Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fit For A Queen, A Queen Bee That Is!

Hello, it's June 1st and that means it is time for a new challenge at Mixed Media Mojo.  This month our theme is Fit For A Queen with the added twist of adding Gems or Jewels.

The theme was chosen with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's 90th birthday celebration in mind (many happy returns Your Majesty!) but I decided to go a slightly different direction with my project.  Being somewhat contrarian, when I learned of our June challenge theme the first thing that came to my mind was a queen bee, followed immediately thereafter by the thought of my dear Aunt Bea.  She has just moved into a new home and I decided then and there to make her a house warming gift to celebrate the move into her brand new castle :O)

My Aunt Bea is as passionate about nature and all of it's wonderful inhabitants as I am, so it seemed very fitting to make her this mixed media plaque adorned with her namesake.  I had so much fun making this and tried a new to me background technique, gesso resist.  I've a few step out photos of the process to show you, come and take a peek.

I started out with a very heavy piece of chipboard packaging cut just slightly larger than the bees wing span and covered it with a piece of scrapbook paper from Tim Holtz's Wallflower paper stash.

I tore some random pieces of book paper and adhered them here and there and then stenciled with heavy body gesso through Tim Holtz's Bubble and Flourish stencils and a Plaid chicken wire stencil.  Once the gesso was dry, I die cut the honeycomb from another sheet of Wallflower scrapbook paper using Tim Holtz's Honeycomb Frameworks die and cut it apart and glued the pieces in place.  I added a few of the hexagon offcuts from the honeycomb die cut as well and then did some finger painting with gesso overtop of the die cuts and the background paper.

After the gesso dried, the fun began!  I filled a pipette with some Broken China Distress stain and, tilting the plaque slightly, let some drips of stain start to run down.  I spritzed the runs with water to get them to move more and tilted the plaque in multiple directions so they would move in and around the stenciled areas and die cuts.  I repeated the process with some Peeled Paint Distress stain, spraying with water and tilting to get the colours to move and combine.

The gessoed areas resist the stain somewhat, it is great inky messy fun!  The plaque was dried and more stain was added in drips until I was happy with the look; I am in love with this technique!

I wanted to tone down the whiteness of the gesso somewhat and was going to add some Vintage Photo Distress stain over top until I spied my Vintage Distress collage medium, perfect!  I added a coat of the Vintage collage medium overtop of the entire plaque and when it was dry, distressed the edges with the edge of my scissors.

Now we're talking!

Next I moved onto the star of the show, the Queen Bea, er... I mean Queen Bee!  I die cut the bee from grunge paper with Tim Holtz's Layered Bee die and then embossed the die cut with the accompanying embossing folder.  The bee was painted with Walnut Stain and Wild Honey Distress paint on the body and Americana Warm White acrylic paint on the wings.  I then stippled Folk Art Medium Yellow on the yellow areas and Americana Charcoal Grey on the brown areas and added a bit of Stardust Stickles glitter glue to the wings.

I'd lost some of the embossing dimension with the painting and handling so put the painted bee through my Sizzix Big Shot again in the embossing folder and then gently added Americana Ebony Black paint to the raised embossed areas on the bees body.  A coat of DecoArt Satin varnish was painted over the entire bee to give her a bit of shine.  I die cut and embossed the wings again from Wendy Vecchi's Clearly For Art, heated and shaped the wings and then added more Stardust Stickles glitter glue to the undersides.  The clear wings were then glued in place overtop of the painted wings.

And then it was time to assemble.  I cut another piece of the heavy chipboard 1/4" larger on all sides, covered it with more Wallflower scrapbook paper and centered the gesso resist panel on top. I die cut the bee again from some black fun foam and layered the painted bee on top for some dimension.  The crown was a digital image I found online, sized to fit and printed out on white cardstock and fussy cut.  I embossed the crown with gold embossing powder, added a line of silver Stickles glitter glue and flat back gems and glued it to the queen bee's head.

The letter 'B', from Tim Holtz's Ransom Alpha Parts, was highlighted with some gold foil here and there and a flat back gem.  More flat back gems in varying sizes were added randomly around the plaque.

I die cut some flowers from scraps of Wallflower scrapbook paper using Tim Holtz's Tiny Tattered Florals die and adhered them to each bottom corner ('cause a bee needs her flowers!).

Leaves were die cut from more scraps with the same Tiny Tattered Florals die set and I added some gold Stickles glitter glue to the center of each of the flowers to echo the gold accents at the top of the plaque.

And that is my queen bee mixed media plaque, I do hope that you have enjoyed seeing it and I am pleased to report that my Aunt Bea loves it so that just makes my day!  It was made with lots of love for her and filled with best wishes for happiness in her new home.

I hope that you have been inspired to join in with our June challenge at Mixed Media Mojo, as you can see you can interpret our theme any way that you'd like, I can't wait to see what you decide to make!

Linking my Queen Bee plaque up with Anything But Cute's Challenge #13 - Celebrate Your Style.  This plaque incorporates my love of nature and vintage style.

Thanks for stopping by today and as always, happy creating!

Deb xo


  1. This is fabulous. That background is simply amazing and the whole thing came together beautifully.

  2. I am loving this card so much, it's inspiring. Have a great week, Angela xXx

  3. You always do such wonders with the details!!

  4. Fabulous piece Deb, great use of that wonderful bee!

  5. This is wonderful Deb, I loved your step by step and I really need to try your gesso technique, it looks such fun (if a little messy lol) xx

  6. Awesome, Deb! I adore your background, although I must admit, the bee creeps me out just a bit. lol

  7. Oh Deb a bee and such an amazing bee on an incredible background, wow, wow, wow, I just love everything about it. Lucky Aunt Bea, bet she loves it too. Xxx

  8. A fabulous queen bee hovering over that amazing textured background... feels like this is really appropriate for you at the moment, too - you're definitely a busy bee!
    Alison x

  9. Fabulous piece, Deb! I love your style and this just takes the cake! Love that textured background for your lovely Queen Bea to rest upon! The Queen herself is just beautiful and Aunt Bea is going to treasure this! Thank you for inspiring us and for joining our Celebrate Your Style (you sure did!) at Anything But Cute. Hugs! Sara Emily DT

  10. Oh wow, this is amazing!! I absolutely love the bee!! The crown is such an awesome touch!! The background design is fabulous!! What a stunning project!! Thanks so much for playing along at Anything But Cute for our Celebrate Your Style challenge!!

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  11. This lovely piece has so much depth. I think your Aunt Bea will love it!


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