I think it has something to do with hearing the word "Mommy" five-hundred-eighty-six times a day.
Anyway, since I haven't felt particularly creative, I've fallen back on reorganizing and cleaning out stuff in my craft space. Perhaps you use the same trick. Often (though not always) a quick purge gets the creative juices flowing.
Not this time. Still, I try to look on the bright side and think useful things even when they aren't creative things. The creativity will come back eventually, when I stop trying so hard.
So here are some of my random useful thoughts and affirmations from the past week of OMG.
1. I am brilliant. You might remember when I suggested that, if you are afraid of purging, you should put stuff in a box in your basement or storage closet for six months or a year and after that time, go through it again and purge. That break really shows you whether you value those things.
I have two boxes full of stamps in my basement. When I went through them a few days ago, I pulled two stamps out to keep and was completely at peace with getting rid of the rest. This is about the fifth or sixth time I've tried this trick, and it works every single time. See? I am brilliant.
But it only works for stamps. The ink pads I'd put in the boxes made me put them back in my working stash. They demanded it, even though I haven't missed them even a tiny bit. Bossy little things.
2. Ink storage drives me crazy. I have a lot of ink. It's a hazard for us stampers who primarily use block stamps rather than outline stamps. We need lots of colors of ink. Of course we do. But how do we conveniently and neatly store all these ink pads?
Darned if I know.
The pads come in different shapes and sizes. Mini pads (pardon the phrase) are my favorites lately, but I still have a lot of full-size pads. The combination of two sizes offends my OCD so much I just replaced four of my favorite full-size pads with dew drops and really wish I could do that for all the pads but the expense seems stupid since those other full-size pads are not my favorite colors and likely won't be replaced when they run out of ink anyway. So why can't I throw or give them away now? I don't know!
This is crazy.
But I decided that sorting similar inks by color rather than brand/type makes sense. I combined my VersaColor, VersaMagic, and non-iridescent Brilliance inks because on Papertrey card stock, they really look the same and function identically. Here's what the two drawers look like now.
|Aren't these drawers beautiful!!!|
See what I mean about the mix of small and large pads? Crazy. But I love the look of all those colors.... Not sure what I'm going to do with all the other inks I have...pigment, water-based dye inks, waterproof dye inks, etc. For now, they are sorted by brand.
3. Ink types drive me crazy. They are so finicky. Each type does different things and works differently with different types of stamps. We can't just have one kind of ink...we need at least several different ones. For my full thoughts on all the types of ink I've used, please read the Ink section on THIS PAGE.
Disclaimer: The following ink reviews are based on my personal experience...individual results WILL vary. One thing I've learned over the years in this hobby is that one person's favorite product is another's trash....and visa-versa. Variables like paper type, pressure, stamping surface, and so forth will change from situation to situation and affect results. Try inks for yourself, and take others' reviews with a grain of salt...or embossing powder.
Memento inks used to be my favorites in the Waterproof Dye Ink category, but they've let me down. The first 24 colors worked great with all kinds of stamps, but the 12 new colors (which were disappointingly dark and/or dull in the first place) look blotchy and uneven when stamped, especially with clear stamps. I contacted the company and didn't receive any feedback or suggestions.
I still want a waterproof dye ink that works well with all stamps, so I decided to try Memories/Hero Arts inks again. Years ago, I used Memories and mostly liked them, but that was before I accepted photopolymer stamps into my family. Besides, Hero Hues look so gosh darn gorgeous in the catalog I want to eat them up. The four colors I ordered in full-size pads are absolutely beautiful together, a soothing ocean palette that relaxes me just to look at.
I wanted the small cubes, but they appear only to be available in 4-cube sets...and the sets overlap in colors, which is deeply annoying. Cement, for instance, appears in at least two of the sets. WHY?
The neon cube set came to live with me because Joan B said they were cool, and they are. So that's all her fault.
|And yes, I'm annoyed the blue pad is rotated 90 degrees....|
In the end, the Hero Arts inks work fine with rubber stamps but not as well with clear stamps.
So, in conclusion, inks drive me crazy.
4. Some Random Ink Samples with a Clear Stamp
Note: All my samples are stamped on Papertrey's Stampers Select White Card Stock. This makes a difference! Using different paper WILL yield different results.
|The winner of the three...crisp, clean image, smooth|
inking, no blotchiness. All the detail of the
pinecone is clear.
|Blotchy, some feathering of edges, |
clumps of ink on the pinecone
|Better than Memento on edges...less feathering,|
and overall smoother image, but loss of detail
If you stamp with clear stamps, your best bet is probably thick inks like VersaColor, VersaMagic, Colorbox, and Brilliance.
5. My Bottom Line on Ink.
a. Good rubber works with most good inks. If it doesn't, use a white eraser on the rubber to remove any residue from the manufacturing process. The dye inks might still be a bit blotchy on large expanses of rubber, but generally speaking, it all works out.
b. Photopolymer works best with thick, creamy inks like VersaColor, VersaMagic, Colorbox chalk or pigment inks, and Brilliance. The old Memento colors also work reasonably well, but the thick inks are just better with clear stamps, unless you like blotchy, which makes sense for vintage/shabby styles.
c. I have no experience with other popular inks, such as Ranger, Tim Holtz distress, and A Muse. Perhaps those of you who use those will comment on their performance.
I hope this post has given you something useful to think about and inspired you to experiment with your own inks or try out new inks.