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Everyone in Nashville went to Porter Flea.

>> Saturday, December 1, 2012

When you have a newspaper reporter for a husband, art shows get covered in a whole new way. We just wrapped up Porter Flea a few hours ago, and he was still so motivated after an incredible show that he went ahead and compiled Instagrams and tweets from the artists and shoppers who attended and we're sharing them below.

He used Storify, which is a really convenient tool for crowdsourcing and compiling social media when lots of people come together in one place — and especially when those people are snapping tons of photos and tweeting their thoughts.


Nashville magazines feature linenlaid&felt and Porter Flea Holiday Market

>> Friday, November 30, 2012

Porter Flea Holiday Market has finally arrived — 11 to 6 on Saturday — capping off a great wave of positive publicity in recent weeks, including a handful of features that included photos and write-ups of my handmade books.

Nashville's newest magazine, Native, got things started with a photoshoot of Porter Flea artisan items. For the photos, I brought my books to Moonbase, which is a quirky collaborative work space inside one of Nashville's coolest renovated buildings, Marathon Village, which once was an auto manufacturing plant (pre-1920s). That's also where Porter Flea will take place.

Native magazine Porter Flea

As you can see, three of my little red suede books, with vintage map pages, made it into the magazine.

It wasn't long before my books appeared in three other magazines, starting with Nashville Lifestyles, which kindly described each of my custom books as "an honest-to-goodness work of art." So kind of them.

Nashville Lifestyles book feature

Amid all of my busy preparations for Porter Flea, I have also been teaching, which caught the attention of another of Nashville's magazines, The East Nashvillian, which featured my handmade book ornament class in its December issue.

East Nashvillian photo calendar Nashville

In mid-November, The City Paper published a feature story, "A better brand of Flea," in which I helped to explain what has made Porter Flea such a unique and successful show: 

"Unlike most other craft fairs," I told the paper, "Porter Flea includes a strong showing from male artists, bringing diversity to the show with handmade wood furniture, letterpress posters, screen-printed T-shirts, and leather goods."

My husband and I have spoken often about the particular flair of the Flea, and diversity of talents is really one of its strongest attributes. I'll be excited to see some of the new participants on Saturday.

It was also a welcome surprise to see Porter Flea noticed beyond Nashville. Southern Living was "buzzing" about the event on their website and posted a link to my shop, among others.

The popularity of the show has given its organizers a chance to put the spotlight on local artists. It's been great to be a part of the positive energy. We've got great momentum, at just the right time. 


Porter Flea returns with holiday market on Dec. 1

>> Friday, November 23, 2012

You've got to get up pretty early in the morning to be first in line at the Porter Flea Holiday Market.

That's right, this Nashville indie craft show is so popular that a line forms for the 11 a.m. opening. And once it starts, this show has a pulse like no other that I've done. Hosted in Marathon Music Works, a recently renovated concert venue, the show gets all of the little details just right: the music, the food trucks and coffee treats, and, of course, a great mix of artists.

This year's vendor list includes specialists in vintage glasses, handmade furniture, printmaking, awesome lighting design, and one of my husband's personal favorites — Thump Trunks, these great suitcases converted into boombox stereos. Oh! And I can't forget to mention that a great ceramics artist, Anderson Bailey, will be taking part for the first time.

It's the best show around and we love the venue. And, just two years in, Porter Flea has begun to get some good press. In the past month, the show and my work got mentions in a Nashville City Paper story, in Native Magazine and in Nashville Lifestyles. The Nashville Scene named it the city's "best artisan market." Not bad at all for a show that got its start in July 2011.

I'm working hard to prepare a great new line of leather journals and handbound book Christmas ornaments for what will be my third Porter Flea. To see more great photos and read about the previous shows, you can follow these links:

I've included a few of my favorite photos below from the summer 2012 show. You can see Southern Lights Electric, West Vintage Trading Co., Monday Mint, and DCXV Clothing. I can't wait for next weekend, and I hope I'll meet new people and see your familiar faces. 
linenlaid&felt at Porter Flea

Southern Lights, Nashville

Stock Room Vintage, Nashville

Monday Mint, Nashville

DCXV Clothing, Nashville

Katie and Jess from Pine Street Makery

Porter Flea poster notebooks


Parnassus Books in Nashville has my newest handmade leather journals

>> Thursday, November 22, 2012

journals at Parnassus Books

It's been exactly one year since I wrote about Nashville's awesome new independent bookstore, Parnassus Books, which had just opened to much-deserved fanfare.

