SYW111 – An Epic Plan to Organize Stamps

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Iris Fox has a lot of stamps and a four-part plan to finally be able to find (and use!) what she needs. In this episode you’ll hear all about the why and how behind this innovative approach. In case you need a reference, here are the four phases Iris mentions:

  • Phase 1 – Transfer stamps to CD cases without packaging
  • Phase 2 – Gathering digital images for CD case covers
  • Phase 3 – Index all cases with alphanumeric coding labels
  • Phase 4 – Add images to Google photos for AI-assisted search

Discussion Prompt

Leave a comment below sharing your response to this week’s question.

What aspect of your crafty stash could use some intensive TLC?

Links Mentioned


Iris Fox 0:00

The end goal is to use my stamps more in my scrapbooking. And I feel like for me, the way I was going to accomplish that was to invest the time now.

Jennifer Wilson 0:13

Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way, the show that explores the breadth of ways to be a memory keeper today. I'm your host, Jennifer Wilson, owner of Simple Scrapper and author of The New Rules of Scrapbooking. This is Episode 111. In this episode, I'm joined by Iris Fox to hear the details of her massive reorganization project for nearly 200 stamp sets. As you listen to this episode, think about what aspect of your crafty stash could use some intensive TLC, then consider joining us starting this Thursday, April 8, for the next session of Stash Bash exclusively inside of the Simple Scrapper membership. All right, here's my conversation with Iris.

Jennifer Wilson 1:02

Hey, Iris, welcome back to the podcast.

Iris Fox 1:04

Thanks, Jennifer, for inviting me back. I'm so excited to talk to you.

Jennifer Wilson 1:09

I think this is going to be a excellent conversation. I love it when friends and members just have these little interesting conversations. And I'm like, ooh, that would make a great podcast topic. And that's exactly what happened here today. But can you just share a little bit about yourself to reacquaint our audience with who Iris Fox is?

Iris Fox 1:30

So you might know me as Whimsy Fox on all the socials. I'm a scrapbooker. I'm also quilter. Sometimes YouTuber, owner of Whimsy Fox Crafts, which is an Etsy shop I started in at the end of 2019. Designing cut files, cutting cut files for people, and also making little felties and stitched items. So you can add those and not have to do the stitching yourself. Let's see. Also, I can count myself as maybe a teacher I had my first class at Big Picture Classes last year. That was really cool. I live in the Bay Area of California, about 30 minutes east of San Francisco with my husband of 20 years. And my two teen girls. Oh, wait. I haven't newly minted loot new, newly minted adult. My daughter just turned 18 last week.

Jennifer Wilson 2:29

Wow. Congrats. That's so exciting.

Iris Fox 2:31

Yeah, and my younger one's 15.

Jennifer Wilson 2:34

That's so crazy. You don't seem old enough to have 15 and 18 year olds.

Iris Fox 2:39

Sometimes I feel older. Yeah. I'm still trying to get used to I mean, she'll always be my kid. Right. So...

Jennifer Wilson 2:47

Yeah, of course. They're always your baby. So yeah, but Congrats. You raised one to adulthood. That's amazing.

Iris Fox 2:51

I got one there and one more to go.

Jennifer Wilson 2:56

Well, I remember in our last episode, you mentioned like the felites that, that I'm like, I'm very much like a flat embellishment type person and you love the chunkier, the better, you love all the fun stuff. And so yeah, it's just it's really cool to see all of our differences and how we all have certain things that make scrapbooking our own way and make it personalized. So...

Iris Fox 3:17

For sure.

Jennifer Wilson 3:18

I'm sure some of that's going to come out today in our discussion, which is going to be all about organizing stamps. We are still in kind of our organizing series here. And I knew I had to talk to you about this topic. But before we get there, I'm curious what is exciting you in scrapbooking right now?

Iris Fox 3:34

I've got an app that has just blown my mind. And I wanted to share that. It's called rim, well, I pronounce it Remini I might be re-mini, remaini, I'm not sure. REMINI. i know it's available for both Android and Apple. And it's an app that uses AI to fix faces, blurry faces. And I mean seriously, some of the things I've some of the pictures I've run through they're blown my mind. It is for free, you get five free ones a day. In each, each device you put it on. So for a while there I was doing 10 a day, part of my, what I call my daily delete, but it's not quite a daily delete. But part of my daily photo organization. I was running 10 photos a day through the app for free. You have like a little commercial, you know, like 30 seconds. But you can pay also for the pro. I'm not sure about the pro what you get with that. But it'll take, I've run scanned photos or just old iPhone photos, you know, like some that come to mind are my daughter's in a dark restaurant. And you know, everything's grainy, you know, yeah, dark, usually grainy and it will put those faces right into focus as If it's like HD, and I just scan some old photos for my, my grandmother for her birthday, she's turning 95. And they were of her two daughters, my mom and her sister when they were little. So circa 1950s. And some of the faces were just amazing how it brought them forward with so much detail. So Remini, that's just, I'm a big proponent of making my photos as best they can. So I really do like editing. But this, this takes most of the work out of it in terms of faces, because that's what it's meant for.

Jennifer Wilson 5:34

Yeah, that sounds so cool. I will have to check that out. And of course, we will include all the links in the show notes for this episode to that because it sounds really fun. I love how technology is solving some of these tricky problems that you would have to be a Photoshop expert.

