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Old 02-28-2013, 03:08 PM   #1
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Default Favorite startup, essential dies/embossing folders?

I'm just starting with the Big Shot and get a bit overwhelmed with all the choices, manufacturers, etc., of dies and embossing folders I can't decide, but I've bought rectangular, nesting frames and a border. I was told that the highly detailed dies are probably too complicated/much for a newbie. True?

What are your favorite, go-to dies that have become part of your crafting essentials? Also, is a square a square regardless of manufacturer? Swiss dot embossing, too? There's just so much out there at various price points.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:26 PM   #2
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I don't have the Big Shot, but I have my trusty Cuttlebug which I use a whole lot for embossing and die cutting.

To a certain extent, which dies and embossing folders you should get will depend on the style of cards that you like to make. If you like flowers, feminine cards, then some of the more intricate dies would probably please you. I don't think they are necessarily harder to use, just harder to get the die cuts to come out of the die sometimes. (At least that's what I hear around SCS from folks that use them.)

I would recommend you get some more basic shapes of Spellbinders dies, like the circles and ovals, both scalloped and plain. Almost any card style can use those.

For embossing folders, again, it depends on your personal taste and style. For a really nice, all purpose embossing folder, I don't think you can beat D'Vine Swirls from Cuttlebug. You can even use it on masculine cards if you use guy colors like navy or burgundy or forest green. It always seems to be on everyone's top list of favorite embossing folders.

The same thing goes for the Swiss Dots embossing folder. Everyone who has it uses it a bunch. I have the original Cuttlebug Swiss Dots, and Hobby Lobby has a folder they make that is similar, but with larger dots. Hobby Lobby has quite a few embossing folders in their store brand now. Also, I hear people talking about Darice folders. I think Joann's carries that brand.

The die sets tend to be expensive, but the folders are pretty cheap, so you can have fun with them.

Check Overstock.com for dies and folders. They frequently have them on sale there.

Have fun!
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:17 PM   #3
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Agree with Bugga on the D'vine Swirls and Swiss Dots. The Swiss Dots I expected to use a lot. The D'vine Swirls I only bought because Michael's happened to have it on sale when I bought my Big Shot - it is surprisingly versatile!

If you want some basic nestabilities dies, Joann.com has them on sale for the next week or so for 50% off - you can get the big sets of 4 (small sets) for about $45 which is a pretty good buy. I got the ovals & circles first - they're harder to cut by hand than rectangles and squares

As far as "is a square a square" - kind of. If you plan on cutting thicker materials (thicker than cereal-box-weight chipboard), you'll want original Sizzix-type dies instead of the thin dies. Those are thick dies, more pricey, and they take much more storage space than the thin ones. There are other brands besides Sizzix - Accucut, for one. You'll recognize them if you see them - they're almost an inch thick.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:30 PM   #4
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What are the Tim Hotz movers and shakers dies? They look like a box.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:59 PM   #5
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The "movers and shapers" dies are multi-part dies. You have a base shape that is magnetic and then there are other, smaller shapes that can fit into it for cutouts.

Here's a blog post from back when the first ones were released:
Movers & Shapers

With those first ones, the base shape cut a card, and the smaller shapes could be used to cut windows into the card at the same time.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:59 AM   #6
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First I must say that I'm probably the wrong person to ask about embossing folders. I am an addict and sometimes I buy them just because. But nonetheless, I love them all equally. I have to agree with Bugga about the Swiss Dots and the Swirls, I have the both. They are very popular and very versatile (kind of the gingham of the EF world).

As far as dies, I just got a Cuttlebug and own one die (I previously used Texture Boutique for embossing). The one I have is a Spellbinders Nestabilities I got at Michaels. I chose this as my "first" because it has rectangular shapes that can be used individually or stacked. I have my eye on some Memory Box dies, but I heard they are not compatible with Cuttlebug (fellow SCSer, advice please?). I have a Silhouette Cameo, but I really like the details of the dies that you just can't get with the Cameo (or at least I can't), especially with smaller or thinner elements like flourishes. I agree, all of the options are really overwhelming.

Anyway, it really depends on what you would like to do with your Big Shot. Do you lean toward accents and embellishments or do you want to do more with creating main elements on your cards/scrapbook pages with your dies? The best thing to do would be to take a look at some galleries and see what styles you like and take it from there.

Can't wait to hear from other members, the advice we get here is invaluable!
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:44 PM   #7
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Memory Box and poppystamps dies are compatible with the Cuttlebug and the Big Shot (I have both). I've had my CB for a while and just got a Big Shot about 6 months ago. You may need to add a shim because the dies are thin, but I haven't had to do this with any of their dies. I actually use my CB plates in the Big Shot and they work great. I recently bought the poppy and tulip dies and absolutely love them - so delicate!

Mob, I just noticed that you're a fellow Tarheel - I'm in the northwestern part of the state!

The first Nestabilities I bought were the circles and ovals, both plain and scalloped. I figured I would just cut squares and rectangles, but it wasn't long before I bought those too! And then some of the label sets because I loved the shapes.

As far as embossing folders, my favorite CB folders are "Swiss Dots", "Scrollwork" and "Grace's Frame." I have the "Square Lattice" folder from SU; also love "Skinny Trees" and "Bricked" by Sizzix for Tim Holtz. And finally, I have 2 Darice folders; I don't remember the names, but one has 3 butterflies and flourishes toward the right side of the folder; the other is a lace frame. Both work really well.

And since we all know we're just a bunch of enablers here on SCS, AC Moore has the Darice folders on sale starting tomorrow for $1.88.

