Mixed Media Floral Canvas

Hi all. Today I am sharing a floral mixed media canvas. I started it just over a year ago and it had been sitting as a ‘UFO’ ever since. I usually continue with a project until it is finished, but must admit that if it gets put away before finishing I find it very difficult to get it back on track. So pleased that I dug it back out and got inspired to complete it.

AW Flower Canvas 1

I started working on this at Powertex Headquarters as part of my Level 1 training. I have to say that it was a fabulous couple of days where Tracey took us through a whole host of fabulous techniques.

Black Powertex was used to coat a 12 X 12 primed and stretched canvas. Various fabrics, pieces of lace, kitchen paper and Paper Decoration (White) were coated with Powertex and laid onto the canvas. Small polycarbonate test tubes were covered in cling film (to protect) and incorporated into the canvas. The layers were left to dry before working on the next stages. I also coated the little wooden canvas stretchers to make am area for maybe adding text.

AW Flower Canvas 2

Various pigment colours were mixed and applied with Easy Varnish (Powercolor: Burgundy, Ultramarine, White; Colortricx: Rich Gold and Powerpearl). Initially I was unhappy with the results as everything appeared too dark. I am definitely a colour girl. After some thought I drizzled on some Green Powercolor in Varnish diluted with a little water to make more of a wash. Oooh – much happier.

This was the stage at which it was almost finished but I still wasn’t happy with it – hence it sat in the cupboard for a year. I really thought that it needed more decoration and building up with embellishments. I collected together some MDF cogs (already treated with Black Powertex and rubbed over with gold gilding wax), die cut birds, silk flowers and air dry clay flowers created with silicone moulds from my stash. I also had a stash of moulded flowers created with pearlescent acrylic modelling paste (I put some turquoise glitter in the moulds while making these – yay bling).

AW Flower Canvas 3

I added more colour to the canvas using the new Metallic Inks from the Secret Art Loft (Aqua and Golden).

The paper clay and card embellishments were coated with Black Powertex before sticking down. Where needed I used Easy Structure Paste tinted with Powertex to make a 3D glue for sticking down.

The sentiment (from Chocolate Baroque) was stamped onto card with Versamark (Onyx Black) and applied with Easycoat Matt Medium to glue and seal. The pine cones were treated with Bronze Powertex and rubbed over with gold gilding wax. Beginning to love it now.

AW Flower Canvas 4

I continued building layers of embellishments and also added some created with yellow tinted clay and treated with Transparent Powertex. I liked the pop of complimentary colour. More colour was also added to Varnish and dry brushed over the textural surfaces. I really love the new Secret Art Loft Pigments (Interference Lilac, Limoncello Gold, Violet Valentine), they are so vibrant over dark backgrounds.

The silk flowers were treated with Black Powertex and dry brushed with Violet Valentine and Interference Lilac Pigments. Clear varnish was applied over the yellow flowers and the acrylic embellishments to seal. A little Glossy Accents was applied over the sentiment to emphasise.

I was really chuffed with the final piece. I hope that you like it too.

AW Flower Canvas 5

The great thing about this canvas is that the faux flowers can be removed and replaced with real ones (the tubes are removable and can be filled with a little water). I was initially planning to hang the canvas at an angle but I rather like this orientation with the flowers going at 45 degrees.

AW Flower Canvas 6

Well that’s all for today. Back with more creations soon, Anne x.

AW Flower Canvas 7

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Mixed Media Floral Candle Bowl

Hi All. Today I am sharing a couple of upcycling projects. I have revamped an old chipped crackle glass bowl into a gorgeous faux candle holder and my old egg timer, over 20 years old and really looking very shabby. I love to revamp and upcycle items that otherwise may have been fit only for the bin.

AW T Light Bowl 1

Here is my finished bowl – I just love it now. I didn’t want to completely cover the pretty crackle glass and I thought a faux electric candle would be a perfect shimmering through.

AW T Light Bowl 2

I gathered together some recycled old cotton bedding, tore it into strips and treated with Black Powertex to make the textured side panels. 3D Sand and Balls were applied into the wet Powertex for more texture.

AW T Light Bowl 3

A recycled T shirt was cut into strips and stretched to create cords (it forms a cord when pulled). These were then Powertex treated and coiled around the rim to add strength and to cover up the chipped edge. Any drips on the glass panels were removed with a damp cloth to keep them clear.