Iris Fox 5:50


Jennifer Wilson 5:50

Really for that, like a total advanced Photoshop expert to be able to do. But I know the ones that like will take out, you know, power lines in the background and weird things. Like I just love the power of apps these days. And just to make those types of techniques more accessible. So super.

Iris Fox 6:06

For sure, for sure.

Jennifer Wilson 6:08

All right. What about storytelling? What is your what is on your storytelling Bucket List these days? We love to talk about this because it's so important to make sure that that the the breadth of our stories are being told not just the fun things that we're doing and the milestones and the celebrations but these meaningful stories that are really part of who we are.

Iris Fox 6:28

Well, I don't have a particular story. I think I might have said this last time. I don't have a particular story that I'm zeroing in on. But it's more of like a time period that I haven't covered yet. And that is like your Before You. You know, my story growing up. And I'm kind of most excited about it this year for two reasons. One, I just rejoined Simple Scrapper this year. I'd been a member years ago, I can't remember which year, but I had an in the intervening time. And I know you have your Before Your Story class, and you're reprising that.

Jennifer Wilson 7:07

Yes, let me find the date. I actually we just recorded a podcast episode today. And I believe it's gonna be Episode 118, where I have three different people who've taken this class and completed their albums, and they're sharing kind of their all their lessons learned from that on an upcoming episode. But that class will start, let's see June 3. Yeah, so like really kicking off the summer with this deep dive into capturing your story from birth to adulthood. So...

Iris Fox 7:35

That's cool. Cool. Yeah, I'm excited because it's, it's something that I've really neglected. And I've sort of been gathering little things for it. If something comes to mind about my childhood, I'll look for a photo. So like, just looked for Hostess Pies, those cheap ones at the grocery store, that I remember was such a treat for me when we were young. And I wouldn't be caught dead eating it now, but. Because they're all sugar.

Jennifer Wilson 8:05

You mean those like 1000 calorie apple pies. Yes, those are amazing. And also terrible for you.

Iris Fox 8:11

For some reason, it popped in my head the other day. And I'm like, I better search for photos of that. So I've been gathering even photos of things that I know, I don't have photos of from my childhood. And any little snippets that come to my mind. And I've been just writing things down, gathering photos for that. Because I feel like taking this class will help me not let it get overwhelming. And help me focus on which, maybe narrowing down what I want to say. And what stories and not getting to like, I'm ADHD, I swear I think I have like adult ADD. So I go all over the place. And then I don't finish it. So I'm looking forward to doing that. And the other reason is the Scrap Gals. And they also have a podcast. This year they've been doing, every month they put out seven, they call them life stories questions. And a lot of them are our little prompts. And like one of them was like, what was your favorite childhood toy? And so I've been gathering their questions. They're helping me like, get some of these little stories down so that when we have the class, I can hopefully put it together pretty quickly.

Jennifer Wilson 9:20

Yeah, and we have tons of those prompts in there as well. And we will definitely keep you in line and not distracted.

Iris Fox 9:27

Oh, I don't know. If anyone can do it, it's you. I can't do it for myself. But yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 9:34

No, we have so many reminders in there. Like we even give you a place like if you have extra ideas, here's where you put them. So that they're not part of the to do list for the project. So we give you a place to like, every overflow idea goes here. So that maybe you can act on it later, but not now.

Iris Fox 9:51

Yeah, that'd be wonderful.

Jennifer Wilson 9:54

All right, so I mentioned that we're gonna talk about organizing stamps today because you're kind of in this, get back in the swing of things mode. Why do you think we're so drawn to organization as a way of like resetting and finding focus?

Iris Fox 10:08

Yeah, I was thinking about this. And I think there's, there's two reasons for it. I think one is like, there's so much in our lives that we can't control. Whether it's our own schedule, if you plan it out, then you know, the kids need this and this phone call, and that happens and then interferes, or just more general life, things we can't control that are happening all around us. And I feel like organizing is one tangible thing that you can control. You're like, okay, I want to organize this, you have a vision, you like to have to do research or get some products to help you. But you can execute that vision. And you have a before and after. And you're like, yes, I did this, I, you're in control of every part of that process. So I think that is one of the reasons, because it gives you something that you can control and and you can see the result. But the other reason I think is, I'm a big Gretchen Rubin fan. And she says, outer order, inner calm. And that for me is the reason if, if I feel like too much is going on, burned out or stressed out or whatever. I turn to organizing, because as I focus on the organizing, it's like all the thoughts circling around, just just drop away. And you focus on that one thing. And then once that's done, you see that order, and your mind is already ordered as well. Like you put everything in its place. And while you're doing that your mind to sort of like calms down. I know that organizing can be can be stressful for some people, maybe most people. If it's in a certain situation, like if you try to organize your entire room at once, oh my god, no, that's stressful. But if you take one, one thing at a time, focusing on one product, or one area, I think it just helps you focus and it calms your mind. So you're not even the it's also something that lets you connect with your craft or your passion without having to be too much of a thought things, especially with scrapbooking. There's a lot of thinking that is involved in scrapbooking unlike ...

Jennifer Wilson 12:35

And feeling too, yeah.

Iris Fox 12:36

And feeling. Unlike some other crafts like knitting, right, where you're not thinking about things. So a lot of thoughts in designing and a lot of emotions and getting your story down. And that can be, that can drain you sometimes. So to organize a little bit of pretty product keeps you connected to it, but it's very calming, you don't have to think or feel.

