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Old 12-12-2017, 09:13 AM   #1
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Question Which ink brand...

Several years back I basically had to sell all my stamping supplies including my inks. So now I'm ready to purchase a new line of dye inks in the cube size. I am torn between Altenew, Gina K, MFT and Hero Arts. I am definitely leaning toward Altenew...

I'm hoping I could get some feedback from the SCS community on which ones you would recommend or not and why? I know everyone has their favorites so let me have it...


Wanted to add that I am one of those that just wants one line of ink, don't want to pick and choose colors from different companies.


Thank you for any suggestions!!
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Old 12-12-2017, 10:13 AM   #2
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I chose Gina K Designs because I heard her Black Onyx was very black... and it is. I was already a fan of her cardstock. I have the ivory and a red but have not used them yet.

I also like that refills are available. As my supplies get better organized, inkpads for which I cannot get a refill will be donated, used up or trashed (depending on condition of pad).


To my knowledge (limited) Hero Arts doesn't make refills.


Hope this is helpful when you will be happy with your choice.


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Old 12-12-2017, 01:40 PM   #3
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Thank you Tina! That takes Hero Arts off my list because I definitely want refills especially since I want to go with the cubes!
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Old 12-12-2017, 02:24 PM   #4
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I love Hero Arts and the cubes are often inexpensive enough that buying extras isn't *that* bad. But I hear you and can't disagree! I've emailed them a couple of times asking for refills - maybe if enough people...? : )

I'd just add why limit ourself to one manufacturer? Quite a few dye inks are manufactured by the same company for different brands, and you can expand your color palette by choosing colors you like from several companies - filling in color gaps or getting more nuance with similar but slightly different colors.
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Old 12-12-2017, 02:50 PM   #5
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You're welcome, Patti.

I think bjeans makes a good point. No single source can satisfy all of one's needs. While I am not a strict matchy-matchy person, I do like colors to coordinate. So, my craft dollars prefer inks with matching cardstock ... even better if there are embellishments too.


Let us know what you decide (and how it works out)!


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Old 12-12-2017, 03:04 PM   #6
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I like the way Altenew has set up their color groups and I have bought several of their four cube sets. My only problem with them is that when I buy a set of four invariably I find that three of the group stamp pretty well and one using the exact same well conditioned stamp stamps poorly. Maybe I just got the wrong sets or blues are more problematic. As a result I am debating whether to buy refills. If you know of one recommended company that has a full enough line of colors, I would buy some of them and then if they are all good buy the rest of the colors you want and the refills. I find my Hero Arts to be the best but they only make refills in about five colors. I have not tried Gina K but hear good things. People here have mentioned the importance of choosing good cardstock and I agree that it is a factor in getting a great image. If you use a stamp positioner a few less than great performers in an ink brand is less of a frustration.
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Old 12-12-2017, 05:02 PM   #7
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I've had a couple problems with Altenew ink cubes. A couple have seemed a little dry compared to Hero Arts, and I can't read the names of some of the inks on a set because of dark colored tiny and unclear cursive handwriting on a black cube. But the light to dark sets are appealing.
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Old 12-12-2017, 05:37 PM   #8
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Thank you this is exactly want I'm needing!!
The color families is what is leaning me towards Altenew because of all the georgous layering images out, and they say they are switching their packaging hopefully the black is the old packaging I don't like that either.


Gina K is definitely in the running also.

I do have the Tim Holtz stamp positioned and love it. I also have all 60 distress colors and LOVE them I have thought to just useing those but I find myself needing dye inks.


As far as CS I have so much SU! That I kept along with PTI that I just have to do my best to match but I do like the ability to have the option. I'm not even sure if PTI has cubes I need to look into those also.
For white CS I is Neenah CC Solar white because I love my Copics so that helps with most stamps stamping better also.


I love Jennifer McGuires blog and videos and she has said that dye inks don't need to be reinked that often but I'm guessing she is talking about full pads and she uses her pads so much she probably just gets new ones.


I probably will fill.in with other companies colors as needed but am one of those that needs to start with a full set and go from there.


Keep the info coming and I will for sure let you know what I decide on!!
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Old 12-12-2017, 05:45 PM   #9
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I keep thinking I'm going to have to get a new HA cube or re-ink another brand, but it doesn't happen. I don't use tons of ink but have been really impressed.

Of course Versafine - beyond wonderful for sentiments and extremely detailed stamping - lasts forever, I think. The first time I bought it I picked up a re-inker and the employee at the LSS told me to put it back since I'd never need it. : D
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:29 AM   #10
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Patti - Oxides?

They're nothing like regular Distress (which I have in cubes and use for some techniques). You can stamp with them, do amazing techniques - not just the blotchy water thing - layer if they're semi-dry and they won't make mud, blend so much more easily than with regular Distress, all kinds of stuff. Desert island ink.
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:37 AM   #11
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Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see any link to Jennifer McGuire's latest recommendations on stamp pads:
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:22 AM   #12
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Here you go, the updated one from 11/17: My Favorite Crafty Things - Inks (Updated) - Jennifer McGuire Ink

I'm linking to the blog instead of youtube since the blog has a bunch of info. (And for people new to her blog, the video is in it too.) And she pointed out she hasn't abandoned her favorite inks from 2016 - she just added new ones to expand the options.

