Sunday, August 9, 2020


What happens when technology and NORBAG meet? We have a tutorial about using Zoom for our meetings. On July 24, Celeste Chalasani led a Zoom tutorial on how to use Zoom for workshops. She talked about the technology we would need and it was a surprise to learn that we already have most of the technology needed...such as a smart phone, tablet, or desktop computer. If you plan to lead a workshop for NORBAG you probably only need to purchase something to hold a smart phone or tablet. It could be as simple as a goose neck cell phone holder that clamps to your desk (prices range from around $12 to $30-40). 

There are also document cameras made specifically for this kind of workshop that may plug into video systems or other computers. The prices can range as low as $100 and some are over $800. Some of our members are already giving classes over the internet and are using the more specific technologies. Either high or low tech, our NORBAG members can easily set up for workshops.

We talked a bit about staging of the actual workshop (Margaret did this very nicely at our June workshop) and how helpful it is to have a co-host who can direct questions to the speaker so things run smoothly. Celeste also spoke about how we can spotlight the instructor while eliminating other voices and noise that cause the camera to move away from the instructor. 

Are you interested in giving a workshop but missed the Zoom tutorial or want to refresh your memory of the information? Send an email to Dolores (email in the newsletter) and she will send you the necessary link to see the tape of the workshop. No excuses now...if you have an idea for a workshop we’re happy to help you through the first time.

Member Projects

This is a wet-cyan on a coffee filter.

Have you ever wanted to try making Cyanotype prints? Our member from Pennsylvania, Mary Elizabeth Nelson, has been doing just that with beautiful results. Here is what she shared. 

"Cyanotype and wet-cyan have taken over my life and the joy of waking up to a sunny day is the best ever. I think I must have done well over a 100 prints on paper and fabric. Thinking about book structures as I apply the chemicals for the cyanotype process, I have 5" x 14" papers and fabric for French folded pages to incorporate onto accordion fold spines and lots of other sizes to use however I wish. Many different weights and grades of paper, a sea of blue and white all around me."

Traditional cyanotype on Stonehenge paper

French folded pages adhered to mountains of an
accordion. Cyanotype and wet-cyan methods of
printing on Stonehenge paper. 3" x 5" size.

Many thanks to Mary Elizabeth for sharing these photos and information of her latest project. We hope she'll give us a workshop on the process in the future.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


The August Zoom workshop will feature Dolores Guffey sharing her book art Hints, Tips, and Tools. Having been one of the original NORBAG members (25 years ago this September), Dolores has amassed a wealth of great ideas learned from fellow book artists, her own discoveries, and from the many conferences she has attended. This “workshop” will be a time for sharing ideas. She invites those of you who join the Zoom meeting to bring your own tips and favorite tools to share with us. We all learn from one another and there is always something new to discover.

When:   Saturday, August 8 at noon, Pacific time
Where:  On your computer, tablet, or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP:   YES, to Dolores Guffey by August 5 to receive the password. Her contact information is in the newsletter.
What to have on hand:  Paper to take notes and your own tips & tools to share.

Projects from our members

Michele's Keith Smith books

Those of you who received the June NORBAG newsletter saw the information about how to purchase unbound copies of some of Keith Smith’s books to bind yourself. Our member, Michele Kamprath, did just that and shared with us this photo of her books. Like the examples Dolores Guffey shared in the newsletter, binding these books with a Coptic stitch or sewing over tapes is a perfect way to have them bound so that they will open flat…very helpful when trying to follow Keith’s instructions.

