Category Archives: Tutorial

A ballerina music box goes steampunk 

A ballerina music box goes steampunk 
A ballerina music box goes steampunk 


My latest creation was inspired by my daughter who will be performing in a steampunk circus show for the month of August.

Instead of being a dancer like this tiny figure, my daughter will be riding a giraffe unicycle (giraffes are the extra tall unicycles) amid amazing steampunk props and scenery. However I loved the idea of transforming the typically delicate music box into a steampunk wonder. Read the rest of this entry

Send some sweet little wishes with this greeting card

Send some sweet little wishes with this greeting card


At least once in a lifetime a person should receive a tiny jar full of sweet wishes. Every now and then we all need something magical to happen! You can be the one to create magic in someone else’s life–and perhaps help a wish or two to come true, when you give them this card. Read the rest of this entry

Zelda the dancing pig is captivating audience everywhere

Zelda the dancing pig is captivating audience everywhere
Zelda the dancing pig is captivating audience everywhere

Audiences go hog wild when Zelda the Dancing Pig enters the stage. Adorned with a sparkling heart pastie on her juicy hocks and a bow on her tantalizing pigtail, Zelda is sure to never be a boar.

Zelda travels with the carnival, where loud barkers sell out her shows hours in advance and carnies are sure to swine-dle a few naive gents.

Read the rest of this entry

Peek inside for a tiny little dancer shadowbox

Peek inside for a tiny little dancer shadowbox


I had so much fun making this altered art project featured at Gypsy Soul Lasercuts. After my massive undertaking of Kringle’s Toy Store, I wanted to tackle something a little less time consuming.

I think one thing that made the Tiny Dancer Shadowbox so much fun is that when I started I had no idea what the end result would be. I began by gathering the tiny pink dancer and the Mini House Shadowbox and let serendipity take its course. Read the rest of this entry

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.


Read the rest of this entry

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.

gsl-Christmas-kitsch-angel-by-Betsy-Skagen-0046 Read the rest of this entry

Small but mighty holiday album

Small but mighty holiday album


It’s true what they say, good things do come in small packages. At only 6 x 6 inches, this holiday album might be small, but it is packed full of goodness.

You can see how to make it by checking out my tutorial at Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts.

Christmas-Album-by-Betsy-Skagen-0004 Read the rest of this entry

Mixing media with a steampunk star canvas

Mixing media with a steampunk star canvas


With a blank canvas in front of me, I decided to let me creativity soar by creating a mixed media piece for which I had not meticulously planned the final outcome.

In fact, the focal point is something I spontaneously grabbed from one of my studio tables, where it had served as a paperweight for several years.

The impetus for this steampunk project were some chipboard gears made by Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts. Here’s how I brought the whole thing together.


Tutorial How to Make the ‘Steampunking to a Star’ Canvas


Begin by prepping both the Gears Shape Set and a blank canvas with a coat of gesso.


After the canvas dries. apply modeling paste with assorted stencils of your choosing. When the paste dries, dry brush your surface with yellow, grass green and sky blue acrylic paint, making sure you use a heat tool to dry the paint between each color.


Next use a white paint pen to highlight some raised surfaces and Distress pens to emphasize some of the valleys. Then adhere torn pieces of an old sewing pattern to portions of the canvas. Repeat with printed tissue.


Emboss all the gears with seafoam white embossing powder. Then emboss portions of them with copper, bronze, blue and green embossing powders.


If any of the metal bits of hardware (in my case it was the the spring) you plan to use are not rusty enough, you can make them extra rusty with bronze embossing powder.


Adhere your chipboard gears, metal star, metal hardware and dew drops to the canvas with a strong adhesive.


After the glue dries, you steampunk canvas is ready for display. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Enjoy your weekend! –

Great Stuff

Gears Shape Set


Large metal star


Embossing powders in bronze, copper, seafoam white, blue and green

Old sewing pattern

Tim Holtz tissue paper

Metal spring and bits of rusty hardware

Distress pens

Matte medium

Modeling Paste


Acrylic paint

Dew Drops

Beacon Fabri-Tac