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Ink Pad Revival

There was a recent discussion on one stamping list about reviving dried out ink pads with glycerine. I have been wrangling with copier machines instead of stamping recently, but got a chance to make a few cards last week and lo and behold, my stamp pads are curled up around the edges looking for all the world like dead spider shells.

Yes, I store them upside down. Yes, they are in a plastic storage container with a lid. Yes, I have reinkers for some, but not most of them.

So...remembering the glycerine discussion, when it was advised that we put "a drop or two" on our dry ink pads, I got out my number 5 cheap white bristle brush and sloshed it into the glycerine bottle.

O.K. O.K. I had two pads of one color, so had a spare to experiment with. There wasn't much left of the one pad after my demoing detail stamps at Bonnie Warner's Stampmania in St. Paul last October. There were little threads handing loose from it all around the edges. You know the picture. Abuse writ large. So I boldly drew the glycerine-saturated brush lengthwise across the top of the pad -- and watched the glycerine get sucked up thirstily. No shiny trace left. So I dipped the brush in the glycerine again and drew it across the lower half of the pad lengthwise. Slurpsh. Gone.

Now this hummer still looked a bit dry and I already had far outstripped the boundaries of glycerine sanity here, so I grabbed my handy water spray bottle and gave the pad a good, solid spray.

Big mistake.

Dye splatters everywhere. For the life of me, I don't know how a dry pad can ink up a water blob as it whizzes by to the front of my T-shirt, a shirt now destined for the dust bin.

But the water, I could tell just by looking at it, helped moisten the pad. So I sort of held the ink pad lid upright and gave a few, very ladylike spritzes to the pad, which at least confined the spume damage to the inside lid and my hand.

This was such a success I moved on to the rest of my dead spider pads, including pigment ones. I got a cup of water to rinse my glycerine brush in from pad to pad, and had to change the water about every three pads. Some pads, I could tell, were dryer than others. I spritzed these more than the less dried out ones.

I finished glycerine bathing my pads and put them to rest -- upright this time, figuring I wanted all the glycerine and water to sink.

The next day I tried out my revitalized pads -- and was delighted. I noticed no lightening of the dye color, although some of you may have a better eye for this than I do. My brayer inked up without nearly as much trouble as before. Well, I did still shoot the ink pad across the room a few times when the brayer accidently slid off the edge of the pad. But the ink itself gave me no problems. My stamps worked perfectly. In fact, better than usual.

The only thing I noticed was a slightly increased stickiness between the stamp and the paper. This actually works to an advantage with my stamps, which are likely to go sliding across the paper when inked well, probably because I use coated card stock to avoid bleeding.

I have waited a week to report my wondrous results just in case the rumor about green things going bump in the night were true.

No green. Of course, this is Minnesota. If you live in the tropics, the results may be different.

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