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Old 01-09-2012, 11:12 AM   #1
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Default Question for those who have created a stamp index

The question I have for all of you is, what categories have you created?

I am getting ready to index my stamps. I don't plan to physically separate the sets. I just want to create an index so that when I get ready to stamp, I can browse and find what I'm looking for. I don't mind stamping an individual stamp for three or four categories. But I don't want to have to go back and redo everything three or four times because I made things too complicated or too simple.

I do know that I want to break my categories into more than just holidays.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:03 PM   #2
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Are you talking about an index list of words, as you might prepare with Excel? Or a catalog of stamped images?

The categories would depend on your collection, of course. If you have a lot of animal stamps, you will want to break it down to specific types. Looking at how stamp companies have their images by subject might help.

I probably have some 50 categories in my stamp image catalog, but despite that, certain categories are packed: Design Elements, Ephemera, and Phrases and Words, and Special Events-Christmas.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:15 PM   #3
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I have my stamps in CD cases that I have numbered. Then I stamp the images in whatever category they may fall and put the number next to the image. That way I know right where I can find it. Also, if you don't want to seperate the sets, you don't have to.

Also, I reference the number of stamps in each CD case. That way I know if I'm missing one.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:20 PM   #4
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I'm looking for words or phrases to use in the main index and on index tabs of a book. I want to create a book with stamped images that will help me easily find which stamp I am looking for or what I could use if I don't have a particular stamp in mind.

Off the top of my head, I can think of several categories: Animals, birthday, boys, Christmas, cooking, elephants, family, food, girls, etc. The list can go on and on and on. I want it to be complete but not complicated. I'm unsure how to achieve that balance.

For instance. I have the Sweet N Sassy "A Cocoa Kind of Birthday" stamp set, which includes an adorable image of a mouse peeking behind a piece of cake with a candle on it. For sure that image will go in the birthday section. But where else might it fit? I can think of several: Animals, birthday, cake, dessert, food, mice. But do I really want that many index categories? I don't know. I'm trying to learn how other people have indexed theirs. And if they've found it overwhelming or too restrictive.

Right now, my stamp collection is embarrassingly small compared to most posters on this site. I plan for it to slowly grow, buying stamps and sets that I need with particular projects or events in mind. I want to get a new stamp set, stamp the images in the appropriate categories and make a notation next to each image that will tell me where to find the set.

I've got the storage and cataloging idea all figured out--with the exception of the category names.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:23 PM   #5
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Some of my categories are:
  • Elements - backgrounds/borders/corners/flourishes/frames
  • Furnishings and accessories
  • Food & Beverage
  • Games/toys/sports
  • Travel & outdoors
  • Ribbons & lace
  • Paperwork (calendars, tickets, postage, etc.)
  • People - babies/children/adults/seasonal/fantasy
  • Flowers - whimsical/realistic/stylized/seasonal
  • Trees & leaves
  • Animals - Domestic/wild/fantasy/seasonal
  • Birds - everyday/specialty/seasonal
  • Butterflies/bugs

I have waaaay more hearts than anyone should ever own, so I have those broken down into subsets - stamps that coordinate with punches or dies, heart frames, flourished hearts, etc.

And, of course, I have each holiday as its own category, with subsets there, too, for Halloween and Christmas (all the bats together, all the snowflakes together, etc.)

I have all of the sentiments in categories, too, but I find that there's a lot more crossover there, so you'll probably stamp those in several categories.

Don't know if that's more information than you were looking for or if it helps, but there you go! Your categories will probably be different from mine, but maybe I sparked a thought for you, anyway
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bweaz View Post
I have my stamps in CD cases that I have numbered.
This is exactly what I want to do. I plan to have a master sheet showing a complete set with its name and box number. I also want to put images of the individual stamps in categories. For instance, one set might have a flower, a bee and a sentiment that says, "Spring is in the Air". All images could go in a section called Spring. The flower could go in Flowers. The bee could go in Animals (or insects or bugs).

