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."

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Margaret Beech - Workshop - Part 2

On Saturday, April 28, Margaret Beech gave a workshop. Part 1 was put on the blog in early May. Now you will see the remaining pictures from her workshop. We started at 9:30 am and continued until 4:00 pm with a book exchange in the middle. We have already shown the Two Color Cut-out Maze book and the Origami Box with a Tato “Lid”. Margaret also presented a Double flag book and a 12 Pocket Wallet with Strip Tease Binding. Margaret admitted that it was actually an Australian reverse piano hinge binding but “strip tease” sounds so much more fun.
Margaret Beech

 12 Pocket Wallet with "Strip Tease" Binding

For the "origami" wallet, we started with a piece of text weight paper and folded it. 
We cut out a tab in the upper left and right so that the tab would fit flatly when finished.
We folded all of the flaps inward.
We flipped the unit over, folded it in half and tucked the tab
 under the diagonal folds. We made two of these little wallets.
We took another paper and made an accordion with an "m" shaped unit. 
The mountains will be inserted in slits in the spine of the wallet.

When the mountain fold is put through the slit in the wallet,
 it is locked into place with a locking tab.
The outside of the wallet also has the diagonal folds
 and we slide the ends of the accordion under them.
This is a view of the inside.  A variation would be to make the wallet (or not)
 and slide a signature in the reverse piano hinge and use a separate cover.

Double Flag Book

Margaret also made a double flag book. She sewed two accordions together forming a honeycomb of sorts.

Two strips are cut and folded for the accordion pages. 
One valley (shown) is sewn to the mountain fold behind it.

Look closely and you can see the pamphlet stitch that connects each fold. You can see the honeycomb formed below. If you try this, make sure to sew before you start putting on the flags.

After sewing, we put on the flags. Make sure that you put the flags
on the accordion so that the pattern is pleasing to you.

And then there were lots of samples!

The center flags are from boxes. The top and bottom are pictures.

Valerie looks like a very happy camper!

These flag books are displayed next to the Tato boxes.
  What a myriad of colors.