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Old 04-23-2019, 09:32 PM   #1
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Question New Stamper in need of advice

Hi, I am new to stamping and I suck at it . Whatever I stamp is either smudged, blurry, not enough ink, or too much ink. I have tried different stamp blocks, a stamp positioner and wood mounted stamps...

I read somewhere that it could be the ink (I have a hodgepodge of little ink pads from hobby stores, but not those expensive ones). Any suggestions? Do I need to buy those expensive ink pads? HELP!

Thank you for your input, Natalie
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:23 AM   #2
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Firstly welcome to SCS. Secondly don't panic. You don't sit down at a piano and immediately play Mozart do you?
Stamping is not as simple as it first seems; it is all about interfaces. Its about transferring the ink from the pad to the stamp and then the ink from the stamp to the surface of the project so there are a number of things that can go wrong. (can you tell I am an engineer?)
Firstly when you ink up your stamp tap lightly. If you don't get enough ink on your stamp with several gentle taps then your pad needs re-inking. If you tap lightly and the ink is "tenting" over the stamp then your pad is too wet and over inked. Do NOT push hard (you will damage the surface of the pad or put ink onto the voids of the stamp NOR should you twist because then you coat the "shoulders" of the image and it won't stamp properly. Linen pads, even when properly inked, don't tend to do well with solid stamps - firm foam is better and gives a more even transfer.
Whew all that I am not even to the stamping part.
When you go to stamp on your project make sure it is on a flat level surface. If the stamp doesn't have a nice amount of foam on it then stamp on a piece of stiff foam or magazine. (just remember to use a piece of scrap copier paper over the top of it as ink can smear on those surfaces and end up everywhere you don't want it) When you hold your inked stamp hold it with both hands (using the middle finger and thumbs to grip) in each of the corners so you have stability (think four legs of a table). Stamp directly up and down. DO NOT wiggle or shift the stamp at all otherwise you get halo's around it. If it is a large stamp once it is down you can move your index fingers and press into the middle. And remember Stamping is not a speed sport. Count to three before lifting off the stamp.
The last thing is the surface you are stamping on. A rough surface will not take a fine line art image as well as a smooth one. Shelling out for some good cardstock like Stampin Up whisper white or very vanilla is worth it (I am a SU demonstrator so I am a bit biased)
I hope this helps and remember there are no mistakes only opportunities to embellish!
PM me if you need anything more specific
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:16 AM   #3
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wow - great advice. I too have learned embellishments can cover a lot of imperfections. If I smear ink and can't find a 'fix' I have been able to save the item by sponging the smeared color in other places and make it look intentional. I have recently (the past year) been attending a SU workshop and am amazed at the awesome quality of their products: the cardstock is fantastic, especially for base cards. All of their products are a little on the higher priced side, but nearly everything is definitely worth the price. If you purchase their stamp pads, you can purchase the matching reinkers..good quality does make a difference. It is something to look into..start off small with only a few purchases and then decide if you want to continue paper crafting, then you can add to your toys/tools. Happy crafting !

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Old 04-28-2019, 10:15 AM   #4
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i use the tim holtz stamparatus thing ... lol ... it helps me keep the stamp and paper in the same position so i can double or triple stamp if needed in order to get my stamp nice and clean and crisp on the page
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:16 AM   #5
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A handy thing to have is the Mono sand eraser. I've fixed many mistakes with mine!
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:58 AM   #6
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Default Help a new stamper

