Mementoes In Time


Welcome to the Mementoes in Time Blog. This is where we post the latest news and chat on all things crafty, not just card-making. We just make projects we like and then share some of the templates with members. You can sign up for free to this site, there are no catches. Drop by often to see what is new and please do leave us a comment!

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Alcohol Ink Penny Washer Pendants

Posted on June 29, 2017 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (0)

I am loving this new section on the blog where we post recycled, upcycled and money saving ideas to do with crafts. As you know, the site deals mainly with templates but this doesn't mean that I don't like doing heaps of other things and basically, if I like it, I will try it!

So here are the boring, old, plain washers ready to be upcycled!

There are lot of different sizes out there with different sized holes. I am using the biggest I could find, which are known as M12 (35 mm diameter and 12 mm hole). You can use washers in different sizes and layer them up to create more interest but actually I just wanted to use single layer ones.

I just dabbed my alcohol ink with the blending tool all over the surface, aiming to get as interesting pattern as possible. The first few that I made were all in one colour, using different inks, for example, all blue, or all pink. These were nice but I eventually got more adventurous and turned out some nice mixes with contrasting colours.

These penny washer pendants are an old idea and I am most definitely late to the party on making these but who cares? I had such fun dabbing my cheapy little washers with different combinations of colours and let's face it, fashion goes around and around!

I loved the final effect on this one that is almost like it is flecked with gold.

You will need to seal your pendant to stop the inks rubbing or chipping off. You can create a raised pebble effect using something like Glossy Accents, or if you want to keep the colours a bit more 'true' and vivid, you can use a spray laquer. I tried both and acutally liked both, it just depends on the look you like the best.

You can hopefully see the difference here with the Glossy Accents finish on the right and the spray laquer on the left. You can lose definition with the Glossy Accents one but you get a lovely 3D finish which is much more like a proper jewellery piece.

I am so pleased with these and have made one in every colour to match all my t-shirts!!

I am assuming everyone knows how to assemble these into necklaces but if not, post me a comment below and I can put up a quick demo to show how to add the clasps and cord.

Technique Book Project using Homemade Texture Paste

Posted on June 28, 2017 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Ok, so today we are using the texture paste made in the last post to create a lovely cover for a book that will be where I want to store my samples for the distress inks and other things that I discover. I am using some precut covers from Zutter and I will be using my Bind it All to make up the book when I have finished.

Gently scrape the texture paste over your stencil, making sure that it is not too thin or too thick. You want a raised texture but you also want it even across the cover, so use a piece of card or an oil paint spatula or pointing trowel tool to do it.


Tip: Scrape off any paste that has gone over the edges of the cover before it dries and make sure you wash off any stencils right away, or else the texture paste can ruin them!

Here is the finished front cover for my journal, which I left to dry overnight.

Tip: The stencil is much smaller than the cover, so let each section dry before doing the next, so as not to smudge the wet paste. You can then line the next stencil up as much as possible to create a continuous pattern. It is quite difficult to do it perfectly and don't worry too much, as when you paint over it, any mismatches are not so obvious and add to the rough handmade charm of your project anyway!

I painted the cover with a black gesso, simply made with black paint added to my white gesso. In fact the final colour was more of a dark grey but I was very happy with this.

The gesso gives a completely flat matt appearance and really hides the pattern underneath, so I went in with some Metalic Lustre to bring out the beautiful texture. I am using Black Shimmer here, with a tiny little bit of the Silver to highlight here and there. Don't overdo the silver or you lose the aged look that you want.

I was very pleased with this effect and the photo does not do it justice in any way. Absolutely stunning!

For the back cover, I repeated the technique but with a different stencil.

Out comes the Bind It All to create a cover.

Here is the almost finished album. I am waiting for some corner protectors to come in the mail, which will finish it off nicely and I will post up another photo then so that I don't hold up this blog post. I am soooo happy with how this turned out and will be off to make some more in different sizes. The homemade texture paste we made in the last blog post worked so well and all for a fraction of the cost!

Make Your Own Texture Paste

Posted on June 27, 2017 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Texture paste is something I have come to love using more and more on my projects. There will be an upcoming post on a technique book that I made using texture paste on the cover and it worked beautifully!


Anyone who buys texture paste regularly knows how expensive it can be, so here is a recipe to make your own on the cheap! Actually, there are several recipes out there circulating on the web but this one I use works well enough for the projects I am doing at the moment. I made this batch for the equivalent of a couple of dollars.

Here is the recipe for Texture Paste that I use:

  • 2 parts baby talc/powder
  • 1 part white paint
  • 1/2 part white glue

So, if you are using cups, do 2 cups powder. 1 cup of paint, 1/2 cup white glue. I have scaled mine to make the amount that I want to keep for upcoming projects, so you can use any measuring cup or container you like but just use the proportions given above.


Tip: If you want a coarser effect to your texture paste, you can swap out the powder for some baking soda. I personally am happy with the smoother finish from using powder but of course it depends on the project that you are doing.

Stir well to mix and either add more powder or paint to get the consistency that you want to work with. You can then store the paste until you want to use it, I am using a plastic box with an airtight lid.

Alcohol Ink Decorated Bottles

Posted on June 26, 2017 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (0)

As you know, if you follow this blog regularly, we like to pick up all kinds of projects, not just papercraft. All things are an adventure to be discovered and today's project is an example of that....when you ask yourself, 'What if I did this, what will happen?'


