Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I Need Thank You Notes and to Get Some Things off My Chest

In cleaning my craft area yesterday (and no, it's not organized yet, just surface clean), I discovered that I had very few thank you notes in my stash. So I went to work by pulling out Hero Arts' Antique Engravings (a clear set), Papertrey's Text Style, and a Thank You sentiment from Clear and Simple Stamps.

Same layout, different card stock and colors, and completely different looks....

Which do you like better...the soft and natural one or the happy orange one? I vote orange, myself, but there are situations when the softer one might be more appropriate.

Either way, I LOVE stamp sets that have at least three images in different sizes so making visual triangles is as easy as 1-2-3. Antique Engravings has five butterflies and three shells...but only two hummingbirds, both oriented to the right and the same except for size. I'm always annoyed by this hummingbird shortcoming when I pull out this set, but I suppose they can only put so many stamps in one set.

Yesterday after my stamping time, both my recent orders arrived. I placed both orders on Friday, so that was amazing service from Creative Play Stamps and Papertrey. Yay!!!

The order from Creative Play Stamps contained eight of the new Memento dew drop inks and a free dauber. Yay!!! I'd already picked up four of the inks at Michael's a few weeks ago. Here's my Memento storage drawer, all stocked up.

Aren't these so tidy and pretty lined up like this?

I'm not sure about some of these new colors, though. They are so...dark. The olive grove and northern pine are particularly dark, as are the new blues and the purple. Pistachio is nice, and so is the gray flannel, a good alternative to black for sentiments on some cards as it's darker than London fog and more substantial. Morocco is a bright, clean reddish orange. There's now a good medium brown, too.

But there's still no medium blue or pink, and no aqua shade at all. Espresso truffle looks like a dull black and I'm not exactly sure I'll ever find a use for it. I'm also not sure I'll be buying the markers for most of these as the markers are generally a few shades darker than the pads anyway.

My second order was from Papertrey Ink...and my first order with the new packaging for the stamps. Which is to say no packaging. Which brings me to a deeply personal rant about clear stamp storage.

When you're mildly obsessive, standardization in industries is a delight. I love Microsoft products not because they work well (sometimes they don't) but I can find my way around MS programs no problem. I never feel lost or disorganized with them. Clear stamp storage has no industry standard, and that drives me nuts.

I have an extra stash of jewel cases for storing stamps, so it's not a problem for me that PTI is no longer including storage with sets, but I want to go on record and say I HATE CHANGING STORAGE SYSTEMS MIDSTREAM. I have dozens and dozens of PTI sets in jewel cases. In January I bought some pretty green boxes to store them in...boxes that fit the jewel cases perfectly and still have a little room to grow my collection.

I DON'T LIKE jewel cases for storing clear stamps because the stamps stick together, little ones fall out of the opening in the case, and the case hinges break or pop apart annoyingly.

BUT changing now to DVD cases (which I also don't like for different reasons) would be horrifyingly expensive and time-consuming. Plus, it would take way more space and render my cute green boxes obsolete. I invested in jewel-case storage, not because I like jewel cases but because that's what PTI gave out and I would rather buy stamps, not storage, thank you very much.

I kinda prefer the Hero Arts clear folders, but not by much. They have images on them, so you know where to put the stamps and can see at a glance if one is missing. I never could get the PTI image stickers on neatly, nor would stamps fit in the larger sets where their image was. The Hero Arts's system is also delightfully simple and compact...it doesn't take much space to store them. I throw them in the drawers with my wood-mounted stamps and can always find them.

But stamps can fall out (especially small ones). And Hero keeps coming out with different sizes of folders...very annoying to store in an obsessive-compulsive fashion.

I feel better for having said all this, and really, I know this is completely a First World Problem not worthy of anyone's time or whining. PTI is free to improve whatever they want whenever they want, and no doubt the new storage system is vastly superior to the jewel-case system. But for now, I'm going to make do with my cheapo jewel cases and pray for patience.

Because the PTI sets I ordered are drop-dead fabulous and I can't wait to ink them up!


  1. Susan, you go ahead in your OCD fashion. It makes me feel better about my own OCD tendencies, LOL!

    Firstly, I love your cards. I think the orange one is edging out the pink, but as you say, there would be times I would use one over the other. I would also be irritated by two images exactly the same except for size in one set. ;-)

    Secondly, I am in love with your memento ink collection and storage, and very envious.

    Thirdly, clear stamp storage is the bane of my life at the moment. And all the problems with the jewel cases... I'm experiencing them all currently. And I don't have that many stamps, argh! I haven't changed to the new DVD storage for PTI. I intend to put the new sets into jewel cases, one day...

