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

Saturday, 31 August 2013

July/ August Challenge end and how to journal out your feelings.

Well hello there, it's Cedric here, finally I get a turn at the desk, just in time to create our July/ August challenge piece, for which we asked for quotes from Jane Austen to be used.
Before showing you my make, I would like to thank
Morning AJ
For joining in with us and producing wonderful makes, do take a moment to look at their interpretations of the challenge, they all created such great artwork.
Onto my make, but first a little diversion, although it does fit in with my page. If ever you have things on your mind which you just need to get out, scribble them all down, as scruffy or as neat as you like, as honest as you feel, whatever you need to say, directly into your journal. ' But people look at my journal, I don't want them reading my private thoughts'. I hear you say. No problem - once you've journalled it all out of your furry head, cover it up with some Gesso. It's truly cathartic to spill your soul but have your thoughts remain private at the same time.

That forms the base of my page, my furry thoughts, that actually fit in with the journal page in this case, although they don't have to. Obviously, in keeping with the above advice I won't tell you what I wrote, after all, the other bears may be reading this, and my furry thoughts could possibly be about them...
After Gessoing my journalling, I added some Golden Glass Beads gel for added texture, and over the top of that I added Golden burnt sienna paint. I decided it was far too brown and dreary, but I did like the texture, so I added some white acrylic over the top. I still wasn't sure, so left the pages to dry over night, and in the morning added some torn book pages, which I adhered with gel medium.

I then added yet another colour wash over the top with more burnt sienna paint, this time mixed with white acrylic. I dabbed off some of the paint with kitchen roll, to allow all the layers to show through.

By this time the page was seriously buckling under all the painty layers, so I left it to dry out completely overnight. I then glued two pages back to back, to add a little strength to the project.
My page looked a little lacking in something, despite all those layers. So I added some texture paste, coloured with black paint and scraped through a Dylusions mask to the edges of the pages, and a Kaisercraft background stamp to the whole page, in the bears' own inimitable style.

That's better.

Goodness, what a lot of texture.

You can still see all the layers though. It's very touchy feely, what a shame you can't experience that.

Because I seemed to be throwing everything at the page (well I don't get to the craft desk often, so need to make the most of it when the opportunity arrises) I added some india ink to my pages.

For a lovely drippy effect. I darkened my die cut images for a more moody feel to the page, and here it is, all done.

With love from the bears

July/August challenge - Jane Austen quotes

This post will remain as a sticky until the end of August as it's eaten too much hunny! Please scroll down for newer posts. ;)

Hello there, goodness, is it new challenge time again? Don't the months fly by? Well it's Wilbear's challenge choice this month, and he's continuing with our 19th century novel theme, we do love our classic novels. Wilbear has chosen Jane Austen.

Jane Austen was born on December 16th 1775. Austen's books were all set amongst the landed gentry, the novels are full of irony and social commentary and are still widely read around the world.  The books all have a comic humour, showing Austen's wit.

Although she only published 6 books - Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park - with two of the novels being published posthumously, she is one of the most enduring authors of her time. Today there are book clubs dedicated solely to her works, which is a testament to her writing skills.

Wilbear has all of Austen's books on his Kindle, as well as owning this rather huge edition of her works, which he can often be found perusing.

Wilbear decided the best way to honour Jane Austen was by combining quotes from all of her books, as well as quotes from her personally, to use as this month's book challenge. Like her or hate her, there are some fantastic quotes to be found within her novels. These can be used literally, or subverted and used in any way you see fit. Funny, subversive, sad. Whatever suits your art.

Usual 'rules' apply.

Use one of the quotes below to make a piece of art, tag, altered book, card, art journal, anything you wish. This can be digital or 'real', we don't like to exclude anyone..

Try to visit your fellow joiner inners, after all, half the fun of joining a challenge is to see how many different interpretations there can be.

Add a comment after you link, so we know to come and visit you.