Jennifer Wilson 13:03

Oh, for sure. Well and I've, you know, I think my procedures may be a little bit unusual. But I after every single layout have to reset everything. Like every single thing gets put away. There's nothing that drives me nuts more than having lots of like, crinkly envelopes, have all the letter stickers, like piled up on my table like no, everything has to go back. Because that kind of helps me reset and I feel calm. And then that kind of concludes the satisfaction of making the layout for me and then if I'm gonna make something again, I will start again. But even on that small scale, I just I feel that sense of like relief and it just feels so I just had no thinking you know what to do you know how to put things away. I think even just like fussy cutting and doing little things like that. And I think you know, people been organizing their chipboard from Ali's video and everything. Like that's very therapeutic because it doesn't require extra brainpower. We don't have to think about what's going on in the world. All you have to do is is this a circle or a square? Or is it red? Or is it blue?

Iris Fox 14:06

Absolutely. I don't know that you're unusual because I also have to clean up after a project

Jennifer Wilson 14:13


Iris Fox 14:13

I mean it, I'm still a piller so some of the cleanup might involve moving a pile to another place.

Jennifer Wilson 14:21

Sure, yes.

Iris Fox 14:21

But a lot of the, a lot of the the tools that I used, anything on my desk, I really do have to clean up. Like you said a little packaging all that has to be thrown away. Yeah, so I definitely need that reset between projects as well.

Jennifer Wilson 14:36

Yeah, otherwise it, just and I, the idea of even coming back to it later and I leave a lot of, I'm not, my husband will tell you like I am the queen of like leaving things all over the house. But something about my supplies like I want them back cause otherwise it drives me nuts if they're still there because I don't even remember what they're for a week later. You know, it was I done with this? So I just prefer to put it all back. Okay, so let's talk specifically about stamps. What had been frustrating you about your stash of stamps that led you to this reorganization project?

Iris Fox 15:13

Going back to Gretchen Rubin, I've learned that I am an abundance lover, which is a nice way of saying is, I'm a shopaholic. And I have a lot of stamps. I have a lot of things. I'm afraid to count. But I know I have to have at least 200 stamp sets. And...

Jennifer Wilson 15:33

That's, that's a lot.

Iris Fox 15:33

That's a lot, yes. So my biggest frustration is, well, in general, with my scrapbooking stash or my crafting stash. My biggest frustration, having a lot of things is finding what I want, fairly quickly. And not making and, and wishing I didn't make such a big mess finding it. So with stamps, you know, it's funny, I actually saw in my Lightroom catalog that I have photos of some my stamps from 2012, which is when I was first thinking of organizing my stamps. And my stash is probably three times as big as it was back then. But I was like, wait a minute, I took pictures of these, which is great, because I thrown the packaging away on some. So now I can find them. But so I've been thinking about that for a while. And like I said, my stash is probably three times as big. And originally I would make cards, but I've gotten away from card making. So I'm not as connected with my stamps, as I am with a lot of my other products that I rifle through almost every project. Stamps just sort of aren't something I grab, and I want to. I want to use my stamps in my scrapbooking. So I was just having the frustration of like, I have to flip through all my stamps to find something and take them off the shelf and make a mess. And in that I just finally decided it's time. So...

Jennifer Wilson 17:08

Well, as you mentioned before, like you really, you want to feel connected to it so that you know what you have. And if there's a certain type of supply, which you rifle through all the time, you're like, oh, just the other week I saw this thing. I can just go find it right there, it should be in this area. Whereas if there's like if three quarters of your stamp stash hasn't been looked at in a long time, you're not going to really remember what's there.

Iris Fox 17:30

And a lot of stamp sets, I'm drawn to seem to have similar words to them, especially more recently with like Project Life type things. And, you know, you got some the currentlys and the you know, real life, #real life, whatever, they'll have a lot of similar words. And then I can't remember which one came from, you know, like, if I think of like, oh, I want to find if something says oops, you know, like, it's a snarky kind of thing. You know, was it? Was it Kelly Purkey stamp? Or was it a Studio Calico? So then it's just really annoying to have that in your brain, that I think I have that, and then have to go through the entire stash? Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 18:17

So are we talking about all like photopolymer stamps? Or do you have different types of stamps? Like what does your collection look like as a whole in terms of these 200 sets?

Iris Fox 18:28

Yeah. Oh, yeah. Almost all of them are photopolymer cling stamps. I do have some of my old rubber stamps that I unmounted. So I no longer have any wood mounted. I converted them to cling with that easy clean or EZ Mount. It's a product that you can...

Jennifer Wilson 18:48


Iris Fox 18:49

You can stick on, you just peel the rubber part and put it on the EZ mount instead. And then trim it. So yeah, just 99.5% of them is photopolymer. I started collecting, I got into like Papertrey Ink, if you're familiar with them? And their system was CD cases, they would send you the stamps that with the CD case. And so when I first started getting cling stamps, that's mostly what I had. So when I got cling, cling stamps from other places, I ended up transfer them into CD cases. Which meant a lot of times I have to cut the sheet that they came on to fit them in the CD cases, which I...

Jennifer Wilson 19:35

CD cases are what, five by five, six by six?