Last edited by bjeans; 12-13-2017 at 08:24 AM.. Reason: gibberish corrected
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:03 AM   #13
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Yes I wouldn’t pass over Altenew if you like the color families. It may be that as bjeans mentioned a couple of mine came dry and that’s why they are less than wonderful. I have yet to have to re-ink any Hero Arts cubes of the ones that have reinkers and they are pretty reasonable price wise. Since they are cheap I have backup cubes on my favorite colors. Oxides are great for stamping too. I had not planned to get all the colors of those until I began to see how well they stamped. The no cube size on the Oxides is not an issue for me. The only problem I have with collecting different brands is that I have ended up with exact color duplicates. Looking at color charts on a computer screen is not much help. I don’t hear Memento mentioned much anymore but they come in a cube size, have refills and go on sale online a lot. I still use them and they stamp well for me. I also like Hero Arts hybrid ink cubes and they have refills.
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:11 PM   #14
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I have many Gina K ink cubes. I like them and they are easy to use. Gina's paper is wonderful. Maybe wait for a new kit and give it a try, or look for a mini-kit that has ink cubes with it. The Sentimental Bouquet is a great one with paper, ink, adhesive, and a block along with the stamp set: http://www.shop.ginakdesigns.com/pro...categoryId=306
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:35 PM   #15
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I love Jennifer McGuires videos she is awesome and usually answers my questions �� I use momento black and the brown for Copics but have not tried any colors...I was just looking at getting some kits from Altenew and Gina K I think my research has me narrowed to those. Regardless I will get the oxides just because I think they serve a different purpose for me anyway and the colors are Georgous! I really do like the color families but Gina K has some pretty colors!

Thanks again for all the suggestions it is really helping make choices!!
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:20 AM   #16
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Related question: how is Altenew's customer service? If you end up with a dry pad, will they replace it?
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:36 AM   #17
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Reverse confetti also has cubes, as well as Lawn Fawn. Might want to give those a look.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:58 PM   #18
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I am so happy to find this thread. I am in the market for new dye inks too.

Are any of the recommended inks fade resistant?

Follow up question. I thought Distress Inks were dye based? Are they hybrid? I have started stamping with my DI's. I love how they stamp on a variety of materials.

I love DI Oxides for stamping. I like the chalky look. I wouldn't buy them as a dye ink.

I wish we could narrow it down to one company too. I guess it is easy if you stamp simply. My friend has been stamping for over thirty years and only uses pigment. She only does mail art and journaling.

I have this big mess of inks that just befuddle me. I have always said figuring out inks you need a Ph.D.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:13 PM   #19
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One reason I want refills is that dyes are usually water based so I can use them like watercolors which I do constantly with distress.

I am voting for multi companies. The cubes are the same size so easy to store and opens your horizon quite a lot. Esp if you are NOT a "have to have them all" person.


The color families are esp good if you are going to do layering stamping. Do you?
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:02 PM   #20
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I dont have a lot of inks other than distress inks in the minis and the distress oxides i love them!

I love to heat emboss and so i actually love versafine black to heat emboss stuff i usually colour stamping in so i love heat embossing i dont worry about it smudging
I have some other pigment ink colors to use in various brands just picked colours i liked
I have 12 colour of memento inks cos i never really knew about other brands originally i was watching only one channel on youtube now watching lots! And so this channel recommended memento
I have versamark for heat embossing with colours too

So i am also buying different ink colours i am actually going to try a wholw bunch of companies and go from there
I am not fussed about reinkers i only have them atm for versamark and the black inks i have i havent had to reink anything yet and i thought that buying the inks for now was more important to me than the reinkers

If you watch jennifer mcguire at all she said that hero arts shadow inks SSS dye inks and Wplus9 inks are all made by the same company ita the same formula and therefore u can pick and choose the colours you want to use
I love the look of stamp layering have bougkt a couple hero arts sets and their ink pads cubes shadow inks come in pack of 4 that connect to a stamp layering set so i bought the stamp layering set and ink pad setthat corresponds to each other and will build up colours thar way of course u dont have to use their colours!
What i learned was hero arts is completely different formula to gina k or altenew so in fact you aren't necessarily comparing thr same thing!!

Also lawn fawn inks are similar to the hero arts inks/SSS /wplus9 but not exactly the same

Unsure if this helps ot hinders lol!

Lawn fawn (at the time of this video i watched and it was couple years old) only just started their inks therefore it meant that it was fairly cheap to get the lot now they have a lot more colours

I am interested because i have beem wondering how to collect inks what ones etc in what order

I probably started backwards because distress inks do techniques but the oxides stamp normally really well!! But didnt exist when i bought the minis!!

