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Journals for sale at Parnassus Books in Nashville

>> Monday, November 21, 2011

Last night marked the much-anticipated grand opening of Parnassus Books. The city has been buzzing about this new independent bookstore for months, and it's even been making headlines nation-wide.  (There was a front-page story about the store in the New York Times last week!) 

So far it's living up to all of the hype.  The store was packed last night, as you can see in these pictures from the grand opening event.  Plus there are more pictures on my facebook page and the Parnassus facebook page.

And I'm especially excited to announce that my handbound journals are available for sale at Parnassus. I first learned about the bookstore at Handmade & Bound, Nashville's first annual book arts festival, and was later contacted by one of the co-owners to see if I'd be interested in selling my books there.  Of course I was thrilled about this opportunity.  I think this is going to be a fantastic venue for my books, and hopefully it will introduce lots of new people to my work.

I've been busy for weeks making lots of new books for the store.  I've focused on journals and sketchbooks with leather or suede covers bound in the Italian long-stitch style.  And I've also made some books with decorative paper covers sewn using the Coptic binding.  A few of the leather books feature my own handmade paper inside.  And some books are made using suede from upcycled clothing, like a blue suede jacket or a pair of red suede pants.  

If you live in Nashville, I urge you to visit Parnassus Books and consider shopping locally for your holiday gifts.  You will not be disappointed with the curated collection of books and artwork that you'll find.  


A handmade baby book welcomes Liam to the world

>> Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This summer, I made a baby book for a little boy named Liam.  For the covers, I used a colorful paper with animal shapes, which I think is a perfect choice for a baby book.  I paired the paper with an orange bookcloth for the spine of the book, which perfectly matches the color of the lions on the paper.  To complement the orange, I bound the book with blue thread, which also coordinates with the printing on the pages and the endsheets.  And the handmade photo corners made with and orange and yellow striped paper adds a playful touch to the pages.  

The customer came up with some great ideas for things that she wanted to include in the book, like a spot to write the story of Liam's name (what a great name, by the way!) and a page all about Thanksgiving.  I've since added both of these to my standard baby book template.  The design for my baby book continues to evolve.  I love the way that it started out last year, but with every customer I've worked with, I've come up with ideas to make the book better.  

As always, you can find more info about customized baby books in my Etsy shop.  


Upcoming holiday shows in Tennessee

>> Thursday, November 10, 2011

I will be out and about this holiday season selling my handmade books at several art markets in Tennessee.  

Porter Crossing Arts Market
Nashville, Tennessee
Saturday, November 12 and Saturday, December 10
Noon - 9 pm

This weekend I'll once again be a part of the Porter Crossing Arts Market, as well as the second Saturday in December.  It's taking place in the cluster of buildings right around the Family Wash in East Nashville.  My work will be in the Craftville Pop-Up Shop, where you can browse and buy the work of local artists and make an autumn wreath at the DIY station in the back of the shop.  

Porter Flea holiday market
Nashville, Tennessee
Saturday, December 3
Noon - 8 pm

Tony and I stumbled across the first ever Porter Flea just days after moving to Nashville, and I was blown away by the caliber of artists that were participating and how organized the event was.  Despite the heat, it was a perfect day for the event, which also featured food trucks, music, and live screen printing demos.  I'd been looking forward to their holiday event ever since, and I'm thrilled to announce that I will be a vendor.  This time it's taking place indoors at the East Park Community Center.  You can find out more about the event on their website, and see work by the participating artists on their facebook page.  And the Movable Type Truck will be making an appearance too!

Chatty Crafty
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11
10 am - 6 pm

Just one week after the Porter Flea, I'll be heading down to Chattanooga for the first time to sell my handmade books at Chatty Crafty.  A few of the vendors who will be at this event were also at the Athens Indie Craftstravaganzaa this spring, including Liz (my college classmate) of Liddabits Design Shop, and Jordan Grace Owens (who designed the awesome poster below).  And I'm not the only artist from East Nashville making the trip to Chattanooga.  Katie Lynne Vance, Pine Street Makery, and Simon & Ruby will be there as well (and they're all exhibiting at Porter Flea too!).


For wedding books, colors make the difference

>> Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I always keep an eye out for great decorative and handmade papers. Collecting papers that I like, and that I look forward to sharing with my customers, is one of my favorite parts of bookmaking. I'm just about swimming in paper in my studio, from the tall rolls sprouting from baskets and bins to elaborate swatch books from paper suppliers. When the folks from Paper Mojo visited my booth at the Handmade Market, the conversation got pretty geeky about the origin countries of different papers and the techniques used to make them.
I also find myself dreaming up different color combinations, often pinning color clusters to my bulletin board or snapping pictures to remember them for future books. Yet custom orders still come through with unique pairings that I hadn't thought of before. In those moments, despite my stockpile, I search again for the perfect papers.

When Allison approached me to make a wedding guest book, she knew she wanted seafoam green, gold, and ivory. It just so happened that I had these classic colors close at hand, which excited me. As I continue building my paper collection, I think it will be more common that I have exactly what I need for custom orders. But I look forward to encountering inspirational color combinations from my customers. And, of course, I won't stop searching for great patterns, textures, and colors in papers, as well as the interesting techniques that create each sheet.

In the feedback Allison left at my shop, she called the paper colors "perfect." I like to think so too.


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