|Posted on August 23, 2017 at 6:30 AM||comments (0)|
Using torn paper edges on your cards instantly creates interest. This is of course an old technique and can really make an ordinary design look really special and far less processed. The torn effect creates the illusion of an aged paper and breaks up the design elements on your creative layout. You can use them to add a border between two types of paper or card as shown in the demo above or in so many different ways on scrapbook layouts and cards.
If you are not good at getting a straight edge with your scissors, then this technique can be very useful as by its very nature it doesn't have to be straight and in fact you are looking for a wonky edge to give the piece character. You can create your edge manually or using some tools as we will see.
This is a quick post just looking at some of the ways to get an edge that isn't just a plain, straight one. So if you always stick to straight edges, maybe this is time to step off the straight and narrow and try some tearing!
Simple hand tearing
As it sounds, this is just using your hands to tear the paper. You can get lovely effects with this, as the paper tears unevenly and exposes the layers of the paper. You can then brush the edges with chalks or distress inks to add depth and interest. In this example, I am going with the grain of the paper. All papers will have a natural grain, where the fibres are lying in a certain direction, usually when you are tearing horizontally. If you go with the grain, the tear will be easy and pretty straight and is definitely my preferred way to tear.
Tearing downwards, I am tearing against the grain and it more difficult to control the tear and get a straight edge. You will need to move more slowly and carefully and it can't be avoided if you are tearing a square. At some point, you will be working against the grain. You will get a much more rough and unfinished look with a tear against the grain which can look nice on your project.
Tearing against a ruler
If you can control the tear you will get a much straighter edge by pulling the paper against the side of the ruler. The edge will not expose the paper layers as it does with manual tearing and you will finish up with a neater but still torn edge. Depending on your project, this can be quite useful.
Apart from the simple straight edge ruler I am using here, there are all kinds of special tearing rulers/edgers you can buy, that allow you to tear against different edges and create different effects, so if you are going to be using this technique often, these might be worth investing in.
Using shapes to tear around
You can use different shapes to tear around, which can be useful if you are wanting to create a particular design for your card. This is similar to using a ruler but you can tear different shapes. Here I am using an acrylic square block to tear around.
And here, I have used a round coaster.
You will still encounter problems going against the grain but slowing down and being careful should help to overcome this to some extent.
If you don't like the idea of tearing, you can try using scissors. You can get decorative scissors that will cut hundreds of different edges, from scallop to deckle and everything in between. I like scissors because you can effectively aim for a straight edge, which is easy to do by eye but the finish will be more interesting. My favourite decorative scissors, apart from my Scallop pair have to be the Deckle Edge. This pair by Fiskars gives a nice varying edge but there are loads that you can buy. The downside is that you won't get the fully natural finish that you get with tearing, as of course you are repeating the pattern each time you cut.
Using a distressing tool
You can buy these little tools pretty cheaply and they are simple to use. There are lots of different varieties on the market. Just pull or drag the cutting or tearing edge of the tool down the side of your paper to create a torn or distressed look. You can do it lightly or go over it more to create more of a distress look. The benefit of these is that you can work directly on any straight edge that you have and can control the effect to give the effect of wear to your paper edge, without it being too torn, or risk ruining your project by over tearing.
Use an Electric Distressing Tool
I got this cool little gadget recently but although it is now a discontinued item, you can still get them second hand on Ebay and there are other brands out there that do a similar thing. You can feed card, paper, board and heaps of other things in this, which makes it super useful.
Basically, you feed the card through from right to left or vice versa to get a lightly distressed edge or a more obviously distressed edge. Super easy and super quick. I love it!
Here is a comparison with a simple rectangle of the six ways we have looked at to get a torn/distressed edge to your paper.
So, that is about it for this quick round up of different ways to get a torn or distressed edge to your papers. There are of course others! Why not give them a go if you haven't already and add a comment below if you have any others.
Please ask if you wish to use our content - words, photos or designs. You can contact us here and we usually just ask for attribution links to be added.
I would like to say that this article is NOT sponsored in any way, I do not receive any remuneration and any enthusiasm for the product is genuine and without any kind of financial incentive whatsoever!
|Posted on August 20, 2017 at 5:50 PM||comments (0)|
I get quite a few questions sent to me via the contact form and I usually answer them directly to people that do write to me. Mostly, I am able to offer some kind of suggestion, although I am no kind of expert! I thought it might be a good idea to post up some of them here on the blog and show what I answered, so if anyone else had a similar question, it could help, or if any lovely crafters out there who read it and can answer it better or add any useful comments could then do so, under the blog post. Here is a recent question regarding using fixatives on chalked backgrounds.
If I use chalk to create a background paper, and then spray with a fixative, will I still be able to glue other papers on top of it? (I like to do collages). Thanks!
I have used chalks for backgrounds for many years and always use a fixative to seal the chalk. The things I am doing usually only require something like hairspray rather than a commercial fixative and I can't recall having any problems with it in the past.
Here is a simple chalked background with just chalk swiped across the paper. I sealed this with hairspray as I usually do, because I am cheap and wouldn't pay for fixative!
Then some simple cut out flowers glued on top. I did choose a PVA, white glue to do this and actually ended up covering the whole piece, in effect sealing it the whole thing and giving it gloss finish. I can't imagine you would have any problems adding whatever you like to the background to build up a collage but it could depend on what you are adding over the top, in terms of inks etc. Stronger colours will drown out your delicate chalks. The best option is to trial things out on a scrap piece before using your precious collage items on the final piece and messing it up.
Hope that helps!
Anyone out there like to add a comment or suggestion, please do so below this blog post!
|Posted on August 14, 2017 at 7:30 PM||comments (0)|
All About Gesso
If you are like me and spent a long time wondering what exactly that mysterious thing called Gesso is and what it is used for but were too afraid to ask, then you have come to the right place. Gesso was always most definitely a product that sat firmly in the realms of art and artists but more recently, or certainly over the last five years or so, it has become more and more popular as a staple item in the craft cupboards of papercrafters and in particular for those involved with mixed media, altered art and the like.
This short article is intended to cover a few of the main points relating to using this product but not in an art context but more with a leaning towards the uses I have found for it and might be of interest to those more generally involved in the papercraft world rather than art. So if this floats your boat, read on!
What is Gesso?
Gesso is essentially a primer. By that I mean a product used to prime or prepare a surface ready for painting or other techniques. Gesso is usually associated with art as we noted above and in particular, working on canvas but as we shall see, it has a range of other uses, to effectively enable you to create a 'blank canvas' or a basic surface on which to add colour, textures and the like.
What is Gesso made of?
Gesso is made with a paint, a chalk and a binder material. Commercial gessos will have particular chemical formulas, which we won't go into for the purposes of this article but if you are making your own gesso, then you will just be needing these three things for starters - PVA white glue, Baby Talc, white acrylic paint. We will come back to that in a later post.
Why is Gesso used?
As noted above, it is a primer. When artists are working directly on canvas without gesso, this can be very wasteful of precious and often expensive paints, as much of the paint will sink into the canvas so using more to get the coverage needed. Gesso avoids this by sealing the surface, so the paint does not get absorbed so readily. Gesso is much cheaper than most of the artist oils and acrylics and so adding one, two or three coats of gesso first before starting to paint is the most cost effective way to do it. For the same reason, papercrafters may choose to use Gesso, to reduce the need for multiple coats of paint and to produce a sealed surface on which to start to work.
