Friday, November 17, 2017

November Workshop - Herringbone Calendar

Dolores Guffey led the NORBAG November workshop. She taught a structure that was inspired by Margaret Beech's July exchange book. Dolores brought copies of the 2018 calendar so that we could cut out and paste them into our herringbone structure. 

Dolores also brought many samples showing that this structure could be glued, sewn (needle or machine stitched), bound with washi tape, brads or even staples. This delightful little structure can have content on either one or both sides. It will sit on a shelf opened for display or collapsed flat and read like a book. When the structure is flat, it can fit in a pocket, purse or envelope. 

While we all made this little book using a 2 3/4"x 5.5 dimensions, it can be adapted to almost any size and subject matter. In the last picture Dolores made one that was square.

We started out scoring one end of six of the seven pages. We then folded them so that pages alternated with a valley fold on the left and then on the right.

We stacked the cards together, added paper clips where each folded edge met an unfolded edge. Then we opened it to make sure that the pages were in the proper order.

When we were sure that the pages were in the correct order, we put them together. In the above picture, a member was using tape. The picture below showed another member putting sewing holes on the folded edges. Our members used pamphlet stitches and Japanese stab binding patterns on these. The method of joining the pages was up to each member.

This picture shows the Japanese stab binding on one side while the opposite end still had paperclips holding the pages together.

We then needed to decide how we would decorate these little calendars. Some used patterned papers on the covers, others used collage or photographs. The folded edges also carried a design. Some had decorated papers to cover the ends while others wrapped the ends in washi paper. As always, in NORBAG, we are limited only by our imaginations.

We cut the calendar months apart. These two pictures show that we don't lack for ways to cut paper: from paper cutter above to our favorite standby, ruler, pencil and craft knife.

In this calendar, the member used patterned pages and if you look at the stitching, it is a pamphlet stitch. She did not use any other decoration on the folded edges.

And then we call it finished!

The structure at the back of the table shows a different size. To the right is Margaret's July book. She had some photos that were portrait and others that were landscape. So all of the landscape are showing on the front side while the portrait orientation ones are on the back.  What a great afternoon.

Monday, November 13, 2017


Ready or not the holidays are upon us! If you’ve signed up to participate in the Holiday Card exchange it’s definitely time to be working on your cards. The NORBAG Holiday event is on Saturday Dec. 9th so if you're planning to mail your cards be sure to post them in time. If you still need some inspiration here is a selection of cards from earlier years. And if you didn’t sign up this year, maybe seeing some of these cards will inspire you to participate next year. You could really get a head start by choosing a design now. 😉

Ellen Clague - 2009

Becky Luening - 2007

Becky McAllister - 2010

Andrea Penn - 2008

Bonnie Julien - 2007

Dolores Guffey - 2006

Ellen Golla - 2011

Michele Kamprath - 2011

Sandy Hansen - 2011

Miriam Hall - 2012

Sherry Grazda - 2006

Peggy Marrs - 2004

Pat Miller - 2004

Sandy Vrem - 2005

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Margaret Beech's July exchange book is the inspiration for this month's workshop. Dolores Guffey will show us how to make up several of these little structures that would make wonderful holiday stocking stuffers. Of course you don't have to make just a calendar since this structure lends itself to many possibilities to showcase photographs, art work, favorite quotations, etc. For this workshop we will just use one size, but the structure can be made any size.

What to bring:

  • Seven (7) pieces of cardstock size 2 3/4" x 5 1/2" (grain short) for each structure you wish to make (there will be plenty of time to make two, if you so desire). It is suggested that you use a solid color cardstock for the workshop which will facilitate the assembly.
  • Thread: Perle Cotton, size 5, in a color to complement your paper
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Piercing tool
  • Craft knife
  • Metal edge ruler
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Glue stick and waste paper
  • Bone folder
  • Six (6) paper clips
  • Decorative piece of paper for calendar's cover (see photo examples)
  • Washi tape (optional to complement the color of cardstock)

What will be provided:

  • Monthly calendar pages (along with a master calendar to take home and copy)
  • Instructions
  • Sample structures with different sewing and gluing options

   Saturday November 11 at 12 noon

Where:  Eureka Methodist Church at Del Norte & F Streets
Bring:    See above list
RSVP:    Yes by November 8 to Dolores (contact information in the newsletter)
Cost:     50 cents...what a bargain!

Monday, October 23, 2017

NORBAG Calligraphy (Chancery Cursive) Workshop with Kathy Warren

On Saturday, October 14, we had our monthly meeting and workshop. Kathy Warren taught us Chancery Cursive which is based on Italian Renaissance manuscripts. As we said in our newsletter, this was developed as a "speed writing" technique for Papal scribes. Kathy mentioned that when she was in college and learning the various scripts, she learned three in one semester while Copperplate took a full semester to learn. With that in mind, we were very aware that we would be learning the most basic forms of Chancery Cursive and would need to practice at home.

Kathy supplied us with a sheet showing the basic strokes for each letter as well as the proper angle to hold pen and nib. A second sheet gave us resources to read and purchase. A third sheet showed us letter groups (letters that use similar strokes), related forms (where to start on letters, where the pen is picked up, the position of crossbars, etc.), spacing and some common mistakes. We also received several pages of lined paper for practicing. And finally, she gave us Zig Memory System Calligraphy fiber tipped pens to use in our practice.

