You Are the Best – Ellen Hutson

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Hey crafters! I’m back with more inspiration to share for National Embroidery Month. Now, I am #teamsplatter all the way. I love adding ink splatter of all colors to my card projects and the artsy, mixed media look it gives. But because I am encouraging you to try new things, I decided to as well! Instead of using white acrylic paint for splatters, I used white, metallic DMC thread. It is super simple, so let’s dive in.

To begin, I stamped two flowers and several leaves from Altenew’s Majestic Bouquet stamp set. This is a very large stamp set with beautiful, ornate flora. I love juxtaposing contrasting elements, so I wanted to pair the ornate, almost classic looking florals with fun, bright, contrasting colors. To do this, I used my beloved Catherine Pooler inks. For the larger flower, I used Chiffon, Coral Cabana, and Samba inks. For the smaller flower, I used Limoncello, Do-Si-Do, and Rockin’ Red. I wanted the flowers to look similar, but not identical, so I mostly used colors in the same color families, but different hues. I don’t normally use layered stamps because I find it can be difficult to layer the stamps properly, but I had no trouble with these intricate flowers. The set comes with instructions to assist you, and this style of flower is forgiving if you don’t line things up perfectly.

Next, I worked on my background. I chose a piece of paper from the Altenew Gel Printing: Soft Washes paper pad in a contrasting color to the red/coral flowers. If this paper pad is out of stock, try creating your own similar background with watercolor or your gel plate. You could also use solid colored cardstock. Using the EBE Rectangle die set, I die cut a background panel. I die cut it again with one of the EBE Pattern Dies. This die cut tiny holes into the background which was perfect to stitch through. I randomly chose several places to stitch a French knot with the pearl white, metallic DMC thread. I used thread in my stash, but this thread in the Ellen Hutson shop seems similar. I varied how many times I spun the thread over the needle to create French knots of varying sizes around the panel. If you are having trouble creating a French knot, please reference the Ellen Hutson Paper Embroidery Guide or search YouTube. I’ve provided great video resources in my previous blog posts on stitching. To me, the French knots replaced my white paint splatter, and added a little extra texture and interest. I wasn’t too precious about my knots, but I’m ok with the imperfect look.

After stitching, I backed the panel with fun foam and then adhered the flowers and leaves with a mix of liquid glue and foam tape for dimension. I also added some gold jewels around the panel for additional sparkle. Behind the panel, I matted it with a piece of cardstock I colored with Do-Si-Do. Using the direct-to-paper technique with your ink pads is a great way to create custom colored cardstock. I adhered the completed card front to an A2 side-folding card base. Finally, I stamped and gold heat embossed the sentiment, also from the Majestic Bouquet stamp set. 

What do you think? Will you give this technique a try? Even if you do not have a background pattern die like I used, these French knots only require one hole. Try poking your own holes with a needle or your die cutting “pokey tool”. You could add these knots on a die cut sentiment or in the center of the flowers. I’d love to see what you create! If you make a card inspired by this, please tag me on Instagram. Thanks for reading!


Happy crafting,

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