Monday, September 18, 2017

Queen of Everything by Judi Kauffman

There’s a new stamp set in stock at The Queen’s Ink and I’m excited to be able to introduce it! It’s called Queen of Everything. It’s by Suzanne Cannon (Quietfire Design) and it includes six top notch deep-etched red rubber cling-mounted stamps – a crown-like flourish with a heart at the center and five separate stamps with words - Queen of, Everything, the last minute, way too much, and HEARTS.

I used the queens from a deck of playing cards for my projects, adding an allover pattern background, some glittery cardstock and jumbo gems, a watch face embellishment and a die cut decorative corner. The color palette: Royal purple, of course!

Tiaras, place cards, gift card holders - so many possibilities… I’ll be back with more projects soon. Meanwhile, I hope these four cards will inspire you and get you started.

Be sure to stop by The Queen’s Ink to pick up The Queen of Everything set and to see all of the other wonderful new goodies that have arrived since your last visit. (Patti has brought in pens and inks that are irresistible…) If you live too far for an in-person visit, head to the web store or place your order by phone.

(In case you think you’re seeing double: With permission from Patti Euler and Suzanne Cannon, these projects are being published on both The Queen’s Inkling and Quietfire Design blogs)


  • Queen of Everything stamp set #6221 Quietfire Design
  • Inks in colors of choice
  • Glittered and solid colored cardstock
  • Background stamp or patterned paper
  • Playing cards
  • Double-sided tape
  • Paper glue
  • Large adhesive-backed gems
  • Watch face
  • Die cut Shimmer Sheetz for corner embellishment

Monday, September 11, 2017

Pen Circles by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Inkling

Long ago, I invented a project to amuse some children who were visiting: Pen Circles. It was a hit. And over the years it has become one of my favorites for when I’m on the go. Everything fits in a small zippered bag.

I hope you’ll join me!

First, die cut a series of circles from smooth, solid color or speckled cardstock. Then layer, arrange and rearrange the circles till happy with the way they look. Finally, glue the layers. I sometimes cut circles in half or trim away portions – there are no hard and fast rules!

Then pack up some pens, the layered circles and you're ready for take-off (plane trips go faster when I’m doodling), for visits with friends, and for endless hours in waiting rooms. If the doctor is forty minutes late I don’t notice. Well…yes, I do, but I have something with me so my blood pressure remains low!

When I’m layering the circles I don’t plan or think about what they might become. I just layer them in ways that please my eye and look interesting even without any drawing. Discovering plants and flowers, faces, abstract designs all comes later. It’s all about turning the circles around until an idea reveals itself, and then starting to doodle.

And I never throw away the scraps. It’s such fun finding interesting shapes within the leftovers. So many weird and quirky animals! Get out some scissors, cut the leftovers into pieces, leaving evidence of where the circles were originally die cut and adding legs and tails and ears or whatever else comes to mind. (Draw guidelines in pencil until you feel confident without them!) Add 1" white circles for eyes...then doodle and doodle some more. 

What do I do with the Pen Circles? So far, nothing! I just keep them stacked up in a box. I look at them now and then. But they might someday become ornaments, I might tuck them into an art journal or add them to card fronts. Who knows…

  • Solid color and speckled cardstock in four or more colors
  • Pigma Micron pens in black (01, 1, 005)
  • Gelly Roll Medium pen in white
  • Adhesive of choice
  • Circle dies (shown: 1” – 4”)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Creative Outlet by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Inkling

The electrician who installed the new ceiling fan in my studio put aside various unneeded parts, including a plastic piece from an outlet that I rescued from the trash heap! Viewed one way, it looked like eyes. Viewed the other way, it looked like a small shrine with two niches. He didn’t utter a peep when I set it aside, but after he was finished and we’d paid him, he asked me what in the world I planned to do with the castoff plastic, so we headed back to the studio for a quick demo…

I got out a Magic Stamp block, heat tool, some ink pads and envelopes and showed him what I’d envisioned. And while I was at it, I showed him a block I’d made with some rippled cardboard pieces left from a packing carton, too. He stayed long enough to see me create the face shown on the envelope below and in the close-up photo at the start of this tutorial. I completed the rest once he’d headed off to his next customer.

