Monday, October 16, 2017

Stationery Journal by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Inkling

Once upon a time, hotels offered their guests beautiful writing paper and envelopes in the desk drawer of each room. I always mailed a letter or two from my travels and I always took home a few sheets and envelopes as a souvenir.

Do you have a similar stash? If so, how about joining me in putting them to good use: Make a Stationery Journal that includes writing paper in varying sizes and a few envelopes to use for pockets. (Scroll down to the ‘OPTIONS’ if you don’t already have a collection of paper ephemera.)

Stationery Journals make great gifts for friends who love to travel. Make a couple for yourself – one to take with you when you’re away from home and another to keep next to your favorite chair where it can hold lists, tickets and such. (Scroll down to the ‘OPTIONS’ for even more ideas.)


1. Paint chipboard covers on both sides with black gesso. Allow to dry.

2. Using matte medium as an adhesive and as a sealer, arrange and adhere torn pieces of stationery on one or both covers and one or both sides of each one. I chose to orient these pieces so they are vertical or horizontal, but not on the diagonal. And I did not overlap them because I wanted to be able to read the names and addresses, but the choice is yours. I used torn paper for the inside of the covers rather than hotel stationery.

3. Again using matte medium, arrange and adhere canceled stamps. I chose to orient the stamps on the diagonal, adding some movement to an otherwise static and formal composition.


4. Dry brush with white paint. Use vertical, horizontal, and diagonal strokes and very little paint.
5. Stack the writing paper so the largest sheets are at the back and the smaller ones stacked on top. Stack the envelopes, offset, on top of the papers, carefully aligning at the left side. If you have a coil binding punch or other binding system, prepare the pages before stacking them between the covers and punch the covers as well. If not, let your local office supply store do the binding for you.


Create a planner by binding in a mini-calendar pad and printing calendar pages on the writing paper.

Add dividers, graph paper, drawing paper, or other kinds of pages.

If you don’t have a collection of stationery from different hotels, create that same general look with rubber stamps, stencils, or collage. Writing paper usually has a logo or something small at the top and an address at the bottom, so your design could be a bird at the top and a branch at the bottom, a canceled stamp at the top and a line of poetry at the bottom, or whatever else comes to mind! (You’re going for the ‘feel’ of hotel stationery, not trying to duplicate it.)

Ask friends who travel to bring home paper and envelopes from their trips.

  • Black gesso
  • White acrylic paint
  • Matte medium
  • Paintbrush (1-2”)
  • Chipboard (2 pieces, 8.5” x 11”)
  • Coil binding punch
  • Black coil (or color of choice)
  • Writing paper and envelopes
  • Canceled stamps

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Let Me Introduce Myself

The Queen's Ink is pleased to announce that we will be offering a series of Copic and card making classes as part of our regular monthly class offerings. We are delighted and excited to welcome Nancy Sheads (Copic Colorist extraordinaire, so sayeth the Queen!) to our teaching staff.  Nancy is a patient and easy going spirit, a wonderful teacher, very creative, and with a great eye for color. She has generously made many of the card sample we have on display in the shop. Check out our current class offerings on line and sign-up for one of her great classes. Nancy will also be contributing to our Blog regularly with Copic techniques and great card ideas. Read on and get to know more about the newest member of the Queen's Court!

Artist Nancy Sheads

Did you know that the Queen's Ink is once again offering classes in Copic coloring? Yes, it's true and since I'll be leading you on your Copic journey, let me step in here and introduce myself.

Example from Colors of Autumn Copic Class
Some of you may know me from my creative pursuits as a member of the Power Poppy Instant Gardener and the Passionate Paper Creations Design Teams. I can also be found in my corner of the Internet at Rowhouse Greetings and on Instagram.

I've been a crafter for many years - my grandmother taught me to crochet when I was five years old - and over the years I learned a variety of crafts including knitting, sewing, quilting, and needlepoint. A few years ago, I became interested in card making and fell into Copic coloring. Since that time, I've had the opportunity to study with some of the best instructors – Rhea Weigand, Jennifer Dove, Cindy Lawrence, and Debbie Olson – who have always gone out of their way to help me improve my craft.

My teaching philosophy is simple - I want you to feel confident when you color and have fun with your markers. In class, I'll walk you through the techniques you'll need in order to complete the class projects. My goal is for you to be able to incorporate the techniques and skills you learn in class in order to develop a style that is uniquely your own.

When I first started coloring, I only had a few Copic markers in my collection, primarily a variety of reds, greens, and yellows so that I could make that season's holiday cards. Over time as I started coloring other images – flowers, people, landscapes – I added to my Copic collection with the colors that I needed for the types of images that I wanted to work on.

