10 Distress ATCs



I saw a video of a crafter called Justine Hovey mass-producing some ATCs with Distress Ink backgrounds, here. I quite liked them, so I thought I would do that as well for my next batch of cards, as well. I haven’t played around with my Distress Inks in a while, so I thought that would be fun.

It was pretty fun. Some of them turned out really well, and some, not so well, but none of them are terrible, so far.

Here they are:


ATCs Distress



I did ten, like Justine, a nice round number. The card bases on these are a mix of Bienfang and Strathmore Bristol paper, and Ranger Specialty Stamping Paper. None were great — the Bristol paper didn’t blend so well, but the Specialty Stamping Paper, which is a matte clay-coated paper, really resisted the inks and stayed wet and smudgy for quite some time. I ended up with a lot of dirty thumbprints and off-color smudges, which I worked hard to blend out. I don’t think they’re all that visible, but I know they’re there! That kind of sloppiness really aggravates me. But the Distress ink just stayed so wet on the paper, it was hard to work with. I stamped the focal images with VersaFine Onyx Black, and that stayed wet for a long time too. In fact I had to lay them out to dry overnight and shut my office door to keep the cats from jumping up and smudging them. (My cat Isis likes to lay on my crafting desk, even though she knows full well she’s not supposed to.)

The little word stickers are from the Tim Holtz “Chit Chat” and “Small Talk” sets that I have been using lately. Chit Chat is individual words, Small Talk is brief sayings.

And since it’s me, I had to bling most of them up a bit.  I can hardly let a card rest without some rhinestones, enamel dots or glitter glue.

Let me break it down for you, what is what, starting from the top left:

  1. Bristol Paper. The was the first one I made and I think it turned out quite well. Squeezed Lemonade and Cracked Pistachio Distress Inks. The stamp is “Daisy Cluster” by Stampendous. Stamp and Cracked Pistachio are NBUS.  This ATC is nice and simple and I had to force myself — force myself — not to bling it up and ruin it with overembellishment.
  2. Bristol paper. Cracked Pistachio and Peacock Feathers inks. Stamp is the “Feathers” set from Hot Off the Press. NBUS. Again, I think this one is fine without bling.
  3. Bristol paper. Tattered Rose and Spun Sugar inks. The stamp is from the “Hearts” clear set from Inkadinkado. NBUS. Blinged with glitter glue.
  4. Bristol paper. Tumbled Glass, Broken China, and Peacock Feathers inks. This is kind of an odd one. It’s a peacock feather, if you can’t tell. The stamp is a carved woodblock stamp from the “Boho” collection at Michaels. The kind of thing that comes from India. I stamped it first in VersaFine, and it didn’t come out so well. Then I stamped it again with my Calypso Teal Dylusions paint, which just happened to be sitting on my desk. Also did not turn out so well. I’ve read that these stamps work better with paint than ink. Or maybe fabric dye. Maybe it needs to be broken in, I don’t know. But I colored in the stamped image with my Marvy markers, to make it a little clearer what it was. Well, I do like the background. The stamp is brand new, so I can’t really say it’s NBUS.
  5. Bristol paper. Shaded Lilac and Wilted Violet inks. The stamp is from the “Butterflies Cling” set by Inkadinkado. NBUS.  Blinged with Wink of Stella.  That may have been a mistake.
  6. Bristol Paper. Moved Lawn and Abandoned Coral Distress Inks. The image is from the same stamp set as in Number 3. The bling are some heart gems that were a gift from a fellow crafter.
  7. Specialty Stamping Paper. Blueprint Sketch, Salty Ocean, and Mowed Lawn inks. You can see I tend to prefer the blues and greens. I have the most of those Distress colors. The stamp is from the Penny Black “Dazzlers” set. NBUS. Love those stamps! Glad to finally use one.
  8. Specialty Stamping Paper. Peacock Feathers, Wild Honey, and Peeled Paint inks. I was displeased by the way this background came out, so I stamped a pattern all over it, to hide it. The pattern stamp is “Swirls” from Tim Holtz/Stamper’s Anonymous. NBUS. I like the way it turned out, but it took forever to dry. I then added a printed chipboard butterfly from K & Co.  All in all I think it turned out pretty well.
  9. Bristol Paper. Picked Raspberry and Spiced Marmalade inks. Stamps — “Flower Blocks” from Clearly Besotted. NBUS. Bling: Rhinestones.
  10. Bristol paper. Twisted Citron, Cracked Pistachio, and Mowed Lawn inks. Quite like how this background turned out. Stamp — “Mod Flowers” from Inkadinkado. Colored it in with my Cobalt Green Stamper’s Big Brush pen and added an enamel dot.

