Steampunk Jewellery Plier Stands using Powertex

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I have been meaning to decorate my jewellery plier stands for ages and finally got them finished.

 

 

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I had a bit of a problem with these in that they started off as a plain varnished wood surface. I initially coated them with white Gesso with a view to painting them with acrylics. However, the Gesso did not bind well to the varnish layer – eek! All ideas were halted. These need to be fairly robust and a tonne of flaky chips after a short use was not what I wanted!

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I then discovered Powertex and yay, I would be able to rescue and decorate my plier stands after all. Coating the entire surface with rice papers and torn kitchen towels would create a tough protective skin over the surface and prevent the feared chipping off of the base layers.

 

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HOW IT WAS DONE

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I first collected together lots of embellishments; die cut cogs and pipework (Sizzix dies), MDF Keyplate (Powertex), metal clock hand and chains, old light bulbs and screws.

 

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I tore out images from Creative Rice Paper (Powertex). This particular sheet seems to be out of stock but there is a similar Victorian Steampunk Paper available. I also separated layers of kitchen paper and tore them into pieces to coat the surface. This would add texture and a protective layer.

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STAGE ONE

First I applied the torn decorative papers using Easy Coat Mat Medium. Ivory Powertex was then painted on to blend in the image edges.

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STAGE TWO

Next layers of kitchen paper were bonded all over the surface. Some were glued down with Ivory and some with Terracotta Powertex. Die cut card embellishments were also coated with Powertex and glued down.

Texture was added by applying Easy Structure Paste through a texture stencil.

I also had a try at the rust technique. I mixed some Rusty Powder into Ivory Powertex along with a few drops of white wine vinegar. This was painted and dribbled over the surface (extra powder sprinkled on top) and spritzed with water and vinegar before leaving overnight to develop. I spritzed at intervals, several times. I avoided the areas that will be in contact with my pliers.

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STAGE THREE

Next I brushed over and added colour using Acrylic Inks in Tangerine, Egg Yolk, Aqua and Metallic Gold.

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STAGE FOUR

I also applied a little gold Pebeo Gilding Wax on some areas. When fully dry and cured (I left them for 3 weeks) I coated the surface with Easy Varnish to fully seal and protect.

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I have included lots of images of how all the surfaces were built up.

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Texture and die cut cogs have been added.

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Rust and colour added.

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Side finished with stronger thick greyboard embellishments. Any large embellishments protruding from edges need to be strong (thinner card would be prone to warp and bend).

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I started with a larger clock image on the other side.

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Die cuts and texture added plus a metal clock hand for dimension.

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Finally finished with thicker embellishments and more dry brush work and gilding wax.

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Love this character.

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Texture and layers built up. Waiting for the rust to develop.

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Building up the layers of transparent colour makes so much difference.

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The second plier stand started off in the same way.

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At this stage you might feel like giving up. What a mess!

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Just keep going, adding layers of rust texture and colour.

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Just loving the gorgeous layers of texture and colour.

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I used several layers of the die cut pipework together to make them thicker and stronger on this side.

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Wooohooo – this is soooooo yummy (or is it just me – tee hee).

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Another end panel.

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I used an MDF keyplate (Powertex) to embellish this end.

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The final colouring makes such a difference.

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The final side had a couple of little storage wells. I won’t really be using these so a perfect place to embellish with larger items.

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I had fun adding recycled light bulbs, screws and bits of chain etc. I used structure paste and Powertex treated kitchen paper as a 3D glue to hold things in place.

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Initially I had added a thinner die cut cog to the end but it wasn’t really strong enough. Here I added another thick greyboard cog over the first. Much more practical. I also added a small MDF Butterfly.

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Here you can see more of the Steampunk treasures added. I also added some 3D Sand and Balls.

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Love this Steampunk birdie peering out.

Well I hope that all these pictures have not overwhelmed you. I wanted to show how all the stages were built up. It also shows the stages that look awful, perhaps where a beginner might give up! Remember, if it all goes wrong just keep applying colour, inks or coloured varnishes. If this fails and you are really not happy – just paint over the whole thing with a base colour of Powertex and start again.

Hugs, Anne xxx.

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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.

