We blog, we bake.
We craft, we create.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Second challenge end time,

So, our second challenge is at an end, and what did we challenge ourselves, and anyone wanting to join us, to this time?

The theme was based on Maya Angelou's works.

We challenged ourselves to use a quote, or some words taken directly from Angelou's works, and to use the following words in some way, either onto the page or as inspiration for our project:

Freedom, music,celebrate

We'd like to thank both Cath , Lauren and Toni for taking the time to join in the furry fun with us.

Please take some time to peruse their blogs, as they all produce such lovely work. If you don't already have it ladies, then please take our furry challenge buttons for your blog side bar. No prizes for bears challenges as we could be accused of nepotism if we chose a certain person ;)

So I guess we should show you what we created?

Here is our finished project

Over to Horace (the blogger hogger) for a more detailed look....

Hello there, seems it's my turn to blog again, oh look, here's my fat furry head looking at my page.

I was a little excited at the thought of this challenge, as I love Angelou's work, so I got started as soon as the blog challenge had been posted,and produced the page you see to the top of my fat (stop it, Podgy) furry head.

So now I needed a matching left hand page. First I inked and misted a blank page to death

And added some stamping through our dinky little harlequin shaped mask.

I then printed out some of the words from Angelou's poem, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and stamped and distressed the word strips.

The left hand side of my project represents the free bird from the poem, he stands just above his cage, which is broken open, as he has achieved liberty. This side shows the challenge words of freedom and celebrate. The bird on the 'free' side is bigger and brighter, to depict the fact that he has realised his dream of freedom.

The words taken from Angelou's poem on this side are:
The free bird leaps
On the back of the wind
And floats downstream
Till the current ends
And dips his wings
In the orange sun rays
And dares to claim the sky
The free bird thinks of another breeze
And the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
And the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
And he names the sky his own.

The right hand side represents the caged bird, he is still trapped. The bird is smaller and darker, to represent his capture, but he has one wing protruding from the cage, to suggest his future freedom. He is surrounded by musical notes as he sings of his hopes of being set free.

The extracts from Angelou's poem on this side read:
The caged bird sings
With a fearful trill
Of things unknown
But longed for still
And his tune is heard
On the distant hill
For the caged bird
Sings of freedom.

We'd all like to thank the esteemed Dr. Maya Angelou for her wonderful works which inspired our little challenge and to our wonderful friends who played along with us, it's so much more fun when others join in.
Shall we do another one for next month? We're quite enjoying challenging ourselves and love it if people decide to join in. :)

Location:In the bear bungalow

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Pooh's Scrapternoon

Hello there dear friends, how nice of you to drop by the House of Bears. Pooh here today to show you a scrapbook page I made, and also show you how to gut your card to make the most of it in these penny pinching times.
On with the demo... In 2010 I was lucky enough to be bear of the bride at my dear Florence's wedding. Although most of the photos have been scrapped now, I wanted to make sure some of the more informal shots were included in my memories of the day.
I wanted to use two pieces of cardstock to create a page with a small border, but I didn't want to waste the base card that would be covered up, so I decided to gut the base card. For those who don't know, this means cutting out the piece of base card that will be covered by the top layer of card.

My base card was to be white, so I carefully measured to 11 1/2" to cut inside the card for a 1/2" white border. The trick here is to start your cutting a little way down the card, not at the very top

As you don't want to accidentally cut off a strip, like I did here.

Starting again... I measured another piece of card, and this time began cutting it with my blade halfway down, being careful not to let the blade travel all the way to the top or bottom of said card!

Rotate to cut every side, to produce a frame effect. Your spare card will come in handy for cutting letters, or even for another page later on.

I now needed to cut 1/2" off my top card layer, in order for it to fit neatly on top of my white frame.

I glued carefully round the edges of the back of the pink card

And adhered it to my white base, to produce this lovely frame.

As I wanted to add a patterned paper layer on top of my pink card, I decided to gut this too. Oh look, I've been framed!

Now I needed a title, yay, my turn to play with the Cricut. I chose the Type Candy cartridge, and for an extra swirly effect I chose the Taffy Script option on the keypad.

It's fun to watch the letters being cut.

Oooh swirly.

Use the handy Cricut spatula to gently ease the letters from the sticky mat.

Shuffle your elements round on your page, and when you're happy with the placement of everything, glue away.
Here's my finished page, with a gratuitous shot of yours truly.

Wilbear says I must show the page on its own, tsk!

With love from the bears.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

WOYWW - Christmas Comes Early

Hello there fellow WOYWWers, another Wednesday comes around again and it's time to join in the fun atJulia's fab blog, where we get to look at crafter's desks around the country, and even world.

This week, the bears are queuing (im)patiently to get a look, and a play, at the new loveliness on the desk. Horace was first in the queue, followed by Podgy, and the other bears jostled for position.

So, what were we all queuing for? This

A Cricut!!! How lucky are we? It's an early Christmas present and we're so excited to have such a wonderful gift, no wonder there was so much pushing and shoving to get to play first.

Horace loaded up one of the cartridges that came with the Cricut, Type Candy,

He was rather greedy, and once he'd printed one word, he decided to have a sneaky second go.

He seemed rather fascinated by the cutting process

And cut us the word 'pressie', quite fitting considering the occasion.

The letters cut like a dream, and were easy to pull off the special sticky mat.

Especially as our pressie giver had thought to also buy us a handy spatula to ease the more sticky letters from the mat.

