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

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 Stone Art Clay Pendant – Abigail Lagden

Powertex Stone Art jewellery pendant

Well, Happy New Year and I hope you had a lovely Christmas.

For my first blog of 2019 I thought I would take a festive left over and re-purpose it into something fun and funky for the new year.

So for this project, I started with an MDF bauble shape, some red Powertex, Stone Art, macrame cord and some texture mats.

Starting point

I began by mixing some stone art clay using the red Powertex and the Stone Art. When mixing small amounts of stone art clay I pour a little Powertex into a yogurt pot, then using an old paintbrush handle, I gradually mix in small handfuls of stone art. I keep adding stone art until the mixture thickens up and starts to pull away quite cleanly from the sides of the pot rather like a dough. It can then be turned out and a little more stone art worked in by hand to get a  consistency a little like polymer clay.

Part mixed clay
Part-mixed clay

Mixed clay
Clay ready to turn out

Once the clay was the right consistency, I rolled it out using an acrylic rolling pin to a thickness of approximately 3mm and a little larger than the size of the bauble. Then I positioned one of the texture mats on top and rolled the rolling pin over the top to impress the pattern into the clay.

Next I placed the bauble on top of the impressed clay and carefully cut around the edge using a craft knife to make a perfect circle of clay.

Bauble cut clay

I have recently acquired some macrame cord and love the simple texture of it when rolled into a coil, so I wanted to incorporate this into my project. To make it sit within the clay I needed to cut a circle out of it, so I used the lid of a fabric conditioner bottle like a pastry cutter to remove a circle of the clay.

Cut out circle

To attach the clay, I painted the bauble with Powertex before placing the clay on top.

Macrame cord was then coated in red Powertex and coiled to fit in the circular hole and also to create a border around the edge. The piece was then left to dry overnight.

Macrame cord added

Once dry, I sprayed brown bister over the clay to enhance the impressed texture and once this was dry I gently used a damp sponge to remove the bister from the uppermost surfaces and reveal the red colour again.

Bistered
Sprayed with brown bister

Cleaned Bister
Bister wiped back

Finally, I added colour by mixing Powerwax with yellow ochre, orange and moss green powercolor pigments and applying with a sponge.

The last step was to add a piece of ribbon through the hanging hole to make this piece into a beautiful wearable pendant.

Pendant

Pendant on driftwood

I hope you have enjoyed this project and you have been inspired to get creative this year. Please do share your makes with us through the Powertex Studio facebook group and let others know about the Powertex blog and the fabulous inspiration you can find here.

You can see more of my curious creations and the Powertex workshops I am running in County Durham, by popping by my Curiously Contrary facebook page or my website.

Until next time, here’s to an awesome 2019,

Abs xx

Steampunk Jewellery Plier Stands (by Anne)

I have been meaning to decorate my jewellery plier stands for ages and finally got them finished.
I had a bit of a problem with these in that they started off as a plain varnished wood surface. I initially coated them with white Gesso with a view to painting them with acrylics. However, the Gesso did not bind well to the varnish layer – eek! All ideas were halted. These need to be fairly robust and a tonne of flaky chips after a short use was not what I wanted!
I then discovered Powertex and yay, I would be able to rescue and decorate my plier stands after all. Coating the entire surface with rice papers and torn kitchen towels would create a tough protective skin over the surface and prevent the feared chipping off of the base layers.
HOW IT WAS DONE
I first collected together lots of embellishments; die cut cogs and pipework (Sizzix dies), MDF Keyplate (Powertex), metal clock hand and chains, old light bulbs and screws.
I tore out images from Creative Rice Paper (Powertex). This particular sheet seems to be out of stock but there is a similar Victorian Steampunk Paper available. I also separated layers of kitchen paper and tore them into pieces to coat the surface. This would add texture and a protective layer.
STAGE ONE
First I applied the torn decorative papers using Easy Coat Mat Medium. Ivory Powertexwas then painted on to blend in the image edges.
STAGE TWO
Next layers of kitchen paper were bonded all over the surface. Some were glued down with Ivory and some with Terracotta Powertex. Die cut card embellishments were also coated with Powertex and glued down.
Texture was added by applying Easy Structure Pastethrough a texture stencil.
I also had a try at the rust technique. I mixed some Rusty Powder into Ivory Powertex along with a few drops of white wine vinegar. This was painted and dribbled over the surface (extra powder sprinkled on top) and spritzed with water and vinegar before leaving overnight to develop. I spritzed at intervals, several times. I avoided the areas that will be in contact with my pliers.
STAGE THREE
Next I brushed over and added colour using Acrylic Inks in Tangerine, Egg Yolk, Aqua and Metallic Gold.
STAGE FOUR
I also applied a little gold Pebeo Gilding Wax on some areas. When fully dry and cured (I left them for 3 weeks) I coated the surface with Easy Varnish to fully seal and protect.
I have included lots of images of how all the surfaces were built up.
Texture and die cut cogs have been added.
Rust and colour added.
Side finished with stronger thick greyboard embellishments. Any large embellishments protruding from edges need to be strong (thinner card would be prone to warp and bend).
I started with a larger clock image on the other side.
Die cuts and texture added plus a metal clock hand for dimension.
Finally finished with thicker embellishments and more dry brush work and gilding wax.
Love this character.
Texture and layers built up. Waiting for the rust to develop.
Building up the layers of transparent colour makes so much difference.
The second plier stand started off in the same way.
At this stage you might feel like giving up. What a mess!
Just keep going, adding layers of rust texture and colour. 

