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!***