Paints, Pencils and Ink

Pergamano Tinta Inks

These are water based inks, the white ink is opaque but the colours are translucent – they can all be used for tracing but the inks can also be used for painting and give a matt finish. The metallics are also great for tracing.

Pergamano Dorso Pastels

Dorso pastels can create beautiful backgrounds on the reverse of the parchment. Together with a medium such as dorso oil or zest it or white spirit and a piece of kitchen roll, two colours can be merged together giving a smooth, colour changing background. Pastels can also be used on the front of the parchment.

Pintura Paint

Unlike inks, that have a matt effect, Pintura paints give a glossy finish they are also water based paints and they dry very quickly. It is probably a good idea to start off with a tear off palette and brush and a very small amount of paint (one drop).

Pinta Perla Paints

These pearlescent paints can be mixed with Pintura, so I find the white Pinta Perla very useful for mixing and making a pearlescent paint. Daler Rowney also make beautiful pearlescent paints.

Perga Colors

These are water based felt tip pens and can be mixed on a palette. Letraset also have a great range of water based pens.

Perga Liners

These are pencil crayons, the combi box provides both oil based pencils to seal the parchment and water based pencils for colouring over the top.

There are many makes of pencil crayons available, Faber Castel, Lyra etc.

Mapping Pens

Have you ever had trouble trying to get your mapping pen to work nicely? This is advice from my experience with pens and ink:

I started off with a Pergamano mapping pen. The nibs were a bit scratchy and I found I was putting rather too much ink on the nib, you should only load to the hole in the nib. I have had problems making the ink flow on the parchment, it seems that I couldn’t trace without blobs appearing or no ink at all. The answer may be a new nib, the advice is to rinse the new nib carefully in soapy water before you start, also make sure that the white ink is shaken until you hear the ball rattling. With coloured inks just twist them gently to mix.

I have also tried the PCA mapping pen and nibs and have had similar problems, too much or too little ink on the parchment and a scratchy feel to the pen. I have been advised to hold the pen lightly and glide over the parchment keeping the pen as upright as possible and positioned so that you get a very thin line.

I have now tried a Conte mapping pen and so far have not had any problems, the nibs are probably more expensive as you buy them singly, but I suppose that it is worth while if the tracing is smoother and finer and more accurate. Anyone else got any advice?

A Review of Borders and Decorations by Martha Ospina

A really useful book if you are just starting to design your own cards and like me you don't really know where to start. This is a half way stage between using other designers patterns and designing your own from scratch.

A range of perforated, embossed and coloured borders are provided to be used with various pictures but you could just as well use your own pictures within these borders. The pictures included are not only flowers, but a dragon, dolphins, an owl, teddy bear. I particularly like the delft blue card inspired by the china. Advice is given on composition and very detailed instructions.

But if you don't want to mix and match there are eleven complete patterns as well.

Hockey Sticks

I have been practising using the hockey stick embosser. Pergamano make the hockey stick and I have two, one is the new pink handled one and the other is the older silver handled one.

I have found that the older version seems easier to use and I’m not really sure why. Visually the handle is shorter, and the hockey stick end has a fractionally different angle. However it is not easy to buy an older hockey stick unless you know someone who has one and you can try it out.

I have found excellent advice on how to use the hockey stick on Kanni’s DVD Embossing: