Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm going to a Crop!! Wahoo! But what do I take?

Excited about an upcoming crop? But overwhelmed by how and what to pack? Here are a few tips that might make your experience more enjoyable!

First, remember this is supposed to be fun! Don’t get so stressed with the packing element that you can’t have fun!

Cash – Make sure you take a little bit of cash with you for vending machines, raffles, cash-and-carry items that may be available, or for other incidentals that you might not have planned for …”I’m out of white cardstock…does anyone have a piece I can buy from them??” etc.

Camera- that’s a given! But you would be surprised how many people forget them! It is great to have a camera to take pictures of new friends made, as well as scrapbooking ideas that you don’t want to forget! Crops are a great resource for inspiration!

A small first aid type kit – throw in a few band-aids (those trimmers can be tricky things after 12-14 hours of trimming!), Advil / Tylenol, lip balm, tissues, small hand lotion etc. A small pack of baby wipes are great too! And don’t forget any prescription medication that you might need.

Extra “layered” clothing – you never know what the temperature might be, and it might vary as the day passes by. Wearing sandals…take a pair of socks in case your feet get cold. Add a light sweater/sweatshirt in case you get chilly. Remember, you will be cropping for a long period of time, you want to be comfy too!

Comfort items – pillow? I pod (if allowed) – make sure you take ear buds with you as most crops do not allow you to use without. Bottled water and or drinks - if not provided: make sure they have lids or caps! Light, non-messy snacks and candy—for a little boost when you need it! The little single packets of lemonade or individual tea bags work well too!

Now for the scrapbooking things…
When preparing, know that you might have your own 6 foot table, but you might also be sharing a 6 foot table! You might not have as much room to spare as you are accustomed to.

Before taking a die cutting system, check to see if one is available. Often they are & sometimes there is a small charge (again, where the cash comes in handy). If you have a favorite font, and it works with the projects you will be working on, bring that along.

Pack lots of adhesive! All of your favorite types. Make sure you have at least one refill, if not two, for each. I.e. Glue Dots, Ditto Tape Runner, Xyron X machine (or all sizes if you use all of them!), Liquid Glass, Foam Squares, Vario Tabs…whatever you regularly use. Remember, if you are well prepared for the crop, you might get more done than you normally do, because ½ the work will already be done. Understanding this, you might also go through more adhesive in the duration.

Bigger items…do you use a self healing mat to work on? Make sure you pack your favorite trimmer! Do you use a book holder? Or a small light? (Is there electricity available for this?) Xyron machines?

Tool Caddy – use what works for you! I keep most of my tools all together in my caddy—adhesive, rulers, portable trash can, Xyron “X’ machine, etc. Other things to consider: a sharpie, photo craft knife, post it notes, cloth, tweezers, scissors, trimmer blade refills, needle, corner rounder, pencil, eyelet setter. Then I can pick up and go!

Idea books, How-To-Books, magazines for inspiration! Post-It flags work great for flagging items that you like or want to refer back to!

Now, for the actual projects:
There are lots of ways to pack, but I find what is the most helpful is to not pack my whole scrap room! Decide what you want to accomplish while you are there. Be realistic! Remember, you will most likely want to chat, see what others are doing, and socialize…that’s part of the fun of crops! Once you decide what you are going to be working on, focus on packing for that.

Print off your pictures. Find the paper you would like to compliment with the pictures. Give yourself some options. Bundle several shades or designs that would work with that project. Look for embellishments and or ribbons that would work well with your layouts. Once you have all of this gathered, pack them together. The plastic storage cases with a lip closure from Iris work great. They are a little larger than 12x12 and about 2 inches thick. This makes it easy to pack everything you need and the depth works great for embellishments etc. I am now in love with their photo cases as well. So when I am packing it everything is together and most importantly, my pictures won’t get ruined from the weight of the neighboring things. I also use craft jars!! I don’t usually take my whole case, just the jars of embellishments that I will be using with the projects that I have chosen. Include in the box, any ink pads or markers that you might use, so you don’t have to take all that you own. I can get two of these 12x12 cases in my rolling tote with room to spare.

One last tip for packing…I find that it is easier if I can choose projects that have the same or similar color schemes to work on. For i.e. if I choose to do Easter 2009 I know I will have several pages I will want to do for each child. This is ideal for a crop as I can pack lots of related items within the same color scheme so I will, in the end, have more choices. Compare this to taking a 2 page layout in pinks purples and princesses; a Christmas layout; My son’s first soccer game; and a Beach layout. Most likely, I will not be able to cross use the embellishments/colors that I pack, and will need to take much more with me!

Hope this list helps you prepare better for your next crop!

Compiled by Tonya J. Sheridan, Independent Consultant Close To My Heart

Iris Case packed & ready!

Use the small photo cases for photographs
& craft jars filled with coordinating embellishments.
Pack coordinating ink pads, markers, stamp sets
& additional embellishments that coordinate and might be used.

B&T (or patterned papers), possible coordinating cardstock choices, and stickers.

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