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Old 12-17-2017, 05:20 PM   #41
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Double post - my post hadn't shown up so I rewrote it and then there were two. Sorry!

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Old 12-17-2017, 06:03 PM   #42
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I can't wrap my head around her not explicitly comparing them to Versafine. But having not seen it, I could well be missing something.

The only thing I've always disliked is the hinged lid! You have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt and the smudge of an ink that you are agile and graceful. I wish I had searched a bit about removing the lids before sending my full sized ones on their way, though I still have a couple I can do surgery on: Mishaps In The Making: Handy tip for hinged lids on ink pads.
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Old 12-18-2017, 12:49 AM   #43
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Quote:
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Thanks! She doesn't compare them to Versafine? That would seem odd, right? That seems to be the number one question - or one of the top questions, anyway. (If I could watch now I wouldn't have to ask.)
I think the clue might be in the name - Versafine Clair. So I guess it's like an extension of the current Versafine range, not something that's competing with it. The review is not video, just text and pictures if that helps with where you can access it.
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Old 12-18-2017, 03:55 AM   #44
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Thanks, Joanne - I read it and thought it was really well done. It still begs the question of whether this is "regular" Versafine or is different in any way. I emailed Tsukineko to ask.
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:11 AM   #45
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I was going to do that (enough of this pondering and speculating), but now I'll wait to see what you find out. !
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:16 PM   #46
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The suspense is killing me. I aspire to having eleventy billion ink pads. I'm in on a lot of colors if they are like Versafine. What are the chances that they hit the same week that the newest batch of Distress Oxides come out. That would be cruel.
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Old 12-20-2017, 06:06 AM   #47
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OK ladies, I'm here to put you out of your misery/enable you! My Clair inkpads just arrived, and I've stamped them out onto a sheet of cardstock, along with the original Versafine. I will do a blog post on it tomorrow, with more pictures, and I'll also try it for heat embossing before then, as I've always been able to do that with the original.

I've used both a detail and solid stamp for comparison. The Nocturne seems to be the new black, and first impression is that it's a really good, thick ink that gives a great impression. Sort of has the coverage of a chalk ink, IYKWIM? Blacker than Onyx Black, I think.
Fallen leaves looks on the label to be dark brown, but in reality it doesn't look brown at all. Just looks like another black.
Twilight is a dark navy- the pad actually looked purple when I opened it, but after the inking the stamp, is definitely blue.
One thing I noticed with the pads- the lid is a nice tight fit, which is good. There is also an inset part of the lid, which gives you a gap around the pad, so I'd suggest extra care needs to be taken to make sure the pad is properly closed, as you will not be able to tell by eye.

So, on first trial, I think they are going to be just as good and versatile as the original, with the bonus of a lot more colours. But that brown on the Fallen Leaves lid is definitely misleading.
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Old 12-20-2017, 07:33 AM   #48
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This was helpful, Shaz. Still, does not answer the question of whether this is in addition to Versafine or will replace it. Is it an improved Versafine? Is it like Versafine but has some difference that would make both necessary?

I know you don't know the answer to any of these questions. And Tsukineko annoyingly has no phone number where you can call and ask, you have to do what Beth did and send an email. I'd love to also ask them what the deal is with Versacolor. It seems like they are phasing it out, based on its availability online, I can't find much of it anywhere and what I do find is cubes, not pads and some colors nowhere. Very frustrating. (Although, as my grandmother would have said "It should be your biggest problem." !)
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Old 12-20-2017, 08:45 AM   #49
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Thanks Shaz. That helps a lot. It tells me I want these inks.
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Old 12-20-2017, 08:48 AM   #50
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I've also wondered if it's a rebranding of Versafine. Same ink, fresh new colors.

Thanks Shaz! Does it "feel" any different? Ink pads the same juiciness? Inquiring minds...
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Old 12-20-2017, 08:53 AM   #51
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Could be rebranding. I’m glad they have a new lid even if confusing. That flipper flapper lid is not my favorite.
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Old 12-20-2017, 09:09 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryalena View Post
Could be rebranding. Iím glad they have a new lid even if confusing. That flipper flapper lid is not my favorite.
In an earlier post I linked to an old blog entry that showed how to remove the flipperflapper. (Good name!) If I had a dollar for each time it got ink on me, I'd have many dollars. I swear it tried to get me. I still have two full sized so will unhinge the lid. And wish I hadn't given away the others. Oh well, the cubes are so juicy they'll last for centuries.
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Old 12-20-2017, 09:15 AM   #53
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Okay - so this retired reference librarian is sick of waiting for information. My research revealed that Imagine Crafts is the USA distributor of Tsukineko ink, so I called and spoke to a person and asked her what was up. She had to ask someone else. But here is what I have and it's the best I can do, I really pressed her for any details:

Versafine Clair is not supposed to be a replacement for Versafine (at this time - see later in this post). It is also an oil-based pigment ink with a very similar but slightly different formulation and has a longer dry time (she said "minutes more" but I wonder - what say you, Shaz?), making it better for embossing, and is more "vivid" in color, with a larger color range. There is no plan to phase out Versafine as we know it at this time, although I asked the woman why they would keep producing both if the Clair sold well. She said she could only guess that if the Clair sells well, they might discontinue the original up the road. Personally, I don't see why they would keep both lines going. They are all but the same, and any color they make in Versafine they could make in the Clair. Maybe the dry time issue - still, that seems like no good reason to produce two nearly identical lines of ink.


