Welcome to week two of the midweek minimize challenge where I will be focusing on Stamps, if you are new here you can find week one here where we focussed on craft discs. That was relatively pain-free but I have a feeling that today’s Stamps is going to be a lot more difficult. I have a large stamp collection from various manufacturers and many have never been used. I have several sheets of grey rubber stamps from Crafter’s Companion and Sheena Douglass that I love but they are still brand new uncut and un-inked several years later but I can’t imagine letting them go. I watched the latest YouTube video yesterday from Lindsay the Frugal Crafter and she totally resonated with me when she talked about purchases you don’t want to let go of because you will feel like a failure. Stamping has been one of my less used crafting techniques over the years (since having my Stamping Platform I have really made the effort to change this) however I watched the programmes and read the magazines and saw the beautiful projects and wanted to be as creative as the design team people who made them. So I bought the complete stamp set in some hope this would happen. Does that make sense? Does it sound familiar maybe? Now I am actually using my stamps and practising my colouring techniques I at least stand a chance of making this happen, which it never would while they sat in the packaging hidden (or not so hidden, hence the whole declutter and minimise project) More recently I have bought loads of sets of Dreamees stamps (and used maybe three so far) and Hunkydory For the Love of Stamps range (and used maybe four) on top of this there are all the stamp sets I have got from magazines which I have been working through in the Free Magazine Gift Projects. So let’s be honest I am drowning in stamps both old and new and good and less good quality however it is going to be really difficult to pick ten packs to go without even stamping them first and seeing if I can create something with them. However, that is the challenge I have given myself and what I really need to do otherwise I will never get a check on my collection. Here goes nothing:
Not Christmas First!If you remember last week I showed the folder that I couldn’t even get back on the shelf, that folder was chock a block with stamp sets but they are all Christmas ones and I love Christmas so much that I was so tempted to skip it and move onto the next. But, I was brave and told myself that surely I could let go of at least one item from the folder and guess what I chose four to go!
The First Four to GoThese came from Papermania and are designed by Lucy Cromwell from the at Christmas collection, they simply jumped out as not my style so it was an easy decision. These are Forever Friends Retro Collection A Christmas Tale Christmas Bells. I do like some Forever Friends stamp sets and have kept a couple in this folder but this one simply didn’t spark joy. Another from the same Forever Friends Retro Collection A Christmas Tale, this one is Comfort & Joy and just as before it didn’t quite spark joy. I have other more traditional carol singing singer stamps which I love and I don’t like the modern style of Christmas tree the bear is carrying. The final set is from Do Craft’s Papermania range, I’m guessing about ten years ago, at the time of purchase I remember thinking it was so cute but I am a different crafter now, the only main images I would still use are the Deer and I have some very similar digital stamps and various other Deers in traditional stamp format.
SentimentsThe next folder was actually my sentiments one and I skipped over this as it is by no means overfilled, in fact, I could add a few more sets in without a problem. I will no doubt gradually clear-out anything out of date but there is no urgency, unlike the other folders that are totally overstuffed with no room to add anything.
General Images People and CharactersSo onto my next folder which is at this time a general image one which includes people and characters etc. (I have a separate one for flowers, landscapes and nature imagery). This general folder is one of the biggest so I had an inkling that I may do well in here and I certainly did. In fact, I found the next six items to complete the ten! Here are the stamps I chose to go and why:
This was a stamp set that came with Papercraft Essentials x amount of years ago… I used to have a real thing about Owls probably from my days as a Brownie Guider. I still like them very much but prefer natural images, have you noticed a trend here. This Cupcake set is from Papermania and as you can see it was back in 2011. I remember being so excited by these at the time. Crafting about baking – perfect! However, looking at them now they are quite an abstract design and I either already have (or can get) a set that is far more to my taste from Hunkydory The Love of Stamps range. This is a mini set that goes with the one above so it is not counted as one of the six but a bonus set, so no explanation needed really. We have more Papermania here, definitely, a trend developing, this is the Born To Shop Go Green Garden Beauty and let’s be honest it is not remotely to my taste, looking at it now why did I buy it! To add insult to injury I did it again with the Grown and Sown set too! Onto the home Stretch with the last two and they are both from the Papermania Retail Therapy this one is Born to Shop Forced to Work. I like the idea of this but again it comes down to the styling, this is quite a modern image whereas I prefer more traditional or vintage. I have some Hunkydory images of ladies with bags that I love. This is the final one from the Papermainia Retail therapy and the reasons are just as above.
Focusing on Stamps what I have learntLooking back through many of my old purchases one thing that is not just staring me in the face but shouting at me is that I am very brand loyal. To the point that I have even bought products that I didn’t even like in the first place. My brand journey started with Papermania all those years ago. From there I discovered Sheena Douglass and she led me to Crafter’s Companion and also Create and Craft. Through Create and Craft, I discovered Hunkydory who is now my go-to brand if I could only have one and the Dreamees, as I think I have mentioned before although I do like Hayley’s artwork I am even more invested in them for the people they are and their generous pricing and their love of other product ranges. They are customers as well as sellers. I have also added Creative Crafting World to my go-to brands, especially for Linda’s Cardstock and Pollyanna Pickering. I had a massive Tonic phase but since they have moved to Hochanda I have not seen as much of them, I tune in if something catches my eye, most notably a Nuvo product, but I have to use my PC, Create and Craft are on Virgin so are on most days sometimes all day long. (Our TV has a Virgin cable but no main aerial at the moment which is why I can’t just use Freeview!). I think what I need to take forward is to be more aware of the actual products as well as who they are coming from. It is very true that with a major change to our finances I will not have the disposable income I have had but when I am in the position to make purchases I need to be very mindful of what exactly I am buying. Maybe I need to reread my own post from last year about Evergreen Products and ensure I am shopping Evergreen! How can I justify buying more stamp sets when I have so many I have yet to even try…
Coming Next WeekIt is fair to say that in the coming weeks there will be another stamp week as I certainly have at least ten more that I can release but next weeks I am going to be focussing on Embossing Folders. If you have a craft stash that is getting a bit out of hand why not join in with the challenge!
Good luck if you are decluttering like me and happy crafting to all the guilt fee crafters out there 🙂