    And fourthly, I can't wait to see what you do with your brand new stamps. :-)

  2. I love that orange card...very striking!

  3. My favorite is the orange one, too. Very pretty.

    Now, about stamp storage. I totally agree with you and I am still looking for the perfect storage for my clear stamps. I have some PTI in the jewel cases and I don't like that they stick together or they don't all fit comfortably in one case, and don't always line up with the designs on the labels. I have some cling stamps that are difficult to store, too. Then there are the really small clear sets. I haven't invested in any particular storage solution, such as jewel cases, because I can't find one that I like and that will work for all of them.

    I tried binders for a while and since I couldn't see the stamps, I rarely reached for them. Right now I have them all in 4 clear boxes on my desk and I can leaf through them, but some days it still makes my OCD side a little crazy.

  4. I like the orange card the best! I only have 1 PaperTrey Ink set, and it's in a CD case. I don't like the case. Most of my clear stamps are Close to My Heart. I like the envelopes they come in.

  5. Susan, YOU are a RIOT!! I love reading your posts each day....on this blog, as well as your other one.

    I like both cards, but the orange one is my favorite.

    I agree with you on all accounts re: PTI's cases. I have many, many PTI sets. I've purchased the jewel cases, too. Now with this change....ugh!?! A friend purchased some clear, heavy-duty DVD cases for a great price and I bought some from her. However, since I alphabetized my stamps, now some stick up higher and it looks ridiculous. Yes, OCD!!

    Thanx for always making me laugh. And for the stunning inspiration you provide. ~Shawn

  6. Selfishly, I hope your new PTI order includes the hexagons ... I'd love to see what you do with them. Then again, I'd love to see what you do with any stamp, any time!

  7. ugh. blogger error. let's try this again:

    The cards are gorgeous, of course, and I only prefer the orange one because I usually prefer orange in any situation. :)

    And an ocd warning: the new pti background sets are long enough to cover the width of a card plus some (good), but no way are they fitting in a cd case (boo). I wish you organizational luck!

  8. I just LOVE the layout and look of today's cards. I like the orange, but LOVE the shell card (what color ink?) best. I also love that you showed us the versatility of this layout. By changing the stamps and occasion, you can use this beautifully for anything!!! Now, about your rant, all I can say is I hate change. I did take the leap and unmount all my wood stamps, and I love the MUCH smaller space they take, but it has its problems, too. I continually have to re-tack the stamps to stick to the blocks, and I constantly find them in a pile in the CD cases. I've tried to rearrange the sets, too, putting all the sentiments together, and again I love it but that has its problems, too. All I can say is nothing works perfectly 100% of the time. But eek! - after your post I'm scared to order PTI and see how they've changed their storage....

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  10. Love these perfect thank you notes! I'm always running low on thank you's too and have to consciously make myself renew my card stash every now and then! As for the clear stamp storage situation...I'm still looking for that ideal solution. Nothing seems to work perfectly and, until some brilliant soul creates a miracle, I'm trying to just not think about it too much! :)

  11. I think the contrast of the orange and brown is what makes it so great. The same brown and sand shades make the plum look muddy. It might look more rich with shades of lavender or gray text.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the new Memento inks. My Dew Drops are on their way and I'm excited so excited to try them. I had hoped for more medium and light shades, but maybe they'll consider adding a few more next year.

    I've given up on uniform storage for my stamps. I leave most in their clear envelopes and store them upright in CD/DVD storage boxes. I tried one PTI set in a CD case before giving up and putting them on carrier sheets in clear envelopes. If money were no object, I would replace all of the clear envelopes with Tim Holtz storage folders, but I just can't bring myself to spend all that time and money on organization instead of creating. Maybe I'm not OCD enough.

  12. I totally agree with the others about the PTI system changing from CD cases to DVD cases. A Muse uses the DVD cases too and it is just too much package for a few stamps!

    I bought two cute painted cheese boxes at an antiques fair and they fit the jewel cases perfectly. I don't want to switch systems either.

  13. i know what you mean, i lost the tiny flower from my "love lives here" set. i still look for it and it's been quite awhile since it disappeared. as for the memento aqua, sea breeze is sort of an aqua.

  14. Great cards really love the orange color. I know what you mean about the stamps. I decided to try a new system of categorizing and organizing them in a cropper hopper case. What a task. I started 3 months ago and still not done...lol GOOD LUCK!

