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

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Horace's Completed Page

Hullo there, just a quickie from Horace to show you the completed journal page I was working on in my earlier post. The class included a lesson on journalling out all your negative thoughts, your demons if you like, then you had to take from that what your thoughts and negativity were trying to protect you from, write that down on a piece of paper, let the thoughts go and Gesso over them, adding a positive statement over the top from what you'd learnt. Well I won't spill my furry soul to you all but my negatives and fears were to do with fear of not being good enough, and from that I came up with the following positive message

I've had some tips on shading and other bits of my sketch that aren't quite there yet, but due to the quote I'm not incorporating any of the constructive criticism until my next sketch, otherwise I'll negate the sentiment I think.

This was such fun to do, and I'd like to thank Tam very much for taking the time to make this video and share it with us bears. We love to learn something new and Horace is really enjoying his new found skill.

With love from the bears

WOYWW - we're taking an art class

Hola peeps. Who stole July? It's gone so quickly hasn't it? Still, if the weeks pass quickly it means it doesn't seem too long between WOYWW, peeks. if you haven't a clue what the acronym means then why not? Tsk, look here for an addictive way to pass time and find some really fabulous crafty blogs.

Horace has spent most of July sitting in the garden indulging in his new hobby of sketching. Yesterday evening he decided to look at a free online course for drawing over at This blog. How fabulous that people give up their time for free to help those who want to learn a new skill. Tam guides this course and offers some great tips.

Here's a shot Horace took mid lesson, just as he'd started to paint his picture. What a lovely mess eh? Now do you all believe the bears can get messy? Horace spilled all his acrylics onto the desk so he could paw through them easily. He also got the watercolour crayons out, even though he's not intending to use them!

The ipad is balancing on top of the Cricut, not ideal really, we need a hutch for the desk. Can you see the messy palette pad to the left? It's full of splodges from last week's portrait painting session. Do you think Horace is ever so slightly addicted to this drawing lark? Talking of which, he wants to continue with his project, once we've hopped to a few desks that is.
With love from the bears

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Podgy's weekend bake

Well hello there from Podgy le chef.

I'm here to share with you my cake making skills!!! Today I'm making Yummy Scrummy Carrot Cake. This is not my own invention, but found on the wonderful worldwide web.

If you'd like to bake alongside me, here's a long list of ingredients for you to buy:

175g light muscovado sugar

175ml sunflower oil

3 large eggs , lightly beaten

140g grated carrots (about 3 medium)

100g raisins (we didn't have raisins, so I used sultanas)

grated zest of 1 large orange

175g self-raising flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp grated nutmeg

To start, wash your furry paws, this is very impawtant (see what I did there? What a wit!)

Next, Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan 160C. Alternatively, you can do this before you wash your paws!!! it really doesn't matter.

Grease two 7" cake pans, and line them with baking paper.

Tip the sugar into a large mixing bowl, pour in the oil and add the eggs.

Lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Stir in the grated carrots, raisins and orange rind. Mmm that smells rather heavenly.

Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices, then sift them into the bowl. Watch as the flour flies through the air, coating your black bits with a thin film of white!

Lightly mix all the ingredients - when everything is evenly amalgamated stop mixing. The mixture will be fairly soft and almost runny.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tins and bake for about 30-35 minutes, depending on your oven, until the sponges feel light and springy when you press the centre. You could insert a skewer to make sure the cake is cooked through too.

Cool the cakes in the tins for a few minutes, then turn out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack (the cake that is, not you personally).

This particular recipe calls for a thin icing on top, but being bears with large appetites, that just wouldn't do, so I searched the Internet and found a cream cheese recipe on The Pink Whisk website. These are Ruth's details on how to make 'the perfect cream cheese frosting':


70g butter, softened

200g cream cheese

400g icing sugar sifted

The cream cheese needs to be cold, chilled in the fridge and kept there until you need it.

Beat the butter so it is super soft and ready to go, if it isn’t soft enough let it warm up a bit . If you use it still too cold you’ll never get it to combine in the next stage, leaving you with flecks of infuriating butter!

Add the cream cheese and beat them together until combined. Don’t over beat it (that’s important) – cream cheese loosens and becomes more liquidy the more you beat it so less is best.

Sift in half the icing sugar and beat together, add the remaining half and mix again.

Now I was busy admiring myself in the mirror at the last instruction, and beat all the icing sugar in together, but still achieved a nice spreadable cheesy frosting. I placed this in the fridge until I needed to fill my cake to ensure it stayed set, it was a rather warm day today and I didn't want runny filling. My finished cake looked like this

Then like this

Then this

Etc. Oh, was I supposed to be sharing it? Oops.

With love from the bears

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

And now for the letter T

Hello there subjects, yes, that's right, now that the royal bearby is here I have changed my name to Georgie Podgy, but you can call me your highness. I've deigned to give you a moment of my precious time to show you my page for the alpha challenge over at Craft Barn.

