Book a Workshop!

Love books? Make one! Book a workshop or lecture with Ash & Elm Press and bring the book arts to you! I am so happy to be able to offer stand alone classes, workshop series, or lecture presentations on all aspects of the book arts. Check out my current offerings at the “Book a Workshop” page, and email me at if you would like a full program brochure with class details, booking information, and availability. Continue reading

5 Theories for Game of Thrones Season 7


Are you ready for Season 7 this Sunday, July 16th!? I am over-the-moon excited, mixed with the slightly nauseous feeling of dread that always comes with a new season/book… Please don’t kill off my favorite characters! Please don’t be terrible now that we’re really past the books!

I have a bit of an obsessive love affair with Game of Thrones. I’m a book reader and show lover, and for the last year my daily work commute has been consumed by A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones themed podcasts that make me so happy I could talk about them for hours (Radio Westeros is the best, check them out!). And unfortunately for my inner circle- and random acquaintances and strangers I’ve just met- I do.

I’ve never been this deep into a fandom before, so lately I’ve been channeling this love into some of my new work up in the Ash & Elm Books store. With all the good writing in the books and the show, I just had to incorporate them into some quotes necklaces. Obviously, I can’t not talk about some of the theories out there in the Game of Thrones universe, so read on to see some of the more juicy and realistic fan theories circulating out there that I personally would love to see this coming season

*Warning! Fan Theory Spoilers ahead* Continue reading

Origins of Color: Natural Dyes & Inks

Note: The content of the images in this post are here with permission from Karen Gorst, who taught the workshop I attended, Origins of Color. Karen is a world class calligrapher and manuscript illuminator whose work and contact information is available on her website, Photographs were taken by me, and are the property of Ash & Elm Press.

This past weekend I attended the class Origins of Color at the New York Center for Book Arts. I’ve taken a lot of classes there, from bookbinding, to box making, letterpress, and more. The Center has excellent teachers, and you learn so much in such a small amount of time. If you live near or can travel to NYC, I highly suggest taking a class or two if you’re serious about learning anything about the book arts.

Origins of Color explored how natural colors are taken from semi-precious stones, earth, plants, and even insects. Continue reading

All About That Pinterest

All About That Pinterest

Show of hands, how many of you guys have a Pinterest? Probably a lot of you, since you’re here reading posts on a bookbinding blog. Clearly, you are an artist, crafter, DIY-er, or are just really interested in how things are made. Basically, I’m guessing Pinterest is your playground. It’s ok, me too!


I like to pin about things that interest me, either practical or wish list pins mostly. Lately, I’ve been on a writing kick, so I’ve been looking for and pinning a lot of practical writing advice, and writing inspiration. I’ve also got a board about blogging, bookbinding, and a couple about Etsy, since I’m trying to grow my business. Then, of course, I have the dream library and reading nook boards, where I can pin up all the gorgeous library images I come across. I’m really into comfy/cozy reading areas (remodeled bed/bookshelf closets, reading hammocks- I could melt!) but there are some modern ones sprinkled in there. Continue reading

Game of Thrones Quote Necklaces!

dany and drogo with rhaego

How many of you out there are fans of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, or the show Game of Thrones? All of you? Good, that means we’re all friends.

Seriously though, I love that series, and I love the show. If you’ve watched the show but haven’t read the books yet, you’re missing out. The last episode of the 6th season is coming up in a couple weeks, and we will have to wait almost A YEAR before the next season. While you can use that time to read the series to get your GoT fix, I’ll be quietly pulling my hair out in a corner, dying from anticipation.

Anyway, some of you may have read about my handmade Game of Thrones Clue Game– which I made way before HBO came out with their own. Needless to say, I’m a huge nerd, and I’m OK with that. Nay, I’m proud of it. So, naturally, my nerdiness and my craftiness collided to bring you all these Game of Thrones necklaces and key chains Continue reading

Tiny Book Workshop Recap

Tiny Book Workshop

I’ve written before about the Tiny Book Workshops that I was doing at Stony Brook University. In an effort to gauge interest in bookbinding classes on campus, we offered a Tiny Book Workshop to test the water. The Tiny Books are small little journals that fit on a necklace or key chain, and were a fun way to attract people to bookbinding. The initial announcement went viral on a faculty Listserv, and the workshop was booked within a couple days! We offered a second date because of campus interest, and held the workshops during campus lifetime (no classes) on February 10th and 24th. Continue reading

My Work Playlist: Walk Off the Earth

My Work Playlist

If you’re like me, you don’t just go about your work in total silence, completely engrossed and content in your project with no distractions able to phase you. If you can, kudos! – but I can’t work like that. I need some kind of noise going on in the background to occupy my thoughts while doing repetitive bookbinding tasks like cutting, punching holes, folding paper, etc. I mean, I love bookbinding, but when you do the same thing everyday, you need something to occupy your brain when it’s on autopilot. Continue reading

Pretty Paper Adventures: Adding a Tube Spine

Yesterday, I was presented with a unique bookbinding challenge at my library. Two new books received by cataloging were published without a typical spine covering. Instead, the book had soft front and back covers, and the text block stitching was exposed, protected only by a thin layer of rice paper. For a personal library, that would be fine, and with care the books would last a long time. For our academic library, these books wouldn’t last 5 loans. Continue reading

Tiny Book Workshop(s)

As some may know, I am the bookbinder at Stony Brook University Libraries in the Preservation Department, and a part-time library science student [edit: now a graduate!]. When I have my library science degree at the end of this year, I plan on working in a public-facing position in an academic and public library. Unfortunately, because my position right now is in technical services, I rarely interact with the public. So I need to work on gaining ‘customer service’ and teaching experience within my current position. I volunteer for as many outreach events as I can, and I currently run our library’s Instagram page. In an effort to gain more teaching experience and align with the SBU Libraries’ new engagement mission, I decided to work with my supervisor and begin offering bookbinding workshops. Continue reading