Experimenting with Distress Inks

Hey everybody!  Yesterday I wanted to make something different.  I’d been exploring Tim Holtz’ blog (particularly the demo videos) and decided I wanted to try out some of his techniques, so yesterday I sat down with my small collection of Distress Inks to experiment.  Here are the two tags I came up with:



I started both tags using Tim’s wrinkle-free distress technique, then changed it up a little on the red tag by using his wrinkle distress technique.  I used walnut stain and mowed grass  on the first tag, and walnut stain plus red and black non-distress inks (I told you I have a small collection…) on the second tag.  Once I had the backgrounds just the way I wanted them, I started stamping.  First, I lightly brushed my walnut stain ink over my bird stamp to create a lighter image.  Then I stamped the dogwoods a few times using shaded lilac.  I grabbed a colored pencil and outlined a few of the flowers to make them pop.  Then I spritzed the whole tag with homemade Perfect Pearls mist, let the ink react for a few seconds, and heat set everything.  I stamped the sentiment in mowed green, covered it with clear embossing powder, and heat set that.  Finally the really neat part.  Check out this picture:

Green Tag


I stamped the swirly using squeezed lemonade, then brushed gold Perfect Pearls powder over the design.  I dusted off the excess powder, spritzed it lightly with the mist and heat set it immediately.  I love how subtle it is; you have to catch it in just the right light to see the swirly.  Very cool.

To finish up, I used my blending tool to add some walnut stain around the edges of the tag and onto my piece of twine.  I tied the twine around the tag and added the “sprout” and “thrive” dodallies (that’s an official term), sticking everything down with glue dots, and dotted some glossy accents in the centers of my dogwoods.  Lastly, I inked up a piece of plain white ribbon to make it match the rest of the tag and tied it at the top.

The red tag was less involved.  After inking up the tag, I ran a piece of paper through my Cuttlebug using Tim Holtz’ Queen of Hearts embossing folder.  I trimmed it down and inked it up, layered it over a piece of black paper, distressed the edges, ta-da!  I found the “sweetheart” vellum somewhere in my stash, tore up the edges, layered it over black, tore up those edges, spritzed it with another homemade Perfect Pearls mist (different color than the one I used on the green tag), and stuck it on using foam dots.  I dirtied up the piece of twine, tied it around the tag, strung the heart charm on there, and put some glue in strategic places to keep everything where I wanted it.  I made myself a little gear and arrow embellishment, grabbed a heart paper clip thing from my stash, and put them on the tag.  Finally I inked up a piece of red satin ribbon for the finishing touch.

Red Tag


Phew!  Kind of involved, hope you weren’t overwhelmed!  This grunge-ish style is quite the departure for me, but it was fun to play with all the inks and mists and powders to create a custom background.  Leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts!

A Belated Birthday

Hey everybody!  Today’s post is dedicated to something many of us are familiar with– the belated birthday wishes.  Everybody’s missed someone’s birthday and sent belated wishes, myself included.  I am particularly bad about getting things in the mail on time, even if I have the card made and ready for the post office.  It’s almost a better idea for me to make only “Happy Belated Birthday” cards instead of normal “Happy Birthday” cards.  So, with that in mind, I came up with this little gem: (again, poor photography.  That camera can’t get here soon enough!)

Photo Jan 27, 3 03 21 PM

This card measures 4″x5.5″ and features the most adorable little bumblebees ever to be found!  They were just chilling in my stash waiting to be used.  I figured I’d stick with the classic bee color scheme, and I threw in some grey for kicks and giggles.  I stamped and embossed the background, layered it over plain black card stock, and pulled it together using tiny yellow brads.  The sentiment is actually one “Happy Birthday” stamp divided in half (just cover the part you’re not using at the moment with some scotch tape) and individual letters from 2 different sets stamped one at a time to create the “BEE-lated.”  All heat embossed, of course.  Finally, to pull the whole card together, I put this little guy on the inside:

Photo Jan 27, 3 04 52 PM

And of course there’s ample room to explain why you missed the birthday in the first place 😉

Let me know if you like this card!  And don’t forget to comment on Monday’s post for a chance to win the featured tag!  You only have until 5 PM EST this evening to get your comments in!  Then don’t forget to tune in on Thursday to see who wins 🙂

Create Your Own Background Paper

Hello, hello!  Today’s project is a response to Moxie Fab World’s Make Your Own Background Paper challenge.  For the most part I use patterned paper or dry embossing to make my backgrounds interesting, so this challenge was a refreshing way to get me to think outside the box.  I’m really pleased with the resulting card:

I used a whitewashed green piece of core’dinations card stock and stamped the same image several times using VersaMark.  I actually stamped the images one at a time and used different colored embossing powders to make the alternating pattern.  It was a little time consuming, but I wanted to get the spacing right and also make sure I didn’t mix my powders.  I decided also to add the rhinestones for just a little extra something, but next time I’ll probably use glitter glue and get a little more sparkle in there.

So there you go!  Feel free to enter your own background paper by following this link ; entries will stop being accepted on February 3rd.  Have fun!