Tag Archives: Ranger

Distress Products

5 Mar

Guest Blog Post by Design Team Member Pat Mathes

Comments in italics by Deb


The items in my packet for February were Distress products  (by Ranger)- Ground Espresso Distress Marker; Vintage photo distress ink pad; Fossilized Amber distress spray stain; Ground Espresso distress paint and Carved Pumpkin distress stain.  I already had quite a few different Distress ink pads, and bought some distress paints recently.  So I combined it all together to do this post.  I will apologize in advance for the extensive use of the words “spritz” and “mist” but I did do a lot of spritzing and misting while preparing these pieces.  It is important to have a blending tool to use these inks in the following ways.  So sit back, look at the process and then have FUN!!!

Distress 1

Distress ink is formulated to give an aging effect on paper, fibers and photographs.  The inks are reactive with water and will travel on the paper.  The inks stay wet longer so you can blend with them.  The inks are not permanent, and you can go back and mist them and reactivate them or water spot them.  You can get a great look by letting it all dry, then spatter it with some pretty good sized drops of water and just let it sit.  The water splotches left by doing this make a pretty cool background effect.

The distress inks are a lot of fun to work with.  Here are some pictures of the work in first stages:

Distress 2

The top left picture was first misted with Fossilized Amber spray stain.   I then blotted some Carved Pumpkin stain on an acrylic block, misted it and laid the paper on it.  When that was dry, I put some Ground Espresso distress paint and Mermaid Lagoon distress paint on an acrylic block, and using a sponge, sponged the paint through a stencil.

Bottom left picture was first stamped with white acrylic paint.  The top stamp was full strength, and the bottom one was the ghost image of what was left on the stamp, making a nice contrast to the first stamp.  The acrylic paint acts as a resist and retains its color.  Then I used the blending tool and laid down a background of blended ink of worn lipstick and weathered wood.  I took Fossilized Amber distress stain and put it on an acrylic block, spritzed it with water and laid the piece down on it to take up some of the color.  I then let it dry.

The third piece was an accounting paper tag.  I crumpled it in my hand, and then while still crumpled, I took the walnut distress ink pad and ran it over the creases.  I spritzed it with water, let it run in the creases, and while still wet, placed it between two pieces of parchment paper and ironed it out.  I used Fossilized Amber spray stain and gave it a spritz.  Then took the blending tool and weathered wood ink pad and stenciled the dots.

The fourth piece has a background of blended ink using the blending tool.  I then blotted some Carved Pumpkin stain from the dabber bottle on an acrylic block, misted it and laid the paper on it in a couple of places.  I took a stencil and using the blending tool and the vintage photo ink pad, sponged the image.

Here are the pictures of my finished pieces.  I used black ink for the stamps used, except for the tag with the tulip.  There was other wording on the stamp I didn’t want to use, so I used the distress marker and colored the stamp.  The wording on the “Delight” piece was enhanced by the Distress marker.

Distress 3


You can stamp the ink pad on an acrylic block and mist it, then lay the paper down on it and sop up the ink.  You can use as many colors as you want as long as they don’t get mixed up and make a mud color.  You really need to be careful with the colors.  You could also do them individually and use a heat tool in between.  This method makes a really nice blended background.  You could then put a stencil on top of that and spritz it with water and careful lift it up, leaving the ghosted image of the stencil on the blended background.  You can also do the same thing with the distress stain in the dabber bottle – only you really don’t have to mist it – you can use it full strength.  You can also take the liquid stain and put it in a mini mister for better control.  These products are transparent in nature, so you can really do so much with them.  For instance, if you have a really bright scrapbook paper and want to tone it down a little, you can use the blending tool and ink pads and apply directly on the scrapbook paper.  It tones down the color, lets the new color shine through.

Pictures 4 and 5 are very interesting uses of the distress ink pads.  I had already done these background pages but since they use this product, I am sharing them.  First, take gesso and apply through a stencil and let it dry.  Then use the blending tool and the ink pads, and cover the background – these are done in two colors.  Once you have the background in, take another stencil and lay over the stop.  Spritz water through the stencil, let it sit a minute and then take a damp paper towel and blot up some of the ink background.  These make beautiful backgrounds.  Picture No. 5 is a finished piece using this process.

Distress 6

Another great way to use the distress ink pads – Blot your stamp on an Embossing ink pad, lightly blot it off and mist with water.  Then stamp it on distressed background and watch it wick, giving it a watercolor effect.  You can also do this with the stain.  I did a couple of pieces here – I didn’t use the embossing ink first – just stamped it on the ink pad and spritzed it lightly.  The image on the top is full strength and the one on the bottom is the ghost image.  I just used a white background, but the potential for some beautiful pieces is definitely in this process.  Another tip for this one, even after it is dry, you can use a water brush and move some of the ink around if you have a darker area or one that didn’t wick much.  I really like this process.

