Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Altered Angels by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

A friend gave me six cute 7” tall wooden angel ornaments that she no longer wanted. I politely thanked her, tucked them away for a few years, and forgot about them till a recent clean-up. Because ‘cute’ isn’t my style, I thought it would be fun to alter the angels with paint and pens, giving them a very different look!

Here’s the ‘before’ shot:

I pried the star off of one of them. Here’s how she looks after her makeover:

I turned another upside down, moved the eye hook, and made her into a bird:


What do you have that could benefit from a total re-do? If the answer is ‘not a thing’ then head to a yard sale, thrift shop, or ask a crafty friend to share some of her unused stuff.

Can you flip the item around and turn it into something new? Think outside of the box!


1. Paint the surface of whatever you’re altering. A base coat of gesso and a coat or two of acrylic paint should do the trick.

2. Trace around the shape and sketch some ideas on paper before you commit. Or if you’re feeling fearless and confident draw straight onto the painted surface without any pre-planning.

3. Use paint pens or paint and fine brushes. Doodle and alter your ________ (angel, star, circle, mask, whatever….). Stop at intervals, get away from the project so you can come back with fresh eyes and see if you need to keep going or if it’s DONE.

4. Keep going until you are content with the project. If you add too much and aren’t happy, paint over whatever you’ve done, sand the surface a bit and start again!

  • Acrylic paints
  • Gesso
  • Paint pens in black, white, metallic gold, copper, orange or colors of choice
  • Wooden shapes to paint 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Last-Minute Gifts: Jumbo Clothespin Pencil Holders / Notepaper & Pencil/Pen Holders by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

Need some last-minute gifts? No problem! Here are two you can whip up in no time, and if you’re already done with presents for this year, bookmark the idea for other occasions and for next year’s holiday season!

Photo Holders –
Great as stocking stuffers, place cards for a festive table!

Paint a jumbo clothespin or leave it as natural wood.
Add embossed Shimmer Sheetz to the front, or both front and back.
Lightly sand the Shimmer Sheetz to tone down the sparkle and reveal the core color (Gemstone has a silver core, Iridescent is white), and/or alter the SS with alcohol inks if you want!
Embellish with fibers, sequins, gems or in whatever way you choose.

Pencil/Pen Holders –
Terrific party favors, stocking stuffers, teacher gifts; make one for yourself!

Paint a wooden favor bag or any similar small container with straight sides.
Add embossed Shimmer Sheetz or handmade paper to the front, or both front and back.
Embellish with miniature playing cards, leather or paper cord, ribbon, charms or other dimensional elements. Tip: Fray the end of the ribbon to add a special touch.

For Both Projects –

Use slivers of strong hold Tombow Power Adhesive Tabs to secure the sequins and metal charms. (Cut the Power Tabs with non-stick scissors.) Use double-sided adhesive tape to adhere the Shimmer Sheetz and handmade paper.

That was easy, wasn’t it?
You’re welcome to share my mantra: Easy Isn’t Cheating!

  • Embossing folders – Card Suits, Stars (Kaisercraft)
  • Shimmer Sheetz in colors of choice (Shown: Amethyst Gemstone, Yellow Iridescent)
  • Handmade paper with botanical inclusions
  • Sanding block, optional
  • Double-sided adhesive tape
  • Power Adhesive Tabs (Tombow)
  • Non-stick scissors to cut Power Tabs
  • Jumbo clothespins
  • Wooden containers
  • Acrylic paint (shown: Black Plum)
  • Paintbrush
  • Leafy branch peel-offs in Gold (Elizabeth Craft Designs), option – alter with alcohol inks
  • Large star-shaped sequins (or Shimmer Sheetz in Silver Metallic and star-shaped punch or die)
  • Flat-backed gems
  • Crown and flower charms
  • Mini playing cards
  • Leather or paper cord
  • Fuzzy fibers
  • 2” wide iridescent ribbon

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Stenciled Gift Card Envelopes by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

Gift cards are such a popular way to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and other occasions. One of my favorite ways to present them is in a hand-stenciled envelope. For me, taking that extra step, creating a custom envelope, is well worth a few minutes; they’re easy and fast, and a lot of fun to make! I always make a big batch so I have plenty on hand.

While you’re at it: Stencil a few pieces of cardstock, some larger envelopes, shopping bags, sheets of gift wrap…Might as well keep going as long as the paints, stencils, and brushes are already spread out. (As long as I’ve got my supplies out on the table I want a bountiful outcome!)


1. Find a gift card envelope template via Internet search, trace and hand-cut cardstock envelopes OR use a cutting die. (I chose cardstock instead of text weight paper so the envelopes are durable and can be re-used or added to an album or journal.)

