Sunday, December 7, 2008

On Hold...

I haven't forgotten about the blog, but I haven't had access to the computer much this week. On the positive side, it has left me more time to work on creating cards and getting ready for Christmas.
Until next time...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


It's Georgia's turn to be featured in my 50 states album! The state is cut at 4", the flag at 3", the bird and flower at 2 1/2" and the word 'Georgia' is at 1". To see the rest of the album posted so far, click here.

Monday, December 1, 2008


It's been awhile since I posted a page in my 50 states album. Here's Florida! To see the others that have been posted so far, click here.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm really excited about...

I ran the numbers for Scott, and it was a really great deal for me to upgrade to the Expression (a larger model of the Original Cricut). Not only does it cut bigger, but it also cuts smaller (down to 1/4") and has more features and options available. It came with 2 cartridges (one that is a new release and only available when purchased with the Expression). And, when purchased between Oct. 15 and Dec. 15, is offering a rebate for 2 free cartridges. So, that is a new machine and 4 cartridges for a great sale price. :)
My mom was able to come with me and brave the Black Friday crowds, and we had a great time. We even had time to spare between buying the Expression and waiting for Michael's to open.
It does mean that I will have to sell my other Cricut, so if you know of anyone that might be interested, let me know!
I hope to experiment with the Expression today. I have a few Christmas projects in mind...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving-pt. 4

Here's the last layout of my Thanksgiving series. I hope it has been helpful to see an example several pages using a's an easy way to speed up scrapping when you have several similar pages to complete (i.e. holiday, vacation, wedding, baby, etc.).
This page is dedicated to feeding one of my nieces on her first Thanksgiving. After sorting through the pictures, we noticed that we had 7 pictures of different people feeding her!

Here are the close-ups:

Thanks for looking!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving, pt. 3

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. The anticipation of getting together with family has been fulfilled and the beautiful golden brown turkey has been replaced with re-heated leftovers. A Christmas tree adorned in lights and decorated (very heavily on 2 branches, due to our little munchkins) with delicate ornaments now stands in my parents' living room.
While all the lights, songs, and decorations are already announcing the arrival of the Christmas season, I am not quite ready to let go of Thanksgiving just yet. I'll be spending a few more days on Thanksgiving before I move on, so I hope you'll indulge me.
This is the third post in a series of Thanksgiving layouts I worked on a few years ago. On this page, I continued the theme of colors, verses, twine, and lettering. Without further ado, here are the close-ups:
And here are the verses that I used on these pages:
"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations." Psalm 100:4,5and "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving pt. 2

Here are the next pages in my Thanksgiving series. On this layout, I introduced the theme of Thanksgiving-related Bible verses, and I also used embellishments that match my lettering along the right hand column.

The verse is Psalm 107:8,9 which says, "Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness."

Here's a closer look:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Well this post marks a milestone for my's my 100th post!!! Thanks for reading, looking at my creative attempts, and leaving comments. I have enjoyed hosting this blog and sharing my ideas with you.
This being the week of Thanksgiving, I find myself reflecting on the many blessings that I have in my life. How I wish I were more diligent to carry this attitude throughout the year...counting my blessings is the greatest anecdote to a complaining and/or discontented heart!

We Give Thanks: 2000
Today I will begin posting a series of Thanksgiving scrapbook pages I made to chronicle the holiday 8 years ago. Because I had several pictures to scrapbook that would span a handful of pages, I decided I wanted to work around a theme to make it cohesive and to save time and materials, too.
I chose a few themes to carry throughout this series to tie it all together: colors, font, twine, and Bible verses regarding thankfulness. I wanted to convey a sense of warmth while reflecting on the meaning of Thanksgiving and the harvest time of year.
For the title pages, I introduced the colors, font (idea from Creative Keepsakes), and twine.
Here are some closer looks:
Thanks for looking! Check back tomorrow for more holiday pages.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Bad Foot