Please provide a link back to our challenge in your post, we really appreciate this.

This is a just for fun challenge. We can't offer prizes as we are non working bears with no sponsors, it's just little old us in our bungalow, having fun, but we do hope that doesn't put people off playing along.

Although most challenges pick a top three or a winner, we often have close friends and family joining our challenges, so would not want to be accused of nepotism, or conversely, of disliking our dear friends' work. We truly believe that every entry is a winner in its own right, and at challenge end we will provide a link to every entrant's art in one post.

Ooh, one more thing, have fun, that's the most important part of the bears' challenge.

I guess you'd like to read the quotes now?

I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them. (Jane Austen)

Every man is surrounded by a neighbourhood of voluntary spies. (JA)

Where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right, is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong? (JA)

One man's style must not be the rule of another's. (JA)

An artist cannot do anything slovenly. (JA)

Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way. ( Emma)

Oh! Do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch. (Mansfield Park)

An agreeable manner may set off handsome features, but can never alter plain ones. ( Persuasion )

We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days. (Persuasion )

The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. ( Sense and Sensibility)

One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other. (Emma.)

If none of the above are agreeable to you, please feel free to pick your own quote from any of Austen's works, or any of her personal quotes, for your art.

The challenge will run for two months, until the end of August, to allow for summer holidays. We hope this will allow time for anyone who wants to join in.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

WOYWW- Cards and such like!

Well hullo there dear friends, here we are again with another Wednesday dawned, I won't risk your wrath by mentioning that it's now only 17 weeks until Christmas day, oops, sorry, I have word vomit!!

Moving swiftly on, we all know what Wednesday means don't we? Yes, another chance to peek at the desks of other crafters worldwide courtesy of Julia at Stamping Ground. If you have no idea what I'm on about then click on the link, take a picture of your workspace and join in, it's not only fun, it's also addictive, and as a very nice added bonus, you can make some great friends along the way.

So, I guess it's time to stop blethering on about it and actually show you the desk this week?

I'm having a card making stint, the images are courtesy of the very talented Mary Anne, a fellow WOYWer, she often has printables on her blog, and I just loved these.

I have a further stashy mess on the bed, ready to make general greetings cards once I've created a few Christmas cards. The bears often make cards for various charities and we felt it was about time we made another batch.

Other bits on the desk include various ATCs, art and friendship cards sent by friends, we had a little change around in the bears bedroom and now have nowhere for the notice board, so the art work that was decorating it is now waiting to be adhered to the wall above the desk.

Remember we had the large overbed unit? Well we Free cycled it to open up the room more and give the appearance of more space. It was fun finding a home for all the accumulated stash we had kept, just in case - so much packaging that we could have opened our own packaging company! We think it looks much more light and airy in the room now.

With love from the bears

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

WOYWW - Podgy's Page Creation

Another WOYWW? Already? Goodness me, well at least the means another chance to see the delectable me, Podgy at the creation station

I thought I'd give you an aerial view this week, as a treat! I'm playing in Horace's new Dylusions journal, sh, don't tell him! This will become the bears inspiration page for our September challenge, so I won't spoil the surprise on theme just yet. You can also see my mug of coffee to my right and a mail art card for the cub that was under the journal, oops, must move that. Do you like my anti spray mat? The Dylusions STILL went up the wall!!!!
Oh, I should point out that as well as Wednesday meaning you get to see a gorgeous bear, it also means the less important fact of a weekly nose at other, less cute desks around the world, courtesy of Julia at Stamping GroundAlternatively, you could just stay here and admire me?
With love from the bears

Sunday, 18 August 2013

You Rock my World

Well hello there, it's Horace here again to show you my page for this fortnight's challenge over at Musically Challenged. The chosen video for inspiration is Seven Nation Army and I had a totally fab stamp from The Stamping Chef to play with too, what fun.

I decided to use my lovely new Dylusions journal for my page, as I printed my image out in a large size. I decided to us the inside of a security envelope. I have no idea why, but it seemed like a good idea at the time!