I know I'm making this complicated right now. I just want to do it once and not have to go back and do it a dozen more times.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gregzgurl View Post
Some of my categories are:

. . . .

Don't know if that's more information than you were looking for or if it helps, but there you go! Your categories will probably be different from mine, but maybe I sparked a thought for you, anyway
This is EXACTLY what I'm looking for!
Subsets. Hmm... Sounds interesting. I'm going to have to give this some thought.

I wish I could run over to your place and check out your index in person.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gregzgurl View Post
I have waaaay more hearts than anyone should ever own, so I have those broken down into subsets - stamps that coordinate with punches or dies, heart frames, flourished hearts, etc.
I don't have a lot of any one thing, but I do have several hearts. I bought them 15 or so years ago when I first tried stamping. I LOVE hearts! There was a time when I had at least one heart in every room of my house--even the bathrooms! LOL

I've since become a bitter divorcee, no longer as enchanted by romance as I once was. Now I've got hearts in only half my rooms.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:27 PM   #9
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The subset concept isn't as complicated as it sounds. I use colored index tabs to divide the main categories, with plain white ones for the subsets. That way I can find things quickly. I use a regular three-ring binder and three-hole-punched cardstock to stamp the images on. I'd show you pictures, but it's still a work in progress, and I'm not ready to go "public" with it yet

I hear you on the hearts - I'm RIDICULOUS about them - dies, punches and stencils on top of all of the stamps, too! And you'll get back to being okay with romance. I divorced my first husband after fifteen years (and six kids), but have been with my "new" husband for twenty years now, and I'm still giddy!

I don't have hearts in every room, but I DO have something RED in every room! (You don't wanna know...)

Good luck on your project! It's time-consuming and you'll probably want to throw in the towel about halfway through, but it's SO worth it!
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:59 AM   #10
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I have pretty much the same categories as Sue, and it works very good for me. It seems like the stamps i have all "fit" within one of them. It was a slow project for me to index all my stamps, but very well worth the time! Good luck!
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:36 AM   #11
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I've unmounted all my stamps and have them stored in heavy-duty construction binders; got the binders at Office Max.

At first I didn't split my sets, either, but I since have. Without splitting the sets I was still left stumbling upon, for example, Happy Birthday sentiments that were included in many sets I have. So I split them and that's worked out so much better for me.

My categories are:

Food
Female
Male
Love/Hearts
Holiday (sub-categoried by theme)
Sweet Treat Cups
Flowers
Leaves
Critters (sub-categoried by critter)
Calendar/Months/Numbers
Sentiments (sub-categoried by theme)
Inchies
Journaling
Medallions (ie., background stamps)
Flourishes
Misc. (ie., bingo card, tickets)
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:15 AM   #12
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Forgot to mention that, like Rosie, all of my stamps are split up from the sets. I originally was going to do like Melissa and keep them in their sets, but it was just too much trouble to have to go so many different places to collect what I needed. Now I have all of he stamps on laminated folders cut down to 4" x 6" and stored in their categories in the Iris photo boxes. The attached thumbnail shows them in their cases, but they are actually all on two shelves now. The cases have all been labeled with the category, using my P-Touch label maker. My stamp index has the images arranged on the pages exactly the same way they are in the photo boxes. Easy-peasy to find anything in seconds! I did leave sets that HAD to stay together to make sense (like Stampendous' Sushi Bowl Party) all in their original happy family...
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photo-keeper-open.jpg   cards-stamps.jpg  
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:02 AM   #13
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Ok i just figured out the best way (for me) to do this. After two tries, and hating each solution, I found what I like. I have the 9 pocket baseball card page protectors in a binder, and I stamp one (or maybe two if they are small) stamp on a piece of white card stock, with the info about the stamp on the back (manufacturer, name/number, wood or clear). These are put in by category.

