FAQ ( Frequently Asked Questions) & Resources

FAQs  –  Frequently Asked Questions

Q.    How long do orders take?
A.     I am a one-woman shop, yet I make order fulfillment top priority, and do my best to get orders out within a day, or two at most. If you are in the U.S. orders usually take 5 to 10 days. If you don’t receive it by then please DO email me right away so I can check on the package. If there is an unusual hold-up, I will let you know as soon as I can.

International shipments vary from country to country and from day to day. Orders have been received in as little as 10 days all the way up to 5 weeks, and it hasn’t mattered if it was really close, like British Columbia, or far away. I wish I could be more helpful with this.

Q.    Will you ship the stamps to my country?
 We ship internationally via First Class International Mail through the United States Postal System. Once it is received in your country the U.S. mail has no control over the package anymore, and I won’t be able to track it.

We ship to Canada, Scotland, Ireland, England, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and many others countries. The international shipping rates are included in the list of rates in the shopping cart order form. If your country is not listed here then please email and ask. We have shipped to over 20 countries. I always adjust the cost of shipping before collecting your payment on Paypal.

The only cost we cannot know about is the VAT or other customs tax your country may impose on our shipment to you, we have no control over that and cannot find out what that cost will be.

Q.    Confirmation email, why didn’t I get one?
A.     You should receive a confirmation email with an order number when your order goes through, and should happen almost immediately.

If you do NOT receive a confirmation email:

  1. Please check your spam or junk folder in your email as it may have gone in there. Please do whitelist hcsorders@highlandercelticstamps.com
  2. Then try logging back into highlandercelticstamps.com and checking your shopping cart. If your items are still in the cart your order was not submitted, for whatever reason.
  3. Lastly, please do email me directly KimVictoria@HighlanderCelticStamps.com which you are always welcome to do with further concerns, questions, ideas and suggestions.

Q.    Is Highlander Celtic Stamps an Angel Company?
A.       Yes, we are an Angel Company. Which means that we allow the use of our stamps to create items that will be for sale as long as those items were hand stamped. Copyright law does not allow that you scan the images and use the digital images to create items for sale. Please see below for more information on copyright.

Q.    What is the difference between a mounted and unmounted stamp?
A. Mounted stamps – are rubber (or polymer) + cushion + high-quality Eastern Hard Maple wood blocks. They are indexed on top with clear labels.

A. Unmounted stamps – are trimmed rubber ONLY. These do NOT have any cushion or wood blocks of any kind.
Many stamp artists like to mount their own stamps or use a variety of stamping systems (see resources).
Some crafters use the stamps for pottery or other media which requires that the rubber be flexible and/or more washable, thus unmounted is more desirable.
For those using an acrylic block system, the rubber by itself will not stick. The best way to get good impressions is to mount the rubber on cushion and apply cling vinyl to the other side of the cushion which clings to the acrylic. See below for acrylic block resources. Some crafters use double-sided tape or special glue-sticks.

Visit http://www.rubberstampingdepot.com for all your unmounted stamps needs including storage solutions (I am receiving no compensation for this referral)

Want to know more? Check out the FrugalCrafter’s Stamp School for super excellent video how-tos about mounted, unmounted, red rubber, polymer, inks, papers, coloring, and lots more. Lindsay is fun and up-beat and shares an incredible amount of information.

My YouTube channel: I also have a few videos featuring my stamps. Check out Highlander Celtic Stamps on Youtube.

What do I DO with an unmounted stamp if I want to mount it myself? Find simple instructions HERE

Q.    Why aren’t you selling mounted stamps?
A. I am a one-woman shop and decided to simplify things. There are a lot of wonderful art projects and art training programs I want to do and provide for my clients and customers, so I cut back on my stamp production work. You are welcome to special request mounted stamps, but please check out my associate at: www.etsy.com/shop/triskelt or at: Triskelt.com for mounted stamps, as Kathi (another one-woman shop) is selling the mounted stamps now.

