Sunday, 14 January 2018

An Arty Crafty Happy New Year with gratitude and thanks

Hi there and a Very Happy New Year! 

Better two weeks in than never!  Can you believe we are half way through January already?  I cannot believe how lucky I was as 2017 drew to a close.

I was lucky enpugh to win Juna Biagioni's give away of a place on Dirty Footprints Studio 21 Secrets Art journalling course on which she is teaching.  I don't know about you but I have never been lucky with these until November that is.  

I've entered hundreds of competitions and give aways over the years but this one came on the day we said goodbye to our wonderful arty friend, Liz Welch.  Liz was so encouraging of not only my art journey but that of two great friends we met monthly to do art journalling until sadly she became poorly again.  We each had some wonderful arty crafty things happen at the end of 2017 and we feel sure Liz sprinkled some stardust on us.  Thank you Liz for being part of our lives, we will never forget those very special times we shared with you.

In December I had a fun crafty day with my friend Nikki K and made a few tags for her using some of the great Tando and Decoart Kits she had on her Hochanda shows on Christmas Eve. We had a lot of fun!  I'll grab some photo's for another blog soon.

Then Wham! It was Christmas!  I got very painty over the festive break and did a lot of Powertex - of course! I mean life would be boring if I didn't have Powertex in my life.  

I entered my Winter Ice Cave piece in a competition over on Abyssimo Open Studio Group over Christmas as was delighted to come third.  My prize was a place on one of her wonderful courses.  I chose Abyssimo's Marvellous Mixed Media 3-D Techniques course and I have watched the videos twice already!  I can't show you the piece yet as it is winging it's way to Canada as part of an ATC Swap organised by my friend Hannah Oxberry and Mixed up Mag.  What fun I have had!

As if that wasn't enough, oh my what came next reduced me to happy but grateful tears! 

I was thrilled to bits and over the moon to be awarded Powertex Team Member of the Year at the end of my first year on the Powertex UK DT! I can't thank Tracey and Garry who are Powertex UK for all their encouragement and opportunities they have given not just me but my DT teamies and Powertex Tutor colleagues.  

On top of all that I was asked to be on the DT for a second year! 

So that's my news and I can't tell you how grateful and thankful I am and how much I hope you too get have some great times arty crafty creative times ahead in 2018.

So what have you been creating?  Share on my page (or over on Powertex Addicts United if you've been creating with Powertex).  We all love to see what you have been making.

Oh and while I think of it, there have been some great new Powertex Blogs already this year from my team mates. I've got a blog out at this week using a fabulous Powertex Owl Project Pack.  Check the blog out if you need some inspiration to get you started.

Happy Creating
Bye for now


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