Craft foam – Made for altering

by Annette Smyth

Hello everyone

By the time you are reading this the Yuletide season should be in full swing. I’m sure, by now, you will be ready for a little escapism with your crafty stash.

Powertex Picasso art by Annette Smyth
Powertex art by Annette Smyth

Did you manage to catch Tracey Evans on Hochanda on Thursday 21st November? If not click here to watch her on Rewind.

Tracey introduced a crafting foam substrate which works beautifully with all of the Powertex product range. Available on the Powertex website in 2 sizes – 30cm x 30cm or 15cm x 15cm both 5cm deep.

Altering craft foam

This craft foam base is crying out to be altered. Using files, rasps, old carving knives, scissors and other mark making tools, you can change the shape anyway you choose. I also tried using a hot wire cutter (designed for home use). However the density of the foam made this a more difficult option.

Keep all of the bits that fall off. Mix this into your Powertex later and reapply to the base to give even more texture.

Here are a few examples of how you could use the foam …..

Powertex craft foam art clock by Annette Smyth

Example one

Here the foam would be fashioned into a more circular shape before using the files etc to breakdown the edges to give a more worn stone effect. This piece has bronze Powertex Universal Medium, Stone Art, Yellow, green and brown Bister and is finished with matt and metallic pigments and Easy Varnish. The flourish and clock face are MDF and are available here.

Powertex craft foam clock by Annette Smyth

Example two

In this sample I drew out the shape I wanted onto scrap paper then used this as a template to draw around on the craft foam before cutting. I used white Powertex Universal Medium and Stone Art for the base and Stone Art clay in the Bee trio, Queen Bee and Ivy leaf moulds. The piece was then sprayed with yellow, brown and green Bister before being finished with pigments and Easy varnish.

Powertex craft foam Picasso art by Annette Smyth

Example three

In this piece, based on Picasso’s work, I again drew out a template on paper before transferring it to the foam and cutting. Use 2 pieces of 30cm x 30cm foam pieces for the elongated style.

This piece was achieved by using an extensive range of techniques and colourings across the full Powertex product range. Using White Powertex Universal Medium and the Acrylic Ink Sprays gives you a more vibrant colour scheme to work with.

Well that’s all for this year folks. I hope you have a Happy Yuletide season and look forward to creating with you again next year.

Until then please post any of your makes into the Powertex Studio group on Facebook. If you would like details of my workshops please visit my website here. Read more about my Picasso inspired art in this article.

Happy Creative Adventures

Annette xx

Nature inspired Powertex painting

By Shell North

For this article I was asked to talk about my favorite artist. I have lots of things around me like nature that inspire me but rarely a well known artist.

I was inspired to push my Powertex canvas work further a couple of years ago by fellow Powertex tutor and artist Rosie Casselden. This was my first piece with Rosie in her studio with a little guidance.

I had never braved painting detail before so it was a big thing to me, but wow did it opened doors to floods of ideas. So I would say Rosie is definitely a favorite artist of mine that inspires me.

Powertex nature painting art by Shell North
‘Natures strength’ (spring edition) Powertex mixed media canvas by Shell North

I started painting fauna and flora but with a mixed media twist, using textures and random items such as shirts.

Powertex painting mixed media canvas by Shell North inspired by nature
‘The Dandy-lion’ Powertex mixed media canvas by Shell North

Upon sharing this to the Powertex studio group there was a comment “Elfie Cella does some amazingly inspirational work”. She does some textural nature art using textiles and everyday objects. Here is some of her work, which has become my inspiration.

How to make a nature inspired Powertex painting

Materials list

Step 1

Plan your scene, starting by draw a den around where the foxes go and adding a grass line, tree and moon out line. Add X’s where the very high textured area will be.

Draw out the scene fro your nature painting

Step 2

Paint around your napkin image with a paint brush and water and then tear away the excess napkin, remove top layer.

Step 3

Coat the fox den with a layer of Easy coat. Carefully place napkin image on top then coat another layer working from the middle outwards. Once dry add another coat.

Coat nature napkin scene with Easy Coat Mat

Step 4

Paint the areas that require texture thickly with Transparent Powertex, sprinkle with art balls, stone art powder and 3D flex and add fabric with Transparent Powertex.

Finally sprinkle stone art along higher ground.

Tip: Dust off any loose bits when dry. Also note that you don’t want balls in the higher ground area as it will make harder to paint any roots later.

Add textures with Powertex

Step 5

Spray all the texture with Brown and Black bister, avoiding the foxes. Dry with hair dryer.

Step 6

Using Paynes grey acrylic paint and a little water on your wash brush, paint the night sky, avoid the tree and moon. While wet, dab with a scrunched piece of tissue roll and leave to dry.

