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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

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Friday, October 21, 2016

More Spooky business

More Spooky Business 
By Sue Smyth 

My projects this month all feature toys or things purchased
items, I have looked at them in a different light
and included them in a work with a theme.

Lately I have become quite addicted to altering books, and
I like to go with "it" when creativity strikes.
So I will bore you this time with 2 more books. 
The first one is Alchemy, as in the ancient
method of medicine and healing. It will 
fit nicely into my collection now.

One of the emblems of medicine is the snake dating back 
to Roman times, due its affinity to the Roman god Mercury or 
the Greek god Hermes. I wanted to include them, so I have
used small plastic snakes here, so I found just the 
thing in the toy section of Kmart of all places. It
is amazing what you can find if you look with 
an open mind.

The perfume vial, is an old one I was given years ago
but to make one yourself you could use a 
small glass one you can source in cheap shops 
and wrap a filigree trinket around it for a 
very medieval look. I have tucked 
a little dyed muslin and moss under it.  

I have cut a hole in the hard cover and ripped the pages
underneath to form a cradle for the bottle. This 
will mean less chance of breaking, later.
I have actually burnt the paper around the edge
with a fire lighter wand. I love the look, just be careful
if you do this, and keep a cloth handy to smother 
any flames !!! or a fire extinguisher!! 

The snakes have been painted black, I use matt black spray
paint, then rub over with inka gold paint, gold and purple, or
any colours you want. And I have added a 
metal handle, I always like the look of a lock or 
handle so the book looks as if it should be locked or secret lol.

The head is a resin piece I made myself, and again
paint it black then rub in inka gold..I have added 
a jewelry finding as a crown and dyed muslin for softness or hair
depending on which way you look at it.

This is a layered piece, I have started with 
the chipboard feathers, and a filigree trinket, then a resin piece I have made,
then tucked in some butterfly wings. To finish I have added a
gold jewelry finding to the top and a plastic pendant.
With a small brush add inka gold to the areas you want for a 
colourful shine.. 

The title to my book is chipboard alpha, adhered
directly to the book, and painted along with the background.
When done, I have rubbed over with copper inka gold 
to highlight it from the background. Then I have
added liquid pearls to the alpha, like they
are actually nailed to the cover, very effective I think.

Down each side, after I have applied texture paste to the cover
with a bubble stencil, I have attached 1 cm strips of chipboard.
Then I have adhered acrylic dew drops, to resemble larger nails.
See my Mini tutorial on the cover below 


My next book has another theme, it is called Sting
after the dagger, and has a pirate theme.
The dagger is a plastic kids toy, and the pirate
coin came in the same pack.
Both are spray painted black and rubbed over 
with gold inka gold.

I have cut a chipboard clock in half and adhered each
half to the top and bottom of the 
cut out cover.

Again like the first book I have torn out the pages 
around the knife, and burnt them.
I have tucked died muslin around the knife to 
hide the rough edges.

I love adding a lock to the side of my books, this time
I have hung a small tassel from it.

The pirate trinket adds to the theme, and I have 
scattered gold coins and buttons around the
cover, they then have been painted 
black and rubbed over with gold inka gold.

Altered Coffin 

My third project is a little altered coffin, not something
you say everyday lol.
This is a MDF piece which I will pop on 
my Halloween table.

The base is decorated the same as the books.
with a layer of texture paste applied over stencils.
while it is wet I have added some chipboard shapes, in this case cogs.
Then it is painted with black gesso and rubbed over with 
assorted metallic inka gold  
I have added some dimensional stickers to it,
the Owl and the Wicked sign,

The centre piece is a resin frame and 
a metal Hogwarts badge, which I found in 
a souvenir shop. 
You can see the cogs around the sides here, and the 
braid that is affixed to the sides.

The feathers are painted black with matt spray paint,
then I have flicked a little Stampendous aged gold 
emboss powder over top and heat set.
This gives a hint of gold over them.

The Hogwarts badge was silver, so I have 
rubbed gold inka gold over top to match it in
with the feathers.

Then I have added the spiders and 3 d stickers to finish, 
with one of Shakespeare's quotes, one of my favourite from Macbeth

This is the first step in altering a book.
You can cut a hole out from the cover, using a template 
and sharp blade. 
In this case I have added the chipboard and acrylic dew drops 
to the sides.
And I wanted a interesting spine, so I have used here
a sushi mat. Make sure you glue the twine
connecting the bamboo first so they do not unfurl too much.  

When the texture paste is dry, paint it, this time
I have used layers of black gesso, then yellow and finally red
dylusions paint.

The I have dry brushed black gesso over the top again.
This may seem like a lot, but it is all about the layers 
of colour and each colour will show through in 
small pieces here and there to give the cover tremendous depth. 

