Showing posts with label Tutorials. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tutorials. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How To Make a Colored Pencil Storage Carousel (Tutorial)

Hi everyone,

For anyone looking for the "How To Make a Colored Pencil Storage Carousel" Tutorial.....I have moved it to the Tutorials Page and it will be there, for safe keeping, from now on.  Just click on the Tutorial tab at the top of this page and everything is over there!!

While I'm here, I would also like to bring a brief update on my health.....so everyone who has been thinking I have totally disappeared can rest easy 'cause I'm still around!!!!  :))  I have made good progress in learning how to manage my most recent diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and I have been parching for only short periods of time and relearning lots of things from Polio limitations that have had to be intertwined with the constant pain of the fibromyalgia.......UGH!!  So, there you have a 'brief' health update and I can't even begin to tell you how much I have missed the craft I love so much over these past many, many months.  I didn't really realize how long it was going to take to learn how to live my life, again, with an additional 'handicap', but I'm not a quitter, so as long as I can breathe, I will be making progress.

Sooooooo, I'm anxious to get back on track and (no promises, this time!!) I'm anxious to begin challenging myself (and all of you!!) to try new things in this awesome ancient craft.

See you soon....

Happy Parching,





Monday, January 30, 2012

Parchment Craft Bridges...

HOW TO PREVENT PARCHMENT BRIDGES
FROM BREAKING WHEN CUTTING - A 
SHORT TUTORIAL

A lot of parchment crafters seem to shy away from cut work, and grid work,  for many reasons and one of them is the fear of ending up with a project full of broken bridges!!  Several weeks ago I promised a dear friend that I would share "my secret" for perforating, and cutting, in parchment work without breaking bridges.  Problem is/was....I became ill and I forgot I had committed to do that and the question came up again very recently...and I was reminded I had done a boo-boo in not keeping my promise to her :((  Sooooooo, here I am and I'm ready (I think!!) to attempt to put my tried and true 'secret' to paper, and photo, without totally confusing all of you :))

First, here is a photo of an unfinished parchment piece that I have had for ages and ages....don't really know why I ever even kept it, but sure glad I did because it's coming in quite handy for this post.....lol


Left click to enlarge the image for better viewing.

The way I have managed to make my bridges VERY thin, and still not have them break when cutting, is really a matter of 'focus' when you do any cutting on parchment.  Slow down and take your time when cutting AND you must learn to 'look around' the area you want to cut next!!  Let's follow the areas I have marked on the photo above.

#1:  Take your time and look very closely at the UNCUT area that is perforated.  Look at the GREEN arrow in the CUT area.  To avoid breaking parchment bridges (bridges are the thin, perforated strips of parchment that are left after the cutting is done) it is very important that you BEGIN cutting a new area (#1 uncut area) on the opposite side of the already cut side of the bridge.  **Stop reading now and take a serious look at the #1 area on the photo again**  The first cut you will make on the uncut side of that bridge will be in the top corner....cut to the bottom and you will now have a bridge that is totally cut away from the parchment paper....now, it is safe to finish cutting the remaining perforations, in that area, away. 

#2:  Let's have a look at area #2.  I have marked it with GREEN, once again, but look at the whole area and you would then make your decision as to where to begin cutting that area.  This whole process is basically simply changing your cutting habits to looking around the whole area close to where you will cut and identify where the bridges are that are already cut on one side.  Now, be very careful with area #2 because there are two separate areas that need to be cut here!!

#3:  Take your time and look around area #3.  Following my 'secret rules', decide where you will begin cutting the parchment paper out of that area....without breaking the bridge.

#4:  Repeat the first three steps throughout your parchment project and it will be a very, very rare occasion that you will ever have a broken bridge again.

Now, you ask.....how and why does this keep the bridges from breaking??  All those little pieces of solid parchment paper that we cut away from the bridges are the foundation to that particular space.  They are the strength in that little space, soooo, if we leave the strength there, and cut the weak parts first (the bridge itself), as we are cutting the bridge, the strong part of the area is holding the bridge from moving or flipping up/down while we cut.  The bridge remains safe and sound and you can now proceed with cutting the remainder of the parchment paper away from all the other sides in that particular space.

