Mementoes In Time


All About Distress Oxide Inks (Part Eight)

Posted on May 24, 2017 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (0)

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.

Important Stuff

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!

All About Distress Oxide Inks (Part 7)

Posted on May 23, 2017 at 1:00 AM Comments 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!

Important Stuff

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!

All About Distress Oxide Inks (Part 6)

Posted on May 21, 2017 at 4:25 AM Comments 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!

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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.

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All About Distress Oxide Inks (Part 5)

Posted on May 20, 2017 at 10:20 AM Comments 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.

Important Stuff

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!

All About Distress Oxide Inks (Part 4)

Posted on May 18, 2017 at 9:25 PM Comments 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!.

Important Stuff

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!

All About Distress Oxide Inks (Part 3)

Posted on May 18, 2017 at 8:45 AM Comments 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.

Important Stuff

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!

All About Distress Oxide Inks (Part 2)

Posted on May 16, 2017 at 7:05 PM Comments 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.

Important Stuff

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!

All About Distress Oxide Inks (Part 1)

Posted on May 16, 2017 at 7:35 AM Comments 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!


Important Stuff

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!



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:

  • Dye Inks contain much finer particles dissolved into liquid and they tend to be absorbed into the material to which they are added.
  • Pigment inks have larger particles which are coloured and suspended in liquid and tend to bond to the surface to which they are applied rather than being absorbed by it.

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

One sprayed with water

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.



Teapot Card Template

Posted on May 9, 2017 at 2:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I've had so much fun with the new Teapot Template that I couldn't stop making demos. Goodness knows what I am going to do with them all - my card box is overflowing with teapots!

You can find this one on the Templates page (Ladies Templates).The template includes two designs, Round and Ornate each in two sizes, with stands if you want to make a display piece as well as traditional fold over cards. There is also a sheet of sentiments and tags but this template also works well with the sentiments included on the Tea and Coffee Time Digitals Collection and of course any stamps you have.

Not too many words, just photos, here are the demos with some brief project notes!

Small Ornate Teapot printed with Willow pattern design on glossy photo paper and finished with Glossy Accents Crackle Medium. Brushed with Tea Dye Distress Ink to show up the cracked effect and to 'age' the pot. Stamped sentiment

Large Round Teapot decorated with Floral paper, with layered flowers on foam pads to give dimension. Sentiment is from the template

Large Ornate Teapot decorated with Japanese print paper, with flower embellishment cut from the same paper with a brass brad and sentiment from the template. Brushed with Distress Ink for dimension

Large Ornate Teapot decorated with Floral papers, paper roses brushed with Distress Inks and a stamped sentiment

Trio of small pots using floral papers and Distress Inks to create a 3D effect

Small round teapot with adhesive pearls to embellish. Get the right colour pearl by brushing them with Distress Paints. Stamped sentiment.

On the left, Chinese papers used to decorate the Large Ornate Teapot, with dimensional embellishment using flowers cut from the paper layered up with foam pads. Stamped Friendship Tag.

Small ornate teapot decorated with floral paper, then stamped with a Crackle effect stamp and distress ink to give the aged/vintage effect.

Edged with distress inks for dimension and a sentiment from the Tea Time Digital Stamp Collection added. Stamped Tag and paper flower brushed with a Distress Marker also.

Large Ornate and Large Round Teapots simply decorated with floral papers. Round Teapot inlcudes sentiment from the Tea Time Digital Collection.

Large Round Teapot with simple spotty paper and stamped sentiment

Thanks for visiting!

Mother's Day - Remembering Mum

Posted on April 19, 2017 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, we have managed to survive Easter and the kids are long gone back to the place they need to be! With that, I am looking around my craft area and thinking about the next round of projects to be covered.


With Mother's Day approaching in the US and other places around the world (except the UK), I was planning a whole heap of projects and new templates but as you know I sadly lost my mother last year and quite frankly my heart just isn't in it.


My mother was very central in my life, as she was effectively a single parent, which made her extra special. She was also such a bright energy, full of fun, full of inspiration and a love of life and people.She was always my biggest fan and encouraged me in life to be whatever I wanted to be. Her beautiful spirit is still about me and I am sure she is watching from a better place. Her passing was a loss to so many people she helped in life and to the world in general, let alone her family left behind. Her birthday approaches in the next month as well as the anniversary of her passing, so I would prefer to spend time in reflection rather than pushing to get things done.


So I will be posting the projects but just over a different timescale and not primarily focussed on Mother's Day but just projects that you can make because you want to. This way, I don't feel under pressure to deliver and can take time to do things properly.


