Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Suki Card; All stamps are NOT created equal!

I'm going to save you money today.

I typically don't rip on other companies' products outside of Close To My Heart, unless of course I feel like I'm doing YOU a disservice by not doing so. And today is that day. You'll have to scroll down to see what I'm talking about.

But first, I wanted to share with you a Thank You card I made for the pet-sitters who will be taking care of our Sheltie, Suki for a few days. The card inspiration started with this week's Mojo Monday sketch #183.



And here is the card I created...


I really wanted to incorporate some dog stamping in here somewhere, but didn't have the right stamp set for it. I envisioned a background of silhouetted stamped dogs rather than the pattern paper you see here. But alas, that didn't work out. You'll see in a minute.

For my card, I used some older papers from Crate Paper in my stash, plus some Kraft card stock and borders from CTMH. And, of course, a photo of my Suki girl.



The blue card stock is Sky and my inking and stamping was done with Chocolate inks. I think one of my favorite accents of all time are the photo hangers we carry. I looped some twine and Chocolate Waxy Flax through the ring for decoration. You might see the embossing with the Cuttlebug die on the Kraft in the background.



I've had this ribbon by American Crafts, like, forever and it finally served a good purpose. The little charm I found in the jewelry dept. of Hobby Lobby and affixed it with glue and tied if off with some Chocolate Waxy Flax.



There's my girl! So pretty, isn't she? When people tell me "Oh she's SO pretty!" I never know whether to thank them or what. I can't exactly take credit for her looks, can I? I just say Thank You anyway.


Now on to my rant.


While in Hobby Lobby, I browsed the stamps for doggie stuff. (Like I said, I had hoped to stamp a background of dogs.) When I saw this set, I was SO excited and snatched it right up!

Well, let me tell you, not all clear stamps are created equal. 

It's not because I'm a CTMH Consultant, really, because I've been known to purchase several other companies clear stamps before and I've been perfectly happy. These were just NOT good.



I started stamping and immediately noticed that the ink started to pool on the stamp. No worries, I thought, I'll just "season" the stamp like we do with CTMH stamps. Ink 'em up a couple times, stamp on scrap, clean 'em and then stamp again. But NO. No matter what I did with these stamps, the ink still pooled really badly.

I flipped over the package and read about the stamps. Maybe there was some secret method with this brand. You can image my shock when the Helpful Tips said, "If your ink is 'beading', try gently sanding the image with a nail file to reduce the slickness of the surface."

SANDING?!



Okay, so I sanded. But it didn't help much. I sanded every darn stamp in the set and kept trying. This is the best I came up with. Terrible!



And to make matters worse, when I went to clean them on my double scrubber, they fell right off the block! Aghhh!

Again, under the Helpful Tips it actually says, "If you find that getting a stamp to stick to the acrylic block is difficult, apply a small piece of double-sided tape to the stamp then mount on the block."

HUH?



If I hadn't trashed my receipt so quickly, I would have taken them back. Instead, they ended up here. What a waste. Good thing they were on sale this week. May they rest in peace.

If you have purchased this brand before and had good luck, I would love to know your secret.

Meanwhile, I think I'll stick with what I know works best. You'll never have to sand a Close To My Heart clear stamp - EVER - and you most certainly will not have to TAPE them to your blocks. Egad!

Enjoy your Wednesday and thank you for letting me rant.

9 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh. I read your entire post through about that stamp set and feel your pain. This happened to me only a few times before I realized that no matter how cheap they may be priced, it's just not worth the headache. LOL Thanks for making me laugh today, though I'm not sure that was your intention. Psst. Loved the card you were able to create. :)

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  2. Love that card! Can't believe your story about the stamps--sand them?? tape them?? really??

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  3. First of all... I absolutely love your card! And, your dog *is* beautiful! :)

    Secondly... I've been through that exact same experience with a cheap stamp set I picked up at my local craft store. I was in a hurry to get a project done - I really wish I had just ordered from CTMH and saved myself the hassle! Really made me appreciate my CTMH stamps for their amazing quality. They are worth every cent and waiting a couple of days to ship! LOL! :)

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  4. Love the card and your oh-so-beautiful furbaby! Sorry about your bad experience. CTMH rocks!

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  5. Love your card and your girl is so cute! When I read your fiasco, I went and pulled out a set of doggy stamps that I got at Hobby Lobby also-I didn't see a name on them or even those helpful instructions! I used one of the little paw prints for my daughter's graduation picture--they were the wildcats and a maroon paw print was one of their logos. I ended up frustrated like you because everytime I stamped with it, it fell off the block either on the stamp pad or the cardstock. I should have thrown mine away too, but I figured I'd save it and if I ever get any grandchildren, that would be a set they can play with! PS love your frugal fridays!

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  6. I've had similar experiences with their stamps. Glad you said something - maybe you'll save somebody else some money. I've had mixed experience with Fiskar stamps, too. It seems like cheap stamps are kind of "squishy" and don't leave a good crisp image.

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  7. Love the card. Such a cute idea to thank your pet sitters. I share your rant...before I found CTMH, I had purchased several inferior acrylic stamp sets only to find that the ink pooled and I was never able to get good results. Sorry you had to experience that.

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  8. If you ever have this problem again, try using and eraser to the stamp it removes the film on the stamp which is used to help release the stamp from the molds.

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  9. I just wanted to tell you know I know its probably too late now, but I find that if you write the company about your problem most are more then happy to make it right. I have run into problems with various craft companies over the year with defective products or just poor quality and they have done all they could to correct the problem.

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Thanks for leaving a comment! If you have a question you'd like answered, please e-mail me at AnnetteGreen@me.com.