Saturday, November 16, 2019


Peter and Donna Thomas are book artists from Santa Cruz, CA. Since 1977 they have worked both collaboratively and individually on letterpress printing, hand-lettering and illustrated texts, making paper, and hand binding both fine press and artists' books. From 2010-2019 they have traveled around the USA in their gypsy caravan as the "Wandering Book Artists" giving talks, workshops and demonstrations to both academic and community based audiences. This fall was the farewell tour with their caravan. After 9 years of road trips and over 90,000 miles they are retiring from travels, but not from their book making. Details of their journeys can be found at:

This fall they started in Idaho, continued to Seattle, Portland, Eugene, and finally found their way to Eureka to give a workshop for NORBAG. Peter taught us the "Nested Pop-Up Accordion Book" and the "Dowel Spine Stick Folder". 

Here are some photos of the books that Peter and Donna brought as examples.

The workshop participants got busy making their own books.

Charline C's book

Edge G.'s book

Kathy W.'s book

Front of Linda S.'s book

Back of Linda S.'s book

While we were making our books Peter serenaded us with his ukulele book – it is both a book AND a playable instrument.

Peter also made a book using an accordion. Viewing only, no playing with this "instrument" book.

Peter and Donna Thomas

It was a fantastic workshop, and we were so fortunate that Peter & Donna were able to come by on their way home.

Sunday, November 10, 2019


North Redwoods Book Arts Guild is proud to feature books made by our long time local member, Peggy Marrs. Peggy uses her original watercolor art, calligraphy, photographs, computer skills, imaginative text and historical research to create interesting and artful books. Currently on display at the Humboldt County Main Library in Eureka are her delightful stories: Kitty Litter-ture and The Story of a Mystery Story along with an original ABC book for coffee lovers: Java Alphabet.

Peggy researches interesting content and then creates art or photos to enhance her books. Bindings include hand-colored leather embellished with linen thread; Coptic; French link; painted sticks woven with satin ribbons; and linen thread woven with wood beads. Structures include accordion fold, pivot panels, flag books, and more.

Grasses, is an accordion fold book made with delicately hand-painted watercolor paper with steel nib calligraphy to quote a speech given in 1872 by Kansas Senator John J. Ingalls. Other featured books include: San Francisco’s famed Sutro Baths 1896-1966; Norbag Goes Gocco; and a piano shaped book about the music of numbers.

We invite you to visit this collection now on display in the kiosk at the library.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Do you love the look of real leather for book covers but the cost and hassles of working with it make you nervous? If so, then this is the workshop for you! There are many ways to treat paper to get the look and feel of real leather and Edge Gerring will lead us through the process. We will be learning two methods, using shoe polish and "distress ink" applied to craft paper, cardstock, and grocery bag paper. These two methods give a very nice pliable material with either a shiny or matte finish. the process is quick and not very messy, but it is advisable to wear gloves (provided).

Edge's scroll book, with faux leather cover. Additional photos
of this exchange book are in the NORBAG flickr gallery, July 2018.

Materials to bring:

  • 1 can of shoe polish, any color, if you have it (some will be available to share if you can't find any).
  • Ranger Distress Ink Pad(s), darker colors better, and pad must stand above the top of its plastic box

Shoe polish should be used with good ventilation (due to its toxic solvent fumes), so there will be a table set up in the back of the room near an open window with a fan blowing for those who want to try this method.

Leather comes in many colors, so for the ink pad method bring whatever ink pads you have, although darker colors are better. If you are buying an ink pad, some recommended Ranger Distress colors are: Aged Mahogany, Walnut, Vintage Photo, and Pine Needles.

Tools to bring:

  • Spray bottle, any size, with 3/4 cup (6 oz.) of water in it
  • Clean, soft rags (to apply & buff the polish)
  • Gloves, if you have favorites (some will be provided)
  • Old towel, newspaper or plastic sheet to protect the table

Edge will bring:

  • Glycerin
  • Craft paper, cardstock, grocery bag paper
  • Non-latex, disposable gloves, one size fits all & fits either hand
  • Heat guns for drying papers
  • Written instructions with a lot more information about other possible methods, plus websites with how-to videos

   Saturday, Nov. 9 at noon

Where:  Eureka Methodist Church, Del Norte & F Streets
Bring:    See above list
Cost:     $1.00
RSVP:    YES, by Monday Nov. 4 to Edge (contact information in the newsletter)

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


Our Loopy Books workshop was fun and gave us three alternatives to the simple pamphlet stitch. As stated in the NORBAG Newsletter, this method came to us by a rather circuitous route. Inspired by Keith Smith and Susan Longerot, Kris Nevius wrote her own instructions and gave a workshop to the Sonoma County Book Arts Guild. She very generously shared them with NORBAG and Donna Gephart volunteered to give us the workshop.

