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

Friday, 30 November 2012

December cometh with a festive challenge

Ho Ho Helloooooooo there from the bears, who are beginning to feel a lot like celebrating the season that is Christmas. That means our literary challenge this month is based on our most favourite ever Christmas book, strangely enough also by our very favourite author; the esteemed Charles Dickens. The book, you may have guessed, is A Christmas Carol.

We love everything about this book, the initial depiction of Scrooge as a miser, trying to quash not only the spirit of Christmas, but the spirits of those around him, namely his hard working clerk, Bob Cratchit, who refuses to be repressed despite working in such awful surroundings. We also love the journey Scrooge embarks on with various ghosts, and the way he learns what true Christmas spirit means, and of course, the end of the book, where he overcomes his curmudgeonly character to become a more giving person, after being visited by the ghosts of first Marley, then Christmas past, present and future.

Every year, as well as reading A Christmas Carol, the bears watch the musical of Scrooge with their cub, whilst wapping Christmas presents, a tradition loved and enjoyed each year. This year, the cub is coming over to help with Christmas decorating, and some mince pie eating no doubt.

On with the challenge, make any piece of art you desire, an ATC, art journal page, card, tag..... Anything.

Include in your creation one or more of the following:

A direct quote from A Christmas Carol, the book

Your depiction of one or more of the characters from the book

Illustrate the spirit of generosity, one of the themes of the book

Something you consider festive, inspired by the book


Your own project, not directly referencing the book, but inspired by its themes.

Alternatively, you could subvert the theme entirely, and go with the depiction of Scrooge at the start of the book, mean and miserly, the choice is yours.

The Rules

Please leave a link to your project, and a comment once you have linked, so we know to come and find you.

Please try to visit any other participants, as it makes it much more fun to share.

This is a just for fun challenge, as we often have friends and family joining, and feel it wouldn't be right to pick them as winners, or, conversely, not pick them as winners!!

The most important rule - enjoy, this is a fun challenge, the idea is to take part and see what we all come up with.

Challenge will finish on 31st December, as long as the bears manage to stay sober enough on New Years Eve to produce a post that day!

Grab our challenge button and display it on your blog, maybe we'll welcome more people to the challenges that way, making it even more fun for all of us.

With love from the bears.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The November Challenge Endeth

Please note, Wilbear's pudgy paw posted the challenge early. If you would like to still join then you have until Midnight 30th. Sorry to anyone trying to post, please go ahead and we will add you to the list.

It's the end of the month already, and that means the end of the bears' November challenge; Your Cubhood/Childhood Favourite. Before we show you the bear's creation, we would like to say a big furry thank you to




Morning AJ

for taking the time to join the bears in this challenge. Fab work ladies, we love each entry and think crafting is so much more fun with friends joining in. Don't forget to go and look at each others' work. That's what makes it more fun.

The bears were undecided on which book actually was their favourite, everyone wanted to create a page based on different books, or the same book with different themes! Finally Wilbear decided, as the eldest bear, that he should take charge and decide. Over to you, Wilbear....

Hello there from Wilbear, as the eldest resident in The House of Bears, I thought I should take charge of this month's challenge, as the other bears were bickering amongst themselves as to what they wanted to create this month.

I decided on Little House on the Prairie, as this was my very favourite cubhood book, and one I return to time and again. A comfort book I suppose, I love the way the book centres on the themes of family and loyalty.

To start, I inked my pages in Scattered Straw distress ink, with Vintage Photo ink around the borders.

Next, I cut the word 'family' from the Cricut Heritage cartridge, in white card, and inked it in Scattered Straw distress ink, again with Vintage photo for the edges, to give definition to the word,

I treated the bears to some new stamps recently, I thought I'd try some on my page,

I inked up my chosen stamps, being careful not to ink my paws at the same time.

Then, using the usual @copyrighted bears' stamping technique, I stamped straight onto my page

Cleaning stamps is a pain when you have paws, but I do like to put them away clean once I've used them.

I cut lots of shapes from the Heritage Cricut cartridge, it seemed to be serendipity that we had this, as it was pawfect for my project.

My page centres on the things that stood out as important to the Ingalls family, their church, eternal hope in the face of adversity, their work life, and most of all, family, which, no matter what, they could always rely on to be there for them.

In the middle of this page is a quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder,

' As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common, everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our hearts with gladness-- just pure air to breathe and the strength to breathe it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm'.

Although not written specifically about her Little House series, this was Ingalls Wilder's core belief, and it shows through in her writings.

I quite enjoyed taking charge this month, and I certainly enjoyed the peace once I'd prevented the other bears arguing over the challenge.

Come back in December for news of a festive challenge, and a little bear competition too.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

WOYWW - A Jumble of Stuff

Hello there WOYWWers and anyone else who has wandered in to The House of Bears this week. For those not familiar with WOYWW, the acronym stands for What's on your Workspace Wednesday, and it provides a chance for nosey crafty minded individuals to have a peek at desks all over the world, courtesy of the lovely host Julia at Stamping Ground.

So, this week on the bears work desk? A jumble of stuff, hosted by Horace. I've just finished a doodle in my personal journal -

As you can see, I was having one of my less confident days, but the page also reflects the fact that I really cannot draw to save my furry little life. I do wish I could, but thank goodness for rubber stamps and Internet images or I'd never get half the furry thoughts that crowd my mind onto paper. My doodle is all paw drawn, but if i'd attempted anything but a heart or flower you would now be scratching your furry heads trying to work out what on earth I'd drawn.

