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Old 10-03-2013, 06:11 PM   #1
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Default Minimalist stamping thoughts

I enjoy making cards yet I need everything organized, tidy and out of sight.
I spend too much time Organizing and storing this stuff .
My problem is I like to make layered cards and love using dies.
I would love to find a way to be a minimalist stamper.

My logic says I need to analyze what I really use and get rid of the rest.

So far my feeble attempts have been to analyze my glues and adhesives, manual cutting tools like scissors and craft knives and dispose of those I rarely if ever use.

I had 6 types of adhesives yet I only use three of them. Scotch Quick Dry, Zip Dry ( occasionally) and Scor-tape. So I got rid of the other adhesives.

I had three craft knives and got rid of two of them.

I had several pairs of scissors and decided I only need my small detail scissors, my ribbon scissors and my Kia craft and rubber stamp scissors . The other scissors went to the Good Will.

What other ideas do you have to achieve minimalist stamping ?
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:22 PM   #2
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I would not label your minimalization of glues/adhesive and manual cutting tools as 'feeble attempts' at all.....you have to start somewhere, and so you have - good for you !!! Success!!! I think this could be a pretty daunting task if looked at on the whole, so what better way to actually accomplish what you want than to knock it out one piece at a time - that way you won't feel overwhelmed if you're so inclined.

Being a pack rat and not being able to part with one dang thing LOL I cannot provide ideas to help you achieve your goals, but I can congratulate you
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:45 PM   #3
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I'd say that one strategy would be to think about your greatest weakness. Is there something that you simply can't resist so you have so much that it gets in the way (physically or creatively)? Stamps have always been my weakness, and I realized I had more than I would ever use, so it was my first focus in cutting back.

I know patterned paper is another big one for a lot of people. Seriously, the amounts I'm talking about in my case would already be considered minimal by some - I am now down to one ArtBin Semi-Satchel of 6 x 6 pads. The trick here is to NEVER look at them online. During the last CHA show, I saw so many that I could not wait to have -- but I put it out of my mind and now I don't even remember what they look like.

You are off to a good start thinking about the items you rarely use. Since you love using dies, I wouldn't even go through those - don't make it too painful on yourself! I like to experiment with different media and techniques, and do other artwork that is not stamping related, so my art supplies will be the last to go!

Maybe for you the area to examine is paper, cardstock, ribbon, ink, embellishments. . . here are some other questions you can ask yourself:

1) How much do you use it?
2) Is it still your style?
3) Do you have a place for it?
4) Do you always choose something else instead? (Example: I got rid of almost all of my ribbon when I realized I'd rather use glitter, or strips of paper, or washi tape instead.)
5) Does it make you happy? Yeah, I know. This is a tough one. There are some woodmounted stamps I keep because they make me happy - like favorite books I've read. Don't fight it.

I also have scaled down, literally, the size of some things. ScorPal > ScorBuddy; Tonic Guillotine cutter > mini; bigger work table > smaller desk; Grand Calibur > Artisan X-plorer (although I still have my Vagabond). My big guillotine cutter and ScorPal are still here -- but don't have to be kept out all of the time.

I haven't been stamping as much lately so maybe that makes this a bit easier for me. Pretty soon I'll be taking what I hope is my last big batch of items to an LSS customer garage sale, and then enjoy the simpler stamping life .

I don't know if my experience or ideas will be of any help but I can certainly relate to your quest for reining in this hobby. You are off to a great start and this process is not always easy. Remember to enjoy yourself, and best wishes to you!
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:09 PM   #4
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I agree you should not minimize the areas you have "minimized" already! . Making any steps toward the ultimate goal are good steps!! Yay you!

I agree embellishments such as ribbon or buttons or brads/eyelets might be another good place to examine. If you ever caved in to those "trends" as I did and find yourself with a drawer or bin full of almost never used extras; take a look at the last ten cards you've made and see if any of these embellishments are used. Might give you a clue what you could part with.

Another option would be to thin out your card stock and ink supplies. If, like me, you bought into an entire color line such as Stampin' Up; all inks and papers and markers to match but you find there is a whole bunch of colors you just never use...donate them.

I know Joan B reduced her stamping supplies when moving to a smaller place and she chose initially to keep some neutral papers and just a few colors.

Also, if taking that final step of "getting rid" of something is causing you to hesitate and not get anything cleared out; pack it in a box, date the outside of the box, put it in storage somewhere in your house and if you never go back to the box to retrieve anything within one year you know you can go ahead and move it on OUT! Good Luck!
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:33 PM   #5
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These past couple of years I've been minimising my supplies, not because I'm trying to achieve tidiness, coz that just doesn't work for me, I'm messy. But with everything I was gathering I was creating more and more chaos, and I needed to minimise that. And mine is still a work in progress.

There were a couple of things I aim for to reduce the chaos.

