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Experiment with Vaseline resist, Distress Oxides and glossy photo paper

I have been wondering about glossy photo paper and how it might work with DO inks and I finally found a longer bit of time to give it a go. I dragged out the paper I have the most of which is HP premium glossy photo paper – I had an HP printer for a bit and got a pack of it when I bought it but never really used it. I did the thing I showed a while back, sponging Vaseline thru a stencil, then covering the paper with DO inks, in layers. Let’s just say this was an EPIC fail:

Oh, it looks pretty enough but as soon as you try to rub off the Vaseline, the ink just sloughs off like snake skin. Ugh.

I wondered if maybe I had not let the ink dry enough, or if using the heat gun, even lightly, to dry it, caused this effect? So I grabbed another sheet of the HP photo paper, some Epson gloss photo paper and some no-brand linen texture paper I got from the £ shop eon ago and cut strips to test:

I think you can guess which was the HP. Even letting it dry naturally it is still an epic fail. But the other two are WINs for me. I cut a few ATC sized cards from the two good strips:

and added a bit of surface embellishment, stamping with a couple of colours of Archival Ink

I am really happy with them! I can’t say it is anything superior to glossy cardstock, but I have only small sheets of glossy card stock (two ATCs at most with a TON of wastage) and lots of old photo paper that is of dubious quality for photos. The HP paper is fab for that and rubbish for this. So yeah. WIN/WIN/WIN.

Now what to top them with? I had a last minute binge over the final week of the Mischief Circus site before it closed down on Sunday and I am pretty sure there are a few images that will call out to me once I unzip and review them all. I do have one idea…


Interesting technique with Distress inks and waxed paper

I stumbled on my box of waxed paper while tidying up in my sewing room and had an idea. I wondered about the texture that comes from crumpling the paper. I’ve played with it a lot over the years, but not for a very long time! What I had in my head, was to crumple the paper and use that as the surface, rather than a glass or a kraft mat, to smoosh or pounce Distress Oxides or Distress ink onto tags.

It’s interesting, but a few experiments are needed. I like the original concept, of smooshing the inks on to a crumpled piece of waxed paper, then spritzing them and pouncing the tag on to apply the ink, drying between layers.

The effect is different, more mottled, than you get with normal ink smooshing.

What I then wanted to try is to add some Distress Ink (not Oxides) as a layer, trying to retain the crinkled pattern of the waxed paper. For contrast, I used Ripe Persimmon, which I daubed onto the crinkled waxed paper then pressed onto the tag:

It’s there, but not as pronounced as I wanted – although it IS more pronounced in real life that it shows in the photo. I decided to simplify the process a bit, by creating the base of the tag in the “usual” way. I swiped the DO inks onto a kraft mat, gave it a spritz, then pressed the tag into that, again, drying between layers for a more complex background.

Loving the colour combo of Twisted Citron, Ripe Persimmon and Mustard Seed! This time, I daubed the Distress Brushed Corduroy ink onto the crinkled waxed paper quite heavily and pressed it quite firmly onto the surface – I even weighted it down to make sure all the ink and the texture transferred to the tag.

And the texture transferred pretty well for a nifty effect!

I think next time I would swipe more than daub, although I kinda like the boxy outline from the pad itself. I think it bears more exploration, cause the effect is cool and not difficult. I am curious to see how it works with all DO ink. It might not work at all, but then I won’t know till I try LOL!

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Finally took the plunge…trading ATCs

I finally decided to join a few ATC swap places so I could maybe exchange some of my ATCs with others. It’s a minefield, I tell ya! I worry all the time that I will mess up a swap, send the wrong item, that people will hate them, that I will hate something I get…. Doesn’t help I wrecked my back AGAIN and have been hobbling around for a few days unable to do much crafty “work” cause sitting at my desk is a struggle, except when the painkillers are in my system in full force. Before that happened I did complete some ATCs. My Lunar Series cards are all made from the backgrounds I created with the Vaseline resist/Distress Oxides technique, a couple of stamps, a torn strip of tracing paper sprayed with gloss spray, a die cut and quotes from men who walked on the moon. Not sure if the stamps are actually of the moon, but call it artistic license.