  15. First, your cards: love the LO on both...prefer the orange one.

    Second, I hear you on the stamp storage! I currently have SU wood-mounted sets in those plastic boxes, trays of individual wood stamps, CD cases for PTI sets, DVD cases for *new* SU sets, & a couple of bins for Hero Arts, etc. clear stamps. It is driving me nuts, & I'm not even OCD! I wish there were a better way...*sigh*

  16. (Orange card is my favorite of the two!)

    I thought when you said no packaging that maybe PTI had finally given up on the excessive outer plastic box...oh well.

    I'm not sure what I'm going to do with PTI stamps if I purchase again. Maybe buy some empty CD cases somewhere. I put the waxy paper from the label stickers between the stamps to keep them from sticking together.

    My storage system is a mish-mash (I mainly own PTI, Stampin up and CTMH), wish it wasn't but I've given up. I do prefer the Close To My Heart envelopes that another poster mentioned.

  17. Okay, ladies, I can't beLIEVE I'm the only one liking the first card better than the orange one! Susan, I think you should put that first card right into an envelope and mail it to me!

  18. Here is what I do for storage. I bought a cheap $2 old-school cassette tape holder from the thrift store. I keep all my clear stamps in their original store packaging, with the thin chipboard piece and the plastic resealable cover. Then I just stand them up in rows, wedged into my cassette tape holder. Not lovely, but effective! Unity is the only brand I've found so far that doesn't fit, because their packages are really wide.

  19. Love both cards but the shells are my fave not due to color but because hey, seashells! I think of the darker colors as creative alternatives to black, but I agree about the markers. And at least we now have the fabulous teal zeal, which fills a huge gap.

  20. Love both cards, and refuse to state a preference. I hear you on the clear stamp storage issue, but I have to say that I switched over to Tim Holtz for everything clear that has come through my doors in the last couple of months, since PTI made the switch, and I really love that system. The folders are cheaper than DVD cases, and about 75 sets will fit in a fabric lined basket that I bought at Target for about $12.00. I am not switching any of the older sets out of CD cases, because I'm too cheap, but I do like that I can keep my Waltzingmouse, Hero Arts, etc clear stamps in the same basket, separated by dividers. To me, an issue more serious than the PTI switch is the fact that Hero Arts continues to sell so many of their great new stamps as wooden stamps, and they have cling, and they have clear. I don't understand why. Oh, and you will love the new longer PTI background strips. They are worth the change. Just sayin'

  21. Love both cards but particularly the orange. Anyway, on to your rant.

    I had JUST invested in a tower CD rack for my PTI stamps when the very next week (and that was literally the time frame) they went to CD cases! After all my husband's wonderful efforts to get my craft room exactly as I wanted it, I could hardly ask him to change the size of the shelves, could I? It maybe a great idea to them but for those of us with sets from years previous - not good.

    Completely with you on the little stamps falling out and sticking together. And thank you for the heads up on the Memento inks. I have just bought Grey Flannel as I love London Fog so much. Was very tempted by the orange and I will revisit your medium brown.

  22. Love the orange card; as much for the type of stamps and their placement as for the color. I like the colors of the seashell card; but that whroled shell on the right doesn't seem to fit for me. I don't know if it's the shape or size.

    I so agree with you about packaging. It seems like I just figure our a system that is ocd and somebody throws a wrench in the monkey works.

    My stamp storage is pretty hit or miss right now. I don't have a LOT; so it works. But, I keep buying and it will eventually become an issue.

  23. I'm with the majority this morning...loving the orange card. :)

    Mind if I join the convo re: PTI storage? I'm a tad bit OCD, and I like everything uniform, including my stamp storage. I liked PTI's cd storage boxes, but did experience some of the little stamps slipping out. I fixed that by purchasing the cd cases PTI sold, they are better/different than the freebie included with a set in that they don't have the "gap" along the spine. I would use the better cases when a stamp set had little bits, and the freebie set for sets with larger stamps. All was well, until now.

    Solely due to PTI's packaging change, I've swithed to using Tim Holtz's clear sleeves. I totally borrowed the idea from here: http://jskinney.blogspot.com/2010/08/clear-stamp-storage.html . I'm in the process of switching everything over now.

    May I add another comment about PTI's packaging change? It probably wasn't a good business idea to "take" something from the customers that used to be free...the stamp storage...and then not be able to offer another solution. Just my two cents. :)

    Sign me, still getting used to the new PTI...*heavy sigh*

    tinab158 at hotmail dot com

  24. Thanks for your comments about the new Memento ink colors. I have all the old colors, but didn't know that Michaels had any of the new ones yet. I was too busy looking at (and buying) the Tim Holtz Distress Markers and the Faber-Castell Gelatos that were new to Midhaels the last time I was there! I'll have to check those out next time I'm craft shopping. But, that may be a while because of the terrible fire threatening Colorado Springs.

