Monday, 30 January 2017

Powertex Art 4 A Heart Workshops with Donna McGhie

I am a level 3 qualified Powertex tutor. In 2017 I am delighted to announce that I will be adding a new type of Powertex workshops to the ones I already offer. In 2016 my family was hit with an emotional roller coaster. My husband was rushed to Papworth Hospital and placed on the urgent waiting list for a heart transplant.After weeks of waiting on the outside. Feeling utterly helpless.  The phone call telling me that a possible heart had been found. The kaleidoscope of emotions that bombarded every inch of my being is impossible to adequately describe, I felt out of control. Everything spiraled into a vortex of hope, fear, excitement and nausea; and underlying all of the above was one other feeling.  The feeling of guilt, it was subtle for sure, in comparison to all the other emotions that collided and collapsed into each other as the news sunk in.  But it was definitely there.  Lurking uncomfortably amidst all that hope.  Whispering to me that as my family was being offered a lifeline, another family somewhere had had that lifeline taken away from them. Then the emotional roller coaster eased into a different gear, as I was told that after undergoing lengthy testing, they were unable to use the heart in this case. What do you do when this happens?  What can you do?  There is only one thing you can do.  Continue to wait.  And hope against hope for the next time. All the while trying to ignore that persistent little whisper ‘your just waiting for someone else to die.’ Logically you know that is not the case.  Logically you know, from all the personal accounts you make it your business to read, that donor families gain some form of comfort in knowing that their loved one has done an amazing thing.  From knowing that their loved one has passed on the most amazing gift ever.  Logically you know all of this.  But for me anyway, that sense of guilt subtly, but stubbornly refused to budge.I had two more phone calls like the first one.  The  kaleidoscopic assault on the senses was just as vivid each time.  And yes, the devastation you feel when, for whatever reason, the heart cannot be used hits you like a ten tonne brick each time.  But thankfully, for me anyway that lurking,  unjustified whisper did start to recede.Eventually reality sunk in.  The reality that, sadly, the donor would have passed away regardless of whether my husband received their heart or not.And then a miracle happened.   Another phone call.  And then you get the news that yes.  This is it.  This time it really is happening.And after hours, and hours, and hours in surgery you get to see your loved one.  And your loved one is totally away with the fairies.  And battered and bruised.  And looking pretty damn rough.  But they have survived.  They have made it through.  They are alive.The gratitude we as a family have, will always have, to the donor and their family is impossible to convey.  We think of them often, and raise a glass to them when we gave a toast at Christmas.  And on special occasions.  And will continue to do so.They will never be forgotten.  They are our heroes.The other heroes are the staff at Papworth Hospital.  Every one of them.  Sometimes those surgeons perform two heart transplants in one day.  Can you imagine that?  Whenever I think I’ve had a stressful day.  I remind myself just how shattered they must be at the end of a shift.  Not just the surgeons though.  Everyone at that hospital works so hard, dealing with the ripples of organ donation every single day.Ripples of joy, devastation, anger, frustration and many many more. Including those ripples of guilt.The guilt I felt has completely subsided now.  I am now at peace with the wonderful gift that has been given to our family.  And we give thanks daily.Which leads me onto my very small way of giving something back.As a level 3 Powertex tutor I run Powertex sculpting workshops.  This is my business, and is slowly but surely picking up again, after being put on hold for much of last year.Alongside my regular workshops, I now offer Powertex Art 4 A Heart Workshops.Any time you see my workshops advertised as Powertex Art 4 A Heart Workshops, you know that a percentage of the fee charged will be donated straight to The Papworth Hospital Charity. Details of these Powertex workshops can be found on my facebook page and on my website you fancy coming along and creating something beautiful with Powertex, whilst also contributing in a very small way to the fantastic work done by the Papworth Hospital Transplant Team then please do come along.I’d love to see you.

Follow Donna's blog here

Friday, 27 January 2017

The Countdown Begins...Powertex (and me) on Hochanda

A week today Powertex will be back on Hochanda with some more fabulous Powertex products and for the first time  I will be joining Tracey bringing you some jewellery making ideas.  I am SO excited!

Some of you may know me from demonstrating jewellery making techniques on another channel where I worked with several mediums, The messier the better!

I got trained and became a Certified Powertex Tutor (Level 1 and Level 2) last March and not many days go by without getting my hands messy with Powertex.

