Fantasy Sea Shore Canvas created with Powertex

I simply love Powertex for creating mixed media. It enables you to sculpt fabric and to create 3D embellishments – the possibilities are endless.

AW Powertex Sea 1

I simply adore the sea but unfortunately I couldn’t live further away from the seaside. I had so much fun creating this one and disappeared into a fantasy world of sea, sand, fossils and shells. So much scope for texture.

AW Powertex Sea Close 1

I recycled an old cotton scarf and a bit of old potato sack, created extra texture using sand and balls, and even created the fossils using moulds with Powertex clay.

AW Powertex Sea Close 2

I hope that you like my fantasy sea shore.

AW Powertex Sea Close 3

Materials:

Advertisements

Adjustable Kanzashi Flower Ring Powertex Jewellery

Today I am sharing a pretty little adjustable Kanzashi flower ring created using fine printed cotton fabric which has been treated with Transparent Powertex to stiffen and protect it. Treating with Powertex adds strength and protects against dirt. Ideal for jewellery pieces.

There are lots of videos on YouTube showing Kanzashi flower making but most are using synthetic ribbons which are joined and sealed by melting. I used instructions from Gina-B Silkworks (this was a sample for her recent show on Create & Craft TV). Gina’s method is the traditional Japanese way using natural fabrics (silk or cotton). Being natural fibres these little flowers are simply ideal for treating with Powertex. Ready-made silk flowers could work very well too.

 

AW Kanzashi Ring 6

Really pretty and comfortable to wear (sorry that my hands are older crafters hands and not modelling quality – tee hee).

 

AW Kanzashi Ring 5

The ring is adjustable so easy fitting.

 

AW Kanzashi Ring 2

I coloured the back to match the wire colour. You can also see the adjustable ring form more easily in this pic – the backing and flower being secured to one of the flat wire coils.

 

Note: One thing to consider when using transparent Powertex is how it will affect the colour of the fabric. It will considerably darken many fabrics, giving them the appearance of their colour when wet. Always test out a spare scrap first so as not to be disappointed. The printed cotton that I used here changed very little in colour so I was really pleased with the result.

 

Tools and Materials:

Optional extras:

I used additional tools for making the flowers which are really helpful and make the process easier. They are not essential but you will probably want to get them if you decide that you like this craft.

  • Pack of straight and bent fine tweezers – great for manipulating fiddly items such as the small fabric squares while folding, and for placing the petals. I would say that tweezers of some sort are pretty essential unless you have really nimble fingers.
  • Kanzashi Flower Making Tool Kit – contains a mini turntable, gluing table and spreader plus a small drying table. Great to have.
  • Petal Holders & Medium Drying Table – another useful kit if wanting to make several flowers. Cotains 2 sets of petal holders (for small and larger petals) plus a bigger drying table (for more flowers).

How it was made:

AW Kanzashi

AW Kanzashi 2

My Kanzashi flower makes using the starter kit. I used the 7 petal rainbow one for the ring.

  1. I used the in Gina’s starter kit to make the seven petal rainbow flower. Basically little fabric squares are folded to make petals. The raw edges of the petals are then placed in thick Kanzashi starch to hold their shape while making up all the petals and building the flower. The petals are then glued to a base piece of cotton using PVA glue and left to dry overnight. Excess fabric on the base is then snipped away. I glued a small metal brad into the centre with Gemtac glue. Sorry that I am unable to give full instructions here for the flower as the specifics of this flower design belong to Gina.
  2. To make the adjustable ring I wrapped the wire around a ring mandrel and tapped the wire lightly with the hammer to work harden the ring structure. A nylon hammer helps protect against stripping off the coloured coating.
  3. I trimmed the wire and made a small curl on one side using the round nosed pliers. On the other side I made a larger curl, big enough to sit the flower onto the front and the wooden cabochon onto the back. I worked hardened and slightly flattened the wire curls using the hammer and steel block.
  4. I added a coat of clear Powertex to the back/base of the flower and wooden cabochon and left until touch dry. I then added another coat of Powertex (as a glue) and used Powertex Easy Structure to fill the voids in the wire curl, attaching the wooden cabochon to the back and flower to the front of the larger wire curl, and left it to cure overnight. The Easy Structure paste makes a nice solid bridge holding everything securely onto the back and front of the wire curl. A little Stone Art Clay would also work. Note: If you don’t have a suitable wooden cabochon a thick card/board or MDF shape could be substituted. I would advise an absorbent natural material for a strong bond with the Powertex. It also needs to be smooth so as not to scratch or irritate the skin when wearing.
  5. I then painted the cabochon and flower with Transparent Powertex, working it well into the fabric flower and crevices with a brush. Tip: If you find that you have big blobs or pools of Powertex use a piece of cotton rag to lightly dab and mop up the excess, or it can dry giving shiny blobby areas which will spoil the natural look and texture of the fabric flower. Leave to dry.
  6. Finally I painted the back of my cabochon attachment and flower base using Starlight acrylic paint. The colour match was simply perfect for the metallic pink wire that I used. If you are using copper, silver or gold plated wires you could paint with Colortricx pigment and Easy Varnish instead (to coordinate with your wire).

Powertex treatment has made this delicate fabric flower ring much more robust and protected against dirt – a more functional piece of jewellery. For further protection and full waterproofing you could add a final coat of Easy Varnish.

Egyptian Cards and a bit of experimentation with Powertex and stamps

Oh I just love the new stamps from Anna Hewlett (Rosehart Studio) and Powertex. They sold out in a flash on the Hochanda shows too. Here are a couple of my card samples created for the show.

