Powertex birdhouse

Designed by Jill Cullum

When given the brief “A Winter’s Tale” to create a blog, there were many things that sprung to mind.  However, my love of everything cute, and recent obsessions with mice, led me to create this Powertex birdhouse.

Materials

Assembling the Birdhouse stand

Assemble the bird stand

Use Fabric Hardener to attach the base to the tile and mdf square (tile at the bottom).

Cut a hole in the bottom of the birdhouse large enough to put a battery operated tealight in.

Decorating the Birdhouse

Decorate the bird house using Powertex Universal Medium

Decorate the birdhouse with fabric, embellishments and 3D balls, using black fabric hardener.

Use Powertex with fabric and embellishments to decorate the birdhouse

Add colour using powder Powercolor pigments of choice, mixed with Easy Varnish to highlight the texture created.

Making the Mouse

Powertex mouse

Cut a hole in the polystyrene egg and fit onto the top of the bottle.  Attach wire to make ears, arms and a tail.

Create a mouse shape

Use tin foil to make the arms, ears and tail fatter and cover over it all with masking tape.

Use fabric with Powertex to create fur

Cover the mouse with ‘fur’.  I used fine hessian for the fur and beads for the eyes and nose.  Dry brush with powder pigments mixed with Easy Varnish.

Decorate the table

Using materials and fabric hardener, create a draped effect over the table top.  Cover the stand with texture also.

Fabric and Powertex fabric hardener for the bird stand

Finishing touches

When dry, add colour to the stand and use Fabric Hardener to fix your mouse in place.  Sit the birdhouse on the top.

Powertex bird house
Powertex bird house by Jill Cullum

To finish I have added a tiny book made with scraps of card and also some rivets on the birdhouse stand to make it look like metal. 

I really hope that you have enjoyed my blogs throughout the year.  It has inspired me to be more creative and hope I have inspired you too.  If you like animal projects take a look at my Powertex dog project.

I would love to see your creations. Please post them here 0n the Facebook Powertex Studio at Powertex Addicts United!

Merry Christmas to you all.  Jill xx

Who or what influences my artwork?

By Jill Cullum

This month I was asked to write an article about whose art influences me. As an artist this made me think and question, am I an artist or a crafter? I have been a crafter for many years and have recently crossed the line from crafter to artist in some of my art work.

Powertex Mixed Media art by Jill Cullum

Colours and nature definitely influence my mixed media art work. I love to blend colours, create texture and experiment with different mediums and Powertex products are perfect for this. 

MIxed media textured art Powertex by Jill Cullum

I love the work of Maria Fondler-Grossbaum (Abyssimo).  Her work has such great texture and depth to it, blending colours and creating beautiful, bright pieces of art.

Mixed media art and craft with Powertex by Jill Cullum, influences by Marta Lapkowska and Kirsty Allsopp

People who inspire others to ‘give it a go’ inspire me along with those who have such great enthusiasm about art and craft. Kirsty Allsopp and Marta Lapkowska are people who I enjoy watching and learning from.

I would love to hear who influences you. What has led you to create pieces of art, maybe a photograph or even a piece of music?

Remember you can share your art in the Powertex Studio or have a look for more inspiration here in the magazine.

Bye for now, Jill x

Cow skull and flowers wall hanging

Designer:  Jill Cullum

When I received the mould for the Cow Skull and Flowers I was immediately drawn to a Native American reservation.  Speaking to a friend she told me it reminded her of the Navajo tribe.  When I searched this I found the colours used in their art and pottery were beautifully vibrant.  What better than to have a lovely wall hanging with a nod to the Navajo art culture.

Materials Used

Preparation

Use Powertex Stone Art clay to make a cow skull and flowers from the mould
Stone Art clay skull and flowers

Using Stone Art Clay and the Cow Skull and Flowers Mould, make a cow and several flowers.  Put to one side to dry.

Dreamcatcher Ring

Dreamcatcher ring
Dreamcatcher ring with paperdecoration

Add texture to 3 of the rings – 2 using Paper Decoration, Light Pink and one with string.  Leave to dry.

Using 2 of the solid circles create a background texture of your choice, with Ivory Fabric Hardener.

