Saturday, 17 May 2014

When Stencil Butterfly meets Charcoal Pencil

Hi there!
It’s Saturday, it’s sunny here
and it’s 

But before you dash off to the Website,
 do take a look at what I rustled up yesterday. 
Having had a day of business meetings and business suits,
I wanted to escape, and create something really arty and obscure.
Just to remember the primary purpose of Clarity.

But with so much to do and so little time, 
I reached for my stash of Gelli Plate prints;
they always get me fired up in one direction or another.

And since we are having a big stencil sale on the website this weekend, I decided to use a new one - the butterfly.

When we were in France, there was quite a lot of art flying around, with charcoal pencils and hearts, which I really liked the look of, so I borrowed that technique and put my own spin on it.

So I took the Butterfly stencil and drew around it on a nice 
Gelli Print.

In fact, I did three, 
because I couldn’t decide which colour road to take!

Then the next challenge was to pick complimentary 
background pieces for each butterfly.

The trick was to find a piece that was the same but different. 

The background pieces also needed 
a little white card showing, too.

So I decided to go with the third one here, the yellow and blue one.

Permanent spray-mounted the butterfly to the back piece, and went round the image with a charcoal pencil, 
both on and off the butterfly.

The best way to smudge the charcoal line has to be 
with your finger.

Don’t worry when you get to the half-way mark, and wonder what possessed you. I am getting used to that point, where you hope nobody is going to peep over your shoulder and actually see the holy mess you are creating!!

See how the yellow gets muddied too?
Never worry; charcoal come off easily with an eraser, 
and we have excellent eraser pencils which are great for getting into the tight spots.

Dare I show you where we’re at?

Let’s trim it and add an appropriate word chain word.
That MUCH better!

Run the charcoal pencil along the edge of the card, 

and gently smear it into the card.
Can you see I also used the detail butterfly stencil and a stencil brush to add a bit of something!

Add a shadow to the word with a Distress pad
(Shabby Shutters)

Still looks a bit ropey, so let’s mount it on a white card....

Now I like it. 
And I still have another two to make!
But this creative hour has done the job for me, 
hit the spot as they say, and the strain of the day is gone.

Now if you fancy a quick trip to the website, 
AND the storage folders (A5 has landed, too)
AND the the Fab Felt Art Portfolios (Teal-Blue has landed, too)

And of course, Club Members get an additional 10% off.

much love,


  1. You've taken me straight back to my childhood with this one, Barb. I loved charcoal pencils and I now have a set of tinted ones from Derwent. I love this butterfly stencil, both parts of it, but I need to build up a good supply of Gelli backgrounds. Can't wait to have a go at this one. xx Maggie

  2. What a lovely way to use Gelli prints. Must fly as have to check out your A5 stencil folders. Ps got my fab felt clarity bag today. It's scrummy x

  3. Love the way you use up your gellli prints and see so much in them i received my 2 felt blue bags they are fantastic been on website put new light blue felt in basket plus stencils and new a5 folder couldn't resist sale time .xxx

  4. now i like this technique. what a good use of gelliplate stash. and the charcoal pencil is cool and adds so much depth.
    and no i'm not insomniac, but i was on-call tonight and was rudely awoken at 2.15. now seeing i arrived 15 mins early for assessment i decided to go look at the blog instead of cursing my misfortune for being dragged out of bed. hugs, xx

  5. Having a play with my eldest granddaughter today my try this with her think Leannah may enjoy doing this she will be ten in July love creating things we are having a specail day on our own with out little sister have a good Saturday x

  6. Really nice . Have to try the charcoal as it's really effective looking. Just ordered a few stencils a couple of days ago..... Wish I'd waited now . X

  7. Love it Barb, in fact you would not know the butterfly was not part of the original print if you get my drift - your talents seemingly have no boundaries and I Afro one love all these new directions xx

  8. What a great way to use Gelli plate stash.........if only I had some!!! Something else to add to the to do list. 😊 I'm really enjoying these different techniques you are showing us. Thank you for the stencil sale. xx

  9. I just love butterflies. Thank you so much for this. I must go yo the site and order this one .

  10. You are very clever today, I do like this look, very cool. What a wonderful way to start this day and a stencil sale too wow.

