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Old 06-20-2009, 08:33 AM   #1
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Default mft vs unity vs gina k vs bellas....

Hi Can someone please help me distinguish the difference between these types of stamps? I have only had experience with wood mounted rubber stamps from SU. I would like to try some of these companies listed above (mft, gina k, unity) because I like their images but I am not sure where to research the difference. for ex what is the difference bet cling and clear stamps? are they mounted the same way? Do they all use the acrylic blocks? If so, where can I purchase acrylic blocks for cheap?I guess I am not sure how you mount them onto acrylic blocks too. Thanks for helping a newbie on these types of stamps. Also if you prefer a specific company, please tell me which one and why. thanks for your help.
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Old 06-20-2009, 08:53 AM   #2
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Cling, clear, and acrylic stamps are all the same thing--stamped that are clear and "cling" to an acrylic block-you don't need anything fancy to make them stick.

I have only used MFT and Unity stamps. MFT are high-quality cling stamps. The one set of unity stamps I have are cushion-back rubber stamps. They are rubber like you're used to, but instead of being attached to a wooden block, the cushion itself sticks to an acrylic block. Unity also has another mounting system, but I haven't used it yet, so maybe someone else can give you some more information.

As for acrylic blocks, you'll want a few in different sizes to be able to match up the stamp to a similar sized block. I bought mine at local craft stores with a 50% off coupon-I have a 5x3.5, 3x3 with gridlines, 2.5 x 3.5 (this is a really nice size), and a couple 1.5 inch squares and a 1x2.5 that I got in the dollar bin at M's-they are really handy.

Also, you can't use regular SU dye ink (or SU Markers) with cling stamps because it just doesn't "stick" to the stamps. Starting out, I would use some chalk ink, but Memento dye ink also works well.

HTH!
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Old 06-20-2009, 08:54 AM   #3
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Impatience can lead to double posting.
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaceyg View Post
Hi Can someone please help me distinguish the difference between these types of stamps? I have only had experience with wood mounted rubber stamps from SU. I would like to try some of these companies listed above (mft, gina k, unity) because I like their images but I am not sure where to research the difference. for ex what is the difference bet cling and clear stamps? are they mounted the same way? Do they all use the acrylic blocks? If so, where can I purchase acrylic blocks for cheap?I guess I am not sure how you mount them onto acrylic blocks too. Thanks for helping a newbie on these types of stamps. Also if you prefer a specific company, please tell me which one and why. thanks for your help.
Kacey
MFT sells clear acrylic stamps that cling to a block-
Unity sells both rubber stamps mounted on foam that cling to a block, and their wood mounted cassettes-
Gina K- I believe are also red rubber mounted on foam that cling to a block-
Bellas are unmounted red rubber only I *think*- no cling to them-

You can get blocks anywhere- and most of them just stick to the block and peel back off.
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:21 AM   #5
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You'll also find varied responses on preference. Some love clear, some not. Some love rubber and cling, some not. Other prefer just the rubber without cling.

It's all personal choice and the way they feel to you when you stamp. I'm not sure anyone can sway you one way or the other because it really is a personal preference. So at this point, I would try some of each, using the images you gravitate towards and just experiment.

Wood mount is where I started and is my first love, but I do I know after trying several of the other types I have a definite preference for the unmounted variety (not going to say which because it's a personal preference and that only means it's what I like). I have to say this, no matter which one you try, the storage of unmounted stamps is a plus, they take up such a small space in comparison to wood mount.
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:29 AM   #6
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Unity also has another mounting system, but I haven't used it yet, so maybe someone else can give you some more information.
One thing I think is important to point out about Unity stamps is that you do *not* need their mounting system to use their stamps. The majority of their stamps are red rubber with cling foam (like EZ mount, etc) that "sticks" to acrylic blocks (but not sticky with residue, etc)

They have some stamps that are on wood slides that are made to be used in their special handles (which are made of wood and acrylic) but it's *not* necessary! Don't let that hold you back from trying them out

I'm more of a visual person, so here is a link to their handles.

http://www.unitystampco.com/stamps/2...Day_Background

I've also included a picture of some of their stamps (both wood slides and a cling mounted red rubber stamp).