So why should crafters use Gesso?
Gesso is fantastic for crafters generally because it can be applied to a whole range of surfaces. I regularly use it on plastics, wooden items and of course my chipboard projects. This can save time, save materials and give you a far superior finish to your projects.
What Gesso do I need to buy?
Gesso can come in a whole range of colours but I tend to buy or make white and add colour to it if I need to. Normal acrylic paint will tint the gesso adequately for most needs but you can add inks for a stronger colour, taking note that the more liquid ink will affect the consistency of the gesso.
You can buy gesso in a range of consistencies and for a wide range of prices.I prefer to use a thinner consistency for my projects generally as this avoides the more obvious brush strokes once the gesso has dried. For more depth, I would probably use a texture paste instead rather than a thicker gesso.
Regarding cost, for most non art projects, you really don't need much more than a basic gesso, especially if you are making something that is not expected to last for decades! Even better, you can make your own and we will look at a recipe for that later.
So What About Using Gesso With Chipboard?
Please bear in mind that when I am using the term chipboard here, I am referring to the crafter's form of chipboard, otherwise known as boxboard or strawboard and not the thick wood type stuff you find in the hardware store. Don't ask me why it gets called chipboard, it just does and adds a real layer of confusion to the situation.
Anyway, Gesso comes into its own when working with chipboard projects. By its very nature and production process, chipboard is quite porous and will readily soak up your precious paint, although the effect will vary from brand to brand. In an older post, on this site you may stumble across a piece about working with chipboar, I banged on for ages about using a good quality acrylic paint for your chipboard projects but this was before I discovered the magic of using a good primer to seal the board first! I only really discovered it relatively late on my crafting journey, which was a shame, as many pieces could have been saved.
So the problem with using just acrylic direct to chipboard is that you often need to add several coats, as the finish is patchy when the paint absorbs into the chipboard, often differently in different areas. Adding more and more coats, the chipboard can become very wet, soggy and consequently warp out of shape. Often, the colours of your paints will not remain true either, if they are constantly soaking into the background material. Adding a good primer coat first helps to avoid these issues.
Using Gesso on Chipboard
As a demonstration, I have added paint to a piece of board and then added gesso to another.
Paint on the left, gesso on the right
You can see that the gesso is quite thin and also that the paint has given a pretty unsatisfactory finish by itself. You would expect to go over the paint again with another coat but even then, as the paint starts to soak in under the first coat, you can still end up with finish that you don't like.I have had to add up to five coats on some of my projects in the past, simply because the paint was poor quality and too wet or thin to give proper coverage.
Here is the first coat of Gesso, which is pretty thin and doesn't look promising.
When the topcoat is applied, the finish is much better and the paint applies really well over the basecoat of Gesso
2 coats of paint on the left and gesso with one coat of paint on the right
On the left, there is two coats of paint and on the right you have the piece primed with gesso and then a coat of acrylic added. There isn't much to see between the two in terms of the finish but if you are using an expensive paint, you would prefer to not to have to do more than one coat. Using Gesso avoids this.
Using Gesso on different craft materials
Here is a quick run through, using gesso on some white card (the same card was used for all examples) and then showing the differences in the effects you get with using various craft materials such as inks and paints. Priming your surface first, can result in a much more vibrant finish, apart from avoiding the problems with your medium soaking into the paper. Different papers will yield different effects here of course, with handmade papers soaking up inks very quickly. Have a look and see what you think.
Using Paint on Card with Gesso
I am using Distress Paint Daubers here, as they are easy to apply. There wasn't a great difference in results overall.
Verdict - took longer to dry on the Gesso as expected and the result was slightly more vibrant but nothing to get excited about.
Stamping with Pigment Ink on Card with Gesso
You can see that the image on the right, stamped on Gesso has remained wet on the surface of the paper, compared to the plain card, where the ink has partly been absorbed by the card. Pigment ink normally stays wet longer than Dye inks and this enables embossing powders to be added, so this isn't a surprise but in fact with the application of Gesso, it stayed open for ages, well past five minutes on the gesso prepared card. This might be useful for some purposes but I didn't really like the way that the image lost clarity and became blurred.
Verdict - I wouldn't be inclined to use the Gesso on my card unless I was looking for a particular unfocussed effect
Stamping with Dye Ink on Card with Gesso
I haven't labelled this one but the Gesso card is on the right. There is less bleed with the dye ink as it dries quicker but there is still a more blurred image and you can see that the colour of the ink is also different. This was a drier dye ink so next up I tried with a much wetter ink.
Here I am using Adirondack which has really juicy ink pads. You can see that the bleed is pretty extreme. Again, this might be an effect you want.
Verdict - Gesso applied to the card allows the ink to bleed creating a fuzzier image than with blank card, so for a crisp image, stick to blank card!
Stamping with Pigment Ink and Dye Ink on Handmade Paper with Gesso
Here I decided to have a go with some handmade paper, as this is really absorbent and you can have problems with patchy images as the ink soaks into it quickly. The pigment ink stayed wet for ages on the gesso side and bled a little. I think the issue was that I held the stamp as firmly and for as long on both pieces of paper when in fact you can get away with a much lighter touch on the gesso paper.
Again, a similar result with the Dye Inks and in fact the image on the gesso piece was a bit patchy as you can see.
Verdict - If you need a longer open time with your pigment ink, if perhaps you are embossing on the handmade paper, then applying Gesso first will give you that. The bleed isn't as bad as with normal card though which is good but surprisingly, the image was a little patchy for the Dye Ink (this may be due to operator error)!
Using Spray Inks on Card with Gesso
I'm using Distress Sprays here for this example. Again, the gesso card is on the right.
Verdict - ugh!! The ink puddled badly on the gesso prepared card and would not dry. In the end I dabbed it off with a paper towel which ruined the spray effect finish. Not really what I was looking for. Stick to blank card.
Using Markers on Card with Gesso
Not really much difference here but definitely less patchy result on the gesso prepared card. You will have to take my word for that as it is difficult to see in the photo but the gesso side was definitely better.
Verdict - Good for surfaces using a dryish marker such as the Distress Markers, which can be absorbed quickly by paper and card.
Using Gesso on Plastic
Ok, so this is where it really did a good job. Here I am painting my plastic coffee capsules and the gesso applied to the pot really helped to provide a surface for the paint to adhere to. Of course, a true comparison would be to put a second coat onto the left hand pot where paint was added on its own but the gesso did apply much better than the paint on the first application. If I was just using paint, I would probably need quite a few coats to get the coverage I need.
Verdict - Gesso is great on plastic to provide a good solid base for my paint effects.
While you may not want or need to use gesso on most of your papercraft projects, it most definitely has a place, especially when working with boxboard or chipboard, or difficult surfaces. You could of course just use a white paint with glue as a binder but the addition of the powder element, gives a nice matt surface to deal with.
I have found it invaluable for finishing projects quicker, being less wasteful with paint and achieving a more pleasing result when using paints, to use a primer like gesso first.
Please be courteous and ask if you wish to use our content - words, photos or designs. You can contact us here and we usually just ask for attribution links to be added.
|Posted on August 14, 2017 at 4:55 AM||comments (0)|
Today I am back to one of my fav things, recycling old stuff to use in my craft projects. Those little flower pots in the display photos might look familiar!
