28 September 2010

Sets of cards and Cuttlebug vs Big Shot

This is one of my favourite things to do when I have the time.

That is, make sets of cards.

I mean, I've got all the stuff out, so I might as well make more than one, right? And of course one card leads to another and another.

All these below are made using October Afternoon papers, Rock Candy Stickles on the Martha butterfly, a stamp I've had for yonks, Hero Arts ink (their yellowy chalk ink called, what's it called? Poppy, that's it) and some tiny type alphas. Not sure who makes the ones I used, but I like them because they put enough Hs and Is on the sheet for me. My original plan was to use all different sorts of alphas, but these worked best, and lucky for me I had enough for all the cards.

Oh, and hello, red buttons. I used red buttons. A staple in this crafting kitchen. Like denim, red buttons seem to go with everything.

I just noticed I used a variety of border punches along the bottom too. Some have two strips, some have one.

The one right above is from EK Success. The one above that is too. The one above that is Martha. I like some punches that have patterns in them and some that are just borders. I like punches, what can I say?

I also like decorative scissors. They really do rock when used sparingly. No cutting around the entire photo with deco scissors here. Just subtle use and you're good to go. I use the scallop ones the most - from Fiskars. I really am glad I didn't chuck them all out when they went out of fashion. I know some people did and they've had to re-purchase.

Ever chuck out anything you've then had to replace? I know of a lady who had a Cuttlebug, bought a Big Shot, sold her Cuttlebug, missed her Cuttlebug and bought another one! Now she's probably going to sell her Big Shot.

And on that. I have both the Big Shot and the Cuttlebug. I used the Cuttlebug for about 18 months. I got the Big Shot and used it exclusively for a while. Just recently I used the Cuttlebug again and loovved it. Realised I missed it.

It's cuter.

It's easier to use.

It's got the X-Factor. Remember I said that recently? It does.

That being said, the Sizzix rocks. It really does, but what I think puts me off the Sizzix sometimes is the mucking around with the spacer plate and the tabs and whatever.

And the shimming, oh the shimming when you're using Nestabilities (embossing them). I forget what to do a lot of the time and then when I have to teach someone else (Hi, Mum!), well, I can't remember and we have to figure it out all over again. The same applies with the Nestabilities in the Cuttlebug too, so that's the same between them. And Nestabilities aren't from Sizzix or Provo, so what do we expect, really? You've gotta do a bit of mucking around to make them work in a different company's machine. We're lucky they actually do work if we're truthful about it.

Anyway, stick with Cuttlebug brand dies and embossing folders in the Cuttlebug and it's dead easy.

Stick with the newest Sizzix stuff in the Big Shot and it's easy. Not dead easy, but easy.

Swap stuff between these two and it's easy.

Start adding different brands into either of them and the ole head can start swimming! Particularly if you add a lot of different brands. And particularly if you're embossing.

My point? There's just not as much swimming with the Cuttlebug.

My second point? The Big Shot is a smoother, sturdier machine.

My third point? This is why there's always debate about which is best.

My fourth point? I don't know of anyone who has regretted getting a Cuttlebug.

My fifth point? I think the Multi-purpose platform and all the flaps that come with it have caused some confusion with the Big Shot. I see why they did it that way, but still, confusion. Confusion can = regret.

My sixth point? The Big Shot can cut everything on the market. The Cuttlebug couldn't until recently - bring on their new 6 x 12 extender plates.

My seventh point? Spellbinders have blown Sizzix's "it cuts everything on the market" claim to fame with their new big dies that add onto their current ones. I linked you over to the new machine (Grand Calibur) and the new dies a week or so ago, I think it was. They cut up to 8 1/2 x 11. Very good, but they don't fit in the Cuttlebug or Big Shot, so am I going to buy a new machine? No. Obviously Spellbinders had to manufacture a new machine that would work with their new dies. It doesn't work with all the current dies on the market, so I'm not sure how many people will buy it. What do you think?

My eighth point? Provo was really generous when they included a C plate with their machine. That was purely so their customers could use other thin brands of dies in their machine, ie. Nestabilities and Papertrey Ink. They're the other brands I use and they work perfectly with the A, B and C plates.

My ninth point? Die cutting and embossing rocks, so it's worth figuring out all the sandwiches you need for cutting and embossing all the dies you have.

My tenth point? Don't be like me and write these sandwich formulas on bits of paper that you've put in some hard-to-reach place. Put 'em where you can see them. Put 'em in a little book. Put 'em near the machine. Write them on the machine! Seriously, write 'em down and refer to them often. Now, if you'd only take your own advice, Debra.

My eleventh, and final, point? Get a die cutting machine, just don't ask me which one!

Oh, and after all that yakking on about die-cutting, I totally forgot about the cards!

Well, here they are with, wouldn't you know it? No die-cutting. 



  1. Lovely set of cards. I simply adored each of them... I'm going to try one such set one day (!! sigh...)

    And a really good analysis of the machines too :D. I'm loving my Cuttlebug for now and since the other machines are not available here either, I will not think about them :-)

  2. Thanks for that, Smita, glad you like them.

    A bit of an-all-over-the-place analysis of the machines! lol Good! Enjoy your Cuttlebug!


  3. I have a bigshot & found the platform thingy a bit hard to work with so I took the screws & plastic joiner thing off & use it all separately.I also labelled each part of the platform that goes with each brand of die. eg: Tab 2 i need to use to cut nestabilities so I labelled that "cut nestabilities". I definately prefer the bigshot to the cuttlebug.

  4. Hiya Debra, love love these cards, just adore that you made so many with the same supplies, I really really MUST do that!

    I LOVE my Cuttlebug, hate my Wizard and CANNOT wait to get a Grand Calibur lol... I don't have the BigShot but if I had bought that before the Cuttlebug I doubt I would have a Cuttlebug.

    I am on my second cuttlebug because the kids wanted their own!

    I have a sizzix machine gathering dust, really must offload it one day. Never use the dies for it either!

    Love your run down on the diecutting machines, do and dont's and cant's and wont's.

    Thanks for popping by my blog, loved hearing from you.

    Have a great week Debra!

  5. Hi Jammie,

    I did that with my Multi-purpose platform too - took all the screws out so and now use the spacer and Tabs separately. I should label them like you have - good idea! :o) So, you're a Big Shot girl. I love both for different reasons.

  6. Hey Liz, Glad you liked the cards! You're so funny with your likes and dislikes - that made me chuckle. I'm not surprised you want a Grand Calibur - Nestabilities queen! So funny. Loved your comment - thanks for visiting meee!

  7. Love your tips - did you get confused by the time you were up to 6 or so???
    Love your cards too!
    I have BigShot and use it all the time - My tip is summarise layers etc on the shim (bright pink piece of card so I can't lose it!) which stays with the tabs (which I also unscrewed) just behind the machine - easy peasy! Looking forward to Xmas card class at Phot Cont. booked in for 4th Dec. Rebecca


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