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

Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Bears' inaugural challenge

After being inspired by so many fab craft challenges on the Internet, the bears have decided to host a challenge of their own. We all thought long and hard about this ( as long and hard as bears with one brain cell between them can anyway) and we have decided that our blog challenges will be based on our first love, no, not chocolate, not honey, but books. There are so many books, and so many ways to interpret each one, that the challenges could last forever, or maybe this will be our first and last one if no one joins in!
With books in mind we have decided that our first challenge will be based on one of our bearhood favourites; The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. We still read this book to this day, despite being well past our cub years.
So, the challenge will be to create one piece of artwork, either
Art journal page
Using the theme of secret garden and the following words for inspiration
Re birth
How you interpret the theme is up to you.
The challenge will run until Sunday 12th August.
Contrary to many blog challenges, the bears will post their interpretation of The Secret Garden on the closing date, just to make things more exciting!
Here are a couple of pics as inspiration, taken from my good friend Mr. Google

We hope you will join in and post your linky for us to come and look at, have fun.

With love from the bears 🐻

Thursday, 26 July 2012

A popping challenge

Hello there, Horace here, goodness isn't it hot in the UK right now? I made the most of it and sat out in the sun for most of the day, getting a furtan! Last night though, while cooling off in our north facing bedroom, I stumpled upon another great challenge blog by Smudgy Antics. The link can be found Here

The theme was Pop Art, so after much searching of the bears' shared brain cell I decided to take the word POP literally. 'Now, what goes pop'? I pondered to myself (the other bears were sleeping so it was no use asking them).

'Aha' thought I. What better sums up pop than bubble wrap, and as the challenge had called for thinking outside the box, and I'd so far thought so inside the box that I'd practically climbed in it, I decided not only to use bubble wrap to stamp a background, but to use the bubble wrap ON my project!

As well as bubble wrap, I needed an idea to tie my project together, and decided a balloon stamp was needed to cement my popping theme. Here is my answer to the pop art challenge

The text should be readable, but in case it's a little small, the tag reads 'the inventor hoped his balloon would not POP'. The idea being that he was trying out his new fangled aircraft for the first time. Doesn't he look worried?

My idea started, as I said, with the bubble wrap, but I knew I'd need stamps to create a proper picture. bubble wrap just placed on a tag would hardly be exciting would it? Apart from the potential to pop it to your furry heart's delight that is.

I had a search through the stamp box

And after a minor beartastrophe where I fell in

I emerged, mostly unscathed, with these.

I decided to utilise a pre distressed and misted tag left over from a previous project, so my colour theme was set at purple. First I sprayed a generous misting of water through my bubble mask onto my tag

removed the mask

and rolled kitchen towel over the tag, to set the bubble pattern on the tag.

Like so

Rolling the kitchen towel over the tag makes pretty patterns on the roll. Just remember to keep it separate from the kitchen towels you use in any food preparation, inks are not very tasty!

I then cut some bubble wrap, and adhered to the corner of my tag.

And coloured it in purple pen. I also coloured another piece of bubble wrap, and used this to create a bubbled pattern directly onto my tag,

To produce an even more bubbled background effect. Wow, this tag is really popping!

Next, I coloured my stamps in purple ink, then stamped them onto white card,

and cut out the images.

Lastly, I brought all my elements together to complete my pop art tag.

TTFN (time to find new clothes as I just realised I've been crafting in my pants, hopefully mo one will notice.)

With love from the bears 🐻

Make the Most of the Weather

Hello there, Wilbear here, it's too hot to craft today, Britain has been blessed with 3 whole days of sunshine, us bears have been making the most of it and warming our fur in the Garden.

The other bears said it's far too hot for anything other than basking in the heat, and Horace went one step further and said it was far too hot to wear clothing. He says no one will see him as the bushes in the garden hide him from view.

What he doesn't know is, I sneaked the camera out with me

With love from the bears 🐻

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


Well it's that time of the week again when we get to nose at the workspaces of crafty people (and bears) around the world. The idea came from Julia and the site can be found Here. Be sure to check out desks galore on her fab blog.

So, what's on the bears workspace this week? Let's take a look...

A mess, a real live mess, stamps galore, ink pads, acrylic blocks, a random easel that has absolutely nothing to do with the project we were working on.... The ubiquitous TV mag that's used for stamping, glueing, misting etc.

