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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ballard Inspired Bee Bulletin Board

Do you remember when I posted about my love/hate relationship with bees?  I've been itching to use one in the decor here ever since then.  Now that our calendar is off of our bulletin board (because I made this dry-erase message center), I have a big wall of brown.  Ok, "Cappuccino" if you want to be technical.  But there's no contrast.  Enter: bee stencil, and watered down acrylic paint...

My Ballard-inspired Bee Bulletin Board:

Here are some before photos so you can really appreciate the size of this bad-boy.  I think it's about 36x24" with a 2.5" crown molding border.  It's pretty big!  And, it's a message center for us, directy across from our kitchen.  You may have also see that I posted Christmas cards on it during the season.




Anyway, I finally settled on a bee that looked slightly vintage, slightly whimsical, and not all furry and fuzzy, cause you know I don't really want to look at a full on INSECT.  (Which Z reminded me, it is a BUG... zoinks.)

This was a project inspired by two Ballard Items- Their framed bulletin boards, which are super fancy and a bit overpriced (!) and their bee designs on items such as totes, bags, towels and lampshades:

Their "Madison Corkboard" which is $299:

And things like the "Queen Bee" tote:

or the "laptop tote": or or the "Bee Pillow":

So, here's what I did:

I taped some paper together, and brought the image up on my desktop.  I freehanded this one, by starting with the body shapes, adding in the lower legs, then wings.  I added the detailing of the strips and the upper legs last.

I transfered my drawing to the bulletin board, and made sure the scale was good, and then cut the whole pattern out.  I didn't worry about cutting the stripes out yet.  Then, I pinned the pattern down, and traced the outer edge with a black ballpoint pen.  (Black, since my paint was going to be black, and my pencil didn't work on the corkboard :)  )



Here's a straight on view in case you want to use this one as a pattern:

Then, I took a squirt of cheapo acrylic paint in black (even though it's not a true black, more a very dark grey) and watered it down with a few drops.  I knew I could make the painting darker later, but I was attempting a more vintagey look.

Paint!  Just use your outline, and a brush with a flat edge, and cover your traced pattern.





I love that the cork sucked the paint in, and while I didn't water it down enough initially, the cork did the rest by getting me to almost the look I was going for.

Finished product again:



Up close on the paint:

Now, I just need to find (or make?) cuter push pins.  :)  And one question:  Should the bee body be colored in solid black?  Or, would it look like a flying termite (as Z so eloquently put it) if it were solid?  The stripes let you know it's a bee, but a solid version would look more whimsical?  I don't know!  Help!

I guess this bee thing isn't just a fad.  My first puppy, Kadee, had bee toys.  And Lexi and Gunner share a few bee toys too:

So anyway, I love it, and now just need to work on the rest of that big, blank, brown, boring wall.  Alliteration my friends, alliteration.

**Oh, and did you SEE IT?!  I finally made my curtains.  Go check out the sneak peak, with a full post coming soon.**

Until next time!
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