Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Perfect Parchment Craft Shop

The parchment craft shop is now up and running! This is the current advert appearing in Parchment Craft magazine. We specialise in parchment craft tools, equipment and materials, also many other art and craft items for cardmakers and scrapbookers. Keep watching the shop as we list new items every week.

If there is any particular item you would like us to stock please email contact [at]

Delivery is free on UK orders over £5.00.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Pergamano Parchment Craft by Martha Ospina - A Review

This is a big book 96 pages! It starts from scratch for the beginner, explaining the range of Pergamano tools and equipment that are available and their use. There are also challenging projects for those with more experience, a huge range of projects: cards for different occasions, a fan, a wallhanging, gift box, mobile, tags, lampshade, 3D Christmas scene and lots more. There are also sections which show you how to extend the use of the grid patterns and motifs you have in the book.

The pictures are large and clear and the instructions are step by step and fully illustrated, the book seems to cover all the techniques. There are instructions on all types of embossing, how to use the Pergamano Easy Grid with the Diamond perforating tool, painting using felt pens, inks and paints. A complete course in the art of parchment craft.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Parchment Craft DVD Review - The Art of Embossing 1

Kannikar Sukseree's Art of Embossing DVD is the companion to the book of the same name. However if you already have the book it is still well worth getting the DVD as the designs are all new. It is an essential buy for anyone who wants to improve their embossing technique, giving a comprehensive introduction to embossing and the materials and equipment required.

Kanni covers solid and shadow embossing through five different designs. She shows in detail how to use the different tools, especially the hockey stick, which I have always found more challenging than the ball tools.

If you want more instruction on how to emboss leaves and petals using different methods and different tools, when and where to emboss outlines, how to emboss to get a realistic impression of light and shade on your project, this is the DVD for you.

The DVD is split into four areas: the introduction, tools and materials, lessons and the cards are on the final section. The detailed instructions are for four cards and there is a fabulous fifth A4 size design which brings all the techniques together to do at the end.

This is my attempt at design one which demonstrates solid embossing, I am currently working on the next card which is shadow embossing.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Stippling - A Parchment Craft Technique

(this design is from the book: Pergamano Parchment Craft by Martha Ospina)

Stippling is an embossed, textured finish, in the above project, a parchment photo frame, I have stippled between the embossed edge of the frame and the embossed large scallop, also the curls / flourishes are stippled.

On the project above I think the stippled areas could be a little whiter, so I will do some more work on them and take a picture of the result. Stippling is a really interesting effect and takes a bit of time to achieve, the idea is to tap the single needle tool on to parchment to create an embossed effect, a tiny white dot - not piercing the parchment. The single needle tool is usually used for perforating, but for stippling it is used with a hard card mat underneath the parchment.

Stippling instructions:

Some instructions tell you to prepare the parchment by lightly embossing the area to be stippled first, I didn't do this so this could be why my stippling did not turn out as white as I wanted.

1. Outline area to be stippled with a stylus or micro ball

2. Lightly emboss area if you wish

3. Change the embossing mat to a piece of dark card and on the back of the parchment start tapping the single needle tool in the area you want stippled. You should be holding the tool vertically to get a good result.

4. The stippling should be very close together to produce a texture.

Other variations to try:

Using fine sandpaper between the card and the parchment, I did try this method but it didn't suit me as I kept piercing the parchment.

Using white pencil to colour the back of the parchment to get a whiter result, I have not tried this yet.

Has anyone tried stippling with a scriber or fine stylus?

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Pergamano and PCA Tool Compatability Guide

Manufacturers of tools for parchment craft often have different names for the same tool. For example a Pergamano Star Tool is similar to a PCA Sun Tool and Pergamano Fine Stylus is similar to a PCA Micro Ball. For a complete guide to help you identify the interchangeable ones see this Information Sheet

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Guide and Troubleshooter for Mapping Pens and Nibs

Buying a mapping pen for parchment craft:

There are three main makes of mapping pen available: Pergamano, PCA (Parchcraft Australia) and Conte. Conte have the finest nib and this is good for white ink and coloured inks but a fine nib does get clogged more easily so a Pergamano nib or a PCA nib can be a better choice with metallic ink. However, a fine nib is not the only reason for a fine tracing line, it is the way it is used.

