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Old 05-07-2014, 02:01 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Tips for Lefties

Hi there

I've bought a number of tools lately, that as a left-hander, are a bit hard to use. I thought I would start a thread to see if anyone else has had similar issues, and if they've found any clever ways of working around them.

Here's a couple of examples:
  • ATG Gun - I got the pink one, and I just can't see where it's going if I use my left hand. I am training my right to use it, but the tape keeps slipping off the guide roller. Has anyone found a better way?
  • We R Memory Keepers Punch Boards, such as the envelope or box boards. The scoring tools always angle in an awkward way for left hand use, but my right hand is just too shaky to do it well. Any thoughts?
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:25 PM   #2
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Great thread!

I use my Fiskars trimmer upside-down (with the flip out ruler at the bottom), and I position my Stamp-a-ma-jig to the upper right corner of my stamp.

Not everyone knows that pencils are labeled for right-handers!
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:30 PM   #3
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Such a great topic! I never knew how hard the crafting world was on lefties until I had some in my downline - tools we righties take for granted are hard on lefty artists. What do you mean about pencils Dina?
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:42 PM   #4
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Hold a pencil in your right hand and read it. Then hold it in your left hand. The words are upside down.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dini View Post
Hold a pencil in your right hand and read it. Then hold it in your left hand. The words are upside down.
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:45 PM   #6
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I know, right?
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:35 PM   #7
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Ha! Things only a left-hander knows. Everyone always looks at me weird when I tell them pens/pencils are made for right handed people.

But, it's true!!
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:17 PM   #8
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Scissors, have you ever tried to cut material with right handers scissors left handed, BIG MESS. lucky we can get left handed scissors.
But we cant get left handed scissors for cutting stamps and the backing that goes on them, the Tim Holtz scissors are for right handers and are impossible to use left handed.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:33 PM   #9
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I've tried the punch boards upside down. It's not bad for getting the score line in the right place, but it's a bit tough to line up the next punch. Accuracy is really important with those or you end up with a gibbled envelope.

I actually find myself scoring through my paper on those a lot or it tears when folded. It's like all the dye on printed paper makes it kind of brittle.
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:31 AM   #10
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Scissors, have you ever tried to cut material with right handers scissors left handed, BIG MESS. lucky we can get left handed scissors.
But we cant get left handed scissors for cutting stamps and the backing that goes on them, the Tim Holtz scissors are for right handers and are impossible to use left handed.
My grandmother was a lefty and trained herself to use scissors right-handed, because back in the day it was pretty much impossible to find left-handed scissors.

One year for Christmas, I got her a good left-handed fabric shears, thinking how much easier it would be for her to use. But she had trained herself to cut right-handed so well that she couldn't do it left-handed any more
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:35 AM   #11
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It took me awhile to get the hang of using the pink ATG gun in my left hand, it's still a bit awkward, I find if I lay my paper close to the edge of my table and hang my hand over the edge I can see it better and have more control (hard to explain).

Trimmers are my biggest issue, finding one where the blade can be used on the left and there's still numbers and an edge across the bottom. Any lefties here use the Fiskars Pro-cision? I'm looking at that one, I need a new trimmer.
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:36 AM   #12
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My grandmother was a lefty and trained herself to use scissors right-handed, because back in the day it was pretty much impossible to find left-handed scissors.