 

Just loving the gorgeous layers of texture and colour.
I used several layers of the die cut pipework together to make them thicker and stronger on this side.
Wooohooo – this is soooooo yummy (or is it just me – tee hee).
Another end panel.
I used an MDF keyplate (Powertex) to embellish this end.
The final colouring makes such a difference.
The final side had a couple of little storage wells. I won’t really be using these so a perfect place to embellish with larger items.
I had fun adding recycled light bulbs, screws and bits of chain etc. I used structure paste and Powertex treated kitchen paper as a 3D glue to hold things in place.
Initially I had added a thinner die cut cog to the end but it wasn’t really strong enough. Here I added another thick greyboard cog over the first. Much more practical. I also added a small MDF Butterfly.
Here you can see more of the Steampunk treasures added. I also added some 3D Sand and Balls.
Love this Steampunk birdie peering out.
Well I hope that all these pictures have not overwhelmed you. I wanted to show how all the stages were built up. It also shows the stages that look awful, perhaps where a beginner might give up! Remember, if it all goes wrong just keep applying colour, inks or coloured varnishes. If this fails and you are really not happy – just paint over the whole thing with a base colour of Powertex and start again.
Hugs, Anne xxx.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Wire Wrapping a Powertex Ammonite

Wow what a busy start to the new year and what a fun one too!

 

Did you see Tracey and I sharing some of our Powertex ideas on HOCHANDA on 5th/6th April?  Did you get the fabulous one day special and Jurassic Jewels kits? If so then maybe you were tempted to make yourself some Powertex Ammonites using Tracey’s new sand technique and some of my jewellery.

So as promised, here are the steps and they are really simple and you don’t need to have any previous experience to get started.  Here goes…

Step 1

Gather together a finished Powertex Ammonite, 0.9 and 0.5 wire and beads from the Jurassic Jewels kit.
Tools: flush cutters, round nose and chain or flat nose pliers and some medium grade sand paper.

In thise project I am using a medium ammonite.  I have also created it in ivory and not added pigment. If you do want colour add it before wrapping.


Step 2

Use the sandpaper to gently rub off any sharp areas and smooth the back and sides of the ammonite.

Pull of 5 x 30 cm lengths of the 0.9mm wire making sure you follow the direction of the wire (this is your structural wire). Cut 1mtr of the 0.5mm (this is your wrapping wire).  Use the natural cure of the coils to your advantage.

Hold all wires in your non dominant hand and keeping the wires side by side, leave approximately a 4-5cm tail and in the centre of the wires make 7 wraps on the wire bundle, keeping some tension and keeping the wire flat.

Once the wrap is complete and with both end to the inside curve of the wire, trim the ends and firmly squeeze with the chain or flat nose pliers.

Moving 22mm along from the end of the first wrap, repeat making a second 2-wraps and then repeat on the other side of the central wrap.

These measurements are for the medium sized ammonite and you will need to adjust if you are wrapping either the small or large ammonites.

The wire now look like this one on the right.

Step 4

Hold the ammonite and gently coax the wire around the shape of the ammonite with the central wrap opposite the outer edge as shown here.

