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

Thursday, 29 January 2015

A Vicious Circle

Hello again. I thought you might like to see my completed page from this week's WOYWW post. I collaged old road map and book pages over the whole page, Gessoed over then added some texture paste through a stencil around the edge of the page, being careful to avoid the middle. I then used a circle stencil to create a large circle in the middle of the page with more texture paste. I used a LOT of texture paste on the circle and it really stands out.

Next I cut some artful arrows from a Sizzix die and positioned them around the circle. I used a marker pen around them to make them POP.

Finally, I cut words using my Type Candy Cricut cartridge. This is my most used cartridge as it has several fonts in one. I dripped some blue acrylic ink from the circle outwards and hey presto, a journal page. The Vicious Circle.

See you soon,

With love from Horace.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

WOYWW - a vicious circle

Hello again dear blog hoppers and followers. It's that time of the week again where us nosey inquisitive WOYWWers get to snoop at desks of crafters across the globe courtesy of Julia at Stamping Ground. Go and check out her blog, take a pic of your desk and join in the fun.

This week I'm working in my large Dylusions journal. I have an inkling of an idea for a collaged page so am starting with some old road maps ripped and stuck randomly onto my single page spread. The RHS has already been decorated with another attempt at the whimsical lettering page from a Lifebook class. Although I'd already completed the lesson on watercolour paper, I liked it enough to have another play in the journal.

The LHS will be filled with the ripped road map pages and any other co ordinating papers. As you can see, I already have some papers to the left of the desk waiting to be ripped and glued. I'm not entirely sure where the page is going right now, but that's half the fun of journalling isn't it?

Right, I'm off for a blog hop before completing my page. TTFN.

With love from Horace.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Quilty Pleasures

Hello friends, it's Horace here today, and probably will be for much of the blog postings from now on. The other bears have abandoned their blogging but I shall try and keep up with it.

I've been feeling in a stitchy mood of late. I made myself a quilt not so long ago, and was pleased enough with it to want to make another for the cub. I bought some purple fat quarters, which I cut into 8" squares with a quilting square, so much easier than trying to measure and paw cut 40 plus squares to an exact size. Once cut, I began to piece them all together in a random pattern. This part takes me ages, as I always find I have two matching squares next to each other. I then have to play quilty jigsaws until it looks as random as possible.

Once stitched together, I found the pattern had completely changed anyway, despite stitching row by row, then length by length. I think I inadvertently turn some of the rows before I stitch the length, oh well, it's random enough, if you ignore that pink line going on!

Every quilt needs binding, but it's so expensive to buy. I always make my own, out of cheap sheets bought from Asda ( other supermarkets are available!!) I bought myself a 2 1/2" ruler just for this purpose. Just in case you need to know, to make bias binding, you fold a sheet of fabric into a triangle, then cut down like so, this allows you to cut along the bias (meaning the fabric is stretchy, rather than taut.

Once I'd cut enough long strips to travel the length of the river Nile, I began to piece the strips together, to make one continuous strip of bias binding. This is done by putting right side to right side, at right angles like so....

I then sewed a straight line down the fabric

You should end up with this, cut off the excess fabric, taking care not to cut into your stitches.

Leaving you with a line of fabric. Press this for a smooth finish.

Here's my bias binding, I wonder, if I left one end at home, how far I would get with the rest of it? It is rather long.

I made sure I had enough to go all around my quilt... I did, and more, and more....

Next, I took my quilt top and used some temporary spray to adhere it to my cotton wadding.

I then added backing fabric - another sheet from Asda cut to size- and sewed in between all the lines of the squares, this took me ages, I only have small paws and the quilt was rather large.

Now it was back to the binding. I followed a Youtube tutorial for this, first I sewed the binding to the front of the quilt, leaving enough to fold over and hide the sewn line. I then flipped the quilt over, folded the bias binding tight, and began to sew. Next time I make a quilt, I may look for a tutorial for machine sewing the binding on front and back, as my paw sewing skills are not that good.

Anyway, I eventually completed the quilt, and presented it to the cub yesterday as an early birthday present. She seemed to like it, and hopefully it will keep her warm in the coming cold spell we've been promised!

With love from Horace.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

WOYWW - It's Despicable!!!

Hello there on another WOYWW Wednesday in January.

