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Past Instructors


Alison began making cards and invitations about four years ago for her friends and family. With the news of their new niece two years ago, she began to explore the art of scrapbooking. She enjoys experimenting with new papers, techniques and tools in order to embellish her paper creations! Alison enjoys not only teaching, but also learning about new ideas and techniques from the students that take her paper crafting classes.

Aside from paper crafting, Alison enjoys spending time with her friends and family, and working with children. She has been teaching first grade in Palos Heights, IL for the past four years and has recently earned her Masters of Education and Leadership degree from St. Xavier University.





Cat has been doing crafts of one sort or another since she was a child: sewing, needlepoint, cross stitch, making jewelry, and numerous types of paper crafting. She grew up surrounded by artifacts and stories of family history, including her grandmother's and great-grandmother's scrapbooks. Cat has been doing "modern" scrapbooking since the birth of her daughter in 1999, and often uses supplies and techniques from all areas of crafting in her scrapbook projects. She has taught at local shops, and farther a-field at conventions and trade shows. She is also a Certified Educator for Ranger Industries, and loves using inks and embossing powders; in fact, you'll rarely see anything she does that hasn't been inked at least a little bit!

About Danette

I have always loved pictures. One of the first gifts I remember receiving as a child was a small film camera. While there was nothing particularly fancy about that camera, I loved it and I loved being behind it taking pictures of my family. Fast-forwarding several years, celebrating graduating from high school, my parents presented me with a camera that was (at the time) cutting edge. Of course they gave it to me a few months early so I could capture all of the year end revelry, and those snapped shots represent some of my fondest adolescent memories. This love of moment-capturing eventually led me to wanting to preserve my memories and decorate around them with a “my-style” assortment of beautiful and funky paper and embellishments.

A heaven-made-match waiting to happen, four years ago I was formally introduced to scrapbooking.  I will forever be thankful to the friend who got me started, held my hand through my first trip to a scrap store, and showed me how to use a Zot.

I currently live in Hyde Park and stay at home with my two boys, Evan and Colin, while my husband, Ryan pursues his Ph.D. in Accounting at the University of Chicago.  We are happily expecting our third child, another boy, this October.

Emily Adams

Emily started scrapbooking when she entered the Junior Chef of Dallas competition at 8 years old - she had to make a scrapbook of the recipes she made. She’s been dabbling in various forms of paper arts ever since. Emily is the Marketing Director for Luxe Designs. You might have become familiar with her work when she was the Education Director for Magic Scraps (2002 – 2006) or Imagination Project (2006 – 2007). She has been a CKU professor since 2002 and has taught all over the United States, as well as internationally. She has had online classes through CKU Home Study and Imagination Project. Emily been published in CK, Memory Makers, Scrapbooks Etc., Scrapbook Insider, as well as a number of idea books most recently including Oodles of Doodles and the ScrapCity book. She’s also written for Magic Scraps’ series of idea books, CK and Scrapbook Insider. Emily has been featured on ten DIY Scrapbooking episodes. See her schedule and view her work at

Emily is 36 and lives in Dallas with her husband, Matt. She scraps her family (there are 18 in her family under 18 right now) and her family history (her passion is working with vintage photos - anything from 1900-1979).  Emily is inspired by reading history and looking for a deeper understanding of trends happening around her.  She likes fabric, paint & inks, cooking, shopping at Target and science fiction. 



Diana Lyn McGraw

Hello, my name is Diana Lyn McGraw and I live in Pensacola, Florida with my wonderful husband, Cory and my darling little boys, Riley and Wills. My family has truly been my pillar of support for my new passion in life, scrapbooking. 

I started scrapbooking just over a year ago, in January of 2005. I feel like it has just exploded and become such a large part of my life. I can't imagine a day going by without me taking a picture or thinking about a layout. I LOVE SCRAPBOOKING!  I am just overwhelmed with how scrapbooking has changed my life in such a short amount of time. I am so thankful of the friendships I have made and the opportunities I have been given. I am extremely lucky to have been selected to be a member of the Rusty Pickle Design team and I am enjoying every minute!


Janine lives in Chicago. She has amazing twin boys, Julian and Samuel, who are 3 years old. Before she had her boys, Janine was a Special Education Teacher and now she's a SAHM and couldn’t ask for a better job!

