Scrapbooking is the form of art of some would say therapy!! Of preserving memories for the generations to come, by collating photographs and memorabilia and placing them together with their story in an album. Each page of an album can be simple, or these days many keen scrapbookers like to embellish their pages and each page becomes a piece of art.
One of scrapbookers favourite ways to embellish a scrapbook page is by adding creative titles and images. Since the invention of scrapbooking die cutting machines, scrapbook pages have taken on a new dimensions as die cuts can be now made from various forms of material and in an endless supply of wonderful designs.
There are two types of die cut machines on the market. The electronic versions like the Making Memories Slice, Provo Craft Cricut, Xyron Wishblade and the Pazzles. Then there are the manual versions, ie no electronics involved at all like the Sizzix BigKick/Big Shot, Provo Crafts Cuttlebug and Spellbinders Wizard.
The advantages of a manual die cutting machine, is that they are no where near the price of electronic die cutters, they are also more portable and more robust. Their biggest advantage though is the types of materials they will cut. They can cut much thicker materials compared to electronic cutters, like fabric, think sheet metal, cork etc, which is only a dream for owners of an electronic cutter. Their main disadvantages are that they have to be operated manually of course and you can only cut the one size of the cartridge available.
Although the electronic cutters sound fantastic, manual die cutters are still very popular and still have a place in today’s scrapbooking die cutting machine market due to their ability to cut through the toughest fabrics. The best of the manual cutting machines range available right now, would have to be the Sizzix BIGkick/ Big Shot (the same machine, just a different design). It is a fabulous machine that has come a long way since the Original Sizzix Machine came out many years ago and led the market to where it is today.
The Sizzix BigKick and Big Shot machines operate with a platform on which the die and paper is laid and when pressure is applied, the die with its sharp, pre cast design, cuts out paper or other types of materials. The new platform and various adaptors that are available, means that any die on the market can be used with the BigKick. This includes other brands, as well as the smaller Sidekick Sizzlits dies. All of the Sizzix range of dies ever made, can be used in this machine.
The BigKick and Big Shot die cutters also have a larger base than the original machine. This means you can put the larger dies in sideways to make cuts quicker. It also fits in larger sheets of paper and basically cut more out at once. A new range of larger dies, which make fantastic backgrounds, has also been created for the machine. Also, if you own a lot of smaller dies, you can now cut out multiple smaller die cuts at once.
One of the best new features of the Big Shot is the rolling mechanism. This is absolutely the best feature compared to the original machine. It means no more having to slide the large dies through in multiple sections, like the original Sizzix, to get the shape cut out. No slippages, or having part of the die cut but part not, due to not enough pressure. Also, it saves a lot of the muscle work that was required by the press down handle of the old machine. I just love the crunching sound it makes as it cuts!
The Big Shot can also cut the same thicker cardstock and materials that the original sizzix cuts, like cork, cardstock, multiple paper sheets, fabric, felt etc. So with the new wider base and rolling handle, it means you can churn out great letters, titles and images from an amazing range of materials which no electronic die cutter can do. So if you like texture and variety on your Scrapbook pages, the Sizzix BigKick or Big Shot are the best in the market.
Ok so you might find the next few links interesting. These are from around the web, just random snippets that I’ve picked up in my reading, but I found some very cool information in them. You might too. Here goes…
Anyway it was fun – I also took a little time to create a seasonal "word banner"; using diecuts from a local scrapbook store, all the papers and embellishments I already had in my stash -. Here's my basic supplies list: …
Fabric flowers of all sorts, probably some paper, die cuts, ribbon roses … you name it … all bits and pieces. A Maya road Sheer Album and A Basic Grey scalloped chipboard Album. an Assortment of different chipboard mainly flowers …
I have used some fake stitching to make a “border” around this piece of paper Using a die-cutting system I cut out the word “INVITATION” from the Sweet Pea paper and glued the word in place. 2. I edited the wording for the invitation on …
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Have a great day!