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Old 03-02-2007, 06:10 AM   #1  
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Default New to stamping - have questions

Hello, all! I'm new to stamping... so new in fact, that I've not yet done any! I'm ready to spread my wings, though, so I hope you don't mind a few "duh" questions from me. I'll start with a few basic questions.

I know that SU is a reputable company for buying stamps, but what about other companies? Are the stamps that are sold in craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels worth buying?

What makes a "good" stamp? What do I look for? How do I know if I want acrylic or rubber? What about foam?

Also, are all inks created equal, or no? I'm assuming you "stamp" in one color, and then color in your creation with watercolor pencils or something?

TIA for your help!
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Old 03-02-2007, 06:23 AM   #2  
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To answer one or two of your questions:

My understanding is that if you want to use acrylic stamps, it's best to use chalk or pigment ink pads (as opposed to the more common dye ink pads).

As for coloring your images: sometimes a stamp is a line drawing. In that case, yes, you would stamp in one color (usually black or brown) then color in however you choose (colored pencils, watercolor pencils, markers, watercolor brush and stamping inks). But, if you are coloring with any method than involves water (even markers) you need to stamp the image with a waterproof ink that won't run.

Other stamps are solid images that you would stamp in color and not have to color in.

For example, on this card, the flowers were stamped in permanent black ink, then colored with a watercolor brush. The "so very" and "sweet" circle were simply stamped in eggplant, no coloring involved.

Sorry for such a long reply. I'm sure tons of people will have some more insight for you. You've hit on our favorite topic...stamping!
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Old 03-02-2007, 06:38 AM   #3  
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There are lots of companies worth buying from! Hero Arts, Stampendous, Tsuiniko (sp?), too many to mention. All found at Micheals, and other craft stores. There are even more on the web! Just explore and experiment. You will find your niche. If you're like me, you'll find *many* niches

Acrylic vs. rubber and mounted vs. unmounted are all personal preferences. There are threads in the forums that have some good discussions on the benefits and disadvantages of both. Check them out. Remember, there isn't a law that says you have to choose one.

Bottom line......stamp. Copy other peoples ideas (called CASE'ing) and learn from it. Find a style you like or develop your own. Read the excellent tutorials here on SCS and experiment. Even if you stumble in your first attempts, remember that NO card is a failure because you've learned from it.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:00 AM   #4  
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Welcome to stamping!!!

Here are a few suggestions, some of which might make sense to you.

Before you invest oodles of money trying out different companies, start with attending Stampin Up, TAC, and CTMH stamp parties or workshops. Each company is reputable and their products are just a bit different. CTMH has acrylic and you will get to out clear stamps. TAC sells unmounted rubber on cling; SU rubber on wood. Going to a party is a great way to touch, feel and see what YOU like. Buy one stamp set from each and see which ones sing to you (they probably all will -- that's the problem!!).

Addictedtorubberstamps is a website that sells an enormous variety. This seller is reliable, although I've found that its prices have creeped up so that you can often find similar stamps at a better price elsewhere. However, this is one website where you can see a variety of styles and types. It is awesome. Set aside about 2 hours just for drooling! You'll see an amazing variety -- reputable companies include Hero Arts, Magenta, Penny Black, MSE, Stampendous, A Muse Arts, Savvy, Memory Box, Lockhart, Wordsworth just to name a very few.

Many stampers regret most of what they bought the first year! I'm a huge believer in buying quality. Don't plunk down $10 on a paper trimmer only to find that it doesn't cut evenly or leaves a ragged edge. I did. Then I bought a $30 one. Then a $150 one and then, finally I bought a very pricey one! I so wish I had started with the best -- or at least skipped the middle two! LOL

This is an addictive, expensive hobby and you can get sucked into buying the latest fad only to discover you don't like it, or you love it and then a better version is released 6 months later. So, go slow and accumulate based on your preferences. This is also a good idea because your tastes will change. You'll figure out whether you like to color in images or prefer solid stamps. You'll see whether you love word and phrase stamps or would rather not invest in those. It is not uncommon for a stamper to look back at the stamps purchased in the beginning and wish they had been more selective.

Another way to see supplies in action is to attend a swap. Even if you have nothing in the way of supplies, you should check the Get It Together forum here on SCS. You may find some folks in your area who are willing to have you join a get together and watch and try out stuff. Can't hurt to ask.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:16 AM   #5  
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Not much to say here that hasn't already been well-said by others! Just wanted to say:

1) I admire your enthusiasm!!!!!!
2) you don't even have to colour in the line images if you don't want to. I'm not very talented at the whole colouring thing myself, so I tend to design cards where colouring in isn't a requirement. I linked to an example below.

http:////www.splitcoaststampers.com/...0&ppuser=25338
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:22 AM   #6  
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Welcome to this very addicting hobby!