Alice in Wonderland Clock created with Powertex

I have had so much fun joining the Alice in Wonderland Tea Party with Powertex UK. I love fantasy themes and wanted to make a working clock full of bright fun colours and sparkle. Hope that you like my Alice Clock. It certainly fills me with cheer and makes me smile.

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The theme on this weeks Simon Says Stamp Challenge (Mon) is ‘inspired by a song’ – so I have entered this one. I feel that I am always running late so the White Rabbit Song ‘I’m Late’ fits me perfectly and is appropriately the main sentiment on my clock.

I have also entered it into this months Mixed Up Mag Texture Challenge.

I had an old heart shaped MDF working clock that really needed a revamp. I combined it with the Pocket Watch Kit to create my crazy clock. The kit contains a stand, solid back and frame to make up a 3D pocket watch. Also included are lots of smaller embellishments for decoration – great kit.

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The stand was put together using Black Powertex to coat and glue everything together.

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The open watch frame was coated with Black Powertex.

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The back and outer rim of the solid pocket watch shape were also coated with Black Powertex. The central area was painted with Ivory Powertex ready for adding images. When dry, pocket watch images from a decorative Rice Paper were applied using Easy Coat Mat decoupage medium. The sheet I used does not appear to be in stock at the moment but the Victorian Steampunk sheet is similar. The surface was spritzed with a little Green Bister to knock back the harshness of the Ivory colour.

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I coated my recycled MDF clock with Ivory Powertex on the front, Black on the back. Again Easy Coat was used to add Rice Paper images. You can still see the original painted numbers on my old clock face.

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A layer of Crackle Accents (Ranger) was added onto the clock face images to give an aged crackle effect. When dry, more Green Bister was added to emphasise the crackle (the wet colour seeps into the cracks). Texture was then applied using Easy Structure Paste through the Wonderland Stencil. I dabbed over with a little black Powertex to cover some of the bright white colour. Easy Structure Paste was also used as a strong 3D glue to attach the watch to the stand.

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Rice paper images were also applied to my recycled heart clock. Layers of kitchen paper were applied around the decoupaged images using ivory Powertex to give added texture. I also added Easy Structure Paste through the stencil to add hearts.

Several of the new Acrylic Inks and Paints were used to add colour to my project (Acrylic Inks in Egg Yolk, Tangerine, Golden Metallic, Viola Metallic and Aqua Metallic; Acrylic Paints in Raspberry Sorbet, Orange Marmalade and Key Lime). The inks are gorgeous fluid transparent colours ideal for painting over other colours or patterned papers. The medium bodied acrylic colours are semi-translucent and are great for heavier colour and layering. I LOVE them.

A piece of tree bark was treated with Transparent Powertex. I have had this piece in my stash for years (so it was fully dried out) just waiting for a suitable project to use it on.

The pocket watch frame was glued in place with Transparent Powertex ensuring that it was well centred. Easy Structure paste was used to glue 3D elements onto the base stand. Bronze Powertex was used to cover and colour the Easy Structure Paste where needed. At this stage I checked that the clock hands would be able to move freely around the clock face (once it’s all glued and dry it’s well and truly glued!).

The small MDF heart (from my recycled clock) was treated with black Powertex. I added some 3D Sand and Balls into the wet Powertex for texture. When dry I coloured with Easy Varnish and Interference Lilac Pearl Pigment. Have you seen these new Pearl Pigment colours? WOWeeee! I rubbed over a little Pebeo Gilding Wax (gold) to cover the edges and highlight the texture more.

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Gilding Wax was also rubbed over the Pocket Watch tops and tree bark. A thick greyboard frame and rectangle was coated in Black Powertex to create a table. A piece of lace and scrap of knitted cotton was also coated in Black Powertex to fill in the base of the ‘tree’ and to create the table cloth. I started placing other MDF elements from the Pocket Watch Kit (but not glued down yet).

More colour was added with the Acrylic Paints. The metal clock hands were coated with Jade Patina (Ranger).

….. and yes my craft stash is encroaching inwards – tee hee.

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I continued to build the scene, coating elements with Black or Ivory Powertex then colouring with Acrylic Paints before gluing down with Powertex.

The MDF sentiments and Flamingoes were from the Alice Collection; the butterflies, dragonfly, numbers and spirals from the Pocket Watch Kit. The sentiment plaque was a greyboard piece from my stash. I added some 3D Sand and Balls to the Flamingo wings for extra texture.

