The Secret Art Box – February

The Secret Art box, Powertex, love projects

This months article brings you inspiration and projects to create using February’s The Secret Art Box. The new craft subscription box from Powertex UK.

“The love of my life opened my heart the warmth it let loose poured into my art” by Claire Ivins

*** You may not get an exact replica of this box, but similar items will be included ***

Powertex Secret Art Box Project One

I also gathered a few more supplies, wire, paper tape, tinfoil and a larger mdf heart shape.

I used the mdf heart shape to mould another from wire.

I used tinfoil to pad it out and create the shape I wanted.

Next came the making of the arrow. This is a thicker wire as I wanted it strong and sturdy.

I covered everything in masking tape.

Then I started to play around with some of the contents in the box.

I wanted to make a recess in the polystyrene heart for the plaster heart to sit in, so I drew round it.

And using a craft knife and a small pair of scissors, I dug out the shape.

I placed the plaster heart in the hole to try it for size.

 I painted it with a coat of red Powertex. Whilst still wet I pressed Stone Art powder onto it and rubbed it in, letting the excess fall off. The Stone Art creates a stone like effect.

Then I sprayed it with red Bister. This red is more of a mahogany colour, ie a deep red.

The Secret Art box powertex

I painted the heart and arrow shapes with the red Powertex and stuck the arrow on with it too. I cut out some of the polystyrene heart so it sat on the frame. I added the gold sequins from the January box. And also used rich gold pigment from my stash over some of the heart shaped frame.

And to finish I mounted it on one of the Powertex metal stands.

      

Some more close ups.

Powertex Project Two

I did the same for my next project and started off by creating a layout. This time I wanted to show different shades of red and different textures.

I sprayed the plaster cherub with the red Bister.

I used the red ochre and varnish to create a paste and painted the wings, and did the same with the rich gold on the hair.

I painted the large heart from my stash, and from the Secret Art box, the set of four hearts (including the one out of the middle of the biggest one), the smaller starburst shape, mini hearts and the wooden love word, all in the red Powertex.

This one I added strands of Power Cotton to the wet Powertex, painted over it and added the key whilst still wet. Once dried, I dry brushed with green olive pigment, which if you were lucky enough, was in the January subs box.

This one I sprinkled some of the small Powertex sand balls into the wet Powertex and dry brushed with rich gold pigment.

And for this one I added pieces of tissue to create some texture and to dry brush I mixed some of the blueberry pie with the red velvet acrylic paint and a touch of lipstick fizz pigment (for the shimmer) to create a deep purply colour.

The Secret Art box Powertex

Next I layered everything up and put it all together. I used the Powertex as a glue once I was happy with the placement.

           

Some more close ups.

For my next project I wanted to section off parts of the sheet of rice paper included in the box.

Instead of cutting it, I like to get a rough edge as I find it blends in better and isn’t such a harsh line. If you take a wet paintbrush and mark out where you want to tear, if it’s wet enough it should just pull apart. If it rips then the paper isn’t wet enough.

It should just pull apart and creates a lovely edge.

This is what I ended up with. Don’t you think they look much nicer than straight cut edges.

I also cut a piece to size and fitted it inside one of the metal embellishments I got in my box.

Then I completely filled it with transparent Powertex and left it for several days to dry. It is cloudy when a liquid, but dries clear.

I wanted to create a pink colour to combine with the images, so I mixed red and white Powertex until I achieved the colour I wanted.

I found a suitable glass bottle and completely painted it with my new hot pink colour and left it to totally dry before the next step.

Using transparent Powertex I glued on the pieces I’d torn out. I smoothed them out and also added a layer over the top. Now this looks really messy and you might think, oh no, what have I done. But, don’t panic, stick with it, the transparent goes on cloudy, but dries brilliantly clear. I also added some of the fancy yarn I had left from my Bluebird (January) box around the top.

And this is what I ended up with once it was all dry.

The Secret Art box Powertex

I added some chain and a couple of metal charms, the hand and heart from the box. The transparent Powertex has now completely dried that I put in the heart shape, so it has now sealed the image.

