Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hello, my name is Cindy and I'm a stamp hoarder....

I have been collecting rubber and clear stamps for 25+ years.  I buy and I don't let go of anything.  I started by keeping stamps in a drawer, then in a book, then in boxes.  My last reorganization had me buying photograph boxes from Michaels Craft Store and storing them by purpose.  So, I had a box for baby, birthday, boys, etc.  The problem with this is one set of stamps could have many purposes.

Take this set from Flourishes -  Summer on the Patio.  I have furniture, glasses, drinks, wine, chandelier, flowers and sentiments.  If I put this into my 'drinks' box, when I was looking for a table and chairs I wouldn't find it in my 'furniture' box.  And just laying in my Flourishes box, I wouldn't find it for anything.

So, this is what I did:

I created three folders in my external drive.  One was for my stamp manufacturers:  Hero Arts, Flourishes, PaperTrey, etc.  One folder was for stamps by type:  flowers, borders, frames, palm trees, etc.  The third folder was for stamp sentiments - I named a folder for every sentiment:  "I love you", "Happy Birthday", "You are my sunshine", etc.  Then I started cataloging my stamps.

I took my first stamp, one from Peachy Keen, either found the picture on the internet or scanned the package.  I added the name and the box number I intended to put the stamp in.  And then I copied that photo to the 'stamp type' folder, in this case "Space Ship".  The picture was already named with the box number where I'd find it.  I then copied the same picture to the sentiment folder, in this case "outta this world" and then I labeled the package containing the stamp with the box number, in this case Box 5.

So, in this example, to the right is my Penny Black folder.  If I know I want a Penny Black stamp, I can open the directory, find the stamp, check the box number and go straight to the box.  If I want a tree stamp, I open the "Stamps by Type" directory, open the "Tree" folder, find the tree I like which happens to be 'Nature's Friend - 30-261' - Box 3.  If I want the sentiment "Peace - Joy", I go to the "Words on Stamps" directory, open the folder 'Peace - Joy' and there's the "Nature's Friend - 30-261" - Box 3.

Before, I had 60 photo boxes filled with stamps (I know, right?), arranged alphabetically.  That does not count my PaperTrey, Clear and Simple Stamps and Stampin' Up stamps which reside in my craft room.  I had two GinaK boxes and when I needed a third box, in order to get them side by side, I had to move every box to the right of the GinaK boxes to slide the third box in.  Another problem was I had boxes that were only a quarter full.  I had a box for clothes, it contained all my dress forms stamps, and any stamp set that contained clothes - about ten stamps all together.  The way I'm doing it now, I catalog until the box is full.  That's Box #1 and I put in on the shelf.  Then I filled up Box #2.  Now, it doesn't matter who made the stamp or what type it is.  When I'm completely finished (I told my daughter it will be mid-May) I will copy the directories to my backup external drive just in case.

While I was doing this I discovered many overlapping stamps, especially in sentiments.  I must have 20 stamp sets that have the word "Hugs" on it.  All of them are in the "Hugs" folder.  Some are big, some are small, some are flourished, some are block letters.  But I have a pick of them for the card or tag that needs the word.  This gives my stamping flexibility and another plus was I was inspired again by some of the stamps I hadn't used in ages as well as finding stamps I'd forgotten I had.  I've made a promise that I won't buy any stamps until all these are boxes and on shelves.  Except maybe PaperTrey, it's only 21 days until their new release.  In the future I will be designing the cards using the directories on the computer.  When I settle on the stamps I need, I'll pull those boxes into my room, create my card, clean my stamps, put them back in their respective boxes, and be on to the next card.  Hello, my name is Cindy and I'm a stamp hoarder...

1 comment:

  1. I love your idea!!! are you available to do my stamps next?
    ~Katie Sr from