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 Love You….

Morning Darceyettes, please excuse the tear stained computer because this is a hard post to write. Remember when I took on my friend Nikki’s New Years Resolution? She had decided that she would do all the same things but with 5-10% more effort. It made total sense to me and I fully implemented it from the get go. However, it turns out that I don’t necessarily have 10% to give. 

Almost as soon as I made this decision, parts of me started to fail, necks have got more painful, hands are intermittently numb and everything hurts. I have gradually built up my little business and that’s where I have decided that I must concentrate my very limited time. 

This blog has been better therapy than my fantastic therapist, it’s been a place where I have recieved the validation that I so desperately needed. It is down to you that I got enough confidence to start painting and ask people to pay me for it. It’s down to you that I made things, showed you makeup and reviewed restaurants. 

Not everything that has happened here has been joyful, there has been one too many “Je Suis” and we have discussed equality for everyone. 

So, what now? I am leaving this blog open and I’m sure I will pop back every now and again when I have something gorgeous to show you or something I need to talk about, I will also keep the gallery updated. I will be opening my Etsy shop next week and I am on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so if you can’t live without my stream of consciousness please come and follow me. 

So here we go, it’s goodbye to a weekly update and our precious time together, and I just want to say I love you, because I do, I really do.

A bientot my loves

Kisses

Karen

Do Believe The Hype!!

Good morning Darcey’s Angels! I was supposed to help you through the tricky trends that are flying about at the moment but I really need to tell you about my new favourite company! I kept hearing about this new beauty brand, as my favourite drag queen Jinkx Monsoon said….

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“it was in all the Magazines”

So if you are make up obsessed and you like luxury brands but your income is more SuperDrug than Chanel, Allons-y!

The company is called Beauty Pie and its the brainchild of Marcia Kilgore who started brands like Soap and Glory and Bliss. The idea is you purchase membership to Beauty Pie (mine costs £10 a month) and then the products are available to you at the bare bones price – no fancy packaging, no making the containers heavy just because that feels like “quality” and no middle men. That bare bones price is RIDICULOUSLY cheap, come and have a look……..

My first purchase was some foundation…….

This is an amazing product and I would show you what it looks like on but I have a boil on my eye!! I know TMI!  back to the foundation , its a fluid but medium coverage product, it does not budge and it doesn’t upset my skin! how much I hear you ask? £5.06!!! reviewers on the site are comparing it to Chanel and Dior!

Next a lippie…………..

This is Heartthrob Pink Future Lipstick in Matte, it is gorgeous lightweight, silky  and not at all drying as some mattes are. It also leaves a stain on the lip for most of the day, and this jewel is….£2.24!!

Finally ( for the moment) is this mascara……

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This is the Radical Lash Super Volumizing and its £1.99! because of the whole boil/eye scenario its being modelled by my daughter and as you can see its fantastic! instant volume and no clumps!

Finally, Beauty Pie are bringing out new products daily and I have just ordered some moisturiser, i’ll let you know how it performs.

Ps no bluebells were harmed in the making of this blog ,these are from my garden!

Have a lovely week

Kisses

Karen xx

Colour Of The Year Goes To…..Greenery!

Good Morning to you fair reader! I have had this post in the back of my mind since January, every year the colour experts at Pantone decide on a colour of the year. Last year two colours made the grade…….


Ah the beauty that is rose quartz and serenity! This year however Pantone have chosen this……


It’s green, very green not mint or emerald …..just green. As you can probably gather green is not my favourite but I was ready to do my usual round up of products that will bring you bang up to date, I was ready to hunt out all the greenery goodies for you. 

However it turns out that the high street aren’t feeling it either, I found mint and pistachio and sage but greenery was thin on the ground. Just in case it is a wild success for you here is what I found…….


This lovely bag comes from Boden, not cheap at £140 but bang on the greenery trend. Too much money? Or too green? Try this…..

This mini beauty with its cute bag charm comes in at a mini price of £17.99, head over to Zara for this.

How about some shoes? ………..

These sandals are from Clarks and are £55.I can testify to their comfort as I have some from a previous season.

Still not convinced? How about just a pop of green in your cosmetics? First up…….

