Studio Calico had an awesome coupon the other day for 50% all writing instruments. I used the coupon to purchase the 37 set distress markers from Tim Holtz and 3 Hero Arts shadow inks (soft granite, soft green, and red royal). The package arrived just two days after I placed my order! As many reviews have noted, it comes in a clear plastic container with a black lid. The lid isn’t the easiest to pull on and off but the container itself is very handy. For some reason, one of my markers had a black smudge on the cap.
The markers are double ended, with a brush on one side and a fine tip for journaling on the other. I learned pretty quickly that I’ll need to be careful not to dry out my fine tip because the cap needs to be snapped back on. That doesn’t seem to be the case on the brush end – at least on my set.
I was very excited to test out all the colors and decided to create a guide page of all the colors so I can have a handy reference while crafting. The ink of some markers like Barn Door and Fired Brick did not flow well and seemed a little dried out. That might be because they were stored vertically with the brush end at the top and after turning them with the brush side facing down for about 10 minutes, the ink started flowing nicely. I’m new to using markers in my crafting so this might be common knowledge but next time, I’ve learned to let the ink flow in the direction I need for a little while before swatching so I won’t end up putting wear on a dry brush tip. I’m also going to do my best to store the markers horizontally so that I don’t dry out a tip.
I love my distress ink pads and as others have noted, the ‘matching’ markers are complementary in color, not exact matches to the ink pads. (You can also tell I was watching “Game of Thrones” while swatching the colors because I subconsciously started writing ‘westeros’ after I swatched Black Soot.)
Below I tested out some of the colors using both acrylic and rubber stamps. They look pretty amazing used with rubber stamps, creating a surprisingly crisp image. I used the Pumice Stone marker — the brownish-grey — on the middle “the everyday” evalicious stamp.
I really like all of the colors, particular all the shades of neutral nudes. I think they’ll make great shadows and add dimension to cut out shapes. After swatching and playing, I would have to say that Picket Fence is my favorite. It’s actually somewhat opaque. The white appears less translucent in the picture below but in real life, it gives an almost chalkboard effect on black paper. I can’t wait to use it to create a wash on dark patterned papers. I think Picket Fence is the only slightly opaque Distress Marker and the pen tip of this marker, unlike the others, looks like felt rather than plastic.