I really like them, and they are not so cluttered that they don’t show the backgrounds to good effect. I am playing around with the tracing paper sample too, but not managed to do much. It’ll have to wait till my back is all better!

WOYWW tomorrow. Might be a messy desk if I don’t feel up to cleaning….



Stamping with Vaseline as a resist for Distress Oxides

So yeah, I actually did this on the same day as the Vaseline thru a stencil as a Distress Oxides resist post, but I really wanted to add my art journal page, and I had already edited the post on Thursday to add the PDF, so I decided to leave it and add this today. Pretty simple stuff really and as is so often the case, it really depends on stamp choice! You need glossy cardstock and a stamp that has both a good portion of stamped image areas as well as a good bit of areas that let the background show thru. Here are a couple that I know will work (left) and a couple I am not sure about but curious (right):

The first thing I did was make a sort of stamp pad from a piece of stiff, dense packing material. It has a nice bit of give to it but is still also quite firm, IYKWIM. You need a fairly thin coat of the Vaseline, not so much that you are getting a lot of sqidge into the open areas of the stamp.

I hope you can see I am getting a reasonable stamped image on the glossy cardstock and plenty of open areas:

Again, I used a bit of plastic packaging to tap on the water-activated Distress Oxide inks, in layers, drying between. As you can see, it has the typical oxidized (chalky) effect

I always like to buff off the Vaseline on half the piece in hope you can see the difference side-by-side (left buffed, right not)

And finally:

Really love it. Now I tried the not-sure stamps on the tracing paper – I missed out the stamping-only od the swirl, but you can see it mostly under the Distress Oxide ink here, and you can also see the tracing paper wanting to curl, hence the addition of the painter’s tape:

I think you can see how the top stamp was pretty useless – the bottom one is a bit more interesting. I love that one, but it isn’t very distinct for sure.

I have some ideas for using these but not done anything with them quite yet. I’m still refining the technique.

Oh, and it bears saying loudly:

WASH YOUR STAMPS. You are not going to get a good stamped impression ever again with a slick coat of Vaseline clinging to the rubber/silicone. Do it. Do it NOW.


Pure Play – Vaseline, Hand Sanitizer and Distress Oxides

Note: edited to add a quick PDF tutorial for anyone who needs more info. Hope it helps you wrap your head around the technique.

I love experimenting and I love figuring out a new way to do something, especially a substitute for something I don’t have, if I am on the fence about buying it. I had seen a demo of Distress Glaze over top of Distress Oxide inks, used to revive the bright colours, rather than leaving them oxidized and chalky. to be fair, I wasn’t 100% sure I actually LIKED the effect, but I wanted to see for myself. I don’t have a lot of glossy cardstock but I did find a little pack of a few sheets. Considering the properties of Distress Glaze, Vaseline seemed like a reasonable thing to try. And yeah, it totally works. This is not, actually, a “new” discovery. Once I knew it worked and I went looking, yeah, people have been doing it for a while, although they seem to mix 91% alcohol with the Vaseline. I suggest watching at 1.5 or 2x speed and the meat of it is at about 5minutes.

I didn’t, I just used Vaseline straight, with a blender, and it totally works al by itself. But that got me thinking of a few other ideas to try. The first thing I did was to add the Vaseline thru a stencil on the blank glossy cardstock then add the Distress Ink over the top.

When you then buff off the Vaseline, you are left with the white glossy card under it. You will not be able to see this super clearly, but the right is buffed the left not in the first shot and totally buffed off in the second:

It made me think that you could layer the DIs into the white spaces…except the Vaseline prevents it. Buffed off (on the right) you can still see the sheen of the petroleum jelly.

But the info from the video gave me a bit of an idea. I squirted a dot of hand sanitizer onto a aper towel and rubbed that over the piece – It kind of remove the Vaseline, at least a bit, and while it might have dulled the shine very slightly, it did then allow me to layer more Distress Inks over it and not have the jelly resist it! The first photo shows the piece in two halves. The left half has only the Vaseline applied thru the stencil and then rubbed off. The right side has the Vaseline rubbed off then the hand sanitizer applied over that, with both having more DI added as a final layer. Then you see the half with the Vaseline only after buffing and the next the side with the hand sanitizer after final buffing.