2. Stencil the envelopes with gold acrylic paint or whatever color(s) you prefer. Tip: Make sure your stencil is large enough to cover the entire envelope when it is open and flat with all flaps extended as shown in the photos above. I chose 9 x 12 stencils to ensure that I wouldn’t have to move the stencil once I had positioned it. Large stencils with all-over or radiating patterns give lots of options for taking advantage of various elements within the designs.

3. Hand- or die-cut two folio closures per envelope. Fold and assemble the envelopes, adding metallic braid or twine to the closure. Alternatively, use eyelets and silk cord. Reminder: Shimmer Sheetz folio closures for these projects were cut with standard dies on a full size machine. If using thin dies, a metal adaptor plate is required. (Review Els van de Burgt’s YouTube tutorial if you are new to this technique.)

Other Options:

*Instead of a gift card, tuck in folded cash or golden dollar coins, movie tickets, or a personalized coupon good for homemade brownies or a pie!
*For envelopes that can be tied onto bottles or used as napkin rings, punch a hole in one corner and add a piece of ribbon BEFORE tucking something inside.
*Use stenciled envelopes to hold Artist Trading Cards.

  • All-over or radiating pattern stencils (shown: StencilGirl Products L423, L350, L304)
  • Cardstock in shades of red, pink, and cranberry or colors of choice
  • Gold metallic paint
  • Stencil brush
  • Template/pattern OR gift card envelope and folio closure dies (shown: AccuCut for GrandeMARK machine)
  • Ruby Gemstone Shimmer Sheetz (Elizabeth Craft Designs) dappled with alcohol inks in Espresso and Gold (Ranger) to use for folio closures
  • 2 glittered or gemstone-topped brads OR 2 eyelets
  • 8” Metallic braid (shown: Kreinik #16) for folio closure
  • 8” Silk cord for eyelet closure

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Grids and Greens by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

I loved Tim Holtz’s Holiday Greens Sizzlets dies right from the get-go! There are four in the set – realistic, bold and graphic, just right for so many projects. And the Kaisercraft Grid embossing folder was right up my alley, too. Together: Cards that are easy as pie. Actually, even easier than pie!

The recipe:

1. Die cut the greens from green glittered cardstock, Emerald Gemstone Shimmer Sheetz, or a mix of the two. (See REMINDER following Step 5 of the recipe.) Tip: When removing these intricate die cut shapes from the die, always begin at the stem end and work slowly and carefully so the delicate stems don’t tear.

2. Emboss wine red cardstock or Ruby Gemstone Shimmer Sheetz with the grid embossing folder. Option: Tone down the Shimmer Sheetz by lightly sanding the surface. Adhere the embossed rectangle to a side-fold A2-size card base using double-sided adhesive tape.

3. Arrange and adhere the greens as shown or as you prefer. Use tiny slivers of Tombow Power Adhesive Tabs to hold the die cut greens in several places, allowing most of the leaves and needles free from the surface for lots of dimension.

4. Embellish with a red star-shaped button (shank removed) or a trio of red gem-topped snowflakes (die cuts or sequins).

5. Trim any greens that extend past the edges of the card front.

You MUST use a Metal Adaptor Plate or the Sizzix Big Shot with Precision Base Plate when die cutting Shimmer Sheetz. Review Els van de Burgt’s YouTube tutorial if you are new to this technique.

*Switch to a brighter color palette or go for a monochromatic scheme like ivory, white, and silver.
*Instead of an embossed grid background, use textured handmade paper or cardstock with a small all-over dot pattern.
*Position grid and greens on a larger size card base (5 x 7 works well), leaving an inch or more at the bottom; add a bow (ribbon or twine) where the stems touch at the bottom of the cluster of greens so they look like they’re tied together.

  • Holiday Greens dies (Sizzlets)
  • Shimmer Sheetz in Ruby and Emerald Gemstone
  • Grid embossing folder (Kaisercraft)
  • (For die cutting Shimmer Sheetz, a Metal Adaptor Plate or Sizzix Big Shot with Precision Base Plate is required)
  • Tombow Power Adhesive Tabs
  • Non-stick scissors (for cutting Power Tabs)
  • Optional embellishments (gems, star-shaped buttons, snowflake sequins)
  • Double-sided adhesive tape
  • Sanding block (optional: To tone down Shimmer Sheetz)
  • Cardstock in wine red (to emboss), silver and Kraft brown (for card bases)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Santiago Gardens: Card-in-a-Box and Bookmark by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

Nathalie Kalbach’s new foam stamps from ArtFoamies (available at The Queen’s Ink, of course!) are such a treat. If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be ‘Santiago’ – the one I chose for this project. It is a square pattern that works beautifully as an individual unit and can be repeatedly stamped to create a variety of allover designs as well.