Bonnie's "books-in-sheets" classics

Did you know that it is also possible to find unbound copies of classic books? On the Volcano Arts website you can find “Books-in-Sheets” that are ready to bind with your favorite materials. According to the website, the books “have been formatted in content-appropriate fonts. They’re imposed into separate sections and copied onto good quality 70 lb. paper. You just fold and sew.” Some of the books that are available include A Christmas Carol, The Secret Garden, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and several favorites by Jane Austen. Bonnie Julien has bound several of these books with plans to give one to each of her grandchildren. Here is a link to Volcano Arts:

Randi's Eco-dyed print

This print and the one above are available on Etsy

What else can you do with your beautiful eco-dyed or other surface designed papers besides make cards and books? Frame them! Our member, Randi Parkhurst, has refined her eco-dyeing techniques into an art form worthy of framing. Here are some photos of her work currently for sale on Etsy.

Thank you to our members for sharing information about your projects. We're happy to pass along your photos and ideas.

Monday, July 13, 2020


Our July Zoom meeting featured a workshop and a bit of paper magic. It was a busy and lovely day.

As we settle in, there is a lot of talk and chatter.

On my computer screen, you could see either 25 pictures of everyone or just one photo taking up the screen. Meet Margaret Beech. She lives in York, England and Zoom has enabled her to have this workshop without a plane flight.

The ever smiling Margaret Beech.

For our July workshop she demonstrated how to make a paper pinwheel and turn it into these delightful nested structures.

This is the first structure we made. Please note that all of the openings 
have edges parallel to the one next to it.

Margaret is our first artist to give a workshop on Zoom, and she did a great job from an artistic, teaching and technical standpoint.  We started with 4 squares of paper of graduated sizes and a jig to measure with so we didn’t have to play with rulers. Using those things, we had the base form.

Using our jig, we measured and made the cutting lines on all four papers. 

We made and cut out the other squares and when finished, folded them on the lines per Margaret’s instructions. The smallest of the folded units goes inside the next larger size. The graduated paper size made this very simple. While we didn’t glue them to each other during the workshop, you can do that when making your final structure.

Each of the points is folded down with the last one slipped under
 the first to hold it together. The finished product can be seen above.

A Bit of Magic

Margaret gave us a bit of magic too by simply cutting the papers and putting the wrong side up on alternate sheets. If you cut all of the pieces and the diagonals have the orientation, you will make a structure with the sides parallel to the nested one below. If you turn every other one to use the back side of the paper, you can get a different look to your nested diamonds. These pictures show the diagonals and then the result of this minor change.

These are all cut and positioned so that the right angle of the pinwheel
 is on the left side for all colors . This will result in a structure with all 
 nesting edges parallel to each other.

This is the alternate placement. By turning the paper over
 to the wrong side on every other paper, the points alternate.
 (The orange and pink has the right angle on the right side.)
 This will give you openings whose points are at a 45 degree
 angle form the one above and below.

Many thanks to our always happy Margaret.

There is more

After the workshop Dolores held up each of the books sent for the March exchange so that each artist could give a brief description. Congratulations to Kenzie Mullen who had her first book in that exchange. She spoke about the process and materials. It was great to be able to ask a quick question directly to the artist. If you would like more information about someone's book, ask Dolores Guffey for a roster so that you have everyone’s email and phone. The July Newsletter shows a batch of dates for you to get your books in for the previous exchanges that we’ve missed. August exchange books must be received prior to August 8, the day of our meeting, to be in the exchange and allow us to share them at the Zoom meeting. 

ZOOM Statistics 

Who attended? There were 19 of us that could be considered “locals” in Humboldt county which covers 4,200 square miles. Ten other California members joined in along with 11 members residing in other U.S. states. Margaret Beech and Jill McInerney were our British attendees. It was a lively crowd of 42 people. By the way, Karen Chew just became a member of NORBAG and attended her first meeting with us. (When she sent in her registration form, she sent a tiny corona virus paper mask.)
The March Exchange books should be up on Flickr by Friday, July 17. Since Zoom is such a new experience for us, we are not yet sure what will be on the August 8 meeting agenda. If we have time in August, we will show more of the exchange books. We’ll let you know in the August, 2020 newsletter.