It's been awhile since I posted a scrapbook page for my family album. These pictures are almost a decade old, but they all depict a silly family tradition: doing the "bad foot" as a goodbye greeting. Thanks, Dad, for getting this started ::eyes roll::.
The journaling is done on the individual circles on the right side of the page. Yes, this took some planning to get exactly the right number of circles and the right number of words to fill the entire space. It's not something I'll do on every future scrapbook page. ;) The circles had to be smaller than 1" (the smallest setting on the Cricut), so I had to find a way to work around that. See my previous post for how I did it, using Walk In My Garden.
The circle outlines (around my Dad's foot on the picture and as one journaling circle) are from Graphically Speaking, as were the layers for the flower on the lefthand page. The title is cut from Mickey Font at 1 1/2". The feet are from New Arrival at 2".
Here's a closer look at the first page:
and the second:
and a detailed look at the flower, which I put dimensionals between the larger and smaller layers. For the very top layer, I shadowed the center and some areas of each petal to make it more realistic. I also scored each petal and folded it up a bit to give it some shape like a real flower. The ribbon is from American Crafts.
Here's a look at the journaling. There are a few flowers thrown in there to mimic the patterned paper in the center.
Thanks for looking!

*Edited to add journaling:
"It started when Chuck's kids were small. Hannah & Adam were leaving one day and Dad started hopping on one foot saying he had a 'Bad Foot,' trying to make them laugh. From that time forward, whenever a visit came to an end, the family had to gather outside to do the 'Bad Foot.' Neighbors gave us strange looks, but family traditions are quick to be born, and Hannah & Adam insisted on our hopping. Soon, our neighbors even joined in on this silly Staley family tradition."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tips and Tricks-Circles of various sizes

I finished a layout this week and needed to cut several circles to add to it. The circles had to be slightly smaller than 1", but the smallest setting on my Cricut is 1". No problem! I got about 55 circles cut with my Cricut that were just the right size. I thought I'd share with my friendly blog readers how I did it.
I used Walk In My Garden (other cartridges will work, too, but you just have to look thoroughly in the handbooks to see what is available). With the 'real dial size' button OFF, I cut out the center of some of the flowers. I had to experiment with different sizes but I think I finally settled on a dial size of 3 or 3 1/2 inches to make the circle the appropriate size.
By cutting the circles this way instead of choosing a standard circle from a cartridge like George, you are not limited to the sizes listed on your dial. Just thought I'd share in case it helps someone else...
Thanks for looking today!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Someone mentioned in her comment that my 50 states album is a great learning tool for 'older kids.' It's time for a confession. I think I am that 'older kid'!
Geography has never been a strong subject for me; in fact, I had little to no interest in it growing up. Leave it to crafting to pique my interest in learning about this subject! I have really enjoyed this project and I'm looking forward to doing all the journaling for each state and learning more about my country.
Of course the album IS for my kiddos so they can learn about the USA as they grow. Yup...that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!


Here's the next in the series of my 50 states' album. The state is cut at 4", the flag at 3", the flower and the bird at 2 1/2" and the word 'Delaware' at 1". The envelope holding the quarter is cut at 2" and it is from Fabulous Finds.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Miss You

I completed this layout for the latest Chirper Challenge. We were to use mainly black and white with only splashes of color, and also use brads. I decided to make a page dedicated to my first dog, Ash-Lee. She was a special dog and always lots of fun. She had to be put down about 3 years ago. Whenever I see a Cocker Spaniel, I remember fondly the dog that was treated more like another child than a canine. I am really thankful for the years I had with her.
The bone is cut from Mickey Font and the sentiment is from Alphalicious. The hearts are from Fabulous Finds.
Thanks for looking!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Here's Connecticut and I realized when I uploaded the picture that I took the picture before I finished the flower. Yipes! I will have to edit this post after I take a new picture.
Click here to see the album to-date.
Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hurry for a Free Photo Book from Snapfish!

