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Author Archive | Stephanie Wheeler

Scotch ATG

Reported by Stephanie Wheeler

Two years ago, after several crafting disappointments and hard-to-find Dotto refills, I decided that finding the perfect adhesive was definitely worth some thought, research and money.


So I searched message boards and blogs. I read, and read, and read about adhesives until my eyes were sore. And the one name that stood out was the ATG.

The Scotch ATG (or Adhesive Transfer Gun) is an adhesive dispenser used mainly in picture framing, although in the past few years, it’s become a favorite among crafters and scrapbookers.

There are many reasons people love the ATG, but for me, it’s the bang you get for your buck. At around $3 for a refill, you can’t find a better price for 108 feet of adhesive anywhere. I used to pay $4-5 for a mere 45 feet, not to mention most other adhesive options involve throwing out an empty dispenser. Now I can use yards and yards of adhesive and only throw away the paper backing when I’m finished.

Pros:

  • Easy to use!
  • Holds several feet of adhesive at one time, so there’s little worry of running out in the middle of a project.
  • Refills are reasonably priced around $3 for 108 feet of adhesive.
  • Guns and refills come in 1/4″ (ATG 714) , 1/2″ (ATG 700) and 3/4″ (ATG 700) sizes. If you have an ATG 700, you can also buy an adapter so you can use 1/4″ tape.
  • Adhesive comes in permanent and repositionable varieties.

Cons:

  • Some say the gun is too large and clunky until you get accustomed to it.
  • Guns and refills not readily available in retail stores.
  • Startup cost is significant.

Dispenser MSRP: $59.99 (but can be found for much less)
Refill MSRP: $3-4

I love, love my ATG. It seems like some others are pretty smitten with it too. If you’d like to learn more about the ATG, check out Melissa’s video and Laura’s article.

Do you have an ATG? How has it changed your crafting? Debating on whether or not to get one? Let us know what you think!

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

Elmer’s Sticky Dot Stamper

Reported by Stephanie Wheeler

How many times have you reached for your roll of sticky dots only to rip one off on your finger, rendering it unusable after it touches your skin? Sure, the instructions tell you not to touch the dot, but that’s easier said than done.

Sticky dots are notorious for sticking to anything and everything, and sometimes sticking to nothing. That’s what makes Elmer’s Sticky Dot Stamper such a great crafting find! This dispenser takes the guesswork and annoyance out of a simple and necessary part of crafting.

I really try to limit my “gadget intake” when it comes to scrapbooking – I really want something that is really going to be useful, not just take up space on my desk. After getting this dispenser for around $6 (I used a coupon), I figured it was time to try it out. I was pleasantly surprised with how useful and convenient it turned out to be.


This sticky dot dispenser is perfect for all kinds of crafts – card making, scrapbooking and mixed media projects. Every time you need a new sticky dot, you simply place the mouth of the dispenser where you need to add adhesive, pull down on the shuttle, and it sticks a dot exactly where you need it, and viola! No more wasted dots!



The sticky dots are also great for giving some dimension to your projects when layered on top of each other, and because they are permanent and very tacky, they are really good for adhering larger, heavier objects such as buttons or chipboard.

The Elmer’s Sticky Dot Stamper itself costs around $10, but is readily available in retail and craft stores, so it can be purchased with coupons for much less.

Refills are surprisingly cost-effective. A roll of 500 will set you back around $5, which is much cheaper than most sticky dot rolls. Also, refills come in three sizes – 3/8″, 5/8″ and 7/16″, so there’s a sticky dot for every project.

Pros:

  • New dispenser comes equipped with a whole roll of 500 dots.
  • Applies dots easily, quickly and accurately.
  • Keeps sticky dots inside the dispensing mechanism, preventing them from sticking to anything and everything.
  • Easily available online and in retail stores.
  • Each refill contains 500 dots.
  • Dots come in three sizes – 3/8″, 5/8″ and 7/16″, and are acid-free and photo safe.


Cons:

  • Stamper is a bit bulky, and let’s face it, another gadget.
  • Takes a few tries to get the hang of where the stamp will actually be placed.
  • Takes specific refills.

