Thursday, 16 November 2017

Ministry of Mixology Coventry - November 2017

Wowee this November has to be the most arty painty creative month ever!  First the NEC, then a day on Powertex product development (new workshop dates blogs coming soon) and then on...

I'm just back from the fabulously crazy arty weekend that is Ministry of Mixology or MoM!  

This was held at the Holiday Inn Academy Hotel in Coventry which was a great venue, especially as I'm only 20 minutes away!  It was great to see old friends and new as well as meeting the real people behind so many facebook profiles.

On Saturday I took a class with Tzanidakis Antonis, a hugely talented mixed media artist from Greece. Oh my this guy is crazy and funny and a fantastic teacher.  His project was BIG, I learnt so many techniques and I loved every minute.  

This is the project we made under his watchful eye, it was a fantastic project!

In the evening the MoM team organised a series of Make and Takes led by some hugely talented mixed media artists AKA Super-Elves.  

I took a class with Suz Humphreys of Surrey Crafts. This was so well organised and prepped and I enjoyed it immensely.  The techniques were easy to follow and Suz included a cheeky hidden photo of Mr Andy Skinner! Not sure if he knew!!!

Sunday couldn't come soon enough and a class with Andy Skinner.  This is the second time I've had the Andy Skinner experience and I enjoyed the altogether relaxed pace for a Sunday, after a busy Saturday and not to mention a slow gin or two!  More great techniques and a build up of colour with subtle washes.  Love the finished piece!

Sadly it was all over too soon until today, Wednesday, that is.  

My fabulous and hugely talented friend Nikki K and I craft together just for fun, a natter and a catch up as friends do.  Nikki was busy recreating her own "backwards crackle" technique Make and Take piece for Tando's blog.  So I persuaded her to let me follow along (lots of builders strength tea and a tasty lunch worked nicely).  Thanks Nikki you topped my arty crafty paint week off perfectly.

Nikki's original piece has coiled wire and two fab skulls to form a hanger.  To finish my piece I used Hannah Oxberry's rust craft wire.  This is a brilliant technique and one I shall be using again.

And that's it, four wonderful crafty days out of the last 6.  I guess I better go back to the day job tomorrow then!

Bye for now

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Powertex Hat - NEC November 2017

Hi there long time no see!

I took a nice break and enjoyed 2 weeks in Cornwall in September and October just seemed to disappear!  Then November came along with a fabulous Hobby show at the NEC and I had a great time with Powertex UK demonstrating all kinds of texy things.

There was a lot of interest in the hat I bought along to alter with Powertex and so as promised here is a quick step by step photo story of how this old felt trilby was transformed into a bit of goth type magic. 

I started with a selection of fabrics and added MDF, Plaster and sand embellishments.

Once it was dry I added a variety of pigments to give it colour and to bring out all the fabulous textures.

It really was a great project to make and I wore it the following weekend at Ministry of Mixology, Coventry and here is the finiished hat.

Products used were all Powertex:

Have fun and happy 'Texing

Bye for now

Monday, 4 September 2017

Sophie's Summer Superhero Project - Part 2

Well September is here already and Sophie's Super Hero has been updated.  I can't believe the summer holidays went by so quickly but Sophie and I had so much fun with this.  

There are still another 2 or 3 stages to go so we may need to drop "summer"!!

After a little holiday in Weymouth, the excitement of a new baby in the family and a party or two, we did stage 2.  For this we started with a cotton vest which Sophie rubbed Ivory Powertex into, OK i did give her a little help! 

We also worked Powertex into a length of cotton t-shirt fabric. Once it was well covered, we eased the vest over the body and then draped the fabric around the hip to make a short skirt.  (There will be another layer in stage 3.)

We then started the first of the decoration or embellished layer.  For this we needed purple Powertex.  Sophie suggested mixing blue and red Powertex together, but it wasn't quite dark enough so we also added a tiny bit of black.  

We coated some strips of lace and a leather belt which we draped onto Teleporter's hips (recycling is so much fun with Powertex!). We also worked some yellow Powertex for a second decorative strip of lace.

Next we wanted to add the green shoulder pieces and buttons.  If you can remember from Sophie's plan, Teleporter has two buttons, one of which has a secret power.

We mixed some ivory and green Powertex and worked this into some woven cotton dishcloth fabric.  We also coated two slices of wood to be the base of the buttons. There were some great embellishments on the belt which Sophie painted with yellow Powertex too.

