Friday, April 13, 2012

preparing for a retreat - the not-so-basic tool kit

My friend Diane aka The Last Diva Standing aka the Crazy Good Diva thought it might be interesting for me to blog about how I prepare for a crop/retreat. Why she isn't blogging about this herself is another question altogether, but sometimes it's better not to question a diva. And sometimes it is. ;-)

This weekend, I'm going to the Nav Centre with 15 other women to scrap until we drop. It's hard to know what to bring and I either bring too much or forget something. This is one crop where I already know I will be bringing too much.

I first assemble kits for my layouts. This includes the photos, a sketch/inspiration, paper, cardstock, embellishments, stamping and inks/paints/sprays/mists, etc. I'll have more on that in another post.

Let's start with the tools that I need to scrapbook.

1. cutting tools

All I really need are scissors in my scrapbooking kit, but I have a few cutting tools that I can't do without.
I love my Fiskars trimmer and my Tim Holtz scissors. These two items are really enough to get the scrapbooking job done, but I also like to travel with the small trimmer from Creative Memories. And I like to have my exacto knife on hand even though I rarely use it.

2. adhesives

I haven't met an adhesive I didn't like. Seriously.
Yup, it takes this much glue and tape to make it all happen. My top two adhesives are my ATG and my Tombow. I like the ribbon tape, my glue dots and micro dots too. The Fabri-Tac is the "when all else fails" glue, which I frankly don't plan on using at this retreat. I also love the MyStik tape runner, but I'm having problems finding refills. I like how compact it is and that I can personalize it.

Where there's glue, there's a mess. This is why I need to bring my Un-Du and glue eraser.

3. pens

Journalling is so essential in scrapbooking, I need my pens. My go-to colours are black, brown and white, but it's nice to have options.
These pens are from Creative Memories and I LOOOOVE them. I also bring a couple of non-archival pens, including my lucky purple pen, for non-scrapbooking writing (including practicing my journalling before I permanently adding to my layouts).

4. "surgical" tools

My husband often says that my tools look like surgical tools. Little does he know that scrapbooking is a delicate procedure. LOL!
I still love the Creative Memories all-purpose tool. My love also lies with Tim Holtz' ruler. I have 2 rub-on tools and 3 craft picks -- one doubles as a brad fastener, the other as a glue unblocker/applier/cleaner and the third is just cool.

5. distressers

I plan on inking, edging and sanding and there are tools to help me with that.
My finger daubers are in a handy dandy case just begging to ink something. I also like the foam applicator to apply inks and I may just bring a sponge to help out.

I have two sanders, but I don't use them much. I do like sanding my photos to give them a white edge and have three emery boards for this job -- one is for nails and it works ok on my photos, the other is from Close to My Heart and it's pretty good, but my favourite is from Basic Grey. I use it so much it's gotten a bit dull!

There are many edge distressers out there, but my favourite is from Close to My Heart. It's super cute and super cheap.

6. miscellaneous

There are a few items that I can only describe as "other."
I need a self-healing mat to scrapbook. It defines my space and acts as one of those cues to get me in a scrapbooking mood. I have three of them and I'm bring the largest -- it's 60x45 cm (or 23x17 inches).

I also like my silicone mat for glues, inks and sprays. I usually bring my craft heater, but the divas are bringing theirs so mine will stay at home until the next crop/retreat.

Paper towels and my stamp cleaner are a must to clean up ink, clean up messes, and clean up myself. Plus, I can roll my silicone mat in there without damaging it more than it already is.

I also like bringing this folder to stash completed layouts. I find it protects them and they're easy to pull out to show the family when I get back.  

7. snacks

I know. Snacks are not tools. But there are absolutely essential for scrapbooking. For this retreat, I am bringing enough snacks to feed a small army.
Please don't judge me. ;-)

8. punches

I usually only bring punches that I know I'll use. But this being a retreat and all, I thought I'd bring all of my punches to share with the divas.
The basket is from Burkina Faso. It was a gift from my friend Marthe. Thing of beauty, isn't it?

9. the big shot

I have to be honest: I don't use my Big Shot (aka The BS) that much. But I am bringing it and plates and dies for the divas.

10. reading glasses


I'm at that age.

11. my iPhone

It was love at first sight. Enough said.

12. something from home

A friend once told me that she always brings something from home when she travels. I love this idea to keep me connected and to remind me of what's most important.

I asked the kids to choose items for me and this is what they came up with.
LOL! I really won't be able to forget them now, will I?

13. ready to go!

So that's my list of  "essential supplies." It all comes together somehow, mainly because of the storage containers I have. These make it super easy to be portable.
Missing  from this photo is my Big Shot. I almost forgot it! I'm also bringing my cooler, camera bag and purse. Otherwise, I'm good to go.

Still feel like I'm missing something though....;-)

Wish me luck!


  1. Yikes! What about your pj's???? LOL

  2. i can't blog about this cos I usually only know the pics I want and the papers that i want to use w them.altho,w this retreat,i roughly put together the pics and papers.
    I would make fun of all the tools that you are bringing BUT I have almost as much!I think the funnest part is sharing!