Thursday, December 20, 2012

a gift for you (and others, too)...

When I was in the shop yesterday, a new shipment of  Stampington & Co magazines had arrived: Art Journaling; Artful Blogging; Somerset Studio; Where Women Create Business; Prims; Somerset Life, The Stampers' Sampler; and the class/workshop list for January - March was out. The schedule is filled with all sorts of activities from A to Zentangles, including two guest artists in March: Seth Apter and Joanne Sharpe...and The Queen was busy creating a new decorated configurations jewelry tray project that is just too neat to pass up! Ooh, I want it all...

At this time of the year, we're all probably pretty busy making, checking, updating our holiday gift/shopping list. Uhm, let's see: every one's name on your list is checked off except yours! Yours?
Yes, Y-O-U-R-S!

If you're like me, I always also gift myself on important days like my birthday and Christmas. Perhaps it's books, magazines or a new journal or a new art supply or a class/workshop. Or, all of the above. And this year, I've found the perfect gift that makes it easy to do one-stop shopping: a gift certificate from The Queen's Ink.

(cover of gift certificate ~ quite lovely)
This holiday season, The Queen's Ink gift certificates are extra special: for every $25, another $5 is added, so, if you buy a certificate for $100, it will actually be worth $120. This is a great offer - but hurry, 'cause it ends at 2 PM EST on Monday, December 24th, 2012.

(inside of gift certificate held by Lolly's lovely hands )
Oh, my quandary now: what gifts for myself will I choose with my gift certificate?

Earlier this month, The Queen's Ink celebrated its twelfth birthday with a toy drive for underprivileged children. The drive was a phenomenal success and The Queen and her court are truly appreciative for The Queen's Ink customers' support and generosity. Know that you've made many little children quite happy. Thank you for all that you do!

Last, Patti is going to CHA in January to see/order all the new products. If you have been watching any sneak peeks lists and know of a product(s) you'd like her to check out, please let Patti know before January 9th.

Happy Holidays!



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

icing on the birthday cake...

The Queen's Ink celebrated its twelfth birthday this past weekend, Nov 30 - Dec 2, with two weekend-long events: a toy drive for underprivileged children...

and there were more as the weekend progressed
Queen Patti with a toy ~ she loves toys !
 and four inspiring classes featuring the incomparable Donna Downey!

I took three of the four classes: two featured learning about/using Pan Pastels and the third, creating an inspiration journal. Pan Pastels are a wonderful medium and we actually created three pieces of art between the two classes. I'd been introduced to the pastels in one of Karen Bearse's art journal workshops over the summer and looked forward to learning more about the medium and using it. I'm glad I took the classes and Pan Pastels are definitely going to be a go-to in the future. Donna has really delved deep and experienced Pan Pastel's potential. In our classes, she shared with us the benefit of her experiences and learning and made us eager to plumb Pan Pastel's depths. Donna has created a series of online video workshops about Pan Pastels...and two are featured this week on her blog.

Donna demo-ing Pan Pastels
For several years now, I've followed Donna's Inspiration Wednesday online journaling video series she walks us through as she creates pages in her handmade journal.  A perk of  our class included selecting one of her handmade  journals to work in; trust me, the decision was hard.

So many little time...
In the class, we learned many simple techniques and ways to get beyond the blank page syndrome. Donna says she  is a "journal junkie," wooed by every pretty, pristine journal she sees and has many that have been untouched by her hands. (I know the feeling very well ~ I added two more to my stash just today! They were a steal at $1.99 each! Who could resist? Maybe I'll give them as gifts ... or not...)

Spending three to five+ hours being creative is enervating! I was plumb tired at the end of each day's class and at the same token, pumped up to go home and create some more...of course, when I got home, I just crashed!

I am still reflecting on the classes, thinking about the total experience and what my take-aways are. One that immediately comes to mind: designate a weekly inspiration day. I'm leaning to Wednesdays for the obvious reason plus that day also happens to be fairly free on my schedule. So, if you were in any of the classes, I'd love to have you share your take-away in the comments ~ please do and thanks.

In closing here are a few more photos...enjoy!


Andra's Project #1

Tanya's Project #1 

Bette's Project #1

Sophia's Project #1

Group's Projects #2  - we did two paintings with Pan Pastels

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Capturing Thanksgiving Memories on the Go*

What's on your workdesk today? Could it be a recipe for baking a turkey or making some other delectable dish for tomorrow's Thanksgiving holiday meal? Do you remember the first time you set out to bake a turkey, all on your own? Do you stuff your turkey... or bake the stuffing separately? What's your favorite part of the turkey?

