Scared Crow Scarecrow!

Designer – Annette Smyth

Powertex Scared Crow Scarecrow by Annette Smyth

Hello, welcome to my latest article. This month the design team were invited to use a step by step article from another design team member as a source of inspiration. I chose to use the Scarecrows in September by Fiona Potter as I loved this little man as soon as I saw him. However, I wanted to put my own spin on the project so decided that instead of a scarecrow I would create a scared crow. He would make a fantastic Autumnal centrepiece for the table and I can see him surrounded by a group of ornamental gourds.

Materials Used

How to make a Scared Crow Scarecrow

Building the armature

Step 1. Build the armature and head

Attach dowel to base with tape.  Use foil  to build head, neck and beak onto this.  Cover with tape ensuring it is secure.

adding the arms

Step 2. Add the Arms

Gather a small bunch of twigs and secure with masking tape. Secure these to the ends of the dowel with more tape.

building the body

Step 3. Build the body

Using foil fill out arms.  Tape cardboard rolls to wooden base, cut to required length and fill in the torso with more foil.  

Cover everything with tape and coat with a layer of black Powertex.

Adding feet

Step 4. Add the feet

Use 2 more twig bunches, dip strips of gauze in Black Powertex and wrap around tape on the twigs then slide up the tube legs.

The head

Step 5. Cover the head

Coat the hessian in Black Powertex and shape around the head and down neck. Push eyes into place.

Dressing the scared crow using Powertex fabric hardener

Step 6. Dress the Crow

Using Transparent Powertex I dipped the fabric as follows

  • a square of fabric for the top – cut a hole in the centre to fit over the head.
  • rectangles for the dungaree legs
  • smaller rectangles for the dungaree bib
  • strips for the shoulder straps
  • a length of rope for the belt

DESIGNER TIP – You could choose your fabrics to suit your own rooms colour scheme?

Step 7. Make the Hat

The video below will show you how I made the hat. I decorated mine with Paper decoration dipped in Black Powertex.

WHY NOT try using hessian to give a straw hat effect?

Dry brush the hat for the scared crow

Step 8. Drybrush the hat

I used Powertex Easy Varnish and Yellow Ochre Powercolor to drybrush the hat .

Watch my video here if you’re not sure how to drybrush.

Finishing touches with Powetrex powercolor

Step 9. Finishing touches

Using Transparent Powertex I added fallen acorn husks to the hat, dungarees and base.

I hope you have as much fun as I did creating your very own scared crow. There is no end to the different types of scarecrows you could make. How about a scaredog or scarecat…..What scare animal would you create?

We love to see what you create so post your makes on our Facebook group – The Powertex Studio and inspire other people to have a go.

If you would like to see more of my work or join me for a workshop in my home studio then please take a look at my website – www.annettesmyth.co.uk or contact me via my Facebook page.

Until next time Happy Creative Adventures

Axx

Powertex Mixed Media Floral Canvas – Anne Waller

Hi all. Today I am sharing a floral mixed media canvas. I started it just over a year ago and it had been sitting as a ‘UFO’ ever since. I usually continue with a project until it is finished, but must admit that if it gets put away before finishing I find it very difficult to get it back on track. So pleased that I dug it back out and got inspired to complete it.
I started working on this at Powertex Headquarters as part of my Level 1 training. I have to say that it was a fabulous couple of days where Tracey took us through a whole host of fabulous techniques.
Black Powertex was used to coat a 12 X 12 primed and stretched canvas. Various fabrics, pieces of lace, kitchen paper and Paper Decoration (White) were coated with Powertex and laid onto the canvas. Small polycarbonate test tubes were covered in cling film (to protect) and incorporated into the canvas. The layers were left to dry before working on the next stages. I also coated the little wooden canvas stretchers to make am area for maybe adding text.
Various pigment colours were mixed and applied with Easy Varnish (Powercolor: Burgundy, Ultramarine, White; Colortricx:Rich Gold and Powerpearl). Initially I was unhappy with the results as everything appeared too dark. I am definitely a colour girl. After some thought I drizzled on some Green Powercolor in Varnish diluted with a little water to make more of a wash. Oooh – much happier.
This was the stage at which it was almost finished but I still wasn’t happy with it – hence it sat in the cupboard for a year. I really thought that it needed more decoration and building up with embellishments. I collected together some MDF cogs (already treated with Black Powertex and rubbed over with gold gilding wax), die cut birds, silk flowers and air dry clay flowers created with silicone moulds from my stash. I also had a stash of moulded flowers created with pearlescent acrylic modelling paste (I put some turquoise glitter in the moulds while making these – yay bling).
I added more colour to the canvas using the new Metallic Inks from the Secret Art Loft (Aqua and Golden).
The paper clay and card embellishments were coated with Black Powertex before sticking down. Where needed I used Easy Structure Pastetinted with Powertex to make a 3D glue for sticking down.
The sentiment (from Chocolate Baroque) was stamped onto card with Versamark (Onyx Black) and applied with Easycoat Matt Medium to glue and seal. The pine cones were treated with Bronze Powertexand rubbed over with gold gilding wax. Beginning to love it now.
I continued building layers of embellishments and also added some created with yellow tinted clay and treated with Transparent Powertex. I liked the pop of complimentary colour. More colour was also added to Varnish and dry brushed over the textural surfaces. I really love the new Secret Art Loft Pigments (Interference Lilac, Limoncello Gold, Violet Valentine), they are so vibrant over dark backgrounds.
The silk flowers were treated with Black Powertex and dry brushed with Violet Valentine and Interference Lilac Pigments. Clear varnish was applied over the yellow flowers and the acrylic embellishments to seal. A little Glossy Accents was applied over the sentiment to emphasise.
I was really chuffed with the final piece. I hope that you like it too.
The great thing about this canvas is that the faux flowers can be removed and replaced with real ones (the tubes are removable and can be filled with a little water). I was initially planning to hang the canvas at an angle but I rather like this orientation with the flowers going at 45 degrees.
Well that’s all for today. Back with more creations soon, Anne x.

