Porter Flea summer market 2014 – a huge success

>> Sunday, June 8, 2014

Porter Flea just keeps on getting bigger and better. The summer market included the art show's best ever Friday night preview market, with great art, music, and beer. Saturday began with a delightful breakfast for all the artists. And the big, blowout show on Saturday brought so many friendly shoppers and close friends.

Here are a few of my favorite photos, pulled from Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #pfsummer. I recommend you click to see them fullscreen!


TODAY: Shop for mom, and support a great cause

>> Saturday, May 3, 2014

I'll be selling my handmade books today at the Thistle Stop Marketplace in Nashville. This handmade marketplace will be a fundraiser for Thistle Farms, a social enterprise that is run by women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, or addiction. 

There will be about 20 other crafty vendors there (all of whom are either Thistle Farms volunteers or employees) selling their creations, and 50% of all sales will go towards supporting their papermaking, bookbinding, and sewing studios.

This will be a great place to do some Mother's Day shopping, grab a tasty treat in the Thistle Stop Cafe, and support a wonderful organization all at the same time. Get a sneak peek at some of the handmade goods you'll find at the event here, and then come to Thistle Farms today between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 


Adventures in homeownership and a sneak peek into my new bookbinding studio

>> Sunday, April 27, 2014

A few months ago my husband and I purchased our first home, a cozy little bungalow built in 1935. Since moving in, we've been happily spending our days getting settled and enjoying our new surroundings. 

The picture above was taken just after we finished signing all the paperwork and were handed the keys to our new abode. As soon as the house was officially ours, we picked up our dog, Riviera, and brought her over to explore her new yard and house for the first time. I think she was just as happy about the new house as we were.

Although I haven't been blogging much lately, I've still been keeping busy.  Most of the rooms in the house are unpacked, organized, and decorated, and now that the weather is warming up we've been starting to do some gardening in our new yard.

I've also been getting settled into my new studio space. My studio is located in a downstairs bedroom in the house with a big window overlooking a flower bed with peonies and lilies. 

While getting my studio set up is still a work in progress, I'm pleased with how it's all coming together so far. I've hung up my collection of art show posters from Porter Flea and Handmade & Bound above my worktable, along with a few other posters by local printmakers. 

I also invested in a some new shelving to get things organized in my studio. All of my inventory now gets safely stashed inside the glass cabinets, and the open shelves display some of the first books I ever made while studying in Italy, prototypes of new styles of books I'm working on, and other lovely little books that I've collected from other book artists. 

My studio is also full of plenty of books in progress. I've been creating new styles of journals and photo albums in preparation for the upcoming marketplace at Thistle Farms next weekend and the next Porter Flea on June 7. I'll be posting more updates here in the coming weeks, but in the meantime be sure to check out my Instagram photos for more images of the new house, our garden, and of course, beautiful handbound books!


West Elm Maker Market returns Saturday, Dec. 21

>> Monday, December 16, 2013

If you are still looking for last-minute gifts — especially handmade goods — then the West Elm Holiday Maker Market has arrived just in time.

Conveniently scheduled for Saturday the 21st, just a few days before Christmas, this Maker Market will welcome independent artists into the West Elm furniture and home goods store at the H.G. Hill Center in Green Hills for the fourth time.

This cool partnership allows artists to display their work on, in, and around West Elm's hip furnishings. You can count on seeing handmade jewelry, custom furniture, printmaking, and artisanal foods.

I showcased my work inside the store for the first time this fall. My husband and I already own quite a few pieces from West Elm, so it was a cool opportunity to arrange my books on one of their chic desks. All of the artists find ways to play off the store's design sensibilities, making for a unique event.

West Elm Maker Market
When: Saturday, Dec. 21, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: West Elm, 4019 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville


A global wedding captured in a map book

>> Friday, December 13, 2013

world map handmade book

A couple living in Australia. The bride from the U.K. And a wedding in Bali, Indonesia. If ever there was a wedding guest book fit for a map design, this was the one.

For this international destination wedding, I ultimately decided to use a map print paper from Paper Source for their book. It has a vintage map feel that Laura liked. And I made sure to include all of this couple's important places across the covers.

wedding in Indonesia
map book for international wedding
wedding book for destination wedding
map globe bookbinding


Learn to bind a book during Maker's Month

>> Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Skillery is planning to kick off the new year with a full schedule of creative classes. As part of their mission to shine a spotlight on Nashville’s creative entrepreneurs and the brands they’re building, The Skillery is designating January as Makers' Month. 

You can take a look at the class offerings here, and you'll be sure to spot some gems. Teaching artist extraordinaire Allison Jarrett of Precious America will be teaching an Intro to Hand Embroidery class. Chris Cheney and Nieves Uhl of Sawtooth Printhouse will be teaching a Letterpress Poster class.  I took a screenprinting class taught by Chris earlier this year and had a blast, so I'm sure the letterpress class is a can't-miss experience.  I will be leading a bookbinding workshop as part of Makers' Month, I'm thrilled to be teaching alongside such a talented bunch of Nashville creatives. 