I have posted a few articles about using these little beauties. Those coffee capsules are turning out to be so useful and if you are like me, you get through heaps of the stupid things. Check the right hand sidebar under Recycle category for other ideas using them.
I started off by painting my pot with a mixture of white paint and some PVA glue, to create a surface that would stick to the pot and I could then paint over with my coloured paint.
Now I could have just then painted the pot with brown acrylic paint and be finished with it but I wanted to get a nice rough texture and mat appearance to resemble a terracotta pot, so I added some Plaster of Paris to the paint mix, just a little will give you the chalky paint finish you are looking for.
You can get an even more textured finish to your terracotta pot with the addition of one more simple ingredient
Here is my pot of decorative sand. I actually got this years ago and didn't know what to use it for but it was just perfect for this project. You could use ordinary sand also, just make sure that it is clean and dry before you start to add it to your paint. You can add a tiny bit as I have done for the terracotta pot or a bit more depending on the finish you want.
For this next pot, I was aiming for a more concrete finish to my pot, so I added a bit more sand to my grey paint. Well that just about rounds it up with the Chipboard Wheelbarrow project posts, unless I get anymore queries or questions. I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog and please do comment below if you would like to!
|Posted on August 12, 2017 at 1:10 AM||comments (0)|
Today I am going to do a quick post about getting a faux wood effect, which you can use with the Wheelbarrow projects or other papercraft projects.
All of these display examples were created using the same technique to make a 'wood effect' wheelbarrow but simply using different colours to get different finishes.
Take the paint colour you want to use. I am using my Distress Paints here as I find the paint dauber thingy on the top really useful to get the best effect for this technique.
Note: You can also use your Distress Ink pads and simply swipe across the paper as shown but I prefer the effect using the paints.
The colour I am using is Peeled Paint and this was the basis for the green wheelbarrow above. So swipe across the paper as shown, the idea is to get a washed effect and not to completely cover the page. You want some white areas remaining and a rough type of finish, i.e not too perfect.
Next, I am brushing here and there using my blending tool with Tea Dye Distress Ink. The intention is to get a dirty, worn look. Then let it dry or use a heat tool to set the paint.
To create the effect of wood planks, use a pen (I am using my Distress Marker here, the Tea Dye or maybe a darker brown to show up) to draw lines and nails. Stagger the lines for a more realistic effect. You can go back in with your blending tool along the lines if you like to give even more definition and depth, which is what I have done with the Wheelbarrow Template examples above.
This gives a perfectly realistic faux wood effect!
Join me for the next post, where I will be showing a way to get a realistic rusted metal effect that you can use for the wheel on your Wheelbarrow project or any other papercraft project you are making.
|Posted on June 9, 2017 at 7:50 AM||comments (0)|
In case you missed the series, here is a full list of the parts and what we covered with links. I hope you enjoyed this review and can try some of these techniques yourself!
|Posted on June 8, 2017 at 11:20 PM||comments (0)|
Life in A Distressing World, Adventures With Oxide Inks (Part 14)
Distress Oxides - It Will All Come Out In the' Wash' plus one more technique and a wind up review of these inks
I think we are there at last, well, unless I start fiddling again and in that case I will post another piece to the blog, you just never know!.
I have to say, I have really enjoyed playing with my Distress Oxide inks. This is in no way a sponsored article, just my thoughts as your average crafter. We are all feeling the pinch these days, so each purchase we make has to be worth it. I was in two minds whether to get these, especially as I realise that the rest of the colour swatch is probably coming and that means more expense and these products are never cheap are they?
However, even with this relatively limited range of colours in the first release, there is plenty to amuse for most people. The inks do produce a unique effect and I love the pastel tones that you end up with. The fact that they react with water, like the rest of the Tim Holtz range is great and I love the fact that I can combine them with all my other Distress products.
Anyway, without further ado, here are a couple more photos from my messing around sessions that you might like to see. I hope you have enjoyed this extensive review of Distress Oxides and please do leave a comment below or on the Facebook page if you have any thoughts, suggestions or questions.
Also, apologies for the somewhat grotty work mat I am using in the photos, if you would like to help to fund me to buy a new one, please consider hitting the Donation button on the right hand tool bar!
A simple wash background here and the inks work beautifully for this!
Just simple lines running across but you get the idea. More water and they run into each other more but some of the ink will settle quickly into the watercolour paper
A stamped image with my Versamark Archival
The inks can be used by simply brushing them onto the mat, adding some water and away you go. You get an unusual matt, almost flat image, so those of you with more talent will be able to achieve more by shading and highlighting!
Using Mirror Board
I was wondering what would happen with these inks on mirror board. Yes, I know, the inks won't stick but I wanted to create an effect with some of the mirror showing through.
As you can see, I had to cut up a few squares as this technique did not go well!
I had mixed success with this, as you can see below. I did manage to get the ink to fix once I had brushed on some Picket Fence Distress Paint. I deliberately left patches unpainted.
I can't say I was too happy with this but it was an interesting experiment. Perhaps the addition of alcohol inks on the mirror background first would work better and I will try that next time!
Texture Paste on Mirror Board
I was hoping for a more successful outcome with this one. Texture paste pretty much sticks to anything, so I knew the inks would apply nicely. The trick was getting a good stencil with enough paste coverage to use the inks on. Again, some alcohol inks in the background might work well with this technique.
Next up, back to the stencils and texture paste, again on mirror board
After drying the texture paste for quite a while, I could go in with my distress inks, applied directly to the pattern using blending foam. I love the way the texture paste picks up these pastel, matt colours. You could add water but be wary as the texture paste will melt away if you are not careful!
I absolutely loved this one. Such fun and a beautiful effect on the mirror board. Yet again the photo can't do it justice so try it yourself!
Ok that is it for now! Thanks for visiting if you have come every day for the next part. I will be taking a break from demos I think for a while but I am hoping to do a long series on Distress Sprays and Stains. There will also be some new templates coming which need demos and some other projects too. Add to this, my usual ramblings about this and that, so please drop by again soon.
Please ask if you wish to use our content - words, photos or designs. You can contact us here and we usually just ask for attribution links to be added.
I would like to say that this article is NOT sponsored in any way, I do not receive any remuneration and any enthusiasm for the product is genuine and without any kind of financial incentive whatsoever!
|Posted on June 8, 2017 at 1:45 AM||comments (0)|
Life in A Distressing World, Adventures With Oxide Inks (Part 13)
See the World In Black And White - Playing Around With Gesso!
Right back at the start of this series, we had a look at different card stocks that you could use Distress Oxides on. Oxides can be used on black card as we found but the colour is not highly vibrant. This is in part due to the fact that most cardstocks are partly porous and some of the ink is bound to sink into the card.
However, if you use black gesso as a background for stamping with Distress Oxides, the gesso forms a flat matt surface that keeps the ink from soaking into the card, as it is usually used to seal canvas. You can get some great and very bright effects, reminiscent of chalks on a chalk board. Here are some demos of me playing with the Distress Oxides on cardstock treated with black gesso.
Pretty stunning effects using these inks on some card previously coated with black gesso and dried before stamping. I just love the vibrancy of the colours!
The card on the left had stamped images sprayed with water and wiped away, to leave a feint shadow impression. The wet card was then stamped as before with oxides. You can see the bleed on these stamped images creates a slightly lighter effect than the pure stamped images on the right
Here a butterfly stamp is used with a single ink colour applied direct to the stamp
If you spray the image with water the colour dissipates more or less completely and if dabbed with a cloth to pick up the excess water and ink, you will be left with a shadow image.
