This weekend our wonderful local arts and craft shop, Berkhamsted Arts and Crafts, celebrates its 40th birthday!
They asked for birthday cards to share, so I couldn't not make one, could I?!?
It also gave me a chance to play with a birthday present. I got some powertex, and related mixed media goodies following a workshop in June with Angela Simpson and Leonie Pujol. We had such fun playing there, so I wanted another go.
(That's my journal middle right - it's really not that dark!)
Angela on the far left, and Leonie next to me in the front. And the other lovely ladies!
I started my card by collecting all kinds of bits and bobs to go onto it.
I added grunge paste to the card base for texture, as well as to the wooden letters and numbers, and some stars I die cut from an old tissue box.
These also came from the tissue box - the plaque has three layers, glued together for depth.
I also had papyrus (which stretches out wonderfully with the powertex), cheese cloth, lace, string, wooden embellishments and some clay balls to play with.
I added them all to the base with the powertex. (It's a fabric hardener, so gives the gorgeous texture to the cloth, but also works as a glue.) I had the transparent one, I decided it was the most versatile, as you can use it with patterned cloth etc and retain the pattern.
This was the result! It looks a bit of a mess - it is! This is not tidy crafting. Powertex sticks to fingers best of all, I was covered by the end, but peeling it off is hugely satisfying!
Once this had dried (keeping the lovely folds and dimension in the fabric), the next step was to paint it all with black gesso.
This took a while to get into all the nooks and crannies! Despite examining it from all angles, I missed loads the first time, so had to go back in for a second pass (and there were still some tiny gaps!). This is where spray gesso would come into its own!
Once dry, time to add the colour and highlights!
I dry brushed with acrylic paints - metallic blue, purple, which I mixed with a pearlescent medium, and gold. I then added metallic wax in gold, with a bit of blue, purple and silver, to highlight areas. Finally, I watered down the paint left over from dry brushing, and splattered on a layer of each colour. I wiped it off some of the words I wanted to highlight.
The final step was to mount onto an 8x8 card blank (using super sticky tape as it wasn't very flat so needed to be held firm!). I added a squiggle round the edge with a black drawing pen, as the plain white didn't look right when the main piece is so full on!
It's maybe a bit over the top for a card, but I had so much fun playing with this! I have plenty of journals and things I can do something similar with. It's really very forgiving too, it's not hard to create something that looks great (in my humble opinion!).
Maybe next time I'll go for something not quite so dark!