Also on the desk are 3 fab new distress stains, which were on offer, 3 for £10 from Craft Superstore. Despite having no pocket money left, and being on a stash buying ban till after Christmas, Podgy purloined Wilbear's credit card and treated us to these. Just wait till the bill comes in, Wilbear will be hopping mad!!!

To the left of the desk is some patterned paper that came free with a magazine, I can't actually remember which one now, as we had a cull and kept the paper but recycled the magazine.

Ditto all these craft ideas, which have been ripped from various craft mags, ready to try out the techniques. Our magazine rack was overflowing, so we perused the pages and kept the ideas we thought we would attempt.

This is the area above the right of the corner desk, Cricut cartridges and two old Coffee Mate tins we decorated, which we now keep our ribbons in. Also, the fancy shelf supports double up as handy tag holders

We keep the decorated tags to the front, ready to use on any projects we may be working on, and the plain tags to the back. Aren't book rings handy for hanging things from? We've also hung up various adhesives on the shelf supports.

This is our inspawration board, full of paw made tags, and cards and ATCs from friends. We love looking at it as we craft. It adds a bit of colour to our lives.

These tags are to the right hand side, they're misted or inked, but not decorated fully, I've been wiping my excess ink on the blue tag to the front for my last two projects, it makes for an interesting effect, and saves wiping my paws accidentally down my furry front!

This is our as yet (5 years now) undecorated MDF storage unit, it really needs to be painted or decorated, or something. Maybe a cream base with some patterned papers on the drawer fronts? Our culled magazine rack nestles beside it with our Sharpie and other pens in our recycling bin pen pot, which we came across at our uni Freshers' fair. You can just spy the Cricut to the left of the pic, if you squint a bit and hold your head at an odd angle!

That's about it for our desk tour this week. Short and sweet it's not, sorry, the bears just love to waffle! We don't get out much to talk to people so enjoy conversing here instead!! :)

We're off for a craft desk peek, TTFN. Xxx

With love from the bears.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A Bear Makes a Birthday Card

Good evening Blogland. I've finally wrested the ipaw from Horace, who is a bit of a bloghog, so I can make a much needed 25th birthday card for a bear in law. The bear in law in question likes Alice in Wonderland, but as it's a boybear in law, the card needed to also be masculine in design. I found a great White Rabbit image, and some corresponding patterned papers...

I started by cutting a background to fit the card base.

Then cut my rabbit image

I needed some numbers and letters to add a personal touch to the card, so I sorted through the bears' stash, and found these.

I formed a frame for my rabbit, and added some 3d double sided foam stickers to the back of this.

A 3d effect adds a little interest to cards in my ponderous panda opinion

Here's my finished card, i added the number 25 to the rabbit's scroll, as if he was about to announce the special birthday.

I also added our recipients name to the bottom of the card. I do enjoy making personalised cards.

It feels like there's something on my nose, there's not, is there?

With love from the bears.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Horace is Feeling Blue

Hello there, Horace here with the premise that anything Podgy does, I can do, not necessarily better, but can do,nonetheless. So, here am I with a blue page to rival his. I decided, like Podgy, to enter this into the Fussy and Fancy blue challenge.

I copied a technique using Dylusions sprays, featured in the October issue of Craft Stamper magazine, I love this magazine for its inspirational projects.

First, I sprayed Dylusions mists directly onto my craft sheet

Then 'smooshed' my book pages through the misty mess.

I dried the page with a heat gun, then dabbed the page back onto the mist, to pick up any remaining colour, and add another layer to the page.

Oh, I also dabbed each layer with kitchen roll, to soak up any excess in between 'smooshes' and dabs!

My craft sheet has just about come to the end of its useful life, as the mists had leaked right through to the table mat. It's a good job I had the special splat-mat down, or Wilbear would not have been a happy bear.

I cleaned up the misty mess quickly anyway, before it stained my table cloth. Wilbear is a little fussy, and expects everything to look like new, no matter how much it's used.

My next step was to spray water directly onto my paws, then flick them over the misted page, leave for a few moments, then dab with kitchen roll, for a watermarked effect.

Once I'd finished all my misting, I moved back to the bears' craft desk, the chair is far more comfortable in here.

I chose some stamps

Which I inked up in Stayzon ink, any archival ink will do for this step.

I was a bit bored of the usual bears' stamping technique, so decided to try something different. I wouldn't recommend this though, all the blood rushes to your head and leaves you a little dizzy.

Best to stick to the tried and tested method I think!

Isn't this stamp lovely?

Once inked,I stamped directly onto my misted page

and also onto some white card, which I then misted with Dylusions spray.

I cut out the butterfly wings, and adhered them to the stamped image, to add extra dimension.

Next I started to stamp my journalling directly onto the journal page. I found this didn't give the best finish though.

So I re stamped the words onto white card, misted them with dylusions, and ripped around the card.

Which I then distressed with Broken China distress ink, to cover any remaining white edges.

The journalling stands out better this way, but still not quite enough for my liking.

I inked some Tim Holtz sizzix cog die cuts to add to my page.

Stamped more cogs onto tissue paper, in archival ink, and proceeded to assemble my page.

Ta da. The large die cut cogs are al broken in some way, to add to my journal page theme.

I drew over my journalling in white pen, for more of a stand out effect. My journalling says 'Time won't fly if your cogs are broken'. This is a page in my personal journal, the writing reflects that sometimes when I'm pawly and can't get crafty, I find time appears to stand still.

Here's a close up of the left side

And one of the right.

With love from the bears.