Coming To A Blog Near You!!

Well good morning my little tiddly winks! have you missed me? I’ve missed you but I have been MAHOOSIVELY busy, I’ve been making these……..

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Teeny little unicorns with lavender scented hair! and I’ve made one of these of these…..

 

Only one as it is so tiny! and more than a few of these……

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Little baby Dino’s! and many of these…..

 

These teeny Frappucinos have been unicorn coloured, pumpkin lattes and festive for no apparent reason!

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And now I have a herd of these to make!

All of these little things are so important to me, not only because I sold lots (a girl can’t live on unicorn toast alone) but they are all my own patterns.

So, I am relaunching the blog! it will be almost completely focused on craft, and the things I am making but there will be times I need to tell you about a fab new lipstick and times when something has happened that has me completely riled!! and just as soon as I get time to write patterns down there will be free patterns and ones to buy!

I also have a new shop http://www.consciouscrafties.com/Crafties/while-darcey-sleeps, however the best place to keep up with new products and to nab them before they get to the shop, is to follow my page at http://www.facebook.com/whiledarceysleeps.

So, i’ll see you here on the first of every month, now off you go and be awesome!

Kisses

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……….

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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

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.

Kisses

Karen

I’m Tutely In Love !!

Morning my lovelies! well, there was I with my plans of kicking up a storm on the sewing machine this week…Monday found me back in the Drs as I couldn’t catch my breath, turns out my chest infection had triggered severe asthma and I left with a course of steroids and a stern warning that if i got any worse I was to go to the hospital! I couldn’t face another week of not trying out my new sewing machine so I settled on this small but delightful project….

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

It is no secret how much I love a Mollie Makes project and now they have projects that you can sell! I chose some fun fabrics that cheered me up and off we went! I cut out….

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I used this amazing spray tack that stops you having to sew tacking…

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

I zipped it together on the machine and finished off with a pompom….

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

I then popped it onto what is rapidly becoming my Mollie Makes tree! The shape of this cone that is designed to be filled with treats, reminds me of the German tradition of the Schultute. This decorated cone is given to children the day before they start school for the first time , filled to the brim with sweets, toys and school supplies it is designed to make that first day at school a little easier. I have it in mind that some larger cones could be themed to all sorts of celebrations- new baby, hen night, starting college, christmas etc. watch this space!

I have to say Ive really enjoyed sewing this week, and it started me looking at patterns, pop over to http://www.sewbox.co.uk they have so much to look at! this is my current favourite……

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These patterns are available in a wide range of sizes and are definitely trend aware.

I’ve also been doing a bunch of up cycling as I have decided that if I can’t find exactly what I want, I will not make do any more and will adapt, change or make from scratch, I will share some of these projects next week.

Have a super week and I will do my best to be fighting fit, fingers crossed!

Kisses

Karen xx

 

 

 

Etsy? You Betsy!!

So, after I quit the kvetching last week, I had a good hard think about what I could do to keep my business going while my arthritis is so bad….Drumroll please…..I’ve opened an Etsy Shop!!!

I will be stocking it as and when I have stuff, in the future that will include art works and cards with print of my art on them. In the mean time I have some pieces that were destined for craft fairs. Here’s a sample….

Ive got some Spring/ Easter things……..

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I’ve got these bathing beauties and their beach hut, perfect for setting a beach theme ……

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

There are some shabby chic hearts ,some Liberty corsage brooches and a tattoo inspired keyring……..

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

How about these teddies and their bunny friend, fully jointed with glass eyes, they are not intended as toys but make a lovely decor piece for a childs room.

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

Last but not least, some Christmas items which will obviously be reduced……

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

I will be adding the Etsy button on here as soon as we are fully stocked, hopefully by Monday 21st March, in the meantime heres the link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WhileDarceySleeps

Finally, just for fun here’s one of the pictures of my dogs from their recent photo shoot…..

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Whoever sends in the funniest comment for the photo will win a surprise from the shop, closing date is 31.3.16 so get typing!

