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Old 05-19-2020, 04:18 AM   #1
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Default What Makes You Choose One Stamp Set Over Another?

I was just looking through and admiring my stamps (I do that from time to time because it makes me smile) and I started noticing familiar themes. I have cartoony stamps, critters, flowers, general sentiments, quirky sentiments, and a ton of Christmas stamps. I only have a few realistic sets. It made me sit back and wonder why I'm drawn to certain types of stamp sets and not others.

I tend to steer clear of realistic sets (although my flower sets are somewhat realistic, but with a cartoon feel) because I just don't know how to use them. They don't inspire me to create. I can love a realistic stamp and then say to myself, but how would I use it.

I'm very particular with my critter and cartoon stamps. There are some sets I will love instantly, while others are just okay. I think I tend to like smooth looking and symmetrical stamps. I don't know if that's the best way to describe it, but when I see a stamp that is wonky, I don't like it. I think it's the perfectionist in me.

I have basic sentiments, but I really love stamps that take basic sentiments and say them in a new way or quirky and sassy sentiments. For example, I just got the Supercalifragilistic set from Casual Fridays Stamps for the sentiment, "This too shall pass. It may pass like a kidney stone but it will pass." I already have a friend asking me to make her a card with it for her husband and I just got it last week.

What makes you choose a certain style of stamp set over another. Is your collection varied or do you see themes as well? I don't know if I explained this in the best way, but I'm really excited to see the replies. I want some insight into why others choose stamps so it might help me expand what I buy.
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:55 AM   #2
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I buy sets that would be primarily for scrapbooking over cards, except for Christmas stuff. If it works for cards, too, that is a bonus. How I choose:
1. Coloring -- little or none, I prefer solid images.2. Most stamps in the set must grab me or it's not worth it.
3. Grungy and rustic over cute
4. Geometric/clean lines over flower-y
5. If I like the image and not the sayings or vice-versa, it's not worth it.

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Old 05-19-2020, 05:37 AM   #3
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Since I've been collecting for 30+ years I feel confident in saying that I've been all over the map style-wise. Here's where I'm at currently:

I gravitate to stamps that evoke a specific mood (quirky, introspective, funny) and buy according to what mood I want the end product to have. I like cute stamps but not so much cartoon-y, with a few exceptions. I'm fairly traditional on Christmas stamps. Flowers can be any style if I like the shape of them. Ditto on the animals. People images i own are either semi-realistic (Angie Girls from Unity, Stampin'Up! Summer by the Sea) or quirky/cute (Stampingbella Uptown Girls and Tiny Townies, Kraftin' Kimmie, Stampotique).

I like to color and, with the exception of silhouette stamps, seldom buy/use solid images. I like background stamps and frames, too.

Sentiments need to be accurate as far as grammar, spelling, punctuation and attribution (if it's a quote). If the wording is not the actual verbatim quote, I get annoyed and leave the stamp well alone. I also have to like the font used.

As far as a set being worth it, I go by cost-per-use rather than cost-per-item. If I only use one stamp in a set, but I've used it 35 times and the set cost $10, that's less than 29 cents per use (true case here - Angie Girls from Unity bought on sale). Who cares if the others ever see ink? If I don't plan to use them or plain don't like them, I pass them along to someone else. Most of my sets are missing something (some only have one survivor from the entire set). Of course, this means I have to have a decent idea of what I'm going to use the stamps for before I purchase them.
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Last edited by gregzgurl; 05-19-2020 at 05:52 AM.. Reason: Add a bit more info
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:07 AM   #4
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Stamps have to have multiple uses. Any sentiment sets need to have more than one sentiment I will use. I try stay away from sets that need the purchase of a die set. Now if I really like the set ( flowers are my downfall), then I will buy the combo.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:08 AM   #5
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--I love true detail-like in flowers, leaves, trees, not abstract but how they look in nature. I love to color with my Copics, and yes...even fussy cut. (Even if the set has dies, I will fussy cut off the excess edge)

Not much for "cartoony" images, although SU has a couple new sets that are now mine.
--Love having all different types of sentiments, in different fonts. I have to at least like more than half of the stamps in the set. If it's only one stamp I like, then it's "usually" passed over. (Ha!, but not always) I like it if there is a background stamp in the set, or a stamp that can become a background.