A tiny bit bright but would look fab close to the lashes for a flash of colour. This is from Beauty bay, made by Sugar Pill and £11.00.

Nails next…..


My personal favourite is this Illmasqua nail varnish in Radium, £14.50 and available widely on line.

Finally, this one is a bit of a cheat…..

This Barry M lipstick is green in the bullet but turns pink on your lips! A bargainous £4 and available widely.

And a bit of a PS: Butter London have done a collaboration with Pantone, there is a set including Greenery and some of the other colours for 2017…..


but as far as I can make out only available in the US currently where it’s retails for $39.

So there you have it, I might just go and get that Illmasqua polish to break myself into this trend. What’s your thoughts on Greenery? I’d love to hear from you!

Kisses

Karen  xxx

I’m A Big Shot Now!

Morning Pickles! Do you remember I said I was going to follow my friend Niks advice? her New years resolution was to do the same stuff but just put in an extra 5 or 10% effort.

It made so much sense to me and now I try and practice this every day by just asking myself what can I achieve today that will benefit my business. Bear in mind that there are some days when pain has the better of me, so some things I do are really small but they still benefit the business. Here’s the things I did this week:

First up I detoxed my mind………..


 

This is one of those planners from Mayi Carles of Heartmade Blog but you could head up a piece of paper in the same way. This gets you a clear set of priorities that need doing that day, week, month and year.

I tooled up………

As cutting with scissors is getting increasingly difficult, the lovely Mr Darcey Sleeps bought me a Sizzix Big Shot, this will cut paper naturally but also felt and material making my life sooooo much easier! find them at many online retailers but http://www.Hobbycraft.co.uk have them at £55, which is very cheap.

I regimented my social media………..

Just a simple chart but for me a real necessity, I am not of an age group that does this instinctively so I need reminding!

I also made stuff………..

Instead of crafting like an idiot in a few weeks leading up to a craft fair I have quietly been making Easter things like these eggs designed by Emma at http://www.sewsweet.co.uk. Emma kindly makes her patterns copyright free as long as you don’t mass produce them.

And I painted………


This is always a quiet time of year for commissions so this year I am using my downtime to paint for Lindfield Arts Festival and with the aim to produce some prints and cards.

So you can see it wasn’t a huge week of work but definitely one where my business was at the heart of everything I did.

Have a super productive week, whatever you are up to.

Kisses

Karen xx

 

It’s All Kicking Off!

Morning loves! It’s probably no surprise to you that I belong to a lot of Facebook groups, everything from networking to Slimming World support. 

It’s on the Slimming World page that things got a bit weird this week, a lady had posted late at night about her drunken daughter coming home late and throwing up everywhere which had set her anxiety off. Mostly everyone had been very supportive and had told tales of their own in order to make her feel like she wasn’t alone.

However this was where it got a bit messy, some people started to question why she was posting this on a page devoted to diets, why did she feel the need to share and worst of all that she was attention seeking. Having been that anxious myself I felt terribly sorry for her and that reaching out had caused her to get a negative reaction really upset me.

This set me to thinking about my own anxiety, it’s well documented on this blog how I had therapy, took medication and eventually got back on my feet. But what about the day to day stuff? Because it never goes away and you need strategies for that daily stuff. Here are mine:

Exposure


  when I was really ill I couldn’t get to the bin which is a mere 10 feet from the house. I started walking down the drive at first and then to the post box , eventually to the entrance of our woods. Finally when Darcey arrived into the woods themselves.

Meditate/ be mindful………


There are many apps out there to help you with this one, I use At Ease and Buddhify, if that doesn’t appeal try and focus on yourself, treat yourself like you would a friend that was feeling like this, use kind language when you talk to yourself.

Avoid stimulants………


This is definitely for when you are very anxious, no caffeine, no sugar it’s that simple I’m afraid. Your body needs no more stimulation than what it’s already getting from your over anxious brain. 

Exercise…..


These two handle this for me nowadays and I’m very privileged to have this wood so close, but I started out on an exercise bike. Exercise is a no brainer, you have to burn off all that adrenaline that’s whizzing round.

On the spot strategies…………


I also do this one – count backwards from 300 in groups of 3, I guarentee you won’t be able to think of Anything else when you do this!

