Friday, September 22, 2017

Imaginarium Altered Magic

The Giant Mummy Book 
and Pigs might fly 
By Sue Smyth

I love searching second hand stores for nicely shaped books 
and a few months ago I found this massive 
Atlas, with a super hard cover. It cost me the huge 
price of $1.00 ...what a bargin
It measures about 60 x 30 cms so yes it is large 
and heavy.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it, I love 
Egyptian art works, and with Halloween 
coming up, I knew I would be able to find
lots of Mummy inspired items, along 
with my favourite go to plastic bugs !!!

Here are some super close ups, here
you can see how I have created a giant
rip in the front of the book.
And I have burnt the edges of the paper.
I use a fire lighter to make it easier.

Here is my giant Scarab, I found 
it as the Australian Geographic shop, 
you can get a whole pack of assorted bugs for about$15.00

Here I have included plastic snakes and 
a plastic skeleton, you will find these
at any store selling Halloween decorations.

I found lots of plastic skulls at Spotlight 
and they work a treat when painted 
with black gesso and then layered 
over with metallic paint.

I also found some super Dragon eyes that just 
had to be included.

I needed an ANKH, which I found online
to tuck into the mix.
Along with a Scorpion.

I tried to use bugs that 
were relevant, like centipedes, scarabs, beetles
and scorpions, things you would find in the 

To soften the look and hide 
any voids, I have dyed 
some muslin brown
and teased it out, I have tucked that in
all over the front.

The best thing I found was 
these skeleton hands again 
at Spotlight in the Halloween
section, they were the inspiration for the whole
book, I wanted 2 skeletal hands
to appear to be ripping the
book apart, and the melee of 
bugs to be cascading out. 
I also made some resin molds 
of King Tut to include.

This plastic scarab is huge, I did have 
to alter him a bit to make him more 
authentic, a bit of surgery
with the scissors turned an elephant beetle
into a scarab.

I have called my book Secret of the Tomb.
I am working on the inside too, but it 
was not ready in time, so 
I will post it next blog post.

I have adhered lots of gauze to the cover to 
appear like a Mummy shroud.

Here is a little Hint on how to do it 

The cover has been cut in half with a CHAINSAW, 
yes that is right,the cover was so hard I had 
to enlist hubby and his trusty 
chainsaw, I made sure he did
it roughly for a rustic look.

I have added macrame cord around 
the edges and layered over 
it scrunched tissue, and on
top of that, chipboard and embellishments.

Burn the edges with a bbq lighter or a portable 
burner from a kitchen shop.

Then paint the whole book with 
black gesso. It is starting 
to look so cool already!!

The frame is painted with black gesso.
Then randomly draw with 
liquid pearls(any colour) 
Then leave it to dry.

When dry paint with black gesso again, and dry off.

When you rub over gold ink gold it will 
pick up the fine lines and looks so 

The main body of the book 
is covered in crumpled tissue
painted black and then 
rub over inka gold of your choice, I have 
used Graphite and cobalt.
I have also used an Art Alchemy wax 

Here is the start of my embellishments, and as you can see above 
I kept filling the frame with 
whatever I wanted to enhance the theme.
Why not have a go and make you very
own altered book.

Pigs Might Fly 

My next project is a cutie.
I have been looking for so long for a fat cute 
pig to alter. And at last I found one.

She has several layers of wings and such a cute 
smile on her face.

I had to make her a crown, and I found
plastic ones in the party section.

To decorate the sides I have adhered chipboard
cogs, to the base of the pig, and layered over
real metal ones later.

Even her bottom is cute lol.

Cheese !!

Paint the crown with black gesso first
and then rub over with gold inka
you will be surprised at the detail
that is revealed.

The monarch butterfly chipboard makes a great set
of wings for a pig.

Here is a little how too 

First paint the pig black, I use
flat black spray paint, but you could 
also use black gesso.

Then add texture paste to 
the surface so you can adhere the chipboard.
It helps to mist the chipboard with water
first so it can bend with the
shape of the object.

When dry, paint black again
this time with black gesso,
as this will help the colours adhere
to the surface.

Then paint the pig turquoise and add
a little purple paint.
I have done this randomly
as I love the randomness of ART.

Chipboard is sprayed black too, and 
sponge over paint randomly.

I have rubbed over Alchemy  waxes, this 
one is Antique Turquoise.
It gives a cool aged look. 

The add Vintage gold for a super sheen.

Happy Crafting 


  1. Love, love, love. I so love learning from you Sue. You are amazeballs!

  2. These are so amazing. Such gorgeous project creative and unique

  3. Mind blowing... epic.... avant-garde... just a few words that came to mind reading this post ❤️❤️❤️