Welcome to my Blog

Welcome everyone, I hope to inspire you and share some of my papercraft work. You can find out where I teach and what I am up to, what inspires me and what I am working on next. I love to share new ideas and neat ways of adding creativity to your pages or cards etc

my blog

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Mythical Creatures By Sue Smyth

What is a Spriggan?
By Sue Smyth 

You may well ask what is a Spriggan? For those that know me, I grew up on a farm...ahemmm some years ago, outside Brisbane. At that time there was no electricity, running water or phone, so we where somewhat isolated.
But this meant as children we had endless freedom. Freedom to run around the Bush, Rivers and Streams of the property. I had several favorite haunts on the farm, one was a deep hole in the ground made by the decaying of an old tree, tucked away under a stand of wattles it was shaded and protected. Moss covered the surface, lots of little tiny flowers would bloom from time to time, and minature mushrooms would sprout after rain.We could literally lay in this depression and pretend we were in another world. Some other spots, were a large patch of lemon scented tea tree and on the crest of the hill a patch of floating granite rocks that were flat and smooth, covered with moss and lichens. On cool evenings we would jump from rock to rock, sometimes at dawn you could also see foxes and even hares playing on the same spot lol.
Perhaps this explains why I love natural world so much, yes Bugs and Butterflies, I know they are not everyone's cup of tea, but I love their shapes and design lines, rather than their nature lol. But I also
love the mythical world, the world of imagination and folklore. I was always curious about the "little people" and we would often search for "evidence" of their existence, I think the closest I came to finding them, was in early summer time at the back of our farm we had a well, and the callistamen trees were covered in hundreds of "thumbelia" green tree frogs. This is my long winded way of saying I am again curious about the mythical world, and this seems to have replaced my penchant for bugs lately...So my first official project for the year is a altered book celebrating the Spriggan...

spriggan, a singular borrowed from the Cornish plural spyryjyon 'spirits' is a legendary creature known from Cornish faery lore. Spriggans are particularly associated with West Penwith in Cornwall.

The story behind this book, is that I wanted to do more with mythical creatures, and elves in particular. So at Christmas time I carefully picked apart one of my elf dolls, and with 
a little trickery ..made a mold. Then I could set a resin head to use,  this is what started an altered book on Spriggans.

Here you can clearly see the elf head, first I painted it black to give 
clear defined lines in the face, kind of like you do in a cartoon.

I have added a set of resin wings, these are dragon wings but I think they suit for all creatures mythical right.

I love using the mini alphabet to make solid little labels, you will 
see this trick on a lot of my work. It is a great way of 
getting a custom title with out a lot of fuss.

Here I wanted a frame to surround my side lock, but could not find one that fit perfectly. So I have use ID corners and snipped off some of the overhanging
bits, I think it works fantastically well.

I love tucking things under the layers, here you can see the large 
ornate key I have tucked in. And the those neat little rustic domes are actually gum nut lids, I love bringing in the natural world lol.

I wanted the spine to have some interest too, and since I chose a really really think old hardback novel I had room to play, this is just chipboard rectangles that have been adhered 
to the spine first. Then I have scrunched up tissue paper and 
applied it to the cover and spine with Gel Medium for that textured almost leather look.

A lot of the neat ID chipboard gets lost on the front, but under the head I have an oval frame and a square frame (adhered to a piece of custom chipboard)
I needed some kind of sturdy base for the head and a place to tuck in the wings, key and moss. 

You can see how I painted the entire book with black gesso and then with metallic purple paint.
This seems bold, but as you know adding more layers will cover 90 percent of this, with only a little of the black and purple showing through.

I have then decorated my book by rubbing layers 
of metallic waxes over top. This is the step that takes the book in any direction I want it to, just by adding more of one colour or another. I have complete freedom here to change the colours or adjust them to what I like. This time I highlighted the purples, greens and graphite of the spectrum. I have hidden the bottom of the spriggan with faux moss, and a tangle of black cotton.

I hope you like my new addition to my altered book
collection and here is a few of the Chipboard pieces I have used.

Edward Relief Corner IDC0008

Oval Swirly edge Frame IDF0031

Leah Frame IDFR0034

Swirly Corners IDC0002

and of course 

main letter set (small )

Thanks for visiting and 
Happy Crafting 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas Cheer for Imaginarium

Altered Pringle Tins and Bauble 
By Sue Smyth 

I love to recycle, and pringle tins are one of  the best 
and most rewarding things to  decorate.
 I wanted to do 
a Christmas theme but not so much that I could not 
use this throughout the year.

I was after an ornate look, as if it might be an artifact 
or piece from a royal palace, so  I knew gold would be in the mix lol.

