Thursday, 25 May 2017

How to decorate a Mirror Tile

Hi all here I am again with another idea for using Powertex Fabric Hardener and the fabulous new flower and leaf moulds, exclusive to Powertex . I have also used Stone Art to create an attractive border.

This time I am sharing something quite different, very simple but effective. I really love the idea of transforming something I already have but do not use, into  something very special.

For a few years there lay in my stash of 'stuff' a pack of large mirror tiles. This is what I did with one of them.

I have a constant companion whilst creating in the form of a very nosey black cat called Salt.



You will need:

Powertex Ivory & Transparent

A mirror tile

Powertex Stone Art

Powertex Daisy & Leaf Moulds

Green, Yellow, Lilac Colour Pigments

Brown Bister

Powertex Varnish

A Scrap of Lace and some Jute

Large and small Paintbrushes

Masking Tape & Scissors


A length of wire that is strong but bendable.

(You don’t need a nosy cat though.)
 
Paint the back of the mirror with a layer of Ivory Powertex. Place the jute over the Powertex and use the brush again to add a little more until the whole surface is well covered. The jute should be about 2 inches bigger all round than the mirror.


Use pliers to cut a length of wire and curl it at the ends to form a loop. Next use a paintbrush and saturate 2 lengths of cotton material thoroughly with Ivory Powertex.



Loop the material through the wire and press down to ensure the Powertex has soaked right through. Dry the back of the mirror using a hair dryer. When touch dry turn the mirror over and add masking tape to the centre to keep the mirror surface clean. Remember to use a plastic sheet to work on. I found this table cloth in that certain shop that has everything for a pound! 


Use a paintbrush to coat one side of the jute with the Ivory Powertex then turn it over and press it down firmly. Dry with a hair dryer. Ensure it has adhered all round. Before removing the tape.



Once the Powertex is dry, remove the masking tape. It was late at night when I reached this stage so I decided to prop the mirror up against the wall on another of my plastic table cloths to dry for the night. Nosey cat had to have a sniff. He sometimes gets a little too close to where I am working and ends up with Powertex on his fur. It wears off eventually.


I had already created the flowers from Stone Art clay which was made using the Ivory Powertex and the Stone Art powder mixing equal amounts together until I had a clay that had a pastry like consistency. I kept mixing it until my gloves did not stick to the clay.  You can use your fingers too as the clay is water based and can be easily washed off. I had stored my ready mixed Powertex Clay in a plastic bag so was ready for the next stage. That was to create a border within the surrounding jute. The whole thing had dried out nicely overnight. The next stage was to create 4 long sausages the width and length of the inside of the overlapping jute.


These need to be adhered so I poured a little transparent onto a paper plate. This is where the whole design idea begins to take shape.




I coated the Transparent Powertex along the whole length  where the border was to be placed. This acts as a glue. Once it had all been flattened then pressed on I used a nice piece of lace with a deep texture to press firmly over the surface. I do apologise for the photography but it is not easy working with sticky stuff and taking pics in between.


Once everything was in place I used Brown Bister mixed with water to add depth all over and a lovely warm shade of brown. I used a paintbrush to apply it.


The Bister really brings out the texture but it does require varnishing when completely dry. Use Powertex Easy Varnish for this.

Black, nosy cats also require having their tummies rubbed after the tiring work of watching me create. I love that cat!

I hope you have been inspired.



I am from East Sussex and a qualified Powertex Tutor Levels 1 and 2 and I hold workshops from my home in Wadhurst. One of my specialities is to create figurines and I love sharing my techniques with others. Due to illness I have not been able to attend and demonstrate at all the big shows for a while so I am happy with one to ones or workshops with up to 4 students.
Email birdsdragons@gmail.com

Please check out my workshop page for details or join me on Facebook where I share many of my Powertex Creations.

LOVE THE STUFF












Saturday, 20 May 2017

What dreams are made of.........

With just under a month to go until my Hochanda debut with Powertex uk. I thought I would give you the sneakiest peak of something really exciting......... 

When I decided to quit my job nearly two years ago and follow my heart with the dream of becoming an artist I had little confidence and trust in myself as to whether I could actually make those dreams a reality. The more my journey progress's the closer they come into fruition. 


I am so grateful for the day I met Garry and Tracey of Powertex uk. Their support and faith in my abilities have made me progress from strength to strength. Not only is it my privilege and honor to be on the Powertex uk design team 2017, represent Powertex uk as a guest present on Hochanda but Powertex uk and Rosehart Studio are now in collaboration on some really fantastic products. 


If you would like to see what we have come up with be sure to tune into Hochanda on 8th June to see the launch. For now a couple of pictures of the packaging. Well, I did say it was a sneak peak. Intrigued????

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Something in the style of an artist I admire

‘Something in the style of an artist I admire.’


