403-885-2448 designwithjo@gmail.com
Why I Love Big Shot Cutting Dies

Why I Love Big Shot Cutting Dies

Staying power – that’s just one more reason why I love Big Shot cutting dies. 

The Big Shot.  It’s got a pretty “big” name, but it’s really such a small thing. But boy does it pack plenty of power to bring your crafting to new levels.

Take a look at this beautiful card by my friend Eileen.

Why I Love Big Shot Cutting Dies

Eileen brought this card to my June Open House and it received rave reviews.  Although simple in design, her balanced layout and exact matting and alignment make it an unforgettable card.  The Artistically Asian stamp set is beautiful and she’s used it to perfection.

But how did she finish off the bottom like that?  With the Big Shot.

Do you remember the Top Note die?  It looks like this.

Why I Love Big Shot Cutting Dies

It was the very first die I ordered when I took the plunge and got my Big Shot.  In those days, our dies had a sturdy wood base and about 1 1/4” of foam with the blades encased inside.  This was to protect us from getting cut when we were using it.  

And you know I’ve used it again and again and again.

It’s hard to believe the Big Shot has only been around with Stampin’ Up! since 2009.  It became a can’t-live-without-it tool in a wink of an eye.  It was a big dollar decision to get one back then (and still a big decision now) but it’s one you will never regret.  I use mine every day I’m in my craft studio.

Why I Love Big Shot Cutting Dies

Why I Love Big Shot Cutting Dies

  • They never wear out.  (At least I haven’t had one yet!)
  • Precise cuts no matter how many times you run them through.  Use them lots like I do with my faves (below) the cost per cut dwindles to almost nothing!) 
  • Staying power.  Classic shapes you’ll use again and again (like I have with the Top Note)
  • Easy to use.  So quick and easy to run your die through.  No more time consuming fussy cutting!
  • Design options.  Cut into folded cards, like Eileen did, cut out shapes, make tags, boxes, treat holders.  You name it, you can pretty much make it.
  • Versatility.  Paper is only the beginning. Cut all kinds of materials like fabric, light balsa wood, foam, felt, leather, light magnet, plastic, chipboard…
  • Selection.  There are so many dies available for just about every occasion, holiday and hobby.  Every sport and passion.  From babies to toddlers, teens and adults, you’ll find a die perfect for anyone.
  • Coordination.  When dies perfectly fit my stamped images or my patterned paper designs, I’m in heaven!


Why I Love Big Shot Cutting Dies


Which dies do I use over and over?

And every time we have a new catalogue offering there’s always one that catches my eye and quickly goes into my “never-going-away” pile.


So if you’ve sat on the fence for a while about getting a Big Shot, sit no more.  I can’t imagine any greater investment to take your paper crafting to new heights than a Big Shot.  I’m so sure of it, if you find you never use it, I’ll buy it back from you.  Guaranteed.


Why I Love Big Shot Cutting Dies

And don’t forget to pull out some of your old favourite dies like Eileen did.  I predict you’ll be singing their praises and telling everyone who’ll listen, “why I love Big Shot cutting dies.”

Cardmaking with the Stampin Up Stained Glass Thinlits

Cardmaking with the Stampin Up Stained Glass Thinlits

Cardmaking with Stampin Up Stained Glass Thinlits

My friend Marilyn shared this special card at our team stamping party and I thought you might like to see it too. It shows just how beautiful cardmaking with Stampin Up Stained Glass thinlits can be for heartfelt sympathy cards.

Marilyn used both the stamp set and thinlits to create a detailed background window with pretty hand-coloured butterflies.  She says this was one of the first new sets she purchased and she took advantage of bundled pricing to save 10% off the total.  Really when you can get seamless and stress-free crafting at a reduced cost, why wouldn’t you?

Cardmaking with the Stampin Up Stained Glass Thinlits

Isn’t it pretty?  And isn’t the colour combination just a bit different?  Blushing Bride, Cajun Craze and Basic Black cardstock.  Then her butterflies are coloured with the Stampin’ Write markers in Coastal Cabana, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight and Cherry Cobbler with just a touch of Flirty flamingo.

