Sweet dreams upon a Powertex night sky

By Shell North

I love the simplicity of using something like string or twine and knots to create something magical and unique. Wanting to step away from the full circle dream catcher I drafted a moon with star idea for sweet dreams.

I wanted to use techniques to create vegan feathers with twine. A lot of my past customers have been vegan and dislike the use of animal products so creating an ethical dream catcher was up there on my to do list. Created with a ‘boho’ style making from twine, a recycled lampshade ring, recycled jewellery (charity shop) and Ivory Powertex to make weatherproof for outdoor use.

Powertex sweet dreams dream catcher by Shell North
Dream Catcher by Shell North

What are dream catchers exactly?

Sometimes referred to as “Sacred Hoops”, Ojibwe dream catchers were traditionally used as talismans to protect sleeping people, usually children, from bad dreams and nightmares. Native Americans believe that the night air is filled with dreams, both good and bad.

When hung above the bed in a place where the morning sunlight can hit it, the dream catcher attracts and catches all sorts of dreams and thoughts into its webs. Good dreams pass through and gently slide down the feathers to comfort the sleeper below. Bad dreams, however, are caught up in its protective net and destroyed, burned up in the light of day.

Sweet dreams

Make as a soothing tool for kids! I made dream catchers for my children when they were young. Explaining how these would help ease their nightmares, quite handy indeed.

Call it a placebo effect for non-believers but my children believed what I said and they worked at soothing their nightmares, happy days!

Note – Use real feathers with children however as the twine ones will be slightly shape and pointy when hardened.

Putting it all together

Twine dream catcher for sweet dreams by Shell North
Pre Powertexed dream catcher by Shell North

I made the twine feathers first, using a knotting technique  around a length of twine, next I wrapped the lampshade hoop with twine. Using the standard catcher webbing but didn’t go all the way around so I could create the moon shape. I added a hanging beach wood cut star and then covered everything in Ivory Powertex hardener.

Finally once dry I finished by attaching the junk jewellery and beads I have collected from car boot sales, donations or charity shops. I don’t think I’m going to colour this, I like the simplicity of it. I enjoyed this so much I think I’m going to re-purpose some more broken lamp shades though and create different colours!

Sweet dreams dream catcher with Ivory Powertex by Shell North

Inspired?

Why not try create one of your own sweet dreams and share on our Powertex studio group page on Facebook? We always love to see what you create that’s inspired by our blogs. Also don’t forget to comment below. What would you have done differently? Does this inspire you to create your own? Share your inspired dream catcher in the Facebook group.

Did you like my charity shop upcycles here? Catch my February blog where I used a lot of recycled items along with the Secret Art Box subscription box.

The subscription boxes are exciting boxes of exclusive Powertex goodies that are delivered to your door each month! Don’t miss out on the fun, get yours today HERE .

Well that’s all from me this month,

Peace, love and sweet dreams,

Shell x

Mindfulness Mandala Triptych

Designer: Shell North

In this article I will be showing you how to create a Mindfulness Mandala Triptych. I wanted to incorporate one item as my focal point, the product of the month Easy structure paste. Wood was chosen to work on as this is something I haven’t done for a while. Easy structure works well on any flat surface that’s a natural element such as wood, metal, fabrics. This technique would also look great on an artist’s canvas, a sheet or grey board or wooden box. Even a sheet of metal, a glass pane and so much more could be used.

While looking for inspiration, mandalas came to mind. Mandala is a Sanskrit word, meaning circle. They can be used to focus attention and create a state of mindfulness. A universal symbol of wholeness and unity. The circle mirrors the universe, the movement of the stars, creation, cycle of life and the passage of time.

Mindfulness is often used as a therapeutic technique. It is being present in that moment, but being accepting of our feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations and our senses. Often what brings us into our senses is doing something, but in a mindful way.

I often find myself in a state of mindfulness while creating.


Each person’s life is like a mandala – a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life.


Pema Chödrön

MATERIALS LIST

Tools

  • Various ¾ inch flat brushes,
  • Small plastic pallet knives,
  • Large pallet knife
  • Paper cutting knife,
  • Hair dryer,
  • Kichen roll/paper towels,

*Because Bister spray can stain, make sure the area you work on is covered and protected.*

Step by Step

I selected a series of Mandala stencils from my personal stash and played around with the composition on my Triptych. I decided to add texture around them and a few embellishments to add depth to the piece. 