If you would like to leave a comment or a suggestion below please do!

Easter 2017 - Egg Carton Carrier

Posted on April 7, 2017 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

I love finding different ways to present a gift. This lovely little Egg Carrier is a different idea and is modelled on those coffee carriers you can get. I was carrying my coffee to the car with an extra cup for the beloved husband and realised that it would make a great way to hold small easter eggs.

So off I went to design a template. Actually, I designed several templates and the other ones will find their way onto the blog at some point in the future I am sure. For now, there is one template to try if you want to make one. You can find the template on the left hand side menu under Boxes.

You can make them in several different sizes to fit most sizes of small Easter eggs. Here is the side view so you can see how they fit.

That just about wraps it up for our projects this year. There were lots more in planning that never made it to the final stages but they will be held over for next time, so I hope you have enjoyed following the ones we have got to. That just leaves me to wish a very peaceful and happy Easter period to blog readers and visitors from Mementoes In Time!

Easter 2017 -Video Summary

Posted on April 6, 2017 at 12:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Thanks for joining us for our Easter craft projects this year. We got there in the end!


There is one more post tomorrow but for a summary of the different things we covered, you can watch here is our latest short video. Click the link below.

Easter 2017 projects

Easter 2017 - Twine Covered Easter Eggs

Posted on April 6, 2017 at 5:25 AM Comments comments (0)

I think Easter lends itself to the natural look really well. Twines, raffias, simple Spring flowers, all make us feel part of the season. Following on from our earlier project where we make some lovely little Easter twine baskets, here is another decorative idea for you to try. These look gorgeous hanging on a twig tree or if you like, just make them without the hangers and display them in a faux bird's nest.

Simply wind your twine around your polystyrene egg, securing the top with a know and a pin to hold it in place. Use a good glue for this. I am using white PVA glue here so that I can move the twine around until I am happy with the position. You will then need to leave it for a few hours to dry.

Carry on winding around, adjusting as you go. You don't want any of the white foam showing through, so it is worth taking care.

Now you are ready to decorate.

Here is a smaller one decorated with ribbon and some punched daisies

As simple bit of vintage lace to decorate this one

Hang them on a twig tree for a lovely natural Easter decoration. If you have a natural look tree, even better!

Easter 2017 - Mini Easter Boxes with Member's Template

Posted on April 5, 2017 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I absolutely adore making mini boxes, there is something deeply satisfying about making a box for some reason. Easter gifts are usually associated with baskets but boxes can make a nice change and can work well with most of the mini Easter eggs you can buy. These little boxes can be made with or without an aperture as shown in the demos. Use coloured papers or simple card, textured with an embossing folder. Add some stamped images, stickers or flowers to decorate.

I've made some really small ones here with some mini cards to go with them. Use these ones for flat chocolates or maybe some money. I love using the gingham papers for Easter and you don't have any, you can find some ginghams to use on the Member pages.

This little rabbit stamp is perfect for decorating the mini boxes

The mini cards feature simple and cute Easter themed images coloured with my lovely Copic Markers.

I will be posting the template for these boxes on the Member pages in the next day or so, so look for them there if you want to make your own! Join us again tomorrow for another project.

Easter 2017 - Gold Stippled Easter Eggs

Posted on April 4, 2017 at 2:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Today we have another decorated Easter Egg idea for you to try. I saw some lovely decorated eggs for sale in my local craft store and wanted to have a go and make my own, as I thought it would definitely be cheaper but more importantly, I was interested to see if I could recreate the effect myself.

Tip: Use bamboo skewers to hold the eggs while you paint them. You can pull them off afterwards or leave them in so that you can display them in a vase.

Tip: I found out quite by accident that pushing the skewers into my bucket of plaster of paris was the perfect way to let them dry without touching each other or smearing!

I spent a bit of time mixing my paint colours to get the exact ones I wanted. I had taken a photo of the ones in the store and used that to match it to. I was looking for a much more vivid colour than the usual pastel tones you find on Easter projects. This was actually quite a challenge but I think I got there more or less in the end. After letting them dry, you can then get out your gold paint and an old toothbrush and use this to dab on the eggs to get that lovely mottled pattern.

Here is a closer look at the finish which I think looks gorgeous and pretty near the same as the ones for sale at a fraction of the cost!

Easter 2017 - Flower Decorated Eggs

Posted on April 2, 2017 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Just a quick project idea for this post. If you like me have thousands of paper flowers lying around and want a quick but really satisfying project to use them up, then how about using them to cover a polystyrene egg. I think the effect is absolutely beautiful!

