***N.B. At the bottom of this post I’ve added something new – I’ve explained how I index and store my rubber stamps – a few people have asked me how so I’ve done my best to show the system which works for me!***
When we decided to join our house to the garage we thought it would be a simple building job! Huh, like Topsy it grew and grew….
As we were putting in the foundations for a room, and it would need a roof anyway, we thought we might as well make it two storey. That’s why our bedroom had to be messed around, the only way to access that end of the house was through the master bedroom so Nigel, who has some rather brilliant ideas occasionally (but don’t tell him I said that!) came up with a design that chopped 6ft off our bedroom but made a lovely corridor down to the new room.
Now this is a bedroom (yeah, right) with an en-suite but it’s huge – will make a lovely teenage bed-sit or something similar but, as there are only three of us living here full-time, we decided it could be my studio for now. The en-suite has some wall art I made and described in ‘Bathroom Canvasses‘ but as yet, the only art on the walls in this room is some stencilling. Nigel thought I could use some kitchen cabinets in there to which I objected at first and which I now love (again, don’t tell him!).
We bought some stained glass doors for these cupboards on Ebay (99p for the four!!) and had a lovely trip to Wolverhampton on the motorbike to collect them. We have a rack on the back so that’s how we carried them. I copied the design from these doors and made my own stencils which I then painted all around the room. Didn’t take too long really and it just takes the starkness away from the newly painted white walls – and yes, I know stencilling is about as fashionable as the wallpaper border but it needed something!
The white units used to be in our bedroom but are much more servicible in here. The carts with drawers in all came from CostCo at various times, and the kitchen units were bought on Ebay. We did have to buy a piece of counter top to finish them but it’s worth it – I just need another light under there now and it’ll be perfect.
Have you heard of FreeCycle? It’s a great place to find unwanted, pre-loved items which are too good to go to landfill – equally, a great way to re-home something you no longer have room for or need of. Well, the two cupboards next to my kitchen units have roll-down shutters on them so I can hide the mess if I feel like it and they’re very heavy, substantial pieces which we got from FreeCycle.The two tables you see are also from other homes but my main working desk I bought!!! 99p on Ebay – it’s not only crafters who like a bargain is it? Just think of the money I saved in there so I can buy more stash!
The 12×12 storage is made from mesh cubes bought at B&Q, they’re supposed to be about 13″ cubes held together with plastic connectors, we just joined shelves to the side pieces all the way up with cable ties to make a great place for my scrapbook papers.
As the wall cupboards are glass fronted I feel I need to be quite tidy in there so I’ve got some of my wooden mounted stamps on display in one of them and a load of embellishments in the other – it feels like a shop! I do use them much more when I can see them.
I have a lot of unmounted stamp in CD cases and other unmounteds are in file folders in the cupboard. I do have them all catalogued….I’m sorry, I try to be organised even though I’m a very messy worker! When I get a new stamp I make an impression in black ink in a file which is categorised: flowers, people, oriental, words etc….so I can find what I want without too much trouble.
You can see a much better use for a spice rack than keeping dried-out leaves in! And my ribbons – the top row from CostCo – are mounted on metal rods and a sock divider works well in a drawer for yarns.
Across the room are a couple of very old chests of drawers which came from the bedroom I grew up in and are therefore XX years old now! My drafting table is where I do my calligraphy and you can see the lightbox for embossing and my impress die cutting machine....I will not buy a Cuttlebug….I will not buy a Wizard…..I will not think about a BigShot…..
Kathleen has asked how I have my stamps categorised. When I get a new stamp I first make an impression on plain paper and add that to the relevant category – sometimes they cross over into more than one so I make sure to include all possibilities. I have these sheets in a file folder separated by those store-bought dividers, in my case they are alphabetic, sometimes they’re numbered and often blank so you can write the name on them. Because mine have letters I have made an index sheet for the front of the file – I will try to get a photo posted so you can see exactly what I mean (I know what I’m talking about but I’m not sure anyone else will!!)
My categories are:
- Animals, Insects and Birds
- Backgrounds, Borders and Corners
- Love and Hearts
- Mandalas and Medallions
- Mystic and Celtic
- Nautical and Sea Life
- People and Fashion
- Words, Letters and Numbers
It works for me – so much easier to look through one file folder than the three containing unmounteds, the CD cases full of the same, the cupboard with wooden mounted ones and the three drawers…….
It’s a bit of a pain to do them in the first place but not too onerous to add new ones occasionally.
OK, I’ve taken some photos of the storage system I use – this first photo shows the index sheet, you may not be able to see the wording clearly but they’re listed above anyway. The letters are just because that’s what was on the dividers – could just as easily been numbers. I like this ‘system’ because it can easily be added to at any time and in any place. Some stamps belong in more than one category so I’ve often indexed them again and filed them elsewhere (i.e. the foliage in the Non Sequitur set is also stamped on the page labelled ‘Nature’)
‘Stamped images’ shows how I’ve made an impression of each stamp when I’ve bought it – they’re on small pieces of paper ‘cos I’ve been adding them now and again. The other page shows two Rubbadubbadoo sets which between them take up the whole page. The white paper is stuck onto orange card (because I’d been given some orange card which I don’t think I’ll use for card making!). There are letters above some of those on the left side which match the letters written on the sides of the wooden-mounted stamps, some are in drawers and others in my glass fronted cupboard. The others state that they are Stick & Stamp which have a drawer all to themselves.
The playing cards came as one sheet of rubber so, before I cut it apart, I made a big impression! At the top it says Lost Coast and that is written on the outside of the file folder containing them. The blue images are the ones which came with the stamps themselves from Graphicus (Elusive Images) so I used them rather than stamping them out again. Their titles are also written on the page and the outside of the relevant file.
Mystic is a set from Non Sequitur, you can see the images which are in my index file and then the stamps themselves which are in one of three folders (so far!). I’ve used some card inside a plastic sleeve to give a bit of stability, the labels stick up like tabs so I can find the right set and they’re stuck on there with a re-positionable adhesive. Sorry about the glare on the shots but I hope you can get the idea.