Friday, April 24, 2020

Bunny Friends by Penny Black. By Nancy Sheads for The Queen's Ink

GOOD MORNING FRIENDS! I actually had to look at the clock to be sure that it’s still morning. After so many weeks sheltering in place, not only do the days blur together, but the hours as well. It’s gray and rainy outside so I decided that a little spring cuteness was just the cure for a dreary day.

I have a soft spot for the critter images from Penny Black stamps and this one is one of my favorites. I’ve only been able to find it as a wood mounted stamp but I was able to easily remove the block so that I could use it in my Misti platform.

The image is colored with Copic markers (see list below). For the pots, I underpainted the shadowed areas with a series of cool gray tones before applying the YR colors to give the pots more depth. For the bunnies, I blended from light to dark so that I could control the overall darkness and applied touches of R20 on the cheeks, ears, and paws to brighten the overall look. I used V20 to add shadows on the bunnies and around the pots.

For the grass, I flicked varying shades of YG markers and made of point of flicking over the base the pots even though it wasn’t on the image since grass would grow all around the pots, not just between or behind them. For the sky, I flicked varying shades of B and BG, darker around the pots and lighter as I worked my way up. I used colorless blender around the edges to fade the color into white.

For the die cut sentiment, I blended Distress Ink in Twisted Citron and Mowed Lawn on a scrap of white card stock and then ran it through my Big Shot using the Bloom die from Honey Bee Stamps. I cut two more and then stacked the layers together using my Xyron for added dimension. On the top, I applied two layers of Nuvo Crystal Glaze for shine and dimension. The additional sentiment is from the Bloom stamp set also by Honey Bee which I stamped with Versafine Clare ink.

Hope you found some inspiration. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you again soon!


Paper: Neenah Solar White 80# & 110#; Hammermill Color Copy Cover 100#
Stamps: Bunny Friends by Penny Black; Bloom by Honey Bee Stamps
Inks: Amalgam Ink in Obsidian by Gina K. Designs; Versafine in Nocturne by Tsukineko; Distress Inks in Twisted Citron and Mowed Lawn by Ranger – Tim Holtz
Dies: Crimped Frames by The Greetery; Bloom by Honey Bee Stamps
Embellishments: Nuvo Crystal Glaze by Tonic Studios
Adhesives: Beacons 3-in-1 Advanced Glue; Xyron Create a Sticker Maker
Copics: E30, E31, E35, R20 (bunnies); C1 C3, C5, YR20, YR21, YR24, YR27, R20 (pots); C3, C5, W1, W3 (snails); YG03, YG63, YG67 (grass); B0000, B000, BG10, 0 (sky)

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

In Praise of Sunflowers Redux - More Watercoloring with Distress Inks! By Nancy Sheads for the Queen's Ink

GOOD MORNING FRIENDS! I’m back today with another project using the In Praise of Sunflowers stamp set by Power Poppy. I’m still on hiatus from my Copic markers and have continue playing with Distress Ink watercoloring.

Like my last card, I started by stamping the image on watercolor paper using Verafine and immediately covered it with clear embossing powder. However, this time I did the coloring with an actual watercolor brush instead of a waterbrush. I have a handful of lovely Black Velvet brushes by Silver. These brushes are a blend of natural squirrel hair and black synthetic filament. They hold and carry the water and pigment beautifully and are much easier to work with than the nylon tipped waterbrushes. They are pricey, but well worth the investment if you enjoy watercoloring.

This time I also used a mixture of Distress Ink pads and reinkers. I smushed the ink pads on my craft mat and picked up the color with a wet brush. But where possible, I substituted the Distress Ink Reinkers in place of the ink pads. I placed a single drop of ink on my craft mat and watered it down as desired. Since the ink is concentrated, I could get a better range of shades than with the ink pads. I prefer using the reinkers, but I don’t have all the colors so I had to make do with the ink pads as needed.

In a couple of places, I accidentally colored outside the line. When that happened, I applied water with a clean brush and then blotted the area with a paper towel. The water reactivated the ink and could be easily removed.

I created the background stripe pattern using Versafine ink and a stencil from Wendi Vecchi. Again, I immediately covered the ink with clear embossing powder and heat set it. I matched it with a yellow gingham design paper from My Favorite Things.