MDF Frame and Panel

Mdf frame with paperdecoration
Add textures to the mdf frame

Use Stone Art Clay and Texture Paste to add interest background.  For the front use Paper Decoration Natural with Ivory Fabric Hardener.

Hanger – Make a Branch

Make a hanger
Create the hanger

Use twisted cardboard tubing and tinfoil, adding texture with more Paperdecoration. At the same time secure string in place to use later.

Feathers and Colouring

Acrylic inks to decorate the mdf feathers
Colour with acrylic inks

Using Acrylic Ink, add colour to the feathers and the pre-prepared rings.

Use Brown Bister spray
Spray with Bister

Use Brown Bister to add colour to the Cow Skull and the flowers. Also do this to the centre panel of the MDF frame and branch.

Colour the textures with acrylic inks

Use the Acrylic inks to add colour to the outer section of the MDF frame.

Transparent Powertex to fix the skull and flowers to the wall art
Transparent Powertex to fix the skull and flowers

Using the solid ring from the dreamcatcher kit, fix the skull and flowers using Transparent Powertex.

Putting it all together

Powertex wall art with cow skull and flowers
Powertex wall art with cow skull and flowers

Attach the Skull circle to the centre panel on the mdf frame. Attach more string to the circles and the MDF panel (I used Transparent Fabric Hardener). Finally fix the feathers in place to create your beautiful Navajo Indian Wall hanging.

I really hope you enjoyed this article and it has inspired you to use the MDF, Cow Skull and Flower mould in a different way.

Show us your ‘makes’ here in the The Powertex Studio. We love to see what Powertex Addicts create. If you need more inspiration take a look at this beautiful wall art with a Venetian feel, by Gill Goldsmith.

Get making, be creative, but most of all have fun 🙂 Bye for now, Jill x

Winter Scene with Powertex Snow

Powertex snow scene by Jill Cullum

Designer: Jill Cullum

This month, for my article I was asked to do a ‘remake’ of another design team member’s step-by-step article. I love canvas work and came across this Powertex winter scene by Kore Sage, whilst searching through the vast choice of inspiration. I immediately fell in love with the effects, decision made!

Powertex snow scene by Jill Cullum
Winter snow scene by Jill Cullum

Materials List

As I worked through the step-by-step instructions, inspired by making the initial background of the scene, lots of other ideas were popping into my head.

I started with the landscape and although I have used Stone Art many times, I hadn’t used it with a coloured Powertex before which had brilliant results.

I didn’t have the same window as Kore had so as you can see, my piece is slightly different including an mdf tree. The snow effect is made with Ivory Fabric Hardener mixed with 3D Sand which gives a great texture.

Powertex snow scene

Powertex winter scene by Jill Cullum
Textured canvas art with Powertex

I love to find inspiration in other artists’ work which is exactly what doing this piece has done. I cannot wait to get started on my next canvas, possibly a field scene.

If you like the finished canvas and feel inspired to create something similar, please have a go at using the step-by-step articles on the Powertex UK Mixed Media Magazine. Be inspired by other artists and then to do your own version of it. For Kore’s full step-by-step instructions one how to make a winter scene, please see here.

Bye for now and thank you for taking a look at this month’s article. Have fun and don’t forget to share your work in the Powertex Studio. Jill x

Powertex Dog from recycled items

Designer – Jill Cullum

Powertex is at it’s best when used to upcycle/recycle items we would normally pop in the bin. It is perfect for transforming everyday objects into a sculpture, either for the house or garden.

Powertex 3d animal dog from recycling
Powertex dog by Jill Cullum

When I was asked to make a 3d animal from recycled materials, I began saving all sorts of items that would normally have been thrown out. Unfortunately when I came to start the project Karl had tidied up and thrown it all out! A visit to the loft was called for where I found an old hearth brush. Perfect for a tail – and just the job for a dog.

Animals are not something I make very often, but once started I enjoyed the process. As usual, I learnt quite a lot whilst making this project and am already looking forward to making more.

Materials List

Let’s Create a Dog

Gather your items to make the shape

Materials for a powertex dog
Step 1

After I took the photograph of all my pieces ready to upcycle, I added some old table stands which were ideal to use for legs.

Building the main body structure

building the dog structure from recycling
Step 2

Using masking tape, secure the legs to the hearth brush. Add the pie dishes over the side, using paper/bubble wrap to pad them out.

