Posts Tagged ‘scrapbook retreat’

Scrapbook Retreat: My Scrap Table Before, During, and After

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As I talked about HERE, I recently went to my annual scrapbook retreat with friends. I had a complete blast, as I always do. This retreat weekend is something I look forward to all year. Daily life is so busy – family, work, home – that I rarely get to scrapbook at home. That’s why I enjoy and look forward to crops and retreats so much.

I worked extra hard all week so that I’d be ahead on my work come Friday, and was able to head up to the lake retreat house first thing in the morning. I was the first to arrive {that NEVER happens! LOL} and quickly got to unloading my heavily-packed car. Personal stuff went into a downstairs bedroom and scrappy stuff upstairs to the main part of the house.

Since I was there first, I was able to take some photos of the house empty. You can see how super cool it is and perfectly set up for a scrapbooking crew like us. Starting at the left of the photo: Crop tables with Ott lights; living room with big comfy couches, TV, and fireplace; 2 more scrapping’ tables where me and my mom sat; large kitchen; and big dining room table.

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This is the view from the front deck toward the lake. Because of our drought, the water is very low this year and you can barely see it there in the background :(

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Here’s my table with all my scrap-crap unloaded but before getting organized. All the stuff in the back row was already there – printer, lamp, Iris drawers, etc.

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Here’s me all set up and ready to scrap the long weekend away! Epson PictureMate? Check! Bag in Bag full of embellishments, enamel dots, and labels? Check! Basic Grey Magnetic Mat double down? Check! Stack of free printables? Check! Let’s get this pawty stawted, homes!

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This was my table on Day 3. Ahhhh . . . coffee and scrapbooking. My idea of heaven.

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This is one reason I love my Project Life storage solution so much. {If you haven’t read my post about it, they’re just plastic shoeboxes from Michaels with all my 3×4 and 4×6 cards divided by brand and line with simple labels}. See how I put them on top of the existing Iris drawers? It was so easy to pull down the box I needed, flip the lid off, and go to town. If I’d had a large case with an attached lid, where would I have even put it? And so heavy! If I’d used one of the those fancy divided cubby units that I so admire when I see them on Pinterest {ha!}, how would I have transported it to the retreat without all the cards falling out and getting mixed up?

“Scrabpook Obsession, you can love your Project Life storage system. Just don’t LOOOOOOOOVE your Project Life storage system.” {10 points if you can name the movie I’m referencing!}

Anyhoo, I worked solely on pocket pages with my goal being to get 2013 photos completely done including Project Life. Welllll . . . that didn’t happen, LOL! More like February, March, and October to December 2013. Oh well. Best laid plans and all that. I did get 20 pocket pages scrapped. I just counted how many photos:

One hundred and five. Bladow.

105 photos and lots of handwritten journaling, capturing memories, reliving our fun year = what a blessing. Wish I could go on a retreat every month. I dare say I’d be totally ‘caught up.’ Which will never happen in reality but it’s fun to dream about, yeah? If I’d done traditional layouts, I predict I would’ve scrapped about 20 photos.

I even got some organizing done while I was there. I made more labeled dividers for my PL storage {yikes! I’ve collected even MORE cards since I showed you my storage system HERE}. And I got a lot of my divided page protectors out of their packaging and into a 12×12 ring binder, divided up into the various pocket configurations. Made it much easier to find the specific type I was looking for instead of digging into a mixed up multi-pack each time.

I’ll close with this photo of some beautiful deer. I was standing on the front patio early in the evening, talking to one of my kids on the phone, when these deer just walked right up to me. Aren’t they amazing?

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Yes, of course, I took a ton of photos and now these darlings will have a pocket page spread of their own. Anyone know a good “deer” line?? :D

Do you go on scrapbook retreats? Do you get a lot done or is it more of a social thing?

Scrapbook Retreat: How I Pick a Project, Plan, and Pack

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Yes, I used all those P’s on PURPOSE!

Once a year, I go on a scrapbooking retreat with a group of friends and my mama :) There are 8 of us and we have a blast. It’s coming up later this month and I’m trying to get a jump on planning what I want to work on and, therefore, pack. I started to write out these lists on paper, then figured “what the heck? Why not blog ‘em?” Here’s how it’s going so far.

