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Old 11-29-2015, 12:27 PM   #1
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Default Why distress ink?

I started with stampin Up inks and papers and have graduated to other products, but because of space, hesitate to buy similar color ink colors from other companies. I know the difference between permanent and watercolor.
Yet, so many techniques tell me to use distress ink.
Both are watercolors, arent they?
Can they be interchanged?
Can I get similar results without distress ink?
Any advice and experiences would be helpful.

At a recent show, I discovered Brutus Monroe inks-- demo says they can be used quickly with water to color, but when dry are permanent like momento so you can stamp, dry, and then watercolor with out smearing.
With all these different inks, the workroom gets crowded and much goes unused. Help please.
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Old 11-29-2015, 12:36 PM   #2
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If I understand your post correctly, yes, they are both water soluble and will run if not sealed or have special properties like Memento inks or archivals do.

I think many times we talk about distress inks because they are so recognizable as a brand and speak to the techniques we use to add ink to edges, etc.

You should be able to use Stampin' Up inks the same way you would Distress Inks.

Markers ccontain the same ink as the pads and enable us to color with the nibs or use brushes if we have refil inks.

I know what mean, there is NO reason to duplicate the same item by a different name nor when it will do two or three different techniques.

If I have missed something, and I could have, I hope to learn by following this thread.
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Old 11-29-2015, 01:25 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. Your answers seem to be spot on and thorough.
My local stamp store lists brands for their workshops and classes and it frustrates me enough not to sign up. Hence I try things alone and waste time with many mistakes before getting a useable piece. Classes help me to focus on one technique at a time.
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Old 11-29-2015, 01:42 PM   #4
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Distress inks appear to be just a super juicy type of dye ink. But there may be something more than that, at least Ranger seems to think so. Regardless, I like the Distress inks a lot for their pretty colors, ease of purchase and affordability.

From the Ranger site:

Here are some key points that make Distress Inks different:

STAYS WET LONGER – (allows you to blend and shade on photos and paper – also emboss) other dye inks dry too fast especially on photos so you end up with lines and marks if you go direct from the pad.

COLOR WICKS OR SPREADS OUT – (these inks will travel across the surface of your paper when spritzed with water) other dyes do not travel as much although they might bleed a little when wet, the Distress Inks actually “wick” or spread out much further creating several tone on tones.

COLOR STABILITY – (the colors of the Distress Inks will not break down when wet or heated allowing you to have more color control for the finished look) other “brown colored” dyes will break down when water is added leaving a pink & green hue.
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Old 11-29-2015, 02:02 PM   #5
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In the main, almost anything you do with Distress Ink, you can do with any Dye ink. The big point with Distress, as Melissa59 says, is that when water is added to them, the colours stay true. Not so with all brands, it's just trial and error really.
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Old 11-29-2015, 02:15 PM   #6
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Tim uses the term "water reactive" with Distress inks. It doesn't dilute and become lighter. It doesn't turn funky colors when mixed with water. It does not need to be heat set, but it is slower to dry.

The water reactivity means that special effects can be accomplished that can't be done with other dye inks.
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Old 11-29-2015, 03:39 PM   #7
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Distress Inks are highly water reactive. In my experience they do behave differently from other dye inks. This is particularly true for "wrinkle-free distress" techniques, where you smear the ink on a craft mat, spray with water and then drag your paper through the ink, building up layers of color. You are also more easily able to "remove" inks from paper by applying water. This can be as simple as flicking droplets across a distress background and then picking up the water with a paper towel, to actually using water to lighten a stamped area. Here is a card I did using the latter technique. I created a gradient using distress ink sponging and then lightened the insides of the flower petals by apply water and blotting until I had the effect I wanted:

rr_distressfreshflower2.jpg

Distress inks also have their own very particular color palette. Some people really like both their very soft, vintage shades and their very vibrant ones.

As you can tell, I am a fan!
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Old 11-29-2015, 04:25 PM   #8
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Gorgeous card!

