Saturday, July 31, 2021


Our August workshop will feature Celeste Chalasani showing us the basics of how to embroider on paper. Celeste has been teaching Stumpwork, an embroidery technique that produces three dimensional work, for ten years. She has recently begun exploring embroidery on paper and will take us along on her journey.

These photographs are examples of Celeste's embroidery.

French knots enhance the waves along the shore.

Celeste will begin with a slideshow presentation showing us different forms of embroidery on paper. Next she'll demonstrate some basic embroidery stitches that we will be able to use to embellish book covers and pages. The actual project that we're going to be working on are 4" x 5" pages with stitch diagrams. Celeste's idea is to work the stitches on the cardstock to create a small stitch reference. She made hers into an accordion book to refer to later when working on future projects.

Celeste's accordion style reference book

Materials needed:

  • Two size 8 embroidery (crewel) needles
  • A wine or beer bottle cork to use to make a very fine pricking/piercing tool
  • A thick acrylic pad, mouse pad or paper to protect your table surface
  • Cardstock (8 1/2" x 11"), white or ivory
  • Stranded cotton embroidery thread such as DMC or Anchor, any color
  • Single sided Scotch or masking tape

*Before the workshop, you will need to create a pricking/piercing tool using one of the size 8 embroidery needles and the cork following the directions provided once you RSVP. Celeste will also provide a pdf for you to print on cardstock so that you can practice embroidery stitches as she demos them. Please RSVP to Dolores (contact information is in the newsletter) by August 9 to receive the instructions for this workshop. To learn more about Celeste and her classes visit her website at

What:   Embroidery on Paper workshop
When:  Saturday, August 14 at 10 a.m. Pacific time
Where: On your computer, tablet or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP:   YES to Dolores Guffey by August 9 to receive password and Celeste's pdf
Workshop questions: Celeste Chalasani
Zoom questions: Bobbie Hayes
Contact information is always in the newsletter

Monday, July 12, 2021


 Our July workshop was a little bit of a trip down memory lane to back when we were practicing penmanship in grade school. Australian book artist and paper engineer, Jean Kropper, got us thinking about how we can modify our own style of writing to make words become part of our art. More than 50 of us from England, Canada, and across the U.S. came together via Zoom to explore how our writing can play a significant role in design. Many thanks go to Jean for getting up at 4 a.m. “down under” to teach this workshop.

Jean showed us that we don’t need to be expert calligraphers. By changing such simple things as how we hold our marker, using unusual or different sized markers, changing the space we use between lines, printing versus cursive, or even not using our dominate hand can give a whole different look and perhaps a different meaning to our writing. We practiced printing a simple paragraph using both upper and lower case letters while trying to write in even, straight lines with tight spacing. Then we tried it again with a loose, haphazard style before attempting the same paragraph in cursive. When you compare the look of these samples you definitely get a different feel for the words.

Margaret's sample

Bonnie's sample. 
The top right sample was done with her left hand
 which gave a VERY childish look to the words.

More than one person had a hard time writing in a straight line without lines being drawn on the page. Jean showed us ways to solve that problem by using a light box or even writing against a window. One participant said she changed how she held her pen but then couldn’t figure out how to start forming an “s” or which side to make the circle for a “b”. Experiences like that got us laughing at ourselves. We certainly learned that it takes practice to control the different ways to write. Thank you Jean, for reintroducing us to the art of the written word.

Museum Exhibition

The following photos are from the new rotation from the Cynthia Sears Artist's Books Collection at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. The theme is Every Day & Special Days, "a journey from daily delights and mundane activities to once-in-a-lifetime events. Time is marked through postcards or weather observations, holding ceremonies, or simply surviving a pandemic."

Shared Illusion by Bryan Kring

The Land by Deborah Greenwood

One rhododendron bush in May 2020
by Aimee Lee

A Mealtime Blessing 
by Bonnie Thompson Norman

Quiescent Temple by Karen Stahlecker

Local Conditions by Chandler O'Leary

This is a close-up of one possible assemblage
in Chandler's collection shown above. 

Like Small Birds Singing
by Shane Miller

This collection of books on exhibit will continue throughout the summer.