Q.    Are the stamps deep-etched?
A. Yes and no. The red rubber stamps are pressed for me by Circustamps.com, who has been manufacturing stamps for over 30 years and is a master vulcanizer.  The stamps are etched as deep as practical to retain all the detail. If you’re looking at the stamp from a side view, its how high the actual raised part of the image is. Some stamps are lower, some are higher. It doesn’t really make a difference as-long-as you keep the stamp clean.

A very few stamps in the collection have large blank areas, and sometimes you can get ink on those areas which then can transfer to whatever you’re stamping on; or, if you’re using pigment ink, the squishier foam pads make it easier to get ink on the back areas if you press the stamp too hard on the pad.

If you’re having trouble try any of these:
1) Lay the stamp image side up and press your stamp pad to the stamp, you can see where the ink is going and if you get ink in any of the unwanted areas you can wipe it off.
2) You don’t need a ton of pressure on the stamp to get a clear image. Use enough to make the impression but not so much that you’re putting all your weight on it. Pressing too hard will also distort the fine lines of the image – they’ll come out thicker.
3) You can cut away any large blank areas of the stamp.

Q.    Tell me about Clan Badges.
A.  I’ve made a special FAQ for the Scottish Clan Crest Badges. CLICK HERE to read more.

Q.    Can I get a stamp in a different size? Do you make custom stamps?
Our stamps are mass produced for us by Circustamps in California. We do not make individual stamps at custom sizes. Red rubber is an old-fashioned material requiring old-fashioned manufacturing methods, yet it is still considered the best, longest lasting material for rubber stamps..

We may be able to help you with your graphic and stamping needs by making a custom sized stamp for you at a custom price. We out-source one-off stamps at our local business rubber stamp manufacturer, who makes polymer stamps.

There is not always enough time for this kind of custom work, but please do ask. 

Q.    Can you make my art into a stamp?
A. If you have a crisp black & white image of the exact size you want the stamp to be, all you need to do is take it to a business stamp maker near you; and they can easily resize the image for you if necessary.  (Look in the Yellow Pages or YELP under Rubber Stamps)  That is the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to get a stamp made of your art and I encourage you to enjoy your art this way.

Q.    Can I use your stamps for other crafts such as pottery, polymer clay, soap, velvet stamping, etc?
 Many people have used my stamps for all these uses and more. The images are as deeply etched as is practical for the amount of detail they have.

I have personally tested their use on polymer clay, pottery clay, acrylic paint on paper, collage, and fabric stamping with good results. Some designs are much too detailed to use in these alternative ways, but I have plenty of stamps that work very well. Customers have used the stamps to impress sugar cookies with food coloring. (Always use a fresh new stamp for food purposes and never mix uses with inks, etc.), Customers have also used them to ink on leather, wood, dominoes, and also make PMC jewelry art.

Q.    I would like to use one of your images for my logo design, May I do that?
A. NO – All original art in the collection is copyright protected and CANNOT be used for a logo. Logos are, themselves, copyright images and must be custom designed.

If a certain design inspires you I suggest you contact the office to talk to me about custom contract art creation which could be similar to the image you like. Email inquiries through this website and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Be sure to state the best hours to call and what time zone you are calling from. You may also call the office 10 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday, Pacific Standard Time 1**530**876**8989 and leave a message.

Q.    Please explain copyright, royalties and public domain?
A.Simply stated copyright means the creator/artist of an artwork/design owns the right to copy or sell it and no one else without the express written consent of the creator/artist. Copyright laws are very strict and costly to those who knowingly or unknowingly steal a piece of art for their own purposes.

The designs of Highlander Celtic Stamps products are primarily created by Kim Victoria, but also include designs by other artists which are indicated with the design images. Artists make their livelihood from their art – be considerate.

Royalties are contractual fees paid to designers, artists or writers for their original work. Royalties are paid for commercial uses of a creation.

Some of the designs are Public Domain which means that they were created such a long time ago that no one owns the copyrights thus making them free to the public. Please email us with any questions you have about a specific image.

For more information regarding these legal definitions please browse the internet or your local library.