Thos fortnight the chosen letter is T, we had a fair selection of words to choose from our French / English dictionary, being that we set ourselves the extra challenge of only using words that are the same in both English and French. I decided to use the word triple. Why? I have no idea, so why not.

I already had a green stained right hand page next to my designated page, so my colour scheme was chosen for me - greenish! With that in mind I dug out my distress stains ( you know, they always seem quite happy to be used, never in distress at all)

Remember the alcohol and distress ink exbeariments Horace tried a little while back? I thought I'd utilise those for my project

Along with our fabulous Stampotique monster stamp

Which I stamped in the bears' inimitable way

I thought I'd make use of these thickers, as they fit in with my colour scheme.

And I look rather fetching in them!!!

After I'd finished decorating myself, I finished the alpha page.

I suppose you want a picture of the page on its own? No idea why as it looks far better with me in it!

With love from the bears

WOYWW - Would you like to come and see my sketching?

Hullo there, here we are, over halfway through July, ready for yet another WOYWW. if you want to know what this strange acronym stands for, look here. We're off out for lunch with a dear friend today, a very rare occurrence at The House of Bears, but we managed this quick snap as we don't want to miss our favourite blog hop.

As you see, there's not an awful lot on there, but it's exactly as is right now. So what is on the W? Well we have the usual Cricut, pens, recycling bin storage and index card box to the back of course, but other than that? Some palette knives from The Range, only £3.99 so it was rude not to buy them. Also some free papers from a magazine that we haven't decided where to put yet. You can also see a couple of sketches, sketches from the bears? Who purport to be the worst drawing bears in the world? Well yes - we had a visit to the cub over the weekend, and she said she could teach us to draw a basic face, we were rather skeptical, but by following her simple tutorial we came up with this on our 4th attempt.

Which then turned into this

And finally, this, as you see it on the desk

The sentiment is because we have always resisted trying to draw, as everything came out as scribbles. Now we know this is hardly a rival to any eminent artists, but hey, it looks like a face, and it'll do for our pawposes.
We're on a bit of a face sketching kick now, and to the back of the desk you can see our latest attempt, here's a comparison from our very first sketch drawn at the cub's house, to our last but one sketch, drawn in our very own sunny garden by Horace. We're trying to figure out closed eyes, these look rather like empty sockets but we'll keep trying

Oh, and just in case we haven't bored you enough, here's our attempt at a smiling face! This was sketched following a Youtube video. we're so grateful for all the tutorials out there. We were going to put a copyright sign over this post, just for a laugh, but then we worried someone might think we took ourselves seriously! So we resisted.

Anyway, we're off to lunch, so we may be a little late in our visiting today. Ttfn everyone and don't melt in the heat. :)
With love from the bears

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A scrapbook sketch challenge

Hello there, just a quick one from me, Horace. I saw a sketch challenge over at Sue's fab blog,and really wanted to join in. Here is the sketch as posted.

I think I deviated a little from the original though.

I hope I didn't deviate so far that I'm banned from entering my scrapbook page though. Here's a picture of a flamingo at Banham zoo. There were a bank of mirrors which said flamingo helpfully posed in front of, creating a great photo opportunity.

Excuse the shortness of the post, I was so busy creating, I forgot to do my usual 'walk through, probably a good idea, as I'm still far too hot for clothing. Blush.
With love from the bears

Saturday, 20 July 2013

A Smashing Challenge

Hello there, Horace here with you today to present our next Design Team piece for the fab new challenge blog Musically Challenged. If you haven't checked it out yet then what are you waiting for? The challenges are all based on drawing inspiration from the chosen music video, what a fab idea eh?
This fortnight, the chosen video is Tonight Tonightby the Smashing Pumpkins. I thought the best way to gain some inspiration was to dress the part...

Along with my outfit, the best inspiration of all was getting to play with these deliciously smashing stamps from the Octopode Factory.

After watching the video several times (I love the Smashing Pumpkins) I made a start on my page, using the Gelli plate.

Phew, it got a little hot in the bears bed-craft-room, so I adjourned to the garden with a large mug of Pooh bear's tea for refreshment!

I dolloped some paint onto the Gelli plate in my own inimitable style - sit and squidge - it works much better than using my paws, and has the added bonus of leaving no painty paws!

After I'd brayered the paint over the plate, I pressed down this mat to add some texture and interest to the print. To me, the Smashing Pumpkins's video seemed to be full of layers, and very textural, and I really wanted to recreate the feel of that on my page.

I removed the mat, and burnished the print, again in a slightly alternative way!

Suddenly I came over all chilly, despite my padded outfit, so I moved back to the bedroom, these are the prints with three separate lots of Gelli printing on them, and a golden star stamp, spot the slight mistake where I had one page upside down whilst stamping the stars! Ah well, it all adds interest!

For my next exbeariment I wanted to play with our Glass bead gel, to add even more texture to the pages. I needed some colour to it though.