Is it cold where you are? It's a little chilly here but nothing compared to up north (UK) I've been keeping busy with art journalling, both the Lifebook course and anything else that takes my fancy along the way.

A while back we watched the Disney film, Despicable Me, after which I had the urge to draw the minions. Recently I was flicking through my art journal and found the blank right hand page next to my minions. I decided to draw another character from Despicable Me to tie in with the left hand minion page and searched the Internet for a sketch to follow. I found Dragoart, a web page chock full of drawing tutorials on many subjects, including the characters from Despicable Me. I decided to copy the tutorial for Agnes, and here she is ready to go in my journal.

I decorated my blank journal page with old book papers, Gessoed over the top then used my Neocolours to make a colourful background for Agnes to sit on. I tried to coordinate the colours with the minions. As you can see, once I've finished creating I'm a bit of a neat freak, in fact, sometimes I tidy as I go, which can be incredibly annoying when I realise I've put away something I need again!! This picture was taken before I glued Agnes down on the page as I was debating whether to add more to the background.

On the book chair to the right is a canvas I started decorating last year. I got so far and didn't know what else to do with it, so I've left it out hoping inspiration would strike, so far it hasn't! The panda to the front of the desk is my lovely ipad cover, and to the back you can see a mini pooh beanie, which the cub bought me for Christmas, and yes, it really is that dull in the bedroom during the day. We have 4 lights in there and sometimes still check that they're all on. The joys of a north facing room!

Anyway, I have actually glued Agnes onto the page now, and here she is. I decided not to add more to the background. Sometimes I go a little crazy and throw everything at the page, but for this I decided less was more.

See you soon,

With love from Horace.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Jarred Off

Hello again. After yesterday's post telling you all about my Lifebook journal jar, I thought you might like to see the finished product. I think when you last saw it the jar was completely undecorated. I started by gluing on some sheet music and old Jane Austen book papers. I then Gessoed over the jar, and scribbled on some neocolour 2 crayons. These were blended with a damp paintbrush.

I had some flower stamps which I had never used, this was the perfect project for them as they are long and thin. I stamped fairly randomly over the jar on all sides. Then I was stuck wondering how to finish the jar.

I didn't want to write on the jar but I wanted it to reflect the fact that it would be a jar of memories. I looked through my stash and found a book of mini text. Rather than write one word or sentiment, I thought I'd go for broke and add every word that went with the theme.

Around every side.

Sometimes accidentally repeating words, oh well.

I had an awful lot of words that were apt.

I thought I should use a sentiment for the top, Tam, who hosted this Lifebook class used the phrase 'jar of awesome' but awesome is not a word I use. I didn't want to write 'perfect' so went with the simple statement ' my year'.

I've started filling the jar already. At first I thought I should write down one good thing every single day, but realised this was setting myself up for failure, and spoilt the spontaneity of the project. What if I just add things as they happen. Some days I may find three lovely things to write about, other days may pass without me adding anything, that's okay.

At the end of the year, or periodically through the year, I can open my jar and read lots of lovely happenings. What a great way to lift the spirits.

With love from Horace.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

WOYWW - Lifebook creations

Hello there from Horace on a sunny (so far) Wednesday. I can't believe it's time for another WOYWW already. If you're wondering what the acronym could possibly stand for, click the link and have a merry old time visiting desks across the world.

So, what am I up to? Well it's more Lifebook creations from me. I think Lifebook will be featuring a lot on my desk this year. So far I'm loving the classes, and I'm finding, even if you don't want to follow exactly what the teacher is doing one week, you end up creating your interpretation of the class. This was the case for me last week, when we had a class by Roben Marie Smith. She created a tag from her previously made art work, and although it was lovely, I didn't want to scan in any of my art work, instead, I took my over stuffed embellishments box and made a double sided tag, one side kicking out the old, and the other welcoming in the new.

In my case this was goodbye expectation, hello acceptance.

Anyway, you're here to see my desk this week aren't you? I'm taking another Lifebook class, this is week 2 also, but a class with Tamara Laporte, making a 'jar of awesome'. The idea is to decorate a jar, then fill it with slips of paper on which you write all the great things that happen throughout the year. These shouldn't be bigs things, this is about celebrating the small stuff. After all, that's what makes life great, isn't it?

