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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Textured Clay Pendant using stamps and Powertex

This was one of my first attempts at making jewellery using clay and Powertex. I used an air dry clay from my stash and rolled it out into a sheet of approx. 5-6mm deep. The headdress area of the Katya stamp (from Chocolate Baroque) was used to impress the pattern texture. The shape was then trimmed out with a craft knife and attachment holes made using a small ball tool.

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After drying this clay was very porous with a slight powdery surface, and was quite fragile if rolled too thin. I added a coat of Bronze Powertex to give it a good base colour for gilding, and with the hope of hardening the clay. The porous clay soaked up the Powertex really well and considerably strengthened the clay. Pebeo Gilding Wax (several different shades of gold) was rubbed over the surface to give an aged metallic finish. I attached a recycled gold plated necklace chain using 0.8mm copper wire.

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I have since experimented with a few different air dry clays (water based paper and craft clays) and their suitability for jewellery making. Some are far too brittle when rolled out to make thinner items, others too light (e.g. paper clays) to make pendants that hang nicely. It is worth experimenting with what you have in your stash. If using to make embellishments which will be glued down onto canvases or cards Powertex is ideal for sealing and making them more robust.

If you are making items for outdoors then Powertex Stone Art Clay is the best option. It has been designed to be weatherproof and won’t crack. Stone Art Clay is also brilliant for jewellery making. It is strong, water resistant, and it is a perfect weight; not too heavy but with enough weight for jewellery pieces to hang well.

Steampunk Travellers Mixed Media Canvas with Powertex

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Oh my goodness – I really enjoyed myself with this Steampunk canvas – I just love to get myself lost a bit of fantasy. I used lots of Chocolate Baroque stamps from my stash (Punky Expressions, Words of Inspiration, Steampunkery, Steampunk Travel, Punky Flowers, Steampunk SeaWorld) and two of the new stamps from Mark Gould (Sailor Jim and The Aviator).

As the theme on the Simon Says Stamp Blog Challenge (Wed) this week is ‘Layer It Up’ – I have entered this one.

I first cut 2 pieces of left over mount board and trimmed them to approx. 25 X 31cm and 31 X 41 cm. The back board was coated front and back with Bronze Powertex. The second board was coated with Ivory Powertex.

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I used a page from an old atlas and glued it to the board using Easy Coat Mat decoupage medium. Note: There are some lovely map themed Rice Papers on the Powertex website.

I then applied some Easy Structure paste through stencils from my stash to create some wave and cloud textures.

Next I applied elements from decorative rice papers (sea themed and pocket watches) using Easy Coat medium. It looks like the pocket watches sheet I used is out of stock but there is a similar Victorian Steampunk sheet available. Tip: draw around the parts of the image that you desire using a water brush or pen, then gently pull away the image from the sheet. This avoids harsh cut edges and the images will blend better into the background.

I also applied a little of the new Golden Metallic Acrylic Ink through my stencils, and onto areas of the pocket watches.

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I next stamped my images using Versafine Ink (Onyx Black) onto recycled tissue paper (packaging). I also stamped some onto white card using Versafine (Vintage Sepia), cut them into little sentiment strips and edged them with a dark brown alcohol marker. The images and text sentiments were applied to the canvas using Easy Coat decoupage medium.

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I added a little colour over the decoupaged stamp images using Golden Metallic and Aqua Acrylic Inks. These inks have a lovely translucency so do not obliterate the image beneath. You don’t need to be super careful with colouring either.

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My characters were stamped onto smooth stamping card using Versafine (Vintage Sepia), cut out and coloured with pencils. I applied Ivory Powertex to the backs to seal them, curving and doming them slightly. I coated the fronts with a layer of Powerwax to protect them. I chose this option as I was concerned that a slow drying wet medium might smudge some of the pencil colouring.

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I used one of the MDF Heart Flowers (approx. 12.5cm across) to make an embellishment for the top. The moulded flower was from my stash. It had been made with Stone Art and Ivory Powertex mixed into a clay and used with one of my moulds. When dry it was painted with Easy Varnish tinted with Burgundy Powercolor, then dry brushed with more varnish tinted with Silver, Rich Gold and Copper Colortricx. The MDF flower was coated with Bronze Powertex and the moulded flower glued to the centre with a little Easy Structure paste. Easy Structure paste and Powertex were used to glue the embellishment to the top of the canvas.

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Black cotton netting was treated with Bronze Powertex and applied to the canvas base and diagonally across the middle. The characters were then positioned and glued down with Easy Structure Paste (i.e. using it as a 3D glue). Care was taken not to smudge the images with paste or Powertex. Any slight mishaps were wiped away quickly with a damp sponge.

