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Review | Tim Holtz Distress Glitter

Reported by Angela Butler-Carter

Tim Holtz is know as “The Man” in the scrapbooking industry for many reasons. He is the most famous male name in the scrapbooking community. Tim’s Distress line of color mediums manufactured by Ranger Industries is immensely popular with all styles of crafters from the shabby chic artist to the clean more graphic style artists, and he also creates products that are gender neutral since they appeal to both males and females.. Tim is also know for his innovative products that advance the industry toward more user friendly multi-functional products. For that reason alone, I knew his new Distress Glitters were going to be something special and they did not disappoint!

The Ranger Ink website describes Distress Glitter as a nostalgic pattern of unique glitter that mimics the look of vintage mica. A quick Google search gave me a better understanding what mica is:

Mica is a mineral that comes in a variety of colors and can be easily separated into thin transparent sheets.In addition to being beautiful, it’s non-toxic, tough, chemically inert, transparent, and waterproof. – via MicaSnow.com

Based on the images I found online, vintage mica was used largely to represent snow or provide shine in Christmas decorations and other crafty projects in the early 1900’s. I remember seeing it on the edges of pine cones in the winter. I may even remember using it in an arts and crafts project in school.

Distress Glitter very much resembles mica because of its shine properties. I found that the Distress Glitter, unlike traditional glitter, has a color cast shine to it. What does that mean? It means when you tilt your project it doesn’t reflect silver as traditional glitter does. It, instead, gives off the color that it truly represents in a beautiful subdued glimmer.

Distress Glitter MacaronUp
DistressGlitter Macaron3

For both these cards I stamped the macaroon image onto the card base using a similar color ink to the Distress Glitter. Then I used a wet adhesive to trace and fill in the stamped image. Then I sprinkled distress glitter onto the image and let it dry. The result is fantastic.

I shot both these pictures from different angles. You can see that the color reflection is the same. The Distress Glitter gives off its color from any direction and doesn’t reflect white light. The Picked Raspberry Distress Glitter shines pink and the Mustard Seed Distress Glitter shines a beautiful yellow color. I love that especially for when you want to make a masculine card and it needs a bit of sparkle. It is not girly glitter sparkle but just a bit of shine to bring attention to certain things. Distress Glitter is PERFECT for that!!!

Here’s a quick and easy card tutorial using Distress Glitter.

Distress Glitter Step1

I started with an A6 cardbase made of kraft cardstock.

Distress Glitter Step2

I used a stencil to create geometric shapes on the front of my card base. I then pressed a sticky based ink over the holes in the stencil to adhere the glitter.

Distress Glitter Step3

Next I removed the stencil and sprinkled the Distress Glitter in Picked Raspberry and Mustard Seed strategically over the card base.

Distress Glitter Step4

I added a few embellishments and a little bit of stamping in black ink.

Distress Glitter Step5

A sentiment finishes everything off nicely. And here you see the finished card. Versamark ink is a watermark ink that is very sticky. I found that it was not sticky enough to hold the Distress Glitter so I used some Glossy Accents over the Distress Glitter area to seal the glitter and keep it from falling off the card. That worked very well.

Pros:

  • The glitter shines the color in which its dyed so no over kill on the shine
  • The pieces are soft so there’s less of a chance of getting cut by the pieces
  • The wide range of colors and availability

Cons:

  • It’s still glitter so it gets everywhere.
  • The pieces are very small and soft so they easily stick to each other and other things.
  • The pieces tend to stand up when emptied from the jar so you will get quite a bit of texture. (Though this could be considered a positive as well, depending on your preference.)

Tim Holtz Distress Glitter is available in 24 colors that coordinate with the Distress line of products. It retails for $5.50.

CTMH Spray Pens vs. Inkessentials Mini Misters by Ranger

Reported by Kristine Fowler

It’s no secret, that like other industries, as things evolve, so do the tools of the trade.  Even the simplest of tools see improvement over time, and the Spray Pen by Close To My Heart is a great example of such an evolution.  Similar in form and function to the Inkessentials™ Mini Misters™ by Ranger, you can use the Spray Pen to ‘mist’ your projects and create visually interesting techniques with ink, paint, colour washes, alcohol, or other liquid media.  Or, if you just need a handy alternate dispenser, you can even fill the Spray Pen with your favorite stamp cleaner (although you have to admit, that’s not very exciting).  If you’re not already familiar with the mister tools, you can always pop over and read a 2008 article by Heather Strenzwilk where she gives the low-down on the Ranger Mini Misters.

So at this point you might be wondering, what I consider to be the big evolution?  How could such a simple product be so drastically improved?  Well, to start, let’s take a close up look at the two products side-by-side.

