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

Friday, 19 February 2016

Catching up

Ooops, hello there. You caught me reading the male human's bird book. He joined the RSPB last week and this book was the free gift for joining.

As well as twitching, I have been busy with arty exploits here and there. I really had a fancy for some spraying so got out my favourite colour Dylusions sprays and had a bit of a spritz, first directly onto the page and then some ghosting by spraying water through a stencil. I love this effect. I have no idea what I'll do with this page but the spritzing was great fun, and for once I managed not to redecorate the walls at the same time.

I also took part in another Lifebook class, this time by the very talented Donna Downey. The idea was to create using only black and white. Donna painted a beautiful vase of flowers, I sploshed some paint around a bit!!!

To assuage my hunger whilst painting, Podgy made me the most delicious malt loaf. Yum, I had mine with Butter and Marmite.

Lastly, but not leastly.... Another Lifebook class. This one was called Fearless Painting. Annie Hannan (or Hamman, I forget sorry) paints in collaboration with her 3 year old daughter and says the process of ruining your painting so you can fix it is freeing as you don't get so attached to your work or try for perfection. I couldn't bring myself to paint quite so freely as she allowed her daughter to on her painting, so I added some magazine image eyes, a nose and mouth to make mine more fun. I really enjoyed this class.

Now it's time for a snack and a lie down, us bears need our sleep and nourishment you know.


Love from Horace

Monday, 15 February 2016

Mundane Monday

Hello, it's Horace your favourite blogging bear again. Isn't it miserable out today? ( UK). Unremitting rain which on occasion turns to snow, and a definite chill in the air too. Brr. I'm glad I have my fur coat to keep me warm.

Anyway, where are my manners?? I bought you all some chocolates to share for Valentine's Day yesterday. Form an orderly queue.

So, I guess you want to know what I've been up to? Apart from copious amounts of sleeping, I've been enjoying this year's Lifebook lessons, and think the classes are even better than last year. This may have something to do with the fact that this year I'm journalling into a book, so can see the pages building up. Whereas last year I journalled onto separate sheets of paper.

One of Tam's ( Tamara Laporte - Lifebook creator) classes was called Quirky Birds. These were so much fun to sketch. The idea was to draw birds of various shapes then give them personalities of people you love, or things that resonate with you. I decided to make my birds into the humans I live with, and their cub.

First, the human who belongs to me. She has a love of reading, especially Dickens, so of course she had to have a book under her wing. She also suffers temperature control problems so I gave her a nice wooly hat and scarf to keep her warm!! I used foreign book pages to decorate her as she also has a love of languages.

The cub is very girly, so I gave her cute pigtails in her hair, and made it long, as she always wears her hair long. She is decorated with sheet music pages as she loves music. She has a penchant for wearing odd socks, so of course the bird had to have odd socks too. Finally she has high shoes and a fashionable handbag. Isn't she cute?

The male human loves pastys, Cornish pasties to be precise. Off I went to sketch him a pasty shaped head and eyes, and a nice big pasty under his wing, in case of hunger ( he loves his food). The male human also really likes walking, so what better decoration that a map?

I was having such fun with these birds. I could draw them over and over again, and I may just do that at some stage in my Dylusions journal.

For the time being though, I thought I should finish what I started. So I set to painting the birds and background.

I loved this class and am looking forward to the next Lifebook classes. I hope you've been having as much fun with your art as I am with mine.


Love from Horace

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

In No Particular Order

Well hello there once again dear friends. Once out of the blogging habit it is hard to get back into. I keep deleting all my photos once I've posted them to Instagram, then realising I need them for the blog posts. Oh well.

I've been keeping myself busy with art as much as possible to distract from the fact that last year's surgery may need to be repeated. Keeping all paws crossed that it's not the case but the pain is back with a vengeance. For those who don't know, last year was spent travelling to and fro the hospital, trying to find an answer for my unremitting back and hip pain. Turns out that once the powers that be eventually listened, I had an MRI which showed a disc prolapse that needed immediate attention. Because of the delay in diagnosis I'm left with permanent nerve damage, so now I can say I get on my own nerves. Haaaaaaaa.

Anyhoo, I am thankful that I can still sit at the desk and create in stages. I recently completed a couple of Lifebook lessons, one was a class where we sketched a box which was to be filled with words of wisdom we'd learnt over the years. I adapted mine a little and made mine a box of inspiration with a quote to inspire me too. For the background I scraped texture paste through a stencil, it looks like more words of inspiration I think.

I decided the quote needed to be bolder so wrote over it in black Posca pen.

Another lesson was to journal all we wanted to leave behind in 2015 and cover over with happy. I started by journalling everything I'd like to leave behind. You can see some of the words poking through the Gessoed page. I then added a background page of trees from the human's nature type magazine, and a bear from a postcard.

I then added some texture paste. Which had been mixed with green paint. I scraped it on through a stencil once again, decided it was too in your face, and toned it down with yet more Gesso.

I finished the page with a sentiment - life is an adventure, as is the Lifebook course, which I can't get enough of right now.

I'm off to watch another lesson. TTFN.