I saw on the Cricut Message Boards that Oprah is offering a free 20 page Photo Book from Snapfish. It's a $29.99 value. The offer does not include extra pages or shipping and handling (a $6.99 fee, I believe). Click here to find out more! The coupon (applied to your account on check-out) is valid until Friday November 14 and the book must be compiled and ordered before Sunday November 16.**

**edit: the deadline for ordering your book has been extended until Saturday, November 22.


I'm still plugging away at the 50 states album. Here's Colorado: the state is cut at 4" with the capitol feature selected. The flag is 3"; the bird and flower are 2 1/2" and the word 'Colorado' is 1".
Thanks for looking!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Well, here's the next state in my 50 states album: California! My home state. I love it! Within 45 minutes, I can be in the mountains, the desert, or the beach. I can drive to solitude where the only sounds are the birds chirping and the wind rustling the leaves in the trees, or I can drive downtown and be in the midst of the hustle and bustle of ten thousands of other people around me. We have museums, theaters, amusement parks, sporting venues and more to entertain. But the awe-inspiring views, the roaring of the ocean and the crashing waves, and the sunsets that put God's majesty on display are the real beauty of California. Come and see for yourself!
The state was cut at 5", the flag at 3", the flower and bird at 2 1/2", and the word 'California' at 1". The envelope for the quarter is cut from Fabulous Finds at 2".

A word about the flag: this was the first flag that was really a challenge to cut. 'California Republic' is really tiny! But, as I came to find out, it was not the last state flag that would have me wondering why I ever started this project. More to come later.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Here is the next page in the 50 states' album--Arkansas! The state is cut at 4" with the capitol feature chosen. The flag is cut at 3", the flower and bird at 2 1/2" and the word 'Arkansas' at 1". The envelope that houses the quarter is cut from Fabulous Finds at 2".

To see the rest of the album (I'm working on posting them alphabetically), click here.

Thanks for looking! Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Here's the next in the series of state page posts. I found Arizona's quarter after I already took a picture of this page, so the quarter will go in the lower left corner of the page. I will edit this post when I get another picture taken of it with the quarter on it. The state is cut at 4", the flag at 3", the bird and flower at 2 1/2" and the word 'Arizona' at 1".

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

With Sympathy (to kids)

During our recent trip to visit Scott's family, their 8 1/2 month old puppy, Moose, died. When we got back home, I made a sympathy card for the family and specifically for Chris and Beverly, Scott's young brother and sister. They really loved that puppy. I hope this card helps to cheer them up a bit.
The puppy on the front of the card is a cut at 4" from the Cricut Sampler cartridge (it is on the Paper Pups cartridge). I colored the image with my BIC markers and then covered the butterfly with Studio G glitter glue. The paper is from DCWV and the brown ribbon is from Big Lots.
The inside of the card says 'with Sympathy' and is cut at 1 1/4" from Zooballoo. I enjoy using that font for kids. The butterfly is from the Cricut Sampler cartridge at 1 1/2".
Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day!

Well since today is election day, I thought it would be appropriate to post a layout depicting another election day. Yes, you really can scrap anything, can't you?!
This was the historic election of 2000...not only because it was the first one I was eligible to vote in, but more remarkably because it was the highly contested and fought over election that could not declare a winner until lengthy court battles were finally settled in December. (Remember all those hanging chads?)
The letters for the title are my own design. The stars and hearts are punches. I also used patriotic star and heart stamps under the '2000.' The flag is my own design, and I journaled on the white lines.
A closer view:

Thanks for looking! Don't forget to vote today!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Here's a very simple page I did about 2 years ago. It is the first page in my son Jonah's baby scrapbook. The picture was taken when he was just a few days old. Awww, they grow so fast! The journaling is done in my handwriting and with stamps from Memory Makers. The vellum tags have embellishments on them but I don't remember the company they are from. The patterned paper is from Basic Grey.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

hang in there...

Here's a very simple and quick encouragement card I made. The stamps are a set from Studio G (love those) and I used some paper from my scraps and a few watercolor pencils. It couldn't be easier!

