Recycled Bottle and Glass Mixed Media with Powertex

I simply love to recycle, upcycle and repurpose so this project using a recycled wine bottle and a set of cheap cocktail glasses from the charity shop was a perfect project for me. I also used some of my old T shirts and fabric scraps too.

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This set is now perfect for any festive or celebratory occasion. The bottle could be used either as a decanter (by using with a bottle stopper or cork) or used with a slim candle to adorn the table. Using Powertex enables items to be easily washed too.

Materials used:

How it was done:

The bottle was actually a project that I started on my level 1 Powertex Tutor training. I was fairly happy with it but I had always wanted to take it a few steps further. I am definitely a ‘more is more’ type of girl and I wanted to add extra embellishments to complete it – but what? Sadly it got confined to the corner for over a year before the idea finally came to me when I came home from the charity shop with my set of cocktail glasses.

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The lemon coloured glasses inspired citrus, the blue coloured glasses inspired berries – yay – off we go!

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Starting with my bottle: Blue Powertex medium was used to coat recycled T shirt fabrics and hessian which was draped around the bottle to give texture. Kitchen paper was separated into single ply and blue Powertex was used to glue it around the neck of the bottle to give added texture. Blue Powertex was also used to paint and glue the plaster face.

Eeeek – I was freaking out a bit this stage as it looked awful. I will say that this was part of the training. We were given a few challenges! The blue is a gorgeous colour but not necessarily the easiest for your first ventures. If you are a beginner I would recommend starting with Bronze Powertex and colouring as I did for the blue glasses as given below; achieving a similar final result with less palpitations – tee hee.

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Spritzing with Brown and Red Bister gave a nice purple muted effect which was lovely, and also blended in the darker T shirt material nicely. Powercolor and Colortricx Pigments were mixed with Easy Varnish and dry brushed over the piece to highlight textures. The dry brushing really does make so much difference! Ooooh much happier now, but as I said – it needed more work in my mind.

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Now for the embellishments: With fruit embellishments in mind I mixed up some Stone Art with Ivory Powertex to make a clay and used silicone moulds to make citrus slices, nuts, leaves and berries. Once dry I used Secret Art Loft Acrylics to paint them.

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When painting the fruit slices the outer ring of pith was left unpainted. Dry brushing with Ivory Powertex was used to highlight the central pith texture and make the lemon slices look more realistic.

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The same with the orange slices.

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The berries and nuts were also painted with Secret Art Loft Acrylics. I mixed colours to give a more naturalistic look.

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Varying colour mixes and depth.

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Purples, pinks, oranges and green mixes were used to colour the berries. Once coated with varnish (last steps) they looked quite realistic.

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Various fruits, nuts and leaves were used to embellish the bottle. Items were stuck down using Transparent Powertex. Where needed 3D sand was mixed with Bronze Powertex in order to make a 3D glue to stick down shaped embellishments on the textural surface.

Yay – fulfilling my ‘more is more’ – ha ha.

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Secret Art Loft pigments were mixed with varnish and were dry brushed over textured areas and over the berries to give extra pearlescent sheen.

Coloured Powertex is weatherproof and therefore washable. Acrylic paint layers were further protected by painting with Easy varnish to ensure that the bottle was fully washable. The varnish also enhanced the painting and gave the fruits and berries a lovely sheen. Happy bunny.

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Next to decorate the glasses: I collected together varied textural fabrics. The blue background is my plastic shower curtain that I use to cover my bench – joyous messiness evident!

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The glass stems and base of the bowls were painted with a coat of bronze Powertex. Any drips were removed with a damp cloth. T shirt fabric was cut into strips and stretched to make a ‘cord’ for wrapping the stems. More fabrics and T shirt strips were coated with Bronze Powertex and wrapped around the glass bowls. The T shirt cord held everything in place around the top of the glasses while drying. I applied the main 3D texture just to one face, leaving the backs flatter (otherwise they might get in the way when drinking from the glasses). The smoother stems made them easy and comfortable to hold.

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The blue glasses were embellished with berries and textures enhanced with dry brushing using the blue/purple toned Secret Art Loft Pigments.

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Oooh yummy.