Iris Fox 19:38

Think they're closer to five by five. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 19:40

Ok, yeah.

Iris Fox 19:41

And and that worked for a while, I did that. I transferred what I had back then. But I noticed two, a couple things. CD cases break easily.

Jennifer Wilson 19:52


Iris Fox 19:52

They, they have where the the hinges there's a gap. So if one of my stamps was loosing it's tackiness they could easily fall out. And and then the third thing was that, I noticed that a lot of people were doing the Jennifer McGuire method of organizing stamps, which is in the sleeves. And I thought...

Jennifer Wilson 20:19

That's how I have mine now.

Iris Fox 20:20

Yeah, yeah. And so I started doing some of my stamps that way, like I stopped transferring to CD cases at all. I got sleeves, and I put them in sleeves. And I kind of like that, but I still have problems with the sleeves. I don't like the extra step of taking the sleeve, taking it out of the sleeve. And taking the backing off off the acetate backing. that bugs me and two, you can still have some that lose their tackiness. And then they can as you're taking it out, it might fall out.

Jennifer Wilson 20:56

Yeah, fly across the room. So yes,

Iris Fox 20:58

I have had, I've lost a few, you know, I'm sure they flew across the room. So I still didn't like that. So oh, and I forgot to mention back in the CD case, era, I bought one of those, it's like a Billy bookcase, but it's for media. So it's like a skinnier, less deep version. It's meant for DVDs or CDs. So that's what I had mine on. So when I moved to this house, three years ago, I bought a second one. So I have two of those. They don't make them anymore. So, I thought, well, I don't like the CD cases, I'm not keen on the sleeves for the most part. So why don't I transfer them to DVD cases, like Stampin Up. Stampin Up has DVD cases, I have some Stampin Up. So that's what they came in. And that way, I wouldn't have to cut the, the, the sheets.

Jennifer Wilson 21:50


Iris Fox 21:51

And they're enclosed. And I can put like, they might take up a little more room. But I can put multiple sets in this DVD case. So in the end it you know, the equivalent of you know, two or three sets in the sleeves might be close to two or three sets in a case.

Jennifer Wilson 22:10

In a case, yeah.

Iris Fox 22:11

And it's enclosed. So just open it and you have it flat, nothing's gonna pop out, if it's not tacky. So that's that's how my most of my collection looks I'm well, we're going to get into the the phases of my, my current stamp organization. But I do have a couple of manufacturers that I do do in sleeves. And that's like the Ali Edwards, because I have her stamp separate from my main stash. So I did put those in sleeves in a bin and the Cocoa Daisy ones, which I actually have in those sticker booklets that they've come out with, Cocoa Daisy.

Jennifer Wilson 22:11

Oh, yes, yes, yeah. Okay.

Iris Fox 22:14

But that doesn't fit very many. So I'm definitely going to take them out of there because they're too full there for stickers and the stamps.

Jennifer Wilson 23:06

Okay, so you have some are in CDs, you have some that are in sleeves, that you're going to stay in sleeves, and some that are in sleeves that you need to take out of sleeves, and then you already do have some in DVD cases. Is that correct? Or no? Or is that your perspective direction?

Iris Fox 23:22

Yeah, yeah. No, that that's correct. Although I finished phase one, which is the DVD cases.

Jennifer Wilson 23:28

Okay, so let's yeah, let's talk about your whole plan. And our I need to know like, are you using, is there a source for like, bulk blank DVD cases? How are we going about this are you using...

Iris Fox 23:39

Amazon has actually...

Jennifer Wilson 23:40

Be Titanic was in this before?

Iris Fox 23:44

It's funny I did the CD cases was when I used my old CDs, and I put them all into a big sleeve thing.

Jennifer Wilson 23:53

Yeah they were in an album or whatever.

Iris Fox 23:55

Yeah. No, I just ordered DVDs from Amazon. Just like I've ordered the Avery Elle pockets sleeves from Amazon too. And, you know, I like a case of 100. And then another case of 100, that's 200. And it wasn't too bad. And I spent I think I started really seriously transferring back last summer. And I ended early February of the actual transferring of everything I already had in CD cases, or the ones that were in sleeves that I designated as are going to go into my my main stash. I finished the actual transferring of them.

Jennifer Wilson 24:42

Okay, so when you talk about transfer, what portion of the existing packaging is that included, If any? Or are you literally taking every single individual stamp and sticking it to the DVD case?

Iris Fox 24:53

Yes. I...

Jennifer Wilson 24:56

So there's no packaging anywhere.

Iris Fox 24:57

No packaging. Yeah. So I take the stamp out of the package, and I take every stamp off the acetate piece that has the images.

Jennifer Wilson 25:09


Iris Fox 25:09

I put little glue dots on the back of the acetate and slipped it in this DVD case. You know how it has that plastic?

Jennifer Wilson 25:17

On the front. Yeah.

Iris Fox 25:18

On the front. I stuck it in there and so that it's glued down, and then I stick every individual stamp onto the inside of the DVD case.

Jennifer Wilson 25:28


Iris Fox 25:29

So you open the DVD case, you take the stamp off, use it, but it's put it in.

Jennifer Wilson 25:37

Do you clean your stamps in between or no?

Iris Fox 25:39

Oh, yeah, I'm a cleaner.

Jennifer Wilson 25:41

Okay, cause some people are like, not cleaners at all right?

