Wednesday 30 March 2016

Angel of the South - PaperArtsy Liquid Fabric Sculpting Medium Challenge

This is my second go with Powertex and on Friday it was a beautiful day and I got gloriously messy at the garden table while Colin did the gardening near by and it was blissful! I was a bit more ambitious this time than my moth, and needed to do a serious Armature! I made the face out of clay and a mould and attached it with masking tape but because it didn't have a neck or shoulders I felt it was a bit wobbly at first, but by the time all the layers started to harden, everything was fine. That's what I really love about the discovery of this new medium! I think, though, I could easily add a bit of extra clay when I pop it out of the mould.

I don't think I really have enough old clothes for this malarkey! You need old clothes to wear, plus old tee shirts to cut up to use. I used a perfectly good fuchsia tee shirt for the drapey bit. I used Bronze Powertex by the way. I used stockinette for the base layer which you can see round her middle. 

For the wings, which I am really pleased with, I used stockinette (over my armature of course!) followed by loads of drapey cheesecloth. I used a heavy layer of Green Amber Treasure Gold on the wings to really colour them, with a bit of blue rub-on. I wanted her to have bright red lips but the nearest colour I had was copper which was in the little sample I had in my Powertex starter kit so I used a bit on her cheeks as well, and some of their blue on her eye lids. I used Treasure Gold in Brass for the high spots of her robe and shawl but used it more heavily for the stockinette underlayer.

On the whole I'm pleased with how this turned out, considering it's only my second attempt. I definitely found some learning points for myself and definitely want to improve with the face but I'm going to get this thoroughly varnished once it's cured and give it as a present to someone very special who has a summerhouse she made herself. She is my angel.

I am entering this into the PaperArtsy Liquid Fabric Sculpting Medium Challenge, and the That's Crafty Challenge 'Red and Green should never be Seen' because she has green wings and red lips!

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Powertex Moth for PaperArtsy Liquid Fabric Hardener Challenge

Don't laugh, this is my first attempt at Powertex other than the Make N Take I did at the Farnborough show. I'm really excited by this medium though, and I'm delighted PaperArtsy are doing a challenge on Liquid Fabric Hardeners, meaning I have to open the Starter Kit I bought at the show and face my fear.

It's a good follow-on topic to art dolls as I did wire-working for the first time, which is a useful skill with this product, but it would have been useful if I had thought to use it then as it would have been great for making skirts for the dolls bodies. Also I wish PaperArtsy had chosen a more consistently sunny time of year as it is so messy I really need to work in the garden. Honestly Leandra, you do need to order the weather!

The first thing I did was to make an armature. This word wasn't in my vocabulary until two weeks ago and now it is my most commonly used word. It's got a really good rhythm to it. Armature. Arm-ature. I'm Mature. Anyhow, I made an armature with 2 mm aluminium wire and it was meant to be a dragonfly but for some unknown reason I extended the body too far above the wings, so Colin said it's a moth. Apart from that, I quite like the shaping of the wings. I filled out the body with foil and masking tape, and criss-crossed the wings with masking tape and painted everything with Bronze powertex.

I then mixed a little bit of the Powertex varnish (you get a weeny bottle like an eye dropper in the starter kit) with some Cosmic Shimmer powders and dusted them on.

Since I got back from Mum's yesterday I've finished Treasure gilding the garden fairy I started on Friday which has hardened nicely over the weekend so I'll get that photographed and blogged. It's got a nice bit of Armature.

I'm entering this into the PaperArtsy Liquid Fabric Hardener Challenge. Can't wait to see all the entries and learn from what everyone does!

