Get To Know: Jim Sherraden


I’ve had a crush on Jim Sherraden since first meeting him almost ten years ago. It may have been his easygoing manner or how he could skillfully crank out the storied posters that peppered my walls. It was almost definitely the soft brown leather cowboy boots he was wearing. I remember staring at them while he scribbled his name along with stars and hearts and fireworks into the book I bought.

I remembered that he was in Nashville while I planned my trip last month and I also knew he was making new art. Something I had to see. Because it’s something like I’ve never seen before. So I emailed him, and folks, dang it all if the man didn’t email me back. Within a few weeks, I found myself in the passenger’s seat of his truck headed to Watertown, Tennessee where he has his studio. In truth, where every artist I know should have a studio. It’s a small town that’s about to become something extraordinary, so you heard it here first…well, second, since Jim’s become sort of an ambassador of the place.

His new art is really special. He prints his own designs from hand-carved blocks, then water colors the paper and cuts it into traditional or non-traditional patterns. Marked out and placed together the patterns become paper quilts. Quilts that are so perfectly imperfect it’s hard to capture them in photos.

I hope Jim won’t mind my pasting this here without editing it because I love the way he sends emails. It’s endearing and delightful to get messages from him and his easy manner comes through each line. Here’s your chance to get to know Jim Sherraden, working artist, master printer, paper quilter, and man about [Water]town.

motto: preservation through production... I coined that for hatch but it works also for me personally

childhood...the scissors in the telephone drawer

recent acq...a table top fluorescent light from the 70' i can see the detail when watercoloring

current obs...well, sheepishly, it's actually LOOKING, and paying attention at all those Instagram posts from people i'm following. i'm new to this instybizness. i'm sure soon i'll just say 'ta hell with it'...

favorite hobby....see above

always on me...a vintage watch, most of the time from Hamilton watch co, Lancaster, pa

fav rest....well Katie's pizza place round the corner of course

fav museum...two of them, the keramic museum and the fries museum, both in Leeuwarden, friesland

best gift ever received....another way of asking this would be "best gift ever accepted"... and my answer would be, "my health".

most inspiring...cannery row by john Steinbeck. or susan diedre's biography of Samuel beckett

top of the to do...always attempt to be of service

most love about watertown...proximity of all essentials. everything is a slipper job, so close I can just wear house slippers to get there..

best thing about what....making the art makes me focus

favorite drink and what's in the fridge are the same answer...fruit flavored G2 gatorade

on nightstand...1.50 strength reading glasses

a film...."the heart is a lonely hunter"....the high school English teacher showed it during class, in high school...start with the lyrical nature of the title...

a film that you think defines amer. culture...Robocop the original. only the original.

Want to get in touch with Jim? You can find his website here. He is actually new to Instagram, but follow him for an inside look.

Watertown, Tennessee is pretty cool. If I had a little extra cash, that corner building on Main Street would be where Townie Tourist would have a Tennessee office.

Jenny De Witt is the Townie Tourist, serving up the diverse art, culture, and craft of Orlando and Central Florida. Life here is so much more than the Mouse. Tune in to watch LIVE on Facebook, Saturday mornings at 10 AM EST.

Interested in collaboration? Have an event you want us to cover? Get in touch.

Welcome to THE CATIO


I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the cuteness that is all over my screen right now. Had to kick myself for timing my trip to Nashville just a few weeks before the opening of The Catio. It will operate in partnership with Nashville Cat Rescue, a network of fosters who care for and find forever homes for kittens.

They’re located about three miles from downtown Nashville at 1603 Riverside Drive, Nashville, TN 37216. This cat lounge and vegan bakery is in the heart of East Nashville. Wi-FI is available and along with a full-service cafe with fresh-baked vegan goods, there will also be Panther Coffee and select teas and other beverages.

Really, the most important is spending time with adoptable cats. Just think, you could go visit East Nashville and come back with a fur-ever friend.

We strive to build a sense of community by offering a place where Nashvillians can come to eat, relax, and watch kittens play. We are also an inviting space for the many tourists who visit Nashville every day, looking to pick up a treat and play with kittens while visiting our beautiful city.


There will be cat-safe potted plants for sale. An hour in the kitten room is $12 and they’re open Tuesday through Sunday 9am-5pm. Give ‘em a follow on Instagram to check in on progress. They should be open by mid-April. Can’t wait to visit again!

The Catio on Instagram

Exploring East Nashville


This visit to Nashville, I picked East Nashville. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are PUHLENTY of neighborhoods to choose from. Much like Orlando, each neighborhood in Nashville has its own personality.

