Jack and Sarah – The end of a wonderful year

Hi Everyone

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas and have a very Peaceful New Year.

So we are at the end of what has been an amazing year for Jack and Sarah, but what did happen on New Years Eve??? (if you’re not up to date with the story check back on our previous blogs)

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JACK

19:30 – gets into his pre booked car and heads to the Empire State Building, checking his pocket three times to ensure the ring is safely inside.

19:45 – Arrives at the main entrance and heads for the lifts to the Observation deck to meet the minister and make those last minute checks ensuring everything is as he wants it to be for his girl.

20:05 – He waits patiently for Sarah to arrive after all it is customary for the bride to be late.

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SARAH
19:00 – slips into her designer dress and sits in front of the mirror to apply her makeup and put the finishing touches to her hair.
19:30 – Gets into her pre booked car heading for the event that could change her life
20:00 – Arrives and steps out of the car and heads for the entrance stopping only at the cloakroom on her way in to check for any last minute fixes.
20:15 – As she sweeps into the Ballroom of the Australian Embassy for the masquerade ball, she catches a glimpse of herself in the mirrored walls. She really was turning into an Ice Maiden with a heart of stone. Still this was her fourth year of doing this, and although this last year with Jack had been fun, she quite fancied being wined and dined down under next year, she just had to choose the next victim wisely!
(BET YOU DIDN’T EXPECT THAT!!)
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This was created on a polystyrene swan neck covered in Powertex lead and Stone Art.  The Snowflake detail was made using Easy structure and dusted with black, silver and Powerpearl pigments.  The headband is a piece of corrugated cardboard painted with lead Powertex and then easy structure detail was added.

The hair was built up using gauze and black Powertex.

The makeup was designed and applied by the very talented Amber Young using black, white and powerpearl pigments with easy varnish and gloss varnish on the lips.

The plastic icicles, false eyelashes and stone bling were all added using easy varnish.

Thats all for this year folks hope you’ve enjoyed this creative adventure and i look forward to bringing your more projects next year.

Axx

Technology – enabler or thief?

Hello there

Over the summer I got to spend time with some of the younger members of our family and their friends.

It was lovely to get some playtime or so I thought. They all arrived armed with their latest ‘couldn’t be without’ gadgets ps3, ipads, mums iPhone to name but a few.After a fizzy drink and piece of cake they all found their own comfy spot and went on to conquer their own digital universes!!!

I was all ready for crafting, mud pies to beat Mary Berry into submission, rose petal perfume that Dior would die for, French skipping, British bulldog and hopscotch to name but a few.

What would these small people do if this was all taken away, would they find their inner creative and start inventing new games or revisit the ones I played as a child.

So it raised a question in my mind – Technology – is it an enabler or a thief of innocent childhood pastimes? Which in turn inspired this piece of artwork.

Using the beautiful rice papers from Powertex UK – hop onto the website here and have a look at the amazing range that is now available there really is something for everyone.

Along with Ivory Powertex, bisters, lace embellishments and the inner gubbins of an old computer destined to be crushed.

I worked out my frustration at being cheated out of a game of tig and came to the conclusion that yet again it is all about balance, there is a time and a place for both

Happy creative adventures

Annette

Adjustable Kanzashi Flower Ring (by Anne)

Today I am sharing a pretty little adjustable Kanzashi flower ring created using fine printed cotton fabric which has been treated with Transparent Powertex to stiffen and protect it. Treating with Powertex adds strength and protects against dirt. Ideal for jewellery pieces.
There are lots of videos on YouTube showing Kanzashi flower making but most are using synthetic ribbons which are joined and sealed by melting. I used instructions from Gina-B Silkworks. Gina’s method is the traditional Japanese way using natural fabrics (silk or cotton). Being natural fibres these little flowers are simply ideal for treating with Powertex. Ready-made silk flowers could work very well too.

Really pretty and comfortable to wear (sorry that my hands are older crafters hands and not modelling quality – tee hee).

The ring is adjustable so easy fitting.
I coloured the back to match the wire colour. You can also see the adjustable ring form more easily in this pic – the backing and flower being secured to one of the flat wire coils.

Note: One thing to consider when using transparent Powertex is how it will affect the colour of the fabric. It will considerably darken many fabrics, giving them the appearance of their colour when wet. Always test out a spare scrap first so as not to be disappointed. The printed cotton that I used here changed very little in colour so I was really pleased with the result.

Tools and Materials:

  • Transparent Powertex
  • Powertex Easy Structure
  • Kanzashi Flower Making Starter Kit (includes instructions, fabrics and starch glue)
  • 2.1mm aluminium wire (Artistic Wire – Anodized Rose)
  • Ring mandrel
  • Round nosed jewellery pliers and flush wire cutters
  • Nylon jewellery hammer and steel block
  • PVA glue (fast grab/tacky glue), Gemtac Glue (sticks glass, plastic or metal gems & beads to fabric)
  • Small metal brad (for flower centre)
  • Small wooden flat backed dome (or use a small disc of thick card/MDF)
  • Starlight acrylic paint (or varnish to match with wire)

How it was made:

  1. I got the Kanzashi flower supplies from Gina-B Silkworks and used directions in her starter kit to make the seven petal rainbow flower. Basically little fabric squares are folded to make petals. The raw edges of the petals are then placed in thick Kanzashi starch to hold their shape while making up the petals and building the flower. The petals are then glued to a base piece of cotton using PVA glue and left to dry overnight. Excess fabric on the base is then snipped away. I glued a small metal brad into the centre with Gemtac glue. Sorry that I am unable to give full instructions here for the flower as the specifics of this flower design belong to Gina.
  2. To make the adjustable ring I wrapped the wire around a ring mandrel and tapped the wire lightly with the hammer to work harden the ring structure. A nylon hammer helps protect against stripping off the coloured coating.
  3. I trimmed the wire and made a small curl on one side using the round nosed pliers. On the other side I made a larger curl, big enough to sit the flower onto the front and the wooden cabochon onto the back. I worked hardened and slightly flattened the wire curls using the hammer and steel block.
  4. I added a coat of clear Powertex to the back/base of the flower and wooden cabochon and left until touch dry. I then added another coat of Powertex (as a glue) and used Powertex Easy Structure to fill the voids in the wire curl, attaching the wooden cabochon to the back and flower to the front of the larger wire curl, and left it to cure overnight. The Easy Structure paste makes a nice solid bridge holding everything securely onto the back and front of the wire curl. A little Stone Art Clay would also work. Note: If you don’t have a suitable wooden cabochon a thick card/board or MDF shape could be substituted. I would advise an absorbent natural material for a strong bond with the Powertex. It also needs to be smooth so as not to scratch or irritate the skin when wearing.
  5. I then painted the cabochon and flower with Transparent Powertex, working it well into the fabric flower and crevices with a brush. Tip: If you find that you have big blobs or pools of Powertex use a piece of cotton rag to lightly dab and mop up the excess, or it can dry giving shiny blobby areas which will spoil the natural look and texture of the fabric flower. Leave to dry.
  6. Finally I painted the back of my cabochon attachment and flower base using Starlight acrylic paint. The colour match was simply perfect for the metallic pink wire that I used. If you are using copper, silver or gold plated wires you could paint with Colortricx pigment and Easy Varnish instead (to coordinate with your wire).

Powertex treatment has made this delicate fabric flower ring much more robust and protected against dirt – a more functional piece of jewellery. For further protection and full waterproofing you could add a final coat of Easy Varnish.