If my tutorial is still confusing to you, just grab some scrap parchment and make a practice lattice area (a tick-tack-toe area without the x's and o's!!) and emboss the straight lines of the lattice in any thickness you wish.  Now, begin cutting following the instructions!!!!  No, no, no....don't start screaming.....it'll be just fine.....you'll see :))

**Enlarge the photo above and print it out. Place it close by, for easy reference,  while doing your scrap 'practice' work!!**  Thanks, Judith Maslen, for the suggestion.

Oh....and try not to get frustrated because, after all, the Golden Rule in parchment craft is what??  PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!!!!

Anyone with questions...please ask in the comment box and I'll answer there, as well.  That way everyone will benefit from all the questions and answers :))

Happy Parching,





**NOTE**....THIS POST HAS ALSO BEEN PLACED ON THE "TUTORIALS" PAGE.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Abstract Christmas Tree

Happy Holidays to Everyone!!!
Well now, my intentions have certainly been good, BUT, with my dominant shoulder still out of its rotator cuff, doing much with that arm has not really been an option I've had since early August!!  Unfortunately, surgery is not an option so until I can manipulate my right arm/shoulder back where it should be I've been making "life adjustments" to work around the issue :))
I don't like falling behind in my blog posting and I'm getting very close to doing just that, so I will do a bit of catching up today!!  This Christmas card is an 'additional' one that I had to make recently for someone I had overlooked on my list, so while I was deciding what I wanted to make I wandered back into my 'abstract' vector image collection and spent an afternoon putting images, grid border patterns, colors, etc., together and this is what happened when all was said and done.......
Abstract Christmas Tree
Considering this card is for a male friend, I felt the bulkiness of the tree and grid border were well suited, so I proceeded and I really like the way it turned out!!  
The tree design in my own creation, but the grid border is from Arie vd Linden and he has  several hundred grid border designs that he shares (for FREE) to anyone, around the world, who would like to have them!!  This particular border design is #26 on the link I've provided above.  Now, although I use a lot of his designs for my own creations (with his written permission) I have to alter them somewhat because his border designs are created for standard European greeting card sizes.  All of my cards are 5" X 7"....the standard size for American greeting cards.  **If you would like to learn how to resize his grid border designs to whatever size you prefer making your greeting cards, please click on the "Tutorials" tab at the top of this blog.**

Here's a little hint at what I hope to share with everyone sometime in January 2012!!!  I have been working on some things (some FREE...some not!!) to help those of you who would like to use my techniques, but don't have the photo editing programs they require!!  Sooooooo, stay tuned and after the holidays have come and gone....and I've had a wee bit of time to recoup.....we'll have a New Year to begin some "new things".  :))

Happy Parching,

 


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Parchment Craft "Etched Glass" Technique



To make a purchase, simply click on the link above.....and thanks very much!!

If you'd like to see some of my work using this technique, please visit the blog archives....and you can also visit my personal gallery by going to that tab at the top of this page, where you'll find albums full of a variety of my work along with my own Parchment Etched Glass technique.

Feel free to post any questions you may have and I'll do my best to answer promptly :))

Happy Parching,

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Few Bits and Pieces

Today I am going to step away from the thread lace conversions we have been focused on recently and share with you how sometimes I come across different things in my travels on the web, or in magazines or many, many other places and I always store those things away for future reference, or I print it out immediately and put it in my "snippet file"!!  

Here I will be combining an image from my snippet file with a grid border pattern I have used quite often in my work.  I have stated many, many times throughout my blog, that I ALWAYS make a vellum TEMPLATE for any grid border I ever make on a project.  I never, ever, ever make a grid border directly to the parchment paper project...NEVER!!!  I have a very large collection of border templates from which to choose from.....and I'm always adding to it as well.  The majority of the grid border designs I use are from Piet and Annie Janssen and they are always FREE.  They generously share their work with the whole world so please click on the link and go see  their beautiful grid work and if you like anything you come across and still need to know how to convert it to a size you might use for your own work....well, there is a tutorial right here in the "Tutorials" tab!!  Now, I always have to 'alter' the size of the pattern they have made because I do not make any of my work in centimeters.....I work in inches and that creates a significant difference in how I use their designs....so, it's absolutely necessary for me to adjust for the measureing system I use here in the USA.  This sometimes also means I have to make changes in the original grid design in order to make everything work for my purposes....and I have written permission directly from Piet and Annie and Arie v.d. Linden to do that, so I'm not infringing on any copyrights.....and I do not ever claim the grid borders as my own.

