Hey Everyone!!! I have been a major slacker lately. My nails all broke and peeled and are pretty short and nubby right now. I was discouraged. I finally put a gel mani on them to help them grow and stop breaking. Working at the kennel isn't easy on them but I know that wasn't the reason they were breaking. Peelies and damage is not my friend. I have also been working on making an Etsy site with my polish jewelry so I have been focused on that too. Too many projects too little time.
Today I am going to do a post about my stamping swatch book. I am way behind on this bad boy right now so I foresee a catch up day in my future...maybe two or three actually. There are two reasons I keep a swatch book for my plate images. The first reason is it is a whole lot easier to flip through a binder full of sheets of paper than it is to flip through all of my different stamping plates. The second reason is that I learned the hard way to swatch my plates to make sure they stamp well. I had ordered Bundle Monster's CYO set and Holiday set at the same time. Since it was around the holidays I started using the holiday plates first and put the CYO on the back burner. When I started seeing buzz about people having issues with their CYO plates I tested mine and found that the majority of the images were not picking up. I went through quite a mission trying to get them to replace the set because of the time frame and their stance that they usually do not have to replace the entire set. When I was forced to swatch every image I realized that a swatch book would have saved me a lot of time and headache. I try to swatch all my new plates fairly soon after receiving them so that I don't fall behind and I can make sure the plates are properly etched and will stamp.
I know, I know, by now you just want to see the pictures.
I use a regular binder, though I think I need a bigger one at this point, and clear page sheets for all the pages. I have each brand separated. I don't have divider tabs for each brand yet. I am not sure if I want to go that route or not so right now I just have a few dividers randomly thrown in there. They came with the binder so I left them.
My set up for each brand consists of the brand sheet which usually has their logo and name.
Next I put a picture of the plates that I copied and printed from online. Sometimes it helps to see the plate and sometimes I don't even look at these pages. As my binder gets bigger and heavier I question the need for these pages. I know a lot of people use just these pages or scans of the plates for their books.
Personally I would rather see what the image actually stamps like rather than what the plate looks like. I use cheap black polish and stamp each image out. I made some template pages with boxes so that I could keep track of which plate the images came from and to keep everything organized.
I have basic templates then just revised them a little depending on what the plate needs.
I love the MoYou images with their characters.
The plates that give me the most headache are the scenic plates or the plates that have full images across them. I have a few MoYou, Dashica, Marianne and knockoff plates like this. Before I got my Creative or super huge stamper I would try and stamp them in little sections so I could see the different images but still keep them sort of together.
I am still working on how I stamp them but now with bigger stamper heads out there it is a little easier to pick up more of the image at once.
I love being able to open my book and browse through it to see what images I have.
I always have issues imagining reverse images like the flowers and hearts images on the Vivid Lacquer plates. I can do ok with the open white ones but the black ones I can just not picture. Having them stamped together on the sheet makes it a lot easier for me to picture what my mani will look like and how much polish you are going to see if I use the black image compared to the open one. I hope that made sense, it did in my mind.
I am contemplating scanning all my pages to make a digital database where I can sort by holiday or image so I have that additional option to be able to look for hearts and get all the images at once. I was also contemplating printing them out by theme or image and adding that section to my book as well. That will be a ton of work so we will see if I get to that point.
That's all for now :)