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

Monday, 30 September 2013

Our September Challenge endeth

Well hello there, we're at the end of September already, hasn't it just flown by? As you know, September also means the end of our 'Poedgy' challenge, so we would like to say a big thank you to






for joining in the fun and making such great art work. Do take a look at their blogs, all are fab and well worth a look, not just for our challenge pieces.

So, the bears posted their inspiration piece at the start of the challenge, with Podgy's Insane art journal pages, but we couldn't just leave you without showing you another piece inspired by those wonderful Poe quotes.
Here's an art journal entry using the quote ' If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered'.

This was a real mix of found items, including an altered magazine image, an old faulty CD, pages from an old diary, and some Post It notes. We used Dylusions mists over the pages, and alcohol inks for the CD. Along with some India ink to create drippy effects and some texture paste we created a really textural background.

The best place for the quote was on the CD so it really stood out.

We've been preoccupied with Illness this month, along With Wilbear trying to sort everything to start his new studies next week, so we haven't come up with a theme for next month's challenge. Would anyone be interested in an 'Anything Goes' challenge using any book quote they liked?

With love from the bears

'Poe'dgy challenges you.

this post is a lick and sticky and shall remain so until the end of September, please scroll down for more recent posts.
Hallo there, it's your favourite bear, Poedgy here, I've renamed myself for this month's challenge, chosen by yours truly. I love Edgar Allan Poe, I like to read his stories to Horace before bed and see him shiver under his furry blankets with fright all night long!

Bearing (ha, excuse the delibearate pun) that in mind I came up with the following poe(dgy) quotes for you to use. Any way you see fit, journal, ATC, postcard, art scene, card, anything, as long as it either includes one of the quotes below

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.

If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered

A lunatic may be "soothed,"... for a time, but in the end, he is very apt to become obstreperous.

"I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect.

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.

I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.

Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence.

The painter stood entranced before the work which he had wrought.

What you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense.

Why will you say that I am mad?

It is the beating of his hideous heart.

Or, if none of those suit your creation, choose your own quote from Poe and add it to your art.

Here's my inspawration piece

I became insane, with long, horrible periods of sanity. That just about sums up life in the bears' bungalow!

I used Dylusions for everything, Horace's Dylusions journal, Dylusions sprays, Dylusions mask and of course, mixed and matched Dylusions stamps. I forgot how much I love my Dylusions stash. Dyan Reaveley would be proud of the bears!

We'd love for you to join in with us this month, leave a comment when you link your creation, so we know to come and visit you, and if you can, visit the other entrants' blogs to see their take on the challenge, it's always fun to see the differing interpretations. We'll run until the end of September. Have fun.

With love from the bears

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Musically Challenged

Well hello again. Have you seen the latest challenge over at Musically Challenged? Every fortnight there is a video to inspire you to create something from. The chosen video for inspiration this fortnight is Brick by Boring Brick, by Paramore, and the sponsor is Milkcoffee.

Here's my make, an easel card

And here's how I made it. First I took a piece of fiery orange card, inspired by the video's fiery colours.

I folded the card in half

Then cut it to a square shape,

folded one side into a triangle shape,

like so,

To form this shape.

I cut a piece of card to the same size as the card blank and chose some suitable mists, all inspired by the video again.

After making a spray booth to minimise messy walls, I spritzed to my furry paw's content.

I chucked some water at the card for an extra effect ( I've lost my water spray bottle so had to make do with a paint brush).

In my own inimitable way, I punched some leaf shapes from leftover card by sitting on the punch.


Once the spritzed piece of card was dried, I glued it to my triangular card

Just like that

I coloured my image in coordinating colours and added some 3d stickies to allow the image to really pop from the card.

I assembled everything together.

To prevent the card from slipping closed when displayed I made a sentiment, which was stuck onto the card base with 3d sticky foam.

And once again, here is the finished piece. Why don't you pop on over to Musically Challenged, watch the chosen video and join in with us, there is a prize on offer too.

With love from the bears

Thursday, 26 September 2013

The finished journal

Hello there, just a super quick post from me today, for those who were interested in the Moleskine I was decorating for Wilbear, here is the completed version. After my acrylic attemps were thwarted, I thought I would try to colour the image with Spectrum noir pens instead. As you can see from the uneven finish, this was not an easy task. I guess Moleskines were not made to be coloured!

I wanted to achieve some really vibrant hair colours. But the end result is rather washed out. Oh well, next time I shall draw on paper then glue the results on.

Back view

And a few supplies I gathered ready for him to start his course.

With love from the bears

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

WOYWW - A RAK for Wilbear

Well hello again fellow WOYWWers, and for anyone curious as to what on earth that strange acronym could stand for, press your furry paw here to witness the weekly, addictive phenomenon that we all look forward to Wednesday for.
So, here I sit, Horace at the desk, doing a RAK (random act of kindness) for Wilbear. His university course starts on 5th October and he bought himself a Moleskine journal. He remarked that the cover was a little boring, so, as he's taking his daily nap right now, I sneaked his journal away to decorate for him.

So far I've drawn a face on it, and attempted to paint it with acrylics, but this was a bad idea as the Moleskine's smooth surface means the paint just sits on the journal. I wiped off my efforts and instead added a layer of Gesso, which I dabbed over with kitchen roll to allow my drawing to show through.
Don't my pot of paints look ridiculously oversized compared to me? Podgy must have taken this photo from an odd angle! The pot even seems to dwarf the giant tub of gesso!
I'll wait for the Gesso to dry completely, then attempt to colour my drawing with my Spectrum noir pens. While I'm waiting I'm off on a hop around the WOYWW desks.
With love from the bears

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Mmmmmalt loaf

Hullo there, chef extraordinaire Podglet here with you again to share another weekend bake with you, well, not share as in invite you to eat a slice of my offering, just sharing how to so you can make your own.

