Friday, October 12, 2012

Practically Packing for a Crop

Happy Friday Everyone!  Practical Scrapper Krissy Clark McKee here, and I want to talk to you about crops - specifically, packing for crops.  I was able to go to a crop in the town I live in this past weekend, and a big topic of conversation was what to pack, how to keep from overpacking, and how to quickly choose and pack up your supplies.  I am going to share with you my tried and true method.
First, I always pack light.  There is nothing that makes me want to skip a crop more than the thought of lugging supplies back and forth several times and then trying to figure out a way to squeeze all that stuff on a table which is full of other women and all their stuff!  So, I limit myself to my one rolling cart and my small organizer  tote that normally sits on my worktable.  If I can't fit something into that cart, then it's not going to the crop with me! 
Second, I always pack quickly. That's right, I don't want to put too much thought into packing my supplies.  Too much thought = too many things!  Besides, I am a working mom with not a whole lot of free time.  And to be truthful, I may have a tiny tendancy to procrastinate a bit.  So, I needed to figure out how to choose my supplies as efficiently and quickly as possible and still have everything I needed. 

Probably the thing that saves me the most time is that I keep my tote packed with certain supplies that I have in abundance.  It almost always has a little baggie of assorted buttons along with a small spool of thread and a needle.  I also make a point of keeping a set of white and black chipboard letters in it at all times.  Why - because black goes with just about anything, and white chipboard alphas can be colored any other color I might want with my markers. I used to print sketches off in advance and keep them in a small binder that I could quickly put in my cart, but these days I just browse Pinterest or pictures I have taken and saved on my smartphone. 

I also make sure my small organizer tote, that goes from my scrap table at home to hooking over the handle on my rolling cart, always has the basics that I will need - scissors, glue, black mist, white paint, several markers, a hole puncher, an exacto knife, a couple of neutral-colored ink pads, pop dots, a pack or two of Baker's Twine, and a few journaling tags tucked into one of the side pockets. 

With my basic supplies always pre-packed, I can immediately start with the more time consuming task of choosing my papers and photos.  I know that I am a s-l-o-w scrapper and there is absolutely no way I will complete more than 3 to 4 layouts at a crop, especially when I am busy gabbing and "talking scrap" with a group of women.  Knowing this, I make a quick basic "scrapbook kit" for each layout that I think I am going to do.  Each kit goes into a 12 x 12 project folder that I got on sale for about 50 cents each and that I keep in my rolling cart.  The first thing that goes into my kits is two or three collections of papers, which I divide evenly among each project folder.  I don't put too much thought into which specific papers are going to be used for each layout because I can always change them around once I am at the crop.  The point of using papers from the same collection or two is because I know they will coordinate well with each other.   Then (and this is the longest step for me), I pick out my photos for each of the layouts I want to do.  If I have time, this is the one step I try to complete a day or two before the crop.  I usually bring alternate shots and a couple of photos in different sizes so I will have them on hand if I change my mind.

Next, I decide what embellishments and mists and paints and punches to bring.  If I have ephemera that is part of the same collection as the papers I am taking, it gets put into one or more of my kits.   I will usually also add a pack of tiny-type letters.  Then I turn to extra distress inks, mists and paints.  I limit myself to chosing no more than 3 additional mists and 3 additional inks that go with my papers or theme.  They go into the project folder(s) I think they will be used with.  I also limit myself with punches - I pack no more than two border punches and three shape punches. 

After my kits are packed up (and my paper trimmer, can't forget that!), the final thing I throw in is my Grab Bag of Scrappy Goodness.  What is it, you ask?  Well, it is nothing more than a gallon sized Ziploc bag.  When I have an extra brad or two leftover from a package when I am scrapping at home, it gets thrown into the bag.  When I have one lonesome flower left over, it goes in the bag.  When I have a paper shape I cut or punched out that didn't get used, into the bag it get the picture.  It's just random leftover stuff that I always ending up finding a use for and, because it's already in a bag that's not too big for my rolling cart, all I have to do is throw it in and I am set to go. 

I may not have everything that I might have used if I were at home, but I have everything I need.  And because I haven't packed every single supply that I own, I often get creative and find interesting alternatives that I might not have otherwise used.  For instance, I have learned:

One chipboard shape can be used over and over again as a template;
Flowers, geometric shapes, and even word bubbles can often be fussy cut from papers;
Doodling with a black pen or marker looks just as good as machine sewing; and, most importantly,
Having fun and scrapping with your friends is much, much better than staying home because you couldn't figure out how to take every one of your supplies with you!

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Dara Lynn said...

great post Krissy! I ALWAYS bring waaay to much to a crop so this is going into my scrap class folder for future reference! Thanks girlie!

Patty Selah said...

Such great advice! I hope to find a regular crop in my area soon so this will come in handy!