Attending Crops

This entry is part 67 of 86 in the series Scrapworthy Lives Results

Each Wednesday, I usually write a post from my dissertation.

Cropping space may be temporary or permanent. Temporary cropping spaces may be within the scrapbooker’s home, another person’s home, or a more public place like a scrapbook store or a Church basement.

Most of my respondents crop in the home. Some of these spaces are permanently devoted to scrapbooking but most are not. Scrapbookers may commandeer the dining room table for scrapbooking to such an extent that it looks like a permanent space, but all of the scrapbooking supplies are stored away if company comes over for a meal. Scrapbookers may take over a space within the home for two or three weeks at a time before packing up their supplies for several months.

Some scrapbookers crop outside of the home all of the time or some of the time. The ability to crop outside the home depends on having a place outside the home to crop, having the funds to cover the cost of renting the space (i.e., crop fees) or belonging to a community (i.e., a church) that provides free table time, and feeling welcome at a public crop. Being able to crop outside the home assumes the scrapbooker has transportation, childcare, and scrapbooking luggage of some sort so that he or she can transport scrapbook supplies to the cropping space.

Some of my respondents report not always feeling welcome at store crops or have never attended a store crop for fear of being unwelcomed. Scrapbookers who are already marginalized due to race, class, or sexual identity report not feeling especially welcomed if the vast majority of scrapbookers cropping are white, heterosexual, and middle class.

Scrapbookers may crop at a friend’s house, but this means the scrapbooker has a person who both scrapbooks and has the space to invite others to scrapbook at her or his house. Cropping at a friend’s house may mean that children are also welcome, which may make it easier for mothers to scrapbook with other people. In this case, home comes with the scrapbooker, making it even more difficult to draw a line between home and hobby. Even if a person is able to crop outside the home, the hobby still is part of the home because supplies and finished products are stored in the home.

Scrapbookers crop outside the home not only because they do not have the space in their home to do it or because they are trying to draw lines between home and hobby but also because of the availability of materials at crops and socializing that takes place at crops.

One respondent has been to crops at people’s homes and also at the store where she worked. She finds cropping at the home of someone who is more affluent to be more fun because they often share their supplies. If the person is not so affluent, then it is not as fun because she has to make sure she brings all of her own supplies which she says can be a hassle. Cropping at a scrapbook store, then, is advantageous because a scrapbooker can simply buy whatever item he or she needs rather than having to bring it with her or him or relying on the generosity of the host. If the at-home crop is hosted by a direct-selling consultant, the consultant typically has inventory to purchase but still not as much as one would find in a brick and mortar store.

Next week, I’ll address socializing at crops.

Do you attend crops? Why or why not? Does the availability of supplies at crops draw you to them? Have you ever felt unwelcomed at a crop?

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Series NavigationHow Do You Scrapbook?: Traditional and Digital ScrapbookingCropping Inside and Outside the Home
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  • Rhonda H

    Stephanie, Glad you are back to blogging! I really love the Wed. dissertation snippets. I have actually read the whole thing, but like going back over it piece-by-piece. My friends just stare and shake their heads when I start in spouting stats from your dissertation. Even the scrappy ones! LOL. I can see them thinking, “She’s in deep.”

    I think there are pros and cons to crops: I go to a few, but I prefer to have my ample stash at my fingertips at home. Packing for a crop requires TOOOO much brain and muscle for me. That way I can also have family time and scrap. I do a lot of visiting at crops, and am not as productive. So it depends on how “driven” I’m feeling whether I go to a crop or not. I do have two annual out of town 3-day crops I like to attend when I can. The scrappers come from all over our area, and some I only get to see once a year at these crops. I also take part in a one night every-other-month scrap club (StampinUp), which takes care of some of the socializing without all the packing and being gone out-of-town for days. The instructor brings layouts for us to complete. She provided the supplies and usually we learn a few new techniques as we build our pages. Sooooo…..that’s kinda how I “do” crops.

    Hope you have a great Christmas!
    Rhonda H

  • Mollie Bryan

    I have not been to a crop in ages, though I love the idea of informal crops. I just never seem to have the time these days. Many of the crops around here are sales-oriented and I shy away from those. I don’t like feeling pressure to buy something. Great post, as usual.

  • Thanks for commenting! I like to complain about all reasons I don’t go to crops, but I’m pretty sure that I’m too busy to attend one with any regularity even if the other barriers weren’t there. I don’t mind if people want to sell during the crop, but I definitely don’t want to feel obligated to do so every single time I attend.

  • Thank you for your kind words! I always wonder if anyone read the whole thing or who is reading it. Thanks! I think I am more of a “go away for a weekend once a year and get a bunch of scrapbooking done cropper” rather than a “once a month for a few hours crop-attender.” I just like the idea of being able to focus on only scrapbooking for a good chunk of time. And, I hope you have a great Christmas, too!

  • Terryc45

    “Scrapbookers who are already marginalized due to race, class, or sexual identity report not feeling especially welcomed if the vast majority of scrapbookers cropping are white, heterosexual, and middle class.”

    I find this quote very hard to believe. Scrapbookers are the friendliest people I have met! I live in NJ, so maybe this has something to do with it, but most of the crops I attend are fairly mixed and I’ve never felt that someone wasn’t welcome. We always say that croppers are the best people and we can sit with anyone an make friends (and share stuff!).

    Also, in terms of going to an affluent friend’s house …I don’t think it is so much the supplies we want to share. Most people don’t expect to come over and use paper and embellishments – it is more the tools. Does that person have lots of die cutting machines, dies, electronic cutters, cartridges, stamps, punches and other nifty things? It is great not to have to lug around all those tools.

  • Thanks for commenting. The quote may be hard to believe, but that was their experience. I think it is a question that needs to be further explored. Like you said, it could depend on where the crops take place. It wasn’t just crops, though that made them feel marginalized, it was also the products that were available in stores and the types of layouts that get published in magazines. It was part of the overarching message of the industry, which does promote an ideal type of family and scrapbooker.

    The respondent that talked about going to an affluent friend’s home was a younger college student. Now that I think about it, there may not have been as much class-based behavior differences here, but age-based interaction difference. Older people give to younger people under the assumption the younger person doesn’t have the money. Older people, too, might be more sharing with the younger person than with someone closer to her or his own age. Now I’m even more interested in learning about the sharing behavior that occurs at crops.