Iris Fox 25:43

I mean, it bugs me that the StazOn...

Jennifer Wilson 25:46


Iris Fox 25:47

You know, like, stains it but I like to use StazOn for for its properties. So, you know, I let that slide. But yes, I actually have StazOn Cleaner, too. So I try to clean as best I can. But I am definitely a cleaner.

Jennifer Wilson 25:59

So you mentioned that you're going to put multiple sets in a DVD case. So if you have one, like design sheet on the front, how do you, how do you know for yourself that you have three different sets in this one case then?

Iris Fox 26:13

So that gets into the other phases?

Jennifer Wilson 26:16


Iris Fox 26:16

So phase one, was to transfer them all into the uniform format, in this case, DVDs for most of them. And then the Avery pockets for my special ones.

Jennifer Wilson 26:30

And why are you keeping those special? Just to pause there for a second.

Iris Fox 26:34

I like for instance, with the Ali Edwards, I like the fact that they're themed and so I stamped on the, I'm a rifler, so I like rifling through those. I don't put them in pockets at all. I just leave them with the backing on there, which I said I don't like but in this case, I'm making an exception. And and then I stamped a label with one of the stamps from each set. And it's just kind of fun just to like, rifle through them that way. I don't know why my brain says it's okay for these. But for the rest, it's kind of annoying.

Jennifer Wilson 27:13

Okay, no, that makes sense. Because like they are there they more good together. They're themed, whereas other ones may be more like I don't know less, less story focused. Certainly. Cause...

Iris Fox 27:25


Jennifer Wilson 27:25

They just, they're just they tend to be just designs and some of the fans are sentiments too. But there's they're less of a connection to the words and each other, I guess. I don't know.

Iris Fox 27:36

I think it's just easier.

Jennifer Wilson 27:38

I'm trying to support you here in your decision.

Iris Fox 27:41

There's no real rationale. I think my brain makes a connection with the Story themes better when I just can rifle through them, but they will be part of my other phases in getting this big indexing for them. So that I can't find them, find things easier.

Jennifer Wilson 28:03

So phase one was moving all of your lesser stamps into the DVDs?

Iris Fox 28:07

Let's call them the lesser stamps. Yes. Moving most of them to DVDs. That was phase one.

Jennifer Wilson 28:13

Did you end up getting rid of any in this first phase?

Iris Fox 28:16

Yeah, for sure. Yeah, I'm not a hoarder. No, Yes, I did. I purged probably 25 sets. And I know because I've been selling them on eBay. So, so yeah, I definitely got rid of some. There were a few that I actually had to throw away. Like he said, you know, some have gotten, they like oily like the photopolymer is breaking down. So I just threw those away.

Jennifer Wilson 28:42

I've had some of those and some that were yellowed and some that were kind of crackly a variety of different...

Iris Fox 28:49

Yeah. Yeah, I've been collecting stamps since 20, 2007. So some of those older ones do not hold up. So yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 28:57

Okay, so what's phase two then?

Iris Fox 28:58

Okay. So phase two is where I'm at now. And what I'm doing is I'm Googling for the the acetate image. I'm Googling for those and downloading the photos of each stamp set. A couple reasons for that one, I had to, I had thrown away packaging way back. So I don't know exactly who some sets are from. Or I had to cut them up to go into the CD cases. So I don't know how they went back together in a, you know, if you hadn't cut it up. So I did some of that before, but now I'm really getting all the other images. So that's phase two. Phase three is to label so on the DVD cases themselves. I'm just going to do like a kind of an indexing, right. So for instance, if I have, I did organize mostly by manufacturer, but I also have some themes. Like I have so much autumn and Halloween, that that's a separate category or December Daily, Christmas. So for instance, for manufacturers, I'll put the manufacturer name, you know, well, on the DVD cases themselves, I'll have the name and the name of the stampset. But I also have this index, which would be something like, you know, Pink Fresh 1, Pink Fresh 2, Pink, Fresh 3. Or autumn 1, autumn 2 autumn 3. or out. My Ali Edwards, probably will just be by, by Story theme.

Jennifer Wilson 30:36


Iris Fox 30:36

And then, so the DVD case will actually have the name of the set, but then have this index number. And then all those images that I downloaded, I will write on there, or type on there, the index name, or number, name, number, alphanumeric. So. So that in phase was in phase four, I will upload all those images with the alphanumeric number on them to my Lightroom and to Google Photos. And that way...

Jennifer Wilson 31:11

So you can search.

Iris Fox 31:12

That way I can search. In Lightroom I'm not going to bother keywording. But in Lightroom, I find it's easy to just see everything all the little thumbnails. But then all these Google Photos to actually use keywords to search for what I'm looking for.

Jennifer Wilson 31:30

I wonder if Google Photos will use any of its like AI recognition? Like if you'd have to pumpkin?

Iris Fox 31:36

Oh, it does.

Jennifer Wilson 31:36

To find your pumpkin stamps?

Iris Fox 31:38

Yes, you can.

Jennifer Wilson 31:40

Even that they're not real live pumpkins.

Iris Fox 31:45

It will find the word pumpkin it will find pumpkins on there. And in some cases, it's actually looked at pumpkin. It'll just find stamps that are related to pumpkin. So like it's an autumn stamp set. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 32:00

Yeah, that's that's a really, really positive reason to put it into Google Photos or like Lightroom mobile, or Lightroom CC in general. But not Lightroom Classic because Lightroom Classic's search is not as functional that way.

