Handmade and Bound Nashville
September 8, 2011, 10:08 am
Filed under: bookmaking, diy business, making!, reading

Attention Nashvillians:

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is hosting the first annual Handmade & Bound Nashville  festival on Sept. 30th & Oct. 1st!

As the website explains, “Handmade & Bound Nashville is a festival celebrating independent publications and printed matter, featuring artists’ books, zines, and mini-comics. This is an event for publishers and artists (as well as zine distros) to come together to sell and/or trade their handmade and affordable publications and creations.”

Saturday 10/1  workshops for kids will include a Papermaking Booth, sidewalk mural, and folded zines. Read descriptions of all workshops here (and keep in mind that some require signing up). There are many for adults and they all sound great! I’ll be reading Garlic-Onion-Beet-Spinach-Mango-Carrot-Grapefruit Juice at 11am, and I’ll have a ThoraThinks booth in the vendor section all day. (With coloring!)  I hope to see you there!

Other events include a juried artist book exhibit;  screening of $100 and a T-shirt–An award-winning documentary on the culture of zine making;  miniature accordion popup books;  open mic zine reading;  letterpress printing;  food carts and more.  Free admission.

view complete schedule of events

business lady
October 18, 2010, 10:34 am
Filed under: diy business

Happy National Women’s Business Week!

I am feeling good about what I’ve accomplished with ThoraThinks so far this year, and very thankful to all who have shown their support. It’s a privilege to make work that I care about.

Props to all the creative business women out there!

Crunchy Crunchy Fall
October 1, 2010, 11:29 am
Filed under: diy business

Whoa. How is it October already?
I need to start thinking about a Halloween costume. I might be a seahorse, but I’m not sure. Last year I was a honeycomb.

Nashville is starting to cool off and leaves are getting a little crunchy. Tatsoi, kale, and sweet potatoes are on their way. Bonfires sound good again.

I’ve been receiving emails from fans who want to see Garlic-Onion-Beet-Spinach-Mango-Carrot-Grapefruit Juice in stores. I appreciate all of your suggestions about stores and organizations to contact- and I wanted to take a minute to explain why the book is currently only available through my website. Since ThoraThinks Press is a one-woman business and I self-published, it was relatively expensive to have my books printed and bound. For this reason, I cannot afford to offer a lower wholesale price to other vendors. However, I am keeping a list of all your suggestions to use in the future. Thank you! People have also inquired about buying the book through Amazon… I’m looking into that option as well.

I have also received messages from readers who are excited about the book, but don’t have any kids to share it with. If this is the case for you, a great option is to buy a book to donate to a school or library. If you send me an email after placing your order and tell me it’s a donation, I’ll be happy to sign the book to the school/library. I’ll be posting about this again soon- next time with a little incentive.

Don’t forget about the finger puppet coloring contest! Enter by next Sunday (October 10th) for a chance to win an autographed book, handmade Thora doll, and button set.

Happy weekend to all!


headed to VegFest
September 13, 2010, 12:00 am
Filed under: diy business, making!, Veg Fest

Hello hello!

Tonight I’m finishing up dolls, etc. for VegFest because tomorrow we’re leaving for a trip to Seattle! Then we’ll head down to Portland next weekend for the big event.  I’m SO looking forward to meeting lots of great people at the festival… if you’re in the Portland area, please come by on Saturday or Sunday (the 18th/19th) and say hello! There will be lots of great speakers/chefs/classes and veg vendors (I’m gonna get me some samples). Check out the Northwest VegFest website for more info, and tell your friends! I’ll be selling books, dolls, buttons, and magnets, and I’ll have free coloring pages for kids. Just look for a big, felt sign that says “ThoraThinks Press”…

Currently, there are bits of fiberfill (“fluffing”), half-sewn tweeters, buttons, shrinky dinks, suitcases, dolls, etc. all over my house.

Mega-thanks to my partner Ki, his industrious parents, and my friends Kaitlin, Holly, Emily, and Rachel for helping me prepare. The magnificent Kaitlin came by this evening for a little last-minute button making, and brought some really beautiful jasmine tea. Ahhhhh, what a pal.

I should mention that since ThoraThinks is a one-woman-business and I’ll be out of town for the next week, all orders placed through my website during the coming days will ship during the week of Sept. 20th – 25th.

On another note, last week I made a little 5×7” painting for an auction supporting the Nashville Jazz Workshop. It’s called absent referent, and it’s basically a little version of a really big painting I made a year ago. I thought you all might be interested.

