Unique Stardream Paper Idea – Eryka’s Decoupage Obsession

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Last week, artist Eryka Garbutt of Eryka’s Place submitted photos of two very unique designs she created using Bronze Stardream Card Stock : Pictured here, hand made gift boxes in the shapes of handbags and shoes.

Gift Boxes made of Stardream Bronze Card Stock

As we have never had a Share Your Creativity submission quite like Eryka’s, it was a treat to have her answer a few questions we had about her distinctive designs.

Read about Eryka and her Stardream Bronze Shoes and Handbags below:

Eryka, browsing through your web site, I gather that you have many creative talents. Please begin by telling me about Eryka’s Place and the variety of artistic designs that you offer.

I love the creative process. Eryka’s Place was developed to showcase and share my creations.

My obsession is decoupage, the creation of an image or abstract using paper, or leaves or fabric. When you apply enough varnish the background and paper edges seems to disappear and you achieve this glass like finish. I use this technique to create earrings and pendants using Japanese Paper for the fabulous colors and patterns, which are almost, like fabric. Currently, I am experimenting with making my own handmade paper to use on my jewelry. The results are tremendously textured and very unique. I am one of very few artists who create decoupage jewelry.

A close second in the obsession world would be flame glass bead work. You take a rod of glass about as thick as a drinking straw, this is melted in an open-flame from what looks a bit like Bunsen burner. When the glass is hot enough it melts to the consistency of treacle. The glass then flows and this is when the magic happens. The molten glass in the flame is almost hypnotic. You blend the different glasses; add dots and swirls to create your own individual piece. You never get two the same and that is the appeal.

Silk scarves are one of my latest ventures; I love the way the paint flows on the silk, I love the bright and bold colors.

I am currently playing with paper quilting, just like the real thing, only you use paper and it is on a much smaller scale. I use mostly Japanese paper, and for plain colors Stardream works well. I use this and other techniques to create greeting cards and designs to frame.

Still at the experimental stage, but working well are wrist cuffs. These aluminum cuffs are about 4cm wide, and I am decoupaging them with Japanese paper, lace and other materials.

Let’s discuss your submissions. They are absolutely beautiful, and are both truly one of a kind. They are perfect examples of how blank stock can be transformed into amazing designs with a bit of creativity and imagination. Let’s begin with the bronze jewelry bags. Will you discuss how the ideas for this design came together?

Stardream bronze jewelry gift bags

I belong to a group of flame glass bead makers that come under the Fiery Porpoise banner and we had been invited to display and sell our jewelry at the opening of the Belconnen Arts Center. I have been working closely with these artists creating individual signature packaging options. We wanted upmarket packaging to suit our upmarket image. However we do not make much money so wanted something exquisite but cheap. This was a very tall order.

I have an engineering background. In a previous life I drew up air condition ductwork for large government buildings. If I can see it in my minds eye I can generally come up with a construction drawing. There were several designs created.

The handbag is really just a box, with the sides extended to form the handles. I wanted something cute that could be reused. I had a client with me when the postman delivered a package of the bronze Stardream. She fell in love with the color and could see her creations in them finished off with hot pink tissue paper.

What tools did you use to create these bags?

I use a Craftrobo lite, (known as a Wishblade in the USA) which is connected to my computer. It is really just like a small printer, but instead of printing lines it has a small blade and actually cuts the designs out. You could do it with a pair of scissors but I can cut the same design, exactly the same every time. The software provided is much more basic than AutoCad or Microstation, the most popular CADD packages used in Industry. I can draw designs in Autocad and the import them to Craftrobo. This is useful for more complicated designs. Using my Craftrobo there are many restrictions. The paper must be A1 or smaller. The paper must be less than 0.3mm thick, no plastic coating or white core, or the designs are difficult to extract from the paper. My designs require bending, creasing and interlocking of pieces, so the paper must be sturdy. Most importantly I want a large range of fabulous colors; so guess why Stardream is my favorite paper.

I am eager to discuss your next submission, the Stardream bronze shoes gift box! We have never had a Share Your Creativity submission quite like this; truly awesome! Where did you get the inspiration for such a unique design? Were theses shoes created for a client as well?

Stardream bronze shoes gift box

Among my friends and family I am known as Imelda (as in Imelda Marcos with the shoe fetish). When I got my Craftrobo I wanted to create everything including shoes, handbags and more. I surfed the net, looking at shoes and patterns. There were a few patterns, but they were rather boxy. The pattern just evolved by trial and error, but my engineering background did help.

I would use them as a small gift on their own decorated with beads, or with a small gift, such as a bottle of perfume attached. When working on the packaging ideas I thought it would be nice to have a storage area for jewelry. I tried using the heel but shoe became too boxy, so I created a storage box in the toe area, and this works really well. Once I have a pattern I can recreate them in any size as long as it smaller that A1.

Will you share with us the process of creating this design?

As I said I am known as Imelda, and I have a modest collection of shoes (about 80 pairs, now that is modest, is it not?) so I took a few pairs of shoes, studied their shape and construction and broke the design down to geometric sections. Sort of squares and triangles, from this I came up with a sketch, which I converted to a pattern. There was great deal of trial and error. The first shoe was so boxy and chunky. The design was refined giving a slimmer heel, more shape to the upper; well they must look nice enough to wear.

Stardream is a beautiful stock, and as you have shown us, very versatile. Is this a stock you use frequently?

I find paper the perfect medium. It is versatile, inexpensive, and the choice of colors and patterns are limitless.

Stardream is an ideal paper for my creative outlets. Apart from packaging, I use it for some of my earrings, pendants, greeting cards, scrapbook embellishments, cup cake wrappers and paper quilting.

Variety of Designs created with specialty paper

Thank you Eryka, for sharing your unique designs and creative ideas with us.

If you would like to submit a design of your own, please visit our Share Your Creativity page for more information.

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Kristen Desrosier

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