Last week I got a reminder call that I had signed up for a workshop/class and I needed to bring advanced tools and supplies. My tote was organized and stocked because of taking this class so I just grabbed it on Saturday morning when it was time to head out.
There was a woman in the class who had never scrapbooked before who had a pair of scissors and adhesive. Another student arrived with two rolling totes and a shoulder bag--each contained everything she could possible need or share. I had a shoulder-style bag amply filled with tools and an assortment of adhesives.
The three of us finished our projects with the help of some of my adhesives and the tools in the "mini studio on wheels" of our new friend. I admire scrappers who know how to pack what they will need and who can anticipate what they might need. I think it's an acquired skill attainable with focus and deep desire; it doesn't/didn't come naturally for me.
There have been times when I've groaned out loud when I've remembered I have a class and my totes are a jumbled mess. Those are miserable moments and I'd rather not have them anymore.
How to you organize your totes and keep them ready to go?
After years of attending crops and NOT getting a single thing accomplished I quit going for about 5 years and turned to card making. About 3-4 years ago I wanted to spend more time on my scrapping and decided to give it another try. Plus, I don't have any friends or family that gets together to crop, I wanted more contact with scrappers!!
OH My, I am one of those that take what looks like my whole craft room! Or use to until I learned how to pare it down.I had learned, attending card making classes, to make a kit! I start with an extra large zip lock bag. I choose my pictures then find papers, I will add some embellishments, ribbons, anything I might want to use for that layout.
Sometimes I make a sketch which helps when choosing embellishments. I often use some of the page map etc or sketches from other challenges I have entered that month. Of course I take my Gypsy as well as my Cricut carts. There are machines set up at the crop so I don't bother with mine. Now I will take my own mat and a new blade in case they are dull. I figure $4 is the least I can do for the use of the machine and their cartridges.
I don't often go to 1 day crops, just the 3 day ones. Usually I get anywhere from 12 to 27 pages done, depends on how much talking I do with all of my friendly acquaintances in attendance. Quite often a number of the same ladies attend the annual crops and over the years I have gotten to know them a little better.
I have two crops coming up this fall so it is time to get a few more kits ready. If they don't get during the crop, then I have them ready to go at home!
OK. I've read through everything, and if I'm understanding it correctly, the recommendation is to have a separate travelling tote packed with duplicate tools, and only bring page kits.
Since I don't really get on with page kits (and I HAVE tried, honest!) and I don't have the space to own and store duplicate tools, I'm going to have to stick to what I'm doing already. That's two foldable bags that live under my desk, and a large check-list so that I can just fling stuff in, quickly and without thinking. The card-stock will have to stay in stacks, and the papers in their collections.
I did treat myself to the Craftician tote bag (attached) to see if I could organise myself better. I'm not sold on it yet. There are 4 deep compartments that I can't get my hand down into, so the only way of getting things out of them is to turn the whole thing upside-down. So they can't be used.
My crop was on Saturday. The wretched thing fell over in my car boot and I ended up scooping everything back into it again in the pouring rain when I arrived! I'm sure I'll get used to it though.
I also made myself a ribbon bag! Not that WAS fun! And I used it and it didn't all get knotted up inside as I feared! That meant a lot less space taken up with ribbon containers. Ribbon bag By RedSquirrel
I do always unpack when I get home. I'm the same with suitcases after a trip - I hate having them hanging around.
I'd love to read any other croppers' experiences with packing.
Yes, I think that was me on my Crops thread in this forum. It costs £10 per week or £80 for the year. It's held on the first Saturday of the month for 6 hours. The cost covers the hire of the hall and (hopefully) leaves a little over to go towards a Christmas meal. Having an annual sub means that the hall hire cost is covered even during vacation months if only one or two turn up. There are about 8 of us regulars, and another 2 or 3 come when they can.
Rosey, is there any way you could store the things you use in some kind of container that works at home and at crops? Maybe some clear plastic shoeboxes that you can just put the lid on when it's time to go?
They make these handbag organizers that go inside your purse, and the idea is that you can easily switch purses by just moving the whole thing from one purse to another. I wonder if you could find something like that which could sit on your craft table at home but that you could easily stow in a tote when you go to a crop.
Regarding your bag with the deep compartments, I'm not sure what kind of compartments they are, but could you put things inside a bag with a string that you could pull to lift it out of the compartment? They have those pencil pouches that are designed to go in 3 ring binders and the holes are reinforced with grommets. Seems like you could tie some ribbon to that and not worry about it pulling through. I hate to see wasted space.
I rarely get a chance to attend crops. I have gone to two public ones ever and a couple with my DMIL and DSIL. I want to go again. But I think Rosey's concept of the checklist will work the best for me. I have a few things that are already in containers and ready to grab and go mostly... since I have to keep them contained and away from cats anyway. Also, I have a few empty containers that I use just for crops. I am going to move those into storage in our basement so that they don't take up valuable space in my scraproom. So... I need to work on that checklist I guess.
I've changed my mugs around as per Vae's suggestion. I now have a mug that contains only the pens and pen-shaped things that I use all the time and couldn't be without at a crop. Everything else is in other mugs. I've done 3 LOs and 6 cards with this system and it is working. That's a whole bunch of stuff less for the checklist, because I can just grab that whole mug-full and pop it all in a pencil case.
I'm going to work on the non-pen-shaped things next, like eraser, distressing tool, adhesive.
It would actually be quite interesting to pack everything in boxes, and take out only what I use, and put it back on the shelves. I bet I'd have very little on my shelves.
Recently, the only scrapping I have been doing is at crops so I just keep everything packed. I use suitcases to carry most of my scrap stuff so they only get unpacked when they are needed. If I want to scrap at home. I will pull out the suitcases and put everything back up in them.
After my original post where I shared how I get ready for a crop, I realized I never mentioned how I store all "the stuff" in my studio.
I have a very small tote, 10x8 fully loaded, that sits just to the left of my computer. It holds all my every day supplies. I just load it in my wheeled bag along with the before mentioned crop kits. Various other supplies are already self contained so in the bag they go. The only thing I have to put supplies in that I take with me are 2 to 4 (serilite brand) three drawer containers. Two of them have 12x12 size drawers and two containers have 8.5x11 size drawers. They are stack-able and when I am at a crop I place them in front of me as far apart as my space allows. Then I place a wooden shelf on top between the two that holds any machines I take.
Granted, I have pretty much closed myself in at the crop but I have plenty of storage without having so much at my feet or around my chair and I don't have to dig through my bags to find stuff. And if you have to share a table, then that vertical storage comes in handy.
Once I return home all the drawers are emptied then the containers are stored on a shelf in another room until the next crop!