That all took 2-hours and so we stopped there ready to have more fun with the final layer of embellishments next time.  
I'm so impressed by Sophie's concentration, I forget she is only 7-years old sometimes! The fun and laughter we have is fantastic and that includes seeing who gets the most stray Powertex on our arms, I think there was a splodge or two that she managed to get on my face too!!!

Have fun creating with Powertex and we will be back with the next stage soon!

Fi xx

Friday, 25 August 2017

Powertex - Nefertiti's Collar

Hi all,  I thought it was time to share a couple of my projects from Powertex UK's recent Egyptian themed shows on Hochanda.
So today I'm going to share how I made Nefertiti's gemstone collar.  Not real gemstones of course but made with Black Powertex and  3D sand.  I mixed the Powertex and Sand to a thick paste and pushed into a cabochon mould.  These take a few days to dry so make them a few days before you want to make your collar.

I then worked Ivory Powertex into some woven cotton tape and wrapped this very tightly around the collar base.  

Make sure you overlap the edges evenly as they will form part of the texture of the finished piece.

Tip: these collars have a habit of slipping forward so you might want to drill a hole on each end to fix a jump ring, some chain and a nice clasp to for peace of mind.  I didn't but I really wish I had as the weight pulled it forward even more.

Next I added some sand to a little Powertex to make a paste and put a small dollop onto the back of each faux gemstone and then pushed these into the now dry collar.

Don't add too much or it oozes out but the addition of the paste really help grab the weight of the faux stones onto the near vertical collar and made it easier to work with.

Once the stones were in place, I worked some more ivory Powertex into some paper string.  

I love using paper string where I want a twisted rope effect, it's light weight and absorbs the Powertex so well.

Starting on the lower edge of each stone, I tightly wrapped the string around to give the effect of a twisted wire setting.

Cut the end of at the opposite lower edge of each wrap.

I then coiled a little of the string and pressed one end onto the collar at the our edge and threaded under and over each stone finish with another coil on the opposite side.

Next I painted a thick layer of ivory powertex over the whole piece apart from the stones.  

I then sprayed the whole piece with brown bister and dried with the hairdryer, this added another layer of texture and in some places where a bister split was achieved.  

One it was dry I used red ochre, ultramarine blue and dark green Powercolor pigments which I mixed with Easy Varnish and built up colour on the stones.  

I was very careful to make sure the colour didn't go onto the rope.  I then mixed up Rich Gold Colortrix with more Easy Varnish and quite heavily painted the rope setting and less heavily on the remaining areas.  There's a useful Pigment Tray now that has a small quantity of pigments to help build up your pallete.

As a finishing touch I added some flat back crystals from my stash in the same colours as the stones.
Now here's a little tease, these stones have been enhanced even further, so check back late September/early October and see how these stones look even more realistic! 

That's all for now, let us see your makes on Powertex Addicts United.

Keep creating!
Fi xx

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Sophie's Summer Superhero Project - Part 1

Hi there I hope you are having a great summer with lots of creative fun!  I am having fun with my granddaughter Sophie and this weekend we have started on a major Powertex project.  Let me introduce you to Sophie aged 7 and a half!  [She told me the half is very important because that means she is nearer 8 than 7!]

Sophie has a wonderfully vivid imagination and loves crafting and creating with her mum, her sister and me.

When she is with me we do lots of Powertex.  So far she has made some fairy houses for the garden and also a bird house.  She loves watching films and reading comics with her dad and her brother and writes lots of stories about her own superheros.

Stage 1:

Recently I acquired an old tailors dummy from a car boot sale and that gave me the idea of a super summer project for Sophie.

Together we are going to create her very own full size superhero!

Sophie was very excited when I showed her the dummy and talked about my idea.  Within half an hour she had come up with her superhero...

Rosalina, also known as Ace the Teleporter!

Ace has lots of superpowers - 

  • Strength
  • Supersonic Swimmer
  • Hypnotic eyes (apparently we will make her head too)
  • Superb speed
  • and on her costume there will be buttons. One of the buttons will release a hidden superpower...she will become camouflaged!
  • On the base she will have fast release rocket boosters too!

I have promised that we will mix different colours of Powertex so that she has her own unique colours to match Ace's design.

So I think I have my work cut out to help her create her dream character!

We will be working in short sessions so it is fun, and Sophie has lots of creativity to look forward to.  Also for her mum and dad, the mess will all be here and not at their home!!!

I am going to blog the whole process so I hope you have fun joining us along the way. 

 Getting Started!

We popped on some small vinyl gloves and held them on with masking tape.  I made sure Sophie was well covered with a big apron.

