Sunday, March 18, 2018


On display this month in the kiosk at the Humboldt County Library are books created by North Redwoods Book Arts Guild members that celebrate Earth Day 2018. Materials used include handmade paper, eco-dyed and paste papers, book covers made of tree bark, sea shells, and recycled bits and pieces. Art forms include stab binding, long stitch, twig skewed binding, shape book, maze, floating pictures, flag book, herringbone, Coptic, pivoting art, scroll, and dimensional folding. Also on display is an 1850's recipe for marbled paper with a jar of dried sea weed from Ireland named “Irish Moss,” a required ingredient. Book content includes many fine poems, nature descriptions, and this quotation from William Shakespeare: One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.


Book Arts Guild members created these books that celebrate our earth. We hope you join us in honoring Earth Day 2018. Earth Day is a global event. Each year more than one billion people in 192 countries take part, making this the largest civic-focused day of action in the world.

Thank you Dianne Byington for arranging this display.

Monday, March 12, 2018

March Workshop Wrap-Up - Everyday Journal

Ordinarily there are pictures at the end of the blog. When possible, they demonstrate the general steps taken during the workshop. Not this month. We had nineteen books in our exchange and then during the actual workshop, we were so involved with sewing, gluing, folding and talking that we forgot to take pictures.

The workshop was inspired by a blog entry (Hand Made Books, June 17, 2016) by Alisa Golden noting that she taught journal making workshops that resulted in books "too nice" to use for every day purposes. She demonstrated in her blog how to make a "grunge" journal that was quick and easy and that became the inspiration for our workshop.

Bobbie Hayes lead the workshop emphasizing a lot of tips that she has learned in NORBAG and more about how this simple structure can be modified easily to make bowtie or French stitched or sewn on tape journals. With the basic sewn text block made, we could add different covers from simple self covers, paper covers, exposed spines and case bound books.

Members shared how they do things. We always talk about bringing your piercing cradle (frequently called a sewing cradle) and what to do when you don't have one (use the square edge of a box keeping the papers nestled together and in place) or simply a phone book or cardboard pad. We talked about why we use waxed thread (strengthens the thread and lubricates it through the book). We also talked about the need to use your bone folder on the spine at the end of each signature after checking the tension and before making the kettle stitch (it flattens the thread so it lays closer to the pages and helps maintain the tension).

As usual, the materials list called for simple, readily available materials. And so we ended up with every type of paper in a dizzying array of colors and patterns. Yes, that is the way NORBAG workshops are. Delightful!

Next month, you will see a lot of pictures. We will be carving stamps and there should be plenty of samples of the process and the resulting unique product.