I gathered together lots of Steampunk and nautical embellishments from my stash including die cut ship wheels, anchors, gears, swirls etc. I also had a stash of shells created using paper clay and moulds (already coloured with ink sprays). The embellishments were all coated with Powertex (Transparent or Bronze) and glued in place, using Easy Structure paste where needed. I also dropped some 3D Sand and Balls into wet Powertex for added texture.

In addition I used some recycled gear cogs from the inside my finished double sided tape rollers. These are plastic so I used copper gilding wax (Pebeo) to colour the top surface (Powertex doesn’t stick to plastic) and embedded them well with Easy Structure paste and Powertex coated card pieces etc.

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Finally I dry brushed Easy Varnish tinted with Bronze Gold Colortricx lightly over the embellishments to enhance them.

The canvas could be mounted into a 3D box frame to fully protect it from dust etc. It could also be hung directly – perhaps holes cut in the top edge and a string would look quite nautical? If hanging without framing I would advise that everything be fully sealed with Easy Varnish (the characters with more layers of Powerwax); particularly the areas coated with transparent Powertex (coloured Powertex is already weather resistant). It could then be cleaned with a damp cloth (or even rinsed under the tap).

I hope that you like my fantasy creation. I have included a few more pics for more close up views, Anne x.

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Oriental Mixed Media Canvas with Teneriffe Lace and Powertex

I created this mixed media canvas using acrylic paints and various elements treated with transparent Powertex. Powertex is great for stiffening, gluing down and protecting porous substrates such as fabric, card or wood.

 

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The lace elements were my first attempts at making Teneriffe Lace (yes the lace name has 2 f’s – as in the original spelling of the island) using the newly released looms and instructions from Gina-B Silkworks. I struggled a bit with getting my knotting secure at first (until I read the instructions properly – tee hee), plus my weaving and tensioning was pretty uneven too. My technique soon improved but I wasn’t sure what to do with these first experiments. They nearly went into the bin! However, I then thought of Powertex treatment. The lace would be stiffened and sealed so no worry about any of the knotting coming lose.

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The variegated blue threads that I used inspired me to create something with an Oriental theme. Incorporating my ‘imperfect’ lace elements into a canvas was perfect.

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I was really pleased with the results and my lace pieces ended up being showcased very nicely.

Materials:

  • Teneriffe Lace Complete Starter Kit (comes with Looms 1 and 3)
  • Total Trimmings Project Book – Teneriffe Lace (comes with a Heart Loom 11)
  • Strong thread (for the holding threads on loom) and pearl 8 embroidery thread (plain blue and variegated blue) for the lace work
  • Transparent Powertex
  • Card (approx. 230 gsm – white and blue)
  • 12 X 12 inch stretched canvas
  • Gesso (white), acrylic paint (blue) and Starlight Paint (gold metallic)
  • Alcohol marker and PVA pearls (blue) – to colour edges and add centres to flowers
  • Bamboo barbeque sticks
  • Thread wrapped button embellishment, bead and tassel
  • Dies to cut branches and blossoms (mixed brand and Spellbinders)
  • Mandala stencil
  • Rubber stamp (for background texture)
  • Plastic sheeting to protect table and to dry Powertex treated elements
  • 3D glue gel

How it was done:

  1. The butterfly was created on the outer ring of Loom 3. This was a result of a bit of play and trying out the technique. I didn’t use a specific pattern but added darned areas to get a stylised butterfly shape.
  2. The large circular motif was worked on the outer ring of Loom 1 following the design for the Teacup Pincushion Pattern included in the Total Trimmings Book.
  3. The 2 small circular designs were again worked on Loom 1 (small inner ring) using the Lace Button Designs included in the book.
  4. I treated the lace with the transparent Powertex and laid out to dry overnight on plastic sheeting (Powertex doesn’t stick to plastic). I snipped out the butterfly from my circular lace design. I also cut up some of my rough trial pieces to use as extra texture in the background.
  5. The canvas background was painted with white gesso to prime. Rubber stamps were used with acrylic paints to add a little background texture. I also sponged acrylic paint through a mandala stencil to complement the lace elements. Starlight paint (which contains crushed gilding flake) was used to blend in from around the edges.
  6. The branches and blossoms were die cut from card, shaped with an embossing tool, then painted with transparent Powertex. Likewise the fan was created using card and bamboo barbeque sticks. Again I treated this with Powertex.
  7. Flat elements were glued to the canvas with Transparent Powertex. More dimensional elements were stuck down with 3D glue gel.
  8. I also added a thread wrapped button embellishment and tassel. Gina has some wonderful instructional DVD’s and books which are fabulous if you would like to learn these techniques (Making Buttons DVD , Button Workshop Manual, Making Tassels DVD)

Fantasy Pine Scene Canvas created with Powertex

I had so much fun creating this pine cone scene.