Sunday, June 27, 2021


 Australian book artist and paper engineer, Jean Kropper, will be teaching our July workshop. How exciting!! Thanks to Zoom this workshop will likely include participants from three continents! Jean writes, "When talking to people in my book arts group, I realized most of us had made many beautifully bound books that were blank. I had too. I wondered, why? I realized we had not had a process, the design skills, or confidence to put our own stories in them. I wanted to help change this by creating exercises to build skills to use our own stories in book art, art journals and artwork. As a first exercise, I will show you techniques to create your own unique handwriting styles to use Words as Art. These styles can be used for different creative projects: as patterns for book covers, artwork, and in art journals to tell your stories."

Whether your handwriting is messy or neat, whether you like your handwriting or not, Jean will show you creative ways to play with it. View a two minute video about Jean's business, Paper and Pixel, at Jean explains that the video "shows some of my history in book and paper art and some of the commercial work I do as a paper engineer--that is designing pop-up print promotions for event invitations and direct mail." For more information about Jean and her work visit her website at

Materials Needed:

  • Pencil
  • Fine and medium point black markers
  • Two (2) sheets of white paper
  • Jean's worksheet - When you RSVP for this workshop, Dolores will send you the pdf of Jean's worksheet. Please print it out in advance.
When:  Saturday, July 10 at 12 Noon, Pacific Time 
Where: On your computer, tablet or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP:   YES to Dolores Guffey by July 5 to receive password and Jean's workshop

Workshop questions:
Zoom questions: Bobbie Hayes
Contact information for Dolores and Bobbie is in the newsletter.

Monday, June 14, 2021


Our Medieval Closure and Back Stitch Twist Binding workshop was well attended by more than 45 NORBAG members. Dolores Guffey taught us a wonderful medieval style closure that she learned at a workshop taught by Lori Sauer while traveling in England. Lori graciously gave her permission for Dolores to teach this to NORBAG members. This closure worked perfectly with the soft cover book that we bound using a stitch found in Keith Smith's book, 1, 2, & 3 Section Sewings, that Dolores adapted. The Back Stitch Twist Binding has what looks like a bead at each station, but it is actually the thread wound around the straight stitch. We discovered that the more times you wind around the thread; the more pronounced the "bead" becomes. Thank you Dolores for sharing these techniques with us. If you missed the workshop but would like to see the recording, send Dolores an email and she will send you the link.

Here are a few examples of some of the books that were made.

Carol DuBosch
Carol used her lovely eco-dyed paper.

Michele Kamprath

Donna LaVallee

Margaret Beech

Margaret modified her stitch by wrapping
four times to enhance the look of the "bead".

Bonnie Julien

Mary Elizabeth Nelson

Mary Elizabeth also wrapped her stitches
 four times to achieve this larger bead on
her beautiful cyanotype cover.

Margaret tried another version of the closure
using two straps and a longer woven vertical piece.

Two straps instead of just one. She used
Dylusion spray inks to color the cover.

Donna-Lynne Miller

Donna made her own closure tab that goes
very well with her cover paper.

Saturday, May 29, 2021


 Join Dolores Guffey at our June workshop as she guides us in making a single signature book with a medieval closure. The back stitch twist binding can easily be adapted to a multi-signature book (instructions for both single and multiple signatures will be provided). Dolores's intent when teaching a workshop is for us to make a prototype which will serve as a sample/reference for making additional more elaborate or more decorative books. Shown below are examples of the book using different colored papers and different types of threads for the binding. Hopefully this will help you decide what materials to use for the workshop. Please RSVP to Dolores (contact information is in the newsletter) by June 7 to receive instructions for the workshop. Papers need to be cut prior to the workshop.

Here are examples of the looks you can achieve using different colored papers and threads.

Decorative cover with contrasting closure

Spine binding

Book using same paper for closure

Plain cover with contrasting closure

Close-up of the binding

A is waxed linen
B is Perle cotton
C is embroidery floss

Multiple signatures using 
different colored threads


Cover paper: One piece 12" x 5 3/4", grain short. Suggestions: decorative or plain cardstock; Mi Teintes; Fabriano; watercolor paper (that won't crack when folded). Any decorative paper suitable for a cover that is more substantial than text weight paper.