I sent him home with a couple of Magic Stamp blocks, some stamped and plain envelopes and a Pigma Micron pen because he said his son loves to draw and is hoping to become a cartoonist.

I hope the photo gallery will intrigue and inspire you. I’ve written instructions for Magic Stamp blocks in the past so scroll back through the blog if you need that info.


1. Look around your home, your office, and wherever else interesting low-relief manmade items might catch your eye. Create some Magic Stamp blocks and stamp your art out! 

2. Set aside some of the stamped pieces to use as is – postcards, backgrounds, envelopes ready to fill and mail…you’ll know ‘em when you see ‘em!

3. Keep going on the rest – get out your fine line pens, markers and colored pencils. Find and add faces, flowers, bugs, or whatever lands in your imagination and works its way down to your hands. Doodle, color, tear and layer and create collages.

Time for your own creative outlet! Literally (the electrical department at a hardware store offers so many possibilities). Or otherwise (packaging is often a great source of textures and patterns).


  • Magic Stamp blocks
  • Heat tool
  • Pigma Micron pens in black (01, 1, 005)
  • Gelly Roll Medium pen in white
  • Winsor & Newton ProMarkers in assorted colors
  • Dye ink pads in assorted colors
  • Solid color cardstock
  • Envelopes
  • Optional Rubber stamps (sentiments, greetings, return address, etc.)
  • Spray mist bottle with water (to create watercolor effects)
  • Glue stick (for collage-style envelopes)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Magic Stamp Plus Altered Collage Papers by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

As promised, today’s post is a combination of the two past weeks’ projects – Altered Collage Papers and Magic Stamp block prints with dimensional paint and Nuvo Crystal Drops.

The combo collages can become greeting cards or works of art, or some of both, depending on how you want to approach things. I mixed in some solid color cardstock, but all other elements are from the Inkling, August 15 and 22, 2017. (Take a minute to look back at these two posts if you haven’t already seen them, please. They are the ‘Before’ and today is the ‘After’!)

Give it a try! ‘Audition’ the pieces for each collage you create and work on several at the same time to maximize the possibilities. Don’t glue anything in place until you’re confident about your choices. And be sure to ask think about the questions below. The answers will help determine the direction of your projects.

Would the layers look better with cut or torn edges? Or both? Should you add something dimensional, or stick with relatively flat collages? Instead of cardstock or handmade paper as a substrate, would you prefer canvas? Is it time to work large, or keep things small scale? What kind of adhesives are going to work best? Should you use staples, needle and thread, brads? Are you inspired to try some of the color combinations I chose, or head in an entirely different direction? It’s all entirely up to you!

Here’s a photo gallery to get things rolling –

  • Matte medium
  • Adhesives of choice
  • Solid color cardstock
  • Optional: Canvas

    (Review blog posts from August 15 and 22, 2017, for instructions and supplies needed to create altered collage papers and Magic Stamp block prints with textural elements)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Magic Stamp Textures by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

If you’ve got Magic Stamp blocks, a heat tool and ink you’re never going to be bored!

This week the ivy on our back fence decided to send up little branches with berries. I snipped a few pieces and brought them to my work table. A sheet of circle-shaped labels was sitting off to the side. I put the two together, got out a Magic Stamp block and my trusty heat tool, and created a stamp.

I spent an hour stamping pieces of cardstock to be used as postcards or incorporated into collage or other projects. And a dozen envelopes, just because I love decorating envelopes…

One thing led to another. I decided to add some texture to the cardstock, so I got out dimensional paints and glitter, as well as some iridescent acrylic paints.

While I was at it, I reached for one of my oldest Magic Stamp blocks. Even though you can wash, dry, re-heat to erase and then re-use the blocks, I keep my favorites. (For a long time - this one was made back in the 1990s, pressed against Mardi Gras beads, a bracelet and a tangle of rubber bands!)

I stamped and added texture to some more pieces of cardstock.

Please come on back next Tuesday, August 29, to see how I’ve combined the pieces from today’s post with the altered collage papers from last week!

  • Magic Stamp blocks
  • Heat tool
  • Low relief textures (botanicals, beads, and more)
  • Cardstock
  • Dye-based inks
  • Nuvo Crystal Drops
  • Dimensional paints
  • Iridescent paints
  • Paintbrushes