Oh Baby! We Have Been Busy!

Good morning kitty cats! I am so very sorry I haven’t blogged I forever but oh my goodness I have been busy! I have not had my traditionally quiet start to the year and a lot of this has been down to one little boy – more of that later.

So, grab a coffee and a seat, you are definitely going to need a seat, there are some pictures of such cuteness, your legs are going to give way! Here’s what’s happened …

I finished my Ezo Momonga! the cutest flying squirrel became a superhero squirrel with flower powers as her name is Aiko….

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She soon flew off to her new home!

There was an a Easter fair which I have lost all  the photos from but unicorn chicks were a big hit!

I have made a heap of things for this bundle of scruminess! His name is Tate and his mum and nana are huge fans of my stuff and apart from the elephant ( and Tate!) I made everything in this photo…..

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I told you to sit down didn’t I? so, because Tate’s family are such great customers and now good friends it seemed a no brainer to crown him our brand representative!

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In this photo he is wearing a handmade crown crafted by the super talented Andi, you can visit her at http://www.facebook.com/kwirkyknits. His blanket was also made by me, with a new style Oakley bunny that ties in with the fabulous Jody Pyott blanket design …

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Tate will also now help me test baby specific makes, I need his teeny fingers to test holes for me!!

In between all this I opened an Etsy shop!

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This is our cover picture and I will be stocking it as I go along.

I also read a very interesting article on branding so I spent some time with an app called Color Harmony which extracts colours from your photos, and made a pallet unique to While Darcey Sleeps….

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You can expect all my social media to feature these colours and I will be redoing the blog to match our new identity.

Finally, in a spare few minutes I painted this commission ……

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Such a privilege to paint the beautiful Molly for her owner who was missing her terribly. The commission came from a good friend and customer who has commissioned me twice before, for gifts for her friends, isn’t she a sweetie?

And breathe! so now you are all caught up I promise to be back more regularly and keep you up to date on some new products!

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…….

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Fashion (especially hand bags!)………

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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

 

 

A Tale Of Two ‘Poos, Paint And Too Many Cables!

* As I finished editing this post the shooting started in Germany, I have written posts sympathising with various countries whose citizens have been brutally murdered, I have posted Je Suis Parisienne and everyone that followed. I’m not going to post about these events anymore, it’s not because I don’t care, it’s because my heart is breaking because it doesn’t make any difference. I want you to know that I love you, whatever your nationality and wherever you live, and that I cry with you when these events happen. This blog will be where we escape, where we laugh and gaze at pretty things, but most of all a place of love.*

Good morning to you fair reader! well what a week at WDS HQ! We have been decorating our tired and faded lounge. As you can imagine when I decorate I can spend 6 hours choosing a the right shade of beige! To try and shorten the process I downloaded an amazing app by the paint makers Valspar. This app allows you to take a picture of an item and it will choose a range of colours that match it! So I took a picture of the birds on this gorgeous cushion ( bought for me by my lovely sister in law) ………


After running the two birds through the app, I got these two colour palettes……

I eventually chose a slighter bluer of the above palette and the top right colour of the faded in time palette, both colours were Dulux rather than Valspar.

Work commenced with a tidy up of the cables that were behind the TV unit, worryingly there were this many with no purpose……


The dogs helped, Milo thought if he got on a ladder he might be tall enough to paint…..


Darcey didn’t let the position of her bed put her off…..


We painted and sanded and glossed, and finally I could hang these pictures that hubby and daughter scored from the charity shop……


The warm apricot white also makes a lovely backdrop for this Alexander McQueen sketch……..


Can you see the whole room? Not yet, the curtains need changing as well as a new rug etc and with my ability to agonise over the correct shades that might take a while! And what appeared in my Facebook feed the day after we started painting? This “must have” palette for summer from Elle Decor………


Hey ho, seems I’m not so original!

Please take care of yourselves, you mean so much to me xxxx

Kisses 

Karen

Art , Beauty, And A Spangly Mini!

The family Lorenz took itself of to London this with a simple mission of buying ourselves something pretty! We also wanted to give Carys a pre-results stress buster. Here is what I bought.

First, I into Selfridges for some Charlotte Tilbury eye crayons…….

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I needed a new Bronzed Garnet, I didn’t need an Amethyst Aphrodisiac but couldn’t resist it’s green eye enhancing powers!

Across the road to Marks and Spencer as they stock the marvellous new perfume range – Shay and Blue, I have had a tester of their salt caramel scent and really wanted more…..

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Just £30 for 30 ml and there are a range of lovely single note scents to choose from.

What followed was a hike to Hermann Ze German for a genuine German hot dog, it was well worth the walk to Soho, but I completely forgot to snap it!

Refreshed and rested, we dropped in to Cass Art for supplies, again I had things I needed, like paper and paint but these watercolour markers fell in to my bag as well…..

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I then succumbed to a bag for life from there that featured a particular colour and on the flip side detailed paintings that feature this colour…….

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After we allowed my husband some time in the comic shop, we finished off in Beyond Retro, as always stuffed to the brim with vintage clothes, I bought this……….

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Don’t panic I shall not be wearing this sequinned miin! But I will hopefully be turning it into a bag, if I get my act together it will be a tutorial.

Finally, I have the best of news that I wanted to shout from the rooftops but was banned from doing so- my dear daughter got 9 As and 2Bs in her GCSEs!!! This kid has spent e last few months tied to her desk so I am so happy she has been rewarded.