I came to the conclusion that hero arts had figured out colours that worked for stamp layering so i would start with those i am in australia and some brands atr easier to find than others though mft and sss send to here postage not too bad

But i guess its totally personal preference

The other ink pads that i fell in love with also more for techniques are the hero arts ombre ink pads that have 3 colours with a space in between and you get a amazing effect one of the videos showed how to use the ombre ink pad on one of my stamp layering sets (have 4 or 5 of them ebay was selling fot an out $4US a set and SSS had them for like $15US a set i loved them and knew would be great for my cards so i bought them

I like her channel she has loads of info i know she mixes and matches and you said you dont want to do that i just decided that it made sense to try a bunch of different brands and see what worked what i liked the most etc

Just so you know since this was one on your list until Feb 14th my favourite things has 30 percent off storewide im on the email list
Code is save30
And that would mean u could get more ink cubes for lesser price

Dont know if it helps

Sorry for my ramblings but im in a sort of similar position because i did not starr out using dye inks only pigment i found versamark hard to use and liked seeing what i was stamping
Now i do both!
When i first started i bought like about 20 bottles of embossing powder and it was being sold cheap on etsy like 50 percent off the original price - some were even distress ones!!! Like here ranger embossing powder is like $10 a bottle i think i paid like maybe $30 US for 20 dollars anf it was colours ive used but i haven't even ran out yet!!

Its amazing what u buy when u first start lol!!
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:13 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lylacfey View Post
I am so happy to find this thread. I am in the market for new dye inks too.

Are any of the recommended inks fade resistant?

Follow up question. I thought Distress Inks were dye based? Are they hybrid? I have started stamping with my DI's. I love how they stamp on a variety of materials.

I love DI Oxides for stamping. I like the chalky look. I wouldn't buy them as a dye ink.

I wish we could narrow it down to one company too. I guess it is easy if you stamp simply. My friend has been stamping for over thirty years and only uses pigment. She only does mail art and journaling.

I have this big mess of inks that just befuddle me. I have always said figuring out inks you need a Ph.D.

Cant believe i know thr answer lol i am fairly new so bare with this

Distress inks are dye inks BUT the normal ie regular not distress oxides they dont really stamp stamps well i dont know hoe tp explain it like say u want a nice crisp picture of a bird solid image i wouldn't use distress unless u want a vintage kinda look however for stenciling making backgrounds galaxy background rainbow background other techniques they are the BEST!
So reg distress are dye but they react with water normal dye ones do not
There are inks like hero arts shadow inks which made by same company thar does SSS dye inks and WPlus9 so any of these hace same formulation
Then there are lawn fawn which are a bit similar they ar4 different cos they takr longer to soak in

Jennifer mcguire has videos explain this WAY better than me look for her my favourite things series - inks theres a video every year and a lot is repeated she explains what distress and distrss oxidea are she also explains what black ink she likes best and why and its just better explanation than mine!

That sais the distress oxides are definitely a cross between pigment and dye ink pigment inks sit on surface dye ones soak in thats why pigment is used for heat embossing and most dye inks are cos they takr longer to dry
The hero arts have a special formula she says they are splotchy looking at first but will then crisp up

I def agree need a PhD for understanding inks lol
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Old 02-13-2018, 12:56 AM   #22
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emck- Thank you. I have heard a lot of people over the years say don't stamp with Distress Inks. I never did. I thought "Why do I have these inks? I am not a technique person." Then I found several stampers who will only stamp with DI's. I tried it. I got beautiful crisp results. I am addicted. They don't stamp well with solid or clear. Least for me. I am wondering if it is paper that makes them stamp so lovely? I use paper from the art department & SU's Whisper White. I agree solid stamping with DI's looks horrible. Line images are so pretty.

I have watched a few of Jennifer's video's. I started watching a few this year actually. She seems to be very lovely. I can see that she is an inspiration for so many. I will be honest I don't watch a lot of videos that are sponsored. I don't have anything against it. I have an art background. When I started watching sponsored videos I noticed I was getting into bad art habits and not picking the correct tools for my style. I was left with more questions than creativity. I try to stay away from sponsored videos. I do think they help. They don't help me. It is the same reason I don't read DT blogs.

I think I am looking for a golden unicon in the stamping world. I think I am looking for a high end art stamping ink. With only 2-3 companies making ink formulations that this might not be the industry that produces high end ink formulas. Girls, are there any?

I know I sound so snobbish. I am not trying to be. I keep three levels of art products in my room- school grade, medium grade and high grade. I use them all for different things. My high grade never touches my medium grade for example. I use my high grade for my professional work.
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:42 PM   #23
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I know this thread started quite a while ago, but I just bought some inks to try and thought I'd weigh in. I got the Spring Pastel cubes (I think that's what that group was called) from Altenew, and while the colors are absolutely gorgeous AND coordinate with my SU card stock (BONUS!), they are all much drier than any other ink pads I have. I like juicy pads, so I don't know if I'll buy more. I also got a full size pad of Stone Blue ink from Catherine Pooler and I LOVE it! Beautiful color, juicy pad, and if you do it quickly, you can heat emboss her inks with clear powder (she has a YouTube with her doing it). I haven't tried it yet, however. She sells her inks in coordinating collections as well as individually, and I'm looking at getting a couple of collections.
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