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Old 10-28-2008, 10:07 AM   #1
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Default Am I too picky?

Okay so I had my first open house this past Friday and it was really fun, had a good turn out. When I went to clean up after everyone left I almost cried at how my brand new stuff (I signed up as a demo on the 1st) was covered in ink. My pads and the wood on the 3 stamp sets we used. Now I understand why some ladies paint their wood with clear nail polish before they put the set together! So I guess I will have to try that for any new sets I put together. Does anyone know if there is a clear sealer in a spray can that works well? I am not looking forward to painting them all with a tiny nail brush! Does anything work to get to the ink off of the wood?? I guess I'm just sad that my brand new stamps are looking like they had a really good time on friday!
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:12 AM   #2
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I have learned that if you are an active demo, you can't be overly protective of your stamp sets because others aren't going to treat them the way you would. So either realize that it's just wood and not a big deal, or not be an active demo. Also lead by example, make a point to say 'all it takes is a couple of taps in the ink to get a good coverage'...etc.

You could try taking a fine grain sand paper and try to buff out the ink stains.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:14 AM   #3
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I'm really sorry that happened. I make a total mess when I'm using my own stamps but I try really hard to keep others clean when I'm borrowing or using their stamps.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:16 AM   #4
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I know what you mean!!!!! I do volunteer work and buy just stamps for that. I try not to use my own "personal" stuff. Make sure your ink pads,stamp scrubbers,cutters, and stamps are kept seperate from you good stuff!!!
I find I don't cry then and don't care as much. After all it is a tax write off!!!
You should see what pigment ink does to the wood after 100 uses on 1 block yuck!!!!
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:30 AM   #5
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Sorry! It does go with the territory. I've been holding classes for about a year and a half. I had to totally get over having perfect supplies. All my wood blocks are inked up. Most of my ink pad lids (the outside) are covered in ink (I don't know how!) And I keep my own separate Versamark, because my "class" pad always get stamped in some other color. It looks awful, but works fine. I just use my "nice" pad for my own personal use. Some stampers are newbies and just don't know hoe to properly use the supplies, even if you instruct them.

If you really want to clean up your blocks, you could lightly sand them with some fine grit sandpaper. I hope this doesn't stop you from holding events!
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:33 AM   #6
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Well the good news is that is seems like only the girls who have stamped before are interested in coming back for classes and I probably won't run into this again. Esp since I'll have smaller groups. With the open house I couldn't be by everyone's side. I did teach a girl who'd never stamped before the twist,twist, tap tap method and she was very careful about the ink and she was able to teach the others at that table while I was away. The funny part was I let my 7 yoa niece stay because she's into crafts and was more careful than the adults! I told her she can come anytime she wants and I'll set a table just for her so the adults don't slow her down!
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:38 AM   #7
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for me I always find that it's the cleaning of the stamp that gets the wood all dirty. I usually don't get any ink on the wood when using the inkpad, it's just the part where I smush it into my cleaning pad, where the bristles rub against it & get it dirty.

honestly, if you are going to be a Demo, I don't think you can worry about it...it doesn't affect the stamped image at all and it makes you look pretty hardcore! They are stamps - that's what they are for
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:09 AM   #8
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Default Sealing your stamps

Hi!

If you are still interested in "sealing" your wood blocks a faster way to do it is to buy a can of spray polyurthane and spray them. I do that with all of mine. HTH!
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:09 AM   #9
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Default what is the....

twist,twist, tap tap method ???

I'm curious and maybe it would help me!

Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:16 AM   #10
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I am not a demo, but when I go to classes at my demo's house I am very careful when I am using her stamps. I try not to get ink on the wood and I use her supplies as if they were my own.

Some of the other ladies in her classes are not careful at all and I've even seen them put the wood side of the stamp right down onto the ink pad and leave it there. Or they are really pressing hard with the stamps into the ink pad and the ink gets all over the wood blocks.

I'm not sure if this would help you, but if I were a demo before starting a class I would ask the ladies to be careful with the stamps. I mean, I wouldn't make a big deal about it, but maybe briefly mention it. And maybe even quickly show (new stampers) how to ink up a stamp especially if they are new or if it’s their first class.

I don't think you will ever be able to prevent staining of your stamps, I guess it's all part of being a demo. and like some of the ladies have mentioned above- staining won't affect your stamped images.
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:23 AM   #11
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I am a former demo and I found that cheap clear spray paint was the best/fastest/cheapest way to protect my blocks. I usually didn't do the side that the sticker went on --but I did the best. I had a place in my garage dedicated for this purpose. Yeah, I am thinking clear nail polish is a bit tedious, an not as cheap.