I mixed the above two together

Then with the aid of this fab little stencil that came with the June Papermaze kit, I scraped the coloured gel through said mask, using only the stars.

Oh my, can you see the texture almost jumping off the page? It made the most satisfying scraping noise as I applied it too!

I let the textured gel dry overnight, to allow for a good set.

I was invited to visit our cub, and took my pages with me to finish off, she colours in so much more neatly than me, that I pawsuaded her to colour my images. What a great job she made of them too.

I also pawsuaded her to cut a title for me, as she has a fab silhouette cutting machine thingy. Along with a few presses of background stamps into my premade page, I managed to finish the whole project off while at the cub's house.

The title is 'Believe you can, and you will' . The video seemed very fantasy- like, inviting its audience to believe in all its dreamlike sequences,and I wanted to represent that in my project, what better than to make a quote that's all about belief.
I hope you liked my project, it was fun to make.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Winner Alert....

Well hello there dear friends, so we come to the date of our blog candy giveaway draw. Thank you to everyone who left us a bear fact on our post. We loved reading them all and are in awe of all your creativity when writing said comments. Some of them really made us split our fur with laughter.
What? You want to know who won? Well okay. I'll write up all the names, oh, excuse my lack of apparel, it's far too hot for clothing today.

I'll add the names of all our commentators to my pumpkin slipper

Ruffle them up, and draw one out. And the winner is... Oh. It's still folded up, hang on...

And the winner is... Oops it's upside down, hold on.....

And the winner is... Oops I dropped the paper, hang on a min...

And the winner is, oh, I can't see, I don't have my glasses on......

Can you see?

Email us so we can arrange to send your prize AJ, and well done on your win.
With love from the bears

50 followers! We are not worthy candy WITH UPDATED CANDY

This post should remain as a sticky until July 17th so please scroll down for more recent posts. Alternatively, to view the blog candy, carry on reading. :)
 Wow, we reached 50 followers without even realising! We were keeping a keen furry eye on our follower count as we noted we were at 48 lovely people. But next time we looked the number had crept silently up to 50, and when we looked just now we had reached the very grand total of 51. We never expected, on staging a coup and claiming the blog from the human under the bed (hereafter knowm as THUTB, that people would enjoy our exploits, let alone take the time to leave such lovely comments. We are so grateful to all of you who take time to read and comment, it makes blogging so much more fun knowing we're making furry (and human) friends along the way. Even better that sometimes people say we have inspired them.

Through searching blogs ourselves, and through our lovely followers, we've found so much inspiration and friendship online. we've learnt lots of new techniques, found several great challenge blogs, plus we get the chance to look at the amazing art from the bloggers that we follow, so many talented people have inspired us to try and expand our art from just using inks and sprays, to trying paints and textures and just being a little more exbearimental, and we've had such fun learning from you all.

We had always thought to offer some blog candy on reaching 50 followers as a big THANK YOU to all of you, so we've had a little sort through our meagre stash to see what we can offer. Now as you may know, the HUTB donated or sold almost all of the craft stash when she first became unwell, so we don't have an innordinate amount to offer, and of course we didn't want to scrabble around and offer tat, but we have slowly been building up our stash again, and together we came up with the following...

A bag of mostly pastel ribbon

A canvas with easel for you to decorate

A box of oil pastels to have a play with

and as Blogger and Blogpress are having a hissy fit and not letting us upload any more photos, we will just tell you the other two items, a pack of A6 textured card in brown and yellow, and a pack of Papermania stickers. Oh, Podgy says he wants to throw in a bonus candy, of his elevenses snack - a Penguin! Now knowing Pogdy this will end up as a chocolate wrapper rather than the real thing, but he insists we offer it anyway.

So, what do you need to do to win this candy? Well definitely don't become a follower just because, but if you like what you read, and would like to follow us, well that would be lovely, and welcome aboard. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is to leave a comment on this post, BUT, not just any comment, oh no, along with whatever you decide to write, you MUST leave a bear fact... Remember our last giveaway? We said you must write a 'fact' about bears, and we had such fun reading your 'facts', we decided we wanted more. Your 'fact' can be true or not, it can be as sensible or insane as you wish, but you MUST present it as a fact about bears and try to convince us of its authenticity. 

We look forward to reading all your facts, we'll try and work out how to sticky this post so it stays at the top of our blog. A comment will be chosen either at random, or names out of the hat, and to be eligible please post your amazing fact by 9pm on 17th July. The candy is open to all, friends, family, bears and humans.

BREAKING NEWS - Podgy says you could copy the photo and share our good news, and he may add another snack in to the prize pile!!! WOW!

Even more breaking news, not to be outdone by Podgy's generous snack offer, Horace has found more blog candy to offer....

A sheet of Cut n dry foam, as with all the other candy, it's brand new in the pack. Horace says spread the word!

Wilbear thinks this is all getting rather competitive! Whatever next!

With love from the bears