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Old 12-28-2012, 04:34 AM   #1
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Default Ink Pad Dilemma

I've been doing a "review" of sorts in my studio to see what I have and what I still want/need. I don't need to buy stamps or dies or paper or embellishments for quite some time (if ever), but I need to invest in some new ink pads.

Most of my ink pads are OLD, and I'm overwhelmed with how many choices are available these days! I have a couple of the new SU! ink pads, and they're quite nice. I have several of the A Muse Studio ink pads, and they're lovely, too. I really like Distress inks, but they're not my first choice when I want a nice, crisp image, as they are so "juicy" that they wick a bit. I have some CTMH ink pads from "back in the day", which I really have loved, but are now old enough to be getting dry.


Which ink pads are your "go-to"? And why? Do you tend to buy entire lines or just the colors you think you'll use all the time? Do you make sure you have matching cardstock, or not worry about it?


I'm trying to be wise in spending my money on this hobby. Thoughts?
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:02 AM   #2
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Versafine is mine for stamping. But I think it depends on what your primary colouring medium is. If it's Copics, then that affects your choice. I use mostly watercolours/H2Os and distress inks, and Versafine is perfect for those. I've bought a few of the colours, and I must say that any I have bought, it surprises me how useful they are.
I have almost all the distress inks, but not, primarily, for stamping with.
I certainly don't worry about matching cardstock! Too pricey on shipping over here, but even if that weren't an issue, I don't think it would factor in to my buying choices.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:07 AM   #3
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Versafine Onyx is always at my craft space. ALWAYS. It's the only black I ever use.

After all the hype about Distress Inks, I bought a few this year, and truthfully, I'm not all that impressed. The image is not crisp enough for me. They may be great for all kinds of techniques, but I find that I'm not a technique-y kind of gal.

I think I need to try more Versafine colors to see if I like it as well as the black. In the meantime, I still use my old SU inkpads, and still like them. I even bought a few new colors off the clearance rack this month. I don't have the new style pads, though, so can't help there.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:14 AM   #4
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Memento is a great all around ink and works with Copics. I also love Hero's Hues from Hero Arts.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:19 AM   #5
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Nope, I don't need matchy-matchy for inks and cardstock so that frees up my ink choices!

Like Sabrina, I love Versafine for stamping - it provides great coverage and a crisp image with all types of stamp (clear polymer or natural rubber). If I'm not using Copics to colour then I'll pretty much always stamp with Versafine. I have full size pads in Onyx Black and Vintage Sepia since those are the ones I use most and the other colours in the little cubes (cheaper and less storage space).

If I'm using Copics, I usually stamp with Adirondack dye ink (generally Espresso since I like the slightly softer look of the dark brown for an outline). I have a lot of Adirondack colours and it's a great ink for stamping, brayering, sponging etc. You can use them as watercolours and most of them are stable but a few do break down into contituent colours when you add water so it's worth checking any new ones before you start in on colouring an image! I often use Distress inks for colouring, sponging, brayering etc but not so often for stamping.

I also have some Brilliance inks - a good all rounder for a pigment ink. Nice colour range including metallic/shimmery ones (again, you can get small dew drop pads to reduce the spend and the storage issue), work fine with Copics as well as other colouring media and unlike many pigment inks it will dry on glossy surfaces.

Final mention for Versacraft - great for fabric stamping as well as cardstock, wood etc. Available as little cubes which is how I have most of mine.

I have other inks too - these are just my most used - so if you have questions about anything specific, shout up and I might be able to help!
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:26 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies! I should say that I do have Versafine Onyx Black and Vintage Sepia that I use a lot, and Memento Tuxedo Black, Rich Cocoa and London Fog for when I'm using alcohol-based markers. I guess my question was more geared toward non-neutral-colored inks. I've never really worried about having matching cardstock, but thought I'd throw that out, in case anyone else thought I should pay better attention... I'm still muddled, but I appreciate the input, regardless!
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:25 PM   #7
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The two go to inks that I use are:

Hero Arts Shadow inks. The colors are amazing and they stamp so beautifully. As they dry they smooth out and soften.
Simon Says STAMP Product List

And I also use Ranger Distress Inks constantly! I don't know if you were looking for inks to use to stamp images or create cool effects but these work for both.

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Old 12-28-2012, 04:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanaM View Post
The two go to inks that I use are:

Hero Arts Shadow inks. The colors are amazing and they stamp so beautifully. As they dry they smooth out and soften.
Simon Says STAMP Product List

And I also use Ranger Distress Inks constantly! I don't know if you were looking for inks to use to stamp images or create cool effects but these work for both.