Creating texture with Powertex Easy structure.

Scrape Easy structure paste through each of the positioned stencils, holding with masking tape where needed. Dry with hair dryer.

Tidy it up.

Using a paper cutting knife, cut down the seams where any stencils overlap between the triptych pieces, so the edges are tidy when separated.

Give it a base coat with Powertex liquid hardener.

Using a wide flat brush, give the wood triptych pieces a coating of Powertex liquid hardener in Ivory.

Adding colour with Bister

While the Ivory liquid hardener is still wet, spray generously with 2 colours of Bister, over lapping the colours in the middle. Dry with hairdryer immediately.

Mindfulness Mandala Triptych

Adding another 3D layer

Apply transparent medium to the backs of all embellishments and place in centre of random mandalas. If they over hang, trim with scissors.

Mindfulness Mandala Triptych

Creating 3D flex paste

Using Powertex liquid hardener blue, 3Dflex powder and yellow Bister spray liquid, mix together until a thick ‘dryish’ paste. Adding more 3Dflex if needed.

Creating more texture and interest

Spread the 3Dflex mix between mandalas using a large pallet knife. Spread in one direction to create torque within the 3Dflex paste to encourage cracks!

Getting 3Dflex to crack

Spray over the 3Dflex paste with Bister in co-ordinating colours as before, 3Dflex also needs heat to crack so dry with hairdryer closely on hot setting.

Mindfulness Mandala Triptych

Highlighting

Now everything is dry, drybrush with Powertex liquid hardener-Ivory, this will absorb some of the bister pigment so will darken after a few moments.

Mindfulness Mandala Triptych

I added the finishing touch to this triptych by dry brushing with a mix of Powertex powercolor pigment powder in white mixed with a little easy coat varnish adding the final textural layer to the piece.

Mindfulness Mandala Triptych
Finished Powertex Mindfulness Mandala triptych

Top Tips

  • Have a bowl of warm soapy water to hand to put the stencils in after use so they are easily cleaned as the structure paste dries fast.
  • If you are not getting cracks with the 3D flex, try leaving item for a few hours in a warm place such as on top of a radiator or sunny window sill on a hot day.

Feeling inspired by this Mindfulness Mandala Triptych? Why not try this at home and post your creations on the Facebook Powertex Studio page?
Powertex studio

If you would like to come and learn this workshop find more details to future Triptych workshops here. Or send me a message at The Crafty Little Corner.

We love to hear your feedback so please leave a comment below. Did you catch my last blog? Find it here.

Well that’s all from me for now,

Peace, love and mandala’s Shell 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”

Powertex Small Art Doll

Loving the Powertex Art Dolls by Annette Smyth

Powertex small art doll
Art doll

There are times in your life when you get so excited about starting a new art project that everything else just gets put on the back boiler. That’s exactly what happened when I got my hands on one of the new Powertex small art doll Template. These three new projects are launched on Hochanda on 1st February. They are going to be very popular as they offer a basis for so many styles of work.

I had the Powertex small art doll and straight away knew my girl had to be vintage and full of lovely Powertexture (ooh new word)!

So here’s a closer look at some of the elements in my project

Powertex small art doll
Tree bark effect

The backboard of my piece has a tree bark effect. To get this I used Easy 3D Flex and sprayed it with yellow bister then left it to dry overnight. The next day I used a damp sponge to remove some of the bister. Then drybrushed with Powercolor black and white.

Powertex small art doll
3D faces – plaster and rice paper
Powertex small art doll
Powertex small art doll

I wanted my girl to have a 3D face so I took one of the Powertex medium plaster faces and matched it (by size) to a face on the Victorian rice paper.

I carefully cut out the rice paper face. Applied Easy Coat Matt varnish to both the plaster and the back of the rice paper then carefully married the 2 together. Using a soft clean paintbrush to help push the eyes into the right place. Go very carefully as it is a delicate process.


Powertex small art doll
pigments and wax

On the limbs I used the Secret Art Loft Pearl pigments mixed into the Powerwax. This gives a beautiful blended finish with a soft sheen. The Powerwax is a really great way of adding layers of colour to any of your work.

I took the Powertex quote stencil and used the top quote by Robert Henri. By cutting this down into individual words and phrases I was able to place the words onto the individual areas more easily.