Cardmaking with the Stampin Up Stained Glass Thinlits

The sentiments in this stamp set are a different script from our usual style.  Being a calligrapher, I was immediately attracted to the bold gothic style letters.  They’re solid, expressive and beautiful.  Plus, they’re an ideal complement to the stained glass effect and have an almost cathedral-like feel.  

But there’s more than just a stamp set and thinlits.  In fact, there’s an entire suite of products for coordinated crafting.  Gorgeous stamped vellum, faceted buttons and shiny black cord round out the supplies.  

You can see it all on page 164-165 of the Annual Catalogue. But you can also see it in action right here in Stampin’ Up!’s video.  (Pssst.   You won’t want to miss Brian’s great tips for different colouring techniques on vellum.)


Look how spectacular these designs are when our 2018-20 In Colors spice things up a bit. Which one is your favourite?


cardmaking with Stampin Up Stained Glass thinlits

Have you ever gone all-out and purchased everything in one of our suites?

Why would you want to?

  • Three words:  coordination, coordination, coordination.  In paper, colours, embellishments, tools, stamps, ribbons and dies.
  • Paper crafting at its absolute quickest and easiest with stamped images you can cut out fast with framelits and punches.
  • Loads of ideas you can CASE (Copy And Share Everything) directly from the catalogue.
  • And let’s not forget cost savings.

There are 14 suites in our Annual Catalogue.  And every single suite has a bundle of some kind.  Whether it’s stamps and dies or stamps and a punch, or stamps and an embossing folder, you’ll save 10%.

So maybe going “all out” is a pretty great thing!

Let’s get back to how Marilyn made her card.

Cardmaking with the Stampin Up Stained Glass Thinlits

Top Tips to Cardmaking with Stampin Up Stained Glass Thinlits

  • Stamp the three butterflies, colour them with your Stampin’ Writes then cut out with your Big Shot and framelit.
  • Use your Precision Base Plate to make quick work of the detailed thinlit cutting.
  • Use your silicone craft sheet, a sponge and multipurpose liquid glue to add adhesive to the back of your detailed thinlits.  See exactly how in this cool “VersaWink” YouTube project.
  • Stamp your label outline first then your words inside for easier placement.  Alternatively, use your Stamparatus to get your words aligned precisely.  See how in my short video here.
  • Have each butterfly face a slightly different direction for more natural feel.

Wanna make this card?  Here’s everything Marilyn used. Make sure to take advantage of the bundled savings on this classic, conservative and beautiful suite.


Cardmaking with the Stampin Up Stained Glass Thinlits

This suite has something for everyone.  Go classic and conservative like Marilyn’s sympathy card.  Or you can fun it up like I did with this “little bit wild” card where I featured the vellum and cord.  

Either way, you’ll be cardmaking with Stampin Up Stained Glass thinlits, and this gorgeous suite for years to come.

How to Nest Framelits with Your Big Shot | VIDEO

How to Nest Framelits with Your Big Shot | VIDEO

It’s video day – how to nest framelits with your Big Shot in less than ten minutes.  That’s how long it will take to view it – and make a gosh darn super cute card you could give to anyone.

But a warning.  We’re going minimalist today.  If you love bits and baubles, glitter and glam, ribbons and bows, you might go into shock!  (I did when I realized I didn’t have one itty bitty Stampin’ Dimensional on this card anywhere. Nada!😲)  And just wait until you see just how little paper we’re using!  

I’ve turned to my trusty Layering Squares framelits for this cheery peek through greeting.  But you could easily use any other nested framelit shapes once you see how easy it is! 

Let’s take a peek.


How to Nest Framelits with Your Big Shot

I love, love, love this stamp set.   I think it should have been called “Versatile” Varied Vases.  There’s so much you can do with it!  

Now I didn’t pull out the Vase Builder punch today like I did with this simple thank you. And in this adorable one, I combined the punch, the stamp and an embossing folder.  And just the other day, this sweet watercolour one was calling my name. 