Paper: Neenah Solar White 110#; Distress Watercolor Cardstock by Ranger; Tiny Check Paper Pad by My Favorite Things
Stamp: In Praise of Sunflowers by Power Poppy
Inks: Versafine Clare in Nocturne by Tsukineko; Distress Inks in Mustard Seed, Carved Pumpkin (petals); Tea Dye, Walnut Stain (flower centers); Bundled Sage, Shabby Shutters, Forest Moss (leaves)
Stencil: Dots and Stripes Borders by Stampers Anonymous – Wendi Vecchi
Embellishments: Nuvo Fine Detail Embossing Powder in Crystal Clear by Tonic Studios

Monday, April 20, 2020

Creative Puttering While Quarantined: Horsing Around By Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

Recipe for a lazy afternoon:
  • Hand- or die-cut a simple silhouette of a horse from medium weight paper to create a stencil.
  • Use your heat tool to soften a Magic Stamp block, press it against a piece of cheap polyester lace to create a patterned stamp.
  • Stencil the horse with several dark colors.
  • Remove the stencil and use lighter colors for the ground and background.
  • Depending on the size:
  • Use your creation for a card front or a notepad.
  • Put it on the fridge and write notes or positive words around it each day while quarantined.
(Die shown: AccuCut for GrandeMARK machine)

  • Add a horn and turn the horse into a unicorn!
  • Hand-or die-cut a bunch of horses and stamp onto all of them, string them together for a garland.
  • Paint, stencil and/or doodle instead of stamping.
  • Instead of a horse, choose any other simple shape - bunny, flowers, cat, leaf.
  • Work directly into your art journal instead of on sheets of paper.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Creative Puttering While Quarantined: Magic Stamp Printing with a Crushed Candy Tray By Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

At times like this I turn to two favorite things: Magic Stamp blocks and candy! Turns out that the two work well together. The empty divider tray from a box of treats be crushed flat (stomping on a tray with your foot is very therapeutic - you can pretend you’re kicking the coronavirus right in the teeth!), and then pressed against heated Magic Stamp blocks to create wonderful patterns, like those shown here.
One round block was pressed at the crossed lines of four sections, one was pressed over a single section, and the rectangle was pressed along six of the sections where a long line slightly curves.
After stamping, look for flowers, animals or other hidden treasures. Outline, add color with markers and pencils. As shown below, I’m turning the circles into large flowers and have found, but haven’t yet colored, smaller flowering plants in the area below the large blossoms. It’s my ode to spring! I have to do something about the brown grass - I think green paint is in my future.
When Clearsnap closed late in 2019, Patti wisely snapped up several cases of Magic Stamp blocks so they are still available to you! The circles have disappeared from the planet, but you can easily cut the blocks with scissors or a craft knife to make your own non-rectangular shapes!
  • Stamp on adhesive-backed paper and then fussy-cut shapes.
  • Stamp on envelopes.
  • Work directly into an art journal or traveler’s notebook.
  • Use acrylic paint and stamp on fabric.
*****Important: Wash the block immediately if using paint or permanent inks. Paint will harden the block, some solvent-based inks can degrade the foam. All other inks easily wash off with soap, warm water, and a paper towel or rag.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Keeping Creative While Quarantined: Found Alphabet and Numbers By Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

Here’s a fun scavenger hunt that can be done in the house or garage: Find letters and numbers among the odds and ends that surround you! The letter X is a paint tool, the Q is an eraser, the Y is a zipper, the number 7 is part of a torn shopping bag, the plastic T protected the prongs on the plug for our new food processor!

This will be more fun when we’re no longer quarantined. I found the rusty nail J, metal washers O and zero,, wood scrap A, and plastic B while taking walks around the neighborhood before the coronavirus pandemic. Alas, I wouldn‘t risk picking up such things right now.
  • If your home is neat as a pin, create the letters and numbers from scratch by hand-or die cutting simple shapes to combine or trim with scissors as needed. (Two circles for the number 8, a slim feather for the number 1 or letter I, the right half of the number 8 plus a straight strip for the letter B, and so on.
  • Find letters and numbers in magazines.
  • Look through your paper scraps - leftovers from die cutting will often yield interesting letter forms and numbers!
  • Draw animals or people posing as letters and numbers.
  • Take a photo of each separate letter and number so you can make color or black and white photo prints to spell out words, names, and dates. Frame your creation!
  • Add photo prints or collage to your art journal.
  • *The actual ‘found’ letters and numbers are too thick for a journal, but could be framed in a shadow box!
  • Trace the photo prints, re-size the tracings so the alphabet and numbers are close in scale, unless you like a mix of varying sizes. Cut your own stencils from the tracings! (The U and Y are so much bigger than the other letters - that’s why I’m suggesting re-sizing.)

Monday, April 13, 2020

In Praise of Sunflowers! Watercoloring with Distress Inks. By Nancy Sheads for The Queen's Ink

GOOD AFTERNOON EVERYONE! It seems like forever since I’ve seen those of you who are local. Like many of you, we are sheltering in place and hoping that better days will be here soon.

