The One In Which It Was Really Cold!

Good morning cupcakes! well winter has well and truly come to my little corner of Sussex! we have had actual snow – which is a big deal for the south of England, look at my silly poodle pretending to be Scott of the Antarctic…..


Fortunately snow doesn’t stop work as I only have to commute to my armchair 🙂 I painted this commission ……….


It really was such a great exercise as I haven’t done monochrome for ages, I had to buy a lot more shades of black and grey (yes there are different ones!) and found out that Chinese Ink is a lovely warm black which makes for great depth.

I crocheted a herd of these bunnies with their creme egg backpacks…..


These two thought it was a bit too cold to hop to their new homes!

I have lots to make for this great event………


But I am not helping myself by being distracted by things like this……..


This past fashion week Gucci sent their models down the runway with these dragons, it really got me thinking about some pet dragons I could make – maybe pastel, maybe linked to your birthstone? I am going to try and resist the temptation to make some until after my fair.

I had made this Easter Bunny girl for my fair…..


But one of my amazing customers snapped it up! along with this mermaid…..


I have found the only way to keep myself organised with my work schedule is to plan and plan again! and the only way you can keep me interested in planning is if I have amazing stationery! so in the picture you can see my unicorn latte bookmark from my mate Shell at, beautiful stickers from What The Fox Designs (you can find her on and peeking out is my lovely planner from


So enough of this chit chat kittens, you need to go to bed or work or school or whatever awesomeness you are doing and  I had best crack on and make some stuff!


Karen xxx


I Have Become Comfortably Numb!

I hope you understand that the body of this blog was written before the events in London and it is humorous in tone, therefore I have inserted my thoughts on those events  above it.

Here we are again, back in the middle of a senseless act of terrorism. This time on the streets of the city that I worked in for many years and still like to visit. I had to contact my husband who frequently works near by to seek reassurance that he and his colleagues were safe.

I have no words that will make any sense of the murder of both civilians and one brave police officer that literally stood in the path of a mad man.

What can we do? nothing except carry on and refuse to let those that are filled with hate change our minds on anything.

We must support our police officers and those of the ambulance and fire service who have to walk into scenes such as those.

We must continue to demonstrate that only love wins.

Morning my little pains au chocolat! it has been a bit of a week here at WDS towers, I have had two visits to  the medical profession in the last two weeks and they were equally challenging! Visit one confirmed that the numbness that I have been experiencing is as a result of damage in my neck and has limited treatment options…….


Visit two confirmed a laundry list of diagnoses also with- yes you’ve guessed it – limited treatment options….

So whats a girl to do? I tell you what girls do – we go and run the world thats what! or if you are me you did this…….

I ate a considerable amount of chocolate……

I designed and made this…..

I have a craft fair booked with the amazing Paper Daisy Events who do marvellous publicity for their artists , so I went and looked at my entry……

I walked these morons…….

They really are morons Milo won’t climb the stairs at my mums and uses the stair lift!

( check out my Facebook page for the video)

And I did all the grown up things like taxing the car and networking and just flipping got on with it because thats what girls do!




Dreary,Disinterested and Dim!

Morning treacles! Mr Darcey Sleeps had a birthday this week, this automatically means a trip to London in our house, he got to choose the activity and took us off to see the exhibition of Elton Johns photography exhibition – The radical eye.

Off to the Tate Modern we went, situated on the south bank of the Thames, which was not looking its best due to some impressively dreary weather……

the Tate Modern is an old power station, and is really imposing especially when you get up close…….

Once inside you find yourself in the Turbine hall, this house quite spectacular works on a mammoth scale, this one (which was being repaired at the time) was a giants version of the old magnetic fishing game………

Once we had oohed and aahed over the turbine exhibit it was off to the exhibition. Elton  John has an extensive photography collection including this iconic image by Man Ray…….


I think we can all agree that this is a cracking image, the composition and subject matter meeting in the most spectacular way.

However this is where me and the exhibition stopped seeing eye to eye, me the person who lives a completely visual life was…….bored! I don’t really know why, I could understand why the pictures were significant and why you would collect them but they didn’t light my fire. Maybe it was because they were all in black and white I just don’t know.