Well, first . . . when I’m at retreats, I like to work on projects not just a bunch of random layouts. Layouts are super fun and creative and all that; I just don’t feel like it’s a good use of my time. I’m so busy these days (work full-time, kids, DH, sports, activities, blogging, etc.), that I do the majority of my scrapping at crops and retreats.

Yes, it’s sad but true. I work on Project Life a bit at home and try to periodically organize memorabilia, print photos, type out journaling, and put away purchases. Which is all scrapbooking-RELATED but it’s not the real thing, right?

So when I get a concentrated amount of time away from the fam and work, with a big table to spread out on, wonderful girlfriends for company, and can stay up as late as I want – I’m taking advantage of it, guuurrrlll!

PROJECTS, baby, PROJECTS.

Projects Considered:
1. Baby Albums – I have the photos organized, memorabilia/journaling, album, page protectors, Project Life “Baby” kits, and lots of cute embellishments. But I feel like I’d do this better at home where DH can help me with the memories. Heck, I’d love him to do some of the journaling.

2. Mediterranean Cruise/Rome Album – From YEARS ago, people! I started out doing a regular 12×12 album and got maybe 20 layouts done. But it hit me that if I kept going on that plan, I would end up with 150 layouts and it would take me 3 years to complete! Now I just want to get the photos in divided protectors, journal what i can remember, and embellish with the Basic Grey papers and embellies I’ve collected FOREVAH! for this project. The existing layouts are done with BG as well so I could slip those in wherever they go chronologically. Once that’s done, it won’t seem like such a daunting thing. I can grab the albums (as in multiple; there are LOTS of photos!) whenever I feel inspired and transition some photos and journaling to traditional layouts. In the meantime, I’ll be able to look through the photos and remember what an awesome trip that was! My mom was on the cruise too and I thought it would be good to pick her brain on memories while we’re at the retreat . . . but it almost seems like too BIG of a project to start on a weekend.

3. Scrap all of 2013 – That means finish Project Life, pocket page scrap all other 2013 photos (everyday/family, trips, sports, school, and events), and if I finish all of that, do some traditional layouts or a mini Sn@p! album. I like this idea the best because it’s do-able in a weekend. Also, I want to journal while everything is fairly fresh in my mind.

Scrapbookers are fickle, you might agree, but as of this moment – I’m going with #3 :) Now, it’s time for prep.

{Pssst! I’m going to start adding some pretty pictures now so you don’t fall asleep while reading this mega-post :) You’re welcome.}

To Do:
1. Get all 2013 memorabilia sorted into page protectors by month. (I blogged about my method HERE). I worked on this last weekend and I’m almost done.

2. Print photos and prints journaling already on computer

3. Type journaling for events (I like to do this ahead of time so I can either copy it as handwritten journaling while at the retreat or leave a spot big enough for typed journaling to add when I get home)

4. Make sure I have refills for adhesives, paper trimmer, TINY ATTACHER, etc.

To Pack:
1. 2013 Dayplanner/agenda (I keep great notes on what we did, thoughts, things the kids said, etc.)

2. Laptop, Picturemate printer*, photo paper, cords, iPhone, charger, OTT LITE, etc.

*I have an older version of THIS ONE . . .

. . . but I want THIS ONE!

3. WRMK albums to store completed pages and plenty of page protectors! PROJECT LIFE and WRMK variety packs are my most-used. I use the Kiwi WRMK albums for Project Life and the Turquoise for Family albums. {Do you have a color coding system, too?}

4. Sticky notes (I hate to say Ali Edwards copies me but THIS is what I do, too . . . oh, simmer down! I’m kidding! I’m suuurrree it was her idea first. Yepper.)


*Photo from Ali’s blog

5. Plastic shoeboxes of all my Project Life-type cards (I talked about my storage method HERE and retreat time is when I really love how portable, light, and easy they are to use). Yes, I really have that many Project Life, MAMBI, and Sn@p! cards. Let’s see how much of a dent I can put in them at the retreat!

6. Tool caddy with plenty of black journaling pens, pencils, and erasers – a must for all the handwritten journaling I’ll do. (I love THESE erasers; they don’t smear the ink yet totally get rid of the pencil marks). I can also use my laptop and Picturemate to print journaling onto any 4×6 sheet of paper while AT the retreat. Cool, eh?

