A Winter’s Tale – Nostalgic Powertex

By Donna Mcghie

My prompt for this month’s Powertex article was A Winter’s Tale.  The festive season is fast approaching and my mind wandered back to those seemingly halcyon days of Christmas’ past.

Nostalgic Powertex Christmas tree by Donna Mcghie tells A Winter's Tale
I just love the retro look of these Christmas Rice Papers

Obviously memory plays tricks on us all, but for me, nothing beats a bit of nostalgia at Christmas. I fell in love with the retro look of the Victorian Christmas Rice Papers, the style of the images really made me smile. 

However, rather than making me think of all things Victorian, for me they conjure up memories of the early seventies.  Lots of gaudy tinsel and Slade blasting out Merry Christmas on Top of the Pops.

I decided to attempt to create a wall plaque that captured some of that seventies atmosphere. 

So grab yourself a snowball to drink, (or something non alcoholic from the soda stream if you prefer), and let’s  have a bit of festive fun with Powertex.

I deliberately chose to keep this project fairly simplistic and quick to do.  The reason being is that most of us are frantically busy on the lead up to Christmas, and don’t have much time to set aside for crafting.  Hopefully this little tree can slot in to the timescale somewhere though.

Materials List:

Step 1

Powertex nostalgic Christmas tree by Donna Mcghie - A Winter's Tale
I use a sponge to apply the colour as I find it quicker

Mix together green and white Powertex Fabric Hardener to a pale green colour. Sponge over your tree shape and allow to dry. You can use a hairdryer to speed this process.

Step 2

Nostalgic Christmas tree, Donna tells a Winter's Tale
By adding stone art we are starting to build some texture

With a flat brush apply Easy Varnish where you want to place the images. Then gently put them in position and brush over them again with the varnish to seal. Add some more hardener in various places and whilst damp gently dab on some Stone Art.

Step 3

A nostalgic WInters Tale with Powertex by Donna Mcghie
When adding the ink, protect your images with paper.

Using a small pallet knife scrape some Easy Structure downwards to give the impression of branches. Blast with a dryer, and then add some Acrylic Spray Ink.

Step 4

Powertex nostalgic A Winter's Tale by Donna Mcghie
The darker Bister adds some depth

Now add more branch shapes with Easy Structure, dry and spray with the Bister.

Step 5

If the pigment does not show up enough, you can add white fabric hardener as well

Now mix a small amount of white pigment with easy varnish, load a flat brush, wipe off on paper towel, and gently sweep over your tree segments. Gradually building up the intensity until it looks like snow.

Step 6

A Winter's Tale Powertex project by Donna Mcghie
A sprinkle of glitter, and we are done

A final flourish of glitter and we are done 🙂 I like to use a very fine bio degradable glitter as although we’re going for a seventies vibe, it’s good to use current sensibilities about sustainability.

I decided to add a simple star on the top but obviously if you decide to make one you can bling up your tree with whatever takes your fancy.

That’s my lot for 2019 folks. I have really enjoyed sharing my makes in these articles and have equally enjoyed seeing what you share with us on our Facebook page, so please do pop over and share any of your nostalgic makes.

I’ve been making lots of other festive decorations which you can see on my own Facebook page here.

The other design team members have been busy as well. I particularly love Fiona’s Christmas star from last year.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone, and here’s hoping you get lots of Powertex goodies in those stockings 🙂

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

Venetian Carnival Canvas

The Secret Art Box – July 2019

Designer: Gill Goldsmith

This month’s Powertex Secret Art Box was full of wonderful Venetian Carnival themes and there was so much to play with. From the gorgeous lace and MDF masks to the Venice themed rice paper and the Fleur de Lys mould from ArtyCo. I couldn’t wait to get creating my Venetian carnival canvas.

Powertex UK Secret Art Box July 2019
Powertex UK Secret Art Box July 2019

I’ve been to Venice twice and think it is a beautiful city, so wanted to recreate the beauty and also the aged feel of the buildings with my piece. An 8 inch box canvas was the perfect size to create my mini work of art.

Additional materials used:

  • 8 inch box canvas
  • Powertex Easy Coat Mat
  • Blue and Brown Bister sprays
  • Powertex pigments in Violet Valentine, Clear gold and Silver

How to create your Venetian Carnival Canvas

Step 1

I painted the canvas with Easy Coat Mat and stuck the paper in position making sure I painted more over the image to help it adhere and protect the surface.

Applying Powertex rice paper

Top tip

A great tip is to wet around the edge of the image you want on the paper with a wet paintbrush. The paper will tear easily and give a textured edge.

Step 2

Next I created more texture on the canvas by mixing the Easy 3D flex, included in this month’s box, with the white Powertex, also in this month’s box.
Mix it until the clay spreads easily. Apply with a palette knife to the top and bottom corners to give the Italian stucco plaster effect.

Easy 3d Flex texture on canvas

Step 3

You could allow this to dry naturally but I sped up the process with a hairdryer. This gives a lovely bubbly texture.

Step 4

Using the white Powertex I painted the large mask. Dip the lace pieces in Powertex, making sure they are covered but not saturated.

Step 5

I worked on the large MDF mask using the various lace pieces included in the kit, and the MDF flourish and moulded flourish. Use White Powertex to stick it to the canvas.

White Powertex venetian carnival mask on canvas

Step 6

I created an air dry clay fleur de lys from the Artyco mould and added to the canvas.

Step 7

I removed the Venice wording from the MDF carrier sheet and used the negative image on the canvas.

Ensuring it was coated in the Powertex and then adding embellishments from my own stash of paper flowers, corners and charms.

White Powertex venetian carnival mask on canvas

Step 8

When completely dry, I sprayed it liberally with blue and brown bister. Don’t panic if you feel you’ve sprayed too much bister, you can wipe it back so it’s not so dark.

Adding Bister colour to Powertex mask

Allow this to dry thoroughly, before you highlight the piece with dry brushing.

Step 9

Finally once this was dry I could use my Pearl Red Pigment, Turquoise pigment and the Plum Pudding Acrylic Paint and varnish included in the kit.

This is where the piece comes to life, as you dry brush each area of detail and see all the texture emerge.

I also used violet valentine pearl pigment, clear gold and silver pigments from my stash.

Tutor Tip

Use a tiny amount of varnish, about the size of a 5p, and dip your brush into the varnish then lightly into your pigment. Work this on your brush and then take the excess of colour off on a cloth or kitchen paper before lightly stroking the brush across your work. The art of dry brushing is a dry brush, light strokes and build up the colour.

Powertex Venetian carnival canvas by gill goldsmith

I hope you enjoyed this project and that you will give it a go yourself. Please share your makes in The Powertex Studio and The Secret Art Box groups as we love to see what you create.

My last Secret Art Box project was an underwater theme in May. I’m a Powertex tutor in Kent, UK and you can find out more about me and my workshops at The Powertex Port.

Until next month, Happy Powertexing,
Lots of love
Gill xxx

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