You ask such good questions. We've all asked the same ones at one time or another. I'm going to try to address some of them.
1. Are Putz and Glitter houses the same thing? I think so. And I think most people on this forum consider them the same thing. The little houses were first called Putz houses when they were used and around a creche at Christmas time. The German word to decorate is "Putzen" so the name evolved from there. But the same patterns and templates are used for both. I often call them little cardboard houses.
2. You asked about Sizzix 660855 Vagabond 2 Machine to make houses with die cuts. Are these Putz houses? I actually have a vagabond 2 that I use to cut some of my houses and windows and other dies. It comes in very handy, but is not necessary. Tim Holtz has developed several dies to work with the Vagabond (or even the Big Shot which is hand-cranked, not an automatic cutter). I would say these houses are Putz houses. The two main dies are the Village Dwelling and the Village Brownstone. Their are other add-ons - Village Bell Tower, Village Manor, Village Surf Shack, Village Fixer Upper, etc that you can use to make variations on the little houses.
But really, I think some hand cut patterns are little easier to put together than these houses. I mostly use them for windows and doors and roof pieces.
And yes, the machine and the dies are kind of pricey. That's true.
3. Are Putz houses hand cut? Most of us on this forum cut the houses by hand. I am just trying to learn how to make patterns for an automatic cutting machine such as the Cricut, but I'm not good at it yet.
There are ways to make cutting out the patterns easier. Howard has taught us that. Excellent patterns to start out on can be found in this long forum thread called the Pack-O-Fun houses. They are not too big and are pretty easy to make. Here's the link - https://www.cardboardchristmas.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=723
And then go to More Pack-O-Fun houses for more patterns.
4. Where do you get patterns for Putz houses?
Here is the very best place. I have a number on my blog as well - https://paperglitterglue.com
5. Are they one piece folded or can they be made in separate pieces?
You can make it with one piece of cardboard or two. My co-workers save cardboard from 8.5 x 11 inch paper so much of my houses are made to fit that size. But you can make larger ones with separate pieces of cardboard.
6. Is a special type of cardboard needed?
No. The backs of legal pads is perfect. Howard uses a thinner cardboard for the body of the house and a thicker piece for the roof. It makes a sturdier roofline and makes it look more substantial. But I just use the same cardboard for both.
7. There are no standardized sizes. For example, some vintage putz houses that are so large they sit on bases that are about 11 x 8.5.
8. As for glitter and paint and glue - any special type so the cardboard does not get soggy?
No special paints. I prime mine with gesso and then paint over it. The cardboard gets a little wet but then dries fine. I paint before I glue it together. I think other forum members paint afterwards. But I am a messy painter so I paint first.
9. You asked about bottle brush trees and the little deer.
You can find the bottle brush trees at most hobby stores, but also online at https://www.consumercrafts.com/store/search?s=bottle%20brush%20trees
. I get the little deer from Tim Holtz called Decorative deer, but I think they are only available around Christmas. There are Etsy shops that have lots of vintage items like little deer.
10. YES!! You can totally make your own patterns. It's not hard at all. Graph paper, pencil and ruler are all that is needed. Make it out of paper or cardstock first before you make the final plans.
Just keeping asking questions. We love to help people with this hobby.