I have to say I was so happy with the outcome, creating something so beautiful from something so ugly, so I hope you enjoy reading about it too!

I had a pile of these old brown bottles lying around due to go into the recycling collection, You know the type, the ones you get with cough medicines and the like in.

Obviously, you can't go in and decorate without sealing or priming the surface in some way, particularly with brown bottles, where nothing shows up, so i added some white gesso here mixed with some PVA white glue, in the hope of getting it to stick a bit better. I am not sure exactly how much but probably about 1/4 to 3/4 of glue to gesso but you could of course try it without.

Pick out your alcohol ink colours. This is the fun part and can be a bit hit and miss, although I do find alcohol inks very forgiving. Just dab the colours on in the normal way, using the blending tool and enough blending solution to give you an effect that you like.

Here you can see the first example, which I think turned out really nicely

The addition of some sitck on gems, also dabbed with the same alcohol ink colours, a ribbon and a sentiment, together with a few fresh flowers from my garden, makes a gorgeous gift for a friend, or to keep for yourself. Cover your bottle with some gloss varnish to make it a bit more sturdy, especially if you are making vases like I have done here.

Here are a few more in different colour schemes. You could simply make a collection for display, as they are so pretty!

Time for Tea, Teapots and Teacups Multi Template

Posted on June 19, 2017 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Our new Teapots template, was designed to be used with the teacup and saucer template and you can now get them both together as a multi buy on the template pages.


The Teapot template includes teapots in two styles and the larger sizes work with the second and third sized Teacups.

The small Teapot templates work best with the third sized Teacups!

Make Your Own Distress Ink Mini Ink Pads

Posted on June 19, 2017 at 1:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I hope all the fathers enjoyed their day yesterday and that they received lovely handmade cards and gifts to celebrate. As far as posting on the blog, it has been just too hot to do much in the craft room this last week or so, so I have been having a well deserved break. Today, I have a quick post done a while back on the theme of recycling again, which will do until I move onto doing some other things.


I love my Distress Ink Pads but in the past I have wanted to take a small craft kit with me when I travel and the normal ink pads are just too big. These little minis are a great alternative but if like me, you are on a budget, then you will always be looking for ways to get what you want at a discount!

I had these old ink pads that I had to throw away, as the ink pad foam itself had just disintegrated, making it impossible to use.

After measuring the size of the ink container, I am using the Ranger Cut N Dry Felt here to cut some squares and glued them in place with some solvent glue. You could use a hot glue gun I guess also.

A couple of droppers full of reinker in my favourite colour Tea Dye and you are ready to go!

I just punched some squares rubbed with the ink to make labels for my ink pads but you could make much flashier ones using the Distress Ink Swatches you can get on the Ranger website.

As you can see, the ink is exactly the same, so my mini ink pad is a success!

So now I have my favourite colours to hand taking up a fraction of the space.

Finding a Craft Use for Coffee Capsules

Posted on June 12, 2017 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Today, I thought I would share another handy tool that I use, which is a cheap and cheerful alternative.


I love coffee and since I got a coffee machine, I have found that the emply capsules are stacking up all over the place. I usually empty the coffee grounds on my compost heap and recycle the plastic inserts but I thought there has to be a use for the capsules themselves.

I am always looking for little pots to put glue and paints in and these are just the thing to use!

I've hot glue gunned the pots to an old CD which I can spin around when I am using multiple colours of paint and if you have the CD/DVD spindle, this makes a handy way to spin the pots around when you are working.

A Quick Tip - Using a Dog Hair Roller for Clearing Up Your Craft Area!

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

In the spirit of encouraging a sustainable world, I've decided to add a new category to the blog, entitiled Recycle, Upcycle and Frugal. I'll be posting any ideas or thoughts I have on reusing, or reycling household objects for use in your crafts, as well as any everyday things I come across that might be useful, which don't necessarily save money or the planet.


We have already featured lots of ideas in the past blog posts of this kind of course but never had a special category for them until now, so if you have any ideas you would like to add, or would like me to try or demo something out, then please comment below or on the Facebook page.

Top tip today is an obvious one but I have to say, I have found it so useful in cleaning up my craft area, especially after using glitters and embossing powders.


This neat little dog hair roller I found in my discount shop does the job nicely and also picks up little paper pieces from my paper trimmer and scissors. I got the roller plus four refills for just over the equivalent of a dollar. Cheap but very useful tool to have on your craft shelf.

I am usually out in the town covered in glitter, which I hope is why I get strange looks and not for any other reason, as it is almost impossible to clear up glitter completely but at least my craft mat should be clean!

All About Distress Oxide Inks (Part 14)

Posted on June 8, 2017 at 11:20 PM Comments 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.

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 13)

Posted on June 8, 2017 at 1:45 AM Comments 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.

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.

White Gesso

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!

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 12) Seven Ways To Use Distress Oxide Inks With Stencils Part Two

Posted on June 6, 2017 at 3:15 PM Comments 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!

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 11) Seven Ways To Use Distress Oxide Inks With Stencils

Posted on June 6, 2017 at 12:05 PM Comments 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

I've applied the ink directly to the stencil here

This gives quite a harsh image as shown on the left. Adding some more water gives a much nicer watercolour effect, as shown on the right.

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

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 10)

Posted on June 5, 2017 at 3:50 AM Comments 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?

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 9)

Posted on May 30, 2017 at 2:35 AM Comments 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!

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 Eight)

Posted on May 24, 2017 at 10:50 PM Comments 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.

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!

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 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!


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