AW T Light Bowl 4

I had several large flowers and leaves in my stash that had been created with air dry clay and silicone moulds. These were coated with Black Powertex and applied around the rim of the bowl. I used some Easy Structure paste tinted with Powertex as a 3D glue to apply them onto the uneven shaped surface.

Then came the colouring fun. I used Silver Colortricx and several of the new colours from the Secret Art Loft (Interference Blue, Interference Lilac and Mojito Lime). I mixed them with Easy Varnish and applied by dry brushing to pick up and emphasise the textures. I just love these new colours and they work fabulously on dark backgrounds.

AW Egg Timer 1

This is my poor old egg timer. Definitely seen better days and it was coming to pieces a little too.

AW Egg Timer 2

I took it completely apart for revamping so that I could get everything well stuck down and access all the parts for painting.

AW Egg Timer 4

I painted all the components with a couple of layers of Black Powertex, along with a couple of air dry clay flowers. I chose a flower shape with a fairly flat top so that they could be placed on each end and not fall over.

AW Egg Timer 5

Ta da. I love my new egg timer. Should be good for another 20 years now. I added a little dry brushing with Colortricx Silver and Interference Violet Pigments to add shimmer and bring out the texture.

Bye for now. Hope to have more to share soon, Anne x.

Unicorn Blessings

Hi all, today I am sharing one of my projects created during the Powertex Garden Party in July. It was an amazing weekend and I went along with my ex’s lovely daughter Marie. Living far apart we rarely get the chance to be together – so it was extra special to have a whole weekend creating together.

Others also came along with friends or family but many came along on their own. Some were familiar with Powertex and some, like Marie, were completely new to the medium. Whether experienced or not, travelling with friends or alone, the Team at Powertex were wonderfully inviting and everyone soon felt relaxed and eager to get started. Tracey gave us all fabulous instructions to help us along the way. It was a wonderfully relaxed weekend and we made many new friends.

AW Unicorn 1

One of the projects was to create a Unicorn (or pony if preferred). We were taken through the process and instructed on the appropriate media to create a fully weatherproof piece that could be used as a garden ornament.

AW Unicorn 2

We were all give a Metal Base with attached MDF Unicorn Template which had already been wrapped with masking tape ready for working.

AW Unicorn 3

The first step was to paint the whole with a base layer of Bronze Powertex. Then layers of Powertex clay (created with Powertex and Stone Art) were built onto the surface and texturised using wooden print blocks and various tools. The Team had kindly mixed up the clay ready for us to use.

AW Unicorn 4

We then had a choice of floral silicone moulds to use to make pretty clay embellishments. I chose the lovely Daisy Moulds.

AW Unicorn 5

Next we treated Powercotton fibres with Powertex to create the mane and tail. Pigment colours were used to add colour. I chose to blend a mix of Ultramarine and Titanium White, plus Burgundy and Titanium White Powercolors, mixed with Easy Varnish and a little water to create a blended colour wash.

AW Unicorn 6

Next we dry brushed more colour over the surface to pick up and emphasise the texture. I used Colortricx in Silver.

AW Unicorn 7

When I got home I added a bit more colouring by dry brushing with Rich Gold Colortricx and Interference Violet (Secret Art Loft Pigment).

AW Unicorn 8

If you know me you will know that I cannot resist a bit of bling. I just had to try adding glitter to the varnish and painted this onto the tail and mane. I used a holographic silvery glitter designed to be added to household paint. In theory it should be weatherproof when embedded in the Easy Varnish (will see how it holds up after she is installed in the garden). Oooooh I love her.

AW Unicorn 9

Note: There is a Unicorn Dreams Project Pack available which contains everything needed to create your own magical Unicorn – includes metal base, MDF Unicorn, Powertex, Art Stone, Flower Mould, Pigments, Varnish and instructions.

AW Unicorn Base 1

I also decided to add a little more texture to the base. I added a rough layer of clay and pressed in a crackle textured rubber stamp. I also added 3D Sand and Balls. Finally I treated a few stiff hessian threads with Powertex and pushed them into the clay to create grassy fronds. Various colours were dry brushed over the surface to blend in the base colours with the rest of the project.

AW Unicorn Marie

Here is Marie’s amazing Unicorn. Truly fantastic.

We all had so much fun and between us created an amazing array of very different takes on this theme. All wonderful.

Sending Unicorn Blessings, Anne x.

Ganutell Poppy for Remembrance Day

Good afternoon. I have been learning the technique of Ganutell flower making. This year I made a donation to the Poppy Appeal but made my own Remembrance Poppy.

