Saturday, 8 December 2012

Pergamano Christmas Special Pattern Book

Pergamano produced this Christmas Special in 2010, it is still available and has some lovely patterns from many designers such as Linda Williams, Kannikar Sukseree, Pat Hosking, Miki Green and Martha Ospina. In all 20 patterns designed for Christmas. There are patterns for Christmas cards, a centrepiece for the table, ornaments for the tree and a Christmas Mandala.

Here is my go at the Christmas Bauble, I have not done it exactly as the pattern, some changes were planned others were not!

If you are following a pattern and make a mistake - just carry on and see what happens.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Parchment Craft, A Classic Collection Volume 2 Grid Work by Kannikar Sukseree

Best of the Best, Parchment Craft A Classic Collection Volume 2 Grid Work is a source book, a library of 264 designs and patterns for grid work and lace.

There aren't many parchment craft books available which concentrate on borders and grid work. Kannikar Sukseree and nine other illustrators and designers have brought together a huge selection of grid work designs that you can mix and match to make a unique border of your own.

The patterns are clearly marked with the grid required.  To work with this book you will need : Straight and Diagonal Grids in both Bold and Fine gauge.

There are 124 pages of designs and patterns, the patterns are directly opposite the illustration so you don't need to hunt around or keep flicking back between the pages. Just looking through the pages is an inspiration to create some new project of your own.

This is a fabulous book that you can keep and refer to for all you future projects and an essential purchase for every parchment crafter.

A Quick Note about Grids

Diagonal Grids are of two types: first where the holes are at 45 degree orientation, that is if you turn the grid diagonally - you have a straight grid. Second, where the holes are 60 degrees orientation.

The 45 degree orientation diagonal grid (PCA Diagonal, or Pergamano Multi Grid 04 and 28)
The 60 degree orientation diagonal grids (PCA Honeycomb, or Pergamano Multi Grid 19 and 24).

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Lace Dreams by Miki Green - A Review

Lace Dreams is an outstanding book of Parchment Craft designs. This is Miki Green's fourth book after, Parchment Dreams, Fantasy and Magic Lace.

In this book you will find beautiful patterns for cards, wall decorations,  a photo frame, bauble decoration and a gift bag amongst 21 original projects.

 This book is packed full of intricate, lovely lace designs and I love the use of colour. A great present for a parchment craft, 48 pages.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Competition - Win some Parchment Craft Goodies!

Have a go at our wordsearch competition and win some parchment craft supplies!

Choose which prize you would like and let us know what product you would like us to stock in the shop.  All correct wordsearch entries will be entered into a draw on 1st November, there will be three winners! More information and the competition entry details

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Free Parchment Craft Christmas Pattern

Here is my new free parchment craft pattern called Christmas Tree, there are fully illustrated 'step by step' instructions available as well as the pattern download . Please feel free to adapt and innovate from this design if you want to. When you have finished send me a picture of the card- or a link to get to it, and I will put it in the Gallery

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Christmas Treasures by Linda Williams - a Review

Christmas Treasures by Linda Williams is a fabulous book,  it is a treat just to look through the pages. There are 25 patterns for Christmas cards, the designs are a varied mix of traditional and modern themes for Christmas. There is something for everyone, some of the designs are whitework, some are coloured, the poinsettia card below has both a white and coloured version. The themes used are Winter scenes, Gifts, Christmas Tree, Angels, Reindeer and loads more. There are lots of additional elements on the cards like gift tags, bows, beads and ribbon making the cards individual and the patterns very flexible.  This book will keep you busy for hours making cards that will be treasured.

The book is 71 pages long and has several pages at the back for you to write your notes and ideas.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Parchment Craft - Cutting a Picot Edge

This is a tricky skill to get right, but once you have practised - a lot!! You will find yourself getting quicker and neater.

You will need Perga cutters or Parchment Scissors, parchment paper and a twin needle tool (this one is Bold).  All instructions are for the right handed.

Perforate with the twin needle tool, neat evenly spaced holes. Place the very tips of the points of the cutters/ scissors into the first two holes.

