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Old 03-14-2016, 01:55 PM   #1
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Default Disappointed with Zig Clean Color Watercolor Markers

I bought these last summer and haven't used them very much. I went to use them last night, and 2 of them were almost completely dried-out. Considering how expensive these are, I had expected them to last longer. I'm not sure that I will be buying them again.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:55 PM   #2
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I'm disappointed that the brown is more orangeish than an actual brown. They just don't work for me as well as they do for Jennifer McGuire! She makes it look so easy. I've used several different kinds of paper and not much luck.
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:46 PM   #3
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Well, at least it's not just me then...

I haven't had any dry out yet, but I'm really disappointed with the results that I'm getting but I am convinced that I am at fault. I tried first using water color paper but just couldn't get the color to move and blend, so I recently switched to Bristol and although you have to use less water, I find the color much easier to push around on the Bristol, so I am a little encouraged.

My conclusion re: these markers is that I need a lot of practice. To compound my lack of skills with these markers, I am new to water coloring, so I've got that learning curve mixed in here. I love the look so I am going to persevere.

I was never able to get any good 'water color' or any kind of good coloring results with my Distress markers, either. I got discouraged and stopped using them - probably I need to practice with these also.

HOWEVER, Copics is another story - I have had very good results with my Copics with very little practice so I love these markers. A different look from water color, of course, but my struggles with water color markers have heightened my appreciation for Copics
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:47 PM   #4
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Maybe get the 12 set like I did and see what you think. I do like the brush tips and most of the colors. Just the brown isn't great, and maybe that was just mine. I'm thinking maybe I used too much water. My technique needs practice for sure
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:23 PM   #5
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I found the less absorbent watercolor paper is easier to move the color around so you get better blending. I had tried really heavy, good quality paper and it sucked the color right in. I got some lighter weight Canson (a good brand but one of their lighter ones) paper and that did the trick. It has to do with how much "rag" or cotton is in the paper I think. Cardstock isnt made to hold up to water very well so you may get "pilling" where the paper starts to get mushy.
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:34 PM   #6
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Seeing how they are watercolor markers, what chance is there that you could add a few drops of water and sort of reconstitute the "ink" inside the pens?

I've been enamored with all the hype of these pens, but the cost was such that I went with a watercolor set instead. An SCS friend sent me some watercolor paper and a few brushes, so not I just need to clean off my desk so I can try them out!
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:36 PM   #7
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I have used them on a ceramic tile and picked up the color from the tile. But it loses its vibrancy sometimes doing that.
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa59 View Post
Seeing how they are watercolor markers, what chance is there that you could add a few drops of water and sort of reconstitute the "ink" inside the pens?

I've been enamored with all the hype of these pens, but the cost was such that I went with a watercolor set instead. An SCS friend sent me some watercolor paper and a few brushes, so not I just need to clean off my desk so I can try them out!
The top of the barrel would have to be pried open, and I'm afraid it would crack. I did try dipping the very edge of the markers' tips in water, and that helped a little. It does dilute the color, though. The other markers were fine, so it isn't the paper. I guess I'll just use them to paint in small areas of small stamps.
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Old 03-15-2016, 05:27 PM   #9
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The top of the barrel would have to be pried open, and I'm afraid it would crack. I did try dipping the very edge of the markers' tips in water, and that helped a little. It does dilute the color, though. The other markers were fine, so it isn't the paper. I guess I'll just use them to paint in small areas of small stamps.
In case you don't have it, here's the website for Kuretake in the US - maybe they have suggestions or, if the markers are faulty, maybe they'll replace: https://kuretakezig.us/
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:31 AM   #10
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I bought a 12-piece set plus a few extra colors. While making a color swatch sheet, I knew almost immediately I didn't like them. I have gotten much better results with Mr. Sketch washable markers, plus I love the scented ones.
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenOfInkland View Post
In case you don't have it, here's the website for Kuretake in the US - maybe they have suggestions or, if the markers are faulty, maybe they'll replace: https://kuretakezig.us/

Thank you. I'll send them an email later on.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:40 AM   #12
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Paper is definitely key to getting the ink to move. On a toothy cold-press paper I have no problem, but a smoother hot press seemed to absorb the ink so quickly that you are left with a line when you try to blend.