Here's a quick pic. I love this. Visually, it's very neat. I'd tried just stamping them on a page all over the page with no info, and it got all messy. then I tried writing next to the stamped image and the images and text all blended together.

oh, and I'm doing red ink because I got sick of black and wanted a little color

Sorry the image is sideways
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mswhittaker23 View Post
Ok i just figured out the best way (for me) to do this. After two tries, and hating each solution, I found what I like. I have the 9 pocket baseball card page protectors in a binder, and I stamp one (or maybe two if they are small) stamp on a piece of white card stock, with the info about the stamp on the back (manufacturer, name/number, wood or clear). These are put in by category.

Here's a quick pic. I love this. Visually, it's very neat. I'd tried just stamping them on a page all over the page with no info, and it got all messy. then I tried writing next to the stamped image and the images and text all blended together.

oh, and I'm doing red ink because I got sick of black and wanted a little color

Sorry the image is sideways
I just may have to overhaul my index and re-do it like this - BRILLIANT! If I didn't have so freakin' many stamps, I'd be all over this already... LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:14 AM   #15
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I just may have to overhaul my index and re-do it like this - BRILLIANT! If I didn't have so freakin' many stamps, I'd be all over this already... LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!
I have so many stamps, I haven't made a dent yet, but I plan to do a little every night until it is done. I have something like 3 or 4 dozen clear stamp sets, 30ish stampin' up sets, 5-10 other wood sets and another 100 or so single stamps.

I find that I keep forgetting which ones I have so I have to do this! And since it's a new year, no pressure to do anything else, so this is top priority now!

it'll feel SO good when it's done.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:57 AM   #16
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Oh, I am loving these ideas!

Rosie,your categories are great and have helped prime the pump in this old brain.

MsWhittaker, I really like the idea of making each image separate. That way, if I sell, giveaway or lose a stamp, my index is not "ruined". (I'm a little all or nothing about things like this). For larger stamps, there are pages that hold three 4"x6" photos that would work well, too.

One day, I may get to a point where I break up my sets, but I just can't bring myself to do it now. I can't even unmount my wood-mount stamps. But then, it's not like I have a ton of stamps -- at least not yet.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
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MsWhittaker, I really like the idea of making each image separate. That way, if I sell, giveaway or lose a stamp, my index is not "ruined". (I'm a little all or nothing about things like this). For larger stamps, there are pages that hold three 4"x6" photos that would work well, too.
I thought of that, I just ended up figuring that all I really need is part of the image to remember what stamp it is. But definitely, the 4x6 option crossed my mind
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:15 PM   #18
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I was forgetting the stamps I had, too. And it got so tiresome constantly juggling all those clam shell boxes to find what I was looking for. I know I'm only going to accumulate more stuff (YAY!) and I'm the kind of person that will never get rid of any of my stamps (and I've got 2 adult daughters who use them, too) so I knew it wouldn't be long and I'd run out of storage space. And no way am I done collecting stamps, so I had to do something to free up some space. I have approximately 500 stamps stored in those 3 binders. I freed up a lot of space...for more binders o' stamps.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:12 PM   #19
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When I say "so freakin' many stamps", I'm really not kidding. I just voted on a poll in the General Stamping Talk forum, asking how many stamp sets we own, and I'm in the "over 500" category, unfortunately. Very eye-opening, that! That doesn't include the many,many Studio G $1 sets or any of the single stamps, either... I'm a little ashamed, especially since so many have never seen ink. I'm going with the thought that now that I have them organized and (mostly) indexed, I'll use them more. That was certainly true when I was making things for Christmas! I am in the process of purging, as well, so maybe I can streamline a bit!
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:15 PM   #20
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this is something I need to start again after moving, and computer crashed but need to find a way to start again, or motivation lol
I have lots and lots
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:13 AM   #21
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Does anyone have an indexed 'word' copy to share? this is a great idea. I've been wanting to start with a sentiments brochure, but, haven't gotten very far yet.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:29 AM   #22
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At present my stamps are arranged by category like several who have already posted. I haven't taken my sets apart, but am considering it.

