North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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Monday, January 30, 2023


 Instead of a workshop, our February NORBAG meeting will be a show-and-tell featuring handmade calendars. Carolyn Jones will share some of her favorite calendars made by herself and fellow artists Dorothy Swendeman, Terri Tinkham, and Vikki Young. We invite you to pour a beverage of choice and sit back and watch as Carolyn takes you on a tour of handmade calendars that showcase various themes, bindings, structures, surface design and other paper arts techniques.

left to right: Terri Tinkham, Vikki Young, Carolyn Jones, Dorothy Swendeman

In 1994, three handweavers (Carolyn, Dorothy & Terri) got together and used scraps and samples of their handwoven fabrics as the focus of an edition of 35 calendars on a textile arts theme. It was a hit so they did it again the next year. In 1997, Vikki joined the group and they worked together to explore new themes and structures. Vikki wrote stories and text to illuminate the themes as they added new paper art techniques along with their weavings.

Editions ran to 150 copies at their peak. Themes included ethnic textiles, fashion, food, travel, theatre, botany, a coloring book, color, words, and patterns etc. Each calendar is an exercise in marrying structure with content, and an extensive collaboration between four fertile, but very different, artistic minds. Since the deaths of Dorothy and Vikki (Dorothy was a founding member of NORBAG and Vikki edited the newsletter for many years), Terri and Carolyn have continued to explore. The collection now includes 27 handcrafted, themed, limited edition calendars and four limited edition books.

Here is a sample of some of the wonderful calendars Carolyn will share with us.

Discarded medical record folders were transformed into a rainbow
 edged concertina, with pockets, to explore Transformations.

A dozen favorite quotations were illustrated with collage
in star book form for May We Quote You?

Individual miniature works of art illustrate 24 facets
of the plant world, with each page in this tyvek binding
unfolding to provide hints about what inspired us.

What if? takes a tour around France and explores
a different use of the Cricut machine each month,
chronicling our successes, failures and discoveries
along the way.

Not quite a word a day, Logophilia illustrates a word 
every 2-3 days with a handmade object or game
inspired by a specific date.

Though the majority of the calendars are spiral or comb bound, 
like these, they come in a variety of shapes, and incorporate
lots of interesting paper structures and techniques within.

Remember...there is NO workshop for our February meeting, but we will have a wonderful show-and-tell and of course our Valentine exchange cards.

When:   Saturday, February 11 at 10 a.m. PST

Where:  On your computer, tablet or smartphone via Zoom

RSVP:    Yes, to Dolores Guffey by Feb. 6 to receive the password

Zoom questions: Bobbie Hayes

Contact information is in the newsletter.

More Calendars

As long as we're featuring calendars this month, we have another NORBAG member who has made a lot of calendars through the years. Vivienne Bruce, our member (since 2001) from Victoria, B.C., Canada made the calendars featured in this month's kiosk display at the Humboldt County Library in Eureka, CA. For several years Vivienne participated in our holiday card exchange with a calendar using a unique design and technique every year. Each calendar is printed in both French and English and she often included information from the Chinese Lunar Calendar into her designs.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023


 The first NORBAG workshop of 2023 got off to a great start thanks to our member from the UK, Margaret Beech. She taught us how to make a very unusual box that turned out to be "possible", rather than "impossible". What makes this box seem impossible is that it is one sheet of paper folded in such a way that the top remains connected yet you can still open it to enclose something inside. There is no chance of losing the top to this box!

Here are some photos of boxes made by class participants.

Mary Elizabeth Nelson aka Emmy
This shows the box before the bottom
 pieces are woven together.

Emmy used her beautiful cyanotypes
 on black Mi-Teintes to decorate the box.

This is the top of the box. Push down
 in the center to access the inside.

The box closed up.

Carol DuBosch

Here you can see how the top part
 lifts up and the triangular sections
 are pushed down to access the inside.

Carol enjoyed the workshop so much that she decided to make a larger box. She discovered that by using a Proportional Scale she could expand the dimensions 120% and end up with a box 3" x 3" rather than the 2 1/2" square boxes we made in the workshop.

The decorated paper is a photo copy (super reduced)
 of a poster Carol created with 100 writing tools.

This shows how the top opens up while
still connected to the bottom part.

The box top lifted and ready for access.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

The "Impossible" Box

Welcome to 2023! We hope it will be a happy and peaceful new year for everyone. Our member from York, England, Margaret Beech, will be teaching the first workshop of the year. She will show us how to make an "impossible" box. This is a one piece box where the lid is snug fitting, but does not come completely off. Margaret tells us that it is perfect to hold a small gift or tiny book. The photos don't really show how it all works so you'll just have to sign up for the workshop to see it in action. 