One year for Christmas, I got her a good left-handed fabric shears, thinking how much easier it would be for her to use. But she had trained herself to cut right-handed so well that she couldn't do it left-handed any more
I actually cut with my right hand because there was no one around that could teach me how to cut left handed.
I also cross stitch in a weird way since a righty taught me, I hold my needle in my left hand but lay my stitches down like a right handed person would.
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:30 AM   #13
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I've always used scissors right handed too...which explains why fussy cutting is a last resort for me. Growing up, my paper dolls felt the full brunt of my lack of skill!
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:32 AM   #14
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As a lefty, I've never been able to use left handed tools which I guess is weird. When I was little, I hated it when my teachers tried to force me to use those stupid green handled scissors in my left hand. Those things never cut for me. I always snuck behind their backs to get the "normal" scissors. I also took Arabic in school. I loved it because no more smearing my ink!
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:55 PM   #15
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I am a Lefty but have had to learn to use right handed stuff. When they finally came out with items for Lefties it was too late for me. I also do hand crafts right handed because of who taught me. When I tried to do sports (catching and batting baseball, bowling , golf, I was pushed to do it right handed by my Dad). The biggest decision I had to make was whether to things Right Handed or Left Handed was in Dental Hygiene school . I chose Right Handed. For most of my career in the 70s & 80s I worked in offices that you could only do it as a Right Handed person. Now days you can do it either or. Luckily being both handed has worked for me as it wasn't too much of an inconvenience for me when I broke my right wrist in 08.
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:11 AM   #16
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As a lefty, I've never been able to use left handed tools which I guess is weird. When I was little, I hated it when my teachers tried to force me to use those stupid green handled scissors in my left hand. Those things never cut for me. I always snuck behind their backs to get the "normal" scissors. I also took Arabic in school. I loved it because no more smearing my ink!
That's cool! I really wanted to learn Calligraphy years ago and took some classes and tried so hard but it's nearly impossible to do it if your a lefty because the ink just smears so much. I'd love to be able to write backwards sometimes, I get so tired of having ink on the side of my hand!
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:03 PM   #17
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I am a lefty, and have never had a problem with any of this. So am I doing things right, or left ? If the handle is on the right, thats the hand I use, scissors, I just turn them (and I do have some lefry scissors). Punch boards, work fine for me. I must have some how adapted and not realized it. Can openers, kitchen tools all are fine for me ? Am I ambidextrous (have I spelled that right?). All has been well for me, for over 70 years !!
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Old 05-10-2014, 07:53 AM   #18
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I use the envelope punch board sideways (punch on the right side). I have always cut as a right hander. Not sure why, as no one ever tried to discourage me from being a lefty. I also use the computer mouse with my right hand.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:13 AM   #19
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This thread is enlightening. My mom is left handed and I teach various crafting courses so I am always conscious of knowing how to teach lefties and righties. I am a bit perplexed about the pencil comment. I have never attempted to read a pencil while using it and would be intrigued to find someone who does. I just read them while in the box if at all.
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Old 05-10-2014, 01:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
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That's cool! I really wanted to learn Calligraphy years ago and took some classes and tried so hard but it's nearly impossible to do it if your a lefty because the ink just smears so much. I'd love to be able to write backwards sometimes, I get so tired of having ink on the side of my hand!
You can buy left-handed calligraphy nibs that are at a sharper angle. I never did really get the hang of calligraphy, though I do have all the supplies.
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Old 05-10-2014, 06:30 PM   #21
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I say, let's have a Leftie Challenge on Natipnal Lefthanders Day August 13th. I just do my left thing in a right world...
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:59 PM   #22
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Great thread. It's good to feel at home with people who understand the challenges.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:28 PM   #23
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I say, let's have a Leftie Challenge on Natipnal Lefthanders Day August 13th. I just do my left thing in a right world...
If I could figure out how to participate in challenges before they're over, I'd be all over that!
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:29 PM   #24
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I use the envelope punch board sideways (punch on the right side). I have always cut as a right hander. Not sure why, as no one ever tried to discourage me from being a lefty. I also use the computer mouse with my right hand.
Thanks for the tip...I tried the new flower one on its side, and it was much easier than the suggested way.
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:55 AM   #25
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Hi there

I've bought a number of tools lately, that as a left-hander, are a bit hard to use. I thought I would start a thread to see if anyone else has had similar issues, and if they've found any clever ways of working around them.

Here's a couple of examples:
  • ATG Gun - I got the pink one, and I just can't see where it's going if I use my left hand. I am training my right to use it, but the tape keeps slipping off the guide roller. Has anyone found a better way?
  • We R Memory Keepers Punch Boards, such as the envelope or box boards. The scoring tools always angle in an awkward way for left hand use, but my right hand is just too shaky to do it well. Any thoughts?
I don't have a wrmk board but as a leftie I think i'd turn the board upside down and have the punch at the bottom and prob twist it slightly as I do my paper to write. Maybe they'll redesign it with lefties in mind.

I personally find guillotines difficult to use cos I naturally push my hand outwards as I push the handle down and have to make a conscious effort to pull the handle inwards.
I've always had to cut with r/h scissors with my right hand so can't cut a straight line for anything, but not sure I could use l/h scissors either!
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:10 AM   #26
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When I first started going to a workshop group, I had trouble with the Stamp-a-ma-jig that our demonstrator had prepared with a greeting for our group to stamp. I realized, that being a lefty, it was on the wrong side for me and I couldn't do it. So now I always bring my own along with me and stamp the image on the "right" corner. That is the only thing I have found. I am from the older generation that probably learned to adapt to cutting with my right hand.
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:36 AM   #27
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As a lefty I tried to teach a righty how to use the Stamp-a-ma-jig and she could never get it until she went home and tried it the other way---success!. I took a knitting class and told the instructor I was left handed and she said, "Just do everything I say backwards". That ended that class. I iron with my right hand. It is a challenge sometimes.
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:40 AM   #28
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Default envelope punch board