Our technical host for the Zoom meetings has been Celeste Chalasani.  She is offering to teach a class (via Zoom) to our members about how to set up meetings and how to go about giving a workshop using the devices they already have at home. This would enable anyone who is interested to offer a workshop. This class is open to all members. Bobbie Hayes ( will be sending out a bit more information via email in the next week to those members who have previously attended the meetings. More info will be sent when we have more detail. If you are interested in the class and didn’t receive an email, please let Bobbie knowEveryone is welcome.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Thanks to Zoom, we're back in business NORBAGGERS! On June 13th we had a great "meet and greet" Zoom event hosted by Celeste Chalasani. It was so successful that Margaret Beech, our prolific member from York, England, graciously volunteered to lead our first Zoom workshop in July. Margaret will be teaching us how to make nested pinwheels that provide an interesting and dimensional effect. She wrote, "I am aiming for each person to make one pinwheel card and if all goes well, a second one."

Margaret said that this is a very easy project with a real piece of Paper Magic at the end and will not take long to complete, so there should be plenty of time for members to share some book art that they've recently completed. There won't be a slideshow this time so have your piece close by and be prepared to say something about it. If you have questions about using Zoom, refer back to the June NORBAG newsletter and/or email Celeste. Please email Dolores Guffey by July 8 to receive the password for this Zoom workshop. 

Tools to have for the workshop:
  • Cutting mat
  • Craft knife with a new blade
  • Double-stick tape or a glue stick
  • Pencil
  • Steel ruler
  • Scoring tool
  • Bone folder
  • Fine black marker pen
Pre-cut papers (construction paper or slightly heavier).

Please have these cut prior to the workshop!
  • At least two squares of paper (so you can make two cards) in each of the following sizes: 8", 7.5", 7" and 6.5". (It's best if each square for one card is a different color since contrasting colors will show up best in the finished fold). Please be sure these papers are truly square.
  • Two 4.5" x 9" cards scored & folded to 4.5" square for attaching finished pinwheels to.
  • Please make a ruler template 2” x 8” in stiff card before the meeting.  This will save much measuring when drawing the margins on the squares.
WHEN:       Saturday, July 11 from noon - 3 p.m. Pacific Time via Zoom
WHERE:     At home on your computer, tablet or smartphone
SUPPLIES: See above list
RSVP:        YES! before July 8 to Dolores to receive the password to enter the Zoom workshop (contact information is in the newsletter). 

Saturday, June 20, 2020


We’re officially Zoomers! NORBAG held its first Zoom online meeting on June 13 attended by 37 members. It was an international meeting with 2 members from England, 9 from 6 different states, 17 from Humboldt County, and 9 from other areas of California. We’re very grateful to Celeste Chalasani for organizing and hosting the meeting.

We started off by taking turns introducing ourselves. What a treat it was to finally put faces to names that we’ve known... sometimes for many years. It was also fun to see some impromptu "guest cats" who wandered into view. Thirteen members sent photos of books they had been working on to Celeste who created a PowerPoint slideshow. Each person was able to give a description of their book, the materials, and/or the inspiration for the structure. Several members had just finished taking Helen Hiebert’s online Flexible Book Structures 2 workshop so they shared photos of some of the projects completed in the class.

Members with a large screen can see a maximum of 25
participants at a time and scroll over to see the rest of the group.

Margaret Beech described some of the photos she shared.

All in all it was a positive experience and one we hope to share again. Our member from York, England, Margaret Beech, has offered to teach a Zoom workshop for us on July 11 so watch for more information in the July newsletter. Please contact Dolores Guffey (contact information in the newsletter) if you have any suggestions, would like to offer to lead a workshop or host a sharing session and she will help to coordinate the event.

Many of our out-of-town members also belong to book art organizations in their local areas. We love to hear what other groups are doing and how they are coping with the challenges the Coronavirus has presented. One activity currently underway with the Puget Sound Book Art group is a collaborative project. Thirty-six members signed up for the “Staying Home” project and were randomly put into six groups of six. Each participant was directed to make a small blank book (4” x 6” size), create an artwork on one page of that book and mail it to the next person on their list. That person would add their own artwork to a page and then mail it to the next person and so on until all six books were completed and each participant would keep the last book they received. Ideally this should take about six weeks with a goal to finish by July 19. The hope is to actually share these books in person later this year. The following photo is the cover of one of those books.

