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Monday 20 October 2014

Destination Inspiration - Distress Sprays and Texture Pastes

Hello all and lovely to have you drop in here at A Vintage Journey. It's Astrid here and as it's Monday you may know, every second Monday one of the creative guides shares a project, technique or inspiration piece. So today it is my turn again and as I was thinking about what to write for what I have done, I came to the conclusion that Destination Inspiration is perhaps not quite the right title on this occasion, maybe it should be Destination Exploration, for when I started I had no idea where I would land up, as really I was just experimenting.... But I hope that what I am about to share, may give you some inspiration along the way too to explore and discover....

So I decided to play with the new Tim Holtz Distress Sprays and try them out on as many different substrates and texture pastes as I could. I created a series of 9 different tags, I will number them, show you the different effects and give you a quick view of the tags after I had completed them.
The full details of some of the finished tags I will show on my own blog in the days to come, for otherwise this post would get far too long. If you are planning to play with the sprays, I highly recommend to get a large cheap sketch pad and lay it on top of your work surface. It will soak up all the excess spray, and will give you amazing results that can be used for die cutting or journaling or what ever you please.
So here goes:

Tag 1

Sprays on a plain manila tag:

Colours used: Antique Linen, Vintage Photo, Walnut stain.

Adding some stenciling with Walnut Stain Spray and stamping.

The completed tag.

Tag 2

Sprays on a Black tag:
This is the result of a first spraying, I used two of the metallics, Tarnished Brass and Antique Bronze and spritzt with lots of water. As I was not too excited with the result, I gave it a second spraying:
This time I added Picket Fence and Peacock Feathers. Because the Picket Fence is quite opaque, you get a wonderful patina effect when mixed with the metallics and the Peacock Feathers.
And here is the finished tag. The leaf was cut from the mop up excess on the pad I keep underneath, as explained above. I also added some Remnant Rubs and was interested to note that they are easy to apply onto the sprayed tag, unlike an inked pad, for as Tim has pointed out, the resins in the inks, stop the rubs adhering, therefore it is better to use them before inking, as I have found out to my cost on many occasions.. but on the sprays they work just fine!

Tag 3
Using Wendy Vecchi Crackle Paste through a Layering Stencil:

It's a good idea to choose a stencil with big opening so the cracks are more visible
After spraying with Tea Dye, Iced Spruce, Peeled Paint and Evergreen Bow. As you can see the crackle paste absorbs the sprays pretty well.
The finished tag. Like I said, I will post full details of the finished tags on my blog in days to come.

Tag 4
Plain Manila Tag run through an embossing folder for texture:
After spraying with Brushed Pewter and Black Soot:
Love how the Brushed Pewter mixed with the Black Soot almost gives a sort of bluey effect. If I did this again though, I would colour the tag first, dry it and only then run it through an embossing folder, as quite a bit of texture gets lost in the spraying process, because it is all quite wet of course. Love though how the black Soot puddles in some of the indented areas.
Here is the finished tag:
Again details to follow in days to come, but just to mention, the large snowflake was another embossed piece that I simply cut out.

Tag 5
This one I call my mixed media tag:
Plain Manila tag, Gesso scraped over with a palette knife
After spraying with Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers, Broken China and Faded Jeans. I found that though the colour appears to hold quite well on top of the gesso, a baby wipe, will immediately wipe it off and it tends to pool in certain areas. I really wanted a darker blue, but alas there is no Chipped Sapphire spray yet, so I decided to make my own by mixing a few drops of re-inker in a spritzer bottle with some water. It worked just fine and I am not sure really whether there is much difference between that and the ready sprays.
Here is the tag after adding strips of tissue wrap, more stencilling with paste and paint, like I said, mixed media, and of course great fun to do.
And here finally the finished tag:
Well, just over half way there, - hope you are still with me....

Tag 6
Using Wendy Vecchi Embossing Paste through a Layering Stencil
After Spraying with Rusty Hinge, Barn Door, Fired Brick and Walnut Stain:
The paste holds the darker colours better than the lighter ones.
And here is how I finished this tag:

Tag 7
Using Wendi Vecchi Clear embossing Paste through a layering stencil:
After Spraying with Brushed Pewter, Iced Spruce and a little Picket Fence and Black Soot:
I did this in two goes, drying once in between. Love the icy snowy effect of this colour combo.
And here the finished tag:

Tag 8
Using Ranger Embossing Paste through a Layering Stencil:
After spraying with Tattered Rose, Tea Dye and Walnut Stain:
The Ranger Paste is slightly thicker than the Wendy Vecchi paste which is produced by Dreamweaver. I did not feel though that it holds the colour any better than Wendy's paste, but again it holds the darker colours quite well.
The finished tag. Here I used the sprays also on some emboss resist paper on the ticket behind the flowers. As you can see, it absorbs the sprays really well.

