Powertex UK Monthly Challenge

The Powertex UK Design Team have created some gorgeous art and craft projects that you find here in the magazine. However, we know that Powertex Addicts everywhere are also being very creative, making some beautiful projects and having brilliant ideas for their Powertex supplies.

So while the design team are taking a break from their blogs it’s time for you to share your creations in the Powertex UK Monthly Challenge!

The Powertex UK Monthly Challenge is back in 2020 and we’d love you to join us!

Every month, Tracey will post a new theme or prompt for us to use and this month it’s an all time favourite! There’s a prize to be won each month too, all the details are below.

January’s theme – Alice in Wonderland

Powertex Monthly Challenge Tracey Evans Wonderland Hat
Powertex Alice in Wonderland Hat
by Tracey Evans

Claire from Powertex UK HQ wrote a short verse to inspire you:

“Drink me! Pots of tea all around

‘I’m late,’ said Rabbit diving into the ground

The Cheshire Cat smiled down at Alice

Roses painted red in the Queen of Hearts palace.”

Claire Ivins

There’s a project for everyone in this popular theme so what will you choose?

Beginners welcome, any style you like

Beginners and more experienced Powertex artists and crafters are all welcome. Just show the team how you create with Powertex and the theme. Be as creative as you like, in any style you like!

A 5% Off voucher for www.powertex.co.uk will be given to a winner each month! Entries will also appear on here in the magazine as a feature in a monthly themed blog to showcase your creative projects.

You can find all the details you need about entering below.

To enter:

  • On the 5th of each month a new prompt will be posted in The Powertex Studio Facebook group.
  • A photo album in the group will be opened on the same day for you to post your entries.
  • Entries need to be posted in the album by 25th of the month when the album will be closed.
  • Entries can be old or new Powertex projects and can be in any style you choose. Please use the theme of the month.
  • Post a good photo of your entry with a description of what Powertex products you’ve used.
  • Winners will be chosen by the Powertex UK team. Please note, prize vouchers can only be given to UK entries.
  • Winners will be notified at the end of the month.
  • Photos of your projects may be shared in a Powertex UK Mixed Media Magazine article about the Challenge.*

If you’d like a bit more inspiration, these Alice inspired creations are by the design team of 2018.

Grab your Powertex and create something from Wonderland! See you in The Powertex Studio with your entry.

*All shared entries will be shared with the creator’s Facebook account name. Magazine articles will be shared on Powertex UK social media channels. If you do not wish your projects to be shared in this way, please do not enter them into the challenge.

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

There’s snow place like gnome

Designed by Shell North

For my last blog I’m reminiscing from 4 years ago when I made my first ever Powertex Gnome ‘Amon the Shaman’. He was inspired by a supposed origins story of Santa, collecting Fly agaric, flying with his reindeer and delivering presents.

My original Powertex gnome seems to have inspired a flourish of gnome making. They are one of my most requested items to make in my workshop schedules. So I decided this, my last article of the year would be dedicated to them.

Powertex gnome by Shell North
‘Amon the Shaman’ First Powertex gnome by Shell North inspired by the legends.

So the legend as I heard it…

*Take this tale as you please, a bit of fun or maybe something to make you think…*

The image as we know

Long before the early 20th century Coca Cola adverts, Santa was commonly depicted as more of a gnome-like little man.

Gnome Santa

As old as tales

The origins of Santa’s style, and his bag of goodies, flying reindeer, entering through a chimney to deliver gifts, Pine tree’s may link way back to the ancestral traditions of a number of indigenous arctic circle dwellers. (He may well have come from the North Pole after all!)

On the run up to solstice the village shaman would go out to gather mushrooms, they would wear a mainly red outfit with either white trim or white dots, in honor of the mushroom’s colors.

The eve of festivities

On the eve of the Winter Solstice the shaman of the village would gather Fly agaric mushrooms. They would use them to travel on a spiritual journey to the (pine) tree of life. The tree of life located by the North Star held the answer to solve all the village’s problems for the coming year.

The Shamans would feed the Fly agaric to reindeer, their digestive systems can filter out most of the toxins. This makes (dare I say it) their bodily excretion safe for humans to drink.

*Warning* Fly agaric mushrooms are seriously toxic for humans to consume. So I am in no way promoting it! Maybe this is where the saying don’t eat yellow snow comes from?!

Solstice celebrations

The legend says that the shaman and reindeer would journey (fly) to the tree by the north star to retrieve the gifts of knowledge. These gifts would then be taken back to distribute to the rest of the village.

Returning home to the village yurt, for solstice. He would enter through the hole in the roof. The hole acted as a chimney with a central pole that held the yurt up over the fireplace. In gratitude for these gifts they would decorate Pine trees with offerings.

So that’s it, the story I’d heard that inspired my original gnome creation

Modern celebrations

It seems that maybe some of these traditions were carried down to the European pagans, taking on elements originating much farther north. Inevitably different cultures influenced one another due to migration and intermarriage, becoming merged with many other cultural traditions that we celebrate differently from one another today.

However you celebrate at this time of year, give thanks for any gifts, kind/wise words. Share precious times with your loved ones, and in your community (never let anyone go lonely). look towards the New year and the light that builds ever brighter from now until summer.

More about gnomes

Of course after my first gnome I loved making them, you can make them for any time of year. Here are a few of my gnomes that have developed over the years

Powertex gnomes by Shell North
Gnomes from top right to left: Amon the Shaman, Dumbledor, Norma,
Bottom right to left: Oakley, Noel, Nose-stradamus.
By Shell North
Powertex gnome by Shell North
‘Nose-stradamus’ the gnome.
My latest up graded gnome with new nose design made from Powertex stone art clay
– He predicts gnome domination 🙂

If you fancy making one of these little guys with me, my next gnome workshop is Feb 1st, find more info here.

Well that’s all from me, thank you for taking the time to read my blogs this year.

I hope you all have many festive blessings.

Peace, love and cheeky gnomes,

Shell x

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