Lower the cutters / scissors so that they are almost parallel to the parchment and keeping the cutters pointing straight (at a right angle to the perforations) twist slightly to the left (anti-clockwise) and snip.

Always move the parchment around to make the snipping easier. You should end up with neat little V shaped teeth along the edge. Hope this is helpful - just keep practising.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Parchment Craft Free Pattern - Butterfly Trellis

Here is my new free parchment craft pattern called Butterfly Trellis. Please feel free to adapt and innovate from this design if you want to. Don't forget to send me a picture of the card or a link to get to it, and I will put it in the Gallery.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Embossing an Oval Shape on to Parchment

Embossing an oval or circle shape on to parchment is really difficult to get right. First of all you have to trace it from the pattern in white pencil, then turn the parchment over and emboss the line. The long curved line needs a steady hand and it is always best to turn the parchment frequently and steady the side of your hand on a surface while you arc the embossing tool or pencil. Find a position that is comfortable for your hand and try to do the arc quickly and smoothly.  On the new free pattern above I tried the tracing method and got a fair result. I also tried one of the PCA embossing templates for oval shapes and the result was much better and easier (this is the result above). The embossing templates are plastic and once they are fixed in position with tiny balls of blu-tac under the parchment, you can use the ball tool to follow the template and create a perfect oval or circle etc. they come in many different shapes and sizes. If you have a tip to help drawing shapes on parchment please comment below.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Lights and Magnifiers for Parchment Craft

If you are having difficulty seeing the holes in the grid when you are perforating or you think your work could be neater try using a craft light and a good magnifying glass. The best sort of light is one that replicates natural daylight.

You can buy light and magnifier separately or together in one unit. They can be clipped on to a table, mat or floor standing.

You can also buy magnifiers that clip on to your glasses, or on to your head with a headband.

In my opinion both light and magnifier are absolutely essential equipment for parchment crafters.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Parchment Craft Book - Fantasy by Miki Green

This is a spiral bound book which is very useful as it lies flat on the table for tracing patterns etc.
Miki has designed 24 projects including cards, bookmarks, fans, wall decorations and lampshades, 62 pages in total.

There are six beautiful lampshade designs made using  A4 parchment paper. These lampshades are  small but they are the right size for a wine glass, beautiful as a table decoration. A battery powered tea light can be used in the wine glass, safer than a candle! Of course the patterns can be increased in size using a photocopier.
Miki uses a lot of layers of coloured parchment and vellum to create lovely effects. She also uses 3D elements and embellishments in her designs. Included in the patterns is a complete decorative alphabet so you can personalise the wall decoration with yours or family initials.

An absolutely essential book for parchment enthusiasts.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A Guide to Pergamano Grids

Pergamano grids are mostly A5 size although there are  exceptions. Some of the Multi Grids are themed for special events such as Christmas or Baby, Gift Tags, Butterflies, Borders etc. there are 33 Multi Grids at the moment but new ones are introduced frequently. They can be used for perforating and embossing and are useful for creating borders and central motifs easily.

Pergamano recommend that the Stainless Steel ball tools are used on the Multi Grids so that tools will not be damaged when used on the grid. Stainless steel ball tools come in an 'action pack' or individually, there are two, fine stylus 10032 and extra small ball 10072.

Pergamano have some plain, non-themed Multi Grids which are : 
No 04 which is an A5 straight grid  Fine
No 19 which is an A5 diagonal Bold
No 24 which is an A5 diagonal Fine
No 28 which is an A4 size straight  Bold
(It is possible to get hold of A4 size diagonal Pergamano grids second hand)

There are also the Mesh Grids, these are the original grids which are used with the Triangle and Diamond tools which come in both Perforating and Embossing versions. The Arrow tool has also been designed to use with the Mesh Grids. The Mesh Grids also have a special perforating mat that fits exactly within the frame.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A Guide to PCA FlexiDuo Grids

PCA grids are all A4 size and made of a flexible steel. I really like them because once you start perforating the parchment is fixed to the grid and won't move.

They come in BOLD and FINE size or gauge  and they each have their own set of tools  Red banded tools are Bold and Blue banded tools are Fine.