Thanks for the info on the Distress Inks...good to know

I have used the Close To My Heart stamp pads for a couple years and their reinkers. I also do Mixed Media. I have all the Distress Markers and love those as well. Once I run out of the CTMH pads I'll switch to Distress Ink pads simply because there are good deals on shipping and more things I can purchase thru, JAs or Michaels...or I can pick them up as needed and use a coupon.
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Old 11-29-2015, 07:28 PM   #9
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I did the Tim holtz chemistry 101 class and did side by side tests of both distress and SU inks on manilla and whisper white card stock. In my experience both inks achieved the same results when used the same way in 90% of the techniques shown. Different card stocks gave different results. You cannot get the same distressed 'Ranger' look on whisper white for most of the techniques. And not all manilla is created equal either. I experimented with a couple of brands to find the look I liked best. I find the distress ink has more of a gel like consistency with its re inkers which could explain why it stays wetter and feels smoother to paint with.
I use them both. They play well together too.
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:10 AM   #10
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I did that class, too, Theresa. I recently revisited it to give me some inspiration. Good class. If you are into the TH products. Although, as you say, many of the techniques can be done without them.
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:44 AM   #11
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I think this is definitely a case where you need to get a few pads and experiment. And once you zero in on a few techniques that you like, the answer will become much clearer. If you just want a dye ink to sponge on card stock, probably interchangeable. If you want to use a dye ink for watercolor techniques, I think Distress has the edge.

I've recently invested in a few IZINKS and discovered they are even more fabulous for watercolor techniques! And they're permanent when dry, unlike Distress, so you can layer over them in mixed media projects. If you like to layer after you have laid down color, this might be a good option for you. Maybe invest in a few pads of Distress or one of the permanent-when-dry inks and and see for yourself.
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Old 11-30-2015, 09:57 AM   #12
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I went and looked those Izinks up, poppydarling. They look interesting. Are they more like ink or more like paint? Can you put them in a mister? How opaque are they?

Yes, getting a few Distress pads to play with (and you can get the minis to start) is the way to go. You will either be inspired to buy more or you'll decide they aren't your thing. People tend to go one way or another, they either love them or don't see what the fuss is about.
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Old 11-30-2015, 01:01 PM   #13
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I went and looked those Izinks up, poppydarling. They look interesting. Are they more like ink or more like paint? Can you put them in a mister? How opaque are they?
Texture is somewhere between ink and watered-down acrylic paint, and opacity depends on how you use them! But once they start to dry they are definitely more like ink than paint – hard to clean up tools and will not lift when you add other techniques on top. I used an IZINK to letterpress last night and was very impressed (it's still easier to clean up than letterpress ink!)

Here's a great introduction to IZINK by Sandy Allnock. Donna Downey also does a comparison on her YouTube channel between IZINKs and regular acrylic paints.

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Old 11-30-2015, 02:35 PM   #14
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I looked at the Donna Downey and, good for her, she compared it to high-flow acrylics. It helped me see the difference, because I already have some high-flows.

This is not a cheap product, though.

The colors are pretty amazing, though.

Well, poppydarling, now I am completely intrigued. I might have to get a few of these.
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:55 PM   #15
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I looked at the Donna Downey and, good for her, she compared it to high-flow acrylics. It helped me see the difference, because I already have some high-flows.

This is not a cheap product, though.

The colors are pretty amazing, though.

Well, poppydarling, now I am completely intrigued. I might have to get a few of these.
I hope you can invest in some! You won't believe this, but I checked on Amazon and then thought to check Joann.com, and they had them on sale last week for $4.14/ bottle + $1.99 shipping. Amazing price! I just got three because they had a limited selection of colors, but I definitely want to get more. What I love the most is how the colors don't dilute a whole lot when you add water. And I love that you can draw with the dropper!
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Old 11-30-2015, 03:07 PM   #16
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Dick Blick has them for $5 and change, but with the size of the shopping cart I've got going at this point, there won't be any shipping. Maybe I'll throw a few in, they will barely be noticed among all the other stuff I want.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:42 PM   #17
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I appreciate the info and comparisons. I flunked coloring in kindergarden and the years did not change my talent much. I thnk whatever I use I need the talent. I think I am mostly impatient and find dsp and die cuts exciting and fun to use. Maybe I just need to accept that is my style. Thanks again for so much good info. Ps bought a couple of distressed pads and reinkers today,
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Old 12-01-2015, 05:18 AM   #18
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estamps, I agree with you about accepting yourself for who you are. It's great to try something new and see how you like it, and sometimes we stumble on something that we're not great at, but we love it so much we are willing to practice and practice until we are great at it. Then there are things that just aren't going to end up in our personal toolbox for one reason or another.