Q.    What is the best way to care for my stamps?
A. Stamp cleaners are available where you usually buy ink. Water soluble inks clean up with simple soap and water. If you have unmounted stamps you can clean them directly under the faucet. LINK for excellent stamp cleaner.

If you have mounted stamps be careful to not get much water or cleaner on the wood as wet wood swells and the stamp cushion could release from the wood. Use a soft cloth (like old T-shirt material) and/or soft toothbrush for stubborn spots.

A really good thing to do for your rubber stamps is to occasionally condition them with pure glycerin, available at your drug store or pharmacy. Glycerin keeps the rubber moist and preserves its life, especially in dry climates. Rub a little on with your finger and wipe the excess off with a soft cloth. Glycerin comes off with water. Glycerin can also be used as a release agent when stamping into polymer clay, although embossing ink is great for that use, too.

The worst thing for rubber is ultraviolet/sun light. Keep your stamps hidden from the sun.

Oils, vegetable or mineral, ruin stamps from ever holding ink again – never put oil on the rubber. If you feel you need a mold release use glycerin or a watermark or embossing ink pad. Over time oils will turn rubber to mush. Alcohol and other solvents should be avoided when cleaning rubber, as they will cause the rubber to dry out and crack.

Q.    How are rubber stamps made?
A.      There are many steps to manufacture a stamp:

  1. Original artwork must be very sharp black and white line art
  2. A film is made from the finished and properly laid out artwork
  3. A magnesium plate is etched from the film to a precise depth and angle of slope
  4. Then a mold is pressed from the plate
    Once a mold is made hundreds of sheets of rubber may be produced.
  5. Rubber is then vulcanized in the mold under controlled heat and pressure
  6. Individual images are cut from the vulcanized sheet
  7. Unmounted stamps may now be sold as is or glued to cushion and cut out on a scroll saw
  8. Wood is cut to the size of the stamp
  9. and an image label is applied to the wood
  10. Finally the cushioned rubber is positioned on the wood and it is ready to be used.

Only the highest grade materials are used in the manufacture of these stamps, so you are assured a stamp of quality and long life, making your artistic expression easier and more fun.

Other questions? Comments? Suggestions? Please do email to info(at)highlandercelticstamps.com.

If you design a card or piece of artwork using any of these stamps and you would like to share it with us, please send it as a jpeg or jpg attachment with your email. As space and time allows, I may be able to feature you and your art.

Check out these suppliers:
(We receive no compensation for recommending these sites (except for Triskelt as she is our business associate); they are provided as a courtesy to assist your search.)

www.etsy.com/shop/triskelt  or

www.triskelt.com sells our stamps MOUNTED, plus dancer gifts, embellishments, jewelry, buckles, ornaments, music, and more. Also has links to cool Irish dance stuff such as Swarovski Crystals. Elle parle Francais.

www.tartanscrapbooks.com Tartan scrapbook paper in lots of clans and districts, also stickers, buttons, more

www.lost-coast-designs.com    Celtic art rubber stamps and LOTS of other designs. Unmounted only and the selection is huge.

www.circustamps.com/scissors.html   Blessed Scissors for cutting rubber. Circustamps has an incredible collection of interactive circus stamps, even a wagon with horses for the tiger. Clowns, trapeze artists, trick riders, ringmaster, props, more.  Circustamps presses our rubber for us all the years we’ve been in business.

http://www.rubberstampingdepot.com   Cling vinyl cushion and acrylic block mounting system, storage systems, rubber stamps, and more

halosrubberstamps.com/halos-system/  Halos hook & loop mounting system

www.stencilgirlproducts.com/  Some really excellent Celtic stencils you can definitely add to your mix; great tutorials, too.

Stamp School – thefrugalcrafter – Lindsay Weirich’s YouTube Channel, lots of super excellent video how-tos about stamping, coloring, painting and crafting. Lindsay is fun and up-beat and shares an incredible amount of information.

Thank you for your interest in Highlander Celtic Stamps
Happy Stamping
Kim Victoria