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Read Thread: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material

Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Sep 19, 2013 11:41pm
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Today I received a sample of carving material I ordered from this site:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/158838825/1pcs-rubber-stamp-carving-blocks?ref=sr_gallery_37&ga_search_query=rubber+stamp+carving+blocks&ga_order=most_relevant&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all

A couple of notes: First, it says on the site that this stuff ships from China. They ain't lyin', it took three weeks to get here, and the return address on the package is in China. The vendor is "sweetloveqiner", the confirmation came from a "justin Ding" and it doesn't sound like English is his (her?) first language. Dunno how it gets halfway around the world on $3.99 shipping.

Second, it says on the site that the carving material comes in a variety of colors at random. The piece I got was green. It's really pretty. It looks like avacado -- the inside of an avacado, not the outside. Actually, it doesn't look like any of the colors in the picture on that site.

Third, sorry, still no name for it. It basically came in a plain cellophane wrapper. We can't just call it "green stuff" because who knows what color the next buyer will get. I'm tempted to call it "Chinese stuff", but there are probably other carving materials from China out there so that's probably not good. For now I'll just call it "sweetloveqiner random color" -- sweetloveqiner also offers plain white stuff and I dunno if it's the same material or different.

This evening I carved a stamp from it. The following are my thoughts:

I reeeally like carving this stuff! As I've opined before, my all-time Top Three are 1) orange PZ Kut; 2) white PZ Kut; 3) original pink stuff, before they recently messed it up. This stuff from China is a solid contender for the #2 spot. The stuff is fairly firm, nearly as firm as white PZ Kut was, but it cuts more smoothly with either a knife or a gouge. After developing a feel for how it behaves, I found myself yanking chunks out of it with such gleeful abandon that I had to tell myself to slow down and be careful lest I hack something I don't wanna hack. And I also found myself thinking about carving details this image didn't even call for, like seeing how narrow I could make a line.

I began carving with a wire knife, but partway through I switched to a shortened X-Acto #11. Frankly, I think most knife carvers would prefer using the #11 on this stuff; the wire knife has a bit of spring in the blade which is great for carving some materials but this stuff is a bit too firm to use with it. There's a slight tendency for the wire knife to dig in and then suddenly spring forward a bit on you, ungood. It does work, though, and with a little bit of practice with it -- carefully avoiding cutting too deep -- and it'd probably be an acceptable tool for carving this stuff.

The image involved also called for some gouge work, and if anything this material is better with a gouge than with a knife! It cuts unbelievably smoothly, including with a #5, which usually involves a hefty push with other materials. Honestly, with a #5 it might cut better than any material I've tried, including orange PZ Kut.

If anything, the "release" of this material may be too easy. There were a couple of times when, using either gouge or knife, the piece came out when I wasn't even through cutting it yet! Like, slicing up to a narrow point and the chunk comes out leaving the very point of that sliver in place. Fortunately, it was easy to just go back and pick it up -- unlike with OZ, where you've got a fight on your hands trying to get a little piece like that to come out.

I hesitate to say too much about the color since others may end up with different colors, but there are a couple of things to note. First, the green color does work to show where you've already sliced with the knife, but not strongly. In fact, it might not even be as distinctive as pink stuff. Definitely nowhere near the bright distiction of orange PZ Kut.

Second, this stuff cuts so smoothly that it was easy to imagine that I was actually carving avacado. Like, gather up all the slivers and let's make guacamole!

Third, and this is a weird one, something I can't say I've ever seen before. The places you've just cut out with a gouge look just a bit different -- just a bit lighter color, just a bit less shiny -- than the places you cut out five minutes ago! That is the weirdest thing, and for a while I wondered if I was seeing things. When I was nearly done and trimming out the low-lying areas of the stamp, though, it became more and more apparent: The spot I just trimmed a high spot off of looks just a bit different than everything around it, which is an area I had carved myself only a little while earlier. And, of course, a couple of minutes later, it all looks the same. I have no idea what's behind that; perhaps the material oxidizes a little bit when exposed to air. Maybe it's really made of avacado! Curious as this phenomenon is, I have no idea what it might be good for.

