Friday, 17 January 2014


Yesterday morning I started the day with a great walk up through the muddy wet lanes and fields beside our house. 
It's a great way to start the day, even if it means getting soaked to the skin. 
I think I actually enjoy it more in the rain.

So when I was out I was thinking about what to do next in the sewing department. Birds, there weren't many about. leaves.. not many of those either.. a few hanging from the branches.

Not many berries about, but plenty of ivy and ferns and rotting leaves underfoot and mud.

When I got up to the sewing room I got out my bird sketchbook which had a few pages filled.....

I really like the shape of this bird and I made a stencil this shape which was tucked inside the book.

So I played about with it for a few hours, along with my new Inktense blocks which I purchased months ago but hadn't got round to using.

Here are some images of play time....

You can get lovely intense colours from the blocks by adding water and blending.

This was all in my sketchbook using the blocks, black paint, white acrylic paint applied with a roller.

The next pictures are now moving onto white cotton.

The white cotton was not pristine to begin with, there were marks on it made by being in close proximity to me and my messy sketchbook work. But this is an advantage.

This is the cut shape of the bird, inktense applied then watered down quite liberally.

Then flipped over and printed onto the drawn shape. A roller isn't really needed here. Hands do just as good a job.

lines added by placing the fabric over a solid squared shape, then rubbing along the edges with the blocks. 

White acrylic paint squeezed onto a glass plate then rolled until it is thinly spread. This is then rolled onto the fabric.

I love the effect this has, and it also creates a resist for other layers applied on top.

I worked into this piece with further layers of inktense blocks applied like a watercolour wash, and random marks made with the edge of the blocks. The spirals are drawn with a permanent pen. The outline of the bird with a black ink pen.

Second piece. Cream cotton, the same stencil. The same methods, but also using a spiral stencil, cut from card. The stencils can be used below the fabric too and treated like a rubbing.
And my number one favourite play essential. Paper doilies.

Look at the gorgeous marks made by the doily and white paint.
And also the doily and red paint.

This is the reverse side.

The image above is the stencil used on a large brown envelope, which was scrunched up, ironed flat, paint rolled onto it and then the image applied. 
I love brown paper. I might try and sew this in some way onto cotton. There is an accidental tare down the middle but it adds to the appeal. Old and worn look.

Onwards and upwards.


The Inktense blocks also come in pencil form.

youtube has some good tutorials and info about the Inktense range

and type in Inktense, or inktense on fabric.



  1. ooooh I never heard of intense....I really like the result.....I must look up the tutorials in you tube. Where did you buy or one of the shows?

  2. Wow. You had me hooked at your sketches, which I love. Loved your sketch book too!
    I look forward to seeing how this progresses.

  3. Ali, I bought them on Amazon as I did a google search and they were the cheapest. Thanks for your lovely comments Alison and Helen. X