Detailed instructions:
Supplies needed:
1 piece of white cardstock, measuring 5" by 6".
Studio G stamp set
Black ink pad (if you are looking for a quality ink pad, I recommend VersaFine for its crisp, dark images)
1 black micron pen or other similar fine-tipped pen
3 pieces scrap cardstock (I used white, pink, and blue)
Water-colored pencils (yellow, red, green)

1) score the big cardstock in half along the 3" line and fold so that the card measures 5" by 3".
2) Stamp the roses on the white scrap. Cut around the image, leaving a small (1/16" to 1/8") border around it.
3) Mount the stamped image on the pink scrap and cut to leave a small border around it. Mount that onto the blue scrap and cut another border.
4) Mount all 3 layers to the card base, approximately in the center of the card.
5) Stamp the hanger above and the sentiment below the roses. Stamp the hearts below the sentiment.
6) Use watercolor pencils to color the image. I used red for the roses and hearts, green for the leaves, and yellow for the background of the stamp.
(To use watercolor pencils, color around the edges of the design and use q-tips or a fine paintbrush dipped in water to spread the color so it fades in towards the center of your design. Simple and pretty!)
7) Using your Micron pen, draw lines to connect the hanger and the image of the stamped roses.

You're finished!
Thanks for looking!
I'm taking the weekend off from the blog, so I'll see you back next week! November already...WOW!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Here's Alaska...the state is cut at 5" (gotta love those tiny islands). The flag is at 3", the bird and flower are cut at 2 1/2", and the name 'Alaska' is cut at 1". Once I find the quarter, it will go in the upper right corner. The flag will open up to reveal journaling about Alaska state facts.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Here is a sample of a page in my 50 states album. I still have to mark the capitol and include the journaling (the flag flips open to reveal where the journaling will go). The album is 8x8. I used stickles on 'Alabama' to make it more visible, as the color I am using for the states is a dark plum. The state is cut at 4". The flower and the bird are cut at 2 1/2" and the flag is cut at 3". The envelope that I am using to hold the quarter is from Fabulous Finds, using the Windows feature (pg. 111 in handbook), cut at 2". I cut up some squares of the plastic that covers Cricut cartridges and Cuttlebug embossing folders and slid them inside so the quarter doesn't fall out.

I'll post Alaska next (sans the state quarter that either hasn't been released yet or I have not found one yet).

Thanks for looking!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Don't you just love this season? The leaves are bursting with color and as they fall to the ground I absolutely love hearing them crunch under my feet! The days are cooling off and treats are in the oven, filling the house with mouthwatering aromas. The holidays are quickly approaching and extended family will soon be gathering together. There is truly much to be thankful for!

I created this card for the latest Chirper Challenge. We had to use the color orange, some stapes, and the word 'thank' in some form.

Here are more views:

Here are some instructions, if you want to make this card:
You will need:
*1 cream-colored A-2 card (4 1/4" x 5 1/2")--(If you have 1 sheet of 8 1/2" by 11", you can make 2 A2 cards by cutting it in half to make 2 sheets of 8 1/2" by 5 1/2" and then scoring in half at the 4 1/4" mark.)
*2 scraps of cream-colored cardstock (1 cut at 3 1/4" by 2 7/8" and the other cut at 3 1/4" by 3/4")
*2 scraps of plum or brown cardstock (1 cut at 3 1/2" by 3 1/4" and the other cut at 3 3/8" by 7/8")
*1 scrap of orange cardstock (1 3/8" by 5 1/2")
*1 piece of ribbon (approx. 7")
*2 brads
*Alphabet rub-ons (I used Heidi Grace). You can substitute alphabet stamps or Cricut letters for this, but you may need to adjust your scrap sizes.
*1 cut of the flower from Joys of the Season (cut at 2 1/2")
*Swiss Dots Cuttlebug folder
*Orange stickles (optional)
*staples (optional)
*pop-dots (optional)

1) Put stickles onto the flower and set aside to let dry. (optional)
2) Run the orange scrap and the larger cream scrap through the cuttlebug.
3) Mount both cream scraps to the plum scraps.
4) Rub-on the sentiment on the smaller cream scrap.
5) Place the brads on the left upper and lower corners of the smaller cream scrap.
6) Adhere the ribbon to the orange scrap, folding over the excess length on the top and bottom to hide it.
7. Staple the top and bottom of the ribbon. (optional)
8. Adhere the orange scrap to the card so that the edge lines up with the fold of the card.
9. Adhere the large cream scrap to the upper right hand side of your card. It will overlap the orange scrap.
10. Place pop-dots on the bottom of the sentiment (optional) and adhere at the bottom of the card.
11. Once the stickles are dry, adhere the flower to the center of the large cream scrap.