Feeling a little deflated we took a walk over the millennium bridge and took photos of the stunning views, including the new Globe theatre………

And St Pauls cathedral perfectly framed at the other end of the bridge……


A ride in a black cab with a fairly homocidal driver (we gently hit a Deliveroo driver and then cut in front of another cab which descended into a brisk argument with a barely veiled threat of violence) took us to Chinatown which was still wearing its `New Year finery……….

The birthday boy was in the mood for Dim Sum, all those tasty rolls, packages and dumplings! we had a fab meal here…….

As always we concluded with a bit of shopping in the chinese supermarkets and also the Japan Centre just round the corner in Shaftesbury Avenue.

I bought a fab book called Hello  Tokyo………..

Its full of cute ideas for the home and every other aspect of your life, expect to see some makes soon.

so it only remains to say what I should’ve said last week…



Karen xxx


My New Year Heroes!

Morning loves! January is a hideous month, too dark, too cold and fundamentally it’s not Christmas! So how do we get through it? Why don’t you join me for a look at some gorgeousness, some of which is actually useful! I promise it might make life more bearable 🙂 

Make up – for some of us girls ( me included) sticking some nice make up on is really beneficial, making us feel more confident, this lovely Younique palette is rapidly becoming my go to …….

Full of lovely pinks and purples, with matte, shimmer and downright glittery shaded, it really does shine some light on the darkest day and the colours are a lot more subtle on the eye……

Art supplies – I know, not all of you are artists but I know a lot of people are colouring and card making and doing lots of lovely crafty stuff, take a look at these beauties……..

These clever little minxes do all the shading for you, the pen gets put in a mixing chamber and then you just colour and bingo! All shading done by the pen!

Sales! – my favourite bag brand Nica is on sale all over the place at the moment, although Nica’s sale is over this beauty is in the special offer section on their website…..

And it’s £20! No shipping and in a variety of colours! Sorry I’ve got to lay down for a minute…..

I’m back with our final goody kale chips! Buy a bag of pre chopped kale, discard the tough stalk bits, put on a bowl and spray with fry light, spread evenly on a baking tray…….

Put on the oven at a medium high heat and WATCH THEM, these little devils will burn if you leave them to their own devices! Take them out when the edges are browning and place in a bowl to cool and crisp up……..

And eat!

 by the way the crystals that appear in the pictures are chosen for inspiration, creativity and peace,my New Year gift to you!



The One With The Disco Budgies!

Morning cupcakes! do you remember Friends? I loved the way their episodes were titled “the one with”, well if this week was an episode of Friends this would be the one with the disco budgies! let me explain….

Ive just joined a support group for people with Hypermobility syndrome, through this I’ve met a lovely girl called Lucy and long story short I am doing a picture of her birds as practice for me. I sorted out my palette of Inktense pencils (the ones I use for all my pictures) and this happened………..

Neon yellow discotastic budgies! aaarrrgggghhh! there was nothing else to do but start again, but by this time I had “used up” my painting arms and needed to do something else, so instead of continuing with my House Of Cards marathon I thought about what I could do instead that would still benefit my business.

First up, the felt box, look what a state its in post Christmas rush……..

Oh the horror! so I took at patterns and put them in a file, piled up the felt neatly and took out the cottons, ribbons and buttons and stashed them away.

This had got me in a grown up, sort stuff out sort of mood, so then I planned out the next three months work in detail on my Mayi Carles Planners…..

I also put down some ideas for the rest of the year!

Finally I ordered shade cards from my usual felt supplier Felted fancies Supplies…….

This year things I make will be EXACTLY the right colour.

All this effort made me think of my friend Nik’s New years resolution, she said that she was just going to do the same stuff but maybe a little better. Thats exactly what I’m going to do, just give each day that extra 5 or 10% and keep my business at the front of my mind the whole time.

Have a super week



PS here are your links: (for your business planners)






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……….

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 (
Our CEO Darcey and Head Of Public Relations Milo 


Karen xxx

Happy Birthday To While Darcey Sleeps!

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


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…….


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…….


To make up…….

Made with Repix (

Fashion (especially hand bags!)………

Made with Repix (

To gardening…….


We have had a good time…………


Made with Repix (

We have laughed…….


And we have cried……


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!





Floats Like A Painter, Crafts Like A Ninja!