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I used some twigs and pine cones from my stash (they must be fully dried out to avoid development of mould), hessian, T shirt fabric, kitchen paper, Sand & Balls and even broken egg shells (fully washed and membranes removed).

 

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The background sky was created with Pebeo Fantasy paints (Moon, Prisme and Vitrail).

 

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Materials:

Mixed Media Kanzashi Pom Pom Flower using Powertex

Today I am sharing another of my Kanzashi flower show samples created for Gina Barrett. To make the flowers I followed instructions for the Kanzashi Hydrangea (from Gina-B Silkworks). Basically tiny 15mm squares of silk are folded up to create little fabric petals. I used the Kanzashi starch adhesive to help hold the petals until ready to glue on and build the flowers. These little flowers are very fiddly so it’s not really the best project for an absolute beginner. A fair bit of swearing was involved here – tee hee hee.

 

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I used Powertex to create a mini vase and to coat a polystyrene ball with silk strips. Powertex is a fabric hardener which stiffens, glues, seals and protects natural fabrics and fibres – great for mixed media work.

I pushed a twisted wire (coated with florist tape) into the base of a small polystyrene ball – gluing with a little Powertex. I then covered the ball with strips of Powertex treated silk and dried before adding the tiny silk petals to build the flowers. I used fast grab PVA to glue them on, and Gemtac Glue to add the centre pearls.

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I used larger silk squares to make sepals and a leaf on the stem.

The mini vase was made with the inner card tube from a kitchen foil roll. I built out the shape using pads of kitchen foil and wrapped with masking tape. I then coated it with Powertex and with strips of Powertex treated silk, and secured the wire into the top. I stuffed the middle of the tube with cotton wool to give stability and a bit of weight. I dry brushed over the texture using metallic acrylic paint and then covered with tiny flowers and faux gems.

I painted the little flowers on the vase with transparent Powertex using a small brush. The fine silk soaks it up easily. I left the leaf and pom pom flower untreated as I liked the contrast in feel and texture.

Materials:

  • Kanzashi Hydrangea Project Card (Kanzashi Project Card Pack)
  • Kanzashi Starch Adhesive
  • Transparent Powertex
  • Polystyrene ball (approx. 1.5 inch diameter)
  • Twisted copper wire wrapped with florist tape (to make stem)
  • Recycled sari silk strips (variegated vintage greens, pinks, browns)
  • Kitchen foil card inner tube
  • Kitchen foil and masking tape (for building out the pot shape)
  • Cotton wool (stuffing)
  • Faux gems and flat backed pearls (pink, blue, pearl, green)
  • Acrylic paint (metallic pink) and PVA glitter glue (green)
  • PVA glue (fast grab/tacky glue), Gemtac Glue (sticks glass, plastic or metal gems & beads to fabric)

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. I would say that tweezers of some sort are pretty essential – especially when making these tiny fiddly flowers.
  • 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. Contains 2 sets of petal holders (for small and larger petals) plus a bigger drying table (for more flowers).
  • Kanzashi Hanabira Ruler – another great tool for cutting small fabric squares. It can be used with a rotary cutter or to draw cutting lines if you are not comfortable with using a rotary cutter.
  • Small rotary cutter and self healing cutting mat. If you are new to using these please take great care as the rotary blade is razor sharp! Always engage the blade safety cover between every cut. Never cut towards yourself, and take care where you place your hands and fingers while cutting.

Aphrodite’s Kiss Notebook Covers

I have been having a little play with the gorgeous Cassiopeia and Aphrodite’s Kiss stamps from Anna Howlett (Rosehart Studios – available from Powertex UK). They are stunners.

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I stamped and heat embossed in black or gold embossing powder and coloured with various gel pens (Sakura and Pentel – glitter, metallic, glaze).

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I used them to decorate a couple of small cheap notebooks – love my newly adorned books now.

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I did a bit of freehand doodling around the edges with a fine tipped marker.

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These are gorgeous stamps simply used in the traditional way. The textures and patterns give scope for so much more too. Great for pressing texture into Powertex clay. Off to have a play x.