Monday, April 8, 2019

Artist Trading Coins - Round 3 By Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

Happy Spring, everyone! I hope you are up for another round of Artist Trading Coins. I sure am! These  2.5” circles are a good way to use up pieces of gel prints, patterned cardstock, and other printed papers. 
For today’s tutorial, I doodled my way around and on top of the printed designs on a batch of circles, finding flowers and animals as well as embracing the original shapes and patterns. 
  1. Allow the existing printed designs to guide your eye. Experiment and be playful!
  2. Don’t be afraid to throw away the ATCoins that aren’t successful, or cut them into small strips and glue some of the pieces onto circles in contrasting colors and patterns.
  3. Add small stickers, gems, or other low-relief embellishments for mixed media collage.
  4. Use small scale rubber stamps or stencils to further enhance the patterns.
  5. Make 2-sided Coins.
  6. Back the Coins with a chipboard circle for added durability.
  7. Be sure to sign and date your creations!

Here’s what the circles looked like prior to doodling on them:

  • Assorted pens (Sakura of America) - Gelly Roll 10 in White; Pigma Micron with various nib sizes; Pen-touch in Gold
  • 2.5” Circle die, punch, or template
  • Patterned cardstock, scrapbook paper, gel prints

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Gimme a Hand by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

All of a sudden, embroidery is making a big comeback and creative, expressive stitching is a hot trend! I find this super exciting because it ensures that one of my favorite activities will continue to thrive and grow in the hands of another generation (and maybe even entice older folks who missed it in years past).

Of course, whenever something old becomes something new, its practitioners need to invent their own path, their own methods, and give it a fresh name and a ‘brand’ - so what I call embroidery is now officially the Slow Stitch Movement. 

What’s it all about? The title spells it out: 
Slow - by nature, hand stitching is time consuming, relaxing, calming (and it always has been)!
Stitch - all you need is fabric, needles and threads! 
Movement - inclusive; lots of people sharing the fun!

“Slow Stitch” (also the title of a book on the subject) is about self expression. There are no rules. It’s a bit like art journaling, only with fabric. Or patchwork, but without the patterns. Or random mending. Or embroidery, but without traditional constraints.

It can be random, casual, grown without any pre-planning (this seems to be the most common direction) or more planned and precise (with my traditional background, I tend to fall into the latter category). Results can be functional -an apron, a pillow, a needle case, a patched jacket, a card, or not - purely experimental, in-the-moment, sketching and making marks only with needle and thread.

Oh, and don’t forget: It’s portable and can be done anywhere, plus it’s so easy to pick up and put down. And it’s inexpensive - a few skeins of embroidery floss, needles and scissors are all that’s needed. However, once you dive in deep it’s LOTS of fun to gather a collection of threads (some of my favorites are hand-dyed), needles, special scissors and zippered pouches and a designated tote bag and other accoutrements. (Repeat after me: “I am not a minimalist.”)

Today’s tutorial is a window card, but the little patch could be used anywhere and combined with other stitched pieces.

1. Choose fabrics and embroidery thread in colors that please your eye. (Shown: 2 strands of embroidery floss.)
2. Hand- or die-cut a small hand and heart - or other motifs that call your name. Tip: For durability, back the fabrics with an iron-on fusible webbing prior to cutting.
3. Use straight stitches to secure the motifs to the background. If using fusible webbing, iron the motifs in place prior to adding the stitches.

  • Instead of fabric that can fray, go for wool felt. 
  • Instead of a graphic hand and heart, use random scraps to create freeform shapes.
  • Start with a pile of die-cut circles or other 
  • Work at a different scale.
  • Add more layers, including some that are translucent or open-weave.
  • Use running stitch or blanket stitch instead of straight stitches.
***Call The Queen’s Ink if you’re interested in an Expressive Stitching class. I’d be happy to teach one!***

Friday, March 29, 2019

Happy Spring Postcards by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

I took my doodling supplies outside this morning, the first time it was warm enough to be in the yard without a coat. The gold pen sparkled just like the sunshine! Here’s hoping you’re having good weather wherever you are, and that you’ll set aside some time to make (and SEND) some postcards...
How-to and Design Strategies (DS):

1. Cut sheets of cardstock in quarters. (DS - Red, teal, and other bright hues are a great starting point because black and white both show up against backgrounds in that color range and gold really pops!)