I have been struggling to find the right paper. I only have a 12 set, but I'm playing around with it in order to figure out the best substrate. I like the brush tip, personally, and if you know how to use these you can get vibrant, almost Copic-like effects. As someone who can't work with alcohol markers, that's a plus for me.

But whether I can work out how to use them well enough that I spring for more colors is still up in the air.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:20 AM   #13
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My fabulous husband bought me the 48 pen set for Christmas and I love them! I'm sorry you are disappointed in them. I love the small brush, the vibrant ink -I've had great luck. I hope you either come to like them or can sell them
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:37 AM   #14
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Vicki, what kind of paper do use with yours?
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:49 PM   #15
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It's not the paper. I'm using the same paper I've used in the past, and not all of the markers are dry. When I first got them, they all worked fine on the same exact paper. Some of them just seem to be drying out faster than the others. Maybe they're defective. I'll email Zig and see what they say.
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:54 PM   #16
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Where did you buy them, Jeanette? If you bought them on Amazon or Ebay from a third party seller then Kuretake won't stand behind them, because a lot of the sellers on Amazon and Ebay are selling defective or counterfeit markers. I know because I called Kuretake to ask about these great deals I was seeing on Amazon.

I am finding that the paper I use makes a big difference in how easily they blend, if blends are what I am after.
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Old 03-17-2016, 05:59 AM   #17
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Where did you buy them, Jeanette? If you bought them on Amazon or Ebay from a third party seller then Kuretake won't stand behind them, because a lot of the sellers on Amazon and Ebay are selling defective or counterfeit markers. I know because I called Kuretake to ask about these great deals I was seeing on Amazon.

I am finding that the paper I use makes a big difference in how easily they blend, if blends are what I am after.
I bought the 12-pack on Amazon and the individual markers at a stamp expo. I think the ones drying out are from the original set that I bought on Amazon, though. It was from a third-party seller, but I believe these were the original, sealed, shrink-wrapped ones. I did pay a really good price for them, so I'm not sure. In any case, I'd be a lot more disappointed if I'd paid a lot more money for them.
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Old 03-17-2016, 06:25 AM   #18
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Apparently Kuretake has had a lot of trouble with knock-offs from China and defectives getting out there. I originally called because one seller on Amazon said in the questions section that the markers in sets were now coming without individual wrappers because Kuretake felt it was more ecologically sound. Which seemed like nonsense to me so I called Kuretake USA. And was told that all markers should come shrink wrapped, whether purchased singly or in a case in a set, and that Kuretake was having so many issues with knock offs and other issues that they now shipped sets with a special Kuretake seal that you have to break to open the set.

You may well have bona fide markers. And if you bought them from a licensed Kuretake dealer, I'm pretty sure Kuretake would stand behind any problems, like drying up. But not, they told me, if you didn't. And the people on Amazon don't qualify.

I was all set to buy a 48 set off Amazon. For a really good price, much less than Marker Supply or Jerry's Artarama, for instance. Still not cheap, but way less. But I didn't. So now that I'm going to have to spend more, I'm making sure I really can make them do what I need them to do before I buy. If I can, I will buy them. I love the brush tip and I love the vibrant colors.
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Old 03-18-2016, 02:40 AM   #19
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How to you know for sure you are ordering the "real" thing then? I was hoping to get them for my birthday...but sounds like I may not be able to if I have to pay lots more for them to make sure they are the real thing.
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Old 03-18-2016, 05:38 AM   #20
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Someone on another thread called Kuretake about the set she got on Amazon and was told that the markers in the sets no longer are individually shrink wrapped, but the case has a red Kuretake seal on it. So go figure. Two people, calling three days apart, and we get different answers. ???

Ultimately, though, Kuretake won't stand behind anything bought from a third party seller no matter what, so if you buy off Amazon or Ebay and have problems with markers not performing or drying up, they won't replace them. Both of us did get that same answer.

I think if you buy off Amazon or Ebay, you may or may not get bona fide markers. If what you get has the red Kuretake seal, you've probably got the real thing.

If you buy from an authorized vendor, then you've got the real thing and Kuretake will stand behind them.

I know, it's nuts. And the prices on Amazon are so much lower. And some people have bought from Amazon and had no problems, and some have complained of markers that dried out.