HTH!
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:32 AM   #7
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If you are only experienced with the wood mounted red rubber of SU then you would probably want to start out with a red rubber stamp such as Unity, Unity was the first stamp company besides SU that I tried and I never looked back! Unity has great red rubber mounted stamps, most now are without the wood block. They are mounted on whats called cling cushion it "sticks" to acrylic blocks, Unity has a mounting system called handles that work wonderfully to help stamp! (there is a great sale at Unity right now!!) I have now branched out some into the clear stamp world, MFT, QKD, etc. An acrylic block is still needed and the handles work great for any company really.
Bellas are plain rubber, no cushion so you would need to mount them onto EZ mount. They are cute though, anyas are a great bella type stamp, red rubber too. The greeting farm makes those.

Unity hands down is my favorite stamp company, great customer service, great sales all the time, beautiful stamps...I could go on and on

Have fun getting to know new stamp companies, it is so much fun to explore all these great companies! any more questions let me know. feel free to PM me!
Enjoy!
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:35 AM   #8
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I agree...it's all personal choice. I personally have tried to move away from wood block stamps - I just don't have the room to store them anymore.

Having said that, I use all types. I typically buy because I love the image, and use it however it comes (mounted or unmounted). I find lately that I prefer the "bare rubber" because I can cut the images so much easier and closer, and I can store them easily without having to have something for them to cling to. For the bare rubber, I just use an acrylic block and some Tack-n-Peel which I love!!

Also, some stores will offer a choice, with the bare rubber being cheaper...which I always love cause I can buy more images then!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 11Valerie11 View Post
You'll also find varied responses on preference. Some love clear, some not. Some love rubber and cling, some not. Other prefer just the rubber without cling.

It's all personal choice and the way they feel to you when you stamp. I'm not sure anyone can sway you one way or the other because it really is a personal preference. So at this point, I would try some of each, using the images you gravitate towards and just experiment.

Wood mount is where I started and is my first love, but I do I know after trying several of the other types I have a definite preference for the unmounted variety (not going to say which because it's a personal preference and that only means it's what I like). I have to say this, no matter which one you try, the storage of unmounted stamps is a plus, they take up such a small space in comparison to wood mount.
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:36 AM   #9
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Hi! Thanks for asking this question. I think many would like to know what the different member companies here sell.

At Gina K. Designs, we sell our stamps as a sheet of deeply etched reddish pink rubber. They are already attached to cling cushion- we use the EZ mount brand.

When you get them, you peel off the back piece of paper that protects the stamps until they are purchased and you trim them using a high quality scissors like SU, Kai or Tim Holtz. (The last one being my favorite.)

This is the way they look after the stamp is trimmed and attached to an acrylic block.



In this case, I trimmed a stamp from our stamp set "Thinking of you." I trimmed it is a way that I can use it as a table and chair set or if I wanted to make an "I miss you" type card, I can use it this way and remove the one chair.



Here is an up close shot of the quality of our stamp's impression.



Once you are finished using the stamp, you clean it on your scrub pad or whatever cleaning method you prefer, peel if off and store it.

Because the cling cushion is already attached, it will feel very similar to stamping with a woodmounted stamp and it needs no additional padding or anything to give you a high quality impression. And because they are rubber, they work with any ink and require no special touch to get a crisp image, especially if you are used to working with Stampin' Up stamps. We use the same exact point of engraving in our mag plates so they will feel great if that's what you're used to.

Here is a video I did on trimmimg rubber stamps that might be helpful for many of the stamps that you purchase on cling cushion like ours.

Trimming Rubber Stamps Video on StampTV.com

A great way to store your unmounted stamps on cling cushion is to use CD cases or a storage system like our Binder boxes:



I hope this information has been helpful.
Hugs,
Gina K.
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:48 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gina K. Designs View Post
Hi! Thanks for asking this question. I think many would like to know what the different member companies here sell.

At Gina K. Designs, we sell our stamps as a sheet of deeply etched reddish pink rubber. They are already attached to cling cushion- we use the EZ mount brand.

When you get them, you peel off the back piece of paper that protects the stamps until they are purchased and you trim them using a high quality scissors like SU, Kai or Tim Holtz. (The last one being my favorite.)

This is the way they look after the stamp is trimmed and attached to an acrylic block.



