Friday, May 23, 2008

This is one girl who's hot to crop!

I love crops. I like crafting with other people around, the paper and glue version of the ol' stitch-n-bitch. I love sharing my toys and playing with other people's supplies to get a feel for them and decide if I really want to purchase one or not. I love swapping ideas and having lots of people around to give out hints when I can't quite figure out how to get one thing to stick to another and whatnot.
Crops can be tough for the chronically painful. You sit in a sometimes-unforgiving chair for hours on end. The crop machine can be set too high for the wheelchair-bound, there's no place to park your cane while you use it, and the arm may require your full bodyweight to pop out one weensy mailing tag. A crop set in a store has some added obstacles, with all those seductive aisles of magic metallic powders, sheets and sheets of paper, and inks...let's not forget the inks...
No matter what, you're probably going to return home in more pain than when you left, but I've found a few tricks that help minimize the punishment on flimsily constructed bodies like mine.
  • Try to sit near an outlet. If you mention you want to be near one when you make your reservation, it will help a lot. This way, you can bring along a heating pad which can help a ton when the third hour rolls around. If you can't get an outlet or you don't go for heat...
  • Be prepared. Bring along some of those instant cold snap-packs. They fit easily in your purse and are there when you need one. They aren't funny smelling like icy-hot, a substance I personally deplore. They also make instant hot stick on patches that can be handy provided you don't squirm around too much. I haven't had much luck keeping them stuck to me but they'll do if there's no other option or you don't like being tethered to the wall. If you get desperate for a cold-pack, see if you can swipe some ice from the cooler or buy a soda from a machine. It won't stay cold as long, but it'll do in a pinch.
  • Space out your die cutting if you are using a manual cutter. I always feel worse when I die cut for 30 minutes solid, than when I split it up into short intervals. Know when to stop, too. If you start feeling the probably aren't doing yourself any favors, no matter what Richard Simmons tells all those unhandi-peeps.
  • Bring a friend who really likes you. Don't be a pest, but most of my pals don't mind making a few die cuts for me, squeezing a punch I can't get to work, or bending over to help me pick up my cane when I drop it. Friends are great when it comes to grabbing stuff from low shelves. And if they're hot, you can enjoy the view, too, naughty girl!
  • Always pack your pillbox in case you need a pain pill or muscle relaxer. It sounds obvious, but it's also easy to forget when you are packing up your stuff.
  • Don't be afraid to leave early if necessary. You got to hang out and have a good time for a while right? There is no shame in quitting while you're ahead. You don't have to try to make it through the whole thing. If you got a few good hours out of the crop, that's a whole lot better than being stuck in the house all day.

I'd love to hear suggestions from others...leave a comment here and I'll add my favorites to the list. Don't be shy...I'll draw a name at random to receive a Stampin' Up page kit I put together myself (yeah, I'm a demonstrator--how'd you guess?) as a RAK! Make sure to leave your email or Fiskateer number so I can reach you if you win!


Anonymous said...

Hello and it's very nice to meet you! I've gotten you bookmarked and will be back daily to grab inspiration - especially when I'm grumbling about my little aches and pains!

You go girl -


marla said...

My tip would be to have tools that are easy to use espeically like the Fiskar squeeze punches because they arent like the old-fashioned ones of long ago that hurt your hands after a couple of punches. Keep crafting girl it will make you happy and your mind off the constant pain!! Be strong. Marla #3291

TracyP said...

I too have you bookmarked on my blog now :)
Maybe having your very own crop in the comfort of your own home!! Be the host! :)


Blueyecicle said...

aha Your too funny, that is helpful though!
My tip is....always pop two pills BEFORE the crop! Makes it more fun! LOL j/k No I do take ibuprophen though.
Fiskateer #3405

Blueyecicle said...

Oh yea and check out my little chat forum for scrappers or non scrappers.
INvite your friends. Lots of friendly faces and peeps in there!

Joan Shanks said...

Have one in youre own home.

Joan Fiskateer #808

Turtlelady~Sandy said...

Try using the Fiskars border punches. I use them for so many different things. I have bad hands and you don't have to stand up to punch!!!
Take care :=)

Ruthie said...

Hey great tips. We're planning our first biggish crop (only 8 people, but it's a start) for next weekend, so these are really useful.

My tips would be... Make sure your pages are pre-planned and journalling pre-typed so that you can put them together without a computer.

And... if you're going to scrap with a friend or friends, see if you can share tools or some embellishments, to minimise the gear you have to take with you.

Lovely to meet you. I've bookmarked your blog. :)


Coco said...

Ur story is funny. lol.
but I totally understand, I dont like sitting to long in one place eighter.
fiskateer #3609

Anonymous said...

Nice blog - I just started my also. My advice is to take pain killers before crop and just do what makes you comfortable - your there for a good time!!!


Debby said...

You have brought up some very great points. I'm going to share them with my LSS owner I work with. Thank you.

My tips: talk to the LSS owner, you might be helping others with similar problems.

If you are not wheelchair bound, but can not endure the seats...purchase one and ask the LSS owner if you can leave it there. I have friends who do that. I plan on it too. My bottom hurts after the first hour.

Something else to think about. The electronic die cut machines usually require a lot of up and down work. There is a new product coming on in July called the Slice from Making Memories. Go to their website and see the details. But it is perfect for a crop. I won a Slice and can't wait to get mine.

Fiska 2852

NanaBeth said...

I don't have any additional suggestions-just a huge atta girl for your wonderful spirit and attitude. I live in area where there are no crops, but even if there were,like you I would find it extremely difficult. You are a bonafide inspiration.


Adrienne said...

awe that is awesome! :D Thanks for all the tips... Im not handi like that. but im sure I could bring a piller (pillow) for me bum :D haha