But no matter what YOUR paper crafting style is, this bundle is one super duper way to get crafting – and producing – quickly.

Now before we get to the video, here’s everything you’re going to want to pull out so you can make it along with me.


Or if you’d rather a leisurely view, grab your popcorn and let’s get to it!


How to Nest Framelits with Your Big Shot

How to Nest Framelits with Your Big Shot

Did you get the – almost non-existent 😋 – measurements?

  • Thick Whisper White – 5 1/2” x 8 1/2”, scored at 4 1/4”, scrap about 2” x 3”
  • Basic Black – 2 1/2” x 5”

And yes, that’s it!  

How to Nest Framelits with Your Big Shot


Is your mind whirling?  Got all kinds of ideas clamouring to get out onto card stock?  

Why not shoot me an email or leave me a comment with your design ideas?  I’d love to hear – and see – your creations on how to nest framelits with YOUR Big Shot on your next card.

Limited Edition Stampin Up Color Your Season Bundle

Limited Edition Stampin Up Color Your Season Bundle

Only available August 1-31st – limited edition Stampin Up Color Your Season bundle! 

And you’re going to want to get your ordering fingers ready first thing on August 1st since the last time we had a limited edition, it sold out lickety split – like in 4-5 days!  Let’s take a peek at the very first card I made with it.

Limited Edition Stampin Up Color Your Season Bundle

How about those stitched lines?  Inside and OUTSIDE the cut-out!  (more details below)  I think they add so much to the overall card not a lot of embellishment is necessary.

I made this card as a congratulations for Jennifer, who celebrated a one year anniversary as a Kreative Kanuck.  (For those who don’t know, that’s the name of my team with Stampin’ Up!  Everyone who joins my team immediately becomes a KK and gets to have fun at our regular team stamping parties like the one we had this weekend!  Here’s another totally different celebration card from last year.)

But let’s get back to the card.

Limited Edition Stampin Up Color Your Season Bundle

The large label is a cutout for the entire front of the card and the smaller label is attached to the inside, centred within it.  I’ve got my top tips a bit further down so you can see what I learned as I was designing.

The flowers (well, to be honest, everything really 😄) in this set are just beautiful.  And while I used the Stampin’ Blends to colour mine, there’s an exclusive set of watercolour pencils for quick and easy on-the-go creations too. 

Let’s take a look at everything available with this time-limited Color Your Season bundle.

Limited Edition Stampin Up Color Your Season Bundle


Limited Edition Stampin Up Color Your Season Bundle

To see four more gorgeous samples and to get your own full-size pdf with all the deets, just click here.  


What you need to know about this bundle  (ie. what I like best about it)

  1. Well, first of all, you get to save 10% when you order the stamp set and framelits together – and who doesn’t LOVE a saving like that?
  2. The framelits are TO DIE FOR (no pun intended!).  With stitching on both the inside and the outside of the three label dies, you cut your design time in half.  How?  When you cut out the label shape, you get a second card’s opening at the same time!  (TIP: I saved the Old Olive label on my card for another card I made to help celebrate another team member’s 12th anniversary with Stampin’ Up!  I’ll share that one with you later.)
  3. But there are other detailed dies included too.  An awesome leaf, flower with a matching leaf, some swirls, a pretty bow and a framelit for the cute bell (perfect for Christmas and weddings!)
  4. This bundle covers all occasion and all seasons.  Spring, summer, fall and Christmas are included so this will become your new go-to set.
  5. The sentiments are perfect for many occasions: thank you’s, best wishes, Christmas, friendship, congrats.  So I know you’ll use the bundle over and over again.

Limited Edition Stampin Up Color Your Season Bundle

Let me give you some TIPS about my congratulations card.