Powertex texture
Structure Paste words and texture

Along with the words, the texture on the wings and headdress were all created with Easy Structure Paste. It holds its shape brilliantly and takes colour really well.

Share you Powertex makes with us

Well I’m off now to have more fun with these gorgeous girlies, but can’t wait to see what you create with these wonderful templates. Don’t forget to post your makes on our facebook page.

Also checkout the blog posts from the other Design Team members – they’re amazing.

Find your local Powertex tutor

And if you’d like to attend an Art Doll workshop get in touch with your local tutor.

Catch my Powertex sculpture project from last month

Did you catch my article for last month, follow the hyperlink for another chance to have a look here. Until next time, Happy Creative Adventures……

Annette

Powertex Medium Art Doll

mixed media powertex medium art doll tutorial

Powertex Medium Art doll – Goddess of Mystery – by Abigail Lagden

Hello and welcome to my latest project! For this one I have used the Powertex medium Art Doll kit with the contents shown below.

Kit contents

I love working with the project kits from Powertex UK. They provide the perfect level of structure to work with and stimulate ideas. But also have the flexibility to put your own style into them. By how you construct them, which other products and embellishments you use and finally how you add colour to them.

As usual, I started by playing with the MDF kit pieces and arranging them in different ways. The picture below shows my initial guide design. As you can see it evolved and changed a fair bit as the project progressed. This always happens to some degree with my creations. So don’t worry that you have to stick rigidly to your first design. It helps to have an idea of where you are going at the start. I find the best results happen when you just go with the creative flow once you start building your piece.

Original design

As well as the Medium MDF Art Doll Kit, I used the following for this project:

First I used Easy Structure through the ‘arty quotes’ stencil to add the words ‘mystery’ and ‘wonder’ to the wings. The thing I love about this stencil is that not only do you have the lovely quotes in their entirety. But you can also just use specific words or phrases from within the quotes. To keep the stencilling clean for single words, I use masking tape to cover the words. Placing around the ones that I want to use before using Easy Structure paste through it.

Stencil masking

I wanted there to be lots of texture in this project. I mixed three different pastes using yellow Powertex with Easy 3D Flex, 3D sand/small balls and Stone Art.

Three pastes

First, I covered the base of the shadow box with the Easy 3D Flex paste. Before using yellow Powertex to attach and paint the sides of the box. I applied the sand and balls paste to the ‘crown’ pieces and pushed them into the 3D flex paste. Then I painted the plaster face with yellow Powertex. Pushed it into the 3D flex paste and sprinkled a few small balls into the box.

Box frame

Next, I worked on the back piece of MDF. Randomly adding areas of the three different pastes I mixed earlier. Creating lots of textures and submerging the MDF row of hooks at the bottom. Then I sprinkled some medium 3D balls onto a few areas followed by some small balls to fill the gaps. Whilst the background piece was still wet, I attached the box frame and the other MDF shape into the pastes.

I smeared a little left over 3D Flex paste onto the princess’ face and onto parts of the crown piece.

Pre-bister

The top piece of the shadow box was painted just with yellow Powertex. The wings were covered with the sand and balls paste.

Wings 1

All of the pieces were then left to dry and/or crack before they were sprayed with brown bister.

Bistered piece

Bistered bits

This was dried and then the bister cleaned back using a damp sponge. Leaving the stronger colour in the depressions, giving more depth to the textures and lightening the uppermost parts.

Cleaned back bister

Cleaned back bister wings

Now for the fun part… adding a little bit of extra colour to bring the piece to life. I wanted this piece to have quite an earthy, rustic, natural quality. I used different blends of light blue, moss green, yellow ochre, lilac and white powercolor pigments. Mixed with easy varnish and applied using a dry brush technique.

Close up 2

Close up 1

The final step was to secure the wings to the front of the frame with powertex. Then the front of the frame to the main piece. I also hung a little metal key charm through the hole at the bottom of the frame.

Close up 3

Powertex Princess Art Doll - Abigail Lagden

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing how I made this piece. Please do share your own creations on the Powertex Studio facebook page. Where you will find lots of inspiration as well as support from our fabulous Powertexing community.

You can also see more of my work on my Curiously Contrary facebook page and on my website. If you didn’t catch my blog last month take a look here.

Until next time, Abs xx