If you have any questions about using your new Distress Inks, ask! Lots of folks here use them and will be willing to share.
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:07 AM   #19
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I use distress inks interchangeably with other dye inks and I just don't see that big of a difference. Getting a weird color mix happens with distress inks the same as other dye inks when you have colors that don't blend well to make a pleasing color. I buy distress inks mainly for colors that I don't have in other inks.

I like TH but I learned not to get taken up with the hype on his products. Tim is a great salesman but I've learned to try his techniques with what I have on hand and in most instances, I don't need to buy something new.
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:36 AM   #20
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I have to say that I do find Distress Inks easier to blend than other dye inks. They move differently on card stock, at least for me, when I'm using a blender tool.

Yes, there's a whole Tim Holtz universe. He's built quite an empire. But lots of his products are good. And he's brought some interesting techniques into the mix.
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:08 AM   #21
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This may have already been mentioned but I missed it. My Distress Inks have saved me more than once because you can use them to heat emboss a stamped image. It also does a great job on sentiments if not very detailed. I do not have pigment inks in all colors. I own every single Distress Ink (and yes, they take up a boatload of space).
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Old 12-03-2015, 12:40 PM   #22
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123scrap, me too! I'm just worried he's going to release more colours next year, then a complete rethink of my ink storage will be needed. Already had to reorganise once for this years 12!
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:30 PM   #23
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I had every single color as of a year and a half ago. I've been avoiding looking at what's been released since then.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:42 AM   #24
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123scrap, me too! I'm just worried he's going to release more colours next year, then a complete rethink of my ink storage will be needed. Already had to reorganise once for this years 12!
Shazsilverwolf, I wonder if the word "final" in Tim's post today means that Candied Apple will be the last, at least for a while...

new distress: candied apple? | Tim Holtz

Quote: "it’s the first friday of the month and time to announce the final new color to join ranger’s distress palette…"

He's even got it underlined. I could be wrong, but I would assume yes. What do you think?
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:02 AM   #25
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Gorgeous card!

Thanks for the info on the Distress Inks...good to know

I have used the Close To My Heart stamp pads for a couple years and their reinkers. I also do Mixed Media. I have all the Distress Markers and love those as well. Once I run out of the CTMH pads I'll switch to Distress Ink pads simply because there are good deals on shipping and more things I can purchase thru, JAs or Michaels...or I can pick them up as needed and use a coupon.
One thing that I wanted to mention about switching to all distress inks and no dye inks of any other brand (CTMH or SU or any others)... If you have a lot of photopolymer or acrylic stamps, then the distress inks often bead up on them so you get splotchier impressions. There are workarounds (using a MISTI to overstamp until it's even, inking with Versamark, then distress ink), but you may find them bothersome. It won't matter to many, but I thought I'd mention it in case it did matter to you...
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:07 AM   #26
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Why, oh WHY do I read these threads?!? Now I have to investigate Brutus Monroe and IZINKS, and explore more of the possibilities of Distress Inks, even! I've been trying to scale DOWN (even made "spots" to save space instead of having full-size pads), but I may have to concede that I want what I want and give up on how much space it takes... Thanks just really a lot, all of you enablers!
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:14 AM   #27
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I agree with Sue. As much as I love Distress Inks, I would not depend on them for every stamping need. They do some things well, and for others, another ink is better.

We are all looking for that "one thing" that will do it all, but there is no "one thing". I'd never give up my SU pads, or my Colorbox Fluid Chalks. Or my Versafine! Nothing like Versafine for detail!

Oh, and I went over and looked at those iZinks as well. Go watch Dini's new watercolor tutorial and see if you don't find yourself looking at the fluid watercolors she uses there. They come in an eyedropper bottle. Dr. Martin's Hydrus watercolors.
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Old 12-05-2015, 05:37 AM   #28
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Thanks for your reply. Your answers seem to be spot on and thorough.
My local stamp store lists brands for their workshops and classes and it frustrates me enough not to sign up. Hence I try things alone and waste time with many mistakes before getting a useable piece. Classes help me to focus on one technique at a time.
Go ahead and go to the class with the brand you have! The instructors and your classmates will be happy to let you try their products so you can decide if the results are worth the difference! I always take some of my supplies, like SU cardstock or inks to test or duplicate if I am doubtful of being able to replicate the results. The store will always list the supplies you need (they are a store!) but they will have some on hand.
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Old 12-05-2015, 05:57 AM   #29
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I had every single color as of a year and a half ago. I've been avoiding looking at what's been released since then.
Because you are my inking sister I feel compelled to tell you that I think the colors released in the last 12 months are some the best they have ever done! I only had about 18 of the colors before the new releases but I purchased at least half of the new colors in the last year.
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Old 12-05-2015, 06:09 AM   #30
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ACK! Now I have to go and look!
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Old 12-05-2015, 06:51 PM   #31
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I have all the TH colors, but I never stamp with them. I use to blend on backgrounds, create sunsets or oceans, or vintage up stuff. Other apps. But rarely stamp an image with them.

