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 ISSUE 76   •   26  AUGUST 2009  
   This issue: bear crafts


1. Editorial – Handmade Home
2. Funny bear face
3. Simple bear stamp

4. Furry bear ears
5. Printable teddy bear book

1. Editorial – Handmade Home

The feeling I get when I spy a parcel on the doorstep is one of my favourites. And when the parcel is unexpected, international *and* from a publishing house... well it just doesn't get much better than that.

And so it was that I found myself in possession of an advance copy of Amanda Soule's brand new book – Handmade Home. (The fact that the enclosed letter was addressed to someone called Joanna only dampened my excitement a tiny bit.)

Amanda Soule's Handmade Home

Amanda Soule needs no introduction to many of you. Her first book The Creative Family has remained one of the most popular reads ever amongst Kids Craft Weekly subscribers.

Those who enjoyed The Creative Family will be pleased to know that Amanda continues exploring the themes that were introduced in her first book. It's not just more of the same though. While The Creative Family was a resource on parenting and creativity, Handmade Home is about specific (mostly sewing) projects for the home and family that use repurposed materials.

Readers of Amanda's blog will be familiar with this idea. Think simple quilts and blankets, bags, hats and clothes – all made with recycled or thrifted materials and finished in a homey and appealing way.

On a very personal level, Amanda's commitment to the meaningful really resonates with me. While not all the projects in the book are things that I would try, it's the significance behind them that sticks with me.

Take, for example, the 'family heart' project, pictured below.

Image (c) Amanda Soule. Used with permission.

At first glance it's quite rudimentary – a small heart-shaped pillow with a pocket in the front. Take a closer look and the pieces fall into place, the meaning becomes apparant. This isn't a small heart-shaped pillow.

This is a soft comforting object for your child to hold when they are not with you. It is made with love. It smells like you, like home. It has a special pocket in which to stash secret notes, poems, drawings or treasured objects. In Amanda's words it is a 'soft reminder of the family love we all carry with us – regardless of our physical space from one another.'

This will be the first, undoubtedly of many, projects that I will make from Handmade Home. I think that my children, still getting used to the idea of spending time between our place and their dad's place, will take great comfort in the 'family heart' a token of love, togetherness and shared ideals.

Thank you Amanda Soule for another inspiring read!

The lovely people at Trumpeter Books have given me two SIGNED copies of Amanda Soule's Handmade Home to give away to Kids Craft Weekly subscribers.

To be in the running head add your comment to the Handmade Home thread over on the Kids Craft Weekly Facebook page. If you don't have access to Facebook feel free to send me a quick email and I'll make sure you get added to the draw.

Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!

Amber Carvan

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2. Funny bear face

Crafts like this one go down very well with my kids at the moment. We sat down together earlier in the week to make these cute bear faces. Three days later the kids are still making them and they look funnier every time!

You will need

• paper plates
• patty pans (cupcake cases)
• tape
• coloured markers


1. Flatten out two patty pans (cupcake cases) and tape them to the back of a paper plate so that they make little bear ears.

2. Use a marker to draw a cute bear nose and mouth on another patty pan.

3. Stick the nose onto the paper plate. If you want, you can flatten it and stick it down or leave it so that it sticks out like a real bear nose. Then start drawing on some eyes...

4. ...oh, and tears! Apparently these paper plate bears just can't stop crying!

And crying!

And crying!

3. Simple bear stamp

This easy bear stamp can be used with food colouring or acrylic paint to make any number of surfaces un-bear-ably cute! [Sorry – couldn't resist!]

You will need

• sponge
small hole punch
strong glue
bottle/jar with a large lid


1. Draw an outline of a bear face on one side of the sponge. The outline should be no larger than the size of the lid on your bottle or jar.

2. Cut out the bear face and use a hole punch to make two eyes.

3. Stick the sponge on to the end of the bottle using strong glue.

4. Once it's dry, use the stamp by dipping it in acrylic paint and stamping away. Alternatively, you can make your own stamp pad using a small plastic dish, a sponge and some food colouring.

4. Furry bear ears

These cute furry bear ears are essential for any human who is hoping to gatecrash a teddy bears' picnic!

You will need

a headband
some cardboard
a ball of wool


1. Cut yarn into small pieces until you've got a couple of good-sized handfuls worth of fuzzy wool.

2. Fold a piece of cardboard in half and draw two teddy bear ears on the fold.

3. Cut them out, unfold and cover with white glue. Then stick on wool pieces.

4. Once they're dry, place the ears face down on a table and fold them up, wrong sides together, with the head band in-between. Glue or staple in place.

Wear with pride (and your best teddy bear face).

5. Printable teddy bear book

Previously these adorable little books were only available to people who made a donation to Kids Craft Weekly. But Amanda Soule's new book and all these cute bear faces have made me feel warm and fuzzy today so I've decided to make them available to everyone for free.

The little teddy books have ten miniature hand-drawn pages including two colouring pages, seven activity pages and an amazingly easy (and delicious) honey bread recipe.

These books have been in circulation at our place for more than two years now and *still* the kids go crazy about them. Hope your kids like them too!

>> Download your free printable teddy bear book. (PDF, 1.7 MB)

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