final word on Halloween

Well, Halloween is now here and it’s time to tidy my work space and get ready for the next holiday season.  But before I do, I would like to share a couple of tricks and a few final cards.  The first trick I would like to blog about is creating an “old paper” look using Tim Holtz Distress Inks.  I used this technique for the cover of my friend’s Halloween photo album.  When I first started playing around with the Distress Inks and stamps I began with water-color paper.  Earlier this spring, I took a day off from work and went to Novi for a stamping and scrapbook show.  My main reason for going was that Tim Holtz was going to be at the Stampers Anonymous booth doing demonstrations.  Up until this point, I had only been watching tutorials on YouTube.  One of the things that he showed, was the difference between a stamped image on water-color paper and an image stamped on Ranger Distress Specialty Stamping paper.  The image was much clearer on the specialty paper then on the water-color paper.  When he passed it around for us to see, I noticed the texture of the specialty paper.  It was very smooth, dense and thick paper.  Once I got back home, I searched my local craft stores for this paper but without success.  I decided I would take a look in the art department and see if I could find something similar.  I was in luck, I found Strathmore Bristol Paper in the 300 Series. This paper is very close to what I saw at the demonstration.  The term “series” refers to the weight and surface of the paper as well as the media it works best for.

I start by using my graph paper to create a pattern.  My pad of Bristol is 9 x 12 and my friends photo album cover was 6 x 6, I made a pattern that was the same size as her album cover.  There are many tutorials out there regarding how to work with Tim Holtz Distress Inks, I personally like to watch Tim’s videos because they are filmed well, are quick to watch and he gives easy direction. I’ll be honest, when I first started working with Distress Inks I struggled, but after watching a few of Tim’s videos and taking to heart exactly what he explained, it all came together.  I can not stress enough how important it is to work with your Ranger Mini Blending Tool and Ranger Non-Stick Craft Sheet the way I have seen it demonstrated.  You ink your blending tool to the Distress Ink pad, then deposit ink onto your craft sheet, from here, work in a circular motion from your craft sheet to your paper. (in my case Bristol) As long as you move your blending tool in a circular motion you will not end up with circle marks on your paper.  I was accustomed to using stamps directly from the ink pad and that is why I struggled at first.  The way I chose my colors for this technique was as follows.  I work in layers, usually about three.  My first layer is a color that I want to use to “dirty up” the Bristol and create my base.  For this cover I used Distress Ink in Old Paper, Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy.  The second layer is optional but helps to tie in with a theme.  Because I was working on Halloween, I wanted to pull some orange into the look of the paper.  I added Distress Ink in Rusty Hinge and Spiced Marmalade to brighten and accent the “old paper” look.  At this point I rip all the edges of the paper.  Ripping the paper reduced the size to fit nicely on the album cover and expose the burlap beneath.  Once the edges have been ripped I use Distress Ink in Vintage Photo to finish the edges and add dimension.  Using the script stamp from the Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Apothecary CMS138 set and Distress Ink in Walnut Stain, I added additional interest by stamping the script in various locations and with varying amounts of ink.  Once this was complete, I then used the Ranger Mister filled with water to mist the paper.  This creates a wonderful worn look to the paper.  By having a rag handy and my Ranger Heat it Craft Tool, I quickly dried the paper with the heat tool and used the rag to soak up the larger droplets of water which creates even more texture.  Once dry, I added additional Walnut Stain to the edges.  Remember to always work your blending tool from ink pad, to craft sheet, to paper, in a circular motion.

To create the “blood splatters”, I used the Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Layering Stencil THS009 Splatter and Distress Inks in Barn Door, Festive Berries and Aged Mahogany.  Like creating the “old paper” look above, I used the inks in layers to create life-like splatters.  Barn Door was used as my first layer and to give a “pop” of red.  My second layer was in Festive Berries create depth and add a blue tint to the splatters.  Finally, I added Aged Mahogany for even more depth.  The amounts of inks used progressively got less and less.  By working with several colors it keeps the stencil from being obvious.  When working with a stencil, you can work directly from the ink pad and blending tool to the paper.  The more color you have on your blending tool the more detail the design.

And finally, I used the skull stamp from Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Apothecary CMS138 set and Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black for my main image.

This may seem tedious, but I assure you it isn’t.  You still will be able to breathe create relax. mj


Love this fun technique!

Love this fun technique!




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