“Life beats down and crushes the soul

and art reminds you that you have one”–Stella Adler

Welcome to Paper Calliope

Paper Calliope brings a fresh approach to mixed media, altered art and paper crafting by infusing these topics with chit-chats about life’s anxieties and the humor that ensues.

My name is Betsy Skagen (which rhymes with toboggan–use your noggin people) and I like to think of this blog as the biologically impossible love child of Tim Holtz, Jenny Lawson and Oprah Winfrey*, except not nearly as talented. Then again, you can pretty much expect some half-witted genes when you start messing with Mother Nature.**

Until I turned 40 29, my hair was sleek and straight (the horrible poodle perm I got right before my high school graduation doesn't count). Now, every time there is a hint of moisture, errant, uncooperative curls appear. It rained buckets the day this photo was taken.

Until I turned 40 29, my hair was sleek and straight (the mortifying poodle perm I got days before high school graduation does not count). Now, every time there is a hint of moisture in the air, errant, uncooperative curls appear…. It rained buckets the day this photo  was taken.

I have long used paper crafting and mixed media arts to balance the hectic lifestyle of my anxious, adhd, unicycling, tightrope walking and counter-surfing family. Because–let’s be frank here–sometimes life gets tough. That’s when it’s time to bring out the glitter.

I also love getting to use my professional writing and graphic design skills in a setting devoid of key performance metrics and power suits. Some of my Paper Calliope passions include anything circus, mid-century graphics, vintage ephemera and lots of whimsy.

The Husband™, The Son™  and The Daughter™ (who really do walk the high wire and unicycle) and Annie Lulu, our bluetick coonhound mix, put up with me in our Minnesota home, where the winters are bitter and the summers are fleeting.

*For Heaven’s sake, please don’t sue me or throw me in jail. I adore all three of you and just want to make people, including you, smile. Besides, you can’t get blood from a stone and if you throw me in prison it’s slightly possible that they won’t allow me to use my X-Acto knife and hot glue gun. If you or your lawyers want me to take this out, just let me know. Oh yeah, feel free to include some swag. 
This paragraph is not secretly trying to express opinions about biology, evolution, creationism, homophobia or sledding. Except maybe sledding, I wish I could recreate the childhood joy of sledding. However, you’d have to leave out the part where snow gets in your boots and down your backside. And you’d have to leave out the part of repeatedly walking up a hill, because I probably wouldn’t make it up the first time.  You would also have to leave out the cold. I hate cold.