Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Delights of Distress Inks

I know its been a while again ::sigh::, I may have been quiet on the blogging front, but I've most definitely still been crafting and collecting new card making stash as well as experimenting with new techniques and making my own products like texture embossing paste and shimmer mists, but the best fun I've had by far is my new found love of distress inks.

Over the past few months I've discovered new uses for distress inks and have found a joy inside for creating very colourful blocks of paper that can be turned in to cards either of backing papers or die cut into shapes. It all started with adding some ink to the edges of toppers and sentiments back in March, then I started to add the ink directly to embossed cards either by rubbing the pads along the raised embossed area, or by using the distress inking tool. The effect was pretty but I hadn't at that point discovered that the effect would be even better if water was added to the ink.

Keeping to neat distress ink for a time I'd seen some people using distressing tools and some even used the edges of scissors to created shredded edges to backing papers and card edges to create a distressed look. So I bought myself a distress tool and quickly discovered how much fun could be had distressing edges to give a totally different look to the cards I created.

It's incredible to think that something so simple could have such a different effect on the cards I make and with so many colours of distress ink available you can use them with any colour scheme. I currently have 24 large distress ink pads and 12 mini pads which allow me to create a lot of different effects.

I then progressed to using distress inks to create textures like the wood-grain effect below, I inked up a wood effect embossing folder with walnut stain distress ink and embossed to give the dark lines and then I applied vintage photo over the top and using the walnut stain to darken the edges of the pieces. The effect is pretty good if I do say so myself, using this technique has awoken a creative side that wants to experiment more with natural images and textures. Leaves and wood seem to be the latest area of exploration and flowers are also being created. I already have a ton of ideas with wood effect and leaf effect textures in a few different colour ways and can't wait to get started.

My next area of distress ink exploration changed my game plan as far as future card making is concerned. Creating coloured backgrounds using distress inks and water using water colour paper gives you some of the most vibrantly coloured images I've seen. I admit its messy, my fingers and nails have been every shade of the rainbow over the past few weeks but the results are amazing.

The type of paper you use gives different results, the best effects are with water colour card, and I've recently used water colour paper from a Crimson & Black 230gsm watercolour pad from 'The Works' that cost me £3 for 18 sheets that can be cut down to make 36. I've also used 250gsm white card and that gives a less textured look but takes a lot longer for the card to dry than water colour, but in my opinion water colour card/paper gives the best results the ink sinks and raises with the watercolour card texture, naturally creating the stippled effect texture you can see in the dark blue starry background.
Sunset Fairy
Moonlight Fairy
I've used the technique to colour pieces of card in several shades of one colour and then die cut out shapes, like the Christmas trees above and the ivy leaves in the main picture. It's also been used to create backgrounds for cards that have then been stamped with a silhouette stamp and had die cuts added to them like the two fairy cards shown here. Yesterday evening I created a series of backgrounds in Christmas colours for use in several new card projects, I've made some more purple and orange backgrounds for making into notelet and thank you cards as well. I love the fact that I can generate my own colour backgrounds, and yes I love the messy aspect, but in the end even though I try to control the process, the water, ink and paper work on an almost magical level, you can guide them, but ultimately they will control the finished result.

I'll do a step by step article to creating a distressed background soon, its really very simple and effective.

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Thanks for your comments on my cards and posts, they are very much appreciated, I'll get back to you as soon as I can if a reply is required. Hugs - Debs x