Author Archive | Colleen Schaan

Why YOU need the Scotch ATG Gun!

Reported By: Lauren Meader

I’m not affiliated with 3M, nor am I getting compensated for this “plug” if you will.
I’m just a happy paper crafter who loves a great quality product that is affordable, saves me money, and best of all, makes my projects easier to complete.

You may be asking what the heck you are looking at! Well, if you are familar with mono-adhesive dispensers, then you are looking at the MACK Daddy of all dispensers! It’s the Scotch ATG 714 Adhesive Gun! It retails for as low as $36.62.

And…each roll of adhesive( I get the GOLD due to its photo safe acid free) is 36 yards for as low as $2.89! So, you are getting double the adhesive of regular dispensers for a fraction of the cost-plus it holds better!! They have a wide variety of tapes to choose from also.

I bought a 12 pack over a year ago and I still have 2 rolls, PLUS a fresh one in my gun!! I stamp just about daily, and really use my adhesive! That is phenomenal!!! I also love that I get great tape coverage-no flimsy trail of adhesive, like the mono adhesive.

The thing with this tape dispenser is that it was originally used for framing, so the adhesive is really sticky!!! Unlike with mono-adhesive your project won’t pull apart or fall apart. We all know how frustrating that can be.

I had heard the buzz over these ATG Guns about 2 years ago on SCS. I (like always) broke down and bought one. I tell you that place has cost me more money………………………..

Now, let me also tell you, it was to date, one of the BEST thing’s I have ever bought. I like this particular style because it is the 1/4 inch tape dispenser. There are many other options, and my opinion is to get what is right for you. I liked the size of the row of adhesive I would get from my mono-adhesive, so that was why I made that particular choice.

I also need to STRESS, that the gun is pretty large in size. People discussed that fact when they first got theirs, so I thought I prepared myself. BUT, when I unwrapped it I was still pretty shocked.

Now that I have been using it for 2 years I am SO use to the size and feel of the gun. I love it, and prefer it! I never use my mono adhesive anymore. Plus it doesn’t get lost

If you are interested, you can watch a video that shows the various options, how to load it, and how to use it on THIS site. (click on the picture of the yellow 700 gun) Go check it out.

I hope you found this to be helpful and informative. I’d love to hear your questions, opinions or comments.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

CuttleKids by Provocraft

Reported By Lauren Meader

Is the new CuttleKids REALLY kid friendly and is it REALLY just for kids?

I wanted to find the answers to these questions, so I got my daughter Alexa the Cuttlekids machine and several dies for her 8th birthday. The dies I purchased were- the Fairy and Tadpole alphabet, Flowers, and Flying Bugs 4 set of dies. As you can see by the photo, it comes with everything you need to get started-including 2 die cuts.

I did NOT see a recommended age for this machine, but figured 8 would be appropriate. And in all honesty-I HAD TO HAVE IT, for me too! LOL! All three of my children have used this machine- Alexa 8, Noah 4 1/2 and Amber just turned 3. So here is my opinion based on watching my children use it-as well as several un-crafty adults.

First the Pro’s

  • This machine is really cute. It’s lightweight and the base is really sturdy. My 3 year old can pick it up NO PROBLEM! Easy to store.
  • It has little suction cups on the bottom to help it STICK to the surface! TRUST ME you will need them! And they really do stick well. Don’t let them try it on the carpet like I did! I will rock side to side as they try to feed the dies through.
  • It measures 6 inches across, and 4 1/2 inches high.
  • It doesn’t have the fold out panels like the Cuttlebug does-which for kids is great! Nothing to break OFF! Has the feed opening and that’s it! Pretty straight forward.
  • It’s affordable-in my opinion, for a die cut machine-even if it’s listed for kids. It lists for $32 retail. The Cuttlebug machine lists for $69.99. Both a great value. It cuts very well. An adult could use this for her own machine. I know I am trying to not sneak it down to my craft room, cause they will NEVER see it again! LOL! Plus you can most likely get it with a coupon! The dies are also affordable. Compared to the cost of regular machine dies-primarily the alphabet sets, the dies are reasonably priced-see comparison below (Cuttlekids price is to the LEFT / Cuttlebug price is to the RIGHT)
    • 4 pack dies $10.50/ 2×2 4 pack in Cuttlebug $15.99
    • Alphabets/numbers from $18 to $50 (large set ONE letter per square)/ Cuttlebug alaphabets $79.99
    • 2 Step Dies-really cute assortments for only $5.50 / they are $6.50 for Cuttlebug 2 step
  • The dies are the same size, as far as the finished image, as the regular dies you would purchase. So they are a great deal.
  • I assumed the dies for the kids machine would be chincy and the finished die cut would be tiny. NOPE-great size! No tiny shapes here.
  • Another PRO-you can use the Cuttlekids dies in the Cuttlebug! WAHOOOO!!!! (Note: you may need this little Sizzix Sidekick adapter biscut to give the right thickness for a crisp clean die cut in the Cuttlebug depending on what you use for cardstock/patterned paper.)
  • Another PRO- after a few times demonstrating the SANDWICH needed to use the machine, even my 3 year old was able to do it-independently!

