Tag Archives: Carpenter Bee

This Could Bee The One



Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado


This design was so fun to work on. I found the flower when I organized my artworks. It is mounted on wood, I placed it on a shelf. Thinking about this challenge, I was trying to find a not-so-ugly bug. Then It came to me. My blue bee was sort of pretty. There it began.

Bee Bloomers is my entry in the Spoonflower – Insects Skillshare Whimsical Watercolor design challenge. I really think this could be a contender for top ten. Can’t do it without you though!
(click links to vote)


Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bee, 6 x 6 watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Carpenter Bee, 6 x 6 watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

If you missed it, you can read about where the original ended up, the WIP here and the slow beginning.

Oh boy, seeing this again after so long, there are many things I would change. (The awful background.) You can see in the revised bee below, I did change quite a bit, digitally.






  1. Carpenter Bee Revised. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

    Carpenter Bee Revised. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

    I made the mouth larger, to help it print better on fabric. I just copied, resized and pasted.

  2. Added the missing second antennae and front leg. In the reference photo, neither were visible. I copied and pasted those as well.I stretched the antennae, resizing for better printing.
  3. I beefed up her back and rear as well.  Sorry dear. The rear is now touching the leg, and is longer. The back surrounds the rear wing so it looks fully, “attached”.
  4. It was nearly impossible to crop the bee from the wood background. Some of the wood grain obliterated the hairs on the legs. The quickest thing to do was erase the hairs, and then draw them back on in Photoshop. I was dreading that part, but it turned out to be easy.
  5. I added highlights to the center leg, and made the bottom of the rear leg larger, and better attached to the top half.

It is hard to see most of these details in the low-res images, and they may not even show on the fabric. Then again, I have always been pleased with the quality of Spoonflowers printing. The work was fun, and challenging, and that counts for something in my book.


Carpenter Bee close-up. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Carpenter Bee close-up. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado


 Additional Design Elements

Yellow Bloom. watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Yellow Bloom. watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

The only adjustments I made to the flower was to smooth the edges and add color between the blue center lines. I left them white on the painting, and I like it, but I have to admit it doesn’t “make sense”.

I smoothed the edges for better printing. I knew I was going to use an outline of the flower shape as an additional design element, so the edges needed to be as clean as possible.

Carpenter bees tunnel into wood to lay their eggs. Carpenter bee adults spend winter in wood within abandoned nest tunnels. After mating, the fertilized females excavate tunnels in wood and lay their eggs within a series of small cells. (from Wikipedia)

I wanted to include a wood element in the pattern. My first thought was an all over linear background. I couldn’t get it to work. I was “this close”. So at least I am on the right track.

Thing is, once I do manage to get it to repeat, I will be able to use it over and over. Below is a look at my idea. If you look at the lines on the left edge, and then the right, you well see that they do not match up. Some do, but not all.

Bee Bloomers, wood grain mock-up.

Bee Bloomers, wood grain mock-up.


So I had to rethink the wood. I filled those hollow flower shapes with several faux-wood grain patterns. And honestly, I think it works better. I have the bees facing all directions, and the “wood” flowers help to support the multi-directional toss.

I can use the wood grain as I have it to create a cheater quilt though! Woo Whoo!



Bee Bloomers Collection

Bee Bloomers Collection

I wanted soft colors for the background, that would not distract from the painted elements. White, blue, yellow and green. Spoonflower designers often seem to favor dark backgrounds, so I tried a steel-blue, sampled from the bee.


There it was.
My design challenge entry.

I continued to play with color, and found that teal really made the flowers pop. The final turquoise is very Hawaii, tropical delight! For that one I changed the shade of green on the small button flower, and darkened the wood patterned flowers. For a closer look, visit my shop.




So thankful to you for taking the time to vote.
Grateful if you think of sharing the link with friends.
Happy if you enjoyed this lengthy post.


No matter how sure you that a friend will be there for you when you need them, it is the greatest feeling when the time comes, and they are. 



  • All designs will be eligible for public voting, and the popular vote determines the top 25 winning designs. The first place winner will be chosen by Skillshare from the popularly-voted top 25 designs.
  • 1 first place winner each week (5 total, 1 per theme), chosen from the top 25 by Skillshare, will receive a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $96) and $200 in Spoonflower credit.
  • The 2nd place (5 total, 1 per theme) winner will receive a 6 month Skillshare Premium subscription, along with a $100 Spoonflower credit.
  • 3rd place (5 total, 1 per theme) winner will receive a 6 month Skillshare Premium subscription, along with a $50 Spoonflower credit.
  • Remaining top 10 designs will receive a $20 Spoonflower credit. The top 25 popularly-voted designs from each theme (100 total, 25 per theme) will be automatically made available for sale in the Spoonflower Marketplace (provided they are a verified seller) where they will receive 10% commission on every sale — no $5 swatch required.
  • In addition, all design challenge entries submitted during the Skillshare partner design challenges (04/12/17 – 05/23/17) will be entered into a drawing; one lucky contest entrant will be randomly selected by Spoonflower for the Grand Prize on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. The grand prize winner will receive a 1-year Spoonflower PRO membership (valued at $249), a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $96), one Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Small Tablet (valued at $218) and a 1-year Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud subscription (valued at $240). The grand prize winner will be announced Thursday, June 1, 2017.
  • 04/11/2017: Submissions open
  • 05/16/2017: Submissions close at 3pm EDT
  • 05/18/2017: Public voting opens
  • 05/23/2017: Public voting ends at 3pm EDT to determine top 25 entries
  • 05/25/2017: Spoonflower will announce the winner


