Past Blog Posts:

New Design Team Member Betsy Skagen!

Filed under Art Projects, Betsy Skagen, Collage Sheets, Featured Artwork, Giveaways, Newsletters, The Garden Kit

Note: most of the links on this post no longer work, as we moved to a new Web site in 2018. However, you can see the supply list items from Betsy’s project that are still available on the new site.

A couple quick reminders before getting to today’s newsletter: The 50% off Sale on Birds Collage Sheets ENDS TOMORROW NIGHT (Monday, March 7th)! Yes! A nice, big, fat section, too! From spring birds with nests to winter birds in the snow, or Aesop’s Fables, or Four and Twenty Blackbirds… (The Winter Birds Collage Sheet from the sale section is shown at left.)

Next: If you are participating in the Mad, Mad, Mad House Swap, artwork needs to be postmarked by Monday, March 14th (a week from now).

We are very excited to announce that Miz Betsy Skagen has joined the Alpha Stamps Design Team!

A couple years ago I made a leap and traded in my life as professional writer and graphic designer to follow my passion — altered art and paper crafting. I like to think the design skills forged during my earlier professional years provide a solid foundation for my eclectic crafting style.

I consider myself the impossible and unworthy love child of Tim Holtz, Oprah Winfrey and Jenny Lawson, since I am known for infusing art tutorials with slightly irreverent humor, compassion and a little bit lot of angst. Like many of you, I love collecting vintage stuff — everything from teeny tiny toys to mid-century graphics to anything related to the circus.

I have long used crafting as a sane reprieve from the hectic lifestyle of my ADHD, unicycling, tightrope-walking and counter-surfing family, consisting of husband, son, daughter and two large dogs (you can take your best guess on who does what). We all live in the arctic circle of Minnesota, where long winters allow plenty of time for crafting.

Sounds like she’ll be fitting right in, don’t you think? Betsy dug right in (pun intended) and was inspired by this month’s Garden Theme (mixed up with elements from the Odd Houses Add-On Kit) to create a marvelous Greenhouse (see wide photo below in addition to the one above). Betsy’s Greenhouse includes the new Greenhouse Collage Sheet Set and Greenhouse Elements Collage Sheet, both designed by Betsy in case you’d like to create your own. I’m going to let Betsy tell you all about her project:

For my debut Alpha Stamps project, I created a three-dimensional Greenhouse from two 6.5 inch tall House Oddities Boxes, complete with a mossy roof, wind chimes, iron bridge and gorgeous blue flower urns.

I covered the two House Oddities Boxes with light blue, Provincial Mail and Provincial Cobblestone papers. Then I cut away some of the bricks from the Greenhouse Collage Sheet Set that I designed for this project and layered it over the first set of papers so that crumbling brick would reveal a stone foundation. Now, the true magic literally unfolds when you open the box and discover the accordion-fold buildings inside!

One side of the accordion shows the interior of the greenhouse, where shelves are heaped with just about anything a gardener could want to purchase. Perhaps our miniature shoppers will want some spring bulbs in clay planters, crates full of tiny seed packages or an adorable garden gnome.

Other items to peruse are a crate full of pumpkins, potted roses or a carnivorous plant that looks suspiciously like Audrey from the Little Shop of Horrors.

It could be that the shoppers may need a birdhouse and water fountain complete with running water. Or perhaps they just want some crates of garden fresh fruit and vegetables. After shoppers are done perusing the inside of the greenhouse, they can make their way to the lush grounds on the other side of the accordion assemblage to visit the beautiful gardens!

Greenhouse Supply List

Visit Betsy’s blog for loads of photos, directions to make your own Audrey and a tutorial on how to make Spring bulbs!



Hooray for the A Greenhouse for Spring Giveaway!

I picked out a mix of items from Betsy’s clever project (and a few new items) to make this Giveaway:
Little Bird House
Mini Garden Iron Bridge
Single & Double Lamp Post Set
Fancy Lamp Post & Sconce Set
Floral Panels Collage Sheet
Greenhouse Elements Collage Sheet
Greenhouse Collage Sheet Set
Decorative Windows Set 1:24
House Oddities Box (whew!)

To enter the A Greenhouse for Spring Giveaway drawing all you have to do is leave a comment BELOW on this blog post TODAY or TOMORROW (the deadline is 11:59 pm PST, MONDAY NIGHT, March 7, 2016).

AND TO ENTER THE DRAWING, please tell me: Wow! A greenhouse like Betsy’s? Something else using houses, outdoor items (like lamp posts, a bridge, and a birdhouse) — and lots of flowers? What would you make with this Giveaway?