I've been to the store frequently in the past few weeks, including to deliver 20 of my newest handmade leather and suede journals. This line of journals ranges from the bright and colorful (you know me) but also includes books that are more rugged and earthy, including some with pages salvaged from old books and an especially awesome Handy Map of Nashville map book — which, unfortunately, became something of a collector's item after Handy Maps discontinued last year.

suede journals purple yellow teal

But Parnassus is going strong. My husband and I attended the store's one-year birthday party last week and heard some of the most uplifting "thank you" remarks we've ever heard, by both co-owners, Karen Hayes and Ann Patchett. My husband was especially excited to hear Patchett speaking of the resilience of her little independent bookstore. "Amazon and algorithms," will never put Parnassus out of business, she told the crowd.

Really, the store has received such acclaim this year, that I'm just happy my work can be a part of all the good vibrations. And we've also done quite a bit of Christmas shopping there. Plenty of good gifts to be found there — my books included!

Parnassus Books leather journals


Handmade & Bound book arts and zine festival 2012

>> Sunday, October 7, 2012

Brown Dog Bindery book photo

Yesterday was the second annual Handmade & Bound book arts and zine festival in Nashville, and it proved to be just as inspiring as the inaugural event. I took a moment today to look back at my review of the festival from last year, and it helped me realize that I've become closely connected to the city's book arts community.

Back then, I had just to moved to the city and was still wondering what a book arts festival would even look like. This time around, I literally saw dozens of familiar faces, including students I've taught, bookbinding friends, and even some strangers who knew all about my work. We're not strangers anymore, and Handmade & Bound is the reason. There's such an energy to the festival. I found myself buying other artists books and getting inspired all over again.

There was so much to see — if you missed it, you missed out — but you can look at photos below and 50 more on Facebook, featuring work by Brown Dog BinderySmall Fires PressThistle Farms, Merritt Ireland, Liberty Paper & Textiles, and many more.

And be sure to check out the 2-minute video at the bottom. You can hear from some of the festival organizers and take a sneak peek at letterpress printing and bookbinding in action.

Brown Dog Bindery photo

Small Fires Press books photo

Handmade & Bound Nashville 2012

Thistle Farms at Handmade and Bound photo

Merritt Ireland bookbinding photo

Claudia Lee Liberty Paper & Textiles photo

Katie Gonzalez linenlaid&felt handmade books photo

linenlaid&felt handmade books photo


Japanese Stab Binding mini-workshop

>> Saturday, October 6, 2012

I'm partnering with The Skillery once again to teach a neat mini-workshop on October 20. It's part of a full day of hour-long classes, with topics ranging from juggling (taught by my husband!) to making terrariums with succulents. 

There's still plenty of time to register for my Japanese stab binding class, or any other class that intrigues you.  Hope to see you on the 20th!

Bookbinding: Make four fast books

When: Saturday, October 20; 3 - 3:50 p.m.
Where: The Offices of Emma, 9 Lea Ave., Nashville
Cost: $10
Description: This introduction to bookbinding will teach you how to create four small softcover notebooks — all in 50 minutes. You'll learn variations of the traditional Japanese Stab Binding and the basic techniques of bookbinding, including tearing paper by hand, working with sewing templates, and stitching decorative patterns. We will be using high-quality handmade and decorative papers for the covers of the books and colorful waxed linen thread for the binding. You will leave the class with multiple pocket-sized notebooks, and the skills to create more handbound books in the future. The class will also include an introduction to the world of handmade books, and the opportunity to view and handle a collection of professionally made examples.


A wedding album to hold Polaroid photos of guests

>> Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Japanese stab binding hardcover thread

Picture this: a little table at your wedding that holds a Polaroid camera and your guest book. Your best friends and family members snag the camera, take awesome photos, and immediately mount them into the book and write messages to mark the day.

This particular book was made just for that purpose.  I've found that more and more brides are opting for something a besides a traditional book with lined pages in which guests merely sign their names.  Rather, a book with more space for guests to leave messages and plenty of room for photos leads to a more meaningful keepsake, and one that's more likely to be treasured and enjoyed long after the festivities are over. 

Another exciting thing to note about this book is that it was just featured in Nashville Lifestyles Weddings magazine among their round-up of "lovely local details."  The most recent issue is on newsstands now, so if you're in the Nashville area pick up a copy and check out all of the local talent in our city. 

Aside from binding books and scoring magazine features (this is my second one of the year; check out the first one here), I've been busy applying to art shows, planning new classes, and filling my Etsy shop to the brim.  

Be sure to take a peek at my latest e-newsletter to find out about all the exciting events I have coming up this fall.  (You can sign up for my mailing list to ensure that you'll never miss out on my beautiful, informative e-mails packed with gorgeous photos.)  My busy season is starting off with the Handmade & Bound book arts festival this weekend. I hope to see you there!


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.


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