You’ve seen bits and pieces of my handcarved rubber stamp collection, but I’ve always been too ashamed to show you how I store them. Those of you who are faint of heart (or are amongst those perfect people who clean every stamp off after every use and powder their little bottoms and tuck them into bed) might want to look away for a moment. Ready?
A mess, yes? You can’t say I didn’t warn you.
But the pizza box system has been working pretty well. Actually, maybe not so well. Things get dirty. And the MasterCarve ones (as much as I adore Master Carve, and I do) are prone to crumbling with lots of use and rough handling. And there aren’t enough pizza boxes in the world–this is only one of many, so many that the pizza boxes themselves have to live in a big shopping bag. And on top of the pizza boxes in the shopping bag there are the kitchen match boxes (you know, the big ones), in which I store sets of stamps that were carved for a particular project–they belong together.
Finding the blocks meant for stamp mounting, the ones I showed you a few posts ago, that I found at Goodwill, has inspired me to try to clean up my act. Stop–you people who know me–stop snickering right this very minute. I can do it if I want to. Consider, for instance, this:
Not too shabby, huh? Some of the stamps required a little grooming with a razor blade to clean them up and make them fit on the tinier blocks, like this one:
And I stamped the image of each one onto an adhesive-backed mailing label and stuck that to the back of its stamp so I can find it more easily.
Some of the stamps I’ve made go with other specific stamps, and I’ve put these together on one stamp–see the little teakettle with its two cups? Those were originally three separate stamps. Similarly, the little green old school canning jar on top of the kettle-and-cups–that one goes with a tiny stamp of a spoon. I put them on the same label, but in this case the carved image is stuck to the broad side of the block and the spoon to the top so that I can stamp them in two different colors. I have quite a few little sets like this–evergreen boughs and pine cones, for instance, or a vase, a bundle of flower stems meant to be seen through the vase, along with a flower center that’s on yet another side (I usually ink or watercolor the petals by hand).
Overall, I am very pleased. Now I just need to keep haunting the Goodwill store until I find a few more mounting blocks. Say, a couple of hundred more.