Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Momentum

I went to a crop on Saturday night at the Scrapbook Barn in Carrollton, TX. If you're local, I highly recommend it! My friend and I had a blast and got quite a bit done. We also met some very nice ladies and got some great inspiration along the way.

However, it really took me all day just to get organized for the evening. Part of it was because I had stashed some of my pictures and had trouble finding it, but part of it was because I'm not used to packing up to go to a crop. If I do a crop, I'm usually sponsoring it, so I have ALL of my stuff with me. But this one was different; I wasn't selling there so I didn't need to bring any inventory, I wasn't doing any demonstrations, so I really could just bring what I wanted to work on. Yikes! Decisions - Decisions.

But it wasn't just me. My friend had the same problem. She wasn't sure what to bring either, so I thought it might be useful to go through a brief on what to take to a crop.

It really depends on your purpose and the length of the crop and you have to decide a few things. You could use the crop to sort your pictures, make basic pictureless layouts - ready for pictures later, embellish, title, or journal your building layouts or create layouts from start to finish.

I'll make the assumption that your crop is like mine was - short (6 hours) - and I wanted to complete some layouts from start to finish. You'll need a basic kit of cutters and adhesives and once you have collected all the necessities, you can choose the other important things, starting with pictures. Don't try to scrapbook all of them, just choose 3-5 events to bring along. (Notice I didn't get so detailed as to suggest you choose all your specific pictures, yet) If you can get 5 double page layouts completed in 5 or 6 hours, you are officially in the super-scrapper league!

Then, you need to choose your paper. It is best if you choose design paper (CTMH calls it Background and Texture paper or B&T for short) that will enhance the colors and event found in your pictures.

I was working on a set of swim pictures, a set of Christmas pictures, some snow pics, and a set of field trip photos to the Dallas Arboretum. I used the "Rustic Trails" set for the swim pictures, but I substituted a design page from the "Laid Back" packet instead of using the fishing paper. The Christmas paper was easier. Some of my photos were very bright and bouncy, while others were more formal. Luckily I have 2 different Christmas packages, one retired CTMH package that is animated and bright and a current one called "Everlasting" that has traditional colors and a Victorian feel to it. For the snow pictures, I chose the berry and ocean combination in the "Just Chillin'" set. Finally, I chose the muted shades of "Lazy Days of Summer" to use with my Arboretum pictures. I felt like the colors wouldn't compete with the vivid colors of my pictures.

***Allow me a short commercial. You can collect papers from all over like I used to do. I would see this precious pattern and that one and then try to match them up. I would even wander through the scrapbooking section of my favorite craft store (Hobby Lobby) trying to find 2 or 3 design papers that really complimented each other. Have you ever been in that situation??? Then I would try to find cardstock to coordinate with the design papers that I had chosen. Blah! I LOVE paper, but that SSSSSLLLLOOOOOOWWWWW process would weary me so badly that after spending an hour searching for the perfect collection I was SICK of looking at it and put it up as soon as I got home! Well, I cast off that stressful burden when I begin using CTMH "My Reflections" Paper Packs. Each one contains 6 different design papers (B&T's) and I get 2 of each. It also contains 10 cardstocks in 4 coordinating colors and if I want, I can buy card-weight stickers (called Stickease) to match! Everything goes together in perfect harmony! I LOVE THAT!***

Anyway, after choosing your papers, you can add embellishments to your case. These should match the motif of you papers and pictures, so you don't over-pack, and can include ribbons, fibers, brads, eyelets, buttons, glitter, bottle caps and anything else you might have on hand. I bring chipboard objects and my coluzzle cutting system, inks in matching colors, and at least one alphabet stamp set. I also bring some stamp sets that will go with my paper packs. For Saturday night, I packed several CTMH stamp sets: the January word puzzle for the snow pages, the August word puzzle for the swim pages, and Jingle Borders, Ho Ho Ho, and Gift of Love for the Christmas pages.

So in a nutshell here are the absolutes when packing:
  • 12-inch paper trimmer
  • adhesives - bring refills!
  • scissorspictures (organized by events)
  • paper (bagged with the pictures they will go with, if you can)

Without these items, you can't crop at all. Then you have the "really should have" items:

  • magazines, sketchbooks, or guidebooks for ideas and instructions (I would recommend the books from CTMH: Cherish, Imagine, and Reflection).
  • ruler
  • paper piercer
  • Alphabet stampsets
  • Ink pads that match your papers
  • CTMH Distressing Kit or sandpaper, sponges, and brushes

Now you can crop without the list above, but having these items will help you complete your pages. Finally you have the "completely optional, but will give your pages a finished look" list:

  • chipboard pieces (CTMH calls these "Dimensional Elements)
  • decorative stamp sets
  • brads, eyelets buttons and other accents
  • fibers, ribbon, hemp
  • paint, stickles, glitter, CTMH's Liquid Glass, Fun Flock, or Sculpting Foam

Also, bring tickets, programs, drawings, postcards, notes, etc. from the event you are scrap-booking.