The Fine gauge is small, takes longer to use, more tricky to cut out, but makes delicate, fabulous lace. Bold is bigger, chunkier, easier to cut and it just depends what you are doing because sometimes you want a bigger, bolder look to lace.

OK, so then there are straight grids and diagonal grids, with PCA diagonal grids the holes are at 90 degrees. Essentially they are the same as the straight grids but turned diagonally. If you look at a diagonal grid and tilt your head to the left you will see that it looks the same as the straight grid!

You can buy all of these grids separately but also in double packs, the double packs come with a free mat.  The Bold double pack includes a straight and diagonal grid and the  Fine double pack also includes a straight and diagonal grid.

Recently, PCA brought out a new grid called the Honeycomb.  The Honeycomb is a lovely grid, the holes are at 60 degrees and this make it easy to produce patterns such as hexagons and octogons etc. The double pack of Honeycomb grids includes a Bold and a Fine grid. The Honeycomb grids also have a range of specially designed tools to go with them.

PCA also have a Circle and Oval grid in Bold and Fine Gauges.  All the grids can be used for perforating and they are brilliant for embossing dots if you turn the parchment over.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Free Parchment Craft Pattern 'Star and Kites'


Here is free pattern number six: Star and Kites. If you download any of my patterns please feel free to change any parts you wish or make improvements, if you are pleased with the results send them to me and I will put them the gallery on the parchment craft shop website. Contact me.

Monday, 18 June 2012

A Review of Magic Lacework by Miki Green


This is Miki Green's third book, Magic Lacework. There are 24 gorgeous lacework designs including, wall decorations, cards, bookmarks and photo frames. Many of the projects use coloured parchment and she uses plenty of 3d elements. The instructions and photography are excellent, if you like creating lacework this is a fantastic book for you. The patterns are delicate and look like real lace. Miki suggests that you can change the sizes of the patterns to A3 size to make large wall hangings if you prefer. 60 pages.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Free Parchment Craft Pattern - Blue Tit

Here is the new free pattern. If you download any of my patterns please feel free to change any parts you wish or make improvements, and send them to me and I will put them in a gallery.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Finishing a Parchment Craft Card


If you have made a parchment craft card and want to fix the parchment to the card - one of the ways you can do this is by using needle and thread and sewing the two together along the spine.


First of all, lay the card open and mark the centre with a pencil then mark two points equally spaced from the centre where you wish to sew the card. Then using a sharp thickish needle make a hole through both the card and the parchment on each of the three marks. I use a tapestry needle and thick cotton thread - starting on the inside of the card push the needle and thread through the centre hole (leaving a longish piece of thread) and then down through the upper hole, next up again through the centre hole and down through the lower hole. On the inside of the card pass the needle through the loop, pull it tight and tie a knot with the thread you left at the beginning. The knot can be completely covered by fixing an insert to the inside of the card with double sided tape.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Two Day Parchment Craft Workshop

I have just finished this cat/ kitten drawn using polychromos pencils on parchment it is one of two drawings I did at a two day Masterclass. These workshops are really useful, you learn a lot and it's fun to meet with others who have the same hobby. Excellent instruction from Christine Coleman and Alison Yeates who run the Parchment Craft workshops. I learned a huge amount about coloured pencil techniques and had a great time. Thank you to everyone.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Beautiful Card

A big thank you to Sandra who sent me this beautiful card she made for her Mother,which she designed by adapting the 'Flowers and Lace' free pattern. I love the butterflies and diamante decorations on the wings. Excellent! Let me know if you have made any of the free patterns or adapted one and want to display it in the Gallery.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Parchment Craft - The Techniques Volume 7 Painting

Parchment Craft – The Techniques, Volume 7 is the final book in this series and is dedicated to instruction of painting on parchment. Each chapter involves a different technique and each step is well illustrated. The chapters are: Tip tip tip technique; Circling and fine lines; Teardrop brushstrokes and Shading; The Pull technique and push technique and finally the One stroke technique. This book is packed with useful instruction, hints and tips with beautiful projects to make along the way, the project instructions assume you have read the other books in the series. I think the whole set of books are a great reference set to keep on the shelf. Please see earlier book reviews for the other books in the series, or click on Book Review in the Labels section at the side of this blog.

