Maybe you have never stopped sponging, but I have not done any sponging in a super long time. So long that I didn't even have any sponges.
I wanted to get some good layering of ink color and sponging is the best, most blended way to achieve that look. My card sample here was inspired by Maria K's. swap from convention.
To sponge without getting those splotchy blotches use a swirling motion starting off of the piece of cardstock. Start by covering 100% of the cardstock with your lightest color ink, then move to a medium shade covering about 60% of the cardstock, then just sponge about 30% of the outer edges with your darkest color. I started with Crushed Curry, then More Mustard, and last Pumpkin Pie.