Hi Birdy Heywood here again with another Blog.

As a member of the Powertex Design Team 2017 we were asked to pick 4 subjects to cover for our blogs. One option I chose was ‘something in the style of an artist I admire.’

There are many, but 2 artists appeal to me the most. Those are both Gaudi and Dali. Probably because my own style is more surrealistic rather than realistic. I love all things organic.  Gaudi’s art simply oozes with a connection to growth, movement and to the earth itself.

Creating helps me to bring to the fore, my deepest feelings. Some are happy and others are more thought provoking, both allow me to release them and set me free.

Art is all about expression. I see it as a language. A language that can be interpreted in several ways according to the person who creates it and those who observe it.

 
Gaudi’s buildings grow out of the landscape
as if they had been there for hundreds of years.


Dali, well I just love his work too. He dared to leave reality behind
and express himself in the most peculiar of ways.
 
Now to my own particular work of art

First of all I want to tell you how this came about.
Many years ago, an ex partner of mine was jealous that he had not been part of my past. He showed dislike for my much treasured paintings and drawings dating back from the time I was a teenager. I dreamed then of becoming and artist. Stupidly, as a token of my affection, I made a fire and threw all of my paintings and sketches on it to be consumed by the flames. 




This picture is the only one that survived. I sketched it with a ball point pen on a scrap of paper when I was 13 years old whist on a visit to Germany.  A relative scanned it and sent it to me a few years ago.  Seeing it again bought back all sorts of emotions.
Teenage years as we know, are difficult. As a victim of abuse when I was seven I often felt trapped, dirty and useless. Drawing helped me to express myself and I drew many such heads growing out of the ground. Heads with no arms, no bodies. The surrounding landscape was hostile and barren. Somehow these bodiless heads survived, silently observing the destruction of what had once been a beautiful world.  My family called me ‘weird.’
I see now that what I was expressing, was that feeling of being helpless and trapped.
As I took this idea further my POWERTEX Creation released me.

‘The Release’


Dali created, heads growing out of the ground, strange creatures with long spindly legs, melting clocks that defied space and time. Gaudi erected the strangest but also the most beautiful of buildings, each with a life of its own and a message with each of them.
I decided to use my strange bodiless heads from childhood to set me free.

One of the heads had to break free and I felt it was to be me.
I knew that with Powertex this would be possible, more effective and enjoyable than just a drawing.  Besides, each month all Powertex Trainers have a challenge set. This is just for enjoyment so no pressure.  During the month where a ‘Collage’ was the subject, I decided it was my chance to tackle the subject of letting go.
As with everything created from the heart and deep subconscious, I was very emotionally charged.
Apart from the heads themselves which I created out of polymer clay using my own moulds, the rest of the creation was made using only Powertex products.


The heads trapped on the ground were rooted on the rocks.
I created the rocks using natural fabric soaked in Bronze Powertex.
The background was created using Easy 3D Flex. 
This is great as it cracks whilst drying revealing crevices.
I created the heads out of polymer clay


I used an old t-shirt for the rocks, then when dried I used lighter colours and
dry brushed it to bring out the texture. (More on dry brushing later.)
Easy 3D Flex  is great for creating the texture of the dry, cracked, earth

Gaudi’s style influence me whilst creating the rocks with strange shapes. For these I used torn up egg  cartons. The foliage was created using Paper Dec and the little berries using Sand and Balls. Both Powertex products.  I used Powertex Hardener Green for the foliage and Bronze Hardener for the rocks.

I love the texture of egg cartons. Hah, Hah, little things please little minds
​and I am easy to please.


I mixed a tiny bit of Bronze  Powertex with some Ivory to create a clay like shade then added Stone Art to create a clay that I could form. With this I created little rock formations.
Powertex Stone Art

Dry brushing really brings out the texture. The egg cartons have a natural stone like surface.
I began first of all to brush a lighter shade of brown over the surface gradually mixing lighter
and lighter  shades until I ended up with just the Ivory.



Once I have finished a canvas using the Powertex
I find such wonderful textures to play with
in a photo editing programme called Picassa. (
A free programme)

Anything is possible
CREATE YOUR DREAM

Powertex UK
have a wonderful range
So take a look to see who is
from your area.















Monday, 15 May 2017

A Home Decor Stoneart Project

Hello Bloggers, Jo Channon here!

Well this is my first post on the Powertex UK Blog and I am thrilled to be able to bring you a project that I made for my first show that I did on HOCHANDA this week representing Powertex UK.


I have used one of the kits that we had on the show called the Home Deco Art set.  I have used a 30cm x 30cm canvas frame and then with my Bronze Powertex and my Stoneart powder I have created the Stoneart effect as the background of the piece.  The realistic effect that it gives you is incredible and I am loving working with these particular products to create the look that we have got.