Adding detail

corrugated card ears
Step 3

Cut some ear shapes and feet, out of corrugated cardboard. Put these to one side.

Eyes

eyes from jar lids
Step 4

Cover the jar lids with masking tape, forming texture as you do this by crumpling it as you press it down.

Putting him all together

Step 5

Secure the eyes and ears to the main body. Cover the whole animal in masking tape. Leaving the ‘tail’ untouched.

Adding the fur

decorating the recycled items with powertex
Step 6

Using Powertex and material of your choice, cover the structure, creating texture for the coat of the dog. Using Powercolour dry-brush your dog.

Finishing touches

I also just had to add some googly eyes to give him some character. He still didn’t look finished so added a piece of lace using red Powertex, to create a tongue.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and it has inspired you to create your own animals. It is good to recycle and as crafters we have lots of items we can use.

Abigail Lagden has a great blog on how to use up old paint brushes to create a lion sculpture.

Let us see what you make by posting them over on the Powertex Studio. Bye for now. Jill x

Crafting with Children

My inspiration for this article about crafting with children, came from looking for wall art for our new studio. I kept coming across a saying by Pablo Picasso – Every Child is an Artist. With summer holidays approaching, what better way to keep children occupied, than letting them loose with some art.

This also got me thinking that children are so free with their creations, but as adults we are so self critical and don’t like to make mistakes. This limits us in our art.

“Every Child is an Artist” – Pablo Picasso

Over the summer get your children to create, and at the same time go back to being a child yourself. A bottle of Powertex Fabric Hardener goes a long way and is safe for children.

Powertex journal by Jill Cullum
Small journal using shades of pink dry-brushing

Materials list

Ideas for children’s Powertex crafts

On your days out, collect mementos. A trip to the woods, park or beach are great places to start. Twigs, pine cones and shells are easy to find. Use them to decorate a small journal cover. Old costume jewellery doesn’t need to be thrown out and we all have a bag of jumble that can be used.

Teach children about textures, let them feel pieces of bark, different shells or broken crockery. Buy a colour wheel and play around with mixing your own colours. The Powercolor pigments can be used with Easy Varnish, but also as a watercolour by just adding water.

Crafting for children with Powertex. Blue journal cover by Jill Cullum
All about the blues

These jigsaw necklaces are so easy to make and what is not to love about them? They can also be made into fridge magnets, a decorated journal cover (which can then be used to record your summer adventures), a small canvas or a door plaque.

Crafting ideas for children. Powertex jigsaw necklace by Jill Cullum
Jigsaw necklace

Crafting with children

Art doesn’t need to be expensive but being creative does need to be fun. No rules, no criticism, and no such thing as making mistakes – happy accidents are often the best pieces we create.

So look forward to the summer holidays and I can’t wait to see what everybody creates. Please share your art work over on the Powertex Studio.

If you need any further inspiration check out all the lovely ideas and step-by-step guides here on the Powertex UK Mixed Media Magazine. Annette also has a family Powertex project tutorial, with an underwater theme. Take a look over at Purple Meadow Arts & Crafts Facebook page for details of our Junior Art Club.

Have a great crafty summer with your little ones, and release your own inner child.

Jill x

Planet in the Night Sky

A fantasy planet

Designer – Jill Cullum

Planet in the night sky in Powertex by Jill Cullum
Powertex Planet in the Night Sky by Jill Cullum

For my planet in the night sky, inspiration came from warm summer nights, sat in the garden, looking out for shooting stars. I decided to try and replicate one of the planets. Hmmm, once started though, my imagination overtook and the finished article became much more magical.

Easy 3d flex makes beautiful cracks and texture. Experiment using different mediums to add colours. Here I have used layers of inks and acrylics, with a final layer of wax.

As you will see from the photographs, things changed along the way. This is what I love about mixed media. Some layers get covered, some peak through. It’s all part of the journey of creating what you love. Just go with it!

The Secret Art Loft acrylics and inks work wonderfully for layering up. Their translucent quality makes blending easy, and the metallic inks look like molten metal.

Top tip

I find it is really important with mixed media, to let each layer dry thoroughly before moving onto the next. Not an easy one for me, as I am an impatient crafter. However, your layers will become muddy if they aren’t dry.