Step 7

Using a mix of different shades of white and paynes grey, create moon shades by stippling. Add very watery white around the moon for its aura. Finally using a fan brush flick white over the sky for stars.

Paint the sky with acrylics for this nature inspired painting

Step 8

Use the pre-made brown stone art clay, sculpt around the tree outline, paint the thinner branches with brown acrylic.

Use clay to create a tree on the canvas for a nature Powertex painting

Step 9

Now add all the detail such as grass in shades of green and yellow, roots shades of browns and white mixed, branches and bark in shades of browns.

To finish dry brush the dirt textured area with various shades of light brown to off white acrylic paint.

So here’s the finished piece….

Shell North nature Powertex painting on canvas
Sleeping fox cubs by moonlight’ Powertex mixed media canvas By Shell North

I hope I’ve inspired you to push your canvas work in a different direction. If you would like to have a go at this or something similar you can contact me on my website at The Crafty Little Corner or take a look at my other design team projects.

Well that’s all from me this month, see you again in the days running up to Christmas for my last blog of the year!

Peace, love and cosy fox cub cuddles

Shell x

Starry, starry night

Designed by Jinny Holt

This month we were asked to create a piece, inspired by one of our favourite artists. Not an easy task for me as I have quite a few to choose from, Georgia O’keeffe, Vincent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, to name but a few. Then there are artists who I admire and inspire me such as Anna Emelia Howlett from Rosehart Studio, Kore Sage from Kore Sage Art and to be honest the rest of the design team, decisions, decisions!

Starry, starry night

In the end I chose Vincent Van Gogh as the piece I chose to recreate I have always loved from a child and I also love the song by Don Mclean.

I wanted to push myself and try and recreate Vincent’s famous painting “Starry night”, now it was not going to be a straight paint job, that would be too easy. So, I set about thinking how I could achieve a similar look and others knowing who I was doing.

How I created my art piece

Materials List

Painting my canvas

I started by applying a wash to a medium sized box canvas using the blue pigment powder. A few key elements to my canvas were marked out first.

I decided to use Easy 3D Flex as a texture paste, to create the look I desired. For this, mix together the Easy 3D Flex and some Ivory Powertex into a thick cream like paste. Using a palette knife, I added this to the canvas and used an embossing tool to drag through the Easy 3D texture paste to create a similar look to the famous painting.

I left the canvas to dry.

Starry night Powertex canvas by Jinny Holt

Applying the paint

Did you know that you can use Powertex pigment powders as a watercolour? especially if a piece is not going outside.

Use the bigger brush to painted the whole canvas with the blue and let it dry. With the detail brush, paint the yellow stars, mixing with a little white for highlights. I painted the bottom piece with the green for the hills and dry brushed white over the texture.

I then added blue and white tiny dash lines in the lower parts of the texture, this took a little while to do but I personally find this therapeutic. Add brown highlights to the centre part of the canvas and dry brush the whole piece with white to finish.

Starry, starry night by Jinny Holt, Powertex  art
Starry, starry night by Jinny Holt

Are you inspired?

I do hope you enjoy reading the articles of this Powertex online magazine and I do hope that myself and all the DT members inspire you to create with Powertex yourself. If you are inspired by Van Gogh too take a look at Donna’s art too. You can always come say hello over at at THE POWERTEX STUDIO on Facebook, or you can find hours of inspiration here on PINTEREST . You can get all your goodies you need over at POWERTEX.CO.UK.

If you would like to check the latest things I have made, you can also find me on Facebook at MUMS SHED and on Instagram at JINNY HOLT.

So until next time creative people,

~LIVE~LOVE~LAUGH~CREATE~

Jinny

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

Festive Powertex decorations

If you love to make seasonal decorations then this article is for you! From tree decorations to door wreaths, we’ve got ideas for your Powertex festive decorations.

Patricia Williams Powertex Wreath
Powertex Wreath by Alex Henry Mixed Media

Supply ideas for your festive decorations

Jacqueline Frances Butler Powertex Wreath
Wreath by Isalei Craft

TOP TIP: If you’d like to create something for outside like a door wreath, use Powertex Universal Medium. Remember your makes will need 3 weeks curing time before they are weatherproof.

Michele Brewer Christmas Reindeer Powertex Decorations
Reindeer by Creative Power UK

Try MDF, card or polystyrene shapes as a base

Use Powertex Universal Medium to coat fabric and embellishments to decorate an mdf or polystyrene shape or cardboard gift boxes. Create trees, baubles, wreaths and more.