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The yellow glasses were embellished with citrus slices and textures enhanced with dry brushing using the citrus and gold toned Secret Art Loft Pigments.

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More yummy.

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I hope that you like my celebratory table set. I really enjoy making these – and using now them – special glasses seem to make the contents more special too.

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Happy crafting, Anne x.

Tropical Art Doll Mixed Media with Powertex

I have never tried making an Art Doll before and I had so much fun making this. I wanted to make her really bright and cheerful with a tropical feel – the fabulous zingy cocktail colours from The Secret Art Loft Pigments, Inks, and Acrylics range were perfect.

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Materials Used

Extras used on the canvas: A4 canvas board, White Paper Decoration, 3D Sand and Balls, Assorted Lace Strips, dried beech nut outer shells and pine cone, small paper clay flowers, old key, gold glitter plus mix blue & green seed beads.

How it was done:

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First all the MDF components were popped out of the sheet and coated with Ivory or Bronze Powertex Fabric Hardener and left to dry. The box frame was constructed and hanger section attached (the Powertex acts as a glue too). I also coated one of the ‘waste pieces’ which I thought would make a great bird shape to insert into the box frame.

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A background panel for the box frame was cut from the FAB images on the packaging sheet and glued in place using Easycoat decoupage medium. Acrylic Inks were used to add a tint of colour.

Easy Structure paste was applied through a texture stencil onto the large background panel and to sections of the frame. The Art Quotes Stencil was used to apply text to the frame, and to apply random sections of text to the wings.

When dry, translucent inks were used to tint the text on the frame. The outer background panel was coloured with Lemon Meringue and Orange Marmalade acrylics, then brushed over with a little Metallic Golden Ink to highlight the texture, before sticking down the box frame.

The birdy shaped waste MDF piece was coloured with acrylic paints and layered into the box using Transparent Powertex to glue. The metallic embellishment was coated with Ivory Powertex and stuck down. The beak coated with Bronze Powertex, and eyes created with seed beads (dark centres created with Bronze Powertex, drizzled into the bead hole with a cocktail stick).

Transparent Powertex was used to coat the fabric flowers and massaged into the aqua cotton fibres. It was also drizzled around the sides to embed the seed beads. A little sand was mixed with Transparent Powertex to make a 3D glue paste to help hold the flower stems in place.

More acrylic paints were used to colour, and to brush over textured surfaces. Easy Varnish was used to stick down sequins, and to embed glitter which was brushed over sections for extra sparkle. Pearl Pigments in Varnish were also applied with dry brushing to add shimmer. I just love a bit of bling.

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The headdress and face were dry brushed with Pink Flamingo and Limoncello Gold Pigments mixed with Easy Varnish. Sequins and beads were added for more texture and bling. 1mm wire was used to make a hanging loop.

The wings were coloured with Acrylic Paints and Gold Ink and … yes I had to add some glitter sparkle too.

Fabric strips and ribbon were treated with Transparent Powertex and used to wrap sections of plastic tubing to create beads for the upper arms and legs. The upper arms were attached with 1mm wire, through the holes in the box frame, in such a way that they were held in place (i.e. not dangling). This enabled the lower arm dangles to hang each side of the body.

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The upper leg sections were attached so that they hung freely at the base giving movement. The lower arm and leg shapes were dry brushed with Varnish and Pearl Pigments, and beads stuck down with Transparent Powertex. These were hung from the upper arm and leg beads using wire loops so they dangled freely. Leaf and flower bead dangles were also added to the frame base and legs using 0.8mm wire (1mm was too thick to fit the bead holes).

The floral MDF shape was painted with acrylics, embellished with a metal filigree shapes and seed beads before gluing to the main background panel.

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My finished Art Doll just makes me so happy. I love her bright happy colours. Plenty of bling and dangles too – cannot help but smile.

After using all the provided shapes to create her I looked at the pile of waste MDF bits left behind – they inspired me to create a canvas. I never waste anything – ha ha.

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I coloured the background canvas with Bronze Powertex. Texture and the text was then applied using Easy Structure paste through the stencils. I just love this sentiment from the Art Quotes Stencil.

All the waste bits were coated with Ivory Powertex and applied down. I tried not to think about it too much – as I can spend hours procrastinating on positioning stuff! I just wanted to be free and ‘go for it’ and see what happened.

