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The Skillery EXPO: One day, eight workshops

>> Thursday, September 27, 2012

On Saturday, October 20, join The Skillery for a pop-up workshop series, featuring a collection of Nashville artisans, entrepreneurs and experts leading one-hour mini-workshops on a variety of engaging topics.The Skillery EXPO will bring the passionate and the curious together under one roof for a day of demonstrations, conversations and community building.

I will be teaching a workshop about variations of the Japanese stab binding, and participants will learn how to make four different books in one hour. You can read more about the class, see photos of what we'll be making, and purchase tickets here. My husband will also be teaching a juggling workshop that day! Read below for more details about the awesome lineup of classes scheduled for the day. 

An Introduction to Specialty Coffee
with Sean Stewart of BEVE Mobile Coffee
9:00 - 9:50AM; $10
Enjoy a tasting of coffees from various growing regions, and a discussion of processing methods, roasting profiles and the meaning of the term "Specialty Coffee."

Delicious Lighting
with Kyle Dreier
10:00 - 10:50AM; $10
Renowned photographer Kyle Dreier will share tips, tools and tricks to help you get what you desire when using your camera (or even your cell phone) to photograph the most delicious of subjects: food.

Inbox Branding: Components of Email Design
with Cynthia Price of Emma
11:00 - 11:50AM; FREE
A must for marketers and entrepreneurs, this class will explore how adding email to your marketing mix can strengthen your customer loyalty, drive more traffic to your site and grow your business in style.

An Introduction to Backyard Chickens
with Jesse Alvey
12:00 - 12:50PM; $10
Curious about raising chickens at home? This class will provide an overview of the backyard chicken experience, including how to get started, and tips for maintaining a healthy flock.

Succulent Design and Closed Container Gardening
with Emily Marlow of 400 Moons
1:00 - 1:50PM; $10
What are succulents, and why are they becoming so popular? Learn to break away from the boring clay pot, with a better understanding of succulents, air plants, terrariums, and closed container gardening. 

Juggling: Anyone Can Learn
with Tony Gonzalez
2:00 - 2:50PM; $10
Anyone can learn to juggle! So says award-winning juggler Tony Gonzalez, who will teach classic three-ball juggling, and let you try out other juggling props, like the diabolo, kendama, juggling clubs and rings.

Bookbinding: Make Four Fast Books
with Katie Gonzalez of linenlaid&felt
3:00 - 3:50PM; $10
Create four small softcover notebooks in just 50 minutes! Bookbinder Katie Gonzalez will teach Japanese Stab Binding and other techniques, including tearing paper by hand and working with sewing templates.

Bicycle Maintenance 101
with Dan Furbish of The Oasis Center
4:00 - 4:50PM; $10
Got a bike? Bicycle advocate Dan Furbish will teach basic maintenance skills such as changing a flat, basic tune-ups to increase the life of your bike, and the best tools to carry with you. 


A sweet gray and yellow baby book

>> Monday, September 24, 2012

Handmade book with Japanese stab binding and floral print

If you've been looking around lately (hint, hint, on Pinterest) you're probably familiar with "grellow." That's the chic gray and yellow combination that's as popular in home decor as in fashion. This book takes that scheme and glams it up with silver accents in one of my favorite handmade papers.

Floral print paper handmade book

This baby book was made for a little girl named Zoe, and in my opinion, she has one of the prettiest baby books around.  The paper used for the covers was made in India from natural plant materials, and was printed with a yellow floral pattern.  Depending on the way the light hits the book, the silver outline around the flowers shimmers.  The hinged spine edge of the book is covered with a grey linen bookcloth that I made myself, and the book is sewn together with a sunshine yellow ribbon using the Japanese stab binding. 

Custom handmade baby book

I designed the pages of the book to coordinate with the yellow and gray color scheme, and handmade photo corners are attached to each photo spot so pictures can easily be added to the book.  There are pages for Zoe's parents to record all of the important details, starting with pregnancy memories and baby showers, and spanning through the delivery, her baptism, important milestones, and holidays. There are also pages for a family tree, for handprints and footprints, and for Zoe to write a message to the future on her fifth birthday. 

Handmade baby book

Handmade baby book family tree

Japanese stab binding with ribbon


Fall bookbinding classes at Watkins College

>> Sunday, September 23, 2012

I'm already a few weeks in to the Introduction to Graphic Design and Typography class that I'm teaching at Watkins College of Art, Design, and Film this fall, but there's still plenty of time to sign up for the two exciting book arts workshops that I have scheduled for next month.  

