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.

 

AW Me & Tracey

 

 

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.

 

AW Powertex Fossil 1

AW Powertex Fossil 2

AW Powertex Fossil 2b

AW Powertex Fossil 2k

AW Powertex Fossil 2g

 

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.

 

AW Powertex Fossil Bottle 1

AW Powertex Fossil Bottle 2

AW Powertex Fossil Bottle 5

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).
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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).

AOTC CR poster 2017 issue 2

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!

Powertex mixed media canvas

Good afternoon. I have been playing with Powertex and have created another mixed media canvas.

AW Powertex Sea 1

 

Powertex is a fabric hardening medium which can be used in mixed media and for creating 3D sculpture. I have got so many ideas and things to try. I am having so much fun with this medium. I have many more experiments ‘on the go’ including some fossil jewellery, more 3D vessels and canvases – will share soon.

AW Powertex Sea Close 1

AW Powertex Sea Close 2

Materials:

Powertex Fabric Hardener (clear)

12 X 12 inch stretched canvas

Recycled cotton scarf and hessian (burlap)

Texture Media (3D Sand & Balls)

Starlight paint (light gold)

Easy Varnish

Powercolor (white, blue)

Fossil themed silicone moulds

Shells, glass beads (light gold), glass glitter (clear)

Letter stamps and StazOn Inkpad (Opaque White)

Halloween Canvas using the Day Of The Dead Collection from Sheena Douglass

AW Spooky Canvas

 

Oooh I do love Halloween. I so enjoy making spooky projects. I created this canvas for a couple of my friends. I used Sheena Douglass ‘Day Of The Dead’ stamps and dies, and I coloured the image so it looked like them. I also used Sheena’s Festive Ivy and Christmas Foliage dies to decorate.

Materials:

  • Stretched canvas approx. A4 size
  • A4 sheet white stamping card (Sheena Douglass)
  • Black, white and green card
  • Brother ScanNCut CM300 machine
  • Silhouette Cameo machine
  • Die cutting machine (EBosser)
  • Sheena Douglass Day Of The Dead Collection (Eternal Love stamp and Dancing Skeleton, and Pawprint memories dies)
  • Sheena Douglass dies (Festive Ivy and Christmas Foliage)
  • Other dies: acorn (Spellbinders) and leaves (Tattered Lace)
  • ScanNCut files: built in designs for the ‘Happy’ and ‘Halloween’ text
  • Silhouette files: JM Rush for spiders (Spider Web Lantern), Bats Flying and Spooky Banner
  • Gesso (black)
  • Inkpads: Versafine (Tuxedo Black), Distress (Gathered Twigs and Tea Dye)
  • Spray and Sparkle (Crafters Companion Diamond Pearl)
  • Pebeo Gilding Wax (King Gold)
  • Spectrum Aqua watercolour pens (pinks, oranges, greens, teals, turquoises, greys, yellows and reds)
  • Brown pencil (to colour bats)
  • Black fine tipped marker (to enhance shading & detail to stamped image)
  • Stickles glitter glue (Crystal)

3D Boat Collage–Using Chocolate Baroque Seashell Collage Stamps

Lesley Wharton from Chocolate Baroque has shows with the sea themed stamps this week – great demos and samples from the Design Team.

I created the boat project about a year ago as part of my Design Team application to Chocolate Baroque.

Sea-World-Projects-3_thumb.jpg

I adapted elements from this design to make a card for the TV shows.

aw-seagull

 

Heatherwell Designs by Anne Waller

Boat Project

I made this fun project as a birthday ‘card’ for a male friend of mine. I love the poem and this set of stamps from Chocolate Baroque.