Then, just to cap things off, it turns out this stuff inks up and stamps better than most materials. The image I carved happened to have some large black areas, and rather than getting the usual mostly-black with a bit of dandruff in it, these areas came out black.

Finally, to put a damper on this review: When rubbed with a finger, I did notice a small amount of pilling. Not terrible, not as bad as bad pink by any means, but enough to raise some concerns about the durability of the finished stamp in a heavy-use application. If not for that and the fact that this piece was rather expensive (a 6x4 piece cost me $8.79 including shipping) this stuff probably would rank #2 behind orange PZ Kut. As it is, we'll leave it as pending some experience to see how durable it proves to be and whether or not it can be purchased any cheaper by buying a whole pile of it.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #806199 by Kirbert
Sep 20, 2013 12:38am
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Interesting resource. I noticed the more you buy, the cheaper the shipping gets, but not by much. You gotta order 10 slabs to get the persheet cost down to $6.99 with shipping. I might try some though. Thanks

AB
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #806199 by Kirbert
Sep 20, 2013 1:17am
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I asked sweetloveqiner about the random color material vs. the white material. Here is the response:

dear buyer,Thank you for your interests in my item.
the rubber stamp material is all the same,only the color is not the same.

Frankly, I kinda like the color -- but I like the fact that the white comes in bigger pieces more! Bigger blocks means less waste. So next order I'll probably buy a pile of the white stuff.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #806207 by Kirbert
Sep 20, 2013 1:30am
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I wonder what the sandwich stuff is like to carve? It looked interesting to me. I would be able to see where i cut the rubber stuff out of it. The kids wanted to know what I wanted for X-Mas and now I know.

GH
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #806199 by Kirbert
Sep 20, 2013 4:06am
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Seeing as it is from China, who knows what is in it. China tends not to care about environmental or safety issues when it comes to chemicals. This allows them to put out a product much like the ones you loved because they haven't had to change their formula.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #806208 by Granny Hummingbird
Sep 20, 2013 8:48am
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I haven't tried that particular stuff, but I tried another type of sandwich stuff a coupla years back. It's a really, really bad idea. You have to carve really deep before you break through to the other color, so when you're done with the stamp the entire thing is one color except for the few deepest places where blotches of the deeper color show through. No help at all. Worse, heaven forbid the two colors are even the slightest bit different chemically, because with age or temperature or whatever one may expand or shrink more than the other and the whole slab will start to curl up on you.

What would be a good idea is if they'd offer a material that was made of one solid color yet had another color printed on the surface. Hence, the second color is no thicker than a layer of ink you might apply yourself. If you will do an Etsy search for "rubber stamp carving blocks", you will find that someone does offer exactly such a material! It's a bit more expensive than the sweetloveqiner products, though, and IMHO those are pricey enough already.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #806262 by Kirbert
Sep 20, 2013 5:19pm
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sandwich stuff

Thank you for letting me know before I had the chance to ask for it from my family.

GH
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #806199 by Kirbert
Sep 20, 2013 6:59pm
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Thanks for the detailed review of the Chinese carving block.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #806199 by Kirbert
Sep 21, 2013 11:15am
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I neglected to mention that this sweetloveqiner material is a bit thicker than most. I mic'd it at 7.6mm thick. 1/4" is 6.35mm, so you can see this is about 20% thicker than that.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #806199 by Kirbert
Oct 4, 2013 3:25pm
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Based on Kirbert's review, I ordered this material too. I got 3 pieces of colored (which turned out to be fuscia, yellow, and turquoise) and a piece of white. It only took two weeks, order to arrival, and I second all of Kirbert's observations - very smooth without being overly soft, easy to carve, and inked surface behaves way better, without sanding, washing, or any other prep. I carved some teeny lines and dots as well as larger lines, and background removal. Now I'm putting the sample carve in a baggie in the freezer to see how it holds up to the winter.

