Thursday, April 2, 2020

Things to Do While Quarantined: Gratitude Bowls By Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

***CAUTION*** This project is a choke hazard! Keep it away from children and pets!!!

My friend Toni’s pastor suggested a way to feel grateful and remain focused on the good things in the world during these uncertain times. It immediately struck me as something I wanted to do:
  • Choose a small bowl.
  • Find 10 small stones.
  • Put the stones around the bowl.
  • During the day, put a stone in the bowl each time you feel grateful for something that is happening in your life.
  • Repeat each day.
A suggestion I’d like to add:
          Write down the reasons that the stones have been placed in the bowl.
Start a small gratitude journal, write on index cards, make digital notes on your phone - whatever seems appropriate and not burdensome.

          Choose ANY small bowl that is meaningful in some way. Shown above, a stone bowl from my friend Kathy. Shown below, an ornate leaf-shaped bowl from Leela, blown glass bowl inherited from my late friend Gail, an Asian sauce bowl - a thrift shop find, and a hand-painted bowl from Italy that we use for olive oil.

          Instead of 10 stones, choose colorful beads (butterflies!), glass marbles (flat or round, clear or iridescent) or gather ten small random objects from around the house that please you (a pin from Jhone, a pendant from Susan, a leaf I saw take shape in the hands of a blacksmith, a piece of clay that never made it to a project, an old buckle from when I had a waist...

Take a walk around your garden or a park where it’s easy to keep social distance to find the 10 stones, wash them; polish, clear seal, paint or number them.

Pick a number of stones or objects other than 10.

Share this idea with others and encourage each other to finish each day with a filled bowl!

Monday, March 30, 2020

Creative Quarantining: Library Pocket, Journaling Pocket By Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

To everyone quarantined at home: Stay safe, stay well, and stay creative! Time spent lost in a project is time spent without worries or fears.

I had the nicest compliment from a psychologist friend this morning: She’s seeing her clients remotely via phone and said she’s suggesting some of my ideas to her clients who are also quarantined, especially the one about taking photos of meaningful objects and then writing about them or sharing them. She’s even considering taking daily photos of her own to send to her friends and family during her time at home. It is making her see the objects around her in a new way. And seeing in a new way is always important, just seems like it’s more so now than ever.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been doing a lot more reading than usual the last couple of weeks. (I’m making a dent in the tall stack of books purchased last fall when the used book store had a half-off sale!)
To keep track of what I’m reading I die cut a library pocket and some cards for writing the title, author, and a mini review of a couple of words. (Die set: AccuCut) Of course, I had to decorate the pocket and cards! (Stamps: RubberMoon, Die set: AccuCut)

ANY envelope, pocket, index cards or notebook will serve well! If you have a printer, take a photo of the book cover and glue it onto the review card. Share what you’re doing, post your Library Pocket project on Instagram or other social media.*
Another option:
Instead of keeping track of what you’re reading, keep track of what you’re doing and feeling by writing on a 4x6 card; tuck the cards into a Journaling Pocket. Alternatively, make a collage, gel print, doodle, sketch, or other small art each day.

One pocket will hold an entire week’s worth of cards if the embellishments aren’t too chunky. Let’s hope the quarantine doesn’t require too many pockets!* (Die: AccuCut)

*If you share via social media, please help draw traffic to The Queen’s Ink by giving the link to this post and mention that you found the idea for your Library Pocket or Journaling Pocket on the store’s blog! (Thank you for doing whatever you can for the store during this challenging time. We all want it to hang in now and then reopen and continue to thrive.)

Friday, March 27, 2020

Stay Well by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

During stressful times it’s a good idea to turn to comforting and familiar techniques. For me, that involves doodling on dark cardstock using Sakura’s Pigma Micron Black, Gelly Roll White, and Pen-touch Gold pens to make postcards!

I thought I’d incorporate words on some of them, hence “Stay Well” came to mind. The more stressed I am the more detailed the doodles. Needless to say, I was feeling much better when I drew the center postcard, but was absolutely miserable when I worked through the one at the left. No lettering on the leafy mostly-white postcard to the right - I like the way it turned out.
Coloring the background with gold is my way of “Klimtify-ing” the cards.

What’s YOUR go-to comfort project? Don’t delay! Sanitizing the doorknobs can wait a little while and so can reorganizing the linen closet.

Actually, drawing on postcards and baking chocolate chip graham cracker brownies are tied for first place as mine. Fortunately, one of them has zero calories.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

More Things To Do While Quarantined by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

1. Take a photo of an object that holds meaning.*
     Print it in color or black and white.
     Glue it into your art journal or traveler’s notebook.
     Add journaling:
     How did you get the object? 
     Why does it hold meaning for you?

2. Cut a photo or illustration out of a magazine or damaged book.
     Glue it into your art journal or TN.
     Add journaling.

3. Make a drawing or collage that expresses how you’re feeling right now.
     Work directly in your journal or TN, or on a nice big sheet of sturdy paper.
     Add journaling.

Oh, you don’t have an art journal or traveler’s notebook yet? What are you waiting for! This is the perfect time to start one! (Like other businesses, The Queen’s Ink has had to close its doors for who knows how long, but Patti will ship you whatever you need or you can pick up your purchases at the door to the store or out in front if you prefer not to leave your car. Also: Please support the store by purchasing gift certificates now to use later.)

*The pencil box was my late father’s from his days at the University of Cincinnati (1930s into early 1940s). I keep it propped against the wall on a shelf in my studio. Interesting to notice that the three colors most worn down are three of my favorites: Raspberry, yellow/orange and dark teal green. The tape covering the bottom of the box is translucent enough for me to read the lettering and see that they’re watercolor pencils. I think while I’m quarantined would be a good time to test them out. It’ll bring my dad into my studio in a new way.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Quarantine Strategies: Start a New Traveler’s Notebook Insert! By Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

The quarantine continues. I thought it would cheer me up to start a new Kraft brown Traveler’s Notebook insert, even though the previous one isn’t quite done - a fresh start during a confusing time that’s filled with unknowns. After all, there is no rule that a person has to finish one insert before starting the next, right?

The cover, shown in its entirety above and in close-ups below, is either finished or partway done. I’ll let it simmer for a while before deciding. The vertical band is photo paper stamped with inks straight from the pads. It’s a super easy way to get an abstract effect. The torn collage bits are mulberry paper adhered with a glue stick. I picked white acrylic paint to tie things together. But I’m thinking that something nature-themed would be a good addition. (Please leave a comment if you have ideas to share.)

I made a pocket from part of an envelope for the inside of the front cover. The facing page incorporates stamps from RubberMoon (‘Start a new chapter’ and ‘I think I’ll be an artist...’ are currently available), along with stamps from my collection (vintage Picture Show and The Stampsmith).

I’m starting to prep some of the other pages with torn paper and paint, ready for found poetry, drawings, stamping, writing, doodling, and whatever else comes to mind.
How do you use art during stressful times?

One of my neighbors says she likes having a place to let out her dark thoughts and her fears so she’s turned to journaling. An online friend is taking several classes to use her time at home for learning new things.

I tend to turn to die cutting and stamping most often these days, though I’ve found that I’m drawn more and more to painting and embroidery.  And my Traveler’s Notebook is never far from my side. Welcoming a new insert booklet feels just right for right now.

I hope your creative pursuits will be a safe and happy place during these trying days.