The time has come for me to pack. I hope everyone has a fantastic week, and I can’t wait to meet some of your smiling faces in Portland!

All the best,

vikings and pickles
August 25, 2010, 3:08 am
Filed under: book reviews, diy business, dolls, food, vikings

I’m doing an experiment. I usually make one doll at a time, but since I need to make lots of them for VegFest next month, I’m trying to maximize efficiency without sacrificing the handmade-ness or attention to detail. This week I’m sewing Vikings, and today I drew lots of eyes. Tomorrow I’ll finish faces. Thursday I’ll make arms and legs. Doing things this way kind of makes me feel like a little factory.

A new review of Garlic-Onion-Beet-Spinach-Mango-Carrot-Grapefruit Juice was posted on today. This site is a great resource, offering children’s book and movie reviews from a veg point of view.

In other news, over the weekend I made pickles for the first time! Cucumbers are in full force here, and we grew lots of dill in our backyard. My grandfather gave me some delicious pickling spice, and I’ve been quite excited to try it out. When I was a kid, my Papa called me a pickle fresser. I think fresser is Yiddish for “gluttonous foodie,” or something like that… so it was an appropriate name. He has always made incredible, garlicky dill pickles (they’re much better than any others I’ve tried) and I can never get enough!  My maternal family is of European Jewish descent, and we have a rich food history. I respect and value the role that food has in my family, but of course most of the dishes call for animal flesh and bi-products. I’m so glad my Papa shared his pickle recipe with me, so I can enjoy them for years to come and pass it along to my kids.

I also made a small jar of bread and butter pickles that are just sweet enough, and already so delicious.


what I do and where I do it
August 12, 2010, 4:46 am
Filed under: diy business, dolls, making!, studio


I’ve been receiving questions about where I work, how I work, and what I actually do…

Tonight seemed like a good night to start explaining.

I’m 23 and I graduated from Denison University with a BFA in studio art about a year ago. In addition to being a bookmaker, I am also a maker of paintings, videos, sounds, installations, performances, and more. I’m still getting acquainted with the world outside of school, and am trying to develop some kind of consistent artistic practice. I’ve been a little distracted though. Without deadlines, papers, exams, and critiques floating over my head, I’m spending more time cooking, walking, squeezing Ki (my boy), and trying to manage a small publishing company. I’ve fallen hard for vegetables, fruit, and chocolate. I’ve become friends with lots of young farmers. I’ve talked and thought and listened and thought and thought and thought and thought. Once my whole body is full of life and thoughts and sparks of light- (my whole body! every finger and every toe!)- once my whole body is full of ideas… then, POP! I’ll make some stuff.

I made the original version of Garlic-Onion-Beet-Spinach-Mango-Carrot-Grapefruit Juice when I was still in school. I didn’t intend to make more than one copy, or to sell it. I love children’s books and wanted to make my own. I wanted to raise questions about eating animals. I wanted to make something free and funny and a little wild. When I finally finished the book, people seemed to like it, so I thought that maybe I’d make more someday.

After I graduated, I moved to Nashville. I had an interview for a job that I didn’t really want. At all. So instead of going to the interview, I cried and then decided I’d make books instead! I would edit the book. I would decide what to call my publishing company. I would find someone to print and bind the books. I would find out how to pay that someone. I would order proofs. I would wait for proofs. I would try CMYK and RGB color. I would make a website. A blog. A facebook page. A twitter? (I don’t really like twitter, but I’ll at least try). I would sew more dolls. I would make buttons. Magnets. I would order business cards, mailers, packaging. I would calculate shipping. Things would go right. Things would go wrong. I would be excited, doubtful, motivated, passionate, frustrated, overwhelmed, proud. Ki would help me out when I needed it.

Now that things are in place, I’m having so much fun sharing the book with you!  I hope people laugh when they read it. I hope they think about the questions in the book- raise more questions- and talk about them. I have been hurting for animals for a long time, so it feels good to make something fun and to celebrate non-violence. It’s fresh and interesting learning new things about business, and meeting others who are working for non-violence in their own creative/mindful ways.

These days I am processing orders, sewing dolls, making buttons and magnets, and spending lots of time spreading the word! If you like what you see on the ThoraThinks website, please tell your friends. I am so thankful for all the word-of-mouth help I can get!

I do all of these things from this little studio in our house:
(notice the book-filled boxes that line my walls)

…that’s the gist. Questions and comments welcome. More to come soon!

Enjoy your day,


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