Saturday, 28 March 2015

I have been stitched up!!!!

Hi there.
So glad you dropped in.
I have had such a good afternoon.

Saturday’s blog a new technique, right?
Well, I had decided that today was the day.
Today was the day I got my old Pfaff sewing machine out, 
after at least a decade,
and added a few stitches and strands to my artwork.

What do you think?

Since Karen Hayselden has been on the Design Team, 
I have become very aware of how safe my art still is, how clean.
Artists like Karen and Sam Crowe have a unique talent for making brilliantly loose and tattered art, which I struggle with.
Not that I want to throw all accuracy to the wind 
and just lob paint at a huge canvas from a distance 
(that requires way too much courage!)
But today was the day I decided to just try something new for me.

Didn’t know where I was headed; 
didn’t know how long it was going to take.
Just knew there were some paints, some birds and a Pfaff involved!

Here goes.

These are the colours I used.
Primarily because the sewing machine 
already had bright pink in the bobbin, 
and all I could find was green cotton for the top thread!

These Fresco Chalk Paints are superb.
We stock the whole range.
Well worth investing in.

Build up layers of paint by simply walking the brayer 
around the card with the different colours.

There will come a point where you will know when to stop, 
or go too far.
If the latter happens, simply get out the Cheesecake!
Cover the area you don’t like with Cheesecake, 
let it dry - and start again.

Position the bird mask from the Bird Row set
over the painted Gelli Card.

to paint the birdies white.

like so:

Next, stamp the stamp over the top using black Archival.
Almost got it! Good enough!

Cover up the birds with the masks
and stencil in the Japanese reeds into the background, using the Guacamole and Snowflake paints.
The paint works really well through the stencils using these mini blending tool.
I tried make up sponges too, which worked.

Flicked a load of water diluted paint at the picture 
while the birdies were covered up, too...

Yes I know. I asked myself the same question at this point.
What about the mask? Is it washable????
I’ll tell you later.

Zesty Zing is one of the translucent paints, so it is ideal for painting over the white. I added a little water and then painted the birds.
Went over the black lineart too, to tone it down.

Spectrum Noir pencils work great over acrylic.....
I used mainly the Floral tin today.

Roughed up the edges with a pair of scissors....

Decided to make a branch....

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy....

Time for the vintage Pfaff!
Haven’t used it for years, but it’s like riding a bike.
The hardest bit was threading the needle!!

It is soooooo lovely sewing card!
Or should I say sewwwwwwww lovely!
So I cut a piece of black card just a tad larger, and off I zoomed.

I got such a kick out of this!!
I really could have done a Happy Dance!
And I have to thank Karen Hayselden for the inspiration 
and encouragement.

Mounted it on a larger Mount board.
Because this piece, my friends, is going in the Hallway gallery.
It may not be the best stitched one I will ever do, 
but it was the first.

The eyes I white out with a white Pilot pen first, 
then let them dry, 
then added the black pupils with a Micron Pen.
The black pen clogs up from time to time, so you have to lightly run it over copy paper to unclog it.

 I bet with a bit of practice, 
you could actually stitch the stamped images...

Time to make supper.
And salvage the birdie mask! 
Warm soapy water will sort it out.
Have a lovely evening, and I will be back tomorrow.

lots of love,


  1. Good to mix up the textures, like you, I find it hard to do messy edges. Now I would happily sit and hand sew around the birds. So versatile your stamps and stencils. Beautiful piece of art and will look great in your gallery. xx

  2. Oh wow! That looks brilliant. Haha....last time I got my sewing machine out, it started to smoke. Hopefully it was just dusty..'cause you make me want to try again.

  3. Hi Barbara, this is great, glad you love it enough for you gallery. Your over stamping of the birds, thought the idea was NOT to be perfect, so being slightly off is spot on and only adds to your artwork :-). You could try drawing with your sewing machine, drop the feed dogs and draw free hand, I'd love to see what you come up with, might be a new style for stamp designs? I got a new machine last year but I've kept my old one, used to be my granny's, at least 30 years old! I need to have a play around with the tension, might need to get the oil out or it serviced, but I didn't want to part with it, and it will be ideal for using for crafts rather than messing up the tension on my new one. Stuff was built to last in those days, eh, unlike nowadays where everything is flimsy plastic!!! Glad you've had a good afternoon and with a piece of unique artwork to make you smile every time you walk past it :-) Enjoy your evening, love Brenda xx

    1. p.s. thank you for another generous sale, I talked myself into buying a couple of stamps that I wouldn't have otherwise bought for myself :-) xx

    2. p.p.s Barbara, you do whatever you like, go in which ever direction you want, everything you make is unique and comes from within you so is you. You're such a talented exceptionally lovely lady xx

  4. Love what you have done here with these little birds Barbara. That trick with their eyes really adds character and brings them to life. A great piece to add to your gallery: I love it. Xxx

  5. Love it Barbara I think it would look beautiful on anyone's wall the stitching is brill love it love June xxx

  6. Very arty Barbara and really good, look great in your gallery. Must admit I only do sort of clean cut so far, but would love to try this, you really get us all into it, I really fancy the sewing side to it as,well. We just need the confidence to change tack.xx

  7. Wow this is a great piece of art it will look brilliant in your hallway gallery
    Jackie x

  8. You, and your blog, are so uplifting. In my head, I can hear the entire conversation. I love the birds.....I have never tried sewing on my pieces....maybe I will now.

