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…….

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To make up…….

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Fashion (especially hand bags!)………

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To gardening…….

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We have had a good time…………

 

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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

 

 

Stop Standing In Your Way!

Morning lovelies! Are you all puzzling that headline? I’m sure like me you see more than your fair share of motivational quotes during your day. This week I saw one that literally stopped me in my tracks……….

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After two years of writing this blog and launching my little business, I knew right then and there that I was standing in my way! Let me tell you what I am doing that is STOPPING me being more successful.

1. I am absolutely useless at promoting my business! I belong to loads of Facebook groups that allow businesses to advertise and I do it maybe 4 times a year, it feels a little like this to me……

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But would I feel the same if I was a plumber or a dog walker? No, so it’s time to stop thinking of my business as different and start advertising regularly.

And while we are on the subject of look at me…

2. Networking! I am awful at this! I don’t read other people’s blogs as much as I should and that’s a shame as there are fabulous writers out there that I should be building relationships with, and I belong to several groups specifically set up to make networking easier, so if I follow your blog expect a visit soon……

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3. Social media! After spending literally hours studying effective blog and brand promotion on a course run by the super talented April Bowles Olin of Blacksburg Belle, I am a sporadic user at best. I need to pin more and analyse the successful ones like this one……..

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I also need to look at that persons boards to see what else they like, and use this information to inspire designs.

I need to Instagram more of my life and it’s ups and downs so that you get to know me better…..

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4. Use time more effectively! That hour in the morning where I sit around waiting to deliver the husband to the station could be used to do some of the above!

5. Get it done! move some of the ideas I have had this year into actual action, remember this?………

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It’s time to take that pretty piece of design and make it a reality.

6. Practice what I preach! Remember this from last year……

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It’s time to take that great advice and not put limitations on myself or my business!

So it’s onward and upward and time to spruce up the unicorn and see how much further she can fly ( if you are new here check back on my first ever post for an explanation) .

Have a cracking week

Kisses

Karen

Gardening? I Should Coco!

Morning pumpkins! Do you love gardening? I really don’t, it leaves me a bit…meh, I can’t get enthusiastic about growing my own vegetables ( although I do intend to grow some salad items next year), but I do love flowers so I have been giving some thought to what kind of flowers I would like. Of course what I should be doing is looking at the practicality of various varieties, their drought resistance etc, etc but where’s the fun in that? Let’s look at colour! My favourite colours in the entire world are 3 colours associated with the design house of Chanel, here they are……..


So once I had those three colours I headed over to http://www.crocus.co.uk and picked out some plants within those groups, first up the Rouge Noir flowers…..

This is wallflower ” purple shades”.


This is Lillium “Black Beauty”.


This is Tulipa ” black parrot”

The beige shade was tricky but I found these gorgeous creams and ivories ……..


What better way to start the year than with crocosmia ” albus”?


This is Azelea Rhodedendron “daviesii”.


This is Jasmine “Devon cream”

I need just one plant in the white category…….


Perfectly Chanel in every way is the Camellia Japonica “perfection white”

To further satisfy my need for beige I will be planting in beige pots……


These ones are from IKEA .

I’m really excited to get going and will be heading to http://www.crocus.co.uk to do my plant shopping. 

Do you love gardening? I’d love to see some pictures!

Have a fantastic week

Kisses 

Karen xx

How To Make A Bag Out Of Bluebells!

Hello loves! It’s no secret that I am absolutely nuts for the bluebells that carpet the woods at this time of year, I have taken roughly a bazillion pictures (yes I’ve counted), here is just one…..

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In the past I have tried to prolong their magic by wearing Jo Malone’s gorgeous Wild Bluebell fragrance ( http://www.jomalone.co.uk), I have brought bluebells in from our garden……

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The colour is without compare and how gorgeous is that little flower bridge? I am so lucky to have given it a home when my mother in law downsized.

This year I have decided I will try and paint a proper picture of them, I will be exhibiting again this year at our local arts festival and I think a picture of our local woods will go down well. I am determined not to rush and I will use all the proper grown up techniques…

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Not much to see and actually now residing in the bin, I wasn’t sufficiently happy with my washes so instead of painting something else I will try and try again!

So then, pretty much as it does every day, my mind turned to handbags, I have tried to find a really pretty backpack, these are my favourite at the moment but only if they have handbag style top handles so that I can carry it conventionally or on my back if needed, I started to see a bluebell coloured, satin backpack with zips and decoration in the green of their stems…

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Again I’m going to take my time with this, I need it to be the most perfect shade of blue and the right zips etc. Of course then my mind started seeing the perfect tote in rose coloured fabric…….

I’m blaming this lack of focus on my bluebell induced mania! Hopefully I will have some of the picture to show you soon, follow me on Instagram for the most up to date images!

Have a cracking week

kisses

Karen

 

 

Do I Love Gardening? Meh……

I hate gardening! There, I said it! I find it time consuming, manicure ruining and generally a drag, I could only get enthusiastic for my fairy garden…….

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But I have been gradually persuaded into doing more gardening by my husband. As I have done more, I have realised that although I love flowers, the most satisfying gardening comes from growing veggies. So, here are my (almost) no fail selection of fruit and veg you can grow in even the smallest patch.

First up, apples……

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Our trees are at least 50 years old and enormous but if space is at a premium you can grow some dwarf varieties in a large pot. This year looks like a bumper crop so we have endless apple pies and what is known in our house as apple mush to look forward to.

Next, how about sugar snap peas or mange tout, these were grown from seed and they were just repotted once before going outside…….

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These have been amazing for stir frys and just grazing round the garden!

Then onto the old faithful-tomatoes, the seeds for these came free with a gardening magazine! They are easy to grow and almost fool proof, as long as you don’t get blight which just appears and is the equivalent of the Black Death for your toms…..

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Next, another favourite – strawberries, these are a small alpine variety and I think I like the flowers as much as the fruit…..

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On a hot day they make that part of the garden smell like jam!

How about something a little spicier! Chillies are so easy and can be grown on a window sill……

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These have a great flavour, milder than shop bought but with great warmth.

Finally leeks, we have grown about 20 in a very small raised bed, but they are coming to the end so this picture looks like a leek graveyard….

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Finally, a word of warning, buying seeds can be addictive, my husband succumbed to this….image

This is a cucumelon! It is as it says on the tin, a hybrid of the cucumber and a melon, don’t let the picture fool you, that fruit is exactly 2cms long!

Let me know what you are growing or whether you are anti gardening like me!

Kisses

Karen