Don't forget those $1 stamps at Michael's and ACM. If you don't want to invest a lot of $ in stamps at first (there's plenty of time to get deep in debt), these make some really beautiful cards. You can find samples in the gallery.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:26 AM   #7  
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I have been very happy with quality and customer service from Hero Arts, Gel-a-Tins, TAC (have been awesome!), Provo Craft, Amuse, Saavy, Mandarin Pixie, and many others. I can only think of a couple of companies who have not created a happy customer in me. I do avoid the "off brands" when it comes to things like ink or clear stamps or paper until I read here that other people are happy with them. Most of the companies I have dealt with are very focused on customer service.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:26 AM   #8  
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Thanks for all your replies so far!

I guess it might be simpler for me to ask... are there any stamps I should AVOID? At Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc... any brands that are just junk and should be avoided?
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:37 AM   #9  
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There really aren't many stamps that would be carried at Michaels or HL that you should avoid. They tend to carry high quality stamps from well known reputable companies. I would caution against foam stamps at this point. They tend to be trickier to work with. I agree with the previous posters who mentioned the $1 stamps. It's a great way to get supplies and not spend a ton of dough.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:55 AM   #10  
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You've gotten great advice here.

I would re-emphasize the importance of taking a basic stamping class at your full-service LSS, or attending an in-home workshop (Stampin' Up!, Close To My Heart, The Angel Company, etc.--SU!, CTMH, TAC)

Visit the homesites of any of the above, to locate a demonstrator in your area, and request to "crash" a workshop/party, if you are reluctant to host one yourself. Hosting has benefits, however . . . you can earn product free when you host . . . something you can't get at a "chain" store . . .

These workshops or classes in an independently owned retail store, are probably the most excellent method for a newbie to acquire basic skills and information about stamps, inks, and paper.

When you attend workshops or classes offered by a demonstrator (a.k.a. consultant) or independent retailer , she will be eager to help you learn about how to use your stamps--she genuinely wants you to enjoy your experience and use the products you've invested in, and will gladly answer questions, etc.

You will typically not find that kind of service or support at a chain store--once you've become experienced, you'll know what to shop for at a chain store, but, from my observations, stampers at an experienced level prefer to shop at a full-service stamp store, or via a demonstrator/consultant for one of the aforementioned DS companies, due to variety/selection.
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:00 AM   #11  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by PreservingMemories
Thanks for all your replies so far!

I guess it might be simpler for me to ask... are there any stamps I should AVOID? At Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc... any brands that are just junk and should be avoided?
I would advise any newbie shopping at a chain store to avoid:
  • foam mounted stamps (yes, they are cheap, but, they're a pain, in all honesty, and more likely to turn you off of stamping than to turn you on . . . )
  • clear stamps that require being cut and separated prior to use (these are typically--altho not always--made of a lesser grade material that can be challenging to work with, unless you are pretty experienced and have lots of inks at your disposal to experiment with before finding the right combo)
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:19 AM   #12  
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I got some great advice when I started stamping, most of which has already been shared with you. One more thing - if you can't think of at least 3 different ways/occasions you can use a stamp, don't buy it unless you really really love it! Example: a floral stamp can be used for birthday, mom's day, sympathy & etc. but a santa stamp will only be used once a year. However, it it's the best santa stamp you'll ever see.... LOL and welcome to my obsession!
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:20 AM   #13  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by gaylestamps
I got some great advice when I started stamping, most of which has already been shared with you. One more thing - if you can't think of at least 3 different ways/occasions you can use a stamp, don't buy it unless you really really love it! Example: a floral stamp can be used for birthday, mom's day, sympathy & etc. but a santa stamp will only be used once a year. However, it it's the best santa stamp you'll ever see.... LOL and welcome to my obsession!
Absolutely!
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:29 AM   #14  
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welcome to stamping! I don't think I'd ever held a rubber stamp in my hands until Nov 2005 when I went to a stampin' up workshop. Never thought of myself as 'artsy' or 'crafty'. I got seriously hooked! There's enough structure that it doesn't feel overwhelming or 'threatening', and there's so much you can do, you can let your creativity grow & soar!

A couple thoughts from someone who started from absolutely nothing:
I'd echo the 'buy quality' advice. There are things I bought out of ignorance that I thought were a good deal. There ARE some great bargains (and once you get more familiar, you'll know what to use those Michael's/AC Moore/Jo Ann etc coupons for). There are some great websites/sellers that you'll read about on this website.

