Some of you may remember that I am participating in Use Every Stamp 2013. The class started at the beginning of the year, so it is time for a "check-in". I was trying to find more ways to use my stamp collection, and my challenge was "Use 'Em or Lose 'Em."
How am I doing? "So so" is the answer to that one. I've been attracted to drawing, calligraphy, and gelli printing this year. I have used some small stamps with calligraphy and some foam stamps with gelli printing. But, I'm still not using my stamps as much as I should, considering the space they take up in my small office/studio.
How does it feel? As we move firmly into the second half of the year, I'm thinking a lot about "losing" some stamps. I've gained clarity that there are some stamps I won't be sad to lose. (I've never been very good at letting things go when they are no longer used. The voice in my head keeps saying things like "What if I need this one day?" So, this is a big step.) But, I'm bummed out that at the half-way point, I estimate that I've only used about 10% of my stamps. At this rate, by the end of the year I may have used 20%, and I don't feel that I will be willing to lose the other 80%.
What have I accomplished and what still needs to be done? I'm marking off stamps in my stamp catalog as I use them. I've learned that I reach for many favourites over and over again. I've given a few stamps away and I've been through all my boxes of stamps and removed those that are clear "losers". I've put the "losers" in the basement and if I don't go down and reclaim them for a specific project they're definitely going. (The boxes contain wood mounted and clear sets). I've learned that this project was too big for one year, so I won't try and tackle the CD cases of unmounted rubber until 2014.
My current method isn't going to get me far enough in 2013, though, so I'm adding to my strategy. I'm going to get out one box of stamps each month and deliberately try to use the stamps in the box that haven't been used in 2013. We'll do flowers in August, move onto leaves and foliage in the fall, and so on. As I use my stamps this way, I'm going to follow the tips suggested by Susan on her blog, Simplicity. (She's also running a Use-Your-Stamps Challenge):
As you use your stamps, pay attention to how you like working with each stamp or set. Is it worth the space it's taking up? Do you want to get rid of it? Perhaps you're not quite ready to say goodbye. If so, put it in a box in your basement or closet for six months or a year. After that time, you'll either be ready to say goodbye or welcome it back into your stash. Time lends clarity.
Who thought that saying good-by could be so hard?