 

AW Heiro Card

 

On this one I used the Hiero Heaven stamp. The background was stamped and embossed with clear or gold embossing powders onto the black card. The vintage papers were created by stamping and colouring with Distress Inks (Scattered Straw, Vintage Photo and Peeled Paint).

 

AW Scarab Card

 

 

On this one I created the background by stamping with black archival ink onto craft card and colouring with pencils (they gave a nice chalky effect).

I created the gold embellishments using a Soft Form Relief Paste (Pebeo). I inked the Hiero Heaven and Scarabella stamps with archival black ink, spread with the paste and left to dry for 48 hours before peeling away. Extra colour was added to my scarab using acrylic paint.

No Powertex in these but I did have a little play:

Experiments:

This soft form paste stays flexible when dry so it can be curved around 3D objects and can also be stitched into. Some of you may know me for my paper crafting and textile art, so this is something I keep in my stash.

I have since had an experiment with using Powertex onto my stamp and leaving that to dry. I did have a concern about using Powertex on my stamps at first. Not that it would harm the rubber but I like to mount my stamps onto foam mount for clean crisp stamping in my textile and paper crafting. I thought that the Powertex might seep into the foam and harden it up ruining the cushion. I did a couple of bench tests to try it out:

 

AW Powertex experiment 1

  • I inked up part of the Heiro Heaven panel with Archival Ink and poured on some Ivory Powertex. Immediately it started reacting strangely with the ink. The outer edges of the puddle started moving and swirling and lost their colour.
  • I also poured some Powertex onto a non-inked area (although there was a bit of residual dried ink on there).
  • I mixed in a little Stone Art into the Powertex, making a paste, and spread this onto an inked area. This was more controllable than pouring liquid and there was no strange reaction evident with the ink beneath.
  • I also poured some Powertex over one of the smaller stamps, deliberately spilling it over the sides and onto my foam mount.

Experiment results:

Similar to my usual texture paste it took 24-48 hours to dry fully. All the test pieces worked really well and peeled away from the stamp really easily. Residual dried on Powertex was easily removed with warm water and a nail brush. The embellishments are quite stiff but remained flexible enough to curve around if desired, particularly if warmed up in the hands or with a hair dryer.

 

AW Powertex experiment 2

The ink transferred really well giving a nice dark image into the embellishment crevices, even the one that seemed to have a strange reaction with the ink worked well.

The smaller stamp that I covered in Powertex also cleaned up easily and the Powertex pulled away from the mount foam ok too, although I had to pull it away gently as it hung onto the foam quite tightly.

If you use unmounted stamps then obviously there is no issue in covering them with Powertex. I would say that if like me, you like to foam mount your stamps, then I would recommend making a bit of a paste with Powertex plus Stone Art or 3D Sand and spread this over. It is much more controllable and you can keep it away from the edges and foam mount more easily.

I hope that my experiments help with your own creative play.

Another sneak peek of my Egyptian themed samples for Powertex

Good morning. Here is another sneak peek at my mixed media samples created for Powertex using the new Egyptian themed stamps from Anna Hewlett (they will be available on the Powertex website shop soon) and 3D plaster busts.

 

TV shows are still available online at Hochanda if you missed any of the demos from Tracey Evans.

 

I will be blogging full pics and details soon xxx

 

AW Nefertiti Sneak Peek

AW Tut Sneak Peek

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).

Powertex Daisy Bowl

I have been having more experimental fun with Powertex.

 

AW Powertex Daisy Bowl 2

AW Powertex Daisy Bowl 3

AW Powertex Daisy Bowl 4

AW Powertex Daisy Bowl 5

 

I used the Powertex Daisy moulds and Stone Art to make clay daisies and leaves. The bowl was created with clear Powertex and a recycled cotton scarf (I used a glass bowl covered in cling film as a mould).

I then used up some of my left over Powertex colours (Terracotta, Lead and Ivory). I just had small amounts left in my bottles and it will be a while before I get the chance to use them. I brushed over the dried bowl with the lead colour to highlight some of the raised texture. I then added sand and balls and glass seed beads. I  made a paste with kitchen paper and Powertex to make a 3D ‘glue’ to stick on and hold the floral embellishments. I sprayed on some black Bister to add shadow to more of the deeper crevices. The after drying, I used the gold colour into the Easy Varnish to dry brush and pick up the surface texture giving a metallic finish.

 

Materials:

Sheer cotton blue fabric (recycled scarf)

Powertex Hardener (Clear, Terracotta, Lead and Ivory)

Stone Art

Sand and Balls texture

Glass seed beads (gold)

Kitchen paper

Bister (Black)

Easy Varnish and gold pigment to colour

Mixed Media Canvas using Powertex and Pebeo Fantasy paints

Woohoo – just finished another canvas using Powertex for the fabric, hessian, and pine cones etc. I even added crushed egg shells to this one. Then filled the background using Pebeo Fantasy paints (Moon, Prisme and Glitter Vitrail). Photo doesn’t do it justice – lots of metallic gold and copper plus sheen and glitter sparkle with the paints (can see it a little in the close up). Fun!

AW Pine Scene Canvas

AW Pine Scene Canvas cropped

A friend asked me to confirm how I stuck down and treated the cones:

I first ensured that the cones were fully dried out (about a month indoors) and stable (binned any falling apart etc.) painted the Powertex into all the crevices – a couple of layers. Painted the canvas with Powertex, then added all the Powertex treated stuff – sticking down directly onto coated canvas. Where needed I used treated kitchen towel bits to make a ‘3D gel’ to embed twigs & cones & make them more stable. Added more Powertex over cones so that more got down into crevices etc. Hope this helps if you would like to try out xxx