Iris Fox 32:14

I use Lightroom Classic. So I don't actually have experience with the new Lightroom cloud.

Jennifer Wilson 32:19

Yeah, the the cloud Lightroom has search that's that's more akin to what you find in Google Photos that does like not just facial recognition, but object recognition. So I've searched for like grass, or you know, just various types of things to find related types of photos or even searching by color, and it will pull stuff up. So that's cool.

Iris Fox 32:40

So I do that mostly with the Google Photos. I just think it's the best thing since sliced bread. You know, it's like, it took a lot of work out of doing stuff with my photos because I, I've been a Lightroom user for years. I'm a big fan, like you are. And when I first started off, I would keyword things. And now I don't even bother. I just...

Jennifer Wilson 32:42

Because of Google Photos.

Iris Fox 32:45

I actually, I actually search for things on Google Photos, and then go find it. Like, usually look at the date and then just go to my Lightroom catalog and get it bring it up that way.

Jennifer Wilson 33:15

Oh, interesting. Now, jumping back to your phase two plan. I'm curious if you thought about instead of downloading images, just stamping a copy of the images, like making your own cover image.

Iris Fox 33:27

I have thought about it and I will be doing that for some that I can't find, find. Some are so old, I can't find more. Or they're like Michaels like the Studio G brand. And I've searched for Studio G, I've searched for Michaels, I've searched Recollection you the ones that the dollar bin.

Jennifer Wilson 33:44


Iris Fox 33:44

And I cannot find the specific ones. I will stamp those or I can just scan.

Jennifer Wilson 33:51

Oh, good plan.

Iris Fox 33:51

Scan it. Well, actually, you can take photos, I could take photos of each one. But I don't know I'm kind of a purist. I wanted to see how many I wanted to find the original images as the best quality I could to, to just sort of keep it even. Like all the same as much as possible, versus a photo. But...

Jennifer Wilson 34:13

You could stamp the images and then scan those images.

Iris Fox 34:16

Yeah. And that's more work. And I probably will go with the more work, just because I'm OCD like that. But that is why I'm doing that first. And I'm keeping a running list of ones I can't find because I've got, I'm going through now that they're all converted over to DVDs. I've got them on the shelves. So I take a section at a time. And while I'm watching TV at night, I go searching for each one. And then I put a running list in in Google Sheets of which ones I couldn't find.

Jennifer Wilson 34:45

Okay, so phase one is DVD moving to the DVD and that's completed phase two was you're working on these label images for the front of the DVD case. And what was phase three?

Iris Fox 34:58

That's the labeling both The DVD case. So right now what I did, I just cut the packaging is with the name of the manufacturer and the name of the stamp set if it was available, and I just kind of stuck it on with temporary glue. But I'll have to do actual labels, I'm getting a new label maker, so I'm waiting for that.

Jennifer Wilson 35:17

Ooh fun.

Iris Fox 35:17

Yeah, mine's so old. But I'm labeling both what the stamp set is or stamp sets, because again, some fit multiple, and then I'm also labeling the alphanumeric for indexing purposes. And I guess that's phase 3A and then 3B would be putting those alphanumerics into the images themselves.

Jennifer Wilson 35:47

Okay. Okay,

Iris Fox 35:49

Or three and four, phase three and four.

Jennifer Wilson 35:50

And so they're kind of, are they I'm assuming the alphanumeric coding system you're using is how you're kind of organizing them on the shelf so that you can find them that way?

Iris Fox 35:58

Yeah, I'm not. I did organize by manufacturer, but within it, I'm not doing something like alphabetical or anything. Because if I, if I do change things around and get rid of some or add some, I don't want to have to like redo anything. So I'll just add it to the end. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 36:19

Yeah. Yeah. And then is that, and then you said phase four is more of like the Google photo side to really kind of create this digital index of your all of your images?

Iris Fox 36:28

Yeah, so I'm downloading all the images. But I'm not putting them into Lightroom yet, until I put in the the alphanumeric system. And then I'll add them to my, I have a, you know, folder for stamps already. So I'll just add them all to that folder, and then upload them to Google Photos. Let's call that phase four instead of 3B.

Jennifer Wilson 36:56

All right, and then is that is that the end of it? Is that I mean, is there more to do after that?

Iris Fox 37:01

Upkeep, I guess? But...

Jennifer Wilson 37:02

Oh sure. Yeah, like, what would you do? Like let's talk through, you get a new stamp set in the mail next month? How does it, how does it go into your system? What's your routine for that?

Iris Fox 37:14

Well, let's say I buy a you know, Kerry Bradford stamp and I have the, it's probably KBS 12345? If once that's done right, then I would already since it's probably current, I just get the image from online right away, put the next number on there. KBS, you know, 6 or 7, whatever. And then also label it right away and then stick it in the shelf in its order.

Jennifer Wilson 37:46

Nice. I mean, have you like...

Iris Fox 37:48

The goal.

Jennifer Wilson 37:49

Used any stamps since they started going into the DVD cases?

Iris Fox 37:53

Oh, I do use the stamps. Yeah, I still. I still make cards. And I used the stamps in my planner. I just and in Project Life stuff, but it's just takes a long time to find things.