Then the con’s

This is the description for Cuttlekids- copy/pasted from their website
*Meet the Cuttlekids™ Shape Maker, a fun way for parents to help get kids excited about crafting! This colorful mini die cutter easily cuts adorable Cuttlekids dies in seconds, providing fun paper and craft foam shapes and letters to make toys, gifts, and decorations. School lockers, bedroom doors, and birthday invitations – just to name a few – will never be the same! Check out this exciting new line, you’ll see there’s so much you can do with Cuttlekids*

  • The MAJOR thing I found to be difficult was the fact that my children had a hard time getting the handle to turn, as the die cut/cardstock passed through the center. They often got frustrated and needed me to jump in and help.
  • Unlike the advertisment states, this colorful mini die cutter doesn’t cut easily. Well, it does cut NICELY, but not EASILY. Even I had a hard time cranking it through the machine at times. I had some other adults at Alexa’s party try it, and while it was a hit, that was the big complaint. And we are talking a SINGLE layer of cardstock. We found patterned paper and old scrap wrapping paper to work much easier, so that would be my fix for the con of cranking through cardstock!
  • You cannot use your Cuttlebug dies/embossing folders in the CuttleKids machine! The Cuttlekids opening is sized ONLY for the Cuttlekids dies.
  • Cuttlekids dies are made with a thin but sturdy cardboard top. The foam layer also appears thinner than the Cuttlebug dies. The Cuttlebug ones are made with a metal top and thicker layer of foam and simply would not fit.
  • There are NO embossing folders for the kids to use! That is a bummer. Especially with all the Disney stuff coming out soon. I know I don’t want my kids thouching MY Cuttlebug.

SOOOO-Overall I would totally recommend this product. I actually LOVE the dies and think the alphabets are a phenomenal value, as they are quite similar to the larger/more expensive ones offered for the Cuttlebug. And since I can use the Cuttlekids in my Cuttlebug that ROCKS!!!

I also think if you are just getting into papercrafting and are working on building your supplies-this would be a great starting place. My children had a great sense of accomplishment after cranking though some images. A great activity.

I found it to be a great tool to help kids make their own paper crafted creations! It’s also safe, and there is nothing potentially harmful. I even crammed my own fingers in there and CRANKED the handle! No problems-no squeezing or squishing motions.

So now I would love to hear YOUR opinion or any questions you may have that I hope to be able to answer!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Am I Sticking With Lizzie Anne?

Reported By: Colleen Schaan

Don’t forget to head on over to the Lizzie Anne Designs forum over at Splitcoaststampers to enter a contest to win some FREE stamps! (See this post for all the contest details.) You have until Saturday at Midnight (EST) to enter.

As I wrap up this exciting week of Lizzie Anne reviews, I want to express my sincere gratitude to Sarah for getting me hooked on yet ANOTHER stamp company! It seems like every day there are new companies popping up all over the country. The competition is fierce and only the best of the best are going to make it for the long haul. Lizzie Anne? Yea, I think this one is going to be sticking around.

