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Archive | July, 2010

Adhesive Review: The Good, The Bad and The Tacky

Today Scrapbook Update welcomes guest blogger Molly McCarthy for a comprehensive review of scrapbook dot adhesives.

When not testing adhesive, Molly McCarthy teaches Cricut and Photoshop classes at Treasured Memories Scrapbook Store, Inc. as well as serving as a marketing consulting within the scrapbook industry. She resides in Oak Park, CA with her husband and two kids who provide endless story and photo opportunities for her scrapbook pages. To learn more about Molly, follow her on Twitter.

In need of a new adhesive that holds your paper and photos together on your next layout? Scrapbook Update has tested eight everyday-use adhesives and is reporting back on the good, the bad and the tacky!

The good news is that adhesives have improved tremendously over the years. The eight adhesives tested did a commendable job adhering paper-to-paper and paper-to-photo. They were tested on both flat and textured cardstock (i.e. Bazzill) and all held items together, though some did a better job than others on the textured cardstock.  The best application for all of these adhesives is on flat cardstock or photos but it’s nice to know that the industry has tried to address one of paper crafters’ biggest complaints regarding adhesive’s tackiness and the ever-popular textured cardstock lines.

If all of the adhesives worked in a straight line on flat cardstock, then what is there left to talk about? For this review, I added three other factors that are useful in an everyday adhesive. These included the ability to move around curved shapes, ability to remove stray adhesive, and the ability to reposition an item once it was adhered down.

Best Overall Adhesive
Scotch Adhesive Dot Roller (49 feet)
This is the best overall adhesive for day-to-day use. It goes on smoothly and evenly, and it goes around curves with ease. Because of its tiny dots, it’s easy to remove stray adhesive and it’s forgiving enough to rearrange paper or photos on the page. The dots stay put, making it easy to reapply paper/photo. It also gets high marks for a dispenser that has been created using 65% recycled material.

Best Around Curves
American Crafts – This to That Dots (32 feet)
This adhesive has the tiniest adhesive dots. Because of the thin line and the tiny dots this adhesive can go around a curve like Mario Andretti at the Indy 500 and not lose any of its adhesive. It’s ergonomic design makes it easy to tell the correct way to hold it. The protective cap is not attached, though, so I worry about misplacing it while working.

Easiest to Remove
Tombow Mono Adhesive DOTS (49 feet)
Tombow DOTS were the easiest to remove with a gum eraser or a finger. This works well when you get a bit crazy with the adhesive.

Most Tacky
3L Scrapbook Adhesives E-Z Runner (33 feet)
This adhesive wins hands down on tackiness (the good kind). If you have two items that you never want to be separated, then this is the adhesive for you! The E-Z Runner holds two items together like they are in a vise.

Most Innovative Design
Martha Stewart Crafts Tab and Roll (32.8 feet)
The Tab and Roll adhesive is designed to be two adhesives in one. When in stamp mode, you will get a small tab of adhesive – which is great for those who want to conserve their glue. It can then be switched to a roller mode for longer adhesive strips. In either mode, it works best on flat paper on a flat surface. The bulky cartridge makes it difficult to keep the unit flat when in roller mode, so some adhesive dots don’t adhere correctly. It’s also unfortunate that adhesive is wasted when switching between the tab and roller modes. Keep trying Martha!

Most Difficult to Find
Kokuyo Dotliner (52.5 feet)
Last year when Kokuyo announced it was discontinuing its American distribution of the popular Dotliner, scrapbookers began to stockpile this beloved adhesive. While it can be found on several specialty online sites in its Japanese packaging, it’s not sold in mass distribution as it used to be. For those who love this adhesive, the Scotch Adhesive Dot Roller is almost the twin sister of the Kokuyo brand. It works and functions pretty much exactly like the Kokuyo. Note: Don’t confuse the Kokuyo Dotliner with the Dotliner POWER. They are completely different adhesives.

Widest Adhesive
Kokuyo Dotliner POWER (32 feet)
At 10mm, this adhesive is the widest I tested. It is super tacky and will hold your project together tightly. It works best in a straight line. The adhesive case is huge and difficult to hold, not to mention difficult to find at your local scrapbook store. A good substitute is the Scrapbook Adhesives E-Z Runner. It’s not as wide but it definitely has the tackiness to hold a project together.