Closure: 3 1/2" x 4 1/2" piece of paper to contrast with the cover paper. It can also be the same type of paper used for the cover as long as it is heavier than text weight.

Signature: 4 sheets of 8 1/2" x 11" text weight paper

Jig: A piece of cardstock 2" x 5/8" (please be sure it is exactly 5/8" wide)

Thread: Waxed linen, Perle cotton; or embroidery floss. Thread color should complement, rather than match, the color of the cover. This is a decorative stitch to be seen and admired.

Adhesive: Double stick tape or glue stick

Tools: Needle (#2 crewel needle or #22 tapestry needle; piercing cradle (or a phone book) and piercing tool; bone folder; ruler; scissors; X-acto or craft knife; 2 paper clips; and a pencil

When:    Saturday June 12 at 10 am PST
Where:   On your computer, tablet, or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP and workshop questions: Dolores Guffey by June 7 to receive the password and further instructions
Zoom questions: Bobbie Hayes

Contact information for both Dolores and Bobbie is in the newsletter

Tuesday, May 11, 2021


Update: This short article was inadvertently left out of this blog article so the editor apologizes and adds it now...better late than never! There are some great tips about photographing your work. 

How to Photograph Your Artwork at Home or Tips for Photographing Your Artwork. Textile artist April Sproule writes, “I did the video initially so people wouldn't be intimidated about photographing their work to submit for online entries or exhibitions. It is aimed at amateur photographers who might not have lots of fancy equipment or software. The video is available on my new YouTube channel, so if you want, please ‘like’ the video and perhaps subscribe to my channel. Go to Thank you! April Sproule”

The May NORBAG workshop was a wonderful introduction to Mary Elizabeth Nelson's collection of artists' books. We also received some great tips on how she photographs her books. We would like to thank her very much for sharing her books and workspace with us. If you missed this event and would like to view the recording, contact Dolores Guffey.

Our Tech Coordinator, Bobbie Hayes, sent in the following information about our Zoom recordings. "Zoom has a maximum storage capacity for our account. Since our Zoom workshop recordings are of varying sizes, we cannot always save the recordings for an entire month when we exceed the storage limit. We are notified on the Wednesday after the meeting if we exceeded the limit and must delete the recording the next morning.

We have already adjusted the recording to make them as short as is reasonable but cannot tell in advance how large the recording will be. If you want to see the recording, send an email to Dolores BEFORE the meeting day. She will send the link as soon as it is available and let you know if the time for viewing is limited."

The second part of our Zoom meeting was to share the May exchange books. It was a very inspiring group of books made for the theme "circles". Sandy Vrem shared her book that she made using some "experimental" (paper towels!) paper that was colored during an afterhours play-time during the 2011 Newport Paper and Book Arts Festival (NPBAF) in Newport, Oregon. Dolores Guffey brought the supplies so that we could color the paper towels with various inks for a different kind of texture effect. It's amazing that Sandy still had some of these experimental papers to use for a current exchange book. It just proves that "real" book artists save EVERY scrap that might work in a future book! Here are some photos of that 2011 experiment.

Sandy applying ink with an eye dropper.

Beth takes her turn.

Our display table in 2011 showing all of the projects
from our various workshops and experiments. 

And here are photos of the book Sandy made for the May exchange using pieces from that ink on paper towels experiment.

Sandy's Circle book using the paper towel circles.

Back side of the book.

Sadly, the 2020 NPBAF was cancelled, but this year it will return in virtual form September 17-19. There will be different workshop formats that will be recorded with access available until December 1. While we will certainly miss the in-person sessions and the camaraderie that occurs when like-minded people share time in workshops during the day and then create impromptu art projects in the evening, it should still be an informative and worthwhile event. Registration for the 2021 festival opens the first week of July with full details of costs and workshops offered available at that time. To receive this information, be sure to contact to get on the mailing list.

Here are some photos of Newport and past festival events and projects to whet your interest for this year's event.

The yellow building facing Nye Beach was our main
meeting place. The white building beyond it is where
many of us stayed and where the paper towel project
took place.

Nye Beach mural.

Woven spine binding taught by Margo Klass in 2018.

Another great class by Margo (standing on right) 2016.

Another "afterhours" project.

Various books made during the 2013 event.