Sizzix 660425 Big Shot Cutting/Embossing Machine with Extended Multipurpose Platform, White/Gray

I do love my Sizzix Big Shot Cutting/Embossing Machine with the Extended Multipurpose Platform.

What I especially like about this machine is that it is portable and it needs no electrical outlet, no batteries and not plugged into an electronic device.

It is completely portable with a hand crank. I can set it on a work surface to do my die cutting and embossing in my craft room, on the patio, in my dining room, anywhere I choose to work. 

  • Portable shape-cutting and embossing roller-style machine.
  • Create your own greeting cards, invitations, gift bags, boxes, scrapbook pages, home decor items, etc.
  • Included with the Big Shot are a pair of Standard Cutting Pads and the adjustable Extended Multipurpose Platform
  • Measures 14-1/4″ x 12-3/8″ x 6-5/8″

I’ve had mine for 2 years and I have absolutely no complaints.

The extended platform comes in handy for larger dies and an assortment of smaller ones to get the die cutting done quickly, easily and efficiently.

This along with my Silhouette Cameo allows me to take my paper crafting to a new level.

Every craftroom should have a Sizzix Big Shot Cutting/Embossing Machine — the Extended Multipurpose Platform is a definite bonus!!

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When Someone Echoes Your Thoughts

Have you ever thought of something about yourself and then someone else says something similar to what you thought, but in reference to themselves?

Yesterday I was talking with a couple of my internet marketing friends.

Out of the blue he made a reference regarding the direction he wanted to focus with his on-line business.

Everything he said, echoed a similar thought I had earlier in the day about the direction I want to focus my paper crafts.

He’s interested in woodworking and has a website about it, but he hasn’t done a lot with it. He’s busy building websites for others and with his other websites. But last night he stated he was going to focus on that website more and do more woodworking projects.

The parallel for me was from the post I wrote yesterday about the Village Dwelling die cut and all the variations that were possible and how Tim Holtz made other die cuts to change the Village Dwelling into a church or with snow on the roof, also changing it to a surf shack, a manor and a bungalow. My thought earlier in the day was about focusing upon making variations of these village pieces. For example, I was wondering how many different ways I could make the surf shack different . . . different roof, siding, setting . . . decorations for different holidays and seasons . . . Maybe make it into a little market place with a restaurant, fish market, vegetable market, ice cream parlor, antique store . . . 

Then, I thought, instead of using the Village Dwelling die cut, I’d use the Village Brownstone, it’s taller and has nice windows on the roof. It seems quite interesting. From the image on the right, it can be changed into a church or school, the roof can be changed . . . and you can always change the siding and remove the windows . . . even change the windows and the shutters . . . You won’t need a die cut for this, just paper scissors and imagination.

The Village Brownstone doesn’t have a base, but you can always add one . . . raise it up and make a porch in front with steps . . . you can add a garden to the side . . . or whatever would be appropriate for Halloween . . . could you make it spooky? Have a pumpkin patch in the side yard? Instead of flowers use pumpkins . . . or have a Thanksgiving feast in the side yard . . . Or decorate it for Christmas with trees and snowmen . . . I can see making it into a one room school house . . . or something for Easter with bunnies and Easter eggs . . . Or maybe a fairy tale house with gnomes and woodland critters . . .

I’ve been thinking for quite some time about doing YouTube Tutorials, but never decided upon what I wanted to concentrate upon . . . I’ve always liked making things with a purpose, but cards just aren’t my thing . . . Then I thought about boxes . . . Lots of people are making boxes and designing them . . . Then I thought of these die cut houses and the variations. I’ve always admired the work of Ray O’Bannon of Ravensblight and Ray Keim of Haunted Dimensions . . . And many talented crafters on YouTube who get a die cut and do amazing things . . .

brownstonesizzixdie2I don’t know how amazing I’ll be, but there is something to be said about sitting with die cut pieces in front of you and how you decide to decorate them, assemble them . . . add to them and modify them . . . You can make it wider by adding another piece to it . . . add more windows . . . attach another piece to the side of the Brownstone . . . an addition of some sort . . . a greenhouse, perhaps . . . Anything and just about everything is possible . . . Just dream . . .

You could even do things with gears . . . giving it a Steampunk feel . . . or add wings . . .

I was thinking of making a matchbox-type of base for it. This would give you a secret compartment to put some treasures inside . . . or make it larger for a mini-album . . . Those are always popular . . . We always like to have our loved ones pictures close by . . . Or you could have a story about the origin of the house . . . Who lived there . . . and how it came to be part of your village . . . There is always a story to be told . . .

I don’t know how others do it, but I want to give it a try. If you’d like to join me in this venture you’ll need a Big Shot or a Vagabond to use these Sizzix dies by Tim Holtz.

Here are some links you may find helpful”

I thought I’d include some accessories to go along with the Sizzix die cutting machine and the Village Dwelling Die, if you’d like to purchase Tim’s other dies to make the Village Manor, Village Bungalow, Village Surf Shack, Village Winter and The Bell Tower. I think the more dies you have, the more variations you can make. You will need the extended cutting plates and the crease pad for the score lines to imprint on your card stock or chip board.