I glued some torn pieces of the envelope onto my page

Then gathered some paint and texture paste.

Oh, and some of this, for added texture.

Goodness, it's very sticky!

But it's good for adding some easy texture to the page.

I spread white texture paste over the page through our diamond stencil, to represent the continuous diamond shapes produced throughout the video.

I coloured my image, mostly in red white and black, as these were the recurring colours in the video.

After adding a red colour wash to the entire page, I added more white texture paste and some black acrylic paint through the diamond stencil. Next, I added some musical background stamps for added interest.

After cutting a title from Cricut cartriges, I adhered the image, and voila, one completed page. This is for Wilbear to thank him for my journal , Wilbear, You Rock My World.

I also made a mail art card to send to the cub.

Here's a close up of the main project.

Take a wander along to Musically Challenged, you have two weeks to join in, and you may win a prize too.

With love from the bears

Friday, 16 August 2013

Use Your Stash

Hello there lovely friends. It's Horace here at the desk bed today, Cedric has commandeered the actual desk, but I had itchy paws to get crafting, and after watching many mini book and journal tutorials on Youtube. I decided to make a little love present for my intended girlfriend, Clarissa. You may remember she sent us a postcard not so long ago.
I gathered 6 square envelopes of the same size, and a 7th envelope of the same size was cut up to use as a template for my patterned papers. The patterned papers used were 6 x 6 and from the All Aboard range by Papermania. My friend Clarissa likes to travel, so this was perfect for her.
I used the envelope template to draw onto the paper, making sure my patterned paper was the correct way round for my envelope book. This won't be an issue if you have a random pattern on your paper, but is important if your pattern only runs one way.

Using the template, I ended up with these two pieces of paper.

I adhered the larger piece around the rim of the envelope, and the smaller piece to the inner envelope, just where you would normally tuck the flap in.
I then glued the next envelope onto the open flap of the first envelope, like so. (Only make sure the flap is completely covered by the next envelope, I left a little showing to demonstrate my method.)

Repeat until all the envelopes are decorated with the paper and glued together.

Here are two stuck together. I added some Distress stain to the edges, it covers up in discrepancies in my paw cutting of the paper, and also adds a little interest to the finished book.

The book grew longer as I added envelopes. You could add more than 6, but I didn't want Clarissa thinking that she had to travel the world to fill her book.

The book has a concertina effect to it. Clarissa can have fun opening it up and seeing how far it stretches!

Voila, one book, for my love.

I wanted to add a tie to make the book prettier, I should really have done this before decorating the book, but in my haste I forgot, no matter, instead of threading ribbon through all of the envelopes I made small holes in the last envelope to the left and the right, and threaded co ordinating ribbon through, the ribbon can then come round the back of the book, then across the front to tie at the sides.

I added some journal cards so Clarissa can detail her adventures.

I left space for her to write her memoirs

These fit into the pockets of the journal

I've already sent this to Clarissa, as a little RAK (Random Act of Kindness.) hopefully she will find a use for it on her holiday. Or for some other pawpose. I had to wait until I knew she had received it, and today she sent me a picture of her cute self, pawrusing her present

Isn't she gorgeous? I think I'm a little more in love now. Swoon.
With love from the bears

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

WOYWW - A new journal

Hello there, did you know it's only 19 weeks until Christmas now? Bet you're glad to have a furry friend to inform you of such things!!!

Moving swiftly on before I get lynched for mentioning such things, did you know it's Wednesday today? Of course you did, and as it's Wednesday that means we have yet another chance to peek at the workdesks of crafters worldwide, thanks to Julia at Stamping Ground. Check out the link, take a picture of your desk and join in, it's fun and addictive too.

This week I have a special present from Wilbear, a new journal, just for me. I've coveted the Dylusions journal since it was first available, and Wilbear decided to buy it for me. How lovely. Here I am ready to play.