Saturday 19 March 2016

These Boots were Made for Walking for PaperArtsy Art Dolls Challenge

 This is honestly the last doll as I'm off in a minute. Spent yesterday walking round the house clutching various dolls between my thumb and forefinger where sections of glue were drying, as you do! I made this one by using one of the Jean Paul Gaultier bottles to make a papier mache torso with a false base (rather than the smaller dolls house mannequin ones I did before). If I had thought through the whole doll (I had no plan at that stage) I would have made the papier mache right up to the chin but unfortunately I ended up making shoulders and neck from paper clay and as I've not used paper clay before, I didn't do it very well. I then painted it Blush and shoved it into the neckline of the 'dress' portion.

You get a lovely base from the bottle. I'm sure I'll be making more of these!

The doll has a wire framework hoop skirt as before, with 2mm wire attached around her waist. I just love her boots which I made from clay stamped in black. They are Lynne Perrella as you can probably guess. So she can walk and fly! It was a bit fiddly as I used lolly sticks (it's been a very Blue Peter week!) for her legs and I made a slit with my craft knife into the base of the torso and shoved the sticks up there and covered the bits that showed with lace, then glued the boots on so she was standing.

The bodice is gorgeous, sequinned flowers in pastel shades attached to taffeta which covers the rest of her torso which you can't see. The fabric for the skirt is beautiful and was given to me many years ago by my dear friend Lynne of Adorn, and I have eked it out on many projects. I just made an elasticated waist and it flared out nicely over the hooped skirt. The cameo is a Primark earring.

 Her wings are grungeboard covered in adhesive metal sheet then put through a cogs folder then rubbed with Chocolate Pudding which was then rubbed off and highlighted with the new Copper. I did the same with two large metal flowers. I stamped the Lynne Perrella face onto a large flat wood bead with Versafine Onyx Black and added some black wool hair and glued (!) it to the two metal flowers and glued it to the wings and the whole lot to the neck of the doll, with some copper wire threaded through the bead and the holes in the flowers for added security. Oh yes I had fun getting everything to stay put!

Wish you could see all the dolls IRL. Will have to find a corner for them to live together. Thank you PaperArtsy for the fun challenge which I am joining in here.

Friday 18 March 2016

Lynne Perrella Bird Cage Art Doll for PaperArtsy Challenge

I made this art doll with another of the Jean Paul Gaultier perfume bottles but this one has an embossed bronze corset design on it which is really pretty and I wanted to preserve it. I had intended to use this one as my make for PaperArtsy and to fill it with paint to keep the glossy surface but it proved to be impossible to remove the stopper. In trying to do so I broke the glass, quite neatly, but it was a bit too dangerous to recommend anyone to do on someone else's blog! So here I have filled it with Blush Fresco which looks so pretty and then sealed the top up again by making a 'neck' out of paper clay (only ever used oven bake before) and painted that with Blush too. I then stuck with bronze for the colour of my wings which are paper clay, made in a mould. I mixed Chocolate Pudding with some of new lush Copper Fresco, then used a little Copper on my finger for highlights.

The face is clay and is a gorgeous Lynne Perrella stamp, which I've coloured with Frescos and white gel pen. The base for the construction is a bird cage and bird I had in my stash (from Dunelm, I think) and a large spool. My dear friend, Julie Ann, had kindly lent me two feather Ink and the Dog minis. I had some brayered fabric left from when I made the fabric board for the transfer challenge a couple of weeks ago so I stamped them and cut them out and deliberately let the edges fray in a feathery sort of way. I wanted to follow through the bird/wings/feathers/bird cage theme. The feathers made a perfect skirt as they allow the cage to show. It's a shame you can't really see the colours in the fabric. The cage makes the skirt flare out nicely.

I finished off with some pearls and a button which I gave the choc pudding/copper paint treatment. I am entering this into the PaperArtsy art doll challenge.

Turning Japanese - Another Art Doll for PaperArtsy Challenge

I'm still really enjoying the Art Dolls challenge on PaperArtsy, just not sure if I will finish all the UFOs on my table as Friday is always my deadline as I go to Mum at the weekend. This one, who seems to have decided she wants to look a little Japanese, unintentionally, was made with the same Ink and the Dog mini of the Victorian lady I used for the one I did on behalf of PaperArtsy, but this time on tissue paper on a polystyrene egg. Not sure I like working on polystyrene, I mentioned to one person, it's like working with marshmallows. Not as tasty though.

