Playing With Hambly!!
Right at Home Summer Art Retreat...

Packing for a Crop

I seem to be going to a lot more crops lately. This year I've been to two weekend retreats (it will be three after this weekend) and four day long crops. This is GREAT! I love and adore the social aspects of scrapbooking and always look forward to spending time with other fanatics. Of course, cropping on the go is a lot less convenient than cropping at home. But, I've been to enough now that I think I have it down to a science (well, a philosophical and mostly theoretical science):

STEP #1: Convince yourself that you don't need to bring everything you own.

This is really difficult. I mean, you never know what you're going to need, right?! But, I have discovered a solution...

STEP #2: Make page kits.

Yeah, I'm not really a page kit person. I mean what's the point. Why don't you just scrap the photos if you're going to go to all that trouble!? Plus, it's so constricting! After resisting and resisting, here's what I've finally figured out works for me:

1. Review what photos I'm going to bring and divide them into how I'm going to scrap them.

For example, if I've got a bunch of photos from a birthday party, I might divide them up into:

• Cake photos: for a layout about the cake and blowing out the candles.
• Atmosphere photos: for a layout about the decorations and the preparation.
• Birthday person photos: for a layout about that person and the year behind or the year coming.
• Guest photos: for a layout about who came to the party.

Now, see I've already got a start on my journaling! And it may be that I have fifty guest photos, so I'll be subdividing once I'm at the crop.

2. Based on the photos, make paper choices.

I'm sure that some people are able to pick out the perfect piece of paper right away. I can't do that. I'm a paper pusher around-er. So, I take the following steps for each group of photos:

• Choose three potential patterned papers.
• Choose several cardstock companions.
• Throw in one wild card paper (deeply contrasting, an unusual choice, etc.) for good measure.

Okay, we're half way done! At this point, I place the photos in envelopes and paperclip them to the appropriate paper stack.

3. Gather specifics.

What are specifics? Specifics are things you intend to use with specific photos. Some examples:

• Memorabilia: a ticket stub to go with the photo of you at the show.
• Embellishment: a sticker or button or something else that you bought with these photos in mind.
• Journaling: maybe you have a diary or blog entry you're using as a base, or an inspirational quote.

I don't tend to have a lot of specifics, because that's not that way I scrapbook. But, if I have any, the specifics go into the envelope with the photos and the page kits are DONE!

STEP #3: Prepare your tool box.

This is where you have to make some hard decisions. I divided my choices into several parts:

Level One: What I use every time I sit down to crop.

This is the stuff that I literally cannot function without.

• Tweezerbee Tweezers
• Cutterbee Scissors
• Paper Trimmer
• White Eraser
• Adhesive Eraser
• Rub On Tool/Bone Folder
• Exacto Knife
• Black Pens (01, 03, 05, 08)
• Mechanical Pencil
• Ruler
• White Pen
• Adhesive: glue dots (mini and craft), herma (permanent and removable), Zig glue pen, scrapbooking tape
• Black Ink Pad

All of this immediately goes into my bag.

Level Two: Things I want to bring.

This is stuff that I like using, but don't necessarily use every single time.

• Black marker
• Water Brushes
• Water Color or Acrylic Paints
• Adhesive: foam adhesive
• Alphabet Stamps
• Acrylic Block
• Stamp Pads: brown, blue, red, orange, etc.
• Journaling Spot Stamps
• Design Stamps
• Baby Wipes
• Colored Pencils
• Markers
• Small Xyron
• Brayer
• Glass Mat
• Circle Cutter
• Stapler

Some of this stuff ends up in my bag. I pick and choose from this list.

Level Three: Extravagances.

As the name suggests, this is stuff that I would bring if it weren't such a pain to transport and deal with.

• Photo Printer and Laptop
• Large Xyron
• Die Cutting Machine
• Heat Gun (just because electricity can be an issue)
• Ott Light (again beause electricity can be an issue)
• Embossing Powder (just messy at a crop, and you have to have the heat gun)
• Foam Stamps (bulky and cleaning them at a crop is hard)

Usually, none of this stuff ends up in my bag.

STEP #4: Words, words, words.

It's time for me to pack the alphabets! For a short crop (one day as opposed to a weekend) I just pack black and white alphas (rub-ons and stickers). They go with everything and the white ones can be colored if needed. You can also use them as templates for cutting letters out of patterned paper or cardstock. For a weekend, I will pack some chipboard and a few colored alphas.

I like to transport mine in either an accordian file (if I'm bringing a lot) or a plastic 12x12 envelope (for just a few).

STEP #5: The overpacking/underpacking danger zone.

For me, embellishments are the big question mark. Sometimes I bring too many and I never even look at them and other times I bring too few and I'm constantly frustrated! I haven't quite found the answer to this question. The most success I've had is in bringing along a set of drawers I have with little embellishments stored by color. If you have a great solution for this, please help me!

STEP #6: Try to carry it all down the streets of New York

Yeah, this is the hardest step of all! Without a car, relying on public transportation only, this is the part I *hate.* But, it's okay, because...

STEP #7: Scrap your brains out!!!

The best part!