Thanks for looking!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Rose!

Today is my mother-in-law's birthday! If you read this, Happy Birthday, Rose! And here is a sneak peak of the gift you will be receiving when we visit next weekend. :) It's a brag book (this particular one is called a Squash Book--you'll see why later in the post) that measures about 4" that is easy to put in your purse and show off to whomever is willing to look at darling pictures of 2 of your grandchildren! ;)

For the top and bottom, the directions called for 4" chipboard or coasters. I cut my squares from the most similar thing: a box of diapers (I can make a LOT of these, as there are many boxes of diapers in this household)!! To prevent advertisements such as 'leakproof' or 'drier nights mean drier mornings,' I covered the box with attractive paper from ScrapHappy. The flower die-cut is from Joys of the Season, and I used my white Signo pen to draw little dots around it.

A side view, showing the ribbon that holds it closed:
A view of the back: If you make a Squash Book for yourself, it is important to note that the ribbon is only adhered to one side of your book-either the front or the back (you'll see why in the last picture). I attached mine to the front, so the ribbon is just pulled across the bottom in the picture below--not glued on. Here is what it looks like fully opened:
It is hard to see, but if you look closely you can tell that the front of the book is attached at the lower left-hand picture, and the back of the book is attached to the upper right hand picture. This is why it's important to only adhere the ribbon to one side or the other--otherwise your book will not open. I chose to cut some of my pictures diagonally, but other options would be to use pictures that can fit into smaller triangles or to include journaling or other embellishments in those areas.

It is called a Squash Book because as you pull the front and back of the book together to close it back up, the pictures fold up onto each other, 'squashing' them.

There are several sets of directions for Squash Books on the web, but I used this video tutorial on YouTube from LytleScrapper. If you prefer written instructions, you can find them here on Splitcoaststampers.

Thanks for looking!

Busy...and Loving it!

It's almost 12:30 (a.m.)!?! and I've been up to some serious crafting tonight. I have through Michigan completed in my 50 states book (I'm working on it alphabetically), I created a card for the next Chirper Challenge, and I made a birthday present for my mother-in-law. Whew! Who knew all that could be done when the husband takes our 2 year old camping for the night? And it was all done between taking care of a sick baby. Poor Noah. He's got a fever and runny nose, and he's not sleeping well.
I know I said I'd post pictures of the 50 states book. I will--just haven't gotten to it yet. I'll try again tomorrow, after Scott and Jonah return from their adventure. (They took the camera.)
Well, instead of typing a post for this blog, I really should be cleaning up my mess so I can be getting some sleep tonight, too. I don't know when Noah will need his mommy next! :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

50 States

I've decided to do an album of the 50 states. I started last Friday and have put several hours into it already. I am really enjoying the 50 states cartridge. I can see it being very useful as the boys grow and learn about the states. It also has a lot of extras on it, and if you use your imagination, its usefulness just continues to grow.

The cartridge contains cuts for each state, the name of the state, the location of the capitol on the state, the name of the capitol, the state flag, the state flower, and the shadow for the state, name of the state, and state flower. Wow!

As I am getting to know the cartridge by cutting many of these shapes for my album, I am realizing just how useful it is! I am already thinking that many of the birds on it would be nice for masculine cards. The cardinal could be used on Christmas cards. Of course, I could use the California seagull (Utah's state bird, by the way) on layouts for the beach. I'm planning to use the bear from the California state flag on a page of a backpacking trip we took. The Rhode Island flag has an anchor on it--perfect for our outing to visit the tall ships. The flag of Alaska has the Big Dipper on it, for those who have visited planetariums or just enjoy star gazing. The pelican will be a nice addition to a Morro Bay page.