    As for clear stamp storage... it IS a pain. And I've never even ordered from PTI or any of the other companies who used the CD cases. I never cared for that idea when I would see so many on the Internet show how they changed all their clear stamps over to that type of storage. I own mostly Hero Arts, Inkadinkado and Stampendous clear stamps with a few Fiskars, TCP and other lesser known brands thrown into the mix. I use the photo boxes from Michaels to store mine. It's not perfect but I sort of "file" the packages standing up on their sides so I can flip through them pretty easily. Of course, as you mentioned, the Hero Arts packages don't cooperate well with this method since they are often short and fat and not tall and thin like most of the other packages so they are often relegated to a different photo box which really messes up my organization by theme. But, it's not only Hero Arts that have packages that don't fit my storage plan. So, over all, I'm not happy with my clear stamp storage method but can't really figure out any better way to do it. I have SO MANY that there's no way I'm going to take them out of their original packaging and move them into something I would have to purchase. It would cost a fortune and I'd rather use that money to purchase more stamping supplies to have FUN with!

    Now there are also so many companies putting out the cling stamps and depending on the size and shape of the package, that adds another "fly to the storage ointment". So far, they are stored right along with my clear stamps. And then there's the wood mounted stamps that I have way too many of... I really need to stamp more and shop less! And thinking about the possibility of evacuation, I may lose it all anyway.

  25. for those dark memento colors, try stamping off once or twice for a more muted shade--you'd be surprised how that will increase your color possibilities! You can even make a color chart doing this so that you will know what the colors look like when they are stamped off a time or two. Try it!

  26. Both of your cards are very nie! I particulary like the seashell card. Re clear stamp storage. Just when I thought I had a good solution, which was to use the clear DVD cases (like SU or Best Buy sells), I found out they may contain chemicals which will damage acrylic or photopolymer stamps I'm still trying to find out if that is the case, or not. It would be very expensive for me to switch them over to another storage method. Arrrggghhh!

  27. I love both cards but I'm obsessed with butterflies so the orange one speaks to me. :)

    I was so torn about how I was going to organize my clear stamps once PTI switched. Invest in more CD cases or DVD cases? The thought of all that money wasted pained me. I was lucky enough to see another stamper's organization and just fell in love with it. (Well, after I obsessively analyzed it to death.) I now use 3 ring binders and page protectors by Martha Stewart. There are 2 sizes that I use. One fits the $5 sets perfectly, four to a page. And the other fits one $24 set to a page. I bought some clear acetate and was able to salvage most of my PTI labels from the CD cases. Just peeled them off and stuck them onto the acetate. I was able to use my ATG to adhere the ones that lost the stickiness. Now when I get a new set of PTI stamps all I have to do is stick the index sticker onto the acetate it comes on, then slip it into the page protector. Viola, so easy. AND the binders fit nicely on my bookshelf so that hubby has NO idea how many stamp sets I actually do have. ;)

  28. Hey Susan,

    Love the orange card today. I too am ocd about my stamp storage and have more than one system going right now. ACK!!!

    Have you found a baby set that works for you? I am still looking and waiting...but losing patience fast.

  29. Totally with you about storage - have experienced all that you mention...a real pain.
    Like the hexy card...great idea - I shall just use my spellbinders hexy.
    Great post enjoyed the read.
    How are the boys doing? My son has been entertaining one of our RAF guys who is seconded to your USAF and he and family are 'home' for the holidays...and off to France to visit Granny and Granda I expect.

  30. Love the butterflies...

    Packaging? I switched before PTI did. I was using CD's, but they were a total PITA! I'm now using the mini binders that hold the 5 1/2" X 8 1/2" pages. I bought some of the clear sheets you use with a binding machine, cut them in half, added my stamps and inserted them into mini page protectors.

    No way was I gonna try to remove the PTI index labels from the CD cases. On their old site, I pulled up images of each set I owned, resized them to fit half sheets, printed and inserted them in the page protectors. I am loving this system for several reasons: it will hold the longer background images; two of the $5 sets will fit on one page; the binders will hold about 12-14 sets; and I can lay the open binder on my desk, something I couldn't do with regular sized binders. The spines are labeled so I can tell at a glance which binder I need. And finally, to satisfy my inner neatnik, the binders are identical (Staples' white Better Binders)and they look great on my shelf.

  31. Ditto to everything you said about stamp storage!

    And I love the orange one.


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