Thursday, March 30, 2017

Good Intentions and Better Advice

After re-integrating my Second-Chance Stamps into my craft space, I decided not to purchase new stamps for a while and simply reacquaint myself with the freshly-brought-out-of-storage stamps.

I felt quite smug and fiscally responsible about this decision.

Then, I talked with Joan B of Dear Paperlicious. She asked me what I'm working on, what my plans are for stamping, and I told her about the reacquaintance plan. It sounded so boring and uninspired when spoken out loud to the ever-cool Joan. She mentioned, nonchalantly, that she still had new stuff she hadn't used yet.

Within 24 hours of that conversation, I'd placed a big order for stamps and ink with Ellen Hutson...stopped by Marco's for a box of envelopes and picked up some crystal effects because I had none...then ran into JoAnn's just to "look around" and walked out carrying a bag with glue, a stamp set, and two Hero Arts ombre ink pads.

It's all Joan's fault. Or maybe mine. Oh, bother.

Hero Arts recently released new ink colors, including cotton candy, fresh lawn, and Antigua. The ombre inks, which someone advised me not to buy for some forgotten reason, leapt into my bag at JoAnn's and are now two of my favorite ink pads. Must get more of them.

And now you see the reason why buying new types of product is so dangerous. It makes you want more in every color.

The fresh lawn and Antigua are delightful, by the way, but the cotton candy isn't my favorite pink. It's okay, but I was hoping for something softer. Must keep buying looking.

Oh, bother.

Busy As A and You're a Fungi are cutesy sets that called to me for a variety of reasons...mostly because they are stinkin' cute and also because most of the images are small, which makes them very versatile for my CAS style. My stamp collection is shy on cutesy, but I do enjoy stretching outside my very simple box on a regular basis. At least that is how I justified buying stinkin' cute stamps.

Color Layering Octopus came to live with me because Joan has it, and I want to be like her.

While poking around on Ellen's website, I saw this Thank You Messages set and swear to you I heard a voice in my head (my own, thankfully) reciting something I read 15 years ago about how it
is better to have more sentiment stamps than image stamps. That advice (which I considered then and still consider now to be bogus) made perfect sense in the soft glow of my computer screen.

Please tell me I'm not the only crazy paper crafter out there.

The Fresh Herbs set was a no-brainer, I've already played with it, and it's my new favorite.

Altenew is putting out some amazing sets, and since Joan and I talked about how amazing they are, I had to add one of the amazing sets to my card. It even flattered me by saying, "You are amazing!" Just check out the sentiment on the bottom if you think I'm kidding.

Now, you might have noticed in the first picture above that there's a bottle of Ultra Clean. I ran out, couldn't find any locally, and purchased another brand. I won't make that mistake again.

The Hero Arts and Archival Inks I use and love tend to stain stamps, and if you clean those inky stamps with plain water or whatever stamp cleaner you find locally that isn't Ultra Clean, you will be unhappy. You will put a stamp on an acrylic block, ink it up with pink ink, and it will stamp purple because you didn't properly clean the cobalt ink off it the last time you used it.

Yes. Yes. This is a first-world problem, but it frustrates me every bit as much as dropping an inked stamp onto an almost finished card. Seriously. Deep breathing and animal noises happen to prevent the throwing of the things. I don't normally have anger management issue, but perhaps you understand.

Anyway, I'm back in business stamping with properly-cleaned stamps. Whenever they've been inked with Archival or Hero inks, the stamps get a few rubs on the cleaning pad spritzed with Ultra Clean, then a few rubs on the dry pad, and then a swipe on the damp washcloth that cleans all my other inks.

This might seem fussy to you, but avoiding outbursts of apex-predator-level rage is really worth any fussiness one might require.

By the way, if you choose to imitate my sophisticated travel-wipe-container-with-damp-washcloth method, don't ever seal the damp cloth in the wipe box. Left overnight, it will start to smell funky. Use thick washcloths folded so the lid can't close easily. When not using the cloth, flip the lid so it's only mostly closed, and the cloth will stay damp for a few days without stinking.

