It's been a while since I reviewed anything...but then, it's been a while since I bought much new stuff. Since Christmas, I have been on a spending bender that probably ended today with a significant purchase at Marco's Paper, a bit of brick-and-mortar paper-crafting heaven. Here's some of what I bought.
Surprisingly (because I already have so many), I've been buying a lot of ink pads lately. Not sure why, except that the gray dreariness of an Ohio winter probably makes colorful inks particularly appealing. I've stocked up on a bunch of Hero Arts colors for no other reason than they are pretty, but Marco's had these cheerful pads calling my name.
Here are my quickie reviews of these two inks:
1. Kaleidacolor spectrum pads: Love them. They are juicy with bright colors. I find the monochromatic pads the most appealing, but the Melon Melody above was irresistibly citrusy and made my mouth water. Because the ink in these is watery, the case is designed to separate the five pads of ink for storage so they don't get muddy. To use these pads, you slide a plastic handle until all five pads are snuggled up together, and then ink your stamp. I find patting the stamp repeatedly with tiny shifts left and right over the pads blends the ink beautifully for a spectrum effect.
These pads have limited usefulness for inking really large stamps because the plastic sliding mechanism that separates the colors for storage gets in the way. Some people ink up a brayer and then ink the stamp with the brayer (I find this messy and wasteful of ink, but that's my OCD talking), but still, if your stamp is wider than the brayer, it's a challenge. Also, if you only want one color, you have to use a pretty small stamp. With those caveats, I give these pads two thumbs up.
2. Memento Luxe: I'm in love. (Yes, I am an ink slut. Bet you are, too!) These pigment inks (in the same colors as the regular Memento inks) are rich, vibrant, densely colorful, and just plain gorgeous. The black is utterly opaque on white card stock and incredibly beautiful. Luxe inks dry faster than plain pigment inks, but not quite as fast as, say, VersaColor or Brilliance inks. I find this mildly annoying. The lids fit tightly, which is nice for keeping the pads juicy. I haven't tried these on fabric yet, but the case says heat-setting makes it permanent. Awesome!
And now for my comparison of Papertrey Stamper's Select white card stock and Neenah 110# Solar White Cover card stock.
I've used Papertrey white card stock for years. I love the thickness of it, especially for one-layer cards. I love the way StampinUp Real Red dries nearly instantly on it. I love the feel of it. Love, love, love it.
Today, I bought a 25-sheet pack of Neenah Solar White at Marco's for more money than I should have but I didn't really care. I figured if I liked it, I'd buy a whole ream and save big, right? Whatever. Anyway, I'm having a really hard time picking a favorite between the two.
The only real differences appear to be that Hero Arts ink does slightly--and I do mean slightly--better on the Neenah, while Ancient Page does slightly--and I do mean slightly--better on Papertrey. These variations could simply be the result of more ink on the stamps or more/less pressure applied in the stamping rather than any intrinsic difference in the paper.
The colors seem a bit more intense in general on the Neenah (take a look at the Brilliance and VersaMagic samples in particular), but when I flipped the card stocks over, I noticed the Hero Arts image was slightly visible through the Neenah but not the Papertrey. None of the other inks showed through to the back of the Neenah at all, so it may just be that I over-inked the stamp for that impression.
I tested a Copic on both Papertrey and Neenah, and it bled through on both. If you're going to color with alcohol-based markers on a one-layer card, use Gina K's heaviest deluxe white card stock. That will NOT bleed through no matter how much blending you do because it is coated.
I'll be darned if I can tell a difference in how the Papertrey and the Neenah card stocks feel. They also seem to be the same weight...Papertrey's site doesn't specify the weight of its paper. Both are very heavy and require scoring to fold cleanly.
The Neenah is available by the ream (250 sheets) and works out to about $0.18 per sheet from the Paper Mill but is much higher in smaller packs ($0.37 per sheet in a 50-sheet pack from Marco's), while the Papertrey is about $0.15 per sheet in 40-sheet packs.
My conclusion: if you're looking for a good white card stock for card bases, either Papertrey or Neenah Solar White 110# Cover will serve you quite nicely.
And that's all I have to say about that.
Please feel free to share your own experiences and opinions about Kaleidacolor Inks, Memento Luxe inks, Papertrey's Stamper's Select, and Neenah Solar White 110# card stock. I'm fully aware that individual results may vary, and my readers deserve multiple opinions!