Sunday, April 15, 2018


Our very busy and creative member from York, England, Margaret Beech, recently led a mini workshop for some Syrian refugees. Here is how she described the event.

"A friend who is part of a group that supports refugees in York asked if I could do something creative for the small social group of Syrian ladies that live in York and are encouraged to get together weekly on a social basis. Not having much English they must feel very isolated.
This week only three turned up but they very much enjoyed making origami boxes and talking. We even managed a small concertina book to fit inside the box too.  Touchingly they wrote the names of their children on the pages. Their children seem to be scattered in camps all over the middle east. With the paper squares that were left I showed them how to make a self sealing envelope. They had very little English so I had to work through an interpreter.

I gave each of them one of my little boxes full of love for themselves but they each said they would give it to their favourite child – no idea whether that would be a small or an adult child. I was so keen for them to have one of their own I gave them each another just for them.
I promised that I would go again and show them some other simple paper folds and also take some of my books for them to enjoy.  Even though we couldn’t communicate with a common language there were lots of smiles."

What a wonderful experience this seems to have been...for both Margaret and the women who participated. It will be very interesting to hear if the women begin to get more involved with book art. 

Thank you Margaret for sharing this experience with us.

Sunday, April 1, 2018


Have you had trouble finding just the right stamp to use for a project? If so, the April NORBAG workshop is one you won't want to miss. Judy Rishel will show us how to carve a small printing block. She will cover how to transfer a design to the printing block and carving techniques using different tools. 

Judy will also share information about her Letterboxing hobby and show us some of her many journals filled with stamps from around the country. Letterboxers often choose to carve/print an image that represents themselves...such as a flower for a gardener, a bird for a birdwatcher, a musical instrument for a musician, a camera for a photographer, etc., so keep that in mind when you're thinking up an image to carve into your own block. If you would like, bring a small booklet to the workshop so that you can stamp your block and other members' blocks to start your own collection.

What to bring:

  • A few or a set of carving blades
  • A small block of carving material (2 1/2" x 2 1/2" or a size of your choice) pink Speedball or the softer white MOO Carve
  • A simple image you'd like to carve that will fit on your block, best if this is drawn ahead of time in soft pencil on tracing paper. Any text will appear reversed on a block; but that problem is solved when you rub your drawing onto the block, at which time it will automatically reverse. If you're uncertain, Judy can assess your image in advance of carving to make sure it's not too difficult.
  • An inked stamp pad with a raised pad for rubbing onto the carved block
  • Soft lead pencil
  • Eraser
  • Scrap paper for practice stamping
  • Optional: a small empty booklet to stamp each others' blocks into

Judy will provide:

  • Handouts on stamp carving and Letterboxing
  • Small leftover pink carving pieces for practice
  • Veterinarian needles for intricate carving (to try and/or purchase at $1 each)
  • Large sheets of construction paper to lay over your work area
  • Letterboxing examples

   Saturday, April 14 at 12 noon

Where:  Eureka Methodist Church at Del Norte and F Streets
Bring:    See above list
Cost:     $.50
RSVP:    YES, by April 13 to Judy (contact information in the newsletter)