Materials list

Creating a base

Creating a base for the planet with Powertex
Step 1 – creating a base

Pour Powertex liquid colour onto the canvas. Spray with Bister of a different colour then dry with a hairdryer, to create the crackle effect.

Add texture by creating a heavy crackle effect

Adding more texture to your planet base with Easy 3d Flex
Step 2 – adding texture

Mix Easy 3d flex with Ivory Powertex to create a clay. Layer over half of the canvas. Dry with hair-dryer spraying lightly with blue bister during the process.

Creating further texture

Use Powertex and fabric and clay to add texture layers to your planet
Step 3 – creating further texture

Using material, coated in Ivory Powertex and small ‘craters’ made from the 3d flex clay, build the layers of your planet.

Adding colour

Add green colours to the cracked areas of the planet
Step 4 – adding colour

Start by adding green ink to the deep cracked area and violet acrylic to the green side of the planet.

Building layers

add clay craters and shapes to the surface
Step 5 – building layers

Using greens, pinks and purples, layer the craters, blending as you go. Paint the material section with black acrylic, then add layers of metallic acrylic.

Powerwax

Use Powerwax mixed with powder pigment to layer on colour to your planet textures
Step 6 – Powerwax

On the side created by 3d flex, add a layer of Powerwax, mixed with pigment. Once dry, wipe with a damp sponge to add interest.

Finishing Touches

I decided my fantasy planet needed a touch more ‘bling’ so I added a few beads, blending in with the colours I had chosen along the way. The joys of creating a fantasy planet are that you can really be free with your choice of colours and the texture that you create. It’s nice not to be too rigid in your planning, as planets evolve, then so should a piece of art.

Planet in the night sky

Powertex planet in the night sky by Jill Cullum
Powertex planet in the night sky

I am looking forward to seeing lots of new planets, so feel free to share them in the Powertex Studio.

If you would like further planet inspiration take a look at this blog from Annette Smyth. Or why not join me for a workshop to create your own planet. Bye for now, Jill x

The Secret Art Box – May

A Home Under the Sea

Designer – Jill Cullum

A home under the sea Powertex canvas by Jill Cullum
A home under the sea by Jill Cullum

I was so excited to receive my first ‘Secret Art Box’, and I was not disappointed when I opened it.  Full of possibilities to create this article with.  It’s a challenge of being given a box of ‘goodies’ and then creating out of my comfort zone.

Materials List

Inside the art box was a cute fish. I was in my element as my last article was based around my love of the beach. I wanted a different style this time, so with several possibilities in mind, I chose a canvas as my base.

Detail of Powertex canvas

The secret art box fish

Not content with one super cute fish, I wanted two!  With a sharp knife and careful cutting, I sliced the fish in half.  Using the reverse of the canvas I covered the top half with the nautical paper, using Easycoat Matt.  The bottom half cried out for some stone art and brown Bister. 

Powertex Secret Art Box May fish under the sea theme
Fish and clay details

The sea bed was created by adding texture with stone balls, material and clay pieces. The adorable mini ammonite moulds as well as the shell mould in the ‘Secret Art Box’ made the clay shapes.  The fish needed lots of lovely texture, you can really go to town with this, especially when adding colour.  Terragreen pigment works a treat for this theme. 

I love the way things develop as your creative piece comes together and I didn’t really have a picture of the finished piece in mind. It just happened along the way.  I hope you like it and feel inspired to create your own ‘home in the sea’.

Secret Art Box May is a Home under the sea Powertex canvas
Home under the sea detail

For more sea themed inspiration take a look at my last blog here.

I am looking forward to seeing your pieces of art, using the May ‘Secret Art Box’. Please share them at The Powertex Studio on Facebook.

Secret Art Box May Powertex project by Jill Cullum
Finished mixed media canvas by Jill Cullum

A little teaser of my next blog, which will take us from the sea, into the sky! Bye for now, Jill x

Powertex Ammonite Light

Powertex Ammonite Light

Designer:  Jill Cullum

My Inspiration for an under the sea light

This article is very much influenced by my love of the beach. I spent several years with the beach on my doorstep, where I regularly enjoyed early morning walks. And was the inspiration for my Powertex Ammonite Light.