So, obviously, some of these are more successful than others.  But that is part of the point of ATCs — to experiment and try new techniques, materials, without fear of commitment to a major project.  And also, I filled one-third of my quota for this project in one go.   Not bad!

My favorites are 1, 2, 7, 8 and 10.  Which is yours?


2 responses »

  1. What a lovely serie! I like playing with distress inks and making backgrounds. My current goal is to use up more backgrounds then I make, so more simple and quick cards. Silhouette stamps are great for those, and I can see you have some lovely ones. Next time you could try to dry the distress ink and versafine with a heat tool if you have it. If you don’t, just keep it over your stove (that is how I embossed when I didn’t have a heat tool yet – I used our ceramic cooking plate and tweezers to hold the card. Not sure if gas is a safe though).
    1.) I understand how hard it is to resist adding just one more thing. How often haven’t I slightly ruined a card like that… keeping it simple is hard. I like how crisp the image looks, love the blending of the yellow and green.
    2.) The dots in the backgound are embellishment enough, if the colour was smooth all over it would have needed some extra, but now I really like it. It makes you think about the words.
    3.) Simple, lovely card with what almost looks like a …what is the english word? When there’s circles of light in you photograph? bokeh or something?
    4.) I like this one, with the shadow of the image in the background. If it’s a wood block stamp it indeed needs paint and a soft thing to stand on. Rubber and clear stamps are soft, they give in. Wood stamps don’t, they’re meant for fabric. I still like this paint effect it has got.
    5.) Lovely! The wings look delicate and transparent! Is that the wink of stella? I haven’t got that product. On the picture the wings have a transparant, delicate look to it, thin like tissue paper.
    6.) i like how the little hearts come out of the big heart. Like air bubbles rising up. Fits the quote very well. The green and red steal the focus of the black heart a bit though.
    7.) I love this flower. (I prefer ” flower” over doily, as I don’t lke those :P). Greens and blues are more quiet, more relaxing then reds, that is more agressive and strong. Using bright red colours as a background is a challenge (see one of my latest posts – took a while to use that bright background!)
    8.) I like the streak of orange and the background pattern! Looks embossed. Beautiful butterfly as well.
    9.) I like this one too, tribal, simple and interesting. Looks very balanced.
    10.) Lovely! Like the shading of the greens, and the enamel dot is perfect.

    Hmm my favourites… Based on the picture (too bad I can’t zoom in more, sometimes the text was hard to read) – The bottom row, followed by 5,3,1,2,4.

  2. Well, thank you, Debbie, for the very balanced critique! 🙂 Glad you dropped by. To answer some of your comments:

    3. Yes, bokeh is the word, from some other language, I forget which. Bit of a fad over here in the US in arts & crafts right now.

    4. Thanks for the block stamp tips, I will try this. I can see how it would be better.

    5. Yes, Wink of Stella. I laid it on pretty thick — it’s better with a light touch.

    6. Yes, the little hearts rising are meant to indicate the opening of the heart! Yay! Glad that comes across.

    7. This is my favorite one.

    8. This one turned out well too.

    10. I love enamel dots. Couldn’t resist using it.

    Would you like one? Email me your address and I’ll send you one. Numbers 6 and 8 have already been traded.

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