Swan and Cat Tails
Okay, this grid border is an Arie v.d. Linden design #27 and it's for the Pergamano Bold Diagonal grid.  As I stated above, it is not designed for a 5 X 7 inch (completed size) American greeting card, so  when I made the VELLUM TEMPLATE from the original pattern I had to alter it by adding to the height and width and yet still maintain the pattern design sequences.  I know, now I'm talking some heavy duty mathematical stuff (oh, and plenty of patience!!) but my tutorial will walk you through all that :))
Once your grid TEMPLATE is made, you then bring the "bits and pieces" you've been saving in your 'snippets' folder to your work area and proceed to attempt to put everything together in hopes it will turn out the way you envisioned it in your mind when you began the project!!!


This is the image I discovered in my snippets folder the other day and my mind immediately saw it combined with a grid border.  Ah yes, you say....but what kind of grid border....especially considering this is an oval image  and could just as easily be  enlarged and used all by itself for either a wall decoration or sized for whatever measurements you use for your greeting cards.  Well friends, I am well known for "stepping out of the box" and I chose to be true to my own character sooooooo, I chose a rectangular border and I gently tucked the oval image inside the rectangle!!!!!  I also chose to use only parts of the image in my project.  

I have always found it to a fun adventure (and sometimes quite challenging) to pull together things that one would think simply wouldn't work....and make them work!!!  Who would ever think an oval image would work very well in a rectangle border/frame??  Remember one thing though.....I only knew what I "thought" would work when I began this project.....there were absolutely no guarantees that it actually would!!!!

In closing for this time.....sometime when time permits.....give this adventure a try and see how much fun it really is :)  I know....I'm always challenging my readers to try  new parching experiences...and the best part of each challenge is that I've already TRIED it and worked the rough parts out for you.....all you have to do is "step out of the box" and try it too!!!

Happy Parching,


 

Friday, March 4, 2011

One More Time.....For Lace Conversions!!

I've had several readers contact me asking for a more specific mini tutorial on the last post with the three vintage ladies.  I'm always happy to oblige (whenever I can, that is!!) and the problem appears to be this:  "How do we know how to follow one specific "lace thread" when we're making the lace on the project?"  I believe the best way I can answer that question is to provide an image with each "lace thread" in  one section of the gown, in a different color so you can follow it visually and hopefully that will help  better understand what I am instructing when I say follow one "lace thread" from beginning to end, in one section at a time!!


























 
























Okay, click your mouse on each step, to enlarge it a bit, so you can see the different colors for the different "lace threads".  Until you get the hang of things, you will have to look very closely, in the sample I've created, for the color of each step.  Now, I have only provided the sample for one section of the gown but once you understand the process/theory behind lace conversions you will easily be able to proceed on to the other sections of the gown, the bodice and the sleeves.  The color "lace thread" you will be looking for in each step is the color of the step number!!  (Step 1.....Step 2.....Step 3.....Step 4)

My suggestion, until you get the 'feel' of things, is to take a piece of scrap parchment paper and practice a couple of times on that.  Do the four practice steps SLOWLY and you should be ready to tackle the 'real' project after that :))  The one thing to always remember when making a lace conversion to parchment is:  you only really need the image OUTLINE (Step 1) because from there you create your own "lace threads" in any manner you choose, however, you must always remember to make only one complete "lace thread" at a time, from beginning to end, and then move on to the next "lace thread".  When all the 'lace' has been completed, the remainder of the project can be completed according to the pattern.

I hope I've done a better job with this breakdown and more specific explanation for those  who have had difficulty making the pattern I provided in the previous post.  As always.....if you have questions.....contact me :)) 

Happy Parching,


Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Return to Lace Conversions

Hi everyone,

I have been away from my duties here on my blog a wee bit longer than I had planned but you'll soon see why!!! It seems the lace conversions to parchment craft have become the highest ranked post so we'll spend a little time with that topic once again this time around :))



Now, these three large wall decorations are a set and each project is a FULL A4 sheet of parchment paper!!!  When hung properly on the wall, the two outside Victorian ladies are facing toward the center lady, who is facing forward.  Each of the borders is based upon the very same foundation design but is completed very different from each of the other two. 

First of all, let me say any pattern/design can easily be made to have a "thread lace" look to it!!  After all, our beloved art/craft is often called "paper lace". When you find  parchment patterns of Vintage ladies (or if you already have a stash of them!!) that require lots of grid work on the gown areas.....simply convert those instructions to the "lace work embossing" that make gowns look like fabric lace!!  That's all there is to it.......REALLY :)) 

Well now, you say.....how in the world do we do that??  We're not designers!!  You don't have to be a designer.....all you need to know is how to do something on the foundation pattern other than what the original instructions tell you to do.  Having said that, let's get down to business and put the words to task!!!