1. Brand loyalty. I stick with a couple of select brands for inks, card stock and paper. I use to buy all sorts of paper but since I limited myself to just a couple of lines I don't have to concern myself with the sorting and storage of it. Papers from the same company but different collections harmonise better with each other.

2. Limit space. I put limits on the amount of space I'll devote to different caterogies in my room. eg, my Cover a Card stamp storage is as full as I want it to be so I dont buy any more. I only want SU! stamps stored on three shelves, not five, so I purged. Paper is limited to six shallow drawers.

3. Empty space. I leave space in nearly all my storage options. The exception being inks and cardstock as they are easier to store/organize when they are full.

4. In built storage. The things I was keen to keep, or buy, was ones with their own storage solution. SU! wood mounts in clamshells, Darkroom Door in DVD cases, Tim Holtz stamps on storage panels, tool kits in custom wallets. I've been drooling over some stamps recently but the fact it doesn't come with a storage solution keeps me from hitting the submit button.

Following these four ideas has helped me greatly in reducing the excess and keeps me focused on what can stay and what needs to go, and what I'll allow myself to bring in. I'm trying to apply the motto, 'Just because you can, doesn't mean you should' to the buying or keeping of some of my craft supplies.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:47 PM   #6
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Just been reading back thru al the responces since I started typing out mine. Lots of good suggestions and encouragements. I think the key to any change is customising it to suit individual tastes and requirements. I know I couldn't live without a full spectrum of ink colours as I will use them all. And I love my dies too. These days I take great pleasure in using something up til it is exhausted. This month I have my eye on a couple of sheets of bling and some pretty papers to use up.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for some good ideas . Keep them coming
I especially like the idea of devoting space and when it is filled either something must go or no more purchases.

At least I never bought all the colors of SU or any other brand of CS and inks. I only bought ink pads on an "as need" bases and colors of CS I really liked.

I wish I had purchased Dew Drop size ink pads. As my regular size ink pads dry out I will only replace them ( if they are core colors and I use them) with Dew drop size.

For me to tackle one type supply at a time works well.

My next items to purge will be the embossing folders.
I make 5" x 7" cards and when Spellbinders started offering the 5' x 7" or larger embossing folders I stopped using the smaller ones.
The smaller ones are perfect for those who make 4.25 x 5.5" cards, but not for larger cards

I am determined to find a way to enjoy this hobby without all the stuff becoming overwhelming
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:20 PM   #8
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Well, I don't know if you've already done this or want to, but for me the biggest thing was unmounting all of my wood-mounted stamps. I gave away soooooo many stamp sets when I realized that now I had more preferred versions that I always reached for instead. Also, I got to organize them my own way, instead of having them as they came. Also, this freed up a TON of space and clamshells, which helped to organize other things. I was fascinated, and although I had started with stamps, I got ambitious and went through EVERYTHING. Brads, flowers, embellishments I had bought at 75%-off (that I never ended up using) - everything.

I was motivated to do this because I just wanted to occupy less space, but the result felt minimalist, which is why I'm posting.

Another surprising result was that now that my massive amount of stamps were organized, it took me on average less than a minute to locate any specific image, whereas before, sometimes the very thought of trying to find where that stamp set might be was daunting. Mostly because before, my sets were "organized" by size, but I had a freaking ton of sets that were the same size!

Other minimalist things I do is, every time I open a new pack of paper, I go through the file for that colour, and throw out all but the very biggest scraps. This keeps the file from bulging out at the bottom.
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Old 10-04-2013, 03:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SophieLaFontaine View Post

Other minimalist things I do is, every time I open a new pack of paper, I go through the file for that colour, and throw out all but the very biggest scraps. This keeps the file from bulging out at the bottom.
I think the acquiring and keeping of paper is an issue that many of us identify with. I self impose housekeeping rules with my papers so it stays managable. My mission is to use it up or move it out. I have moved out some beautiful patterned papers and the sky didn't fall in. Now if I buy paper I ask myself am I going to use it up before it gets stale.
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Old 10-04-2013, 03:22 AM   #10
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A couple of years ago I saw the problem of buying paper in packs and now I only buy basic colors such as red, green black or white in packs . If I plan to make multiples of a Christmas layout then I will buy a pack of the paper in the colors I plan to use . Otherwise I buy all other colors by the sheet and I only buy 2 sheets of a color .
I only make cards for my family and close friends .
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:06 AM   #11
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Lots of great thoughts and I agree with so many of them!

Company loyalty - absolutely. I have a few regulars, and maybe pick up a little something else somewhere, but that is rare. I hadn't thought about this until it was mentioned but since I started stamping, I've kept a list of regularly followed companies.

I also completely agree with Mary's idea of packing things up, putting them away, and then come back in a year - if you didn't miss it, you don't need it.

Embossing folders are another thing I drastically cut down on, Barbara. In my case, I found out I wasn't using them very much so only kept my absolute favorites. And that's highly affected by space/storage, too. Absolutely set limits on space and if you want something new, you may have to let something go.

