Thursday, 2 October 2008 for dealing with the 'curious-non-stamping' visitor.

Recently I had a visitor, a close relative who wanted to see my stamps, and how I made cards. The praise and admiration was swelling my ego and it was with a hop skip and a jump that i went to my treasure trove and dug out the goodies. Within a quarter of an hour I was a gibbering mess, blaspheming into the sink, up to my armpits in soap suds.

I would like to share with you a few pointers:

If the 'curious-non-stamper' is arriving on a scheduled visit, be in the hall, coat on, car keys in hand and as soon as you answer the doorbell announce in a loud voice "I'm treating you to Starbucks, let's go!" Believe me, the outlay is justified.

If the 'curious-non-stamper' arrives unexpectedly, or indeed if the plain old non-stamping visitor suddenly develops a desire to play with your toys you will need a plan of action, may I suggest...

1) Decide, quickly, on the way to your stash, on your three oldest, most least-likely-to-be-used stamps. - Importantly, be sure to tell your visitor that you just got these ones and they're your favourites - at this point your laying the groundwork in the hope that your visitor will play nice with your toys.

2) Also pick out your oldest and most used up inks - two should suffice. Keep one in your pocket for when the first one lands on the baby, who will have it partially digested before you return from getting "more paper".

3) You will be going to get "more paper" because you are not stupid enough to let your visitor go to the stash and pick their own stuff...are you? Use cheap paper, back of old wrapping paper, children's homework books, anything BUT the PTI card - your 'visitor' will stamp profusely.

4) Only allow your visitor to stamp on a surface that is HIGHER than their waist height, this avoids the need to surgically remove pieces of disintegrated stamp from ink pad after the torture, sorry, visit is over - It also helps avoid cracked-ink-pad syndrome as the visitor will not be able to get their whole weight piled up on top of your favourite dark Chocolate Palette ink pad...that you had shipped all the way from America...

5) Importantly - pick up and clean each stamp just as you sense the visitor is moving on to the next image - you want to avoid the fistful of mangled sticky stamps served in a bed of tattered paper with a sauce of Palette de Stazon. However bad it looks tho' don't let them wash the stamps - they're slippy when wet and visitors seldom understand about things like plugholes.

6) Have a 'get out clause' in your head for when you can't take it no more..something like "Gosh it has been great, what a shame I have to GO RIGHT NOW and pick up my friends' kid from school on the other side of town. Ah well!"

If you sense that you're merely whetting their appetite and they're going to want to come back for more, might I suggest PTI gift certificate - so's they can get their own.

I hope you find this useful, I would've...


  1. Oh my gosh, I take it you had quite a day! I'm so sorry! but thank you for the tips! :-)

  2. OMG, Claire you are a riot. Im sorry you had the visit that led to these discovories but you made my day. -Molly B

  3. Oh my goodness, Claire! I hope your stamps survived the trauma!

  4. bwahaha...what a fun read. I think we have all had experiences such as these. What great "get outta trouble" tips! :)

  5. Oh my goodness. Thanks for sharing - sending you positive, happy stamping vibes from Canada. Maybe you need a little PTI-therapy to get over your 'visitor'.

    Stamping hugs,

  6. I have a question about #4...really?!? Your visitor felt it necessary to apply that much pressure to the ink pad? Wow, talk about enthusiastic!

  7. I have one more...
    resist the urge to grab said stamp out of visitors hand because you are too particular about how they are using it. it is bad form for company.

    You carck me up!
    Oh yeah and..I have done that one!!!

  8. Oh no! I'm so sorry that happened! Did they really crack the ink pad???? Do you need another?

    (PS would it help you to know though that these tips truly made me smile for the first time today? That's saying something.)

  9. Hi Claire,

    Today I posted an entry on my blog with a link to your.

    Would you let me know if that's OK?


    Nancy Ward

  10. SO hilarious Claire! Sorry for your misfortune - hope your supplies recover . . . maybe a shopping trip is in order?? :)

  11. Claire - you are a hoot! (meaning FUNNY!) I've had the same experience when I was a Stampin' Up! demo way-back-when. A girl who had never stamped before tried to be 'helpful' in cleaning my wood-mounted stamps by using a paper towel and smearing ink all over the wood. Back then, it was a mark of high honor if your stamps had no ink on the wood. I've gotten over that now, and the stamp still works great!

    I can't imagine my 2 nieces (ages 11 and 8) using my PTI stamps! They sucked up all 60 of my brand new Prima flowers in one day, so I can only imagine the horror!!!

    Great post!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  12. Are you serious??? :-) OMG - I would be mortified! I will certainly keep these in mind. I hope everything turned out ok and nothing was mutilated beyond repair!

  13. Claire,

    I feel your pain. I had a similar experience like this once, but not quite as tragic. I was crazy enough to...yes...let my guest get into my paper stash without me present. I will never let that one happen again. You have my deepest sympathy. However, keep creating, it is good for your emotional well being!

  14. OH MY! I wish I had read this before letting the last curious non stamper into my play area... my experience was much like yours... especially the paper!!! They always go for the good stuff! And then mine tried to offer a trade?! She brought in some flimsy cardstock, circa 1991 and tried to give it to me as payment! LOL Its a good thing I love her.

  15. Oh dear, Claire, such a day! I would be happy to ship you the stash of stock I have with images smack in the middle, a bit smeared... from a non-stamper visitor!!

  16. LOL, so funny and true unfortunately for me it's my 10 yr old nephew who wants to make cards! But like you I've learned to have stamps / ink / paper that he can use.

  17. I am also painfully familiar with these experiences. I used to teach beginners to stamp using all my stamps and inks. However many times I demonstrated the correct way to ink a stamp, I would always find them trying to connect the stamp with Australia, down under!!!! I hope nothing too precious was ruined, especially given the postage that you pay for the PTI stuff!!! You gave me a right giggle anyway!

  18. Oh, sounds painful to sit and watch someone mangle your supplies. Hopefully we were able to salvage everything.

  19. Claire.....that is one of the funniest and saddest things I have ever read. See what you get for being so nice. LOL! I agree with Julie, I think a shopping trip is in order and just in time for the October PTI release. You should submit your story's just that good!;)

  20. That is too funny! See you at the PTI party tonight!

    I just added you to my Google Reader. Did you know when I logged on to GR that they were advertising your blog as a Top Recommendation. Cool hey?


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