Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Royal Treatment

I was very, very fortunate to be able to attend several classes given by Fred B. Mullett at The Queen's Ink, in Savage Maryland, this past weekend. I got lost looking for the hotel Friday night but somehow stumbled upon Foundry St., where The Queen's Ink is located. Serendipity. It was after 6 on Friday night and I figured there was no way they were open. So I thought I would just peek in the windows. Picture the setting: an old mill, brick front buildings, trees, pots of flowers, benches everywhere, loverly shops and places to eat. I walked up to the big glass doors and thought "I'll just pull on the door handle and see what happens" and like magic, the door opened and I gained entrance to the friendliest, most charming and well supplied artist haven I have ever had the pleasure to experience. The staff is amazing, Lauren, who goes by Lollie, Jan, Donna and The Queen, Patti, are most accommodating, knowledgeable,gracious and charming, not to mention talented artists. This is the vision I was hit with after a very trafficy and frustrating drive from New Jersey:

The store is huge with high ceilings, tall windows, hardwood floors and walls painted in Royal colors. The decor is awesome. Excuse the blurry shots, I was so excited, I was shaking. I can't think of ANYTHING that I use, covet, desire, would kill for, that this store does not carry. Can you imagine stumbling in from New Jersey, sweaty, lost, irritated and having hot flashes into this beautiful shop? It was like entering the gates of heaven.

Everywhere there is work displayed by students or artist instructors from previous workshops. Here are some shots of of artwork artfully displayed:

Photos are taken with permission from The Queen, Patti. What the Queen says, goes, so be it.
I took photos, regrouped my senses on the couch, and shopped while Patti graciously called my hotel and found out Where in the Name of all that is Holy, they were located. I met Donna, who is hilarious, uber friendly, a talented artist, has a HOT husband, teehee, and best of all she walked me to the bathroom after my long drive. What's not to like???? While shopping, I bought the latest
Somerset Studio magazine, which I couldn't wait to get, because my blogging buddy and magical artist Marsha, from Tumble Fish Studio, has artwork in it. I walked around the store showing everyone her page, going "This is my friend Marsha's work, isn't it amazing!!!!" Yeah I am living vicariously through you, Marsha!! Congratulations are in order again I see, because you are about to be published with Somerset Studios again. By the way, I see you have that piece back from them, you know the one with the two girl fairies with the eyeglasses and the Fleur de lis on their heads?? Since I'm an optician, and eyeglasses are my real job, I think you should earmark that one for ME. Yeah, I said it. I went there.

Saturday Morning at The Queen's Ink was the first workshop with Fred B. Mullett, "Dancing Rubber Fish". Fred is an organized, charismatic and generous teacher. We've all been to that workshop that is too unstructured, almost just studio time, where the teacher is disorganized, timid and doesn't share techniques freely. This was NOT the case with Fred. His teaching style is relaxed, organized, funny and approachable. I do believe that I DID end up being teachers pet, although I did have some stiff competition. teehee. I highly recommend attending his workshops. I am well on my way to becoming a better artist because of them. So the first workshop was "painting" with embossing powders. We also used watercolors, which was a first for me. Here are pics of my fish, showing each step and the completed fish at the end. There are 3.

I was frustrated because I over stamped on the tail area. Here is fish 2:

Pleased with this one, but I painted outside the lines. I am a messy painter and gluer. Sigh. Here is fish 3:

Yeah, I over stamped on the fin too. Crap. But this one is my favorite. I copied Marie, who was sitting across from me, by adding the dots. Marie was hilarious!! and very talented, as was her daughter Erin. Talent runs in that family. I miss you Marie! I wish you lived closer! email me! I ended up buying this stamp at the shop, I became so enamoured of it. I am so thrilled Fred taught us how to do the eyes. Everyone else might have known how to do it, I did not. Remember, I am completely self taught. This was a wonderful class and I highly recommend it. We broke for lunch that Patti had delivered. Shopped and bonded some more! Here is the workshop:

So organized!