--Snowflake stamps are my favorite for winter, they are not just Christmas, and are so versatile. I've used them for backgrounds even in summer months. Other Christmas stamps are pretty traditional. A little bit of Santa, but mostly landscape, florals, nativity and such. Love using embossing powder on high detail designs.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:46 AM   #6
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Hard to really say why I pick my stamps,in general. I do have a lot of Lavinia stamps( fairies etc) Stampscapes, and Visible Image. Have a big selection of Christmas stamps, but not religious ones. Easier to say what I don't like, I think. Not into cartoons,critters or cute, apart from the Gorjuss girls, but they are weird, lol. Not into pun style sentiments, or sentiments in a font thats hard to read easily. Also, I absolutely HATE words/sentiments where a variety of letters have different fonts, or mixed upper & lower case.
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:33 AM   #7
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I have stamps from all the different genres. I've been stamping over 20 years, so I've amassed quite a collection. I like variety. And I also purchase according to what I working on at the time.

I used to make mostly cards so I have a lot of sets geared toward card making.

Now I mostly make junk journals and ephemera to go in them. So I've been purchasing more grungy and vintage looking stamps. I also have some of those type of stamps from SU back in the day. So I've been pulling out older sets to use as well.
I also like to Bible Journal and have been collecting stamps for that as well. The stamps I use for that vary in style but mostly consist of words with some images.

I love flower sets. But I think that too many stamp companies are overdoing it on the flower stamps. They all look the same to me. I avoid purchasing from companies that pump out the floral stamps left and right that all look the same.

I am a sucker for butterflies. I have plenty of butterfly stamps and feel like I can never have enough.

I also collect cat theme and coffee theme stamps if they appeal to me. Some have rarely if ever seen ink, but I don't regret purchasing them. Eventually I want to make junk journals with cat and coffee themes and they will get used at that point.

Right now I mostly purchase from Sweet N Sassy Stamps because she always has the variety for my needs. Especially plenty of Bible stamps for journaling.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:11 AM   #8
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This is a long answer. Sorry.

Oh goodness....I like SO much it would be too long. And I am not consistent. Like I might not like...say, polar bears, but suddenly I see ONE that I totally love. Or I dont like that mfg's cute but I like another's.


I am VERY behind on trends. Just cant afford to keep up in real time. Plus...if I wait for all the companies to catch up I often see images I like even better in the theme. I have "traded out" when I see one I like better.


I do try to get images I don't already have. This is very true in flowers and I LOVE when I see uncommon ones like the recent Hero Protea flowers which I had only seen before from Aussie companies where it would be too costly to ship to me. Northwoods can do that too. Right now, I have an eye out for images of teens, esp male and nice adult males. Not nearly as common as women.

I dont have a set style other than to say I dont do mixed media in the collage sense.

Snark is so common around here that it works in sentiments. But I have limits. Like I have ZERO interest in poo images which suddenly seemed to be around...and I ride in the cuss car but some of it gets too graphic even for me..... Toilet paper right now is funny. Before now...not interesting.

I agree totally with the idea I generally need to envision many uses. Once in a rare moon, if I see something in a bargain bin that would be good for one particular person I might get it.

Sue is a hero...I don't have the nerve yet to cut up sets, and I sure wish I did, because there are always ones I will never use just taking up space. I also agree with her comment that if she gets a lot of use out of even one stamp in a set...it earns it's keep financially. But I wont usually do that unless I can get the set on a deep sale.


Lastly, since I like a lot of different techniques...that tends to mean I may want more sentiment stamps that work well with them. ie Some are very good for heat embossing. Some are tiny ones for tags. Some are single lines for making a strip. I love pretty fonts. Some images lend themselves to particular coloring modes-pen, pencil, WC.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:15 AM   #9
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I have been collecting stamps for quite some time, too, and have recently gone through them and set aside the ones that I no longer want. Actually, some of them I never wanted but as an SU demo - ya gotta have it so they can see it and buy it.

I am not a fan of cartoony type stamps although I did get The Gang's All Meer set from SU - it's sassy! I really like flower sets and have some butterflies as well. I like vintage, grunge, and ephemera.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:41 AM   #10
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I look at a stamp set and think about the type of card I can make (sympathy, birthday, get well), I intentionally buy for kids cards, and masculine images. I am a sucker for florals, because I love colouring. I have uninked sets that I bought, then wondered why? I intend to have a stamping garage sale when it is safe to do so!
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:07 PM   #11
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if I am shopping in a real store and I can pick it up, ( if it is too small for my eyes to color at this time in my life I will put it back down) I have had some things I have bought online thinking to color them and being shocked by how small they are in real life. ( I hardly ever make A2 sized cards so, things geared towards lots of layers on that size scale are usually too small for me now) (yes, I know I could read the description of how big it is supposed to be but, for some unknown reason, I hardly ever do. I am more likely to read the sizing on dies than stamps)

I have also come to the conclusion that after all these years and many floral two step ( rubber ) stamp sets I do not enjoy trying to line those up as I would rather color line images or heat emboss a detailed solid but, not the two step stamps those tend to make me feel crabby when I play with them so, those are something I am finding easier to ignore. ( also silhouette images) I have more than enough of those lately it seems and I love what other people do with them so, I have not put them in the toss them pile but, I am not looking to haul home anymore of them either.