Do you have a favorite dish that has always been served on Thanksgiving? Was it passed down from one generation to another? Do you have the original, handwritten recipe?

What other memories and traditions are unique to your family, you? Will you be making new traditions this year?  How will you record the events of this Thanksgiving? Have you carved out some me time for yourself? I hope so...

If you are the principal cook, here are some ideas for stealing me time and documenting as you attend to the tasks of the day:

  1. Take about 15 minutes today (or very early  tomorrow (Thanksgiving ) morning, especially if you're going to be home) and pull out your art (or SMASH) journal. Prep a page spread or two, some tags and/or plain 3 x 5 index cards.  
  2. During the day, as you're waiting for the timer to go off, use the tags or index cards to make notes about things that a) you remember and/or b) are happening. Keep them in your apron pocket ---psst: aprons are great tools for keeping your art tools close at hand...
  3. Or, using your favorite writing tool, put those thoughts directly on your art journal page. 
  4. Periodically,  give yourself a zen moment: grab a couple Zentangle cards and make a Zentangle too!
  5. Remember your phone camera and Instagram or Twitter - they are all quick and easy ways to document an idea, thought, happening.
  6. Encourage your guests to jot down on a tag or index card a sentence or two about their favorite Thanksgiving dish or memory. All ages can play, too...and you can use your phone camera to capture their photos to add to your journal spread later.
Later, when the last football score has been made and the last load of dishes washed, fix yourself a drink, prop your feet up, pull out your notecards and tags and/or journal, review your photo snapshots and savor the day and the memories made and recalled.  Some you will add to your journal and others, no doubt, will find a home in other places.

Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for following this blog.



* These ideas will work for other holidays, too! And a reminder: This Saturday, November 24, is Small Business Saturday. Head on over to the Queen's Ink and see what's new and in store for the rest of 2012!

Friday, November 2, 2012

i heart Dina ...

Last weekend, fortunately before Hurricane Sandy made and left its mark, guest artist Dina Wakley was in town, here at The Queen's Ink! I attended, along with about 29 others, her Saturday workshops: Intro to Art Journaling and Affirmations Journal. Both workshops were fantastic, the latter building on the first.

Dina has a wonderful sense of humor and easily establishes rapport - you feel like you've known her all your life. I heart the way that she constantly challenged and reassured us that we could and would step out of our comfort zones. We did! I think her artist's apron sent the best subliminal message: messy is not just good, it's great. And there is within each of us a muse eager to get out and make art.

I heart the snippets of her life she shared, especially stories of her sons

I heart the tips she shared:

  • get and use a color wheel so you can avoid making brown when mixing paints, especially complementary colors... 
  • journal - write - in different directions: horizontal; on an angle; vertical; outside of silhouettes; inside silhouettes...
  • use tags as mini canvasses - they are inexpensive and can be used in a variety of ways: whole; cut in half or in strips or in shapes; or to "mop up" wet paint...
  • use palette knives for spreading paints - they have a little more flexibility and are easier to clean than a brush; another good tool: old credit or gift cards and hotel room keys...
  • keep a project box to keep bits -n-pieces of tags, pages made and not used, etc for future projects. And the best part is the box has a lid, it organizes the stuff neatly and serendipity just awaits as one ruffles through the contents.  No telling what one might find...and my favorite
  • don't think -just DO!
Dina promised to return in 2013 so watch for an announcement. And she has a new book coming in January...I wish it were tomorrow! I am really looking forward to getting my copy. In the meantime, I encourage you to visit her blog, try some of her online classes and check out her Creative Jumpstart Vimeo video:

Creative Jumpstart -- Dina Wakley from Dina Wakley on Vimeo.

If you attended the workshop, would love for you to share your experience in the Comments.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

creativity jump starters...

Hi there. Honoré here.  Daily, I spend the first one-to-two of my waking hours engaged in what  I call  Morning Solitude & Quiet Time. T'is very special me-alone time, something I've been doing easily for 20 years. I arise between 5:30 - 6:00 a.m. when most of the world is still fast asleep or barely just stirring, go downstairs for tea and read, journal and blog jog, a term I coined for touching base with some of my favorite blogs and blog friends. During MSQT, I plan my day - which usually goes agley - and gather lots of ideas and inspiration for creating.

