full lockdown on the 23rd March, this meant you were allowed out only for essential reasons i.e food shopping.

After walking the dogs that morning, me and more importantly, my 21 year old daughter received letters classing us as vulnerable because of our asthma and were told to shield at home for at least 12 weeks. Not allowed out for any reason except medical treatment. I immediately felt like I was shut in a small box because walking in the woods next to my house is my anxiety therapy.

This was the picture I had taken that morning…

It was 15 weeks before I returned to the woods.

Life then became about virtual queues for food shopping, very occasional trips out for my husband – with the manic decontamination that followed- and trying not to panic..

It was hard, thousands of people were falling victim to this insidious virus and there didn’t seem to be much of an idea how to treat it. It also became clear that being as overweight as I was, led to poorer outcomes if you were one of those that ended up in ICU. Every day brought a horrifying toll of deaths.

I decided that now was the time to lose some weight and I started to exercise with some DVDs from Jessica Smith…

Simple, low impact and based on walking, I started with 15 minute ones and gradually worked up to more. Did it make my pain and fatigue worse – you betcha! but the fear of death was one hell of a motivation. It also sweated away a lot of the anxiety that was ever present.

We started to clap every Thursday night at 8pm, I went to the front door to clap with my neighbours and to draw strength from their smiles and waves, and the occasional laugh most notably when my next door neighbours child escaped carrying his saucepan that he had been banging, and was hotly pursued by his sister and then his mum! most weeks ended with a few tears, frustrated by being kept indoors and so desperately worried for frontline staff and the ever increasing death toll.

I spent loads of time in the garden

Mostly with the dogs, here is Milo! but sometimes just to sit and breathe and look at the sky- the weather has been for the most part amazing – and to count my lucky stars that we have a garden, it has been the first time that I have become aware of what an immense privilege a garden is.

I sat and cried a few times as well, mostly for the dead but also for my shielding colleagues stuck in flats and tower blocks,I can’t imagine what that has been like 🙁

Hubby has set up his outpost of the Home Office and has worked all day, everyday since the lockdown- contrary to some of the media reports!

I worked as well, my fabulous customers, old and new kept me super busy, in difficult times I have never felt so grateful to them, here’s some of my lockdown lovelies…

Sadly, I also made these……

These hearts went to our ICU unit, one for the person who was sadly leaving us and one to be sent to their relatives, with a card from the angels that are our nurses.

Whats happening now? well I’m allowed out – hooray!- but still advised to avoid crowded spaces. Numbers of infections has decreased- with sporadic local flare ups-, as have deaths, and we are living an uneasy life alongside the virus. I walk in our woods most days and a little of the peace that this brings has returned.

Life moves on and I have a new sense of urgency and focus, we literally do not know what the next year will bring, so….

Ive also made a big business decision, finally, this will be the year that you are able to buy a crochet kit from me! there will be this bauble …

and also a polar bear bauble!

All the details on progress and more will be in next weeks blog, I just needed to address these horrific few months first before being my usual bright and breezy self!

So, i’ll see you next week, stay safe and big hugs to anyone touched by this virus and my eternal gratitude if you are any kind of frontline worker, including the amazing delivery drivers, postal workers, and anyone who works for Amazon and Hermes! without you I wouldn’t have been able to continue trading!

kisses

Karen

A Purple Poodle, A gingerbread Man and a Unicorn Oh My!

Good morning to you and welcome to September! I have spent most of August making Christmas things and purple poodles!

Before we get to the goodies, I wondered if you would like to know a bit more about me? lets start with my qualifications for this business…

None! I have a C grade o level (ask your mum) in art and a few others none of which have anything to do with what I do now!

My business was a reaction to illness making me unable to work in my usual trade – working for the government -and rediscovering art after receiving therapy for what used to be called a nervous breakdown. My darling mum, retaught me to knit and crochet, bought me books and yarn and encouraged me to make.

While we are on the subject of family, I met my husband at work, he wooed me by making fishcakes and bringing them into work with rolls and tartare sauce- it was a no brainer! I moved into his flat that looked out onto the Thames (another no brainer) and very soon we had our daughter – the prettiest, smartest, funniest girl in the world.

We moved out of London when I quit work and now we live in Sussex – its a lovely place for 360 days of the year, the other 5 I have to get back into London, breathe the pollution, shop and eat in places I don’t usually, and return to the ‘burbs refreshed!

Oh and we got these two….

 

On the right you have Darcey, the girl with only 2 speeds – on or off, when I started this business I could only work while she was asleep- this was another no brainer moment, my business had to be called While Darcey Sleeps! on the left her slightly odd “brother from another mother’ Milo, he is a poodle ….and an evil genius!

Which as they say in the movies brings us to here! I have been working hard on marketing this year and for once started my Christmas makes in August, which is when you have to do it apparently! So, here are some of what you can expect from me, first up Noelle the Christmas fairy…..