I have a lot of random stamps that were bought with specific people in mind that I may not use very much but, if it made me think of them and smile I probably bought it and I tell them that when I mail the card out.

right now I am interested in learning to use my watercolors more So, I think what is catching my attention is things that have large enough open space in the lines to allow me some wiggle room with water.
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:12 AM   #12
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Stacy, I'm with you on the two step stamping. I've learned that I don't really like to stamp enough to deal with those.
I'm not big on florals but I thought I was when I first started, so I have a bunch. But what I really love is puns and quirky images, so flowers bore me. They're just not funny.
I'm not into solids or silhouettes because coloring has pretty much always been my favorite past time. Cute critters and fun sayings are pretty irresistible to me but my biggest soft spots are tea, knitting, and fish.

So fun to read everyone's different take. Even more fun to browse through everyone's galleries!
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Old 05-27-2020, 12:35 PM   #13
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I'm a floral all the way kinda gal. I like realistic florals though, nothing cartoony or fanciful. I like to color and will buy a stamp if coloring is required. I'll also buy a solid stamp. I don't do stamps with critters or cartoons or cute kids. I also like nature stamps. Once again, they must be realistic. I'm extremely picky with sentiments. Even though I use the eff word in just about every sentence, I won't buy sentiment stamps that I think are off color. I don't buy sentiments that talk about how much you mean to me, or how much I love, etc. I like generic sentiments and tend to write a little note in each card.
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Old 05-27-2020, 03:43 PM   #14
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JennifrannView Post
Stacy, I'm with you on the two step stamping. I've learned that I don't really like to stamp enough to deal with those.
I'm not big on florals but I thought I was when I first started, so I have a bunch. But what I really love is puns and quirky images, so flowers bore me. They're just not funny.
I'm not into solids or silhouettes because coloring has pretty much always been my favorite past time. Cute critters and fun sayings are pretty irresistible to me but my biggest soft spots are tea, knitting, and fish.

So fun to read everyone's different take. Even more fun to browse through everyone's galleries!
Immediately went to a fish sitting in a chair knitting, with a cup of tea on a side table...
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Old 05-27-2020, 06:48 PM   #15
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Quote:

Originally Posted by bjeansView Post
Immediately went to a fish sitting in a chair knitting, with a cup of tea on a side table...
Haha! My dream stamp!
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Old 05-27-2020, 06:49 PM   #16
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I buy more individual rubber stamps than sets. Many times with sets I only end up using one or two stamps.
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Old 06-06-2020, 11:18 AM   #17
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I like anything Christmas, Pineapple, Tropical, Leaves...and so on..and so on...
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Old 06-06-2020, 03:52 PM   #18
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Like many of you, I've been stamping for so long I can't remember when I didn't stamp. I started back in the early 90's, but didn't really get into it until I attended a Stampin' Up party years later. Now stamping is my favorite craft form.

When I first started stamping, I bought simple line images of animals, and colored them with markers. When I discovered Stampin' Up stamps, I went for solid, bold designs, or line images that didn't need coloring. Always loved heat embossing and still do.

I have kept all those old stamp sets, even as my tastes change, because my style preferences seem to go back and forth depending on the occasion, the recipient, and my mood! The only thing I don't use much at all anymore are whimsical images like a country scarecrow, or designs are too cutesy. I love a cute critter, or cute kids..but with a more modern look than the old images that tended toward Holly Hobby, country designs.

However, I also LOVE realistic landscapes, animals, scenery etc, and have a lot of grungy background stamps that I use a lot. Funny and quirky sentiments are a favorite, and I like tiny sentiments that will fit on tags or into small spaces on my card. Punny sentiments are great if they aren't too corny...but no thank you to Poop sayings or images.