We mixed up Ivory Powertex with a little red and some yellow to get the colour Sophie wanted for the base.  To that we added a small amount of Easy 3D Flex to make the mixture just a little thicker.  

As the dummy is made from some sort of foam we wanted to give it a really good base cover, and did 3 layers.  Over the upper body that we added some kitchen paper for additional strength.  Only the arm socket and neck will not be dressed but I felt this would give us a good base to start with.

This all took about an hour.  We left it at this stage to dry while we went off to search for fabrics and other interesting goodies to add next time.

So join us next time when we start to create the clothes and look for Ace - the Teleporter!

Bye for now
Fi and Sophie

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Amber Rose

Hi there, for all you resin jewellery lovers meet Amber Rose

Amber Rose was created during a very unique and special workshop at Earth Spirit Crystals in Nuneaton, Warwickshire back March.  It was a bitter cold day outside but inside the workshop the atmosphere was warm, light hearted and a little emotional for all concerned as we were creating some very special and unique memory jewellery.

Amber Rose was my demonstration piece made using a variety of R F Bright Enamels Chemset Resins and includes a piece of Amber set into orange transparent resin. These resins are superb quality with such clarity, click the link to find authorised stockists.

I am writing a project on how to make a piece like this very soon so if you like it, keep them peeled or join me for a Resin and Mixed Media Jewellery workshop at Earth Spirit Crystals on 12th August.

Amber Rose will be off  soon to her forever home with a very special lady.  

Bye for now

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Mermaid with a Message

Hi there hope you are having a great summer so far...I have been loving this gorgeous warmth!

My favourite place is the beach, I love beach combing and seeing what's been washed up that can be used in art like bits of wood and sea glass.  But more and more I feel sad that our oceans are being cluttered and devastated by plastic, discarded fishing nets and so much more, and it is damaging marine life.  So I created a Mermaid with a Message for a recent Mannequin's and Mermaids workshop.

I used a polystyrene torso and and wood/metal base from Powertex UK .  I then used some 2mm aluminium wire to create the tail shape and extended up her body.  I secured using masking tape and used cheap tin foil to create the tail shape and then wrapped with masking tape.  I used Powertex Lead  and Stone Art to cover the torso.  I used knitted scrim for the tail on the reverse as this gives the impression of scales.  

I added Powertex to some lace trim and placed around the top of the tail fabric and added small  3D balls to the body and tail for texture and to imply those little balls of plastic that are found in cheap cosmetic scrubs that find their way into the water course and out into out oceans.  I then painted the base with more Powertex and embellished with tissue paper and more 3D balls in varying sizes.  Finally I rubbed Powertex into some net fabric and draped over her, as if she were caught while swimming.  I then left her overnight to dry.

I then used Easy Varnish with Powercolor and Colortricx pigments to add colour, I didn't go too far with this as I wanted to help her to get her message across, plastic and waste are damaging our oceans!

Finally I used some rusty wire to make some barbed wire and added to her body. This will be available in my etsy shop once I've had time to create one!

Hope you like this project and want to have a go yourself.  Post some photos on Powertex Addicts United  if you do we love to see what you create.

Bye for now
Fi xx

Friday, 9 June 2017

A Perfectly Pink Powertex Jelly Fish

I'm loving the POWERTEX shows on HOCHANDA today and I hope you are too!  Tracey and Anna have done us proud and I am so inspired! 

A day without Powertex is a day...well let's not even go there!

So here's another project to help you create your own Powertex art work.  It's time for a Jelly Fish! 

I remember my brother being stung by one of these critters in Llandudno when we were kids and that was not fun at all!!!! This however was....

As before, I did a rough layout of where I thought I would place my embellishments and textiles.  

TIP: Take a photo!  Once we swipe them off to get started it's easy to forget!

I started with Ivory Powertex and spread this all over and in the joins between the top and bottom peices.  I then spread it all over the strengthening piece.  

I love the way these have been designed!

I dried it with a hairdryer (then picked up all the embellishments that were blown over the floor by the hairdryer - woops!!)

Once dry I turned it over and did the same on the front.

I then poured a tiny bit of the Red Powertex into the Ivory and mixed it up. This gave me a soft to medium pink!

TIP: less is more in colour mixing as Powertex tends to dry darker!

I spread the pink Powertex all over the front and then started to add my texture.

First I started with some of the lace and ricrac braid.  Using the lace around the curved top of the jelly fish and moving down to the two outer tentacles with the ricrac braid.

Next the embellishments, circles and cogs.

Oh boy I had fun with this, it was kind of like karma thinking back to my unfortunate brother falling foul to their nasty sting!  