It will launch here in the US sometime in the early new year. Like after the CHA Winter show.


As for my own question about Versacolor, I was told that Imagine was indeed somewhat phasing out Versacolor. She wasn't sure how high this decision went, whether it went all the way up to Tuskineko or was just a USA thing. So I don't know how available it is in the UK, but here it is spotty - some colors gone, some only in cubes, some only in pads, few reinkers. That was a question I had because someone told me to use it for some stamps I had that were giving me agita, that it would solve my problems with them. Then I tried to get some and saw how unavailable it is. So much for that solution.


Anyway, that is the most info I could get. Years of being a professional information junkie has taught me how to get someone to go ask someone else instead of guessing, and when to stop asking altogether because I've gotten all the info I'm going to get.
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Old 12-20-2017, 09:31 AM   #54
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I would be unhappy if they discontinued Versafine if the drying time is longer on Clair. I don’t want to wait around on my unembossed sentiments. Maybe they would discontinue it because it lasts so darn long that they are not making any money on it. I might go buy a couple of extras to make sure I had a lifetime supply of Versafine.
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Old 12-20-2017, 11:50 AM   #55
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Not sure you need to. The woman at Imagine seemed to think both lines would be around for the foreseeable future.

And, again, I'd love to have Shaz weigh in on the actual dry time. I wonder if the stuff really stays wet for "minutes"? If so, then the two inks are in that way quite different.
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Old 12-20-2017, 01:51 PM   #56
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On the cardstock I tried it on, there did not seem to be any difference in the dry time between them. I will do some testing with embossing tomorrow, and maybe try some other cardstock too. I've never had a problem embossing the original, so hopefully the new one will work as well. At the moment, I'd have to say that the Clair improved on the denseness of the black, especially on the solid stamp. The pad seems as juicy as the original, on first use.
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Old 12-30-2017, 08:40 AM   #57
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Just a quick return, as I've had some more play with the Clair inks, and done a blog post. Conclusions: I think that the Clair could actually be better than the original, I got lovely solid and detail prints every time. Who'd have thought?
Personally, I found no difference in drying time, but obviously, cardstock used can play a big part in that, so there could well be some variation, depending on what you are using. Definitely didn't see 'minutes' of dry time.
Also, no difference in the ability to heat emboss.
Also, on reading the back of the pads, the info on both is identical.
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Old 12-30-2017, 09:05 AM   #58
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Wonderful to hear, Shaz! I'm still waiting for mine. They should be here by 2020, no problem.
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:17 PM   #59
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Thanks Shaz. That's some really good news about the performance.
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:17 AM   #60
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Hi again ladies, just a quick update on the colour issue I had with the Fallen Leaves, dark brown. I emailed Tsukineko, as I wondered if I had a faulty pad. I got a really prompt- next day- response, and this is it:
Thank you for your inquiry and choosing our TSUKINEKO products.

To inform you the conclusion, the Fallen Leaves you bought is not a faulty pad.

The Fallen Leaves is blackish dark brown and when there is a lot of ink on the pad, it look blackish.
Especially when you just opened the pad, there is plenty of the ink on the pad, it may look more blackish.

And, it may affect the color a little depend on the type of paper you use.

The color sample of the labeling on the Fallen Leaves is not exactly the same as actual color.

We appreciate for your understanding and hope to continue to choose our TSUKINEKO products for years to come.

Thank you and best regards,
Not entirely sure it addressed the problem, as it wasn't the appearance of the pad, but the colour it stamped out, that was my issue.
So, this one does not match the label, which I find a problem, to be honest. How many of the other colours don't match the labels? I'm hoping a good colour chart will appear on their website when the pads themselves do. But at least in the meantime, we are forewarned that the lid colour & ink colour are not necessarily a good match.
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:32 AM   #61
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Interesting - so you don't see even a hint of brown? I so appreciate the updates, Shaz. I'll report on Warm Breeze and Verdant after NASA recovers them after splashdown from outer space.
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:53 AM   #62
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Odd, since the original line has a good match between pad and ink.

Yes, thanks for the updates, Shaz. These should be available here by end of January.