Have a cracking week

Kisses

Karen

 

 

Focus And Fun!

Hi kitty cats, so here we are in 2016! I have spent the last two weeks eating my body weight in chocolate and also planning a slightly new direction for While Darcey Sleeps. You will know that the last few weeks have been tricky health wise and its clear that lots of sewing will not be possible for me 😦 but I will be expanding my artwork to include prints and cards, and I will be opening a shop online! this also means that I will be able to so some crafting for me! Yay! so come have a look whats on my project list.

First, I got out my Louisa Harding Alice in Wonderland book and decided to make this hat………

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The yarn needed has been discontinued, so I went on http://www.yarnsub.com and found this yarn which I bought from http://www.rikes-wollmaus.de as it is so much cheaper than in the UK!

A super hat requires some gorgeous gloves and this months Mollie Makes has a cracker of a pattern……….

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

I changed the colour (I’m trying to be less pink obsessed!) and I’m so pleased with how easy the pattern is, knitted straight with minimal colour changes I should have these done before summer!

Finally, as i had no time for making christmas decorations for me last year, I’m getting ahead of the game and making this super cute tree topper from Mollie Makes…..

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

That little lot will keep me busy for a bit! I hope next week I will be able to share with you my new business card design and an online shop! the only fly in the ointment may be me starting some heavy duty medication tomorrow, but I will be here even if its just a picture of me looking nauseous!

kisses

Karen

 

 

From Naff To Nifty!

Lets be quite clear from the outset, I flipping love Christmas!!! I also love a Christmas jumper. My darling daughter however has declared the Christmas jumper passé. This left this little beauty homeless …

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

If I was the same size I would be happy as Larry but alas that is not the case, so who else might this fit, step forward Miss Darcey……

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

So with a few cuts and a bit of Velcro could we make a dog coat that would at least make it through the big day? Let’s give it a go!

First cut off the sleeves, Darcey is a bit of a Tom boy so I chopped them off quite short…….

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I haven’t done any hemming as I only want this to be worn a couple of times, sew a little hem of you want this to last until New Year!

Then cut down the centre………

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Its at this this point you need to try it on your dog to see how it fits round the middle, I needed to chop out more on either side so that it fits snugly.

Next, use some iron on Velcro for an easy and stress free fastening….

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Position on both sides matching up your fluffy side with your spikes side……..

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

And there you go…..

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

Miss Darcey looking suitably festive!

Remember if your dog is very tiny or very large, raid the charity shops for suitable jumpers. If you have a jumper that you like but it is way too big, try washing it at a hotter temperature than stated, this will usually shrink it!

kisses

 

Karen xxx

 

 

 

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

Tollies Vintage Happening!

Last Sunday was my first proper craft fair and with quite a few nerves, off we went to Sedlescombe for Tollies Vintage Happening…..

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The fair was also supporting Chestnut Tree House our local hospice that care for children with life limiting conditions, here is the organisers dad in his tshirt……..

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He was one of an army of helpers that ensured that the event ran smoothly.

We decided to get involved with the theme, so here I am as Rosie the Riveter, modelling the lovely sign my husband made for me……….

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Apart from fab stalls, there was great entertainment in the form of the Charleston Jive Squad, dressed in 40s costume they jived their way through the day and kept us all bopping along with great music, here are some of their gorgeous gals and an action shot…..

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There was also a vintage car rally, I am quite a petrol head and fell in love with this Maserati…….

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And keeping us fed and watered was the marvellous Rose and Olive purveyors of great tea ( in proper cups) and lush cake, oh and all the while looking this gorgeous………

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It was a great day and we sold lots, it also gave me valuable insight into what the public like, so I’m able to plan for the next fair much better informed.

Finally, a huge thanks to the organiser Sandie Perkins……

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She did a cracking job and was always checking to see if we were OK.

So this week is my art show at Lindfield Art festival, after that I should have some time to breathe and do some tutorials for you!

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!