In this case, I trimmed a stamp from our stamp set "Thinking of you." I trimmed it is a way that I can use it as a table and chair set or if I wanted to make an "I miss you" type card, I can use it this way and remove the one chair.



Here is an up close shot of the quality of our stamp's impression.



Once you are finished using the stamp, you clean it on your scrub pad or whatever cleaning method you prefer, peel if off and store it.

Because the cling cushion is already attached, it will feel very similar to stamping with a woodmounted stamp and it needs no additional padding or anything to give you a high quality impression. And because they are rubber, they work with any ink and require no special touch to get a crisp image, especially if you are used to working with Stampin' Up stamps. We use the same exact point of engraving in our mag plates so they will feel great if that's what you're used to.

Here is a video I did on trimmimg rubber stamps that might be helpful for many of the stamps that you purchase on cling cushion like ours.

Trimming Rubber Stamps Video on StampTV.com

A great way to store your unmounted stamps on cling cushion is to use CD cases or a storage system like our Binder boxes:



I hope this information has been helpful.
Hugs,
Gina K.

so Gina, you really peel the paper off before trimming??? Dang, no wonder I have such a hard time
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:52 AM   #11
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so Gina, you really peel the paper off before trimming??? Dang, no wonder I have such a hard time
I know, everyone says that. I found out by mistake once. It's truly a miracle. LOL!
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:56 AM   #12
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I know, everyone says that. I found out by mistake once. It's truly a miracle. LOL!
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:00 AM   #13
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My turn! I've used (and love) Unity, Ginak (really need to get some of those cards posted, too), and Paper Makeup Stamps - all of which use wonderful deeply etched red/reddish rubber mounted on cling foam. I've also used (and love) MFT and Queen Kat stamps. I have, but haven't used yet, WOJ and Bellas. I need to mount them still.

I originally had the same plain acrylic blocks. They work just fine, but I just have to say that I adore the Unity handles - especially my B handle. It is so stained now because I use it so often. They can be used for any of the unmounted stamps, not just Unity stamps. Anyas fit on either a B or a C. Most of my stamps from GinaK fit on the B. Having that wood on the side makes it feel more like a traditional wood-mounted stamp.

The best thing about unmounted stamps, though, is that they take up so much less room.

I'm not terribly familiar with the other companies' customer service, but Unity, GinaK, PMS and QKD are awesome.
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:05 AM   #14
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Okay, I feel like a dunce now. I've been struggling so much with cutting the stamps apart. At least I'll know better for next time!
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:43 AM   #15
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all kinds of stamps. I choose based on the image mostly.

I wanted to add that I use dye inks all the time with clear stamps and have no problem. sometimes, when they are new, they may not take the ink well. I usually give them a good scrubbing and that will do the trick. if that doesn't work I lightly rub sand paper or an eraser over them and that works for sure.
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Old 06-20-2009, 10:53 AM   #16
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all kinds of stamps. I choose based on the image mostly.

I wanted to add that I use dye inks all the time with clear stamps and have no problem. sometimes, when they are new, they may not take the ink well. I usually give them a good scrubbing and that will do the trick. if that doesn't work I lightly rub sand paper or an eraser over them and that works for sure.
I used Vivid dye in with clear stamps that I've purchased and it's works great! I agree, the eraser trick works really well. I've never tried the sandpaper. (I think I'm scared to scratch up the stamp. Does that work with solid stamp images and you don't get scratch marks?)
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:00 AM   #17
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all kinds of stamps. I choose based on the image mostly.

I wanted to add that I use dye inks all the time with clear stamps and have no problem. sometimes, when they are new, they may not take the ink well. I usually give them a good scrubbing and that will do the trick. if that doesn't work I lightly rub sand paper or an eraser over them and that works for sure.
ditto- I use dye inks with acrylics always~
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:11 AM   #18
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You can't go wrong with any stamps or products from the SCS member companies...they are all top-notch! Here's a little run-down since I've used most, if not all of them:

Crafty Secrets, Flourishes, Hanna Stamps, My Favorite Things, and Verve are the SCS Member companies that sell clear stamps. All of their stamps are high quality clear (photopolymer) stamps. You take them out of the package and they attach by themselves to an acrylic block. You can also use dye ink with these stamps.