I adapted instructions from the Ganutell Country Flowers Handbook from Gina B Silkworks. I used red stranded Rayon Floss to wrap the petal wires and DMC Satin to wrap the Cartouchage (card wrapped) leaf. The centre was created with yellow stranded cotton and black seed beads.

AW Poppy 8

I also used 0.25mm and 0.4mm copper wire, 1.9mm Perl wire (Vintage Brass) wires. The 1.9mm ready made Perl is a little more robust than hand wound (from 0.4mm wire) so I thought it more suitable for making into a brooch, helping to keep the shape of the large petals.

Florist tape (green) was used to wrap exposed stem wires. I added a pretty Posy Holder and Pin to make it into a brooch.

 

AW Poppy 1

As a beginner I really struggled with using slinky Rayon Floss threads. The DMC Satin thread was a delight to use when compared to standard Rayon Floss – so if you are a beginner I would recommend this. I separated out the DMC Satin strands and used singly for the small Ganutell sepals (with fine Perl wire). I recombined several strands back together to cover the Cartouchage large leaf.

AW Poppy 2

Shapes for the leaf and flower centre can be hand cut from the templates in the book or you can use ready cut card shapes from the Cartisane Flower Cards Kit).

 

AW Poppy 7

I discovered a fantastic trick to help create a smooth Rayon Floss for the petals. I had initially just been separating the strands and spritzing with water to help smooth out the kinks and help the thread to lay flatter. This worked quite well but it still never looked totally smooth and neat. I applied my science brain to the problem and developed this trick to achieve super smooth thread. It may be that experienced embroiderer’s already know this technique but I haven’t seen it anywhere. 

AW Rayon Trick

I found that if I separated the strands, each strand is composed to 2 ply. I then separated into a single ply. If this is gently stretched the thread ‘memory’ and kinks can be removed leaving a smooth singly ply thread which lays lovely and flat and behaves more like a filamentous silk. Now that I have found this trick I can see so many uses for this thread. I had long given up on it for embroidery of cross stitch etc. as it just would not lay flat and always looked messy in my stitch work.

 

AW Rayon Ply close

In this close up you can see how smooth the thread lays after treatment.

 

AW Primrose Petal Comparison

Here is an example of petals made with Rayon Floss. The white petal was created by wrapping with a single floss strand. You can see that it looks ‘bouncy’ and does not lay flat, also the twist in the ply is obvious as the light catches the shiny strands. The yellow petal was created using 1 stretched ply each of yellow and white Rayon. The results are so much smoother and neater.

Many years ago I purchased a stash of Rayon Floss to use in embroidery, hoping to be able to use it as a more affordable alternative to silk for silk shading and for Cross Stitch etc. I was so disappointed when it just simply looked a mess. They were consequently stuffed into my stash and rarely used except for occasionally in braid making. I now view these threads with excitement again. I hope that this little trick will be useful to any of you that have been disappointed when using this type of thread.

AW Poppy 9

The Poppy looks lovely displayed alongside one of the pretty butterflies. These were created from the Ganutell Butterflies Kit (Blues) – details blogged previously. The little vase in this picture was created using my own fabric plus the Vase Heritage Pincushion Kit – also from Gina B Silkworks. The kit contains precision cut cards and full instructions. I fussy cut my fabric to place the motifs around the vase.

Tools required:

Jewellery pliers or tweezers, wire cutters (scissors can be used instead but don’t use your best ones!), clear drying PVA glue and a ruler.

Optional extras:

These are not essential but really useful if you intend to make a few projects. A small piece of florist foam (for holding elements while glue dries), and the Petal and Leaf Jig (to help shape wires easily and consistently).

I am planning a large Ganutell floral display – so more Ganutell to share with you all soon xxx.

Nothing to Fear Mixed Media Canvas

Hi all, today I am sharing one of my projects created during the Powertex Garden Party in July. It was an amazing weekend and I went along with my ex’s lovely daughter Marie. Living far apart we rarely get the chance to be together – so it was extra special to have a whole weekend crafting together.

Others also came along with friends or family but many came along on their own. Some were familiar with Powertex and some, like Marie, were completely new to the medium. Whether experienced or not, travelling with friends or alone, the Team at Powertex were wonderfully inviting and everyone soon felt relaxed and eager to get started. Tracey gave us all fabulous instructions to help us along the way. It was a wonderfully relaxed weekend and we made many new friends.