Here is another example with a script stamp
Adding a spray of water causes the ink to bleed out. This was then dabbed with a towel to take up the extra moisture
Using this as the background, I have then stamped an image on top of the shadow script, using a mix of oxide inks applied directly to the stamp. You will notice that the script shows through the butterfly but if were to stamp the butterfly first and then seal it with Distress Glaze, you could then stamp over the top with your script and it would not cover the butterfly wings. I haven't tried this out yet but I am pretty sure that this is the effect you would get.
Finally, here s an example of the background you can get with the basic dipping technique on black gesso. I think the colours are more vibrant than just using black card.
I was interested to see what the difference might be, if any, when using paper or card sealed with white gesso before adding oxide inks. Just a couple of examples here but you get the idea.
Here are a couple of first attempts. The colours are definitely more muted, subtle and pastel than simply using on non-primed card. I actually really like this effect. The one on the left shows the smoother but perhaps less interesting effect with more water added so the colours run into each other completely and the one on the right had a bit less.
A closer look!
Here is another example using lots of water spray and some splatters. It is almost like you are looking through tissue but hard to see on the photo.
I got a more vivid finish on this one using less water and some splots of ink from the reinker bottles
On this example, I blended colour onto the card with my blending tool/foam to give solid patches of colour and then added water from my spray. This gives a much denser coverage and with these darker colours, it oxidises beautifully
I just wanted to show you this one, where I had actually just cleaned off my brush by wiping the gesso across the paper. I then, added my distress oxide colour as usual using a dipping technique and you can clearly see the difference in take up of the inks here. This was quite a thick covering of gesso so the finish is very opaque but with a thinner coat, the background will show through to give that tissue paper effect mentioned above. The ink seems to sink behind the gesso which you can see on this other piece which was covered completely.
Here is a close up of that tissue paper effect. Ignore the brown flecks that brushed off (not sure where they came from). You can see on the edges where the gesso wasn't applied that the colour is darker and the lovely subtle tone on the rest. Use less gesso and you will get more colour coming through.
Thanks for joining me and visit again for part 14 which I think will be the last...whew!
Please ask if you wish to use our content - words, photos or designs. You can contact us here and we usually just ask for attribution links to be added.
I would like to say that this article is NOT sponsored in any way, I do not receive any remuneration and any enthusiasm for the product is genuine and without any kind of financial incentive whatsoever!
|Posted on June 6, 2017 at 3:15 PM||comments (0)|
Life in A Distressing World, Adventures With Oxide Inks (Part 12)
'Stencil' It In Part Two
Today we have part two of the Stencil Techniques we covered last time, split into two posts as the first part was quite long. Last time we covered Parts 1 to 6 and today we will cover techniques using Texture Pastes.
Technique 7 Texture Paste Effects
I'm working with a texture past background here, using the stencil and then letting it dry fully before working on it with the Distress Oxide inks
Basic Blending Over Texture Paste
Simple blending of inks across the stencilled background, with the raised texture paste soaking up more of the colour to give a darker impression against a lighter background.
Mix and blend colours just as you would normally do on a sheet of cardstock. The texture paste will catch a bit on the blending foam but nothing serious.
On this one the flower pattern is indented and the textured areas are the bits in between, giving a reverse effect to the previous example. I have had to work the ink into the indented flowers and leaves which is more difficult to do, without adding colour to the raised areas also and in fact I think it needed more colour to make it stand out, but you get the idea
On this one, I gently rubbed off the ink on the raised tiles with a baby wipe to make them stand out a bit more and leave the darker areas in the crevices.
The photo doesn't pick up the subtleties of this brick wall example. The colours blended so well and made the bricks look 3D. I really liked the bits of white left showing also.
Texture Paste Over Distress Oxide Background
On this example I did my background in the normal way with the Oxides and then once dry, went in with my stencil and texture paste. The intention was to get the dots to really stand out. You could add another colour to the dots at this stage also.
A beautiful Tim Holtz floral stencil over the top of a very subtle pink and yellow background, gives an effect similar to wallpaper
Tissue Paper Texture Paste Effect
I got a spectacular effect on this one, quite by chance. First creating a light and delicate background with my Distress Oxides and then stamping over the top with a script stamp, using a Sepia Versamark Ink. Then I used a stencil that had indented flowers and leaves (used in an example above), with the texture paste very thinly spread, I ended up with a lovely finish. The indented flowers are darker and the rest of the background shows through the lightly applied texture paste, almost like a tissue paper. Absolutely stunning!
Well I hope you have enjoyed these few Stencil Techniques with Texture Paste. Our next post will look at using Gesso with your Oxide Inks and will probably be the last in the series for the moment. Of course, I am always playing around and will share anything new that I find but in the meantime, why not have a go yourself and leave us a comment below or on the Facebook page!
|Posted on June 6, 2017 at 12:05 PM||comments (0)|
Life in A Distressing World, Adventures With Oxide Inks (Part 11)
'Stencil' It In Part One
Today we are looking at a few techniques using stencils with our Distress Oxide Inks. I had a lot of fun with these, so if you have the kit, then why not join in! As this is a long post, I will split it into two parts to make it easier to read but as always, there isn't much chat and lots of photos!
Technique 1 Basic Rub On Stencilling
I am just rubbing the inks directly over the stencil here
The colours blend nicely
A spritz of water will start to blend the colours
Dabbing off excess water
A bit of colour blended around the edges gives it some depth
Technique 2 Stamping with a Stencil
Here is another example using a different stencil and applying the colour in blocks. A little spray over the ink before stamping helps the colours start to run. You could also just lightly spray the paper before stamping too.
A beautiful effect!
Again with some blending to soften the edges
Technique 3 Blending over A Background
I've made a background with Distress Oxides and let it dry
Next you can take your stencils and blend colours over the top
As a demonstration, I have used a couple of stencils and a couple of stamps to show the effects you can get. Darker colours work better over the top if your background is dark.
Technique 4 Reverse Stamp to Lift Off Colour
Using photo paper to create a background and then laying a stencil that has been sprayed with water over the top.
The ink 'oxidises' underneath to create quite an unusual effect
Technique 5 Rub Off Colour With Two Effects
I've got another background here and while it is wet I am moving onto the next stage
Example A: Lifting off the stencil pattern - A stencil over the top and a baby wipe, allows me to lift off the colour underneath
The ink bleeds to create a lovely soft dotty background. Add a spray of water if you want it to run more
Example B: Lifting off the background. Here is another stencil and this time when lifting off the colour, we are in effect lifting off the background because this stencil has more open space and in effect will create the more or less the reverse effect to the previous example.
You need to be careful or you will lift off the paper but you can wipe enough to get a subtle effect of a lightened background and a darker leaf pattern
Here is another example with a different stencil but same technique
Technique 6 Embossing Powder Resist
Another basic background for the starting point here
I am laying my stencil over the top and dabbing my Versamark pad over the stencil, applying the ink to the paper underneath. Take care to get full coverage here and not miss spots.
Next up, add some Clear Embossing Powder and heat it up
You can leave it like it is, or go in with a cloth or baby wipe and lift off some of the background colour, like we did in the previous technique. At the same time polish the embossed areas, which will appear darker, as they are protecting the original colour underneath.