7. BAG IN BAG filled with Project Life-y stuff: washi tape, ENAMEL DOTS, stickers, embellishments, label stickers, date stamps, Cat’s Eye chalk inks, etc. I filled this up today and will show you pics soon.

8. Sn@p! album, chipboard pages, and page protectors – just in case ;)

9. CAMEO-O-O-O!!!

Can you tell I’m excited!?!?! It’s still about 2 weeks away but I’m busy next weekend and have to work all the weekdays in between so I’m trying to get started with planning and packing now. I feel so much better now that I’ve decided on a project. I can pack up my crop bags in the next day or so and then add to them as I remember things I forgot, LOL!

Once everything is packed, I’m going to clean my scrapbook/home office. There will be some cleared surfaces for once – ha! One thing I do wait to pack until D-day is my paper trimmer (my trusty Cutterpede). Whenever I’ve packed it early, it comes back out to cut coupons, work papers, etc. Same goes for my tool caddy with pens, scissors, etc. There’s a lot of crossover use between my scrapbooking things and my work-at-home activities. I’m so lucky to have a big space where I can do both.

Okay, I’m off to start packing ‘er up! Thanks for reading such a long entry :)

Scrapbooking Products: A Scrappy Angel Sent Me a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas!!

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I KNOW!

I can’t believe it either. Blink, blink.

Like, for realies?!?!?

Yep.

A dear online scrapbooking friend saw me mention in a blog post that I would *LOVE* to own a Cameo. She had one still sitting in the box never used and felt led to send it to me to enjoy. OMG, boy will I! I knew it could be insulting to refuse it but I had to think about that, because this is a BEYOND generous gift! I don’t have the ability to pay for it or return a favor of that magnitude, kwim? Gosh, how do you even begin to repay that kind of gift?? But she made me feel at ease about accepting the Cameo with some special words <3

To my Scrappy Christmas Angel out there, THANK YOU!!!! Your generosity is mind-blowing. As a mom who doesn't generally receive many presents, I can't tell you how touched I am. Truly. Thank you.

So now it's time to learn about these amazing little machines! I started a Pinterest board HERE to gather ideas, fonts, and Silhouette cut files. Today, I re-watched some old HSN Scrapbooking shows on the DVR with Lisa Bearnson showing how to use the Cameo. I’m sure they only scratched the surface but I have a bit of an idea how it works now.

Next I’ll be looking for some online tutorials and breaking my new baby out of the box! I hope there are free tutorials online but if not, I’ll look around for a paid class or two. I heard today that Michaels has Silhouette download cards on sale. I can’t remember what the deal was and now can’t find the posts about it, waaahh! Will try to get by Mike’s as soon as I can.

I know that a lot of us have been wanting a Silhouette Cameo or Portrait for Christmas and there have been lots of deals this holiday season. I see that Amazon has the Silhouette Cameo Starter Kit Bundle right now for $230 with FREE one-day shipping (Cameo alone retails for $300 so that seems like a screaming’ deal).

You can get the smaller Silhouette Portrait for $120 (retails for $200) and FREE shipping and there are bundles for that, too. Silhouette on Amazon offers just the Portrait or Cameo, or bundles for each, depending on what you want to receive with it.

I’m confused about whether you could get them in time for Christmas (says something about requiring special handling) but if not, I’m sure it would be there in plenty of time to enjoy it during the holidays . . . or if you’re too busy right now, it can be your best pal in the new year :) Seems like a great way to spend your Christmas money. I can already tell you really get your money out of these machines – SO many things they can do.

I’m still working through the holidays not to mention having houseguests, cooking, cleaning, etc. so I haven’t had time to play with my Cameo . . . YET!!! But I’m going to get it set up soon and make sure I know how to use it, then I’ll be taking it to the annual 4-day scrapbooking retreat I do with friends. It’s coming soon in January and I can’t wait!! My new toy will be getting quite the workout, I can assure you :)

I’m so very, very grateful to have received a Cameo. I will make you proud, Scrappy Christmas Angel!

