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Old 12-06-2010, 05:51 PM   #1  
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Default To break up or not to break up? That is the question....

Ok... I, personally, thought this was atrocious... but hey... this is just me. But now this has me thinking...

I have all of my SU sets on a shelf, sorted by grouping, i.e. "Greeting/word sets", "Flowers/Nature", "Birthday", "Animals", "All Occassion", etc... and I also have a 3-ring binder where I have the index card or picture of the entire set on a page so I know what is in each set, so I don't have to go rooting for things. I can just turn to the binder.

I heard someone breaks up their sets, and puts the individual stamps into the appropriate category. So for example, if you have the set Crosses of Hope. This has 4 stamps in it, 3 crosses and 1 word/saying. You would take the word/saying and put it in your Greeting/Word tote. Separate from the set.

How do you store/organize your stamps? Would you ever separate your sets like that? I can't imagine doing that... but on the other hand... I can see it saving on storage... but gosh... just to separate the sets... it kinda makes a tear come to my eyes....
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:25 PM   #2  
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I don't think I could break up my sets that way.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:44 PM   #3  
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My mother broke up her sets like that. About 7 years later, when she and my dad began the process of downsizing and selling their house, it was my job to put the stamps back in the correct 'family'. Ugh!! What a job, especially considering many of these sets were retired.

Don't break up the families!!!
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:19 PM   #4  
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I broke mine up and put them in their "categories".
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:27 PM   #5  
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Hello...Thinking of breaking up my sets that way kinda gives me a tummy ache! lol
But I def. see the logic...I have all of my sets organized in alphabetical order and by size...I really like your grouping with a binder key idea though...Hmmm..
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:30 PM   #6  
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Great. I have the old song "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" running through my head now.

<--- has no plans to break up her SU sets
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:30 PM   #7  
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I am way too OCD to ever do that! I think I have a tummy ache like the above poster, haha. And I like your title for the thread!

I'm loving the clear mount though for the storage space and they look nice all lined up!
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:50 PM   #8  
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I am always in "awe" of people who can break up their sets ( any company! ) and reorganize them by image. All trees, flowers, sayings etc....

I don't think I could do it. I've never thought of myself as OCD but thinking of that kind of reorganizing kind of gives me the shivers!

I understand the logic, but haven't gotten over the hump myself. HOWEVER; if I were to do it I would certainly make some kind of record like the OP...a binder or photo journal or something so I knew EXACTLY which set each stamp belonged to and I could put them back again if necessary.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:04 PM   #9  
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I keep my SU stamps together, but break all other clear and unmounted red rubber into categories - real looking flowers/not real looking flowers/leaves and trees/sentiments/animals/Christmas/other holidays/frames and brackets/swirls, flourishes and borders/ and misc stuff. I will probably break up my SU stuff when I get it unmounted, but I am not super devoted to SU or SU only either.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:43 PM   #10  
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Ooo, you guys are going to hate me lol. I unmounted almost all of my stamps and dumped all the wood and foam. I took the smaller ones and put them into pockets for trading cards and I am working through stamping a piece of card stock to put behind them so that I know what each image is. the pockets are kept in a lever arch folder.

With larger stamps that don't fit into the pocket, I have put them into a ziplock bag which is stored in a basket. I will be stamping cardstock with those images as well.

Mind you, I don't have a real lot of stamps around 200 or so, so they are still easy to find without a further reference system. They also do not take up much space this way. I am recycling the SU dinky storage boxes by covering them with DSP and give them as presents. lol. I just do not have the space to keep all of them.
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Old 12-07-2010, 01:33 AM   #11  
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Yea, cold sweat here with the thought of breaking up my sets. Yikes! Nope, can't do it. The only ones I have are the all occasions sets because I tend to forget about them.

I didn't even have them stored by theme (about 100 Su sets, but I do have them stamped in a binder)....now I'm in the process of moving and I'll store them by theme when they are in their new home.

Right now we are in an apartment and they are in big boxes. It's been a challenge to stamp and it's been a bit of a hassle to get my Christmas cards done....but I've been truly blessed with a new home that we are moving into next week, so I'm not complaining!

