Well, the Christmas decorations have all been put away now but it almost looks like Spring has arrived early with bright yellow Winter Jasmine in flower and the first Snowdrops showing here in Kent. Colder weather and snow is predicted but it's lovely to see these first blooms.

I have been playing with Distress Oxide Ink Pads and using rather spring colours possibly slightly influenced by these first blooms.

It's easy to think that Distress Oxide is just a rebranding of Distress Ink but actually they do behave quite differently. With the final release of 12 Distress Oxides last October the colour range is now complete and mirrors the colours of the original Distress Inks. There are 60 colours in the entire Distress range but one colour is included in both which is Picket Fence. Picket Fence contains both dye and pigment ink so acts like an Oxide but came out as part of the Distress Ink range rather than the Distress Oxides.

A major difference between the two inks is that the Oxides are opaque whereas the Inks are translucent. You can stamp, without adding water, with both inks, however, with Oxides you can also stamp on dark coloured cardstock and the image will be clear, detailed and beautiful whereas if you use the Inks they will not show at all as they are translucent. The Oxides are also creamier and very 'juicy' so are extremely easy to blend avoiding the need to start 'off the edge' of your card. Because of their opacity, you can also 'layer' the different colours and avoid that horrible moment when you realise that your colours just became a variation of brown. That is, of course, as long as you remember the cardinal rule - Wet colours blend and Dry colours layer.

Distress Inks and Oxides are both water-reactive, Distress Inks become lighter shades of their original colour, Distress Oxides 'oxidise' which means when you add water they start to get a hazy white patina on them and start to separate into their respective qualities of dye and pigment which creates some amazing effects. Anyway, that's the science behind the two inks if you like to know that sort of stuff and here's what I found when using the Distress Oxide inks.

Stamping, especially silhouette stamps gives a more solid image. They blend beautifully and smoothly using the foam applicators and retain colour well when layering colour over colour.

 CWS 5

For this card from our Creativity with Stamps Workshop (the first class of 2019!) Distress Oxide was used to shade the edges of the centre panel. The same inkpad was pressed onto the craft mat and the ink picked up with a water brush to colour in the two yellow flowers. You can see how intense the resulting colours are.


For this second card, Distress Oxide was used to create a Bokeh effect (a photographic term meaning out of focus) using both a circular sponge applicator and a finger dauber. As you can see, the spots have got a nice amount of colour in them and the edges of the spots are clear but still soft.


The card was spritzed with water once the ink had dried and the result is subtly different to Distress Ink. Water drops on Distress Ink tend to bleach out the colour whereas the colour separates with the Oxides showing the hazy patina in the middle and the vibrant dye ink colour around the edge of the droplets.

There are lots of other subtle differences between Distress Inks and Distress Oxide Inks. If you already have a good selection of Distress Inks, you may feel you don't need anymore. But I would suggest you invest in a couple of Distress Oxide Ink pads, and try them out. 

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