Friday, 4 May 2012

The New Pergamano Embossing Mat Excellent

The new Pergamano Embossing Mat Excellent is pink and comes packed in a cardboard tube. All embossing mats are different - the dense foam type tends to be a bit softer than the rubber mats - the new Pergmano mat seems to be somewhere in the middle, softer than a rubber mat but harder than a foam type mat. It is a good size 30 x 40 cm and is very flexible and quite thin - it does not slip on the table. So far, I have used this mat with a ball tools, shaders and hockey stick and it gives good results with all. I think I have found an embossing mat that suits me. Click here.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Monday, 16 April 2012

Parchment Craft Tools Are You Confused?

This picture shows PCA twin needle tool(on the right) and a mini stamp edge tool (on the left). Both tools can be used for edgings however when using the twin needle tool you would also require parchment scissors to snip the holes into a neat picot edge. The mini stamp edge tool cuts as it perforates and, although it is a lot quicker, the result isn't so neat. PCA mark their edging tools with coloured rings at the tool end so it is easy to tell them apart. PCA make these tools in two sizes Bold and Fine.

Pergamano make a 2Needle tool (similar to the twin needle) and a 2Split tool (similar to the mini stamp edge). To identify them look on the end of the handle the 2Needle shows two dots set apart, whereas the 2Split shows two dots joined.

The 4Needle version of these tools are called a Quad-Row and a Stamp Edge by PCA. The Pergamano alternatives are called 'Straight Four' and the edging tool is a 4Split.

If you have the older blue handled Pergamano tools and are not sure whether you have a Straight Four or 4Split, you should be able to tell just by perforating a scrap of parchment if the holes are so close together that they cut the parchment you have a 4Split tool.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Free Parchment Craft Pattern 'Flowers and Lace'

Here is the new free pattern. I recently broke my arm so I probably haven't finished the card as elaborately as I would have liked. If you download any of my patterns please feel free to change any parts you wish or make improvements, and send them to me and I will put them in a gallery. Click here for free pattern and instructions.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Art of Painting by Gerti Hofman, A Book Review

In the Art of Painting Gerti Hofman has provided step by step instructions for painting with Pergamano Pintura paint, Pinta Perla, Tinta ink, felt pens and coloured pencils. This is a large book (80 pages) with instructions for 21 beautiful card designs.

Although the main focus of the book is painting there are some essential instructions for lace making but if you need to know more about lace making technique other books have more detail.

Each pattern focuses on a different painting technique: Dresden flowers techniques, Perga Liners dry and wet techniques, Brazilian technique and tip, tip, tip are some of them; so if you want to practise a particular technique it is easy to choose a pattern that will challenge you.

As well as being a useful addition to a Parchment Craft collection this is an essential guide and reference for painting there are many useful tips and information on how to correct problems in painting.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Friday, 2 March 2012

Passion for Cards by Mieke Sprenger

Mieke Sprenger's new book Passion for cards is a collection of card patterns for every occasion. There are religious cards, for example, sympathy and first communion, everyday cards such as get well soon, graduation, driving test and moving house plus Valentines and Mother's day, altogether 24 patterns for almost any occasion. These patterns are aimed at a beginner to parchment craft, the pictures are beautiful and the instructions are really clear and well thought out, though as there are no 'in depth' technique pages if you were absolutely,brand new to this craft you would need a techniques book as well. This is the English version of the book and it is totally English except for the actual words on the cards. I would have liked an alphabet pattern in the back of the book so that I could do English versions of the words, although I expect most people have got one of these stashed away in their collection.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Parchment Craft DVD - Finishing Touches by Christine Coleman

Finishing Touches is volume 5 in the series of DVDs from Christine Coleman. There are loads of tips for getting good results. A lot of different techniques are covered: tracing with a white pencil, advanced embossing, monochrome painting, burnishing with polychromos pencils, making an oversized envelope from A4 and making a picture frame, also how to emboss a rose with shaders and lots more. The embossing projects that you make can be paired with the frame to make beautiful pictures. Approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes long.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Parchment Craft - The Techniques Volume 6 - Working with Grids

Volume six in this Pergamano series concentrates on instructions for using the Pergamano Easy-Grids Regular and Fine Mesh and the Grid Diagonal which is an aluminium grid A4 size. As in the other books in this useful series, this book assumes you have read the preceding books and know those techniques. If you want to learn how to use the mesh grids and the arrow tool, triangle tools and diamond tools and also perforate and emboss using the diagonal grid, this book is the one for you. There are about 9 projects (which I think are all outstanding) and you learn the techniques and tips as you work through the projects.

