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.

Saturday 1 February 2014

A Three Colour Challenge - With No Black At Our Creative Corner

Hello everyone. It's time for a new challenge at Our Creative Corner and this month our hostess is the wonderful Jenny from Pushing The Right Buttons. Jenny has come up with a real treat of a challenge which will have you putting your thinking caps on!

The challenge set requires us to use three colours: Blue; Plum/Purple and Brown. No black lines are allowed at all! This had me thinking for a while but I eventually decided to choose three colours of paint, some stencils and a stamp to see what I could come up with.

Before I show you what I've made, don't forget to visit Our Creative Corner and see what my very talented Teamies have come up with. We all show together at the start of the month now so you're in for a treat - so many different makes from the same starting point! Check the rules and details of our fab sponsor while you're there too.

For me, the colour combination had a contemporary/retro feel and the use of geometric shapes came to mind. My first attempts on card just didn't work and I wasn't getting anywhere fast. I then decided to substitute fabric for the substrate and I was away. . . . . . . . I didn't have a clear outcome in mind but decided to use the colours, stencils and stamp to produce a piece of fabric first. I would work out what to do with it after!

I chose some DecoArt paints, one of their fabric mediums which means you can use ordinary paint on fabric, a piece of white pure cotton, some stencils and a script stamp to make this:

The completed fabric was used to make a glasses case - I can NEVER find my glasses and it drives me mad! I usually have them on a beaded chain but I've now broken two and don't think it's worth buying another!
I started building up the design by using the desert turquoise paint with the 'block' stencil. Some mulberry paint was then used to edge each block. Further stencils were then used to fill in the design.

The script stamp was used with burnt umber paint and fabric medium onto white cotton fabric. I didn't take particular care with this task because the fabric was to be cut into 3cm strips. This fabric was cut on the cross to enable it to be used on the curved edges of the case.
When stamping with acrylic paint, I find it best to brush a thin layer onto a craft mat. Tap the stamp  several times - gently - onto the paint to coat the stamp. I tend to hold the stamp in position a little longer when working on fabric. 
A scrap of fabric was used to cover a 'self cover' button which I thought would look good.
A loop for use with the button was worked in matching thread.
A nice snug closure to keep those glasses safe!
I love how the paints work together and the mulberry paint almost seems blue when it touches the turquoise.
Back view of the case. I should add that there is a layer of cotton batting fabric between the outer and the lining. This is to protect the glasses against sharp objects in my handbag.

Something very different from me this time and I hope you like it. I keep thinking I should use fabric more but I do love to grab card, paper and things to alter too.

So, it's your turn to make something using blue, plum/purple and brown (but NOT black remember!), link up with us at Our Creative Corner and you could have the chance to win a prize from our wonderful sponsor. For more details click here.

Thanks for taking the time to visit today. I will have a second post later today if you'd like to take a look.