For Kirbert - my package came with a piece of material about 8" x 10" and 1/2" thick. It looks like a fine-partical cork-like material, but stiffer and heavier than I would expect cork to be. I think it was for stabilizing the package in transit, but I wonder if it has carving or other craft potential. Was this in your package? Any idea what it is??
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #808893 by Wise Wanderer
Oct 4, 2013 5:49pm
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I didn't get that stuff. I'd probably find a use for it, even if it isn't carving!
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #808916 by Kirbert
Oct 5, 2013 9:48pm
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Asked the seller what it was, and got this reply:

dear buyer,
the particle cork is a gift for you.After the rubber has been carved,on glue to hold the particle cork and the rubber together,so When you using rubber is more convenient.

Can you understand what I mean?
any question,please feel free to contact me.
Have a nice day!

So apparently the suggested use is as a backing to the stamp. It's much firmer than foam, but not as hard as wood. Hmmmmm . . . maybe a set of coasters or a trivet??
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #806199 by Kirbert
Nov 8, 2013 10:41am
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Reviving this thread so people can click on Kirbert's link if they want to order this stuff.

I recently received four colored blocks of this material. Seems pretty nice so far. But I recommend that you consider the white instead of random colors. One of the blocks I got was chocolatey brown, and it's a bit dark for transferring a detailed image. Maybe the seller will give you light colors if you ask.

But I haven't actually tried the white, I'm just assuming it carves like the colored material. And it surely beats new pink.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #814692 by chili pepper
Nov 8, 2013 12:50pm
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I contacted sweetloveqiner and was assured that the white and the colored are the same material, the only difference is the color.

Another reason to opt for the white is that it comes in larger blocks, resulting in less waste and therefore more useful material for the money.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #814692 by chili pepper
Nov 8, 2013 12:51pm
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And I think some well-chewed Double Bubble would beat the new pink.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #814716 by Kirbert
Nov 9, 2013 7:40am
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So you didn't like the new pink either?
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #814692 by chili pepper
Nov 10, 2013 3:33am
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No, if you order the color, you get an assortment; I'd requested lighter colors on a recent joint order, and we got about a quarter to a third of darker shades of rubber.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #814955 by paper trail
Nov 10, 2013 9:43am
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I may turn a small chunk of the brown into a Hershey bar hitchhiker :)

I've carved one stamp on the brown. I did a pencil transfer of a fairly simple image, and I ended up having to write over the transferred pencil lines with a fine-point Sharpie so I could see the lines to carve them. I'll try heat and xylene transfers next.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #814715 by Kirbert
Nov 10, 2013 9:45am
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Thanks for the info on the white, Kirbert! I'll definitely order that next time.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #806199 by Kirbert
Aug 8, 2016 3:29am
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Back in September 2013, I bought a single piece of "random color" carving material from sweetloveqiner on etsy, and reviewed it in the message I am replying to now:

http://www.atlasquest.com/boards/message.html?msgId=806199

I liked the stuff, and it set off a group purchase for what came to be called SLQ -- but we bought white instead of random color because it came in larger pieces so there's less waste. Several of us got some, including me. It carved well, but I could never get over the nagging feeling that it wasn't quite as impressive as the original random color piece I had purchased.

Recently I purchased another piece of colored "Chinese stuff" from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EAGC0KM/ref=twister_B01EAGC0BG?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

You can click on whatever color you want, but I opted for the "yellowish green" because that's the color I tried the first time. Again it took a month to get here. To my surprise, what I got this time was not a solid color but rather a yellowish green/white/yellowish green sandwich.

Tonight I tried carving on a piece of this stuff. Having just finished failing on a 2nd attempt on a piece of Seed "Hard-Type" (see preceding message), the difference in these materials was immediately apparent. While the Seed feels like you're slicing air, this stuff reintroduces the concept of having a bit of resistance to your slicing. And while it's been a while since I carved any white SLQ, I still contend that the yellowish-green cuts better than the white. It feels creamier, if that makes any sense.

