Friday, 28 November 2014

Card making: My, what a big 'tache you have Mr.Bear?

Hello hello.
I'm taking a break from my altered book and collage adventure posts to bring you something easier and quicker to demonstrate!!
[Seriously ... my previous post: '101 alternative crafty supplies and where to find them' post wiped the floor with me ... so please ... take pity on me and hop over to read it if you haven't already ... make me feel useful ...]. ;-)
And so ... while I get my crafty strength back [I'm pretty sure there'll be tea and the Christmas24 channel involved]  ... how about we just look at a cute bear instead?
When I spotted the 'Mr. Bear' stamp set [from Creative Expressions /designed by Sam Poole] in the shop he made me smile straight away.

Yes he is a bear, and no I don't make cards for children [for the record: that's just because I don't know any children ... not because I'm downright mean!] ... and yet he falls into that winning category, highly-prized in amongst my crafting friends, of being "cute ... in a good way."

[And yes, there is such a thing as cute in a bad way ... but I'm not naming names!]

So, despite not knowing what on earth I'd do with him, his shabby charm and wistful expression [that face!!] won me over; and he ended up coming home with me:
 This was the first card I made with him and I ...
  • ... stamped him on to a slightly patterned paper [I can hardly bear - ha! bear! - to stamp on plain white card].
  • Then I used Promarkers to add coloured eyes, nose, tummy and general shading here and there.
  •  I also snipped his arms free so he could hold the sentiment [from the same stamp set].
  • And, as finishing touches I added a Stickles glitter to his ears and Glossy Accents to give him shiny eyes and a wet nose. [Not that I'm sure that indicates a healthy bear or not. I can't even swear it's true for dogs because if I was ever close enough to touch a dog's nose ... I probably wouldn't be conscious to know either way ...]
And that was a good start ...he proved himself to be a lovely stamp indeed ... but then, because I'm a meddler, a tinkerer, a I-like-this-but-I-like-going-my-own-way-even-better style of crafter ...

... I had an idea that - much as was the fate of my dolls when I was little - he'd feel more like my own if I could customise him a little ...

... and so, next time around, I gave him glasses:
Basically I had the 'Moustache and Glasses' set from Dovecraft and I wasn't afraid to use it!
  • To create a contrast between the bear and his specs I stamped the figure in a greyish/brown shade and the glasses directly on top in black.
  • Again, I added Glossy Accents, only this time to act as the glass in the frames.
And then, well, I'd tried him with the glasses from the set ... now I wanted to see what some dapper facial hair would do for him ...

... so I gave him a moustache:
Oh and, because every good hipster loves to show off their facial hair in an artisan tea/coffee shop ... I added a coffee cup stamp from yet another brand, the 'Coffee Love' Stamp Set from Precious Remembrance:
Don't the grid designs on both the bear and the cup work well together? I love the surprise elements you can stumble across when combining different supplies!
And finally ... because I'd used the glasses and a moustache separately ... and because sometimes more is more ...
... I gave him a  glasses AND a moustache:
And here are those Glossy Accented spectacles:
And - for those of you who prefer to work from visuals rather than my ramblings - here's a quick re-cap of what I've been trying to say:  
Mixing and matching stamp sets by Julie Kirk
"Take 5"
5 ideas to take away & use in your own crafting
  1. Go with your gut instinct when choosing supplies: although you can't always buy everything that catches your eye, occasionally when something draws you in and grabs your imagination, it's nice to give in and treat yourself! I loved Mr.Bear but I didn't know what I'd do with him and so I hesitated ... and now I'm glad I went back and collected him - he's been fun to play with.
  2. Stamp on to patterned paper: to give you an interesting background on to which it's easy to add additional shading. The pre-coloured base saves you having to colour-in from scratch!
  3. Mix and match between stamp sets: just because they weren't originally designed to go together doesn't mean you can't make something amazing from the new combination [think: bacon and maple syrup or Sherlock and Molly Hooper].
  4. Use Glossy Accents on eyes, glasses and noses etc: on stamped images I mean ... not on yourself ... for goodness sake .. you're not safe to be on your own are you?
  5. Everything looks better with a moustache: see Exhibits A, and  B for the evidence!  
And that's it from me for this week, go on ... make my day [or at least 2 whole joyous minutes of it] by pinning, sharing or commenting on my beary ideas. Thank you in advance!
Julie :-) 
Product disclosure:
None of the links in this post are affiliate/sponsored and I bought all of the stamps with my own money because I liked them. [And also because my friend Janet said the Creative Expressions ones in that range stamped really well ... which swayed me to buy a bear I didn't know I needed!]
All links go directly to the manufacturer's sites but the stamps are available elsewhere.
If you're in the UK and you're looking for a Precious Remembrance stockist then try Sprinkle Twinkle. Again, this isn't a sponsored link, I just know it's tricky to find US brands here, and that's where I got mine.


  1. Awwwwww that is so cute, this post has really made me smile (which was much needed today). I have a tiny glasses and tache stamp set that came free with a magazine - I'm now wondering if any of my Penny Black cuties could do with a bit of doctoring LOL!!

    1. Oh I hope you do find something to fit! It's like playing dress-up with dolls but flatter! :-D [Hope things are OK / will be soon. x]

  2. Oh my goodness, these are just adorable. Quirky and so very clever! I can't remember when I last bought a stamp, but you are absolutely persuading me :). Your backgrounds and all the bits you've added really make these cards so very stylish ...

  3. Very very clever! and a lovely nod to the fact that it's Paddington weekend. These are bears anyone would be glad to look after

  4. What a lovely idea for the rashes and glasses stamps. I've pinned it for future inspiration.


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