The most obvious difference between the two products is their size.  The Close To My Heart Spray Pen is about a third larger overall affecting the relative size of both the cap and the liquid storage compartment (the barrel).  The benefit of the larger container should be obvious….with a larger container, you can mix more media, and that’s definitely a good thing.  (I’ll talk about the cap in a minute).

Now let’s take another look.
 

You might notice, that on the flip side of the CTMH Spray Pen, you’ll see measurement lines – a very handy feature that is missing from the Ranger Mini Mister.  With the measurement lines clearly marked on the barrel, you can more ‘scientifically’ mix your media (think 4 parts water to 1 part paint, or 2 drops reinker to 6 parts water).  This also means that it will be much easier to duplicate a mixture that you absolutely love at a later date.  No more guess work.  Pure genius!  The Ranger Mini Mister on the other hand has product logos on both sides of the barrel, no measurement lines.

Next, let’s look at the cap/nozzle area as there’s a couple of major differences here.  On the Ranger version, the entire barrel is smooth.  The smooth finish extends to cover the part of the barrel that you ‘twist’ to remove the nozzle and fill the compartment.  In contrast, this ‘twistable’ section of the CTMH product is textured, in order to give you better grip.  This textured finish is particularly helpful if your hands are damp.

And now the cap…..again, there are a couple of differences.  First, the CTMH cap is made of essentially the same material as the rest of the unit.  The Ranger cap is quite thin in comparison, and might not stand up quite as well to even a little abuse.  I’m thinking that if it drops on the floor, and I step on it, it’s likely going to crack, rendering it essentially useless.  The CTMH version on the other hand is more substantial, and although I’m not willing to put it to the test (sorry), I’m pretty certain I could step on it without hurting it too too badly.

Secondly, there is a series of holes in the top of the CTMH Spray Pen cap, and the Mini Mister doesn’t have these.  We’ve seen this type of thing before, and it serves a dual purpose.  First, the holes allow air to be pushed out of the cap as your closing it to ensure that it closes snugly, and second, it’s a safety feature.  If for some reason a child was to put the cap in their mouth and swallow it, the vent holes in the cap could prevent asphyxiation.  The other major difference in the caps, is the presence of the ‘pocket clip’ on the CTMH version.  While I probably won’t be carrying the Spray Pens in my shirt pocket any time soon, it is beneficial.  Not only can I use the clip to secure the Spray Pen to the inside of my crop bag, but by virtue of it’s existence the ‘pocket clip’ stops the Pen (when capped) from rolling off the table, and stops the cap rolling off the table (and under my feet) when the Spray Pen is in use.  Once again, a small improvement in design has what I consider big benefit.

When it comes to function, these pens are virtually identical.  Both pens ‘pump’ easily, and with neither version have I experienced ‘clogging’.  I do find the CTMH pen a bit easier to operate though because it feels more substantial.  When spraying, the Mini Mister feels almost ‘consumed’ by my hand, whereas the CTMH version does not.  This is perhaps a matter of personal preference, and if you’re used to the feel of one version, you may find it initially awkward to make the switch, but it’ll be easy to adjust either way.  Looking very closely at the actual nozzles of the two pens reveals a minor difference, in that the little plastic piece which is responsible for directing the spray on the CTMH Spray Pen is angled downward ever so slightly whereas the Ranger version is completely straight.  I’m not sure if this can really be considered a benefit, as I’ve not noticed any functional difference.  I can only assume that the nozzle was in fact engineered this way for a reason, and presumably to provide some benefit – that’s the best explanation I can offer you on that one unfortunately.

Before I get to the creative stuff, you’re probably wondering about price.  Does the price tag reflect the ‘improvements’ I’ve mentioned?  Well, I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that the CTMH Spray Pens are priced very similarly to (if not better than in some cases) the Ranger Mini Misters.  A 3-pack is available for just US$3.95 / CAN$4.50.  Even once you add the shipping and taxes (if applicable in your area), these are definitely not going to break the bank.  The Ranger Mini Misters I’ve purchased, I’ve always paid around CAN$5.00 for the 3-pack, regular priced, at various locations.

Now the fun stuff…..here’s how I’ve used misters recently.

Using my CTMH Spray Pen and a mixture of reinker and water, I misted a 3×3 inch acrylic block and then used it like a stamp on my paper.  This created the pink/white background for my focal image.  I love the way that with this method I was able to get a nice solid pink in the middle, surrounded by what looks like over-spray.

Stamp Credit: “Baby Love” by CTMH

For this second sample, I combined CTMH Create-A-Shade Paint, Water and Reinker and used the mixture to ‘mist’ the large green panel which was previously embossed (using a Tim Holtz Texture Fade), and then inked with both brown and juniper colored inks.  Unfortunately, if I do say so myself, this photo does not do the card justice.  I hope though that you can at least catch a glimpse of the shimmering splotches.  Adding the pearl paint to the mixture, your spray takes on an iridescent look, and it’s actually quite shiny!  It’s similar to the look you would get with commercial mists that are designed to sparkle.