When you sign up for the demo side of SCS--there are TONS of tips like this.
(LIKE never put out your yellow pad at an open house if there are other inks at that table!! )
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:25 AM   #12
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I wasn't upset that they were dirty, I think it was more of how FAST it happened. I figured over time they'd get broken in and look used, but dang one night?! oh well, I'll get over it in time and now I know to spray sealer before mounting them!

Twist twist tap tap was something I think I saw in a video on Dawn's Stamping Thoughts blog...but I could be wrong. Basically when I ink up, I twist the stamp back and forth and then tap it a couple times and it seems to get the stamp inked up fairly well for me.

I'm still trying to figure how exactly to use the sanding blocks on the rubber so that the image comes out really clear...any detailed instructions??
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:36 AM   #13
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Default ink on stamps

I have to admit that as a good loyal customer- I do get ink on my demo's wood- it is not intentional.... I unmount my stamps at home and although I do stamp with wood too, I have a wobbly wrist (I am middle aged too....). The worst stamps are the ones with a sentiment that is long and thin on a rectangular block. I wonder if you had a piece of paper to the side of the card to be stamped for practise if there would be less inked stamps??? Just so people could get the hang of it.......

The most embarssing moment I ever had was when we were making a card with watercolor crayons- I pressed too hard when drawing on the rubber, and the crayon broke in half- my demo had borrowed them from her upline......... I was so embarassed.......I am not new to stamping either.... I have never broken one of my own, so cannot explain how it happened (maybe it was cracked to begin with???)......

I guess if your customers are intentionally trying to make a mess, that is one thing...... I think my demo avoids using yellow ink because it has been wrecked so often at workshops.........

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Old 10-28-2008, 12:11 PM   #14
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My demo wraps all of her wood with wide clear tape before she mounts on the rubber. It's time consuming but does save the wood.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:45 PM   #15
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This is one reason I chose not to become a demo. I'm very particular about how I keep my things and I knew I would be upset if someone else messed them up.

Yes, there is a clear spray sealer, both in matte and gloss finish. It would be available where spray paint is sold at your hardware store or in the wood crafting section at your craft store.. Just tell the person who works there what you want to do and they will show you the best type for your needs.
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:02 PM   #16
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Quote:

Originally Posted by BingalingView Post
Okay so I had my first open house this past Friday and it was really fun, had a good turn out. When I went to clean up after everyone left I almost cried at how my brand new stuff (I signed up as a demo on the 1st) was covered in ink. My pads and the wood on the 3 stamp sets we used. Now I understand why some ladies paint their wood with clear nail polish before they put the set together! So I guess I will have to try that for any new sets I put together. Does anyone know if there is a clear sealer in a spray can that works well? I am not looking forward to painting them all with a tiny nail brush! Does anything work to get to the ink off of the wood?? I guess I'm just sad that my brand new stamps are looking like they had a really good time on friday!
Just chuckling . . . all of us that teach have been in your shoes at the beginning.

But, as others have mentioned, I'd go for the spray sealant, as opposed to nail polish. You could be painting those blocks forever!
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:55 PM   #17
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I have no advise, but had to say that I completely understand. My first workshop was awful- green ink in my brand new yoyo yellow pad, stained blocks on my new alphabet and someone scrubbed one of the letters so hard that the rubber came off- I almost died! But, I had to let it go, after the stamp was fixed and most of the green ink out of the yellow pad, I just looked at is as lesson learned- I have paid much more attention to what people were doing, and carefully explain everything now.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:38 PM   #18
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Quote:

Originally Posted by peebsmamaView Post
This is one reason I chose not to become a demo. I'm very particular about how I keep my things and I knew I would be upset if someone else messed them up.

Yes, there is a clear spray sealer, both in matte and gloss finish. It would be available where spray paint is sold at your hardware store or in the wood crafting section at your craft store.. Just tell the person who works there what you want to do and they will show you the best type for your needs.
I'm happy to see that someone is as OCD as myself, haha. I often think about becoming a demo but when it comes down to it I don't want othre people messing up my $200 worth of stuff, hahaha. Oh well...maybe I'll get over it one day!

I do have to say I was appalled at a set of stamps I bought after they retired from my old demo. She had used them for something with staz on and it was CAKED on everywhere...turns out they stamp fine but it bothers me every time I look at them! That was the moment I realized I couln't be a demo unless I bought doubles of everything, haha.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:47 PM   #19
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Well when I started stamping I was the biggest mess ever. I just could not help myself. I taught Home Ec for 30 years and bought most of the supplies for the kids. It killed me when they cut a 2x2 patch out of the center of the cloth ruining it for anyone else to use. Then a student asked me if I was sad when I gave parties and there was a mess to clean...she said "You know that means they had a great time. A clean house is a lonely house." I relaxed a bit after that.

