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First Look: Niji Splash Ink by Karen Thomas

Reported by Maria del Pinto

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

If you are not already familiar with this product, then you are going to love the Niji Splash Ink line of paints developed by artist Karen Elaine Thomas for Yasutomo.

Karen Elaine Thomas
Karen Thomas of Splash Inks

Karen has developed a system for mixing vibrant colors that are versatile and permanent. I love painting products that can be used in a variety of ways and this product is so versatile that it actually is a great basic investment for my many crafting needs.

Niji Splash Ink by Karen Thomas
Niji Splash Ink by Karen Thomas

Niji Splash Ink is a color mixing system that allows the user to not only mix the product’s basic colors to create hundreds of different colors, but also to do some creative shading as well. The inks come in 1-ounce bottles of concentrated acrylic base ink.

Mixing Niji Splash Ink colors
Mixing Niji Splash Ink colors

The inks can be purchased individually or in sets. The basic set comes with four colors, which are blue, yellow, magenta and black. From those four colors you create an amazing amount of colors.

Mixing colors and painting with Niji Splash Ink
Mixing colors and painting with Niji Splash Ink

The kits also come with a recipe card for mixing over 500 different colors.

Cards made with Niji Splash Ink
Cards made with Niji Splash Ink

You can use these inks for watercolor painting, illustration work, art journaling, card making and for use on any porous surfaces. They are so easy to use and the results are great. The high pigment color in these paints makes them perfect for use in jewelry making.

Shrink Plastic Jewelry made with Niji Splash Ink
Shrink Plastic Jewelry made with Niji Splash Ink

Niji Splash Inks are perfect for painting shrink plastic. You can see how great the jewelry in the above photo looks. The colors are very vibrant and you can see how easy they are for shading and adding depth to designs. The ability to mix colors gives the user the ability to match to a particular fabric or compliment the colors in beads, while creating unique jewelry pieces. Once the paint is dry, it is permanent when used on a porous surface.

Review | Ranger Foil Cardstock

Reported by Maria Soto

Disclosure: This site participates in the Amazon.com affiliate program. Some links in this article may be affiliate links that pay this site a commission when a purchase is made after a click.

Foil-Cardstock

I love working with Ranger products, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review this product. Ranger Silver Foil Cardstock has a shiny, mirror-like quality, and it’s sturdy enough to run through an embossing machine (such as the Big Shot).  You can use mediums like alcohol inks and acrylic paints to embellish its surface.

I decided  to go ahead and bring out my Big Shot – along with some dies, embossing folders, and some Prima chalk inks – to see how well they worked with the foil cardstock. You can see the results in the photos that follow.

I started by embossing with my Big Shot & a Sizzix embossing folders set (Birthday Congrats and Thanks) by Eileen Hull. It embossed perfectly, every little detail, and I only ran it through the machine once.

Ranger Foil Embossed

Next I tried die cutting stars using Spellbinders’ Shapeabilities “Jewel Treasures” set by Julianna Hudgins. They came out great, and I had no problem taking them apart.

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After die cutting the stars, I decided to use some of my Prima chalk ink in Blue Jay and Pastel Blue. Below are two photos showing the stamping on the starts. I love how it worked great, dried fast and all without the need of the heat gun.  I left the outline removed from the die cut in plain silver. These will make great embellishments on any paper crafting project.

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Chalking Ranger Foil

I decided to get out my Quick Snippers and see how well they would cut a design edge. I great results as you can see below.

Cutting Ranger Foil

I can’t wait to use this foil for my holiday card making! I loved the ease of use and the versatility of the product. I can see myself creating all different types of projects with it, not just cards.

Pros:

  • Easy to cut using different types of cutting tools
  • Easy to emboss
  • Holds color great with many different products besides Ranger’s
  • Perfect for card making
  • Great mirror-like quality

Cons:

  • Only available in one consumer package size

Ranger Silver Foil Cardstock is available in a 3 pack of 8.5″ x 11″ sheets for $4.50 MSRP, as well as in a 20 sheet bulk pack for open stock resale.