Just as the pamphlet stitch can hold signatures in covers, these little sewn bindings are simple and quick and add texture to books as an alternative. Starting with a jig, we spaced the holes along the folded spine. In the first two examples, the stitching had either an odd or even number of holes about every half-inch. We used either waxed linen thread or waxed or unwaxed Perle Cotton into one hole and out of the next making a simple running stitch. When we got to the bottom, we returned by wrapping the thread around the exposed running stitch back to the top for tie-off. In the third book, we completed a double stitch between two holes and wrapped with thread for each stitch as we worked to the bottom to tie-off. On the fourth book, we made a chain stitch all the way down the spine and then moved back to the top of the spine, wrapping each stitch on the way back up with a tie-off at the top. Each stitch pattern had a slightly different effect depending on tension and thread.

As usual, it was all about creativity and imagination. These can be simple little signature books with lovely surface designs or perhaps a double row of stitches resulting in two signatures. A Dos-a-Dos structure would lend itself to this binding. And, because there is thread, you could put a bead on it.

These are some of the samples that Donna brought.

Donna widened the spine and sewed three signatures
 using two different threads for contrast.

This is the close-up of the first book with a running stitch down
 and wraps on the way back up.

This is book three and has a lovely profile.

This is book four and was made with unwaxed Perle cotton
 and looks like a fuzzy caterpillar.

We had a wonderful set of instructions that made the stitching very easy.

On to the stitching and surface design

This is book three. Stitches are complete before going to the next series of holes. 

This is book four before the final wraps.

Now you get to see the finished products. Complete with surface design.

We have a show and tell table each month

Edge G is experimenting with "leather" looks using paper and paste shoe polish.

Michele K is also experimenting. She is using various solutions to deposit iron onto paper.

Dianne B displayed some of the future project page structures.

Sunday, October 13, 2019


All Stitched Up is an international juried book arts exhibition currently at Collins Library at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Curators Catherine Alice Michaelis, Jane Carlin, and Diana Weymar describe the theme as "to stitch is to join together, to mend, or fasten as with stitches--to sew. To stitch is to bring together fabric, paper, wounds of the body, or cultural divides. Stitching can be an act of healing, hope, practicality, creativity, and revolution. All Stitched Up recognizes and celebrates the work of book artists' where stitching has become an integral part of the visual design." This exhibit will run until December 11, 2019.

Trial by Fire - Catherine Alice Michaelis

Threads: Clothing Superstitions - Deborah Greenwood
Handmade paper from cotton jeans, vintage lace, and handkerchief inclusions.

Vanilla - Lynn and Gene Olson

And I Never Go Back on My Word - Clara Congdon

Women on the Water - Jan Ward & the WOWers

Hands - Patricia Grass
A Drum Leaf Binding

Bark Beetle Book Vol. XXII - Suze Woolf
Log with fir engraver galleries, iron-oxide dyed felt, embroidery,
 beads, brass grommets & binding post.

Nine - Naomi Velasquez
Flag book, vintage typewriter, found papers, embroidery floss

Cities & Skies - Alicia Bailey & Lauren Winges

Common Threads 101 - Candace Hicks
Hand embroidery on canvas

Revealing Invisible Patterns - Debbi Commodore
Fifty-nine (59) 1, 2,& 3 section non-adhesive exposed spine
binding signatures from a discarded reference book.

Stitching a Living: The WPA Sewing Rooms - Nancy Brones
Fabric book, 100% cotton muslin, batting, embroidery floss, silk &
metallic thread, vintage quilt pieces, reproduction quilt fabric, colored pencils.

Stitching the Forest Together - Lucia Harrison
Flexible forest floor rests on star-shaped piano hinge accordion.
Handmade & commercial papers, botanical printing, thread, oak, archival ink.