Winter Wonderland challenge – Anything but a card

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The challenge this time at the Winter Wonderland is Anything but a Card. I have decided that my entry will be this pergamano cracker. I have made several of these over the years, and I love them. The trouble is, I always give them away. I wonder if I might get to keep this piece of my art work and pop it on the tree??

To tell you how it was made I have put together a collage of pictures…

Pergamano is a very ancient craft. It is patterns on parchment. To make any pergamano piece takes time. Firstly the pattern must be traced onto the parchment. This can be done in white pencil or ink, or some areas can be done in coloured inks. In this instance I traced the poinsettia with a red ink, the leaves with green, and the sledge I painted with gold ink. I planned to use a square grid with holes in the right places to do the white patterning, so, instead of tracing the entire white pattern, I simply put in a few markers for placement.

The next step was to paint the poinsettia and leaves on the front of the parchment, using watercolour pencils. Then the design needed to be pricked out. Using a special very fine needle-pointed tool, I lightly pricked out all the holes in the pattern through the grid. This enabled me to get the lines straight!!!

Then the design needed embossing. Card makers are very familiar with embossing in lots of forms. This is different, but the end result is the same – raised patterns on the parchment. Using a ball tool, I embossed the veins on the leaf from the front, then turning the parchment over, embossed the flowers, leaves, sledge and small dots from the back. The “folds” of the cracker were also embossed at this point; mountain folds from the back, valley folds from the front.

Then all the holes were re-pricked, but deeper this time to make them larger. The final pattern step is making those little tiny “crosses” seen in the picture above. These have to be cut out of the patterns of holes! Each cross takes four cuts with tiny curved scissors…. However, although painstaking, it is actually very relaxing. I can’t be doing or thinking of, anything else at the time. Wonderful!

The entire piece was then cut out around the edges, and put together using DST to hold the square shape. Fancy red ribbon completes the cracker, and there is the lovely piece created totally by hand. I know that my own pergamano work isn’t perfect, but the sense of satisfaction when a piece is finished is amazing. If you would like to see more of the pieces I have made…. pop in here… That Advent calendar took months but we use it every Christmas – and folk love to see it hanging on a green swag.

So, that’s my entry..

Take care. God bless.


Categories: ArtCraftyStuff

One Reply to “Winter Wonderland challenge – Anything but a card”


    This is really beautiful, no the wonder you don’t get to keep one they must be queuing at your door to get them. Thanks for joining in with our Anything but a card challenge at Winter Wonderland this week, and I hope you will join us again Eileen x
    Sun, 15 May 2016 19:29:18

    Alison B
    Fabulous project – such a beautiful cracker it will look wonderful on the table on Christmas Day. Thank you for joining us at Winter Wonderland. Alison x
    Thu, 12 May 2016 20:35:46

    Cindy M
    Wow, this cracker is amazing. A true labor of love! Thanks for joining us at Winter Wonderland.
    Thu, 12 May 2016 03:55:53

    Shaz in Oz.x
    Ooooh Margaret this is gorgeous one day I’m going to try pergamano …may pop over for some lessons eh…if only. 🙂 and thanks for popping over! Shaz in Oz.x Ps doing some catch up.. {Calligraphy Cards – Shaz in Oz}
    Wed, 11 May 2016 13:31:16

    Such a pretty cracker. I remember making one of those back in my early days of papercrafting for real. It was parchment craft that introduced me to embossing and then that was it – now I am hooked and try anything I can relate to it. Blessings, Neet xx
    Wed, 11 May 2016 06:49:31

    Beautiful Christmas project Margaret, love the pretty Pergamano technique and your water colouring. Thank you for playing along with our Challenge at Winter Wonderland. We would love to see you again … Anet DTx
    Sun, 08 May 2016 23:06:27

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