Yesterday, as I was winding up my morning blog jog, I stumbled upon this weekly challenge : List It Tuesday at Amy's blog: Artysville. Since I'm always on the lookout for blog post content and especially creativity jump starters, I read on and perused the post as well as the other links, with interest. But first, I made a quick list of creative things I could do in just 15 minutes:

  1. Take a walk, morning, noon or early evening. Mother Nature usually offers great inspiration! 
  2. Audition fabrics for any number of mini (and even big) quilts. I love selecting color palettes for a future quilting project.
  3. Practice my free-motion quilting...I really do need to do this on a daily basis so I can do it when it's time to do so on a real quilt...
  4. Organize/declutter a drawer, file, etc. Always, I'm inspired by something I find that leads to an idea for an art journal page or a scrapbook layout or a quilting project...
  5. Straighten up my work area. Just having a clear surface that I can clutter up with a new or even on-going project pumps up my creative juices...
  6. Meditate for 5 minutes and then, create a Zentangle. That will extend your meditation and creativity... If zentangle is new to you, the next basic class is October 20. You can learn more here...
  7. Edit/print photos for a scrapbook layout... 
  8. Select cardstock and create a kit for a project, e.g., Patti's Decorative Cigar Boxes. They are addictive and make great gifts. A few people on my list will be getting one...and the next class is October 21. You can learn more here.
  9. Prep background pages in your art journal: gesso, paint, spray ink, stamps and stencils, all of the above...
  10. Skim a magazine or junk mail for images to use in your art journal and cut them out... 
  11. Glue them on your art journal page or in your SMASH book...
  12. Check out play date cafe for a fun challenge...or Pinterest, but watch out, that can become addictive, I'm told. I only look at it, maybe 1-2 times a month and especially if I'm zeroing in on a particular project or technique. I do not pin!
  13. Watch a YouTube video ~ a treasure trove for how-to and techniques. 
  14. Check out the The Queen's Ink class schedule...and even if you can't join in a particular workshop by a visiting artist, you can always visit his/her website and/or blog for inspiration, ideas and tutorials.
  15. Watch one of Donna Downey's Inspiration Wednesday videos. If you've never seen these, log on as soon as you finish this post. You'll be totally inspired. And (drum roll please), November 30th through December 2nd, Donna is coming to The Queen's Ink to help celebrate our 12th anniversary; read more on our website, then call the shop to register for classes! I plan to be there and I'm hoping to see you, too!
I hope you've been inspired to create your own list of creative things. Would love for you to share in the comments. And, perhaps I'll be seeing you this weekend for Terry Quinn's 50 Shades of Play. That ought to be super-sized creativity!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

what's on your workdesk wednesday...

Greetings. Honoré here. Today I  discovered an idea for  craft bloggers: what's on your workdesk wednesday?... Started by Julia of Stamping Ground, bloggers the world over share photos of  their current projects in progress - or not - as the case might be. Well, this is perfect I thought, so I grabbed my camera and started taking photos of the my PiPs (projects in progress...or not).

Right now, I'm focusing on sewing - making small art quilts and planning a wall sized quilt, so I have at least three projects in various stages on several surfaces:

This is a pile of fabric that I used to make the mini art quilt that's sitting on my sewing machine, in the last picture below...

...In a couple weeks I'm taking a class and so I've been gathering fabrics to practice the new technique that will be taught...

...I have in mind to make a full-sized wall quilt and have been collecting fabrics for a couple years; tomorrow I plan to go shopping for more fabrics, so I've gathered these fabrics to take along. I'm finally ready to start this quilt...

...and this is the mini art quilt I referred to in the first picture above. The quilt needs to be quilted but first, I thought I'd better sharpen my free motion quilting skills, especially those circles. 

Seeing the white muslin fabric reminds me to get out my Gelli Arts mono printing plate  (carried by The Queen's Ink)  to make some fabrics I can use in an art journal  for this inspiration, I found here.

What's on your work desk today? Please share in the comments ... and if you have a blog, please share the link.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

a royal good ju ju

Honoré here. Exactly one week ago today, many of us had taken up residency at Savage Mill, home of The Queen's Ink, for the long-awaited and too short workshops with Tim Holtz, the master and designer of all things creatively wonderful and amazing. 

This was my first workshop with Tim and all I can say is WOW! What a first class production both he and The Queen, Patti, put on. We were treated royally and had a first-class, very royal experience - or as Tim is oft fond of saying, a really good ju ju time.

I, along with about 120 others, took Tim's Journeys of the Past art journaling workshop,Thurs morning, 8/23. We created little tag journals while learning and/or refining skills and techniques using distress inks. Everything we needed was provided for us. Everything we needed was provided for us...from a pen and paper for writing to distress inks and dabbers to spray water bottles to glue sticks to the tags, ephemera, photos to instructions to baby wipes...and a host of wonderful memories.

