5 times.

As I gear up for Porter Flea this weekend, my fifth one, it's easy to reminisce about the very first one and how much I've changed and my business has grown in these last 2 years. Looking back through the pictures, it seems like so long ago I got my business license and became a "professional" weaver. I was so nervous waiting for the "you got in" or "sorry, next time around" email I don't think I even ate for two days! Then it came time to actually start making things.. all the things. I made all the tea towels, scarves, table runners, and pillows my little fingers could handle. I also had to figure out my booth design, that was a nightmare! Many trips to thrift stores and the flea market and hours upon hours of work on Rogers part- we finally had it figured out! Rebecca and Taylor came up to help and the rest is a blur. The biggest thing I took from that weekend, was that I NEEDED Porter Flea in my life. 

I am still just as humbled to be accepted into Porter Flea again and again, I really count on it for my business and it keeps me working and coming up with new product ideas. This time around, I'm doing things a little differently- I've spent much of this last year collaborating with other local designers and I thought-- what better idea than to share a booth with some of them! They just happen to be my studio-mates too, and I love them to death. There have definitely been a few ups and downs in this whole booth planning thing, like trying to figure out how 3+ of us would be able to fit in our 8x8 booth, but we've worked it all out and I couldn't be more excited to share this experience with them. (Although they are long-time Porter Flea veterans from back when it first started) I feel like we've come full circle. That very first Porter Flea Roger and I went to when we moved here was the first time I met Jamie and Hannah. I knew from that day forward, my number one goal was to be able to work with them. 

My products have grown and changed, that's obvious, but I can also see how much my process has changed. I never really stuck with anything long enough to experience the "practice makes perfect" thing until now. 2 years ago, as I was making my lists and planning out my time leading up to Porter Flea, I had to get all my weaving done the week before so I would have time to finish products. That last warp I did for that market was for 15 tea towels and Roger thought I was crazy. Porter Flea is on Friday, 2 days away, and I just put 15 yards on my big loom to have done in time. And I will easily finish it. To break it down for you- that's 560 square feet of cloth for 15 tea towels compared to 2,700 square feet of cloth for these 15 yards. So I guess practice really does make perfect! I definitely hope to see you all this weekend, because Porter Flea would mean nothing without you guys! Thanks! 

Hannah's Papertrail

This girl. Hannah Jones. She's one of the most incredibly talented people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. By day she teaches fashion illustration at O'More, by night she's half of the fashion design duo Jamie and the Jones. By the witching hour she's working on her own illustrations of pretty much everything. The latter is what I'm going to talk about now- because you already know about my obsession and love for all things Jamie and the Jones. 

Hannah did a beautiful illustrated guide to weaving stitches for my first tapestry weaving class a few weeks back. We were both so much in love with how detailed and unique they turned out that we were already wanting to do more. Hannah had the brilliant idea to do an illustrated version of some of my woven wall hangings! Not only that, she let me come and take some process photos of her illustrating and painting them. They turned out beautifully- so much so, that several people at Porter Flea thought they were actual weavings! Once I get some proper photos of the finished products, I'll have them up for sale on my site :)

She's happy to do custom illustrations and will have a website with her portfolio up in the next week or so! In the meantime, you can email her at papertrailillustration@gmail.com and follow her Instagram feed @papertrailillustration

Nashville Fashion Week 2014

I am SO excited to finally be able to share some photos from this past Fashion Week! When I began working with Elizabeth Suzann in January, it was a dream come true- and entirely unexpected! We met for coffee to chat about a project we wanted to work on together and she ordered fabric from me on the spot. 

Fast forward to early March and the approach of Nashville Fashion Week. She was busy working on releasing her Spring/Summer line and already had to think about a 10 piece collection to show on opening night! She asked if I might have time to make a piece of fabric for her to sew up in just a few weeks- duh! I sampled a bit and couldn't decide so I left the choice up to her. She chose both! 

April 1st was opening night and she was the first to debut her Fall/Winter line. Mallory and I got our tickets pretty far in advance and Kimberly (Sisters of Nature) joined us at the last minute to watch the show! Even Hannah (Jamie and the Jones) was there representing her Alma mater O'More! I was definitely giddy knowing some of my fabric would be walking the runway- but I had no idea just how surreal it would be! I am actually still in awe. Elizabeth had a vision of making her classic Reece sweater in the thicker fabric, and then was inspired to stray from her original plan for the thinner piece. She turned that into a casual but totally stunning 2 piece vest and pant outfit! 

I perused the web for various shots of the looks taken by the outrageous number of photographers there, so we have a few from every angle imaginable... I may be slightly obsessed. I honestly never even thought something like this was a possibility last November when I was having a mini career crisis. I am still completely stunned and entirely humbled by how amazing this year has been for me so far. I can't even begin to guess where I'll be in the next few months, things are happening so fast!  Ok, enough rambling, on to the pictures already!

*Each photographer is credited below their photo*

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