Here are the samples. I love them all. They are in no way tacky to the touch, and you need only the barest dab of Vaseline to get the colours to pop. But using it as a resist is really a nifty technique.

I think I was influenced by a Distress Resist spray video I saw, but I am 100% sure this is something I will carry on playing with. I also want to give the samples some time, to see how they look in a day or two. I may need to buy some glossy cardstock!

But wait – there’s more! I happened to have a scrap of tracing paper on my desk, and decided to see what would happen if I had a go at the Vaseline-thru-a-stencil on that, Distress Oxides over it, and then buffing off the jelly and cleaning the residue off with the hand sanitizer. In a word, WOW!

Do not be tempted to dry this with the heat gun between layers, the Vaseline will totally melt and you will not be able to layer the DI. Totally ok for the final layer, as the Vaseline will have done it’s job by then. Look at it. It’s just lovely.

And to add a few more images from the PDF:


Dyeing paper with Dylusions spray for my colourful Junk Journal

I had a few comments and a few questions for people I know in real life about the scrapbook dyes. Sorry to say they are such an old product and well and truly unavailable so far as I have been able to find. It did get me thinking ‘tho. What else did I have in my stash that would work as well? One of the (sometimes) annoying properties of Dylusions spray inks is the extreme water reactivity. Sometimes it is a good thing, but unless you are careful to keep them as a final layer, they are going to mix and run with any wet medium that goes over them. I thought that it was actually useful then for mixing them with water and dyeing paper!

I grabbed a few sprays and had a go. The first try was straight After Midnight. My stash of dyes did not contain any purple and while I was able to mix what was left after doing the Fuchsia and the turquoise papers, it was super pale lavender. Nice but I only had the one packet of dye. I did spray a few spurts on the paper first, thinking the darker spots would be interesting over paler dyed paper. I used about 1/2 cup of hot water and three good sprays of the ink and…WOW. Super dark and way deeper than I wanted.

Next, I tried Campso Teal and Cherry Pie, one spray of each and cold water. It was not the right purple, although it was OK. A lot lighter than the After Midnight. One weird effect was he paper, a heavier weight printer paper, was one colour on one side and very much another colour on the other side.

Then I tried the Turquoise, the cherry and the Fuchsia and left it in for 5 minutes or so and it was JUST the right colour…on one side. No idea what that is all about. Above, you can see the blue-y Teal+Cherry Pie and the purple-y Turquoise+Cherry Pie+Fuchsia on heavier (120 gsm) paper at the top then the Turquoise+Cherry+Fuchsia on the thinner 75gsm printer paper and I think I am calling that a success.

Now, after how dark the After Midnight became using three sprays, I limited these attempts to a pretty light single spray, but honestly, it worked better than I expected it would. I will 100% do this again. I do want to go back and play with the odd spatter of darker ink, either before dyeing, or after dyeing (and both while the paper is wet and when it is dry) to see the sort of effects I might get. I can see making a whole journal just out of hand dyed papers. I may have a play with some other inks I have. I am betting dye-ink re-inkers would work in a similar fashion…and what about Distress Oxides? Ooohhh. This could be really fun!


Another AJ page from unearthed art – and camera complaints

I decided to make a page using the other bit of re-discovered art, and using my Inktense blocks. I swear the box looks untouched, although I am sure I’ve used them once before!

The missing wells are because I picked those colours to go with my piece.

I used the horrible old Creative Palette as a … palette, so I could make use of the inky pools.

Here is where the camera issues come in. I don’t have a “real” camera at the moment. My old one was giving me problems and as I am not really leaving the house I saw no reason to buy one. I had an old iPhone that has no SIM card in it, but I keep it in my craft room solely for taking photos for blogging. I can’t be doing with carrying my large actual phone around the house with me. Problem is it has been acting up a little, not actually seeming to store a photo I think I have taken, so if I don’t check, I may find, three steps down the line, that I have no record of a step I want to document. Annoying. That will be why this gessoed and scribbled-into page

seems to jump forward a few steps to this:

What’s missing is me daubing Inktense ink at the top, letting it drip down across the page, and me adding a little water to help it along. What you are SEEING is the step where I pressed a stamp into the puddle on the palette and stamped with ink. Keep up…. {wink}

…and then I brayered on a bit of that across the background

I like how the brayered ink works with the scratchy scribbles in the original gesso layer, catching on the raised edges:

and then stamping with various lids to make circles…or at least loading the lids. The stamping will magically appear on the final page.