I did have some issues, but I'm not entirely sure they weren't because I wasn't used to the material. The stamp came out great even though I thought I had ruined it.

We are left with the question: Are all the colors better than the white? Or just the yellowish-green? Is the seller going to have a run on yellowish-green?

There is one more complicating factor. The trouble with getting good prices and reasonable shipping on Chinese and Japanese materials caused me to walk into a Michael's a coupla weeks back with a 40% off coupon and buy a slab of pink stuff. I have carved one stamp on it, and it wasn't bad at all. It was certainly nowhere near the garbage we were expected to carve with in 2013 -- the reason I was looking into the SLQ stuff in the first place. It would seem that Speedball has actually made progress on bringing that material back toward the stuff we loved. That being the case, Speedy-Carve needs to be reintroduced into the list of currently available carving materials and ranked against the others.

And for me, the current Speedy-Carve may still top the list. And I would rank the Chinese stuff, either white or colored, ahead of Seed "Hard-Type". I do wish we could get Daiso, especially at $1.50 for a 4x3 piece, but it's apparently NLA. If a replacement shows up in a Daiso store, someone grab some and test it out.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932586 by Kirbert
Aug 8, 2016 7:47am
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Kirbert:

Thank you for the detailed write-ups and material analysis. I find them fascinating and file them away for future material trials myself. Can you summarize your current top say eight available materials, delineating soft and hard and making two lists, one for gouge carving and one for knife? I can make a gouge carvers list for my personal likes for what I have tried:
1a). SLQ white - I love this stuff and get great details out of it ( and use it a lot - practice with any material makes better)
1b) colored sandwich material from sweetloveqiner - I got great detail with the small piece I carved on but cost was prohibitive
2) pre-2012 pink stuff - I carved a lot of stamps with this material
3) OZ (hard but with patience makes great detailed stamps)
4) post-2013 pink stuff - still not quite there in firmness and consistency for my taste but getting closer
5) eco-carve
6) NZ
7) dollar store white erasers
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932586 by Kirbert
Aug 8, 2016 11:12am
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It would seem that Speedball has actually made progress on bringing that material back toward the stuff we loved.

I'm pretty surprised actually at your reviews. Were the slabs of Seed that you carved for these reviews the ones I sent? Remember you said about the rubber bands arriving broken? Could there have been a chemical reaction with the slabs? I ask because I do wonder if the Daiso piece was protected in the plastic envelope I sent it in which you said you really liked - because the hard-type Seed carves just like the Daiso, without crumbling or fall out. Seed is now my favourite for knife carving, and I can get super-fine detail with it and it's really sturdy.

I can't stand the current formulation of pink, mostly because the stuff moves away from the knife or gouge as I'm carving it resulting in crazy distortion. This is with brand new perfectly sharp Xacto blades and gouges.

I will say though that changing between different materials means that I needed to practice on the new type. Having carved with OZ so long, I was used to the mega pressure I needed before and there was a huge different now with the softer Seed, Hankeshi-kun, or Daiso materials. However, once I got in the rhythm of it, I found I much preferred it.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932603 by FORAYCH
Aug 9, 2016 3:08am
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Here's my wire knife carver list as it currently stands:

1) Speedy-Carve
2) yellowish-green Chinese stuff
3) white Chinese stuff
4) Daiso if I could get it
5) Seed Hard-Type, but only for stamps with no tiny details
6) Dollar Store white erasers

I won't buy Eco-Karve again. I'd take up a new hobby rather than carve that stuff.

OZ is actually kinda fun to gouge carve, but it is wholly unsuitable for wire knife carving. If I'm ever forced to use any, I'm looking for images that call for gouge carving -- which is not my usual style.

Sorry, I've never tried NZ.

You list pre-2012 pink stuff. I'd have it at the top, but it's NLA. Same with orange and white PZ Kut, obviously.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932617 by Bumble
Aug 9, 2016 3:14am
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I can't stand the current formulation of pink, mostly because the stuff moves away from the knife or gouge as I'm carving it resulting in crazy distortion.