Here is the pattern we will be working with.  As you can see, it is one of the ladies in my collection above!!  Simply click on the image and save it to a place you can easily find it again on your computer.   Please bear in mind that most times when converting from one craft technique to another, it is usually wise to make the conversion into a wall decoration project and when printing out the pattern always make the LARGER of the two dimensions between 8 - 9 inches....in this case you will want the height of the lady to be between 8 and 9 inches.  This will leave enough room all around the pattern itself for a border/frame....as I have done with my ladies above.  Of course, you can also simply make the Victorian lady and mount it on a quality backing paper and frame it by itself and not even have to be concerned with a border.  The other option you have is to make a half fold card (8.5 x 5.5 inches) and for this you would want to print your pattern out at approximately 7.5 X 3.5 inches and this would allow for enough room for a border of your choosing. 

Now, let's concentrate on the wall decoration size first.  Print the pattern out at the dimensions stated above.  Then wipe down both sides of your parchment paper with a tumble dryer sheet. and set aside.  Now is the time for you to decide if you want to make a border on your project.  If you do, you will need to make all the necessary adjustments in it's width and length to accommodate the full A4 size of your lady.  This may be a task you might want to attempt on later on because it can become a frustrating challenge!!  However, for those who do want to put a border on this time, there are two ways to do that.  You can either make a freestanding border and attach it seperately, or.....it can be made as one solid piece, attached to the lady, as I have made mine.  Either way, it will most definitely be a challenge.  Next,secure the pattern to the parchment paper with low tack tape to secure everything together for easier tracing.  Using your preferred method of tracing, carefully and very slowly, trace the pattern to the parchment paper......including the border, if you have chosen to include one of your choice.  **TIP:  While tracing, do not wander all around the pattern.  Trace all your "outline" lines and then move to the inside areas and follow the direction on ONE particular "lace thread" until it ends.  Begin again on another "lace thread" and follow it to it's end. and so forth until your tracing is complete.  Remember to do the very same technique when you begin embossing**  The tools required for this particular project are various sizes of embossing ball tools, 2 needle perforating tool and scissors/snips.  When the tracing is complete, remove parchment paper from the pattern, flip parchment over, place on embossing mat and with the appropriate size embossing ball tool, emboss the outline lines ONLY.  These are the lines that are going to be cut later in the process so depending on how wide you prefer those lines be for your cutting, is the size embossing tool you will use.  The "lace thread" lines will be made next with a smaller size embossing ball tool and will NOT be cut.  **Refer to the completed lady at the top of this post for a visual of these instructions**  Okay, for those of you who really, really like a challenge......the "lace thread" areas may be cut with a good quality scalpel if you so desire, however, although I love a good challenge, even I will forgo that one!!!!!  As you can easily see now, converting a thread lace pattern to parchment is totally embossing and your embossing ball tools (all sizes) will always get a very thorough work out :))  When all the various size embossing is complete it is then time for the perforating (with the two needle perforating tool) and cutting (with the scissors or snips).  When you begin the cutting, I strongly advise beginning with the border (if you are using one) and work your way toward the project center.  As with most things in parchment craft, take your time with the cutting as there will be bridges that will be thin and very fragile.  For those who choose not to have a border around the lady.....I advise cutting from the inside out....again working slowly on the bridges so they do not break.

For everyone who simply wants to give this conversion technique a try on a half fold card, everything is the same process EXCEPT the size you print the pattern out for the tracing.  Refer to the measurements given earlier and proceed!!  

If you have questions, feel free to contact me :))

Happy Parching.....


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Hi everyone,

I'm sending best wishes to everyone for a truly wonderful Valentine's Day!!  

This card was made using my own technique called "Etched Glass".  It's been awhile since I've posted anything using the technique because I've been busy converting 'other' crafting techniques to parchment craft, but it was time for me to return to  my Parchment Craft Etched Glass Technique and make a few projects and get a bit ahead of the long list of spring holidays and those family/friend birthdays coming very soon!!