Chalk it up to a learning experience and you can let my OCD daughter clean them for you! She and I are the old toothbrush queens with the stamps. The scrubbie pad is just not good enough!
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:10 PM   #20
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Quote:

Originally Posted by BingalingView Post
I'm still trying to figure how exactly to use the sanding blocks on the rubber so that the image comes out really clear...any detailed instructions??
I don't use the sanding blocks ever! I'm afraid of damaging my rubber (that sounds so wrong for many reasons!). If I have to, I'll rub the uninked-stamp on my jeans, or the carpet. But I rarely need to use this method. Usually if a stamp is not stamping clearly, I'll ink it up with Versamark and stamp it with that a few times. It's a little bit stickier than Classic ink and helps for the other inks to stick to it. Make sense?
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:00 AM   #21
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Quote:

Originally Posted by MindersView Post
...That was the moment I realized I couln't be a demo unless I bought doubles of everything, haha...


I agree! I decided it would be hard to be a demo if I went around yanking my toys out of my customers' hands because they weren't playing with them properly...My (former) demo and best friend calls me 'Mr. Monk'.
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:06 AM   #22
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You can also use the sanding blocks to sand away any ink stains (whether from ink pad or scrubby pad - been there, done that!) from your wood blocks.

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Old 10-29-2008, 05:06 AM   #23
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I do understand & wonder about people but my philosophy we buy stamps to put ink on them. SO why would we expect them to be pristine?
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:47 AM   #24
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I see my stamps as tools, not jewels. I don't want them to be ruined, and I clean them well, but staining is just a natural result of using them.
It does bother me when someone shows complete disregard for my things, though.
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:57 AM   #25
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As a demo, I see my stamps as tools for the customer to use so she will be encouraged to stamp more, therefore possibly purchase more from me. I've had things that are filthy, but not destroyed. I can clean my acrylic blocks fairly easily, though (but I don't clean them very often because I know the next class will just dirty them up again--LOL). I guess if I had a "beloved" set, I just wouldn't use it for an event.
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:18 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by JulieHRRView Post
Just chuckling . . . all of us that teach have been in your shoes at the beginning.

But, as others have mentioned, I'd go for the spray sealant, as opposed to nail polish. You could be painting those blocks forever!
The sealant is a great idea - I wish I would've thought of that when I first started doing workshops and classes! LOL
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:42 AM   #27
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I also of the thought, it is just a stamp meant to get inked up and used. This is not fine china waiting to be used at a special occasion. If you are a demo you have to be prepared for lots of people using your stuff. And not always using it the same way you do. Granted if they are purposely damaging your stuff that is wrong. But if they are just messy about stuff or goofed and forgot to clean a stamp before using VersaMark, I don't think there is much you can do. Demo'ing how to properly ink up a stamp and clean it once done is fine. But I would warn against becoming too particular on how it is done or freaking out at someone, because then they won't come back if they are so afraid of making a mistake while using your stuff.
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:41 AM   #28
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Ideally I'd like to have my stamps nice and clean but the reality is that they are made to get dirty. When I find a nice clean wood mounted stamp in my drawer is becaus I never used the stamp. My favorite stamps show a lot of "love" and often its from cleaning and not from rocking the stamp.

Once I went to a stamp camp and "assumed" that a stamp I picked up was used in the same color as the project color - not! The stamp had been used on black and I stamped it on a yellow stamp pad. I was appalled - I offered to pay for the stamp pad (even though it look like this had happened to the pad before me). The demo was less than gracious to say the least - her face showed disgust and I felt even worse. As I walked away, the demos daughter quitely said, "don't worry that pad was already messed up before you got here." It's often hard to hide your feelings, so if it really bothers you, then you should have separate tools that you can share so if they are ruined your face won't give you away and you could loose a customer as I will never participate in that demos events again nor will I order from her.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:00 AM   #29
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I have learned that if you are an active demo, you can't be overly protective of your stamp sets because others aren't going to treat them the way you would. So either realize that it's just wood and not a big deal, or not be an active demo. Also lead by example, make a point to say 'all it takes is a couple of taps in the ink to get a good coverage'...etc.