This give a really beautiful effect
You can also stamp the background underneath first for another interesting effect
In Part 2 we will look at some exciting Texture Paste with Stencils, so drop by again soon
|Posted on June 5, 2017 at 3:50 AM||comments (0)|
Life in A Distressing World, Adventures With Oxide Inks (Part 10)
'Woodn't' it Be Nice!
Today, we are looking at getting some cool wood effects with our inks and a wood effect background stamp.
Polished Wood Background
Starting off with a basic background using Vintage Photo Oxide on a glossy or photo paper which is left to dry
Stamping on top creates an oxidisation, which you can polish off
This gives a pretty good polished wood effect!
Weathered Wood Background
Here I created a background as before using a mix of inks here to give depth, then stamping with a wet stamp, to give the oxidised effect on the woodgrain.
Adding some detail with my Distress Markers, gives a fantastic weathered wood effect. Perhaps a nice card idea for Father's Day?
|Posted on May 30, 2017 at 2:35 AM||comments (0)|
Life in A Distressing World, Adventures With Oxide Inks (Part 9)
Stamp and Repeat Technique
Sorry for the delay in getting to our last posts on this topic but there have been some minor disasters going on that had to be sorted out but nevermind, we can get back to things now.
Today we are having another quick look at stamping with Distress Oxides. First off, I will go through the different basic ways of stamping and then show a couple of examples where this has been used to produce a background. Read on below!
Example 1 Basic Stamping from the Inkpad
The inks produce a lovely clear image with my leaf stamp, with just using my stamp directly onto the ink pad.
Example 2 – Stamping into Wet Ink
For this example, I have stamped into a puddle of colour on my craft sheet, which gives a nice watercolour effect. This is obviously wet and you will get a washed, blurred image when dry
Example 3 – Sprayed Stamp
Here I stamped into the inkpad and then sprayed the stamp with water before stamping.
Example 4 – Stamping on Wet Paper
Here a basic stamped image was applied to a wet surface.You can see how the ink runs off in the presence of water and if you blot this away, you will be left with a lighter, shadow image as you can see below.
Using These Techniques to Create a Background
Here I have my colours on the sheet. I am using techniques 1 to 3 here and in reverse order.
First I stamp into the puddles of colour, building up layers and colours to produce a nice effect, then stamping with a stamp sprayed with water and then finally a dry stamp to finish.
Some of the flowers are more defined and others with a lighter watercolour effect and this gives the depth.
Here is another example with different colours
Add Distress Ink to Finish
As a final step, you can stamp directly with Distress Ink, to get a really 3D effect. Here I am using the red flowers to accent the piece.
I think the finish with these Distress Oxides is lovely once dried and the depth that you get using these stamping techniques is absolutely stunning. The photos don't do it justice, so why not have a go yourself and most of all have fun with it!!
Thanks for joining me and visit again for Part 10 where I will be looking at some more stamping effects!
|Posted on May 24, 2017 at 10:50 PM||comments (1)|
Life in A Distressing World, Adventures With Oxide Inks (Part Eight)
Things That Shouldn't be Glossed Over!
Today I am continuing our series on Distress Oxides, with a look at some of the results you get using glossy papers instead of normal cardstock. I am actually using photo papers for my examples, as I didn’t have any actual glossy cardstock, so there may be a difference in the effect you get.
I have added inks directly to the paper here and in fact you can see that this has resulted in a very blocky finish, as the ink had stained the paper very quickly and you end up with the square shape of the ink pad showing. I used a direct to paper effect as I found the normal technique of dipping the paper into the wetted ink on the craft mat did not work well, as the inks just blended too much and the overall effect was of a very feint washed out background.
As the inks dry, they leave a quite dramatic oxidised effect with a fine, chalky, dusty finish that you can see in the photo.
Here is another example with some different colours and an even more evident oxidisation effect.
Quite by chance I noticed that if you gently rub the photo paper, the oxidised finish will lift off, leaving the stunning and vibrant colours of the ink behind.
Note: If you wanted to keep the chalk effect, or maybe rub some of it off and leave some of it, you would have to seal the surface of the photo card to capture it. I haven’t tried this yet, but any direct application of say a wax or anything similar would lead to the chalky finish to be rubbed off, so you would need a spray fix or something similar perhaps. This is definitely a case of try it and see.
Tip: Use the right stamp!
Back to the first example, I decided that such a bright and beautiful background required a dramatic stamp, so I decided to try this Fiskars stamp from my collection, without testing it out on another piece of paper first. The stamp itself was not a completely blocked out design, it had a more distressed finish and I don’t think that worked well. A stamp that gave a completely blacked out image would be better. I also felt that it dominated the background too much.This is an example of what NOT to do!
Here is another example of a background with the oxidised effect removed. A lovely glossy finish of just the beautiful inks.
Stamping on the Glossed Background
This background one was particularly beautiful and rich, much the same as the effect you would get with the Normal Distress Inks.You could stamp directly onto this with the raw Oxide ink, as I have done in the bottom left hand corner.
You can also use the stamps to create a white effect on your background as I have done with this Script Stamp.Simply wetting my stamp with water or dabbing it into a puddle of water on my craft mat and then pressing down firmly onto the background, means the water oxidises the ink underneath and creates a whited out effect as you can see. Once dried, some of the oxidation rubbed off, so leaving a mix of both, which was an interesting effect.
For this next example, I am stamping my butterfly with Stazon, which is the best ink to use on a glossy paper like this
I have chosen my colours of Distress Oxides and wiped them on the sheet with some sprayed water added
After dipping, you can see that the effect is very watery and feint as the inks move about a lot more on this glossy paper
After letting it dry and adding several layers, the colours become more vivid
I deliberately wanted this water effect you can see here
If you think you have overdone it, then gently dab off any excess with a cloth. Make sure you use a clean one and not a filthy one like I have here!
Here is another example using a different stamp and colours
Just rubbing off some of the oxidisation and leaving some
Not so pleased with this one but interesting experiment none the less.
I will be using these examples to make up some demo cards that I will post later but that is it for now!
Thanks for joining us for this latest part of our series on Distress Oxide Inks. Next up, we will look at some stamping techniques and another gloss effect you can get.
|Posted on May 23, 2017 at 1:00 AM||comments (1)|
Life in A Distressing World, Adventures With Oxide Inks (Part 7)
Being in the Background
I thought I would post a quick demo actually showing the process to get a basic wet background. Really, if you are used to working with Distress Inks then it is exactly the same process. Apart from the Direct to Paper and Blending Techniques which we have already covered, you can create the most beautiful backgrounds from adding wet ink to your paper.
Distress Inks and Oxides are both highly reactive to water and blend so well, to create something different everytime you set to work, whether you are using the same ink colours, the same papers or whatever. You can see the difference between the Distress and Oxide Ink backgrounds in the photo above.
I have chosen three colours I like here but the palette works so well with any of the colours blended together to get different themes. I am using a basic medium weight cardstock so you will get different effects using glossy card, which we will look at in another post
Swipe the pads across your craft sheet to give a block of colour to work with. You may need to press down a little on the pad to release the ink which is suspended below the surface. Leave some room between each colour or else your pad will pick up the ink and become dirty. If you get anoher colour ink on the pad, all you have to do is wipe the top with a cloth to remove the ink. The felt pads are quite easy to clean this way.
Add some water to the inks, I am using an old room scent spray bottle here as I get fed up refilling the much smaller mini misters so often. The added benefit is a nice smell on the paper too!