For more information on my book, please click on the link above and if you have questions please feel free to contact me.    My card is an American standard 5 X 7 inch finished size.  The image is photo edited using Paint Shop Pro (Adobe PhotoShop could also be used) and it is then printed directly to the parchment paper.  In the photo editing process, I have used a program element called a "mask" and that is the heart that appears over the image.  

There are several preparation steps that must be taken prior to beginning a ©Parchment Craft Etched Glass Technique project and on my tutorials page there is a lengthy post on making a grid template AND printing on parchment paper, so please pop on over to that page while you're here and see how a bit of this process is accomplished.  My book takes the process even further by providing a totally VISUAL, step-by-step class in the complete preparation process of making a project similar to my Valentine card to all of you.

Happy Parching....


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pinwheel Mandala Conversion to Parchment Craft!!

Hi everyone,

I am going to share one more mandala conversion to parchment craft, however, this time I will also include a link to lots of mandala designs and I will have a few photos that will probably create a bit of "oh no" in every purist parchment crafter who reads my blog, but I'll explain all that a bit later!!!

I call this particular mandala "Pinwheel" but it could be made in many different ways. Instead of lots of grid work, as I have done, it could be made with only embossing and showing the different techniques of shading.....or it could be painted and made into a 3D project and I could go on and on with different parchment techniques that could be used on this single design alone.  Every project we begin is a vision in our own minds....the pattern/design is only the foundation on which to build.  

Parchment Mandala - Pinwheel
Pinwheel Mandala Pattern



 
Now, I promised a link to many, many more mandala designs.  These are a small portion of my own mandala collection I have gathered over the years and they are now in my GALLERY in two albums.  You can download each of the complete albums or you can download a single image if that's all you wish to have.  If you have any problems with this process, please feel free to CONTACT ME and I will assist any way I can.

Okie dokie, now comes the "oh no" part I said I would address later!!  I truly love all traditional 'pure' parchment craft and all the techniques, however, I do not own all the parchment craft/pergamano tools of the trade and there is absolutely no way I could ever afford them, so I make do with what I do have and that leads me to sometimes be very creative in how I produce some of my work!!  


These are the items I use for the majority of my tracing to parchment paper. Yes indeed, what you see here is a standard Pental .05mm mechanical pencil with a container of standard .05mm black leads along with an Staedtler Mars plastic eraser...especially for paper and film.  These three items can be found in any office supply OR department store.  The other item I always use when tracing is a paper dining napkin or paper towel. 

The reason I use these items instead of the required parchment craft tools is because I am a retired senior on a very fixed income and these items are what work for me in my own circumstances. Where there is a will, there is a way and one can still totally enjoy this awesome craft using 'tools' one may already have on hand.  Of course, this is where the "oh no" part comes in, from lots and lots of my wonderful friends who are very loyal traditional purist parchers who adhere very strictly to preserving the ancient way of the craft.....and that's as it should be!!  However, for those of us who simply do not have the means to be totally 'purist' parchment crafters, I have proven over the past 5 years that the craft/art can still be done with a few alternative items!! 

In the two photos above, I mistakenly placed the paper napkin  (with flowers on it) I was using, under the parchment paper, to take the photo and I then removed the napkin and continued on with my tracing.  When I was done with the tracing I took more photos and it was only then that I realized I had put the napkin under the parchment paper instead of a piece of plain paper to cover up the pattern that still remained under the parchment paper because I was still tracing when I took these two photos!!!!!  Silly me.....*embarrassed*  Sooooo, this was the beginning of the tracing on the mandala above using the 'tools' described above.

The reason for using a paper napkin/folded paper towel is because IF, while tracing, you do not work from the top of the pattern, down to the bottom, you will easily smudge the black lead onto the parchment (and your hand as well).  The cure for that is to lay the napkin/towel under your tracing hand and move it accordingly as you move your tracing area.  **TIP**  Prior to beginning any parchment project I always gently rub ONE side of my parchment paper with a dryer softener sheet.  Now, because I do not use white lead pencils/leads for my tracing, the one side that gets the rub down is the OPPOSITE side I will be tracing on.  Thus, when all the tracing is completed and you remove the parchment paper from the printed pattern, you will then flip your parchment over and place on your embossing mat. **


These last three photos show the mandala has been fully traced
and is now ready to be removed from the pattern and flipped over on the embossing mat. You will now take your Steadtler eraser and gently erase all of your pencil tracing.  When that is completed all you will have remaining is the embossed outline of the mandala....shown in the last two photos.