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Sizzix Bigz Village Dwelling Die by Tim Holtz

I’m a big fan of Tim Holtz and Sizzix’s Big Shot.

Tim Holtz was the inspiration behind the electric version Vagabond. It looks like a suitcase and you can add travel labels to it. This is an excellent die cutting machine for those who do a lot of die cutting and those with issues with their hands . . . or are just tired of hand cranking the dies through the Big Shot.

One or the other of these machines is necessary to use the Sizzix Bigz Village Dwelling Die by Tim Holtz.

This die is essential in making a village . . . Tim has created other dies that are add-ons to this die . . . The Village Manor, Village Winter, Village Bell Tower, Village Bungalow and the Surf Shack. I think I covered all of them . . . There’s also a Brownstone that I believe is a stand-alone die . . . And there are also dies with different roofs, shutters and windows that you can add to make your dwellings a bit different.

And you can always add embellishments of your own using paper or other materials along with craft store items. It’s amazing how different roof materials and siding can change the whole look of the dwelling. I prefer to make these decisions while the dwelling is still in pieces. That way I don’t need to try to figure out measurements and cutting things at weird angles.

Some people are amazing with paint and paint these up to make them all different with brickwork or rock work or woodwork . . . I’ve known people who cut up paper and layer it to get the correct texture on their dwelling.

This is cute and with the other dies for variations, you’ll be creating a whole village in no time at all!

I found inspiration from the Surf Shack . . . I thought this would be a fun craft for kids who spend a lot of time at the beach . . . surfing and just enjoying the water . . . I’m sure you could make a whole seaside town with restaurants and shops . . . Allow your imagination to flow freely and you’ll be making up whole sections of your village from various places you’ve vacationed or lived . . . or would love to visit.

I’m wondering about something for Halloween . . . Thanksgiving . . . Christmas . . . Easter . . . I think anything is possible once you get the basic house structure and you can create variations upon variations. I like to see what others create and I try to improve on their idea . . . I believe Tim Holtz designed the dwelling house to have fun and see what would develop . . . Then he came up with more dies to add to it . . . Like the Surf Shack, Village Winter, Bell Tower for a church and school house . . . The Village Manor — which would make an excellent Haunted House . . . and the Village Bungalow . . . That one would be delightful for spring or Easter with flowers and bunnies . . . But, it could also work for other seasons, too . . .

Just take a moment to look at the different houses all made from The Village Dwelling and you’ll soon find other houses you can make by combining elements from the other dies.

The important thing is to get the basics down first . . . Then you can design some extra-ordinary dwellings from your own imagination.

Here are some links you may find helpful:

With these along with the images in the post, you’ll have everything you need, except paper, to build villages for every season of the year.

And, if this is your first purchase of a Sizzix Big Shot or Vagabond, it’s a good idea to get the extended cutting plates and a crease pad and other suggestions that go with the machine and with the dies you’re purchasing. You don’t want to wait for your next order to arrive before being able to use your dies.

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Paper Crafts

Twenty, Twenty-five, Maybe Even 30 years ago . . . 

I was at my favorite craft store.dreams

This was when scrapbooks were the “in thing.”

For me, a scrap book was not a photo album, but a book where you saved newspaper articles, ticket stubs, pressed flowers, printed programs and flyers . . . Maybe those photo booth strips of silly pictures you’d take with your friends . . . maybe even those fortune telling cards you’d get from a machine . . .  or even tokens from the county fair . . . Just junk . . . but they were treasures to you at that time . . . It’s now emphemera. A fancy name for junk collected, that seemed valuable for a short time.

Back then you could buy designer papers by the sheet and there were special cut-outs and embellishments available to buy to dress up your scrapbook pages of family vacations or family holidays . . .

Papercrafting has come a long way . . . 

There are cutting machines, our computers and printers have come a long way since then, as has the internet.

We can buy designer paper, still . . . or we can download it and print it out on our card stock . . . We can buy all kinds of bling to go along with our scrapbook pages or even make our own scrapbooks, mini-albums, cards . . . centerpieces, gift boxes . . . etc.

Many papercraft hobbies have become a business. It’s amazing how times have changed . . .

I shouldn’t be surprised or amazed, actually . . . Some things grow rather than die out. We do love our hobbies and paper crafts have been around for centuries . . . We always think we’ve discovered something new and exciting only to find that it has all been done before. Maybe not as easily as today, but it has been done before.

I like papercrafts with a purpose . . . boxes . . . books with secret compartments . . . 3-D Haunted Houses with a secret compartment . . . even cards with a slot for a lollipop . . .

magicofbooksThen . . . I started thinking . . . the pop-up cards . . . I’ve always loved pop-up books . . . even those sugar Easter eggs with a scene inside . . . or the image I saw in a book of Alice Through The Looking Glass . . .  Do you remember the old View Masters .  . . and the 3-D Movies . . .

We still have 3-D Movies . . . we can make our own pop-up books and cards . . . we can make all kinds of 3-D houses and whatever with paper for displaying in our homes for holidays and for everyday.