Before the workshop began...
Autographs were in high demand...
Queen Patti welcoming us...
Tim introducing the workshop...
Kit contents...
clever idea: color code tops of dauber handles with ink color...

These are my three table mates and their tag journals. We all had the same ingredients and our "dishes" were each quite unique...and I think that's what made the workshop so memorable. It gave us the opportunity not only to stretch and learn but to also add our own imprimatur to our journals.

There's no telling when Tim will be in these parts again - Patti says he's booked for years in advance at other shops. All I have to say is if the opportunity ever presents itself to you to take a workshop from Tim, get thee registered pronto.

I had a grand time and want to give a big shout out to Tim and Co. and the Queen and her staff: Kudos! Kudos! You were each wonderful and thanks ever so much for making our experience royally good ju ju!


PS. Read more about Tim's visit on his new website/blog here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

just a few art classes...

It's been a while...not that I've not been around. I have and in fact, I've taken several classes at The Queen's Ink since I last blogged. My focus this year, totally unplanned, has been on journaling and altered books. I think subconsciously I had that on my "list of things to do in 2012" and just proceeded...and I'm glad I did. I've had loads of fun and learned some neat tricks and tips from great teachers as well as meeting lots of new art journalers and reconnecting with some old ones. And that's really the best part of taking a class: the people connection. So, without further adieu, here are some photos from a few classes:

July 14 July 14 Jumpstart Your SMASH Journal with Suze Perrott (these are from the participants) :

And even though this workshop is over, Suze has another class scheduled Sat, Aug 18.*

From Karen Bearse's July 21 Art Journal Series - Session 3 class:

Our emphasis in this class was experimenting with Pan Pastel colors...luscious and a dream for working with. You can add colors to your page without fear of spilling the paint and moderate  the intensity with the special foam tools. The Queen's Ink carries Pan Pastels - they are a new product and the display is right across from the service desk. I'm sure there will be additional opportunities to take a class and I'm positive that if you'd like a little demo and to "test them out," Patti, Lolly and Janet will be delighted to oblige. I have that on good authority ;-)). Just a warning: Pan Pastels are addictive so hang onto your wallet!
Karen has another art journaling class in the series scheduled for September 22; at the time this post is going to press, the focus hasn't been determined so check the class schedule around the first of the month for more details.

From Patti's Christmas in July 25 Decorative Cigar Box class:

July 25 was a perfect day: the weather was ideal and the class was so much fun. We made boxes with a Christmas theme. As I've experienced and said before, this is such a fun, fun and satisfying project. In fact, it's just plain addictive and if you've not taken the class, do sign up. You won't be at all disappointed. I promise. N.B. The class is being offered again Sunday, August 26*!!!

Patti had been away all morning and Smartie just plain missed her. He's such a good dog and when she came to the shop, Smartie stuck to her like glue for the rest of the afternoon.

As I've looked over the schedule of classes this summer and those upcoming, I can only say one thing: I need to be cloned. Just think of all the fun I'd have.

I'll look forward to seeing you in a class soon.


*Call the shop at 301-497-9449 to register and/or determine if there are available spaces.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Warm Welcome...

 We're thrilled to introduce a new guest artist, Mary Mata, scheduled to teach five workshops on August 11th and 12th. Mary Mata has been an artist and photographer for more than 20 years. For 15 years she photographed weddings and portaits. She designs and distributes a myriad of collage sheets, all created using her original art work and based on either her photographs or vintage item collection. Mary's value-priced classes provide the perfect opportunity to begin a collage journey or build on your current collage work. Class sizes are limited so don't delay in calling to reserve a spot. 

The photo on the left provides examples of ATC cards created with a transparency technique, offered on Saturday (the 11th).

Tags are so popular these days in papercrafting, so Mary's class is perfect for those of you who have fallen in love with the trend. You'll have a selection of collage sheets from which to choose, and Mary will give you tips and tricks that ensure great success with your collage project.  Check our website for the full schedule, description, and photos of these great classes.

In other news, Patti is getting ready to attend the CHA Summer Trade Show, where she does a lot of ordering, some learning, some networking. If you have seen sneak peeks of products you "must" have, please let Patti know before Monday.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Plans...

Honore´ here. Are you ready for our long hot summer? Based on last week's record highs and the forecast for the next few days, seems like Mother Nature has plans to provide us with all sorts of reasons to stay in the house and make art! My summer indoor adventures include stitching - knitting and quilting - and lots more art journaling, especially playing around with using a variety of media on my journal pages.