Do you know the story behind Lizzie Anne? I do…“Two Graphic Designers. Two long-time stampers and scrapbookers. Two long-time friends.” (quoted from the Lizzie Anne Designs site) It was interesting to see how this friendship turned into a business relationship…one that seems destined for greatness. After all, there are a lot of years of designing, crafting, and stamping experience between the two of them. Let’s go take a peek at what they are doing…

Lizzie Anne Designs’ goal is to create “extremely cool stamps for cardmakers and scrapbookers alike…designs to inspire creativity.” While I can’t say much about the use of their stamps for scrapbooking, I will say that I was inspired to create some interesting cards and decorative items with their stamps. I am a “layer it on” and then “add some more” kind of gal, but these adorable images just screamed out for sweet and simple. I was amazed at how easily this first card came together. The sentiment is called Good Cheer and is one of the Simply Single stamps I got. It worked perfectly with the solid, retro tree from the Glad Tidings Little Bits set.

Whether the images were solid or line drawings, the deeply etched and closely trimmed rubber stamped clear and crisp. The images range from retro and funky to cute and whimsical to vintage and elegant…something to appeal to everyone. Me…I like cute and whimsical. This lovable line-up just melted my heart. I created a tiny window for them to peek through and look…it is snowing HUGE flakes outside…just the thing to create another sweet snowman. (The stamps are Snowflake and Snowmen – both from the Simply Singles collection.)

I will admit, when I first visited the LAD site, I was a bit confused by all the bits. (No pun intended!) But here’s a bit to clarify it all… (grin)

Little Bits Collection – These are full sets that come in their own CD storage case. Each set contains multiple images that coordinate around a theme.

Alphabits Collection – These are alphabet sets (mainly geared towards scrapbooking) that come in sturdy zip-lock storage bags.

Simply Bits – These are sets of two stamps…usually an image and a sentiment.

Simply Singles – (Hey, where’s the bits?) These are single stamps. Have you ever found a stamp set with just one or two images you wanted…but you ended up buying the whole set anyway. With Simply Singles you can purchase some of the most popular images individually! Excellent idea!

Other things you should know???
The cost of the stamps is pretty competitive and the cost of shipping is reasonable. With quick shipping times (typically one week within the States and two weeks to Canada) and great customer service, you can be saying, “Howdy” to your new stamps in no time at all! (This card uses the Cowboy and Howdy Simply Single stamps.)

My experience with Lizzie Anne Design???
I was amazed at the speed of delivery and packaging of the product. I immediately fell in love with the images and was inspired to start getting them inky. The problem? – I couldn’t get the darn CD case to open! I pried and pulled and flipped and flailed…all with no apparent success. I FINALLY got the bugger to open and quickly forgot my frustration when I saw this uber cool plastic insert all of the stamps were attached to. I figured my not being able to open the case was “user error” and quickly got to work. Unfortunately, every time I tried to open that darn case, it got the better of me. It wasn’t until I did some poking around on the LAD site that I found out that the “cool” plastic sheet was actually NOT meant to be kept in the CD case as it was only there for “retail packaging” and actually made the case a bit too thick. And THIS…I believe…is why I couldn’t get the case open. (Just a note to all you readers who are snickering out there…I BET I am not the only one to do this…and by the way…the case opens like buttah now that I got rid of the plastic insert!)

My honest opinion and would I buy them again?
While I LOVE the images and the quality of the rubber, I am NOT a fan of static cling foam backing on stamps (aka – vinyl film). I have always had issues with cling stamps not clinging so well. I know the key is to keep the acrylic blocks and the cling uber clean, but even then, I have had stamps fall from the block onto my paper making rogue ink splots that needed some creative layering to hide. This is not a complaint against LAD, but a product dislike of cling foam. But since LAD uses cling foam, I have to ask myself…will I buy more stamps from this company knowing the potential problems that might arise? And I have decided the answer is YES…my solution? I have peeled both the cling and the foam off of the back of the stamps leaving just bare naked rubber. A quick brush with some temporary adhesive glue and I am at peace. (And just so you know…getting rid of the foam and using just the rubber on the acrylic block does NOT affect the quality of the image at all. I made this Peace Frame using three of the stamps from the Glad Tidings Little Bits set…all without the foam – crisp and clear!)

In conclusion, I think Lizzie Anne Designs will be sticking with the best of them…cling foam or no!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!