When I was a girl, my grandfather had a huge garden. We used to drive to spend summer vacations there for weeks at a time, and I always remember fondly his love of gardening for both vegetables and flowers. Grandpa grew large beds of lavender, and it’s one of the things that I really remember about the garden. When he passed away, each of us grandchildren placed a small bouquet of lavender on his casket before the funeral service.
Lavender is my favorite floral scent, and I love the flowers in the way that they open from the bottom of the stem to the top. My own lavender plant has just started flowering, and while watering I was watching some big fuzzy bumble-bees lazily gathering pollen from the blooms. Every day I walk past the plant, and I run the leaves and flowers through my fingers so I can smell the scent on my hands. I make my own lavender room spray and facial toner. I’ve even made lavender and lemon shortbread (which my best friend and her family love!). Watching my garden grow brings me great joy, and that’s what inspired me to create this lavender and bee bliss piece.
The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.
I began by using a 6″ x 6″ piece of our TCW9053 mixed media board. Using our TCW357 Cell Theory stencil and my gel press gel plate, I printed the background directly onto the board using light blue and Payne’s grey acrylic paint.
The gel print came out perfectly imperfect, which is exactly what I wanted for this background. Next, I added some of our ColorSparx powders over the top of the background to add some more color. In this step, I used Chartreuse, Lime Green, and Cerulean Blue ColorSparx powders spritzed with our TCW Spritz Bottle.
I used my heat gun to dry the ColorSparx powders, then I wanted to seal them to stop them from reactivating in the next layer. To seal the dried ColorSparx powders, I applied a super thin layer of TCW9012 Shimmery Goodness very quickly with a TCW9025 palette knife. The trick here is to swipe as quickly as possible, only once, and in only one direction, to prevent the ColorSparx powders from reactivating and smearing. If you’ve never tried this technique before, it might be a good idea to practice it a few times first, before trying it on your mixed media board. The beautiful pearlescent shimmer of the Shimmery Goodness seals the colors in and adds a really beautiful pearly shine which is somewhat difficult to photograph especially under lighting (so humble apologies for the quality of some of the following photos!).
Next, it was time to add the lavender flowers using our TCW860 Lavender stencil. For this step, I chose to use a Faber Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pen to fill in the purple violet of the lavender blossoms. These pens are great over sealed mediums because they glide on easily, yet pack a punch of color. For really fine line stencils such as this one, I find it much easier to use a pen rather than paint on a sponge, because with the paint, I inevitably get it under the stencil. To keep both my hands free for the stenciling, I taped the stencil in place using blue painter’s tape.
After filling in all of the lavender buds with the purple Pitt Artist Brush pen, I then used both a white and a black Signo Uni-ball acrylic paint pen to add highlights and shadows to each of the blooms. I used an Olive Green Pitt Artist Brush Pen to fill in the foliage, and then added highlights and shadows using the Signo pens again.
Watch as I remove the stencil for the big reveal of the completed lavender flowers! (This is my favorite part of stenciling!).
Here’s a close up image of the completed lavender flowers and foliage.
Now I needed to add the bees. This is a rubber stamp that I used with black Stayz On Ink which is a permanent black ink pad.
I hand colored the bees using a tiny paint brush with our TCW9067 Gamboge Stencil butter for the body, TCW9012 Shimmery Goodness for the wings, and added some highlights using my white Signo uni-ball acrylic paint pen.
And finally, it was time to add the embellishments. I heat embossed a wooden “bliss” sentiment using my heat gun with purple gold embossing powder. A tiny bird bead that I’ve had for years was the perfect accent on top of the “L”. Both embellishments were added using our TCW9011 Clear Matte Gel Medium.
Here’s a final image showing the full piece. You can really notice the Shimmery Goodness in this photo over the entire piece.
The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member
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