Saturday, March 31, 2012

Creative Chemistry 101- Kraft Resist with Distress Stain ReDo

 I tried my hand at the Kraft resist technique again.  The background was layered with Distress Stain and then blended with Distress Inks.  The dragonfly and floral background were stamped with Archnival Ink.  Although I still did not have Picket Fence Distress Stain, I did use a white opaque pigment ink.  The result was a very distressed/worn look.   The Kraft resist does show through, though not as brightly.  I did find me some Picket Fence and I plan to give this technique one more try.


Creative Chemistry 101- Stamping with Distress Stains a practiced result

I went back through some of my techniques to give them another try.  This tag was made with Distress Stains and Archival Ink.  My first trys were here.  This one turned out so well that I just had to post it.  Once again the friend connection paid off as all of these stamps are from my best friend, Brandy.  I just love the colors and blending which match so well to the stamp.  This tag will find its way into something.  I like it best.


Creative Chemistry 101- Rusted Enamel Technique

The technique demonstrated here is the rusted enamel technique.  This super simple technique provides a wealth of texture and depth of color that I previously had not achieved with the whole distressed look.  Maybe I just had to wait for the "simple" technique. :)

Distress ink is applied to the entire surface.  As quickly as it is applied, the surface is coated with clear embossing powder.  The back of the tag is flicked with your finger to dislodge random areas of embossing powder which creates that lovely texture.  The powder is melted using a heat gun and then the color is enhanced with the Ink Blending Tool and Distress Inks (mostly Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain).  I can see this on a paper mache boxes to hold gifts, on the face of cards, etc.  Love, love, love this technique.


Creative Chemistry 101- Nostalgic Batik Technique

The nostalgic batik technique involves embossing.  I have done some embossing before and really like the accent that it provides. I have found the use of the brighter colors a little of a mystery with the Distress color palette.  The nostalgic batik technique allows those bright colors to pop out, but retains the rustic flavor of distress.   

This first tag was made by stamping the floral image with Broken China and quickly covering with clear embossing powder.  After heating and melting the embossed image, the tag was distressed using the Ink Blending Tool and the Distress Inks. Then the shadow/background images were stamped using Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink.  The blue Broken China just pops right off the page!
This tag turned out to be a happy accident.  I embossed with white embossing powder without knowing it.  The bright white pops equally as well as the Broken China behind the clear embosssing powder.  Although this tag is not as well executed, this is something I will be exploring more later.  More techniques to practice, yeah me!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Creative Chemistry 101- Stamping with Markers Technique

Of all the uses Tim demonstrated with the Distress Markers, this is one of my favorites.  I have a limited supply of "solid" stamps for which this technique works best, but I found a few that provided interesting results.

The technique involves using the Distress Markers to color onto the stamp and then subsequently stamp the image on paper.  This allows great flexibility in the image color and very detailed results.  The key tricks include starting with lighter markers- since the dye is translucent it is very difficult to see lighter colors over darker ones.  If you get the balance wrong there is little to "go back" and fix if all the darker colors are on while if the light color is wrong, the darker colors will cover.  The last tip or trick is that the inks are activated by water.  Thus, the markers can dry while you apply (I'm a slow colorer because of my insecurity I think).  All you need to do is huff hot breath (yes, literally from your mouth) over the stamp before stamping. 

This first image is a crown stamp.  The image on the left is the first image using the colored stamp (first generation).  The image on the right is the second image (second generation) using the same colored stamp without applying more ink.  Although there is a slight deterioration in the image quality, it is very small.  Cool, huh?

The rose stamp created my favorite result.  This stamp was colored with three different greens and three different red/pinks.  The paper was ultimately shaded using the Ink Blending Tool and Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  Very nice results if I do say so myself.

A repeat with blue markers created a lovely result and the aggressive Ink Blending Tool use "ruined" this lovely image.  I'm seeing some fussy cutting in my future....

Finally, this piece was created using the same technique and finishing with the spritz and flick technique (spraying water into your hand and flicking the water in a random way onto the distress inked surface).  Nice effect, but I like the clean version slightly better.  This card is also an example of the first generation (left image) and second generation (right image) images.  I'm off to catch up on loading some more images of my practice effort.  The homework for this class is (luckily!!!) never ending!


Creative Chemistry 101- Blending with Distress Markers

In an effort to continue trying to color, I attempted Tim's technique with the Distress Markers and a waterbrush.  This technique differs only slightly from the previous technique in that instead of using the markers to fill in and blend directly on the paper, a waterbrush is used to draw the color across the watercolor paper.  This image is my feable attempt to replicate the technique.  I think part of my difficulty is the type of watercolor paper that I've selected.  I think that the paper is too "cheap" (rural Minnesota raised tendancies... they seep into everything).  I intend to get some quality watercolor paper and attempt this again (with Brandy's gracious lending of markers again!). 