Now, because I have used black lead for my tracing, and I have now placed my parchment paper,  traced side down, on my black rubber embossing mat one would think the tracing could not be seen.....not so!!!!  It is necessary, however, to secure your parchment paper to the mat with low tack tape.  You will now use your STYLUS tool and begin tracing (embossing) the pattern you have just traced from the pattern.  This is the side of the parchment paper you rubbed down with softener sheet already so there is no need to repeat that step.  

Okay, some will say it takes more time to begin a project this way and they are pretty much correct because in essence, an extra step has been added right here!!  Yes, we have already traced the project from the pattern....and now we're tracing (actually embossing) again??  Yes....we are!!!  This is how I have made every single project since I began parching because I never could get the hang of using the mapping pen and I did use white gel pens for a long time but didn't really care for the results so this is, again, what works "for me" and I'm sharing it in this post for those who may also have difficulty with mapping pen and ink, or the white gel pens, or other methods of getting a pattern to the parchment paper without totally messing the project up before it's really even begun!!!

On the last photo here, you will see the mandala has been completely traced (embossed) with the stylus and is now ready to continue on with whatever parchment craft technique you have chosen to complete your project with.  For my Pinwheel mandala I used the Pergamano Multi Grid #4 and the Ergonomic Embossing tool #1 for all the pinwheels.  I used the Pergamano single needle tool to stipple the center diamond shapes and I simply embossed the true center area of the pinwheel.

Hugs to all,

Monday, October 4, 2010

Parchment Craft "Etched Glass" Technique

Hi everyone,

I've not been well for the past several weeks and have truly not had the physical or mental determination to create another  "Etched Glass" tutorial as promised, however, I will provide you with the things that are required for this technique.

First, you must learn how to make grid  border templates and you can find that lesson here.

Secondly, a photo editing program such as Paint Shop Pro OR Adobe PhotoShop is required.  I use Paint Shop Pro 8, however, any version thereafter is exactly the same program with lots more bells and whistles, but the foundation program is the same.  Personally, I have never used Adobe PhotoShop but I am told by those who do use it that it's very similar to Paint Shop Pro (PSP).

Thirdly, you must also learn how to print direct to parchment and the lessons for that process can be found here.  These three distinct steps create an "Etched Glass" project...you cannot leave any of the three step out and expect  good results!! 

If you prefer to use the previous tutorials I have provided for the first two steps in the "Etched Glass" process that is fine..... those tutorials can be found right here (Making A Grid Template and Printing On Parchment) by clicking on the 'tutorials' tab, however, to get to the final step of the process....the book is required!!  Included in the book are many links to FREE Paint Shop Pro program accessories that make creating Parchment Craft "Etched Glass" so much fun. 

Here are a few photos of some of the unique things you can create using this  wonderful technique....
 
 

Please consider purchasing Parchment Craft "Etched Glass" Technique and you will have a step by step class, with lots of visuals, to guide you not only through the first two steps of this technique but the all important third step which is the actual "Etched Glass" step by step lesson!!

For those who have purchased my book and would like a wee bit of lesson assistance, or for anyone with other inquiries, please feel free to contact me at: papercrazysplace@gmail.com  

Hugs to all,
Vickie


 





Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Mini Tutorial - Grid Borders

Hi everyone,

I have fallen a bit behind on my blog posting and I apologize to all my readers....and to those who stop by to see what's new, on their way to somewhere else!!  I've been recovering from some health issues caused by some serious flooding where I live that occurred in mid August and for the past couple of days our area has been bracing for the effects of tropical storm Nicole and that passed through last night and left the area in a mess again!!

Now, throughout these past several weeks I've been working on a condenced update of the "etched glass" part of my book and will be uploading that as soon as I can finish putting it together, but meantime, here is a mini tutorial I made quite awhile ago on how to properly place your VELLUM GRID TEMPLATE around your image printed directly to parchment paper.  **Please click on the "tutorials" tab for a refresher tut on printing on parchment and making grid border templates to work from.**






Now, there is one thing I believe (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!!!) is being overlooked when working with any of the steps in my Parchment Craft "Etched Glass" Technique.....and that is this:  you absolutely MUST emboss on the back side of your printed image!!  Find the areas on the image you want to further highlight and give texture to.  That is what you would be doing if you were making a totally 'traditional/pure' parchment project.  The ONLY thing different we are doing with my technique is printing the image on a sheet of parchment paper!!!!  Please pretend the image was created by your own preferred 'pure' parchment technique and you will then always know you MUST emboss on the back to make things look just as they do when working on a 'pure' parchment project.  It is NOT acceptable to simply print out the image...then make a grid border around it and call it an "etched glass" project that has been completed properly. 