Sheltering in place is a lot like retirement, except that I have more toilet paper. And like retirement, I thought my house would be a lot cleaner now that I don’t get diverted by running errands or visiting friends. And I have even more time to craft….

However, the past few days it seems like nothing I’ve colored has turned out the way I wanted. I’ve torn up a lot of failed colored images. Some days are like that although I’ll admit that I’ve had several in a row now. So I decided to ditch my Copics for a few days (GASP!) and play with some other mediums.

As some of you know, I’m a frustrated watercolorist, but this seems like the wrong time to give that another shot. But I do understand Distress Inks — how they react with water and how the colors blend. So I pulled out the In Praise of Sunflowers stamp set by Power Poppy and decided to see what happens.

I stamped the image on Distress Ink Watercolor Paper using Versafine Clare ink. I immediately covered the ink with clear embossing powder and heat set the image. From there, I pulled out a water brush and a variety of Distress Inks and got to work. Since the image was embossed, I had little trouble staying within the lines so I could apply the color rather loosely. I smushed some ink onto my glass mat (a silicone mat works just as well) and picked up the color with the water brush. I had to play with the colors a bit because using the water brush diluted the ink. By using a combination of layers of color and varying the ratio of ink to water, I was able to get a variety of shades.

I also tried not to overthink the coloring. This was just meant to be a no pressure, easy going, and fun craft project.

Hope this project brought some sunshine your way! Thanks for stopping by!


PAPER: Neenah Solar White 110#; Distress Watercolor Cardstock by Ranger; Eat Cake from the
Party Animal Collection by PhotoPlay; Heavyweight Cardstock in Natural by My Favorite Things
STAMP: In Praise of Sunflowers by Power Poppy
INK: Versafine Clare in Nocturne by Tsukineko; Distress Inks in Mustard Seed, Ripe Persimmon, Candied Apple, Mowed Lawn, Forest Moss, Peacock Feathers, Shaded Lilac, Stormy Sky, and Brushed Corduroy
DIE: Large Stitched Rectangle Stackables by Lawn Fawn
EMBELLISHMENTS: Nuvo Fine Detail Embossing Powder in Clear by Tonic Studios

Doodling While Quarantined: WEEK TWO - Pocket Plus A Card A Day By Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

Still quarantined, still puttering. How about you?

This is Week Two of my Pocket Plus A Card A Day! For the first six days I decided to stick with something comforting - a gold paint pen for backgrounds plus doodling with black and white pens on dark cardstock. For the final day I ended up with two cards rather than one, adding pops of color to reflect the fact that spring is bringing a bright palette back to my yard!
The pocket is super simple - a piece of cardstock embossed with a 3D folder set at an angle on the front.

  • Create a pocket. 
  • Stamp, draw, collage, stencil a flat card per day for a week; sign and date each one.
  • Stamp or hand-letter the dates that reflect the contents onto the pocket.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Keeping Creative While Quarantined: One Table Runner Plus Two Belts = One New Tote Bag! By Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

My attention span is short, but the days are long. Like many, I have been making masks and have spent time cleaning and sorting. I turned to my linen closet for soft old napkins to turn into masks. While I was at it, I refolded all of the towels and pillowcases and table linens, and discovered a seldom-used table runner that I brought back from Guatemala some time in the 1980s when I worked with a non-profit group that helped women weavers.

The table runner was always too short. It wasn’t enough fabric to turn into a top or skirt, but it was just right for a tote bag! I added two belts - one to decorate the pleated top of the tote and one for the strap. DONE.

No cutting, no hemming - the table runner was already finished on all sides so all I did was sew side seams and corners to create a flat bottom. I hand-sewed the belt trim and strap because I didn’t want the stitching to show and because I had lots and lots of time to spend on the project. Plus, slowing down like that made me feel closer to the weavers whose skilled hands had worked for many hours to make the fabric and the beautiful bands.

What do you have around the house that could be made into a tote bag or something else? 

I chose fabric that was ready to go, but a different fabric could be stenciled, stamped or embroidered to cover stains or torn spots before getting its facelift!

*Cocktail napkins would make nice little drawstring bags for jewelry or cosmetics.
*Large bandanas would make great lightweight beach bags.
*Add a drawstring to a pillowcase to make a laundry bag.
*Add straps to a pillowcase instead of a drawstring and you’ve got a knitting bag.

If you’re new to sewing, an online search for free patterns is in order.