Friday, 10 February 2012

My Precious Collection by Gail Sydenham

Gail Sydenham's new parchment craft book of designs is available from February. This 48 page book contains 21 beautiful designs, mainly for cards but there is a box design. There is something for everyone, the designs are of flowers, butterflies, cats, dogs and some beautiful birds. I love drawing birds and I was really pleased to see designs with a greenfinch, meadow pipit, sparrow hawk and a yellow wren in this book. The book is aimed at varying levels of experience, some of the designs use multi-grids but as the grid work patterns are included in the back of the book it is probably not essential to rush out and buy the multi-grid if you already own a straight grid. I am going to try the Orange Dahlia pattern, what a fabulous book! I can't wait to get started.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Parchment Craft - The Techniques Volume 4 - Using the Dabbing Technique

This book concentrates on the Dabbing Technique, using templates and dabbing brushes to create easy motifs and borders. It includes information such as: how to take care of the brushes, how to hold the brush and type of ink or paint to use. Painting techniques such as highlighting, building colour and dabbing without templates are also covered. This series of books are a thorough introduction to parchment craft techniques and also include a number of useful hints and tips and plenty extra patterns with which to experiment.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Monday, 16 January 2012

The Handbook of Parchment Craft Basics by Linda Williams and Tina Cox

The Handbook of Parchment Craft Basics has 19 projects (all cards) for you to work on, they all have a really fresh, bright look and step by step instructions on how to complete them. The techniques of tracing, embossing, perforating and cutting are covered in depth making this an ideal book for a beginner. There is also sections on using Multi-Grids and Stamping on parchment, so if you are an experienced parchment crafter but have never used stamps and don't know where to start, this book will prove a useful reference. As well as stamping techniques there are sections on how to colour the image with Perga Colours, Perga Liners, Dorso Crayons. There is also a useful page showing all the Multi-Grids available (23 grids at the time the book was printed) and also the clear stamps. A beautiful present to buy someone who wants to start parchment craft or who just loves crafting.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

What is the Arrow Tool for?

This picture shows an Arrow tool on the right and a Diamond perforating tool on the left.

I always understood that the single needle tool was for perforating either freehand or using the grids. The Arrow tool however does the same job though maybe not as fine.

The Arrow tool was designed to be used with the Easy Grid (mesh type grid) it can be used on both the regular and the fine mesh as it has a conical, round point. The Arrow tool makes a small round hole in the parchment, if you want square holes the Diamond perforating tool is the one you want and of course the Triangle perforating tool makes small, triangular holes. These tools work with the both mesh grids and are all made by Pergamano.

I have also used the Arrow tool successfully for making holes for brads and stippling.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Parchment Craft - Best of the Best, A Classic Collection - Kannikar Sukseree

This is a unique collection of 32 projects for you to make. Twelve parchment craft designers and one guest designer from around the world have got together to produce this beautiful book offering a range of styles and influences in every project.

The 'Best of the Best' is not affiliated to a particular manufacturer of parchment craft equipment and therefore allows you to use the tools you have, rather than go and buy the tools listed. There is a useful tool comparison chart to help you identify which tools are interchangeable.

This is a book for a beginner as well as an experienced parchment crafter. There is a chapter dedicated to the techniques of tracing, embossing, gridwork, painting and colouring, also finishing touches. However there are plenty of challenging projects for experienced parchment crafters.

Six of the projects have fully illustrated, step by step insructions and the additional 26 projects also have excellent instructions and illustrations. The projects include cards, a clock, shelf decorations and wall hanging. 92 pages.