I have to say I haven't had so much macabre fun in ages!!!

Once they were all in place, I used some of the Powercotton from the embellishment pack to add a bit more texture.

I then sprayed with black bister for a bit of dimension and dried with the hairdryer and left the piece to dry overnight.

NOTE: you can dry this in a drying box to speed up but it was more convenient to me to leave overnight.  I also find this gives the metal embellishments chance to dry to a really hard fix.

I had fun on day 2 adding lots of colour to bring out all that fabulous texture and detail.

The first lot of dry brushing I did was with the Powercolour burgundy pigment with Easy varnish and my 3/4" Powerex Brush to go back over some of the areas I had covered with bister, this can be seen in the image above right.  

I then moved onto blue and green, as shown on the left.

Next one of my favourite colours, Yellow Ochre - you can seen this around the tentacles in the image to the right! 

As I always do, I added bits and bobs of colour in various places sometimes overlapping with what colour I had already laid down.  This really creates so much interest.

Finally I used my most favourite of the gold pigments Colourtrix Bronze Gold.

Here is my funky Perfectly Pink Powertex Jelly Fish in all it's glory!

Hope you like it and hope to see your Jelly Fish popping up on Powertex Addicts facebook page very soon!

Have fun and bye for now!
Fi xx

Oh so pretty Powertex Seahorse

So what did you think of the fabulous PowertexUK launch shows on HOCHANDA last night with Tracey Evans and my hugely talented Powertex DT teamy, Anna Amelia Howlett of Rosehart Studio?  What fabulous products they have bought us and oh my... their projects!!!!!

I love all the hustle and bustle that preparation for live shows bring with them and I have been very blessed to have been able to play with some of the gorgeous products they have bought you to create this rather pretty Seahorse and in a later blog today there is a perfectly pink Jelly Fish.

Before I started I spread out the embellishments and textiles on my workbench and came up with a rough idea of placement.  I chose to work mainly with the floral elements for my seahorse so that I could get two very different looks.

So to get started, I brushed some Ivory Powertex along the seam of the two main pieces and then brushed more Powertex onto the back of the square mdf piece and pressed this down over the join.  This gives great stability and you can also use this area to put the hanging loop on.

I then spread Ivory Powertex over the entire back and dried off with a hair dryer. I then turned it over and spread Powertex of the front and edges.

Next I started to put the embellishments into place having first coated with Powertex.  I tend to drop them into the Powertex and then rub with my hand.  This ensures that the Powertex gets into all the nooks and crannies and means we will get a superb bond know the kind that Powertex is famous for!

I began at the head of the Seahorse, I used one of the circles that I snapped in half and placed in the nose area to accentuate the smile that I always think of when I look at Seahorse.

I also left some clear unembellished areas so that I could work with the Black Bister later.

I gradually moved down the body of the Seahorse adding some lace to the outer curve accentuating the spine and then some of the RicRac braid on the inner curve.

I pressed some flat and left some proud of the base as this will give extra texture and dimension.  I also left some overhanging the edge, again to add dimension.

I continued to build up the texture using the embellishments and under some of the metal pieces I rubbed some Powertex into some kitchen paper and scrunched up to raise them further and also to aid the bonding with the metal and Powertex.

Once I had added all my embellishments I added some more Powertex to the areas I had left empty.

I then sprayed liberally with the black bister and then used a hairdryer to dry off some of the bister and create a bit more textural interest with a bister split.

I then left the piece to dry overnight.

Day 2...let's get colourful and bring out the character using the various pigments that are in the One Day Special as well as the Easy Varnish.

As with the embellishments I made to colour palettes from the pigments in the kit so that the looks were very different. 

I used the Turquoise and green first and then moved on to burgundy and lilac.    

I don't add all the same colours over everything, I tend to pick out areas but allow some overlap so there is little or no evidence of a join.    

I carried on with the colours over the entire piece.

Once the main piece was coloured I decided to add a pop of colour.

So using the orange I hightlight just a few of the flower centres and the wings on butterflies.

Finally I used silver to add a bit of lustre to what I think is a rather pretty Seahorse!

Below are some close ups to show you how I created the detail, highlights and shadows.

I hope you like her and enjoy using your Powertex One Day Special and create a fabulous Seahorse of your own.

Please share your makes with us over on our facebook page Powertex Addicts United.

Keep watching Tracey and Anna on HOCHANDA and pop back later today and there will be another step project for you to follow using more of today's fabulous POWERTEX products.

Bye for now
Fi xx