East Nashville is kind of hanging out by itself to the northeast of town. When I say “town” I mean it. Nashville has about 750K people in it so it’s smaller than Orlando. It’s easy and cheap to Uber around and they even have UberPool here. I chose that option each ride and no one ever got in the car with me so it ended up being a cheaper version of the regular Uber ride.

Where I stayed:

Uber from BHN to East Nashville was a cool $19. With the airport’s new Ride Share App pick up location it was a breeze finding my car and hitting the road. We bypassed downtown and headed for the East side. I nabbed a room in a house within walking distance to a ton of things. Check out Willi’s AirBNB:

Where I ate:

I grabbed dinner at Mas Tacos. This lady’s been making tasty food since starting her OG food truck, often still seen on the road, back in 1979. Get one of everything. Cash or check only. Seriously, bring a check just to be able to write one again. What else are you going to do with them?

Shown below:
Pulled Pork Taco
Fried Tilapia Taco
Tortilla Soup


Cafe Roze was a perfect little lunch spot. Welcoming, cute, friendly, and full of delicious food. I had a superbly simple and delicious salad, juicy and perfectly cooked local burger, and a bright and yummy handmade pineapple mint fizzy soda. If you go, and you have to go, don’t forget to grab a Cafe Roze Latte to go. It’s got rose petals in it!


Another stop I have to mention was for the hundred-layer-donut at Five Daughters Bakery. I think the word c-r-o-n-u-t is trademarked so it’s not that, but it’s like that, but not exactly, but basically, but not. It’s light, fluffy, perfectly iced, and like a cloud of yeasty, airy, lovely with vanilla sugar icing.

Well, just look at it. Don’t you want one? If you absolutely need one and can’t make it to Nashville, they’ve got a shop in Seaside, Florida. What’s that, like five hours away? Just go.


Where I…coffee’d:

Barista Parlor is one of the best locations to grab a pour-over and jumpstart your morning. I opted for the Daredevil, a citrus-y mix of Sumatra and Guatamala that packed a punch. The short wooden stools here are kind of amazing. They tip forward so you feel like you’re ready to let the brakes loose on your Big Wheel. You’re being propelled into whatever you’re doing: starting a new creative venture, business, investment fund, or relationship. You feel like you’re already going even while sitting down. It’s rad. I feel like I need one of those stools in my life every single day.


Where I shopped:

Walk to Gift Horse from Barista Parlor and you’ll follow beautiful brick sidewalks with unique houses-turned-shops until you’ve reached a super neat little area full of local treasures. This is THE place for unique Nashville tchotchkes. Jessica hand picks amazing goods you won’t find anywhere else in the city; local finds and fun cards, bags, dishtowels, t-shirts, pillows and posters.


Where to get vegan treats and pet cats:

They’re not open just yet so I was super sad about having to miss the kittens, but I got in touch and the people in charge filled my phone screen with floof. So, if y’all are headed to East Nashville, put this vegan bakery and cat lounge on your list. Welcome to The Catio!

Follow their Instagram right now. It’s cool. I’ll wait.


I didn’t see a whole lot of other people walking or biking so I reached out to Nashville Guru for some answers and insight. Here’s what they had to say:
“East Nashville is great, but you won't see many people walking. There are little pockets (5 Points / Eastland Avenue, Riverside Village) where you'll see a little foot traffic, but not much. For walkability, biking, and scootering, you'll need to venture to the other little neighborhoods, particularly 12 South, Midtown, Hillsboro Village, Germantown, The Gulch, and Downtown/SoBro. You'll definitely see more activity here. Cars/Lyfts are still the primary way of getting around though." 

Where do people in Nashville go to get away for the weekend?
”Chattanooga, Asheville, Gatlinburg, Louisville, and Memphis are popular cities to visit. Most Nashvillians will go to nearby lakes for a short getaway, including Percy Priest, Center Hill, Tims Ford, and Kentucky Lake.”

Are you seeing any trends in travel to specific neighborhoods or areas?
”From our perspective, East Nashville, 12 South, The Gulch, and Germantown are the most frequented areas outside of Downtown. You'll notice more robust development in The Gulch and Germantown (such as new apartments, hotels, etc). East Nashville is popular with creatives and leans residential with pockets of retail and destination restaurants/bars. 12 South is a blend of residential and commercial development, with about a mile-long strip of activity on 12th Avenue South.” 

Best options for coffee in your opinion?
“There are a lot of great coffee options. Check out any Barista Parlor for a cool vibe or Crema for serious coffee.” 

They have this handy dandy map of neighborhoods. I’m just going to borrow it and put it here. (Click through to see more from Nashville Guru on each neighborhood.)

All in all, a fantastic neighborhood visit and I will definitely be back. Frontier has super-affordable and fast direct flights from MCO. It’s an easy weekend trip, so add it to your list for exploring.