Friday, May 1, 2009

Inks and Spouncers and Make-up Sponges, Oh My!

Hi, everyone! Welcome back to life on the {scrap}beach!

I have a little confession to make. I am an inking addict -- I love inks of all kinds. Pens, markers, chalk inks, distress, alcohol, etc. You name it, I love it. Inking the edges of paper, letters, tags, etc., has become one of my favorite scrapbooking techniques.

My ink situation was starting to get a little out of control, so I made the decision to simplify my inks and limit myself to just three kinds: Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink, StazOn (White and Black) and Versamark (Watermark). The Colorbox Fluid Chalk Inks I have in every color and that provides more than enough color variety for my needs. StazOn I have in white and in black because there is nothing else that works quite so well on slick or shiny things. And I use the Versamark almost exclusively for embossing. You will see me use other kinds of inks in my videos -- those are inks I had purchased before I started this system & so I will be using them until they are all gone.

There are two tools I use with my ink pads to change the look of the ink and to preserve the life of my ink pads. These tools are very inexpensive and very easy to come by: spouncers and make-up sponges. I prefer to transfer ink from my ink pad to my layouts with one of these two "tools" because it prevents my ink pad from getting chewed up by the edges of my paper and chipboard and it gives a more subtle, softer look than taking the ink pad directly to the paper.

Direct to paper look:

Sponge transfer look

Spouncers are, very simply, sponges on the end of a stick. They are a stenciling tool, and can be found at any craft store. They come in various styles, but I prefer the tightest sponges (few & smaller holes) as they are best for the type of edging/blending I like to do. I keep all my spouncers in a jar on my desk, and I use them for blending my four most commonly used Colorbox Chalk ink colors: Chestnut Roan, Creamy Brown, Dark Brown and Charcoal.

I used my Dymo labeller to mark which spouncer goes to which ink so I don't contaminate the spouncer by using a darker color.

I buy the make-up sponges in large variety packs for very little at beauty supply stores. These I see as disposable, and I use them for ink colors other than my four most commonly used. I cut the larger ones in half to get more use out of them and I toss them in the trash after I complete the project. This is easier than trying to have spouncers on hand for each of my 40 inks pads -- that many spouncers would be hard to store!

The soft look I get from these sponges is wonderful, and I save my ink pads from getting damaged, which helps them last longer for stamping! What non-scrapbooking tools do you routinely employ in your scrapping? Let me know since I'm always looking for new ideas!

Life's a beach. Scrapbook it.

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