Love from Horace

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Hot off the Desk

Hello from Horace again. Last year I joined Lifebook 2015, a year long art course hosted by the very talented Tamara Laporte. Although initially I enjoyed the lessons and kept up quite well, halfway through the year medical problems forced me to stop all creativity and I stopped almost all art. This year I ummed and Ahhhed about joining again but as I now have the super new creation station and am taking it easy health-wise I thought I needed some inspiration to get me back into art. So Lifebook 2016 it was.

So far, despite joining later ( registration is open all year but I was about 2 weeks later than the start date of 1st January) I have already completed 3 classes. All by Tamara. She also invites other artists to teach lessons and show us different techniques.

Lesson 1 is always a gentle warm up to ease us in and Tam takes her time to show us all of the lesson, never rushing through or presuming that everyone is to a certain standard in their art. I started with my blank, brand shiny new book

And dove straight on in with collage papers, neocolor2 watercolour crayons and white gesso, to form a lovely colourful arty mess.

I added some stencilling with acrylic paint

Loosely following Tam's example as I went along.

I chose a word for the year - self. Not exactly as in selfish but more as in learn to take care of myself, love and accept myself and put my health first.

I'm quite happy with my finished first page. In fact, so happy that the very next day I started on lesson 2, but that can wait for another blog post.

By the way, do you like my desk cover?

See you soon.

Love from Horace

Wednesday, 13 January 2016


Yippee, here it's not Wednesday, it's Wedeskday. The desk arrived flat packed early this morning and after an extra snoozelet I set to assembling it. The instructions are complex for a bear with a furry brain.

But with the help of my trusty electric super tool

I think I managed to make a good job of it. I finished the drawers in super speedy time

Then it was onto building the desk itself

Phew, it was making my fur hot to screw all these bits into place

But I was soon done, and thought I'd take a selfie on it

It fits just nicely into the space, in fact, I think it was made for it.

Can you spot my paw in the picture?

I may even create something on my lovely desk soon. Or I may just admire it a little longer.

Love from Horace

Thursday, 7 January 2016

We All Need a Blog Resurection

Hello there dear friends. My goodness. It's almost a year since I used the blog. It's probably also almost a year since I decided the desk didn't look right in the bedroom, so I dumped it! It was a very cheap, MDF type of desk, not that I have anything against MDF but this was very poorly made and it showed. Anyway. I was ruminating over my lack of creativity since the desk's demise. Now if I want to get arty I need all the art supplies taken into to the kitchen, which really doesn't work. Half the time I find I need other supplies and it seems I've only just begun creating when it's lunch or dinner time and I have to pack everything away to make room for food.

I browsed several websites for desks and eventually found a lovely chunky style desk in Littlewoods

It's rather smart looking isn't it? It also has good reviews and will go in with the other bedroom furniture too. I went ahead and ordered it. Then we measured the available space for it. Ooops, it was 5 inches too long for the space!!! So now I need a 5 inch extension on the bedroom before the 15th January, when the desk is due to arrive. The male human seems to think that with some wriggling, we can manage to fit everything in, but there's a small set of drawers that can be sacrificed if not. I need to learn to measure then order, not assume then panic!

I'm so excited to be having a creative space again that I can hardly sit still. I thought I'd pass the time by eating the rest of Santa, who was one of my many delicious Christmas presents.

He was delicious, as was one of the mince pies our friends gave us when we went there for a takeaway dinner last week.

I shall be back to crafting soon so watch this space. -> <----

Love from Horace

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Chasing Butterflies

Hello there once again dear friends. Horace here on this slightly warmer weekend to show you my latest journal page.

So, now it's a little warmer, I've braved the desk in the bedroom. I admit, I had the electric fire plugged in while I crafted, it's certainly not warm enough without it just yet. I was feeling creative so pulled out the large Dylusions journal to play in. As you see, the desk is very well covered, the plastic cloth even covers part of the wall behind the desk. This is because last time I played with India inks in the bedroom, I upturned the whole bottle and it dripped down the wall, behind the desk, onto the floor.... The whole bedroom needed redecorating after that little mishap. Now it's cover everything or play in the garden only, and it's still far too chilly for that as yet!!

My page background consists of old book pages which are liberally sprayed with Dylusions and other mists. Then I added some texture paste through a star stencil and waited 10,000 years for it to dry so I could paint my stars. Next time I think I'll mix the colour into the texture paste before applying it!

I wanted to add some stamping to my background. I keep all my stamps in these A4 ring lever arch ring binders.

Inside the ring binders are A5 plastic wallets that I pawchased from The Works, a shop that sells a bit of everything really, books, stationery, art supplies.....

I chose my favourite Tim Holtz background stamps, these are very well used.

I dipped the stamps into white acrylic paint

And randomly stamped the image across the page.

Last Christmas I received this horror colouring book, it has images from films in.

I think this is the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He suited my theme idea perfectly. I coloured then cut him out.

Next I sorted through my veritable stash of ephemera and found some flutterbyes. Perfect.

I need another jar of Golden matt medium, this one is down to scrapings now.

I used the Cricut for my wordage, and my favourite Type Candy font.

I wanted the page to look like my man was attempting, but failing, to catch the butterflies, hence the bigger butterflies were nearer his too small net.

Here's the completed page, Chasing Butterflies.

Time for small smackeral after all that creating.


With love from Horace.