I started out with only Stampin up supplies, have expanded to other companies (Hero Arts, Great Impressions, Penny Black, etc etc etc). Those are all high-quality products (they have websites too!). There are some websites with some information and great tutorials (in addition to SCS). I can email you separately with those if that'd be helpful.

If you have a local stamp store, you should be able to get really good advice there. One thing I learned: when I'm buying a single stamp at a store, always look at the rubber to make sure it's cut correctly.

AS for inks: there are several different kinds. For example: StazOn is a solvent based permanent ink you'd use for certain situations. Generally you choose between a pigment (SU craft) or a dye (SU classic) ink...Pigment inks take longer to dry, you can emboss them. Classic inks dry faster. you can find a lot more information about inks on this SCS site too.

have FUN, ask lots of questions, and be ready to devote HOURS to just looking around this website!
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:30 AM   #15  
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Boy do I wish I'd found this BEFORE spending several hundred dollars in the last couple of months "getting started"! Still trying to find my niche, but I can say without a doubt that my favorite purchases so far are my Color Box cateye inkpads and my Mike's dollar stamps. Both have been an inexpensive way to test the waters and play while discovering what works for me.

Course I also have a paper addiction- I think that stems from my roots as a quilter- love piecing differnt things together to come up with something and the stamps themselves tend to be sort of an afterthought!

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Old 03-02-2007, 10:01 AM   #16  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JulieHRR
You've gotten great advice here.

I would re-emphasize the importance of taking a basic stamping class at your full-service LSS, or attending an in-home workshop (Stampin' Up!, Close To My Heart, The Angel Company, etc.--SU!, CTMH, TAC)
Thank Julie for explaning to the OP what these acronyms
mean!

TAC Stands for The Angel Company
http://theangelcompany.net


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Old 03-02-2007, 11:10 AM   #17  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Gladys Beth ann
. . . A couple thoughts from someone who started from absolutely nothing:
I'd echo the 'buy quality' advice. There are things I bought out of ignorance that I thought were a good deal. . . .

I must agree: invest in quality tools, supplies and materials from the get-go and you'll have a much more satisfying and enriching experience and, in the long run, you will have wasted less money.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:45 PM   #18  
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Lots of good advice here. I would like to mention one more thing that might be available to you, in addition to attending parties and workshops by demos. I have found a few local stores (not usually at the chains) that offer FREE make and takes. Since I move around a lot I don't have a lot of contact with friends who stamp, so I rely on other options.
I also need to repeat what has been mentioned a few times - take advantage of the forums here. I have found the daily challenges very helpful. Since one of the reasons I stamp is that I don't have any confidence in my artistic ability - the sketch challenge is especially helpful for layout ideas. You can even print out the entire group of 113 or so sketch challenges - or any of the others.
Enjoy!
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:52 PM   #19  
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I agree with everyone, quality is the best. I got hooked at a Su party and thought to buy inexpensive stuff and found out I wasted more than had I put a bit more money into supplies. i actually priced each Su stamp set I wanted to buy by stamp and it was cheaper to buy the set and you get the quality. Also TAC and ANGEL are good. Now I buy quality and pay a bit more but it's worth it in the end.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:55 PM   #20  
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Julie thanks for all the explainations of eveything. I've printed off a lot and have it here by my computer You've been a big help
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:48 PM   #21  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by etsdas
Lots of good advice here. I would like to mention one more thing that might be available to you, in addition to attending parties and workshops by demos. I have found a few local stores (not usually at the chains) that offer FREE make and takes. Since I move around a lot I don't have a lot of contact with friends who stamp, so I rely on other options.
I also need to repeat what has been mentioned a few times - take advantage of the forums here. I have found the daily challenges very helpful. Since one of the reasons I stamp is that I don't have any confidence in my artistic ability - the sketch challenge is especially helpful for layout ideas. You can even print out the entire group of 113 or so sketch challenges - or any of the others.
Enjoy!
This is great advice. The Forums and most especially the gallery are awesome places to check out different ways to design and create beautiful stamps. Don't be afraid to ask questions once you start a project either. I've gotten some great advice here when I've been stumped or just was clueless on how to do something.
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Old 03-03-2007, 05:22 AM   #22  
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One thought that would have saved me some money ... buy quality, heavy weight paper. It makes all the difference in the final product. I bought tons of paper when I started scrapping/stamping. Most of my early purchases have been donated to my kids' school projects. For me, there is nothing worse than putting time in to making a card only to realize that the cardstock I have is lightweight and flimsy.
Also, different paper will "take" ink differently. Try for yourself - use a piece of junky paper from the one of the "value packs" from the craft store. Then use a piece of Bazzill or Stampin Up paper (I'm sure there are other great brands, I just haven't been exposed to them .... yet). You'll see a difference both in your stamped images as well as the final look and feel of the card.
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Old 03-03-2007, 05:57 AM   #23  
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I second the thought on quality paper. I started stamping 8 mos ago and I didn't buy quality paper. I was a previous die hard scrapbooker so I had inexpensive paper from HL, and other stores. Boy was that a mistake. I can certainly tell a difference in SU paper. I now use my cheap paper for my kids to sit and stamp with me. They love to stamp and love they get to pick out "their own paper".