I particularly loved the changing moods of the sea, the smells and a chance to blow away the cobwebs.  I’ve chosen fabrics and materials which resemble netting and rocks. Paper deco works very well here.

I have also used some shells which I have added extra colour to. You can always leave these natural though.  The Powertex stand gave the finished piece some weight, as well as structure and height.

TOP TIP – Have a hair-dryer ready when adding the Ammonites. You will need them to stay in place so that they have space to poke the lights through. This also gives more 3 dimension to your piece.

Materials Used

I chose my materials, cardboard, and embellishments from my stash which included sea shells. I have used sand and 3d ball to create a thick texture for my ammonites, giving them an authentic look.

Building the basic form for the Powertex Ammonite Light

Step 1

Using the stand a base add tin foil to create rocks and shape, covering with masking tape.

Adding detail

Powertex Ammonite Light
Step 2

Step 2 – Added more texture using some honeycomb effect cardboard packaging. Hold in place with masking tape. Cover with fabric hardener. Creating texture for the ammonites.

Creating texture for the ammonites

Step 3

Mix black fabric hardener with sand and small 3d balls. Use this to cover the mdf ammonites. Put to one side until dry.

Bringing the ammonites to life

Powertex Ammonite Light
Step 4




Step 4 – Once dry use Secret Art Loft pigments to colour the ammonites, using the dry-brushing technique.. 

Building more structure

Step 5

Add height and detail using material dipped in green fabric hardener. Blend it over the ‘rocks’ adding height to your form.

Putting the elements together

Powertex Ammonite Light
Step 6

Before the fabric dries, add your ammonites (see top tip above). Add paper deco placed over the ammonites, using blue fabric hardener, for extra detail.

Powertex Ammonite Light

Finishing Touches

I decided to add colour to the sea-shells using Secret Art Loft acrylic paints, before dry-brushing to bring out the texture. Finally I added the fairy lights.

Why not take a look at my last article here, on how to create pastel shades with fabric hardener.

We love to see what you make, so please share your creativity here, at The Powertex Studio.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and that it inspires you to create your own nightlight. A garden theme using wings and flower embellishments would work well too. Looking forward to seeing your own take on how to use fairy lights, bye for now, Jill x


Pastel Powertex Flowers

Pastel Powertex flowers

Powertex Flowers – Pastel Shades

Designer – Jill Cullum

Spring is on the way!

I love Spring – the promise of lighter nights and the garden coming to life with colour. I also love a pretty vase of flowers on my dining table. With this in mind I decided to use Powertex in a different way for my latest article. By creating some pastel Powertex flowers.

Did you know that by mixing Ivory Powertex with other colours, you can create some very pretty pastel shades?  This article shows you how to create a vase of pastel flowers, bringing a touch of Spring into your home, all year round.

Materials list:

Pastel Powertex flowers

Raid your stash

From my stash I found a variety of embellishments, wooden beads, bottle tops and small egg shaped beads to use for the centres. I added small 3D Balls to give the centre of the flowers some interest. Adding delicate lace for the main petals and garden cane for the stalks. I also used some pipe cleaners for the stalks which worked well. Not weatherproof but hardened enough to hold up the flower head, giving great texture.


Designer Tip – Pour your Ivory Powertex out first, then add very small amounts of coloured Powertex. You only need a little colour to create a pastel shade. You can always add more if needed.

Bring your pastel Powertex flowers to life

Working on smaller pieces is sometimes more fiddly. With this in mind it is a good idea to have the hairdryer at hand.   A piece of polystyrene is also useful, so that you can stand your stems in to dry rather than laying them down – helping to keep the shape.

I have mixed Ivory with blue, red and yellow fabric hardener to create the pastel shades. For the stems I mixed Ivory with Green Powertex, one of my favourite colours I mixed for this article. 

To finish the flowers I brought out the texture with dry-brushing in a lighter shade of the same pastel flower colour, adding a further layer of white pigment.

Pastel Powertex flowers

I hope this has inspired you to grow your own Powertex flowers. Please share them with us in The Powertex Studio.

Please be inspired by more of my work in my last article. Find it here. If you like what you see press the star or leave a message in the comment box below.

Well for now I am going to wait for Spring and plan my next article. In the meantime you can find me at Purple Meadow Arts & Crafts. Bye for now. Jill x