Floral Candle Bowl (by Anne)

 

Hi All. Today I am sharing a couple of upcycling projects. I have revamped an old chipped crackle glass bowl into a gorgeous faux candle holder and my old egg timer, over 20 years old and really looking very shabby. I love to revamp and upcycle items that otherwise may have been fit only for the bin.
Here is my finished bowl – I just love it now. I didn’t want to completely cover the pretty crackle glass and I thought a faux electric candle would be a perfect shimmering through.

 

I gathered together some recycled old cotton bedding, tore it into strips and treated with Black Powertexto make the textured side panels. 3D Sand and Ballswere applied into the wet Powertex for more texture.

 

A recycled T shirt was cut into strips and stretched to create cords (it forms a cord when pulled). These were then Powertex treated and coiled around the rim to add strength and to cover up the chipped edge. Any drips on the glass panels were removed with a damp cloth to keep them clear.

 

I had several large flowers and leaves in my stash that had been created with air dry clay and silicone moulds. These were coated with Black Powertex and applied around the rim of the bowl. I used some Easy Structure paste tinted with Powertex as a 3D glue to apply them onto the uneven shaped surface.
Then came the colouring fun. I used Silver Colortricx and several of the new colours from the Secret Art Loft (Interference Blue, Interference Lilac and Mojito Lime). I mixed them with Easy Varnish and applied by dry brushing to pick up and emphasise the textures. I just love these new colours and they work fabulously on dark backgrounds.

 

This is my poor old egg timer. Definitely seen better days and it was coming to pieces a little too.

 

I took it completely apart for revamping so that I could get everything well stuck down and access all the parts for painting.

 

I painted all the components with a couple of layers of Black Powertex, along with a couple of air dry clay flowers. I chose a flower shape with a fairly flat top so that they could be placed on each end and not fall over.

 

Ta da. I love my new egg timer. Should be good for another 20 years now. I added a little dry brushing with Colortricx Silver and Interference Violet Pigments to add shimmer and bring out the texture.
Bye for now. Hope to have more to share soon, Anne x.

 

Penguins – Mini Makes for you and the little ones

Hi Everyone

Well we’re at that time of year again where time just flies by and everything you wanted to get done somehow doesn’t.  So I thought I’d show you a nice easy make that you can do on your own, with friends and with the little ones.

We are going to make penguins and I have to admit they are a little addictive so you may well end up with your own little waddle  – that’s one name for a group of penguins on land, they can also be called a colony or a rookery whereas when they are in water they are called a raft (thanks Google!!).

So lets waddle away and get creating…….