Quietest Adhesive
The Duck (27 feet)
If you’re working in “stealth” mode late at night, the Duck will adhere your items with quiet ease. They’ve changed the adhesives’ shape from dots to lines so it’s no longer possible to erase stray adhesive, but if you’re working into the wee hours and don’t want to wake your family this is a good choice.

For a complete guide to the features of all the adhesives that Molly tested, download our PDF comparison chart of dot adhesives!


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23

Sizzix Announces Major Software Upgrade for eclips Machine

Sizzix has announced that it will be unveiling a major new software upgrade for its eclips electronic die cutting machine at CHA Summer 2010 in Rosemont, IL on July 27th.

The headline feature of the eclips version 2 software is a new feature called Print2Cut. The feature, which will require the purchase of additional software to use, will allow eclips owners “to use their home computer and printer to colorize, design and print any eclips shape that can be loaded into their eclips Machine for easy laser locating, positioning and cutting.”

“With our printing and cutting feature, there is no need for a new printer or proprietary inks,” said Denzil Quick, director of Marketing for Sizzix. “It’s compatible with virtually any printer on the market meaning you won’t have to buy an additional one. After all, why should you have to reinvest in something you already own?”

Speaking of proprietary inks, Sizzix is also adding a feature that will allow the eclips to use a Pen Holder (separate accessory purchase required) to “hold any felt tip or ballpoint pen to draw a shape.” Sizzix is clearly trying to claim a feature advantage in that area over the Cricut machines, which require the use of Cricut’s own proprietary pens in their drawing accessory. As an example of this being useful, Sizzix is suggesting using the machine with a glue pen for drawing designs and then applying glitter.

Another new feature for the eclips is targeted at cardmakers: scoring, which will work with the Albums, Bags & Boxes and Cards & Envelopes cartridges.

“We are extremely pleased about what the scoring feature means for crafters,” said Quick. “With reduced pressure from the eclips cutting blade, our scoring doesn’t rely on tick marks for folding, but rather creates a nice pre-scored hinge for easier-to-assemble projects with so many creative possibilities.”

Other new features coming in the eclips version 2 software include:

  • Rotation: Users will be able to change the orientation of shapes they are cutting to save paper.
  • Double-cut: If a shape doesn’t entirely cut, the machine can be instructed to run a second pass over the lines to ensure a clean removal of the shape.
  • Width Adjustment: The height or width of a shape can be customized.

The software upgrade will be available for free to owners of the eclips machine in the fall of 2010 at Sizzix.com. The process uses a USB cable to connect the machine to the owner’s computer (Mac or PC) to download and install the software update.

[Disclaimer: Ellison/Sizzix is a Scrapbook Update advertiser. This content is not an advertisement and is written &  published independently by the editorial staff.]


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7

Creative Imaginations Announces Harry Potter License Agreement

Creative Imaginations has announced that it has secured licensing rights from Warner Brothers Consumer Products to create scrapbook products for the Harry Potter films.

Under the two-year deal, the company will produce scrapbooking paper, stickers, albums, kits, autograph books, embellishments and other products for the scrapbook market that are based on the Harry Potter films. Creative Imaginations will be able to produce products based on all of the Harry Potter films, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, which will be in theaters November 19th, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:Part 2, arriving in theaters in 2011.

“To say that we are thrilled is an understatement,” says Jack Behlmer, Owner/President of Creative Imaginations. “We feel very fortunate to partner with Warner Bros.Consumer Products on the Harry Potter phenomenon during this very exciting time.”

Creative Imaginations already produces several other licensed scrapbook product lines, including Sea World, Lego and Star Wars lines.

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5

ScrapHD To Close July 31st

Digital scrapbooking service and community ScrapHD announced via email to its members a few minutes ago that the service will be shutting down on July 31st.

According to the emailed announcement, members will be compensated for their memberships in the shutdown:

…we will be offering a FULL REFUND for all yearly Club Members (no matter when you signed up) and for all monthly Club Members activated within the last 60 days. This refund will be issued automatically via PayPal. Your funds will be returned to the credit card you used when signing up.