The ink will start to bead up on the sheet and eventually, as these are oxides, you will start to see the oxidisation occuring as they dry on the sheet. I prefer to get going as quickly as possible and let this oxidisation happen on the paper rather than the sheet but you can always re wet the ink with another spray of water.
Now you can start dipping your cardstock into the ink, moving and turning it around to get a good spread of colour on the surface.Dip just two to four times and then let you card dry a little. You can use a heat gun or let it dry naturally. This will allow you to build up layers of colour and hence get a depth on your background.
Note: You can just drag or swipe your card through the ink which is what I did when I first started playing with these ink. The inks will blend but you will end up with a much flatter looking background, where you have no layering but just one background with all the colours merged together. If you dip and make sure that you dry before dipping some more, you will build up layers.
Either is nice depending on your project.
I have stopped here and had a look to check coverage. You may need to add more ink to your craft sheet or more water. You can also add water to the card and move it around to create runs and blend te colours more but again, this will create a flatter effect rather than depth.
You can go back and redip your card as many times as you like until you get the effect that you are looking for.
I am giving my card adrying off here with a heat gun. The great thing is that you can still go back and add some colours at this stage or maybe try some Distress Inks on top to really make your background come alive. You can also go back and respray to blend any areas you want but be aware that some of the ink will have settled and will not respond to water at this stage.
As is often the way with crafts, less can be more, so it really is a matter of trial and error. Making mistakes is a good think as that is how you learn what you like. I personally think it is quite hard to make real mistakes with this though!
I decided to spray the card directly at this point to get some run marks and a messier look and then dried it again. Then back onto the craft sheet to add a bit more Wilted Violet as I wanted a more lilac/purple tone for my background.
Finally, I splattered water onto my background using my hand to get some bigger splotches, which gives a lovely effect as you can see. I am very happy with this one!
Here is another example, this time with even more water splattered on the paper then dried to give a lovely cloudy effect where the water has spread.
Next up, we will be looking at using these inks on Gloss Papers for a completely different effect. After that, I will be looking at another stamping technique and then using stencils. That will bring the series to a close, so join me again here on the blog if you are enjoying following this in depth review of Distress Oxide Inks!
|Posted on May 21, 2017 at 4:25 AM||comments (0)|
Can't resist Distress Oxides!
I hope you are appreciating my bad puns. You guessed it, today we are looking at a few resist techniques, as usual with lots of photos to refer to. This is a standard technique used, I know it is not rocket science but I am just trying to show what happens when you are using the Distress Oxide Inks. Some of the results are lovely, with the pastel background effect and a highlighted image.
Example 1 - Using Clear Embossing Ink Wet
Here I have stamped my flower image in Versamark ink and applied the background right away while the ink is still wet. The wet embossing ink attracts colour to give a darker impression
Example 2 - Using Clear Embossing Ink Dry
Two examples of this technique. I dried the Versamark first before adding the Oxide background this time. This gives a very faint impression and in fact as your card dries, the impression can disappear altogether. I tried adding some wax to the image, using darker inks but there didn't seem to be a right or wrong way to capture an impression. Trial and error I'm afraid, which is a shame as I really liked this batik style result.
Example 3 - Embossing Powder Resist
I'm using a clear embossing powder for this one which I have heat set before adding my background. The impression is much clearer as you would expect and works beautifully with the pastel oxide background. This is reminiscent of chalks for me but with the extra depth and vibrancy of an ink.
Adding some splashes of water, reactivates the ink and leaves a lovely effect that works well with this resist technique to give a gorgeous batik style piece
Here I am just demonstrating the effect with adding ink in a direct to paper fashion. You can polish off the excess ink on the embossed images to get a clearer impression, which I haven't done here.
Tip: If you want to remove the raised embossing, you can iron the paper or card on the reverse and on a low heat. This will melt the embossing powder and give you a smooth finish on the front side.
Example 4 - Reverse Resist
This last one isn't really resist at all but I will stick it here. After creating your background with distress inks and a direct to paper technique works best for this, as you want a good strong colour, you then stamp onto the ink with a stamp which you have either sprayed with water or dipped into a puddle of water on your craft sheet.
After several tries with a dipped background, I am not sure that this technique lends itself to this. Better to use a solid block of colour that you get with a direct to paper background. The effect is very subtle but of course it depends on the look that you want.
Tomorrow's post will be looking at a basic wet background, followed by another stamping technique and a quick look at using stencils so join me again if you would like to follow along!
|Posted on May 20, 2017 at 10:20 AM||comments (0)|
Today, I am posting some more card projects made with backgrounds that don't look too promising to show almost like a 'before and after'. Some are just simple backgrounds showcasing a stamp and others involve using the background to make an embellishment. I hope you can see that in your adventures with these inks, that there aren't really that many mistakes, as even if you think they look awful, sometimes all you have to do is look at it a different way. I am very happy with all these backgrounds even though most don't look that great to start with!
Ok, this doesn't look too promising at this stage. Once dried you can see that the ink has oxidised badly along the folds. Probably too much water involved. The paper was scrunched before adding ink from the craft mat, with lots of water but I am not sure what to do with this.
As this is quite a large piece, I decided the best idea would be to cut some shapes. This would hide some of the over-oxidised areas. I am using our Flower Layering Template Number 2 here to cut three flower shapes in decreasing sizes. The paper has a real tough, leathery feel to it, quite different to how it was before scrunching and inking.
Here is the simple torn paper card. The brad was coloured with Paint Dabbers to co-ordinate with the flower. The mix of colours on each flower layer is lovely and layering them creates added interest. Not such a bad outcome. I am quite happy with this.
A pastel mix here adding more colours as I went along. Actually, I was very happy with this one.
A stamped and embossed flower in white with a simple stamped sentiment is all that is needed against this beautiful background
This background had a mix of mainly Oxides with a bit of Distress to highlight and make bits stand out
Three more flowers, this time from the Retro Flower Layering Template Number 4
Mounted on a tag with a stamped background. The ink used for the stamp was also Oxides, designed to co-ordinate with the flower layers
Another flower, using our Daisy Flower Layering Template Number 3. I haven't even got a photo of the background I did for this as it was so uninspiring. A lot of water and dragging the paper through the ink rather than dabbing, caused quite a flat image with not a lot of definition. I am not that happy with this tag but it was at least a use for the background I had made and you can never have enough tags!
That example on black cardstock I posted in the first post on Oxides, really reminded me of a galaxy scene. I was quite happy with this one and it was perfect for the card, I eventually made
This was made to celebrate my daughter passng her driving test, which unfortunately she didn't! Nevermind, it will go in the drawer for another occasion, as she has exams coming up soon. This wooden star was covered with the absolutely stunning Vintage Platinum Glitter from Tim Holtz and the embossed sentiment was from an old See D's stamp set I had.
I hope you have enjoyed today's post, we are only part way through this series, so drop in again soon for more. Next up, we will be looking at some more stamping and stencilling techniques.
|Posted on May 18, 2017 at 9:25 PM||comments (0)|
Lets Be Direct About This!
I hope you are enjoying our series examining Distress Oxide inks. We have covered a bit of ground but there is still a lot more to come. When I get around to doing tutorials or ‘how tos’ I like to be thorough and try to cover it all, which means it can take some time to do and everything else gets left while I do.