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I then started coating some of the embellishments and building up the scene. Sand & Balls were added into wet Powertex and then coloured with inks and by dropping in some pigment powders.

I built up a sort of tree on the left hand side using Paper Decoration and lace, adding the Beech nuts and pine cone to embellish.

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More acrylic colour was added, and beads added by embedding in we Transparent Powertex. Pearl Pigments were added to varnish for dry brushing over some of the textures. Finally I just couldn’t help myself but had to add some gold glitter mixed into the varnish. More yummy bling.

The finished piece is fairly crazy and abstract but I was pleased with it. I thought that it looked like a foreground beach with water, sand and trees, then rising up in the background were buildings positioned up a hillside. A kind of tropical paradise I thought. You may see something completely different. That is the joy of abstract art. I had to pop in the key to ‘unlock the mystery’. I hope that you like my mad idea for using up all the scrap MDF bits.

Bye for now, Anne x.

Floral Trinket Box created with Powertex

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I have had a wire box frame in my stash for ages. Originally it had a woven straw covering that fell apart so I removed it with the intention of recovering it. It ended up as another ‘UFO’ (unfinished object) for years. I have finally dug it out and created this Powertex treated fabric box embellished with hand made fabric flowers. Now it’s a fabulous trinket box for storing some of my crafty treasures.

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The bare wire frame is a strong construction – similar to the type of wire used to make coat hangers. It measures approx. 8 inches square across the top and 6 inches deep.

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I used some recycled cotton bed sheets and treated them with Black Powertex to cover the box and lid. I lined the outer and inner panels to completely cover the wire frame. I gathered some cotton trims for the next stage; some crochet lace and a piece of gathered Broderie Anglaise.

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I treated the crochet lace with Powertex and applied around the box base.

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The gathered lace was applied around the lid. I also dug out some greyboard lazer cut foliage shapes to embellish the top. These were coated and stuck down with Powertex. When dry I started dry brushing over the surface using Easy Varnish and Silver Colotricx. Extra colour was applied to the foliage to make it stand out from the dry brushed background.

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Here you can see the dry brushed lid next to the unpainted base. The dry brushing has emphasised the texture and added metallic highlights.

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Next I made some fabric roses from 25mm and 15mm strips cut from recycled bedding. These were created using Ribbon Ruching Flower Combs from Gina B-Silkworks. Basically strips are marked out using the Flower Comb templates, a running stitch is sewn along the marked lines and the stitching is pulled up to gather and shape into a rose. I prepared my strips and treated with Powertex before pulling up the stitching. The Powertex holds and glues the gathering in place. I left the flowers to dry before adding to the box top.

To create the roses I followed instructions detailed in Gina’s new Ribbonwork Flowers Book: Twist Roses from 25mm cotton strips using comb 3a (Rococo Comb Set) and 1930’s Roses from 15mm strips using comb 13a (Venezia Comb Set).

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I used one of my dies to cut a frame for the centre (Sizzix), applied to the top and finished in the same way as the greyboard foliage.

The flowers were dry brushed with Easy Varnish and Interference Lilac Pigment. Loving these new Pearl Pigment colours! Powertex was then used to glue down the roses to the centre. I added some ready made flower stamens around the group (purple), and some small ready made satin ribbon roses to the corners (Powertex treated and coloured).

Next I mixed some 3D Sand and Balls into Black Powertex and drizzled the mix around the flowers. A few untreated balls were also dropped into the wet Powertex. The untreated balls kept their original colour on the surface giving contrast with the black base. Once dry I coloured by brushing over the surface using Easy Varnish and Mojito Lime Pigment.

I also dry brushed a little of the Lilac pigment sparingly over the lace trims and used to colour some hand made air dry clay embellishments (created using a silicone mould from my stash) added to the box corners.

I used one of my large rubber stamps (lace design from Heartfelt Creations) to stamp some extra textural interest around the sides using Viola Metallic Acrylic Ink. Note: the fabric surface is already quite textured and not very flat so the stamping does not give a clear impression of the design but just adds a little more depth and interest to the surface.

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I hope that you like my new treasure box.

Hugs, Anne xxx.

