My Swedish heritage & my multicultural family in light of today’s hate for AALL and Create Challenge #1 Europe

My Swedish heritage & my multicultural family in light of today’s hate for AALL and Create Challenge #1 Europe


I was thinking about the AALL Challenge #1 Europe one day and inspiration came to me throughout the day. First, while visiting my elderly mother, I spied the family Bible–a massive tome in Swedish that no one in our family can read. Later, while preparing photos for digitizing, I came across both a stoic picture of my Swedish ancestors and a colorful picture of my own multicultural children with impish looks upon their faces. The day concluded with racist hate spewing across the news channels.

Having lived in a multicultural family for more than 25 years, I have spent plenty of time pondering different aspects of ancestry, cultural heritage, multiculturalism and racism. I decided to bring some of these elements together in the AALL Challenge.


The woman on the top right is my maternal grandmother, whom I never met. Seated below her is my great grandmother. The family Bible was passed down to my mother from my great Aunt Ruth who is the youngest girl in this photo. My mother will turn 90 this fall.


I adhered tan tissue paper over the photo of my children to reduce its vivid colors and glossy qualities. In this photo my son is 7 and my daughter 4. My daughter is now beginning her senior year of high school.

I took photos of several pages of the family Bible. Then I printed them on tissue paper and adhered them to the surface I prepared. I did the same with a picture of the front of the Bible. You can see part of this in the photo above to the right of my children.

Family-Bible-MultiCultural-by-Betsy-Skagen-0202This piece also incorporates everything from a map of Europe and North American to vintage tags to antique lace to faux gears that I made from chipboard.


I applied crackle paste to the heart and flame, painted it blue and then rubbed off the blue to again reveal the gold.


Great Stuff

Some of the products I used include

  • Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts
  • Sandra Everston’s Relics and Artifacts
  • Canvas Corp
  • 7gypsies
  • Robin’s Nest
  • Golden
  • Liquitex
  • Prima
  • Tim Holtz

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