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Friends make life sweet!

Thanks for all the suggestions on what to do regarding the Sizzlits window card making fiasco.  I tried shimming with card stock, but that didn’t seem to really help.  I’m still debating if I want to actually remove the foam from the outside edges of the die . . .  Feels like sacrilege to do it, but I may get brave and try that . . .

Meantime, here’s a sample with pressure/dry embossing:

All stamp images by A Muse Art Stamps; Fabriano Mediovalis Reply Card; Easy Emboss Brass Stencil/Folder by Ellison/Big Shot; Pebbles Shimmer Pearlescent Chalks; Waterbased Markers; Palette Hybrid Ink in Noir; Sakura Red Glaze Pen; All Ribbons by May Arts; Metal Rim Tag Types by Sticko/ EK Success; Clear Adhesive Domes for Tag Types by Sticko/ EK Success

I hafta admit, the Easy Emboss stencil included in the Big Shot Starter Kit performed like a dream.  I’m anxious to try more of this!  I have always loved the effect of dry embossing, but it so aggravated the tendinitis in my arm that I finally gave up and sold off every brass template I owned.  I’m going to have to look for more of the texture plates my friend Gail told me about, by Fiskars, as well as other brands, such as the Cuttlebug (Provo Craft) and try them out on this machine.

The key to the Easy Emboss stencil design is that a reverse image in plastic, as well as the brass stencil itself, are adhered inside a clear plastic folder; the adhesive is not permanent, so you can move the template around to whatever position inside the folder is best for your project, and this  adhesive prevents the stencil from shifting as it goes through the machine.  The reverse image in plastic presses the paper up through the template as it goes through the Big Shot and creates that lovely, raised effect.

In order to use other brands of stencils and dies effectively with the Big Shot, it appears that the Multi Purpose Platform is the magical accessory needed, so I’ll be goin’ on a quest for that . . . after digging up some loose pocket change from under the sofa cushions . . .  I’m still wincing over my disappointment with the window dies . . . can ya’ tell?  LOL!


WOW!  I was quite impressed!  snort!  I know, I know . . .  I’m SOOoooooOOO "punny"! Hah!


My sweet friend Waterpixie (a.k.a. Emily G.) herself was the inspiration for this design.  She’s quite a masterful baker and stamper!  Check out her gallery of both stamped and culinary confections when you get a chance. (wink!)


After (pressure) embossing the sentiment, I colored it with the pastels, inked only a portion of the "you make life sweet" sentiment, and stamped it in black directly beneath.  After wrapping the card front and knotting it, with some snippets of gingham and ric rac to sweeten it up, I embellished the knot with one of those fun Tag Type Sticko stickers.  The cupcake fit perfectly, and after coloring it, a clear adhesive dome went over the top.

Thank goodness . . . paper cupcakes have no calories! (grin!)

Card stock, Chipboard and Suede, oh my!

I could easily spend weeks and weeks experimenting, creating projects and writing articles here that showcase what can be done with the Big Shot, but, it takes time (and a lot of it) to do all that, so please bear with me! (wink!)  And, like most folks, I do have a budget to stick to, and simply couldn’t afford to purchase *everything* I wanted all at the same time.

It’s always wise, in the case of a luxury tool (Yes, I consider a personal die cutting system a luxury tool!), to start slow, to ensure I’m making wise investments.  Trust me, I learned that the hard way years ago. Hah!

So, today’s article is going to feature some materials I had on hand, coupled with a few dies I purchased after my initial investment in the Big Shot Starter Kit.

BTW, since I didn’t mention it in the previous article, the Big Shot Starter Kit has an MSRP of $119.95.  Shop around, as prices may vary from one retailer to another.  As I mentioned, I purchased mine through Costco , with my membership.  I don’t have the receipt in front of me, but I can safely say I paid about half the MSRP by purchasing through them.   However, I had to have the item shipped to me, and if there had been problems with it, I have no idea how a return or exchange experience would have gone . . .


As you can see above, I have been experimenting with various materials and what the Big Shot can actually cut through.  All the dies used above are Sizzix steel rule dies, and they are fully compatible with the BS.  Whether they’re used with the Sizzix cutter or the BS, they will cut through not only paper and card stock, but lightweight chipboard, quite easily.   While you can buy chipboard, I actually save the backings of all my notepads, and any of the stuff that comes in packaging, expressly for uses of this type.  Waste not, eh?!  chuckle!

After cutting through card stock, I experimented with lightweight chipboard and lightweight coasters*.  Most of the chipboard I have is kraft/gray, but coasters are white, and sometimes, white is nice. (grin)

On the advice of a fellow stamper (Thanks, Jeanne, The Royal Die Cutting Queen!), I found that adhering the suede or patterned paper to the chipboard with Xyron adhesive, prior to sending it through the machine, was a great time saver and saved tedious hand trimming.  Yessssss!!!

