Ok, so I know you guys have seen this picture before... I guess I like it because it's such a meaningful representation of how far I've come since this is the first photo that launched on my website...
Anyway, it's also a nice little array of hand-stamped projects which has gotten me thinking... do I prefer the traditional wood-mounted, rubber stamp or the new generation of clear acrylics and polymers?
Oh, sheesh, I don't know. One of my best friends is a Stampin Up! Consultant, and we've been enjoying the art of rubber stamping and each other's company for almost 5 years now. We got to talking one day, and she asked me, "so, do you think this new clear stamping phase is here to stay? Do you like it better, etc.?" I honestly didn't know what to tell her and still don't. I will always order from her and support her business, but this questions did prompt several of my own. After all, it's quite an investment, as we ALL know!!!
So, the "pros" of traditional rubber? There is definitely something about picking up that wooden stamp, looking at the image, and the pure satisfaction of staring at a perfectly inked image on paper. There is that clear box, the uniform storage and labeling, etc. which makes me giddy LOL. They are all pre-mounted, and the actual cutting/mounting of them is another artform all in itself...also very satisfying when done correctly...
Ok, so what are the cons? Well, there is the UTTER frustration of not being able to see EXACTLY where the image is going...which is especially hard when using alphabet sets. They take up ALOT of room, especially when you are talking as many sets as I own, and even more that I owned in the past before I finally made the decision to sell some off to good homes.
Hence we now have clear stamps, aka acrylic polymers, which, in my opinion only got really "big" last year. Some of the cons? Well, although this particular one doesn't bother me much, I've heard them getting a lot of flack for having to mount/unmount them one at a time. Peeling off and placing them everytime isn't a big deal to me, although for some, just the fact that you HAVE to mount them every time is a turn off in itself. I will agree that it is time consuming, for sure. Right now, the biggest "con" is that on more than one occasion, right out of the box I've ripped them accidentally. I'm not the most "patient" person in the world, granted, but still, some of these suckers REALLY cling to the plastic sheets in which they are stored in.
Speaking of storage, this is another grey area to me. Although it's great that they don't take up so much room, I have yet to find the PERFECT storage system for my clear stamps, which are starting to pile up LOL. I tried the binder system and didnt' like it. They kept falling out of the plastic sleeves. I bought some little velcro and plastic pocket thing and didn't like that much either. PaperTrey Ink, one of my favorite clear stamp companies, has a pretty cool idea using clear CD jewel cases, which I do keep their sets in. For now, though, most of my clear stamps I store in my Creative Options Case, which has worked the best for me so far. I like the zippered pouches and am thinking about upgrading to the larger size, although this small size fits in my scrapbooking cart which is nice for travel. I really like Creative Options. They also make (just as an aside :) an AWESOME Ribbon Holder which I've found to be the least likely to get tangled and unruly (eek!) This also fits in my cart so I have only one thing to pull with me when I go out.
Ok, so that out of the way...pros? Well, I can tell you all that I really, really like being able to see where I'm stamping. This has been super-handy, not only for alphabets, but you know those SUPER frustrating times when you don't quite get enough ink on the stamp, etc? Clear acrylics even let you go back, albeit with a slow and steady hand, and re-do the image with a VERY good chance of it coming out ok.
Also, and this is JUST my opinion which is why I'm so curious to hear some of yours, I sort of feel like the clear stamp brands/manufacturer's have a little more of a creative "edge", let's just say. Seems to me like they keep a better finger on the pulse of what's hot and what's not....is it just me?
I truly can't make up my mind, folks! Please feel free to leave your comments (there is a link under this post) because I'd LOVE to hear them! Thanks and Hugs, Jess :)