Don’t forget to leave your (hello! correct) email address, too, so I can contact the winner; your email address does not need to be made public. Note: I’m offering free shipping, too, but only within the USA. International shipping will still apply.

Please be patient! Spammers try to post crap here a lot so comments are moderated. So if you don’t see your post in the comments section, be patient and check back in a few hours before re-posting it, please!

After midnight, I’ll randomly pick the winner (via So make sure to check back to see who won! And check your mailbox on Thursday morning for the next Giveaway and Newsletter!

Hey, who won the Thistles & Mushrooms Giveaway? That would be Elizabeth H!

And she replied to my query “What will you make with all these items? A wagon like Nichola’s? A different project?”

I would make a gypsy wagon. Great choice of items!

Congratulations! Check your email for more info.

Posted by Leslie, March 6th, 2016

60 responses to “New Design Team Member Betsy Skagen!”

  1. Sandy A says:

    OMG I just love this! Ilove anything having to do with houses and “settings’ and the feel of a classic greenhouse! I would give it a bit of a “neglected” vibe! This time I really want to win!!!

  2. Ann Pierce says:

    Looking in from a London street to one of its pocket parks. So idyllic, yet mysterious!

  3. M. C. Sparks says:

    Wanna make an “Audry”! That is so hysterical!

  4. Connie L. says:

    This is crying out to be an indoor fairy garden. 🙂

  5. Kat Cashwell says:

    How cool ! I would have to make a secret garden!

  6. NGB48 says:

    I love the Greenhouse items!

  7. Debbie Rollier says:

    I am working on a fairy garden and love to add all kinds of stuff to it! I love Alpha Stamps! Please pice. Me!!!

  8. Michelle B. says:

    Betsy’s garden project is simply an amazing inspiration! The details
    are truly remarkable! I’m in awe! For myself, think I’d try a Downton
    Abbey Castle with different room settings on the inside, complete
    with paper doll characters, and the expanse of the castle and
    beautiful grounds on the outside. Wow, would I love to win this!

  9. Jen C says:

    Oh, the possibilities!! A fenced in backyard garden, planting cottage and a few secrets tucked here and there.

  10. Phoebe Diamond says:

    Hmmm… a secret garden for one of the librarians I know…

  11. Shannon C says:

    Welcome to Alpha Stamps! Your greenhouse is wonderful!

  12. would love to win this set I love it I would make a 3d collage with everything thank you

  13. Linda Marie says:

    A fairy garden would be lovely!

  14. Barbara A. says:

    Welcome to Betsy! Love the greenhouse, but think I would go with either a fairy
    garden or secret garden.

  15. Maggie M says:

    A fairy garden scene on the outside and a view into the fairy homes on the other side! What a fun giveaway.

  16. Alma Casiano says:

    this is AWESOME !!! welcome to the new team member Betsy, it’s wonderful to have new idea’s, with this bunch of really neat items I think I’d make an old time store front with seeds and all kinds of other bits of this & that while adding a lamp post and things like that are going to be really special as well thanks for the chance to win it…

  17. Lisa R. says:

    Been a while since I have tried for a giveaway…but this one caught my eye! I think I would love to make a botanical garden. I’d probably need to purchase mini lights to place around the garden and in the lamp posts. Very pretty giveaway!

  18. Jenni B. says:

    I would probably do something similar, or perhaps an indoor fairy garden too. I absolutely love the new greenhouse collage sheets. They are super cute!

  19. Carolyn Bowlby says:

    Thinking Spring and flowers now and this Giveaway makes my heart happy.

  20. Emily Ann Dale says:

    Love the garden stuff! I’d use some things in a miniature fairy garden.

  21. carol says:

    Wow I’ve already started a row of town houses. I’m now inspired to do a green house. Also want to do a 3 dimensional garden. this would really help

  22. Karen says:

    I think it would be fun to create a “Conservatory” because, as we have all heard at one time or another, “It happened in the Conservatory.”

  23. Luanne Shoup says:

    I would make a mini potted garden to match my big garden!

  24. Ginette says:

    a street with no name.

  25. Kari Gluski says:

    Definitely another greenhouse — I love this!

  26. barb macaskill says:

    A greenhouse would be a fabulous addition to my Fairy Village!! So many awesome little details in this Greenhouse! Magical and mesmerizing!!! TFS!

  27. Mary Helene says:

    An over grown abandoned garden would be fun.

  28. Lana says:

    I have a greenhouse, so this would be Lana’s greenhouse. I also LOVE the silicone molds….think I have to buy a few of those!!!

  29. Laural says:

    Precious idea..I’ll go with a greenhouse!