And a decorated bottle makes a great candle holder. Should you wish to light the candle the dripping wax won’t be a problem when it meets the Powertex. However, don’t let a naked flame come into contact with any fabric, as Powertex is not a flame retardant. As with all naked flames, do not leave it unattended, we won’t be held responsible for your house burning down!!

The Secret Art Box Powertex

All three makes together.

I hope that you have gained some inspiration for your own, The Secret Art box, Powertex craft subscription box. I can’t wait to see what you do with it. Don’t forget to share your makes on the Powertex Studio Facebook page as we love to see what you’ve been up to.

Did you catch my article last month find it here. Thanks for stopping by Sam

How to build an alternative statue ……..

Hello everyone, Annette here……

I hoped you’ve all had a stunning Summer and are ready for an awesome Autumn.

My challenge this month was to create a statue representing the star sign Virgo……mmm that certainly made the old brain cells fizz.  SO……Virgo is represented by the virgin carrying wheat and she is an Earth sign.  With this knowledge I set off on my creative adventure.

Using the wood and metal base, I pushed this through a polystyrene egg (my egg came in 2 parts so I secured it was making tape around the centre and top to bottom) and then packed the bottom of the spike with foil to stop the egg from slipping down.  I used the egg so that I could get a nice full skirt that was supported underneath.

I then built up the top of the egg so that when the plaster head was seated on top the proportions were more balanced.


To attach the head, I used Grace from the European range,  take a piece of foil and wrap it around the figure just below the shoulders and attach to the plaster with masking tape (only a small amount needs to be on the plaster as this will determine your neckline).

Now open up the pocket you have made, with the foil, and sit it on top of the extended egg.  You may need to tear up the sides slightly to get it to sit properly.  Secure with masking tape making sure it is well attached.

 

As my statue is going to be carrying something, I needed to add hands and arms.  Take a piece of foil and fold it to create a narrow strip.  Place the hands at either end ensuring that the thumbs are pointing upwards at both ends.  Now wrap the foil around the wrists and secure with masking tape.

Take this strip and lay along the back of the plaster head placing the hands to the front.  Check the positioning of the hands and if necessary fold the strip back onto itself behind the shoulders if the arms are too long.  Secure to the back with more masking tape.

Using small pieces of foil fill out the arms and round them out.  Also check that you are happy with the shaping at the waist and the back of the statue, use pieces of foil to build out any areas which need more shaping.

Once you are happy with the overall shape and positioning cover everything with masking tape and then coat the whole statue, including the plaster head, body and base with a layer of Ivory Powertex. Lay a small piece of clingfilm between the hands and body to stop them sticking together.

Now let this dry

For the clothing I used Ivory Powertex and worked it through strips of Natural Paper Decoration for the bodice/sleeves and muslin for the skirt, I used four separate pieces of muslin so that I could shape each piece over the fullness of the egg.  It is also easier to work with smaller pieces that one larger piece.

Let this dry.

I liked her at this stage and would be happy leaving her here however she needed something to represent the Earth sign so…..

I took a piece of Powertex Rice Paper (the one I choose had images of the earth/sun and moon on which fitted perfectly with the Earth sign) and using a wet paintbrush I drew around the shapes I wanted before pulling them from the piece.  This causes a feathered edge which blends into your background better than a cut straight edge.

Using Powertex Easy Coat Matt varnish, I attached the pieces to the dry clothing.  I coated both the clothing and the back of the rice paper then pressed the piece into place.  Using a soft brush starting at the centre of the rice paper smooth it out towards the edges,  this stops it tearing and ensures it is all stuck down.  Now take some more varnish and coat the front of the rice paper ensuring you go over the edges.

Leave this to dry

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She now needed colour adding in to pull everything together.

On a spare piece of fabric I tried using tea stain to see if this would work but decided it was too flat.

I played around and found that the Powercolor Yellow worked perfectly so I mixed this with Easy Varnish and heavily dry brushed the clothing.

