Fantasy Pine Scene Canvas created with Powertex

I had so much fun creating this pine cone scene.

AW Pine Scene Canvas

 

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).

 

AW pine cone jewellery 2

 

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

 

AW Pine Scene Canvas cropped

 

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.

 

AW Kanzashi Pom Pom 2

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.

AW Kanzashi Pom Pom 4

 

AW Kanzashi Pom Pom 1

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.

AW Notebook 1

AW Notebook 2

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

AW Notebook 3

AW Notebook 4

 

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

AW Notebook 5

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

AW Notebook 7

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.

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.

AW Nefertiti Canvas

AW Tutankhamun Canvas

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.

 

AW Nefertiti Canvas 4

AW Tutankhamun Canvas 1

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.

 

AW Nefertiti Canvas 3

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).

AW Nefertiti Canvas 1

AW Nefertiti Canvas 2

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.

AW Nefertiti

AW Nefertiti 2

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.

AW Tutankhamun

AW Tutankhamun 2

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.

AW Nefertiti 3

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.

AW Halloween 1

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.

AW Halloween 2

AW Halloween 3

AW Halloween 4

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.

AW Halloween 6

I hope that you enjoy my spooky scene.

AW Halloween 5

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.

Daisy Bowl created with Powertex

This was my first attempt at creating a 3D bowl with Powertex. I was really chuffed with the results.

AW Daisy Bowl 2

AW Daisy Bowl 3

AW Daisy Bowl 4

AW Daisy Bowl 1

I recycled an old cotton scarf and used the lovely Daisy Moulds to create 3D embellishments from Stone Art clay.

 

AW Daisy Bowl 5

AW Daisy Bowl 6

AW Daisy Bowl 7

AW Daisy Bowl 8

I also added some 3D Sand & Balls plus a few glass seed beads for more texture.

AW Daisy Bowl 9

AW Daisy Bowl 10

Materials:

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:

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.

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).