We decided it was time for another page in the bears' art journal, this time we really wanted a Circus/carnival theme, to fit with our new stamps that Florence had sent to us by Royal bearmail.
Out came said Circusy/carnival type stamps, along with most of the other stamps we pawsses. On the desk you see Paperartsy, Andy Skinner, Hotpicks and a few other makes, along with some red and green distress ink pads. We thought these had a circus feel about them.
After much inking and distressing of the blank journal page it was on with the stamping...
To produce this

The central theme was the excitement and thrill that comes with knowing the Circus is in town, and we tried to convey this with first the circus stamps, using the eye stamp as a roof for a billowing tent, this effect was achieved by printing an image of a tent from the Internet, then folding the paper to produce a flapping material effect. The eye image was printed and glued to the top to represent a fortune teller's tent, with the slogan 'all seeing, I can tell your future' to entice customers in. Down the side of the tent is the sentiment 'seduce' to depict the fortune teller trying to seduce punters into her lair.
Above the tent is another sentiment 'the eyes see everything'. Along with a stamp of a ticket, which has been inked and distressed. Several other ticket type stamps have had similar treatments to produce a used effect, as if the tickets have been used and discarded during the event.
To the top of the page we stamped a mystical lady, with a butterfly adorned on her body, this is to depict the 'freak show' side of the circuses of old, when people with various disfigurements were employed by the circus to draw crowds.
To the right hand side of the page are the rides found in an old style circus or fair; a carousel and a spiral slide, words used here are 'adventure' 'danger' 'attraction' and 'temptation'.
This page was such fun to do, all the various makes and themes of stamps we own seemed to combine to produce an overall effect of fear, excitement and the promise of thrills, just as you'd expect when visiting the circus.
Ttfn (time to find new blogs on WOYWW)
With love from the bears 🐻

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Bears Show Their Support

Being conscientious bears, we like to do our bit for worthy causes, and one close to our furry hearts is Support our Soldiers. There are many ways to support this cause but we decided to send some care packages, as we thought that if we were away on operational exercise, this is what we'd like to receive. You can find a link Here
Here are some of the provisions we put in our boxes, a couple of our paw made cards, some shower gel, a novel and a puzzle book with pen

And the most important part of the package - food, and lots of it. I wonder if they'd mind if I just sampled a pack or three?

Horace says I have to send all the sweets, well I hope he's off to the local sweetie shop to buy me some, all this box packing makes a bear very hungry.

All finished, now to tape up the boxes and persuade Horace to post them for us, I'm sure he can afford the postage, if he can find his wallet beneath the cobwebs that is!

With love from the bears 🐻

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Simon says stamp, anything goes/summer colours

Hello there, we do like our challenges here in The House of Bears.

This time it's Horace here to showcase his make for the latest Simon says stamp challenge blog which can be found Here

I began making my card with an image from a stamp we used to own, of a vintage lady. I'd stamped her in brown, which obviously was not very conducive to a summery feel. So I needed to brighten things up a bit. What better than greens and orange to depict a summers day (well, a summer day anywhere but England!!!)

I made the stamped image into a topper with flowery patterned paper from our stash, I'm not sure what make it is as we didn't have the details with it. I have a furry feeling it may be Basic Grey though.

I added the topper to a card blank which I covered in patterned paper from the same paper stack, added a couple of pieces of green wavy cut card to mimic ribbon, and to finish the card off, a lovely bright orange flower from our stash.

Looking forward to the next challenge, I wonder who will draw the long straw to blog about it?

With love from the bears 🐻

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Crop cake n craft

Hello there, today was crop, cake n craft day at The House of Bears and what a fun filled day it was. We set up the table early so that we were prepared. Podgy and Pooh were so excited they arrived before anyone else. Pooh had a look at the crop kit, while Podgy pondered what he could distress with ink.

Podgy decided he would rather scrapbook, so soon after the crop started they swapped places.

The day was such a success, bears ended up sharing their craft spaces.

Horace tried out the Cuttlebear machine.

Pooh had a little table slumber halfway through. Probably because he had been up so early in his excitement at the crafty day ahead.

The day was a success, and we will be hosting another craft day just as soon as we can persuade Wilbear to make some more of that delicious cake. He said it went so quickly he didn't even manage a slice for himself.

Here are a couple of tags we made today. They were a group effort, although Podgy says his special stamping technique is what makes them so fabulous.

With love from the bears 🐻

Friday, 20 July 2012

Wilbear's Weekend Baking

Hello there, Wilbear here, tomorrow the weekend starts, and to celebrate, the bears are hosting a craft get together. Bears from other parts of the county have been invited, so I decided to bake my speciality - Wilbear Sponge. Now in human terms you may know this as Victoria sponge, the difference of course is that Wilbear sponge is pawmade with love.