Finally, I used the rest of the pooled ink to colour the edges of the art piece that is the focal point

I can’t really express in words the difference between the inked edge and what you would get if you used an ink PAD, but it is very different and really wonderful

It is…defined, somehow, I just can’t explain. Do it once and you will see what I mean! I added back in some more white, for highlight and brightness – and Abracadabra! Ink circles!

and finally used a weird tool I got in some long-forgotten kids Play doh set and rolled a little zig zag of gold across the page in lines – you can just about see one zig zag here, but the photo of the tool is missing. Doh!

I added text, cobbled together from the various word-books, and I have more to say on that but this post is super photo heavy and too long already, so I’ll save it for another day! Imagine if the missing photos had actually saved. Oh my. Here is the final page, with a last minute addition of some sparkle to support the gold zig zags, some small gold confetti circles dotted about:

I quite like it, again with an unusual colour palette that isn’t what I would normally pick. I keep saying that, and I think that it is misleading. I don’t think, at the moment, I HAVE a usual colour choice. I am just going’ with the flow and experimenting.

Having said that, I may feel the need to take a break from orange for a while, given the last four years of far too much of that orange face on TV…


Making spray inks…permanent?

This is a tricky one. Let me begin with the page –

I hope you can see that the ink in the circles is darker than the ink outside the circles. I have been on a quest to figure out how to make the Dylusions ink no longer water reactive. Heat drying it does not work. I have had instances in old journals where adding a layer of gel medium over them, even carefully, leaves a colourful schmear. Not ideal. I am 90% sure at some point I saw a video where no less that Dyan herself said she often gets asked about how to make the inks permanent and said “You can’t.”

But still I try. I had a comment on a very old YouTube video (about sealing pan pastels with gel medium using a gel plate) and was reminded of that technique. My still video is less compelling than one Carolyn Dube did after seeing my take on it (and she did ask, in case you were wondering) and the technique is one I use for sealing lots of stuff. I thought, why not spray ink?

I began with gesso and modelling paste in my experimental junk journal.

Just a few warm colours of acrylic paint and some punchinella stencil wiping. Then I sprayed the ink – cool blue and lime-y green.

A fair amount of ink, and it is worth noting the depth of the colour to be able to see the effect of the protective stamping. Basically I brayer on gloss gel medium onto a small round gel plate, then stamp onto the page, over where I want to preserve the ink.

I did this in three places. The plate picks up a bit of the colour, and I just stamped that off on the edges of the pages. You can see the ink is, as expected, water/wet reactive.

So the tricky aspects are worth noting. First, it can be a little hard to see exactly where you have protected. I thought I might maybe use something at the very edges of the gel plate, maybe my Stabilo All pencils, after adding the gel medium, and stamp a defining line around the protected area. Also, and this is a broader question, how MUCH of the page for you protect? Is sealing the ink sort of the final step, before pen work? In which case why bother, you aren’t adding wet over reactive. If you are sealing the whole page, how does that affect other things like how acrylic paint moves, or stamping? Do you have to commit to protecting a shaped area and does that prevent you from then doing something else over top? Like more ink? The whole thing just needs a little more experimentation! What I did way spray quite a lot of water on the inked area – and I hope you can see that the area that I stamped remains much darker and much more vibrant than the area where the water washed away the ink.

You can just see the halo of the gloss gel medium around the top circle, can’t you?

On the right hand page I hope you can see, in that bottom drip, how much paler the ink is. Inside the circle it is stronger, right? It’s maybe more obvious in real life, but I think you can still see it here.

Still having fun with words, another quote built from phrases in the Small Talk booklet.