Finally, talk, I talked to everyone about my anxiety and every time I did, the person I was talking to would have an anxiety story to tell, their own or a family members.

And if by any chance someone talks to you about their anxiety please try to listen without judgement, I guarentee you it has taken an awful lot of courage for them to speak, even if they are on the “wrong” Facebook page.

Kisses

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!

Kisses

Karen 

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

Kisses

Karen

PS here are your links:       http://www.feltedfanciessupplies.co.uk

http://www.heartmadeblog.com (for your business planners)

 

 

 

 

 

Start At The Beginning!

Morning Cupcakes! Do you remember my wish board? So far I’ve only managed to fulfil one of them by piercing my ear again. The thing is a lot of the other wishes hinged on me getting different medication, and losing a butt load of weight! 

Well for one reason and another the medication isn’t happening , but the weight is s..l..o..w..l..y coming off, am I dieting? Nope, after what I calculated as 45 years of dieting ( unbelievable right?) and probably a couple of decent cars worth of money I have resolved not to diet again.

So what to do now? Go Vegan of course, not because it’s really fashionable, not because I’m going to never eat meat again on moral grounds but because there is a large body of evidence that shows it is very effective in calming the pain of arthritis. So what does a day of vegan eating look like? Pull up a chair and join me, starting with breakfast……

My absolute favourite thing – a chocolate mint smoothie from the Deliciously Ella website, thick, sweet and chock full of goodness thanks to half an avocado, banana, dates , almond milk and raw cacao.

Feeling peckish? In need of elevenses?


These energy balls again from Deliciously Ella are amazing, nutty and sweet guarenteed to give you a pick me up.

Is there room for lunch?

This scrummy vegan sausage tart is perfect comfort food, it’s not normally on such pretty China but I knew you were popping in! Find lots of great recipes like this at http://www.veganrecipeclub.co.uk

Finally dinner!


This is a staple for me at the moment, Tivali vegan “chicken strips” veggies and soba noodles, add a soy based sauce and it’s ready in minutes.

Not exactly rabbit food is it? Equally as delicious as a “normal” diet and sometimes better, in my humble opinion vegan cake is better than its conventional counter part. Run, walk, wheel or in reality get on Amazon and buy this book……


The cakes are phenomenal and also can be made gluten free! 

Not everybody will be persuaded by the arguments for a vegan diet, and that’s fine ( I will still eat meat occasionally) but have a look at the recipes out there and give one a whirl, you might just be surprised.

Have a super week!

Kisses

Karen

I Get Pierced And The President Turns Orange!

Hello my little mince pies! This has been a bit of a week! First I got my ear pierced! Read on for the details, then my consultant has changed my diagnosis again, so I won’t be getting the treatment I thought, just medication for symptoms, and then what had started as a joke became a reality…President elect Donald Trump! This will be an interesting 4 years!

So what do we need in a time of uncertainty? People we can rely on! Here are some companies that are just great at giving you exactly what you need. Sorry for the stock photos, it’s all arthritis fault, keep reading and you will be rewarded ;).

First that piercing…..

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This was done for me at ……….


Swift, reasonably priced and completely professional I will be going back!

Just down the road is this………

This is Cass Art, simply the best art supplies shop there is, regular promotions make them budget friendly and the range of materials run from half term supplies to the high grade professional.

Now to my online go getters ……….


This German retailer blows all its competitors out of the water! I’ve just bought Dr Hauschka moisturiser ( which retails for £29.50)and a relaxing bath set (£17) for £32 including delivery! And don’t worry if your German isn’t great just hit the Uk flag and the page will translate and display the prices in sterling.

At this time of year I get through a lot of felt, my go to for super quality felt and embellishments is…..


Swift delivery, beautiful felt and a sweetie in every pack makes this company a winner.

Finally, one of the many yarn suppliers I use……


Apart from their so cute logo, this company is so competitive on price and has a lot of hard to find yarns.

And here is your gift for putting up with the stock photos, my ‘poo crew hitting the skate park hard!

 


How sweet are they? Now I’ve finally loaded video successfully I will be doing some watch me work videos and some DIYS in the New Year.

Here’s to a peaceful week

Kisses

Karen