All that being said, however, I really prefer the Impression Plates from Papertrey Ink. The design is more subtle, plus they are larger than an A2 card; I find with the embossing folders that I have to layer the design on my cardfront because they don't cover the entire card. However, the impression plates are quite a bit pricier than embossing folders, due to the fact that they're solid steel. There are designs on both sides of the steel plates, depending on whether you're using a side-fold or a top-fold card. My favorite thing to do with these is use Versamark ink on them, which makes the impression just a little deeper color than the cardstock you're using.

Finally, Papertrey Ink makes my favorite dies, simply because so many of them have coordinating stamp sets. Especially the flowers.

Whew! Didn't mean to be so long-winded! Hope this info helps!
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:56 PM   #8
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Thanks for those great tips. I'm in Eastern, NC near Greenville. I've been following Tim Holtz's Tattered Flowers challenge and had to buy the die and it was 1/2 price at J's. I also got his tattered flowers garland which was on clearance. So now I have both larger and smaller tattered flowers. I'm just missing leaves for the larger flowers, but I can figure that out.

I was also looking for the divine swirls folder, but can't find it. If it's a CB, it might be clearanced out since ProvoC seems to be repackaging all the folders with the 'bug" on it. I purchased a label/grommet die because i thought the label part would serve the same purpose of the SU word window punch, but now i'm not sure. I went to an Archivers class in Raleigh last week and used the Big Shot and did embossing for the first time. Now I need to tackle it on my own.

Now i need to get busy...maybe tomorrow.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobrien207 View Post
Thanks for those great tips. I'm in Eastern, NC near Greenville. I've been following Tim Holtz's Tattered Flowers challenge and had to buy the die and it was 1/2 price at J's. I also got his tattered flowers garland which was on clearance. So now I have both larger and smaller tattered flowers. I'm just missing leaves for the larger flowers, but I can figure that out.

I was also looking for the divine swirls folder, but can't find it. If it's a CB, it might be clearanced out since ProvoC seems to be repackaging all the folders with the 'bug" on it. I purchased a label/grommet die because i thought the label part would serve the same purpose of the SU word window punch, but now i'm not sure. I went to an Archivers class in Raleigh last week and used the Big Shot and did embossing for the first time. Now I need to tackle it on my own.

Now i need to get busy...maybe tomorrow.
Mob
Always happy to enable, err... oblige a fellow stamper. Here is D'Vine Swirls for only $3.94 at Walmart:

Cuttlebug D'vine Swirls Embossing Folder - Walmart.com

I order from Walmart online frequently and have been pleased. They ship pretty quick and shipping is cheap. You can also request that they send an item to your local Walmart for pick-up there.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:19 PM   #10
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When I started I bought things for one card at a time. I looked in the Gallery and at a couple of blogs and when I saw some that would work for a card I wanted to make I bought it.

It takes a while to do it that way, but I don't have many things that I don't use.
I didn't want to get caught up in buying pretty stuff and then not know what to do with it.

I did the same with card stock. I would decided I wanted to make a pink and white card and then I bought the pink and ribbon to match.
I bought stamps as I was going to use them.

One big mistake I made was going to ribbon sales. It was all so cheap and pretty. I thought I was saving money to buy it on sale. Then I found out that it may be pretty but I didn't have any paper to match that shade of pink or blue or green or what ever color I had .

I learned to buy the paper and then take it to the ribbon aisle and buy matching ribbon at the same time. It usually was not on sale when I needed it but it is very expensive to buy ribbon, paper or anything on sale and not use it.

I think you will find if you go slow and only buy what you need for one card at a time you will acquire a wonderful selection of things you will love and use over and over.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:32 AM   #11
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Thank you Bugga, I'll have to check my Wal-Mart online.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:35 AM   #12
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Barbara Jay,
That's the smart way to do it. As a long time scrapbooker, I already have lots of stash. I'm being more careful about the dies. I've resisted the washi tape craze for exactly that reason until last weekend when I used it in a class. Even then, I purchased only one roll of basic black and white small stripe which I can use on lots of things.

I think I may start to sell off or donate the items it don't use to the Ronald McDonald House. Simplify as they say.
Thanks,
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:45 PM   #13
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start with polka dots. there a lots of eb folders out there with dots - large, small, in patterns, random. can't go wrong w/the spots, and every company that makes eb folders makes at least one style. beyond that, buy what you enjoy.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:58 PM   #14
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Binx,
The swiss dot CB folder is the first one I bought and its great. I also have two TH folders that are damask. Also beautiful, but it seems that the Big Shot cuts right through it. Not sure how to fix that.

I've also got latex pad and I can't figure out what I'm supposed to with them.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:37 PM   #15
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Binx,
The swiss dot CB folder is the first one I bought and its great. I also have two TH folders that are damask. Also beautiful, but it seems that the Big Shot cuts right through it. Not sure how to fix that.

I've also got latex pad and I can't figure out what I'm supposed to with them.
mob
If you have the tan latex pads from Spellbinders, those are what you use to emboss with their dies. If you have the black rubbery pad from Sizzix, that's to use with their impression plates.

Now to your folders - it sounds like you need a little less pressure when you run those thru your machine. I have a few folders that I use one tab less on my platform because they tend to cut thru the cardstock (the Tulip Frame from SU! is one that I've had those troubles with). The other thing you could try is misting your paper with water or alcohol. That will make it more pliable in the folder and less likely to tear thru, but waiting for it to dry takes away the instant gratification of the embossing folder.
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