Sorry the photos are so dark. I made a papier mache mould as before, using the dolls house mannekin but elongated it in the end with a toilet roll to fit onto the bird cage base, which has a little birdie dangling in it. I used cheesecloth over the papier mache for the first time, which I loved, and added Limelight, London Bus, Zesty Zing, and Tango. When I was looking through my moulds for some wings, I found this hand I had forgotten I had, which I had painted, including the nails of course! I used a bead for the neck as it helps to attach everything together. Still a bit whiplash-like maybe?

I got the eggs and the hat from The Works. I love The Works! The hat was a horrible yellow but a few coats of Snowflake did the trick, and it was easy to manipulate into a bonnet shape. I had my lovely friend, Jean, here yesterday and she was doing some knitting and provided two kinds of wool for hair, so I made her a long plait and added a bow at the end.

There have been some amazing creations by the designers and some incredible challenge entries. I am enjoying seeing them so, so much and have really been stretching myself with my learning and enjoying myself. I am entering this into the challenge here.

This weekend I am leaving Mum for a few hours on Sunday which I feel really guilty about but her wonderful weekday carer is stepping in, as I have been invited to take David's place at a concert at a jazz club for my niece's school. My sweet, beautiful and talented niece plays the saxophone in a band, as did her Dad, and I'm honoured her Mum has asked me to come along and support her. She is just about to do her 'A' levels and I am very proud of her in every way.

Monday 14 March 2016

Victorian Art Doll for PaperArtsy

 Over on the PaperArtsy blog I'm delighted to have an Art Doll featured for the current theme. I wanted one that was three dimensional and stood on its own. I was asked to use the Ink and the Dog minis for my project and  so I used this gorgeous stamp of a Victorian lady for the face, which I isolated onto clay:-

I used a Jean Paul Gaultier glass perfume bottle for the torso, although it had its own challenges, working with glass, in terms of attaching things and not wanting to scratch the paint, and its weight.

I wasn't sure if I would make a mess of making my own wire hoop skirt and I also wasn't sure if it would be self-supporting. I had some bird cages in my stash but I wanted something I could attach around the waist of the glass bottle. If you want to make one, there is a video on the challenge intro post on PaperArtsy but I hadn't seen this unfortunately as we work two weeks ahead, but I love that Linda Petersen project! I'm glad my doll stood up though so at least I managed it!

I would love to see what you make for the challenge!

Friday 11 March 2016

Bad Hair Day Fairy For PaperArtsy Challenge

I have had such fun this week making Art Dolls! It's the current theme on PaperArtsy and is one of my favourite things! I love that they can be anything you want them to be. I have a few in the pipeline on my desk, but I don't know what I will get finished. The hardest aspect I find is the engineering, as it needs a bit of planning to make sure they are going to be sturdy if you want something that will stand up on its own. I'm not very good at construction.

I started off with this lovely quality wooden mannequin which is part of the dolls house furniture range from the Sue Ryder charity shops. I wanted it for one of my other dolls so on this occasion I used it to make a papier mache base. It's good to get double-duty out of something.

I wrapped it in clingfilm and then used Tim Holtz Composer tissue wrap and gel medium for the papier mache. When it had dried I cut in a straight line up the back, which was really easy, and slipped off well. You can glue the edges back together after you have stuffed it (I used wadding) or you can make a feature of it by doing corset-style lacing. I made a false base for it by drawing around the bottom onto card then cutting it out slightly larger and snipping into it and gluing the snipped bits.
However, before I did all of this, I took a coffee stirrer, the ones you get in the coffee shop are the perfect length, and pushed it up the middle so it was held in place and came out at the neck of the 'dress' and out of the bottom base card.