Then start with gold metallic spray, I have used a prima spray.
as a base. Then rub in inka gold, in your favourite colours. 
Adjust the colours as you go to match your trinkets,
by spraying a little here and there as needed.

The feathers are sprayed matt black, they I have rubbed 
over Stempel Farbe, by Viva Decor (the same company as Inka Gold)
in purple, this has a fine glitter to it and makes the feathers sparkle

The snakes are sprayed matt black first, then painted with gold inka gold
and a small brush.
Then add colours as desired for a metallic sheen. 
I found if the plastic snake was misshapen like 
the green on in this picture, you could heat it with
a heat gun a little and it would flatten and fall into shape.
Just dont inhale the fumes lol

Happy Crafting 

This is how I use my altered books at Halloween

Monday, October 17, 2016

Boy stuff

Boys Stuff
By Sue Smyth 

Hi Bloggers 
Today I am sharing the layout I did for the boy challenge on the Imaginarium blog 

My boy layout is based on a Wordle, kind of a puzzle with words as the background

I have used left over alphas to create a series
or words that reflect boys, and adhered them to basic cardstock

Then I have painted with gesso
and sprayed with Lindys stamp gang sprays for colour

for the cogs I have spray painted black with a can of matt spray paint,
 then added mini art stones with dimensional magic
 and rubbed over with copper and green inka gold

I have added smaller words, that have been spray painted matt black

here the corner is embossed with 
Stampendous aged copper..perfect for this look

the black and white butterflies help soften
 the look and add a natural element to contrast with the cogs and metal

I have cut several trinkets in half and layered above and below the photo

add a few trinkets, the branches help soften the look of the layout

Happy Crafting all 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Spooky Business
By Sue Smyth
altered books 

Hi bloggers 
Earlier this year I created this altered encyclopedia and finally
as it is nearly Halloween I can share it with you all.

I use these books to decorate my house during Halloween, so
I make them a little Gothic and creepy but not too much, so I can 
display them at other times too.

The bugs are plastic and are painted black
before I have rubbed inka gold into them and added
layers of different colours

The cover of the book has been altered.
I have cut an oval shape into the cover 
and torn the pages underneath check out
my mini tutorial on the cover below.

The door latch is metal but I have embossed it 
with gold emboss powder to make it match

The swirly frame is simply spray painted black  and 
copper inka gold is rubbed over, I have 
added 3mm pearls around the edge.

The texture is created by texture paste and several stencils
Then I have layered over black gesso, red paint, gold paint and 
various inka golds, the more layers the better.

This is the centre of the book, which  has been randomly stamped
with black ink and assorted stamps.

Step by step cover alteration

Draw an oval on to the front cover, drill holes
through the cover and then cut with a blade
to remove an oval shape.

After I have cut an oval into the cover, I
used a blade to cut a + into the 
pages, then you can peel and tear the pages.

Tear each section as you go 


Continue to tear out the pages below until you are 
happy with the depth.

Then randomly cover the cover with texture paste, 
using relevant stencils.

When dry paint with red dylusions paint and

Now paint with black gesso.

Make sure you leave a little red paint showing through.

Use bulldog clips to hold the pages together, then paint
with gel medium to adhere them all together.

Now start with the metallic paints, layering up the 
colours as you go.

Paint the bugs with gold paint, after
they have been spray painted black.

Flick brown and gold spray inks over the inside
cover, tuck in black muslin.

I have added some die cut tassels to the side and 
a metal lock.
The corner bracket is double embossed with
aged gold emboss powder. Then continue on to add bugs and trinkets
as desired.

Mini spooky business 

To add to my display, I have made a few mini 
altered books.
This time I have used dictionaries and pocket guides, 
you can find them in any op shop really cheap.

The first one I have used the swirly rectangle frame
which is double embossed, then sprayed with 
black dylusions to give an aged look.

The bracket is just sprayed black and rubbed
over with gold paint, then dab
a little dylusions ink over the top
for a opalized look.

The next book is similar, I have cut a hole
into the cover to nestle the bug into.

The bug is sprayed black and rubbed over
with gold paint and inka gold, I have also cut
the chip dragonfly wings and placed them
to each side to make a hybrid beetle.

The bracket again is double embossed with 
aged emboss powder.

Here is a snap of the cover before it is 
decorated, and when I have painted it black with

Here you can see the application of inka 
golds, to create a layered colour.

I love altering these books and do a few each
year to add to my collection, I think this 
is honoring the book not destroying it, which
is what usually happens to old encyclopedia and pocket hand books.
And you end up with a work of art for you house.
I hope you give it a go too
Happy Crafting 

Chipboard used