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

Monday, May 21, 2018

Snips and Snails by Sue Smyth

Snips and Snails 
and Chrysalis Canvas
By Sue Smyth 

This month I have a layout for you all, I have gone off layouts lately, as my children are 
older and do not offer the photo opportunities they used to, I dont have 
the never ending stream of photos I used to.
But recently I launched a range of Ephemera sheets, which can be fussy 
cut to use on layouts, Art journaling, cards and any mixed media projects.
Basically never ending uses, so I am re inspired. 

One of the sheets features Boys, from the old poem we learnt as 
kids, "snips and snails and puppy dog tails, that is what little boys are made of
This was the inspiration for the collage sheet and my layout.

They work perfectly layered over chipboard, and elements.
The chipboard I have painted with flat black spray paint
and then rubbed over with Art Alchemy Vintage gold wax, this gives a 
great detailed shine and colour.

I have snipped up the large honeycomb chipboard (painted black again)
this way you can add structure to your page with small elements of the larger

Then I have fussy cut lots of elements and clustered them around 
the chipboard and photo.
Dont be afraid to tuck things under other elements, you dont have to 
see all of the item to have an impact...see the half butterfly..
it is still a powerful shape and element.

I like to fussy cut things with a little white edge, no matter what
I am cutting, this gives you room to make a mistake lol.

Again dont be afraid to tuck chipboard under other elements, this feather is 
painted matt black and then I have flicked runny white gesso over top.
This makes it look like a magpie or guinea fowl feather, much more 
organic than just a plain feather...and the black and white has a great 
wow factor.

Pages like this only work when you have good clustering skills, if you think
you are not great at it, practice,you can learn this skill with practice I promise lol

My next project is a fairy canvas, but I thought it ended up looking 
like a fairy emerging from a pupa like a chrysalis, so that is 
what I called it.

The wings are rather special, a little technique I developed, you can 
see a mini tutorial below.

And it is a great project to use up all your old rhinestones 

Even leaves can be painted, here I have used emerald Inka Gold with water
 and a soft bristle brush. Then I have rubbed over Vintage Gold Art Alchemy wax.

Love making butterflies, and I have used this technique before, paint 
the chipboard with white gesso, then apply white liquid pearls over top.
I have used Couture Creations Cotton ball here, while still wet, apply a 
purple liquid pearls and a toothpick to swirl it around the white,,then let it dry.
It will take a while but the end result is stunning ,,dont you think.

You can also see another technique here the gossamer fairy 
wings , made from muslin.

The toy doll has been wrapped up before painting and altering, let your
imagination go here.

To a large generic chipboard butterfly apply white texture paste.

The take your time and add random rhinestones, pushing
into the texture paste.

When dry, paint with black gesso, allow to dry for  a few
minutes the wipe off most of it.

Wipe until you are happy with the effect.

The the magic happens, rub over 
selected colours of inka gold.
I have used turquoise, violet, magenta, and lastly gold.

Then to finish I have added a few drops of alcohol ink
they dry instantly, but you can rub in with a soft small paint brush
they taint the colour of the rhinestone.
This way you can alter the colours of rhinestones you 
have used to suit the project.

Happy Crafting All 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

little treasures

Little Treasures 
By Sue Smyth

After many years of creating and crafting, you can imagine that I have a lot of projects to display and keep. This can be a challenge, sometimes I give work away and it also goes around the country on display for classes, but mostly because I fall in love with what I have created, I keep it.
So from time to time I go small, do little things that satisfy my creative bug and dont take a lot of space when displaying. This time I had some old paint brushes that were begging to be used, and I have seen people or fairies made with them by others, so decided to have a go at it myself...my version if you will.

First up is my blue fairy, she has a gorgeous ID butterfly as her wings, I have covered patches
with dimensional magic then sprinkled with fine glitter, then when dry
I have filled in the remaining areas with dimensional magic and a contrasting colour
of glitter.

Then I have used a contrasting colour, Red ,this time using a solid ID chipboard
butterfly as the wings. I have used a medium with glass beads in it all over
the chipboard, while wet I drew in the medium to create ridges.
When dry I have painted with turquoise paint, then rubbed in
violet and gold inka and waxes.

They both are smallish brushes, so little charms fit them well, I 
found some little crowns and a heart with wings just in scale.

You can then add natural items like feathers, moss and muslin to 
create a skirt.

I have added a bit of sugar wire around the wings to 
create a fine line of detail.

Trophy Pringle box

Next I have altered a Pringle box, I just love these, and have done them many times before
something about the solid cylinder maybe that I love. You can used the to store things
after you alter them too, which makes the uber practical.