You will need

Powertex Black (approx 75ml)
Powertex Stone Art (approx 20g)
6cm Polystyrene egg
2-3 cm Polystyrene egg
2 x 2-3mm animal eyes
Cocktail Stick
Masking Tape
Plastic container to mix clay in
Brush
Pigments (I opted for orange, white and yellow ochre)
Apron
Disposable Gloves
Optional – Pokey tool
Start by covering your work area with a protective layer.  This could be an waterproof tablecloth, oil cloth or even newspaper.
Break the cocktail stick in 2.  Using one piece connect the 2 eggs together to form a body and head
Place the head at an angle for a more realistic look
Using the masking tape cover the whole shape ensuring that the the transition from the head to the body forms a neck. Place the other piece of cocktail stick on the small egg where the beak will be.  Now coat with a layer of Black Powertex and set aside.
Place approximately 75 ml of Black Powertex into a suitable container (you are going to be mixing this so make sure the sides are high enough) and begin adding the Stone Art, using the non bristle end of your paintbrush begin to stir the mixture.  Add the Stone Art slowly and mix well between each addition.  Keep going until the mixture pulls away from the sides.  Now go in with your gloved hands and knead the mixture bringing together into a firmer clay consistency.  Keep adding more stone art until the clay doesn’t stick to your gloves and there are no white flecks showing.  Make sure you pull the clay apart to check that there are no white flecks inside.
Make sure that the clay isn’t too dry otherwise you will have difficulty covering your penguin. If it is just dip it in a small amount of Powertex and knead it thoroughly.
You can now use the clay or double wrap it in cling film for use later.  So long as you keep it airtight the clay will be useable for several weeks.  This is a bonus as you can make the clay ahead of time and have fun sculpting it later with the children.

 

Take approximately 2/3rds of the clay and roll it into a ball then flatten it into a disc approximately 1/2 cm thick.
Lay it over the beak and onto the head, then using your fingers push it down onto the body thinning it as you go.  Make sure it meets underneath to form a base.  Stand the penguin on your work surface and give it a little wiggle to make sure it will sit without toppling.  If it doesn’t sit properly use a little of the remaining clay to make some feet and/or a tail to support it.
                                      
With the remaining 1/3 clay split it into 2 and form rolls.  Flatten them to around 2mm and shape to form wings.  Attach to the body on the sides.  If your clay has dried, paint on some fresh powertex to stick the wings to. Shape the wings to give your penguin character.
Now make any final adjustments, make sure the beak is a nice shape and push the eyes through the clay into the underlying egg.  You may need to use a pokey tool to make the hole first.
Using the Easy Varnish and pigments dry brush on the colour to complete your penguin.  I opted to colour mine in different ways to make a real mixed waddle.

 

 

Don’t forget, you can always scale it up by using larger eggs to make bigger penguins just remember to increase the amount of clay you make.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this project and look forward to seeing your makes.  Don’t forget to post photos of them over on the Powertex Studio facebook page
Until next time happy creative adventures

 

 

Halloween Candlestick Holders

Sam is back with us at the Powertex UK blog and has been kind enough to share another of her fantastic projects with us. Read on to be inspired. Do leave a comment at the bottom of the blog or share your makes with us over on Facebook in The Powertex Studio group or Powertex Addicts United page.
So here we are, all set up for another play.
I took a cardboard tube, the core of a kitchen roll, drew around the clay skull and roughly cut it out without squashing the tube.
I checked that the skull fitted in the hole, but I didn’t want it loose.
 
 
Using masking tape I created a shelf about an inch down from the tops of the tube.
I started covering them with black Powertex.
I covered the battery tea lights with cling film.
I covered both of the tubes in fabric and other embellishments. Once the fabric was on the taller tube, I pushed the skull into the hole.
Added more clay pieces, lace and wool.
Added the clay wings.
 
 
I painted everything in black Powertex and then set them outside to dry.
I brought them back inside and left them overnight to totally dry.
Once dry, I took out the tea lights which were still covered in cling film. The fabric where they’d been sat was still a bit wet, so I left them out to let the fabric fully dry.
Once totally dry, I dry brushed them with silver and turned on the tea lights.
And these are the opposite sides, ie the back.
 
Had loads of fun making these and love how they’ve come out.
 

Halloween Nightmare or how not to make a craft video!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I bet I am one of the few people who have a dread of Halloween. It’s not that it scares me or that I don’t like the art of it all, it’s just that for some reason every time I try to create what’s in my head, it turns into a Halloween Nightmare!!!

I had this grand idea that I would use Powertex and some of the super Secret Art Loft bright acrylics and the Gothic Arches.
It has all worked out just fine except I had it all planned in my head that I would create my very first Craft Video!

As you may know that as well as being on the Powertex DT I am also a Resident Tutor on the Mixed Up Creative education platform, so in my infinite wisdom and being filled with oodles of enthusiasm I got myself all set up to create the video for them.  Bearing in mind I also have lots of experience demo’ing on TV craft channels this should all be so easy…well believe me it isn’t!