And just to wrap up a bit from yesterday – in looking for the gel wax crayons from United Office I have, for a reference, I came across these:

At 36 crayons for about £17 that seems a real bargain. 33 gelatos are almost £40. I would say if you are tempted, maybe try the less expensive ones first and see if either they will do. I am pretty happy with my cheaper ones, but this set has a much wider variety of shades and a nice carry case. I’m just sayin’…

Finally, if you liked the Project Life card I used in my journal, the whole set looks like this:

and you can download the sheet to print and use yourself from the post here. That post is about a second set, but there is a link in it for the ones I used as well. I might just print the other set out for another page myself.

I must have a rummage about and see what other unused or rarely used supplies I have to play with.


Interesting art journal techniques

I made a page where I tried out a couple of odd things.  The first was an I wonder…? thing.  I wondered if tinting water with acrylic ink might alter the effect of water-over-Distress ink.  Simple enough to test.

I smudged the ink over a bit of paper – not particularly carefully, or blended particularly smoothly.  Just decent coverage

I added a drop or two of acrylic ink in white to a small mister bottle.  I misted the left with plain water then the right with the white-tinted ink. Only managed to remember to take a photo of the white side.  Doh!

After letting it sit, and blotting off the excess you can see there is a slightly more…opaque look, I think, to the white mist side.

I agree, it is not a starling difference, but it seems like the stencil outlines are more defined and less, well, distressed I guess.  I also added a drop of a teal colour and also a bit of white to another mister and did a different area:

This resulted in more of a halo in the darker teal at the edges.  Again, subtle, not dramatic.  Interesting and well worth playing with to refine the concept.  I also saw a thumbnail on YouTube of a hedgehog painting using a snipped-in-strips loo roll tube as a paintbrush.  I thought it was a pretty neat idea, had a loo roll or two I could rescue from the recycling bin, and gave it a go. I tried it in dark Payne’s Grey, and used it in white on my page.

One is snipped quite closely in very fine shreds (dark) and the other is snipped a little wider.  I expected to like the thinner more, and I ended up liking the fatter more. Or maybe it is the light vs dark that pushed me that way,  time will tell. Here is the page:

Since he text is a stencil I cut, what I SHOULD have done was re-cut it laid out so I didn’t have to line up the words – something I am clearly not good at.  But otherwise I am pretty happy with the page. 

Overall I am happy with the way it is going in this experimental journal.  Finding my way again, trying new techniques as they occur to me, playing and having fun.  Frankly I need the distraction, and it is kinda working.

Lastly, I noticed that the image of the stencils that I have multiples of was missing from yesterday’s post. Happy to consider any trade of an item you have multiples of, not just stencils. I’ll probably re-post this for next week’s WOYWW – or maybe offer them as giveaways for the 600 week Zoom Crop. Now that’s an idea….


Creative Palette with pigment ink

I had a further play with the Creative Palette with acrylic paint the other day, and my results, no matter what I tried, were equally disappointing.  I tried a prussian blue chalk ink on it, thinking inks might work, but it stained the circle very BLUE and nothing I did would remove it. I stuffed it in the sleeve and on the shelf and decided that I would waste no more time with it.  I was going to blog all the things I tried but then I thought Why bother? I’ve already said it was an epic FAIL for me and nothing I said was going to expand on that.  But then an odd thing happened – I turned on the TV at just about 6 pm, ready to set up a recording for DD and the TV happened to be on Create & Craft.  Odd, cause I haven’t watched it for DAYS.  In the seconds before it went off the air on Freeview I noticed mention of CREATIVE PALETTE!  I went to the website to watch the show, which had been on at 3 PM, I think, and watched the bit where the guest demoed the CP with Crafter’s Ink re-inkers.  Crafter’s ink is just pigment ink that can be heat set and becomes permanent.

A dim memory surfaced.  I had a handful of little bottles of pigment ink re-inkers that I swear I bought 20 years ago, most of them had never been opened.  I dragged them out and sat down to have a play.


One thing the guest mentioned was that she brayers on some hand sanitizer first, then adds the pigment ink.  I did do that for the first few ones, but to be honest in the end I mostly skipped that step – the pigment ink stays wet enough without it.