Don't know what to tell you. Because I am loathe to save $50 in order to run the (probably small) risk of wasting $95, I won't buy them until I can afford to buy them from an authorized vendor. But that's just me.
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Old 04-30-2016, 05:41 PM   #21
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So where should you buy the Zig markers from to make sure they are authentic?
Can anyone compare them to the Gansai tambi kwatercolors ?
I have my eye on them also.
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:23 PM   #22
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Regular vendors like Jerry's Artarama and Blick and Carpe Diem all sell ones direct from Kuretake. If you are not sure, call Kuretake and ask. They know exactly who they sell to.

I bought mine from Jerry's originally - the 48 set, and then bought an additional 20 individual colors from Carpe Diem to fill in.

But lots of people have bought off Amazon and seem perfectly satisfied. I haven't actually heard anyone who did that complain about the quality of the markers, just that they didn't like them in general, as markers go.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:34 AM   #23
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That sucks yours dried out. I bought mine from Amazon on June 18th, 2015 and just used them last week with good results. They're my go to coloring medium now because they're quick to get some color down and easy to use. Here's my last video of a card I made using them , [ame]http://youtu.be/Xo6dMk3W5wc[/ame] . I always use 140 lb cold press water color cardstock with these. When I first got them I was trying to be cheap and use them on regular cardstock and they sucked.
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:56 AM   #24
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I got a 24 pack recently from Joann.com. They were 40% off and then an additional 25% my entire order. I paid about $39.

My experience so far is not stellar. I am coloring some printed watercolor paper (Fabriano) from PaperTrey. I like the control of the brush tips and not needing to clean a brush between colors. The results are OK. I have also done some color washes on Tim Holtz watercolor paper, which I like because it is bright white. Again, the results are OK.

These are my early experiences, but I will keep on trying to improve.
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Old 05-11-2016, 04:35 AM   #25
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Krista - I didn't know PTI sold watercolor paper, and I don't see it on their website. Are you sure it's actual watercolor paper?

I have found that hot press watercolor paper simply doesn't work well for washes if you go direct to paper with the markers. It has to be cold press. That was disappointing, because hot press is much easier to stamp on.

But using them simply as markers, I like the brush tip, and they work well that way on any paper. So no complaints there.
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:15 AM   #26
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I tried the tim holtz paper with mine and it didn't blend real well...the strathmore watercolor paper worked LOTS better, and the strathmore bristol paper is working great! So...not all watercolor paper is the same, some works better than others. Personally I'd buy the bristol if I were you and use that. Here is a video that shows three papers and how they blend with three different kinds of pens...I have had the same results with my zigs. [ame]http://youtu.be/NQmnkU6XmVk[/ame] Love the zigs...but only if I'm using the right paper with them!
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Old 05-15-2016, 04:21 PM   #27
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I have been thinking about this, and I have decided that I actually am extremely disappointed that I can't smoothly blend out these pens with water on hot-press paper. Believe me, I have tried several different brands, right up to Arches, which is as expensive as I am going to go for paper for a card.

They work very well on cold press. But I have a lot of stamps that don't stamp well on cold press because of the texture. Even the Tim Holtz paper, they work far better on the rough side than on the smooth side. On a smooth paper, you lay down a line and when you apply water, you can pull down the color but you still see that original line. sigh.

Not that I only just realized this. But I'm only now realizing how disappointed I am about it. I had thought I'd at last found my go-to coloring medium and I really haven't. I've found another "go-to-sometimes" medium. I have my Derwent watercolor pencils, my Inktense pencils, my Distress markers and now my Zigs.

My experiments with Bristol showed me that you have to be very careful how much water you use and how much you work it or the paper pills. It's not watercolor paper. So you can't really do layered blends.

Yes, I know, this should be my biggest disappointment in life. Wah Wah. Everyone can put away their teeny tiny violins.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:22 AM   #28
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Here's a new video about using the Zig markers I thought some of you might be interested in. It's by Kristina Werner:

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Old 06-10-2016, 10:45 AM   #29
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This is a gorgeous example of blending, thanks for this link!