In a TV studio there is a crew, superb lighting and a presenter who asks the questions viewers want answers too; you have your step pieces prepared and you have everything laid out ready to head in the order you want to use them. Oh and with filming, all you have to think about is product placement and which camera to look at.
Hmmm this is where it all goes belly up!  I didn’t have steps planned this was going to be a one shot product.  I had just one small light; I had to operate the camera in my very small studio – just 3 meters by 1.5 meters but every mm is packed tight rather tardis like!
I had it all planned though so it would run like clock work.
I made sure my long suffering other half knew what I was doing and he was primed to stay well away.
OMG it was a total nightmare!!!
Not at all the slick professional looking video I had imagined, planned for and not at all fun! It was my Halloween Nightmare and then some!  Dropping various bits, forgetting I had wrecked the first arch and the second had sticky tape on etc. etc.  Worse still is that that what you don’t see or hear at the end of the video is my husband walking in on me, talking loudly about tea, apologising profusely, then me slinging the paintbrush and who knows what else across the worktop and sighing so loud I have every expectation even a Ghost would have shrieked in fright!
After all that I decided while it was a rubbish video I would share my experience with you because at the end of the day we all have to start somewhere.  Hat’s off to all those highly polished artists and crafters who have mastered the intricacies of video, I am learning, I will not be defeated and I will master it.
In the meantime have a laugh with me, share my pain and I hope the resulting Powertex Halloween tag is slightly OK.
Bye for now, Fi xx
ps Here’s the link to the video

 

Nothing to Fear (by Anne)

 

Hi all, today I am sharing one of my projects created during the Powertex Garden Party in July. It was an amazing weekend and I went along with my ex’s lovely daughter Marie. Living far apart we rarely get the chance to be together – so it was extra special to have a whole weekend crafting together.

 

Others also came along with friends or family but many came along on their own. Some were familiar with Powertex and some, like Marie, were completely new to the medium. Whether experienced or not, travelling with friends or alone, the Team at Powertex were wonderfully inviting and everyone soon felt relaxed and eager to get started. Tracey gave us all fabulous instructions to help us along the way. It was a wonderfully relaxed weekend and we made many new friends.

 

The huge display of different projects from the Powertex Team on display around the gardens was simply amazing.
I completed most of this canvas project during the weekend but you know me – I just had to add a more embellishments and bling when I got home. We had great fun creating layers of texture and colour.

 

We first painted our 12 X 12 inch canvas with Black Powertexonto which we then built additional layers. We applied background texture layers with Powertex treated recycled corrugate card and mesh canvas. We then created a ‘dirty mix’ using Black Powertex, Stone Art, 3D Sand and Ballsand applied to the canvas, adding more texture by pushing in mark making tools etc.
The Team then provided us with a ready made mix of Easy 3D Flex and  Ivory Powertex. This medium provides a gorgeous crackle texture on drying.

 

We were also provided with a small MDF frame and choice of small plaster embellishment. I chose to use a skull. We were helped and advised along the way on the easiest layout of different textures and elements for a successful arrangement.
I added more texture to my frame with Easy 3D Flex and small Sand and Balls. You can see the marvellous cracks that develop – yummy. We then chose from a range of Secret Art Loft Acrylic Ink and Paints for colouring. I chose a mix of turquoise, pinks and yellows (Acrylic Paints – Raspberry Sorbet, Lemon Meringue, Blueberry Pie; Acrylic Inks – Raspberry, Metallic Aqua and Aqua). These paints and inks are gorgeous and allow you to build up lots of layers of transparent colour. I used Colortricx Silver in Easy Varnish for some of the dry brushing to enhance textures.
On getting home I added more embellishments to my canvas – die cut birds, clock, circles and rings (cut from recycled thick card). I also used the Daisies Silicone Mould to make flowers and leaves from Powertex Clay (made with Ivory Powertex and Stone Art). The embellishments were painted with Black Powertex before sticking down. I also used some Easy Structure Pastetinted with a bit of Black Powertex as a 3D ‘glue’ to stick down elements on uneven highly textured areas.
I used some stamps from my stash to create the sentiments (using Versamark Onyx Black Ink) and used Easycoat Matt to stick them down and seal.
I finished with more layers of pigment and varnish, applying with a dry brush to highlight textures. I adore the new range of pigments from the Secret Art Loft (colours used – Interference Blue, Blue Curacao, Interference Violet and Green Ginger). I finally added some gold and silver gilding waxes applied with a finger (I just cannot help myself from adding more bling).
Here is Marie’s amazing canvas. I love the colours, textures and hidden surprise elements.
We all had so much fun and between us created an amazing array of individual and very different takes on this theme.
Bye for now, Anne x.

