Happy day after turkey day . . .

FG Book 1

A couple of weeks ago, the girls and I took a trip to Ankeny IA and visited Memory Bound where we took classes from the talented Frank Garcia. Frank designs for Prima Marketing and has several gorgeous lines with them including Memory Hardware. I love his style!

We took several classes from Frank over the weekend including this beautiful book you see above. It's using one of Frank's Memory Hardware albums along with many other Frank designed products. The paper and embellishments are from Frank's Sweet Peppermint line.

FG Book 2

I love all the layers and detail he puts into every project. And did I tell you what a good teacher he is? He definitely *knows his stuff* and has patience like no other. 

FG Book 3

Loved every minute of the weekend creating beautiful projects. In the next few days, I'll share more of what we made with the talented Frank Garcia. Details to be shared soon!

FG Tags 1

Christmas at Checkered Cottage . . .

Prima Christmas 2016

Thank you to those who've signed up sight-unseen for my

Prima Christmas Book.

Saturday, December 10

10:30 am to 4:30 pm

Here's a look at the cover.

We'll be using Frank Garcia's products including

Memory Journal 

Sweet Peppermint 6x6 Collection Kit

Sweet Peppermint Chipboard & More

Sweet Peppermint Flowers

Vintage style chenille candy cane

Sweet Peppermint ATC Cards


specialties by Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts

We'll use Gesso and Snowflakes and Paints and more

to decorate this year's Christmas book.

Sign up by calling

Checkered Cottage ~ Kirkwood MO


Here mini, mini . . .


Lately I've found a few extra days to work on some mini-albums.

Having collected many patterns for mini's

I chose to use

Laura Denison's Simple Favorites: 3 Pocket Album.

I found this album to be so intriguing with its many pockets

going every which way

and plenty of room for tags and photo mats.


I chose both Graphic 45 and K&Co papers for my book

with some Bo Bunny thrown in for good measure.


Look at all that real estate!


Love the blues and browns with some pink thrown in.

It's vintage and bright.


Pockets, pockets everywhere!


And for the cover, I used Laura's idea of fabric on the spine.

Worked like a charm,

especially with Frank Garcia's Artisan Tape by Prima Marketing.

(Love that stuff)

My first moving video . . .


Yes, it's back to the 1920's for me with a moving video.

Although I've made video's before, they were from stills (see, 1920's!)

Today, after days of work (ha - no kidding)

I finally quit.  It is what it is.


This mini is from a pattern designed by 

Laura Denison.

It's called Time Revisited and you can find it here:


Laura is an amazing book creator who definitely thinks out of the box for all her designs.

I don't think she evens knows a box exist out there somewhere.

I have learned so much from her in mini-book construction.

This one, I decorated myself with the help of a 

fabric binding (thanks Laura!)

applied with Frank Garcia's Memory Hardware Artisan Adhesive Tape.


The strongest and yet still tears easily. It's amazing!

If your LSS doesn't carry it, please ask them to. You won't be disappointed.

On to the moving pictures:



7 Gypsies Travel Mini-Book . . .

I used to fancy myself a bit of a gypsy.

With over 30 years experience in the travel industry 


I can't get enough of travel mini-books.

Here I used 7 Gypsies: Gypsy Moments and Wanderlust 8x8 paper pads

There are things to do with paper that are a  must for me:


{1}  Ink all raw edges


{2} Add pockets whenever possible


{3} Layer with chipboard and Crafty Foam Tape - even stickers!


{4} Use black Crafty Foam Tape or black chipboard or ink the edges of the chipboard with black.

Why? It creates less of a glaring lift than white would create.


{5} Fussy cut where you can to create layers and tags


{6} Odd numbers are more pleasing to the eye than even numbers


{7} Use magnets to create flip pages


{8} Create interest with double pockets


{9} If the packaging is pretty, save it and use it for backgrounds.


{10} Drag colors from one side of the page to another.

The right side paper already had a blue toned design

so I added a blue toned tag to the pocket on the left page. 

It helps to draw the eye from one page to another.


Thanks for browsing my travel book.

Graphic 45 Mini-Book Pages . . .

You've seen this cover before:


It's from a 4 part series of workshops I taught using

Graphic 45's Botanicabella


Mixed Media Album

Thought I'd show you some of the inside pages.


I adore inter-active pages of any kind

and filled this book with them.