How fun to read all the posts and seeing what everyone is using and buying...and how it changes over time. Great topic!
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Old 06-09-2020, 04:54 AM   #19
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Kazeka, I'm totally with you on the no poop sayings or images. I just don't get that trend. I also look for critters and people with a more modern look. I don't like country designs so I don't have anything like that in my collection. The same goes with Holly Hobby type images. On a side note, I still have the small Holly Hobby that I played with as a child. I even managed to find the dress that went with it. It was in my Barbie box for some reason.  

I started out by collecting Stampin Up! stamps almost exclusively in the 90s as well. Then I broadened my horizons in the 2000s. I've purged a lot of my wooden stamps to several nursing homes I work at so I felt justified in bringing in more cling stamps.
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Old 06-09-2020, 01:20 PM   #20
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ComradeBunnyView Post
Kazeka, I'm totally with you on the no poop sayings or images. I just don't get that trend. I also look for critters and people with a more modern look. I don't like country designs so I don't have anything like that in my collection. The same goes with Holly Hobby type images. On a side note, I still have the small Holly Hobby that I played with as a child. I even managed to find the dress that went with it. It was in my Barbie box for some reason.  

I started out by collecting Stampin Up! stamps almost exclusively in the 90s as well. Then I broadened my horizons in the 2000s. I've purged a lot of my wooden stamps to several nursing homes I work at so I felt justified in bringing in more cling stamps.
Hi Karen,
The funny thing is that I like quirky and weird designs, but the poop stuff just goes beyond me. I can't even buy those stickers for my granddaughters!!
As for your Holly Hobby doll vs that type of country image, a doll is a whole other thing in my mind. I never saved any of my dolls from childhood (my mom gave them to my cousins or got rid of everything), but I saved almost everything from my daughter's childhood. Now her kids play with all her old Fisher-Price toys, Barbies, American Girl dolls, even her old doll house and original Mr. Potato Head family! I love seeing it..and everything comes with a story to tell.
Cling stamps were the best invention when it came to stamping. It makes lining up so much easier, doesn't it?
Karen
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Old 06-09-2020, 03:23 PM   #21
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Most of my stamps are individual ones. I love tree stamps! Pine, palm, winter bare trees and trees with leaves. A forest full or one lone tree.

My sentiments run the gamut but I really like ones that have a main saying for the front of the card and something for inside that compliments it. I need to get more like that.
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:22 PM   #22
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Red face Collecting wood-mounted stamps...Obsession or Just a Collection?

I'm not sure if anyone is collecting wood mounted stamps currently, or is it just me.
I have been stamping for over 20 years. Now that I work part-time from home, I have been adding to my large collection. I have over 2,500 wood mounted stamps. I have been adding to my collection shopping on E-Bay and Mercari. In my collection, I have every theme you can think of, by a lot of different companies.
Are there any other folks collecting wood mounted stamps? If so, how do you store them? On shelves? In bins and boxes? Right now I have most of my stamps in foldable cubes, separated by themes. I do have some interesting ones displayed in a glass cabinet.
I also have a large number of clear cling stamps too. I have about 1,700. All sizes and types.
If anyone else collects stamps, how do you manage your collection? (I currently have binders with the stamped images of each stamp, cataloged by theme.
Also, If anyone can share information about different stamp companies, I would love to hear from you.
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Old 06-10-2020, 07:21 AM   #23
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mischelle1View Post
I'm not sure if anyone is collecting wood mounted stamps currently, or is it just me.
I have been stamping for over 20 years. Now that I work part-time from home, I have been adding to my large collection. I have over 2,500 wood mounted stamps. I have been adding to my collection shopping on E-Bay and Mercari. In my collection, I have every theme you can think of, by a lot of different companies.
Are there any other folks collecting wood mounted stamps? If so, how do you store them? On shelves? In bins and boxes? Right now I have most of my stamps in foldable cubes, separated by themes. I do have some interesting ones displayed in a glass cabinet.
I also have a large number of clear cling stamps too. I have about 1,700. All sizes and types.
If anyone else collects stamps, how do you manage your collection? (I currently have binders with the stamped images of each stamp, cataloged by theme.
Also, If anyone can share information about different stamp companies, I would love to hear from you.
None of my stamps are on wood, but I thought I'd answer one of your questions, anyway. One of the most effective storage methods I've seen for wood-mount stamps is to have them on ledges made of brick moulding (found at Home Depot,Lowes, etc. - link is to Home Depot):



It runs roughly $1 for a linear foot and is just deep enough for a stamp to sit securely. You could fill a whole wall (or all of your walls, lol) and see everything instead of having them hiding in bins, or just put out your favorites. They could be arranged in sets or by category/theme.