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Thanks for the tip...I tried the new flower one on its side, and it was much easier than the suggested way.
I was so excited when the punch board came out and ordered imediately from SU. BOOM!!!!! first thing when I tried it I realized it was made for right handed people ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!! made me so made because I paid full price and usually I wait for things to come to craft store so I can used 50% off coupon. my mistake ...won't do that anymore. oh well, live and learn. I'll try your tip about using it upside.
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:45 AM   #29
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I use the envelope punch board sideways (punch on the right side). I have always cut as a right hander. Not sure why, as no one ever tried to discourage me from being a lefty. I also use the computer mouse with my right hand.
Growing up in public school system I was forced to do things right handed so that is why I cut with my right hand. Only thing they couldn't get me to do was write with my right hand....just didn't work! when I was young I would go home and cry because I felt so different in school. but living with my father he would always tell me I was special....maybe to him but not the world!
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:10 AM   #30
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It's a right handed world and we "lefties" do more adapting than we realize! The biggest thing I notice is knives, not crafting tools or scizzors. Many knives will not cut/carve straight unless you use the "right" hand! The blade edge pushes the wrong way. I just do what is most comfortable and gets the best results with my left hand. Must say I gave up trying to learn knitting/needle work/calligraphy etc. There are enough other crafts that are leftie friendly!
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:41 AM   #31
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I'm right handed, but my daughter is a lefty. When I taught her to crochet, I had her sit across from me, like a mirror image. She copied what I did, but used her left hand, and while i worked from right to left, she worked from left to right. When she needed help, I had to tell her what she needed to do as I couldn't do her left handed work. We really never hand any issues with it. She also taught herself to use right handed scissors.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:46 AM   #32
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I am also a lefty. I had to give my ATG to my stepdaughter after months and months of practice and failure. I simply cannot get the tape where I want it to be, as I am left-handed and right-eyed. I really wish they would make a left-handed version. I would gladly pay $100 for it, as I see the value of it.

I can use the envelope punch - sort of. I have ruined a lot of perfectly good paper using it, though. I love the idea - wish it was more ambidextrous.

I must have (true) left-handed scissors to cut, period. I've invested nearly a grand in specialty left-handed scissors, and I would pay a ton of money for a pair of fussy cutters that are teflon-coated, like the Tonic ones. My hands have scars from the X-Acto knives that I usually have to resort to for certain things, although I recently got a lefty Gingher cutting wheel that I am growing to love. I have one blade wheel for fabric and one for paper. When I first moved to Canada and set up my craft room, I put out my carousel of lefty scissors and didn't have a chance tell my stepdaughter that they weren't right-handed. I came home to find her in there with paper in crooked shreds and a normally calm kid in tears. That's how cutting was for me until I was able to buy all those scissors. She feels bad because of my "disability" now.

I am an excellent cook, but my cutting/chopping looks awful and I am not allowed to butcher cuts of meat per my husband.

My BFF taught herself to knit left-handed so she could teach me. The "mirror image" approach was a colossal failure. I've gotten pretty good at the basics.

My mom and brother are also leftys. My mom learned to adapt better than I can, but she also avoids paper crafting like the plague. We all cut crooked food with knives.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:48 AM   #33
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LOL!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh...... yes, it's HARD for us sometimes!!! LOL

ATG gun - I had to work at it to train myself to use it with my right hand. You just can't see anything when you hold it in your left hand.

Scissors - GRRRRRRRRR! At shoebox swaps, I get my mother to cut out all the fussy detail things like flowers and stuff. The scissors are upside down and I have to cut - well not backwards - but yeah kinda backwards. Does that even make sense???

Ya know how regular folks can hold the image and cut around it? I can't do that with these &$&#*@ scissors. I have to hold the outside part - the stuff you are cutting off - and angle my head over the other side of the scissors to make sure I'm cutting along the right areas. Sometimes there's not much of an edge for me to hold on to so it's just really difficult.

I splurged and bought the Genesis trimmer several years ago - love that thing! But I don't have it where my right arm does the cutting. I have it where the blade is parallel to my belly and I use my left hand to cut across my body. My right hand holds the paper. Awkward, but that's the only way I can use it.

Hmmmmm what else?

Oh - taking pictures!!!!!!!! I take pics of my cards all the time. What side is the daggum button on? Yup, the right side. So I have to hold the camera with my right hand and somehow finger the button to take the pic.

