Tag Archives: Christmas

Fill your eyes with wonder at the Kringle Toy Store

Fill your eyes with wonder at the Kringle Toy Store


Christmas is nearly upon us. Part of the magic of the season is when children fill their eyes with wonder while window shopping.

Make sure you leave time to stop by Kringle Toys, where the glowing chandelier casts a warm glow as shoppers come in from the newly fallen snow.


Approaching Kringle Toys, visitors see the faded ghost sign on the brick wall–a testament to the store’s longevity.


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A card for the Winter’s Solstice

A card for the Winter’s Solstice


Winter has arrived in here in Minnesota. It is a blustery nine degrees outside and as dusk settles, the wind is rattling the windows of our turn-of-the-century home.

In other words, it is a perfect night for crafting and for playing with the deep blue, purple, white and silver colors of Winter’s Solstice. Read the rest of this entry

Putzing around

Putzing around


 There are so many delightful ceramic Christmas villages that people display this time of year. While I have occasionally been tempted to begin such a collection, I have remained true to the Putz houses that stem from an earlier era.

These Japanese-made cardboard houses adorned with sparkly materials, tiny bottle brush shrubbery and cellophane windows were mostly made between 1930 and 1960.

At the heart of my Putz village are the worn and slightly tattered houses that I played with as a child. Since I was born after that timeframe–I am old enough, I don’t need to add on extra years–they were tattered and torn even then.

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts featured how I made my own little home fashioned after these Putz houses. Here’s how I did it:

GSL-Putz-House-by-Betsy-Skagen-171258 Read the rest of this entry

A Christmas Love Story

A Christmas Love Story

gsl-Christmas-kitsch-angel-by-Betsy-Skagen-0028Nothing sets my heart aflutter like Christmas decorations made from the 1940s-1960s.

Since this era was before my time and people typically collect things from their childhood, my infatuation may not make a lot of sense. But as the youngest child of older parents, most of my family’s Christmas decorations came from the 1940s and ’50s.

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A holiday feast for the eyes–and no impact on your thighs

A holiday feast for the eyes–and no impact on your thighs


Here’s a holiday dessert that is completely guilt free (unless you have some weird paper eating fetish). Read the rest of this entry

Have yourself a merry monochrome Christmas

Have yourself a merry monochrome Christmas
Have yourself a merry monochrome Christmas

Happy Wednesday and Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the U.S. You know what this week also means don’t you? Yes indeed, it is time to break out the holiday decorations! I won’t admit how much dismay this brings to my husband and kids because of the work involved. Yet last year when I was the one who insisted on scaling back, they were the first to revolt.

It has been such a delight to work with Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts. For my last project as Guest Designer, I thought I would share with you a mostly monochrome Christmas shadow box.

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Make the absolutely positively bestest Christmas present ever And Make it in less than an hour

Make the absolutely positively bestest Christmas present ever And Make it in less than an hour


How do I know that this will be the best Christmas present ever? Just look at the facts:

Fact: These days most of us turn to the internet for recipes.

Fact: If you have kids, you can never find an ipad or other tablet when you need it.

Fact: You hate smearing raw meatloaf all over your screen.

Fact:: None Not all your friends and relatives appreciate your handmade art, but it is hard to go wrong with something cute for the kitchen.


I discovered this tablet holder at Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts and thought it might come in handy. When I discovered how easy-peasy it was to assemble and decorate, I fell in love.

Think about it. Using this means you now have a designated place for your tablet–that way it is less likely to get toted off to the kitchen table, stuck among the couch cushions or dropped in the toilet–ew. Plus! Since it is nicely propped so you can refer to a recipe, you won’t get raw ingredients smeared all over it. This is especially good if the last kiddo brought it into the bathroom. Ew again.


I took some lovely tutorial pictures for this project, but my SD card decided to act like a politician and corrupt itself. (Sorry about that reference. Still suffering from a little election PTSD). Honestly though, this project is so easy you don’t need a tutorial.


Just measure and cut pieces of cardstock for the front back and top of the holder. Adhere the cardstock to the chipboard. Insert the chipboard tabs into the slots and glue the whole thing together. Then just add an embellishment, like the cute little rolling-pin I used.

This is the third installment of my guest designers posts for Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts. Please stop by their blog and tell them how much you adore me. Or…if all the talk about meatloaf and toilets disgusted you, stop by their blog and tell them how much you adore them–because they are ever so much classier than me.

Great Stuff

Tablet/ipad/Phone Holder

Holiday Baking Butcher Paper

Red and Ivory Fleur de Lis

Red and Ivory Ticking

Red and White Mini Hearts

Beacon Fabri-tac

Beacon 3-in-1 Adhesive

Miniature Rolling Pin

Oh how I love to putz around (and how that relates to crack)

Oh how I love to putz around (and how that relates to crack)
Oh how I love to putz around (and how that relates to crack)


Long before they were trendy, I treasured my putz houses. As a young girl I took these battered Christmas decorations that my family had abandoned and set up a tiny village. Granted, there were only four or five houses, but I loved them.

I never had the budget to add many authentic putz houses to my collection over the years, but my little village grew nonetheless. Frosted trees and 1940s era cars in a variety of scales joined the village. Mid-century children skating and sledding loomed like giant toddlers about to devour the putz homes.

Perhaps the putz house I most treasure is the one I made this year. I stuck true to the simple mid-century stye adorned with lots of glitter. Read the rest of this entry

Creating my own Winter Wonderland

Creating my own Winter Wonderland

                                  Altered Art Winter Wonderland

I live in Minnesota. Cold and snow are a way of life. In fact, Minnesotans don’t even think the weather is cold unless our nostrils freeze together when we inhale. (That’s our own nostrils freezing together–our noses don’t freeze to other random people’s noses. Even though the extra body heat might be tempting, Minnesotans are too aloof to willy-nilly start cozying up to people walking down the street. Plus, just imagine people walking around with their noses frozen together. That’s just weird.) Even though Minnesota winters often involve double-digit below zero temperatures and heart-attack inducing snowfalls, we currently are enjoying the warmest November on record. It is in the mid 70s here people.

The good news is that my solitary nose and the balmy weather has not stopped me from dreaming up some winter-themed craftiness, such as this Winter Wonderland Altered Art scene.


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Come visit the North Pole in this altered album

Come visit the North Pole in this altered album


At this time of year there’s no place on earth busier than the North Pole. Santa’s elves are frenetic–making toys, grooming reindeer and loading the sleigh. However, those elves are so thoughtful that they still left room in this altered album for your photographs and journal entries.

I am thrilled to be invited back for a second year as Gyspy Soul Laser Cuts guest designer. My projects will be featured at Gyspy Soul Laser Cuts each Wednesday in November. I hope you visit there and see my projects. I will be especially grateful if you leave some love.


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