Note that she does mention the paper issue. If you use a good cold press paper, you will be able to easily create great blends (although I'll never be able to do near as well as the ultra talented Kristina!). But if you try to work on hot press, forget it, the ink sinks into the paper and won't blend evenly. This means that those images that you can't get a good stamp of on a toothy cold press paper are not usable in this watercolory way with these markers. It's more do-able if you don't go direct to paper but work off your craft sheet. But that kind of defeats the point, since you can do that with any number of mediums, from markers to re-inkers.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:19 PM   #30
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Rachel, PTI does have Fabriano watercolor paper, but designs are already stamped on it for you to color. With some coordinating stamp sets, they are offering 2 paper packs: 1 cardstock that you would use with Copics and 1 watercolor pack. Here's an example:


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Old 06-12-2016, 02:45 AM   #31
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Just seeing Rachel's query now, and yes, this is the PTI watercolor pack I was referring to. Since I visited this thread, I have reviewed a few videos from Jennifer McGuire and have made some progress in using the Zigs. I'm going to review the additional videos posted above also.

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Originally Posted by uncbballfan View Post
Rachel, PTI does have Fabriano watercolor paper, but designs are already stamped on it for you to color. With some coordinating stamp sets, they are offering 2 paper packs: 1 cardstock that you would use with Copics and 1 watercolor pack. Here's an example:


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Old 06-12-2016, 04:40 AM   #32
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I've been using Fabriano hot press for most of my wet techniques for years, but had to start using Strathmore or Arches cold press with my Zigs if I wanted to do blending. I just bought some bristol to play with. Hoping to get good blends with that.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:35 PM   #33
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Well I saw these markers in action at my local scrapbook store months ago. Demo looked easy enough, but I just did not have extra cash at the time. I just asked for these for my bday present. I hope I get them Thursday!

Really disappointed to hear about people not liking them.

I can't wait to try them~
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:24 PM   #34
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I LOVE mine! I'm not real good at water coloring...but love the markers, especially if I just use them without water. )
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:00 AM   #35
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I have the 12 set. Though I don't use them enough, the times that I have, I feel these markers are a great product and I was very happy with the results.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:14 AM   #36
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I'm not crazy about them but I made myself practice to learn the nuances. They will never be my favorite water color medium but I'm getting better results. I have to keep the paper wetter than I normally would and dabbing with a paper towel really helps. Attached is one of practice cards.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:10 AM   #37
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I don't have the Zig markers, specifically, but I did purchase some that are very similar (Akashiya Sai brush markers) and I have had good luck with them even on the TH watercolor paper.

The trick is to work very quickly and in small areas. I put the color around the edges and then immediately pulled it in toward the middle with a water brush. Then I'd switch to a different area (picking areas that don't touch so colors wouldn't run together).

Here's a card I made with the markers if anyone is interested in seeing the colors in action. I'm just starting with watercolor, so it's not as amazing as those gorgeous Youtube video tutorials, but I did enjoy working with the markers.

I hope that helps!
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:47 AM   #38
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I use mixed media paper by Canson, they blend well on that paper. After reading through a lot of the posts, for the one's having trouble blending. Are you outlining everything then going back to blend all at once? These do not behave like a watercolor out of a pan, I feel like they behave more like a typical marker. It's much easier to get a good blend if you immediately blend the pigment without letting it sit for too long, otherwise it will take some "scrubbing" with a lot of water.
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Old 06-21-2016, 06:13 PM   #39
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I actually need help to pick out open lined flower stamps please! I just received these neat markers as a birthday present. I love them. Went to Michaels today to buy Stathmore Bristol paper. Love this paper.

But I don't have any fun open flower stamps. All my flower stamps are very detailed and I really don't think they will work well for water coloring.

So, PLEASE direct me to your favorite, fun water coloring flowers stamps.

Thank You so much!!
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:12 PM   #40
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Clearly Besotted has a lot of very lovely flower stamps that are perfect for watercoloring - both in larger sizes and in miniatures. They are a UK company, but you can also find them at Simon Says Stamp and Ellen Hutson. My go-to stamp is Sunshine and Smiles (I love sunflowers).

WPlus9 has really great floral stamps, too. What's awesome is that a lot of the sets are a bouquet type that fill a card front perfectly, but they're smaller (and cheaper). My go-to is Botanical Bunch.

And my most-used floral stamp is Hero Arts Delicate Blossoms. I think I've tried it with every coloring medium I've had and always walked away with great results.
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