Hoping for splashdown soon, Beth. Your patience is to be admired. I would have reordered them from a UK seller and just figured I'd have two of each, because I'm ridiculous that way.
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:04 AM   #63
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!! So why didn't I think of buying a few other colors from the UK while waiting for the outer space shipment? That's how my ridiculous brain does not work. Maybe I still will, especially given Shaz's ace reporting.
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Old 01-05-2018, 07:47 AM   #64
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bjeans, no, doesn't look even the faintest bit brown. More a faded, dull black. Even after a couple of weeks since I stamped the sheet in my blog post, it doesn't look any different. Can imagine that one won't get much use. But the new black is superb.
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Old 01-08-2018, 02:50 PM   #65
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Splashdown! Warm Breeze (teal), and Verdant (lime). They're vibrant and super saturated - like Versafine, though maybe a little stickier. Shaz?

Using a 1" square solid stamp, I got very solid (darker) coverage when stamping twice using a platform, solid coverage stamping once, and got 2nd and even 3rd generation impressions, the third being quite light, of course.

The lime is the limest lime I've seen, and the second and third generation became more yellow, not just lighter lime. It's very neat, really like getting two colors.

And like Shaz said, drying time is as fast as Versafine, they stamped details very well and were easy to emboss (clear EP). I also stamped using 1" square stamps with tiny dots, zig zags and wonky lines: crystal clear.

I did notice some blotchiness in second generation Warm Breeze; how much was the ink versus the user I'm not sure.

They stack! They're narrower and taller than some inks. They're a tad taller than Distress. The size works wonderfully for my stubbyish hands and the pads aren't quite as close to the edge of the container, though I still managed to get inky since that's what I do.

ETA Lid colors match ink well for these two colors, and lids fit tightly but are easy to remove.

ETA #2: I purchased more colors from Buddly Crafts in the UK. They've been very nice to deal with in the past and shipping costs aren't bad to the U.S. I ordered Pinecone for a cool brown, hopefully, thanks to Shaz's description of Fallen Leaves.

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Old 01-09-2018, 02:30 AM   #66
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I get what you mean about feeling stickier- mine felt 'thicker' than original Versafine, so stickier is a good description. Not as sticky as say, Versamark, but more than the original. Pinecone sounds like it should be a better brown, I still think that's something they need to address though. I shall be responding to their email later, I think. While I got a quick reply, for me it didn't really address the problem I had.
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Old 01-09-2018, 06:19 AM   #67
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I'm curious about what they say too, given that they didn't really answer your question. I wonder if the Buddly staff or your shop staff has tried that brown, or if they've received feedback about that color. I might email Buddly.

By the way, I hadn't heat embossed Versafine in about 100 years, so grabbed a couple mini cubes last night and heat embossed the 1" solid squares, including Deep Lagoon, the closest to Warm Breeze (just a little bluer). It had the same nice quality as with the Clairs.

I sure wish they'd make some light colors, though with care, it's possible second generation stamping can be used that way.
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:38 AM   #68
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This is what I asked in the reply to the answer I got:
Hi Kaori, and thank you for such a prompt reply.

My issue really was not the colour of the pad, which does in fact look dark brown, but the colour the image stamps out as. I have tried it on a number of different cardstocks, and in every case it appears black, with no trace of brown at all. Even a week after stamping, it still appears black.

I really think the ink colour needs addressing, as it will be very misleading, when the package colour appears to be a true representation for other colours, according to crafting friends who have bought other colours. A pad that should be dark brown stamping as a 'different' black is not going to be very pleasing to stampers, and to be fair, completely unnecessary, when the Nocturne itself is such an excellent black.

I do love the new inkpad, and as I say, especially the new Nocturne, as I found it gives excellent coverage and colour, even on solid stamps, which are notoriously difficult to get a good imprint from.

Will you be adding a colour chart to your website for this inkpad soon?

Regards,

Shaz

Good question Bjeans, I think I'll email Lavinia Stamps and at least let them know about the colour.
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:47 AM   #69
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Bad pic of my 1" tests, but maybe you'll get the idea. The first square in the top and bottom rows were double stamped, second was stamped once, then 2nd and 3rd gen. The "yellow" 2nd gen square is not so bright in real life. Of course when it comes to screens, YMMV. The middle row's first square is heat embossed and the other stamps to check detail ability. Sentiment is crisp and clear though not in the pic, sorry.