I've chosen sheet music and old book papers to cover my jar. I'll cover that in Gesso then add something pretty to finish it off. As you can see, all my other Lifebook creations are still sitting on the desk too. I'll decant those into my 'Lifebox' later, but for now I'm enjoying seeing what I created every time I walk into the bedroom.

I'll have a little desk hop, then come back and finish off my jar.


With love from Horace.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

A Beacon of Light

Hello again from Horace. I thought I'd show you my finished page from the Lifebook Beacon of Light class. I was so impressed with the class, Tam takes you through the stages of first sketching, then painting the whimsy girl, and she's so encouraging too, her enthusiasm and positivity rub off and when she declares she 'loves' her work it gives you 'permission' to love your own. Normally when I create I look for what's wrong in my work, this time I looked for the positives. I still found myself looking at the eyes and seeing they weren't equal but I then found myself thinking 'it's good enough'. I have np idea about shading, but I just copied Tam. Is my picture perfect? No, but you know what, I've decided not to care. One and a half years ago I could not draw at all, so I shall be happy with the progress I've made and look forward to learning more, or just having fun, or both.

On a silly note, the male human here received a fish eye lens for Christmas and I asked him to snap a picture of me

Don't I look odd? My ears have disappeared!!!

I'll be back soon with my week 2 Lifebook makes and other waffle. TTFN.

With love from Horace

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

WOYWW - arty exbeariments

Hello there, it's Horace here with you for the first WOYWWof the year. Click on the link to find out all about Julia's fabulous desk nosefest!

Isn't the year flying by already? I've been absorbed in my Lifebook class but managed to sneak in a page in my large Dylusions journal too. I wanted to try out all my lovely Christmas goodies, which included a rather impressive 4 sets of Dylusions stamps. Lucky lucky me. I also received a mini watercolour Moleskine journal, which I was eager to try out. I did my usual of creating two pages at once. Here's the desk post play. I like to leave the journals open for a day or two after so I can see what I've achieved.

This is the mini Moleskine book

And here's a close up of the large journal page. It always irritates me, if, when meeting people for the first time, their first question is 'what do you do?' As if your job defines you. As I don't work I'm constantly stuck for an answer. My dear friend bought me the Dylusions quotes stamps and in the set I found the perfect answer to that question ' Mostly I just sit around all day being fabulous'. I just had to use it on this page.

I also received a couple of new stencils, I was a very spoilt bear. Just look at the depth created with a bit of texture paste scraped through the stencils

I'm hoping my inspiration lasts the whole year. At the moment I want to create constantly, if only my energy matched my enthusiasm.

I'm going for a desk hop. See you soon.

With love from the Horace.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Lifebook lifebear

Hello friends. It's Horace here with you today. I haven't posted since last year (!!!) so thought it was time to come and chat. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas full of fun, friends and family, and of course a little bit of feasting. Ours was very quiet but lovely nonetheless.

I was very lucky to receive some wonderful presents

Especially of the sweet variety, this is from Clarissa, my love interest. I think she must be keen, don't you?

Dinner was delicious

We played Rummikub in the afternoon

And Podgy made some shortbread for afternoon tea.

I was lucky enough to get Lifebook for Christmas. For those of you who don't know, this is a year long art course, the idea being that YOUR art is good enough, that YOU are good enough. There are a zillion different teachers and a lesson every single week.

Participants can either follow the course to the letter, using art to heal, following a meditation to get started etc, or just use the art class as a guide, to make 'lovely art'. The great thing is, the classes are not at all prescriptive, and it really is up to the individual how they interpret the lessons.

I couldn't wait to get started so on 1st I created my warm up page. This is where you have fun getting messy, and also choose your 'word' for the year. Because of being unwell, and finding it hard to accept the limits of the illness, I thought I would choose the word 'enough' as in ' let whatever you do today be enough', but, as I started creating my page, The word ' accept' was floating around my furry brain. Of course, you can choose more than one word, but I decided 'accept' was perfect as my main focus.

Her's my page in splatted form, before I added my word

And here finished. The mini envelope contains my intentions for the year, not resolutions, which are easy to 'fail' at, just ideas of how I'd like to live the year, IE, relax more.

I used my lovely new Dylusions stamps for my word. I didn't want to write on my first piece as often I dislike my paw writing, although that's something I'll work on this year.

I'm now one third of the way through the main lesson for this week, creating a whimsy creature.

Only one week in and already I'm really loving this course.


With love from Horace.