Also, I can't unmount. I do like my wood mounted. I have unmounted the second step to my two-step stamps. Makes it lots easier. I am buying the SU clear mount when available.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:24 AM   #12  
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I'll break them up and I am even thinking of unmounting them to save space. I need more space to get new stamps, even the clear and unmounted.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:58 AM   #13  
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When I first started buying SU! stamps I busted up the sets according to category. Then when I became a demo I kept them together for workshops. I regret busting up the sets, too hard to find all the pieces if I want to sell an old set and you can't get a feel of what was intended to go together. Plus it actually takes longer to find a certain stamp or set if you have to rummage through boxes. JMTCW. Do whatever works best for the way you stamp and what kind of storage you have.
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:00 AM   #14  
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Every stamp I own is either photopolymer or bare naked rubber (no wood, no foam) with Sailor 2-in-1 glue on the back so it'll stick to an acrylic block. I had all of the photopolymer stamps on their original carrier sheets in JetMax cube drawers and all of the rubber in SU's DVD-style cases, in (roughly) alphabetical order, and grouped by manufacturer. I never thought I'd break up the sets, but as I started making things for the holidays I realized how much time I was wasting looking through my index binder to find just the right image, then going to retrieve it from its appropriate storage area.

Last week I started doing all of the Christmas stamps - Santas & elves together, snowflakes together, Christmas trees, sentiments, etc. - and I'm already using more of them and finding them quickly. Each case has a cover with images of every stamp in that case, and I included a numbered list on the cover, indicating which stamps came from which sets/manufacturers. That way, if I ever want to put them back into sets (unlikely) I'll have a starting point. I still have the binder of indexes for complete sets if I want to use stamps from the same set together or whatever...

It's working great for me so far, but I need more DVD cases, since I'm including the photopolymer stamps with the rubber! I recommend it, for sure!
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:02 AM   #15  
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Forgot to mention that I am NOT a demo! If I represented a particular company, I would keep those sets together, and break up all the others. It would make sense to me business-wise to be able to quickly lay hands on entire sets...
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:28 AM   #16  
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I keep mine together except for the words/sentiments. I have all words in large clamshell boxes by category....I find I use them all a lot more that way.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:29 AM   #17  
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I personally would not "break up" because "getting back together is too hard to do" (in case I want to sell the set). Others manage fine with breaking up sets and having an organizational system to keep track of which stamps go with which sets in case they want to sell the set.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:40 AM   #18  
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I keep my SU sets together. I do have one set unmounted but it's still a set. I don't own a lot of SU sets either.

The rest of my stamps are unmounted and in categories. I love it and wouldn't change it for the world. I am OCD too so you can imagine how that project went.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:45 AM   #19  
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How about approaching it backwards? Instead of breaking up the actual sets, break up the index. However you store your stamps, you'd need to have the location noted (like Shelf 1, box 1 or Drawer 7, box 3). Then you stamp the images into your index under each category they fit with. For instance, if you had the set "Greeting Card Kids", you would stamp each "kid" in the holiday they belong with, as well as under your "People" category (if that's one you chose to use). Sentiments would get indexed under the proper sentiment category. Then next to your index picture, you note the name of the set it belongs with and the location of that set. If it's part of a set.

This way, you're not fighting to recreate your sets if it's time to sell something AND you have a way of searching for all your bird stamps, even if it was part of a Christmas set originally. The only thing that's kind of a pain is deleting the index items if you sell a set.

I can't claim credit for this idea - I read about it several years back on a different stamping site. And while I think this is a great idea, I haven't implemented it yet myself The thought of indexing all those images makes me break out in hives!
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:00 AM   #20  
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In another thread concerning this issue (so I don't remember which one and who to credit the quote to) someone stated that they basically weren't in the resale business. They bought what they wanted and used it how they wanted and didn't worry about selling the set later. Very smart, wonderful advice.

I have a mixed system. Some sets regardless of who makes them are kept together simply because I use them together more than I use the separate images, so it's just easier to keep them as a set. Others, like my photopolymer types I keep as a set because I have them on their original clear sheets they came on. Gives me too much of a headache to try and come up with a system that would maintain the quality of the product (don't know how they chemically would react to certain storage materials).