She started scrapping 6 months after the twins were born and she hasn’t stopped since! Scrapbooking has changed her life completely. Her real passion is scrapping the everyday moments, all the little things that enrich our lives and make it meaningful. She loves the creative outlet that scrapping provides for her and she also loves that she able to preserve the precious moments with her family in such a fun and creative way. Check out some of these links to see some of Janine’s incredible layouts, then register for a class and discover a whole new way to scrap!

Janine on TwoPeasinaBucket

Janine on Mustard Moon




Sarah Ackerman-Hale

Sarah has been scrapbooking since April 2000 after becoming overwhelmed with the pile of photos of her 1 year old. After getting her feet just slightly wet in the hobby she began teaching locally, submitting her ideas to magazines, and eventually designing products for scrapbookers. Sarah has developed many popular collections of paper crafting products and is known for her interpretations of primitive and folk art. She has taught at events such as CKU, Great American Scrapbook Convention, Premiere Scrapbook Events and Creating Keepsakes Conventions. Sarah teaches locally at The Scrapbook Page in Shawnee, KS. She has been married to Andrew Hale for 7 years and has a 6 year old daughter, Mary Kate. Sarah loves being a Girl Scout leader and chair of the Scholastic Book Fair at her daughter's school. In her free time Sarah has a passion for American Idol, coffee made in her Bunn coffeemaker, John Cusack, and New York City. Sarah lives in Spring Hill, KS.

Suzy West

Suzy West is the lead designer for Canvas Concepts and the author of several books.  Her next book will be out in July 2007 -- look for a picture from her last visit to Windy City Scrapbooking in it! She has been scrapbooking for 11 years and has been featured in many different magazines and on shows as QVC and DIY. Suzy lives in Fremont, Ca with her husband and three kids.

See her work here:

Teresa Collins

As a little girl in North Carolina, Teresa Collins first discovered a love for the art of design. Tagging along on jobs with her mother, an interior designer, that love was nurtured and quickly became a passion. In 2003, Teresa realized this passion could help her preserve her family's legacy; she instantly began to apply her talent and education to create pages and projects that reflect her own unique style. As a well know product designer, she has been an industry leader in developing cutting edge scrapbook lines and classes. Her design direction has helped to create the latest and greatest paper lines and embellishments in the scrapbook industry. In May 2005, Teresa joined Junkitz to develop a signature line of new products in the ever changing world of scrap booking.

Teresa is an exciting and energetic individual whose outgoing personality makes her a wonderful teacher at Creating Keepsakes University and conventions throughout the country. She can be found teaching throughout the country and internationally sharing her passion and love of preserving one's memories. She has had her work featured in numerous publications and idea books. Recently, Teresa authored the book, "A Journey of Creativity." Teresa is a regular television scrapbook artist on Good Things Utah as well as nationally on DIY Scrap booking.

Amazingly, Teresa still finds time to be wife to her husband, Tyler. She is the mother to three beautiful daughters, Taylor, Gentry and McKay and two charming boys, Zach and Ty. She is also stepmom to Seth and Matt. When she finds time in her busy schedule, she enjoys interior design, traveling, and watching chick flicks. Teresa absolutely loves fabric, ribbon and the color pink. She is inspired by anything old and distressed, antiques and home decor magazines. Teresa and her family now reside in Murray, Utah.


Hello my name is Jeanette. I was raised in Arizona and moved to Chicago after college in 1999.  I have been married for four years in August to my soul mate Jason. When I first moved to Chicago I taught Severe Emotional / Behavioral Disordered Special Education students in a private school setting. When I became pregnant with my son Jaiden, I quit working at the school.

Jason encouraged me to start drawing again so I did and that was the rebirth of my artistic side that I had buried in my youth. Since then I have dabbled in many different arts, drawing, sculpture, photography, photo enhancement, painting, furniture making, jewelry, decorating…you name it I’ve had my hands in it.  In October 2004 I began working with paper by making thank you notes for attendees of my sons’ second birthday party.  My mother and I bought a couple stamps and ink pads and wondered why the ink kept smearing and just wouldn’t dry.

One trip after the next to the art store we were beginning to discover this entire world of what people called scrapbooking. Then I found Windy City Scrapbooking in November 2004 and I have become obsessed with what I like to call Paper Art ever since.  I don’t do much conventional scrapbooking because my real passion is for making mini projects such as mini books, cards, wall art… anything that is (somewhat) quick, intensive, and creative.  I enjoy mini projects because I like having a finished product within hours or days of starting them.I am in the process of publishing a book about paper art now.  I look forward to meeting you and sharing with you all my views and techniques of scrapbooking.