As I've been browsing blogs lately, I've been noticing some of the "other" stamp companies out there... I will say that as a demo I am completely loyal to SU, but as a cardmaker, sometimes I just gotta have something that SU doesn't offer. When I saw the French Fancy stamp set by Inque Boutique, I knew immediately that it had to be mine. I purchased it from Stamper's Dream, and I highly recommend them - they shipped the same day I ordered, shipping was incredibly cheap, and I got the stamps in three days. I'm sure I'll be back for more from them!
I used this set for the inspiration challenge that was posted on SCS last Saturday, which was these pretty candles from Papyrus. I haven't played one of the SCS ICs in a while for various reasons, but I liked this one and really wanted to participate even though I'm way late. Anything French always appeals to me!
The candle comes in a yellow and green version - no shocker that I picked the green for my card. I stamped the bouquet in black on three graduated green cardstocks by Bazzill. Don't ask me which ones - I have a huge stash with no idea what the color names are! I used my rectangle Marvy punch to get the panels, and I changed the position of the punch each time to get the left, center, and right of the bouquet, then layered them onto black cardstock.
For the background I selected the medium shade of the three greens. I first stamped the script image until the layer was covered, then added the scroll stamp over top of the writing. That panel was layered to another black panel and then onto a white card.
For the ribbon I layered wide white organdy and black grosgrain ribbons. The sentiment is two stamps, the frame and the word. I stamped both on white cardstock, cut out, and placed over the ribbon with foam tape.
These are my first stamps from this company, so I thought I would offer a brief review.
Things I liked:
* They are unmounted rubber cling stamps that you use on acrylic blocks, so they definitely offer an advantage in the amount of storage space needed. They are also die-cut.
* The images are gorgeous with incredible detail, and they stamp well if you use the stamping pad that comes with the stamps. You put the pad under your paper and then stamp - trust me, it won't work if you forget that step!
* On the back of the rubber they've printed the image of the stamp, so you can see where you're stamping. We all know that this is an advantage of clear stamps, but here you get the same thing with rubber stamps. Tres cool.
Things I didn't like:
* I had trouble inking the stamps with SU pads because the rubber is super thin. If I end up getting more of their stamps I will have to try some different inks with them - something with more of a raised pad would work better, I think. Inque Boutique has their own line of inks, but I'd be curious to try the new Tsukineko Memento inks, which are supposed to be great for fine detail.
* It may be the level of detail, but I found that the images took longer to dry than I would have expected.
* I'm still figuring out the best way to clean them - maybe it was the black ink, but the stamps I used are now stained. I know it doesn't affect the stamped image, but somehow I just like my stuff to stay like new if at all possible.
Those are my initial thoughts - if you have any questions I'm happy to answer them, and I'd love to hear what you think of Inque Boutique's stamps. I know I'll be playing with this set again, and probably giving Todd a wish list for other sets to try down the road!