Sunflower Project Tray created with Powertex

Today I am sharing a decorated recycled Balsa wood cheese tray (19 X 25cm) left over from Christmas. I needed a small project tray to collect together all my embroidery and sewing thread spools when working on one of my textile stitched paintings. I kept the 3D texture to a minimum as I didn’t want my fine threads catching and pulling on anything.

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The theme for this Weeks Simon Says Stamp Blog Challenge (Wed) is ‘Anything Goes’ so I have entered this one.

I chose one of the lovely Floral Rice Papers and the fab Duo Arty Quotes Mini Stencil from Powertex to decorate. I wanted to create something that would give me some ‘arty’ inspiration. I had a few grey board embellishments in my stash (from ……) so added these too for a bit of interest.

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I first used a water pen to dampen around the images enabling them to be torn and separated to form soft edged pieces that will blend into the background once decoupaged.

I coated the whole tray with Ivory Powertex and dried using a hair dryer. This provided a light background for the decoupage elements. Coating the tray with Powertex hardened up the soft Balsa wood and sealed it making it easier to keep clean too. I also coated the grey board elements with Ivory Powertex.

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Decorative papers were then applied using Easy Coat Mat. Easy Structure Paste was then applied through the stencil using a recycled bank card. I also added a little more texture using a grid stencil from my stash.

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The embellishments were stuck down with more Powertex and a little Easy Structure Paste where needed (i.e. onto textured areas).

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In the background you can see a sneak peek of my next project in progress. I like to work on several things at once so that I don’t waste time waiting for layers to dry.

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Next I used a white opaque pen (acrylic paint pen) to draw extra highlights onto the main sunflower image. Then I used the new transparent acrylic inks to brush over and add a bit of colour. These are fabulous as being transparent they don’t obliterate the layers beneath. I chose the Golden Metallic and Aqua Metallic Inks to blend in with the main colour theme of the decoupaged images and to add a little sheen. I emphasized the lettering using a brown fine tipped pen (suitable for going onto acrylic).

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Where needed I also rubbed over a little more Ivory Powertex using my finger to blend in the colouring where I thought it was a bit heavy.

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I also rubbed on a little gold gilding wax from my stash (Pebeo).

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Finally I added a little clear PVA based glitter glue to bring a little sparkle. I just couldn’t help myself. Once dry I brushed over the whole tray with Easy Varnish.

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Now I have a lovely inspirational project tray. Hope that you like it too.

Hugs all and happy creating, Anne xxx

Medieval Chalice created with Powertex

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I had fun creating a medieval chalice from an old glass that I have had for years. If you look closely it is actually made from a recycle wine bottle cut in half. The old bottle base is cut off and stuck to the bottle pouring top. The upturned bottle therefore making a new glass. I didn’t make it myself but it was a present from my ex’s daughter and has sentimental value. Now I have a super chalice to fill with cider and enjoy my drink along with good memories.

I wanted to keep the rim of the glass clean as I intend to use it as a drinking glass. I can clean the inside properly and around the rim etc. after use. The outer decoration will be ok with rinsing but obviously will be washed with more care.

For those that of not heard of Powertex – it is a non-toxic environmentally friendly fabric hardener that can be used to treat natural fibres (cotton, wool, silk, wood, MDF etc.) and create items that are weatherproof.

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I first stamped some tissue paper (recycled packaging) with Versamark Ink and heat embossed the script image (Butterfly Poppy Collage set from Chocolate Baroque) with metallic gold embossing powder. I also collected some MDF embellishments ready for decorating. The Ankh is from the Pyramid and Ank Trio set, the hares and small cross from the Mini Hieroglyphs set.

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As I wanted to keep the glass for functional use I didn’t want to completely cover it with texture and wanted to keep the stem area comfortable to hold. I first painted a band of black ‘all surfaces’ weatherproof glitter paint (Black Diamonds Crystal Glitter) onto the glass to add some interest and texture which will show through the background areas that I wanted to keep fairly smooth. The gold paint that you can see on the base was done some years ago with glass paints – I covered this up in later steps.

Next I tore areas of the script paper and applied them over the glass stem and bowl using Easycoat Mat Decoupage Medium. Tip: I used a water pen to draw around the pieces that I wanted, making it easy to tear shapes in a more controlled way. I sprayed with a little Green Bister just to blend in a little (dabbing off excess dribbles) where the white tissue paper was a little obvious.