The artist who created this book has invited

the other five group members to also add
artwork of their own to this cover.

Be sure to look for more information in the newsletter and future blog article about our next Zoom meeting in July. Thank you to Bobbie Hayes for sharing her Zoom photos.

Saturday, June 6, 2020


As we begin the fourth month of dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic most of us are slowly moving into a more open environment. Who knows what the new normal will actually turn out to be, but for now it's refreshing to hear that many of us have been coping with isolation by making some beautiful book art and sharing it on various platforms. One can see wonderful examples on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Zoom meetings and other online classes are also becoming more popular since we haven't been able to meet in person. We hope you will continue to share your projects with us as we all strive to move forward and remain healthy.

NORBAG will hold its first Zoom meeting on Saturday June 13. This meeting will not have a workshop but rather a chance for our members to get comfortable with Zoom and meet and greet other members. It will be hosted by Celeste Chalasani and she will do a PowerPoint presentation of photos our members send to her. These photos could include books they've made for the exchanges (yet to be exchanged) as well as any projects they've been working on. In other words, your basic "show & tell". Please refer to page 1 of the June Newsletter for information and tips for using Zoom. 

WHAT:  NORBAG Zoom Meeting
WHEN:  June 13, 2020 at 12:00 pm Pacific Time (US and Canada)
RSVP:   YES, to Dolores by June 10 to receive information on how to join the Zoom meeting, along with the password. For the PowerPoint presentation, please send photos in JPG format to Celeste by June 10. Contact information for both Dolores and Celeste is in the newsletter.

Here are some examples of how our members have been using their "free" time.

This photo is a collection of books Bonnie Julien made in Helen Hiebert’s Flexible Book Structures 2 online class. The six week course included the following projects: Momigami & stained Tyvek, Expandable File Folder, Book Light, Pocket Book, Envelope Photo Album, and Scroll-a-Notebook. For more information about Helen’s classes here is a link:
Michele Kamprath has been busy making some lovely books using monoprints. She watched Sally Hirst's Monotype Mayhem classes and came up with some wonderful prints.

Secret Belgian binding

This Secret Belgian binding book was a birthday gift to Michele's son.

Monoprints galore

This book features many of the monoprints.

Margaret Beech has sent another one of her fun book structures. She called this structure a crazy fold, but if you have a copy of the NORBAG compendium, vol.3 pg.20 you’ll find it listed as the "Whirligig" book.

This book was made several years ago by Dolores Guffey for a book exchange.

The "whirligig" part way opened

Here is what Margaret shared. "This time I am sharing my Crazy Fold with you. This is very easy BUT requires maximum concentration when measuring up. It's fun to make and it's up to you how you decorate the pages. In the illustration I simply used papers cut from old books but you could use decorated papers, music paper, write some quotations or verses of a poem or even old map pages. The fun really lies in the unraveling and the way the book folds up again. You will need to keep it under control so might need to make an envelope to hold your fold."

Margaret also said that you could cut from a roll of wallpaper lining paper (or even some leftover wallpaper and your crazy fold will already be decorated). It's best to cut a longer length than needed once you start to measure. If you need to get rid of the natural curl of the wallpaper or lining, simply place the roll into a sink full of warm water. It doesn't need to remain long and you will see that the paper soon flattens. Just drip the water off then lay flat on a towel until the paper is really dry and you will be all ready to begin. Margaret said that this is not a good way to flatten brown paper from the roll however.

Margaret sent this piece "to give you encouragement 

if you are whiling away your days with creative stuff.
I find it's a wonderful way to spend time, and the things
we make give pleasure to the people we share them with."