Look at those windows! The lighting was fantastic. Here is the display of Fred's products in the store:

I'll show you what I bought later. Back to class now. The afternoon class was "Spritz me Baby". We used water and markers on the stamps to created washes on envelopes:

I met Theresa in this class, who is very friendly, funny and talented. We hit it off right away. I miss you Theresa, I wish you lived closer, email me!!! Hey, are you sensing a pattern here???teehee. This class made me re-realize I am a control freak and need to loosen up. By the end of the class I learned the secret for me is not to over ink the stamp with the marker and to use the same amount of spritzed water for every stamping. What a great gift a ribbon tied bundle of these envelopes would be! The afternoon we spent learning to remove the color from black paper with bleach, replace the color with our stamping, and then add details with yet another layer of stamping. I bought Fred's stamp positioner. During the class it worked quite well over stamping on the envelopes but I had serious issues with the octopus and larger fish stamp. I can't to geometry or physics either. I think the positioner gave me bad flashbacks to flunking both in college. I just need practice on the big stamps. Fred's tool is amazing and I have mastered using it on the smaller stamps. So here is some bleach stamping:

Here is the pic of my misplaced over stamping, whose fault is all my own, It's NEVER the Positioner, It's ALWAYS the Operator, teehee:
And here are the Octopi:

You can see how I missed placing the stamp directly on top of the bleached area.
This photo shows the third stamp with the white detail. I ended up taking a wet brush and dabbing paint off the marker and filling in the bleached areas. These are terrible but they are a first attempt. And my daughter thinks they are cool. so there. teehee.

What a full first day! I stopped and got a to go dinner of Crab Macaroni and Cheese and headed to hotel to collapse and prepare to check out in the am. Sunday morning's class was " The Elegant Mess" and I loved it. We made paper. My favorite thing to do in the whole wide world, expect kissing maybe. teehee. Patti let Theresa and I pick through her ABUNDANT supply of Twinkling H2O's to use for class. It was my first experience with them and I am ADDICTED. They are amazing, so creamy, so rich in color, so glittery. HEAVEN. It was torture picking only 9 colors to play with. We made art cards and here are the pics:

I did not finish making the art cards with the stencils. I was too saturated with information and tired. I did finish 2 cards below:

And here is the man himself, Fred B. Mullett, showing us how it's done:
Here is the loot I came home with:

You know I had to have this.

Love that Teasel stamp. The above are Fred's products. So all in all I had a FANTASTIC time, I highly recommend the venue for classes, Fred as a teacher, the shop as a destination for all your art needs, even the ones you didn't know you had! Here is a pic of The Queen, Patti, with her Most Loyal Subject, Me:
I know, I know. I look nothing like that pic in the upper right hand corner of my blog. That pic took 75 takes and was 3 years, 3 chins, and 3 men ago. Get Over It. Lord knows I have. teehee. xoSusan


  1. Susan everything looks wonderful, your paper, your stamping and all the goodies you bought. Just love that Teasel stamp, I need one, how fantastic would it look with the spritzing treatment. The possibilities are endless. Thanks for sharing and I love that you do three posts all at once.

  2. I'm jealous! Looks like you had a blast while mastering several cool techniques and brought home some great art supplies. Your fish are absolutely beautiful....ALL OF THEM!!

  3. Oh my lordy Susan! I have so much to say, I don't know where to start. First of all, based on the last thing you wrote here, YOU are beautiful my friend! YOU are way too hard on YOU! YOU are too preoccupied with size and shape and some silly idea some silly person had in the last century that people are meant to be one little itty bitty size. YOU are a beautiful person, inside and out, brilliant and put together, and if my husband should ever leave me, I might entertain the idea of . . . well, I won't go there, now. Okay next, when you bother to mention me in your blog, at this point in my crazy life, you need to send me a big neon sign saying "I'm paying attention to you here" - I am such a moth to the light. I am such a wallflower that any attention puts me on cloud nine and you gave me a whole heck of a lot! So, the eyeglass sisters are yours, my friend. I haven't got them back yet, but when I do, they are yours. Also, if memory serves you'd like a print of Finding Love. Am I totally making that up? If so, that is yours too. And because you are just about the coolest chick on the planet, I will even fair-fy you in your own piece this summer if you send me a picture. ( BUT, I want one of those fish, any of them, in trade. I LOVE them! They are gorgeous!

    I so admire your adventurous spirit, this trip you made, the classes you took, the detours you took. I bet you are one fun gal to travel with. YOU are one of my idols. You are so clever and genius and funny and talented, in art and in writing. I have a crush I think.

    Before I freak you out, I am off for more blog visiting - I am so frickin' behind on everyone. Have a good end of the week, friend!