Technique Challenge...

...and a challenge it has been! This week over at the Hero Arts blog, Shari Carroll is leading a week full of techniques requested by the loyal followers. So far, she has featured ink, resist and distressing and I personally can't wait to see what else she has in store for this week! But, what is really cool about this week is that there are more videos than ever, which really help me to get a grip on a technique. Because of that, I was inspired to finally (try) to learn how to use distress inks. I went out and bought a few more, since all I owned was walnut stain, and also an applicator.

First I attempted to ink the paper using the applicator I had purchased. It turned out like this and I quickly abandoned this idea, realizing that I bought the wrong blenders (mine were for alcohol inks and the felt is far too thin for distress inks-they left awful scratchy marks from the velcro underneath; I will have to buy the foam ones...):

So then I decided I would try the technique where you apply ink to a surface and dip your paper in it. I couldn't really splurge on the craft mat she uses in the video, so I had to come up with an alternative... The first attempt was with wax paper. I thought the coating would be thick enough to resist the inks, but, alas, I was wrong. The paper soaked up the ink faster than I could apply it to the paper, and seeped through onto my table. It came out like this:
So then I thought, what about tinfoil? Worth a shot, right? This seemed to work a bit better, obviously, not as good as a craft mat (or, as I have seen suggested, a teflon baking mat) might be, but okay. Here are two attempts:
In this first one, I used clear embossing ink and clear powder, letting the white of the paper show through. But, either the ink was not wet enough or the powder not thick enough, and the distress inks seeped underneath my stamped image. I tried again:
This time, again, a little bit of seepage, not to mention that I burned the paper with my heat gun and the coloration was not to my liking (too much blue!) I decided that the tinfoil was working, but my embossing was not, so I switched to a thicker white pigment ink and then clear powder, which worked much better, especially if I worked a bit quicker. Here is the final result, in card form, which I am entering into this week's challenge:
So, an otherwise simple card design took me quite a few hours to achieve, but I am quite pleased with the results. Wish me luck in the challenge and to see more awesome entries, visit the Hero Arts flickr group here.

Stay tuned for some pics of my workspace (including my fabulous new chair, which I am far too excited about) and hopefully some creations with the Studio Calico November kit that came yesterday!! :)

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