Category Archives: Mixed Media

Heads may roll when you go to the zoo

Heads may roll when you go to the zoo

Coming to you straight from my vacation dockside are these zoo tags.

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First there is the Pretty in Pink flamingo nestled within his cage. The` second tag features Mr. Tiger.

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In addition to using the amazing GSL chipboard, both of them feature some of my newest digital image releases–At the Zoo #1 and In the Garden – Bird Cages.

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The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams

Eleanor Roosevelt’s statement, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” is so powerful in my life right now that it inspired me to make this mixed media piece.

While mixed media in its strictest definition is not one of my strongest skill sets, I am always trying to learn more and improve little by little.

I am pleased to say Gyspy Soul Laser Cuts was kind enough to feature this work on their blog.

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Part 2 Tutorial on making the Never Ending Book plus secret forgotten pages

Part 2 Tutorial on making the Never Ending Book plus secret forgotten pages
Part 2 Tutorial on making the Never Ending Book plus secret forgotten pages

Have you ever felt something similar to a panic attack? Writing Part 2 of the Tutorial for the Never Ending Book certainly brought it on for me. First, I misplaced my notes. This book is ginormous, so if I did not have my notes, there would be no way I could recall how to make the pages.

After searching through my my messy office and then my even messier studio, I finally remembered I had written Part 1 of the Tutorial while sitting in a hospital waiting room. I looked in my book bag and  found my notes. Phew!

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It’s here! Part 1 of the tutorial for the Never Ending Book

It’s here! Part 1 of the tutorial for the Never Ending Book

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In my last post I introduced you the Never Ending Book. Filled with flaps and fold-outs, the book is absolutely ginormous. Because of its magnitude, we are breaking it down into a few blog posts. You can explore a fun overview of the book here.

This is Part 1 of the Tutorial, in which I show you how to make the cover, book foundation and some of the pages. Read the rest of this entry

Girl Power

Girl Power
Girl Power

Look who is pretty in pink. More importantly, look who is strong in pink. Canvas Corp is featuring my Girl Power tag and tutorial on their blog today.

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Let loose and get funky with a mixed media flying heart

Let loose and get funky with a mixed media flying heart

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Many years ago–before her orange jumpsuit days–I was somewhat of a Martha Stewart wannabe.

Here’s one example: I spent days sculpting an elaborate firetruck cake and building a firetruck prop for my son’s birthday. Not only was the fire truck big enough to hold six children, it was complete with flashing red lights and horn.

The kid was three.

I could have given him a cardboard box and he would have been happy. Some (like the entire Western Hemisphere) might say perfection was my middle name. Read the rest of this entry

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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

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

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

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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.

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A little birdie told me Mother’s Day is drawing near

A little birdie told me Mother’s Day is drawing near
A little birdie told me Mother’s Day is drawing near

For moms of young kids, Mother’s Day can be difficult. I bitched for years about not being able to enjoy the “holiday” because it meant racing around trying to honor my mom, step-mom as well as my mother-in-law before she passed away. At least my husband would help my kids give me a gift–I know single moms have it harder.  .

Losing my Dad and nearly losing my mom this year gave me an attitude adjustment. Immensely grateful my mom is still with us, I am determined to relish this day. Read the rest of this entry

Leaving the nest and letting them soar

Leaving the nest and letting them soar
Leaving the nest and letting them soar

 

For 18 or so years we keep our children safe–all the while strengthening their wings and slowly teaching them to fly. Finally the day draws near when they are ready to leave our nests and fly away on their own.

Suddenly, in the beat of a wing, the core focus of our lives is taken away from us. It is terribly tempting to tightly lock the door to the birdcage, keeping our vulnerable fledglings safe under within our care.

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Yet, a caged bird will not sing. We know we must let them fly away. There’s the saying that “if you love something, let it go free. If it loves you, it will come back.” Usually, our children come back. Yet we know deep that things will never really be the same. Our nests are forever changed.

I created this art, featured at Alpha Stamps, as testimony to the experience so many of my friends are going through–the bittersweet experience of seeing children leave for college or another adventure. The cage, which I made from paper mache, is lined with “bird advice” a mother might say to her children. Read the rest of this entry