Sunday, July 7, 2019

Spot the Difference!

As a child, I remember my favorite thing to do on Sunday was to grab the comic section out of the newspaper.  It wasn't that I loved comics, although Garfield was pretty great, but I wanted that section for the game that was always hiding near the back.  It was a game of Spot the Difference where you'd look at 2 photos to try to figure out what was different.  Some of the items were easy to spot and others, well, were more of a challenge.  Today I have a similar challenge for you!  Below you will see three greeting cards.  Can you spot what's different?

So first off, I'm sure you noticed the colors were a little different.  That, however, isn't what I was hoping you'd notice.  I used the same stamps (Sea of Textures and Colorful Seasons) on all three.  I applied the ink with my oval makeup brushes and splattered all three with the same water. 

What do you think about the style?  The splattered style of backgrounds has been popular for a while now, but I only just tried it this weekend.  Why did I wait?  Well, after watching a bunch of youtube videos, I decided I didn't have the right supplies.  I decided I needed different ink pads. 

That, my friends, is what is different on the above card samples.  I have used 3 different brands of ink.  (I confess, I don't just have Stampin' Up items in my craftroom.  Please don't judge me!) 

So here's the answer to the Spot the Difference challenge:

The 1st card is made with Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inkpads.  I used the colors Pine Needles, Broken China, and Cracked Pistachio on the background.  Then I used Barn Door, Shabby Shutters, and Milled Lavender for my stamped images. 

The 2nd card is made with inkpads from Catherine Pooler.  I used Something Borrowed, All That Jazz, and Mint to Be on the background.  Then I used Party Dress, Sweet Sixteen, and Melon ice for stamping. 

The 3rd card was made with my Stampin' Up inkpads.  For the background I used Bermuda Bay, Balmy Blue, and Mint Macaroon, which started looking like Pear Pizazz, so I switched to Coastal Cabana.  Technically it's a blend of the two on the bottom layer.  For the stamped images I used Calypso Coral, Highland Heather (2nd generation) and Soft Seafoam. 

So guess what?  All this time I thought I couldn't get that splattered effect with my Stampin' Up inkpads.  I was wrong.  Those inks reacted just as nicely to my water spots as the others.  So which is my favorite?  I think they all look great! 

My least favorite of the bunch was the Catherine Pooler ink.  It was messy and I found it hard to stamp a crisp image.  I still haven't gotten all the ink out of my makeup brush.  The ink is VERY pigmented and it would be easy to overdo it.  However, I did like her Midnight Black for the embossed sentiment, so much so that I used it on all three cards.  (It stays wet a while so it does a good job holding the embossing powder.)  It stains like Staz-On but is supposed to be good for watercolor, as well as alcohol markers.  While I haven't tried it with watercolor, I did use it with my Stampin' Blends and it bled.  I also tried it with my Copics and had the same disappointing results. 

In terms of ease of use for this technique, I'd pick the Tim Holtz Distress Oxides.  The ink flowed onto my Whisper White cardstock like butter and blended with almost no effort.  I applied the water exactly the same way, but the ink reacted differently and gave me a different look that the other two ink brands. 

I think the Stampin' Up ink did a great job too.  It did take more work (I think I worked off some upper arm flab while working to blend my inks on the paper!) but once down, I think it looked really nice.  I also liked that the water splatters were more formed into circles on the Stampin' Up (and the Catherine Pooler, for that matter,) version than the Tim Holtz variety.  My only regret is that I didn't try this technique with my Stampin' Up inks BEFORE I purchased inks from other brands.

I will continue to play with all three brands to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of each. 

This is the longest blog post I've written in years!  If you need Stampin' Up items, this is a good month to buy them.  The company is giving a $5 coupon to be used in August for each $50 spent (before shipping & taxes) in July.  It's sort of like the Kohl's cash deal.  You don't have to do anything special to get the coupons.  Once you place a qualifying order, those coupons will be sent to your email.  The trick is to save them and not lose them.  I won't get a copy of your coupon, so it'll be up to you to keep up with the emails and don't accidentally delete them. 

Happy Stampin!

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