I have had such a lot of fun developing some ideas for Jewellery with Powertex. 

I promise that if you have never used Powertex before you will be able to do most of these techniques and if you'd like the guidance a Certified Tutor then head over to the Powertex UK website to find a tutor in your area.

Check in to see how Tracey and I use the same products to create very different pieces - Thursday 2nd Feb for the launch show at 8pm with Tracey and then yours truly will be on screen at 9am on Friday 3rd Feb.  We will both be popping up throughout the day in our other hours.

Keep Powertexing

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

So there I was bumbling along like I do, not sure what direction I was going in with my art and new little business when my friend Birdy introduced me to Tracey and Garry of Powertex Uk at the London Excel show in 2015. Little did I know that a few months later I would be taking the steps that ensured I was embarking on the journey and dream of a life time. I’m not kidding this stuff has literally changed my life. And Tracey and Garry have now affectionately become mumma Tex and pa Tex who reside at Tex Towers (Powertex UK HQ) well to me anyway.

I now find myself on the Powertex UK Design Team for 2017. Super exciting and yes you will get to join in on that excitement. I will share the products and ideas I have come up with in my style especially for you to go off and create with the universal medium we all love. 
Well, that’s why you’re here right?

It’s an absolute privilege to invite you on this journey showing you the wonders of Powertex through new ideas, projects, this blog and Hochanda. 
I have a super exciting year ahead of me and it’s all thanks to Tracey and Garry for giving me this fantastic opportunity. 
I love my Powertex family and I can't even imagine what life was like before I was introduced to this amazingly versatile medium.
 I'm glad I dared to dream!

Dare to Dream Powertex mixed media journal cover in pinks and purples
by Anna Howlett

You can follow Anna's blog here

New Year, New Challenges, New Blog - by Fiona Potter

Fiona Potter

Wow what a kick start to the New Year!

2016 ended on such a high with me being invited to join the Powertex UK HOCHANDA Team.  So I was already excited about what 2017 has to offer!

Design Team 2017
Powertex UK Design Team

The best surprise ever!  I was invited to join the Powertex UK Design Team!

I am so thrilled and honoured to be among such talented artists and creators and I cannot thank Powertex UK enough for believing in me and "getting" what I do.

I'm looking forward to sharing lots of projects and tips with you through this blog and more in depth in my workshops around CV9-CV13 and of course on HOCHANDA.
Angel Anna
Powertex Fabric Sculpted Angel by Fiona Potter
Some how I think my Powertex Angel has been watching over me and nudging me in the right direction.

Hope you can join me in my journey

Fi xx

For more updates from Fiona, please visit her blog page


From New York to Redditch

If you watched our Tracey on the latest Hochanda show, then you may have noticed that she’s been reusing old canvases and transforming them into unique works of art with Powertex.
Good quality canvases can be expensive to buy brand new, so we’ve been frequenting the car boots and charity shops to collect used canvases for a fraction of the price.
The canvas used in this month’s blog make is about a meter squared, and originally depicted the New York skyline in murky greys and dreary browns... sort of like somebody had spilt a cup of tea all over it. I managed to get it for a whopping £1!! The chap who was selling it said he was sad to part with it as it was such a lovely picture… I felt it best not to tell him that it was getting Powertexed at the nearest opportunity.
So, it came home with me to Redditch and within a couple of days the New York skyline was replaced with a cheerful folk art scene…
 folk art scene with Powertexfolk art scene Powertex
I used mostly Ivory and Blue Powertex in the background, moving it around the canvas with a palette knife. I made sure that the Powertex was thicker in some places, and then while it was still wet, I sprayed on some bister. I then held a hairdryer over the canvas and applied some heat to form cracks in the paint. The thicker the paint, the thicker the cracks which appear.
Once my base layer was dry, I used Powercolor pigments mixed with easy varnish (burgundy, orange and light blue) to add a splash of colour.
I painted the trees using Black hardener, and the butterflies are just little wooden embellishments which I also painted in Black and stuck onto the canvas (Powertex works well as a glue).

folk art tree powertex
For the sun, Transparent hardener was used on some yellow yarn which I later dry brushed with gold Colortrix and red Powercolor. I also used Transparent hardener for the rays of the sun, mixed with some copper Colortrix to give the metallic effect.
Et voilá!
If you would like to upcycle an old canvas with Powertex, feel free to contact a Powertex Tutor near you, who will be happy to help.