How to use /hold the pen:

Mapping pens are used for tracing, the aim is to get a really fine line. To do this you need to practise holding the pen almost upright and gliding across the parchment. If you press down it will result in a thicker line.

Before you use a new nib:

There are several ideas to try, some people recommend that new nibs should be dipped in boiling water, others say soak them in alcohol or hot soapy water, another way to condition new nibs is to soak them in bicarbonate of soda and boiling water or even holding a nib in a match flame (do be careful if you try this one).


If you haven't used your bottle of ink for a while it might need mixing, you should be able to hear a ball bearing rattling around in white ink, pastel and metallics. They need a good shake to mix them up, however the resulting bubbles on top of the ink when you dip your pen may cause a blot on the parchment. Coloured inks just need a gentle roll in the hand to mix.

How to fill a pen:

• White Tinta Ink, coloured inks
Always wash the nib in water and then dry it before dipping into the ink, or just wipe the nib on a damp sponge front and back, before dipping. Do this every time you refill the pen.
Dip the pen into the ink up to the hole or eye in the nib, if you have overfilled the nib the ink will not run, it may even blot.
• Metallic Tinta Ink
Use a plastic stirrer to get to the bottom of the ink bottle stir it around and drip a very small amount of the ink onto the nib. Always clean your nib before refilling it with more ink.

Nib maintenance:

Normal use means that we touch nibs all the time to wash, store, replace them into their holders. The natural oils from your hand will get on the nib. Use wet wipes to remove these oils.

Ink won't run freely from the nib
- if it is a new nib try the conditioning ideas,
- are you putting too much ink on the nib when you dip?
- are you pressing too hard on the nib?
- is the ink old and thickened (thin it down with a drop of water)
- metallic ink may run better on an old, well used nib

Blots on the parchment
- air bubbles in the ink
- too much ink on the nib

Pen won't glide
- the nib may be blocked up, wash and dry it
- the ink may be too thick

Nib falls out of pen holder
- try to ease the nib out at the base so that it fits better
- try another pen

Tracing can also be done with a white pencil, a fine tip pen, such as a gel pen, precision pen or micron pen but mapping pen and ink is the traditional method. It depends what effect you want in the end.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

DVD Review, Parchment Craft, Back to Basics by Pauline Loweth

This DVD is a very thorough introduction to parchment craft. Pauline Loweth guides you through the basic techniques of embossing, perforating, cutting, colouring parchment, using edging tools and finishing cards by working through several small projects. She gives plenty of hints and tips and good advice on how to fix mistakes.

There is also a comprehensive guide to PCA tools and how to use them. The instruction for using shader tools and stamp edge tools I found particularly useful. This DVD gives the best demonstration on how to cut crosses that I have seen, it is very clear and there is advice for left handed crafters as well.

This is an excellent DVD to get if you are just starting this addictive hobby.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Parchment Craft - The Techniques Volume 5- Using Coloured Pencils

This is the fifth volume in Pergamano's series of starter books for the techniques used in parchment craft. This book explains the techniques involved in using coloured pencils (Pergamano Perga Liners) to colour parchment. As with the other volumes the fully illustrated instructions are clear and there are quite a few patterns to work through step by step as you learn the techniques. There is a clear explanation of the use of oil-based coloured pencils and water colour pencils and using both together. The books are written as a set, this book assumes that you have mastered the techniques that were covered in volumes 1-4. I have completed one of the patterns (shown above) and found the instructions very good. There may be a problem if you choose to use pencil crayons that are not the brand Pergamano, the instructions give the 'numbers' which are coded on the Pergamano pencils rather than colours. So you would have to try and work out the colours yourself using the illustration.