For the hair I mixed the yellow with mocha Powercolor to give it more interest.  The eyeliner and eyebrows are a thin line of Bronze Gold  Colortrix and varnish  and the lipstick is coral Powercolor.

To finish her, I found some seed heads in a nearby field and made a small bunch for her to hold.

 

 

You could make a statue to represent any of the Zodiac star signs and use different rice papers to tie into the specific attributes of the sign.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this project and look forward to seeing what you make.  Don’t forget to post your pictures on our facebook Powertex Addicts United or Powertex Studio

Until next time, happy Creative Adventures

Axx

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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Venetian mask Powertex style

Good morning all, I can honestly say I enjoy Powertex, no that is an understatement I LOVE POWERTEX but this piece I really, really enjoyed designing.
The first photo is all the pieces with this project pack, sadly I forgot to photograph the beautiful rice papers too but you will see one of them shortly.
I had a play with placing the pieces, to see what grabbed me and I liked this idea and my mojo was really going at this stage.
I painted the mask with  BRONZE POWERTEX but wanted to give the actual mask a floating feel.
As you can see from photo underneath I stacked up some MDF discs I had to give it some height.
I wanted to incorporate some of the yummy papers and decided to add to the mask itself, which I did using the EASY COAT MATT
I found some silver tone plastic bling to add to the edges and give it a bit of pizazz

 

I then added some Paper  DECORATION to give the face some texture plus it seems to be one of my fave texture choices at the moment.
Now to think about adding some colour!! Hmmm
I first started with dry brushing white and then decided I did not like that, so I  went with the Turquoise pigment.
 I then decided to add the BRONZE PIGMENT and I found some wooden butterfly embellishments, which I painted gold and I also found a lovely plastic dove which I glued to the headpiece and did a bit of gold dry brushing to tie in the colours.
 I added some coloured gems and two metal butterflies to complete the look of my mask
I think some feathers would look really nice with this piece too, will have to get some to add.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing my process of how I came up with this design piece.
If you have not yet tried Powertex, you won’t be sorry if you do.
Until the next time
Happy creating
Jinny

A Powertex Masquerade Ball by Abigail Lagden

A Powertex Masquerade Ball

by Abigail Lagden

Well, as someone who loves an mdf embellishment or two, thismonth’s project pack had me drooling over the number of lovely pieces included. Just look at all these flourishes, florals, feathers and fans:
Add in Easy 3D Flex and this is almost my ideal kit!
As this kit contains so much to play with I was easily able to make two projects and had a few bits left over at the end. This blog will describe how I made the Mask on a Canvas project.
 
 
Project 1 – Mask on Canvas
Products used in the final version of this project:

 

I wanted my mask to sit on a canvas and decided the beautiful cracked effect of the Easy 3D Flex would make a lovely textured background. So I painted the canvas with a coat of black Powertex first to make the cracks look darker – although this isn’t necessary.
I then mixed Ivory Powertex with Easy 3D Flex to form a fairly thick paste and spread it around the areas of the canvas that would show around the mask. I varied the thickness of the paste to give different texture and depth of cracks across the canvas.
Brown bister was then sprayed over the canvas and it was left overnight to dry and start cracking.
I used Easy Coat Matt to stick some of the Venice rice paper onto the full face mask. This was positioned to show through underneath the half face mask. Some lace was then coated with ivory Powertex and ruffled up along the side of the base mask.

 

For the half face mask, I cut a piece of swirly wallpaper to fit over the whole surface. Ivory Powertex was used to attach the paper onto the mask and to coat the top surface of the paper.
I changed my mind a few times throughout this project. Initially I painted the feathers with different colours of Powertex and used bister and a hairdryer to create a crackled look. I also painted the flourishes and florals with red & blue Powertex. Here are the feathers.
However, when I came to put it all together I felt it looked a bit disjointed so I painted all of these bits over with ivory Powertex and I also sprinkled 3D sand and 3D small balls onto the florals and flourishes while they were wet. I love that the texture of the bister crackles is still visible on the feathers.