As for my sentiments, because I hate looking for sentiments in all my sets to find one that works, I have a medium size flat rolodex file that I cut and punched cards for. Greetings are stamped on the cards and then I key them to what set and what drawer I would find it in. I got the idea from Patter Cross (identicaltriplets). Here's her blog post on her rolodex index.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:02 AM   #23
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Diane, I had thought about Patters' index system also; and decided to also use it for sentiments only. did you come up with any other catagories, that Patter may have not used ( can't imagine) did you do the single words catagory; I'm thinking that would be my last effort, sounds overwhelming for single words. I really love her additon of ribbon tips to the index cards
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:54 AM   #24
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I bought one of the small business card or address rolodex, and it is so small. I will use mine for single word, only, done by alphabet catagories.
I prefer the 4 x 6 inch photo flip frames rolodex much better, has more space to add
stamped images. Even the brag photo booklets, for each catagory, don't take much space, and can be stored in a nice box or decorative basket. this is the winter when I am going to get my stamps indexed.
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:30 AM   #25
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I've been overhauling my stamp storage and indexing lately. My sets are being split up, and everything is going into Tim Holtz unmounted stamp envelopes, which I've stored in DVD boxes. You can see the system I'm using on my blog if you're interested.

Starting the stamp storage overhaul
Progress report

It's working out extremely well for my stamping style. I went to a scrapbooking retreat this weekend and finished more cards than I have ever made in a weekend. It was so easy to find what I was looking for! And I was able to pack so lightly for the retreat, too.

Here are my categories so far. There will be some more - I'm not completely finished emptying all of the CD cases yet. One big difference between this system and my old paper category index - since the sets are being split up, each stamp has to live in just one place (in the paper index, I stamped each stamp into as many categories as it seemed to fit), which has reduced the number of categories and made it simpler for me both to index the stamps and to find them. Go figure.

Sentiments:
Baby
Birthday
Christmas
Encouragement
Friend
Get Well
"Handmade by"
Love
Sympathy
Thank You
To/From/Invite/Gift

Images:
Animal
Background
Bird
Butterfly
Christmas
Circle
Flourish
Flower
Frame
Heart
Journaling
Leaf
Medallion
Music
Snowflake
Star
Tree
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:21 PM   #26
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Wow. I think my categories are a little more specialized that average. Here's what I have:

Alphabets
Baby
Backgrounds
Birds
Birthday
Borders
Bugs
Bunnies
Butterflies
Calendar
Camping
Cats
Celtic
Christmas
Cowboy
Creatures
Dinosaurs
Dogs
Drinks
Easter
Encourage/Congrats
Environmental
Fall
Fishing
Flowers
Food
Foreign
Friendship
Fun
Garden
Get Well
Girly
Grasses
Halloween
Hearts
Home
Kids
Landscapes
Leaves
Lists
Mammals
Ocean
Outdoors
Patriot
Pirates
Sci-Fi
Shapes
Skeletons
Sports - Bicycles
Sports - Triathlons
Sports - Yoga
Sports - Golf
Sports - Other
Stars
St. Patty's Day
Swirls
Sympathy
Tech
Thanksgiving
Thank You
Tools
Travel
Trees
Turtles/Frogs
Vintage
Wedding

I've redone pages and categories when something's not working. For example, I originally had "Bugs" but had so many butterflies that they needed a separate category. Right now I have an "Other" that I'm about to split into "Party", "Retirement", "Father's/Mother's Day" and "Card Signatures". I just started using sub-categories with sports, and may rearrange everything this way soon.

I'm also willing to start a new page when I'm trying to fill out my collection. Right now, my "Fishing" category has a single image, and it's actually not a fish. I plan on getting more, so I started a new category. Some of my categories have many multiple pages. Others may only have a few images.

