Category Archives: Summer

Summer at the shore–an altered art miniature beach scene with bait and snack shack

Summer at the shore–an altered art miniature beach scene with bait and snack shack
Summer at the shore–an altered art miniature beach scene with bait and snack shack

Nothing defines summer more than a sunny day at the beach–the sound of waves hitting the sandy shore, wooden docks, children laughing and cold drinks.

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I captured an idyllic summer moment by making a miniature scene with realistic water and sand, a bait and snack shack and an old wooden dock that is actually made from paper. Read the rest of this entry

Make vintage coasters for summertime drinks

Make vintage coasters for summertime drinks

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I wanted to share with you this fairly easy vintage beverage coaster project that makes a perfect summertime accessory for your home. Make a bunch ahead of time and you will always have last-minute hostess gifts on hand.

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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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Celestial Pinwheels for spring’s evening breezes

Celestial Pinwheels for spring’s evening breezes

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It is almost magical: a warm spring evening, a light breeze and a starry sky. These celestial mixed media pinwheels remind me of this special time.

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Here is where you can see my tutorial on how to make pinwheels. 

These pinwheels kind of makes me want to skip out on all my work, make up some lemonade and go sit on my porch swing right now. Ah, but I have a lengthy blog post to write. Of course, I could just send you over to my tutorial

…and then…

…I could just…

 …play hooky…

 

 

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

Make this cute count down to school banner

Make this cute count down to school banner

 

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Summer may be waning, but you can still add excitement (and sneak in a little extra learning) to those last carefree days with this cute-as-can-be back-to-school countdown banner.

Your early learners are sure to love the bold graphics and colorful tassels as they count down the days until school begins. Each day features a special school-related activity that can make those yearly tasks a little more fun and help mentally prepare your child for the transition to the school year.

What’s more, you can sneak a little extra learning in by reviewing backwards counting, colors, days of the week and reading.

 

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Make colorful flower napkin rings from paper bags

Make colorful flower napkin rings from paper bags
Make colorful flower napkin rings from paper bags

 

 

These beautiful napkin rings humble me. Why? Because I attempted to create some mother-daughter bonding time by crafting floral place card settings. As I struggled in vain to figure out how the flowers could uphold the name cards, my daughter breezed in, took one look at the project and said it would be much wiser to make napkin rings. I had to admit, she was right.

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That, my friends, is just the beginning. It turned out she was right many more times. She was right when she suggested we scallop the edges of the flowers, she was right when she said the flowers would look better if we made the centers with a paper fringe, she was right when she said we should add leaves and she was right when she suggested running the pipe cleaner through the leaves.

Just who is the professional crafter around here? I pride myself on my creativity, but it is nothing compared to the unhindered mind of the young.

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Ahoy there!

Ahoy there!

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Ahoy everyone. Please check out my nautical craft Brie by the Sea over at the Robin’s Nest. I promise, there’s nothing fishy about the link. (See what I did there?)

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Spring has sprung with these 7gypsies boxes

Spring has sprung with these 7gypsies boxes

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While the dark days of winter were still upon us, I made these fun spring pop-up boxes. I also had a little fun with the concept of spring as I played with using different types of springs to make the surprises “pop”.

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Prima summer cone tutorial

Prima summer cone tutorial

 

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Awhile back I posted several different Prima projects. Today, I want to share with you how to make the paper cones. They are relatively easy and a super fun way to decorate your home for summer or for different holidays.

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