Creative Chemistry 101- Watercoloring with Distress Markers

This technique involved using the Distress Markers.  I had to borrow the markers since I didn't have a set of my own yet.  Good thing Brandy is so generous (and such a great friend).  She generously shared them and I tried (oh how I tried) to watercolor and blend. 

This example is my first pathetic attempt.  I am thinking the green ladybug isn't horrible, but the others might be.  You can also see where I used the red to "alter" the green marker and the evidence of the marker's ability to "self-clean" is demonstrated.  I just dipped the tip of the peeled paint marker into the fire brick red scribbled onto my craft sheet and the result was a deeper, more olive green.  As I scribbled across the page you can see how the red comes out and the marker returns to a peeled paint color.

More sunflowers, these maybe are a little more blended proving that practice does help even though they are still proof that I'm not a colorer.  Maybe part of the problem is that I don't have a specific inspired project or idea.  This is a technique to file away and pull out for just the right occassion. 



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Creative Chemistry 101- Stamping with Distress Stains

This technique involved using Distress Stains.  The stains are a liquid version of the Distress Inks.  I think I prefer the stains for creating that background distress look.  They apply a greater quantity of ink quickly and my fat fingers find the technique easier to execute.  With the stains, you can swipe the ink across the tag directly (rather than on the craft mat as with the wrinkle free technique).   Here's my results.

The tag on the left was created applying the stain from the dauber directly on the tag.  You see my limited color palette again, but the bird stamp just makes this card.  The swirls were stamped with sepia archival ink and the bird is black archival ink.

The tag on the right was actually created by swiping the stain from the daubers on the craft mat and wiping the tag through the ink.  I like the streaks through the background.  In this case, all images were created using the sepia archival ink.  Not as bold, but a different effect altogether.  I am having so much fun, I almost can't stand it!  The class probably doesn't provide loads of information that is not available free on Tim's youtube channel.  The class does provide discipline (if I paid for it my Minnesota cheap won't let me "waste" that money) and also the inspiration of seeing hundreds of other interpretations of the same instructions/techniques. Access can be purchased after the class is completed and you have the same access to content that those of us have going through it "live".  Check it out over at Online Card Classes- Creative Chemistry 101.


Creative Chemistry 101- Stained Kraft Resist Technique

I had seen Tim Holtz Kraft Resist paper. As much as I liked the idea, I couldn't figure out what I would do with it.  The darkness of the Kraft paper base.  The lack of standout with the resist.  What was this all about?  Of couse, Day 5 of the class provided some clues as Tim instructed us in the use of Distress Stains.  His technique involved using Picket Fence Distress Stain.  Picket Fence is an opaque pigment ink and provides as solid base upon which to build color using the Distress Stains.  Now, I spent the better part of this weekend looking around town trying to find me some Picket Fence Distress Stain.  Since none was to be found,  I went ahead to give it a try without the white opaque. 

The results are quite dark.  But, they are unique and I thought these birdy stamps would make a nice result and I think they did.  You can see where the second  tag was made upside down (the resist numbers run the wrong way).

Still the technique resulted in a cute and fun product.  Now, off to find me some Picket Fence.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Creative Chemistry 101- Layered Misting Technique with Distress Ink Re-inkers

This technique involved filling a Mini-Mister with some of the Distress Re-Inker and water and using the resulting sprays much like a Glimmer Mist.  Here's the results of my effort.

The idea is that a mist of color is put down in the background and a mask/stencil is used to spray a color over the top.  Again, my limited color selection really kept me from doing this technique well.  The darker colors bleed and blend (you know- the fabulous part about the Distress Inks).  Still, the nondescript part of the background makes it unique. 

I just might have to practice this one some more to perfect the technique.  I've used the Glimmer Mist for other projects and have enjoyed their result.  This seems much the same and therein lies the attraction. 


Creative Chemistry 101- Watercolor Technique Using Distress Ink Re-inkers

One of day 4's techniques involved using Distress Re-inkers (you know, the bottles of ink with droppers to add ink to dry ink pads?) as a type of water color medium.  First let me disclose- I am not a "colorer" (Tim's term which fits right into my world view!).  While Brandy has enthusiastically and quite successfully embraced the Copic marker phenom, I have resisted.  My capabilities of coloring began and quite abruptly ended with 3rd grade art.  I've never thought of myself as particularly artistic.  So the thought of using a water brush and "painting" the Re-Inker on a stamp image was daunting.  Have a look at my first go and laugh out loud.  That's what I did! 