I've shared the layouts that I actually finished this weekend, and I have a great favor to ask of you. As I said at the beginning, my experience with crops are rather limited. What do YOU do to prepare for a crop. Please comment on this post and share your ideas as well. And if you're reading this post, make sure you read the comments!


  1. For a short crop I try to pick a subject or two of photos that I want to work on. How many different photos depends on the time of the crop. So two or three is probably good for an afternoon depending on how many pictures are in the event so to speak. After I pick the photos then there is paper packets, coordinating card stocks, stamps, cards, blocks, markers, scissors, paper trimmer, glue dots, adhesive, accessories, notebook, pen, stamp cleaner, just a few things that I can think of at the top of my head.

    Neely Dean

  2. Waht I have brought to crops is varied, by what I want to accomplish. Of course I would bring my paper cutter, adhesive and refills, sissors, acrylic blocks for my stamps, liquid glass, some eyelets, and brads, bone folder (card maker at heart),some glue dots, pop dots, quilting ruler, computer mouse pad, cropidile, pens, glue pens, glitter glue, doubled sided tape to use on unmounted stamps,Inkssentials opaque ink, small stapler with refills,sharpies in different colors, several stylus' for dry embossing, a few craft knives and the piercer tool. These are kept in my totaly cool tote.

    Now in my other shoulder bag or rolling tote i keep my albums, papers and embellishments.

    If there is a compitition for prizes for the most pages done, I power sort. I have papers all chosen with the pictures to go with them also include embelishments and journaling. I have been able to complete over 50 pages in 6 hours, includes eating my lunch! I love to compete and my pages do not have that thrown together look either!

    Then there are the crops I go to and just work on cards, this really sets up peoples curiosity! I still have my papers and stuff and also include my cuttlebug, folders and a mini sewing machine! What fun!

    So the moral of my story is you can go as minimal or as maxed out as you want, just depends on what you want to accomplish!

  3. I looked at your blog. It was a nice list to help one remember what can be used. I liked it. I do go to crops a lot. I have took the first few I have went to and worked on getting one specific album done and I am not much for having anything ready except the pictures that I plan to use. I have a wonderful system here because I do go and attend crops and clubs and starting my own CTMh business, I have several great organizer bags, tool totes and a large roller organizer. I find that if I take something and not another thing, I end up wanting that, so I do take along ALL of my things leaving here at home only the albums and specific embellishments that I have set aside for those particular ones.
    I do love the idea of having all my pages planned. I just have not found time to do all that as of yet. I have seen some very awesome ideas on your blog and I thank you for sharing.
    Hope you have a great week!
    Stephanie Altman

  4. I attended a crop at Scrapbook Barn about 6 years ago when I attended CHA in Dallas. I'm so glad to hear it's still open, since so many independent stores have closed in the DFW area, as they have here in the Twin Cities. Maybe we'll have to check it out again when I visit my daughters in Fort Worth.

  5. I'm not nearly as organized as I'd like to be, but at least in the paper dept. I am super organized. When I go to a crop, I usually try to work on one "theme" if it is a short crop (more than 6 hours of Christmas only & I'm pulling my hair out!). Then I can just grab my CTMH kit(s), my Christmas paper & stuff folder (other brands), and any accessories. If I can't stick to one theme, I try to plan my layouts as much as possible over the week or so previous. I choose pictures, and place them in a big see-through envelope (or my CM box) with all the papers & any "flat stuff". I am the Embellishment Queen, so I can't possibly try to bring everything I will use. I grab the most common colors from the layouts I've planned & just make do or buy more once I'm there.

    Oh! Now that I'm a Cricut convert, I MAY bring my Cricut (my friend usually brings hers so I don't have to) & my favorite cartridges. I try not to bring more than one rolling carrier & one handled bag will hold, plus my ink case (Tim Holtz brand).

  6. Just stoped by to say hi. Glad you had fun. I think ALL my crops need to be all day deal so I can actualy get something done.lol