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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