I simply adore how the antique beads came up. I have 
used cheap gold and coloured beads and rolled
them in a dish of Alcohol ink
Here I have used Mushroom and Cranberry to give 
them an aged look. They remind me of  mercury glass I think.
I have also used a cheap plastic snowflake decoration
as the base for the tree tin.

I have decorated the front with ID frames and sunbursts
then set a jewel or resin rose
in the centre, I just could not resist
adding a sweet bird trinket too.

This is a pringle tin, and I have used 
a fibre bristle tree on top, but I have sprayed it 
red with Dylusions post box red.
Then I have brushed Dimensional magic (or glue)
over the bristles and rolled it in gold 
glitter!!! It looks superb in real life.

This tin is a Chai tea tin ( I have sprayed the inside with 
black spray paint to disguise any marks left inside)
The finial on tip is an old Christmas tree topper.
I have sprayed it with matt black spray paint
and rubbed over with Alchemy gold 

Check out how I achieved the texture on the surface 
on my mini tutorial below 

Antique Bauble 

My next project uses much the same techniques as above but 
with a few twists.

This gorgeous bauble uses ID border chipboard 
and two doiley chipboard shapes.

I wanted it to look good no matter what angle you
looked at it.

Then I have layered a large filigree trinket with a sunburst
Chipboard. then a ruby gem.
Around the edge I have added dimensional magic 
and some beautiful red micro beads, I have 
used a pointed tool to mooch them into 
shape. I also love the mirror glass shards
that I randomly adhered to the spikes of the 

I started with just an ordinary foam bauble from
Kmart...costing 2.00 

I snipped out the centre of the doily so it would 
fit over the bauble top.

Then with texture paste (as this has more grabbing power on round 
objects) I have glued the chipboard onto the bauble.
The tip is to spray the chipboard with a little water
first, then it will mold nicely to the shape.
Then add rubber bands to hold in place while it dries.

Once texture paste is dry, paint with black gesso.

Then paint with orange Dylusions paint, leaving 
little bits of black showing.

Then I have rubbed over Inka Gold, in Copper, and Red.

Then I added a little Metallic Red and Gold Alchemy wax 
because I liked the colours.
Over top of that add more gold paint rubbing over the 
raised areas and decorate as above to finish.

Altered Tins Tutorial 

These are the humble containers I started with.

Add a generous amount of texture paste.

Then add some trim to the top and bottom and stipple 
the texture paste, then I have used 
glass beads. just at the top and bottom not the middle.

Spray the border chipboard with a little water and
wrap around the tin, add a rubber band to hold in place.

I have done the same for the second tin.

When Texture paste is dry, paint them black with gesso.

Then paint over with orange dylusions paint. I have used
orange because it is close to gold in colour and 
I wanted an over all gold humm.
Then rub over with Red, copper and gold inka gold
to finish and decorate the front and lids as you like.

Happy Crafting 
and a Very Merry Christmas to you all
thank you for following my crafty projects throughout 
the year and I hope I inspired you all 

Sue Smyth 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

imaginarium fairy business

Fairy Business 
By Sue Smyth 

Recently I went to an visual installation that featured
fairies, dragons and elves, it was gorgeous.
It so inspired me to do a woodland
fairy canvas  

First I started with crumpled tissue paper, which I painted 
black, then I added wood fibre, also painted black

Then I painted the canvas moss green and dried
it off . And then added
inka Gold and metallic paints.

Next I altered a plastic doll to look like
a woodland fairy.
The wings are a large butterfly which
has had moss added to it.
I have added a skirt in sheet moss 

Cloisonne Butterfly technique 

This is one of my favourite techniques (please forgive the blurry
shot here lol)
Cover a chip butterfly with 
Purple liquid pearls, use 
a toothpick to move it out to the edges nicely.

Then add dots of gold liquid pearls.

Then use a toothpick to swirl the 
gold around the purple while it is 
still wet. Dont over do, 
then allow to dry. 

Then I have arranged my canvas, added
vines, tiny mushrooms, pine cones and flowers.

Here are some close ups to show the details

A little Christmas Cheer 

With the silly season almost here, my thoughts 
turn to decorating. 
This was a purchased book box that 
I thought would be lovely if decorated in side.

So I added some background paper then the 
ID window, which is covered with my 
faux snow..see below for recipe

It gives a wonderful textured look to the window

Then some green moss looks like 
foliage, especially when I have
dabbed it with a little white gesso to 
create a snowed look.

I have tucked some Tim Holtz deer in side the window too and 
of course some ID chipboard trees, also 
covered in the faux snow.

Faux Snow 

It is really difficult I know lol

1 teaspoon of white gesso
1 teaspoon of white glitter 
mix together until happy, add more glitter for more

You can use fine glitter (which I have) or 
chunky glitter for a more textured look.

Happy Crafting