Veni, Vidi, Ventus --
The randomly chaotic and crafty scribblings of a deranged, wannabe artist allowed too many colours in her Crayon box.

Surgeon General's Warning: Some content of "From Pooka's Crayon" may not be suitable for: work, blue-haired little old ladies, the politically-correct, rabid moonbats, uptight mothers, priests, chronic idiots, insurance claims agents, Democrats, children, small furry quadropeds from Alpha Centauri, or your sanity.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Quick Tips for Distress-Free Distressing

- When distressing heavier cardstock, spritz it with water first. This helps break the surface tension some and will help prevent tears.

- Start in the center of the sheet you want to distress. Form a ring with one hand, thumb and index finger, and leave a hole. Stuff a bit of the very center of the paper into that hole with your other index finger. Then crumple. Again, this helps break surface tension, and helps to ensure fewer tears, and easier crumpling.

- Lightly sand peaks of crumples, then ink them, for darker zones. Leave a few just sanded, or plain, for great variety.

- Don't limit yourself to sandpaper. Nail files work well. When using sandpaper, vary the strength of the grain for different effects -- very fine leaves few marks, and takes off less paper, while medium leaves a rougher grain and takes off more paper.

- While you can use a hot iron to re-flatten your paper for use, you can also heat it up with your heat gun, then press it under something heavy. This will give you more texture, and a less flattened surface to work with.

- Direct-To-Paper inking is great for edges, but can be pretty intense for larger areas. Use a stencil or stippling brush, pounce it on the inkpad, then work it over the larger space for a softer aged look.

- Household bleach is a great way to get a sunbleached look for certain areas. You can also use dishwasher detergents (liquid) with bleach to get an even more varied effect. It's also thicker, and easier to work with, and less worry about splatters on your work area and clothing. Just remember that any bleach product will work differently on different papers, so test it out first.

- If you really like a paper, but the pattern is too bright for your project, and you don't want to wait for sunbleaching, use your scanner! Scan the page in, and adjust the brightness and contrast till you get the faded look you want, then print on your paper choice.

- When doing a distressed look with paint, remember that colour is your friend. Don't use a single colour, use a minimum of two, preferably three. Petroleum jelly, applied in a thin coat on top of your base coat, will leave a wonderful distressed look when your second coat is on. When the paint is dry, just wipe the jelly off. It's faster and easier than sanding!

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