If you were at CHA this summer, you probably met Arlene Lobach doing demos and Make & Takes in the Inkadinkado booth. Inkadinkado just released a comprehensive line of inks, tools, and accessories for rubber stamping, cardmaking and papercrafting this spring. As one of our in-house craft designers, Arlene has had a few months to work with these new products, and I was curious to get her opinion about them.
Kristel: Arlene, let’s talk first about the program as a whole. What do you think—have we covered all the basic needs for cardmaking?
Arlene: Absolutely! This is a well thought-out collection of products. We have what you need from start to finish, whether you’re a beginner or experienced paper crafter.
We took a holistic approach in developing this line to provide not only essential inks, tools, and accessories, but ones that coordinate well together, do what you need them to do, and have features that exceed your expectations. Having the right tools and materials, whether you’re crafting or fixing a leaky faucet, makes all the difference in the world in how well you do the work and the ease and enjoyment you get from doing it.
Kristel: Which tools are your favorites and, if you had to pick one, which tool could you not live without?
Arlene: The stamping mask paper is one my absolute favorites—the paper is ultra thin so no lines appear on the finishing stamping as you work over the edge of the paper. The packaging is handy for me because it’s resealable and I can hang it on my pegboard with the rest of my tools rather than shoving it in a drawer and losing it in a pile of stuff.
The stippling brush is very versatile and I use it for other than just stippling. I like to use it when blending my chalks, and I find that I can take it out of the locked position where the bristles are fully extended and softer, and use it with the bristles retracted slightly for a more stiff feel.
The glitter powder tray—it’s non-static, has a corner funnel and includes its own brush for cleaning up. It’s also heat resistant and a great size for my work space. I use it for more than just corralling my powders; I do all my intricate trimming and fussy cutting over it to catch my snibbles for easy disposal. This is my “can’t live without it” tool.
Kristel: Tell us how the accessory items perform—the stamping surface, the cleaners, the embossing pad and pen, the chalks?
Arlene: The stamping surface is outstanding—I love it! It’s thin and soft so it’s just the perfect weight for stamping. It provides just that little bit of cushion on your work area that you want to get really great stamp impressions, especially if you use a lot of clear stamps that don’t have a cushion built in. It has ruler markings which is really handy for quick measuring. It rolls or travels flat and doesn’t take up too much room. Very portable to crops. And you can wash it with a mild dish detergent for a good cleaning. Please note that this is a stamping surface, not a cutting surface.
The chalks work really well and the colors blend very nicely. To keep
from contaminating my chalks with other colors, I always apply a bit of
the chalk to a piece of scrap paper, then use the applicator to work
from scrap paper to project. The chalk wedges are just the right density
that they are not so easily crumbled that it’s wasteful. The applicator
itself is user-friendly in that you can hold it more like a pencil,
just replacing the cotton ball as needed rather than the entire
The embossing pad is a nice size to accommodate
larger stamps. The embossing pen is wonderful to pick out portions of an
image to emboss. I’ve already embossed just the eye of a cat by using
the pen. Very cool!
The stamp cleaners (one for water-based and one for solvent) come in an innovative container that has two tips—a scrubber tip and a spray/mist tip, depending on how much cleaner you want to dispense. The stamp scrubber is two-sided, each with a different texture—one for broad flat areas and one for more finely detailed stamps, or to use as step 1 and step 2. My stamps looked fresh and clean, like they’ve been buffed!
Kristel: On to the glitters, embossing and flocking powders. What do you think about the range of colors?
Arlene: I think they comprise a great range of colors, 12 shades for each, from brights to pastels to metallics. What impresses me is that we fine-tuned the palette so that the colors work really well together; i.e. I can mix them and the resulting shades are astonishingly beautiful. I’ve mixed black with opalescent to create a gorgeous shade of grey.
Kristel: Glitter seems to be all the rage right now. What makes the Inkadinkado brand the one to choose?
Arlene: It’s a very fine grain powder, and you are able to glitter detailed images that would close up using a coarser grain. It’s all about versatility.
Kristel: The ink program alone was a huge undertaking, from premium and value pads to stackable color sets, spray inks, markers and watercolors, not to mention the range of colors in each ink type: pigment, dye, chalk, washable, and solvent. With over 130 ink products, are there too many choices?
Arlene: Girl, don’t be silly... you can’t have too many ink choices! Every day, new patterned papers and cardstocks are coming out which beg for just the right shade of ink...and we have it! Add rainbow, iridescent, metallics, washable, and giant size pads to the varieties you mentioned. The coding system is so wonderful for organizing.
Kristel: Which inks are your favorites and why?
Arlene: The stackables, hands down. They are space saving and store upside down which keeps the pads fresh and longer lasting. The color sets are ideal for themed cards. The ergonomics of these are perfect for me—they fit great in my fingertips so I can apply just the right pressure. Their size and portability are great for crops, too. I really like the variety of ink types. I choose the ink type based on the stamp I’m using and what I’m trying to accomplish with the technical aspect of the stamping or for the mood of the project I’m creating.
Kristel: Aside from choosing the right array of colors, we seemed to have focused a lot of attention on smart container design, either in terms of ergonomics or closure or storability. How important is that to you as a stamp and paper crafter?
Arlene: It’s very important! It’s the one topic that consistently comes up among paper crafters—storability, and efficient usability, i.e. controlling waste.
Kristel: Lastly, what is your best advice to a new stamp crafter who is just getting started?
Arlene: First, educate yourself by spending some time on our website viewing our Tips & Techniques section. There’s a lot of great material there on getting started, ink types, various techniques, and so on. Get a few basic tools and materials you need and start with small quantities of things to see how you like them—like two or three of the stackable inks that give you an array of colors. I’d advise the Stamping Surface, inks (one each of pigment, chalk, and dye), our Water-Based Stamp Cleaner, and the Stamp Scrubber. Start there for your first couple of projects. Then add on for the kinds of projects you want to do.
Thanks to Arlene for sharing her thoughts and expertise! And check out our newest videos about these inks and accessories for helpful tips and features.