Sunday, 2 February 2014

Tic Tac Toe At Anything But A Card. . . . .

Hi everyone, I'm back with a new post for Anything But A Card challenge blog today. This month we have a tic tac toe board for you to create from with a touch of romance involved - I love doing these! Here's the board for you and it's a little different because our clever ladies have come up with a pictorial image for you:

As usual, you can choose either a vertical, horizontal or diagonal row from which to work. I think this is a clever idea and I had a lot of fun with this. If you want to read the full details of the challenge and check up on the rules, then pop over to Anything But A Card where you'll also see more inspiration from some of my Teamies. A new set of work will be posted on each sunday in February by a different group of the DT, so don't forget to visit over the coming weeks.

For my make I chose the centre vertical line: Recycling; Hearts and the colour Black. I used some Amazon packaging and some Christmas Cracker embellishments. I use Amazon packaging all the time because it will take all kinds of mediums, die cuts and embosses beautifully and of course - it's free!!

My recycled items: Amazon packaging, wired bead from Christmas crackers and some lovely black shiny carrier bag handles which I saved ages ago. The filigree flower isn't recycled but thought I'd show you what it looked like before I cut it with tin snips and curled some of the petals.

I've cut a matchbook shape using a die and used it to insert little stamped cards with love notes on. It could just as easily contain a gift card, a cheque, some cash or an IOU such as the promise of a meal for two or if you're lucky enough some travel tickets to a romantic destination! Here's the final product:

Front view of matchbook with the black carrier bag handle cord used to secure the flap in place.
Back  view

Inside view of matchbook showing 'love' tokens

The matchbook is die cut, embossed with a folder then coated with DecoArt Gesso - a great product which gives great coverage and can be watered down depending on what is needed.
DecoArt Traditions in carbon black was applied twice to give a deep black finish.
DecoArt metallic lustre was roughly applied to the embossed areas followed by a coat of DecoArt Triple Thick gloss. Adding this last layer has made the matchbook difficult to photograph!

Both metallic lustres by DecoArt were used on the project as described in this tutorial. The Triple Thick glaze gave a glass like finish to the project - it self levels after application so you don't need to over brush/spread it. Make sure the glaze is completely dry before touching otherwise you finger prints will be clearly visible. I have found that if you use a heat gun - with great care and caution! - on the finger marks they will disappear.
A die cut heart was embossed then treated as above with Traditions carbon black and lots of Metallic Lustre. To give extra texture some DecoArt Perfect Crackle was applied thickly to make large cracks. This heart was applied to the back of the matchbook.
Small black gems have been applied to the embossed flowers.

A heart charm was treated with metallic lustre (silver and black shimmer which is a gorgeous gunmetal type colour) and buffed. A die cut swirl made from the Amazon packaging is embossed with silver EP. The bottom layer is a metal filigree flower which has been coloured with some metallic lustres (colours as above) then cut and curled. The wired beads from the Christmas crackers are attached to the heart along with some other pieces of coiled silver wire.
The inside of the matchbook is lined with sticky backed canvas. 
The canvas was stamped then embossed with silver EP but it didn't take very well so rather than discard it, I painted over the canvas with carbon black Traditions and then dried it with a heat gun. At this point the magic happened and the stamped image reappeared and I liked the look very much. 

Two tickets were die cut in different sizes. The large one is made from the recycled packaging and has been painted with carbon black. A heart image is stamped and embossed with silver EP. The smaller ticket is cut from white card, stamped and embossed with black EP.
 I rather likes creating a black Valentine piece - makes a change from red or pastel shades. So, which line will you choose from our tic tac toe board I wonder? Can't wait to see what you come up with! Remember to visit Anything But A Card for some further details and see what the rest of the DT for week one have come up with.

Many thanks for making the time to visit. I really appreciate your comments.


  1. Woomph... so many fabulous details to take in! The altered flower petals are stunning, and the brilliant glossy embossing is so cool. Love the stamping on the canvas inside - such amazing craftsmanship (craftswomanship?)... a wonder, Julia!
    Alison xx

  2. mind blowing beautiful, Julia. I love black in all its variations anyway and you made it - as usual - adorable artwork. Big hugs, Suzanne xxx

  3. WOW this looks fabulous, off to have a look over at the blog to see the rest

    Sam xx

  4. Hi Julia,

    I came over to comment on your OCC make but this absolutely stopped me in my tracks. What an amazing make this is! What a totally stunning piece of work. I'm drooling over all the many wonderful details. The black and silver really make an impact and I just love all the embossing and painting. I'm really amazed by that last step where the silver EP came up through the black paint. So cool!


  5. Cool. Black is interesting for a guy. Thanks for the tips. Have to look at that Amazon packaging next time I order.

  6. this looks wonderful julia - fabulous challenge xx

  7. Fabulous and soooo stylish. I've been dying to read how you did this and to see the inside. Love the idea of using sticky back canvas and love the tokens. x

  8. Well Miss Julia, another gorgeous, brilliant project, fantastic photos and tutorial, love it just B&W, brilliant, thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week, ((( BIG HUS )))..

  9. I have finally managed to get blogger working and got all your photos and how to's loaded! What a fabulous project Julia - the textures you have managed to create are just stunning - who would believe it was an Amazon box! And the Silver EP through the black paint - just stunning! I will be saving my Amazon boxes now! Jennie x

  10. This is fabulous Julia - a great way to use the Amazon packaging.
    xxx Hazel.

  11. Yet again you transform the humblest of items into a gift anyone would be thrilled to give/receive. I love the embossing, that fabulous heart and of course your happy accident. A gem Julia. Jenny x

  12. Oh wow this is an awesome recycling project. Love the dramatic black colouring and beautiful textures.
    {Doing Life – my personal blog}

  13. The details of your piece are awesome Julia. Such wonderful textures and restrained colours worked brilliantly.

  14. Wow! I love how you photograph all the steps so we can see what goes into your projects, Julia. They're always full of thought and care, and the final result....glorious.

    Belated Happy Valentine's Day!

  15. always have the neatest creations!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Juliax