To follow my theme of this year, dragons, I have put a molded dragon on the 
front of this one.
It is a resin dragon I made myself, if you heat the resin after it is set and 
cast it will become pliable again (not liquid).
So I have bent it around the tin and allowed it to reset in that shape.

I have used ID chipboard to decorate the bottom and top of the tin and added a frame under the dragon.

The dragon though he is small has heaps of detail that comes up
so well with inka gold and waxes. But first I painted him with black gesso 

Then I have used Art Alchemy waxes and Inka Gold to colour him 
as desired.

I have added a cool plastic trophy, to the top, of course  I have altered it first.
then piled a lot of shiny beads over the base.
I have recoloured the beads with 
alcohol inks if needed.

And added some red micro beads around the dragons tail 
with a large purple rhinestone.

To finish I have also added seed beads over the larger beads
and allowed them to fall naturally over the sides.

Some of the chipboard used

Happy Crafting 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sue Smyth Unicorns live

Unicorn wall art 
and Mini Dragon Eggs

Well this year certainly is the year of mythical creatures, unicorns, dragons and mermaids are everywhere. I kid you not, my daughter and I went shopping earlier this year and every single shop had something Unicorn in it, even the make up shop, unicorn make up. I looked hard to see if I could use it as paint lol. I have always loved mythical things, from early school years I was fascinated with the Greek and Egyptian gods and legends. We have an extensive DVD collection of all the fantasy and legend style movies. Later in Art College I loved the  work of Brian Froud one of the collaborators on Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, he has books available featuring his work and illustrations of Faeries, and the wee folk. This was the inspiration for last months post "the Spriggan". This month I have used the Kaisercraft unicorn and this just lends itself to alteration and applying chipboard to the surface. I hope you like it and are inspired to create one for yourself.  

The finished piece would be neat hung on the wall or as I do, placed on an easel, it would also be awesome framed in a large frame for someone very special. I loved it so much I have done two, one in pink and one in teal my favorite colour.

I have layered the surface with lots and lots of texture with the last
layer being metal trinkets and jewels. This is the chance to use 
up old jewelry, beads and earrings making each unicorn unique, which is kind of 

The mane is covered with gel medium and seed beads, then I have added a layer of pony beads to add even more dimension.

The last layer of trinkets is the chance to use clustering rules to create a mat of shiny texture that work as a whole.

Here you can see the layer of chipboard, this creates base texture and a platform for you to work from, when you add the next layers.

Here is the teal version, this time I have done the mane a little different using texture paste instead.

I have left more of the chipboard base layer showing in the teal 
version. Some elements I have painted black, and appplied gold wax , like the resin rose and others I have left alone like the metal rose, but they all have one thing in common "gold" and this is why they work as a group rather than a mish mash of colour.

I have raided my jewelry supplies and added shiny beads and buttons.

An old faux wax seal, makes the perfect eye, layered over with an iridescent button

I just love the ID feathers peeking out, which I have given an ombre look with Inka Gold paint.

Even the gold beads are given a splash of turquoise to make them suit the colour scheme. So always think outside the box when adding colour and shape.

Dragon Eggs

My next project is one of my favourite things to do, make dragon eggs, and since it is near Easter, what better thing to do. Though my eggs don't look like the ones you will want to eat lol

This time I have used smaller styro eggs than I usually do, so the challenge was to find things small enough to adhere to the surface. Luckily Imaginarium make a whole lot of chipboard in mini sizes, which is always something to keep in mind.

They all fit in this Faux nest perfectly

First is a dragon egg, the resin dragon is heated with a heat gun to 
help it mould to the side of the egg, then adhered onto it
with gel medium.

The Second egg, has ID chipboard clock on the top, I have sprayed it with a little water to help it mould to the side of the egg, and adhered to the egg with gel medium.

The Third egg, is just a mish mash of ID chipboard scrolls over the surface, adhered with gel medium, and I have then wrapped it with tissue paper, this helps the chipboard 
stay adhered and the bonus is you can handle the egg better while wet.

The Fourth egg, has some ID chipboard dragon flies and plastic snakes added to it along with some bling and pearls. 

I love how when you heat the styro foam just a LITTLE it puckers 
like dragon scales.

Here is a mini tutorial, and tips on how to make 
dragon eggs.

Start with stryo eggs.

Snip up and dampen chipboard, adhere to surface with gel medium and then cover with scrunched up tissue paper. 

Here you can see how I have kept the items in place until the medium sticks, I have used pins on the plastic snakes (they stay in place ) and rubber bands over the chipboard. 
Then paint with black gesso and dry off carefully.
then layer over your paint and inka gold of choice.
I like to finish with some bling and Vintage gold Alchemy wax to 
add more sparkle and shine.

Some of the chipboard I used.

Happy Crafting