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Old 01-09-2018, 11:05 AM   #70
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Love those colours Bjeans- more to add to my list! lol. I've emailed Lavinia stamps and let them know the issue, as well as what I heard from Tsukineko, so they at least can check it out for themselves, in case anyone contacts them saying the colour is wrong.
This is just one of the things I love about SCS- honest to goodness product info!
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:14 AM   #71
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Kim at Buddly already responded and said they hadn't heard anything from any customers - and asked if you purchased the ink from them. : )

I ordered Golden Meadow, Morning Mist, Nocturne (thanks!), Pinecone and Twilight. I wonder why Tsukineko bypassed light colors, not that I'm unhappy with these. Would it be for technical reasons or solely choice? I may ask. Inquiring minds...
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:40 PM   #72
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Oh, I SO should usubscribe from this thread. Those colors are gorgeous. Versafine in gorgeous colors, it's like my fantasy has come true.
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Old 01-09-2018, 01:01 PM   #73
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Ha! At least the prices of ink and shipping are quite good. Buddly already shipped my order that I placed today. There was a slow way to ship to the U.S. to my neck of the woods that cost about $4.00. I did not select it, given the twenty seventy months from Indonesia for the first two. The five inks were 6.22 each and airmail was about $10.

And maybe Shaz' shop ships to the U.S. too.
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:38 AM   #74
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From "Imagine," the North/South American distributor for Tsukineko. (Tsukineko responded to my questions by telling me to email Imagine, so I re-sent the email to them. Maybe Tsukineko also forwarded my email to them.) Last, I believe she meant "albeit" in the sentence about Fallen Leaves. : )

Based on the response, I think I'll do a little timed embossing exercise comparing Versafine regular and Clair.

"Tsukineko forwarded me your questions on VersaFine Clair. FYI, you will start to see VersaFine Clair for sale in North America starting later this month!

I will do my best to answer your questions, though some of them I feel Tsukineko Japan would have more concrete answers for you! For instance, they chose the colors and know more about the formulation. My understanding is that the formulation is different from the original VersaFine. I have found that it has better heat embossing abilities - particularly the fact that it remains embossable for several minutes. I also really enjoy stamping larger coverage stamps with VersaFine Clair as it has wonderful coverage. And last but not least, Fallen Leaves is a brown, all be it a very dark grayish brown!

Glad you are enjoying the ink. I’m very happy that we get to introduce it here now!"
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:38 AM   #75
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Sounds like the same person I spoke to on the phone. I got the "minutes more" response from her myself. I generally found the level of clear info (or lack thereof) annoying. You cannot call Tsukineko in order to get these "more concrete answers", you have to contact Imagine, and the customer service at Imagine doesn't know the answer to such basic questions! If you are the US distributor of Tsukineko ink, there should be no "my understanding is...". There should be a clear answer.

You know, when I spoke to the guy over at Tonic during the great Stamping Platform Release Date/Version Tweak debate of 2017, he said an interesting thing to me. He said (and I am paraphrasing but I think it's pretty close) "Stampers are some of the most demanding and perfectionistic folks I've ever dealt with, and I mean that in the nicest way. They want to know everything about the products they buy, and they want them to work perfectly."


I had to agree with him. We may be easy targets for everything latest and greatest, but we are also ruthless in expecting that we get what we paid for. I almost said something to this customer service rep. Well, I kind of did. I said "Is there someone you can call to find out the actual answer to my question?" That usually works for me, I can usually extract information from anyone, but Imagine just refuses to be anything more than vague. I guess they know we'll buy the ink whether they make an effort or not.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:32 AM   #76
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I did write back to ask if she'd check further on a couple questions. And at least she confirmed that Fallen Leaves has some brown in it. So Shaz's ink may be a misfit or from a bad batch. Or the brown is buried deeper in the pad and will emerge as she uses it more - which is not acceptable.

Since a color is not a pure hue, but is a blend, I can imagine a mix not being uniformly mixed when applied to a pad.
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:29 PM   #77
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Oh, I think you more than did your due diligence! I hope you didn't think I was implying otherwise! !
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:31 PM   #78
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Not for .00001 seconds, Robin. I was mentally nodding agreement and giving a mini[scule] update.
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:41 PM   #79
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:17 AM   #80
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Ok ladies, yet another update. I did get a second response from Tsukineko, after I emailed back and explained it wasn't the colour of the pad I had a problem with, it was the colour it was stamping out.
'
We will pass your opinion to our product development department and take your opinion into account in the case of next product development.

As to the website, we are planning to add the color chart of Versafine Clair, but the details such as time has not been decided yet.'


So thats where it stands.
I also emailed Lavinia Stamps, and let them know how the pad performed, in case they had others unhappy with the colour in future.
I had a reply from them, they tested it out and agreed that yes, there is no brown to the stamped image. However, you can see the brown in a second impression, and it is close to the lid colour. Not tried it myself yet, but I'm not doubting them.
They did say that they will be attending a Trade show in Frankfurt in the near future, and will be raising it with Tsukineko whilst they are there.
On a side note, as an example of Lavinia customer service, they did offer to send me a different pad as a replacement, or to refund me for the Fallen Leaves pad! Won't be taking them up on it, as the problem isn't their fault, but does demonstrate their attitude to their customers.

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