Monday, February 19, 2018


From February 13 to 15 ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, according to the tale of St. Valentine. He wrote his inamorata (female sweetheart or lover) a note signed “from your Valentine”, which is considered the first Valentine's greeting. Valentine greetings were popular in the Middle Ages when lovers said or sang their Valentines.  According to information from, written Valentines began to appear after 1400.  The oldest written Valentine in existence was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans while imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Not a heart nor a bit of red to be seen in the Duke's written Valentine.

In a much more modern style, NORBAG members got together for our February meeting to make Valentine cards. Lorraine Miller-Wolf takes our cards to Senior Nutrition home delivered meals and senior lunch sites, to dialysis patients and to our local convalescent homes. Hopefully you will enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed the day.

Lorraine doesn't hesitate for a moment. She used stamps
 and stamp pads, decorative scissors and cutters. 

Miriam is busy too. She makes her Holiday cards out of reused holiday cards.
 I wonder if her material is from recycled cards.

Edge's card for the exchange had three hearts with paper lace.
 She also loves pop-ups. Look closely, you can see them at the bottom of the picture.

The tables were covered with red, white, and pink papers!

We started with some very pretty ones.

Pretty pinks and reds with paper lace and a very bold black, white and red.

Lots of lovely paper lace!

Anytime we get together, it's always fun to see how we have such different aesthetics.

I love that this little elephant has hearts raining from under the umbrella.

Is this a play on words or slightly slushy speech?

We are so happy that we have filled the box.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Valentine themed cards and books made by North Redwoods Book Arts Guild members, past and present, are on display in the Humboldt County Library kiosk near the book check-out & returns area.  Art forms include concertina fold, collage, skewer binding, tunnel book, case binding, pop-up cards, Jacob’s Ladder, origami, and an array of card styles. Colorful papers and fabrics were used along with a variety of design techniques, embellishments, poetry, art, printing, and calligraphy to create these “made with love” Valentines.

Thank you Dianne Byington for arranging this display.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


It's valentine making time! Once again Lorraine Miller-Wolf will lead February's workshop to make valentines to distribute to senior lunch sites, kidney dialysis patients, people living in local convalescent and board and care homes, and participants in the Senior Nutrition home delivered meals program. This is her 13th year spearheading this very worthy project so let's help her make it a lucky 13 and surpass last year's contribution of nearly 600 valentines, many made by NORBAG members. If you can't come to the meeting/workshop, but would like to donate your original valentines, just contact Lorraine. Her contact information will be in the newsletter.

Materials to bring:
  • Miscellaneous papers suitable for valentines
  • Paper doilies
  • Ribbon, lace and other adornments
  • Bone folder
  • Scissors
  • PVA glue or glue stick
  • X-acto knife and cutting mat
  • Stamps & stamp pads

When:    Saturday, February 10 at noon

Where:   Eureka Methodist Church at Del Norte & F Streets
Contact: Lorraine Miller-Wolf for any additional information
Cost:      None

Friday, January 19, 2018

January Workshop - Cord, Ribbon, & Stick closure

On Saturday, January 13, we had a great meeting and workshop. We had 24 members attending and 16 books in the exchange. During the business part of the meeting we found out that Michele O. and Sandy V. are both giving classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Humboldt State this spring. We welcomed two new members, Roz K., who submitted her first book for the monthly exchange and Marie B.

Dolores G. led the workshop demonstrating a "Cord, Ribbon, & Stick" closure book. Dolores learned the closure in a workshop in the UK taught by Lori Sauer. The signatures were bound with a Keith Smith binding called “Parallel Bars”.

We brought our own cover paper and Dolores supplied all of the cording, ribbons, sticks, and linen thread.

First we chose the ribbon, cord and thread for our books.

We started by scoring the cover. It allowed for a spine and and other folds.

We made three slits on one side of the front cover to put the ribbons through. 
They will form a loop that will hold the bamboo stick.

We adjusted the ribbons so that they were the right size to hold the bamboo stick for the closure. We taped the ends of the ribbons to the inside of the cover.

Next we measured and punctured the cover for the decorative cord,
 and used tacking to connect the cord to the cover.

Once the tacks were over (not through) the cording and the thread tied down,
we made the final adjustments aesthetically.

The sewing of the signatures was relatively simple. The stitching came through
 the cover to form three horizontal bars that mirrored the spacing of the closure.

The tacking of the cord to the surface of the cover demonstrates a technique that can be used for other applications-- whether it is a closure, a decoration, or even a binding. The folding of the cover also lends itself to various other sizes as well as materials. Because the signatures will be sewn through the cover spine, this lends itself to many different sewing patterns.

All of us made the same book with a solid cover. Look at each picture-- there are quite a few differences. Some members used high contrast colors, or unusual color combinations.