To make my special sponge you will need
6oz butter
6oz caster sugar
3 free range eggs
6oz self raising flour
First, weigh the sugar and butter, and mix together in the food pawcessor.

Weigh the flour

Grease two 6" round cake tins

Ooh, back to the cake mix, I like to do things out of sequence.. Now, add your eggs, one at a time and beat into your sugary buttery mix,

a Wilbear top tip is to add a spoonful of flour with each egg, to minimise the risk of curdling.

Sift the rest of the flour into the pawcessor, and mix until combined. Next, share the delicious cake batter between the two cake tins.

Wilbear top tip two is to weigh your cake pans while distributing the batter, to ensure even distribution of the mix.

Now for the fun bit, please note, for hygiene purposes, this step is better carried out once you have completed the filling of the cake tins, lick the batter from the spoon, mmm, mmm, mmm.

Add the cakes to a pre heated oven (200c) for about 20 minutes. While the cakes are baking, wash and wipe up (this is the moment all other bears mysteriously disappear!)

If time permits, make your filling while your cakes are cooking, sift 6oz icing sugar into the pawcessor, add 3oz butter and whizz until soft and well mixed.

Beep beep beep, beep beep beep.. Ooh, the timer's gone off. Be sure to wear oven gloves when removing your cakes from the oven, burnt, blistery paws are very painful!

Check that the cakes are cooked through by inserting a skewer into the middle, it should come out clean.

Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then remove from said tins and cool completely on a wire rack

before adding your buttercream filling.

Oh my goodness, I just can't resist a little lick of the spatula, I call it quality control. Anyway, it's my reward for doing all the hard work!

Sandwich your cake together, and dust the top with icing sugar, then sit back and admire it, with a smug little smile on your furry face.

Where can I hide this until tomorrow's craft day? The house bears here can smell a cake from several furry pawsteps away!

With love from the bears 🐻

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Podgy plans a page

Hello there, I've been looking at blog challenges again, and found This one. As it's a no rules challenge, I've been tinkering in the bears' art journal. I do love to ex'bear'iment in this, as anything goes, and if I make a mistake, why, I just pretend it was meant to be that way!
Now, I don't know about you, but here at The House of Bears, along with sacks of fan mail, we receive a lot of junk mail through the letterbox. Usually Wilbear recycles it quicker than you can say beary breakfast, but since we decided to start an art journal, we've been stalking the postbear, in the hope of finding something that may come in useful. Some of the junk mail has interesting artwork which can easily be incorporated into a journal project, or altered in some way.
Being a bit of an excitable and impatient bear, I forgot to take a furry photograph of the junk mail in its original state, but remembered once I had begun inking over it on my art page.

As you see, this was an advert for a well known communications company, I cut around the text at the top of the ad, glued the ad to the page, and tried to blend it in using distress inks to depict a red sky at night, with some black soot ink to introduce the theme of fear. I then wished I hadn't cut the text from the top of the ad, as I had a bearbrainwave for the text at the bottom. 'bear' with me (fnar fnar).
Remember my textured tale of woe? Well I thought I'd have another go, so out came the texture paste

And Horace's chopped credit card

And some glimmer mists, which I mixed into some paste on a piece of scrap card

To produce a brick (ish) colour.

Which I spread over the stone mask, courtesy of the ubiquitous credit card!

I wasn't pleased with the overall colour, so I masked off the rest of the project and resprayed the stone in a more rusty colour.

To replicate a path

I needed to let the pasty piece dry overnight, so settled down for a long sleep. Zzzzzzz

In the morning, once I'd had a small breakfast of bacon, egg, sausage, tomatoes, toast, cereal, porridge..... I had a rummage through the stamps box, to find some appropriate images that matched my page.

I used the tried and tested method to stamp the images onto the page, sit on the stamp block, lots of pressure applied this way!!,

Next I had a little 'paws' for refreshment. Ahh, that's better.

Now, I was ready to add the finishing touch, and glued my die cut image (Tim Holtz, Alterations, Umbrella man die) and adhered him to the page. Goodness, I know some very big words, I ate through the As in the dictionary in a fit of hunger.

Here is my finished art journal page. The stamps are a little subtle, apart from the word danger, which I've used to depict a sinister element to the page. I also stamped the phrase 'fatal attraction' but this doesn't show well on the photo. The moon was made by cutting a small circle with Nestabilities circle dies, and then recutting the circle off centre of the die, to produce a moon shape. There are also some birds flying overhead, you know our fear of birds, so they added to the scary effect.

Ttfn (to to find nosh!)
With love from the bears 🐻