Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Review: Stampin' Up - The Actual Stamps

Sooooo, following on from my weekend rant, you might want to know how the stamps once I had got them fared . . .

The stamps were almost £20 for a set of 5, which consisted of the girls with the basket, a decorative easter egg, a blossom branch and two easter sentiments.  I'd ordered the ones that would need to be mounted on an acrylic block to use them (rather than pre-mounted on a wooden block), as they are a little bit cheaper.  These are known as 'clear mount' stamps.  All the previous clear mount stamps I had bought  were, for a start, clear, as the name would suggest, with a raised image, usually coloured black so you can tell which is which.  They are also usually very clingy, so they can stick easily to the acrylic block.  The Stampin' Up stamps were neither of these.

They arrived in, what is effectively, a DVD case.  They were part of a sheet of red rubber, from which the stamps had to be pushed out and then stickers attached to the back so you could tell which was which easier.  I hadn't expected so much self-assembly.  It took me about half an hour to sort out the stamps, as it was quite fiddly to get the stickers lined up on the stamps well.  They were smaller than I though, but this didn't bother be too much, as I'd been a bit concerned that they would be too big and not fit on my cards properly.

Once they were all assembled, I decided I would make a card using the girl stamp.  I'd also just got some embossing powders so thought I would give them a try with my design.

I selected a small shaped and patterned card and a sentiment stamp.  I attached the girl stamp to my acrylic block.  I found that it did not stick to the acrylic block as my other clear mount stamps do.  I think that this is because of the stickers on the back of the stamp, which other clear mount stamps don't have.  So, this problem could probably be resolved by not using the stickers on the stamps. 

Using clear ink, I stamped the image onto my card and then stamped the sentiment image in the same way.  I then sprinkled embossing powder over the images.  I discovered that the problem with using clear ink is that you can't tell until the embossing powder is applied if any mistakes or extra marks have been made, by which point it is too late.  But then again, it's difficult to remove coloured ink if mistakes have been made.  I found that as these stamps are quite spongy, and thereby squishy, the acrylic block had also touched the ink and card, leaving a couple of marks.  However, there was nothing I could do about this now.  I was still quite happy with the finished result, which was simply a matter of melting the embossing powder and then allowing it to cool.

Overall, I think thatStampin' Up stamps are quite expensive and not the best I have used.  I have been slightly put off by the aggressive selling techniques of the rep I bought the stamps off, and maybe this has clouded my judgement of the stamps also.  However, Stampin' Up do have some nice designs, so I think I will give them another try when I have a few more pennies, but definitely with a different, hopefully, nicer and more helpful rep.  I might even reconsider the workshop thing . . .

Happy Crafting.

Holly xx

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