The page below uses magnets (yep, love those too)

as a closure


and once opened, more pockets:


Another magnet keeps this mini-booklet in it's pocket


until the flap lifts up:


A belly band holds mini-cards in place

while the chipboard piece keeps them from falling out of the book.


This page is a flap and closes with a magnet until the inside is revealed

with more pockets:


Open this page to a surprise pop-up:


We also stamped on vellum to create a 2-sided design.


On this page we created a belly band

that holds a booklet.

The booklet stays in place with magnets.



Thanks for viewing some of the pages of my

Graphic 45 Botanicabella mini-book.

A wonderful Prima Educator Day . . .

Spent the best day yesterday at Checkered Cottage, Kirkwood MO


We got together to create this mini-book.

It's a Frank Garcia Memory Hardware Chipboard Album (Square).

We all loved using this album with a 6x6 paper pad.

Frank's trick of painting the edges of the album in your favorite color

makes putting this together a snap!

The classroom is ready and filled with gorgeous Prima Marketing products.


We were using Prima's Butterfly 6x6 paper pad

with a theme of butterflies, birds and fairies for our books.

Then we got down to busy-ness:


We started with 4x6 Pocket Paintable Cards

and used

Prima's creamy Oil Pastels.

They easily mix with water and have the most delicious colors.

They are, by far, the easiest to blend I have ever worked with.

The girls agreed!


Each of the girls picked out an intricately cut butterfly from

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts.

We first painted with a layer of 

Prima's Altered Alchemy Light Patina,

let that dry and then added

a layer of 

Altered Alchemy Opal Magic Blue.

Why is it called Magic?

The color is brilliant when painted on white or cream.

Paint it on black and the color magically changes.

(You'll see in a bit.)

We finished the inside pages and 

then started layering the cover:


Since each of the gals chose their own image for the cover,

each book was uniquely their own. 

Here are a few samples of what they completed:


Notice the butterflies!


The doily on the front cover was cut using

Prima's Die - Parisian Lace.


Of course Prima flowers were everywhere

as well as 

Prima's Butterfly Matchboxes.


Butterfly Tags & Tickets

were used on the cover and throughout the book.


We were finished creating at 2 pm

(I thought)

but the gals kept fussing, adding flowers, leaves, embellishments and fussy cutting.

It was so much fun!

Thank you to all those who participated.

I loved every minute of it and hope you did too.



A 7 Gypsies kind of Christmas . . .

I received the most amazing products from 7 Gypsies.


It's called Farmhouse Christmas and it is filled with vintage Christmas images.

I adore this collection!

I had an idea for a book-in-a-box and turned to

Gina at Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts (formerly Gina's Designs)

and asked Gina if she would design this for me.

Thankfully, she cut to my specifications and came up with

the perfect box with houses inside.


I'm calling them houses because that's what I had in mind


you could easily turn these upside down and create

a banner in a box.

Here's what I have completed so far:


This was so much fun - and easy!

I adore these little stockings from the 7 Gypsies line.

After coloring with Copics and inking with Distress ink,

the stockings were hung with tiny nail head brads.


The door is also from the 7 Gypsies paper.

I added the top from a Sizzix die cut

as well as the trees.

Tiny crystals were placed in the center of each snowflake.

The trees were double layered:

the first layer with kraft corrugated paper

and the top layer with some green & gold paper I had in my stash.

The wreath was *painted* with Stickles.

And then snow with a Marvy Snow Pen - 

and lots of it!


I found this knob at Hobby Lobby and had to have it.

The keyhole was perfect and the red distressed color 

looked great with the 7 Gypsies paper.

And, of course Santa needs a key to enter the house.


I hinged the houses to create a village.

Next, I'll use the rest of the paper to create vintage looking houses.

If I have images left, I'll add them to the sides of the box.


Stay tuned for more on another day!

Thanks for looking.

Working on . . .

Oct 1

I had a bit of a break prepping for October workshops and dug out my stash of Halloween supplies. Talk about some vintage supplies! Do you remember Rusty Pickle's Halloween or Design Originals Halloween? Yep, still kept them and used them this past week. They're still wonderful!

Oct 2

The base pages are from Rusty Pickle

(yes, I keep all the stuff I really like regardless of how old)

all caught up in a 7 Gypsies Bind-It-All

Since it's Halloween, I felt the need to make this eye look bloodshot.

Oct 3

Every page of this book is interactive

with pull-outs, tags, mini-booklets, belly bands, pockets and magnets.

Oct 4

Oct 5

You can see more of the pages here:


TFL - Nancy