I chose to use a beautiful blue as a basecoat and a dark chocolate brown for the flower.
On to the flower. Like I said, this was *very* difficult for me since it's not my usual type of painting. I had to keep reminding myself of something an art teacher told me once which is to not see the object for what it is (a flower), but to see it as a shape (not quite the exact wording, but something like that!). So if you are reading this, Patricia Wood from American River College, thank you because that's what got me through this project! I have to admit that my heart was racing as I painted this because it looked so horrible and I kept wondering to myself how on earth I could ruin such a good idea. Sounds dramatic, but you'll see why when you look at the picture below.
I honestly wasn't sold on it at this point. I just kept thinking it looked so sloppy, but then reminded myself yet again that it isn't my usual style, and that to grow, I need to venture outside my comfort zone. And I also kept singing a song in my head from The Frog and the Princess...the part where Tiana checks out the place where her future restaurant will be and she sings the song, "Almost There". I didn't even realize for a while that I was humming that song in my head, but I think it was my subconscious way of pushing myself. That, and my son watches that movie EV.ERY.DAY! He loves the 'fwoggies' and 'algator' =).
Hmmm, not liking that either. I finally took a cue from the flower and decided to highlight it with white and it turned out like this.
That's a little bit better, but I wanted more depth so I added just a smidgeon of brown paint and lightly sanded it again.
Much better! Next, I set it on the plaque to make sure it looked good, and I was pretty happy with it.
Then it came time to paint the dashed line and the random numbers, like on the original plaque (do this *before* attaching the applique so it doesn't get in the way). I used painter's tape to make a horizontal line and 2 vertical lines.
This step is *not* neccessary at all, but the perfectionist in me wanted to have the lines the same thickness. To keep it from being too 'perfect' looking, I varied the length of the lines and the spacing between them. I used a stencil that I already had to write '314' at the top and '0.100' between the dashed lines.
The next part kinda stunk because I didn't have a super small paintbrush so I used the other end of a paintbrush (the rounded plastic part) and a paintbrush on the bigger areas. It was far from perfect, but I was actually glad that it was kind of sloppy to match the look of the flower.
Once that was finished and dry, I painted some cardboard (aka a frozen pizza box that I cut open) with the colors of the plaque and tested out some wood stains to give it an aged look.
On the left is Minwax Early American and on the right is Minwax Dark Walnut. I thought the Dark Walnut was too dark for this project, but I honestly wasn't sure the Early American made a difference, so I held the plaque up to the samples.
Oh yeah, there's a difference! And just the right amount. So after I applied the applique with epoxy, I stained the whole thing with Early American then attached a picture hanger on the back when it was dry.
Here's the final product.
I am happy to report that it has finally grown on me. In fact, I'm really diggin' it! Oh yeah, and the total cost of the project (the wood applique and 2 bottles of paint were all I had to buy) was a total of around $6!!! Although you have to buy the Ballard Designs version as a set for $199, *if* you could buy an individual plaque, it would cost $66! I'll take $6 over $66 anyday!
I'm linking up to