Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday's Tip!!!

A page in my Stamp Index binder

A sample of a couple of the entries

A sample of an entry for a Retired stamp
Welcome to Thursday's Tip!!
Today I am admitting that I have an stamps!!  LOL!!  It's true!  I have so many stamps that I sometimes forget which ones I have...or I'll forget which set they belong to!  So I decided that I needed to somehow organize them!!  So I started reading different blogs and forums trying to find out what others have done and what did and did not work.  I found all different kinds of ideas and then I realized that I needed to discover what MY creative process was....from the time I got an idea for a card, how I decided on which stamps (stamp sets) to use, etc.  And that's when I discovered that my biggest problem was not remembering which stamps I had and what sets they were in!  I alsp knew that I didn't want to break up my stamp sets....I'm too OCD for that!  LOL!
So I had seen on a forum where someone used a rolodex and stamped their images and sorted them by categories.  That would work for me, but I didn't want to waste precious desk space....and I knew one rolodex wouldn't be enough!!  So I went to an office supply store in search of another solution...and discovered the smaller binder (5 1/2" x 8 1/2") and Business Card Pages!  I really liked the fact that the Business Card pages had a space for the business card (or in my case, a stamped image!) and then a small area that would be PERFECT for putting the stamp set information (company, stamp set name, and any other information that I wanted to add)!  So I bought a binder, some packages of the Business Card Pages and some dividers and started the process of organizing my stamp images!
The first thing I did was create my categories...and yes, even after I started, I decided to add more!  My categories were created like I think...Alphabets, Animals, Backgrounds, Beach, Birthday, Celebrations (General), Holidays (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Halloween, Christmas), Home, Labels, Love/Wedding, Music, Nature, People, Seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter), Sentiments, Shapes, Sports.  Your categories may be different than mine...and you may want to be more general or more specific than I am.  Shoot, I may decide later to break down my sentiments even more...but for now, it works!
My next step was to take a few stamp sets and figure out which categories I wanted each stamp set in and to create the labels.  I set up a label in Word and decided what info I wanted to know (company, if it was an unmounted/cling mount stamp or a wood mount stamp, if it was a Hostess set and the Stamp Set name).  I typed the info on the label document and then cut them apart.  Then I started to stamp my images...I just took some white cardstock and cut it into business sized pieces.  Then I took my stamp sets, one at a time, and stamped the images in black ink.  If a stamp fit into more than one category, I stamped it multiple times on separate cards.  I already had my "info cards" and I was able to file them into the binder under the correct category.  For example, for the Stamp set CREATE A CUPCAKE, I have it filed under Birthday (duh!), Home (the cherry, cupcake bottoms, cupcake tops and sprinkles since my Home category includes food), Nature (the flower stamp and the cupcake top since it reminds me of a cloud) and Shapes (the heart and the cupcake top).   Notice that I don't necessarily stamp all the stamps in a particular set for each category, only the stamps that I associate with that category!  Make sense? I also decided to stamp a red R on my info cards for my retired SU stamp sets.
Well, after doing a few stamp sets, I realized that I would never remember which categories I chose for each stamp set and, since I keep my retired stamp sets SEPARATE from my current stamp sets, I knew that I needed a way to remind me where I had them categorized when it came time to stamp the red R on them!  So I took a Post It note and wrote on it which categories I had placed those stamps in and stuck it to the inside of the stamp case (behind the label).  Works for me!  
I'm still in the process of stamping my stamp sets....but I'm liking my system so far!  If I want a Birthday stamp, I just go to my Birthday category and browse the images and is so much easier that trying to remember what I have and then finding that "perfect" stamp AFTER I've finished the card!!  
I'm still working on stamping and organizing my stamp sets....but, as I said at the beginning, I AM a STAMP ADDICT, so this is going to be a time-consuming process!  But at least I have a plan and am making an effort!  
Contact me for more information!
THANKS and as always...

Happy Stampin' & Scrappin'!
Sarah Williams
Stampin’Up! ® Demonstrator

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