Jennifer Wilson 38:09

Okay, I'm just wondering if like this system is helping, has already helped you. Just with ease, because now you can just open it up, and there's no packaging to deal with. And...

Iris Fox 38:19

For me, that's what's working. Yes.

Jennifer Wilson 38:21


Iris Fox 38:22

I do like that. I had a bit of a qualms at one point, because I had the CDs before. And then I regretted taking, you're cutting up those sheets and stuff. And then I had to put them back together and I'm like, Am I gonna regret the DVDs? Should I just do the the what everyone likes to do with the envelopes, but I just decided to keep going for it. Because every time I open up a thing, I'm just like, thank God, I'm not losing more of these, you know, because I've lost a few.

Jennifer Wilson 38:56

Oh sure.

Iris Fox 38:57

Like I have this typewriter font. It's teeny tiny, like each letter's a quarter inch, and I have like four of missing and I'm like, I can't make the words now because they're missing. So yeah, yeah,

Jennifer Wilson 39:10

I lost the number two, which you know, when your writing dates is a pretty important number. And it was my favorite and it was teeny tiny and I use it all the time. And then I was talk my carpet is like a black hole for stamps. Because it's like tan like if something falls on the carpet. You never find it again. So...

Iris Fox 39:27

Yeah. Oh, I should mention also I'm going to, the, my roller stamps, because I have a lot of roller raise stamps. I'm also getting the images for all those and they'll be indexed as well.

Jennifer Wilson 39:41

And how are you storing those items in a box or...

Iris Fox 39:43

No, I have one of those, Harbor Freight, it's kind of very utilitarian, turn around, turn around things. They're on the top, the top shelf of one of those.

Jennifer Wilson 39:56

Okay, yeah, I realized recently how many, I didn't realize quite how many of those that I had. There was a time when Studio Calico was releasing them. And I'm like, Oh, yes, I need another one. Yes, I need all of these.

Iris Fox 40:06

Oh, me too. Me too. So I had done, stamped them out before years ago again. And I just didn't keep that up. So because then I have to flip through the pages I stamped it on. So now I'm just gonna do it digitally again. Yeah, have the images, either I can find them or stamp them, and then scan them, put them in my system. And then that way I can search for, you know, phrases that I might be thinking of, or topics and see what comes up. And that helped me find them. Because with roller stamps, you can't even see them, because they're backwards. And they're tiny. So yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 40:46

You have to kind of pre selected it for the page you're working on. It's not something you really always grab on the fly.

Iris Fox 40:52


Jennifer Wilson 40:53

So I'm curious kind of stepping back again, like, let's remind our listeners, what is your ultimate goal here? Because I don't want them to get stuck in like, you're, I mean, you're doing a lot. You're, you're it's a pretty, it's not, I'm not saying it's a complicated system, but it's detailed and involved. With the end goal of what?

Iris Fox 41:11

The end goal is to use my stamps more in my scrapbooking. And I feel like for me, the way I was going to accomplish that was to invest the time now, in doing this indexing kind of system. And I've heard other people talk about their systems of stamps, you know, like either they stamp it out and have a booklet of all their stamps, and I can't, that doesn't work for me. I don't know why, I cannot flip through a album. I really like Lightroom for storing my digital supplies anyway. So I just felt like, I need to digitize these so that I can see them and and look for them a lot easier. And then when I went just Google Photos came out how many years ago, and I discovered the search is like, I think this is the solution for me. So my end goal is just to be able to find what I want. Or even just not even if I have an idea and it turns out that I didn't even realize I had this other thing that would work really well to you know, just be able to keyword search for things and find out what I have. And then be able to just go get it rather than pull 10 things off my shelf and then make a mess, which just kind of just gets exhausting when you're just, all I want is I know I have somewhere that it says Documented. You know, that's so overused. But I want to use that word. And I know I have. This systems like very techie. And it might not be for most people.

Jennifer Wilson 42:48

But it's what makes it fun to talk about is that there's you have to figure out what system is going to work for you. And we've mentioned a variety of different types of systems. I have half of my stamps, the ones that I consider my lesser stamps, are like still in, in a six by eight album in pockets. I don't like this system. But for right now I don't I don't care enough, I guess to transfer them to pockets. I have my new stamps that I love in pockets. But the rest of them, they're they're hanging out and I don't reach them very often. So should I keep them? That's a whole nother therapy with Jennifer conversation to figure out. I don't know. But there's so many different ways. And you have to figure out, you know, there's gonna be some people who are listening to this episode and totally geeking out and be like, I need to do what Iris is doing because I would love that.

Iris Fox 43:38

Yeah, I've heard other people use some apps for inventorying. I think even in the membership, someone mentioned it, I just can't remember the name of it. Which is it's like an inventory app. And I've heard a few people say they use inventory type apps, but then you have to type in things, you know, like the name of the stamp manufacturer, if you want to put, I don't know SKUs or whatever. And I felt like that was too individualized because you have to type one each individually. Whereas this is like I'm just getting all the photos and I'm typing the mass uploading into my, into my Lightroom and Google.

Jennifer Wilson 44:19

Well, yeah. And it's like there's I think there's a different function there that an inventory might help you not buy the same thing twice. But it's not so going to help you find...

Iris Fox 44:31


Jennifer Wilson 44:31

Related things.

Iris Fox 44:33

That's true.

