Thursday, October 4, 2012

Compendium Week 23: Distress Markers

It's October and Michigan definitely turned autumnal last weekend.  Pumpkin Spice Lattes for everyone and the trees changed overnight.  This year the trees seem to be green, brown or STUNNING.  The vibrancy is what makes a Michigan fall so fantastic but this year it turned up a notch into breathtaking.

We are on Week 23 of the Compendium of Curiosity Vol. 2 Challenge over at Studio L3.  As per my usual weekly ramblings….the challenge is based on the book of the same name by THE Tim Holtz.  This week we are working on Distress Markers from page 50.  This week's challenge is being sponsored by Mario with a big ol' box of goodies that I cannot wait to win (ok, so it is a randomly drawn sorta thing).  As is true every week, I cannot exactly explain the exact details in the technique because this is Tim's intellectual  property- so go buy the book already.  Or check his website…this technique isn't at all complicated but it does rely on unique properties of Distress..hint….hint.

So Distress Markers.  I bought  2 sets of 6 colors each at Hobby Lobby all excited after I took Tim's Creative Chemistry 101 class and I gotta admit to you all…I'm not a marker person.  I see women going bananas for Copic Markers…obsessing over obtaining the complete set…which is all 1,853, 346 markers at $400 per marker…. and I don't get it.  Don't get me wrong, when they really get shading and graduating the colors, the results are stunning.  But it isn't me.  So my 12 Distress Markers sat in the canister getting paranoid at just how much I didn't like them.  When I saw last week that Distress Markers are this week's topic, I groaned.  You probably heard me..I was in the swanky Palmer House Hilton in Chicago lamenting the fact that I was in the hotel bed- ill- while my family was out shopping and hanging at Legoland.

(For those of you who have no idea what a Copic Marker is and don't get my reference to the ridiculous number of pens and the price….here is some information that I will admit humbled me greatly when I saw some of the works that recently won a contest…Ugh some people can really draw. They  have a has a gallery with lots of cool projects, and to learn more about the Markers here.  Or search YouTube for videos of people creating with Copic, it is fascinating.

So, I dragged me feet and didn't even work on the project until yesterday but I will humbly admit that once again I realized that by forcing myself to do something- in this case to continue with a challenge I set out to complete many many weeks ago- I learned a valuable lesson.  I don't hate markers…I just have to use them in the right projects.  Which in this case are two tags that I, well to put it mildly…LOVE.  I can't stop staring at them.  I love them….a lot….like I would marry them if I could.  Ok so that is adolescent and stupid….but I am very happy with the tags and the lesson learned.

Classic #6
The Stamps:  I used an old stamp by Michelle Ward, who happens to be one of my favorite artists and as I have learned through her blog, one amazing person.  I've had the Cup Collection stamp fact it made the move to Michigan so that makes it at least 10 yeas old.  I have been obsessed with Michelle's work since I discovered Somerset Studio Magazine back in Dec 1999.  Her style is unique and instantly recognizable and Michelle continues to inspire and excite me with her work.  She was the first artist  I saw who used her blog to become accessible.  It seems so obvious now that everyone blogs, but Michelle realized the power of this earlier than a lot of artists.

Cup Collection available here
Michelle Ward continues to be such a generous artist.  Through her blogs she inspires, she teaches, she publishes, she continues to design stamps and stencils, and yet she finds time to develop a rapport with her readers.  Every time I leave a comment on her blog about something she made or did or her kids,  she hops over to this blog and leaves ME a nice email or comment about my work or something I posted.  Seriously?  Michelle Ward likes me?  She really really likes me?

Anyway, when Tim Holtz released his Summer CHA Stamper's Anonymous line, he reissued some of his favorite old wood block stamps as clear mount.  He released 10 sets and most of the images were drawn by MIchelle.  You can see which ones specifically on her blog where she discusses the reissue.  You can see (and order) her other stamps and her stencils directly from her here.  There are a links at the bottom of that page for her Stampington Collections or you can see them here.

Tag #1
Back to my project
So, armed with my Michelle Ward stamp, a new-old set from Tim called simply Classic #6, Distress Markers and the plan to get out of my color comfort zone and go a little Paula Cheney, I set to work.

The Markers: While I cannot share the actual Distress Markers technique, I can tell you the rest of how I made the tag. Tag #1: I used Archival Black ink to stamp the cups individually down the middle of a #8 Manilla tag.  I simply masked off the 2 cups that I didn't want to stamp each time.  The jagged-edged element was stamped using black Archival as well.  The stamped images were all colored with Distress Markers from Set #2 (Spun Sugar, Spiced Marmalade, Crushed Olives, Stormy Sky, Victorian Velvet) and Set #6 (Aged Mahogany, Honey, and Broken China). After I colored the stamped images, I went back over the tag with Victorian Velvet Distress Ink using a foam pad from a blending tool avoiding the colored images.  I added rhinestones to the end of the jagged edge image and a seam binding bow.
Tag #2
The second card ironically was an afterthought really. I used the stamped images that I originally used as a mask for the first tag.  I colored the cups in the same way as Tag #1 but then cut them out.  The jagged element was colored with Victorian Velvet Distress Ink and blending tool Another #8 Manilla tag was colored with Crushed Olive and Victorian Velvet Distress Ink using a blending tool.  This color combo is one that Paula used in the Gratitude Journal and I love it but it isn't one I would usually chose.  I attached the cut out cups using Pop Dots and the jagged element using regular Mono Adhesive.  I added the flatback pearls to the points, a green seam binding bow and the Idea-ology Alpha Parts letters spelling "TEA" (I used a combo of the Newsprint and Ransom). Finally, I painted the tops with Ranger Silver Paint Dabber.  That's it.
Things  Crafty is hosting a Weekly Wednesday Linky Party.  Be sure to stop over and add your latest projects to the party and come back Tuesday to see what projects we loved the most.

Laters Baby…
This project was Linked to the following Linky Parties:
Weekly Wednesday Linky Party at Things Crafty
Studio L3 Compendium of Curiosity Vol 2. Challenge 23
Twigg Studios
Just Us Four


  1. I'm a bit like you with the marker 'thing' I've got 10 DI markers and they're not my first choice of medium, but... I did enjoy doing the challenge once I got started. Your tags are lovely by the way x

  2. How beautiful and comforting to see. M

  3. Beautiful tags. I love the shading. Just one question I've been wrestling with: I haven't made many tags because I just don't know what to do with them when they are finished. What do you do with all of your tags?

  4. I love this tag, great colors and they are my favorite! Always enjoy your work! K


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