Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Good Tools

Since I've been sponging a bit lately, it's come to my attention that the sponges I use are not exactly ideal. They tend to break apart into little pieces, which is annoying and makes a mess. Sponging is messy enough as it is. So while fishing around at Marco's Paper last week, I decided to invest in these delightful tools.

It always feels strange when I hawk Tim Holtz products, seeing as I'm all clean and simple and Tim is master of distressed and embellished. (Do you like how I pretend Tim and I are on a first-name basis? Oh, yeah, we're buddies...in my crafty dreams.) But really, cross-over is inevitable. Styles aren't neat and tidy, mutually exclusive categories, now, are they? And I'm totally lovin' these blending tools.

I haven't played much with the inks, yet, but will keep you posted.

Anyway, here's a SUPER-easy card I made using the blending tools and Memento dye inks. The tools made it unbelievably quick and easy to blend the different colors on this stenciled panel. Much better than those pesky sponges.

Seriously, no talent needed to make this work. Smoosh, smoosh, smoosh, and you're done.

I bought the extras of the foam pads and am keeping the used ones in the drawers with the ink pads for re-use. (Remember, my ink pads are arranged by color!) You may, of course, wash the foam pads and reuse them, and according to a video demo Tim did, you don't really need to worry about cross contamination of colors, but I'm just a bit too obsessive-compulsive to mix and match on the same pad.

Some of you will understand. Some won't. It's all good.

Do what makes you happy. Sponge, don't sponge. Use a blending tool, don't use a blending tool. Noodle, don't noodle. It's all good.

stamps: Papertrey Happy Trails
ink: Memento dye ink, Memento Luxe black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: stencil (forget who...maybe Heidi Swapp...it's the only one I own...so far!), Ranger mini blending tool, foam pads


  1. I'll be interested to hear your view on the Disttess Inks. Personally, I love them. They blend great and I like the (simple) techniques (such as spritzing water on them) to get another look.

    I need to pull out my stencils more often! This is a great pop of color and "texture".

  2. Those most certainly are delightful tools! I have a set, but only 4 pads. I should get some more, but have only used them so far with my 4 colors of distress inks. They really do work beautifully, as your card demonstrates. Gorgeous rainbow.

  3. BLENDING TOOL. Just sayin' ;)

  4. Gorgeous sponging, Susan! Love the colors. If you remember the card I sent you last fall with the coil of copper thread, that leaf was the first thing I had sponged with my blending tool.

  5. I love the distress inks and blending, but it's not so easy for me. I struggle. However, your blending is perfect.

  6. I like to use these for blending too, and don't like the thought of mixing the colours. I've seen some people solve it by having racks of the tools, ready primed with a pad, one tool for each colour, but I don't have the space or the money for that. So I've stuck a little piece of the hooky side of Velcro touch and close fastener on the base of each of my inkpads. The back of a foam pad sticks beautifully to it, so now each inkpad has its own foam pad and they can't get mixed up

  7. I totally understand having one of these for each ink pad. Cross contamination is rarely a good thing. Blending is one of the things on my list to practice as well as using my watercolor markers and paint. I seen gorgeous blended backgrounds with ink, but I'm not very good at it. So, it's on my to do list of things to practice this month.

  8. these are great for blending much better than the rectangle blending foam - I do cross contaminate occassionaly and tbh I haven't noticed any problems BUT the foam has always been dry and not just used if you see what I mean - lovely coloured card

  9. Funny, I have the round TH sponges, but just yesterday I was looking at my older yellow sponges (like yours) and thinking I'd try them again. Maybe I'll remind myself why I set them aside!

  10. I use the little foam dauber sponges and you are so right about them falling apart and flaking off after awhile. Once I've destroyed all of those I just might have to try these sponges by Tim (yes, we're on a first name basis as well).

  11. I think I have ALL of the colors of distress inks in the mini pad size. It seemed like such a great value to get so many colors. They are pretty inexpensive if you buy the sets online. I bought the little cases to put them in as well.

    Did you know that the round little foam pads fit perfectly underneath the ink pads? They must be just a bit larger than the cavity; because they stay neatly wedged in there. You never have to guess which color pad goes with which ink. I love it!

    There is also an online printable that allows you to stamp each color in a square so that you know what results you will get with each color! My slight OCD self loves that too.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!