Do you have a Portrait or Cameo? How did you learn how to use it? If you don’t have one, is it on your Wish List for Scrap Santa?

Scrapbooking Storage Products: The “Bag in Bag” Revisited

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As I posted HERE and HERE, I got this amazing little “Bag in Bag” on Amazon to use in my scrapbooking.

You can get one HERE. It comes in multiple colors other than the blue I chose. I realized I never posted a review as promised so here goes:

When the bag is empty, it lies flat for easy storage. This is on top of a Project Life 12×12 page protector box if that helps you gauge the size.

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Here is mine with just one idea of how to fill it – I put the 3 cups I keep all my scrapbooking pens and tools in, in the center section, then used the pockets for various things like sticker packs, eraser, etc.

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I took this bag to a weekend scrapbook retreat. I packed a bunch of Project Life stuff in there and it was great. At home, all my little PL gew-gaws like wood veneers, enamel dots, washi tape, corner rounder, etc. are in a tray on my desk. It was great having this bag with so many pockets to pack it all up and take it with me. I also kept my iPhone in the front mesh pocket while I scrapped and it was nice being able to see the screen in case “home” called or texted. I also used a pocket for my Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers :)

On a scrapbooking message board, a bunch of ladies ended up buying these great bags – several each in some cases – for themselves and also for inexpensive but very useful Christmas gifts, crop prizes, etc. One of the members wrote this clever Dr. Seuss-like poem to include with the bag when it’s given as a gift. I asked if I could share it on my blog and she said yes! Check this out:

What is this thing?
What makes it so great?
Why it’s a bag in bag
It’s really first rate!

Not just for ladies
It’s also for guys,
to keep your stuff tidy
and hold your supplies.

With so many pockets
and places to store,
they come in quite handy
you’ll want more!

Great for the kids
to travel with toys
and a few snacks, too
for the girls and boys.

Use one in the car,
throw one in your purse
and for the executive man
throw one in his murse!

Hold your keys and your phone
your credit card, too,
throw in a camera
for your trip to the zoo.

The bag in bag
is a wonderful size
to hold so much stuff
and keep organized!

So here it is
without further ado
this fabulous bag
Merry Christmas to you!

–copyright Kaleidoscope 2014

I told her I’d put her name on it so no one could run off with the credit, LOL!

Isn’t that the most awesome thing! Now I wish I’d followed up on my plan to get a bunch of these for Christmas gifts myself. I would definitely print the poem out on cute paper and include it with the gifts. {You are welcome to use it and do the same!}

Again, you can find the Bag in Bags HERE on Amazon. Still plenty of time to get them before Christmas or before starting Project Life in the new year.

Eventually I want to get a few more of these bags. I’m thinking one for a purse organizer, one for my travel toiletries, and another for my scraproom – inks and stamps. What would you use these bags for – any clever ideas?

Crops and Retreats are for People Pleasers … Like Me

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I was just reading THIS POST at 2peas, called “Maybe it’s because I’ve never been to a crop …” The poster, Jessica, goes on to state:

But I really don’t see the benefit… if peopl spend weeks getting ready for an all day crop then wouldn’t you have been able to do all those layouts before instead of putting together all these page kits? Is it more for the socializing? I just think that all the time I would spend gettin ready for a crop + the time I would spend at the crop I could get more stuff just doing it at home.

Then many Peas chimed in either to agree with her, or to explain why they do attend crops and retreats. Here is one such answer, from Renee:

The benefit is a big chunk of uninterrupted time to work on projects. No where to go, nothing to do, and no one calling for mom.

Yep, ^^^^THAT^^^^ would be me, LOL. That’s certainly why I go to crops. I don’t get anything done at home. Srsly. I hardly ever scrap at home anymore. And I figured it out.

I’m a People Pleaser.

I *should* be able to sit at my scrap desk, tune out all the distractions, and tell my kids and husband to leave me the heck alone. I should be able to focus, and daze off into Scrappy La La Creative Land.

But I just can’t.