This book has a cord color that disappears into the cover,
 but the tacking stitches look almost like little jewels.

This is another book with neutral colors. Underneath the book 
you can see the instructions with lots of diagrams for "next time".

Don't forget, toward the end of the month, the exchange books will be on Flickr. You can see them by tapping Flickr Gallery in the column on the left.

Sunday, January 14, 2018


The Humboldt County Library Kiosk has a new display featuring books about dogs. 2018 begins the Chinese zodiac Year of the Dog, so we celebrate our "best friends" with this display. The Dog symbol is 11th in the 12 year cycle of animals in the Chinese calendar. According to information from Wikipedia, the Dog is the symbol of loyalty and honesty. People born in the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature. They are honest, friendly, faithful, loyal, smart, straightforward, venerable and have a strong sense of responsibility. Dog is man's good friend who can understand the human's spirit and obey its master, whether he is wealthy or not. The Chinese regard it as an auspicious animal. If a dog happens to come to a house, it symbolizes the coming of fortune. The invincible God Erlang in Chinese legend used a loyal wolfhound to help him capture monsters.

The Years of the Dog include: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030. The Year of the dog runs from February 16, 2018 - February 4, 2019.

Many thanks to Lynne G for her time spent decorating the kiosk. Since she will now be working on the newsletter, Dianne B will take over the kiosk position.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


NORBAG artists will have the opportunity to start off the new year with a great workshop taught by Dolores Guffey. This was one of the closures she learned at a workshop in the UK a couple of years ago. It provides a beautiful finish for a special book.

Materials to bring:
  • Mi-Teintes or Fabriano paper cut to 16 1/2" x 5 5/8" grain short (note: this paper is available at Ellis Art & Engineering in Eureka or the Art Center in Arcata). Choose any color. The paper must be cut to size prior to the workshop.
  • 10 sheets of text weight paper, cut in half to make two signatures of 10 pages each (5 1/2" x 4 1/4")
  • X-acto or craft knife with new blade, cutting mat, & metal ruler
  • Piercing tool, scoring tool, bone folder, & cardboard or phone book on which to punch holes
  • Scissors, pencil, eraser
  • Wide-eye needle (to accommodate waxed linen thread)
  • 1/4" or 1/2" wide double stick tape
  • Piercing cradle (optional) - instructor will have extras to borrow

Materials Provided by Instructor:
  • Cording, ribbon, & sticks
  • Waxed linen thread
  • Instructions and templates

When:   Saturday, January 13 at 12 noon
Where:  Eureka Methodist Church at Del Norte & F Streets
Bring:    See above list
RSVP:    YES! by January 9 to Dolores, contact information in the newsletter
Cost:     $2.00

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017 Holiday Social and Card Exchange

Each month, the North Redwoods Book Arts Guild has a monthly meeting with a  workshop and book exchange. The book exchange is based on a theme that is either a structure or a specific content. These themes change from year to year and are both suggested by and voted on by our membership. We have three meetings a year that don't follow this pattern. In February, our exchange is a Valentine's Day card. In September the theme is "Second Chance" when we make a book of our choice.

December is not a conventional meeting but our social event of the year. Instead of our usual location in Eureka (a meeting room), we meet at the home of Sandy V in the hills of Arcata where we have a wonderful view of the area. 

The card exchange is somewhat similar to cookie exchanges. In October, we sign up to participate in the holiday exchange. This year 29 people who live down the street, across the nation or even across "the Pond" agreed to make cards. Each participant designs their own card with themes from Christmas to the winter season in general. Just like a cookie exchange, we come with our own cards and go home with one from each of our participating friends. 

Since this is our annual social event everyone is welcome regardless if you are participating in the exchange. Everyone gets to see and handle the cards. We put them on the dining room table and walk around gathering one card from each participant (controlled chaos) and then sit in the living room talking about how the cards are made, what they are made of, and what inspired us to make them. Each of us brings some kind of finger food to share. And we laugh and talk throughout the event.

When we arrive, we bring the cards into the dining room.

All the participants have a name card where we place our cards.

Out-of-town participants must mail their cards to arrive in time for the event. 

We line up anxiously awaiting for the bell to gather our cards.
 Each person has a bag with their name on it. When all of the cards are out, we walk around the table picking up one card from each pile.

After our bags are filled, we sit in the living room. One at a time, we tell about our card. Those members who participate in the exchange but cannot attend, send a colophon to be read.

Each of us brings a bit of something to nibble on, sweet and savory.

Sandy's home is spacious. There is always plenty of room to talk and eat.

It's so inviting.

Talking and eating. Eating and talking.

Photos of each of the cards have been taken. Toward the end of the month, the pictures will be on Flickr. Check back a bit after Christmas by coming to this website and tapping the link on the left for the "Guild Flickr Gallery".