Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Practical Scrappers DT Challenge: Use Inks or Chalk

Arrgggg me hearties and welcome t' me blog!

No I haven't been watching too much SpongeBob and I'm not practicing for "International Talk like a Pirate day". I'm just setting the mood for my Practical Scrappers Design Team Project: "Pirate Girls".

This week the challenge at Practical Scrappers is for you is use either chalks or inks (any kind of inks: alcohol, dye, pigment etc), and this month their sponsor is Stamping Boutique! One Grand Prize winner will receive 2 digital stamps of their choice. Check out Stamping Boutique to see what they offer and we look forward to seeing what you create!

Last week I mentioned how excited I was about this week's project - inks! If you had asked me a couple of years ago what I thought about inks I wouldn't have had much to say... I wasn't a huge fan. Well now I use ink on almost every project I create, especially Tim Holtz Distress Inks. I love how they can turn a piece of blah paper into something amazing. If you have never tried distress inks, I highly recommend checking out Tim's website and watching his demo videos. I bet you'll be running to your nearest LSS or craft store to pick up a few. But watch out... the colors are amazing, the look you'll get from these inks is fabulous and soon you'll be back buying every color available. I know... I'm now an "inkaholic", which brings me to my DT submission for this week:

The brown background paper is from HotP's "Leather" Papers. The name is deceiving because these papers just look like tanned and branded leather. I added to the leather-look by inking the edges with Walnut Stain distress ink. The burlap looking paper is from AdornIt Carolee's Creations "Western Collection" and is called "Heroes and Cowboys". I love looking for paper in unexpected sections of my LSS... I found this paper with farm/4H/horse papers, but I knew I wanted to use it for my pirate layout. The paper has words down the right side and some very light scroll designs in 2 corners, which the distress ink covers a bit. I tore the paper on two sides removing the words, then I made little slits along some of the edges to give the paper a frayed look. After I was happy with the shape, I used Tim Holtz Distress ink in Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain to give the edges a burned and aged appearance. The close-up below shows the details and how the inks really add character to the papers:

The title letters were cut with my Cricut using the Black Letter cartridge. If you like the look of that font, you better snag that cartridge quickly - Provo Craft recently announced it is retiring that Solutions Cartridge (and a few more!). I rubbed a little black ink on the letters to tone down the red cardstock just a little. While I'm talking about the red CS, if you notice the little scull and crossbones welded next to the "s" in "girls" you may see a hint of pink in the color. Being the silly girl that I am, I mistakenly cut it out of red when I was cutting the letters (d'oh!). Not wanting to waste paper (save the trees) I decided to cover it up with Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint in "Picket Fence". As it dried, the red from the paper bled into the paint, giving it a pink tone. Ok so what's a girl to do (still trying to use that cut!) with a pink skull??? Walnut Stain distress to the rescue. The ink covered enough of the color to make me happy while bringing out more of the cracks in the crackle paint. Problem solved.

That skull was cut from my Indie Art cartridge and there is also another skull on the lower right corner that was cut from Life is a Beach, coated with distress crackle paint and inked with Walnut stain, only I popped it onto 3D foam dots to make it stand out a bit.

My absolute FAVORITE part of this page is the tags...

Don't they look like aged leather with funky piratical words and images branded into them? Want that look? Grab some brown Bazzill Basics paper, the kind with just a tiny bit of texture yet still on the smooth side. I wish I knew what it's called but here's a close-up of what this texture looks like:

This is NOT the color that I used, which was actually a little lighter and I can't find more of it. If you know the name of this CS can you leave me a comment and let me know so I can run out a buy a stack of it? (hehehe!)

So back to my tags... the key to getting this look is to start with a non-stick craft sheet. Working with an ink blending tool, dab onto a walnut stain distress ink pad several times until you can see the ink on the foam, then gently rub in a circular motion beginning on the craft sheet and up onto the edge of the paper. You want to have a darker edge on the tag. Then as the amount of ink decreases on the blending tool, start to move a little further onto the tag to blend the ink with the paper. The subtle texture of this Bazzill CS allows the ink to kiss the bumps leaving just a trace of color. I added a lot of walnut stain to the edges to really age them. I used the same ink technique with the photo mat and small journal tags. The stamped images were from Inque Boutique Savoir Faire "Savvy" (Adventure, Treasure and the pirate ship on the large tag) and Stampendous (palm tree island, compass and treasure map). I used black Stazon to stamp the images and words on my tags. The tags were all cut from Tags, Bags, Boxes and More Cricut cartridge. The key and fibers were all from a HotP fiber pack.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think or if you have a question about these inks.

Thanks for visiting my blog and...

Happy crafting,


  1. You go girlie, or "Pirate Gilie". Honeybun, this is fantabulous!!!! Love your layout and all the inking!
    Kim xXx

  2. Hi Barb! What a fun and sassy layout! Love the picture and all of your wonderful details with the ink - great job!

    Heidi :)

  3. Barb, your layout is absolutely fantastic! I love your distressing and the whole theme. It came together so nicely!