And I don't know how I could've forgotten about unmounting, Sophie! I guess it's because I did that VERY early on in the game. The good thing about coming into the game late (2007) is that I unmounted early and switched to buying photopolymer and cling-mounted stamps instead.

I'm also starting to buy individual sheets of cardstock instead of packs. Never thought I would do that but I love it. No more pounds of paper sitting around.

So many good ideas. Barbara, I think you've struck on a topic that is useful for many people!
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:27 AM   #12
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Here is an idea: find an item in your stamping room- X type of punch, give yourself a week, or two to use said item, if you haven't used it, and you HAVEN'T used in a year....sell it or donate it. (I am not taking seasonal stuff which might be used once a year). Put a pack of paper on your table. Challenge yourself to use it. Use what you really like, and the rest that is left, donate. Schools LOVE getting scrapbooking paper!!! You would get the use out of the item and also reducing what you have on hand.
I went through my stamp room a while back. I donated a ton of stuff. I have sold a ton of stuff. I gave my neice some stuff that I wasn't using. I need to do it again with some paper packs that are no longer my style. Time to reduce!!!
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Here is an idea: find an item in your stamping room- X type of punch, give yourself a week, or two to use said item, if you haven't used it, and you HAVEN'T used in a year....sell it or donate it. (I am not taking seasonal stuff which might be used once a year). Put a pack of paper on your table. Challenge yourself to use it. Use what you really like, and the rest that is left, donate. Schools LOVE getting scrapbooking paper!!! You would get the use out of the item and also reducing what you have on hand.
I went through my stamp room a while back. I donated a ton of stuff. I have sold a ton of stuff. I gave my niece some stuff that I wasn't using. I need to do it again with some paper packs that are no longer my style. Time to reduce!!!
Most of my stamps have just the E-Z mount backing. I only have about 12 sets of SU stamps. and 4 individual SU stamps. My Holly Berry stamps are too large to go without the wood mount. It would be difficult to get an evenly stamped image. I bought the Mega Mount stamper the you rock, but I think it would still be a problem .

My next thing to tackle is to purge some of my punches. Now that I have a Silhouette Cameo I am not using my punches a lot. I have MS , SU and Punch Bunch punches. I'll bet half or more of those can go .
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:03 PM   #14
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I have managed a way to reduce my scraps. I don't sort them at all. I have them in a large but shallow opaque storage bin. When I go to the local crop at the library I take it with me and share it with everyone there. The gals love it and my scraps get happy homes. Most of the time on projects they are working on at the crop.
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara Jay View Post
Most of my stamps have just the E-Z mount backing. I only have about 12 sets of SU stamps. and 4 individual SU stamps. My Holly Berry stamps are too large to go without the wood mount. It would be difficult to get an evenly stamped image. I bought the Mega Mount stamper the you rock, but I think it would still be a problem .

My next thing to tackle is to purge some of my punches. Now that I have a Silhouette Cameo I am not using my punches a lot. I have MS , SU and Punch Bunch punches. I'll bet half or more of those can go .
Which die cutter do you use? I use my cuttlebug plates to mount my large Cornish Heritage Farms backgrounders. If you have an embossing plate that can double as a block IMHO making something do double duty is a way of minimizing.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:49 AM   #16
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I just bought a home last Spring. I am still fussing with my room as I get more comfortable working in my art studio.

I do so many variety of crafts. All my other crafts are stored in small areas. Like my polymer clay items fit nicely on one little shelf. Beads and beading tools are on two shelves. Then the paper crafting supplies have exploded all over the room, lol. This is the only hobby I have that just seems to strew everywhere. It is so funny. I am really looking at what are my favorite techniques to what is in my room that I just use for special techniques. I know my coloring tools are extremely important to me. I hardly use my steel rule dies any more. I can pack my steel rule dies away. I love to fussy cut more than any other paper cutting technique. I am moving my other die cutter's to my DH's art studio. He wants them. I am just keeping my Cameo & Cuttlebug. If I need those other cutter's I know where they are.

I have noticed that polymer clay artists, for example, rely on their found tools for their clay techniques. They use knitting needles, knives, and old dried up pens for their work. Paper crafter's buy everything under the sun tool wise, lol. You know we are all guilty. I won't do that any more. It made no sense to me why my polymer clay toolbox was streamlined for my needs. I had punches collecting dust when I use my Cameo more. If I can cut it by hand or the Cameo then the other tools can go. I also make a lot of my own tools like embossing folders, stencils, etc...

Another thing I stopped doing was not buy as much colored cardstock. I buy white, black or clear for most of my paper. I color the paper myself. I really enjoy doing this and find it relaxing.

I will probably think of some more ideas when I am not so tired.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:12 PM   #17
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I would check out Kristina Werner's style (kwernerdesign blog) and her Online Classes (Online Card Classes - workshops and classes for cardmakers) - she's a big supporter of clean and simple designs.

Love her style, and she does a lot of one layer stamped cards.
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