Which reminds you know why they are called a pelican? (That one's for you, Dad. I couldn't resist.)

So, back to the album--for each page, I am cutting out the state, its name, the flag, the flower, and the bird. The flag is acting as the front of a card that flips open to reveal journaling about the state inside. I am also using a cut from the Fabulous Finds cartridge on each page to house the quarter for that state.

I will take some pictures today to post. I am realizing that seeing it will be a far better explanation than my words. :)

(And, for those that are still working on the pelican riddle, they are called PeliCans because their beaks can hold more than their 'Belly Can.') We heard that joke every year growing up--once for each time we saw our first pelican on our annual trips to Morro Bay.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I completed this layout for the Chirper Challenge. After looking through my family scrapbooks, I realized that I had never done a page with both sides of the family together on one page. So, my goal was to include as many people from our families as I could. I was able to get most everyone on. Jonah really loves to look at this page and tell me who everyone is. I am so glad to be facilitating a love for family in my two sons.

I used the Cricut Sampler for the Family cut--but it is on Going Places. I handstitched around the square and hung some plastic heart embellishments. The title/journaling says, "Love is the tie that binds the family together." I used rub-ons from Heidi Grace on it. Each square is cut at 2 1/2 inches. The flourish is a stamp from Rhonna Ferrar and I heat-embossed it with gold embossing powder.

A close up:
Thanks for looking!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tips and Tricks - Mountain or Valley?

I had an 'aha' moment tonight. The other day, I was reading a discussion on a forum about which way to fold cards after scoring them. I know, I know. About 0.5% of the population may actually be genuinely interested.

Hi, my name is Amy, and I am part of the 0.5% of the population.

Anyway, the original poster had asked if the scored side was supposed to be the mountain side or the valley side. Well, since the scoring leaves an indentation in the paper, I had always thought that it was the natural valley side. I stand corrected. Here is why:

The purpose of scoring is to uniformly weaken the bonds in the paper along a straight line to prevent the paper from cracking when it is folded. Because the bonds are weaker along the scored line, the fibers along the score line are able to travel a farther distance, and thus should form the mountain of the fold.

If that didn't convince you, it's the way Hallmark (and more) does it. Try it. When I folded my score lines as a mountain, I ended up with a crisper crease, smoother inside, and edges that lined up better.

If you still don't know what I'm talking about (i.e. what is scoring?), disregard this post and continue folding your paper as you always have been. Or leave a comment.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tips and Tricks-clear stamps

This is the first post in a series of Tips and Tricks, designed to help crafters use what they have more efficiently, or to encourage thinking 'outside the box.' I will be adding more tips and tricks periodically. If you have a question or suggestion you would like to see addressed, please feel free to leave me a comment. I will do my best!

Clear stamps are all the rage right now because they allow you to see the precise placement on the paper. I love them! You can pick up a set of some clear Studio G stamps for as little as $1 at many craft stores, and the Fancy Pants set I bought retails for $45 (but I didn't pay near that!), so they appeal to a wide range of budgets.

Clear stamps require some sort of acrylic stamping block (sold separately) to properly use them. The stamps cling to the acrylic block and can be peeled off after use. They are available in many sizes to accommodate different sizes of stamps.

Now for the tip:

Can't find your acrylic block? Don't have the right size? Don't want to spend more money than you have to? No problem!

As long as you have a collection of CD's, you're okay! Instead of acrylic blocks, try sticking those clear stamps on the CD cases. Other things you can use (my preferred method) include the Cuttlebug plates, or the glass from a small picture frame. I don't even own any acrylic stamping blocks, but that doesn't stop me from using all those wonderful clear stamps!

Thanks for reading! I hope this may help someone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Product Review: ATG / Adhesives

A couple of months ago, I convinced myself to invest in an ATG (adhesive transfer gun). The link provided will take you to the online store where I bought mine from, (Excellent customer service, extremely fast shipping, highly recommended.) I bought the 714 model, which uses 1/4" tape (the 908 Gold is acid-free).