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Next was true happiness – a fist full of Powertex Clay – tee hee. I mixed some Stone Art with Bronze Powertex (approx. 50:50) with a small addition of Transparent Powertex, working it well into a non-sticky consistency.

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Next I cut of square of T shirt fabric to cover the glass base and treated it with Bronze Powertex. I also treated a strip of T-shirt yarn and used it to secure the fabric over the stem base, then wrapped it up around the glass. Snips of textured lace were treated and added around the base plus a strip of treated lace was added to create a border around the top.

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A rough slab of clay was rolled out and impressed using the text stamp. This was glued onto the glass front using Powertex. Stems and leaves were moulded by hand and ‘glued’ in place along with the MDF embellishments. Where needed a little Easy Structure Paste was used as a 3D ‘glue’ (painted over with Bronze Powertex to hide the white colour). A faux gem was stuck into the centre of the ankh.

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The chalice was then left to dry for a couple of hours.

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Next came the fun of dry brushing. I used Rich Gold Colortricx mixed with Easy Varnish first. It looked a little uninteresting in just the one colour so I also dry brushed with some of the new Aqua Metallic Acrylic Ink. Both of these dry very quickly so I just repeated layers of dry brushing until I was happy with the result.

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I will leave the vessel for a couple of weeks to fully dry and cure before giving it a final all over coat of Easy Varnish to fully seal it. Et voila! My lovely new drinking vessel. I cannot wait to use it.

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Excited to be joining the Powertex Team as a guest blogger

I am so excited to be joining the Powertex Team as a guest blogger and am really looking forward to sharing my new creative journey with you all.

I am an ex medical scientist now self employed in jewellery and textiles. I also enjoy mixed media and card making too and am on the Design Team of a stamp company and a textile trimmings maker, so regularly blog my projects. I really enjoy helping people along on their own creative journey.

A couple of weeks ago I ventured up to Powertex UK HQ to take my Level 1 training. Tracey, Garry and the lovely team were all so welcoming and made me feel instantly at ease. I met some lovely people on the course and we spent a wonderful couple of days creating in Tracey’s studio. There were many wonderful projects on display from Tracey and the Design Team. Amazing talent and such an inspiration.

I managed to catch a pic of myself and Tracey in the garden. Tracey is the attractive one – tee hee.

 

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The course was very intensive and we each created a wide range of projects, ranging from mixed media canvases and journal covers right up to a figurine. We were also given masses of useful guidance and information on setting up workshops for ourselves too. I learned so much and we all had a lot of fun and plenty of laughter along the way.

I have had a busy couple of weeks on my return and still have to put the finishing touches to my Level 1 projects. I will share them soon. In the meantime I thought that I would share my first ever ventures into the world of Powertex, following one of Tracey’s shows on Hochanda.

 

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I created a couple of 30 cm square fossil themed canvases and a covered bottle – I hope that you like them. I was really pleased with the natural organic feel. Some of my friends thought that I had used real fossils. Being my first projects I hope that you will see what a beginner can achieve.

 

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Below I have included a materials list and the step by step of techniques used to create the canvases, including some hints and tips to get the best results. The embellished bottle was created in the same way.

Happy crafting, Anne x.

 

Materials used:

 

How they were made:

