So you were tempted by Powertex at a craft fair or craft
shopping channel and bought your bottle
of Powertex or starter kit. I know it’s
a bit daunting the thought of opening it up at home. Just where do you start?
The next few posts are easy starter projects for you learn
all about this art magic in a bottle.
A book cover or plaque
When you first start, its is easiest to work on a flat object. That way you are not fighting gravity as well
as learning Powertex properties.
You can decorate your planner cover, an art journal, MDF shape,
or just a small artboard.
Make sure you cover your work surface with a plastic
tablecloth and I advise old clothes or an apron as once the hardener has dried
it will not come out of fabric.
You may prefer to remove your jewellery and wear gloves to
protect your hands. It’s not necessary as Powertex is nontoxic and
it does wash off with warm soapy water afterwards, but it what you feel
comfortable with. I usually find someone comes to the front door when hands are
totally mucked up!
Before pouring Powertex out into a
shallow plastic plate, make sure you give it a good shake up to mix it well.
Gather a selection of natural fabrics. I love using up recycled items such as old t-shirts, dishcloths, lace, bits of cardboard or embellishments etc. Mixed fabrics can also be used but might not cure as hard as natural fabrics.
Gently dip bits of fabric into the Powertex liquid and rub into the fibres. This is much easier if you are using a light fabric and a bronze or black Powertex, as you can see which bits you have missed. Make sure all the fabric is covered but not too wet or slimy. It should start sticking to itself.Paint a bit of Powertex over the book or item you are going to decorate and lay on the fabric. Scrunch up the fabric into folds, twists and ridges to create texture. Add on any embellishments you may have, Powertex makes a good glue! Then leave to air dry. It should be dry enough to paint up after an hour or so.
When we attended the Powertex Tutor retreat at Tex Towers in July, we were each asked to bring an item which could be upcycled with Powertex products to be repurposed into a new item. I donated a high heeled shoe, thinking I might finally get a change to upcycle another one. But to our surprise, each item donated was given a raffle ticket number. The range of donated items was vast, from old dolls, boxes, drawers, vases and weird and wonderful shaped ornaments. During the event we were asked to draw a raffle ticket and we were allocated the item with the corresponding number. I got this!
Three cardboard tubes from the inside of tin foil rolls. Was I inspired to upcycle and create something – Heck No! I did wonder who had ever thought this was a good item to donate for upcycling, but then I noticed mutual expressions of disappointment from others with their uninspiring products. Creativity was going to have a hell of a time to get inspiration to the group. Then being challenged to have the item upcycled by the end of August just added to the challenge pressure.
I must admit, I though of a few things I could just do to use up the tubes to get the challenge over with, including a triangle shaped dream catcher or turn it into a hat. But these bloody tubes just sat there staring at me.
At the weekend of 8th and 9th September 2018, I have a stall in the first Hartlepool Steampunk fair at the Borough Hall. It looks like it will be a fabulous turn out at a great historic venue on the coast.
So I was doing a bit of research on Steampunk, well just googling images to be exact! when I realised a lot of Steampunk participants not only dressed in costume but they have fantasy accessories as well. INSPIRATION HIT ME!
Well it was more like a small slap then a punch, but I now had an idea in my head of how I could upcycle those dratted three tubes. I gathered up my staple tinfoil and masking tape, along with a spray bottle. After a bit of remodelling and covering with Powertex products using lace and fabric with added embellishments, I came up with this….
A fantasy Steampunk weapon, complete with working trigger action. to create this is used the following products.
Off we went for our first Powertex retreat and Garden Party.
When you here of “going on a retreat” you might conjure up images of a spiritual sanctuary, peace and quiet contemplation, possibly with a detox and with organic or vegan food. OH NO! It definitely wasn’t that sort of retreat. Perhaps is should be named a Re-Treat!. There was fun, games lots of laughter and loads of new friends made. All were loaded with cakes; stuffed with BBQ’s and plied with alcohol. Oh Ok, I admit, I did contribute to the alcohol things by offering shots of various home made gin flavours. After all, what’s a party without gin?
Three days of crafting mixed media products and learning new techniques in creating three new canvas styles. I have already signed up for the 2019 event here: https://www.powertex.co.uk/
Just a few photos of us camping on site and in the workshops. My creations will have to wait till next time….
I had a fabulous time at ‘Tex Towers’ last week. I met some fabulously creative people who totally inspired me to go the extra bit and outside the comfort zone. A big shout out to Lisa Evans who runs CreativeStays retreats (which sound fabulous!), Lynette Jasper,and Leonie Pujol our celebrity crafty TV demonstrators; Michaela Thouless, Lisa Robinson, John Cook and the marvelous Tracy Evans who inspired us all on our Powertex journey.
I have booked my first promotional craft fair on March 24 at The Studio, Tower Street, Hartlepool. I am also busy crafting the basics I need for the workshops and demonstration pieces.
Coming previously from a card maker and scrap booker background; I designed my layouts within two dimensions. Even through I was used to matting and layering, or adding texture and elements, I still had a steep learning curve moving to a true mixed media canvas.
Deciding on a feature item is always the fun part. for this canvas decided to raid my kitchen drawer and found an old Apostle spoon. Who remembers them? tiny little teaspoons with a figure of a saint or apostle at the top. It must have been inherited from my grandmas kitchen.
Once I decided to feature the spoon, then it was a case of layering any dry placing all elements around it.
Who else lives the rock and roll lifestyle? I have got to the age when Friday evening is no longer spent dressed to the nines going clubbing, but more like dressing in my PJ’s and crafting.
Hubby is out in the craft studio, yes I do share my love or art and craft with my husband and yes I am lucky! He is creating a tree branch mosaic in the shape of a motor home. Just because he can.
I, on the other hand have been preparing for Powertex workshops on Monday. I have two booked in.
The morning of Monday the 16th we are creating a mixed media canvas based on a memory or memorial with keepsakes. Then on the evening there is a fairy house workshop. For these I need to cast the silicone moulds for the doors and windows to go on the recycled coffee jar. I just wish I could get hold of more old teapots as those are fab as a fairy house.
I have used a mix of silicone moulds for my preparation. I like the Artyco large fairy door and castle window as it feels strong and solid like a castle door. But I also like casting the KatySueDesigns enchanted window with the extra ivy leaves and flowers.
I must admit, after trying a few silicone moulds from eBay and China, I much prefer the quality of the designs from these UK providers. The quality of the cast is exceptional and doesn’t break up on extracting.