Onward And Upward!

Well good morning to you! I am afraid dear reader that things at While Darcey Sleeps towers are in disarray! I’ve been suffering with some numbness in my hands which I have just found out will only be partially treated by some physio.

I’m sure you can imagine that hasn’t put me in the best mindset for writing a cheery blog! However it has put me in the mood to look back at my achievements and the posts on this blog, this will be more than enough motivation to help me keep going. here are some of the important  bits from the past year…….

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We spent a lot of time in Chinatown, mostly eating and buying cute stuff.

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I spent a lot of amazing time with the management board of my company.

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We were often tempted by the lovely shops in London!

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The management board conducted a lot of research into bluebells!

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I painted……..a lot!

And sewed…..a lot!

I marvelled at the strength of the human spirit.

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I protested (just a little bit).

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I laughed and cried when Bob won.

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and I stopped doing that!

But best of all I spent time with you guys and I am lifted every time I see how many of you visit my corner of cyber space.

So, Monday afternoon I have an emergency rheumatologist appointment after which I will be pulling my socks up, stiffening my lip and as Beyonce says “getting back to business”, and a proper blog post will be yours next week.

Kisses

Karen xx

 

 

This Week I’ve Mainly Been …….

Good morning my little cupcakes! If I wrote a piece that fitted the above title it would contain one word….Painting! I’m in my usual mad panic before Lindfield Arts Festival, here’s what I’ve done recently….

This last picture still has some work to do and ideally I would like to do another one, probably a horse but ideally a unicorn!

So what do you do in your spare time when you craft for a living? You do more craft obviously! Here’s a couple of projects I have on the boil currently. Let’s start by talking about one of my heroines -Twinkie Chan……


This is the first book I had by Twinkie and I love it! Full of food related items, I’m sure  I will need this cupcake scarf for dog walking!

It was a no brainier to get her second book….


I will be starting this taco pencil case when the painting frenzy slows.

This next project is what I’m doing this week when I’m not painting…….


Needlepoint is so relaxing and requires very little mental input, don’t ask me where I got this or what it’s called, it’s been sitting unloved in a bag for at least a couple of years!

What do you do in your downtime? I know there’s a lot of creative people that follow this blog!

Have a a superb week,

Kisses 

Karen xx

Success!!

MORNING!!  sorry for shouting but you find me in good cheer, I have actually achieved stuff this week! I’m not feeling much better but have managed to shift my mood enough to get stuff done.

The biggest achievement for me was doing some sewing, sitting at the sewing machine for some reason really aggravates my neck and shoulders so I was really grateful for this super easy foldover clutch……..

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I picked up the faux leather in Berwick Street and I love its squishiness, for the lining I just couldnt resist this bonkers print……..

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Next time I make this I will use a more glamerous zip, this was very much a practice run but I am really pleased with how it turned out.

I also have managed to do a bit of painting……..

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This will be one of the pictures I take to Lindfield Art Fair, I finally think I might be able to capture our bluebell wood, I could’nt resist using a picture with Darcey in!

Now for a design that has actually changed since this picture was done, I’ve also gathered all the supplies……

The new design is way more kawaii and will be a little felt project.

Also in the planning stage is my first project from my handbag designer book, I am first going to tackle a purse……

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I love that macaron fabric and can you see the pink wallet underneath? projects are now going into these as I gather materials, hopefully it will result in work being done and time not being wasted looking for stuff!

Finally a project that is just inspiration at the moment……..

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See that Dolce bag? I love it! but at over £1000 it is just not a reality, but look closely…its crocheted in a shell pattern, could we crochet the pieces, add some leather handles and then decorate with some shiny bits and bobs? well i’m the little blogger that thinks she can, this is going to take a while so I may start posting progress pictures.

I’m hoping for another productive week but next week will be a different sort of post, hope I see you here to show you!

Have a great week kittens,

Kisses

Karen

How To Make A Bag Out Of Bluebells!

Hello loves! It’s no secret that I am absolutely nuts for the bluebells that carpet the woods at this time of year, I have taken roughly a bazillion pictures (yes I’ve counted), here is just one…..

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In the past I have tried to prolong their magic by wearing Jo Malone’s gorgeous Wild Bluebell fragrance ( http://www.jomalone.co.uk), I have brought bluebells in from our garden……

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The colour is without compare and how gorgeous is that little flower bridge? I am so lucky to have given it a home when my mother in law downsized.

This year I have decided I will try and paint a proper picture of them, I will be exhibiting again this year at our local arts festival and I think a picture of our local woods will go down well. I am determined not to rush and I will use all the proper grown up techniques…

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Not much to see and actually now residing in the bin, I wasn’t sufficiently happy with my washes so instead of painting something else I will try and try again!

So then, pretty much as it does every day, my mind turned to handbags, I have tried to find a really pretty backpack, these are my favourite at the moment but only if they have handbag style top handles so that I can carry it conventionally or on my back if needed, I started to see a bluebell coloured, satin backpack with zips and decoration in the green of their stems…

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Again I’m going to take my time with this, I need it to be the most perfect shade of blue and the right zips etc. Of course then my mind started seeing the perfect tote in rose coloured fabric…….

I’m blaming this lack of focus on my bluebell induced mania! Hopefully I will have some of the picture to show you soon, follow me on Instagram for the most up to date images!