Materials Used

  • Template from Dreamies CD – Something to Treasure.
  • A4 Kraft card – 4 sheets to make the boat.
  • White stamping card, scrap papers and old dictionary (to make Tide book).
  • Piece of string made into a rope, 3 pearls, bit of old chain, old vegetable net bag.
  • Small rectangular dies and tag die (Heartfelt Creations – Cut, Mat, Create and Luggage sets), Seaweed die (Create and Craft Couture – Sea Siren set) coloured with alcohol marker (Spectrum Noir JG6). These could be substituted with similar dies or punches.
  • Distress inks (Ranger) – Vintage Photo, Old Paper, Tattered Rose, Mustard Seed, Pumice Stone, Broken China and Stormy Sea.
  • Archival Dye based ink – dark brown – for stamping the images.
  • Fine red…

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Textured Book Covers using the Tangled Birch from Chocolate Baroque

I hope that you like my texture project for the blog today. I got the idea from one of Lesley Wharton’s demos on The Craft Channel where she used Brushos to make lovely background papers and book covers.

AW Texture book covers 4

AW Texture book covers 1

AW Texture book covers 2

AW Texture book covers 3

Materials:

  • Tangled Birch stamp
  • A6 (approx. 10.5 X 15cm) hard backed note books, scrap acetate, kitchen towel and cartridge paper
  • Brusho’s and Ink Sprays (pinks and blues, some with mica)
  • Starlight paints (with crushed gilding flakes) or metallic acrylic (gold and pink)
  • White Gesso
  • Mod Podge (Matte finish)
  • Tacky acrylic glue
  • Glitter glue (pink and gold)
  • Alcohol marker (black or dark grey)
  • StazOn Inkpad (Black)
  • Microbeads (pink and turquoise mixes)

Summary of techniques:

  1. The blue textured paper was created from waste kitchen towel initially used to mop up waste diluted Brushos from my craft mat. I spritzed on a bit more colour. When dry the towel was scrunched up and the layers separated.
  2. The pink textured paper was created with thin cartridge sketching paper and ink spritzers, some with mica.
  3. The papers were applied to the book covers using Matte Mod Podge. The wrinkles created a lovely texture. I sealed the blue tissue with Mod Podge on the outside too, and used both layers as it was quite translucent with just one layer. I left the pink textured paper unsealed.
  4. When dry I rubbed over the surface with metallic acrylics to pick up and highlight the textures (using a little on my finger).
  5. The Tangled Birch was stamped onto acetate with StazOn Ink. The back was then coloured with metallic acrylics.
  6. When dry I added a layer of white Gesso. This made the translucent acrylic more solid and opaque. The image was cut out and glued to the book front with tacky glue.
  7. Glitter glue was added to the image front. I used Pinflair glitter wands which work well on acetate. You may want to test this as some glitter glues may not stick well to acetate.
  8. Microbeads were dropped into a thick layer of tacky glue for added texture.

My project using the free digital paper from Chocolate Baroque

What a beautiful digital paper we have to play with this month. I decided to create a framed decoupage piece with mine.

Available from the Chocolate Baroque Challenge Blog.

AW Digital 20 Framed

Materials:

  • Cacti Postcard Digital Paper printed onto A4 paper
  • 31cm square mount board in cream and dark green, plus backing card
  • Crafters Workshop 6X6 stencil (Cell Theory) and swirly branches stencils
  • Pearlescent acrylic modelling paste
  • Acrylic paints (blue and pearlescent pale aqua)
  • Polychromos Pencils (blue/grey and grey)
  • Stickles glitter glue (Diamond)
  • Pearlescent spray varnish
  • PVA glue and 3D glue gel

How it was done:

  1. Printed the image six times and cut around the cacti and flower image building up layers onto the background. Shaped and glued with 3D gel. Note: Keep the leftovers for other projects, they will be great for cutting out with punches or dies.
  2. When dry I added a little shading using the pencils.
  3. Mixed some blue acrylic with the modelling paste and applied through the Cell Theory stencil with a pallet knife to create a border around the image.
  4. I cut an approx. 20cm aperture from the cream mount board. The dark green was cut approx. 4mm smaller and glued behind the cream frame.
  5. Stencilled pearlescent pale aqua paint through swirly branches stencil to create added texture to the frame.
  6. Glued together, backing with thick card. Sprayed with varnish to protect.
  7. It could be further mounted into a 3D box frame, behind glass, for added durability.
  8. Tip: If you want to create a long lasting home décor project it is very important to use acid free paper, card and glues. I have a printer with archival pigment inks which are much more fade resistant than dye based standard inks.