Review | Hampton Arts Spritz Board

Reported by Susan Reidy

I love chipboard, I love embossed texture and I love mists for scrapbooking and cardmaking. Imagine my delight when I found all three wrapped into one with the Hampton Arts Spritz Board.

The board comes in icons and alphabets, and is essentially 5″x 5″ white chipboard with a transparent pattern that “pops” when you add mist, chalk, ink or some other type of coloring medium. As a bonus, they’re self-adhesive.

I picked up the icons, which include butterflies, flowers, tags, shapes and other natural elements like a birdhouse and leaf branch. There are 24 in the box.

Here you can see the transparent design on one of butterflies. Some pieces are outlined like this one, while others have an overall pattern. Hampton Arts says they’re designed for Smooch Spritz, but work well with other mists and inks.

For my flower below, I used two different colors of Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist, lime and turquoise. After spritzing on both my colors, I used a baby wipe to go over the embossed areas. For the most part, the ink came off, but there were a few places where ink absorbed into the chipboard over the embossing.

At 5″x 5″ these suckers are big, which is nice if you want to add just one main element to a scrapbook page or card. Not much else is really needed to complete a page. I also really liked embellishing them beyond adding color. On this flower, I added an acrylic flower in the middle for just a little more depth.

When attaching to my layouts, I found the adhesive already on the back just wasn’t strong enough to keep it in place. I added some Scor-Tape to ensure I had a good, strong hold.

Here’s my finished layout. Like I said, not much embellishment is needed beyond these shapes. Next up, I wanted to see how my American Crafts markers would work. Here’s another half-colored flower.

Here is one petal freshly colored, before wiping.

And here is the petal after wiping:

I love how the embossed pattern really pops with the markers. Using markers is great if you want to use multiple colors on a more detailed piece, like with this flower where I made the center a different color than the petals. I used this flower to decorate the top of a papier-mâché box. Simple, done and done.

I really wanted to try this birdie. Look at all those pretty embossed flowers.

I decided to try another coloring medium, to really put these Spritz Boards to the test. For the birdie, I used some Jacquard Pinata Color alcohol-based inks. I used yellow and a little bit of orange to highlight some areas. Here is the birdie inked up, but not yet wiped off.

Below, he’s been wiped off, again using a baby wipe. I did find the ink soaked into some of the embossed areas and covered up the design. Overall though, you can still see most of the embossing. The boards are sturdy enough to stand up to lots of coloring, whether it’s wet or dry. No matter what I threw at it, I never had a piece warp because I added too much coloring medium.

Again, I had fun embellishing him with some bling and flowers.

He, or I guess she, was perfect for my layout about my Easter Chicks.

Up next was some more inking, this time with Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads. I thought they would be perfect to make this look like a weathered birdhouse. The ink worked great; no bleeding over the embossed images, plus it was super easy to blend several colors to get the look I wanted.

I added the birdhouse to a card with a glittered Martha Stewart bird. Again, super easy to finish, thanks to the large size of the Spritz Board.

Last but not least, I gave chalk a try. Again, great results with the embossing popping nicely. It was also very easy to blend. I would recommend spraying with some kind of fixative so the chalk doesn’t wear off over time.

I added a few embellishments, and now I have a cute Summery tag for a future layout.

I really enjoyed playing with the Spritz Board. I love that you can use so many different coloring media and get great results. Ironically, my least favorite technique to use with them was spritzing. They hold up great to lots of coloring, and they add a lot of punch to a layout without a lot of effort.
Pros:

  • Cute designs, with fun embossed patterns.
  • Very versatile; several different media can be used to add color, including spray mists, ink pads, alcohol inks, markers and chalk.
  • Nice large size makes it easy to use for embellishing a scrapbook page or card.
  • Perfect canvas for embellishing beyond just adding color, with bling, flowers, brads, etc.
  • Stands up to lots of inking/coloring with no warping.

Cons:

  • Some media work better than others. Ironically, the results were the least impressive with spray mist.
  • Adhesive on back is really not strong enough to hold the chipboard pieces in place for very long.

Have you tried the Hampton Arts Spritz Board? What’s your favorite way to add color and embellish?