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Old 03-03-2007, 06:01 AM   #24  
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The funny thing about buying SU paper is that as soon as you do you will want ALL the ribbon too! It makes coordinating your colors so much easier and makes your cards look amazing. Such an addiction!
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Old 03-03-2007, 06:13 AM   #25  
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I'll third the quality paper advice. I recently used a piece of paper on a scrapbook page that was left over from my "cheap" days. I stamped on it and it looks dreadful! The ink kinda bled and the image is fuzzy. I thought I'd purged all the cheap stuff, but guess I need to go through it all again. Geesh!

To the OP, you've got some really good advice here--wish I'd had it six years ago when I went on an uncontrolled and pointless spending spree, LOL!
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Old 03-03-2007, 07:13 AM   #26  
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As per usual, the advice given to the op has been great. I started stamping several years ago, and was never happy with my work until I bought and used SU inks and cardstock. The coordination/complement you get with the colors just can't be beat!
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Old 03-03-2007, 08:58 AM   #27  
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I agree with everyone here, I started out stamping with no one to help me out and bought a lot of stamps that I don't even use at this point. but, now I found a stampin up demostrater that is willing to work with me and she has lots of workshops to attend to help me get better at my stamping, embossing, etc. I have bought my stamps from hobby lobby, joanns, dollar tree, online at different online stores. all work good. I even got those foam stamps, only use those seldom (only some of these I regret getting).

But, you will get great advice for stamping and like they all said, go to stampin up workshops and host parties.

Happy stamping
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:46 AM   #28  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JulieHRR
I would advise any newbie shopping at a chain store to avoid:
  • foam mounted stamps (yes, they are cheap, but, they're a pain, in all honesty, and more likely to turn you off of stamping than to turn you on . . . )
  • clear stamps that require being cut and separated prior to use (these are typically--altho not always--made of a lesser grade material that can be challenging to work with, unless you are pretty experienced and have lots of inks at your disposal to experiment with before finding the right combo)
I wanted to clarify what I meant: There are now some excellent quality clear stamps available on the market, but, they may not be necessarily found at a chain store; they are more likely to be found through other sources, including indepedent retailers.

High quality clear stamps are typically made of very clear photopolymer, not vinyl, and have a density akin to rubber. And, usually, you do not have to cut or separate the images apart from one another, prior to use.

Just in case anybody misunderstood me, I didn't mean to imply that "all" clear stamps were made of lesser grade material or difficult to work with.

Cuz, the ones I've bought over the last year or so, are of a quality that made me completely reverse my original opinions on clear stamps.
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Old 03-03-2007, 10:54 AM   #29  
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Welcome to Stamping! I attended my first party in November 1995 with a now not around company. I thought what a stupid thing to spend all the money to make a card. Mom bought me a stamp and an ink pad and that was it! I'm hooked. I don't scrapbook (attempted several times) but strictly a card maker.

I started buying from SU back in 1996 and just fell in love. I love the way the sets coordinate along with all their accessories. I rarely bought from other places but I will if I fall in love with something. I agree with everything said, buy quality from the beginning to avoid buying it twice, or three times.

Have fun! I have a new customer that just looked through the galleries here and picked out a set and some paper and she is having a great time.
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:10 AM   #30  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JulieHRR
You've gotten great advice here.
You will typically not find that kind of service or support at a chain store--once you've become experienced, you'll know what to shop for at a chain store, but, from my observations, stampers at an experienced level prefer to shop at a full-service stamp store, or via a demonstrator/consultant for one of the aforementioned DS companies, due to variety/selection.
Except for al Michael's in Madison, WI. I teach classes there once in a while. LOL!
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:11 AM   #31  
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Hi,
I'm new to stamping and have a lot of questions. How do you do a supplie
order from SU? And is there a list of supplies, and how do you keep track of
supplies and customers order

Linda
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:12 AM   #32  
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Sending you a PM, Linda
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