This is the time of the year when I pull out all of my retiring Stampin’ Up! stamp sets to get them ready to store away until I’m ready to sell them later in the year on eBay. In most years (last year didn’t count as I left all my retiring sets for the volcano to eat up!) I go through the sets to make sure that the sets are all complete. Inevitably, I’d find a couple of sets where there’s a small stamp that’s missing. Where the heck did it go?
You and I both know that little stamps have a way of sneaking into the nooks and crevices of that pile of stuff we have on our crafting table. That’s especially true of photopolymer stamps, those little critters that stick to everything, not just the clear block they’re supposed to be on. In pre-lava times, when I had my own craft room, I could stop what I was doing when a stamp came up missing and get into search and rescue mode, no matter how long it took.
I’m in a different situation now. I share a work table with my husband. When he’s ready for his turn at the table, everything has to be cleared off of it and put away. I can hear some of you saying, “Why not just put it aside until he’s done?” In our teensy office, there is no “aside” place. Away is what has to happen. If, at the time that I’m madly cleaning up I can’t find a stamp, it’s basically too bad. We have a table-share agreement, and I can’t just stop and put everything back on the work table until I find the stamp. So I have to be proactive in caring for my stamp sets. That means all stamps have to be accounted for at all times.
This is how I do it. When I use a stamp, I remove it from its case, put it on a block, ink it, stamp with it, clean it, and put.it.back.from.whence.it.came! Yes, I put every stamp back under its little printed picture before I use another stamp. One exception occurs when I’m using my Stamparatus and I have stamps on more than one surface. In that case, once I’m finished with the project, ALL the stamps go back into their little homes. The side benefit is that I can see right away if a stamp is missing!
But what about those cling stamps? Since I started back into my crafting last fall, I’ve started keeping the rubber sheet from which my stamps come in the stamp case. So, just as the photopolymer stamps have their pukas (Hawaiian Dictionary: puka. 1. n. Hole, door, entrance, gate, slit, vent, opening) so, too, do the cling stamps. I can see right away that all of the stamps from this set are home and accounted for.
Not only do I benefit from this exercise, but my stamps do, too. It’s been a long while since one ended up in the vacuum cleaner or the clothes washing machine, stomped on or, worst of all, thrown away with a scrap of paper on which is was stuck.
Oops, I just spotted a stamp on a block! And here I am blogging while that poor thing is over on the work table working on getting lost! Gotta go!