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

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…….

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

Fashion (especially hand bags!)………

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

To gardening…….

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We have had a good time…………

 

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

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…..

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……

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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

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…..

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

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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…….

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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………..

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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………..

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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 http://www.Justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sunshine4sumner.

Have a super week

Kisses

karen xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Proper Task Of Life!

Before we get going, I just wanted to say something serious, I belong to a Facebook crafting community and I have just learnt that one of its members was murdered, Nikki was young, beautiful and talented. As we face this day together, whatever today brings let us all be grateful that we are alive and able to contact friends and family. I intend to be truly grateful today that I am alive.

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said ” art is the proper task of life”, it’s a shame he went on to say a lot of other not quite so nice things because that’s a great quote! So I have been pursuing the proper task of life like a demented person for the last 6 weeks to get ready for my first show. I will be exhibiting the following six pieces at the Lindfield Arts Festival , I thought you might like to see them nd get some of the story behind them.

First up, Dora the dormouse fairy….

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Our woods are home to dormice ( we even have dormice bridges! ), this picture was the beginning of my fairies of Ashenground Wood pictures, I loved the idea of the dormice being snuggled up and cheeky fairies sneaking in for cuddles. If you look really closely, you can see that Dora isn’t even asleep.

The next fairy was inspired by Darcey and her obsession with bluebells….

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I loved the idea of her and Beau the bluebell fairy joining forces to protect the flowers. I think Darcey looks really on her guard and protective in this picture.

Again Darcey was responsible for the inspiration for Riley the rabbit fairy

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Yes, you guessed it, she was chasing the rabbits across the field and I could almost see a fairy leaping along with them, is it just me that sees fairies?

Before you ring the authorities, I changed direction and did a picture of The Joker……..

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This character has undergone many incarnations but I really like this one, this Joker will appear in the new film Suicide Squad, scheduled for release next year.

Years ago when I was horse mad, I was able to recite the names of the three horses that are the fathers of the modern day thoroughbred, this picture represents……..

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The Godolphin Arabian, Arab horses are so elegant, so graceful they remind me of ballet dancers.

Finally, it has to be Darcey…….

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My clever, loving, brave, mad as a bag of badgers Cavapoo, it is she that has accompanied me on numerous walks in the woods, it is she that finds where the fairies live, it is she that snores while I paint, because I only work While Darcey Sleeps!

Next week sees a return to normal service and the promised tutorial, get yourself to the charity shop and buy a short sparkly mini if you can, all will become clear….

Kisses

Karen

Love You Millions

So, here we are, one day to go to my first proper craft show and 2 weeks to my first ever art show! It has put me in a reflective mood about the journey I took to get here. Truth be told, I did not travel alone and because   I will never make an Oscar acceptance speech, I wanted to say this:

I want to thank my therapist, seriously if it wasn’t for Daphne Beaton there would not be any of this, she’ll argue with you but take it from me she’s a genius!

I want to thank my family, particularly my mum and sister who encouraged ( some might say pushed) me to pick up a brush again.

Sammy the hairdresser for encouraging me out from behind my hair.

I want to thank the girls that like and comment on here and on Facebook, particularly Amanda Pirrett of Perfectly Handmade Pampering and Michelle of Shell’s Colouring, Cards and Craft.

I want to thank Jules for her tea and cake and support and encouragement and for laughing with me all the way round our woods.

To Nikki Nicholls for being the one who said I should do this, it’s only taken me 11 years to take your advice!

And Julia from Maximus, quiet, patient, supportive and a glamour icon!

Leeza, for asking me how I am , whilst being so ill yourself, and Grace- you sparkly fairy.

To my darling Darcey, for giving me the confidence to talk again.

Carys, I know you are going to hate this but you really are my star, you pushed for this, you keep me looking the right side of middle aged and you are as funny, beautiful and clever as you can be.

My husband Neil for consistently being here, as the comedian Ray Romano said ” you go to sleep, they are there, you wake up, they are there, it sounds like a bad thing but it really isn’t ” and it really isn’t, it is what keeps you on your feet and able to be the person you want to be.

Finally, here’s to you dear reader, for showing up, for following, for commenting and liking, every time you do you send a bunch of love to my heart, so I’m sending you these…..

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So, whatever success comes my way over this next couple of weeks, it is in part yours too,

I LOVE YOU ALL MILLIONS!!!!!!!!

Kisses

Karen

p.s there’s a tutorial coming your way!

Whoopsie!

As my brother once said to me in a slightly inebriated email, I fear, dear reader you find me quite undone! Or to put it more honestly I haven’t prepared a blog post! Have I got any excuses? Well, I’ve been working…….

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And I have been stitching, these bathing Belles are nearing completion ready for the vintage fair, ….

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Ive stitched a few bears…….

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I’ve done a lot of running round after this fella…..imageAnd I went to a speeding diversionary course, it really was useful and focused the mind on what the truly awful consequences of going too fast are, so expect better driving from me.

Finally, the evil step sisters that are arthritis and fibromyalgia have had me in a strangle hold, but you know what? I have made and painted and played and learnt, so they haven’t won!

Normal service will be resumed next week, thanks for sticking with me!

Kisses

Karen