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Hi there! Some of you may recall me talking about my Color Journal in past posts. Basically, I decided to create a journal that contained all of the colors that I have of inks, Stickles glitter glue, embossing powders, paint, etc. that I have available to me in my crafty space.

Before I made my color journal, I was always testing colors on scraps of paper while I was working. I wanted to see if it was the right shade, if it matched, or if it was opaque or transparent enough.

But, I always ended up throwing those scraps away. About the one zillionth time I tested a color, it dawned on me that if I kept all the scraps and organized them, I could use that as a reference and not have to keep testing all the time. That’s how my color journal was born.

Now that I have my color journal, I use it all the time. I can easily get it out and look at various colors whenever I want. I can also take it with me on shopping trips, to prevent buying duplicates or to shop for new items that match or coordinate well with what I already own.

Back on October 24, 2008, I last showed you my collection of dye inks. This is what the page looked like:

Dye Inks as of 10/24/2008 Dye Inks as of 10/24/2008

Over the past two years, my collection of dye inks has grown. This is what my color journal spread for dye inks looks like today:

Dye Inks Today Dye Inks Today

You may notice that some of the colors are rather similar. That is usually because I had an existing color of dye ink, such as a Tsukineko Memento Dew Drop, but wanted the extra advantages offered by a specific type of dye ink, called Distress Ink by Ranger.

Dye inks in general dry faster than pigment inks, which can help prevent smearing. Pigment inks are more often used with embossing, since the slower drying time actually assists in the embossing process.

All types of dye inks produce vivid results when used on coated papers, such as manilla shipping tags or glossy cardstock. Another type of coated paper is called Fadeless Art Board, which is similar to posterboard.

Most dye inks are very similar. However, Distress Inks are a very special kind of dye ink. Distress Inks have been specially formulated to work with water to create special effects when inking or stamping. You can use water to lift dye inks. You can dilute dye inks with water and spray it like a mist. You can wet a paintbrush, touch the wet edge against the Distress Ink pad, and use that to paint with like watercolors. And you can get different intensities of color, depending on how you apply the Distress Inks.

Distress Inks also produce wonderful effects when used with watercolor paper. If you put a non-stick craft sheet down and place the watercolor paper on top, you can swirl on the Distress Ink using a Blending Tool and Foam to get a soft color. You start off the edge of the paper, so the non-stick craft sheet protects your work surface. You ink the foam, start off the edge of the paper, and then gradually swirl it over the paper in circular motions. Then you can stamp over top of that using the same color of Distress Ink to get darker results.

When I looked in my color journal recently, I realized that I am using my Distress Inks more and more with watercolor paper. And my tags really only show how the Distress Inks would look on coated paper. So I decided to make a new set of entries for my color journal.

For these, I used 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper. I first swirled on the Distress Ink using the blending tool and foam, and then I stamped over top using a stamp from Hero Arts LL234 Branches set (discontinued).

Here are the results of the Distress Inks on watercolor paper:

Distress Inks on Watercolor Paper - Part 1 Distress Inks on Watercolor Paper – Part 1 Distress Inks on Watercolor Paper - Part 2 Distress Inks on Watercolor Paper – Part 2

I hope these color swatches can give you a better idea of what Distress Ink can do when it comes into contact with watercolor paper. You can also mist water on top, blot it with a paper towel, and lift the color to make splotchy effects.

But the feature I love the most is being able to make a background in a lighter shade and then stamping with the same Distress Ink pad! It’s like having two colors in one! You always have a matching ink for your background using this method.

Ranger recently introduced 12 new Distress Ink colors (the top row at Ranger). I only have a few of them. They are shown above, so that you can get a sense of how the new colors compare to the old colors. For example, Tumbled Glass is a more clear shade of blue, while Broken China is more of an aqua color. Bundled Sage is more of a blue green than Shabby Shutters, which is more of a yellow green. Victorian Velvet is more of a country mauve, while Worn Lipstick is more of a bright pink. I especially love the new Wild Honey color.

Hope you liked this peek into my color journal!

And thanks for stopping by!

{ 19 appreciated comments }

1 Monika Reeck March 24, 2010 at 6:39 am

Hallo Anne wooow you have so much Dye Inks….for you to know…I have only black, brown, purple and blue. Another color I have are chalk and pigment ink….woow you are so dillighet making this Anne…salute Anne….hugs

2 Paula March 24, 2010 at 8:43 am

Hi Anne what a great idea for checking the colours of your inks. I found this entry to be extremely helpful & I may just have to do something like this myself :D. Thanks so much for sharing xoxoxoxo

3 Cheryl March 24, 2010 at 10:47 am

This is a great idea Anne. I have a notebook where I stamped my inks. I did it mainly so I wouldn’t buy the same color twice (which I’ve done). But there is much more information here. And I like seeing some of the new Distress Ink colors – I have all 24 of the earlier colors, but none of the newest ones. I see a few I just may have to have!