All the rest (and I have a HUGE number of stamps - woodmounted, foam cling, unmounted rubber) are separated into categories. I have a binder with index sheets so I know what is located where. When I separate the sets, I pencil in on the woodblock (if woodmounted) what set it belongs to. For unmounted rubber, I sharpie marker the back of the rubber with the info. I don't do this for future selling of the sets, but I do very rarely let only certain friends borrow my stamps and they seem to use sets together as a set and it'll be easier for me to find what they need if things are marked. Also, if I submit something for publication, I want to be able to easily give credit to the proper manufacturer instead of all the generic "unknown tree" or whatever that I see way too often, especially from some associated with a certain stamping company that doesn't want to get in any trouble with the rules and get kicked out.

Separating into categories was the best thing I've done. Wish I had done it sooner.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:32 AM   #21  
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Before becoming a demo I broke out my stamps by categoies and sub-categories. I have main categories like flowers then sub-categories of long stems, solids, botanical, etc. Sentiments/words (sympathy, birthday word, birthday inside, etc.).

It never mattered to me what company or type (mounted/unmounted). I do keep some sets together because of how they are used (2-step stamps, Loads of Love (the truck and all it's parts). All holidays/seasonal are kept together (summner/4th July, Spring/Easter/Mother's Day, Chritmas/Winter, etc). This works really well for me and I can always find the stamp I want.

Sentiments are store separately in categories (Birthday, sympathy/get well, inspiation, etc. not with the images.

When I became a demo I keep current sets together until they retire. I do keep an index sheet of what is in a complete set if I ever need to put them back together for resale.

Most of my friends and customers keep their sets together and I just wonder why when they complain about not being able to find a stamp they know they have. they are always amazed that with the number of stamps I have that I don't have a catalog, but with using categories it'sot neceasrry for me. However, it's critical that however you store your stamps, you have to label the boxes/binder so you know what's inside. My labels are reflective of how I think of the stamps such as Humor: oldies, snarky, etc. I use Univenture binders that have index pages with stamped images, set name, and company so I can give credit but I have a lot of unmounted stamps that were bought a conventions and I don'tknow the company so they are listed as "unknown".

I love my system and never want to go back to searching through sets of stamps.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:35 AM   #22  
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I'm with those who get the hives over the idea of separating sets. But not because I'm OC about keeping them together (all right, maybe a little) but because of the work involved in rearranging and reindexing my 300 (give or take) sets of all kinds.

I did take the leap to unmount everything for space reasons and love that I did. I can see that further need for space might dictate that I break up sets and rearrange. But that truly gives me the shivers just thinking about all the work!

I have to admit that arranging by type is way more logical!
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:30 AM   #23  
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I have over 200 SU sets alone. Just thinking of breaking the sets apart makes me feel VERY queasy. I love SU and would never ever break them apart. I really do like your binder idea Linda. Will definitely have to think about that one.
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:59 AM   #24  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by PH in VAView Post
Great. I have the old song "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" running through my head now.

<--- has no plans to break up her SU sets
Oh no.... see what you have started... Breaking up... is... hard to dooo.... now I know... I know that it's truuuuueeee.....
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:01 AM   #25  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by KarenwhiteView Post
Ooo, you guys are going to hate me lol. I unmounted almost all of my stamps and dumped all the wood and foam. I took the smaller ones and put them into pockets for trading cards and I am working through stamping a piece of card stock to put behind them so that I know what each image is. the pockets are kept in a lever arch folder.

With larger stamps that don't fit into the pocket, I have put them into a ziplock bag which is stored in a basket. I will be stamping cardstock with those images as well.