Use coloured pins to secure the flowers and overlap them a little so that you don't have the white of the egg showing through. As simple as it gets really but gorgeous nonetheless!

Thanks for joining us for our Easter projects 2017. I hope you are enjoying this series!

Easter 2017 - Exploding Easter Egg Box

Posted on April 2, 2017 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

This little Easter box contains a surprise within!

Once the lid is removed, it opens out to reveal some lovely Easter eggs inside!

This box card is made using our Exploding Box Card Template that you can find on the Template pages on the left menu. The template contains the basic box plus a range of different shapes to use inside, including hearts, stars, flowers and ovals.I am using the oval shape here to make the Easter Eggs.

The box template is designed to be made with heavy card/crafters chipboard so that it flops open when the lid is removed.  Actually,  I have used card here instead of chipboard as I wanted the box inserts to stay 'suspended' rather than open out and fall completely flat. You could add some Easter treats to the middle of the box or maybe one of those little fluffy chicks you can buy everywhere at this time of year.

Everyone does things differently and that is the beauty of crafting!

Easter 2017 - Egg Shaped Boxes with free Member template

Posted on April 1, 2017 at 12:10 PM Comments comments (0)

As my mother used to say, you can't go wrong with a gift in a box! Actually, I am not sure she did say that and she isn't here to contradict me anymore but nevermind, I will say it anyway!

So today, we are featuring a very quick but effective box project using a free template that you will be able to get on the Member pages. I won't be doing a full photo demo but you can see how the box goes together from the photo below.

Glue the side panel to form an egg shape and then fix this onto the base. You can then glue the top piece on or simply fix it very lightly with a tiny dob of glue and use a ribbon to hold the lid in place, as I have done.

This is a great time to use up those ribbons you have bought but are lying at the bottom of the drawer!

The template includes boxes in three different sizes. Fill with a small gift or some mini Easter eggs. I hope you are enjoying our Easter 2017 series. Do join us again for our final few projects coming up.


PS You may have noticed this is the second post today, as yesterday's one was missed. You would not believe the day I had yesterday, so I won't even begin to describe it but it did involve numerous car journeys, picking up a child who couldn't manage to open a train door at the right station and so ended up at another station further up the line, losing a purse, dealing with a relative in hospital etc etc...So today I am having a 'home day', with muffin and soup making and other domestic bliss chores!

Easter 2017 - Super Simple Easter Cards with free Backing Paper

Posted on March 31, 2017 at 11:45 PM Comments comments (0)

If you need to make some super quick Easter notelets, the easiest way is to simply use a piece of Easter themed paper.

You can find a free Easter backing paper sheet on the Member pages. Mix and match with different mounts to create a lovely pastel set of cards, or use the paper on your boxes and baskets. Happy Easter from Mementoes!

PS There will be a second blog post today to catch up from the one missed yesterday.

Easter 2017 - Sauce Pot Mini Easter Baskets

Posted on March 30, 2017 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Today we are making some absolutely gorgeous little mini Easter Baskets, using something very ordinary and giving it a real upcycle!

If you have read this blog before, you will remember that we have used these sauce pots in a few other projects for Christmas. These are the little pots that you can pick up for free in your local fast food outlet (that will remain nameless) or you can buy a job lot of them on Amazon .

I find them very useful for storing paint or glue when I am using those, as well as finding lots of crafty ways to put them to good use. They are perfect for making minature Easter Baskets. These are great for small, inexpensive gifts for lots of children, as they are pretty quick to make.

You can just paint or use paper to decorate your pots but for this project we are using twine to cover them. This is just the cheap, ordinary twine that you use in the garden. Use a good glue here. I am using a basic white glue as this is forgiving enough for me to move the twine around to get it where I want it before it dries.

Once dried, you can make a handle. I used strips of card of approximately 1.25cm by 13cm ( 1/2 inch by 5inches).

Tip: If your card is a bit stiff, try using a scissor blade to shape it and avoid creases on the handle.

Glue these to the inside of the pot. You can decorate with a strip of ribbon as I have done here or maybe just emboss the handle to give it some interest. I have added some lovely little punched daisies and a piece of raffia, as I really wanted the natural look here to go with my twine finish.

The baskets will take either a creme egg, Galaxy egg and similar, or mini eggs like Cadburys.

Thanks for joining us again. Drop by again for another project in our Easter 2017 series!

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