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


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……….


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……


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……

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……..


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…..

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

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)
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……

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




Morning! As we approach the second birthday of this blog, I was thinking about when I started taking photos to put on here. It had been my intention to take “proper photos” on a “proper camera”, but that never happened. The majority of my photos are taken on my iPad mini or on my iPhone. The process doesn’t stop there though, almost without exception they will be run through a photo editing app called Repix, turning up the light, intensifying the colour. 

Curiosity got the better of me at this point, what would my photos look like stripped bare of any editing and with the most basic of cameras?

First I grabbed this………

My daughters Instax, like the old Polaroid it produces the picture in seconds and is super simple to use…….or was it…..

Here’s number 1……

My blue berry bush, really over exposed but strangely pretty.

And then………..

My tiny Buddha in the garden looking as massive as an Easter Island statue and just as imposing.


Mad Mr Milo the poodle looking like a faceless monster.

How about a product picture………..

This I liked, whilst it didn’t capture the level of detail I like, it’s moody, soft focus looks a bit fashion magazine to me.

And finally….

A really odd picture of a rose! 

I really enjoyed this lack of perfection and I think it introduces a mood to the pictures that wasn’t there before, I won’t be changing my usual methods for the majority of the time, I will be using this camera when it suits the subject matter.

What camera do you use? I’d love to see some pictures! Share with me on Instagram and Facebook



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

My Little Piece Of Heaven!

Morning  (cough) dear (cough) reader (cough)! I have the worst chest infection in the world….ever, if you have had a bad chest infection this is it’s daddy! I was going to do a post on the comic con last week but thats going to have to wait as I haven’t edited the pics!

Anyhow shall we press on?  I am sure by now that you have realised I LURVE what I do! In fact I love it so much that it still doesn’t feel quite real, so in an effort to be more grown up and grounded in my profession I’ve got a workspace! Who wants to see? Of course you do, but that would be one heck of a short post so here’s your tour……

I have a lot of Harley Quinn and super hero stuff, I’m gradually been brought to the dark side by my husband.

And there’s ……

Lots of Alice stuff, the whole room will be all Alice eventually, this card is a promo for a musical and I like the slightly sinister feel of this rabbit, and will be using this for inspiration.

To try and ground me and help me focus ……..

The Rose Quartz and amethyst is meant to clear my energies, I don’t know if it works but they are so pretty.

For when I feel scared or lacking confidence…….

This quote from the Divergent books and film makes me feel kick ass!

There is combined cakes and Batgirl……..

Those felt macarons enable me to use the beautiful dish my mother in law gave me.

There is this inherited from my darling daughter………

I think I might start taking a few instant pictures when I’m out and about hunting for inspiration.

Finally, there are these………

Because this is my business and here are the cards to prove it!

And Finally!

There it is in all its glory, including a mannequin for when I can’t remember which way the elbow bends! And a twiggy tree full of bluebirds, my folder of to do lists. When I go to back to work on Monday this little slice of heaven will be my blogging space ( I didn’t put the laptop in, it’s Apple but it still ain’t pretty) and two years in I will say with confidence  I am a blogger and an artist and this is where I work.



Shiney, Happy Photos!

Uggghhh! No sooner had flow arrived..it went! Shoulder arthritis, multiple sprains and a migraine packed it’s bags for it. I have managed to draw out a new type of portrait…….

Eventually it will be Darcey with a floral crown, I also have fairy puppies floating round my head. However one pencil drawing does not a blog post make, so I was thinking about all the pictures I take and delete, and what makes me keep some of them for so long, here is my top 10 that didn’t get deleted.

Number 1…..

The combined loveliness of my Darcey and my husband Neil.

Number 2……

Me at the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Victoria and Albert museum, so good I saw it twice and cried twice at the loss of a genius.

Number 3…. 

The picture that made me buy a hysterical, self opinionated and completely precious toy poodle called Milo.

Number 4…

My first piece of business post, I was disproportionately excited.

Number 5…..

Your colours for AW 2016, for those old enough to remember do they remind you of the seventies?

Number 6…..

Because however hard I try, I just can’t seem to grow up!

Number 7…….

I took this picture to illustrate this years colour of the year but I’ve kept it because it is the most perfect colour.

Number 8…..

To me these are actual Angels, these are people that with the help of a local theatre group screened the families of the victims of the Orlando shooting from the evil that is the Westboro baptist church, who picket the funerals of LGBT people ( amongst others) this is humanity at it absolute best.

Number 9……..

Bluebell s- I admit I am obsessed but they sum up British woodland in a picture.

Number 10……

I usually ignore the endless motivational memes that pop up on Facebook but I love this one and I try to be supernova like as often as possible.

So have you got a photo on your phone or tablet that you will never delete? I’d love to see it!



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






Picture This……

I run my life on technology, shopping, communicating and working. The most important thing I do is take pictures, when I started this blog I was going to take pictures “properly” on a camera, this has never happened as the pictures I take on my gadgets are of such good quality……..


But not only that they are immediately accessible, gone are the days of drawers of photos ( was that just me ?), you can access all those memories at the press of a button.

So join me for a wander through my favourite pictures.


This is Darcey aged just 4 days, I have millions grabbed form her breeders website.


My gorgeous child on holiday at the stunning Lorton House in Dorset, my goodness it was cold!


That same child and my much missed Millie cat, this picture was edited in the app Phototoaster.


I didn’t take this picture, my dad did- it’s my mum and I look at it anytime I feel down. Bless her, the nutter!


Santa’s on bikes, one more reason to love London!


The hysterical nonsense that is Milo!

Finally, my love, more handsome than ever…..image

He is wearing a medal as it was my mums Olympic themed birthday!

So let’s celebrate technology and progress at least until I’m replaced by a robot!


Karen xx


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…..

image image

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


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…..


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

image image

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


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


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……


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

image image

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

So how does your day go?


karen xx

Are You A Country Mouse Or A Town Mouse?

l live in a lovely town in mid Sussex, we are on a direct route to London and Brighton, and life is good, low crime, good schools and hospitals. So far, so smug, except times are changing, building is happening everywhere to house people like me who have fled the overheated property market that is London.

You all know how much I love my local wood, here is a view…….


And here is another one taken from the same spot, just facing the other way……


As you can imagine local opinion is very much that where we live has been ruined and indeed neighbours of mine fled to the Isle of Wight, citing the building as one of their reasons.

As an ex Londoner I love where we live, and took the following pictures of wildflowers in a single walk…..

image image image image image

This is my reality every morning, and I accept things have changed, even in the years I have been here, but the wood we have remaining ( and it is one of many in the town) still feels like a privilege, a great gift we have at our disposal.

So what kind of mouse am I? I’m a Mid Sussex mouse, who lives in the semi country but can get to London in 45 minutes and Brighton in 25, I have found my natural habitat and I love it!

Which kind of mouse are you?