Monday, 13 May 2019

Busy Buzzy Tag - by Claudia

Hi, servus and thanks so much for stopping by today!

Sorry for the four weeks break.  Some sudden health issues including a stay at the hospital and a lot of visits with various doctors in the weeks after have been keeping me away from my studio. I am still not back to feeling really well or being my old self again, but at least I am almost back to a normal daily routine by now. And I can finally create at my workdesk again, which is something that always makes me feel better and helps keeping sad or stressful thoughts at bay.

The total loss of any daily routine has also made me loose my creative mojo a bit. But often browsing your stash helps with getting it back - so I browsed my "Calico Craft Parts Design Team Treasure Box" and unearthed the gorgeous Sheet of Mini MDF Bees & Beehives and the Bees & Honeycombs Sheet and decided to use these on a Calico Craft Parts MDF Classic Tag.

Wild Bees have even been nesting on our balcony on the 6th floor during the last years. The first wild bee I saw there tried to nest in one of the holes used to tilt our beach chair , so I immediately went and bought an insect hotel to provide it a proper nesting place.
During the last years we have always had some wild bees nesting on our balcony and I always love it when I find that one or the other has hatched after a long winter.

Looking closer at the "bees" on the MDF sheet I found that some rather looked like wasps and others also a bit like bumble bees - so I united all of them on my tag. And combining parts of the awesome honeycomb parts with a blank Word Element made for a perfect base to put a quote on.

"Summ summ summ" is German (and the title of a very common German children's song) and means "buzz buzz buzz". (You pronounce it like "zoommm zoommm zoommm" with the "oo" spoken rather shortly).

This is a picture of the Calico Craft Parts I've used.

As you can see I have also used the lovely "Wildflower Wood Shape" - so the bees on my tag had some flower to get their pollen and nectar from. As it was the only wood shape on my tag that didn't have any laser engraved texture, I decided to add some texture myself.

To do so I used DecoArt white Modeling Paste, a palette knife and some thin wire (to engrave the leaves and petals patterns into the still wet paste).

I first applied a thin even coat of the Modeling Paste with the palette knife and then "drew" the leaves' veins and petals with the thin wire (I used the wire because it was what was closest at hand. I could as well have used a pokey tool or something else that has a fine tip).

More white Modeling Paste was scraped onto the tag using the palette knife. I made sure I created several layers and a lot of texture.

The Modeling Paste also worked as my adhesive to put the Craft Parts in. First the ones that formed the base layer. Then I scraped on more Modeling Paste to fix the insects to the honeycomb layer.  (I also used matte Decou-Page where I didn't have a honeycomb base).

I also used the Modeling Paste and the very tip of my palette knife to create the look of "filled and closed" honeycombs here and there.

This is how these looked once the tag was done.

But first I had to create a colour base layer. I used DecoArt media Misters White, Orange and Primary Yellow and mixed these wet on wet. 

I started with a thorough white base layer and let that dry and then partly sprayed and sprinkled on the Orange and Yellow Mister paints.

Once these had dried I used an old plastic pipette and cut off the narrowest part of its tip, so I could use it to pick up some DecoArt clear Pouring Top Coat and fill some of the honeycomb cells with it. 

Time for the Pouring Top Coat on the tag (and for me) to rest over night. The next day I went on with painting the wasps, bumble bees and bees and other shapes with DecoArt media fluid acrylics Diarylide Yellow, Hansa Yellow Medium, Burnt Sienna, Carbon Black and Sap Green.

I mixed Diarylide Yellow and Burnt Sienna to create a wash for the branch.

A mix of Diarylide Yellow and Hansa Yellow Medium was used to paint my bee (in the picture below) while I used pure Hansa Yellow Medium to paint the wasps.

The wings were first dry brushed using DecoArt Americana Snow White. Then I added DecoArt media Interference fluid acrylic Turquoise on top (once the white layer had dried).

The wildflower's stem and leaves were given a wash of Sap Green fluid acrylic paint.

The wash especially highlighted the patterns I had engraved into the Modeling Paste.

As I felt I still needed more texture on my tag I mixed some DecoArt media white Crackle Paint with some drops of Hansa Yellow Medium media fluid acrylic paint and applied that mix in several spots with either the palette knife or a brush (in those parts where the palette knife didn't reach).

I let that dry naturally and then went in with my favourite mix of diluted DecoArt media Antiquing Creams Carbon Black and Raw Umber.

 This way the background was toned down which made all the prominent parts stand out and also the gorgeous crackle from the Crackle Paint became more visible.

To finish off my tag I stamped my quote onto the blank Word Element using archival black stamping ink and some letter stamps.


In this picture you can also see one of the sources that inspired me to create this tag and go for that specific colour scheme. It's an empty wasps nest I found on one of my walks with my dog girlie Bluna.

I hope you like my busy buzzy tag! 
See you in two weeks!

Hug and happy crafting!


  1. So sorry to hear you've been so unwell. I hope you will find your way back to full strength and inspiration soon. Not that you would know the inspiration is lacking in your glorious summer tag - I can practically hear the bees buzzing!
    Alison x

    1. Thank you so much, Alison! :)
      Claudia xx

  2. Really lovely to see you back here, Claudia - and here's wishing you a full recovery and return to the 'old you'! This tag is absolutely glorious with its evocation of summer in warm, honey colours and those wonderful Calico bees and beehives. Thank you for brightening my day and get completely well soon. xxx

    1. Aw! Thank you so much for the good wishes and the kind words, Julie Ann! So happy you like my tag so much!
      Claudia xx

  3. Claudia this is so wonderful, I love the way you have filled the cells, and the color and washes turned out fabulous! I am happy to hear you are feeling better and able to maintain a more normal schedule, I always look forward to seeing your creative ideas come to life! Hugs! xx

  4. Spitzenmäßig, liebe Claudia und einfach herrlich nah an der Natur, man denkt an blühende Rapsfelder,fleißige Bienen und leckeren Honig, ich liebe das!! Kreative Grüße xxx

    1. Recht lieben Dank für das schöne Lob, liebe Kerstin! Freut mich sehr!
      Claudia xxx