Karen Hewitt Christmas Baubles Powertex
Tree baubles by Inky Escapades
Christmas tree by Jinny Holt Powertex
Christmas tree by Mums Shed
Christmas tree by LoveKnott Creations
Irene Snow globe Powertex
Snow globes by Purrfect Crafting

Festive sculptures

Donna Mcghie Three KIngs Powertex
Three kings by Donna Mcghie
Powertex clay penguins Donna Mcghie
Powertex clay penguins by Donna Mcghie
Rachel Pullen Powertex Christmas Santa Gnomes
Christmas gnomes by CraftmyDay

Crack open the Red Powertex for a bright base and use Gold pigments or inks for a festive finish.

Jinny has an article about making Christmas baubles and you can pop over to Facebook Powertex Addicts and join the group for more inspiration. Share your makes there too!

There are also two tutorials on offer, available on the website to get you started.

Enjoy making your Wintery creations.

Van Gogh Inspired Powertex

This article is about how my favourite artist influences what I create with Powertex. Gosh, making this choice was as tricky as choosing a design from one of my fellow Powertex design team members. The main three artists I whittled it down to were Vincent Van Gogh, Lucian Freud and Frida Kahlo. 

Vincent Van Gogh style Powertex
Swirly patterns reminiscent of Van Gogh often work their way into my art

“I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say ‘he feels deeply, he feels tenderly’.”

Vincent Van Gogh

All three have very different styles, but each of these artists work, move’s me on an emotional level. To me their work has a kinaesthetic quality to it.  I almost want to dive right into the painting and feel the textures of paint they have layered on. Obviously I hold myself back from doing this as I’m not a fan of getting thrown out of art galleries.

Van Gogh quote with Powertex art
I incorporate some of Van Gogh’s quotes into my art using the Powertex stencils

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

Vincent Van Gogh

Looking back on my Powertex work

When I looked back over my Powertex work, the style of Van Gogh seems to have influenced me the most. Maybe it is because the textural aspect of Powertex works so well for creating those swirling patterns of colour, that can carry add such emotional clout to an image.

paint brush incorporated into powertex journal
I added an old paint brush as it just felt like it belonged in this piece

A while back I did a step by step on how I created a Van Gogh inspired bottle, complete with starry starry lights which you can find here.

I had fun incorporating the twisted willow into this design

“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too.”

Vincent Van Gogh

I have also created a journal using the same techniques.

“It is with the reading of books the same as with looking at pictures; one must, without doubt, without hesitations, with assurance, admire what is beautiful.'”

Vincent Van Gogh

I stumbled across a book of Van Gogh’s letters some years ago, and was blown away by the beauty of his words. He used words just as beautifully and just as brutally honestly as he used his paint brush.

I am a doodler and a scribbler, and never keep my journals clean and tidy. They tend to get lost in the chaos of my studio, and resurface when the time is right for me to use them. But this one is precious to me. This one I never lose.

front and back of my van gogh powertex journal
The one journal I always keep safe and sound

Who inspires you?

Here at Powertex UK we love to see photos of your creations, and to find out who you have been inspired by. Please feel free to share them over on our Facebook group.

If you would like to leave any comments here, they are also very welcome. You can see more of what I get up to over on my own Facebook page.

That’s all from me for now folks, keep on Powertexing and I will see you in December.

My Favourite Artist? …Nature!

Designer: Abigail Lagden

This month, I was asked to write about my favourite artist and how their style inspires/influences my work. Surely this should be quite easy, except the more I thought about it, the more I realised I don’t have a favourite ‘artist’ or even any one particular style I like more than another.

I see art in so many different things, made by many different creative people who may be makers, designers or artists, but may also be architects, engineers or builders. In fact I’m often more impressed by a dry stone wall, a knotted rope or a window display than by traditional art.

However, more often than not, the things that truly amaze and intrigue me, the things that make me stop and think are the things created by Nature. These are the things I feel the need to surround myself with, the things that make me smile and the things that feed my imagination.

I love all things magical and whimsical, and who does magic and whimsy better than Nature? Twisted tree roots and holes in tree trunks; magical waterfalls and still pools of water; mysterious caves that can only be reached by sea…

Hardraw Force, nr Hawes

Texture, pattern and colour

I love textures and who does texture better than nature? Velvety soft catkins; smooth, rounded pebbles; jagged, grooved tree barks…

I love patterns and who does patterns better than nature? The symmetry of snowflakes; the perfect spirals of shells; honeycomb made by bees, the scales on a snake…

I love colours and who does colour better than nature? The bright, fun colours of flowers; the warm fiery colours of autumn; the endless hues, shades and tones of green, the magic of a rainbow…

I love smells and nature does some of the best smells (although it does some of the worst too). The smell of rain after a long dry spell; the smell of wild garlic in the woods; the wonderful fresh smell of honeysuckle…

So, after a great deal of thought, I have to admit that my favourite artist is simply Nature.