This is a couple of close up shots of one of the flowers that I have made to embellish the Stoneart canvas.  The flowers are made from Stoneart clay which has been made using the Ivory Powertex and the Stoneart powder mixing equal amounts together and creating a clay that has a pastry like consistency. Keep mixing until your gloves (or fingers) do not stick to the clay and then you will be ok to start using the clay for whatever project you want.  In this case I have used the Daisy and matching leaf moulds that are exclusive to Powertex UK and can be found on their website.  (When using Ivory Powertex to make clay it is also suggested that you mix in a little of the Translucent Powertex with the ivory as this helps with the correct consistency.) The clay will last for several weeks if you keep it in a airtight container so if you mix too much up keep it for another project.
I left the flowers and leaves to airdry for a few hours and then used by Powertex Powders mixed into a little Ivory Powertex to create a lovely powder blue colour and then sponged this on to colour up the Daisy flowers.  The leaves were done in a similar way using the Green powder and then dry brushed over using some of the Colourtrix Green which gives this fabulous colour. I just added a little yellow to the middles to finish the flowers off.
For the rest of the canvas I used textured fabrics dipped into Ivory Powertex and also a variety of sizes from the sand and balls kit to add interest and lots of dimension.
I hope that you have been inspired to have a go at the Stoneart both for making backgrounds and for making clay to make embellishments and more texture to your projects.
It really is a lovely project to get your teeth into and the end result is so satisfying!
Please send photographs into the Powertex Addicts Facebook page to show us all what you have been getting up to, we love it when everyone shares their work.
I will be back with another project soon but, for the time being, enjoy your crafting and
bye for now,
Jo x

Saturday, 13 May 2017

RECYCLING 'THINGS'

Well here I am again with my second Blog….gradually getting the hang of this. So a little more about my Powertex Journey!

​As most crafters, I see things and think, "Oh I wonder if I could use that?" The result is a vast accumulation of what I can only refer to as "THINGS."  For instance, nice bits of lace, interesting shapes and moulds, glass bottles and jars, egg boxes, cardboard boxes, candle holders, broken or chipped china........oh the list goes on.

It was looking at my plastic milk containers that I "saw" A Fairy House! Not just any fairy house but one with an open door and leaded windows. I suffer from claustrophobia, so I hate closed doors and windows and even in winter sleep with the window open. I am sure Fairies also like to be able to come and go as they please. "Hmmm" I thought looking at the egg boxes which had now grown into a huge pile. Torn up cardboard with such a lovely texture, would make excellent brickwork.
So I set to work  and 3 days later the little house looked like this.
​I took photos of each stage and am now working on a step by step for you to follow. The house isn't actually finished yet, as the fairies, (they chattered continually in my little studio making suggestions) Well they have asked me to build them a grass mound with steps leading up to the house. Fussy Fairies! I love them though.




For all your Powertex products visit their website. www.powertex.co.uk
I am honoured to have been chosen to be on the Powertex Design team along with 5 other certified trainers. All of us have different styles so please visit their blogs too.

As we are on the subject of recycling here is another idea. I created this little plant pot out of plastic carton.
For all your Powertex products visit their website. www.powertex.co.uk
I am honoured to have been chosen to be on the Powertex Design team along with 5 other certified trainers. All of us have different styles so please visit their blogs too.

All manner of objects that otherwise end up being placed in the recycling bin can be transformed into decorative and useful objects. Large coffee jars make excellent vases.




Thursday, 11 May 2017

Rainbow Unicorn Dreams!

People often ask me if I can turn their ideas in to works of art. I've never said no even if I have no idea how I'm going to create the final piece. Pushing forward, constantly challenging myself and breaking out of my comfort zones and colours, mostly produces some of my most loved work.  


SO....its safe to say that I have pretty much fallen in love with this commission piece and will be sorry to say goodbye.


It is however going to a home where I know it will be loved and cherished as much as I would. And to be fair I can't carry on keeping all my work I fall in love with I would run out of room in my house and be poor! 


I hope you love this little rainbow unicorn wonder as much as I do. All created with my favourite universal medium Powertex. In exactly a month today I will be making my Hochanda debut with our Tracey and boy, oh boy do we have some exciting projects, ideas and NEWshhhhh.... products to show you.
  ❤ Toodle pip Anna xXx ❤ 


  

 



Monday, 8 May 2017


Introducing Birdy Heywood



Hi everyone,

First of all a little bit about my background, interests and skills.

My name is Birdy Heywood, and I am a 'Recycled Teenager' nearing my 70th year. Many of my generation can relate to the phrase, MAKE DO AND MEND. Old clothes were unpicked and made into clothes for the children. Even the food from yesterday was recycled into an invented dish. I suppose we just had to learn to be creative but it was a fun challenge.

