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.

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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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Egyptian Canvas Duo created for Powertex UK

I so enjoyed helping out with samples for the Egyptian themed shows recently on Hochanda – and WOW the set looked amazing with so many wonderful creations from the team. I think that we all had a huge amount of fun. It really did look like an archaeological set.

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I created this duo of canvases featuring Nefertiti and Tutankhamun to tell a little of their story. Although their likeness was well known to me I really had little idea of their history, so I did a little research. I really enjoyed finding out more about these characters and I had so much fun immersing myself into their mystical world when creating these canvases.

I hope that my creative journey gives you some inspiration for your own ideas. There is a full materials list at the end if you need links to any of the specific products used xxx.

The creative journey:

The canvases were first coated with a layer of Ivory Powertex, and the plaster busts with Bronze Powertex.

 

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The textured embellishments were made with air dry clay and small clay cutters from my stash. The Hiero Heaven and Scarabella stamps were pressed into the rolled out clay to add texture. Additional texture added to some pieces using a texture mat, and I made the little snakes using a mould (both from my stash). Strips from corrugated card were used to create pillars. I laid out all my elements to get a rough idea of placement and to assess space left for adding text.

 

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Note: I used an air dry modelling clay that I had in my stash. It is fairly strong when making chunky items but I did find it very brittle when rolled thin. I left it to fully dry overnight and coated it with Ivory Powertex. The Powertex did sink in well (as it remained porous) and considerably strengthened my embellishments. So I was happy to use them on my canvases. However, I would fully recommend using Stone Art Clay if you want hard wearing items, and certainly if you need them to be weather proof (it is designed for this).

Following my bit of historical research I decided on some text to add to my canvases. Nefertiti was the chief wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten who was the father of Tutankhaten (later named Tutankhamun). Originally Akhenaten was named Amenhotep IV but he changed his name when he banned the worship of the old Egyptian gods and instated Aten (Sun Disc – an aspect of the sun god Ra) as the one true god. I therefore depicted the Aten symbol (Sun Disk with rays in gold) on Nefertiti’s canvas.

I used gilding wax around the edges of my canvas and on the Sun Disc (Atan) and gold relief paste to create the Atan rays.

Nefertiti was also known as ‘the beautiful one has come’ (translation of her name) and ‘the lady of the two lands’ – I included this in the gilded text.

Nerfertiti may have ruled for a time as Neferneferuaten, and for a short while alongside Tutankhaten (later named Tutankhamun) but there is some debate on this. She disappeared not long after her husband’s death and it is unsure where her body lays. Although interestingly there is some evidence that she may be in a secret chamber behind the tomb of Tutankhamun. Still a mystery.

Tutankhamun became king when only a boy (‘boy king Tut’) and as mentioned above he was originally named Tutankhaten (‘the living image of Aten’). After the death of his father there was an uprising and the old gods were eventually reinstated. He reinstated Amun-Ra (fusion of the gods Amun ‘the hidden/invisible one’ and Ra the ‘sun god’) and changed his name to Tutankhamun (‘the living image of Amun’). There is a lot of debate around the identity of his mother but it is fairly certain that she would have been a close relation to Akhenaten (sister or cousin, maybe even Nefertiti?).

I hope that I am not boring everyone with history but I found it all fascinating (but also very confusing with all the name changes and the various gods worshipped at the time).

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The sentiments were printed on a laser printer (copy paper) and foiled with gold sublimation foil using my laminator. I stamped over the background using Memories Ink and the Hiero Heaven stamp. I then scrunched up the paper and further aged with distress inks.

The background textured paper and sentiments were glued to the canvas using Easy Coat.

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The card pillars were coated (back and front) with Black Powertex. Bister was used to add depth to my textured embellishments. I also mixed various Powercolor pigments into Ivory Powertex and rubbed over the top of the embellishments to give the effect of faded chalk paints.

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Elements were glued in place using Powertex and a little Easy Structure for some of the more uneven textured pieces. A little Easy Structure paste was also applied with a palette knife for filling and more texture.

A little Ultramarine Powercolor was mixed with Ivory Powertex and painted into the crevices of the pillars. Gold Colortricx pigment mixed with Easy Varnish was dry brushed onto the surface ridges.

The busts were also coloured with gold varnish, applied fairly liberally for an opulent effect. Where I wanted areas of strong colour (blue, red, green) I applied a base of Ivory Powertex first and then painted over with coloured varnish. Black Powertex was painted into the eye area.

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Materials:

The End–Halloween Mixed Media Canvas created with Powertex

I just love a bit of Halloween Fantasy. Have you seen the FAB new stencil – ‘The End’ – from Powertex? Perfect for Spooky makes.

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I used Easy Coat decoupage medium to apply stamped images from the Chocolate Baroque ‘Texture Fragments’ to the background. I also used Easy Structure Paste applied through the stencils and some onto the background and impressed with the stamps for added texture.

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No fabric was included in this one but I used a lot of paper cut shapes treated with Transparent Powertex; great for stiffening, gluing and sealing the embellishments.

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I hope that you enjoy my spooky scene.

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Materials Used:

  • 30 X 22.5cm stretched canvas
  • 30 X 30 cm Stencil (The End)
  • Powertex Hardener (Transparent and Ivory)
  • Easy Coat Mat Medium
  • Easy Structure Paste
  • Bister (Green and Yellow)
  • Chocolate Baroque Stamps (Texture Fragments)
  • Brusho Powders (Lemon and Leaf Green)
  • Alcohol Markers
  • StazOn Inkpad (Jet Black)
  • Gilding wax (gold)
  • Tissue paper, card (white and black)
  • Electronic cutting files were used to cut the bats (Silhouette), spiders (JM Rush Silhouette Store) and ferns (Tattered Lace Brother ScanNCut USB). The skeletons and vines (Sheena Douglass), and Pumpkin (Sizzix) were cut using dies.

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).