Gina K Designs and Unity sell deeply etched rubber stamps mounted on cling foam. It's the same type of foam on your SU stamps, only instead of being sticky on both sides, they have a repositionable "cling" on one side, allowing them to cling to an acrylic block. Gina K's stamps come on a sheet that you can trim to your liking, and Unity's come pre-trimmed. Hanna Stamps also sells rubber, I believe.

Stamping Bella and Sugar Nellie are bare rubber stamps. I haven't used the Sugar Nellie stamps (yet!) but I believe they come pre-trimmed and ready to stamp. Stamping Bella stamps are already trimmed as well. To use these, you can either mount them on the EZ Mount cling foam, or use a variety of different ways to attach the rubber directly to the block. I use double stick tape for instant gratification. You can also use Tack n Peel or Tack it Over & Over.

So either way, you can't really go wrong...just pick out some images that you like and stamp away! You can always post questions in the forums if you need help Have fun!
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:41 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by steubner View Post
You can't go wrong with any stamps or products from the SCS member companies...they are all top-notch! Here's a little run-down since I've used most, if not all of them:

Crafty Secrets, Flourishes, Hanna Stamps, My Favorite Things, and Verve are the SCS Member companies that sell clear stamps. All of their stamps are high quality clear (photopolymer) stamps. You take them out of the package and they attach by themselves to an acrylic block. You can also use dye ink with these stamps.

Gina K Designs and Unity sell deeply etched rubber stamps mounted on cling foam. It's the same type of foam on your SU stamps, only instead of being sticky on both sides, they have a repositionable "cling" on one side, allowing them to cling to an acrylic block. Gina K's stamps come on a sheet that you can trim to your liking, and Unity's come pre-trimmed. Hanna Stamps also sells rubber, I believe.

Stamping Bella and Sugar Nellie are bare rubber stamps. I haven't used the Sugar Nellie stamps (yet!) but I believe they come pre-trimmed and ready to stamp. Stamping Bella stamps are already trimmed as well. To use these, you can either mount them on the EZ Mount cling foam, or use a variety of different ways to attach the rubber directly to the block. I use double stick tape for instant gratification. You can also use Tack n Peel or Tack it Over & Over.

So either way, you can't really go wrong...just pick out some images that you like and stamp away! You can always post questions in the forums if you need help Have fun!
always so helpful Shan!
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:46 AM   #20
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I love both clear, and unmounted rubber. All of those companies have great images so I don't think you can go wrong. =D
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:53 PM   #21
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I use the lightest touch with the sandpaper, almost barely touching them. I have never had any scratches.
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Old 06-20-2009, 01:07 PM   #22
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I use the lightest touch with the sandpaper, almost barely touching them. I have never had any scratches.
Good to know. Thanks Angela!!
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Old 06-20-2009, 01:28 PM   #23
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Can anyone here tell me what the difference is between photopolymer and acrylic? Or are they just different terms for the same thing?

I love all types of stamps and buy based on the images. I have just "discovered" Flourishes and these are the fist clear stamps I've had that I've really liked...perhaps because I sanded them before using. But they are line images, so I'm using Versamark & embossing powder with them...no issues with Versamark.
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Old 06-20-2009, 01:37 PM   #24
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Can anyone here tell me what the difference is between photopolymer and acrylic? Or are they just different terms for the same thing?

I love all types of stamps and buy based on the images. I have just "discovered" Flourishes and these are the fist clear stamps I've had that I've really liked...perhaps because I sanded them before using. But they are line images, so I'm using Versamark & embossing powder with them...no issues with Versamark.
Not all clear stamps are photopolymer but all photopolymer stamps are clear.

Photopolymer is the substance that high quality clear stamps are made from. Companies like Crafty Secrets, Flourishes, Hanna Stamps, My Favorite Things, and Verve all use high quality photopolymer for their stamps.

Some companies use cheaper substances like plastics that don't stamp as well, stick as well or last as long.
Hope that helps.
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Old 06-20-2009, 01:38 PM   #25
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Not all clear stamps are photopolymer but all photopolymer stamps are clear.

Photopolymer is the substance that high quality clear stamps are made from. Companies like Crafty Secrets, Flourishes, Hanna Stamps, My Favorite Things, and Verve all use high quality photopolymer for their stamps.