It worked.


That is a couple of colours, with one of my Gelli Plate anaglypta wallpaper samples pressed in to it then the print pulled.

Very Gelli plate like! But with pigment ink not paint.  Softer, chalkier.  Pretty. But worth the effort?  Maybe.

So then I tried a stamp. In general my success was only with removing the ink on the palette and letting the lighter/white space do the talking:


This was a big, rubber background stamp. The tone-on-tone look is OK, I just wonder how worth it it is.  Could I get close enough to a similar effect by just stamping?

Foam stamps really remove the ink – not ones that are caked with paint from Gelli play, but fairly clean ones:


The was probably the last one that I used the hand sanitizer first.  I think that and the too heavy layer of ink muddied the print too much:


Still it was mildly interesting. A MUCH thiner layer of ink now, but I didn’t clean off the blue.


I really liked that one.  And this one – more blue over the top, big bubble wrap, and you can still see the foam stamp impression.


One of my favourites for sure.   Another foam stamp cut from one of the Die Delights.


I thought I could brayer on the pigment ink from an ink pad, so I did – this is one of those multi-colour strip pads. It is very light, and as the bubble wrap still had wet ink on it I pressed that to the palette to transfer the ink for another layer


Keeping the brayer in position gave me a rainbow effect when I brayers the ink on.  It is a bit more vibrant than it looks here.

I tried brayering on gome mossy green then stamped over that on the palette with some copper:


Again, the photo doesn’t do it justice, but why not just brayer the ink onto paper then over-stamp?  The palette really doesn’t ADD anything to the process, except for a slight more…atmospheric look, I guess.

I then HAD to try a stencil.  I still felt that HAND CUT (so much thinner) stencils would give a better impression and they did, but still not what I would call sharp and defined.


You maybe can see I first ran one of my foam shape rollers over the plate to give it some added interest.  Again, the stencil was loaded with ink so I pressed that onto another earlier attempt that wasn’t brilliant – I think I tried something I thought I heard on the show, which was that hand sanitizer would re-activate the ink.   I brayered it on over some leftover ink after that first, very un-defined foam stamp print and that gave me the background you see here:


And that one was REALLY cool.

So here is the array:


Some maybe worth keeping (probably great for ATC backgrounds) but I am still not convinced this is something I am going to do a lot of.   Oh, I just noticed – that single foam stamp towards the right?  Between the blue and bubble one?  Fo THAT one I simply pressed and small pigment ink pad onto the palette.  The pattern of small overlapping squares was neat, and def worth playing with.

Final thoughts on this?

  • if you are using re-inkers keep he application light – small dots of ink scattered across the palette.  Hand sanitizer first will help a think layer cover.  Too much ink produces a blotchy impression
  • removal tools (foam stamps, rubber stamps, textured wallpaper samples, combs, etc) produce the best images
  • you can brayer on or press on an ink pad rather than droplets from re-inkers but you will get a lighter colour.  AND if pressing on use ONE colour or yo will cross contaminate your ink pads.
  • stencils are best f ones yo cut from thin material – so far.  I really need to try a thick one again at some point to be sure.
  • do press whatever you used to REMOVE the ink back onto a print or even onto the ink on the plate.  Those are def. my favourite effects.
  • acrylic paint is CHEAP – I don’t think re-inkers are.

One BIG warning is keep in mind pigment inks dry super slow – that’s their benefit for embossing, for example.  But you have to put the prints aside to completely dry for a LOT longer than you would do with a print from paint on the Gelli plate.

I might try Distress ink at some point, but as the Chalk ink so badly stained my plate (but made NO DIFFERENCE and did NOT transfer to future prints) I’m kinda afraid it might end up brown and opaque at some point if I carry on.  The jury is still out on this, for me.  Except on one point – do NOT buy this thinking it will work anything LIKE a Gelli Plate.  It doesn’t. Well, maybe if you take the added step (and expense) of adding Flow Medium to every application of paint, it might, but I just don’t see the point when a Gelli plate doesn’t need that and works for paint better.

But at this point I can’t say the Creative Palette is a TOTAL FAIL.  That’s as far as I am willing to go at this point LOL!