Stamp Credit: “Find Your Style” by CTMH


So….to wrap this up, here’s a quick summary of how I view the product differences (red indicates distinct product advantages). Remember from the perspective of function and price, the products are virtually identical.

CTMH Spray Pen

  • 10 mL barrel (allowing you to mix more media)
  • measurement markings on the side of barrel
  • textured ‘twist’ for better grip
  • the cap is substantial, should resist accidental damage
  • holes in cap for safety and ease of use
  • pocket clip on cap to prevent pen rolling & to secure in bags
  • sold only in packages of 3
  • not available via retail, must be purchased from a CTMH rep
  • only available in one color

Inkessentials Mini Misters by Ranger

  • smaller barrel (not sure of the exact measurement)
  • no measurement markings
  • smooth ‘twist’, less grip
  • the cap is weak in comparison
  • no holes in cap
  • no pocket clip
  • sold in packages of 3 AND individually
  • widely available via retail
  • 3 different colors available

The one fact that I have not tested is whether the CTMH Spray Pens fit in the (very compact) Inkessentials™ Mini Mister Organizer storage block by Ranger.  Both the CTMH Spray Pen and the Mini Misters appear to have the same circumference (although I don’t have a micrometer; if there is a difference it appears that minute), and so I would assume the Spray Pens would fit, but I would love it if somebody out there could put this to the test.  CTMH does not currently offer a storage solution for the Spray Pens, and it certainly would be handy.

As always, we’d love to hear what you think and we welcome your comments.  Have I missed anything in my comparison?  Have you tried the CTMH Spray Pens or are you a die-hard Mini Mister fan, and not willing to make the switch?  Let us know!

Disclosure

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Studio Sticky-Back Canvas

Reported by Erin Bassett
As someone who dabbles in mixed media projects, I was thrilled when I first found out about Claudine Hellmuth Studio Sticky-Back Canvas. Using the Sticky-Back Canvas allows crafters the ability to add the nice texture of canvas to projects that they wouldn’t easily be able to create with bolts of canvas fabric or stretched canvas art boards.
One of the first things I tested was how well gesso, ink, and Glimmer Mist took to it. -They all did so wonderfully. I tested them out by making a bookmark. I cut out a 1 1/2” x 4 3/4” piece of Sticky-Back Canvas and with my finger applied Studio Gesso on top of it. I then allowed it to dry for a few minutes, and then stamped on it with black Stazon ink.
After the ink was dry I sprayed it with two colors of Glimmer Mist. I love how the gesso resits the mist, but the canvas soaked it right up.
Next, I removed the paper liner on the back of the Sticky-Back Canvas and stuck it on a coordinating scrap of seersucker fabric I had.
The Sticky-Back Canvas adhered to the fabric really well, but I still added some decorative stitches with my sewing machine. Lastly, I frayed the edges of my fabric.
For my next project I wanted to see how well my Cricut Expression would do cutting out a design so I decided to make a flower pin.
The Sticky-Back Canvas cut very well using the standard Cricut blade. There was one little corner that I had to snip with my scissors, but other than that, my Cricut Expression cut through it like butter.
Once I had my flowers cut out I used Studio Acrylic paint to paint them and then I let them dry.
After they were dry I decided to run them through my Cuttlebug to see if it would emboss like paper would. Guess what? It does! On my first test one I just ran a piece of Sticky-Back Canvas (with the backing on it) through the Cuttlebug…it worked! For another test I cut out a flower out of Bazzill cardstock with my Cricut and adhered the Sticky-Back Canvas directly to the cardstock flower to give it some support. I then ran it through the Cuttlebug and it worked just as well. After embossing the flowers I rubbed brown ink over the top of them to further enhance the embossing.
You can see a video of how to make a flower pin like the one I made above.
Also, check out this video on how Tim Holtz uses Sticky-Back Canvas to create a brad with an Imaginisce i-Top brad maker.
Pros:
  • Acid-free, non-toxic adhesive
  • Heat gun can be used on it
  • Many, many media can be used on in to decorate it
  • Can be cut with electronic & manual die-cut machines
  • Easy to sew through
Cons:
  • The canvas is lightweight, so you may need to adhere it to something stiffer to support it.
  • Only comes in 8 1/2” x 11” and 12” x 12” sheets, so people who do larger projects will have to attach multiple pieces together to get the size they need.
Have you had a chance to play with Sticky-Back Canvas yet? Show us the link to your project…we’d love to take a look!
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!