Wednesday, 30 March 2011

A bumper crop ;-)

So I promised I would tell you about my crop and how I packed etc.  So grab a cuppa and settle back...

I'm lucky enough to have a craft room (see previous post) and I have a buddy that used to come over and scrap with me so I've never had to move any of my stuff elsewhere.  I went to a retreat back in May last year shortly after I started scrapping, and I literally took a bag of essentials like scissors and DST.  Other people had roller trolleys of stuff and great shopper style bags of kit - it was quite an eye opener!  I was envious of people who gathered together for their craft and shared ideas and equipment with like minded people.  Then a friend of a friend of a friend introduced me to someone who ran crops and scrap booking classes fairly close and so I've had to really think about my scrapping in a different way.

The crops are once a month (ish) and I've now been to two.  In the first one I felt loaded down with stuff but I wasn't a patch on other people! I packed a sectioned 12"x12" crop bag with individual page kits to a degree.  Basically I plopped in my photos and a stack of similar coloured papers and embellishments!  I tend to scrap in limited colours taken firmly from the photos so there wasn't much more planning involved than the gathering stage.

This time however, I had made a few new purchases to help me.  As this crop was for 12 hours, (yes that's right!) I wanted to make sure that I had plenty to keep me going.  I bought project bags so that I could plan plenty of page kits and take a small amount of additional card stock, and I bought a new wheelable tote that matched my carry tote.  It's wonderful as it as loads of pockets but like anything with loads of pockets, I find it hard to remember what I packed where!

I scanned many blogs and the galleries at Two Peas and found lots of inspiration, some a little bit like my style, some not.  However I didn't plan my pages any more than I did before really.  On the day, with my horrid cold interfering with my brain function, things really fell apart.  I had packed a couple of page kits that were very different to my normal style in the choice of colours mixing together but I really wanted to try something like Shimelle or Laura Buckingham (I LOVE Laura's style!).  It was clear that I wouldnt cope with anything new that day though so I left those in the bag.  Then I tried a sketch that I thought would work well with a particular photo and set of papers but was quite graphic and unlike me.  As I started to add my embellishments (love lots of those!), it became clear that it wasn't going to work at all and so I put that away half finished.  Then I started another one that I had a vague idea about but after half an hour of staring at the papers and moving the photos around, I gave up.  I think I managed to almost complete 2 layouts and half start 3 more.  Pretty awful really for a whole day.

However, what is great is that I still have a load of page kits ready for next month or before if I can squeeze something in (although JYC still needs finishing) and this time I intend to really plan the pages a lot better.  Also I think that beginning the day with a quick and easy layout is a great way to start and get the juices flowing, to get a layout under your belt before tackling something more challenging.  I also think that a bulk planning session like this is quite time efficient as it means I am not getting loads of stuff out over and over again.  I lay out a few photos across the floor and then add papers and cardstock etc that I think I might use.  I go to my paper files once for about 15 layouts rather than 15 times!

The crop venue itself is really great and everyone is really friendly.  This layout that I did last time was copied by about 5 people and gave me a real confidence boost.  Its a scraplift from Two Peas gallery and its definitely a technique I'll be using again.  

People wander around at the crop and look at what others are doing and lots of people put their layouts up on the dado rail or take photos of other people's work etc.  There is a little shop which rotates every 3 weeks and there is an assortment of equipment to use including loads of templates and things that I've not seen as the people are connected to Creative Memories.  Its a social club so there is a place to get very nice meals and drinks all day and the afternoon cakes are to die for!

There's loads of space for each person too and you get a chair next to you to put your carry tote on so that the tables are a bit clearer.  Its very well set up and I'm just so happy that I get to do this once a month.  Crafting makes me so happy, even when I don't achieve what I would like to!

So, how do you scrap?  How do you pack if you go on the move?  Are you lucky enough to have like-minded friends?  However it is, I hope it makes you happy :-)

Bye for now xx


  1. I've only been to a few crops like the ones you go to...but I loved them! You sound very like me in how you prepare. Unfortunately,scrapbooking isn't a big thing where I live now so I am a solo scrapper-though I don't actually mind that too much. hope you continue to enjoy the Crops
    Alison xx

  2. Sadly I've never been to a crop as not one near me or have any nearby scrappy friends. Would love to go on a retreat but nevous of going on my own. Love the layout.

  3. Nice. I've never been to a crop other than one at someone's house like 12 years ago... scary to think it has been that long. I'm envious. :) I'm with Lynn. I think I'd be nervous going alone. Good for you!

  4. It sounds like a good start! I am sure the next crop you will be more productive. I crop outside the house on a very rare occasion. I try to grab few kits and photos that I think will match. I don't take lots of stuff since I am not organized that way. I am a slow scrapper so 2-3 layouts for me is good.

  5. I can see why your LO was scrap lifted... it's GORGEOUS!

  6. I love to do my blog reading while I eat my lunch - so instead of a cuppa I'm enjoying a sandwich here...I've never been to a crop and I'd love to find a great one near me.

  7. Love your post title! :)
    I have yet to try an all-day crop. The thought of it totally overwhelms me. But I'm thinking of going to one in June so I will keep your experience in mind.

  8. I wish there was a good one near me....though I do crop with a couple of friends and love that.
    And the heart LO is gorgeous.

  9. I've only ever been to two crops & both times I was the very rarely seen digi scrapper. But I only had to carry a laptop, which did make it very easy for me. :)

  10. I have a few friends that get together of a regular basis for scrapping and stamping - love doing that. last year we actually went away to a cabin for a weekend - what fun we had - andI must say, very productive. But we had two SUV's laden down with supplies, food, etc. We all brought way too much - but that was almost part of the fun!

  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    I love crops too...I get so much more done that when I'm scrapbooking at home (fewer distractions I guess, and lots of inspiration from looking at what other croppers are doing). Lately, I've really tried to pare down what I bring to a crop. I don't plan out every page, but I gather my photos, grab paper and cardstock that I think will work well with them, and just a few key embellishments and tools. I don't bother bringing every piece of chipboard I own, or every bottle of paint (I used to!). I rely on a lot on sketches or a recent issue of Scrapbooks Etc or CK.

    P.S. I can see why so many people copied your layout! It's beautiful!

  12. I know what you mean about crops...never knowing if you've packed enough stuff or the right stuff and then you get home and you've probably not used half of what you took, LOL. And yes I love Laura's style fact she's a friend of mine that I met in the UK when I was living there and giving scrapbook classes. I consider her one of my proteges (spelling?). very proud of how she's evolved her style. BTW love your layout and your blog.

  13. That sounds such fun.... I wish I had something similar near me! I do have a regular get-together with a friend (I actually met her through a Shimelle class, and we discovered we live close to each other so now we're good friends 'in real life'!) We've tried out a few new techniques together, and sometimes we just bring along our current project and work on that. It's great to share tools and ideas :-) Oh, and cake! There's usually cake too! ;-)


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