  9. Fabulous, loving the background effect you have achieved and those birds are fantastic, love it x

  10. It's lovely I must admit got a new sewing machine couple years ago great cause threads the needle for me brilliant never think to add stitches another challenge love Joy xxx

  11. I just love this Barbara, love everything about it, the garden has tKen over my life for the last couple of weeks so you ve inspired me to get stamping again. I too have a Pfaff ( not used for ages) my Bernina has been snaffled by my daughter who will actually use it ! Great art work. X x x

  12. Hello Barbara

    Although I admire this type of art and your picture is marvellous, it takes me too far out of my comfort zone to try it! Lol.x

  13. Hello Barbara

    Although I admire this type of art and your picture is marvellous, it takes me too far out of my comfort zone to try it! Lol.x

  14. Barbara how different this art work looks refreshing

  15. lovely piece of art. i also have a sewing machine that never gets used. maybe i should get it out and use it on artwork too. but there is a problem...... i can't sew to save my life! hugs xx

  16. Hi Barbara
    What an amazing piece of artwork, love these cheeky little birds on their branch. The stitching adds an interesting dimension to the project. It will look fab in your gallery. Enjoy your evening.
    Love Diane xxx

  17. Looks like you've had loads of fun, throwing caution to the wind and letting go!
    When I finally move house my Singer may actually sit in my craft room and who knows may have to give this type of thing a go!
    As ever....much love
    Kim xx

  18. I realise everyone else is telling you how wonderful and brilliant this piece is -but Barbara, you are NOT Karen or Sam!! You have your own inimitable style and really you don't need to change it. I love this card -but only up to the point before you added the really messy stitching! OK a neat stitched border -no ends -and branch, but the rough edges and loose threads spoil it for me -it just isn't 'you' -and we've been following your career since we visited you at Gillingham Savacentre and Tunbridge Wells when you demo'd in a mall there (and I still have an inkpad I bought back then!!). So please just continue be yourself . We always look forward to your blogs and TV shows and find so much inspiration there.

    1. Ahhh, but you see Janet, I like it. And that's what matters to me x

    2. I'm afraid I'm with Janet on this. I prefer all the art work you did in the past, but I'm not so keen on the new things you are doing now, but that's just me... I understand that with all the demos you have to do, it must get a bit boring doing the same old thing, and you want to try out new techniques. I still have all your DVDs to fall back on for the things I like and am comfortable with. I still enjoy reading your blog and I make a note of things I do like.
      You know the old can satisfy some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can't satisfy all of the people all of the time

    3. Thank you for the uplifting and encouraging comment x

  19. Oh this is great. Sew wonderful. Love the mixed media look of this. It really does deserve to hang in your gallery.
    I've got a machine with free motion embroidery and this piece has given me the encouragement to try it on card with fabric.
    Inspirational as always. Thank you Barbara xx

  20. This is amazing, very arty! I like the look of sewing on card, all I need is a sewing machine! Have a great weekend. Xx

    1. You don't need a sewing machine to hand sew!!!! ;-) xx

    2. Errrmmmm me and sewing definetly don't go together! I have been known to staple up a hem on a pair of trousers in the past!

    3. Oh Donna, what a thing to admit to!!! That's funny. I've heard that's what tape pens are for!!! :-) xx

    4. Ooooo good idea! Sellotape doesn't work very well .................... So I've been told ;) XX

  21. Beautiful as usual!
    Love stitching on cards and got my sewing machine fixed last year so I could do this....did a few and then forgot!
    Thank you for reminding me !
    You have put your own fantastic spin on this card the birds and the whole composition is just lovely.
    Thank you Barbara for the inspiration,

  22. This post made me laugh Barbara. I got a new machine recently and I've been sewing on one of my samples today. I'm afraid mine is still neat and tidy though. lol
    Yours looks fab. x

  23. I do love that birdie stamp! Funny, I got out my sewing machine for the challenge entry this month, and haven't used it for about a year!!! Now I just need to create some space in the craft room, so it can sit out on the side rather than be hidden in the cupboard...Susan x

  24. gorgeous and lovely brave departure from your usual style. Well done on taking another step, it's alwys a daring thing to do.