As usual I tuned into the BBC (bears baking channel) to find a recipe for one of my cubhood favourites, malt loaf.


sunflower oil, for greasing
150ml hot black tea
175g malt extract, plus extra for glazing (see tip)
85g dark muscovado sugar
300g mixed dried fruits
2 large eggs, beaten
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Although the recipe calls for 150mls hot tea, it makes 2 loaves, and I only want one. You'd think that meant 75 mls wouldn't you? Well no, as I found this was not enough, and made for a rather dry mixture, so I used 100 mls.

Oh, and I had a nice cup of tea to keep myself hydrated whilst I baked.

I added the hot tea to a bowl, and mixed in the sugar and dried fruit.

Next, in a violent and unnecessary act of wanton violence, I beat a poor defenceless egg! I mixed this into the malty goodness.

I stopped for a sip of tea

Then stirred in the flour, the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. I poured the mix into a prepared loaf tin, and baked in the oven at 150c. The recipe said to bake the loaf for 50 minutes but mine was ready in just over 40' maybe because we have a fan assisted oven.

Now for the washing up, oh Cedric

There's a good bear.

Remove the loaf from the oven and resist the impulse to dive in to its malty goodess!

The loaf is ready if a skewer inserted into it comes out clean.

I guess this is ready then!

Mmm, malt slice and a cup of tea, anyone?

With love from the bears

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

WOYWW - cedric with stamps

Hullo there, Cedric here with you today on a chilly Wednesday in September. So chilly in fact that I'd really rather be in bed,

But the other bears tell me the sheets are far too cold for my chilly fur, and have insisted I sit at the desk while they warm the bed for me. How thoughtful of them.

I figured, while I was waiting, I may as well join the weekly fun that is WOYWW, a crafters' delight. If you don't know what the acronym stands for, click the link, take a pic of your desk. And join in. But remember, once you hop, you can't stop!

As you may have guessed from the first photo, I'm making a card for a friend from free stamps issued with Let's Get Stamping magazine. Disaster struck while I was trying to free the stamps from the plastic....

But a phone call to the company led to them sending me a new set of stamps, as the first set were stuck with what felt like industrial strength glue. Isn't it great when companies acknowledge that their products may be faulty?

Anyway, I shall carry on crafting, in the hope of taking my mind off the cold. The other bears are taking an awfully long time to warm the bed for me. Brrr.

With love from the bears

Sunday, 15 September 2013

A new challenge

Hello there, it's Horace here today. How has your weekend been? Ours was cold and rainy, but on the plus side, we managed some creation time - once we had persuaded Wilbear he didn't need to spend the next 8 months glued to the desk studying!
I was pawrusing the Internet, reading some of my favourite blogs, when I came across a post by the very talented Ike, with a link to her new challenge blog. How exciting is that? So exciting in fact that I began creating, and before I had even thought to paws for some 'how to' photos, my project was finished. Oh well, it shows how fab the challenge is that I didn't even think to stop along the way!
Ike helpfully provided a TIc Tac Toe type grid, from which you can choose three elements to create your project with. I decided I'm a straight up and down kind of bear, so chose the middle vertical line, which was tag, doily ribbon.
I decided to be triple sure I included the tag requirement on my card, and made two overlapping tags for the image to sit on, plus, I cut my card blank into a tag shape too.

Ike has also provided a free image to play with, but we had this wonderful image she had previously offered on her blog, so now seemed the perfect time to utilise it. After colouring the image, I adhered it to my double tag, and added 3d stickies underneath, to allow it to pop.
I coloured 2 different sized doilies with distress ink, and after stamping a Kaisercraft text stamp randomly over my card blank, I glued my doilies down, stickied the double tag on top, and added two butterflies and a distressed flower, for extra interest. The ribbon requirement was met with the addition of some ribbon to top my tag.

This card will form the basis of a box of handmade cards for a friend, for Christmas.
Why don't you pop along to Ike's new blog and take part in her challenge? There's still plenty of time to join in, and she even offers prize.
With love from the bears

Pooh is Musically Challenged

Well hello there. It's Pooh here with you today at the bears' creation station. I'm wondering if you've seen the fabulous new challenge over at Musically Challenged? This fortnight's chosen inspiration video is Creepshow, by Kerli. The idea is to take whatever inspiration you gain from the video and create something with it.
Well, our computer decided to have a little sulk, so I only managed to watch the video twice, but I think I gained enough inspiration from it to create my project, which this week, I decided was to be a giant tag.

The video is rich in layers, and I wanted to replicate this in my creation. First, I took the tag outside and spritzed Dylusions sprays through a mask, to create a mottled effect. To this I added some random stamping.

I had this wonderful image to work with, you can find it, and so many more images at Dilly Beans. I printed the image in two different sizes, as in the video the impression is of the main character shrinking and growing as she completes her journey. I coloured everything in shades of blue, if you watch the video, you'll see why.

I found these flowery stamps among our collection, and they reminded me of the flowers in the video, how serendipitous.

To the bottom of the tag, I decided to add some of this

With this

To represent a watery layer (it looks better dried, honest!)

Of course, it wouldn't have looked good if I hadn't added this

Over the beady mess

I was ultra careful while spraying indoors, Wilbear becomes a little more curmudgeonly if we decorate the walls with our mists.

Once everything was dried, I began sticking my flowers and images. I added a sentiment, cut from the Cricut, to complete the creation.

Of course, this post would not be complete without a gratuitous shot of yours truly, posing with my creation.

Why don't you pop over to Musically Challenged, watch the video, and join in the challenge? You may even win a prize.
With love from the bears