Speedy-Carve has always been soft, even before 2012. You just have to carve your lines even as they move. It's softness has always been an issue with carving, but at the same time it makes it stamp better. Back in the day when I had both orange PZ Kut and Speedy-Carve on hand, I chose the orange PZ Kut for the detailed stamps and Speedy-Carve for the stamps with broad black areas because it would stamp those broad black areas better. PZ Kut was the absolute best for carving, but it really wasn't all that great for stamping or durability. Speedy-Carve arguably is the best compromise between these conflicting objectives.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932669 by Kirbert
Aug 9, 2016 6:02am
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Pink always been soft, but now it's soft and doesn't like to be cut - no matter if you "carve the lines as they move", the result is lines that wobble :(

I hear you for the large black areas though, but I find the Chinese sandwich material is as good for that. And so because the material doesn't try to move away from my knife while I carve, it's my preference between the two. I am trying to use up the pink I have, and pretty much use it for large stamps with little detail.

For me here in Canada, the pink stuff on sale is about the same price as the lowest priced Chinese sandwich stuff (all costs including shipping considered), so I have switched because it carves better for fine detail and straight lines than the pink.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932668 by Kirbert
Aug 9, 2016 6:23am
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I'm curious on these lists of favorites, could you mention if they happen to take a heat transfer well? I wouldn't mind trying some new stuff, but can't imagine not using heat transfer. Thanks for the feedback.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932668 by Kirbert
Aug 9, 2016 7:08am
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Thanks for the list. It sounds like I need to get a piece of the "Chinese stuff" colored or white (I am assuming the white is not what we call SLQ) and see what I can do with it using a gouge.

For what it is worth, I use a laser-printed/acetone transfer on all the materials I listed and get great results. I have not tried a heat transfer method to date, but my printer may be going so I might have to switch to a different transfer method in the future :(
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #806199 by Kirbert
Aug 9, 2016 8:13am
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If it is from China and has any paint or dye, I would send a sample to your State lab to be tested for lead and other toxins. And clean up thoroughly if you have kids who might pick up the shavings and transfer them to their mouths. Speaking of which, I checked the Speed Ball website, but they don't divulge where the pink stuff is manufactured.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932668 by Kirbert
Aug 9, 2016 11:37am
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This is great info Kirbert, and also FORAYCH on your gouge evalution. Has anybody tried some of the alternate materials with an X-acto knife? I would be interested in seeing those results. I could test some of these myself, but am curious about heat transfer on the Chinese materials, the Daiso, and seed. Also, where do I get these? I've looked at Etsy, but there are so many different types, I'm not sure which are the specific ones you've tried.

What I have used:
1) Pink - takes a toner-based heat transfer well; too soft and wobbly for decent carving, particularly any detail. The fuzzies drive me crazy.
2) SQL - I have not been successful with toner-based heat transfer and use acetone transfer on this. I am torn on this because in my experience it is not consistent. It is supple and I love the extra little bit of thickness, but the drag is inconsistent, which is hard to manage as I carve - in spots the knife slides right through, then the next minute I need to push.
3) OZ - Takes toner-based heat transfer well if you break the shine first, either with sandpaper or acetone. Carves decent, but it is a lot of work at times because it is so hard... makes my hand cramp.
4) Dollar Store erasers (the large ones with cupcakes and elephants on them) - I couldn't get a heat transfer to take on these. Carving wasn't really so bad, but again the material is inconsistent and I found both air pockets and hard, grainy spots.
5) Staedtler Grand erasers - I found several of these in some old supplies. They take a heat transfer well and carve like a dream. Downsides are the limited size, and I don't even know that they make these any more as I was looking for them this weekend with no luck.

I need to try some of these other materials you speak of and see how they fare with an X-acto.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932678 by nosox
Aug 10, 2016 2:11am
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I don't do heat transfers, so I couldn't tell you. Someone else will have to respond about that.