We get motivated by seeing things others have done . . . and we must try to do it for ourselves . . . We can always find instructions on YouTube . . . or we can figure it out for ourselves and create our own YouTube video tutorial to share with others . . .

And, of course, there are machines and dies and clip-art . . . SVG kits . . . things to buy and things to make from free printables . . .

What I thought about scrapbooking 25 to 30 years ago has changed . . . for the better . . . 

There’s a woman on YouTube who tells a story about attending a scrapbooking workshop . . . it was something suggested by her boss years ago while she was working for a company . . . She couldn’t imagine why he suggested she take this workshop . . . Now she has her own papercrafting business in her own home . . . Probably making more money than she did out in the work force.

Even at that time, while attending the workshop, she couldn’t see the sense of it . . . but now . . . It was a turning point in her life.

I remember my cousin telling me about her new Cricut machine and the cartridges she bought . . . all the paper crafts she could make with those die-cuts. All I could think about was the expense and the collection of all those cartridges . . . But now . . . I’m thinking things through differently.

For some of us, it takes time to decide what it is that we want to do . . . to make . . . to create . . . halloweenpopupcard

I looked at the Silhouette Cameo for years before purchasing one. I’ve looked at the Big Shot for years before purchasing it, too. I didn’t know how important it was to be able to emboss paper . . . or to have templates and a machine that would cut them out . . . The Silhouette Cameo can do a lot of cutting and is great for clip-art cutouts, too. I thought this was all I really needed . . . it was a definite answer to avoid the cutter of dies, etc. But, there are times when embossing is necessary . . . yes, Silhouette has a machine for that . . . But, I wanted something else . . . something I’d been fighting . . . The Big Shot . . . especially when I discovered Karen Burniston’s YouTube Video Tutorials for making pop-ups and sliders . . .

It’s necessary to have a space in your home for your crafts . . . it could be sewing or needlework, or even paper crafts. I have a friend who is into film making. She did a lot of it with advertisements for her furniture store. She got her kids and their friends to participate in her ads . . . A forerunner of YouTube Videos now . . .

We’ve come a long way . . . or is it just an easier way?

I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now . . .

Then, looking back to all the time I’ve . . . I was going to say “wasted” . . . but it is a process . . . not a waste of time . . .

It is about learning . . . personal growth . . . deciding what it is we do need to open and fulfill that creative outlet within . . . We do need to express ourselves . . . in some creative way . . .

This reminds me of an Amazon Pilot for a series called Interestings . . . It’s an Amazon Prime Video thing . . . It’s about a group of people who got together at a camp for “creative kids” with acting, dance, art, music . . . 

This group or certain members of the group are still together and meet up years later . . . which is kind of a regular thing for them — not a reunion thing. It’s how their friendships formed over the years . . . You may have a different “take” on it . . . It all depends upon one’s perspective at the time . . . 

This all seems applicable to life . . . In the beginning there is a quote . . . Life if understood backwards . . . But we have to live it forwards. I may have messed up the quote a bit, but the concept is there.

And quite applicable with hobbies and papercrafts.

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Oh, if you haven’t jumped onboard yet with papercrafts . . . you may want to check out these links:

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Until next time,


Pop-Up Halloween Spider Card

I absolutely love pop-up cards!!

I’m not a fan of spiders, but I’m making an exception in this case because he is quite adorable.

My head is still spinning a bit with the mechanics of making this card. The great news is that there’s a video tutorial that you can play over and over and over again. Any time there’s something new, it’s natural to get lost in the details. It does come together once you get started and work through the process along with the video.

Pop-ups are excellent for cards and mini-albums. It’s nice to use this concept for your other projects as well.

Since I bought my Silhouette Cameo I wanted to make everything simple. That has been the case, but it’s also necessary to take the time to add more details . . . and there is the need for die cuts, too.

The whole purpose of card making, scrapbooking, mini-albums, etc. is the detail. Without detail with your own personal touch, everything will be like the manufactured cards you can purchase everywhere. You are unique, your friends and family are unique . . . so make cards that are meant for them and have your personal flair of creativity they love about you. It’s all about giving something to others you’re proud to have displayed in their homes . . . knowing they are proud to display them and keep them for years to come.

You’re probably wondering why I’m going on about the detail . . . this may be what separates real scrappers from the wannabe scrappers . . . I may be in the latter category . . . wanting to create something unique and spectacular . . . which requires detail and time and . . . a variety of supplies and die cuts.

I am a major fan of Sizzix’s Big Shot . . . and now Karen Burniston’s dies . . . and video tutorials, too.

I’ve wanted to be comfortable with making pop-up displays. Trial and error is great. It works. Having a die cut that streamlines the process is excellent. There are different die cuts for different pop-up displays. I do encourage you to check out Karen’s YouTube Channel and her website to learn all you can about her products and her techniques for making brilliant cards that you can adapt to your projects.

Here are some helpful links to take your crafting to the next level:

It’s always good to start out slowly with the basics or you can dive right in and wow yourself and your friends and family with your awesomeness!!

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