To preserve the content that they’ve created on ScrapHD, members are being advised to take immediate advantage of the service’s “Print from Home” option:

The print from home feature will prompt the system to email you the high resolution .JPG version of your completed scrapbook. This file can then be saved to your computer and used however you would like. For instance, you can save the file to a USB device and use an outside printing source if you do not have a printer at home.

A video is available to teach members how to use the Print from Home feature if it is new to them.

ScrapHD was founded as a membership service in the summer of 2009 to provide a bridge between digital and paper scrapbooking industries by facilitating hybrid scrapbooking. Paper manufacturers offered some of their collections on the proprietary platform in digital form, in the hope that scrapbookers would then seek out their paper products to add to their layouts to create hybrid content. Manufacturers who initially signed on to the project included 7gypsies, American Crafts, Art Gone Wild!, Imaginisce, Jenni Bowlin Studio, Karen Foster Design, Mrs. Grossman’s, My Mind’s Eye, Piggy Tales, SEI, Teresa Collins Designs, and Three Bugs in a Rug.


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0

So What Is The Cricut Imagine?

As noted in our previous article, Provo Craft has filed for a trademark on the term Cricut Imagine and the filing indicates that they plan to use the trademark for a machine that both prints and cuts. The timing of the trademark filing is highly suggestive that the Imagine is the big release that Provo Craft has been hinting at for CHA Summer 2010 next week.

A recently published patent application by Provo Craft may shed even more light on the features and capability of the rumored machine. Patent application number 12/504,651 was filed on July 16th, 2009 by attorneys representing Provo Craft but not published (made public for comment and review) until May 13th of this year. The application is titled “System And Method For Printing And Cutting”.

Look familiar? This is the “perspective view of an apparatus for printing and cutting” from the application.

The drawing is probably generic and not a detailed representation of the actual machine’s body design.

For a possible hint at what the machine’s body looks like, though, check out this article in the Deseret News about the new Martha Stewart Cricut Cake machine. One of the accompanying pictures was taken in the product development department at Provo Craft and clearly shows a machine with what appears to be a Cricut logo on the end of it (where the machines usually have one located) that is much bigger and more square than the current machines are. What appears to be test print/cuts are sitting on the table behind it. In all likelihood, that is the printing/cutting machine that is referenced in the trademark and patent filings.

So what does it look like inside? The patent filing offers some intriguing clues.

Like the trademark filing, the patent filing references the use of cutting mats. There is also reference to an LCD touch screen:

[0043] An alternative to the keypad and overlay 49 may include a LCD touch screen capable of rendering the font or image set. To select a particular shape, the user may push on the shape directly as it is shown on the LCD touch screen and the system recognizes a selection from the touch screen.

There is also reference to the machine being able to weld images together. The printing system described in the patent application is a four-cartridge inkjet CYMK system, that requires Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black cartridges. The cutting head and inkjet ride together on the same carriage to maintain “registration” with each other.

One major departure in this patent from previous Cricut machines is that the floor of this machine (the area that the mat floats over) is described as moving up and down so that the material can maintain the correct distance from the print head no matter how thick it is.

Other mentioned capabilities of the machine include cutting three-dimensional shapes and cutting or printing borders around items. The concept of using the machine to create large images through tiling (cutting/printing on multiple sheets and then assembling them together) is also discussed. A brief reference at the end of the filing may be one of the most exciting to Cricut users – a description of a new use for a Gypsy-like device:

In another example, printer/cutter 10 may include a peripheral interface allowing for a tablet-input by the user. The user may then ‘draw’ the cutting boundary or make edits to the image or cutting path using the tablet. The tablet may also be used to generate a free-hand cutting path that is stored or cut in real-time.

To view the patent in its entirety, click here.

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14

Paperclipping Roundtable #29: Oh, The Trunk!

This week on the Roundtable, we talked about how we use our tech gadgets for scrapbooking. You’ll be shocked to find out which Roundtable member leaves the gadgets behind when it comes to scrapbooking! We also talked about the rising impact of celebrities on scrapbook marketing. Good trend or bad?

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Show Notes:

This episode of Roundtable is sponsored by Big Picture Scrapbooking! Click here for a promo code for Paperclipping Roundtable listeners to use to save 10% on any class at Big Picture Scrapbooking!

NOTE: Please don’t leave a comment here for the Big Picture Scrapbooking class giveaway. Instead, leave a comment over here.

The Panel

Picks of the Week

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