Nature feeds my imagination. It makes me think of secret, hidden worlds with mysterious creatures and strange plants. These magical, secret worlds are where my creations come from and I hope this is where they will take people.

See my creations in the Magazine, or come and join me in my Curiously Contrary world of creativity.

Until next time,

Abs xx

Inspired by Buddha?

Designed by – Shell North

One thing I love about being a part of the design team is getting asked to do pieces for upcoming Hochanda shows. Being a part of such a great team keeps me focused and gives me a huge sense of purpose. Eager to get creating and inspired by the Buddha kit, I knew exactly what my mind was being inspired to bring to life. I put my whole heart and soul into creating it.

My creative process

I created a scene of tranquility, calm, love and peace with the items I had been asked to use. For this piece I sat peacefully and envisioned creating textural scenery of bamboo, blossom trees and mountains, a place I could imagine Buddha sitting in contemplation.

Being unique

Use paperdecoration to cut out bamboo shapes and the main part of the blossom tree. Use mixed Stone art powder into a spreadable paste for the textural mountains and water. Utilise small and medium art balls for the blossom on the tree. Instead of using just the red Powertex universal medium as it’s stand alone colour, I mixed it with ivory Powertex to create the pink blossoms. I wanted this piece to show the unique and limitless ways you can use Powertex products.

If at first you don’t succeed, take a moment to walk away!

Sometimes, when you envision an idea in your head, it doesn’t quite come out as you imagined. Nearing the end of the piece, I actually didn’t like what I had created and had to walk away. In fact I wanted to throw it in the bin!

I cleared my head and looked at my work with a new perspective. I removed a part of the piece that wasn’t right by scraping away part of the blossom trunk and started that bit again. A clear mind was what I needed to feel more content with my piece.

and here it is…

Powertex temple inspired by Buddha project pack by Shell North
Powertex Buddha temple by Shell North

I hope you enjoyed this this article? Please do leave a comment below so we know you love what we are doing for the love of Powertex.

Feeling inspired and want to come and create one of these with me? Look at my website to see when the next course for this is being held at The Crafty Little Corner.

With the clocks going back in a few days here’s a link to my article last month, my Powertex clock. Also please do check out other design team members blogs like this rusty letter piece by Kore.

Anyway that’s all from me,

Peace, love and tranquil crafting.

Shell x

Dreamcatcher on The Darkside

Designed by – Patricia Williams

The brief for this article was to recreate a piece by one of the other DT members. I pondered long about this looking at previous blogs. Then I was inspired by Shell North, she did a rather beautiful dream catcher. Me being me of course it was not going to be light and elegant as Shell’s oh no, we are taking a walk on the dark side.

Dark side dreamcatcher with Powertex by Patricia Williams
Dark dream catcher by Patricia Williams

I started by collecting all the materials and items I would need to work on my project.

From my stash:

  • Mdf dream Catcher
  • A plaster skull
  • Feathers
  • Skull beads & Roses

How to create my dark dream catcher

DRea catcher mdf

I coated it all with black Powertex first and fixed the skull to the dream catcher. I sliced it in half and using Easy Structure texture paste, fixed the skull back together. Fixing it either side of the centre hole of the dreamcatcher, makes it look as if it’s pushing through. Definitely looking spooky at this stage.

dream catcher mdf

Using paper decoration, I had soaked in Powertex I arranged it around the skull and pushed the skull beads in. I liked the look of this.

I added a few foam roses I had around the large centre skull and tucked some black feathers in behind. Sprinkle some sand and balls to add extra texture, we can never have to much texture can we?

Dark dream catcher with skull and feathers by Patricia Williams

I left it to dry overnight before getting onto the dry brushing. A wonderful stage where you see all of that yummy texture coming to life. I used silver Colourtrix keeping it simple, that’s the beauty of this stage you can add as much or as little colour you wish, its all personal taste.

The final touch was to add black ribbon to hang on the hearts and my remaining skull beads.

Dark dream catcher with Powertex by Patricia Williams
Dark dream catcher by Patricia Williams

I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and are inspired. Create a unique dreamcatcher of your own, it could be light and delicate like Shell North’s, on the dark side or anywhere in between. I usually work on the dark side but I do also splash the colour at times.

You can see more of my work at Alex Henry Mixed Media Artist on FB or see my roses project on the magazine. Don’t forget to post your makes on The Powertex Studio. Till the next time xx

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