I plan to venture out mainly for two things: food and classes at The Queen's Ink! This month, I am joining both the Suze Perrot Jumpstart Your SMASH Journal class and Karen Bearse's third Art Journal Series class. I was lucky enough to get to Karen's second class and thoroughly enjoyed it...we made pages primarily using Dyan Reavely's Dylusions ink sprays, made by Ranger and carried, of course, by The Queen's Ink (and a new shipment just arrived about 10 days ago).
Karen demonstrating making drips on a page using Dylusions

Example of an envelope page we made...note the drippy inks
This was an enjoyable class; I especially liked how Karen had created project boxes for each of the four pages we made. Each project box contained the supplies and materials we needed to make the page. And the boxes were rotated among us, according to which page each table was making. Very efficient way to spread resources and it also allowed Karen to spend more quality time with us, say to give a demo on a specific technique. July's class promises to be most exciting: we're going to play with Pan Pastels - another recent acquisition by The Queen's Ink. You can watch this brief YouTube video for a quick overview of the product and how it'll work on your art journal pages.

If you haven't been to the shop recently, do drop in (maybe on your way out to get food?) -  there's a brand new Pan Pastel display, plus the many different applicators and sponges that are recommended. Patti and Lolly just took Donna Downey's Pan Pastel workshop, both loved it, and are happy that Donna is planning a visit to the shoppe late in the year.

Stay cool and I hope to see you in one or both of these classes.


PS. Did you know you can check out new product arrivals  at The Queen's Ink here?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Young artists reveal their first Summer projects...

One of our "Royal Loyal" customers (known to family as "Aunt Dorothy", recently attended workshops with Fred B. Mullett a.k.a. Fish Boy, and learned his elegant mess techniques and secrets. Her nieces Ashley (age 11) and Rachel (age 10) were Dorothy's students in a recent summer play day in Dorothy's studio. Look at the results... WOW!  Very impressive, and they're both going to be ready for that inevitable "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" essay when school resumes. We just hope their teachers are into the visual artistry! We certainly are!

Show us what you're doing with your young artists and we'll publish their work here. We're always interested in seeing what our future artists are creating.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

T!m Holtz Workshops...

I've just posted the August T!m Holtz workshops on our website at Registration will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 12th.  Registration via voicemail or email will not be accepted. You MUST speak with Patti, Lolly, or Janet, either on the telephone or at the checkout counter. We are anticipating heavy phone volume, so please have your selections made and your credit card at the ready when you call to register.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

a creative smorgasbord...

Honoré  here: Greetings! I was just looking over class offerings at The Queen's Ink  for the next several months, May - July. What a selection! And, that's my dilemma, and perhaps yours, too: which one/s? My only regret is there aren't more of me; if so, I could sign up for them all.

Right now, art journals and journaling are enjoying a resurgence. I'm going to have to miss the May edition of Karen Bearse's Art Journal classes, but fortunately, she's offering two more, one in June, another in July. Great. I'll be on the roster...

The Queen's (Patti)  popular Decorative Cigar Box is being offered again this month and in June. Can't say how much you'll love this one...I'm also intrigued with the Queen's Paper Mosaics offering...

I'm sorry I had to miss Fred Mullett's classes, which are new to me. Unfortunately, I was on my way to Oregon and couldn't figure out how to be in two places at the same time. I was definitely intrigued not only by the class description, but also the examples in the shop.

Stab Binding with
Chrissie Hines
And have you taken a look at the Chrissie Hines offerings:  In May, she teaches the coptic binding technique , coupled with The Queen's fun intro to using the Gelli Art Plate to decorate the cover. In June, Chrissie does a  June Book Arts Workshop on Stab Bindings? I just heart me some Japanese washi papers ...

Steampunk Frame
with Sherry Cheever
Chunky Tag with
Sherry Cheever

Another artist, new to me, is Sherry Cheever. We get three chances in June to learn from her.  Sherry is known for her gorgeous paper flowers, so take the opportunity to learn from one of the best! Liking that look...

As you can see, these classes are just a sampling of the wonderful, creative offerings at The Queen's Ink! All I can say is try any one; based on my past experiences, I'm sure you'll like!
 PS. Any/all of these classes make a perfect Mother's Day gift - any time of the year!

Note from Lolly:
I'll be posting the class descriptions and photos of the T!m Holtz workshops next week. Please note that we are hosting Tim during the week (Wednesday & Thursday, August 22nd and 23rd), so start planning your "grunge flu" excuse accordingly :-) I'll send an email and post a note here to let you all know that the workshops are posted, and that's when you'll find out when we will start registration. Stay tuned...