4 Susan McRae March 24, 2010 at 12:36 pm

I love your colour journal idea Anne! I have a stamping book where I right down the names of all inks as I buy them and take it with me shopping but I love the idea of seeing the colours on paper and on different kinds of paper. I will definitely be trying out your idea! Thanks Anne!

5 Karen G March 24, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Oh you organized woman, you! I love this idea….especially for the ‘let’s not buy the same thing twice….or three times’ reason! {Insert sheepish grin} I’ve done that when it comes to Stickles (and let’s not even talk about a certain pack of Halloween epoxy brads by Making Memories, shall we?!). But, what I love even more is seeing those colors in action, especially some of Tim’s new colors up next to his old ones. And what I like even more than that….just all the fabulous color eye candy all those colors in one locale is!! :> Thanks Ann!

6 Tiffany March 24, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Oh my goodness, wow!! Thanks so much for sharing this abundance of color Anne! I will have to go back and check it all out again, so much detail, yummy colors!

7 Jill March 24, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Great idea and so beautiful, too!

8 Lay Hoon March 24, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Whoa ! You have huge collection indeed.
Such yummy to look at when showing up in small tag.

9 Donna Przybylowski March 24, 2010 at 8:20 pm

wow great Idea, I have a written list, that i have to keep remaking, as I keep loosing it, of all the crafting stuff I have. But like you said, taking it shopping and being able to see how the colors look is so helpful and I do exactly what you said you did with scrap paper, keep sampling to see what it would look like and then throwing that sample out. This will eliminate so much,
Thanks for the idea.
This in itself will be a mess project, but so worth it, think this Will take me a day or so to do!!

Again Thanks

10 Lin March 24, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Anne, that was very interesting, and I especially appreciate the comparison of the Distress colors. You’ve sold me on the bundled sage and victorian velvet. If you ever get the new pink, I’d like to see that in the mix – it looks like cotton candy to me! I’m bookmarking this for my own reference, but I’d like to try to do the same thing – it’s a great reference! Well done, and thank you!

11 donna mikasa March 25, 2010 at 1:46 am

Hi Anne! Wow! I LOVE the look of Gaal Creative! I’ve been so busy with family and travels that I’ve missed so much, like your “Inspired by” feature on Jill’s blog! I’ll be visiting your blog more often–you got lots of good info here! Take care!

12 Dawn T March 25, 2010 at 5:02 am

Fantastic Anne. I have done something similar by stamping a star in each colour ink I have. I am just waiting for the new Distress colours to arrive in my local store. They have been ordered but haven’t arrived yet. I have to admit Distress inks are my favourites – so versatile.

13 Candace March 25, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Oh my gosh, I pop in on you for a visit and what do I see? A wonderful world of colour, Anne style. Super-great ideas set out here. And the colours are just so luscious. Thanks so much for sharing these treats and these tips with us. It really helps those of us (ME!) who wonder, “How the heck do I do this now?”

Take care!

14 jacky March 25, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Great idea…I love the effect on the watercolour paper.

Thanks for sharing.

Jacky xox

15 Tonje March 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm

What a colourful post, Anne! I stamp all my inks in a book for reference (just a very small shadow stamp), and I also stamp an impression of all my stamp images in a book/folder so I can just look through that to see what I have. Haven’t tried the Distress Inks yet, but I really want to, even more so now when I see your beautiful colour cards.

16 Sue McGettigan March 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Anne I love your color journal, those distress ink samples are just luscious!!

17 margaret April 9, 2010 at 11:15 am

You have done a wonderful job putting together your color swatches. We should all do it—save a lot of time!

18 Domna July 16, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Anne, thanks a lot! Color journal is a great idea!
Hugs form Russia!

19 Tomo H. July 27, 2010 at 2:24 am

WOW! Anne,this is another great post.
This is worth reading and looking as well as the post, ’15 ways to use Distress Inks’ on July 26.
I’ve got all the distress inks and memento include the newly released colors – this was a kind of impulse buying (Ha!), ‘cos I have a little time for papercrafting.
But I NEVER thought to make the color Journal like yous. I saved this page as the pdf file. Thanks so much for your wonderful idea and resources!

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