Friday, March 4, 2011 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

What to take to a Scrapbooking Crop?

Scrapbook Layout of Joel fishing by Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs
I think the layout sketch/frame is from Kirsty Wiseman.

I should begin my defining what a crop is in the scrapbooking realm. A scrapbooking crop or simply a crop is a gathering of like minded people who bring their photographs, memorabilia, embellishments, paper, albums and create layouts such as the one above. It is great to attend a crop because you get to see other peoples work and find inspiration if needed. My problem is that I never really can decide what to take and I become frustrated by wanting to take everything but then realizing, I would need an 18-wheeler and I since I can't drive one, I must get organized. So, I compiled a list of tips hoping this will help you get to your next crop:

Tips before I began to think about packing a single item:
1. Plan, plan and plan especially if you have family at home, even just a partner/spouse or pet. They need to know where you are and when you might be home as well as food and water set out for them, yes, even the adults in the picture lol.
2. If you have children, regardless of age, and they don't have their own scrapbooking stash to haul, get a babysitter or childcare for them. If you are nursing a baby, then plan to leave formula or leave to care for the little one. An all day event that could be noisy could be upsetting to small children especially. I always try to be mindful not to carry my dog Chocolate because someone might not be so comfortable with a cute fluffy dog begging for their attention. Plus you need time away to refresh and renew, what better way than with a bunch of friends or the opportunity to meet new friends.
3. Freeze a super large bottle half full with water so that you can finish filling it up and stay hydrated during the crop event.
4. I personally, due to my driving time to most places, do not attend crops that are not more than six hours. I don't attend crops that start in the morning, end in the afternoon and resume in the evening and end at midnight. I have no where to go in between 3-5 pm because I don't have children in school to pick up or supper to get on the table. So unless I can continue working during that time, I don't attend. (yes, I could go out for supper but usually I carry something to snack on and eat so that I can spend the time working on projects...that's just me...)

Questions to ask:
1. Will there be tools at the crop such as die-cutting machines, punches, large cutter, paper trimmers, embossing, etc.
2. Will there be snacks/meals provided? Do I need to bring a snack/drink to share?
3.  How much work space will I have? (Most are at least 6 feet, but ask to be sure)
4. What theme do I want to work on at the event?
5. How much time will I have to work on my project?
6. Do I need my computer and if so will there be wireless internet?

Things to definitely take to a crop include water bottle, scrapbook paper/card stock, adhesive, photos, album, completed pages for the project if you have any, scissors, personal trimmer (5x7" for example), ruler, corner rounder, Crop-a-Dile tools, stickers, coordinating buttons, ribbons, lace, flowers, charms, brads, eyelets, stamps, inks, chocolate candy to boast your ADHD (oh wait, that's for me, sorry) and other embellishments for your project. I also take my markers/colored pencil caddy like this one:

I can journal or doodle or whatever I may wish to do with this caddy...

Also, I carry another container that has most of my distressing tools, distressing inks, glue, Glossy Accents, and baby wipes.  On the other side, I have my three most used Glimmer Mist and my heat gun fits down in the middle.  I carry a large plastic coffee container that I house 2 coffee filters so that I can Glimmer Mist and dry the item I wish to distress in a contained environment. (Obviously, this bag is a bit more full since I took this photo LOL.)

I will be attending a couple of crops this coming month and I have already decided my theme. I will be taking recipe clippings and photographs I have picked of family, combining the two into a cookbook scrapbook. So I will carry the stickers, papers, Cricut cartridge, embossing folders and dies that I wish  to use for this project. Card stock will be a must for this project. Starting with a theme helps me stay focused and then I only take what I need. If by chance I forget something, add a sticky note or a piece of paper on the layout with a note to remind you. Still not sure what theme to work with? How about the last holiday or event?

If you are staying overnight make sure to pack a separate bag with PJs, comfortable clothes, walking shoes, toiletries, anti-snoring devices, reading glasses, contacts, medications and so forth. A comfortable pillow to sit on during crops and to sleep with if you wish. Cell phone (always on silent during the crop...take calls outside the crop area as not to disturb anyone) and don't forget your charger.

I hope this helps and please post things that I may have forgotten on the list of must haves. Also, send me an email if you have any questions, my contact information is to the right of my blog. Finally, put on your hat and create a happy heart, stand and do a happy dance because you are about to enter the fun house of love, inspiration, laughter, and creativity because you will have tons and tons of fun!!!

My workspace at the Lake Guntersville Retreat, February 2011
***Remember above all else when packing for a crop regardless of the length of the event...
what you load in your car is what you will have to unload and reload at the crop...
Just saying...***
Finally, always be considerate of other working around you...a good rule of thumb is, you may not mind but others might...so just be aware of the golden rule and be others focused but most of all...
Have a GREAT TIME!!!

Love, Blessings, & {{{Hugs}}},
RHC

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