Say I’m sitting at my desk scrapping. I hear one of the kids looking for a permission slip or piece of schoolwork, I jump up and help them. I hear the hubs starting to make dinner or do the dishes, I jump up and help him. My family starts watching a movie together, and I don’t want to miss out so I join them … and make the popcorn, then do the dishes after. When the dryer buzzes, I go fold and put away the laundry, and start another load. And when that dryer buzzes, I do it again. Lather rinse repeat. When the phone rings, even if I’m successful in ignoring it, when DH says it’s for me, I take the call (aren’t I within my rights to say, “Tell them I’m busy and I’ll call them back”? That’s what a sane scrapper would do).

When I’m working from home, I manage to tune everything out, to resist family movies, to let these capable human beings fend for themselves. But for some reason, I can’t seem to do it in defense of my scrapbooking time. I guess the difference is that, when I’m working, I’m People Pleasing my clients (since they ARE paying me, after all, lol).

Maybe it’s because I *do* work so much … that I feel like when I’m home and NOT working, I should be spending every spare moment housekeeping or doing things with my family. So maybe stay-at-home moms don’t stuggle with this, I don’t know. I would love to hear from you SAHM’s … are you able to scrap at home? It seems like most of the popular scrapbook bloggers are SAHMs; I can’t think of any who work full-time (at a non-scrapbooking job, I mean).

Maybe the successful at-home scrappers create when the kids are in bed for the night? Unfortunately, I’m either working again or too tired at that point. Oh how I WISH I could scrap late at night. I used to, when I worked part-time and didn’t have to be up early the next day to put in a full day’s work. Ah, the good old days!

So. I go to crops and retreats. Like someone said in the 2peas thread, I get more pages done at my annual weekend retreat than I do the entire rest of the year. Sad but true.

Coincidentally, that retreat time is almost upon me! I’ll soon be going away for the weekend ~ a Friday through Sunday in March ~ to adjoining condos at a nearby lake, to scrap, scrap, scrap. There will be eight of us and we’ll take turns doing meals, so the only time I’ll be tied up is making dinner on Saturday night. But I hope to pre-flight something and just warm it up at the condos.

Matter of fact, I think I’ll write another blog entry before then about how I pack for a crop. I’ll try to take photos of the process and then explain what I pack and why.

How about you? Do you crop mostly at home or mostly away? Are you a People Pleaser or can you focus and block out all distractions?

Scrapbook Crops, Retreats, and Horror Stories

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I went to a crop this past Saturday. It was a monthly crop put on by a friend who gets the use of her complex’s clubhouse for free and there’s room for 6 to 8 of us. Most months there’s about 3 to 6 of us, a really great group of fun and supportive ladies. We can be in there from 9 to 9, and sometimes people come in the morning only, the evening only, or even leave and come back, like if their kids have a soccer game or something. It’s always a lot of fun and I love the chance to catch up with everyone’s lives. We are all varied women with various jobs and lifestyles…we all happen to be moms, and jobs vary from office manager to transcriptionist (me!) to doctor to SAHM, etc.

The cool thing is that there are never “crop horror stories” with these ladies, kwim? Have you heard of or experienced CROP HORROR STORIES? I sure have! Here are some examples of the bad behavior I refer to: talking super loud on your cell phone, smoking in the crop room, table hogging, the obsessive tool borrower, etc. Well, not this group…they’re all wonderful and I’m so lucky to be invited to crop with them all the time.

Speaking of which, this group does a yearly trip usually in February where we rent a double-condo at a nearby lake and crop from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. Everyone provides one meal, we all bring snacks to share, and it only costs $50 per person. This year, it looks like that trip will be in late January instead, which works well for me schedule-wise, so I hope I’m able to go. My mom usually comes down to stay at my house a day or two early, then she joins us on the crop weekend.

One really neat thing is that my mom and one of the ladies in my group developed a good friendship the first time we had this weekend a few years ago. They have some similar health issues and are really supportive of each other. It’s so fun to see them enjoying their time scrapbooking together, and with the rest of us, of course, LOL!

The sweet lady who hosts these monthly crops at her clubhouse is also arranging a weekend retreat for May 2010. It’s about $125 per person for 3 days and the retreat house is all decked out with individual cropping tables with Ott lights, a computer/printer, a big couch and TV for chick flick watching, etc. Again, each person provides a meal. Housekeeping is included in the cost. Whoo to the Hoo!

