What program are you working in? It sounds as though you may be trying to crop a photo in Photoshop Elements.
This is the Premiere Elements forum.
If your program is Photoshop Elements and not Premiere Elements, for your convenience, I am posting the link to the Adobe Photoshop Elements Forum where you can post your Photoshop Elements 12 crop question.
Without further details, I am guessing that the Elements Organizer 12 is involved. You may have decided to edit a photo represented in the Elements Organizer, opened it in the Editor, and, then after the crop there, did not close out of the Editor, and went back to the Elements Organizer.