Some companies use cheaper substances like plastics that don't stamp as well, stick as well or last as long.
Hope that helps.
I should also say that acrylic is kind of a generic term for clear stamps but they really aren't acrylic. They use acrylic blocks. But the high quality ones are photopolymer.
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Old 06-20-2009, 02:05 PM   #26
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Thanks Gina! That's what I thought but I wasn't sure
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Old 06-20-2009, 02:22 PM   #27
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I use all different types of stamps and pretty much like them all! I do try to get bare rubber, when available, because of the ease of storage. As someone else said, you can also buy more stamps! I just use double stick tape with the bare rubber and I have found that I like to stamp with a cushy mouse pad underneath. It's more comfortable for me and I feel I get a better image.

Have fun!
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Old 06-20-2009, 03:02 PM   #28
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coming from mostly SU stamps I've enjoyed Unity the rubber on the cling foam. I have more trouble with the clear stamps. I'd look at images first. Unity has awesome CS from my experience. I haven't had time to look at the other companies yet (funds are limited)

Unity rocks!
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Old 06-20-2009, 04:12 PM   #29
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One and easy way to tell whether a stamp is photopolymer (the good stuff) or acrylic (the cheap stuff) is where it's made. Photopolymer stamps will be Made in the USA. Acrylics that I have seen are all made in China. I do own some acrylic stamps because I love the images, but I definitely prefer photopolymer.
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Old 06-20-2009, 04:24 PM   #30
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Ah ha....good to know!! Thanks Gina!

Also - I have to say that Gina's stamps come with the white binder sheet that you see them stored on (and fit in her binder boxes). I love that, because you don't have to find something else to stick them to in order to store them (like acetate or a cd case). And Gina's customer service is fabulous (just ask my mailman!)



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I know, everyone says that. I found out by mistake once. It's truly a miracle. LOL!
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Old 06-20-2009, 06:35 PM   #31
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I learned this the hard way...I bought some Basic Grey clear stamps thinking all clear stamps are the same. I was wrong. Even after conditioning them many times, I still can't get a good imprint from them. So, even though I love the images I bought, I don't use them.

Cling rubber is my first preference. I love that I can see where I stamp and the quality of the stamp is the same as SU.

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Originally Posted by steubner View Post
One and easy way to tell whether a stamp is photopolymer (the good stuff) or acrylic (the cheap stuff) is where it's made. Photopolymer stamps will be Made in the USA. Acrylics that I have seen are all made in China. I do own some acrylic stamps because I love the images, but I definitely prefer photopolymer.
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Old 06-20-2009, 06:56 PM   #32
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Kaceyg:
I'm so glad you asked this question! I have nothing to add but my appreciation, because I have been wondering the same thing for a while. Until recently I didn't know there was anything except SU! Now I feel brave enough to venture out to other companies to add to my collection!
Thanks!
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Old 06-21-2009, 04:46 PM   #33
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I have to say that my most used stamping/scrapbooking item(s) is my Unity handles! (aka amazing acrylic blocks with wood sides that feel incredible and smooth )

I strictly use Unity because a. -I love the quality and images b.- because I will never have all the Unity stamps... so I will always have a wish list!


I would definitely suggest trying out companies and see what you like though! You will find what fits YOUR style and what you prefer! Good luck and happy stamping!
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:16 PM   #34
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Wow!! Tons of good info here...I think it's all pretty much been covered. One thing that I would add is that someone once recommended to me adding a sheet of craft foam under the paper you're stamping on (especially for those bare-rubber images that are tacked onto a block with double-stick tape), and it is WONDERFUL. Just like stamping with a cushion, and for less than a buck

I buy stamps by the image...regardless of the form it comes in, but my favorites are rubber mounted on cling cushion (especially Unity!! Their images are always fresh and fab!). They (rubber on cling cushion) seem to be the best of all worlds: easily stored, great impressions, and the ability to 'see' where you're stamping. Happy stamping!
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:26 AM   #35
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Cling, clear, and acrylic stamps are all the same thing--stamped that are clear and "cling" to an acrylic block-you don't need anything fancy to make them stick.
Actually, some companies refer to their rubber unmounted stamps as cling or cling mounted. Not all companies state whether or not their stamps are made of rubber or non-rubber. I don't do clear myself so sometimes, I have to inquire.
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