I'm also convinced that certain white gel pens are made for right handers only. I had a stash of like 10 of these things from SU and I could NOT for the life of me get them to work. I gave up. Went and bought a different brand and I am in love! I think someone made these just for lefties!!! LOL
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:52 AM   #34
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I'm also convinced that certain white gel pens are made for right handers only. I had a stash of like 10 of these things from SU and I could NOT for the life of me get them to work. I gave up. Went and bought a different brand and I am in love! I think someone made these just for lefties!!! LOL
What brand? I have never been able to find a gel pen where anything actually comes out, though right-handers have no problem with the exact same pen that didn't work for me. I can't remember how many gel pens I returned to the store because they were "defective" before I figured that out.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:56 AM   #35
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What brand? I have never been able to find a gel pen where anything actually comes out, though right-handers have no problem with the exact same pen that didn't work for me. I can't remember how many gel pens I returned to the store because they were "defective" before I figured that out.
Go to Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon and look in the papercrafting/stamping section where they have a ton of markers and pens. You'll find a cello package with 2 white pens in there - that's what I got:


Gelly Roll by Sakura (Japan)




I just used it today to write all the info on the back of 20 ATC's today - and I didn't have any problem with it. I've had this pen for maybe 3 years - it is AWESOME!!!
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:10 AM   #36
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It's a right handed world and we "lefties" do more adapting than we realize! The biggest thing I notice is knives, not crafting tools or scizzors. Many knives will not cut/carve straight unless you use the "right" hand! The blade edge pushes the wrong way. I just do what is most comfortable and gets the best results with my left hand. Must say I gave up trying to learn knitting/needle work/calligraphy etc. There are enough other crafts that are leftie friendly!
I have always told my righty husband that I am so much more adaptable because of my left handedness. I am extremely left side dominant except for using the numeric keypad on my keyboard (not physical possible with the left hand). My mouse is left, all sports are left, and crafting is left. With that said, I have never, ever had problems cutting with scissors (and I don't have left handed scissors), trimmers, punches (including the WRMK punch boards), fussy cutting, or anything else. However, when it comes to knitting/crocheting - well, just forget about this. My knits are purls and my purls are knits - drove my mother nuts trying to teach me. I just gave up.


When I write, my cursive looks like a right handers. I had a Gr. 6 & 7 teacher that was ambidextrous and wouldn't allow lefties to have "lefty" writing. However, because I don't turn my paper to accommodate this, more often than not, the ink smear on the side of my hand is really bad!


And, the knife thing is so true! My husband is terrified every time I pick up a carving knife - he says I look so awkward, and in order to pare or peel, I have to stroke toward myself (due to the above mentioned wrong way blade edge) and he is afraid I'm going to cut fingers off. Gets met out of food prep a ton!
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Old 05-14-2014, 01:26 PM   #37
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I too am a southpaw and this thread is soooo refreshing! LOL I cannot help with the ATG gun, never bought one because I just could not envision not being awkward with it, but I do use Tombow tape runners. I learned to hold it with my fingertips, thumb on top, and the adhesive facing me. I put my paper edge with where I begin taping at 4 o'clock and where I'm ending at 10 o'clock. Then I apply pushing away from me. I can see my edge the clearest that way. If you try this, start with the middle of the paper first to get the hang of it. xoxo

Edited to add: After applying adhesive to each side, rotate your paper so that you are always at the 4 and 10 o'clocks.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:35 PM   #38
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Also a lefty...sounds like there is a lot of us here...I seem to remember as a child someone saying lefties are creative people.

Or else since they stopped forcing people to be righties, we see a lot more lefties in the world in general?

Anyway-I use both hands. I cut with my right, write with my left, etc....when it comes to adhesive tape dispensers...I might suggest the little ones. I use them in either hand and control is good or I just cut pieces by hand off a roll b/c ATGs are too expensive to me.

It's interesting...so used to reading left to right that I am also used to looking at things from the left side...like if I was fussing cutting, the scissor is in my right hand so I can see from the left side as I turn it. I like paper cutters with the blade on the right so I can see from the left....

One thing we all do the same...is eat. I don't think I have ever seen anyone use a fork in their right hand. Have you?
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:20 AM   #39
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I have a possible suggestion for you lefties who can't use and ATG - I bought a Glue Glider Pro at Hobby Lobby (thinking it would be smaller and more portable to take with me) and HATED it. And it sounds like my issue with it was the same as all you leftie's issue with the ATG - the tape ran along the right edge of the roller and I couldn't see where it was going. I actually tried using it left-handed so I could see what I was doing, but I wasn't coordinated enough to make that work.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:32 AM   #40
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ehrmagerd

Hey Lydia, I didn't realize my cat was in Texas visiting you.
Too much wine I guess and misplaced my baby.
Mail her back to me pronto!
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