Today we’re happy to welcome guest designer, Angela Simpson to the blog. We spotted her gorgeous work on Instagram and we think you’ll love her creative style as much as we do!
Hey there, crafty friends! It’s Angela here with a card featuring a couple of my favorite products from the June Essentials by Ellen release.
I don’t know about you, but until recently, I’d never tried incorporating any sort of embroidery thread on my cards. Then I started watching all of the inspiration pop into my Instagram feed when the release went live, and I absolutely couldn’t resist the Essentials by Ellen A2 Piercing Plate! Immediately, my mind was flooded with ideas on how to use it, and today’s card is one of those ideas brought to life.
One of my go-to card formulas is a clean white on white design, a touch of dimension and texture for visual interest, and a few bright pops of color that bring it all to life. Applying that here, I began by creating a background panel with the A2 Piercing Plate and heavyweight white cardstock. I trimmed this to 3.5” wide by 4.75” tall, then moved on to die cut 3 rainbow stripes with the Essential Arches die set. I love the versatility of these arches and how the set allows flexibility to cut arches of varying thicknesses. In order to ensure that all of mine were the same width, I nested 4 of them evenly inside each other and used some low-tack tape to hold them together while they went through my die cutting machine.
Once those white arches were cut, I trimmed off the bottom straight portion and some of the excess along the sides that I knew I wouldn’t need. Just like the dies, I temporarily adhered those white arches together with low-tack tape so that I could place it over the pierced panel as I planned the spacing of the other elements. (Attaching the rainbow stripes to the pierced panel was the very last step – we’ll get there!)
Next it was time for the color, which came from Concord and 9th cardstock in Honeysuckle, Oceanside and Sorbet. I backed the cardstock with double-sided adhesive sheets first, one of my biggest time-saving tips. Doing so makes thin elements such as frames and narrow stripes very quick to secure, and unlike some glue pens, the bond is instant and strong. Before putting away the Essential Arches, I die cut a thin arch with each color, as well as the word ‘YAY’ with the Classic Block Alpha die set.
The color pops could have stopped there, but I also wanted to add an unexpected element. Last year I learned to crochet, and in doing so, also learned how to make tassels with leftover yarn. I figured I could apply the same process on a smaller scale. As it turns out, there are tons of Youtube videos that demonstrate how to easily make mini tassels by wrapping embroidery floss around the tines of a fork!
Coincidentally, 3 of the colors in my newly-acquired DMC embroidery floss stash happened to match my cardstock choices perfectly, so I made 3 tiny tassels, wrapping them in metallic floss for a little extra shine.
With the tassels complete, it was finally time for assembly. Now, if you, like me, just can’t handle a crooked or mis-spaced sentiment, this is yet another reason to love the A2 Piercing Plate! You can use the tiny dots to line up all the elements on your card, and that’s exactly what I did with my alpha die cuts. Using my temporarily-adhered white rainbow cluster from earlier as a positioning guide, I secured the thin Sorbet arch and the YAY letters, spacing them evenly according to the pierced dots. Next up came the tassels, where I threaded the 4 long tails on each tassel through the 4 dots directly beneath each letter. I learned 3 things during this process:
- Though it’s tempting to cut them, leaving the long tails of the tassels untrimmed makes it much easier to tie them onto the pierced panel.
- The Wendi Vecchi Make Art Stay-tion and the magnets that come with it are great for holding the tails of the tassels in place or out of the way when attaching them to the pierced panel.
- A needle threader is a very simple and affordable tool that will save you a ton of time on any card that involves embroidery floss!
You can see how this looks in the front and back in the photos below:
Once the pink tassel was attached and knotted in the back, I trimmed the ends and taped them down for extra security. Then I repeated the same process with the remaining 2 tassels.
We’re almost there – I promise! After tying, I noticed that the orange tassel was a little shorter than the others, so I used sharp scissors to give the other 2 a little haircut. The last step was simply to attach the remaining stripes of the rainbow. I gently removed the low-tack tape from the cluster, then adhered them one at a time to my card. For dimension, I opted for foam tape behind the white stripes, and backed the entire pierced panel with the same before mounting it on my A2 card base.
And there you have it – a white-on-white card with dimension, texture, and a few pops of vibrant color!
I hope this card has inspired you to think of creative ways to use the A2 Piercing Plate and Essential Arches, and that you might consider taking a needle and thread to your next card, too!
If you’d like to see more of Angela’s beautiful work, you can find her at @mycraftyperspective on Instagram.