Holding the ammonite and wire wrap firmly with your non dominant hand, use your pliers to push the wires into the right angle of the ammonite.

Step 5

Gently pull forward the front wire of the anti-clockwise wires and encourage it to work into a curve stroking your fingers along its lenght, the warmth and direction from your fingers will help with this.  Add 3 off the little beads and then turn a neat loop and continue to curve following the inner curves of the ammonote.

Use the front wire of the clockwise wires to make 2-3 wraps around all wires to secure.

nb: DON’T CUT ANY OF THE STRUCTURE WIRES

Step 6

With your fingers or flat nose pliers and from the middle, gently pull the top outer wire just over the front endge of the ammonite on each side of the wire wrapped groupings, repeating on the back.

Try to make them as even as you can but work with the shape of the ammonite. Press firmly on the outer edges so the wires lie flat. repeat so all 4 sections are wrapped and the ammonite sits firmly within.

Step 7

Next you need to bend the wires comping anti clockwise so they fit closely along the back from top edge to bottom edge where the centre wires.

Tip: I find it easier to use my flat nose pliers to turn the wire and then use the back of the plier to press down so the wire sits nice and flat.

Step 8

Use some of the 0.5mm wrapping wire to secure the structure wires either side of the bottom central wrap.  These structure wires will become the bale on which you will thread your cord.

I continued up the length of the wire after I had bent the bale into shape so I suggest you leave the wire attached in case you choose to do the same.

Using your flat nose pliers to hold the structural wires bend the wires forwards 1cm up from the base.

Then holding the wires together bend down approx 8mm from the first bend and so that all wires are sitting over the front of the ammonite.

Leave as they are while we work on the tail wires.

Step 9

The wire coming clock wise of the bottom of the ammonitte now need gently curving, these are the tail wires. Do this with your fingers, gently stroking them all together between your thumb and forefinger and in a clockwise direction.

Trim the wires so that the front wire is shortest and back wire is longest.  I made mine around 8mm shorter than the one it was next to.

On the short front wire add 5 beads. Turn a loop so they don’t drop off.  Continue the coil trapping a bead in the coil and leaving the others to find their own level.

Repeat this on each wire, adding 7 beads to wire 2, 9 beads to wire 3 and 11 beads to the longest wire.  Trapping a few beads in the tighter coils as shown in the photo below.

Step 10

Hold the wrapped ammonite in your no dominant hand and use your flat nose pliers to make a couple of bend in the rear wires, this helps give strength and tension.

You can see here where I have done a basket weave wrap on the back of the bale.

Turning to the front, trim the bale wire so the centre wire is a little longer than the other two.  Turn a loop on the four outer wires.

Thread 3 beads on the centre wire and turn a loop to secure them

And that’s it!

Here is the finished Powertex Ammonite Wire Wrapped Pendant.

 

 

All you need to do now is make a corded necklace that you can hang it from.
This is a very basic wrap and there are lots of ways you can change the bale, or even leave off the bale and using powertex and a little bit of kitchen paper or fabric add a brooch back.
Look out for more tips soon on finishing your Powertex circles jewellery pieces.
Have fun and make sure your share your creations with us over on Powertex Addicts United we love to see your makes!
Unitl next time… Fi xx

Powertex Jewellery Hochanda Followup

Powertex Jewellery Hochanda Follow Up

Hope you have got your Powertex out and been creating.  If anyone was inspired by the jewellery designs on our last shows on Hochanda, then this follow up is for you.

I have completed the pendant I demo’ed and thought I would show you the finishing stages.

First I checked over the back and sides of the bezel. Even 10 days after the show I was able to clean this up. I gently rubbed with a baby wipe until the dried Powertex was soft then gently scraped with an old bank card then wiped clean.

I checked the piece all over to see if there were any sharp edges, this is essential so that it is comfortable to wear.  I gently rubbed sharp areas with an emery board.

Next I added a layer of Powertex red ochre pigment blended with some Powertex Easy Varnish colouring most of the peiece.

Then I added a tiny bit of Powertex white pigment to the red ochre and dry brushed to add highlights.  I then cleaned my brush before adding even fewer highlights with plain white pigment.
Finally I added one of the cords.
And that’s it finished and ready to wear!
Share your Powertex Jewellery with us on Powertex Addicts or on my Facebook page
See you next time….
Fi