Well hello there! It has been a busy week here at WDS, and I have noticed that I have been more butterfly brained than normal. However, on this occasion it seems to be working in my favour, you see I have a million things to do and make before my Christmas fair at the end of the month, and if I stick to one project I tend to get a bit bored and start checking Instagram! But my picking up and putting down has kept my interest up and has achieved quite a lot, let’s have a look…..

This crazy pompom wreath just needs some ribbon and it’s all done ……..

This wreath needs a few more embellishments and it will be good to go……….

Some things are completely finished ……

Ive made quite a few of these as they are popular with the younger customer!

 I have mocked up one of the Christmas card designs……..

I have also designed my stickers to go on the back of the card, but I’m not going to show you just yet!

So it looks like my lack of concentration may have actually been a bonus! 

By the time you read this I will have just one sleep until I fulfill one of the goals from my dream board, can you guess which one?

Have a scrumptious week



Getting There In A Roundabout Way!

Good Morning Darceys Angels! there is a saying that man makes plans and God laughs, I had a plan to put a video of me painting on here, but it turned out a bit ….meh….and then I got involved with something that diverted my attention for a bit (more of that later) and…anyhoo this is how the week went.

As you know I’ve been designing  Christmas cards, first I did our CEO Darcey…..



And then to avoid a row our VP Milo had to have one……..


This ones called Surprise!

Finally, as we are an all inclusive company I thought we had best do a cat design, however our own cat Jasper is a 17 and half bag of bones bless him, so I searched for a stock photo (that means copyright free) and chose this one…….


as you can see I was so lazy I just screen shot it! I wanted to add some Christmas to it so I replaced her paw with a bauble. Now I expect proper artists have a method to where they paint first but you know thats not my style! look what I did first………..


Yep! I did the bauble first, what can I tell you I love a bit of sparkle!

After some concentration it ended up like this………..


I put more of a smile on her and a bit of tinsel around her ear. This ones called Dreaming Of Christmas.

It was at this point that I got distracted in the most useful way, through the magic of Facebook I was made aware of a lovely local boy called Sumner Malik, Sumner is suffering from a brain tumour called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. This is a diagnosis that brings a life expectancy usually counted in months rather than years. Sumner’s family and friends are doing everything they can to raise some money for some treatment that will prolong his life.

Sumner’s story hit me straight in the heart, I have given a portrait voucher to the auction of promises that is being held, and after a bit of a think I have decided to donate 20% of the sales of these Christmas cards to Sumner’s appeal. As soon as they are printed I will let you know and hopefully Darcey’s Angels can show Sumner some love.

In the meantime if you feel generous Sumner has a page on

Have a super week


karen xx














Every Pin You Pin, I’ll Be Watching You!……

Cue sinister good morning, mwah hah, hah! Seriously, do you use Pinterest? I love it, access to all the pretty things in the world at the touch of a button, what not to like? But for me it has a more serious purpose because I analyse what people are pinning of mine and therefore gain an insight into what kinds of things  I should concentrate my design efforts on. Let me demonstrate by showing you my top performing pins.

Number 1 by a long chalk is …….

A very simple design but beautifully executed.

Then we have ……..

Everything Alice in Wonderland does really well to be fair but this outperforms the lot, I think the cuteness ( we will come back to that!) and the pastel colour scheme make it extra special.

Coming in third is this……..

A Blythe doll, I love them and the colour scheme of this photo really appealed to me… And lots of others!

That minty colour comes back in the next pin….

This is a great aspirational image, we want our tables to look like this, we want that crockery and dear lord we want that cake!!!!

The next image is exquisite……

I pin a lot of fairy images ( shocker! ) but this extraordinary doll in its breathtaking surroundings is a hands down winner.

Sometimes a pin is as much about the skill of the photographer as the subject….

The flowers are beautiful but the choice of light background and the exposure used elevate a Ho hum picture to a Wow!

Let’s not forget the huge number of tutorials available……..

I love super talented artists that are generous enough to share a how to with me!


There is nothing cuter than a deer in a jar!

So, what does this tell us? The person who pins from my boards loves cute, with a bit of an edge and is likely a creative person themselves.

I am unashamedly using this info for some super cute Christmas cards and decorations!

Happy pinning!



Ps  there will be no blog next week as its my birthday and we are off to London, the following week will be all about what we got up to and what I bought! See you then xx