Simon Says STAMP Product List
These are the same ones I use... love the Hero Arts inks... and they just came out with some awesome new colors!
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:17 PM   #9
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For sure Memento for copics and VersaFine for fine details in black, sepia, various blues, and red. Tsukineko's Delicata Golden Glitz is absolutely FABULOUS and dries quicker than most pigment inks (bought at Joann's). I seem to be an ink collector these days so I have all the TH Distress Inks, all colors of the Jenni Bowlin dye inks, most of the Hero Arts Shadow Mid-Tones and Softs (that's what happens from subscribing to Jennifer McQuire's blog!) most Memento and VersaFine colors in regular pads or dew drops, various SU in the old pads and all the old colors of spots with maybe three of the new pads so far, three Kalidescrope (sp?) pads for rainbow affects, VersaMark in plain, Champaigne, and Frost, three colors of the AMuse ink. Have I used all of these ink pads??? HA! That's on my to do list!
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:11 PM   #10
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I use Versafine Onyx Black and Vintage Sepia mostly but have the cube size of all the other Versafine inks and used Spanish Moss and Crimson Red a lot this year too. I never even think about matching inks to paper so I buy what I like and think I'll use. I do have lots of Distress inks and use them to distress or add some color to my paper. I like chalk inks too. I did get some Memento Tuxedo Black after reading about it here but don't like it at all and since I don't use Copics will not get it again.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:33 PM   #11
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I used to buy random inks. A cute color of pink at Archivers with a coupon, a few random spots from the dollar bin, colors I thought I needed, a handful of distress inks, and the basic starter kit of SU ink spots. I struggled with having the right color, and found myself using more black outline stamps and coloring them in, rather than having enough colors to make non-black images (flowers, leaves, colorful sentiments, oh my!).

Then when I signed up as a demo, I bought 3 color families in the new ink pads with my extra discount. LOVE the coverage, love having a wide range of color options, love how they work with rubber and clear stamps. I don't know what took me so long, but it does make it so much easier to have matching ink, paper, and accessories, for monochromatic cards, for not having to stress about finding exactly which cardstock matches the ink when you're in a hurry, and just to make it look a little more polished as far as the colors pulling together throughout the layout. I'm so happy I got them and don't think I'll need to buy more inkpads for a long time (unless they add colors...!).
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:31 AM   #12
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When I was trying to decide what ink pads to buy I felt like I needed a Ph.d in inks. It was just overwhelming. I narrowed it down to two. I picked SU and Adirondack.

I went with the SU ink pads because I love their color line. I did buy all the pads because I wanted a good variety of colors. I did buy the reinkers first. I did not buy the cardstock to match because I want to work on a variety of materials and cardstock.

I have the older SU ink pads before the new foam ones. I am happy and content with them. I don't want to upgrade. Plus, it took me over two years to get all of the ink pads, lol. I don't even want to think of doing that again. I have a complete set of markers too that I used for stamping while I collected my ink pads.

I bought a few Distress Inks but it's not my style. I love to watercolor. I make my own style of Distress inks with my watercolors and additives. I got rid of my DI's.

I have a few of the Studio G ink pads that are $1. I really like the ink but there are no refills. If the ink pads get dry I can make my own refills. I use this tutorial- Video Tutorial: How to make pigment ink Thefrugalcrafter’s Weblog Hi Lindsay!
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:32 AM   #13
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Ah - apart from basic blacks I'd certainly second Joanne's recommendation of the Brilliance inks. A range of Dew Drops were among the first inks I bought, and even after 5 years in an attic which gets pretty hot in the summer and cold in the winter (and more normal storage conditions before that) they still stamp beautifully. They're great for embossing, will set (given time or gentle warmth) on acetate, and the shimmer from the pearlescent ones is lovely.
I also like the ColorBox pigment inks for good coverage on solid stamps.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzgurl View Post
I guess my question was more geared toward non-neutral-colored inks.
I mostly use colour and I don't concern myself about looking for the 'best' black since I rarely use it.

When I first started in this hobby I bought whatever took my fancy with no regard to differences between the inks. I also bought whatever stamps caught my eye. After about 12 months of randomly doing my thing I started to take notice of what was really working for me and what was not, of what I liked and what I did not like.

My personal preferences was for water based dye ink. SU! was the most accessable for me at the time so I went with that brand. I became a demo so I could purchase the inks (which naturally led me buying their stamps :S ) Now several years later I have three brands of ink (Ranger DI and Archival Ink, and SU!) and I have nearly the whole range of colours in all of them. It is so much easier to store product if the containers are uniform in size/shape. By limiting myself it also helps with not being distracted with all other brands. Now with online shopping being so much more accessable, if I had to do it again I probably go for Ranger Adirondack Ink. It was my top choise but stock was limited here at the time.

My choise to stick with water based dye inks also narrowed my stamp choises to rubber. I do hear often that some clear stamps have come a long way in the past few years and are better with dye inks, but I'm happy to stick with the rubber. (Some of those clear stamps designs do look very nice too. Just sayin')

All those other pads I experimented with I gave away. I do love doing techniques. I don't do Copics or any other similar marker. I don't colour in much.

If you know already how you like to use inks in your work then you are halfway to knowing what will be best for you. Good luck on your quest.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lylacfey View Post
I have the older SU ink pads before the new foam ones. I am happy and content with them. I don't want to upgrade. Plus, it took me over two years to get all of the ink pads, lol. I don't even want to think of doing that again. I have a complete set of markers too that I used for stamping while I collected my ink pads.
I agree. Also, when I did my 'research' I shied away from the Vivid Dye Inks because of the foam pad. In fact the change over has got me thinking if one day down the track I should go for the Adirondaks and sell the entire SU! collection. As long as I have them here I'll keep using them.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:52 AM   #16
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I like my pads to match my cardstock, so I have most of the SU colors, and now I'm working on the A Muse Studio colors. The A Muse pads are so different (the type of ink) from SU that I don't feel like I'm duplicating colors this way. I also have a set of Memento dewdrops but I don't find myself using them often.
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