Category Archives: Mixed Media

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

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 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

A riot of spring colors–butterfly tag tutorial

A riot of spring colors–butterfly tag tutorial

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The promise of spring is here in the Northland with budding lilac trees and shoots of green forcing their way through the still frozen earth. After months of bleak winter landscape, the vibrant colors and textures of spring are truly a rebirth. My three-dimensional butterfly tag is meant to reflect the wonderful assault of color that spring brings. Please visit the tutorial on how to make this fun take at the ColourArte Blog.

 

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Save money! Be unique! Have hella fun! Make your own embellishments

Save money! Be unique! Have hella fun! Make your own embellishments

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When I was in my twenties I would naively brag about how I was great at finding bargains–except I wouldn’t use the most refined language. My stepmother would gently correct me, telling me I shouldn’t say I was cheap, and instead describe myself as frugal. She was right, of course. Never for a single moment–even back in college when I sometimes wished I could just be a carefree party girl–have I “been cheap”. Read the rest of this entry

Swag swoon…Please don’t faint from this blog’s lavish perks…a free printable calendar

Swag swoon…Please don’t faint from this blog’s lavish perks…a free printable calendar

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had lots of fun making this month-at-a-glance mixed media calendar. I hope you visit the ColourArte blog to see how to make it. I will love you even more if you leave a kind note on the post over there.

To make the project a lot less time consuming, I create this printable calendar for you. And guess what! It’s free!

Just download the Month at a glance printable from Paper Calliope.

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Angels we have seen on cards

Angels we have seen on cards

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I have a few angels at my house. By a few I mean a whole tree full.So I guess you could say I have a fondness for vintage angels.

You can see the tutorial for this mixed media card, which features vintage angels, today at the ColourArte blog.

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