Monday, July 30, 2007

Preparing for a Crop

Whether a few hours at a friend's house, a full day crop or a weekend retreat, preparing for a scrapbook session away from your regular work-space can be challenging. How much should you bring – pictures, tools, paper and other supplies? I have the tendency to over-estimate (by quite a lot!) on how much I'll get done, so I routinely bring too many pictures, too much paper and too many embellishments. Not only does it mean I have more than what my tote can hold, but I often end up spending more time flipping through everything trying to decide what to work on, than actually working on it! There is help for people like me, and all it takes is a little advance preparation.

1) Plan Ahead:

Taking time to plan ahead can make a big difference in what you accomplish. Prior to the crop, sort through your photos, pull out some coordinating paper and any matching embellishments you want to use, and create your own page kits.

If you’re scrapping at your local scrapbook store, don’t worry if you’re missing something - you can always shop as you crop and pick up whatever you may need to complete your pages. If you’re at a weekend retreat, the hosting store will likely have an on-site store set up. Remember, they can’t bring their entire shop, so it doesn’t hurt to check with them ahead of time to find out what sort of inventory they will be bringing to the retreat.

If you’re scrapping at a friend’s place or somewhere else that you don’t have the option of running out to your local scrapbook store, bring along some extra supplies, and suggest your friends do the same. The chances are fairly high that someone else will have that perfect colored cardstock, brad or other embellishment you’re looking for, and would be happy to exchange it for something you have in your stash. Scrapbookers are a friendly group, and I’ve never been to a crop where someone wasn’t willing to share or trade something for someone in need.

What tools should I bring?

Always bring the basics, including paper trimmer & extra blades, small scissors, adhesives (including foam tape or pop dots), ruler, pencil, art gum eraser and black archival pen for journaling. Consider including any other tools you routinely use, such as an eyelet setter, inks or chalks, etc. Always keep in mind that whatever you bring, you need to transport it to and from where you’re scrapping. That could mean a few trips to and from the car!

For any other tools, planning ahead will help you once again. If you’re scrapping at your local scrapbook store or at a weekend retreat, call ahead to see what kind of tools they have on hand for scrappers who are registered for the crop. Die-cut machines or other cutting systems may be readily available on-site rather than carting your own back and forth. Alternatively, if you’re attending with friends, arrange for each to bring different tools so you can share amongst your group.

Regardless of what you bring, make sure to properly label your supplies. Many scrappers have the same items, and while not deliberate, it’s very easy to pick up someone else’s tool thinking it’s your own.

Have fun!

Most important of all, a crop is a fun and social event! Don’t fret if you have some “scrappers-block”. Take that time to browse through some magazines or to admire the creative talents of your fellow scrappers. If you see something you especially like, don’t be afraid to ask how it was done. The majority of scrappers are proud to show off their pages, and are very willing to share a trick or technique. Remember, imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and scrap-lifting is accepted and encouraged in the scrapbooking community!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Scrapbook Events ... What do you like?

It's great to see so many wonderful scrapbooking events being held in different parts of Canada. If I could, I'd love to attend as many as possible! Not only the charity crops, since they support such worthwhile causes, but also those great-looking getaways retreats at spa resorts! What a wonderful combination! A good productive session of scrapbooking followed by a relaxing massage or pedicure. For me, that's probably one of the best definitions of paradise that I can think of!

What's important to you in a scrapbook crop or retreat? There are some areas of the country with numerous event options available to choose from, but unfortunately, there are other areas with a limited number of these special events. I'd love to hear from fellow scrapbookers across Canada. What kind of scrapbooking events do you participate in, or what sort of events would you like to participate in? Please feel free to post your comments or send me an email. I'll summarize the results for everyone to see. Perhaps some of the store owners or event organizers will respond by setting up a special crop or retreat in an area close to your home!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Welcome to Crop Across Canada

Where it all began ...
As an avid shopper for all things scrapbooking, I have routinely tried to take shopping "road trips" with my scrapbook family and friends. My goal on these trips has been to travel to as many scrapbook stores as possible within a certain area, with a promise to buy something from each store I visit.
The shopping has always been the easy part! What wasn't always so easy was finding the stores and planning a route.
It was from the earlier trips that the idea of Crop Across Canada started to take shape. If my friends and I were struggling to find a resource for scrapbook stores in Canada, I realized it was quite likely that my fellow scrappers may also be experiencing the same problem. So, after much time and research, Crop Across Canada was launched at the end of February. The response I've received has been very positive, from both store owners and scrappers alike, and I look forward to continuing to build on an "all Canadian" scrapbook resource.