It was very helpful to me to attend small workshops held/led by demonstrators. I started with DOTS then switched to Stampin Up, but there might be others. Where do you live? Can you connect with a demonstrator? Also, in addition to good ink and a firm surface you need good quality paper. Paper makes a huge difference. And remember, paper has two sides, if you goof it up, turn it over & try again. It's only paper. LOL.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:29 AM   #7
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Hi Natalie! Welcome to SCS! Good ink really is important, but it certainly doesn’t have to break the bank. I prefer Memento ink.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:43 AM   #8
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Buy the Tim Holtz stamp positioner...it will solve all your stamping problems. Watch Jennifer McGuire and you will learn everything you need. She has numerous you tube tutorials. Don’t buy cheap ink just a good name brand. I have lots of extra supplies I would love to give someone getting started.
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:12 AM   #9
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Welcome, Natalie. Great Start: You've come to the place of Many Problems Solved!
My 2 cents worth is don't get frustrated. There are many good companies and quality products available in All price ranges. If one any-thing doesn't work for you, try another. Don't be guided by dollars spent.
The last cent's worth of advice is to join a local homogeneous stamping group. You can learn everything you need to know from others interested in the same craft. From Newbie to Accomplished Stamper, there is always another way. Relax and Enjoy!
P.S. The Mono Sand eraser is a must for every stamper!
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:51 PM   #10
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Natalie, one thing I will suggest is to buy inks in small containers at first until you find the brand you like. Like small cubes. Then you can buy larger sizes if you wish and use the smaller ones in a bag to take with you when you stamp away from home.
You also mentioned smeared stamping. Is the paper you use a glossy type? When I first started that is what I used and was frustrated because all of my stampings blurred or slid around. If this is so use a non glossy paper.
I'm glad you found friends to share stamping with. In over 20 years of stamping I have only met one I didn't like. I have a group of very dear friends I stamp with at least once a month and it is the highlight of my month. Enjoy
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:46 PM   #11
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Great advice on here for you. I make a lot of cards that have sayings on them. I found that stamping the sayings separately, backing them with black cardstock and adding afterwards is easier and makes for less mistakes.

remember to just enjoy what you are doing and mistakes will stop happening. Don't be so hard on yourself.

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Old 05-05-2019, 02:39 AM   #12
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I'm also going to advise on a Stamping Platform. Despite stamping for a good number of years, I'd get the occasional smudge, or maybe a stamp would move a hair and smear, or I'd not get a good print. Despite me thinking I didn't need a platform- and I must also admit that the price of the MISTI here in the UK totally put me off- when Tims came out I folded and got one. It was about half what the MISTI was selling for here in the UK. And I have never regretted the purchase. Can't believe the difference it made. Positioning of words/images never fails, no smudges, no smeared prints, and the ability to stamp more than once to get a perfect image.
I will say that you may not get as good a print with cheap pads, I've bought them myself when first starting, and to be honest, in the long run they are not a saving. They dry up, usually don't have reinkers available, and the ink isn't the greatest quality.

You are lucky now, as so many inkpads are available in the little mini pads, and have reinkers available. You can do everything with a small pad that you can with a large one.
Mum2bowie made a very good point, and it's one we all tend to forget. No-one is an instant expert. Things take time to learn, and the more you do it, the better you get. I have to keep reminding myself of this, as I feel my colouring skills are terrible, so I rarely do it. Then I keep telling myself that the videos I'm watching, these crafters have been doing that type of colouring for a long time, a lot more often than I do, so all I need to do is stop beating myself up, and just practice.
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Old 05-05-2019, 02:01 PM   #13
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Hi Shaz, I used to live in Malvern and work at Morganite thermal ceramics in Worcester. Small world! Now I am stateside.
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mum2bowie View Post
Hi Shaz, I used to live in Malvern and work at Morganite thermal ceramics in Worcester. Small world! Now I am stateside.


Just got your message, how cool is that?
We will be visiting Malvern this Friday, for the Spring Horticultural show, at the 3 Counties Showground.
And I was born/raised in Droitwich.
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:12 PM   #15
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Slow down. We never say beginners suck. You have to be trying to do it for awhile before we let you say that about yourself lol. You are just struggling. We can help you.

I agree about inks. You do want to invest in better quality ones...but there are workarounds.

As mentioned- the cubes-and they come in sets and then there is where to get them. Joanns with a sale could be much cheaper...Michaels, Scrapbook.com, etc but I would go with one that has reinkers. Mini is less time before she will go dry. Like Hero, or Archival from ranger, Lawn fawn...if you sign up they will email you when they have sales. Everybody is coming out with them.

Are you smearing with the stamp positioner? I wonder if you are pressing too hard. Maybe press lighter and do more than one round.

What kind of image are you using? Very super detailed near solid one or outline images? Outlines are the easiest to me. And you dont have to color them in either. Black and white is very classic/classy.

When you stamp, count to three and lift the stamp up. Give the ink time get on that paper well.

Hang in there. We will get you there.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:39 PM   #16
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I find it really helps to have someone show you how to do it too. If you live near Phoenix, I'd be willing to meet with you and make a card or two together. Also, you can look up Stampin Up demonstrators on the Stampin Up website that live near you. Contact them and they can help you. Another tip is YouTube videos.
Good Luck!
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