2. Color AROUND a single flower, stem and leaves (or whatever you decide to draw!) using a wide nib opaque gold pen. If you’ve used pencil guidelines, erase any marks that are not covered by the gold ink. (DS - The negative shapes around the flower and leaves are what makes these postcards unique and interesting. Beginners: Practice on scrap paper with a pencil before you ‘commit’ to the red cardstock. More experienced cardmakers: Don’t use a pencil - just go for it!)

3. Doodle within the petals, leaves and stem, and add a saying, greeting, date and your signature around the gold rectangle. (DS - space out the lettering so it becomes a border. Keep the words small so the flower remains the focal element.)
4. Divide the reverse side in half with a vertical line like a purchased postcard. Note: At the time that this tutorial was published, postcards cost 35 cents to mail in the USA. (DS - Write a message on the left half using the black pen, adding some doodles in black and white if you want to keep drawing; write the name and address of the recipient in big block letters and numbers on the right half using the white pen to make it easy for the post office to speed your creation to its destination!)

5. Other options -
*Use silver or copper metallic, black or any other opaque color paint or ink to fill the background instead of gold. 
*Instead of a flower and leaves, draw a butterfly, a branch with a bird, a squirrel or other animal. (DS - Any simple shapes and subjects that conjure spring!)
*Instead of black and white, use Gelly Roll Moonlight pens in pink and green (or any other opaque ink pens).

  • Red cardstock
  • Pen-touch in Gold (Sakura of America)
  • Pigma Micron in nib size(s) of choice (Sakura of America)
  • Gelly Roll 10 in White (Sakura of America)
  • Optional - soft pencil, eraser

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Color With Nancy: Faux Watercoloring with Copic Various Ink - Tuesday, April 30, 2019, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Join Nancy Sheads for a new Copic marker class featuring three new floral stamps sets from Stampendous. In this class, you will make three cards using Copic ink and a water brush filled with colorless blender to create a faux watercolor effect. Details are below. All necessary techniques are taught in class. Seats are limited, so sign up today! CLASS FEE $25

Tuesday, April 30, 2019, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Register online or call the Queen’s Ink at (301) 497-9449

BRING TO CLASS: The list below reflects the Copic markers that Nancy will use in class. You can follow along using the same colors OR substitute colors based upon your personal Copic collection.

Please bring all your markers to class and make sure your Copics are marked with Washi tape or some other means of identification. Markers are available for purchase at The Queen’s Ink. Students will receive a 10% discount on Copic markers. Nancy will be available prior to class to help with selection.

PLEASE NOTE: You must bring your own markers to participate in class. If you need markers, please contact The Queen’s Ink in advance of class. If you wait until class time, you may not be able to purchase the markers or other supplies you need.
  • RV52: Cotton Candy
  • R37: Carmine
  • YR04: Chrome Orange
  • Y38: Honey
  • YG03: Yellow Green
  • YG67: Moss
  • B00: Frost Blue
  • B04: Tahitian Blue
  • 0: Colorless Blender
  • Water brush - must either be new and unused or only ever filled with alcohol or colorless blender. If the brush has ever contained water, this technique will not work.
  • Bottle of Copic Various Ink Colorless Blender - at minimum, the 25cc bottle, but preferably the larger bottle. You may need to fill your water brush more than once during class.
  • Scissors suitable for fussy cutting
  • Foam adhesive squares
  • Tape runner adhesive or double sided tape
OPTIONAL SUPPLIES: Please bring IF you have the following:
  • 12x12 glass media mat such as the one by Tonic Studios or We R Memory Keepers.
  • Copic Various Ink Refills in the colors listed above.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Mix and Match Magic Stamp Mats by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

Here’s a fun way to mat your favorite photos, drawings, art prints, or other special items: Create Magic Stamp blocks that you’ve heated and pressed against a variety of low-relief patterns and textures. (Examples: Lace, shells, leaves, buttons, packaging materials.) Use the blocks plus assorted inks, embossing powders and narrow strips of removable tape to decorate mats with openings in a variety of sizes. (Buy, die-cut, or hand-cut your mats.)

Mix and match and layer two or more mats, or stick with just one. Add a frame (not shown). DONE!

A photo gallery to inspire you follows the supply list.

Note: I hold one or two workshops at The Queen’s Ink each year featuring amazing, wonderful Magic Stamp blocks! Check the calendar to see when the next one will be scheduled.

  • Magic Stamp blocks
  • Heat tool
  • Mats or mat board
  • Inks
  • Embossing powders