I told DH about these two fabulous cropping opportunities just to get them on his radar. He basically just grumbles when I tell him these things, but when the time comes, he’s fine if I go. As long as there are no sick kids around our house or anything. You know how it is, right? I’m feeling pretty positive about the January weekend, but the May one, well, we’ll have to see. The expense is the main problem. Maybe I can play the “…but May is my birthday-anniversary-Mother’s Day-month” card. Do you think that will work?

The only problem is I’ve already attempted to play THAT card to justify why I need to buy the camera I reeeeeeellly reeeeeeeellly want on Black Friday, since mine has been out of commission for months and a similar camera is on a great sale that day. And I only jumped ahead and played the “May” card because I had already used the “….don’t get me anything else for Christmas because I reeeeellly reeeeeelllly want this new set of crop bags.”

Sheesh, I’m running out of cards to play, ain’t I?

Hope you had a fabulous weekend and got to play with some paper! :)

I’m Goin’ A-Croppin’ Tomorrow

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Yay, yippee, woot woot!! It’s been quite awhile since I’ve either held a crop or been to one. Actually, this weekend was APPOSED ta be an annual scrap retreat with my mom and 4 friends. But the dear friend who usually organizes it is going through some personal stuff and couldn’t handle the planning this year. I offered to take over the reins but the other girls were gone on a SCRAPPING CRUISE so I couldn’t reach them in time to reserve the lake cabin for the retreat. But since my mom was coming down anyway, I called one of the retreat girlies this week and said, HAY-AYYYYY! Why don’t we just have a croppy Saturday at your clubhouse? And she was all for it. Thus….I’m goin’ a-croppin’ tomorrow. And I couldn’t be happier. Well, okay, technically I COULD be happier. I could already be at a crop RETREAT but let’s not split hairs, shall we?

So it’s about 8:45 on Friday night and I just finished packing for my croppy Saturday. I’m getting pretty good at packing for crops. I’ve learned that it does not pay to take every thing I own. Rather, I figure out 1 big project I want to work on {this time it’s finishing up the Santa Cruz part of my San Francisco/Santa Cruz trip album}, and all the things I need to work on that project. In this case, it’s the 12×12 album with enough empty page protectors to hold the pages I’m going to complete, and an Iris clamshell case with all the papers, embellies, and Thickers I’m using for this album. Then I usually bring maybe 4 or 5 other sets of photos that are of similar theme, colors, etc. and then a paper stack and chunk of embellies/letters that I can pull from for these layouts. For tomorrow, I have photos of a birthday, a bike race (Lance Armstrong’s race came through our area yesterday!), the kids playing with the puppy, and a Superbowl party. Do you see what these event photos might all have in common? Yep, bright mostly primary colors. So I’m taking the American Crafts “Celebration” paper stack that I just got (talked about it HERE), a “kid’s life” stack, several kinds of primary and black or white letter stickers, and a handful of colorful embellies.

The one place I guess I overpack is with cardstock ~ I always pack all 3 Cropper Hopper vertical files full of Bazzill ~ because I cannot STAND being at a crop and not being to find the exact right shade of background cardstock I need. Usually, I take my Baby Bug (little Cricut) and cartridges but decided not to this time. Maybe someone else will bring theirs and if they don’t, I can get by with the Thickers and such that I’m bringing. Finally, and most importantly, I always take my Cropper Hopper Flat Pack and a mini Tote-ally Cool Tote with my often used tools, adhesives, scissors, etc., my 2 Basic Grey Magnetic Mats, and my Ott Lite. This time, I also threw in a few border punches, and my “baby X” Xyron adhesive machine. So, miracle of miracles, I got all my stuff into my XXL, Crop In Style shoulder tote, and a small rolling tote. Wish me luck that I didn’t forget anything crucial! Although the great thing is that, at crops, everyone is more than willing to share anything you might need.

I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. Not just for the creative opportunity to make some fun layouts, and the accomplishment I’m going to feel when I finish my travel album, but the time I’ll get to spend with my mom and my friends, just gossiping the day away, laughing, listening to music, having a nice dinner, and coming home feeling de-stressed, refreshed, and gung-ho to keep cropping in the coming weeks. Going to crops always gets me motivated in my scrapping again and I’m really needing that right now.

Have a wonderful weekend, dearies!

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