Now to heft Horace out of the way, he's had quite a long enough play, we'll send him blog hopping while we have our turns!

Don't forget, we have our own little challenge, based on books, this can be found By pressing paws here we'd love for some more entrants. It's a just for fun challenge but we do have a fab furry button for those who take part, and another fab furry button just for those who'd like to support us.

With love from the bears.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Shamefully Seeking Sympathy

Hello, us bears are all in bed as we're unwell. We have a touch of bearflu we think. Still, at least we can do ill and cute at the same time.

With love from the bears.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Here's one we made earlier

Hello there, Pooh here to share my card with you. No 'how to' guide this time as we were asked to provide two cards for an order and both were chosen from our Blue Peter box (British bears TV programme where every time the show broadcast a craft project the presenters would produce one 'they made earlier). Anyway, our client chose her two cards, and we just needed to add personalisation. Here I am about to run the letters to spell Allison, through my trusty Cuttlebear.

I won't be able to adhere the name until next week, as the client isn't sure if her recipient spells her name with 2 Ls or one. I was able to add the recipient's age to the card though, as our client was definite it was to be for a 50th birthday. Here is the card our client chose.

We'd made the card a while back when we bought an Alice in Wonderland inspired project book. We love the designs in this and have so far used it for cards, journal pages and tags, with lots more paper for other projects left over.

Oh, before I leave you, do you want to see what happened when I thought I'd dropped one of my numbers in the bin? I asked Horace to have a quick look for me

But he was a little too enthusiastic



With love from the bears.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

WOYWW - an organised mess

Good Wednesday morning to all WOYWWers, yet another wednesday arrives and with it a chance to peek at desks of crafters worldwide courtesy of Julia's blog.

This week on the bears' desk is an organised mess. Most of what's on the desk is concerned with art journalling, but to the left is a lovely pile of goodies, some of which are our long awaited (3 months) subscription gift from Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine. They're on the desk awaiting playtime, when we shall carry on with our Olympics inspired page.

Anyway, the art journals. We decided we didn't like our original art journal cover, so on went the Gesso

Followed by some glimmer mists, which Horace had fun spraying.

He then stood the covers on end for a dripped effect. We wondered what on earth he had done at this stage, as we really weren't sure if we liked it or not (don't tell Horace, he's very precious about his artwork).

Eventually, after much misting, adding embellishments and a title, he came up with this, which we did like, and it matches what's inside better than the original covers.

We wanted two journals, one for more arty type experiments, and one for feelings and thoughts that bears may have. Horace obliged by making this.

Happy desk hopping, oh, and if you have some spare time, maybe you'd like to join in our just for fun challenge By pressing your furry paw here

TTFN (time to find nosh).

With love from the bears.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Pooh's weekend bakes

Hello there, fancy something nice for the weekend? Here's Pooh's magnificent weekend feast.
First, Millionbears shortbread.
You will need
for the biscuit base
200g plain flour
90g soft brown sugar
65g desiccated coconut
188g unsalted butter, melted, plus a little more for greasing
for the caramel filling
115g golden syrup
Cheat and buy a tin of Carnation caramel, life is too short!
for the chocolate topping
300g good quality chocolate, broken into small pieces, plus extra for those sneaky chomps as you bake!
First, pre heat your oven to 180c. Next, sift the flour and sugar into a food

Add the coconut and butter and mix together until well combined

It should look something like this, mmm. Oops, don't think I'm supposed to sample it yet!

Next, grease a square baking tin

And line the bottom and the sides with greaseproof paper.

Spread the biscuity mix evenly over the pan and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

I had some spare biscuit mix, so pressed my bear cutter into it to make bear biscuits.

Once the biscuit base is cooked, pour the tin of caramel over it, and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Leave this to cool completely, then melt the chocolate, and pour it over the caramel, smoothing gently over the top of it. Allow the slab to set before removing it from the tin and cutting into slices. I think we'll manage to cut this into 4 maybe, bears have big appetites.
My next feast item is quiche.
Now, Wilbear is always making and freezing pastry, so I thawed out a wodge, and rolled it out and into a loose bottomed tin

I added some baking parchment on top of my uncooked pastry, and filled with baking beans so my pastry didn't rise. This was cooked in the oven for around 15 minutes.

I then chopped some suitable quichy ingredients, ham, spring onions, orange pepper, and mushrooms

And started to layer the quiche.

I then whisked 3 free range eggs with a little milk - do you like our whisk? We have all the best tools - and added these to the quiche, which was then cooked in a preheated (200c) oven, for 20 minutes.

Once cooled, I cut the quiche, ready to serve for a bears' tea party.

Hold on, there's a slice missing, I'll be watching to see who turns up for the tea party with a crumby moustache!
Anyway, I had leftover pastry, so decided to make tarts. For this I needed to re roll my pastry and cut out rings with the large pastry cutter

Which I then filled, two with raspberry jam, and two with Horace and Spider-Bear's lovely lemon curd.

I baked my tarts for around 15 minutes, until the filling was bubbly, and the pastry was turning golden brown.
Here are my tarts and bear biscuits

What a feast we'll have, anyone coming for tea?

Oh, and if you're stuck for something to do this weekend, why not try our second literbeary challenge, which can be found By pressing your paw here . It's a just for fun challenge but we do have a fab blog button for you to display if you take part.

TTFN (time to feast now)
With love from the bears 🐻