Distress 7

Last, but not least – a journal page.  First, using white acrylic paint, I did three images on the two pages and let them dry.  I then took the Carved Pumpkin spray and sprayed it through a stencil on the upper right corner.  Once that dried, I used the blending tool and the mowed lawn ink pad, and did a blended ink over most of the two pages.  You can see that in some instances, I used a heavier hand with the blending tool, making a darker shade of the ink.  I sprayed some more Carved Pumpkin on the left side.  Then I used the Mermaid Lagoon distress ink on the bird stamp and stamped the image.  I used the Walnut Stain ink paid and inked the large flower stamp – I did very very lightly spritz it with water before stamping to give it a slight watercolor effect.  The face was stamped with Ground Espresso paint on tissue paper and applied with Matte Medium.  I put a little gesso under the image to break up the green a little.  Also, you can see on the top left portion and the bottom right where I used the large water splotches to give a different effect.  I then took the vintage photo ink pad and the blending tool and distressed the edges of the pages.

I don’t show much use of the marker in these pages – I did mix it in with the Walnut Stain ink pad to make sure I was getting the large stamp covered, and used it on the Delight page when the stamp failed to give a proper image.  I like the fine tip on the Distress marker, but I find the brush end is a bit firm.  Again, these are water based markers, and I am more likely to use Tombow markers because I like the brush ends better.


All in all, I love the Distress products.  I had not used the stain or spray stain before.  They are quite easy to use.  There are so many ways to use these products and they are a lot of fun to work with.  It is not a messy product to use.  I will definitely use these more and more in the future.


Thanks Pat. That was an awesome demo of the various Distress products and the different ways they can be used. I really love how your journal pages turned out. I’ve had fun playing with the spray stains – but then I am a spray fanatic. Of course, we carry a good selection of Distress products of all kinds. They are designed to play well together. If you are looking for a particular Distress product and don’t see it on the website, just contact me as I very well may have it in stock, but not have it listed on the website. 


Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918



Yummy stuff at CHA

21 Jan

I just got home from CHA in Anneheim. I fully intended to blog about CHA while I was there, but alas that didn’t happen. There is just so much going on and so much to do and see and then you end up exhausted at the end of the day and don’t want to really do much work. Plus the hotel was charging us if we wanted to use the internet, which really just annoyed me. Anyway, I only managed to do a few Facebook posts while I was gone.

First of all, Sunny California was downright cold. Apparently there were record cold temperatures while we were there. I know, it certainly wasn’t as cold as at home, but when you go to California you expect it to be nice. The trek from the hotel to breakfast and to the Convention Center every day was quite brisk (especially since I didn’t really take warm clothes with me). But still, the sun was out, the palm trees were swaying, the shrubbery was green and lush. And the company was great.

I did a number of workshops/classes while I was there, which were really great. I tried to sit in on a few demos on the floor, but really didn’t have the time to do as much of that as I wanted. I did look at lots of samples of fun mixed media art. It does really look like the scrapbooking industry is trying to incorporate more mixed media into what they do. Most of the scrapbooking companies are adding more texture and layers and embellishments than they have in the past. There is definitely more of a mixed media feel to everything. Of course, I am not really a scrapbooking business so all those rows of paper and more paper just weren’t that interesting to me.


The booths I liked best were more art and mixed media. Those were the yummy booths. Lots of fun stuff to play with and lots of great art and new products and fun colors.

Of course, Ranger has a fabulous booth, and there are Tim Holtz things everywhere (not just at Ranger). Tim Holtz is like a rock star. His demos have so many people watching and filming and snapping photos, and then if he is out and about there are people wanting his autograph and hoping to take a photo with him or get a hug. Of course there are many other artists doing demos and having photos taken, but he is by far the most popular.

Faber-Castell has a nice booth and demos. They have great packaging so their products always look nice. Plus they had these fabulous cookies there with icing that showed all the gelatos. Very pretty and colorful and tasty.


The Luminarte booth was a lot of fun too. All that wonderful color and lots of sparkle. And quite busy too.

The Petaloo people had so many samples of artwork using their products. A lot of texture and dimension and layers. I thought they had a lot of great samples of ways to use their products in mixed media art. I liked the Kaisercraft booth too. Cute ideas for using their products. My theory is that if you are selling scrapbooking papers you need to show some other ideas for your products to appeal to the part of the market that isn’t really scrapbooking. I love pretty papers, but I’m probably not using them in a scrapbook. I might use them in art journaling or collage or other mixed media work.

cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha

Of course there are all those booths that try to outdo each other with displays and accessories. There was not one, but two enormous elephants in two different booths, a cool hippy VW van, dinette vignettes, numerous dresses, flying butterflies,  a magic show, bicycles, etc.  So much creativity and ingenuity in the displays. I loved seeing all those fun booths.

cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha

All in all, it was fun and entertaining and I had fun playing with new goodies. I can’t wait to share the new products I ordered as they start coming into the store.


Let Your Inner Artist Out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5965 Whiskey River Dr – Colorado Springs, CO 80923 – USA

Tim Holtz Grungeboard

17 Oct


This is an older Tim Holtz video about Grungeboard, but since a lot of people still ask questions about it, I thought it was worth sharing.

As you can see in the video Grungeboard is pretty awesome to use. Of course, all the Tim Holtz products by Ranger work really well with it, but I’m sure that you can see the endless possibilities with any of your other favorite products. I have painted it, distressed it, cut it, sewn it, glued it, etc. It works great no matter what you do to it.

If you already have some Grungeboard, get it out and play with it. If you don’t have any, well here is where you can purchase some!



Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5965 Whiskey River Drive – Colorado Springs, CO 80923 – USA

Royalty Free Images
%d bloggers like this: