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What is a Crop?
Before we dive in, there are some who may be wondering just what a crop is. Crops are similar to a quilting bee, in the sense that crafters come together to work on a project while socializing, collaborating, and inspiring each other. Example: a scrapbooker going to crop would bring supplies pertaining to a layout he/she is working on. Crops are a lot of fun and a great way to learn new techniques, be creative, and spend time with like-minded friends!
Materials Needed When Transporting Supplies to Crop
The Challenge When Transporting Supplies to Crop
You'll be developing a system that allows you to easily remove items from your studio and place them into totes for safe travel to crops. Also, you'll need to decide if you require totes filled with a second set of tools and supplies or a system that allows you to easily remove items from your studio to place into totes for traveling to crops.
If you crop a lot, store your tools in a small caddy that can also be used on your desktop, or invest in a second set of basic tools that can be left in your cropping tote at all times. Then, have a larger tote to hold cardstock, paper, kits, larger tools, ink pads, etc. Find a permanent place in your home or studio where your totes will always reside. Avoid the pitfall of coming home from a crop tired and leaving your totes in strange places throughout your home. Be consistent with your place of storage, and you’ll have peace of mind and order. Also, think about giving yourself the deadline of always cleaning out your totes within a day or two after you work from them.
A key to follow when going to crops is to try not to bring your entire scrap space with you. Like ANY trip you take, you need to plan what to pack. For example, bring page kits and the photos that go with them. Take a few days to put these together. If you plan and prepare enough of them, all you’ll have to do at crop time is grab a few of these bags and your totes, then you’re ready to go! Crops are also a good place to catch up on journaling. Consider packing a few themed albums set aside for this purpose alone.
Further Insight on Preparing Supplies for a Crop
I occasionally travel to teach or to attend workshops with friends. When this happens, I’m a mobile scrapper with a two-tote system (one tote for primary tools and supplies, and the other for secondary tools and supplies). These supplies and tools are separate from those found in my studio. I keep the totes maintained, i.e., ink pads well inked, scissors cleaned and sharpened, a good supply of adhesive, extra paper, trimmer blades, etc. Therefore, the contents work like a well-oiled machine. I keep embellishments to a minimum because I prepare pages in progress or class materials beforehand. Every embellishment I need to complete the layout is in the kit, so all I have to do is get a box of class kits, or some pages in progress files, grab my totes and I’m on my way. My tool tote is a size that can fit on/by my work space or be opened at my feet. The larger tote, filled with paper, secondary supplies, and pages in progress or class samples, sits by a chair or table.
My primary tool tote is a vintage 8-track tape case that used to hold 24 cassettes. I glued some magnets inside the top lid of the case to hold my trimmer and a metal ruler. There are long magnets inside the ridges underneath my trimmer so the trimmer can be stowed and attached to the magnets. Additional tools fit inside sturdy food containers, and these food containers fit perfectly inside the case.
My large tote is a vintage record album case that has been altered. The size of it works perfectly, because 12" x 12" paper fits inside, as do containers filled with larger tools that don’t fit in the primary tool tote. It’s still sturdy and strong long after its past purpose of housing record albums.
Some of you may scrap from totes at a table in your home. If so, you know how important it is to keep those totes cleaned-out and in order. Your challenges are just as real and organizational solutions just as necessary.
Another suggestion for croppers is to label all of your tools using a permanent marker or brightly colored nail polish. If you misplace a tool while cropping, it can be easily identified when you show fellow croppers another tool with your “brand” on it.
Summary on Organizing Crop Supplies
Whether you scrap from a tote in your home or you have totes you take to crops, a good organizational system is necessary (a sturdy tote, containers that fit into the tote, and everything labeled with your name). Totes are designed to help you have a pleasant scrapbooking experience on the go. There are dozens of tote options available and there’s sure to be one that suits your needs.
It’s time to figure out the best way to pack for crops and set up your totes as needed, including a space reserved for your pages and progress kits that you have prepared in advance. Next time a crop comes up, you’ll be ready!
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