Tuesday, 31 July 2012


It seems that summer is finally here in Teddy Forest!

My dear old handmade doll, Porky the Porcupine, and Suzannah are enjoying the garden

Just enjoying the flowers in the early morning cool, enjoying  the beach in the afternoon, and watching patiently for barred owls and coyotes in the evenings. West coast = Best coast!

Enjoy the sunshine if you are lucky enough to have it!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

DIY Craft- Fun block stamp prints with recycled materials :)

do it yourself recycled block printing by smallgirl
The teddies in Teddy Forest have a super-fun stamping technique to share. It's cheaper than linoleum block printing, uses recycled materials, and doesn't require sharp tools, so it's easy with kids from kindergarten up (and fun for adults too!).

What you need:

Ballpoint pen and pencil
Thin foam, like an old take-out container or scrap funfoam
Piece of thin cardboard, cut from a cereal box or cardstock will do
Washable paint
Paper to print on

What to do:
1. Draw your shapes/picture on the foam with a ballpoint pen and cut them out with scissors.
2. Scratch additional detail onto the shapes/picture using a sharp pencil. Try to go deep, so that the paint won't fill the depressions.
3. Glue your shapes onto a piece of thin cardboard. You now have your block print stamp!
4. When the glue is dry, spread paint on your shapes. Acrylics work well.
5. Press your stamp onto paper. You may need to practice a few times to find your desired amount of paint, as it can spread with pressing.

Bears in starlight by smallgirl

Voila! You have a fun, beautiful print! If you carefully wipe off the excess paint with a bit of water, you can use your stamp again and again.

Happy crafting!

As seen on: http://stamping.craftgossip.com/tutorial-make-a-stamp-from-recycled-materials/2012/08/21/

Thursday, 19 July 2012

West Coast Creature Feature-The Terrifying Carnivorous Round-leaved Sundew

It looks as though Teddy Forest is fast evolving into a nature blog, but fear not! The bears still live in Teddy Forest and will be reporting soon. It's just that now that nice weather is finally upon us, I'm spending more time outside exploring than inside making. So, here is an amazing plant I want to share with you...

Round-leaved sundew, by smallgirl
Strictly, the round-leaved sundew is not a West Coast "creature," as it is a plant and a widespread species in Northern Europe, Asia and North America. Here, it lives in the Pacific Northwest and southern Alaska. It is fascinating to observe as it devours mosquitoes and damselflies. Like our friends the bats and birds, this plant is beneficial to humans in its control of insects. In my area, it is considered locally rare as urban development has destroyed much of its wetland habitat. Lately, I have been involved in restoring a bog, one of only two remaining bog habitats in my city, and home to the round-leaved sundew.
PS: I am absolutely loving West Coast bogs and wetlands lately. I've been reading David M. Carrol's Swampwalker Journal, about wetlands in the Eastern States, but we have our share on the West Coast too, so get out there to respect and enjoy them and all that lives there!!

Happy bogging!

Monday, 9 July 2012

West Coast Creature Feature-The Beautiful Barn Swallow

barn swallows in nest, photographed by smallgirl
While not strictly a "west coast" animal, as they are found all over the world, the barn swallow is a beautiful sight here on the West Coast. Although common, its numbers have declined in Washington state and is "blue-listed" (special concern) in British Columbia. These wonderful birds help farmers and the wider population by controlling insects, so thank a barn swallow today!

Fly high and have a lovely day today!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Hope has eyes!

Hope, needlefelted and photographed by smallgirl
My dear little moon bear, Hope, who I needle-felted several months ago has been patiently waiting to see the world. I was short a pair of glass eyes and didn't want to order a whole package online just for one bear, so poor Hope waited and waited in the dark. Yesterday, on a routine visit to my local sewing shop, I discovered that they have started selling German glass eyes by the pair, so of course Hope got eyes right away. Here he is exploring the garden.
needle felted moon bear, Hope, by smallgirl

To find out more about moon bears and how to protect them from cruelty and the medicine trade, please visit: http://www.animalsasia.org/index.php?UID=2J0NIOGTVCWA