As far as keeping track, Airtable is an option that Lydia (UnderstandBlue) mentioned in another thread and some of us have adopted. Read about it on her blog here: Understand Blue: A Few Thoughts on Kindness
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:36 AM   #24
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mischelle1View Post
I'm not sure if anyone is collecting wood mounted stamps currently, or is it just me.
I have been stamping for over 20 years. Now that I work part-time from home, I have been adding to my large collection. I have over 2,500 wood mounted stamps. I have been adding to my collection shopping on E-Bay and Mercari. In my collection, I have every theme you can think of, by a lot of different companies.
Are there any other folks collecting wood mounted stamps? If so, how do you store them? On shelves? In bins and boxes? Right now I have most of my stamps in foldable cubes, separated by themes. I do have some interesting ones displayed in a glass cabinet.
I also have a large number of clear cling stamps too. I have about 1,700. All sizes and types.
If anyone else collects stamps, how do you manage your collection? (I currently have binders with the stamped images of each stamp, cataloged by theme.
Also, If anyone can share information about different stamp companies, I would love to hear from you.
I'm not actually purposely collecting wood mounted stamps, I've just accumulated a lot of them. When I first started stamping, clear stamps weren't even invented! So I used wood mounted. I've unmounted some of my wood stamps but there are many that I left on their mounts. All of my wood mounted SU sets are intact, and most sets in general are still on wood. They do take up a lot of room, and I prefer clear stamps now, for easier use and positioning.
My SU wood stamps are in original packaging, in sets, and stacked on bookshelves with their titles facing out. I keep them in general categories, such as vintage, kids, design elements, sentiments etc.
The rest of my stamps are kept in plastic totes with lids, by category. I keep my Holiday, Christmas, Kids and Sports, Nature, etc. stamps in individual bins in a cupboard and on shelves. My House Mouse stamps are in a separate bin as well. My large background stamps are stored upright, so I can see them, in several shallow cardboard trays that are then placed on wire shelving. That way I can pull out the tray when I want to pick out a specific stamp.
Oh yes, and I do have three small plastic drawer storage containers with 3 drawers each. I store my smaller sentiments, travel themes, scenery elements, animals, and design elements in those. These are only stamps that don't belong to a set, as I never break up a set.
My stamps are to be used and so I don't display them. My craft room is small and doubles as the guest room so I try to keep most things hidden, or in boxes and bins. In addition, we live in earthquake country here in California, so everything is always stored with that thought in mind!

What I really need is a bigger craft room, haha!
Karen
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Old 06-20-2020, 04:48 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mischelle1
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I'm not sure if anyone is collecting wood mounted stamps currently, or is it just me.
I have been stamping for over 20 years. Now that I work part-time from home, I have been adding to my large collection. I have over 2,500 wood mounted stamps. I have been adding to my collection shopping on E-Bay and Mercari. In my collection, I have every theme you can think of, by a lot of different companies.
Are there any other folks collecting wood mounted stamps? If so, how do you store them? On shelves? In bins and boxes? Right now I have most of my stamps in foldable cubes, separated by themes. I do have some interesting ones displayed in a glass cabinet.
I also have a large number of clear cling stamps too. I have about 1,700. All sizes and types.
If anyone else collects stamps, how do you manage your collection? (I currently have binders with the stamped images of each stamp, cataloged by theme.
Also, If anyone can share information about different stamp companies, I would love to hear from you.





I have only wood mounted stamps. I like the feel of the wood in my hand and the fact that the stamp is positioned correctly under the image so is ready to use right off the bat. I store my stamps by theme, so any sets I have are broken up so they can be stored with other like stamps. I use the old SU clam shell boxes and store them in shallow drawers that the boxes fit in stacked 2 deep. I can see exactly what I have at a glance through the top of the box when I go to the drawer/section of my cabinet that holds the kind of stamp I need. If I purchase stamps that are unmounted (the only way I can get SU stamps now), I put them on blocks that friends who are unmounting give me after stamping the image on top for an index. All my stamps are stored this way, so are all in one place. If I want a new stamp, and there is no room where it should be stored, I either forego it or get rid of something I don't need or use.
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Old 06-20-2020, 05:00 PM   #26
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I was never sure I had a style, but knew right away that I didn't like cutsie or silly or gross or punk. I have come to realize I like elegant, natural and realistic. Within those parameters, I have a wide variety of themes or topics so that I can usually find whatever I need to make cards. I have also fallen in love with carving my own stamps, so when a need arises, I can just carve what I need. I'm not capable of carving detailed realistic animals, so those I have to purchase if I don't have them.
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