  • Choose a cardstock colour you can coordinate with a lighter colour to draw attention to your main card.  (My card is Old Olive and the smaller label is Pear Pizzazz.
  • Ink your stamp with Memento ink (as I coloured with the Stampin’ Blends) and stamp on Shimmery White cardstock.  Let it dry just a few minutes before starting.
  • Select your light and dark blends for a subtle mixing and blending.  (I used the Daffodil Delight and Old Olive duos with a teensy bit of Light Calypso Coral for the flower centres.)  For my tips on colouring with the Blends, see my short video.
  • Cut out two of the three flowers from the full stamp so it will fit inside the large label (and so your card will open 😜).
  • As you cut around the flowers leave a very small line of white.  Then where your two flowers join with the remaining leaves and flowers in the full stamp, cut just a little closer than you do for the rest of the flower to minimize seeing the black image lines.
  • Snip your greeting just slightly wider than the small label so it extends out to the right and tuck it in behind the flowers.
  • Attach the flowers with dimensionals to add an elevated layer.
  • Form a small, pretty bow from Pear Pizzazz shimmery ribbon and attach with a glue dot.

I’ll be sharing another fall idea with this versatile bundle in my Facebook Live this Thursday, August 2nd at noon (MST).  Come watch it in action! 

Limited Edition Stampin Up Color Your Season Bundle

You won’t want to miss out on this special promotion.  Quantities are limited and once they’re gone, it won’t be available again. 

So set a reminder on your phone, mark the date in your calendar and jump on my 24-7 online store to get your own limited edition Stampin Up Colour Your Season bundle on August 1st!

Springtime Impressions Stampin Up Butterfly Card

Springtime Impressions Stampin Up Butterfly Card

How about a Springtime Impressions Stampin Up butterfly card to get you into your craft room and creating today?  This one is simple, eye-catching and goes together quickly using the gorgeous butterfly from the Springtime Impressions detailed thinlits.

springtime impressions stampin up butterfly card


I am in LUV with this butterfly.  It decorated my Open House door prize jars in June , it’s made its way onto thank you cards, and I showcased it with this zentangle card too.  It’s just so darn easy to play with since it needs hardly any embellishment to create a fantastic card! 

Take a closer look.

springtime impressions stampin up butterfly card


It comes in a small set, a fantastic floral border, a pretty six-petal flower and this awesome butterfly.  Think how many simple projects you could whip up in no time with this set of dies. 


springtime impressions stampin up butterfly card

You know I wasn’t too sure about the new Petal Pink colour – to me it doesn’t look really pink. 

But I guess that’s exactly what Stampin’ Up! was aiming for since it’s a gorgeous complement to Calypso Coral like I’ve used here.  Don’t you think it really picks up the orange-y colour?

springtime impressions stampin up butterfly card


Here are some tips to make this Springtime Impressions Stampin Up butterfly card


  • Emboss the bottom half of the Petal Pink panel only with the Petal Paid embossing folder
  • Colour your word stamp with your Stampin’ Write Calypso Coral marker.  Colour just the “YOU” first and stamp.  Clean then colour the “are fabulous” and stamp below the “YOU”.
  • Create a small banner edge with your Paper Snips on your greeting and line it up with the right edge of your panel.
  • Tie a pretty bow with the Ombre Calypso Coral 1/4” ribbon right around the embossed panel before adhering it to the folded card.
  • The Big Shot Die Brush makes short work of getting all the little bits out of the butterfly.
  • Attach your butterfly with mini dimensionals along the butterfly’s body only
  • Add three Artisan pearls to make her even more special.


I’d love to know what your favourite part is of this card.  Please leave me a comment.

Well, did you run down to your craft space and start creating?  I hope so because I predict your best buds are going to love this card when they get it in the mail.  If you need a few supplies to finish it off, here is everything I used.

springtime impressions stampin up butterfly card

Psssst…before you go.  Did you see I paired an embossing folder with this butterfly thinlit just like I did with this card too? In this one, I was drawn to the way the embossed “petals” mimic the cut-outs on the edges of the butterfly wings.

I absolutely adore when I can make pretty cards in minutes using a stand-out focal piece like this butterfly.  A couple quick runs through the Big Shot, a swish with my die brush, and a couple mini dimensionals.  That’s all it takes to create this Springtime Impressions Stampin Up butterfly card – I hope you give it a try today.


are your craft tools lonely

Pin It on Pinterest