I realize that building a collection of Copic markers can be a significant investment and where possible, I try to limit the number of markers used in class. For each class, I list the markers that I'll be using for demonstration purposes, but you should feel free to bring all of your Copic markers to class and substitute as necessary so that you can still participate. If you want to expand your collection, The Queen's Ink is fully stocked with Copic products and students receive a discount on Copic markers.

Check out the class schedule for the latest offerings and call the shop to register. My classes are full of fun, laughter, and good times! You won't want to miss out!

I'll also be blogging here at the Queen's Inkling with new projects that will hopefully give you some crafty inspiration. Upcoming projects include holiday cards featuring stamps by Power Poppy and Penny Black as well as some of the new holiday design papers by Authentique. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Faux Camo Purse by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

Do you have an old purse that could use a facelift? A canvas tote, a leather bag that has seen better days? In my case, it was a khaki bag with a belt loop on the back, purchased at an army navy surplus store and worn in the days when I was skinny. (Alas, belts and I haven’t been best friends for two decades!)

The Queen’s Ink has such wonderful acrylic paints – iridescent, metallic, you name it – and that gave me a lightbulb moment: Faux camouflage! But not the kind that would blend in with a forest. No. This Faux Camo would be glitzy and quirky with a sophisticated flair, something I can use as an out-to-dinner bag. I chose metallic gold, metallic purple, and two shades of green. I picked up Tim Holtz’s Alcohol Inks in similar colors to alter the hardware. 

For contrast I picked a silky woven paisley ribbon for the strap. It’s an unexpected juxtaposition that pleases my eye and the pattern picks up the purple, green and gold. Plus, I love the pop of bright red!
I backed and strengthened the soft ribbon with a purple zipper, fusing the layers with iron-on webbing, though I could have used fabric glue.

After I finished the project and had taken photos of it for this blog post I realized that I wanted a longer strap to wear cross-body. I backed another piece of ribbon with a second zipper, this time a red one. I cut the first strap at the midway point and added an extra 22”.

I covered the two places where the pieces join with rings made from the same ribbon. But all of a sudden it needed something else: CHARMS to accent the ribbon rings. The inside of the strap is so lively and bright, and with the charms it looks like I intended it that way right from the start!

  • Find a purse that needs a facelift. Sponge, brush and splatter it with paints.
  • Alternatively, use stencils.
  • Alter the hardware with Alcohol Inks.
  • Add a strap if needed, or cut off and replace the existing one.
  • Sew ribbon rings or small strips of suede to the strap and add charms at those spots.
  • Embellish the pocket flaps or other areas with charms and beads if you want more dangling elements.

  • Acrylic paints in 3 – 5 colors
  • Paintbrush and/or sponge wedges
  • Purse to alter (shown: Khaki canvas)
  • Ribbon and zipper(s)
  • Fusible webbing or fabric glue
  • Charms
  • Needle and thread

Monday, October 2, 2017

Start a New Chapter by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

Mixed media is often messy and there’s almost always a lot of layering. Gesso and paints, stencils, stamps, pens, a mix of tools – they’re not exactly the most portable of projects. So, what if you want to get that look, that visual complexity, without as much work? (You know my mantra: Easy Isn’t Cheating!) And what if you want to do at least part of the project with supplies you can tuck into a purse? (I don’t like to work with wet media unless I’m home and near a sink.)

That was my challenge! Here’s what I did:

1. Before heading out, stamp cardstock with Magic Stamp blocks or do some gel printing. Use a mix of colors that are in the light to medium value range. If time is short, start with smooth finish, purchased patterned cardstock with a random all-over design, making sure that the surface accepts both ink and colored pencil.

2. Using permanent black ink, stamp an intricate image and a sentiment on top of the pattern. I chose ‘Mantilla’ by Sandra Evertson and ‘Start a new chapter’ by Kae Pea, both from RubberMoon Art Stamps.

3. Also stamp ‘Introspective’ (the face) onto pale pink or tan cardstock.

4. Now, pack up the stamped cardstock, colored pencils, small scissors, and a sandwich baggie for trash. Head off on your jaunt to the doctor’s office, the soccer field, or to the living room…

5. Color and shade the Mantilla image, allowing the design within the stamp and the pattern beneath to guide your color choices. Take advantage of the opacity that colored pencils produce with a lot of blending and hand pressure. Don’t worry about being precise, it’s okay to color over and outside of the lines. (Remember, the goal is to create the look of mixed media.) 