So what do you think? Would Elmer’s Sticky Dot Stamper make your crafting a bit easier? We’d love to know!


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

Vendor Spotlight: EK Success: K & Company Papercrafts

Reported by Stephanie Wheeler

Crafting powerhouse, EK Success has a wide range of products – from punches to stickers and tools to adhesive. An established company since 1978, they are a big name in crafting, and especially in the world of scrapbooking.

I have been a big fan of EK Success and their products for a long time, so I was excited to get a chance to review their K & Company line of fantastic scrapbooking supplies from the creative mind of Carolyn Gavin.

Carolyn Gavin’s funky, whimsical designs have been seen just about everywhere, so it’s fitting that her cool style would translate nicely into supplies for her Greenhouse line of scrapbooking supplies. Her bright colors and creative patterns are a perfect addition to any project and I was really excited to see how I could meld her style with mine.

I received a wide variety of products to review: chipboard and puffy stickers, stamps, patterned paper and cardstock. I knew from experience that the products would be high quality, and they definitely were.

The Greenhouse 28-Sheet Specialty Paper Pack contained more than enough cardstock to start, if not almost complete, an entire album. This pack contained not only double-sided paper, but a selection of specialty papers, including those with glitter, flock and foil.


The Greenhouse Designer Mat Pad comes with 18 double-sided precut (4.75″ x 6.75″) sheets that are perfect for matting pictures, using on a card, or simply cutting up to embellish pages and projects. The fact that these sheets are precut takes the guesswork and measuring out of framing 4″ x 6″ photos.


The Greenhouse Frame Pillow Sticker Pack is reminiscent of the 80’s puffy stickers I hoarded when I was a child. I absolutely love the puffy scalloped circles and the cute flowers in the set. These stickers are perfect for adding to a cute scrapbook page or a card.


The Greenhouse Baubles Sticker set is not something I would normally buy, but I’m glad it was included in this review. The stickers are almost like small marbles cut in half, and the designs are simply fantastic. I love the shiny, candy-like look of them. They’re almost good enough to eat, but I refrained and used them on a card instead.


The Greenhouse Words & Icons Embossed Sticker Set is one of my favorite items of this set. I love that the stickers are embossed, and I also love that there are so many stickers included on this sheet. And this set comes with a ton of cute sayings like “girl wonder,” “go with the flow,” and “this is the good life.”


The Greenhouse Icon Adhesive Chipboard set had the cutest sayings, not to mention the bright colors and “extras” that are the tiny acorns, leaves, flowers and butterflies. What amazed me about this set was the quality. Each sticker is made of solid chipboard, printed in bright, beautiful, glossy colors. Some of the parts are even covered in epoxy and foil, giving it a little shine and something extra.


The Greenhouse Stamp & Ink Pack came with 11 stamps that match Carolyn’s designs. I really liked the size of the stamps, not to mention that the set came with two colors of ink – pink and green.


The Greenhouse 12″ x 12″ Scrapbook was the only item that I haven’t actually used yet. I haven’t had a chance to finish all of my cute pages, but once I do, I’m sure I’ll fill this album up in no time.
As I expected, I was thoroughly impressed with the Carolyn Gavin Greenhouse collection from K & Company and EK Success. The high-quality products are available in many different mediums, and can fit most any scrapbooker’s needs, whether it be paper, embellishment, page storage or stamping.



The Greenhouse collection retails from $2.99 for basic stickers to $29.99 for the postbound album.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced collection is made from high-quality materials.
  • Papers are double-sided.
  • Stickers, especially chipboard and baubles are armed with strong adhesive.
  • Acrylic stamps give a clean image when inked.
  • Great variety of design within the Greenhouse collection.

Cons:

  • Ink that comes with stamps isn’t very dark; I think the stamps would work better with a pigment or solvent ink.
  • Collection may be difficult to find in retail stores.

What do you think about the fun and funky Greenhouse collection from EK Success and K & Company? Leave us a comment and let us know!

EK Success has generously donated some of the products featured in the weeks reviews to give away to our great readers! Please leave your comments on this article to win a 12 x 12” paper pad from Tim Coffey Harvest line from EK Success Brands. You have until Sunday, October 18 at Midnight to enter.

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