Many who read this may wonder if I'm insane for spending $40 for a tape dispenser and another $40 for 12 rolls of tape. I know. I was once a skeptic myself. Perhaps a little background may help.

I formerly used photo splits like this or a similar kind to work on my scrapbooks. Like many other scrapbookers know, they have a layer that peels off to reveal the double-sided tape. Those little pesky squares would end up all over the place! However, the mess of the photo squares would never be enough to convince me to purchase the ATG. Sometimes the size of the splits was wrong for my project. I would find myself cutting these little squares in half or even into fourths to accommodate my craft. Or, being cheap, I would try to double my investment by cutting each square in half, using half as much. However, the inconvenience of cutting the photo squares would never be enough to convince me to purchase the ATG. Then, to my dismay, I would find my pictures eventually falling off the page. more cutting them in half. While some brands were better than others, I became increasingly disappointed in the "long-term stick" of the photo splits. I knew I had to find a way to adhere my pictures and other embellishments to my pages that would hold over time. The search for the perfect adhesive was on.

I tried glue sticks which were okay for the lighter stuff (like letters) but wouldn't hold the heavier stuff (like, say, pictures) very well. I then tried tape runners. I had steered clear of them before, as they were pricier, but I figured it would be worth it if I didn't have to keep re-doing my pages. However, at the rate I was going, I was using them faster than I had 40% off coupons to buy refills. And, even one brand of tape runner did not hold well.

Enter the ATG. My mom has had one for a few years. Though I had never used hers, I thought it looked to bulky to comfortably use. But, I would hear her say how she had to make sure she had her placement right the 1st time--because it sticks so well that there's no re-doing it. There's also no mess to clean up. You just press the trigger while dragging the dispenser where you want the tape, release the trigger, and you're done.

At this point, I was convinced of the quality and the convenience, but the price was still prohibitive...that is, until I pulled out my calculator and let the numbers do the talking. For the price I was paying for the refills for my tape runner, it came to anywhere between 13 and 16 cents per foot of adhesive. Refills for the ATG (I bought in bulk to reduce the price per refill) came to (drum roll please)...less than 3 cents per foot! The ATG will pay for itself in less than 4 refills.

There is another site,, that sells a 12-pack refill of the ATG 7502 for only $18. There is some conflicting information over whether this particular model number is acid-free, but that would bring the price per foot down to about 1.4 cents. Bargain!

To get an idea of how long a refill may last, I have had my ATG for about 2 months and I try to craft at least a little bit each day. More realistically, I get 1-2 projects done 3-4 times per week. I am almost halfway finished with my second roll of tape.

So, my husband was happy that it would save money over the long run. I was happy because I found an adhesive that would stick over the long run. A quality adhesive at an economical price? That's what we call a win-win!

*Photo Splits:
Convenience: C-
Quality: C
Price: C- (15.6 cents per foot)
Overall: C-

*Tape Runners:
Convenience: A
Quality: B
Price: C (13-16 cents per foot)
Price: C
Overall: B

Convenience: A- (the bulk takes some getting used to, but it's not heavy)
Quality: A
Price: A+ (over the long-run)
Overall: A
The ATG is very highly recommended for crafters who use adhesive on a regular basis. Only buy if you will use it enough to justify the cost over the long run.

Disclaimer: I am not associated in any way with Scotch ATG, nor do I receive any benefit from them or anyone else for a favorable review. I'm just sharing my experience with other crafters who will hopefully benefit.

Thanks for looking, and have a great day!

Monday, October 13, 2008

All hearts come home for Christmas

This layout features family pictures taken back in 2001. I cut the title from Mickey Font at 1" and 1 1/4". The reindeer and sleigh were cut from Christmas Cheer, and the Santa and his bag is cut from Joys of the Season. I decorated the sleigh with stickles and wrapped two of the pictures with ribbon.

A closer look:

Thanks for looking!