A layer of Glossy Accents (Ranger) was applied over some of the painted elements and fine crystal glitter dropped into the wet surface for added bling and sparkle. The piece was then left overnight, propping it in a horizontal position.

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I also added an MDF Heart Flower, Lion, cat and small bird from Mini Hieroglyphs, MDF flowers and leaves plus greyboard flowers (from my stash). The little signposts were made from recycled wooden canvas stretchers and black alcohol marker used to write.

Then I had fun with my dies. Each element was built up using 4 layers of either black or Kraft card and layers glued together with Powertex to make them thick and robust. Coffee Archival Ink (Ranger) was used to stamp the chairs (Sizzix). The cake stand, cupcakes, small cup & saucer, spoon & fork and teapot cut (Intricutz); the larger cup & saucer and top hat (Sheena Douglass); the chandelier (Crafters Companion) were built and glued in place with Easy Structure paste where needed to give added depth. More Glossy Accents and glitter were added over some of the elements.

Finally a little dry brushed colour was added over some of the textured surfaces using Easy Varnish and the Pigment colours (Iridescent Lilac, Violet Valentine, Rich Gold).

I will leave it for around three weeks for everything to fully cure, then finish with Easy Varnish to fully seal everything and give added protection to painted surfaces.

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I’ve popped in some close ups for you. Ooooh sparkly flamingos.

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I am always running late so this sentiment is perfect for my clock – tee hee.

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You can see that crackle texture on the watch faces here.

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Lots of layering and sparkle.

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I absolutely love my new clock. I hope that you love it too, 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

Quilted Floral Tote Bag created for Gina B Silkworks

Good evening. Gina Barrett is back on Create & Craft TV tomorrow bringing back her new Flower Comb Ribbon Ruching Tools. Show time: Friday 13th April at 11am – Freeview Channel 23. You can also watch online live or on catch up via their website.

These are fantastic tools for quickly marking out ribbon with a variety of ruching patterns. Simply stitch along the marked lines and gather to create gorgeous ruched trims and flowers. Gina has also put up a Flower Comb instructional video on her YouTube Channel so you can see how the Flower Combs work.

The show is bringing a great deal on a Mega Bundle that contains everything. Gina’s new instruction book, all the new Flower Comb sets, ribbons, thread, fabric marker and Kanzashi starch. It’s on interest free Flexi Buy too which always helps to spread the cost of bigger craft stash ‘needs’. Individual comb sets are also available on the show or via Gina B Silkworks.

I have had so much fun creating samples for the show and have lots to share today with more posts coming later xxx.

Floral Tote Bag

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I made this floral tote bag using recycled cream curtain lining, curtain interlining and old bed sheets. I love to recycle.

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I dyed the lining using purple machine dye (Dylon). The fabric for the outer was first painted with dilute pink and purple fabric paints, letting the colours bleed together to create a mottled background (Vajello paints from Colouricious).

I then block printed with leaves and flowers (Colouricious blocks) using Vajello paints (purple and deep pink) and Starlight fabric paint (metallic gold). Tip: When block printing it is essential to use a foam pad underneath – the wooden blocks need a cushion to print properly.

Fabics were then heat set with ironing and washed to remove any excess colour.

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The outer panels were laid over curtain interlining (cotton interlining is like a thin wadding/batting) and free machine quilted with beige cotton thread.

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Handles were created by stitching strips together. I used a machine decorative stitch to embellish.

Recycled pink and yellow cotton strips were torn from old bed sheets and further colouring added using pink and purple alcohol ink markers. An alcohol blender pen was used to blend the colour. Colour was fixed with ironing. I enhanced the soft frayed edges by pulling away strands.

I used the Rococo Flower Comb set to create the ribbon flowers and ruched strips. I added a felt circle and seed beads to the centre of the flatter flower. The bell flowers were created by wrapping ruched strips around stamens making a cone shape. Note: the stamens are not really washable but I did check that they did not run colour if dunked in soapy water and wet under a tap. There would be nothing worse than colour running everywhere or transferring to clothes if caught out in a rain shower.

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Finally I stitched it all together. I made the lining panels slightly taller than the outer so that the lining created a border along the top, then top stitched through all the layers to hold neatly in place.

