Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Croppin' in Style!

I went to a weekend crop this past weekend in Winston-Salem, NC. I surprised a new group of people with how quickly I can pack my area up. I have been asked a few times this week to share my secrets. Did I mention that I did 60 layouts over 3 days of cropping?

First off, I do a lot of preplanning. I sign up for crops in advance. Even if it's a local day or evening crop, I plan it all out. Yes, it takes time, but it keeps from from bringing everything including the kitchen sink with me. Let's face it, scrapbooking is heavy! Loading and unloading your vehicle really works out your muscles. Paper weighs a ton and then you add on all of the other goodies and you feel like you just lifted the world.

I start by going through my boxes of printed photos to see what I have. And then I figure out what I'm in the mood to scrap. I do not scrap in order. I scrap whatever I am in the mood to scrap.

I always make sure I pick out way more than I can possibly get done. So once I picked out my photos, I start looking through my paper packs. All of my paper is sorted by collection and in a zipper bag. I load them all into my rolling tote. Depending on the store I'm going to and depending on the project, I may or may not bring cardstock. I usually don't since most stores have a really good selection. Stores that I know don't have a lot too choose from, I always bring my cardstocks as well. I pack them into the paper packs.

That's all I bring. I have the rolling tote and my tool bag. In my tool bag, I bring my ATG gun (adhesive), a box of 12 rolls of refills, scissors, paper trimmer (and yes I have left this home!), band aids (you never know when you'll end up with a nasty paper cutter or when someone at your table will pierce themselves), my cup holder, a trash bag, Post Its or a little note pad, a pen/pencil, pop dots/foam tape, and my work mat.

That's it. Really that's all I bring with me to a crop! My rolling tote, my tool bag, and my layout organizer so I have somewhere to put them when I'm done. There's dividers in there so I can keep track of my creations. It also keeps my projects separated.

I do not bring an album with me because I don't scrap in order and often times I work with a variety of photos that have nothing to do with each other. I am not about to lug around three or four albums. They weigh too much! Some albums are also dreadful at trying to open. The screw posts can be brutal. I don't want to waste three hours at a crop playing with an album. I've got big things to get done!

Why? I have a whole studio stuffed to the ceiling with goodies. I don't bring my Cricut Expression everywhere because you don't always have room. I used to bring stamps, inks, embellishments, stickers, etc with me. I wouldn't get much done. I wouldn't have just the right color brad with me and I knew I had a ton at home. The right one was probably there. I would get so frustrated and that would slow me down. At times, that frustration was so bad it would kill my mojo and I would need to go for a walk to clear my head.

So one weekend I decided to think how I scrap at crops. Why did I bring so much with me? I never touched 90-95% of it! That was an awful lot to lug around and it would take forever to pack and unpack.  I got to thinking. What would happen if I didn't bring all of that with me? Would I get anything done? Would I miss all of my toys? How could a scrapper actually go to a crop and not completely finish my layouts at the crop?

I decided to try this idea out at a local weekly crop that I attended at Captured Moments. Why not? We only cropped from 5 pm until 11 pm. I didn't have much to lose. I would be back the next week so I could go back to my old ways.

My first night, I made 10 layouts! I was sold on my idea. And I haven't gone back since then.

Like I said, I have a nice studio at home filled with embellishments. I finish that layouts when I have time at home. Sometimes I need to order stamp because I don't have just the right one. Or I am in desperate need of a new Cricut cartridge or a file for my Wishblade. And then occasionally I am not happy with my embellishments and want something different so I need to do some shopping.

There's also some layouts that I have no idea how to complete them. I have a whole album from my honeymoon of Luray Caverns. I seriously cannot put "Luray Caverns" on every page. This is one project that has stumped me. I definitely need to get them completed so they can get put away.

By bringing so little with me, I don't take up tons of space. Space is always tricky at crops. I don't have to make four trips to the car to load or unload. I have plenty of work space since it's not covered with all of my embellishments. I literally unpack in less than five minutes. I leave all of my paper packs in my rolling tote and leave it open. I can also pack up and put everything away in about five minutes. Often times, it's less than that! I don't empty out my tool bag. I also clean as I go and when things start to wind down, I put away whatever I don't really need. I usually do that when I get lunch. Need to have room for my turkey sandwich and not make a mess on my layouts or papers.

Stay tuned.....Later this week I will be posting a layout that I made in seven - yes 7 - minutes! I'll be sharing the dimensions for everything on it also. Feel free to scraplift it!

Until next time *

Have you finished all of your layouts?