  30. carmen g says:

    Great. Now Betsy has “Feed me, Seymore” buzzing around in my head…and NO medication will get that out of there! What would I make?? Well, since Little Shop of Horrors is in my head, I can see myself throwing a staircase in and going with a little Rocky Horror action! Tim Curry on the staircase and a few characters at the bottom doing a little Time Warp…you could make an AWESOME Frank n Furter mansion with the houses!!!!

  31. Joanne Root says:

    Oh, the greenhouse items would be perfect to complete a wooden gazebo scene that’s been waiting for inspiration!

  32. Traci says:

    Great project today-I love the greenhouse-great idea using the house oddities box. >^..^<

  33. Barb Striethorst says:

    Right up my alley – love flower anything! A greenhouse would be perfect!!

  34. Leah Fein says:

    Narnia! It needs to be the opening of Narnia when she first gets there

  35. sheila AR says:

    Welcome Betsy!! Your project is amazing! I would love to make a conservatory filled with tropical and hothouse blooms and a fountain of course. So good for the soul (and the skin lol).

  36. Lou Anne says:

    I love flowers and plants. Betsy’s greenhouse would be a fun project to make.

  37. judy says:

    This giveaway Is so sweet, have always wanted a greenhouse, that aid, this would be a dream come true~

  38. Verna S. says:

    What an adorable project! Thanks for the inspiration Betsy! And the giveaway Alphastamps!

  39. Karen Mallory says:

    I have made Halloween houses, Christmas houses so why not spring houses! LOL

  40. Marilyn H says:

    I would lay the box part on it’s side to make a roombox then fill it with all kinds of plants. The bridge would be set outside and the lamps would be set to either side. I would use the collage sheets to decorate both the outside and the inside. It just screams “garden shop” to me.

    Welcome Betsy! Lovely project!

  41. Kim Lucak says:

    Betsy, so glad you have joined Alpha Stamps! Your designs are beautiful 🙂 Oh my, where do I begin? A vintage Paris garden with street lamps? Or the bridge is perfect for recreating Monet’s garden! So many possibilities – love it!!!!

  42. A fairy garden would be perfect

  43. Lou Conaway says:

    This may be my dream giveaway!Anything greenhouse, garden, plants, lamp posts as arbors. Don’t know yet about the bridge, too many amazing options. I want this one so bad I can taste it, even the nasty tasting things. Fingers crossed from now till drawing! I’m suddenly greedy, mine mine mine…..

  44. marykay chisum says:

    An abandoned fairy cottage and flower shop. How much fun to play with this kit!!

  45. Brenda Moehlig says:

    I would make a birdhouse album

  46. Thalia says:

    I love the tiny birdhouse. I would have to make a little greenhouse would be so fun to make.

  47. Kristie says:

    Love all the Spring colors and plants. I’d make a street silhouette of houses in Spring time. Love the little birdhouse.

  48. Diana Bittaker says:

    I see a proper English greenhouse with fabulous roses and other flowers! I would definitely add a tea party in the green house!

  49. Amy says:


  50. joan says:

    A very secret fairy garden for my darling sister.

  51. Rosemary Woodruff says:

    my first thought was a scene from the movie “Hello Dolly” when all the younger couples are in the park after the restaurant fiasco…….the bridge…the lamp posts…..etc…..only need 3 couples and a policeman….lol…lol….

  52. Carla says:

    I love flowers and birds and birdhouses….so a greenhouse garden bird sanctuary would be perfect!!

  53. Peg D says:

    Betsy what a great project! It is beautiful! Greenhouses had not crossed my mind and I have been yearning badly for a house oddities box and now I yearn even more lol. Love this giveaway and would definitely do something along these lines. My own little secret garden place I would make 🙂

  54. Nancy S says:

    A row of Bostonian townhouses!

  55. Carol Slowik says:

    Welcome Betsy Skagen! I love your work!!! I would make a greenhouse with lots of flowers!

  56. JAN says:

    I would make a fairy garden.

    I am so glad that I checked the Alpha Stamps blog today, I love all the new products and everything included the giveaway!

  57. Denise Bryant says:

    Welcome, Betsy! Looking forward to seeing more of your creations!
    I’d make a little greenhouse like Betsy’s!

  58. Jess says:

    Betsy, This project knocked my socks off! The design team is so lucky to have you. I adore the little bird houses included in the giveaway. You know I’m a sucker for anything bird related.

  59. Marlene Daniels says:

    Would love to display at my Master Gardeners Fairy contest in July..

  60. Betsy Skagen says:

    Thank you everyone! So honored to be here. And Carmen, I am COUNTING on you to make the Time Warp Scene!