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This girl can be any colour you want , I just made a traditional one to get us all in the festive spirit! she features a handmade candy cane charm made by me!

What would a Christmas be without a unicorn make from me? heres something a little different, a tree bauble…..

Again you can have this in any colour you like, more festive, more sparkly just let me know!

A Christmas classic is the next make…..

smaller than my usual makes, they are designed to hang on the tree, not scented but could be? and if you fancy a larger one just shout!

Finally not Christmas related but an ideal gift, my first Patisserie Poodle!

This is Violetta the blossom macaron poodle, she is inspired by  these kinds of macarons….

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I made her blossom macaron charm and she will smell like parma violets- yum!

I will also start shipping to the rest of the world! next blog will have the shipping rates but if you cant wait to place an order  drop me a message or email ( all details on the about page).

I will be back mid month to catch you up on whats going on in our little corner of heaven, in the meantime have a lovely couple of weeks!

kisses

Karen

 

 

 

The One In Which Harry Left And Meghan Got Tested!

Hello Darceyettes! It certainly has been a busy month at WDS HQ! the Unicorn Bakery unicorns were very well received and the two that were all ready made were sold on the night and I got orders for two more – for me with my limited capabilities that constitutes a sell out! you have seen Victoria sponge and Baroness Bertha Von Battenburg but here is Harry……..

As you can see Harry is a carrot cake unicorn, he has sparkly blue eyes and wears the colours of the Blues and Royals on his wings, as this Harry is a military unicorn! He smells beautifully of cinnamon and wears a slice of carrot cake round his neck.

This Harry has gone to live in Scotland and didn’t wait long enough to see his Meghan

( see what I did there ). So here she is ……

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Meghan is a lovely sponge cake unicorn with a lemon and elderflower cream mane, have you noticed that she looks a bit different? this is because she is going to be CE tested! this means she will be certified safe for children over 3. I have had to change my design a little bit, like embroidering her signature flowers instead of making them separately.  It does however mean that she will be pushed and pulled this week – don’t worry I will spare you the pictures!

I have definitely decided to do some more polymer clay, my Pinterest boards are filled with images like this……..

 

I hope that gives you an idea where this is headed. Sign up for the newsletter to find out more!

I have also received a commission for a new dog portrait but I am sworn to secrecy for quite a few weeks! so, heres an oldie but goldie to prove that I can paint!

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Finally I have booked a fair for November, not a Christmas fair but for our local Bonfire society, we have lots of these in Sussex the most famous being the Lewes celebrations staged by several societies. It is very popular and can get a crowd of 90 000! Here is a typical picture….

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That has been my month and I have even more lovely things to do in the weeks ahead, to be honest I have the best job ever!!

Kisses

Karen

 

Under Construction!

Boo! I’m baaacckkkk! that break didn’t last long did it?  because I am fundamentally a technological Twit I am going to turn this blog into my website, so this page will just have some details about me and what I do and I’ll be adding a page called Whats Going On! and that will have updates about what I’m working on, things that have caught my attention, things that I can’t live without, you know the drill. This page will be updated as and when, no fixed schedule so pop back often!

So, let me pop off and get busy and I’ll see you soon!

Big kisses

Karen xx

 

I’m Excited!!

Happy New Year, Bonne Annee, Buon Ano Nuevo, Frohes Neues Jahr, and last but not least Anni Beatum! can you tell which way I voted in June? anyway I’m a bit early, the New Year will start tomorrow and this girl is excited.

Why? because 2016 was kind of pants for the most part, various family members have been ill as I have I,  more times than I care to mention! Also for me personally the big decisions that were made went the wrong way, what had seemed inconcievable – a UK no longer in Europe and that man as President became a reality, lets hope that the people at the sharp end can make all that work. Lets not even list the massively talented, clever and influential people that passed this year…


In the midst of all this craziness, good things happened, all the family members are better or well on their way and lots of good things happened to While Darcey Sleeps, and I made some changes……….

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I got my piercing!!!

I have also taken time out over the holidays to do some personal projects, for the first time   I have successfully knitted some lace…….


And a very easy hat…….


And now I’m knitting a flamingo…….


Professionally there will be some changes in the New Year, I will still be making cute but in an effort to differentiate from all the other talented people there will be more of a luxe edge, more sparkle, more glitter and maybe less traditional subject matter!

There will be lots of painting, and lots of practicing, my business took off very quickly and didn’t leave a lot of time to try new things, so that will be a priority.

There will be a few more giveaways so keep your eyes peeled, the first one is SOON!!

All that is left is to wish you the very happiest of New years and thanks for being a visitor to While Darcey Sleeps!

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)
Our CEO Darcey and Head Of Public Relations Milo 

Kisses

Karen xxx

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