If you asked me to pick a favorite tomorrow instead of today, I might choose a different stamp (the ‘Batik’ series caught my eye…), so thank goodness I was able to add several to my collection. And there will be more in the future, I’m sure.

A quick detour: ArtFoamies stamps are great with acrylic paints, fun for art journaling and mixed media. Just be sure to wash them well immediately after each use so the paint doesn’t dry on and damage the surface of the foam. (I used good old dye-based stamping inks rather than getting out the paints.)

The idea for using the Santiago stamp to create gardens happened by accident. I constructed a Card-in-a-Box without planning what to add to the interior (the pop-ups). After cutting individual motifs for the fold-out sides and the tall backing section I was left with a bunch of scrap pieces. AHA! Flowers!

The exciting thing about Card-in-a-Box projects is that they fold flat for mailing, though this one is a bit lumpy because of the wooden stir sticks I used as stems for the flowers and will require additional postage.

After finishing the flowers for the Card-in-a-Box I ended up with a long scrap that looked like it would work well for a bookmark. This time I used the Santiago leftovers for the ground, not the flowers. I added alcohol ink-altered peel-offs for the ‘greenery’ and used RubberMoon stamps for the round flowers and straight stems. I drew the little leaves. You may recognize the Stampstracts stamp I chose for the bookmark flowers – it was used for the EYES on owls in a blog post a few weeks ago.


If you’re an experienced card maker, look at the photos and head straight to the supply list. If you’re new to paper crafts, here are step-by-step instructions:

1. Choose three pieces of heavyweight cardstock (100lb) in coordinating colors. (If making a bookmark, add black or another color as the fourth.) Keep the same color palette or change to whatever combination you prefer.

2. Hand- or die-cut the pieces for your Card-in-a-Box. Use the first color for the main piece. Use the second color for the decorative rectangle (backing) and 3 side pieces. A quick Internet search will provide patterns and tutorials. I used an AccuCut die; the finished card measures 5.5” wide and 6” high when closed. The side pieces are 2.5” x 2.75”, an almost-perfect fit for the Santiago stamp. The stamp is 2.75” x 2.75”.

3. Stamp Santiago square repeatedly at an angle all over the inside and outside of the main piece. Stamp the long backing rectangle and three side pieces with the full Santiago square (not at an angle).

4. Stamp Santiago repeatedly to fill the third piece of cardstock. I stamped a 12” x 12” sheet. Cut out the decorative pieces for the sides and backing. Adhere with foam squares to add dimension. Accent the center of each dimensional element with a Glitter Dot.

5. Next, cut assorted pieces for the flowers. Shape and layer them. Embellish with Glitter Dots in two or more colors. Adhere flowers to stir sticks; glue the flower sticks to the inside of the card as shown.

Create a bookmark from remaining scraps, additional pieces of cardstock, rubber stamps, and alcohol ink-altered leafy branch peel-offs.

  • ‘Santiago’ foam stamp by Nathalie Kalbach (ArtFoamies)
  • ‘sunstract’ and ‘dashing’ Stampstracts stamps by Kae Pea (RubberMoon)
  • Die or template for Card-in-a-Box pieces (shown: AccuCut)
  • Cardstock in tan, rust, mustard and black or colors of choice
  • Dye-based ink in dark color of choice (shown: Raisin)
  • Glitter Dots peel-offs in two or more colors (shown: Red/Gold, Turquoise/Silver)
  • Flat wooden coffee stir sticks
  • Fine point scissors (to cut flower pieces)
  • Media shears or craft knife (to cut wooden sticks)
  • Leafy branch peel-offs in gold, altered with alcohol inks for mottled effect (for bookmark)
  • Fibers (for bookmark)
  • Pigma Micron 01 pen in brown/sepia (for drawing leaves on bookmark)
  • Ruler, cutting mat (if hand-cutting cardstock pieces for Card-in-a-Box)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Scrap Box Part 1: ATCs and a Calendar by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

There’s an old joke about a woman who keeps pieces of string in two jars, one has pieces that will be useful but the other holds pieces that are too small to use. My scrap box falls into the ‘too small to use’ category. It’s where I whisk interesting bits and pieces of stenciled and stamped cardstock and Shimmer Sheetz, along with wonderful pieces of embossed and handmade paper – AKA ‘stuff I just can’t throw out’…

I like looking through it now and then. The scraps remind me of past projects and it’s rare that I can close the box without getting an idea for a collage or card or some other project. I’m proud to say I only allow myself a very small hinged plastic box for this stash so it never gets out of hand (6” x 6” x 3” – holds a lot but not too much!).