In my early twenties I created handbags and clothing out of scraps of leather in order to sell them at markets and to friends. Then followed premature baby clothes made from old T Shirts. This evolved into sweatshirts with applique. After many years Polymer Clay entered my life. "Wow," I thought and realised that I could be really creative. I taught myself how to model, figurines, dragons, fairies and jewellery then went on to teach and demonstrate in schools and at exhibitions all over the country. Polymer Clay is baked (hardened) in an ordinary oven so I could only create smallish things.

Fabric Hardener came into my life and opened a whole new world for me. I found that I could create the bodies out of wire, the heads and hands out of polymer clay then clothe them with natural fabrics. The great thing about the Fabric Hardener I use which is called Powertex is THAT IT IS WEATHERPROOF and can be used for garden ornaments. As I mentioned I love to recycle and with POWERTEX I can do just that. Old canvases can be treated with Powertex to create a whole new work of art. Ok let me list a few things here to wet your appetite: Cardboard boxes can be transformed into plant pot holder, bottles into candlesticks, with a few scraps of material and some wire, one can create a beautiful sculpture, old mirrors can be given a magical face lift, picture frames too and the list goes on.....! I am now honoured to have been chosen as a member of The Powertex design Team.  For more info on this fantastic material please visit their website.
www.powertex.co.uk

​Here as an example of a plant pot holder that was once a plain old cardboard box. At a later date I will post examples with step by steps.



This began as a sturdy cardboard box. It was just waiting to be utilised.
I used Ivory Powertex for this as a base and soaked various bits of natural fabric in it. I also created little flowers and leaves out of Polymer Clay. (I used cake decorating moulds for this).
Lace has lovely texture so this got added to the surface of the box too.
The whole creation was sprayed with Brown and Green Bister. 

(Bister along with the Powertex can be ordered from www.powertex.co.uk)
Once it had all dried out nicely in the sun, I removed the surface colour with a damp sponge. This really gives the whole creation great depth.
Finally I used Ivory Powertex to highlight it even further. For this I used the dry brushing technique. You will need a paintbrush and a sheet of kitchen roll. Load the brush with the Powertex then remove most of it on the kitchen roll. With light strokes brush over the surface for a beautiful highlight.









Saturday, 6 May 2017

Dotty about you!

Well, I know we've only just got through Easter but summer will soon be knocking on the door and reminding me of the days when as a child we would spend our summer holidays in Devon at my Nans. I think my favourite outing aside walking along the river Otter to Otterton Mill for cream teas and yummy swizz roll was the Ladram bay beach trips.

We would pack up the picnic basket and set off early. The whole day was filled with beach fun! Playing in the rubber dingy with my sisters and shrimping in the rock pools. Looking for the crabs, starfish and wonderful fishy creatures lurking under the rocks.

I have to say I never did manage to spot a sea horse. But they are rather lovely don't you think?


Which leads in nicely to my latest project that I am happy to share with you all, you lucky things! I decided to go a little crazy and use two colours on this piece. I was going to use some ivory too but I thought better off it and tried to keep it a little simpler. 



Top tip: Always give yourself an idea of layout and where you are going to place your items. I always take a picture of  the layout on my phone as a reminder. However, this is not mandatory and set in stone, sometimes I completely change my mind on layout once I get going. 




I wanted to make sure I added some kind of texture underneath the circles. So I gathered together all sorts of lace, corrugated card, wall paper, scrim to name but a few and started putting them in place to have an idea of where I wanted them.  






Next I removed all circles and got the base prepped with texture and colour. Blue Powertex for the top half and green for the bottom half.





So you may be able to spot on his belly I used my circle stencil and structure paste. I also used the arty quotes stencil in places but got a bit excited with some other texture and covered most of it up. But I'm ok with that. There really are no rights or wrongs or mistakes with Powertex, it's all about play, fun and going with the flow.

Next I put all the circles and flowers back into place and gave them a coat of Powertex. 

Top Tip: If you mix a little sand in with your powertex and gently brush over certain areas of the raised circles it adds a little texture and extra detail when dry brushing.


Then it was dry brushing time. I used yellow ochre powercolor along the neck, back and tail.Then popped on a little gold colortrix. For the front I mixed dark blue and pale yellow powercolour and added white for highlights with a touch of pearl colortrix for a little shimmer. And voila!























The mdf seahorse bases are available to buy at www.powertex.co.uk. However, I am afraid you are going to have to wait for the circles to be released on Hochanda on the 9th June. Sorry about that. But it's sure to be a great show I promise! I know what a tease, right. On the plus side you get to watch me on my Powertex tv debut! I know exciting right. Eeekkkk...not long now! Lucky I will be with our Tracey. Have we got some cracking stuff to show you! 
Toodle pip Anna xXx