I rolled a ball of translucent oven bake fimo and inked up a Lynne Perrella stamp and pressed it into the face. I found if you get any of the stamp you don't want, you can wipe it away with a baby wipe at this stage. I then pushed a coffee stirrer part way into the ball of clay at the neck and pulled it out again to make it easier to glue later and then baked it. Thinking about things in advance is the bit I have trouble with but otherwise glueing a ball onto a stick is going to be tricky!

Oh whoops, sorry meant to say, you also need to do the pipe cleaners before you stuff and glue the body. I used two cream ones and folded them in half, made a hole in the papier mache and pushed the folded end through to the front, adjusted the length, and twisted and folded and glued down inside until they were secured. I then twisted the ends into a hand shape and I really liked the arms at this stage and wondered about leaving them, which is why I ended up taking process photos.

The neck is one of the half spools PaperArtsy sell at the shows, which I have painted in Blush Fresco. The necklace is actually a joining piece for jewellery making, a connector. Not sure I like it though. Col thought the neck looked like she had whiplash, so I added a bit of lace to make it more feminine. It added a lot of stability though as it held lots of the components together. Once I'd taken the fimo out of the oven and cooled it, I painted the face and pushed it onto the end of the coffee stick with Golden matte medium and let it set up overnight, so it was really solid.

Next job, something for her to stand on. I had a very old wooden cotton reel in my sewing basket and I painted it with the new Fresco White Fire. OMG this is gorgeous! I decided not to cover it up on the sides as it was so lush, but for the top and bottom I stamped the spool from Hot Picks HP1211 and washed over a bit of Limelight, Tango, and Banana translucents and glued these on. I stuck the coffee stirrer through with the Golden Medium again, which is really strong, and covered the rest of the pogo stick with adhesive lace.

OK where have I got to? Right, I decided to cover the arms with the adhesive lace too. I bought some hand buttons at the Farnborough Make It show which my friend, Jean, spotted for me and they are just perfect! I painted them with Blush, followed by some Pearl Glaze, and then my dolly asked if she could have her nails painted too, so what could be a better shade than London Bus! The pipecleaners were quite a strong base to glue them on to.

Ahem, now the hair! Well, this was just hemp and I cut some rough lengths and glued them on and also coiled some round by her ears. A bit of a bad hair day I'm afraid. As I was going along, I ran my dirty paint brushes through it so she has some highlights of White Fire and Nougat. I was a bit worried that at this stage she would have to hop to the hairdressers so I thought I had better give her some wings, although this will only make her hair more flyaway. So I gave her some fairy grungepaper wings with White Fire paint. And just for her, a touch of matching Treasure Gold. Because You're Worth It.

Here's her wild hair while I was working on her! She can fly to the hairdressers now.

I finished off the back with some tiny blue buttons.

An angled photo showing those all-important painted nails.

A shot of her face which I tweaked a bit. The cotton reel helped a lot with holding the body parts together as the coffee stirrer lodged in the centre of the spool.

I am entering this into the PaperArtsy Art Dolls challenge. There's still another week and a couple of days to go so I hope there will be lots of entries as I'm dying to see!

Friday 4 March 2016

Image transfers - PaperArtsy Challenge

I've had great fun this week playing around with image transfers to enter the PaperArtsy challenge but have unfortunately run out of time to blog before going off to Mum's for the weekend as I'm off to a crafting sleepover first!

This is the first time I've had success with a gel transfer and I think it is partly because I have tried to transfer glossy images before, with a coating on them, and partly because I have used the thin type of gel medium. This was the lovely thick Golden Matte Medium and an image from a clothing catalogue. I have transferred it onto calico which I have then wrapped around an 8 x 8 piece of PaperArtsy grey/white board.

I am entering the challenge which is here. Thanks for the great inspiration!

(Sorry the blog is down at the time of writing this and I'm dashing out of the door!). Please see