  1. The canvases were already primed with gesso so I first gave them a coat of Powertex to colour and create a good surface for adhesion.
  2. I mixed up some Powertex with sand to make a thick paste. When the canvases were dry to the touch (it doesn’t take long) I applied the paste to the background using a palette knife through the stencil to create fossil textures. I then left them overnight to dry.
  3. I mixed more sand with Poweretex, this time to make a thicker drier clay. I think that the mix was about 50:50. Basically I gradually added sand until I had a workable clay that wasn’t too wet and sticky. I then pushed the clay into the silicone moulds to create the 3D fossils. I left them to dry for several hours until they could easily be released from the moulds without distorting. Some of the bigger ones needed to be left overnight. I then placed them on a drying tray (old kitchen wire grill tray – so air could get all around) and left them overnight to dry and further harden up. I made the clay up in small manageable batches so as not to waste reagents. Any clay that wasn’t being used straight away was wrapped in cling film to stop it drying out.
  4. Next I worked the Powertex into rough strips of hessian, and some pulled threads. I did struggle a bit with this at first as I used far too much Powertex. If you overdo it, like I did, grab another strip of fabric and use it to dab and squeeze out the excess. These were then ruched and applied to the canvas using a little extra Powertex as a glue where needed.
  5. I then applied my fossils using Powertex to glue. In some of the more textured areas I dunked some of the kitchen towel in Powertex to make a 3D glue ‘gel’ in which to embed my fossil embellishments. I also used strips of kitchen paper to create more areas of texture. I found that it was best to separate the paper into a single ply (i.e. split the double layered tissue into 2 sheets) to ensure that it fully coated and soaked up the Powertex more easily.
  6. Next I drizzled Powertex onto the canvas and sprinkled with texture balls and sand, plus a few glass beads. It is best to apply the largest balls first, then work down to the smaller sizes which fill in the gaps between the larger ones. Oh so much fun. I then left them to dry overnight ready for colouring.
  7. My canvas board was a cheap cardboard type and I found that it did warp quite a bit. When dry enough I clamped it down on my rigid art board to help straighten it out while drying. A thicker strong board (MDF type) does work better. It needs to take a lot of wet media. This was obviously not an issue when working on the stretched canvas.
  8. I was then ready to start adding more colour and depth with Bister and coloured varnish. Here is where I did have a slight panic. I first sprayed over my canvases with black Bister. When dry I then used a damp sponge to lift away some of the colour from the top layers. The idea was to emphasis the deep crevices and texture. Eeek – I thought that I had ruined it! The soluble Bister did lift off some areas but it was difficult to remove from others. My texture balls soaked it up and the hessian held onto quite a lot of it too. So where I had planned my colours and light areas got covered in darkness! Oh dear I thought (me swear? Tee hee).
  9. After I had calmed down, it then came to me. I could go over some of the areas using the Powertex as a paint. In addition I had opaque white Powercolor in my stash so I could use that too at the varnish stage. I over painted some of the areas with the coloured Powertex. I also used the Powertex to dry brush over areas giving more highlights. So all was not lost after all. Some of the Bister dissolved back into the Powertex as I worked giving a lovely natural organic look. Ooooh happy again.
  10. When the Powertex was touch dry I then dry brushed with the pigments and varnish. This stage takes a little practice. You need to mix just small amounts of varnish with the pigments (just a drop on your craft mat), remove most of it from the brush (brushing off onto tissue), then apply to the top layers lightly and gradually building up the colour. I mixed a tiny bit of ochre into white pigment (so not a harsh white) to dry brush some areas. Other areas I dry brushed with copper colour.
  11. To fully seal my canvas I mixed a 50:50 mix of varnish and water and sprayed it over the canvas. Spraying enabled me to get it in and around all the crevices and 3D embellishments. I applied several coats (leaving to dry between coats). This then makes the canvas easy to clean as it can simply be run under the tap (where cleaning with a duster or cloth would be tricky). If mounting your piece behind glass this stage would not be needed. Note: Coloured Powertex is weatherproof so complete sealing with varnish is not essential unless you have used Bister (remains soluble so would wash off unless sealed with varnish).
  12. Finally I added a bit of gilding wax around the edges of my canvases (this could be done with coloured varnish).

Art on the Common Exhibition in Harpenden

I will be taking part in 2 Art Exhibitions on the weekend of 10 and 11th June 2017.

 

I have entered several Artwork pieces into the Ayot St. Lawrence Art Exhibition in the Palladium Church – 10, 11 and 12th June 2017. This coincides with the Garden Festival where they open up the gardens of several cottages and The Old Rectory. Well worth a day out in this beautiful historic village.

 

I will also be having my own stall at Art on the Common in Harpenden – 10 and 11th June – where over 40 artists will be exhibiting. The Saturday coincides with the Harpenden Carnival where there will be loads to do and see during the day (lots for the kids too).

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I am working like crazy to finish enough to fill my stall! I will be bringing some smaller mixed media artworks, hand painted silks and bags, and beaded jewellery. There are never enough hours in the day!