The sea is my heart, a Powertex octopus

Designer – Shell North

A Powertex octopus. The theme this month is Underwater, this is one of my favourite go to themes I love to create with as I love the sea. Living in Dorset I’m close to the sea and often find myself seeking respite on some of the peaceful secluded beach spots I know of. There are so many interesting aspects of the sea I get inspiration from, the creatures, colours, sounds and textures.

One of my favourite sea creatures are octopuses, they are such interesting creatures, incredibly intelligent and majestic.

So then, it’s decided that in this article I will be creating an octopus sculpture. I chose to work with both fabric and Stone Art clay to get the look I wanted.

Powertex Octopus sculpture by Shell North
Powertex Octopus Sculpture by Shell North

Materials used in my Powertex octopus

Supplies for Powertex octopus
Supplies

Tools

Skill level

Intermediate due to size

Creating the body shape

  • Using wire mesh, create a balloon shape with a skirt, stuff with waste materials (like used gloves) then cover in foil, then cover in masking tape.
Create the body shape
Step 1 Create the body shape

Making the tentacles

  • Wrap 8 lengths of wire in foil until the right thickness for tentacles and then place around main body. Cover and secure with masking tape and curl into shape.
Adding tentacles with wire and foil
Step 2 Add tentacles

Making the eyes

  • Cut the polystyrene ball to make the shape of an octopus eye, attach the eye with hot glue and again to attach to the body.
Craft octopus eyes with polystyrene and plastic craft eyes
Step 3 Add eyes

Covering with stone art clay

  • Roll out the Stone Art clay to 5mm thick, dampen with water and firm in place over the sculpture. Use a pallet knife and a little water to blend any joins.

Adding fabric for the web area

  • Using strips of jersey cotton, work in the Powertex Universal Medium and attach the fabric like a skirt around the mantle. Blend the edges.
Blend the edges of the fabric with the clay
Blend the edges of fabric and clay

To finish the project

While the clay is still wet use the texture sponge to create a texture on the surface of the clay.

Dry brushing

Leave to dry a few hours, then mix powder pigments of your choice with easy varnish and dry brush colour onto your sculpture.

Powertex Octopus sculpture by Shell North
And here’s the finished Powertex Octopus by Shell North

I will probably add suckers on the underneath of the tentacles at a later time, but due to its size over ran with the time allocated (1.5 days).

Top tip

When shaping the tentacles I sat the octopus sculpture on top of the up-turned 250g stone art tub so I could give the tentacles more movement instead of them being flat.

Did you know?

Octopuses have 3 hearts? Really does make them the heart of the sea!

Well I hope you enjoyed my article this month. If you’re inspired to sculpt with Stone Art clay, catch my Powertex bird sculpture article from Jan.

Well that’s all from me until next month,

Peace, love and octopus hugs,

Shell 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

Secret Art Box Love

True Love in a Secret Art Box- Shell North

February is the month of love so what better theme than ‘True Love’ could you have for this months Secret art box? So I decided to mix it up, take on a challenge and embrace my fears. So I am about to share with you some Secret Art Box Love.

In this article I show my first EVER video demo. But I have to admit I took on a more monumental task than anticipated. This is because it took far longer than expected (doesn’t it always when you learn something new). I was stalled by illness and it’s safe to say I came across more than a few technical challenges. This included loosing files so please bear with me!

When I say monumental task, there are 5 demo videos plus the box opening for you too get your teeth into. But you don’t have to watch all the videos at once. Perhaps come back again and view each video another time. Because this is a article on an online magazine you can view at anytime to suit you.

To start off I’ve decided to share opening my box. This is to show everyone a version of what theses delicious box full of goodies can contain.