A very short post today, showing a comparison between traditional Distress Inks and Oxides when used in the ‘Direct to Paper’ technique for those that like to use their inks this way.
Here I have chosen four inks and using the same colours from both Distress and Oxides to compare, by simply dragging the ink pads across a piece of cardstock.
The inks go on about the same but as you can see the Oxides (at the bottom of each piece) are a little more opaque, a bit like a paint chip card. The inks are slightly darker and more transluscent but the difference is greatest when you apply them, the Distress inks go on much darker but when they dry the colour moves towards the same tone as the corresponding Oxide ink and it is almost impossible to see a difference with some of the colours. I had to do the Broken China chip twice as I thought I must have made a mistake because they were so similar.
There is really not much between the two using this technique (assuming you are not adding water to them). You could use many of the colours interchangeably and just choose the tone you like best. When you add water, they both blend and move about but the Oxides dry slightly differently.
Next up, I will be looking at some Resist Techniques, not rocket science for most but a demonstration of the effects you can get with this ink, so join me then!.
|Posted on May 18, 2017 at 8:45 AM||comments (0)|
Life in A Distressing World, Adventures With Oxide Inks (Part 3)
A Lovely Blend of Old and New!
Today’s post continues the series on using Distress Oxide Inks. One of the most used techniques with traditional Distress Inks is to use them with a blending tool.Rubbing around the edge of the paper with your old favourite Tea Dye Distress is the 'go to' technique most people have tried and like to use. The blend around the edge somehow gives your project dimension and depth and is a unique finish.
Distress Oxides work the same, although I have to say that I detect slightly more resistance in blending these onto my paper, which is not a big issue if it is the case. This is likely due to the mix of dyes and pigment inks, rather than the pure dye of Distress Ink.
1.Distress and Oxides basic blending two colours
The Oxides are on the left and the Distress Inks on the right. For the Oxides, the colours are bolder, the blending line is less subtle and as noted above, the ink doesn't slide onto the paper as easily. The result is a more matt and opaque finish.
2.Distress and Oxides blending around the edge of the card
Again, Oxides on the left. The colour is more muted, it doesn't apply as easily as Distress and my personal preference is to stick with Distress for this. However, the Oxides do a perfectly acceptable job at this task and the colour is lighter and it is a matter of prefererence according to your project.
3.Distress and Oxides blended together
The two inks blended quite nicely together here, it was actually quite difficult to tell them apart on this card. The comments made already about ease of application can be repeated. If you add water to the card, you get different effects, which can be interesting if you have used both on your project.
These inks do blend quite nicely. The colour you get on the paper is very vibrant and solid. Blending is a staple of Distress Inks and it is good to see that these new inks can be blended also, so you can get the same wonderful depth and dimension from using them in this way. I remain a fan of original Distress inks however, so I like to view this as just another tool in my toolbox and take the attitude of mixing and matching as I wish for each project I do, depending on the effect I want to achieve.
For the next post, I will be looking at Direct to Paper technique and following that, we will cover some resist technique examples, so please visit again if you are enjoying this review.
|Posted on May 16, 2017 at 7:05 PM||comments (0)|
Life in A Distressing World, Adventures With Oxide Inks (Part 2)
As promised for Part 2 of our series on Distress Oxide Inks, here are some projects made using the backgrounds created last time. None of these were planned in any way, I just made a background and then came up with ideas to use it. I love creating like this!
This is just the first three projects, so there will be more but I hope it will give you some ideas and maybe inspiration for things you can do with these lovely new inks from Ranger.
Where possible, I have included before and after photos so you can see how something quite nice can result from something that looks like a complete mess to start with!.
Project 1 - A Pastel Delight
Beautiful pastel, chalky background created using all the light colours in the Oxide collection gave the perfect backdrop for a paper rose and flourish arrangement. The fact that the paper shredded a little from too much water actually gave the finished piece a lovely roughed up texture, similar to handmade paper.
The chipboard flourish was dabbed with Distress Paint Dabbers to co-ordinate with the matt background from the Distress Oxides. Word stamps also look fantastic over the top of these subtle backgrounds
Project 2 - A Surprise to 'Note'
Ugh! Better throw this away!
A brown mess that when dried and stamped with butterflies formed the cover for a notebook. The chalky Oxide finish gives the paper a really unique and very pleasant quality to handle (it almost seems tougher than the paper had started out), which was perfect for my notebook. It is so nice to handle that I can't stop picking it up just to feel the finish.
Project 3 - Scrunched Silhouette Scene
No I wasn't getting fed up and throwing my toys out of the pram, I just wanted to see what would happen if I scrunched up my paper first before adding the inks
OMG what a disaster!!!!
All the ink has collected around the creases where it has concentrated. I can't imagine this drying into anything nice.
But wait, turn it over and look at that! Wow!!! The ink has bled through to the reverse to create an effect that is very natural and stunning, the photo doesn't do it justice. I was just about to throw this away...
A really good 'mistake'
This lovely pattern made me think of a sunset scene, so I wanted all my embellishments to be in silhouette. The die cuts are all coloured with Distress Paint Black Soot and the cage is then dabbed with a little bronze to give a worn appearance. The birds are from a Quickutz die, the flourish is from a Tim Holz die and the bird cage is a chipboard embellishment from my stash. The sentiment is stamped with Versamark and brushed with Perfect Pearls.
I just love the atmosphere of this card and quite surprised to salvage it from the throw away pile!
The point of today's post was to demonstrate that these inks are incredibly forgiving. What starts out looking like a disaster is not necessarily going to be once it dries.You will get in a mess playing with them but that is half the fun. Just look at the piece of kitchen roll used to clear up one of the palettes I set up. Even that looks beautiful!
Join me again for some more examples if you are enjoying this short series on Distress Oxides. If you have any questions or comment then please leave them below in the Comment Section beneath this post or if you are shy you can use the Contact Form on the left hand sidebar.
|Posted on May 16, 2017 at 7:35 AM||comments (0)|
Life in a Distressing World (Part 1), Adventures With Oxide Inks
I thought it was about time we ran another series of reviews, or as I prefer to call them ‘make it up as you go along because it is more fun that way’ sessions.
I do not profess to be any kind of expert but I like to try things out and share what I find. There is never any plan, I just like to sit down with my materials and play to my heart’s content. If you are like me, then you will enjoy this series of blog posts on the ‘newish’ Distress Oxide Inks. I am not sure where it will go but you are welcome to come along for the ride!
I guess I am relatively new to the Distress Oxide party but that never stops me. My re-inkers turned up first, missing three bottles (that is why there are only 9 in the photo below), which was annoying and actually they haven’t turned up yet and may never appear. I am in dispute with that company at the moment. Anyway, I have a feeling I am going to be needing these re-inkers soon as these new ink pads have already taken quite a hammering to produce all the demos!
Never-mind, the ink pads are here now, so let’s get going. First, we had better do a bit of an introduction to Distress Oxide Inks.
What are Distress Oxide Inks?
According to the promotional blurb, Distress Oxide Inks are a water-reactive dye and pigment ink combination or ‘fusion’. At the time of writing, they are available in 12 colours, all from the Distress Ink palette and Tim Holtz has said that the colours were chosen pretty much randomly as it was very difficult for him to choose from such a big range of lovely Distress colours. I fully expect there to be the whole Distress palette available soon though as these inks are really different and interesting, as we shall see. Here are the colours availalable now.
So They Are a Dye/Pigment Fusion, what does this mean?
