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Monday, April 16, 2012

Kill Your Monday Blues with Hils Hints: All Things Distress Part 1

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All Things Distress

Part 1 
Distress Inks, and why they are so special

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Hi, and welcome to the first in a new technique series for Scrap’n’Crop, featuring Tim Holtz’s well-known line of distress products.  

If you’ve not heard of these before, these are a line of products made by Ranger Inks, and the brainchild of much-sought-after artist and teacher Tim Holtz. 

They include distress inkpads, distress stains, distress embossing powders, distress Stickles, distress crackle paint and – the latest addition to the line - distress markers.  They are great for giving a vintage, old, and – well, distressed, look to your projects.  That doesn’t mean it always has to be dark and gloomy colours though – the 36 colours in the palette include lots of bright colours too.


I’m kicking off the All Things Distress series with a look at the distress ink pads.  These have been on the market for a good few years now, and when they first came out the only colours were different shades of brown!  But despite their limited colour range, they soon became a huge hit, and before long more and more colours were added to the product line.

So – what makes them so special?  Quite simply, it is their ability to blend together, and to react with water – it doesn’t sound like much, but that is what makes them unique, and produces such fantastic results.  They are so versatile that there are many techniques you can try just with the inkpads alone.  We’re going to start off with a simple blending and wetting technique, perfect for making backgrounds.


What Do You Need?
A craft sheet (Ranger’s is best – I’ll explain why in a future blog post)
Paper – I have used a Ranger manila tag, but you can use whatever you have to hand.
Distress inks
Ink blending tool
Blending foam
Water

{Items can be purchased at Scrap-n-Crop.com HERE}


For this technique, I have used four colours – Broken China, Shabby Shutters, Wild Honey and Fired Brick.  But you can use as many or as few distress ink colours as you like – play around with them, try out some different colour combinations and have fun!

Instructions:

With your blending foam on your blending tool, tap on the surface of your ink pad a few times.  Then, start to blend the ink onto the paper.  Do this by starting OFF the paper, on the craft mat, and use a circular motion to gradually bring the ink onto the paper.  Doing this ensures a nice, smooth gradient, and avoids what can look like stamped, blending-tool-sized rectangles on your paper!  Keep adding ink to the paper until you are happy with the shade – the more you add, the more intense the colour will get.



Add more colours to the paper, one at a time.  I advise using a separate piece of blending foam for each colour, or at least each colour family.  However, the foam won’t contaminate your ink pads, so if you only have one piece, that’s fine.  You can wash and re-use the foam if you wish.

Keep adding the colours until you are happy with the way it looks.

You can leave it as it is, or you can add water for a more distressed look.  You can spray water on it using a mini mister or similar – this gives a subtle, mottled effect.  Or you can flick water on with your fingers, as I have done.  Actually, I got a bit carried away, as you can see by the size of some of the blobs!  I don’t mind though, it’s all part of the fun of distressing. 

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That’s it – you now have a beautiful background that you can add embellishments to, journal on, stamp on – whatever you like!

If you have any questions about this technique, or about anything else scrappy-related, please ask in the comments section below – I’ll be happy to help, and who knows, it might give me an idea for a whole new blog post!
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Handy tip
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Inky fingers?  Wash them with some cheap shampoo, it should get most of the colour out.

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1 comment:

sha muhamad said...

Beautiful work..nice post on how to use the ink distress

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