The video didn’t turn the right way, so I’m off to a great start :D….However I have several video demos. And if you to bear with my first ever videos I’m sure you’ll still pick up lots of tips or cringe with me 🙂

True Love is free

My first Ever demo is called ‘True love is free’. It was my first inspiration upon opening all of the art box contents. I incorporated it with something I found in a charity shop. Unfortunately my memory card became faulty half way through filming. Because of this the parts where I made the leaves , roses, and where I rustied up the cage, cupid and the key are missing.

Heres a collage of the finished piece

Shell North, The Crafty Little Corner, True Love is Free, Secret Art box love.
True Love is Free

Love Notes

My second make with February’s Secret art box goodies was a journal. I named this piece “love notes’. So if journals are your thing this video demo could be right up your street.

Please excuse the fact that the begining of the video was lost due to a corrupt memory card so this is halfway through.

I used a variation of textured wall paper and stenciled images on the MDF hearts using Easy Structure. Next all items were coated and attached using Ivory Powertex fabric hardener. After drying with a hair dryer I then painted the whole journal in Secret art loft Raspberry acrylic Ink.

Here is the finished journal.

Shell North, The Crafty Little Corner, Love Notes, Secret Art Box Love
Love Notes.

Love Actually

Next on my agenda was the Pendant. I called this the ‘Love actually pendant’. Because after editing the video it became apparent that I use the word actually an awful lot (cringe!!!)

…and here is the finished piece

Shell North, The Crafty Little Corner, Love Actually, Secret Art Box Love
Love Actually.

Bee Mine

So I’ve been a busy bee as you can see, oh dear, I now have bees on my mind. My next creation was inspired by the other half heart and the sunflower mould that came in the box.

Once the heart was covered in sunflowers I wanted to incorporate bees for some reason?! I named this one unsuprisingly ‘Bee mine’. This took me further out of my comfort zone, can you guess why? But it may be your thing? Watch and find out!

Here’s my Bee-utiful finished ‘Bee mine’ canvas

Shell North, The Crafty Little Corner, Bee Mine,
Bee Mine

Reflections of love

To finish off the month of love, I came to be inspired for this creation by my partner. We were discussing how busy\stressed I’ve been when I should of been resting. How maybe I need to ‘reflect’ on my needs by not taking on too much. Or taking what could have been a small task and making it a monumental one….now distracted from the said conversation by one word…..Reflect…….yes….my mind pinged with my last creation. Watch now to find out.

Here’s the finished treasure.

Shell North, The Crafty Little Corner, reflections of love, secret art box love
Reflections of Love

Well thats it from me, what a journey this article has been. Despite my reservations I’m glad I faced my fear of videoing and working out of my comfort zone. I hope I’ve inspired you to create something unique. To do something out of your comfort zone with crafting or perhaps inspired you further to order next month’s Secret art box.

If you have any questions from products to techniques. Or you would like to make something similar to the projects in this article. Please don’t hesitate to send me a message at The Crafty Little Corner.

That all from me, List of items with links used right at the end.

Don’t forget to leave a comment.

Peace, love and video blog shenanigans

Shell 🙂

Red Powertex fabric hardenerlead grey Powertex fabric hardenertransparent Powertex fabric hardenerIvory Powertex fabric hardeneryellow ochre Powertex fabric hardenerpolystyrene heartembellishmentsMDF keyAngel cast embellishmentrose mouldsrust powderred ochre powercolor pigmentEasy coat varnishstone art3D flex, MDF hearts, MDF heart flowersMDF journalMDF name plate, Raspberry acrylic ink, white powercolor powder pigmentlipstick fizz SAL powder pigmentTerra-violet colourtrix powder pigmentparty pearls pigment pigment trayviolet valentine SAL pigmentSilver colortrix powder pigmentsunflower moulddaisy mouldspansy mouldsegg yolk acrylic inkpalm leaf acrylic inkvictorian papersEasy coat mattpink flamingo SAL powder pigmentterra-green colortrix powder pigmentbronze gold colortrix powder pigment,  heart rice paper.Edit”True love in a Secret Art Box-Shell North”