I have one more ribbon flower sample to blog later and it’s a wowzer – even if I say so myself. Back soon xxx

Wedding Pillow Embellished with Ribbonwork Flowers

Good evening. Gina Barrett is back on Create & Craft TV tomorrow bringing back her new Flower Comb Ribbon Ruching Tools. Show time: Friday 13th April at 11am – Freeview Channel 23. You can also watch online live or on catch up via their website.

These are fantastic tools for quickly marking out ribbon with a variety of ruching patterns. Simply stitch along the marked lines and gather to create gorgeous ruched trims and flowers. Gina has also put up a Flower Comb instructional video on her YouTube Channel so you can see how the Flower Combs work.

The show is bringing a great deal on a Mega Bundle that contains everything. Gina’s new instruction book, all the new Flower Comb sets, ribbons, thread, fabric marker and Kanzashi starch. It’s on interest free Flexi Buy too which always helps to spread the cost of bigger craft stash ‘needs’. Individual comb sets are also available on the show or via Gina B Silkworks.

I have had so much fun creating samples for the show and have lots to share today with more posts coming later xxx.

Wedding Pillow

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I made this heart shaped pillow using recycled curtain lining and a pale pink gold foiled organza gift bag that I couldn’t bear to throw away. I love to recycle. Even the stuffing was taken from an old bed pillow that had lost its shape. Everything was well laundered and no-one would ever know that this was made mainly from scraps and junk.

First I made a heart template from scrap computer paper taped together to make a sheet approx 12 X 12 inches square. I folded the paper in half and drew a half heart, then opened out. This ensures that the heart is equal on both sides. The heart template measured approx 11.5 inches at it’s widest X 9.5 inches deep.

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I used the template to cut X 2 each of cream cotton curtain lining and organza plus recycled curtain interling to provide extra stability and padding (cotton interlining is like a thin wadding/batting). I stitched around the heart using a 1/2 inch seam attaching a ribbon hanger to the top and leaving an opening in the side for turning through. I left a wide enough gap to pass my fingers through and make stitching on embellishments easier. The seam edges of the opening were folded in and tacked (basted) to hold the layers together and help stop them fraying while working on the next stages.

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Next I created a couple of ribbon hangers to hold the wedding rings (brass curtain rings in the pic). I used thin gold satin ribbon and attached using small snap fasteners, so that the rings could be easily attached and removed.

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I used some little pink pads cut from felt to reinforce the fastener attachments. I traced the circle shapes from the Leaves and Buds Comb sets directly onto the felt using a soft pencil, then cut out. Circles are always tricky to cut neatly just by eye. These will be hidden under the floral embellishments so stitching did not have to be perfect. Functionality was more important.

I used instructions from Gina’s new Ribbonwork Flowers Book plus the Leaf and Bud Comb set, along with the Rococo Flower Comb set, to create the satin ribbon flowers, buds and leaves used to embellish the pillow.

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I created an array of overlap and doucet leaves following instructions from the book and Comb 36 (Leaves and Buds set). The green leaves were made from ribbon and the gold leaves from scrap pieces of gold foiled organza (from the recycled gift bag).

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Flowers were made using gold and cream satin ribbons, wrapping the gathered strips around flower stamens and stitching into a cone shape (Combs 1 and 3 – Rococo Set).

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Leaf shapes were also created with pink organza ribbon to create buds. These were stitched in place building out from the pillow centre and disguising the snap fasteners.

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Extra ribbons were also stitched in place to create little swags.

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I continued building from the centre outward.

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I created a hand made tassel to finish off the design. The tassel head was created with rolled paper strips using templates printed from Gina’s Paper Lathe CD. A brilliant pattern resource for making hundreds of different shaped tassel moulds and for rolled paper beads too.

I painted the tassel head with gold acrylic. The tassel was made with short strands of cream Cotton Broder left over from another project (most would of thrown these away but I can never waste anything –tee hee). I loved the effect of the varied lengths. Knotting the thread ends added extra interest. I created the loop hanger using macramé.

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The cushion was then stuffed and the opening closed (stitching up by hand).

I hope that you like my wedding pillow made mostly from rubbish.

 

Off to write up blogs for my other samples. Back soon 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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