 Bookbinding workshop taught by Katie Gonzalez

Learn to create a handbound journal

When: Saturday January 25, 2014; 5 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Where: Dandelion Salon, 1117 Porter Road, Nashville, TN 37206
Cost: $38 (or $30 for Skillery members)

Description: Start your new year with a creative project: learn the basics of bookbinding while creating a one-of-a-kind handbound blank book. Then use your book this year as a practical day planner to get organized, or as a sketchbook to stoke your creativity. We'll be making a book bound with the French link stitch. The stitching will be exposed on the spine of the book, allowing you to see and show off your handiwork. This class is appropriate for all skill levels, including beginners. Katie Gonzalez, a professional book artist who has taught bookbinding to more than 200 students, will guide you through the process in this one-night workshop. You will leave the class with one completed journal, and the skills to create more books in the future. The class will also include an introduction to the world of handmade books, and the opportunity to handle a collection of professionally made examples.


Porter Flea is back with Holiday Market

>> Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Porter Flea Holiday Market 2013

Just look at that poster. You know you can't wait for Nashville's best holiday market, Porter Flea! If you recall from a year ago, just about everyone seemed to show up for the last holiday market. I tried to capture the excitement in a write-up at the time.

The show is on the move again this season, setting up at Track 1, just south of downtown at the corner of Chestnut and 4th Avenue South.

This Porter Flea begins with a ticketed preview party on Friday, Dec. 6. Limited tickets are still available at Grimey's on 8th Ave and Hey Rooster General Store in East Nashville, so if you want to get first dibs on the handmade goods and beat the crowds, pick up your tickets soon. On Saturday, Dec. 7, the market is free and open to all ages from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  I hope to see you there! 


Spring book arts and graphic design classes

>> Monday, December 2, 2013

Registration opened today for spring community education classes at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. I will be teaching two nine-week courses (one will be an introduction to book arts, and the other is an introduction to graphic design), and I will also be teaching a one-day leather bookbinding workshop.

In addition to the classes I'm teaching, Watkins Community Education has a full schedule of courses on everything from sewing to welding. View the entire course catalog here, and if you'd like to sign up for a class you can register online or call 615-383-4848.

Introduction to Book Arts

When: Tuesdays, February 4 – April 1; 6 – 9 p.m.
Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville
Cost: $210, plus $40 materials fee

Learn the basics of bookmaking, and more than a dozen binding styles, in this 9-week introductory class. Students will become familiar with the materials, tools, techniques, and vocabulary of handmade books. Students will create their own books each week, starting with simple folded structures and building toward intricate and exciting books that can be used as journals, sketchbooks, photo albums, and sculptural displays. Students will explore the essentials of paper grain, folded signatures, hardcover and softcover books, and binding by hand. You’ll leave this class with an assortment of your own handbound books, and the skills and resources to continue binding at home. All tools and supplies included in the materials fee.

Traditional Leather Bookbinding with a Contemporary Twist

When: Saturday, March 8; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville
Cost: $80, plus $25 materials fee

Learn to bind a soft-cover leather book that can be used as a journal, a sketchbook, or a photo album. Using the Italian Longstitch style, a historical binding that dates to 14th Century Europe, each student will create a book with a leather cover that features exposed, decorative stitching on its spine and pages that lay completely flat when open. Students will use leather for the book cover and have the option to include interesting contemporary papers inside. You’ll leave this class with a completed handmade book, and the skills and resources to continue binding at home. No previous bookbinding experience is required. All tools and supplies included in the materials fee.

Introduction to Graphic Design and Typography

When: Thursdays, February 6 – April 10 (no class Feb. 13); 6 – 9 p.m.
Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville
Cost: $210, plus $20 lab fee

Learn the fundamentals of graphic design including composition, the grid system and color theory. In particular, the course will cover the expressive and conceptual use of type in design. You’ll become familiar with Adobe InDesign, an essential program for designers, while working on projects such as calendars, posters and business cards. Through projects, hands-on use of the software program and critiques, participants will leave with a thorough understanding of design and how they can incorporate it into their own lives. Basic experience using Mac computers is required, and students should bring their own external storage device.


A wedding book with mad lib messages

>> Saturday, November 30, 2013

stab binding mad libs book

wedding mad libs
Mad libs aren't just for road trip amusement anymore. I love how this couple pulled off this idea, asking their guests to fill in mad lib sentences about their marriage. They asked me to bind the mad libs together in a book.

To preserve each card, I knew the Japanese stab binding stitch would be the best. I added tabs of matching paper to the top of each mad lib sheet, allowing me to complete the binding by sewing through those added tabs instead of piercing through any of the text. This type of binding is also best for binding single sheets of paper together (rather than folded signatures of paper). And as you can see below, the binding allows for easy flipping through all of the writings. I was happy to take this couple's cues to create this expressive wedding guest book.

Japanese stab binding thread close up
wedding book Japanese binding


For the book lovers on your holiday shopping list

>> Thursday, November 28, 2013

handmade holiday gift books

As you begin your holiday shopping, don't forget all the great handmade goods available on Etsy. If you're looking for a journal, sketchbook, or photo album for someone on your list, visit my Etsy shop to view the one-of-kind books I've made this year.

And if you live in Nashville, you can also find my books in person at Parnassus Books in Green Hills and at PULP in East Nashville.


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