So, when Brandy and I got together this weekend to craft I humbly requested to borrow some supplies.  Surprisingly, with the right stamp (simple is better for us non-colorers) and a little more variety in the colors of re-inker available, I was able to create something a little more resembling cute.

This dress was colored with Brick Red, Rusty Hinge, and Antique Linen Re-Inkers.  A much more acceptable result.

The second tag used Broken China, Brick Red and Antique Linen Re-Inkers.  Yeah, a non-colorer actually producing something worth keeping.  Hooray!


Monday, March 26, 2012

Creative Chemistry 101- Archival Resist Technique

Day 3 of class centered around archival inks.  The second technique involved using Archival Ink to create background images that are then layered with Distress Inks to create unusual backgrounds.  Since I have such a wonderful friend who is willing to share supplies, I created today's stamped images using her Hero Arts It's a Parade stamp. 

Both tags used the same background stamp from my CTMH stash.  The background stamp is a solid block with polka dots.  The stamp is an acrylic stamp and I didn't use a block, but instead free-handed the stamped image using brown and red Archival Ink and didn't use the entire stamped image in any one spot.  A quick pass with the heat tool to dry the Archival Ink and I applied Distress Inks (in this case I used pink, blue, green and yellow) by swiping the pad across the tag.  The Archival Ink resists the Distress Ink and creates the lovely background look. 
The Hero Art silouette stamp seemed to capture just the right look to finish off in black Archival Ink.  The second tag was an attempt to change the background colors and see what the results look like.  The tag definately needed to bright yellow and green to make that background pop right out.  I'm off to do more experimenting in the chemistry lab!


Creative Chemistry 101- Alcohol Ink Agates

I am most assuredly enjoying the Creative Chemistry class.  One of the lessons included two techniques I didn't have the supplies for- Archival Resist and Stamping with Reflections.  I actually placed an online order for the Ranger Archival Ink, but the shipment hasn't yet arrived.  This means that creating resist images with Archival Ink and then using Distress Re-inkers as watercolor tools for coloring the image is beyond my supply capabilities.  Additionally, Tim shared some tips for using the Reflections stamps from Stampers Anonymous.  Hey- I can't own everything, can I?

What I did have the supplies for was the Alcohol Ink Agates.  This technique uses the Ink Blending Tool and alcohol inks to create a multicolored surface- basically making your own background paper.  The paper used is glossy cardstock.  I used multiple colors (more than 5 for each and up to 11 for the darker purple version) of alcohol inks and rubbing alcohol for the technique.  You can find similar instruction searching Google, though I have to admit that the class video is very personal and casual.  Here's the three tags created during my practicing:

The first tag produced the brightest background.  I used four different medallion stamps to create the black stamped images.

The next tag ended up being my favorite.  This has to do with the rich green background.  The stamped image is a square medallion stamp repeated over the surface.

The last tag is what I would term a fail.  The colored background is pretty enough and I was surprised at the yellow color that came out using the Vintage Photo Distress Ink pad to highlight the edges.

This is a technique that I have exercised before.  Even so, I still like the style and the shiny result.  I hope you are enjoying the techniques and the results. too!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Hunger Games

My children have been chirping to me to read the Hunger Games.  A couple months back I decided I probably should read the book if nothing else than to see what it was about.  I like to keep track of what my kids are reading and I secretly enjoy the chit chat with my teenagers when we've read the same book.  They reveal more of themselves than they intend or something.  So, when I read and thoroughly enjoyed the book, the pressure shifted from me to my husband.  During a recent vacation trip, Dan joined the ranks of those who have read the book. 

All that to say that this weekend transformed into a Hunger Games focused "event".  My daughter decided to invite three friends and we all (which included another set of parents, Dan and myself, my son Tim and Katie with her three friends) traipsed over to theater yesterday.  I couldn't let the event go without some craftiness, could I?

 I made these pendants for each of the girls.  The antique brass pendant was purchased at the local Hobby Lobby store.  I simply printed off the mockingjay logo and cut it out to fit into the pendant.  The entire thing was covered with Crystal Accents.  You can see this particular pendant has a couple of air bubbles.  That's error on the part of the maker... I should have had a pin close to pop those very early on in the application of the Crystal Accents.  These took over 8 hours to dry, but easy and simple result that thrilled my set of 13 year old girls.

You can see where the ink bled after application of the Crystal Accents in the pendant on the upper left.  More error on the part of the maker.  I added a jump ring and leather cord to finish the pendants off.  Overall, they are very cute.

