A Purple Poodle, A gingerbread Man and a Unicorn Oh My!

Good morning to you and welcome to September! I have spent most of August making Christmas things and purple poodles!

Before we get to the goodies, I wondered if you would like to know a bit more about me? lets start with my qualifications for this business…

None! I have a C grade o level (ask your mum) in art and a few others none of which have anything to do with what I do now!

My business was a reaction to illness making me unable to work in my usual trade – working for the government -and rediscovering art after receiving therapy for what used to be called a nervous breakdown. My darling mum, retaught me to knit and crochet, bought me books and yarn and encouraged me to make.

While we are on the subject of family, I met my husband at work, he wooed me by making fishcakes and bringing them into work with rolls and tartare sauce- it was a no brainer! I moved into his flat that looked out onto the Thames (another no brainer) and very soon we had our daughter – the prettiest, smartest, funniest girl in the world.

We moved out of London when I quit work and now we live in Sussex – its a lovely place for 360 days of the year, the other 5 I have to get back into London, breathe the pollution, shop and eat in places I don’t usually, and return to the ‘burbs refreshed!

Oh and we got these two….

 

On the right you have Darcey, the girl with only 2 speeds – on or off, when I started this business I could only work while she was asleep- this was another no brainer moment, my business had to be called While Darcey Sleeps! on the left her slightly odd “brother from another mother’ Milo, he is a poodle ….and an evil genius!

Which as they say in the movies brings us to here! I have been working hard on marketing this year and for once started my Christmas makes in August, which is when you have to do it apparently! So, here are some of what you can expect from me, first up Noelle the Christmas fairy…..

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This girl can be any colour you want , I just made a traditional one to get us all in the festive spirit! she features a handmade candy cane charm made by me!

What would a Christmas be without a unicorn make from me? heres something a little different, a tree bauble…..

Again you can have this in any colour you like, more festive, more sparkly just let me know!

A Christmas classic is the next make…..

smaller than my usual makes, they are designed to hang on the tree, not scented but could be? and if you fancy a larger one just shout!

Finally not Christmas related but an ideal gift, my first Patisserie Poodle!

This is Violetta the blossom macaron poodle, she is inspired by  these kinds of macarons….

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I made her blossom macaron charm and she will smell like parma violets- yum!

I will also start shipping to the rest of the world! next blog will have the shipping rates but if you cant wait to place an order  drop me a message or email ( all details on the about page).

I will be back mid month to catch you up on whats going on in our little corner of heaven, in the meantime have a lovely couple of weeks!

kisses

Karen

 

 

 

Creative Family established 1890

Hello loves, it’s fair to say the last 10 years or so have seen an explosion of craft and traditional hobbies, and we love it, we are glued to the bake off and to anything that Kirstie Allsop produces as we try and recapture some of the traditions of the past.

I am sure that there are thousands of families that are quietly handing down traditions of their own, without the benefit of a television crew, this is what happened in my family’s crafting history. First up my great grandmother, Harriet Louisa Scoffins……
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Harriet’s talent was cooking, making jam and lemon cheese ( a sinfully indulgent version of lemon curd) selling them in Lincoln market. Incredibly she would also make a Christmas pudding for each of her children and married grandchildren, that was approximately 35!

One of her 11 was my grandmother Barbera, she was a demon with the knitting and sewing needles, here she is in an outfit she made for herself, with my mum and uncle Mick also in handcrafted outfits……

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And a slightly spooky Santa picture where mum wears hand knitted gloves and check out uncle Micks guards jumper again all her own work!

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Now to the formidable talent that is my mum, every grandchild and every friends baby that has come along receives one of these shawls, intricate isn’t really enough of a description……

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Then there are the quilts, one Christmas each of her three children received a quilt….

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Finally, when my mum and dad used to have my daughter for two days a week, she used to set mum little challenges, this is the day when she decided she needed a dress like Disneys Belle complete with basket!…

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Now did all that get passed on to me? Yes and no, I didn’t start knitting until I got medically retired, and I still cannot knit shawls to save my life, I cannot do colour work like my grandmother and we best not discuss my preserve making skills! but I did pick up that need to create and took it in different directions…

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So, it really doesn’t matter whether your talent is textiles or tiling, wallpapering or weaving you do have a skill you can pass on. No kids to pass it on to? No excuse, get along to a youth club, or volunteer at your nearest school or nursery, let’s ensure that

these skills keep going, with or without Ms Allsop!

Kisses

Karen

Turn Up, Tune In And Veg Out!

If you have picked up a magazine or newspaper or turned on the telly, you will have seen an increasing amount of cookbooks that steer clear of wheat, dairy and refined sugar. After a visit to the hospital and the impending summer, I decided that I should improve my diet, not calorie count just improve the quality of my food.

I am ashamed to say that all the books I review here are all mine and have been used at best sporadically, that is all about to change, let’s dig in!

First and closest to my heart is Deliciously Ella, written by Ella Woodward…

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Ella suffered from Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia, a horrible debilitating disease and claims that she has cured it by becoming vegan. This book is easy to follow without too much need for a trip to the health food store. My favourites from this book are the breakfast shakes which are really creamy and indulgent…

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and the baked beans, so easy to make and once you have tried them,Heinz will no longer hit the spot!

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Next up, Hemsley and Hemsley the art of eating well, written by the gorgeous Hemsley sisters…

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this is not a vegan book but does steer clear of refined sugar and grains. My favourites are Pablos chicken a really good alternative to fried chicken….

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And the super indulgent lime cheesecake……

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Fancy some more healthy sweet treats? Try Sweetness and Light by Daisy Lowe…

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lots of great recipes in here but our favourite is the courgette cake……

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If you grow courgettes, you will almost always have a glut, this cake is a glut buster!

And finally, if you are fed up of being saintly but want to avoid eggs and dairy ( half our family is egg intolerant! ) please go and buy this….

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I am not a great baker but I have had such success with this book, the vegan way of cake baking seems to me a lot easier than conventional methods. Our family favourite is the Turkish delight cake, it is soooooo good!

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I will periodically update you on how my diet is going, in the meantime please let me know if you have any healthy cookbook favourites.

kisses

Karen