Stormy Sea Tag with Powertex

Designed by – Donna Mcghie

Powertex stormy sea tag scene using mdf tags by Donna Mcghie
Seascape tag

Tags are really popular in the crafting world at the moment. For my stormy sea tag, I’m using the A5 tag from Powertex UK. They are great quality to work with, whatever your style of crafting.

Don’t you just love the fact that we all have our own individual style?  Obviously style evolves as we experiment and learn new techniques.  My own style I would describe as rather haphazard.  I’ve never been one for over thinking a project. 

Once many years ago an art tutor declared my work to be very ‘organic’. Initially I wasn’t quite sure how to take this, but I think I know what she was getting at. As an artist I like to allow my paint, Powertex, or whatever medium I’m using to have a life of it’s own.  You could say I’m a ‘go with the flow’ kind of a girl.

Go With The Flow

What do I mean by ‘go with the flow?’ Well, according to the artist Jenny Holzer “Going with the flow is soothing but risky.” I find it soothing to allow Powertex to take on a life of it’s own. I also love the sense of risk, the excitement of never quite knowing what I will end up with.

That could be why I love stormy seascapes. How wonderful that everyone’s storm will end up slightly different.

Materials list:

1: Prepare with White Powertex

Prepare mdf with white powertex
A5 tag and lighthouse mdf

Sponge Powertex White over MDF pieces and set aside to dry.

2: Blue Bister

Powertex mdf tab with blue bister and white fabric hardener for sky
Powertex Blue Bister makes a perfect blustery sky

Spray Powertex Ready Mixed Blue Bister on the top third of the tag. Use a damp sponge wipe away spaces for the clouds.

3: Adding fabric strips

Powertex mdf lighthouse template
I set this aside to dry for a while

Soak denim strips in transparent hardener to for sections of the lighthouse and paint the top.  A blast of ready mixed black bister gives a rugged effect.

4: Pouring Powertex

powertex mdf tag with bisters and fabric hardeners for stormy waves
This was my favourite part, where I got to ‘go with the flow’

Fun Time! Pour blue fabric hardener with smidgeon of white for the wave. Whilst still wet spray with green bister and blast with dryer for movement and crackles.

5: Place the lighthouse

powertex stormy seascape tag with lighthouse
It’s starting to come together

Place the lighthouse into position. Almost there now, just a couple of final touches and your picture will be complete.

6: Adding texture

powertex texture on mdf tag
Time for some texture

Steel grey pigment with some easy structure paste create a rock for the lighthouse to stand on, and 3D Sand with Yellow Ochre Powertex form a shoreline. If you wish to add a few more wild white touches with a pallet knife, go for it.

Finished Piece

Although this is only A5 in size, I think it packs a punch.  As I stated above, this was very much a ‘go with the flow’ project. 

Of course does help to have a rough idea of composition to keep the image interesting. Being a fan of the so called rule of thirds so, I placed my focal point (the lighthouse) to the left of the scene.

I also roughly directed the white foam on the wave to guide the eye up towards my focal point.

Powertex tag by Donna Mcghie
Stormy sea tag
The finished stormy sea tag

Please do post photos of your own stormy sea tags over on the Powertex Facebook Page, we love seeing what you create. Also feel free to leave any comments on here.

You can get tips on using Stone Art clay on a canvas seascape in last month’s blog.

I’m the Powertex tutor for Southampton, so if you are interested in a workshop please pop over to my website where details can be found on the blog section. More info on Jenny Holzer can be found here.

That’s all from me for now folks. Keep on going with the flow and see you next month.

Powertex Ammonite Light

Powertex Ammonite Light

Designer:  Jill Cullum

My Inspiration for an under the sea light

This article is very much influenced by my love of the beach. I spent several years with the beach on my doorstep, where I regularly enjoyed early morning walks. And was the inspiration for my Powertex Ammonite Light.

I particularly loved the changing moods of the sea, the smells and a chance to blow away the cobwebs.  I’ve chosen fabrics and materials which resemble netting and rocks. Paper deco works very well here.

I have also used some shells which I have added extra colour to. You can always leave these natural though.  The Powertex stand gave the finished piece some weight, as well as structure and height.

TOP TIP – Have a hair-dryer ready when adding the Ammonites. You will need them to stay in place so that they have space to poke the lights through. This also gives more 3 dimension to your piece.

Materials Used

I chose my materials, cardboard, and embellishments from my stash which included sea shells. I have used sand and 3d ball to create a thick texture for my ammonites, giving them an authentic look.

Building the basic form for the Powertex Ammonite Light

Step 1

Using the stand a base add tin foil to create rocks and shape, covering with masking tape.

Adding detail

Powertex Ammonite Light
Step 2

Step 2 – Added more texture using some honeycomb effect cardboard packaging. Hold in place with masking tape. Cover with fabric hardener. Creating texture for the ammonites.

Creating texture for the ammonites

Step 3

Mix black fabric hardener with sand and small 3d balls. Use this to cover the mdf ammonites. Put to one side until dry.

Bringing the ammonites to life

Powertex Ammonite Light
Step 4

Step 4 – Once dry use Secret Art Loft pigments to colour the ammonites, using the dry-brushing technique.. 

Building more structure

Step 5

Add height and detail using material dipped in green fabric hardener. Blend it over the ‘rocks’ adding height to your form.

Putting the elements together

Powertex Ammonite Light
Step 6

Before the fabric dries, add your ammonites (see top tip above). Add paper deco placed over the ammonites, using blue fabric hardener, for extra detail.