  11. Well Barb you have done it again ! It looks so good .Will have to go though all my gelly prints . See what I can find . just love it . Going to look at stencils now . xxp

  12. Beautiful Barb, love it all.

    Love & Hugs

    Jacquie J xxx

  13. Hi Barb,
    This is great! I love how you are showing us all new techniques - I would never have thought of doing this, but it is so effective so thank you very much. Brilliant that you are also having a stencil sale so thanks for that too? Off to go and place my order now.
    Ps any chance of you doing something with the lovely owl or/and fox stencils?
    Love Alison xx

  14. Beautiful card, will have to see if my dad has a charcoal pencil I can 'borrow' ;) Its my birthday today so (after dropping lots of hints to my family) I am hoping for some Clarity stash, or vouchers! Either way I will be excited to get crafting. I love that stencil, its on my list of must buys. Getting an order together so tell the gang at Clarity to find a big box!

  15. Wow really lovely Barbara and so different. What a great way to unwind. Have a great weekend. Love Diane xxx

  16. Wow, this is lovely. I have been working with the 'Birds on Branches' stencil to produce some similar work but I've been using a black Sharpe pen for the outline. I think I prefer the charcoal pencil though because of the shading effect. Must give it a try!

  17. Love the card Barbara butterfly's never fail in my book love the work you've done in this one thank you xxxxx

  18. Hi Barb, absolutely amazing, love the butterfly stencil, both the outer and the inny. what a fab thing to do, just sit, create art and unwind. Would love to see the other 2 when you have finished them. May just take a little side trip in cyber space to the website. Have a great day. Bx

  19. I too love the charcoal effect, haven't used charcoal since school... another must try! Joan x

  20. Love butterflies very nice xxx

  21. Good morning. Wow so clever. Simple but effective. The butterfly really stands off the page. I think I will have to ask for a geli plate for my birthday. Would love to see the other two you've made. Have a fabulous day xx

  22. this looks fab -wonderful work and sounds like a fab sale - only its the wrong time in the month for me .... I need it to be on the last day of the month - or the first lol!!! Hugs rachel x

  23. The butterflies look so natural. I'm going to give this one a go. I usually just colour in when I'm stressed but this looks so much fun and an excuse to get really smudgy fingers.

  24. Hi Barbara...... love the art work today .......happy crafting ......x

  25. Now I like that a lot its gorgeous really gorgeous and will be stolen in a different form thank you Barbara. Feel a bit guilty about stealing ideas but always say where I got it from.

  26. Love this Barbara , really beautiful.
    Love stencils and one day I will love my gelli plate !
    Have a great weekend

  27. I can see a new use for all my "not quite right" gelli prints... thanks, Susan x

  28. Oh, the magic in your fingers!, or is it the magic in your mind! Beautiful!

  29. I want to borrow your head for a little while, well your arty head lol. I love the butterfly stencil it is a beautiful Flutterby and you have done a fabulous arty job xx
    Denise x

  30. This is a beautiful butterfly Barbara, and applying it to the background and enhancing with the charcoal pencil gives it drama but is so pretty at the same time. Hope this makes sense. Enjoy your weekend, and I will go and look at your stencil sale. x

  31. Lovely butterfly stencil. Think I might need to visit the website!!

  32. fab! I have my gelli plate ready and just bought my paints to get some stencils xx

  33. I have this stencil, think it is beautiful. Very clever and brave at one point. I have several ideas for using this stencil but whether they will transfer to paper remains to be seen. I puzzled my son-in -law today when I asked him if he had an offcut of some wood effect fascia that had been put on their house. It has a lovely grain effect and reckon will get a good gelli print with it. Think he has decided I have flipped. xx

  34. Evening Barbara! lovely artwork today! I love how you always find that perfect piece of Gelli art!!! mine never look like that!!! Mind you I have done some prints today that I'm really happy with and may feature in my next samples!!! Today has been a good day!!! Love and hugs xxxx

  35. Jane you under estimate yourself. I remember that first Gelli class with Maria, your prints were fabulous.
    I think I may just have to get the butterfly, it's beautiful x

  36. Beautiful Barbara, a stunning piece of art. Pat x

  37. love this way of using the gelli prints and a butterfly is always good!

  38. Fabulous piece of art! Fab offer too xx

  39. beautiful piece love the butterfly stencil brilliant stencil offer off to snap up a bargain thank you happy crafting Pauline

  40. Oooooo very interesting, love the look of this, just need charcoal pencils x

  41. Hi Barbara. Love this : ) The butterflies are gorgeous, especially the blue one. I must get some charcoal, haven't used it since school but I remember how great it is for shading, and that's what I struggle with when using inks etc! Have a good day. Take care.


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

Barb x