  25. Awe Barbara- Tis a beauty as always :-))
    Love your Tute and the fun you've shared with us all with your Pfaff!!! Hahahax
    Out of the comfort-zone (a place I often Happily visit And where I've put myself this weekend lol) is a great place to go, cos we just don't know where we'll end up - usually in a very happy and messy creative state for me hahaha :-D
    MWAH xoxo

  26. What a gorgeous result with the paint Barbara...the card looks stunning, also because of the sewing!
    Have a nice Sunday, Alie

  27. Hi Barb,
    Just fantastic.
    Maureen x

  28. Hi Barbara
    I love, love, love it. The background is gorgeous and the little birds are fast becoming a favourite. The stitching just adds something to the overall effect and it is always good to try something new. I struggle leaving my comfort zone and find any dark shades quite scary. I am trying to use more bold colours and will be getting the sewing machine out too. Thank you for sharing this lovely art with us.
    Hugs Chris X

  29. Hi Barb,
    I actually quite like this even though it is very different for you! My poor mam would have had heart failure if she'd still been alive and seen this! She was a time served seamstress and would never have used a sewing machine on card - ruins the needle ( I can hear her saying it)! However, I'm pleased you're putting this in your gallery. Love Alison xx

  30. Super artwork, Barbara. It's good to experiment with different styles, even if nothing as lovely as this comes out. I'm glad you enjoyed it. You're a real advocate for those paints. x

  31. Great result.I have to admit that at first glance the jury was out on the sewing but on closer inspection it's great! I am also quite a safe crafter but have been gaining confidence to try new stuff. It's very reassuring to know that even Barbs starts somewhere.

  32. I bought myself a mini sewing machine a few years back to do this very thing, and it hasn't been out of the box yet, lol. I love the birds, next on my wish list I think x

  33. Fab background for the gorgeous birds! xxx

  34. I love the new paints, invested in a load from NEC show and was really inspired by Marie's demos to have a go, will upload picture and put a link in later. The great thing about them is the freedom to just have a go, it is exhilarating not to know where you are going and just see where you end up. My sewing machine also a very old Pfaff, got dusted off the other week to do some conventional sewing inspired by Sewing Bee on TV, but also inspired me to go to Charity shops, buy something I just liked the fabric for and see what I can make with it. Don't play safe, love this idea, love the thought of stretching our creative souls in all different directions, some will work, some won't, but as long as we've learnt, even if only that is not the direction for us, not time wasted and deeply satisfying. Lovely thought to end my day, sleep tight. Karen

  35. I love this Barbara. Have been thinking about sewing on a card for a while. Guess I'll have to stop thinking and just do it! Really must get these birds too. xx

  36. Great card and combination of different media!

  37. Hi Barbara, love the background you have achieved with the paints. Have the bird stamp so this is something I must try; sewing machine is at the ready! Anne x

  38. Hello Barb, another great and inspirational blog post. Love your background, fabulous mix of colours. Great stitching too, now to work out where the machine is packed away. Have a great day, catch you later. Bx

  39. Hi Barbara,
    'Sew' enjoy seeing you experiment, I remember you saying - If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got. Nice to see the curled edges as well. Do you have any plans to make a curled edge stencil for those of us who aren't brilliant at drawing and need to keep the depth of the card to a minimum for postage?

  40. We all need to explore, move and grow. If you stayed still Clarity would never develop product. I'm a stitcher, and stitch on paper all the time. You won't damage the machine. Fresh needles, and regular dusting out bobbin area.

  41. Well done on the sewing Barb, I laughed at your antics, as I can't imagine not having a machine, nor some matching threads to go with it.. Keep up the good work, machines don't bite!

  42. Morning Barbara - I think "good on you" for trying out new techniques....I'm always a little too neat even though I try to be messy, I always have to "tidy things up" before I think they're finished. I really admire Sam & Karen's work, it's so very different. Fair play to you for trying new things - I love this piece, it's fab!
    Enjoy your Sunday, Carole x

    1. Aw thank you Mrs, I love your work too. I think there is room for neat and messy on this type of work don't you? xx

    2. Yes definitely a great mix Sam - art is all about trying new things isn't it. I'm working my way up to the messy bit! lol x

  43. Amazing! I can never find the words to describe your creations, Barbara. They never fail to give inspiration!
    Millie X

  44. I love this Barbara, it definitely deserves a place on your wall "or mine"??? You can tell you are a seasoned Machinist using a colour of paint to go with the colour of your thread in the bobbin!!!! I am waiting for my new Sewing Machine to arrive. It has a simple drop in bobbin so I can paint in any colour I like!! I do love that we all get to experiment together and learn from each other. You have been and still are a real inspiration to me Barbara and you have helped me to explore and have confidence in my Inner Artiness, xxx

  45. You certainly set to with the distressing Barbara, and the stitching works a treat. A lovely piece of work and so different for you. x

  46. Absolutely gorgeous love the stitching xxx


Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x