I don't worry about redoing a page if I sell a stamp or two - I just cross them off by hand. I supposed if I sold enough, I'd redo certain pages. But I don't purge very often.
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:08 PM   #27
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I didn't read through all the post so if this is a repeat I appologize in advance!

Do you have a scanner and a photo editing software -- I mean something REAL simple like something that came with your printer or camera?

I have a Cannon Pixma all in one -- so it is a flatbead scanner and printer all in one.

I have tried to do the book where you stamp in the whole set and then try to cross-catagorize and found it just too cumbersome. I am a Close to My Heart rep so I have TONS of stamp sets just from CTMH -- I currently have 269 sets -- most of them have 5 to 20 stamps a set so that's a BUNCH of stamps!

I scan in the carrier sheet that the sets come on and then crop the photo that my scanner creates (I tell it that I am scanning a picture) -- the printer software allows me to crop it right there in that same program. You get the best image if you take all the stamps off first.

Then I save every set in a master folder, a folder according to the product code type (CTMH stamps come in sets that start with a letter -- so I have an A folder, a B folder --etc) then break them down into smaller catagories like "girls" "boys" "birthdays" "sentiments" etc.

The beauty is that I just have to right click the first one I save and then just copy the set to the other folders.

I am VERY visual and I have to be able to see the sets -- so if I am in the mood for Christmas I can go to my Christmas folder and look at all the stamp sets I have that have a Christmas stamp in them.

They are all labeled by the set name and the product name (like Fourishes A1234) and I store them in several old Souder CD towers laying down on their sides with the top lable sticking out --- so I find the set that has the image I want and then go to the tower and pull it out.

I have ALL my CTMH sets scanned in and cross-catagorized but I have not started on the "other" sets and unmounted rubber --- I have probably 50 CD cases full of those - they will be a bit more cumbersome since I will have to physically stamp each stamp on a piece of paper since there is no handy carrier sheet to scan.

Hope that helps some -- if you need a visual I can take a couple pics and post them too -- both of my computer screen showing the files and the towers that hold my stamps.

I also see this as a way to have some insurance protection in case of fire - the adjuster I think would have a hard time giving me a check for 3 or 4 thousand dollars worth of stamps -- but if they saw them they might get it -- and I am just **** about keeping some stuff organized -- some stuff not so much!
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:13 PM   #28
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Hey - it bleeped out A N A L lol!
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:30 AM   #29
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Wow! that's a lot of categories, I haven't that many stamps so mine is much more simple
I have Sentiments (then I broke it down by letters such as A- Annverseries
B- Baby and Birthday G- get well and so on
then for the actual stamps, my categories are

Baby
Background and borders
Birthday
Birds ( I have a thing for birds which warrants their own category
Children
Christmas & Holidays
Get Well
General
Humerous
Flowers
Friendship
Nature_ covers, butterflies, trees
Sympathy
Thanks/thinking of you
Valentines
Weddings

I am going to add Vintage, as I seem to be going in this direction.......
I stamped mine on index cards, I also have a binder that has photos for all my stamps including the company name and the price I paid for it.... so if I should trade or sell these later I know how much they are worth.....
Hint! if you are going to sit down and do these on mass, I suggest you use latex gloves
ask me how I know (sigh)
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:13 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsavard View Post
Hint! if you are going to sit down and do these on mass, I suggest you use latex gloves
ask me how I know (sigh)
True, true. I've been on an indexing binge for the last month or so. I do my indexing in blue, so my fingers are pretty much always blue. I've found that nothing works as well for getting the ink off my fingers as well as washing my hair, if that helps at all...
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:39 PM   #31
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Wow! You are all so organized!!! I am wanting to simplify and organize to where it isn't as big a headache to remember what I have. I was just thinking of stamping mine onto 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock with a notation under each stamp, where it is located, and then the sheets stored in a three ring binder. I keep thinking I don't have that many, but I probably have more than I realize, especially when it comes down to stamping out each stamp. But should probably do this later, as it is so easy not to remember everything I have! All of you have such great ideas! Thank you Melissa for starting this thread; I'll have to add this to my 'to-do' list for when I get caught up on some things! Would certainly make things easier!
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:16 AM   #32
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Sometimes I feel like I enjoying organizing my stuff as much, if not more, than actually making cards. And I really like putting things in categories, sorting, labeling, and so on. I have to stop myself from splitting out the categories even further. I could easily see myself doubling my categories. As it is, I hate having frogs & turtles in the same category. I could split mammals into "safari", "farm", "wildlife", and I could split birds into "songbirds", "birds of prey", "shorebirds", "owls", "penguins", and so on. I have some sort of mental illness, I think.

