The Secret Art Box – May

A Home Under the Sea

Designer – Jill Cullum

A home under the sea Powertex canvas by Jill Cullum
A home under the sea by Jill Cullum

I was so excited to receive my first ‘Secret Art Box’, and I was not disappointed when I opened it.  Full of possibilities to create this article with.  It’s a challenge of being given a box of ‘goodies’ and then creating out of my comfort zone.

Materials List

Inside the art box was a cute fish. I was in my element as my last article was based around my love of the beach. I wanted a different style this time, so with several possibilities in mind, I chose a canvas as my base.

Detail of Powertex canvas

The secret art box fish

Not content with one super cute fish, I wanted two!  With a sharp knife and careful cutting, I sliced the fish in half.  Using the reverse of the canvas I covered the top half with the nautical paper, using Easycoat Matt.  The bottom half cried out for some stone art and brown Bister. 

Powertex Secret Art Box May fish under the sea theme
Fish and clay details

The sea bed was created by adding texture with stone balls, material and clay pieces. The adorable mini ammonite moulds as well as the shell mould in the ‘Secret Art Box’ made the clay shapes.  The fish needed lots of lovely texture, you can really go to town with this, especially when adding colour.  Terragreen pigment works a treat for this theme. 

I love the way things develop as your creative piece comes together and I didn’t really have a picture of the finished piece in mind. It just happened along the way.  I hope you like it and feel inspired to create your own ‘home in the sea’.

Secret Art Box May is a Home under the sea Powertex canvas
Home under the sea detail

For more sea themed inspiration take a look at my last blog here.

I am looking forward to seeing your pieces of art, using the May ‘Secret Art Box’. Please share them at The Powertex Studio on Facebook.

Secret Art Box May Powertex project by Jill Cullum
Finished mixed media canvas by Jill Cullum

A little teaser of my next blog, which will take us from the sea, into the sky! Bye for now, Jill x

Sunflower Project Tray (by Anne)

Today I am sharing a decorated recycled Balsa wood cheese tray (19 X 25cm) left over from Christmas. I needed a small project tray to collect together all my embroidery and sewing thread spools when working on one of my textile stitched paintings. I kept the 3D texture to a minimum as I didn’t want my fine threads catching and pulling on anything.

I chose one of the lovely Floral Rice Papers and the fab Duo Arty Quotes Mini Stencil from Powertex to decorate. I wanted to create something that would give me some ‘arty’ inspiration. I had a few grey board embellishments in my stash so added these too for a bit of interest.

I first used a water pen to dampen around the images enabling them to be torn and separated to form soft edged pieces that will blend into the background once decoupaged.
I coated the whole tray with Ivory Powertexand dried using a hair dryer. This provided a light background for the decoupage elements. Coating the tray with Powertex hardened up the soft Balsa wood and sealed it making it easier to keep clean too. I also coated the grey board elements with Ivory Powertex.

Decorative papers were then applied using Easy Coat Mat. Easy Structure Pastewas then applied through the stencil using a recycled bank card. I also added a little more texture using a grid stencil from my stash.

The embellishments were stuck down with more Powertex and a little Easy Structure Paste where needed (i.e. onto textured areas).

In the background you can see a sneak peek of my next project in progress. I like to work on several things at once so that I don’t waste time waiting for layers to dry.

Next I used a white opaque pen (acrylic paint pen) to draw extra highlights onto the main sunflower image. Then I used the new transparent acrylic inks to brush over and add a bit of colour. These are fabulous as being transparent they don’t obliterate the layers beneath. I chose the Golden Metallic and Aqua Metallic Inks to blend in with the main colour theme of the decoupaged images and to add a little sheen. I emphasized the lettering using a brown fine tipped pen (suitable for going onto acrylic).

Where needed I also rubbed over a little more Ivory Powertex using my finger to blend in the colouring where I thought it was a bit heavy.

I also rubbed on a little gold gilding wax from my stash (Pebeo).

Finally I added a little clear PVA based glitter glue to bring a little sparkle. I just couldn’t help myself. Once dry I brushed over the whole tray with Easy Varnish.

Now I have a lovely inspirational project tray. Hope that you like it too.
Hugs all and happy creating, Anne xxx

Medieval Chalice (by Anne)

I had fun creating a medieval chalice from an old glass that I have had for years. If you look closely it is actually made from a recycle wine bottle cut in half. The old bottle base is cut off and stuck to the bottle pouring top. The upturned bottle therefore making a new glass. I didn’t make it myself but it was a present from my ex’s daughter and has sentimental value. Now I have a super chalice to fill with cider and enjoy my drink along with good memories.

I wanted to keep the rim of the glass clean as I intend to use it as a drinking glass. I can clean the inside properly and around the rim etc. after use. The outer decoration will be ok with rinsing but obviously will be washed with more care.
I first stamped some tissue paper (recycled packaging) with Versamark Ink and heat embossed the script image (Butterfly Poppy Collage set from Chocolate Baroque) with metallic gold embossing powder. I also collected some MDF embellishments ready for decorating. The Ankh is from the Pyramid and Ank Trio set, the hares and small cross from the Mini Hieroglyphs set.
As I wanted to keep the glass for functional use I didn’t want to completely cover it with texture and wanted to keep the stem area comfortable to hold. I first painted a band of black ‘all surfaces’ weatherproof glitter paint (Black Diamonds Crystal Glitter) onto the glass to add some interest and texture which will show through the background areas that I wanted to keep fairly smooth. The gold paint that you can see on the base was done some years ago with glass paints – I covered this up in later steps.
Next I tore areas of the script paper and applied them over the glass stem and bowl using Easycoat Mat Decoupage Medium. Tip: I used a water pen to draw around the pieces that I wanted, making it easy to tear shapes in a more controlled way. I sprayed with a little Green Bisterjust to blend in a little (dabbing off excess dribbles) where the white tissue paper was a little obvious.
Next was true happiness – a fist full of Powertex Clay – tee hee. I mixed some Stone Artwith Bronze Powertex (approx. 50:50) with a small addition of Transparent Powertex, working it well into a non-sticky consistency.
Next I cut of square of T shirt fabric to cover the glass base and treated it with Bronze Powertex. I also treated a strip of T-shirt yarn and used it to secure the fabric over the stem base, then wrapped it up around the glass. Snips of textured lace were treated and added around the base plus a strip of treated lace was added to create a border around the top.
A rough slab of clay was rolled out and impressed using the text stamp. This was glued onto the glass front using Powertex. Stems and leaves were moulded by hand and ‘glued’ in place along with the MDF embellishments. Where needed a little Easy Structure Pastewas used as a 3D ‘glue’ (painted over with Bronze Powertex to hide the white colour). A faux gem was stuck into the centre of the ankh.
The chalice was then left to dry for a couple of hours.
Next came the fun of dry brushing. I used Rich Gold Colortricx mixed with Easy Varnish first. It looked a little uninteresting in just the one colour so I also dry brushed with some of the new Aqua Metallic Acrylic Ink. Both of these dry very quickly so I just repeated layers of dry brushing until I was happy with the result.
I will leave the vessel for a couple of weeks to fully dry and cure before giving it a final all over coat of Easy Varnish to fully seal it. Et voila! My lovely new drinking vessel. I cannot wait to use it.