Powertex Ammonite Light

Finishing Touches

I decided to add colour to the sea-shells using Secret Art Loft acrylic paints, before dry-brushing to bring out the texture. Finally I added the fairy lights.

Why not take a look at my last article here, on how to create pastel shades with fabric hardener.

We love to see what you make, so please share your creativity here, at The Powertex Studio.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and that it inspires you to create your own nightlight. A garden theme using wings and flower embellishments would work well too. Looking forward to seeing your own take on how to use fairy lights, bye for now, Jill x

From Skye to Sea

From Skye to Sea by Abigail Lagden

I’m so excited to be part of the 2018 Powertex Design Team and for my first blog I wanted to share with you a place that is very special to me – the Isle of Skye.
It is a place of awe-inspiring beauty and diverse geology, from the looming Cuillin mountain range, across the bleak peat bogs, to the rugged cliffs and the many and varied beaches. The weather can be wild and changeable, but that is just another part of the beauty and inspiration of the place.
Glenbrittle Beach (that’s me lurking on the right with my lurcher, Benson)

On every visit, my other half (Tom) and I spend many a day exploring the outdoors, particularly the coastline. As a photographer, Tom is captivated by the light on the waters and takes stunning and emotive landscape pictures. I, on the other hand, mooch around, head down looking for treasures. ‘Treasures’ are what I call the things I collect from beaches and they can be anything from shells to stones to driftwood to glass.

Me, collecting treasures!!
(Excuse the attire – it’s cold in December)

Our last visit was just before Christmas and as usual I collected some treasures whilst out and about, so I thought I would incorporate a few of them into a sea-themed plaque. This is just one of the things I love about Powertex – how you can repurpose, recycle and reuse so many things to create something unique and beautiful.

The shells and grass roots were collected from Glenbrittle beach (above) and the coral pieces were collected from coral beach at Claigan (below).

Coral Beach, Claigan – the yellow beach is made up of little bits of coral as shown in the insert

But enough of the beauties of Skye, let’s talk about my little project. The base ingredients for my Skye to Sea Plaque design were:

I often use the journal covers to produce hanging plaques, and just cover four of the holes to leave two to hang it with. Although of course this design would also have made a gorgeous cover for a journal.

I am obsessed with texture and don’t like any plain, flat surfaces in my creations, so first I used structure paste to create some coral-like patterns on the MDF cover, before painting it all with bronze Powertex.

Rough layout of design (unsurprisingly in changed)

Next I laid out a rough arrangement of the bits and pieces I wanted to include – it is a good idea to do this at the start even if the layout changes as you progress through your projects.


Hollow shapes like shells can be tricky to attach securely to a project, so I like to mix a bit of 3D sand into some of the Powertex to produce a thicker paste which will hold them firmly in place. In this project I spread some of this paste over the areas where I wanted to place the shells and the coral. The shells were then filled with the paste before being positioned and the coral was just sprinkled directly onto the paste. To fill the gaps between the coral and the shells I sprinkled some small 3D balls over the area.
I added some pattern and texture to the seahorse using structure paste before attaching to the plaque and painting everything with a coat of bronze Powertex.
Left to dry before bringing to life with colour!

I coated the grass roots with Powertex and added them to make a sea plant. The texture was fantastic and I really wish I had picked up more of this stuff – I know what I’ll be looking for next time I’m at a beach – although care had to be taken when colouring as it was still rather fragile.

Then finally I used pieces of white Paper Decoration coated with Powertex to make some stringy seaweed around the sides.


Now time for some colour!
To produce a lovely blue-green multi-tonal sea colour I mixed blue, green, turquoise and white powercolors with easy varnish, in different quantities to get different shades and tones. This was applied using a dry brushing technique, layering the different colours gradually to blend the tones. Once I was happy with the result I couldn’t resist adding some shimmer so I used terragreen as well as the amazing new interference powders (blue, red and lilac) to give the scene some iridescence.
Then just a piece of t-shirt yarn tied through the holes for hanging and there you have my Skye to Sea Plaque.
From Skye to Sea by Abigail Lagden

I hope you have enjoyed my first Design Team blog, I know I have.
You can see more of what I am up to on my Curiously Contrary website and Facebook Page.

Until next time, Abs x

Lady of the sea

I was very excited about creating this piece. It was a sample for Hochanda and the first time I got to use my stamps and that I had seen them in the red rubber stamp format than just my hand drawn illustrations. I also got the fossil moulds and fossil stencils and absolutely could not wait to use them. So what better way than to put them together and create a journal cover I thought.
I think this was one of the first times I didn’t think of a layout and just got straight in. I made some stone art clay and rolled it flat and then stamped into it with the Aprodites kiss stamp. The red rubber really does give exceptional detail.
So I was a bit happy go lucky with stencils and structure paste. I do love them for giving extra texture and depth to the pieces I create. Even if I do happen to cover them completely with embellishments in the end. You can see I also added some silk paper with Easy mat coat to the front cover above, you can just about see a tiny piece peeking through in the final piece.
 This was the inside of the front cover. I think it’s important to decorate all the space you have to hand, it is also good practice.
The back cover started life with just the fossil stencil on. I then added some ivory and sprayed black bister on it when it was still wet. If you do this and then add a hair dryer you get some amazing crackling effects happening.
 I used Ivory Powertex over each side. Then sprayed with black bister. This gives a softer effect to just using the black Powertex. I forgot to photograph that stage as I had my head buried in all sorts of ideas for tv. I then dry brushed turquoise, gold and some pearl for the final colour. Would love to see what you create with my stamps. Please share on the Powertex addicts page on Facebook. We love to see what you have been up to. Toodle pip Anna xXx