The old spiral journal is underneath the new, this is my ravaged calendar journal that I trashed in a previous post. I was about to create a page in it, but I shall now use my Dylusions for large pages, and of course the lovely handmade journal you can see to the right for smaller pages. It's fun to have both sizes for variety. To the back you can see my latest sketch.

It's all disgustingly tidy this week, isn't it?

With love from the bears

Monday, 12 August 2013

Cedric's mini make

Well hello there, it's Cedric here, I've sneaked up to the desk while the other bears are busy arguing over the last Cadbury Freddo bar! I thought I'd try to make some mini books using what stash we have. Now I can't remember where I originally saw this idea but I think there was something very similar in Craft Stamper magazine a while back.
This is a use your stash tutorial and all you'll need is one (yes, just one) sheet of double sided 12 x 12 patterned paper - if you don't have any with a pattern on both sides a sheet of 12x 12 cardstock will suffice - some scraps of either patterned paper or cardstock, or both, ribbons and any other embellishments you care to use.
I remember the first instruction of the tutorial I read/watched, was to take your chosen 12 x12 paper, and fold in half. Goodness, that's difficult.

Oh, I think It meant fold the paper in half, *blush*

This is the other side of my patterned paper, and will be the book's cover.

And this will form the pockets

Next, fold back the halved paper again,

And again, like so (it's half, then half again) think paper aeroplanes at this stage - but don't actually make a plane!!

You should end up with this shape.

Flatten your paper, the 3 creases will run from top to bottom as you look at it. Now fold the paper in half again.

You now have three folds down and one fold across.

Open your paper again, then score a line two inches away from the top of the paper (which should be in the same position as the above picture, so you have three folds running up and one across).

Fold the score line over to produce a flap, then score the other end of the paper and fold that back too, below you can see one of the folds already done.

Now, along the middle line that goes across and now has the folded back flaps, cut along 3 quarters to leave one 3 inch line intact

You should now have this, 3/4 cut line, folds to each side, 3 intact lines running the other way.

Gather this together, like so

And push the ends, to make this shape (you may need to persuade the paper to fold at first, but it should give after a little gentle nudging).

Now you should have this, a misshapen star.

With pockets inside

And a lovely patterned cover.

Most of your pockets will be self sealing, but you will have this open edge.

Which you need to adhere, I used double sided sticky tape.

Like so, ooh, sorry, I've gone a bit blurry, must be all the hard work making me unfocused.

You will also need to glue down the edge pockets, as they won't be self sealing.

Now you should have this lovely concertina style book, with a fixed middle page where you adhered the long sides together.

Rummage in your ribbon stash for some coordinating ribbon to add to the cover.

Run double sided sticky tape from the front of your book,all the way round the edges and to the back of the book, the ribbon adheres all the way round (apart from the opening of course!)

Before starting to stick your ribbon, make sure it's long enough to fit all the way around, with extra to tie the book together.

Then stick away, mind those furry paws don't accidentally stick to the tape!

Add embellishments, stamping, anything you want to add interest to your mini album

The bears received some fabulous crocheted flowers from our friend Ike, and I decided these would look great on the mini books.

In true Blue Peter style, here is my finished make, along with two I made earlier.

'But we didn't use our scraps of paper and card',I hear you say, fret not, my friends, now you can cut ATCs, tags etc from your scraps, and add them to your pockets. You could decorate these with sentiments, or leave them blank, to be filled in at a later date.

Fill each pocket with the tags or ATCs.

We're going to make these for Christmas presents for our friends, as you may know, the bears can't work so don't have their own income, paw made presents mean we can still give to our friends, which we love to do. Why don't you make a mini album for one of your friends, it could be filled with friendship sentiments or uplifting quotes, or left blank for your friend to fill in. You could make a book or two for yourself at the same time. They're fun and you don't need to buy any specialist equipment to make them, just use what you have.
With love from the bears