 

Beautiful Nellie

Hello, hello

It is once again that time of the month, for me to show you my latest Design Team project and what a project this one is!
This project, MDF ELEPHANT TEMPLATE had been sitting on my creative table for ages waiting for me to work some magic.
I love being part of the Design team and love all the projects I have done but this one I really, really enjoyed 🙂
So here is my process on this gorgeous project, I like to call “Beautiful Nellie”

I first started by making a plinth for Nellie to stand on and that is the beauty of Powertex, anything and everything can be used. I used a spare piece of MDF from a previous project and some kebab sticks. I had some garden wire and cut to length and posted them through the holes on Nellie.

I then used some kitchen foil to give Nellie some shape and definition and make the less 2D and more 3D.

When I was happy with her shape, I then taped her all over using masking tape so my Powertex would have something to adhere to.

 

 

I made a little tail out of tin foil and added this to Nellie and started adding lots and lots of layers of pretty lace type material. I thought BLACK POWERTEX  would be the order of the day for Nellie. Have to confess I got a little carried away at this stage as I forgot to take photos of the process, this quite often happens as you get so engrossed into what you are doing, I apologise, my bad!!
I draped some thin material over Nellie’s ears.
I also made up some easy 3D flex and added this to Nellie’s legs.
I continued adding layers of material until I was happy with how she was looking.
I had a look in my embellishments and decided she needed a little bit of bling and found some beaded material and added this to her head as a headdress (I knew I was saving it for something special) and I added some plastic gold bling along her back.
I let her dry for a few hours, which gave me time to think about what colour/colours
I decided on my colours
GOLDEN OLIVE, Green Parrot, Limoncello Gold and VIOLET VALENTINE  from the Secret Art Loft.
When I dry brushed the colours on, my word Nellie popped and looked beautiful.
I am very pleased with how she turned out

 

 

 

 

 

Floral Trinket Box created (by Anne)

I have had a wire box frame in my stash for ages. Originally it had a woven straw covering that fell apart so I removed it with the intention of recovering it. It ended up as another ‘UFO’ (unfinished object) for years. I have finally dug it out and created this Powertex treated fabric box embellished with hand made fabric flowers. Now it’s a fabulous trinket box for storing some of my crafty treasures.
The bare wire frame is a strong construction – similar to the type of wire used to make coat hangers. It measures approx. 8 inches square across the top and 6 inches deep.
I used some recycled cotton bed sheets and treated them with Black Powertexto cover the box and lid. I lined the outer and inner panels to completely cover the wire frame. I gathered some cotton trims for the next stage; some crochet lace and a piece of gathered Broderie Anglaise.
I treated the crochet lace with Powertex and applied around the box base.
The gathered lace was applied around the lid. I also dug out some greyboard lazer cut foliage shapes to embellish the top. These were coated and stuck down with Powertex. When dry I started dry brushing over the surface using Easy Varnish and Silver Colotricx. Extra colour was applied to the foliage to make it stand out from the dry brushed background.
Here you can see the dry brushed lid next to the unpainted base. The dry brushing has emphasised the texture and added metallic highlights.
Next I made some fabric roses from 25mm and 15mm strips cut from recycled bedding. These were created using Ribbon Ruching Flower Combs from Gina B-Silkworks. Basically strips are marked out using the Flower Comb templates, a running stitch is sewn along the marked lines and the stitching is pulled up to gather and shape into a rose. I prepared my strips and treated with Powertex before pulling up the stitching. The Powertex holds and glues the gathering in place. I left the flowers to dry before adding to the box top.
I used one of my dies to cut a frame for the centre (Sizzix), applied to the top and finished in the same way as the greyboard foliage.
The flowers were dry brushed with Easy Varnish and Interference Lilac Pigment. Loving these new Pearl Pigment colours! Powertex was then used to glue down the roses to the centre. I added some ready made flower stamens around the group (purple), and some small ready made satin ribbon roses to the corners (Powertex treated and coloured).
Next I mixed some 3D Sand and Ballsinto Black Powertex and drizzled the mix around the flowers. A few untreated balls were also dropped into the wet Powertex. The untreated balls kept their original colour on the surface giving contrast with the black base. Once dry I coloured by brushing over the surface using Easy Varnish and Mojito Lime Pigment.
I also dry brushed a little of the Lilac pigment sparingly over the lace trims and used to colour some hand made air dry clay embellishments (created using a silicone mould from my stash) added to the box corners.
I used one of my large rubber stamps (lace design from Heartfelt Creations) to stamp some extra textural interest around the sides using Viola Metallic Acrylic Ink. Note: the fabric surface is already quite textured and not very flat so the stamping does not give a clear impression of the design but just adds a little more depth and interest to the surface.
I hope that you like my new treasure box.
Hugs, Anne xxx.