Jennifer Wilson 44:34

To be able to find every instance of the word documented.

Iris Fox 44:36


Jennifer Wilson 44:39

I think that we need to focus always on the objective, whatever solution you have, is this helping me get access to my things faster?

Iris Fox 44:47


Jennifer Wilson 44:48

And that's going to be so unique to everyone and how their brain works.

Iris Fox 44:51

Absolutely. And that is why I'm a very visual person. So that's why I've just love Lightroom for that and then now Google Photos, just Because it's very visual. And I don't know, I feel like I feel like it's not. It's not a hard system to set up, it's just time. And then it's a lot easier to look things up versus like this inventory, then you have to go searching your keywords and all that stuff.

Jennifer Wilson 45:19

For sure. So do you have a timeline for kind of wrapping this up? Like, how, what's your goal here? How much are you working on it? And...

Iris Fox 45:28

Well, because I'm sort of relying on Google Photos for that keyword searching, and they are switching in June to charging you, I'm hoping to get everything uploaded by June. Just to have it grandfathered in as my, you know, like not counting towards future space.

Jennifer Wilson 45:49


Iris Fox 45:49

Right now I'm in phase two. I'm about halfway through phase two only because I slowed down in the evenings. Doing the finding all the images. So yeah, June, June is my my ultimate deadline there.

Jennifer Wilson 46:08

Well it's nice to have something I mean, if it, if it wasn't for this, this, you know, arbitrary deadline that Google has set, maybe you wouldn't have even started the project or made as much progress as you have. So it's helpful to just have something as a deadline to get it finished.

Iris Fox 46:22

Absolutely. I am. I'm an obliger. I need deadlines.

Jennifer Wilson 46:27

So I guess again, stepping back here, do you have any advice for others who just feel like their stamp collections out of control? They're not using their stamps because they can't get access? What would you, what would you say to that scrapbooker?

Iris Fox 46:41

Well, I think one of the important things is to do a little research on how other people are, are controlling their stamps. I watch a lot of organizing videos on YouTube. So just go search for craftroom organization or stamp organization see what everyone's doing. I'm a fan of Jennifer McGuire, she's she I think she led the movement to the Avery the little stamp pockets. It's very popular, it works really great for a lot of people. But there are some other people that do other things. So I think the important thing is, go find something that sounds exciting or sounds like it'll work for you and try it. You know, like that's another thing for me is like, I'm not afraid of trying to get it perfect the first time around. So I will try multiple ways of storing things and organizing them and then let it evolve as my needs change. Or as I realize this doesn't really work for me. So...

Jennifer Wilson 47:42


Iris Fox 47:43


Jennifer Wilson 47:43

Well, that. I mean, we've all tried various things over the years. And even I never expected that I would ever consider sorting anything by color. And now I have something sorted by color, because I'm like, oh, yeah, for this particular thing, this makes sense. Because I think about that thing by color. But I don't think about this other type of embellishment by color ever. So it's just you have to really practice and then see which parts work and then adapt and then fix the parts that don't.

Iris Fox 48:11

And I think my other advice is if if it's important enough to you take the time to do it. Like you might say, well, that's too that's gonna take too long, but I think I'm thinking about future me.

Jennifer Wilson 48:28


Iris Fox 48:29

Moving forward, and actually using the stuff that I buy more, you know, so, to me, it's worth the time investment. It's taking me a while. Sure. And I'm, I can't do it for like, I can't dedicate, like 12 hours a day to it. And yeah, and I get bored and all that but just little by little, just it, find a system that you think might work for you. That seems like it's good. And then try it and don't be afraid that it's just going to take too long to do and don't dismiss it because it's going to take too long.

Jennifer Wilson 49:04

Oh 100% I think that I mean, I am not always the most patient patient person myself. But what I've never regretted, really an investment of time in an organization project or even a creative project. Or even just like learning something new I got a new camera this past year. And I've had to like basically learn how to use the camera all over again. But it's been worth it every single video I watch, everything I try, it adds on the last. And it's worth that investment in time so that you feel more confident and more capable with all the stuff that you have in your life. It's it's worth the time to make your life easier later.

Iris Fox 49:43


Jennifer Wilson 49:45

Well, Iris this has been so fun. Thank you so much for inspiring us with your plan. I can't wait to hear how it goes as you continue to evolve with it. Can you share where we can find you online anything else you have new or interesting coming up?

Iris Fox 49:58

Well, I've been sort of stepped back from the socials and everything dealing with some health issues. But my Instagram is @WhimsyFox. I have a YouTube channel, also under WhimsyFox. I have an Etsy shop. Currently you can find the digital downloads for the cut files. I'm not doing anything physical right now, but the downloads are there and that's on Etsy. It's Whimsy Fox Crafts. And yeah, I've been popping on to Instagram a little more recently just kind of lurking. I, I don't want to get sucked into like doom scrolling and stuff like that. So I walked away completely for a while. And I'm just sort of getting back back to it. So...

Jennifer Wilson 50:51

Well, that can be a whole 'nother podcast episode two about healthy behaviors around social media so that we don't get so crazy and spiraled out from it.

Iris Fox 51:01

For Sure.

Jennifer Wilson 51:02

Well, this has been super fun. Thank you so much, Iris and thank you to all of our listeners. Please remember that you have permission to scrapbook and organize your stamps your own way.

Jennifer Wilson 51:14

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