Kathy brought an overhead projector that is ideal for this kind of workshop.
These are the materials that Kathy provided.

Lynne, Edge and Linda practiced with the Zig marker.

This is what the practice looked like.

It is somewhat ironic that we are practicing this delightful script and use it to enhance our daily writing while school children are no longer learning cursive in many schools.

Our entire workshop was done in black and white. No scissors or glue. Just quietly working with a pen and paper. For a bit of color, here is the table with the exchange books. Exchange book photos will be posted on Flickr by the end of the month.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

MINIATURE BOOKS at Humboldt County Library

On display now at the Humboldt County Library kiosk is a collection of miniature books made by various NORBAG artists. Thanks go to Lynne Gurnee for arranging this display. “A miniature book is a very small book, sized from 1/2 inch square to roughly 2 by 3 inches—no larger than 3 inches in height, width, or thickness.  (Outside the United States, books up to four inches are often considered miniature according to the Miniature Book Society.)

“These books became more popular in the last few decades of the 19th century because they were portable and easy to conceal. One could carry a vast number of books in a small case for when one traveled. Many are bound in fine Moroccan leather, gilt, and contain excellent examples of woodcuts, etchings, and watermarks. More popular topics at that time were dictionaries, language translators, religious stories and readings, and occasionally, tourist guides.

“Subjects range from the Bible, encyclopedias, music, stories, rhymes, famous speeches, and the miniaturization of well-known books such as The Compleat AnglerThe Art of War, and Sherlock Holmes stories. Many are now collectors’ items, with prices ranging from a few hundred to many thousands of US dollars.”   ~ Wikipedia

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


The October workshop will be an opportunity to learn how to add some beautiful calligraphy to your book art. Kathy Warren will be teaching us how to construct the letters, but to really develop the skill, practice practice practice is necessary. Cursive writing is based on Italian Renaissance manuscripts and is an italic form of writing. It was developed as a "speed-writing" technique by Papal scribes. It is one of the easiest forms to learn and to apply to everyday life. By adding exaggerated flourishes it can be used in art pieces or simply for adding sentiments to blank cards, names to certificates, or for addressing snail mail. Here are some examples:

Tools to bring:

  • Calligraphy pens and inks
  • Books or other example supplies if you have them, but not necessary

What will be provided:

  • All necessary paper 
  • A zig calligraphy marker for everyone to keep ($3.39 value)
  • Practice pages
  • Instruction alphabet pages and a resource page

When:   Saturday, October 14 at 12 noon
Where:  Eureka Methodist Church at Del Norte & F Streets
Bring:    See above list
Cost:     $5.00
RSVP:    YES, by October 9 to Kathy Warren (contact info in the newsletter)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

NORBAG September Workshop - Judy Rishel - WORD BOOKS

In September, 2017, Judy Rishel presented a workshop demonstrating Word Books. These are books whose pages spell a whole word or name when the book is closed. Judy presented two methods of making this book: 1) using a fold over technique that has a piece of paper folded and 2) cut pages (non-fold) method where each page is separate. Judy brought some delightful samples.

Judy is talking about the Word Book "Travel" that she made

These are some samples that Judy brought. The top one is DOG complete with a dog bone for the hole in the O. Then DECLAN, LOVE, and BOOK.  BOOK was made and painted by Judy's 11 year old granddaughter.

This is a a close up picture of her TRAVEL book. If you notice, each letter is the same color but there is an outline around each letter to make the word visible

 We started with deciding on a word, cutting out the alphabet letters needed and taping them to the end of plain text weight paper. This would give us a template to put on the poster board for the final book.

Judy had a visual sample of how the first step of the template would look. 
We then took the strips and put them together so that you could easily see each letter. With a few cuts and a bit of adhesive tape, we put them together and had our template.

Taping the letters to the text weight paper and laying them out in order to have a nice layout

Once the pages are laid out, they are clipped together and cut.  Note: if we were making the folded card, we would proceed to the next step. If we were using the cut page (non-fold) method, skip the next step and go to putting the template directly on the poster board.

Once cut, we tape the strips together so that when we fold them, they will nest in the proper order

 The next thing we do is to use these as templates and transfer to the poster board we brought. This being NORBAG, some of our members made the templates first and then moved to poster board while others went directly to poster board without the all white template.

At this point, the pages are folded, nested together and bound.  The pamphlet stitch works nicely with the folded version and both versions can use punched holes, staples (covered with washi tape) or even stab binding. The pages can be decorated with almost anything. Some used decorative papers or simply different colors of poster board (or card stock). For the letters to stand out, it is best to have some kind of contrast between letters. For example, use different colors, or patterns. Another way to make the letters show up well is by having an outline of the letter.


Polka Dot?!

 Judy didn't stop there. She provided an excellent set of instructions for our workshop and then lined a table with letters for other words.

Don't forget, we have pictures of the exchange books themed as "Second Chance" on Flickr. They will be up by September 25. Have a look, they are great in color. You can find them by going to then tapping on the link in the left hand column that says "Guild Flickr Gallery."