Saturday, May 23, 2020


Since we, and most of the world, are staying home in hope of flattening the curve of coronavirus cases, this blog will strive to offer suggestions and projects from some of our members. We will try to update the blog every two weeks, so be sure to check in for new ideas as well as information about when regular NORBAG workshops will resume. Remember to scroll down for previous projects sent by our members.

Let's celebrate friendships with another one of Margaret Beech's contributions. This sweet book can be adapted to suit any occasion, but Margaret's friendship theme works very well during this time of sheltering in place. As soon as Margaret sent these instructions I had to try it so I made this book to send to a dear friend.

Here are Margaret's instructions and templates. You can click on the photo to see a larger version of the image.

At least two of our members enjoy making tiny structures. Randi Parkhurst has been designing 1" structures that Edge Gerring is calling "Onesies". Here is Randi's house model with a tiny box. These two are each made from a single sheet of paper with Randi's box template following.

Randi's house model and box

Randi's box template

Randi also designed a 1" accordion book with different cut-outs. Here is the template followed by some photos of her colorful little book.

Randi's accordion template

Randi's "onesie" accordion book

Edge shared some photos of her Onesie house and its template as well as photos of her accordion book.

Edge's "Onesie" house

Edge's copy of the "Onesie" house template

Edge's tiny accordion books

Thank you to Margaret, Randi, and Edge for sharing your great creations.

Sunday, May 10, 2020


Since we, and most of the world, are staying home in hope of flattening the curve of coronavirus cases, this blog will strive to offer suggestions and projects from some of our members. We will try to update the blog every two weeks, so be sure to check in for new ideas as well as information about when regular NORBAG workshops will resume. Remember to scroll down for previous projects sent by our members.

 A former member of NORBAG emailed with a request about sending some cheer to long-term care residents experiencing isolation. She wrote that "in this time of uncertainty, we need human connection more than ever! But many of our older adults are experiencing isolation on a deep level. In order to protect residents and staff from exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19), long-term care facilities have temporarily stopped welcoming visitors. This means that residents are not able to see their families and friends...and since many of them do not use social media or teleconferencing apps, they have little or no connection to the outside world. They could really use support!" She asked if our members would pledge to send 10 cards to long-term care residents who need encouragement. "Whether it is a postcard with a pep talk, a construction paper creation, all contributions would be welcome!" A separate email has been sent to local NORBAG members with information on how to join this cause, but we're sure this kind of support would be welcome in any community. This is a great opportunity to share your artistic creations with people who are truly isolated. Many of our members are already making cards using their own paste, marbled, or eco-dyed papers so please consider sharing some of these beautiful creations with others in need of support.

Now to share some photos of what our members have been doing...

Watercolor leaf print cards by Michele K.

Biophilia by Michele K
(EO Wilson coined this term for basically the human love of nature)

Biophilia sewn over straps

Random by Michele K

Artist Trading Cards by Edge G

This is the back of the ATC cards...mixed media collage
 inspired by a You Tube video by Lorrie Marie Jenkins

Eco-dyeing by Randi P.
These latest prints were made using techniques from
Jane Dunnewold's book, Best of Both Worlds: Enhanced Botanical Printing

This print has sting added

Grace B. made collages using cut-outs from copies of the rock print and collage work
done by Dolores G and Lynne G shown in the previous blog article. Grace is 90 years

young and a charter member (25 years) of NORBAG! 

Another of Grace's new collage prints

Collage by Grace B

Bonnie J is taking Helen Hiebert's online course Flexible Book Structures 2.
The book on the left is a book light and the other two are expandable file folders.

Book Light opened and illuminated

One of the expandable file folders...the green cards lift out

Bonnie's pocket folder book. It has six slots on the left,
 plus two large slots underneath.
A slim book is just visible coming from one of those pockets.

Front of the pocket book. It closes with velcro dots,
 the brad is just for decoration.

Back side of the book has an envelope pocket
 that has been sewn with a sewing machine.