My categories have evolved and expanded with my collection. I started out all wood, then started buying bare rubber, cling, and clear stamps. So, under every image in my book I write the company name and then a little code so I can tell what type of stamp it is. My storage is split by type, so I know where to look to find that particular stamp.
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:04 AM   #33
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Oh how I need to do this too. Thanks for asking the question to begin with.
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:39 PM   #34
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Quick update on my stamp index: I took a cue from Melissa (mswhittaker23 - see above), and started a new one, using the trading card pages and 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" pieces of cardstock. I didn't want to have only one image per card, though, so I did several on each. This is because of the way I store my stamps, mostly. I've attached a few thumbnails, but there are more pictures and details of both stamp storage and indexing on my blog HERE. Thanks, Melissa - I'm LOVING this!
Attached Thumbnails
stamp-index-page.jpg   index-closeup-1.jpg   index-closeup-2.jpg  
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:56 PM   #35
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Sue, your catalog looks great ... so does your stamp storage!!
I hope to start on mine next week. I'm still working on my embellishments this week.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:49 AM   #36
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I've been reading a lot of these organizing threads lately, and I'm getting a lot out of them. Sue, I love (pun not intended, lol) the look of this index. It's neat and orderly.

I hear a lot of people suggesting organizing by categories, but I don't think my mind organizes itself quite like that. I group things together in brand categories more then 'thing' categories. So I think I'd need to make my self a stamp catalogue, rather than an index. Does anyone organize themselves in this way.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:07 AM   #37
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I have two notebooks that have pages in them that are the full sets, organized by category. I'm keeping those in addition to the pages I referred to in my last post for two reasons:
  1. Sometimes I'll flip through those "catalogs" to get inspiration, when I'm not looking for a specific image/sentiment
  2. So that - if/when the time comes - I want to sell a set, I can see which stamps go in that set so I can put them all back together again

Now I have two different ways to find my stamps, each serving its own purpose! I also refer to the "catalog" notebooks if I'm not sure which set a stamp is from (just in case I forgot to note it on the pages in the other index).
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:40 PM   #38
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Thanks for the reply about cataloging as sets.

I think I have a much clearer idea about how I'm going to compile mine now. I had thought to stamp them all out, but for the SU! ones I'll just cut up an old catty. For the other companies that don't have the true to size index sheets I'll have to stamp those out.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:18 PM   #39
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Quote:
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Thanks for the reply about cataloging as sets.

I think I have a much clearer idea about how I'm going to compile mine now. I had thought to stamp them all out, but for the SU! ones I'll just cut up an old catty. For the other companies that don't have the true to size index sheets I'll have to stamp those out.
Or you could scan the index sheets and enlarge them to be true-to-size. They usually say what percentage they are ("60% of actual size" or whatever), so you'll know how much to adjust the scan. Might be faster than stamping...
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:04 PM   #40
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Or you could scan the index sheets and enlarge them to be true-to-size. They usually say what percentage they are ("60% of actual size" or whatever), so you'll know how much to adjust the scan. Might be faster than stamping...
Oh you're a clever girl. Since I organize by company brands I'll be able to create my catalogue with the company grahics and logos right on the index sheet, as most of them index their sets like this. Visually it would look more orderly. I'm heading off to Officeworks to find what I need to do this.

Thanks. You're a gem.
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