Okay peeps, this is my 'lecture' for today and I promise I will continue to work on the tutorial I've been promising for awhile now, as I know there are some who are waiting VERY patiently for it :))

Hugs to all,
Vickie



Sunday, September 5, 2010

Skype for Windows Gets Ten-Way Video Calling

Hi everyone,

Oh my goodness!!!  I was interrupted while writing this post earlier today and when I returned to my desk I thought I had finished so I hit the 'publish' button!!  OOPS...I wasn't done and I have just realized I needed to finish what I started earlier....lol


The reason this news release excited me so much is because I have used Skype to teach my own Parchment Craft Etched Glass Technique and it worked very well.  When I taught though, Skype was set up for one on one video calling and that prompted me to wonder why there didn't seem to be anybody out there that offered conference video calling that would allow more than one person at a time.  I wanted  the option to teach more than one person at a time online parchment classes via video calling!!  Well, after some research, there are indeed places that conference video calling is available....for a healthy fee!!!  Anyway, long story short here, and getting back to the topic at hand....Skype released some news today and the article follows below.  

Do you think this would be a nice way to have parchment classes?  Considering all the things that could make it quite difficult (like language/time differences/internet availability, etc.) do you think it might work best within ones own country?  Please share your thoughts, and/or concerns, as I'd love to hear what others think of this great opportunity. 

Skype released an update to Skype for Windows, which allows you to make group video calls with up to ten people. This is in beta.
There is also a new design. Skype's Peter Parkes writes, "You'll notice that the new-look Skype is sleeker, neater and crisper than before, and we're proud of the work our interface designers have done to refine and mature the interface for this version. We've also added Skype Home, where you can follow your contacts' mood messages, set your profile picture and mood message, receive account notifications and learn more about using Skype."
Other improvements include:
- Skype Home experience
- Offline instant messaging
- New contact search and add experience
- Enhanced call experience under problematic conditions
- Post call experience


Skype Video Calling with up to ten people

This version of Skype can be downloaded here. Remember, everyone participating in the video call has to be using this version.


Friday, August 20, 2010

CHRISTMAS TREES, and..............

Hellooooooo everyone!!

Here I am and I'm keeping my promise :))  Not only am I going to share some Christmas trees that I use in my work BUT I am also going to throw in a small variety of other Christmas images I use!!  

Here's the way it works.  I will post the original image that I have already edited for you and next to it I will post the same image that has been edited again with a Paint Shop Pro MASK to soften the image edges.  I do this so the images I use blend smoothly into the grid borders on my work.  All everyone has to do is.....download whatever you want!!  How simple is that??
  
Anyway, getting back to the task at hand.  Here's a tip.  For those of you who are not familiar with (or do not like and don't want to learn)  photo editing, my suggestion is you only download the images (of your choice) with the smooth edges on the image.  **NOTE**  There are a few images that are only posted once.....those are ready for you to use as well :))  The only thing you will have to do is re-size it to suit your own preferences for your work.  There is nothing further you have to do to the image....it's ready for your parchment craft project!!

Now, for those who are familiar with, and enjoy working with Paint Shop Pro....which is what I use in the majority of my work.....my suggestion is you download both images so that on the one with no mask you can then use any mask of your choosing from your own Paint Shop Pro program.  

If you need patterns for grid borders please visit Piet and Annie Jenssen and download whatever you like.....they are FREE!!!!  I use a lot of their patterns in my work, however, I have to redesign them a wee bit to accommodate our American standard size greeting card, but for other countries you most likely will not have to go through that process.  If you would like to learn how to make a grid border TEMPLATE to use in your work, please go to the TUTORIALS tab here on this blog.  I highly recommend you make this process a part of your parchment crafting if you do a lot of grid borders, as I do, on your work :))

Okay....enough rambling on from me.  Here are 21 different Christmas images for everyone to download!!!!!  Simply left click on an image to enlarge.  Then right click and then 'save as' to download the images.  I look forward to actually seeing any work you create from these images......just send them on to me  papercrazysplace@gmail.com and, with your permission of course, I will share them right here with everyone :))























 HAVE FUN AND ENJOY!!!