Thursday, 21 June 2012

Distress Stains and Distress Ink Pads

Hello all in blog-land, I hope this finds you well?

As a complete beginner to mixed media and art journaling, i just 'had' to go to a taster class at my favourite place Art From The Heart.! !

I have used Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads and Distress Stains before, but only for stamping images ...gasp, i hear you cry!!..
I had no idea of the results you could achieve with these pads, just by using a few different techniques, however, i had never used Distress Stains before.

Using Ranger Manilla Tags to work on, i started to play as I wanted to see exactly what these products could do.
The inks and stains are water based, which means that they react to water. For  example, If you press one of the pads onto your craft mat to transfer some colour onto it, then get a paintbrush, you are able to 'paint' with them. By doing this you are in charge of how light or dark you want your colour to be.

To apply the ink without getting streaks, lines or unsightly marks where you really don't want them; it is best to use an Ink Applicator
Simply pick the colour up off the ink pad with the foam from the applicator and start making small circles on your craft mat, next to the tag you are working on.  Then slowly begin to drag the colour on to the edges of the tag.  By keeping the applicator on the craft mat, it ensures that you get the smoothest layer of ink on your piece of work. You can then keep going over it until you get the desired effect you were looking for. 
Once you have completed your background, you can try some effects with water.  As long as you have applied enough ink, these ideas should work.

Hopefully you can make out on these images the pale areas on the tags.  The yellow tag was made by placing a stencils over the background colour and lightly spraying water through it.  Remove the stencil and leave the water on for a few seconds (up to 10 usually works), then blot the tag with some kitchen paper. Because the water has reacted with the ink pad, it has lifted the colour out of the background.  The amazing Dyan Reaveley calls this technique 'ghosting', and you can see why.

The other two tags had a slightly different effect.  I did this by spraying water at the tag from an angle and then just leaving it react. Again, after a few seconds, blot with the kitchen paper.  You can also get a similar effect by spraying water into the palm of your hand, and flicking the water from a height on to your tag.  This makes a lovely 'raindrop' effect.

I was pleased with this tag, as I combined as many of the techniques as i could on to it.
I blended three colours together for the background, using Tim Holtz Distress Summer Ink Pad Set, the colours are so striking.  I then used the distress pad to stamp on some background images before I spritzed water on to it.  The amount of depth these different layers create is amazingly effective, and it is so much fun.

I was surprised to find out that you can use the same techniques with the Distress Stains. You can paint with them, ghost with them and 'splatt' with them, the only difference is that they are not ideal to stamp with as they are a liquid.


These last two tags show the splats and the coloured backgrounds using the Distress Stains.  I love the effect the splats have on these tags, they give them another dimension and further texture.
I learnt a lot today, and had so much fun... I look forward to many more inky days...
Happy Blogging x


  1. As a beginner the tags you have made are lovely and the blog very professional

  2. Dear Gem,
    Reno,your dog,and I, both think your blog is wonderful ,with so much colour and detail that other journalers could follow exactly all you do. As a teaching aid,it works very well,allowing anyone to see exactly how you have worked,step by step--very useful .
    You've made good friends in your classes and that has been important.We are so pleased ,back at home--well done and keep journaling.
    Paul and Reno xxxxxxx

  3. Lovely examples of the different techniques!!! Looks like you have taken to Blogging no problem - well done!!! xxx