The huge display of different projects from the Powertex Team on display around the gardens was simply amazing.

The theme for this weeks Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge is ‘anything but a card’ – so I have entered this one.

AW Fear Nothing 2

I completed most of this canvas project during the weekend but you know me – I just had to add a more embellishments and bling when I got home. We had great fun creating layers of texture and colour.

AW Fear Nothing 1

We first painted our 12 X 12 inch canvas with Black Powertex onto which we then built additional layers. We applied background texture layers with Powertex treated recycled corrugate card and mesh canvas. We then created a ‘dirty mix’ using Black Powertex, Stone Art, 3D Sand and Balls and applied to the canvas, adding more texture by pushing in and stamping with mark making tools etc. (sticks, bottle tops etc.).

The Team then provided us with a ready made mix of Easy 3D Flex and Ivory Powertex. This medium provides a gorgeous crackle texture on drying.

AW Fear Nothing 2a

We were also provided with a small MDF frame and choice of small plaster embellishment. I chose to use a skull. We were helped and advised along the way on the easiest layout of different textures and elements for a successful arrangement.

AW Fear Nothing 2c

I added more texture to my frame with Easy 3D Flex and small Sand and Balls. You can see the marvellous cracks that develop – yummy. We then chose from a range of Secret Art Loft Acrylic Ink and Paints for colouring. I chose a mix of turquoise, pinks and yellows (Acrylic Paints – Raspberry Sorbet, Lemon Meringue, Blueberry Pie; Acrylic Inks – Raspberry, Metallic Aqua and Aqua). These paints and inks are gorgeous and allow you to build up lots of layers of transparent colour. I used Colortricx Silver in Easy Varnish for some of the dry brushing to enhance textures.

AW Fear Nothing 2b

On getting home I added more embellishments to my canvas – die cut birds, clock, circles and rings (cut from recycled thick card). I also used the Daisies Silicone Mould to make flowers and leaves from Powertex Clay (made with Ivory Powertex and Stone Art). The embellishments were painted with Black Powertex before sticking down. I also used some Easy Structure Paste tinted with a bit of Black Powertex as a 3D ‘glue’ to stick down elements on uneven highly textured areas.

I used some stamps from my stash to create the sentiments (using Versamark Onyx Black Ink) and used Easycoat Matt to stick them down and seal.

I finished with more layers of pigment and varnish, applying with a dry brush to highlight textures. I adore the new range of pigments from the Secret Art Loft (colours used – Interference Blue, Blue Curacao, Interference Violet and Green Ginger). I finally added some gold and silver gilding waxes applied with a finger (I just cannot help myself from adding more bling).

AW Marie Canvas

Here is Marie’s amazing canvas. I love the colours, textures and hidden surprise elements.

We all had so much fun and between us created an amazing array of individual and very different takes on this theme.

Bye for now, Anne x.

Latch Hook Rug made 20 years ago

Good afternoon. I have been busy finishing off a lot of Projects to share with you all soon. In the meantime I thought that you would like to see a latch hook rug that I made around 20 years ago. It measures 70 X 130cm so a good size. Not my own design but made from a kit which I purchased from Readicut Wools (UK). Pure wool so it has lasted the test of time and it still looks wonderful.

 

AW Chinese Rug

Pheasant’s Eye Ganutell Flower

Good evening. I have been learning the technique of Ganutell. Here is another one – I created this Pheasant’s Eye using instructions from the Ganutell Country Flowers Handbook from Gina B Silkworks.

AW Pheasant's Eye 1a

I used a stranded cotton thread (green) to create the chenille for the leaves. To make the flower petals I used Coton A Broder 25 (red), with stranded cotton (black) plus Rayon (red) to create the centre.

AW Pheasant's Eye 1b

The little vase in this picture was created using my own fabric plus the Vase Heritage Pincushion Kit – also from Gina B Silkworks. The kit contains precision cut cards and full instructions. I fussy cut my fabric to place the motifs around the vase.

Other Materials:

0.25mm and 0.4mm copper wire, 1.9mm Perl Wire (silver plated)

Florist tape (green)

Tools required:

Jewellery pliers or tweezers, wire cutters (scissors can be used instead but don’t use your best ones!), clear drying PVA glue and a ruler.

Optional extras:

These are not essential but really useful if you intend to make a few projects. A small piece of florist foam (for holding elements while glue dries), Petal and Leaf Jig to help shape wires easily and consistently).

More Ganutell to share with you all soon xxx.