Welcome to my blog

I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please leave me a comment. I always enjoy reading them, and will try to visit you in return.

You are welcome to copy any of my designs, as long as you do not take credit for them yourself. I am very happy for you to sell them. If I have used anyone else's design, I always try to give credit where it is due. If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will put things right.

This is intended to be mainly about my crafting stories, as a personal record of what I do. However, I interpret crafting quite widely, not just paper crafting but other things too. I have a butterfly mind and like to change from one thing to another depending on what I feel like on a given day - knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, cards, baking and several others.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Embossing practice

I was going to post this on Facebook, but decided to go for the blog today so that I can add more pictures and comment more easily on each.

Last Sunday, over a week ago now, I travelled down the M5 to Bristol to spend the day at the Bristol Parchment Exhibition, organised by Pat Murphy and her team.    Great journey down until I came off the M5, then it went a bit pear-shaped,but eventually got there, parked up, and with the aid of some kind friends paid the extortionate parking charge.

The exhibition itself was amazing with a wealth of fabulous work on show.  I could have done with longer to see it all and talk to more of the talented exhibitors.  

I was remarkably restrained with my purchases, spending my Clarity vouchers on a new mapping pen, a gold gel pen, the set of new Clarity/WOW ultrafine glitters and a bottle of the amazing aptly named Liquid Gold.  Oh yes,and a couple of parchment pattern books for inspiration

The last port of call for the day was back at the Clarity/Groovi/Pergamano stand for an hour's make and take with Barbara Gray.  When we got there, the tables were ready, set up with a selection of Groovi plates to choose from and all the equipment needed.  We all came home with a lovely design which we could use as it was, as a crisp piece of line art, or something ready to take further using traditional skills.

This was my design after a couple of evenings playing with it.  I have added some embossing around the scalloped border and some more to define the hills in the background.  Oh yes, and some fairly random stars etc snipped out in two corners.  I wish I had left those until I had dug out my fine perforating grid.  The bold grid produced a design that is too big for the whole thing.  Another lesson learned, patience and find what you need not just what will do.

The embossing here is ok-ish, but after lessons for on my lovely parchment tutor, Pat White, things rapidly got much better (apart from the snipping, which I am stuck with).

This is one corner before my lesson,showing the border embossing.

Again, it is ok-ish, but if you look, it is not even and smooth as it should be and has a lot of dark bits where I have not quite worked to the edges.  Definitely could be better.

I know this is a different corner, but they are the same all round.  This is after another two days of improved technique with the embossing.  Still no pressure involved, just a lot of gentle stroking in the right way to finish it off properly.  It is now smoother and really white but still not distorted by too much pressure.  I reckon that I have embossed this border at least 10 times, very softly, to get this level of whiteness.  It has had time to rest between each session, so that the parchment has had time to relax and flatten out.

This is probably the finished piece now, ready to mount, but it needs to be rested, probably in a heavy book to relax it again and take the slight curl out of it.  Oh yes, and Pat showed me a better way to get the highlights on the hills - such a difference.

The next job is to find the right background paper to suit it best, but that is for another day, and may take a while, but it is important.  Why take a long time over a piece of work and ruin the effect by adding the wrong background?  Watch this space for my choice.l

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

WOYWW 400. What an achievement!

I have not done much blogging for a while, but I could not miss this very special day for deskers.  Four hundred weekly posts is quite a landmark to celebrate.  Congratulations to you, Julia,for keeping everyone going for so long.

Apologies, this picture was missing on my original post and I did not notice.

This is not strictly a desk, but it is where I am working at the moment, playing around with parchment techniques, and my Derwent Metallic Pencils.  Some embossing,some perforation and some colouring on this one.  The grid, I used is one from Pergamano (now owned by Clarity, and my tools are a mixture from PCA and Pergamano.

Here is one card I completed last week, coloured with Derwent Inktense blocks and a slightly damp brush, and the backing paper if one of the new packs from Clarity.  The stamps were designed by the lovely Jayne Nestorenko.

This parchment coaster was started at the Clarity Make and Take at November's NEC show.  I finished mine at home as I wanted to do more embossing.

I cannot believe that the first month of the year has already vanished.  I really must get myself together to blog more frequently.  Meanwhile, Happy 400th Birthday.