Stampin' Up!'s new Firm Foam Ink Pads work quite differently than their old Felt Pads, so they've made an update video of tips that will help you use the new pads most effectively. You'll also find a Mad Stamper review of the pads following the video.
Click this link to see the first Stampin' Up! video on the Firm Foam Pads.
Here's The Mad Stamper's honest opinion on the new pads:
I love how they work with stamps with a lot of flat rubber (sometimes called silhouette stamps). They pick up ink from the new pads much better than from the old felt ones, and you get a rich, clear image with the lightest of tapping on the pad. With the old felt pads, I often need to tap vigourously several times, as well as twist the stamp, then tap some more in order to get good ink coverage on the rubber.
Fine-line stamps, especially sentiments, are another issue. The pads are so juicy, especially when new, that the stamps can easily get over-inked and the image then looks smudged or uneven. I'm learning to use a really light touch when inking them, and am getting better at it.
The main problem I've run into with the new pads is ending up with ink on the edges of the rubber stamp, which then makes a line outside of the image. Yuck. This happens when I don't tap the stamp quite squarely on the pad. Which is most of the time, it seems like!
I'll have to try Shannon's suggestion of holding the ink pad and stamp up in front of me to make sure the stamp doesn't hit the pad at an angle. With more practice, I'm sure I'll get better with the new pads.
As for embossing with the new Foam Pads, my experience has been that the images don't hold the Embossing Powder as evenly as the old Craft Inks. I still tend to use a combination of VersaMark and Classic Ink. (Or I cheat and use my old Craft Inks.)
The Hot Tip Queen did a post on a problem with the Foam Ink Pads and the Stamp-a-ma-jig. The ink smudges on the image sheet and can make a real mess. Take a look at the post for more information.
So what do you think of the new ink pads? Do you love them or hate them? What do you like about them, and what bugs you? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear your take on them.