The stamp cleaning pad spritzed with Ultra Clean will never stink even if left closed because Ultra Clean is magical and smells like perfection.

And on that slightly insane note...

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,


  1. Great post - I think most of us can relate! For some reason, I also find that a lovely soft true pink is a crazy hard color to find in inks. I'm now finally happy with my Altenew pinks (after purchasing multiple Hero Arts, Wplus9, and SSS versions) - adding in a couple of pigments ink pads too. Altenew's Frosty Pink is my favorite "cool" pink shade, but I also do like Altenew's Blush if I want it to be a touch "warmer". Thanks for the smiles this evening - looking forward to seeing the loveliness you create with these new additions to your stash!

  2. Haha! You're not crazy--you're very normal! I'm normal too!! Especially can't wait to see what you make with the Altenew set.

  3. You simply must stop with the tempting pictures of new stamp sets. Drat! Now I see stamps that I believe I cannot function without. So now I'm going to try to be just like you and find those stamp sets that really help my card making gift blossom. Your choices are brilliant. Thanks.

  4. Joan's gorgeous work with Altenew floral sets also enabled my last purchase. She is super-sneaky that way. I cannot wait to see how you use this one in a CAS way -- I'm ready to be inspired!

  5. That Joan! Hahahahahahaaa... The power of suggestion is strong for any loyal crafter! Hope you enjoy your new purchases... I think *I* now need that stamp set from altenew... lol. Have a great weekend!

  6. Love this post! You and Joan are my top two blogs so,it is a banner day for me when you each post something new! I don't post about it online but I have labeled both you and Joan as enablers for some of my stamp purchases. There are stamps in my house that I bought specifically after seeing some CUTE cards made by each one of you. And recently I am fighting the urge to start ordering some Altenew inks that Joan has been talking about lately. LOL.

  7. Hi Susan, just a suggestion...get yourself the MISTI or the We R Memories stamping tool, and avoid the frustration...ok, stamp rage...of dropping an inked stamp onto a partially finished card. I have MISTI, and while a bit pricey, she's saved my butt more that once! It's also great for exact placement and multiple stamping. I don't think you'd be sorry for spending alittle more money!

  8. You have touched a chord with me. And now I've been enabled. Gee, thanks. I love your stamping and will surely be back. You and Joan... what a pair!

  9. Oh, that pleased my heart to hear you say that you bought a stamp because Joan had it and you wanted to be like her. So many of my purchases are because someone else had them and made them look cool.

    I've been very good about not purchasing a ton of things all the time, but.... the gods conspire against me. Hubby and I agreed that a purchase here and there is fine. Yet, somehow it always works out that my "here and there" purchases all show up on the same darn day. That makes me look bad.

    A marker refill ordered over a month ago is coming in from Japan next week, a backordered stamp set from 3 weeks ago is now in stock and due to hit next week, yesterday I renewed a subscription that will come in April but unknown to me it had a free gift offer and that will be here next week, and now I get an email from a friend that she sent me something of hers she is tired of. You know that will be here next week too and you also know they will all hit on the same day. Then I'll be in trouble. Oh boy.

  10. I popped by from Joan's blog. So glad I did. I will be back!

  11. I hope you have so much fun with your new toys. I too heard that about sentiment stamps.

  12. hi susan - such a fun post to which i can totally relate - i recently solved my stinky wet cloth problem - found an old tupperware sippy cup (leftover from grandkids visits) - put my wet cloth in it - stays damp and never smells - that little sippy part on the opening in the lid lets in just enuf air to keep it from getting smelly!

  13. No, you're not the only crazy paper crafter out there. You can just clear put into words what my head has said for years!

  14. Fabulous post and awesome comments! Any one of them could be me!!!!

  15. OMG!! I think we must have been separated at birth!!! I like your style, your idiosyncrasies, and your brand of crazy!!!!

  16. Well, it is good to hear that someone else does the same thing I do. I think stamping is an obsession and we can't help but buy more. And, let's face it, it is cheaper than therapy. I don't know where I'd be without this hobby. Loved your post by the way.


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