May 232015
 

I don’t go to my local scrapbook store, Memory Bound, every week (although I think about it!), but I visited the store Friday evening after I received an e-mail that announced some new Tim Holtz products had arrived. If you’ve been reading my posts here, then you know already that I am a Tim Holtz fan. I use his Distress ink stamp pads, some of the Distress ink markers and paints, own all three of his technique books, and have many of his paper cutting dies and other paper crafting tools.

Tim Holtz Distress Products

The items described in the Memory Bound e-mail included the Tim Holtz Distress Refresher, Distress Sprayer, Distress Micro Glaze, and DIY Distress Ink Pad, all of which are described on Tim Holtz’ Web site HERE. I was pretty sure I could use the first three products, but wasn’t sure about the DIY Distress Ink Pad. Here’s what I learned about these accessories, designed to work with the Tim Holtz Distress line of products. If you’re unfamiliar with the inks, their main advantage is that they are water-reactive and that you can create interesting and beautiful blending effects with them.

The Tim Holtz Distress Refresher is an essential accessory if you use Distress ink stamp pads, markers or paints because it prolongs the life of your products. It is made of a mixture of water and gel, designed to moisturize and condition your stamp pads, the brush tips of your markers, and the foam applicator tops of your paint bottles. When your stamp pad begins to get dry, you don’t necessarily need to re-ink it, but can instead spray the pad once or twice with Distress Refresher, then close the lid and wait about five minutes to let the liquid soak in. For the markers, do the same: spray once or twice, cap the marker, and wait five minutes before using. Spray your non-stick craft mat once or twice with the Distress Refresher, turn your Distress Paint bottle upside down, and swish the foam applicator in the liquid a few times, cap it, and once more, wait five minutes.

Tim Holtz Distress Refresher

The Tim Holtz Distress Sprayer is an empty spray bottle, but not an ordinary one. Tim Holtz points out in his video, Distress Sprayer, that every sprayer is different, which is why you don’t always get the same results he does in his tutorials or trade show demonstrations. The Tim Holtz Distress Sprayer is designed specifically to hold water (although you could technically mix up your own colored or glitter sprays), and has a button in the trigger head that blocks water flow if you want to pack the bottle in a bag and not have it leak. When you depress the trigger fully, the sprayer releases a fine, even spray. If you depress the trigger partially, it releases water clumplets, which create a specific blending effect that’s different from when you use a fine spray. The bottle holds four ounces of water, where many other brands of craft spray bottles hold two ounces.

Tim Holtz Distress Sprayer

Tim Holtz Distress Micro Glaze sells in a one-ounce jar and is my favorite new accessory of the four described in this post. Inside is a paste-like product that reminds me of wax. The purpose of this product is to prevent Distress inks from reacting with water once your work of art is finished. Tim Holtz says the product is the result of a collaboration between Ranger Ink and Skycraft, the original maker of the micro glaze.

Tim Holtz Distress MIcro Glaze

You put a little bit on your fingertip, and rub it into any porous surface, let it dry, and then buff off the excess with a clean cloth or paper towel. A little bit goes a long way. You can use Distress Micro Glaze with any of the Tim Holtz Distress products, but also with any watercolor products, markers that react with water, inkjet-printed art, and basically anything that needs to be water-resistant. If you visit the Skycraft About page, it describes even more uses for the petroleum-based, acid-free product with a slight citrus-y scent. You can even use it to make leather stain-resistant, on metals to prevent rust and corrosion, and on wood to protect and polish it. A little while ago I wrote a post about an address book I created that featured a watercolor effect on the cover using Distress inks. I hadn’t listed it in my shop yet because I wanted to come up with a solution that prevented the inks from running if someone accidentally spilled a drop of water or other liquid on it. This was the solution. As you can tell from the photo, the micro glaze is clear and matte when dry, and none of the inks smeared when I applied it.Address BookThe final new Distress accessory from Tim Holtz, described in this post, is the DIY Distress Ink Pad. This product is designed so that you can combine multiple Distress inks to make your own custom ink pad. You fill the eye dropper from a Distress Re-inker with ink, then paint a narrow section of the pad with ink. Repeat this with other colors until the white stamp pad is completely filled with color. Then take a credit card or plastic scraping tool, and pull down the length of the stripes you’ve created to drive the ink down into the pad. Then cover the stamp pad with the provided lid, and let it sit for 10 minutes before using the pad. The lid is covered with a special paper that takes the custom ink, so go ahead and roll a brayer over the stamp pad, and then roll out your custom color on the lid so you’ll know at a glance what your custom color looks like. To be honest, this is probably the accessory for which I have the least use. I tend to ink up spots on a craft mat with my Distress inks, and then paint with the inks–either with a dry paint brush or a wet one, and that allows me to create any custom colors I need. But if you want a larger amount of a custom color that you plan on using often, the DIY Distress Ink Pad is the way to go.

Tim Holtz DIY Distress Ink PadThese new Distress accessories from Tim Holtz are handy and will sell quickly in my local craft store, I suspect. Have you worked with any of these products yet, or plan on using them?

© 2015 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

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Aug 312012
 

The first time I stepped into a scrapbooking store to buy a rubber stamp and a stamping ink, I almost turned around and exited. There were just too many choices! I almost felt as if I needed to take an art class before I could shop, which would’ve been the second art class I’d ever taken. I took Art Class Number One more than a decade ago, a basic drawing class for adults with six thumbs. I still have more thumbs than I need when it comes to drawing, but I’ve learned a few other things along the way.

