Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Preparing for a Crop

A few of you may be coming to my upcoming weekend retreat, or you may be preparing for a crop in your own town or craft group. Whatever event you head to, here are some tips I have found that make my crop events so much easier and more productive.

1. Set a goal- what do you want to achieve at the event? A full day crop will likely have different expectations than a full weekend. I like to focus on a specific album or time frame when going to a crop event in order to minimise my photos and supplies needed. Going to a crop with a goal in mind also helps you to remain focused. Don't be afraid to share this goal with others or the people running the crop, as they will be happy to help you reach your end goal!

2. Plan your pages- I use a mixture of the CTMH ideas books, Pinterest and the Annual Inspirations. The CTMH ideas books are a great tool as they give you precise cutting instructions and variations, as well as guidelines of what size photos you will need. Also plan out your pages with a template as there is nothing worse than creating a double page layout and then realising you only have a single page in your album to fit it into! I will be sharing the template I use at my upcoming crop with my customers.

3. Print your photos- you should edit your photos to the size needed if you have planned out your pages, as this will reduce wastage and you won't find yourself having to cut up photos or leave gaps on the day of the crop. If you are not familiar with a photo editing program that will allow you to resize your photos, PicMonkey is free and easy to use. Having the right sized photos and a plan of how they will fit on a page saves me so much time on the day.

4. Get embellishments, papers and stamps together for each layout- you may have a specific title, embellishment or paper that goes with some of your photos. For example, I knew that I wanted some poolside pages to have the Aqua Dots and Seaside papers featured on them, and so I gathered all of these together. This means I have what I want at my fingertips and am not searching through all of my bits and pieces on the day. Doing this for most or all of your layouts also helps you to minimise what you need to take, as you won't have to bring all of your embellishments and stamp sets "just in case".

5. Think of tools- Most crops require you to have your own trimmer and adhesive. If you need a specific punch, embossing folder or even your 3D foam tape remember to pack it, as these supplies can go fast on the day! I also like to pack some Post-It notes so that if I create a layout and realise that I have forgotten something, I can make a note to myself and stick it on the page.

6. Be a Buddy- if you are going to the crop with a friend, coordinate in advance to share some items such as ink pads and larger tools so that you are not doubling up. It also pays to check with the people running the retreat to see what they will be supplying at the event, as sometimes they provide their tools, stamp sets and cutting machines.

Here is a helpful video from Juliet showing how she prepares for a crop-very organised and precise!

Are there any other tips you can think of? I would love to hear them!

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