After the movie, we returned to my house for a feast.  Here they are, about to start.

 Dinner consisted of an Orange Chicken over rice that mimicked the meal shared by Katniss and Cinna when they first met (in the book, of course).  The biscuit you see is an imagined version of the kind of drop biscuits Katniss and Prim would have eaten in their poverty.  The peas were a last minute add in order to have some color on the plate (and something to eat in case the orange chicken wasn't tasty).  All the girls finished what was on their plates.  Maybe (!?) that means it was good?

Dessert was an Apple-Goat Cheese Tart similar to what Petta would eat once they went stale in the bakery.  Ours weren't stale, but fresh from the oven and I think they were actually the hit of the dinner party. 

I was one tired girl after all this festivity.  It was certainly worth it because I think we had four happy girls at the end as well.  This, my friends, is what we live for!  I hope you have a chance to see the movie and, if not, that you might try the recipes yourself.  They are different from our normal, everyday food.  They were delicious!


Creative Chemistry- Wrinkle Free Distress Technique

I am woefully behind in posting my work from the Creative Chemistry online class with Tim Holtz.  Here's the work on the wrinkle free distress technique. 

This technique involves swiping Distress Ink pads on the craft mat, spritzing the inks with water and daubing the tag into the inks in random ways to create the final look. 

The result is eclectic and rich in color.  The edges of the tage were further distressed by applying ink using the Ink Blending Tool.

This second tag used much brighter colors along with the standard blues and browns that I already own.

One key learning from this technique is that I really would love to own all of the Distress Ink colors in order to pull out of these inks a richness of color all my own.  Alas, this will not be.  So, I will look for ways to stretch the stash I already own and borrow from good friends (like Brandy) when I need something I don't already own.  Until then, I am thoroughly enjoying my online class, the freedom to try something new (I need an online class for the permission!) and the focus on my paper crafting for a little while.  It is all very refreshing.



Friday, March 23, 2012

Creative Chemistry 101- Brushless Watercolor Technique

Still trying to catch up on posting my homework practices for my Creative Chemistry 101 class with Tim Holtz.  This technique was a little harder for me.  I'm too much of a perfectionist.  I obsessively, precisely stamp images, often making them uneven in my zeal.  So, this technique challenged me.  I think you are seeing the product of my 8th attempt.  I think I finally made something and I really like the idea.  I guess that means I'll need to do more practicing.

 The technique involves applying different colors of Distress Ink to the stamp.  After that, you spritz the stamp (holding it flat so the ink doesn't run) with water.  The trick for me involved using more water and then
lightly placing the stamp onto the watercolor paper.  I mostly applied too little water (I don't want to ruin the stamp effect ?!?) and too much pressure (see comment above, anxiety driven need for the perfect stamped image!!!).  Patience was the key and after several (8) attempts, I found just the right combination.  The finishing touches included applying some Distress Ink around the edges and tearing the bottom paper.  I don't want to take any credit for the techniques in my practice samples.  Remember, I've just followed Tim's instructions.  Even using his suggestion to pick up water on the torn edge and let the water wick along the paper to create the cool water color effect for the "ground" in my image.  The watercolor paper was mounted to a Kraft paper tag cut using the Cricut and Picturesque cart.  This is a technique I will need to spend more time with to perfect my skill.  Still, the learning was fun and will definately be added to the repretoire.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Creative Chemistry- Blend and Spritz Technique

Well, here I am trying to squeeze into this Thursday a post of the work I've accomplished during my designated class time for Creative Chemistry 101 online card class.  I've been thoroughly enjoying myself and, though the results are currently very plain, I am pleased with the results of my practicing.  Today I thought to share Tuesday class homework- the blend and spritz technique using Distress Ink and the Ink Blending Tool

The technique involves multiple Distress Ink pads and using the blending foam on the Ink Blending Tool.  Multiple colors of ink are applied in a circular motion on the tag, layering the colors to blend and create the visual effect you see.  After the desired color combination is acheived, water is flicked onto the surface creating the water drop effect.  I do have a limited selection of Distress Inks, so my color combinations are somewhat limited.  Here's some close ups:

This tag was cut from Kraft paper using the Picturesque cart on my Cricut.  The effect creates a darker look since the start is a darker paper.

The next two cards were made on a basic office supply manila tag.  You can see where the effect creates a different backdrop for those water droplets.

Either way, I'm pleased.  It sure takes little to please me, just carving out the time to spend with my stash and some online card class videos.  If you haven't tried it, I would suggest you do.  Check them out at Online Card Classes