The example below features suede covered chipboard flowers.  Aren’t they darling?  Some company out there probably already offers something similar, all pre-fab, but I just *LOVE*LOVE*LOVE* that I can make my own, any color I want to suit my project! (grinnin’ n’ bouncin’!)  Did I say I love it?! chortle!

Zig Zag Stitching image by Hero Arts; Sentiment by SU!; Patterned Paper by SU!;  Suede/Velveteen Papers, source unknown; Fabriano Mediovalis Reply Card; Palette Hybrid Ink in Burnt Umber; Spiral Clip by SU!; Grosgrain Ribbon by SU!; Flower Power die by Doodlebug for Sizzix

I love this zig zag stitch image by Hero Arts–just looks so real, and I hate dragging out my sewing machine for anything, even card making.  I’ve had this darn stamp for more than 6 months, and the poor thing has never seen ink until this card!  I know–the horror of virgin rubbah!!!! ACK! 

After I secured the patterned paper to the base card, I just stamped the zig zag over the top.  The flowers were glued into place and then the sentiment was stamped.  Palette Hybrid Burnt Umber ink is such a nice rich brown, with a sepia tone to it, and it worked well for the sentiment, too.  Black would have been too stark, I think?

It still needed something to the lower right, to balance out the design, so a little spiral clip garnished with burgundy ribbon finished it off.  My buddy Mona Lisa has been encouraging me to release the death grip on my embellishment stash and USE the stuff.  She will be quite proud of me, I do believe . . . chuckle!

*Blank coasters are rather elusive, and typically, you can’t find them just "anywhere", and vendors sell them by the thousand count unit (literally!).  Well, if you’re like me, you really don’t know what you’re gonna do with a thousand of ‘em, let alone store ‘em, eh?  So, I got lucky and was able to buy a batch of 200 from someone else (Smooches to you, Speanburg!) who was willing to order that large a quantity.  But, even 200 coasters are a lot, so you might prefer buying a pack of 10 for $1.09  from StarLitStudio.

You are extraordinary!

This is my lame first attempt at simple "Bohemian" style.  I really can’t determine if this is good or bad.  But, a girl’s gotta start somewhere.  (chuckle!)

Doodle Flourish Images by Rhonna Farrer for Autumn Leaves; Flower images from Friendship Flowers by Stampin’ Up!; Sentiment by Anna Griffin for All Night Media/Plaid; Leaf sprig by Rubber Stampede; Bird by Magenta; Palette Hybrid Inks in New Canvas, Burnt Umber, Cote d’azure, Water Lily Green, Burnt Sienna; Pitt Pastel Pencils by Faber Castell; Vanilla Card Stock; Ink Jet Transparency; Ribbon by May Arts;  Dots hand-drawn with a fine-tip brown marker.

I got so excited when I spied this clear doodley set by Rhonna Farrer.  However, it took considerable experimentation to get the right combination of flourishes to achieve anything cohesive.  I think I must have spent an hour trying to get the angles right.  And, the darn things are CLEAR!  Crikey!  And, of course, I only had ONE acrylc block that properly fit both images, so I had to stamp one image, clean it, dismount it, mount the other one and repeat the process all over again every time I botched the angles.   

I tried every which way.  I dunno.  I couldn’t seem to figure out a way to use any of the images in it TOGETHER.  Holy smokes, I filled the circular file!  They seemed to work best independently of the others????   

I loved the formalness of the Anna Griffin sentiment, combined with the whimsy of the doodles.  I didn’t have any flowers that really complimented the style of the doodles, so had to make due with what I felt I could get away with.  I dunno that I like it, however.  I also had to add all those dots to beef up the flourishes.

After staring at it for some time, I felt it lacking.  No clue what it needed.  Decided to attempt a transparency overlay, with images stamped in white–ya’ know?  Kinda like those rub-ons I refuse to buy?  Don’t get me wrong;  rub-ons LOOK very cool!  But, being a die-hard stamper, the thought of purchasing a single use item, when the same effect can be achieved with stamps (over and over again for all eternity without ever needing to be replaced) is just too shocking to the system.  Simply cannot do it.  GIMME RUBBAH!!! chortle!

Overlay in place, it still seemed lacking.  AUGH!  I hate when that happens.  But, where the heck was I going to add an additional element so that it wouldn’t look outta’ place or oddly secured?  I finally used a long-reach 1/8" punch, so I could install a No-Tie Bow.  And, then, promptly collapsed in exhaustion ……………thud!

I love that bird image.  It’s by Magenta.  I’ve had it forever.  I danced happy when I saw that a coming SU! set, Carte Postale had a similar bird because I won’t need to invest in that set now just to get the cool bird!  heh, heh, heh! (smug grin)

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