Whether you're interested in spending a day learning to bind a book with a leather cover, or a few days creating handmade photo albums, I'd love to have you join me for one (or both!) of these workshops.  The classes are open to anyone in the Nashville community.  To register just call the college's community education office at 615-277-7455 or sign up online. Check out the Watkins fall course catalog to read more about the other creative classes happening this season. 

handmade books Nashville linenlaid&felt

Traditional leather bookbinding 
with a contemporary twist 

When: Saturday, October 13; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville 
Cost: $45, plus $20 materials fee
Description: 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. No previous bookbinding experience is required, and all materials and tools will be provided.

linenlaid&felt photo albums

Binding handmade photo albums

When: Saturday, October 27 – Saturday, November 17 (4 weeks); 
1 - 5 p.m.
Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville 
Cost: $125, plus $35 materials fee
Description: Learn to make several styles of handbound photo albums to preserve and proudly display your favorite photographs. These books will be more unique and meaningful than a typical store-bought album and will give you a reason to finally print those photos that have been collecting digital dust on your computer. Using archival materials, this class will cover three hardcover binding styles: the accordion, the Coptic, and the Japanese stab binding. You’ll learn the basics of bookbinding while creating beautiful, functional books. No previous bookbinding experience is required, and all materials and tools will be provided.

brochure cover Watkins Community Education Nashville

Click the image above to view the full Watkins course catalog as a pdf.


Handcrafted photography meets handbound books

>> Monday, September 10, 2012

Handmade books photo at Shelby Park in Nashville

This summer I was treated to a truly special photo shoot with Mary Clark of psalm27creative behind the lens. When Mary Clark and I first met, we were both newcomers to Nashville working on building our  own creative businesses.  She is a photographer with a passion for creating handcrafted keepsakes for displaying photos, which of course resonates with my own personal mission as an artist. 

I was so excited when we decided to collaborate and share our creative talents. After seeing Mary Clark's portfolio of images that she's taken of other creative businesses, I asked her if she would take some photographs of me and my books that I could use to promote linenlaid&felt.  In exchange, I create a one-of-a-kind handbound psalm27creative photo album for Mary Clark to display her work.  (Click here to see a sneak peek of the logo that Mary Clark stitched onto the cover of her book to personalize the cover!)

Handmade books in Nashville

On the day of the photo shoot, we got started early to take advantage of the beautiful morning light and to attempt to stay cool on a day when the temperature surpassed 100 degrees in Nashville.  We began with some pictures of me and my handcrafted books in Shelby Park in East Nashville.  Then we headed to the pedestrian bridge to take some photos with a more urban feel, featuring the Nashville skyline in the background.

After our outdoor photos, we retreated to my studio to beat the heat and to capture the location where  my creativity flourishes.  She photographed all of the little details in my studio: rolls of decorative paper, my inspirational tack boards, spools of colorful waxed linen thread, and my collection of bookbinding tools. She also documented the process of me creating a custom wedding guest book, binding each set of pages one by one.  

You may have seen some of these new photos starting to appear on my facebook page, in my online shop, and in the new About page on Etsy.  To see even more, be sure to visit the psalm27creative blog at the links below:

handmade books Nashville


Ethiopian binding workshop caps off busy summer

>> Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ethiopian binding book with wood covers

It's been a busy summer of bookbinding, both in the studio and in the classroom. Nearly every day this summer I taught some type of class or workshop, and then I capped off my August by taking an inspiring class for myself.

Taught by Jennifer Knowles-McQuistion of Brown Dog Bindery, the class helped me create something that wouldn't normally come out of my studio. The wooden book seen here features an Ethiopian binding, which is sewn with four needles at once. After I completed the binding, decorative woven headbands were sewn at the top and bottom of the spine.

The covers were made from reclaimed wood shelves from an old department store that used to be in downtown Nashville on the site of the current Nashville Public Library. I carved, sanded, painted, waxed, and drilled the wooden boards to make the covers. All told, the book took more than 16 hours to make. And I still have a wooden peg and buffalo leather strap to add as a closure.

Ethiopian binding with wood covers close-up

As for classes I've taught, my students have included middle schoolers, college-bound teens, and adults, and I've taught all sorts of projects and topics. There are almost too many classes to mention them all. They ranged from two-day Coptic binding workshops to a collaborative class in which young students made their own collagraph prints and then bound them into books.

In July, I worked with a group of six highly motivated high school students through the Watkins Pre-College Program. This was a special opportunity, and one in which I actually wasn't teaching bookbinding. Instead, I tapped into my college training and former career to teach graphic design. The students were able to get a taste of what it would be like to major in graphic design while completing assignments on deadline and preparing their very own gallery exhibition. And for their hard work over three weeks, each student earned college credit.

Also this summer, my partnership with Thistle Farms has blossomed. I've taught bookbinding classes for this non-profit group, helped them develop a paper goods product line, and encouraged them to sell their goods at the city's upcoming book arts festival. I'm very excited about the Thistle Farms collaboration, so I'm sure I'll dedicate a whole blog post to it soon.

Sewing Ethiopian binding

I'm still looking forward to teaching more classes in every month through the end of the year. But it has also been nice to get back into the studio — and back to a bit of book arts blogging.


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