Category Archives: Books & Journals

Art Journals, Altered books, Junk Journals, Glue Books, Tunnel books, Never-Ending Books and more!

Oh Baby Baby

Oh Baby Baby

There’s a baby arriving in my family next month. Shhh….don’t tell, but I am making a little book for the mother-to-be to keep memories of those precious first months. 

The book will feature all sorts of pockets, fold-outs and teeny little spaces to store precious mementos and tags to record different milestones and memories. I am using some of Gypsy Soul’s wonderful chipboard to add some fun elements.

Read the rest of this entry

Gear up for some Steampunk Field Notes

Gear up for some Steampunk Field Notes

Combining rusty metal and intriguing bits and bots with vintage style paper to create blank books is one of my favorite pastimes.

That’s why I loved making this steampunk art journal.

Held together with a rusty chain and featuring all sorts of bits and bobs, I made this steampunk journal using Eileen’ Hull’s Wrapped Journal Die and Stamperia papers.

Read the rest of this entry

Trick or Mini Book Treat

Trick or Mini Book Treat

I’m not ready for Christmas in July, but since we all know that crafts take preparation time, I can  at least muster Halloween in July (but just barely). 

I am sitting lakeside on vacation this week, so I kept my project short and sweet. You can easily complete this in just one short evening. 

Made with yummy layers!
Read the rest of this entry

The best things come in tiny packages

The best things come in tiny packages

I love making art journals, junk journals and other forms of books. However, embarking on one of these is always a huge time-consuming project…or at least it was until I discovered the joy of making tiny art journals.

It was easy to make a complete journal in an evening. What’s more, the finished project is just so much fun.

Read the rest of this entry

Make a mixed media vintage junk journal

Make a mixed media vintage junk journal

This winter my friend and product designer, Eileen Hull, began a new education team and she was gracious enough to ask me to join it.

Read the rest of this entry

Create your own mixed media elements

Create your own mixed media elements
Create your own mixed media elements

Let’s face it, thousands upon thousands of crafters, myself included, use the same mass-produced decorative elements in their projects. However, there is another option. If you don’t want your art to feature the same materials hordes of other artists are using, you can easily create your own elements. Art-Journal-Embellishments--by-Betsy-Skagen-0037-2

Read the rest of this entry

Expanding Christmas Journal Part 2

Expanding Christmas Journal Part 2
Expanding Christmas Journal Part 2

This Expanding Christmas Journal is brimming with tags, magnetic enclosures and deep pockets so that you can store almost unlimited Christmas memories, photos, ideas or recipes.

GSL-Christmas-Journal-by-Betsy-Skagen-0113

Because the tutorial for the Expanding Christmas Journal is so detailed, I decided to break it up into two parts. In case you have not seen Part 1 of the tutorial at Gypsy Soul to learn how to create the album base and the surprise fold-outs,I thought I would first provide a recap of the book. If you have already seen Part 1, then continue below for the rest of the tutorial. Read the rest of this entry

A secret one story home for you

A secret one story home for you
A secret one story home for you

Paper-Calliope-Book-Box-0403

When I was a child I would get lost in book series like the Borrowers and the Littles. They both featured tiny human-like creatures who lived undetected in our homes using discarded or lost items as their furniture–bottlecaps for table tops, thimbles for stools, etc.

Paper-Calliope-Book-Box-0415

When I saw Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts Hidden Drawer Book Box, I knew this faux book would create a perfect home for fictional tiny characters. Read the rest of this entry

Small but mighty holiday album

Small but mighty holiday album

Christmas-Album-by-Betsy-Skagen-0003

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