The box closed

The top lifting up

Here is another look at how the top lifts up.


  • 11 x 8 1/2" sheet of plain colored paper (Canson Mi-Teintes or similar) 
  • Decorative paper to be cut to size once your box is finished
  • Double stick tape
  • Glue stick
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Bone Folder
  • Craft Knife

When:   Saturday, Jan. 14, at 10 a.m. PST

Where:  On your computer, tablet, or Smartphone via Zoom

RSVP:    Dolores Guffey by Jan. 9 to receive the password

Workshop Questions: Margaret Beech

Zoom Questions:  Bobbie Hayes

Contact information is in the newsletter

Monday, December 12, 2022


 On December 10 our Zoom meeting was not a workshop, but an opportunity to view all of the cards that were in the 2022 Holiday Exchange. This is the one event of the year when members sign up in advance to participate and then make an edition of their original for each participant and one for the NORBAG library. As usual, there was a great display of different structures and techniques with some cards celebrating Christmas, others the Solstice and other December events. Keep checking this site as the cards, in all their colorful glory, will soon be available to view on our Flickr site.

Meanwhile, if you are in the Eureka area, be sure to drop by the Humboldt County Library to see a kiosk display of holiday cards from previous years. Thank you Kenzie for coordinating the display.


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

2022 Holiday Card Exchange

2022 is quickly coming to an end and our final exchange of the year is almost here. The Holiday Card exchange is the one event where members must sign up in advance and then make an edition of their card, one for each person participating and one for our library. Before the pandemic we would usually celebrate this exchange at Sandy V’s lovely home where we could enjoy refreshments as well as look at the cards. While that was a great event for local members, it totally excluded the out-of-towners. Now that we have been using Zoom for our workshops, we invite all of our members, near and far, to watch the unveiling of the Holiday Cards. Please join Dolores Guffey on Zoom December 10 as she presents the 2022 Holiday Cards. Many thanks to everyone who participated in the exchange. We hope that they will be present to share with us the inspiration for their card’s structure and design. Those unable to join us will have their colophons read as the card is shown on the screen. After the sharing of the cards, we will have time to visit and exchange best wishes for the holidays and coming year.

Here are some photos of holiday cards from previous years 


Ellen Clague

Miriam Hall 

Sandy Vrem

Andrea Penn

Becky Luening

Dolores Guffey


When:   Saturday December 10 at 10 a.m. PST

Where:  On your computer, tablet or smartphone via Zoom

RSVP:    Yes, by Dec. 5 to Dolores Guffey to receive the password

Zoom Questions:  Bobbie Hayes

Contact information is in the newsletter

Friday, November 18, 2022

Arowana and BIMA


Our November workshop was all about a fish named Arowana. Our instructor, Edge Gerring, was very familiar with Arowana and knew just how to cut Arowana apart and then bring Arowana back together into a very “fluttery” flag book. It was a fun workshop and maybe a little more complicated than other workshops so not everyone completed their structure during the allotted time. So, we only have one example to share and it comes from across the big pond. Many thanks to Edge and to Margaret for sharing.

Margaret Beech (England)

Shapes of Things to Come is the title of the current exhibit in the Sherry Grover Gallery at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) in Washington. This exhibit will continue until February 15, 2023. Here is the introduction to the exhibit:

"The future of the book is here. These works from the Cynthia Sears Artist's Books Collection bend convention, break tradition, and steer a bold course for the future of artist's books. This exhibition features more than forty local, national, and international artists working in diverse formats, materials, and themes."

Here is a sample of some of the wonderful books on display. 

Transpose, 2021
 Islam Aly (Egypt)

Inside Chance, 2000
 Linda Smith (Arizona)

Socrates, Know Thyself, 1999
Stephen Daiber (Massachusetts)

Old Growth: Beneath the Forest Floor, 2015
Lucia Harrison (Washington)

Slices, 2004
Emily Martin, (Iowa)

Take Me, I'm Yours, 2019
Laura Russell (Oregon)

50 Revolutions, 2015
Helen Hiebert (Colorado)

Living With Tassels and Trims, 2019
Robbin Ami Silverberg (New York)

This is the book that goes with the jacket pictured above and 
here is the artist's description of the two pieces:

"I stumbled upon plastic bags filled with samples of textiles, tassels & trim when we were cleaning out my mother’s closets after she died. The remnants found in those bags were pieces of her story: dreams of creating a space and place, a home that defined beauty, projected refinement, and what she would have clarified as happiness.

The result is a cloth book with richly embroidered text & patterns sewn onto a wooden clothing hanger. 
The text focuses on the idea of ritual as movement and movement as reading. Each copy has a unique case made from clothing, which becomes the protection of these words instead of the human body. The viewer must ‘undress’ the book in order to read it."