Mind you, I don't have a real lot of stamps around 200 or so, so they are still easy to find without a further reference system. They also do not take up much space this way. I am recycling the SU dinky storage boxes by covering them with DSP and give them as presents. lol. I just do not have the space to keep all of them.
200+ sets to me is quite a few sets. I have a friend that has unmounted all of her SU sets and puts them in cd cases, but still keeps the sets together. YOu have to take a pic of your project room for me to see... I would love to see how you have them in "pockets".
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:04 AM   #26  
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You'd be amazed at the number of sets some people on this site have, so 200 is actually not a lot! I've seen some people actually admit they have over 500. I'm sure that's even a low number for some.
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:04 AM   #27  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by cbetView Post
How about approaching it backwards? Instead of breaking up the actual sets, break up the index. However you store your stamps, you'd need to have the location noted (like Shelf 1, box 1 or Drawer 7, box 3). Then you stamp the images into your index under each category they fit with. For instance, if you had the set "Greeting Card Kids", you would stamp each "kid" in the holiday they belong with, as well as under your "People" category (if that's one you chose to use). Sentiments would get indexed under the proper sentiment category. Then next to your index picture, you note the name of the set it belongs with and the location of that set. If it's part of a set.

This way, you're not fighting to recreate your sets if it's time to sell something AND you have a way of searching for all your bird stamps, even if it was part of a Christmas set originally. The only thing that's kind of a pain is deleting the index items if you sell a set.

I can't claim credit for this idea - I read about it several years back on a different stamping site. And while I think this is a great idea, I haven't implemented it yet myself The thought of indexing all those images makes me break out in hives!
That is a great idea!!! Hmmm.... I do have some time on my hands... that would be one hefty project! Now you have me thinking...
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:21 AM   #28  
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This is one of those threads that came at just the right time for me. cbet, thank you for your great way to catalog stamps. I copied and saved it for my new cataloging system in Jan or Feb.

geogymnast82, this is pretty much how I have been with mine. I'm OCD about wanting valentines with valentines and Halloween with Halloween and Fall with Fall....NOT Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall mixed together. It has pretty much worked for me....until now. I'm beginning to get overwhelmed with what I have, not being able to find stamps in my CD cases.

SO...I will still separate sets, but will stamp them all together to know what goes together for my indexing. I don't plan on many more sets, but who knows...since Santa is bringing a number of Copic Markers for my stamping pleasure.

Good thread.
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:48 PM   #29  
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Your post cracked me up!
NO don't break them up!
The greetings are made to go with the images...theme and art style, so keep em together!
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:19 PM   #30  
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I store all my sets (of all brands) together. However, I have all my stamps cross-referenced, cross-indexed, and index-imaged every which way from sunday. It so easy if I'm looking for a flower stamp, I look through all my index images for flowers, but I also have all the images in the set stamped in the flower category as well so that I know what other stamps go with that flower image. I like this because sometimes, I'm also looking for a sentiment to go with that image, and I know that the other stamps in the set are in the same style and feel as the main image. It just works for me. I have all my sets unmounted (or I bought them bare rubber or they're clear stamps). Its sooo much more convenient having them unmounted and stored in binders. I actually did a blog post about this with a few pictures back in July when I finished the project if anyone is interested in looking at my system:Cat's Stamp Storage System
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:04 PM   #31  
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I keep all of my SU sets together. Although the retired sets I put all the verses in a basket so I can use them on any card I make. Easier for me to find the verse I want then to go through all of my stamp sets.lol
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:25 PM   #32  
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I have several hundred sets so the thought of breaking thme up and organizing them is more than I want to think about right now lol I do have them indexed by type and the set name with each stamp so it's easier for me to find what I'm looking for than dig through a bunch of stamps.
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:52 PM   #33  
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Originally Posted by MindersView Post
I am way too OCD to ever do that! I think I have a tummy ache like the above poster, haha. And I like your title for the thread!

I'm loving the clear mount though for the storage space and they look nice all lined up!
my SIL tells me i have CDO-it's so bad it's in alphabetical order.
break up my sets-never!
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:04 PM   #34  
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Originally Posted by gregzgurlView Post
Every stamp I own is either photopolymer or bare naked rubber (no wood, no foam) with Sailor 2-in-1 glue on the back so it'll stick to an acrylic block. I had all of the photopolymer stamps on their original carrier sheets in JetMax cube drawers and all of the rubber in SU's DVD-style cases, in (roughly) alphabetical order, and grouped by manufacturer. I never thought I'd break up the sets, but as I started making things for the holidays I realized how much time I was wasting looking through my index binder to find just the right image, then going to retrieve it from its appropriate storage area.