I find that distress ink blends better than any other ink I've tried. I like to paint with inks also, and prefer the distress inks for that also. It fits this niche well.

I do agree about TH products in general though. There is a ton of advertising applied to his product lines and I often see DIY hacks made of these products all the time on YouTube. You can accomplish the same things with other brand names. I do check YouTube to see if I can do a technique with a different brand of something I already own rather than buying his brand (when I have 2 other brands of the same thing in my drawer).
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Old 12-06-2015, 03:07 AM   #32
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i bought mini distress inks and regretted it because the packaging of them, i could never keep the lids on. I felt like i was almost forced to buy the container made for them because otherwise i had to be really careful with them and couldn't put them in the drawer with my other inks. I think the SU inks are better all around.
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Old 12-06-2015, 04:43 PM   #33
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I, too, felt compelled to let Robin know the error of her ways if she didn't at least look at the new colors... but I see, Poppydarling, you've taken care of that for me. Abandoned Coral, anyone?
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Old 12-06-2015, 10:18 PM   #34
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i bought mini distress inks and regretted it because the packaging of them, i could never keep the lids on. I felt like i was almost forced to buy the container made for them because otherwise i had to be really careful with them and couldn't put them in the drawer with my other inks.
I don't regret buying the mini pads but I do hate the packaging. I'd read reviews where other people had trouble the lids coming off. I came here and asked if others had the same problem. Nope. So I thought it was an isolated incident and I bought two 4-packs of the mini pads. Oh well. They are an inexpensive way to decide if I like a color well enough to buy the full size version sometime in the distant future.
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Old 12-07-2015, 02:55 AM   #35
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Oh PLEASE, Linda, allow me to do some enabling for Robin. Behold my just-finished Distress Markers Color Charts, page 1 and 2. True, not the inkpads, but same lovely, juicy, glorious colors. You know you need them, Robin, you need them all. You know....

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Old 12-10-2015, 09:50 AM   #36
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I appreciate the info and comparisons. I flunked coloring in kindergarden and the years did not change my talent much. I thnk whatever I use I need the talent. I think I am mostly impatient and find dsp and die cuts exciting and fun to use. Maybe I just need to accept that is my style. Thanks again for so much good info. Ps bought a couple of distressed pads and reinkers today,
I thought I flunked coloring too, in large part because I can't stay within the lines, so I have stayed away from it my whole life. Until this past year! I discovered Copics and the ability to 'push' the color back within the lines. I also discovered watercoloring with Distress Inks. I clear emboss the stamp I want to watercolor, which keeps the color within the lines. Using the Distress Inks I find I have really good control over the color intensity and I can just keep reworking it until I'm happy with it.

I'm with you though, I think I love die cutting way more than stamping. I really really want an electronic die cut machine but that seems a ways off still.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:55 AM   #37
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I don't regret buying the mini pads but I do hate the packaging. I'd read reviews where other people had trouble the lids coming off. I came here and asked if others had the same problem. Nope. So I thought it was an isolated incident and I bought two 4-packs of the mini pads. Oh well. They are an inexpensive way to decide if I like a color well enough to buy the full size version sometime in the distant future.
I have the same problem with the lids flying off, I only use the minis. I have one container so far and love it for storage, but they're not cheap where I live and I need at least two more at the moment.

One workaround to the lid problem I found is if you stack them they seem to stay on better. Only problem with that is when you store the little round foam blender pads underneath, you can no longer stack them very well.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:09 AM   #38
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Never thought about it, but you are right, the lids are a problem. I'm trying to think if the lids come any of my other pads quite so easily, and I can't.

I bought OrganizeMore cabinets for all my inks, so I don't have to stack any of them, but it was an expensive solution. Not one I regret - all my inks are in those cabinets on the wall in front of me as I work, and it's great, but it was not a cheap way to go and I had to resort to the every-popular "Well, I deserve this because…" ploy to get myself to do it.
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