If you hang around people who create scrapbooks, you will probably hear comments about “crops”:
- Are you going to the crop at the high school next weekend?
- I got SO much done at Sue’s weekend crop.
- Jean gave me the best idea for my cover page at the fire station crop.
- I love fall…kids are back in school, pumpkin spice coffee, and Croptoberfest!
A crop is a gathering of scrapbookers where they bring their supplies, pictures, etc. and work on their scrapbooks. Why “crop”? Because they crop (trim) their pictures to put in their albums! Fall crops are often called “Croptoberfest.”
Photo courtesy Creative Memories Facebook Page
Photo courtesy Creative Memories Facebook Page
When are crops held?
Crops usually take place on weekends. Most commonly, crops are one day events; you start in the morning and scrapbook until 9 or 10 in the evening. Some last a whole weekend (Friday evening through Sunday afternoon) or even through Monday afternoon if they occur on a three-day holiday weekend. They range in size from a handful of friends to hundreds of scrappers. Larger crops may have vendors selling scrapbooking products, embossing services, and other crafts. One event that I like to attend sells homemade apple butter made by a women’s auxiliary group. Yum!
Where are they held?
Lots of locations! Schools, community centers, hotels, halls (e.g., American Legion, Elks), churches, private residences, retreat centers, etc. Crops at retreat centers and hotels may offer overnight accommodations. And, yes, there are even scrapping CRUISES! (see example)
Do you have to register in advance?
Yes, most crops want you to register in advance; this helps them plan space, food, give-aways, etc. Your registration reserves a table or workspace for you. Registration may also cover food, drinks, door prizes, and other resources. Be sure to read the registration information so you know what is included. Some crops have a tradition where each participant brings a snack to share; avoid bringing really gloppy or gooey foods.
What happens at the crop?
Most crops have lots of time for you to work on your scrapbook pages. Most have short demos or “make and take” sessions where you can try something new. Some of these may be free. Some sessions may have a fee; those usually have great materials for you to use and take with you. People also walk around and see what others are doing. There are often door prize drawings. Sometimes they will have a ticket system or bingo where you can earn small prizes (e.g., finish 2 pages, use three different papers on one page, use two punches on a page, take a walk outside, etc.).
Coffee, water, and other drinks are usually available throughout the crop. Feel free to bring your own drinks if you like. There may be snacks available as well. Some crops have meals included. For others, you can bring food or go grab lunch. At the end of the day, you will be expected to throw out your trash, pack your materials and leave the building on time. You may be asked to fold your table if you are able to do so. If the event has a “store”, you will need to pay your tab in the last hour or so of the crop.
Why should I go to a crop?
Crops are SO much fun…you learn new methods, layouts, and tools…you meet other scrapbookers and make friends…you hone your skills. Attending crops can help you leap forward in how you scrapbook. They are well worth the time and expense.
What should I take to the crop?
It is very tempting to take all your scrapbooking materials and tools to a crop. But if you over pack, you can limit how much you get done. The best approach is to do some pre-planning. Scrapbook Wonderland has some good suggestions and I’ve listed those as well as some of my suggestions below.
- Develop your photos and pre-plan your pages. This doesn’t have to be perfect. What do I mean by pre-plan? Check out Emiliee’s Paper Caper video on how to do a quick “power sort” for your pages. Plan for the number of pages you expect to do during the scrap plus 2-3 additional pages in case you get on a roll! I also take additional photos in case one just doesn’t work on a page. HOWEVER, if you don’t have time to pre-plan, you CAN use the crop as time to sort pictures, plan pages, and get ready to finish pages at home. I have friends who come to a crop with their computer and sort their digital pictures, send them to a nearby photo printer (e.g., Walmart, Walgreens, etc.), and go pick them up during the crop. THE TIME IS YOURS to use to your best advantage!
- Pack your equipment. Before deciding to take something big like a Cricut or a large set of punches, think about whether you are going to use that a lot at the crop. Also, call or email the person hosting the crop. They may be planning to put the same equipment out for general use. You may be able to leave them at home. Remember…you can always complete a page at home. For example, you finish a page except for a cluster of stickers that you didn’t bring with you or need to buy. Just do all that you can on the page, put a sticky note where the stickers will go, and finish that at home.
- Take your stack of ideas! This is a great time to take that idea book or print out copies of those layouts you thought were so pretty. Crops are a great time to make some special pages because you have time to do it.
- Find out if shopping will be available onsite. If so, take some cash and a checkbook. If you want to use a credit card, check with the host to make sure they will accept credit cards.
- Take your camera or phone/camera. Someone will do a layout you LOVE. Ask their permission to take a picture so you can use the idea in the future.
What should be on my packing list?
You will always forget something…but may be able to borrow a tool, sheet of paper, etc. from someone at the crop. Here is a list adapted from Scrapbook Wonderland:
- Printed Photos… develop them before the crop!
- Memorabilia (ticket stubs, programs, certificates, etc.)
- Scrapbook pages (If your scrapbook has pages)
- Patterned paper you PLAN to use (not every piece you own!)
- Embellishments you PLAN to use: brads, buttons, glitter gel, ribbon
- Stickers or Stamps
- Adhesives (e.g., tape runner, glue dots, foam tape, liquid adhesive, Xyron)
- Paper Trimmer
- Spare blade for the trimmer
- Punches, border maker, cartridges, dies, etc.
- Journaling pen(s)
- Pencil and eraser
- Scrap paper for sketching ideas/journaling
- Your journal or notes you use for journaling
- Water Bottle with a LID (do NOT spill drinks on your or others’ tables!)
- Cushion for your seat! (Table tops are usually high…folding chairs are low and hard)
- Cup holder? Not an essential but very handy!
- Computer and peripherals if you are doing digital scrapbooking
Optional (depending on what you like to do):
- Sanding/distressing tool and ink
- Paper piercer, craft blade and mat
- Stamping supplies: stamps you PLAN to use, inks, cleaner
- Cricut, die cut, embossing machines, mats and tools
How can I find a crop near me?
If you are interested in longer crops (whole weekends), you can Google “scrapbooking crops near me.” You also can contact your local Creative Memories advisor; use this link to search for an Advisor in your area. Also, join neighborhood networks (e.g., Next Door or a local email exchange) so you hear about local crops. Once you find one and get on their mailing list, you learn about more. Many are done as fundraisers for schools (proms, trips, etc.) or volunteer fire stations. You can check with your schools and stations to see if they include these as fundraisers.
What about online crops?
In recent years, the idea of gathering with friends online to “crop” has gained popularity. These are usually weekend events where someone posts several challenges that you can try during the crop. For example, they post a template such as the one below (left) and say, “Use at least 2 pictures and three different papers.” When you create your page, you share the picture via email or a Facebook page (e.g., below right). At the end of the crop, winners are chosen (usually randomly) from those entries that meet the challenge criteria. The fun is sharing ideas. You get a LOT of good ideas as others post their pictures.
Courtesy Creative Memories blog
Courtesy Creative Memories blog
You are invited to a crop!
If you live near Olney, MD, I will be organizing three crops this fall/winter in October, November, January, and February. Watch this blog and my Facebook page (Marsha’s Scrappin’ Circle) for details to come. If you are NOT in the Olney area but would be interested in a virtual crop early next year, please post a reply below or watch for my poll on the Facebook page.
As always, if you are interested in materials, tools, or supplies from Creative Memories, feel free to contact me with questions and/or place an order through my page.