And now finally
Tag 9
Using Wendy Vecchi Gold Embossing paste through a layering stencil:
After spraying with Faded Jeans, Dusty Concord, Salty Ocean and Tarnished Brass:
Not surprisingly really, the gold paste completely resists the sprays, but that of course can be a good thing. Below is my final finished tag.
So that is the end of my exploration into the possibilities of the sprays in combination with various embossing pastes. I was lucky in that it was my birthday this month, so I got the full set of sprays and I have to say I have loved playing with them. I love the subtlety of their colours and the way they mix and pool as only Distress Ink products will do. If you are thinking of getting the sprays, but don't want to splash out on the full set, I highly recommend you at least get the metallics and the Picket Fence, they give brilliant results mixed with just about any other colour.

Thank you so much for visiting and sticking with it and I hope you will give these sprays a try!


  1. Wow Astrid! what a super Sprays and Pastes 101 class!! Took me a while to get all the way down to this comment box - and I definitely have to go back up (and probably print this whole darn thing out!) so I can try them all - what great tags you made using all these wonderful backgrounds!

  2. these tags are absolutely beautiful and inspiring!!! I LOVE THEM!!! I can't wait to give a few of these a try!!!!

  3. Your experiments are quite impressive Astrid! I love them all. Thanks so much for the step by step. I will definitely be giving these sprays a go. Karen.x

  4. Wow! I can see how much fun you have had with the sprays I have asked my boys to get me the set for Xmas. I love each and every tag. Dee x

  5. Wow - it"s fantistic what you have worked!!! Every one a piece of Art - i must have the metallic srays :-)
    Ganz liebe Grüße, auch zu deinem Geburtstag noch alles Liebe und Gute, Dagmar.

  6. Brilliant Astrid. For those of us who haven't yet had time (or the funds) to get all the sprays this has provided such an insight into the effects that are achievable. It's so helpful to see the completed tags too. A fantastic guide from a fantastic Creative Guide! Jenny x

  7. O wow the whole set are amazing, thanks for this Astrid, I love these inpriation posts, I learn so much. Ido own a couple of reinkers...I might have a try making a couple of little sprays as I'm waiting for Santa to get some! I especially love the Christmas themed tags, the brushed pewter looks gorgeous x

  8. Awesome DI Astrid with fantastic results x

  9. Well I just posted my comment Astrid and it hasn't appeared so I will try again.
    I love all the steps and outcomes you have achieved on these tags and am bookmarking this post so I can re-visit often to look at the different techniques and ways you have used the sprays. Thank you for sharing such a great insight into this new product and helping us see their versatility. xxx

  10. Wow! Astrid this is a fantastic inspirational post which like Brenda I will visit many times to refresh my memory on the different techniques and mediums you have used with the sprays. All your tags are fabulous. Mo x

  11. Wow! Just Wow! That sketchpad to soak up the ink idea is brilliant, and I adore every single one of your tags. Just gorgeous! x

  12. I think it has all been said!! A fantastic post Astrid which will help many of us decide how to use these wonderful sprays - just need to get them all first! Anne x

  13. Wow! Lots of gorgeous inspiration here! Thanks for sharing your talent!

  14. Fabulous tutorial Astrid - I want go and play right now! Nikkix

  15. Oh my oh my - what an amazing display - these are all brilliant Astrid. Nicola x

  16. These tags are so pretty Astrid, loved to see you play with amazing results...
    Corrie x

  17. Wow! Amazing variety of techniques
    Love these sprays, and after seeing this, I need the metallics too!
    Thank you Astrid for the amazing inspiration

    Jools x

  18. Thank you for the inspiring exploration!! So nice to see how everything looks when put together and how so many of the same things can look so different.

  19. Fabulous tutorial and so inspirational! Thanks so much for sharing your experiments with us and can't wait to read about your finished tags, they are gorgeous!

  20. Wow! Astrid you have really given us an eye and brain full of fabulous information and techniques. You must have had so much fun exploring the possibilities. Each tag is gorgeous and so inspiring. Thank you for sharing! Hugs!

  21. Just perfect how you use these combinations of inks and pastes. I will keep this lesson on my table, ready to explore! Thanks Astrid!

  22. A super informative post Astrid. Love how you went through all the different combinations and the tip with an Artists pad ...great idea. I am sure I will pay reference to this post on several occasions in the future as I build up my stock of Distress Spray Stain.
    Julie x

  23. Wow!! Stunning - each and every tag. Thank you so much for sharing the journey of each one - amazing. I can't wait to these techniques myself.

    With smiles

  24. Fantastic tags and so inspirational. I love embossing pastes & sprays. Thanks for sharing your talent.

  25. Completely missed this at the time of course - but what a fabulous post taking us through the possibilities of the sprays with all those many media. Gorgeous finished tags too!
    Alison xx

  26. Love Love Love your tags. Thanks so much for sharing !!