It all started with this:
That was last week. This week, I'm still having trouble with the embossing powder not distributing evenly, but at least it's not clinging everywhere it's not supposed to. But there is of course a new problem.
Ladies and gentlemen (do I get any gentleman readers?), meet my Nemesis:
I love these stamps. They're the "Pumpkins & Flourish" set from Inkadinkado. And when I ordered them I couldn't wait for them to come in. Now I am about ready to throw them out the window. I love clear stamps. I love the designs that come in clear stamps, I love that they're so compact, I love that I can see through them to position them exactly where I want. I do not love that my Distress Ink beads up on them more than rain beads on my Rain-Ex coated windshield. Because then you get this crap:
See how bubbly that looks? What The Fruitcake?!?! Even with the awful embossing, the regular rubber leaf of last week at least took the ink evenly. Without embossing, this is some of my copious amounts of testing:
(Ok there's a little embossing on the right side of this image)
That damn leaf will NOT come out solid. Not in this color, not in these colors:
Incidentally, Archival Ink works just fine:
Again I turned to the intarwebz. Taking advice from various online sources, I tried letting Archival Ink dry on its surface (FAIL - all it did was come off with the Distress Ink), I tried using an eraser to clean the manufacturer's finish off of it, I tried sanding it lightly with an emery board, I tried washing it with soap and water... All I got was a big bucket of FAIL. The best image I got at all with the inks I wanted to use was this:
Still not solid, still not crisp.
On a whim, I experimented with Distress Clear Embossing Ink. The stamp finally seemed to like that and gave me a clear, solid image. So I tried a different embossing powder.
It's obnoxiously perfect. So I guess all I have to do is not use Distress Ink in any sort of color on my clear stamps. Which is extremely frustrating. I use those inks because I love the colors! So I can either continue to beat my head against the wall (figuratively) by trying over and over again, or I can limit how much I can use in my work.
I don't like those options.