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Topic: New to card making with a big shot plus  (Read 459 times)
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Jotown
« on: January 06, 2016 05:55:01 AM »

Hi there,

I received a big shot plus for Christmas which came with a few dies but need some advice from any of you experts on what you feel would be helpful to include in my new collection, I have a box making die, couple of butterflies and flowers but that's it at present ! any tips kindly taken !

Thanks in advance from
JT
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Onyxnox
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2016 05:32:13 AM »

Lucky you!  I have a Big Shot and a CuttleBug, but want to upgrade to the Big Shot Plus for using bigger dies!  

As for dies, it really depends on what you like to make!  I have many many steel rule dies like the Sizzix Bigz dies which are great for die cutting several layers of thin items, or for cutting thicker items like leather, or thicker felts, chipboard, etc.  There are a lot of shapes for those for cutting cloth for applique or quilting arts too.   I love how detailed the thin steel dies are and have a lot of those for paper projects, and while they are very detailed, they are limited in the sense that you can only use them on materials, namely paper, vellum, or card stock.  Many also have some embossing details too, so you can die cut, and with maybe some shims or a texture pad, emboss also.  Also embossing folders, great for embossing paper, but I also use them for texturing leather too.

If you are looking to add to you collection, my advice, from my experience, is to get some other basic shapes - some nested squares, circles, ovals, rectangles for cutting frames or basic shapes for cards.  Maybe a couple of fonts of letter dies too if you want to make lettered banners or statements.   Then build up with shapes you love - I have a lot of tree, leaf, deer, etc.  Keep in mind if shapes can have multiple uses, and how often you could use it.  I also like to cut some of the shapes out of plastic too to make reusable masks and stencils.

Then it depends on what you like I guess - I actually make a lot of mixed media tags so I have several tag dies so I can cut my own tags from boxes, and I make a lot of jewelry too, and use thicker, but small dies, like the Sizzix Movers and Shapers, for cutting leather.  For those, I also have a special metal platform for holding the magnetic Movers and Shapers dies.  I started making mini collages in resin too last year, so have also been on the look out for small little metal dies for smaller shapes.  I do love the thicker steel rule dies too - I have used them to make ornaments, including metal stars from beer cans.  

I strongly advise, if you are looking for adding to your collection, without breaking your pocketbook, shopping sales.  I got a lot of my specialty dies (and embossing folders, and stamps) on clearance sales at various on-line sites, such as Simon Says Stamp, Muskoka Craft House (a Canadian Supplier), and the Funkie Junkie (they are great, they often sell at 20% off the MSRP, and I got some items at a steeper discount during sales).  Also, I sign up for newsletters for when they have specific sales on certain products - or sales like Black Friday, or Boxing Day.  I have noticed that a couple of my favourite sites have permanent clearance sections and I often scroll through to see if some favourite dies go on sale there.  Some also seem to have turnover of new stock at certain times of year, so I keep an eye out for sales then (again, email newsletters).  There often are also on-line coupons as well, such as if you go to the Tim Holtz site, or Wendy Vecchi, they will post coupon codes for certain sites with some of their blog posts.

Also, check out the Sizzix site.  I wish I was American, because they seem to not ship to Canada from the site anymore, but they have some prices on many of their items there - especially for sales or clearance.  Check their blog too - lots of fun and inspirational projects.

Also, I keep an eye out on Amazon - for price comparisons, to see what is out there, and the reviews too.

But you will love it - I love my die cutting machines to bits (literally, I have broken one cuttlebug).  

Oh yes - also consider storage!  The big steel rule dies are quite thick and square, so they sit nicely on a shelf.  Some of the thin steel dies have teeny bits that can get lost.  I keep those with small fiddly bits on magnetic sheets (get them from Dollar Tree!), trimmed to fit into plastic envelopes, that I keep in a basket so I can flip through them.  Some others, like the very small ones, I keep in card sleeves in a binder, so it is easy to flip through and see them.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016 05:43:19 AM by Onyxnox » THIS ROCKS   Logged

calzephyr
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016 09:03:20 PM »

I hope your die collection has grown Jotown! Collection building can be so challenging. I have so many dies that I haven't used yet despite owning them for years. The one that gets used the most is a flower die plus basic Framelit shapes. Embossing folders are so amazing - I have lots of these and have used them quite a bit. It's really hard to say what to get when there are so many out there. Collecting just happens naturally sometimes :-)
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