I also save some larger pieces, too, especially sturdy cardboard mailing envelopes I can re-use. Put the two together – tiny scraps and a big envelope, mix in some feathers and staples and washi tape and the results became today’s project: Scrap Box ATCs and a Calendar.

Layer One – Cut the cardboard envelope into 2.5” x 3.5” pieces. Glue and/or staple on additional pieces from the labels and other portions of the envelope.

Layer Two – Glue and/or staple on pieces from YOUR scrap box! Move things around for a while, don’t glue anything in place till you’re happy with the layout. Tip: Leave your work table for an hour or two or a day or more. Come back with fresh eyes.

Layer Three - Add twine, feathers or other embellishments as the final layer.

For the calendar: Choose two decorated ATCs and one that has only the first layer completed. Arrange them in a row, vertically. Punch a hole, centered, at the top of the first one. Add a calendar page or pad to the second (plainest) ATC. Connect the three with pieces of washi tape. Hang from twine, doubled and knotted as shown.

For all other ATCs: Display on a small easel, swap with friends, tuck the ATCs away in an album, add to a card front.

More ideas:

Instead of making ATC-size collages, work larger. Or smaller!
Paint the first layer before adding the scrap box elements.
At any point in the project add in stenciling, stamping, paint, found objects.
Use brads instead of staples. (Use an awl to pierce holes for the brads.)
Layer envelope and scrap box elements into an art journal.
Alter the sides of a box, the covers of a sketch pad, a photo mat or frame.

  • Stenciled Shimmer Sheetz scraps stamped in StazOn inks with Stampstracts ‘surround’ and ‘spiralstract’ (RubberMoon)
  • Good stuff from the scrap box
  • Cardboard envelope (book mailer, etc.)
  • Glue stick
  • Stapler
  • Feathers
  • Twine
  • Washi tape
  • Quarter-inch punch

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Eat Out: Stampbord Fridge Magnets by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

 This is a perfect project for beginners! Hope you’ll join me…

I’m getting a head start on holiday gifts. I thought that Stampbord fridge magnets would be fun to make for stocking stuffers, plus they’re flat and easy to mail. I chose 2.5” x 3.5” Stampbord pieces, but they are available in a variety of sizes so you can make smaller magnets or much larger ones.

Stampbord, made by Ampersand Art Supply, has a smooth bright white clay surface, perfect for stamping and coloring. It’s also great for all kinds of mark making with pens or with scratching tools. And it’s nice and sturdy. Boards are about an eighth-inch thick, the back is a neutral dark brown and resembles Masonite.

1. Stamp in black archival ink. Let the ink dry thoroughly or speed it up with a heat tool. (Practice stamping on cheap envelopes or pieces of paper or cardstock till you get the composition you like. Your practice pieces can be colored, cut and used for cards and postcards.)

2. Color with paint and/or markers. Add dots, circles, lines, and other marks; use a scratching tool to create white lines. Leave the scratched lines white or color over them. Tip from Kae Pea, owner of RubberMoon Art Stamps: Wet the surface of the Stampbord with a brush and plain clean water, then use a brush and watercolors if you want smooth, blended colors. (I did only minimal blending and used markers, a gold paint pen, plus white opaque and black fine line pens. I did a lot of scratching with a craft knife held at an angle to create white lines on two of the magnets, no scratching on the other two.)

3. Glue on the magnets. Done!

Other finishing options:

Paint the edges of the Stampbord.

Sign and date the back!

Instead of a magnet, turn the rectangle into a small hanging ornament. Drill holes in the upper left and right corner and add a cord.

Glue the Stampbord to a pocket salvaged from an old pair of jeans or a piece of painted canvas to give it a larger presence on the wall, as shown below.

  • Stampbord rectangles in size of choice (shown: 2.5” x 3.5”)
  • Markers, paints, pens of choice
  • Craft knife or a scratching tool
  • Black permanent (archival) ink pad, or any dark color of choice
  • Magnets
  • Strong hold glue formulated for non-porous surfaces or Tombow Power Adhesive Tabs to secure the magnets

Rubber stamps:

Eat Out (Stampers Anonymous)
Sunday Best by Sunny Carvalho (RubberMoon)
Stampstracts by Kae Pea – sorta scalloped, bubblesndots, line work, starstract, dot maker (RubberMoon)