I have to run to an MRI now so…

Shakey kisses Continue reading

McQueen For A Day

I love Alexander McQueen, I will never be able to afford anything from their shop but I love the label. When McQueen was alive I loved it more, I loved his sense of theatre, of traditional tailoring skills, of embellishment and embroidery.

I was devastated when the retrospective of his work was shown at The Met in New York, convinced I would never see his work in person. However, I signed the petition, waited 7 months and here I am in the presence of the great man himself.

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Photography was forbidden within the collection and though many others were snapping away it felt inappropriate, so from now on its second-hand photos from my books and postcards.

Lee McQueen was a Savile Row tailors apprentice when he left school and his ability to cut and tailor shines through the collection but especially the early pieces……

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This piece highlights his tailoring abilities with his twist of deconstruction, as I walked round I was reminded of this quote…

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Lee himself said “You’ve got to know the rules to break them. Thats what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but keep the tradition”.

From the tailored pieces we were taken to a gothic, romantic room with faded, gilded mirrors, many of the pieces were very Victorian , jet beading and heavy black lace so the models looked like that were in mourning. It was also where one of his most iconic pieces was given pride of place………

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Lee was very interested in ornithology and feathers played a large part in his collections, he said this about this collection “It is important to look at death because it is a part of life. It is a sad thing, melancholic but romantic at the same time”.

The next room featured his controversially named “Highland Rape” collection, heavily referencing tartan and ruffled lace…..

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Next to a room lined with bones, for dresses inspired by the Thompsons gazelle and its habitat, this room contained some surprisingly wearable pieces, this was my favourite……

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Its skirt is more purple in reality and the contrast with the lime top is utterly gorgeous.

The next room was an absolute assault on the senses, the walls were lined with bookcases and each square was filled with shoes, hats, bodices and whole looks reclined along a shelf. Centre stage was this dress…

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The dress had been sprayed by two robotic arms, live on the catwalk.

The next room was in complete darkness to show this dress in the form of a hologram…

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I am afraid that I can’t adequately explain how beautiful this was, to see Kate Moss captured in a glass pyramid slowly gyrating so that all the ruffles of this exquisite dress took flight. She was part ghost, part fairy, a man behind me said she looked like Tinkerbell!

Next to a room with a lot of cultural references, Lee said this ” Fashion can be really racist, looking at the clothes of other cultures as costumes”, this is my favourite piece…..

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The colours were very vibrant in reality, and the heavy embroidery was breathtaking.

The next part was not a room at all but a glass box with several dresses and a screen inside which showed the original catwalk. the box was dimmed and then lights flashed on so that we could see the contents…..

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and just as suddenly the walls of the box turned to mirrors, Lee’s intention was this “the idea was to turn people’s faces on themselves. I wanted to turn it around and make them think, am I actually as good as what I am looking at?”

Then to some pieces inspired by nature, this next piece was originally made with fresh flowers because ” Things rot…..I used flowers because they die. my mood was darkly romantic st the time”.

 

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Even in silk flowers it was beyond beautiful.

On to the collection called Plato’s Atlantis and I have my illustration of my favourite piece…

 

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My drawing cannot capture the iridescent gold/purple of the embellishments on this piece. The proportion of the shoes has to be seen to be believed and are way more graceful than they look.

Then…..it was over, we were left filing out into the shop which normally fills me glee. How did I feel? I felt a sense of loss, not that I knew him, but a sense that we would never see that combination of expert tailoring and genius imagination ever again, and that thought made my heart crack a little.

I took a creative writing course before starting this blog and love this quote by Dani Shapiro “fill your ears with the music of good sentences and when you approach the page yourself, that music will carry you” and now as my work is almost completely visual based, I feel the need to “fill my eyes with the music of good design“, and even though they were slightly tear filled, they were definitely full of music.

So my lovelies, who fills your eyes and ears?

 

Kisses

 

Karen

 

 

 

 

 

Hi! I Am Karen And I Am A Languid Lavender!

 

Colour, really that’s what this whole blog is about, whether it is the pastel delight of macarons or the frosted purity of our frozen wood. So while we are on the subject, have you ever wondered why some years everything in the high street is pastel? The couture runway shows filter ideas and colours to the high street but almost more importantly its down to a company called Pantone. Used by anyone who has to use colour in their work they define a palette for each season and a colour of the year. So drumroll please, here is Spring/Summer 2015…..

 

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As you can see we are still in the grip of pastel but these have a strength, an edge that isn’t sugary or girly in any way. You are now armed with the knowledge! If you want to update a little you can choose a bag or shoes in one of the above, or go the whole way with a complete new look. Or, ignore completely…..more of that later.

Last year I bought a book, claiming that we are influenced by colour according to our astrological star signimage

, load of rubbish right? this is my astrological colour….

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Its nice I thought to myself but not what I would normally choose, except when I looked in the handbag wardrobe, (yes wardrobe, its a problem!) I saw this..

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Colour influences us more than we would think!

Back to what’s hot and what’s not for summer, you can totally ignore the pastel trend and do black and white, khaki is a big trend again mixed with gold and other metallics and finally florals, or wear what you like! maybe I will be languid in lavender all summer!

And if you now can’t get enough of colour prediction, here’s AW 2015…..

image So My lovelies what colour are you?

 

Kisses

Karen