Jan 14, 2009

Stamp Storage

So, many of you are wondering where the sam elliott I have been right?? Well, HELP! I have fallen into a basket of stamps and cant get out. I have been working dillegently on this dang project! But I am happy to report, that my basket is MORE THAN halfway done!!! So, many of you have asked TONS of questions about how to go from THIS:


So I thought I would walk ya through it. OK, maybe I will skip the first step of getting a huge mess of neglected stamps and pile them into a LARGE laundry basket and go on to the next steps.

First of all, I HIGHLY recommend investing in EZ Mount. It usually comes in 8x10 sheets. This is what I mount my rubber to after I have peeled it off of the blocks. SOOOOO awesome stuff. Its not messy, its easy to handle and it works like magic! Just trim down your rubber, trace around it on the paper of the EZ Mount, then cut the shape from the EZ Mount and peel the papers off of your cut shape. One side of the foam is going to be super sticky. This is the side that you will STICK to your rubber. The other side will be smooth but not sticky. And like magic your stamp will now have a good foam backing AND will stick to your acrylic blocks.

Once my foams are mounted, I then stamp them onto an A2 (invitation size) envelope. I also lable where the envelope goes up in the corner. This is also to let me know that everything in that envelope has been cataloged.

After stamping it on the envelope I also stamp it into my book.

I am in the process of making a catalog of all of my stamps. But heres the catch. If, for instance I have a Teddybear holding a heart that says I love you. I stamp the bear in the animals section, but also in the hearts/love and in the words. Making a notation underneath them of where the stamp is filed. This stamp would probably be filed in Hearts/Love. I only file a couple of stamps by their makers....like for instance, House Mouse, Bellas and recently I have done Stamping Up. If I have a stamp set from Stamping Up, it might contain things that can fit into 12 different categories, so yes, I DO stamp the image in all of the categories. Again, making a notation of where the stamp is actually filed. I do it this way, because if I am shopping for a Love stamp, I will of course turn to LOVE, not to animals or to Flowers...but yet, I might have a gorgeous flower stamp that says I LOVE YOU that would work perfectly for what I am using. You can make the files however works for you. You might prefer to stamp them into Brands all the way around. Or maybe you dont give a flying flip WHAT order they are in....its whatever works.

Then after stamping them in my book, I clean the stamps and place them on a piece of acetate that I have cut to 4x5 size. This fits perfectly into the envelope even with the bulk of the stamps and it keeps the envelopes from losing their shapes. The stamps magnetically stick to the acetate so pulling them out is a breeze. And all of those Clear ones work with this too!

Once they are in the envelope I file them in boxes behind tabs the corrdinate with my book tabs. These are ornament boxes that I got a couple of years back. Tho I think only 3 come to a package, you can add more. I just simply took out the cardboard dividers inside and it fits 2 rows of A2 envelopes PERFECTLY. When I want to travel, I simply snap them all together and snap the lid on and I am off!!

Many people asked me lots of questions about unmounted stamps. So I thought Id share a few of those questions and answers with you as a whole.

WHY did you unmount all of them? How could you ruin all of your stamps like that?

The WHY is very simple. STORAGE! I litterally have thousands of stamps and I found that I wasnt using more than half of them because I couldnt GET to them. Also we were moving a lot and I know that my husband said hed rather burn all those __________ boxes of blocks as to move them ONE more time. I personally dont think I have ruined anything. In fact if anything I have made them better, because now I use them!

Do you recommend unmounting to everyone?

I would love to say yes, but I cant. Unmounting is a beast. I had very sore fingers after making my decision to switch. Its a LOT of work. Also, you do lose a few advantages (besides fingertips)....like having a GO BY picture on the block to help with coloring. And I know far too many people that LOOOOVE their blocks. So when I say NO, I cant recommend it, I only mean, that it is a PERSONAL decision that YOU have to make. I know that it works for me.

Would you have done it any differently? Do you have any tips?

The major thing that I would have done differently would be to make note of the makers of the stamps. I love ALL stamp companies and buy what I like. When I first started stamping nobody gave a rats hiney who made what. Now, everyone is so wrapped up in who designs which stamp that I am often at a loss for answers. Make a book of your images from the beginning. I am just now starting mine and its a PAIN to go back over them all again. When I first did this, I stored my stamps in binders. I stuck them down in baseball card holders. DONT DO THIS unless you have a very small amount of stamps. They are extremely bulky and heavy---too heavy for the binder rings, and if you are ANYTHING like me, they will NEVER get put back into the book. AND, they will fall out all over the place.
Invest in EZ Mount. Yes, its expensive, but its not messy and can be used over and over and over again. No more sticky tape stuck all over your blocks. And you get perfect images each and every time. ( TAC sells it and I also got a bulk order from ebay)

Do you seriously unmount ALL of your stamps?

Yes and no. Tho I do have SOME that are unmounted, I do leave my House Mouse stamps mounted, only because I collect these, I have them displayed on a glass shelf and their pictures really DO help with coloring. But all others, yes.

How do you do it? Especially with SU! stamps that are now diecut?

Peel the rubber off of the foam just as you would from a block with the su! images. Get your fingernail in between the rubber and the sticky on the foam. Should just peel right off, though for more stubborn ones, a short zap into the microwave helps to soften the glue.

What do you do with the blocks?

For a long while a friend of mine ran a daycare and I donated all of the unused and nonmarked up blocks to her for play stuff for the kids. If they were damaged -- I have to admit, I just threw them away.

So anyways. For me: Its cheaper cause now I can opt for unmounted stamps from companies...saving money on shipping. Its now confined into a small space, and VERY portable...even if I wanted to take them ALL to a play date its VERY simple to tote along. And cleaning the stamps is simple!! If I get ink way down into the crevices just simply run it under warm water and brush with a toothbrush. I wouldnt go back for ANYTHING!
I hope you will forgive me for missing a post. I promise to have a card up later this afternoon. I know your BINGO cards are burning with anticipation! I hope that I have given some good advice to those of you who are considering this or have been t-totally against it. Again, it works for me. But I understand if it doesnt for you.
AND THANK YOU JESUS---my angel Jeanine is coming to help me on Friday! HAHAHAH! *sucker* Might I add, she is one of those peoples that likes her blocks. *ROFLOL*
Love to all!


Monica said...

Looks really good Becky!
I have actually been thinking of making 6x6 acrylic sheets and storing my sets on them and putting them into my lil snap and store boxes! I do CD cases but that can be a lil roomy too.

Take Care,

lisa808 said...

Wow, what a job! I wouldn't have even known where to begin. I'd probably still be staring at the laundry basket waiting for help. They do look great now.

Moose Ridge said...

the thousands and thousands will have to stay on their blocks -- I'd rather spend the time stamping, even if I can't always find them first (or second) time round, but I will admit that given my choice, I do buy unmounted now... if you'd asked me even 3 years ago, I'd have screamed NEVER (well, I did, not would have, LOL) and I gave up on the book idea way to many years ago, but I do pretty good about remembering, and if I do double buy, well, that's where RAKs come from!!

Dunlap TN

Robin said...

Thanks for sharing your system. I still have both, but now lean toward buying the UM. Thanks for helping me pare down my mounted ones - couldn't have done it without you. I will be thinking of you and Jeanine tomorrow! Have fun!

Alicia said...

When you coming over to help me organize all my stamps?? :) Looks like a great system. I still need to work on a binder type of thing so I can figure out what I have. Thanks for the tips.