 

All of the florals and flourishes were then added to the half face mask using ivory Powertex.
I covered the rice paper on the base mask using cling film to protect it, and then positioned the half mask over the top. To get nice vibrant colours to blend with the rice paper, I used the violet, egg yolk and aqua acrylic inks from The Secret Art Loft and sprayed them onto the layered masks.
A lesson learnt! – I put the project out in the sun between sprays to dry – sadly a bad idea as the cling film ended up welding itself onto the Easy Coat Matt and did not peel off nice and easily as expected to real the lovely paper. Hence, if you look closely you will see some wrinkles of cling film still left in places.
Once I was happy with the colours, I removed what cling film I could from the base layer and attached the half face mask on top using transparent Powertex (any colour Powertex can be used to stick the bits together if applied with care).
The dried bister was gently wiped back off the cracked canvas with a sponge to lighten the colour before the masks were attached using transparent powertex.
Then just a touch of dry brushing using white powercolor pigment mixed with easy varnish to give it some highlights, and it was finished.

 

As mentioned I also made this second project using the MDF from the kit, black Powertex, and Easy 3D Flex. Coloured using red ochre powercolor pigment and the beautiful pearl pigments from The Secret Art Loft.
And I had these bits left over!!
To see more of my creations and workshops, pop over to my Curiously Contrary facebook page.
Until next time,
Abs xx

 

It’s always time for tea

Hi there, did you see Tracey on Hochanda? Have you got your Alice themed projects yet?
I had such a lot of fun creating this colourful piece.  I’m popping some photos below so you can see the steps I took to create it.
First I added rice paper using Easy Coat matte and did a loose layout
Next I covered everything in Ivory Powertex and sprayed with blue and red Bister,  and then left overnight to make sure it was thoroughly dry
I then washed back the bister to leave the nice soft blues and pinks
Next I used Easy Structure and some stencils to create extra texture  once that was dry I used the gloriously bright Secret Art Loft pigments and inks as well as some Powercolor

 

 

 

 

Finally I drilled holes with a 2mm drill bit and threaded through some paper string to hang my tea shoppe sign with
Hope you like it and have loads of fun and hope we are inspiring you to create your own unique pieces
Bye for now
Fi

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

PowerWax

What’s all the fuss about this PowerWax I hear you say? 

Well, imagine a manufacturer bringing out one single product which, when combined with many other products from your stash will give you a beautiful water based wax to use with your mixed media work? How silly, surely they could make much more money if they premixed it with pigments etc and sold you LOADS of different colours? 
Well that’s not how Powertex works they have gone and produced that one product with so many uses, you can mix it with pigments, paints, and micas from your stash. You can use it on furniture, canvas, mixed media work, statues to name just a few. You can wash it off your hands and tools with warm soapy water. It’s environmentally friendly. It contains no VOCs.
What’s not to love about it?

So how do we get started? 

Well rather than me witter on here’s an instruction sheet I wrote up earlier

There’s a YouTube video too!

Have fun! TraceyX

Art Nouveau Canvas

Art Nouveau Canvas by Liz Dixon

Hi Everyone.  Have you seen the beautiful new rice papers & all the lovely MDF shapes that Powertex UK now have in stock?  I couldn’t wait to get making as there are so many Mixed Media possibilities (as if there weren’t enough already within the Powertex range!!)
I particularly love the Art Nouveau papers – elegant ladies in flowing gowns, which go perfectly with the swirls & curls of the Acanthus MDF shapes.
The canvas was given a base layer of Ivory Powertex & once dry, the Rice Paper was applied with Easy Coat Mat.
I raided my stencil collection & added texture to the canvas & MDF using Easy Structure, before getting busy with the Bisters.  The Rice paper was a great place to start for colour palette inspiration!
Paper trim, more MDF, paper flowers & some self-coloured Stone Art clay Ivy leaves completed the complilation, before dry brushing with Easy Varnish & Colourtrix Pigments 
I wonder what your Powertex inspiration will be today?