See the winners from last week. My designs have been in the top half, or top third. But Pomegranates only received 34 votes, placing at #279 of 422. There are 410 entries this week.






Bee Blessed

Bee Art, Galerie Faszination Art, Hamburg, Germany. May 2014.

Petra Rau and Karsten Peters of Galerie Faszination Art. Bee Art, Galerie Faszination Art, Hamburg, Germany. May 2014.

Remember that blue Carpenter bee I painted? He is happily hanging in Hamburg among a handsome horde.

Petra Rau posted these photos and has generously let me share them with all of you. I am so grateful to her for the opportunity to see the show.

From the Faszination Art Gallery website:

International Art Exhibition and aid for bees. “Bee Art” was initiated by artist Petra Rau. What started as an appeal for artistic action to protect the bees in social networks, turned into a collaboration with the Hamburg  gallery Faszination Art. Petra soon had the participation of more than 35 international artists.

Roughly 80 diverse works of art in various mediums including drawing, painting, printing on paper, canvas, wood, plastics and glass art.  The opening reception was Thursday, May 08 2014. The show runs through May 28th. Numerous exhibits were donated by artists to aid in bee protection.

“Bee Art” is part of the project “Hamburg-hums!” with patron Daniela Schadt supporting. In cooperation with “Hamburg-hums!” are activities that have been developed in conjunction with the exhibition. Included are a concert, raffle, and honey sales.

Why So Much Attention For Bees?

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a serious problem threatening honey bee health and the economic stability of commercial beekeeping and pollination operations worldwide. The cause of CCD has yet to be determined.

Bees pollinate 80 percent of our flowering crops, this is about 1/3 of everything we eat. Losing them would affect dietary staples such as apples, broccoli, berries, nuts, asparagus, and cucumbers. Beef and dairy industries could also be threatened if alfalfa is not available for feed.

On December 1, 2013 the European Commission (EC) imposed a two-year ban on a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, now the world’s most widely used type of insecticide. Neonicotinoids are one of the leading suspected causes of colony collapse disorder. The EC action will restrict the use of three major neonicitinoids on seeds and plants attractive to bees, as well as grains.

The U.S. has fallen behind in their commitment to protect bee populations. The U.S. EPA still won’t follow Europe’s lead and suspend or ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. They have however, awarded $460,000 in funding for research into integrated pest management.

Learn more about what you can do to help bees survive. Just for fun, take a look at these amazing photos of bees. Share if you care!



Mail Art and Mailed Art

Rescued Barbie in   handmade Medieval Costume

Rescued Barbie in handmade Medieval Costume

Today was my lucky day! My mailbox was filled with a rich chocolate color handmade envelope. Inside it were these wonderful postcards.

One woman's treasure.

One woman’s treasure.

Nepalese handmade papers and hand printed.

Nepalese handmade papers and hand printed.







These gorgeous papers from Nepal were inside too. The sun is a handmade postcard, and the fish are a piece of stationary on beautifully textured paper. Their bright sunny colors just bring a smile to my face. The papers have such a terrific texture, and the stationary is translucent.


2 x 2 "Tree Spirit" by T. H. H.

2 x 2 “Tree Spirit” by T. H. H.

Nepalese hand printed paper.

Nepalese hand printed paper.

These were gifts from my friend Teresa Harrington Hazelbaker. We met through Kat Sloma’s Liberate your Art postcard exchange. She also included a small magnet with her colorful art on it. I keep some of my art supplies in a metal chartreuse bucket on my desk, and this compliments it perfectly!


I was so happy to receive this surprise in my mail. So honored too that Teresa would share the Nepalese treasures with me. They were gifts from her niece who traveled to Nepal. Thanks so much Teresa! Blessings in my mailbox!

Bee mounted

Carpenter Bee. 6 x 6 watercolor on 140 lb. cold pressed paper, mounted on a cradled wood panel.

I am heading to the post office to send my carpenter bee to Hamburg Germany. The exhibition is an effort to raise money and awareness for the dwindling bee populations world-wide. It will be held May 8th – May 28th at the Galerie Faszination Art.

I painted the cradle board a yellow ochre that I think compliments the bright colors in the artwork. This is the first time I have mounted a watercolor, and I am so pleased with how it turned out!

Signed, sealed, and soon to be delivered!

Wishing you all a super weekend!