Thankfully, it is is easy to learn about paper crafting inks and techniques. Scrapbooking stores everywhere provide project classes for their customers on a regular basis; paper crafting manufacturers and bloggers alike offer how-to hints on the Internet; YouTube has a wealth of tutorials, and every bookstore has paper crafting books and magazines. One of my favorite resources about inking techniques, in fact, is Jennifer McGuire’s Thinking Inking classes. Between all of these resources, I’ve gradually learned the differences between pigment and dye inks, and when to use chalk ink, archival ink, distressed ink, embossing ink, watermark ink and other inks. I’m sure there are a few I’ve missed!

I learned how to use different kinds of inks and inking techniques while making these cards at a local scrapbooking store.

Although there are categories of inks I have not covered, below is a description of the most commonly used paper crafting inks. You’ll notice that some inks fit in more than one category.

Archival ink is water-resistant, acid-free and great for archival purposes. It can be water, pigment, or solvent-based. Archival ink is also great for stamping outlines of objects that you want to color in with other inks, since it will not smear or dilute when other types of ink come in contact with it.

Examples:  Brilliance Archival Pigment Ink Pad by Tsukineko, Copic® Multi Liner Pen, Ranger Archival Ink

Dye inks are water-based and dry quickly on either matte or glossy paper. They are not appropriate for embossing because they dry too quickly. Because they have a transparent quality, you can create watercolor effects with them. If you are stamping on absorbent surfaces, the ink may bleed when you stamp with it; glossy paper yields crisper stamping results. Dye inks do have a tendency to fade over time, especially when exposed to light.

Examples: Adirondack® Dye Ink Pad by Ranger, Hero Hues™ Dye Ink, Impress Dye Ink by Tsukineko, Kaleidacolor Stamp Pads by Tsukineko, Memento by Tsukineko, Tim Holtz® Adirondack® Color Wash

Distress ink is a water-based, acid-free dye ink that is designed to spread to other areas when diluted with water. It is perfect for blending with other colors of distress ink. It comes in stamp pads, markers and bottles. For many of these inks, you can buy re-inkers to extend the life of your stamp pad. You can mix up your own spray bottle of distress ink by combining inkdrops with water.

Examples: Tim Holtz® Distress Ink by Ranger, Tim Holtz® Distress Marker by Ranger, Tim Holtz® Distress Stain™

Embossing ink is glycerin-based and dries very slowly. It is intended to be used with embossing powder. When you heat the powder, it melts and adheres to the ink, creating a raised surface that is permanent. Embossing ink is available in both opaque and clear forms. The main advantage to opaque embossing ink is that you can see clearly where you have stamped. If you use clear embossing ink, it can also be used as a resist; ink your surface first, then brayer over it with colored ink or paint.

Examples: EMBOSS Embossing Stamp Pad by Tsukineko, Inkssentials™ Emboss it by Ranger

Pigment inks are thick, opaque, slow-drying and fade-resistant inks that are designed to be used with embossing powders. You can use virtually any color of pigment ink with an embossing powder since it is covered by the powder when heat set; it is not necessary to match your pigment ink to the embossing powder. You can also blend several different colors of this ink for special effects. If you stamp pigment ink onto glossy paper, you will need to heat set it or emboss it to make it permanent. Some pigment inks are designed to be heat set, which makes the color permanent and the colors more vibrant. With heat-set pigment inks, you can stamp paper, fabric and slick surfaces.

Examples: Adirondack® Pigment Ink by Ranger, Copic® Multi Liner Pen, VersaColor™ Ultimate Pigment Ink by Tsukineko, VersaFine™ by Tsukineko, VersaMagic™ by Tsukineko, VersaMark® by Tsukineko

Chalk inks have a pigment base, and dry very quickly. When they are dry, they have a matte, powdery finish. They are not appropriate for embossing.

Examples: ColorBox® Chalk, Hero Hues™ Chalk Ink

Metallic and pearlescent inks are pigment inks that dry faster than most other pigment inks, but with a metallic or luminescent sheen. You’ll find them in stamp pads and spray bottles.

Examples: Brilliance and Encore Ultimate Metallics byTsukineko, ColorBox® Pigment Stamp Pad, ColorBox® Pigment Brush Pad, Perfect Pearls™ Mists by Ranger, Pssst! Sheer Shimmer Spritz by Tsukineko

Watermark inks are a type of pigment ink designed to create translucent designs or background designs. When you stamp them on colored paper, they darken the paper. Chalk can be applied to the ink, creating a shadow effect, or the ink can be used as a resist.

Example: VersaMark® Watermark Stamp Pad by Tsukineko

Solvent-based inks are designed for non-porous surfaces such as glass, metal or plastic–or glossy papers. You can find them in stamp pad form, paints and markers. They are permanent and waterproof when dry, and are considered archival.

Examples: Copic® Sketch Marker, Tim Holtz Adirondack® Alcohol Ink by Ranger, StāzOn® Opaque by Tsukineko, Piñata Alcohol Ink by Jacquard

If you are unsure about the properties of an ink you want to use, I recommend visiting the manufacturer’s Web site for details and product suggestions:

Let me know what inks you would add to this list of commonly-used paper crafting inks.

Resources:

  • Andrus, Julia. Paper Transformed: A Handbook of Surface-Design Recipes and Creative Paper Projects. Quarry Books, 2007.
  • Curry, Nancy. Texture Effects for Rubber Stamping. North Light Books, 2004.
  • Holtz, Tim. A Compendium of Curiosities. Advantus Corporation, 2010.
  • Taormina, Grace. The Complete Guide to Rubber Stamping. Watson-Guptill Crafts, 1996.

© 2012 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

 

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