Just a few tips on how to ink up your stamps properly and keep your ink pads in good shape.
When you ink a stamp, esp. a large stamp, pounce your stamp all over your ink pad, making sure you get the center of your stamp good and inked if it is a large stamp or one with lots of detail. To make sure you have it well inked before stamping, turn that stamp over and look at it. If you see it wet and ink on all parts, you are ready to stamp. If this inspection takes a few seconds, just huff on the stamp and your ink will be moistened again. No problem.
If you are using large background stamps, lay your stamp upside down, pick up your ink pad, and pounce that on your stamp. You can also ink large stamps with a brayer.
DO NOT RUB YOUR STAMPS OVER THE INK PADS: THIS CAUSES YOUR INK PADS TO FRAY. BIG BIG MESS!!!
When using craft/archival inks, a very light pounce is needed to keep the ink from ooshing into all the little crevices of your stamps, causing you to either stamp a big blob, or clean them and start over. Craft ink is wet and "sticky" and it can get messy if you press your stamps into these ink pads too hard. Remember light touch.
See below on how to clean your stamps.