Monthly Archives: May 2016

A feast for the eyes

A feast for the eyes
A feast for the eyes

 

So it turned out to be serendipitous that Alpha Stamps asked its designers to create something Alice-themed this month.

Because my daughter will be a unicycling performer in an upcoming Alice in Wonderland Circus production this summer, Alice has been on my mind a lot more than usual. Considering that Alice was never on my mind before now, this isn’t exactly an earth-shaking change.

BetsySkagen-AliceCake-124748

I decided to make an Alice-themed paper cake. In a strange turn of events–as if we could expect anything else from Alice–a fellow teammate also created a paper cake. What’s wonderful is that both cakes turned out completely different from one another. Read the rest of this entry

BetsySkagen-CA-Tile-123602

 

So many adorable pictures of my kids sit unseen in boxes. Now that “my babies” are teens, I am trying to make more time to showcase some of those special snapshots in time.

Here is a mixed media tiled frame I made to showcase one especially colorful picture of my daughter on a visit to Disney World. While I used a different technique, I was first inspired by the work of the talented Lora Mahaffey. You can see my tutorial featured at the ColourArte blog

BetsySkagen-CA-Tile-123316 .

 

 Great Stuff

Was Lewis Carroll a secret crafter?–an Alice in Wonderland Altered Tin

Was Lewis Carroll a secret crafter?–an Alice in Wonderland Altered Tin

Alice-Tin-by-Paper-Calliope-170841

Becoming a professional crafter has changed my life. Monday mornings? Couldn’t be better! Daily commute? No sweat! I. Love. My. Job.

Admittedly though, it has made me a little odd. I am often going out in public with dyed blue fingers or traces of glitter in my hair. And seriously, who besides me makes frantic dashes to the dollar store before it closes for the night in order to buy cheap dolls to dismember?

Ummmm…Apparently several of you. When I asked fellow Alpha Stamps Design Team Members that question, more than one had done the same thing. One, who shall remain nameless, coughTristancough had bought 12.

Scary.

Alice-Tin-by-Paper-Calliope-205522

This is not the first time I have dismembered body parts in the name of crafting…

Read the rest of this entry

Welcome to our cottage on the lake–sorry no synchronized flushes

Welcome to our cottage on the lake–sorry no synchronized flushes

Paper-Calliope-Lake-Sign-by-Betsy-Skagen-103215

Next year will be the 75th anniversary of our family’s cottage and I thought it was high time to acknowledge our family’s long history with this humble yet special place on “da lake”.

Humble is not some half-hearted attempt at being polite. I literally mean humble. Our little log cabin has been flanked in recent years by McMansions haughtily looking down from climate-controlled alfresco kitchens and his and her en suites complete with synchronized flushing.

Betsy Skagen of Paper Calliope

That’s Me! On the back steps of The Cottage.

While I might not object to a few upgrades to our cottage–like being able to take a shower some place other than in the basement with chipmunks dashing in to sneak peeks at my lady parts, I cannot imagine replacing it with some giant lake home.

Our cottage has too much character, heart and history–from the open loft guaranteed to cause concussions in any adult over five feet tall, to the six-foot wide longhorn steer horns above the table that my grandfather acquired somewhere in Texas, to the 1960s retro motel towels that my uncle “borrowed” when he traveled the state with his construction crews.

Bobber-girl by Betsy Skagen

I bet people in alfresco kitchens don’t let their kids stick fishing lures in their swimsuits.

Read the rest of this entry

Honoring a hometown hero

Honoring a hometown hero
Honoring a hometown hero

Prince was our hometown hero.

Most of us took a quiet pride in him in a typically reserved Minnesotan way. Writer James Lileks summed it up perfectly when he described his early encounter with Prince in this Star Tribune article. “Everyone knew it was Prince. Here’s the Minnesota thing: Everyone left him alone. There just seemed to be an understanding that you were not cool enough to go bother him. It wasn’t personal. It was just a fact. There’s Prince over here on the cool spectrum, and then there’s you, waaaay over there, and somewhere in the middle is Don Knotts.”

Paper-Calliope-CA-Purple-Rain-111842

I can’t help thinking how even though he was of the world’s greatest musicians and a revered rock star, Prince died all alone. I hope he knew–in spite of our reticent ways–just how much his hometown loved him.

I designed a stencil and subsequent altered tag as a small remembrance of him. I hope you check out my tutorial featured on the ColourArte Blog

Paper-Calliope-CA-Purple-Rain-133934

Great Stuff

Paper-Calliope-CA-Purple-Rain-20160502_111911-2