Last week I started doing all of the Christmas stamps - Santas & elves together, snowflakes together, Christmas trees, sentiments, etc. - and I'm already using more of them and finding them quickly. Each case has a cover with images of every stamp in that case, and I included a numbered list on the cover, indicating which stamps came from which sets/manufacturers. That way, if I ever want to put them back into sets (unlikely) I'll have a starting point. I still have the binder of indexes for complete sets if I want to use stamps from the same set together or whatever...

It's working great for me so far, but I need more DVD cases, since I'm including the photopolymer stamps with the rubber! I recommend it, for sure!


sue where in cny are you? i'm in morrisville. we have had non stop snow for more than 2 days. we now have about 30 " good thing i love it! FROM THE INSIDE OF MY TOASTY HOUSE OF COURSE.
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:59 AM   #35  
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I finally broke down after 7 years and broke up my SU sets. I really like it. They are much easier to store and now I can see all of my "Christmas" stamps and not have to dig around for them. Plus, I love having all of my greetings together. This is really what made me do it. I had so many “happy birthday" and "thank you stamps" in 5 or 6 sets/places that it took forever to find the right one. If I made a cute bday card, I didn't want a fancy script happy birthday to stamp it, I wanted a simple one.

Some of my sets are still "together" just in the same box with 2 or 3 more sets/stamps. Like Provencal for example; those all go together and do not go with anything else I own, so I didn't separate them into different boxes.

I think the main thing was getting them out of the clamshells and into more uniform storage that takes up less space, because there is no way I am going to un-mount. It is too much work for me personally.

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Old 12-08-2010, 05:09 AM   #36  
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sue where in cny are you? i'm in morrisville. we have had non stop snow for more than 2 days. we now have about 30 " good thing i love it! FROM THE INSIDE OF MY TOASTY HOUSE OF COURSE.
Hi, fellow upstater! I'm in Syracuse, and yeah - we're gettin' DUMPED ON! My poor hubster does snow plowing (commercial lots), so he's been out every morning at 2:30 pushing this white stuff around...

I had to be out and about yesterday (had to deliver some projects for work and collect my new SU! goodies from my demo, who is also my BFF), but today I'm staying snugly IN!
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:21 AM   #37  
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How about approaching it backwards? Instead of breaking up the actual sets, break up the index. However you store your stamps, you'd need to have the location noted (like Shelf 1, box 1 or Drawer 7, box 3). Then you stamp the images into your index under each category they fit with. For instance, if you had the set "Greeting Card Kids", you would stamp each "kid" in the holiday they belong with, as well as under your "People" category (if that's one you chose to use). Sentiments would get indexed under the proper sentiment category. Then next to your index picture, you note the name of the set it belongs with and the location of that set. If it's part of a set.

This way, you're not fighting to recreate your sets if it's time to sell something AND you have a way of searching for all your bird stamps, even if it was part of a Christmas set originally. The only thing that's kind of a pain is deleting the index items if you sell a set.

I can't claim credit for this idea - I read about it several years back on a different stamping site. And while I think this is a great idea, I haven't implemented it yet myself The thought of indexing all those images makes me break out in hives!
I started to do this, then nixed it - too much of a trouble! Like you said, the hives were a very real threat... With my current system, I have all the trees together, but divided into "Christmas trees", "fall trees", etc. That way, if I want to use the pine trees from Happy Camper for Christmas, I'll still see them, even though they're not with the Christmas trees. This is just an example of how it works for me...

Also, I have three layers of stamps in the DVD-style cases. I have stamps on both covers of the case, and I made "folders" out of cardstock that have Contact paper on the inside (just one side) for the third layer. I have reduced-size images of all of the stamps in that case on the cover, and the name of that category on the spine. I can see the name of the category I want to find, then see every image in that case on the cover when I pull it off the shelf. Make sense? I'll try to get a pic or two later, if anyone's interested...
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:03 AM   #38  
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sue have you joined us in any gatherings? linda tarolli does a couple in syracuse each year?
do i know your demo?
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:01 PM   #39  
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Originally Posted by catherinepView Post
Your post cracked me up!
NO don't break them up!
The greetings are made to go with the images...theme and art style, so keep em together!
My thoughts exactly... I don't think I could ever break them up.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:41 PM   #40  
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10,000- now that needs a photo! please
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