You could try taking a fine grain sand paper and try to buff out the ink stains.
Agree. I almost died after my first show. It doesn't bother me anymore they still stamp the same images even with the ink on the block.
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Old 10-29-2008, 10:51 AM   #30
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I had a few friends over for a stamping party. One of them asked if she could bring a guest and of course I said yes. Well, this person acted like she was in a kingergarten finger painting class! I had pearlex and glitter colors all mixed up and over my floors, stamps and ink pads mashed like they were made of some non-destructible material, etc. Now I only invite those who are stampers and respectiful of other peoples property. I am not a demonstrator, just a stamper. Should someone bring a quest, I don't put out any of the "good stuff" until I see how they act.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:18 AM   #31
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Don't think of the wood as "stained." Think of it as "distressed!"
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:38 PM   #32
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I can totally understand the feelings expressed here but I also believe that in reality, the items used for demos and for other people to use aren't really yours. I realise you have bought them but the initial demo kit is at a highly reduced rate and items thereafter are also reduced. We'd all get the reduced stuff if we could-you do as part of a deal, the deal being to share. Think of company cars-driven into the ground. People may never have stamped before, or just can't help but make a mess-maybe problems with their hands for example. I would never go to a demo again if I felt when we 'played' with the items (which is the whole point of the demo experience as a way of encouraging us to buy stuff), I felt the demo was staring at us all and getting upset about 'mess'.

You're a hostess-these are guests and those who wilfully cause damage-ask to leave. Everyone else you need to accept the deal or realise it's too much for you-I know I'm very precious about my personal possessions but you need to draw a line as others have said beween business items and personal items. Gettting reduced stuff, tax allowances etc aren't given for nothing-you have to do your bit too!! You can't have your cake and eat it in this situation but I do symphathise-you'll get harder I'm sure and get used to it, this is a demos life!
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:45 PM   #33
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"Am I too picky?" Yes and no.

NO, they are your items that you are loaning for use for the stamp camps, so it's natural to care about how they are returned.

YES, you are a demo, and you will be stamping with all shapes and sizes...that means all kinds types: neat girls, sloppy girls, I-don't-care girls, accident girls, etc. It's expected and unfortunate.

If I were a demo, and I'm not...I would just take the same stamps over and over to stamp camps...nothing that I really cared about. That way you won't obsess if they get that "used look".
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:54 PM   #34
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for me I always find that it's the cleaning of the stamp that gets the wood all dirty. I usually don't get any ink on the wood when using the inkpad, it's just the part where I smush it into my cleaning pad, where the bristles rub against it & get it dirty.

honestly, if you are going to be a Demo, I don't think you can worry about it...it doesn't affect the stamped image at all and it makes you look pretty hardcore! They are stamps - that's what they are for
I agree! My most stained stamps are the ones I love the most! So, I think of them as well loved, not stained!
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:49 PM   #35
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Don't think of the wood as "stained." Think of it as "distressed!"
That's funny. Several of my sets are "distressed". I don't care if my wood gets stained from normal use--even heavily stained.

I don't like it when someone does not respect my things. You know, the "it's not mine so I don't care if I mess it up" attitude. I did have a stamp set that had ink all over the label side of the wood mount--that wouldn't come off. That irritated me. It looked like she rolled it in ink.
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:11 PM   #36
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OMG! I actually want to make my husband read this thread! He couldn't understand why tears were rolling down my face after I had "shared" my stamps with some non-stamping friends. I "got over it" and I had to remember some of the dumb things I had done before I "knew any better" It's all good now, but I hide my favorites before anyone shows up! LOL!
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:18 PM   #37
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Unmounting my stamps stopped the OCD problem of worrying about stained wood!
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:20 PM   #38
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OMG! I actually want to make my husband read this thread! He couldn't understand why tears were rolling down my face after I had "shared" my stamps with some non-stamping friends. I "got over it" and I had to remember some of the dumb things I had done before I "knew any better" It's all good now, but I hide my favorites before anyone shows up! LOL!

AWW! LOL, some of us really treat our stamps like babies.
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:49 PM   #39
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I do understand & wonder about people but my philosophy we buy stamps to put ink on them. SO why would we expect them to be pristine?
"Not pristine" is one thing -- abused, mangled and smooshed is another entirely. Some people just don't care about things that aren't theirs, like the gal mentioned a few posts up who sat a stamp label side down on the ink pad and left it there, or the folks I've heard about who seriously damage something through their carelessness and blow it off like it's no big deal. Most of the time, these types of customers are the ones who think that SU! sends us all our supplies for free (yes, people really do think that) and so it doesn't matter if they mash up the brush tip of a marker or slip a few "extra" pre-cut pieces of CS or ribbon into their purses when the demo's not looking.
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:51 PM   #40
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To further say I feel your pain....I just picked up my new goodies at the UPS place so I didn't have to wait until tomorrow to play with them...got home and while making a Christmas card managed to drop one of my BRAND NEW stamps wood side down on a riding hoot red ink pad!!!! OMG!!!! Well I'm just going to have to look at it as money well spent because I have a few sets that have never seen ink...*sigh*
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