6. For the card without a face, cut the sentiment into 3 pieces as shown in the photos above and below, adding color to the edges of each of the pieces. For the card with a face, keep the words in one long strip as shown on the card at the start of the tutorial.

7. Shade the face; cut it out.

8. Go home, get out coordinating cardstock, adhesives, folded cards in A2 and A7 size. It’s time to finish the cards.

Card with face –
Trim around the Mantilla image, leaving a border to highlight the background pattern. Cut out the center for cards with the face in the middle. TIP: Stamp some black cardstock with white ink and add it behind the opening before gluing down the face since the face is not a precise fit. Use the Mantilla stamp or ‘Flores’ (also by Sandra Evertson) to continue the theme of flowers and create the feel of a lace collar! This is a tiny detail that adds a great deal. Add a double mat. Adhere to an A7 side-fold card base. Adhere the sentiment, centered, under the matted rectangle.

Card without face –
Trim around the Mantilla image, leaving a border to highlight the background pattern. Use a craft knife to cut the right edge of the inner frame. Tuck and adhere the three sections of the sentiment at angles, the end of each piece under the frame. Add a double mat. Adhere to an A2 side-fold card base.

9. Keep going. Use this strategy with other stamps and papers. Experiment; see what else happens when you layer intricate designs over random patterns.

  • RubberMoon Mantilla - SE6010 K
  • RubberMoon Introspective - SE6012 E
  • RubberMoon Flores - SE6007 F
  • Start a new chapter (not yet in the web shop, call the store to see if it's in stock)

Other supplies:
  • Permanent black ink
  • Colored pencils
  • Cardstock in white and assorted colors

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mix-It-Up Calendar by Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

I love calendars! I keep them all over the studio so no matter where I look there is something colorful to see. The Dog A Day calendar is at the foot of the stairs, the first thing I see each morning. A puppy calendar greets me when I enter the laundry room. I hang a flower calendar by the dryer. And there are my homemade calendars elsewhere – by the stamping table, near the AccuCut machine, next to the computer desk.

In addition, I make lots and lots of calendars for gifts. Sometimes it’s a single month on a birthday card, exhorting a friend to ‘celebrate all month’! In years past, when I got behind on holiday cards, I have sent calendars. As an alternative to a greeting card, calendars can be enjoyed all year. I’ve even whipped up perpetual calendars from magnet boards (a much more involved project, but a fun one).

Today’s calendar is what I call a ‘Mix-It-Up’.


1. Buy or make a calendar. There are many computer programs to make it easy and fast. And lots of options to buy. It can be a pad or a flat calendar with all twelve months on a single sheet.

2. Pick a color palette. Now start mixing it up! Gather patterned papers, solid color cardstock, handmade papers, plus bits and pieces left over from other projects. I incorporated embossed Shimmer Sheetz, stamped cardstock, flowers gilded with leafing foil, and an intricate glittered die cut border strip.

3. Create a base layer. Shown: A 7” purple square topped with a 6” printed paper square that has a narrow double border.

4. Decide on a layout. Shown: A log cabin quilt-inspired square with strips of varying widths framing and surrounding the centered 1.5” x 1.25” calendar pad.

Dimensions are up to you. Go for a long vertical calendar, make a standard 8.5” x 11” rectangle, make something oversized that can be viewed across a room or miniature size to sit on a desktop easel.

5. Arrange the pieces. When pleased with the composition glue it all in place.


Putting on my teacher hat:

Notice that the horizontal bands pull your eye to the left and right, while the vertical bands pull your eye up and down. It’s this movement that creates a visual, but not literal, frame.

Even though the calendar pad is small and the elements surrounding it are ‘busy’ and heavily patterned, by centering it your eye goes to it like a bull’s eye.

The intricate die cut strip is pale and fades into the background. If it were darker, it would get too confusing.


Just because I used leftovers from previous projects, it doesn’t mean YOU have to do so! If you are making a big batch of calendars, you can stamp whole sheets of paper to cut up or start with a morning of gel printing, embossing, and/or die cutting.

Experiment with new techniques or stick with old favorites.

Mix in photos to further personalize the calendars.

While you’re at it, keep some of the leftover strips you created to use for bookmarks, cards, and other projects!

  • Calendar
  • Paper glue
  • Double-sided adhesive tape
  • Glitter
  • Shimmer Sheetz
  • Embossing folders
  • Sanding block
  • Printed papers
  •   (Days of the week: BoBunny ‘Calendar Girl’ 6 x 6)
  • Cardstock
  • Handmade paper
  • Assorted leftovers from other projects

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)