Stay safe. Be well.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Creative Puttering While Quarantined: Flower Cards, ATCs, and Bookmarks By Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

One of the things that has been making me happy during this uncertain time is taking online classes and experimenting with a mix of techniques and projects. Carla Sonheim’s “Flower Crazy” mini class (FREE!) was so much fun! It inspired me to use her ideas in my own way.

The projects you see above and below are a hybrid that incorporates RubberMoon stamps by Elizabeth St. Hilaire, available at The Queen’s Ink, with markers, colored pencils, acrylic paint, Gelly Roll White and Pigma Micron Black pens. And assorted embellishments that I had on hand: Mesh, buttons, staples, stickers, twine.

Keep scrolling past the project photos and you’ll find photos showing the components I made from start to finish. I started with sheets of ready-to-print business cards (part of my stash of unused office supplies!) so when the pages were ready for cardmaking all I had to do was bend along the cut lines and the pieces separated as if I’d spent time measuring and cutting. Easy, easy, easy.

Refer to Carla Sonheim’s class for the how-to. Here are my pages of business cards from start to finish:

  • Stamps by Elizabeth St. Hilaire (RubberMoon)
  • Ink pads in colors of choice (shown: Teal and brown)
  • Acrylic paint in white
  • Gelly Roll White 10 (Sakura)
  • Pigma Micron Black 01 and 1 (Sakura)
  • Alcohol Markers (Winsor & Newton)
  • Colored pencils
  • Adhesive
  • Cardstock in assorted colors
  • Sheets of ready-to-print business cards in white
  •  (Or white cardstock)

Monday, April 6, 2020

Keeping Creative While Quarantined: Channel Your Inner Impressionist By Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

Do you have an old denim- or canvas-covered 3-ring binder sitting in a closet somewhere? Or a sturdy but stained tote bag or purse that has seen better days? If so, this is the time to get out some acrylic paints, a few brushes, and channel your inner Impressionist!

Museums around the world have virtual galleries in which to browse, or look up artists by name. My notebook pays homage to Monet.

No outlines, just spots and splotches of color to create a garden, a forest, a still life, or whatever you feel like doing. Look to nature for inspiration or use your imagination. Either way, your painting will be unique and special!

Two of the three close-up photos above show the inside of the notebook - bright and shiny because the paper is coated and reflects light. The third shows the weave pattern on the outside - colors appear more muted though it’s the same paint.

  • Instead of a bag or notebook, paint on a T-shirt, aprons, or jeans!
  • Work on a canvas board or stretched canvas instead of a functional object.
  • Paint in your art journal or onto sheets of heavy paper in a color other than white (textured or smooth finish). Sheets of brown wrapping paper are a good starting point.
  • Cut or tear up the painted papers for collage!
  • Stencil on top of the painted pieces.

Next, paint papers to fill the notebook, OR add lined paper and make lists of things to do when the quarantining ends.

My list starts with these items:
1. Eat out in restaurants 3 times a day for a week!
2. Drop off a pan of brownies at the fire department.
3. Head to the die cutting machine with the 3 children from up the street and make cards.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Things to Do While Quarantined: Gratitude Bowls By Judi Kauffman for The Queen’s Ink

***CAUTION*** This project is a choke hazard! Keep it away from children and pets!!!

My friend Toni’s pastor suggested a way to feel grateful and remain focused on the good things in the world during these uncertain times. It immediately struck me as something I wanted to do:
  • Choose a small bowl.
  • Find 10 small stones.
  • Put the stones around the bowl.
  • During the day, put a stone in the bowl each time you feel grateful for something that is happening in your life.
  • Repeat each day.
A suggestion I’d like to add:
          Write down the reasons that the stones have been placed in the bowl.
Start a small gratitude journal, write on index cards, make digital notes on your phone - whatever seems appropriate and not burdensome.

          Choose ANY small bowl that is meaningful in some way. Shown above, a stone bowl from my friend Kathy. Shown below, an ornate leaf-shaped bowl from Leela, blown glass bowl inherited from my late friend Gail, an Asian sauce bowl - a thrift shop find, and a hand-painted bowl from Italy that we use for olive oil.

          Instead of 10 stones, choose colorful beads (butterflies!), glass marbles (flat or round, clear or iridescent) or gather ten small random objects from around the house that please you (a pin from Jhone, a pendant from Susan, a leaf I saw take shape in the hands of a blacksmith, a piece of clay that never made it to a project, an old buckle from when I had a waist...

Take a walk around your garden or a park where it’s easy to keep social distance to find the 10 stones, wash them; polish, clear seal, paint or number them.

Pick a number of stones or objects other than 10.

Share this idea with others and encourage each other to finish each day with a filled bowl!