Have a cracking week

kisses

Karen

 

 

The Bare Necessities Of ……This Week

Morning! today I have another bunch of products that are rocking my world at the moment, and it needs rocking as I have a chest infection (caused by immune suppressing drugs) and my liver function is up the wazoo (caused by the aforementioned drugs!) so I’m feeling a little less than better!

First, and I am as late as I can be to this party, I have upgraded to an iPhone ….

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I guessed you wouldn’t enjoy a picture of a phone you guys have probably had for the last decade so here is my Harley Quinn cover!

So, I took said phone and took these pictures, first of another daily essential – scented candles….

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This candle is from a brilliant mens shop, Eustace and Arthur in the lovely Somerset town of Langport which is handily where my husbands family live! every time he visits he brings me another “town”, this candle named after the village Curry Rivel (yes really), smells delightful and has an unmistakeable note of curry about it! Inexplicably they don’t have these on the website but they do have brilliant gifts for men, head over to http://www.eustaceandarthur.co.uk and take a peek.

Next up, another product that I should have brought a long time ago …

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This gel top coat by Nail Apothecary is phenomenal! it extends wear on my flakey, chippy nails past the  one day that I usually manage. It was a snip at less than a fiver, I got mine at http://www.asos.com.

There comes a time in your life when you need more than a good moisturiser before you put make up on, step forward primer…..

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This is the cutely named Spackle ( the American word for Polyfilla) by Laura Geller, she has a different version for every concern- redness, hydration, sun protection and this one which is slightly tinted for the vampirish like me, it smooths evens and provides a great base for foundation. This tinted version would be all you need for a weekend face. Available from lots of online beauty retailers.

Finally, the pot of Dianthus that I used for these pictures……..

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If you are not familiar with this plant please pop along to a garden centre, apart from their gorgeous and prolific flowers, their perfume is insane- floral and with a heady note of clove. This tiny pot scents my whole patio.

I hope to finally be well enough to head to the sewing machine next week, so expect a sewing themed post next week including the pattern company that will be making me bankrupt!

Have a great week

Kisses

karen

PS After my darling hubby bought me a table easel, I was finally able to finish this portrait of my dear departed Millie, not bad for my first foray into oils for yonks. Don’t worry, she really did look as fed up as this most days!

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Quit The Kvetching!

Its a fact that some languages convey a meaning better than english, one of my favourites is kvetch, it a yiddish word meaning to complain persistently. The last year has proved a tricky one with my various illnesses taking a definite turn for the worse.

So why not have a good kvetch! well, its great for a little while but then I needed to move on and find ways round my increasing disability. This meant practical solutions not just my usual meditate and eat more avocado approach.

First up……….

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I’ve chopped my hair off! my shoulder arthritis means that lengthy blow dries are not possible. Thanks to the super talented Sammy Thomas for this easy to do..’do.

Next, trainers as “normal shoes” just don’t cut it….

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These were a proper bargain, Stella Sport for £39.99 from the Next sale. Their high tops stabilise my hyper mobile, arthritic ankles and they make me feel sassy!

My beloved car has the single most important change I made way back when I was first diagnosed….

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An automatic gear box, I just change gear to drive and I’m done until we stop, very good for the aforementioned shoulders. The other thing it has is a very small turning circle, this information is available online for all cars and really does make a difference for parking etc.

Handbags are a passion for me, here is one of my faves…..

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The Modalu Pippa, named after Pippa Middleton it is beautifully made and quality touches everywhere…..but man alive its heavy, so I am currently on the lookout for something lighter, I think this might be it….

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Currently 30% off in the Radley sale, and in one of the key colours of the season, Coral.

The most difficult adjustment has been my decreased ability to work, this painting has taken forever and is still not done……..

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But the fact is I am still painting and I will be sewing in the coming week, so all is not lost! And I’m still writing this blog even if my right index finger is partially dislocated and it has rendered my typing speed to that of a continent drifting, but I will always write this blog I would miss you lot too much to quit!

Kisses

 

Karen

 

 

The Terror Of The Blank Space!!

Morning!! As you know I made a plan to spend at least a couple of weeks of January trying to perfect my fur painting (awfully specific I know), if you are a keen follower of this page  you will know that last week was a bit of a ‘mare for me so work didn’t start until this week.

I grabbed my lovely large canvas and…….OH MY FREAKING GOODNESS IT IS SO BLANK!!!

blank-canvas-2I was suffering a complete crisis of confidence, I hadn’t really picked up an oil brush for about 25 years!! Time for a bit of music therapy, I started blasting Gwen Stefani’s  What Are You Waiting For  on my return trip from dropping husband at the station, the lyrics are just perfect, dealing with Gwen’s own crisis of confidence on setting out one her own. So with “take a chance ‘cos you might grow” ringing in my ears, I sketched the Millie cat………….

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So far so good, with arthritis making its presence felt that was that for day one. I then picked up this marvellous book, and…I could not believe how hard it was!

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By the second day I had something approaching fur……..

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I started to relax a bit and made a bit more progress……

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I then tackled the eyes……….

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It was at this point that i could see that oil is a very different medium and that it produces a very realistic look. The picture is still a long way from finished but I’m loving it, and I hope that this will be an option I can offer clients in the future.

Have a great week.

kisses

karen xx