Traditional Distress Inks are Dye based and as such they tend to be translucent in nature, compared to Pigment inks which are more opaque. Although both are strong colourants:
Here you can see the difference between the Distress Ink on the right and the Distress Oxide on the left. Both are Cracked Pistachio but the Oxide pad with its mix of both Dye and Pigment Ink is very vibrant and has a more opaque paint like quality
Here is a close up of an Oxide ink pad which is a felt pad, in keeping with the Distress Ink range
Distress Oxides are different as they are both Dye and Pigment Ink, in the same ink pad and this means that they are going to react in different ways, with the Dye ink running and blending and the pigment part being more stable. Not only that, they react in a particular way with water to create a white, dusty, chalky effect, not unlike an oxidisation, hence Oxides!
You can see the lovely chalky, pastel effect you can get with these inks, which lends itself perfectly to subtle backgrounds. This was my very first attempt and the paper started to disintergrate a bit as I had added so much water to a non-watercolour paper but the rough texture was actually surprisingly nice and was perfect for an absolutely stunning card that I will share in another post
With original Distress inks, apart from dry blending, you can of course add water to them and use various techniques such as direct to paper or ‘smooshing’ , dragging or dipping to create lovely effects and backgrounds. This is the big thing about Distress inks really, as they react with the water and allow you to spread them around, blend colours and generally create a beautiful ‘distressed’ or aged look with so many people love. There is no doubt that Tim Holtz has had a huge impact on the craft world with his techniques and products and Distress Inks are the flagship of that.
The good news is that you can do all of the same things with Distress Oxides, you just get an equally beautiful but different effect!
For this demo, I have saturated the paper and ink with water, using a spray bottle onto the paper itself, creating a complete mess that looks as if it is not going to end well!
I am dabbing or lifting off some of the wet ink here as to be honest I was panicking a bit but you don't have to do!
After drying you can see the chalky matt finish. The one on the left shows the piece above which looked like it was going to be a mess. It dried to a lovely rust effect finish quite by chance, with the addition of a couple more colours and using a heat gun to set the ink. I completed a nice project from this that I will share in a later post.
How Do The Colours Compare to Traditional Distress Inks?
If you swipe the Distress Oxides across a craft sheet, you will notice that the colours are very bright and vibrant, almost garish compared to traditional Distress Inks. I haven't done a photo of Distress inks to compare side by side but I think you can see from this photo that the Oxides are quite bright and more opaque than normal Distress inks.
When you add water spray, bubbles are formed and then when you start to dip your paper into the ink the colours appear a little less vivid.
As you dry the ink with a heat gun then the colours mute even more, to give a distinctly chalky, pastel finish as we noted above. The colours are there but they are just much subtler.
The effect using exactly the same colour palette of normal and oxides results in really quite different results. So, even though the colours are the same the final effects will be pretty different. The Distress Inks end up having a more vibrant, vivid and translucent quality, whereas the Oxides have a much more muted tone and a pastel, chalky finish.
I am using a mixture of Peeled Paint, Broken China, Faded Jeans, Fossilised Amber and Cracked Pistachio. The normal Distress Inks are on the left and the Distress Oxides are on the right.
A bit closer. Different effects but both stunning
With Distress Inks, if you keep adding colours, you can overdo things and end up with a brown mess. You may want a brown mess but then again if you don’t then it is very frustrating and wasteful of ink to ruin your project by just being a bit over-enthusiastic.
As Tim Holtz says, 'wet on wet' to get blends
and 'wet on dry' to create layers.
With Oxides, the colours do tend to stay true when you are adding wet ink to wet ink. However, if you add colours bit by bit and dry in between, then you can layer up the inks and get an even more vibrant effect. So if you add orange on top of a colour, you will get an orange. We will look at this in more detail and demonstrate that in a later post.
Also, you can mix the two types of ink in a project, so you have normal Distress and Oxides on the one piece, which can look fantastic! The Distress Dye inks make the design 'pop' against the chalky backdrop.
This is an example where I have used both Oxide and Distress inks. I love the mix of pastel and subtle tones with the richer ink of the traditional Distress on top.
What Papers Can I Use Them On?
Dye inks being more translucent do not work well on darker cardstocks, or on Kraft type cards. The vibrancy of the colour doesn’t show up at all. Pigment inks work a little better here but it depends on the brand you use. I personally have had little success stamping directly onto black card and have always had to add some embossing powder or perfect pearls to show up the image. .
However, Distress Oxides can be used quite effectively on darker cardstocks, as the Pigment part will show up and allow them to be seen. I have also used them on pearlescent card/paper and this creates a lovely effect also.
Using the inks with water to show the effects on different surfaces:
On Black Card, a milky effect reminiscent of a galaxy
On Kraft Card, a lovely warm background
On pearlescent paper, stunning with the pearlescent paper shining through the gaps
A couple of examples of the inks used on glossy photo paper. I find this particular surface stunning to work with, as the colours are so rich and vibrant as you can either end up with a super glossy look like these examples or a really chalky finish, as the oxidation is very noticeable on this type of paper. We will be looking at that in a lot more detail in a future post, so more about that later.
What Happens When I Stamp With Distress Oxides?
When you stamp with the Oxide ink, it will create a lovely, pastel, chalky look.
Here is an example showing Distress Oxides, Distress Inks and a standard water based Pigment ink, each simply stamped in a range of colours on black cardstock. The Distress inks don't show at all, the normal pigment inks barely show if you squint and the Oxides show up the best, reminding me of chalks writing on a black chalkboard.
If you take a mini mister and lightly dust a stamped image with water, it will ‘Oxidise’ and become whiter and chalkier in appearance. The more water you add, the more the dye ink will run and if you dab the image, you are left with a lighter 'shadow' image.Here is an example using a butterfly stamp and the Walnut Stain Oxide ink.
Two images stamped with the same ink
Excess water and ink dabbed off - which you don't have to do but I am just demonstrating the result
You are left with a softer image (on the left)
The more water you add, the more effects you can achieve. Adding more water will allow more of the Dye based component of the ink to mobilise and spread.
Try stamping into a puddle of colour you have left over from creating a background. Quite a nice watercolour effect
Can I Use Them For Anything Else Other Than Stamping?
Like normal Distress Inks, they can be used very effectively for stamping as we have touched upon above and will cover a bit more in a future post. My own personal opinion however, is that Oxides really come into their own when creating backgrounds for stamping, die-cuts etc. You can create some stunning backgrounds on different papers and by using different colours and more or less ink, or more or less water. With that many variables, you can see that the scope to achieve different looks is huge and that is what makes these inks so interesting and exciting to use.
You can use them with stencils, with dry and wet embossing, and blend around the edges of your projects exactly like you would do with Distress Inks and we will look at some of those techniques in our following posts.
To be perfectly honest, when I first started using them, I wondered what on earth the big deal was. I guess I fell for the hype and wanted to get them but wasn't at all sure what I would do wih them. However, after I had played with them for a while, seen how the dried pieces turned out and used them in my card, tag and other projects, I was pretty much won over. You will have to try them out for yourself I guess.If you would like to see more on my Adventures With Distress Inks, please join me for the next post where I will be showing some before and after photos and then after that, moving on to cover a few techniques with stamping, embossing and stencils.
If you have any questions or comments on this post, please leave them in the comments section below this post or if you are shy you can use the Contact Form on the left hand sidebar.