Sunday, September 12, 2021


Last spring the San Diego Book Arts group initiated a project where seven book arts organizations came together to celebrate “where you live” through a hand-crafted, USPS-compliant, postcard exchange and freestyle bookmaking project. Groups included: Bay Area Book Artists, New England Book Artists, North Redwoods Book Arts Guild, PaperWorks, Puget Sound Book Artists, San Diego Book Arts, and the Santa Fe Book Arts Group. Named the "Wish You Were Here Project", it was a great success with wonderfully creative postcards being sent all across the U.S. and ultimately bound into each participant's individual book. Here is a link to an on-line gallery where you can see all the beautiful books and postcards.

Ten NORBAG members participated in the project and their contributions are shown below.

John Arbuckle

John's postcard

Rosie Arenas

Rosie's postcard

Dianne Byington

Dianne's postcard

Edge Gerring

Edge's postcard

Fran McReynold's postcard

Fran McReynolds

Mary Elizabeth Nelson

Another view of Mary Elizabeth's book

Mary Elizabeth's postcard

Mary Elizabeth's second book 
(she participated in two different groups)

Linda Swanson

Linda's postcard

Catherine von Schwind

Catherine's postcard

Sandy Vrem

Sandy's postcard

Judy Smedberg's postcard
Judy Smedberg

Many thanks to everyone who participated in this great project and giving us such wonderful eye candy to view.

If the above examples didn't do enough to spark your enthusiasm for creating book art, check out the following link to view the 2021 Puget Sound Book Artists Members' exhibition now on display at Collins Library on the campus of the University of Puget Sound. The exhibit will be up until October 1.

Sunday, August 29, 2021


Do you love to look at pop-up and 3D books but are intimidated to try making them yourself? If so, then our September workshop is just for you. For more than 20 years Mary Conley has shown her 3D and pop-up books in juried shows both in Canada and the US. In this workshop she will share some of her books and reveal the materials behind their construction. We will also make a sample of her watermelon book and learn the details of the construction of the 360 degree Tree book. Some of Mary's books were made with a Silhouette Cameo cutter, a useful tool for making multiple copies. For fun, we'll also make a pop-up rose bouquet. To learn more about Mary and her work visit this site:

Here are some examples of Mary's beautiful and very fun creations.

Materials and Tools:

  • Six 8" circles cut from lightweight cardstock, cut out in advance
  • Seven (7) roses printed on copy paper and cut out in advance (Dolores will send the pattern when you RSVP)
  • One (1) colored sheet of 6" x 9" cardstock
  • glue stick
  • bone folder

   Saturday September 11, 10 a.m. Pacific time
Where:  On your computer, tablet or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP:    To Dolores Guffey by September 6 to receive password
              and Mary's pdf
Workshop questions: To Mary Conley
Zoom questions: To Bobbie Hayes
Contact information for everyone is in the newsletter.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021


For those of us who were fortunate enough to attend the August 14th Zoom workshop on how to embroider on paper, it was a terrific experience. Celeste Chalasani provided us with a set of great worksheets that we could print out and use to practice various stitches. She also gave us a lot of useful tips including which end of the DMC folded thread package to pull out the end of the thread (the side with the color number printed on the label). The best part is that we now have these great little sample sheets that can be put together into a book for handy reference. Here are a few examples of completed books.

Margaret tied her individual sheets together with kite thread.

Dianne pasted her examples into an accordion book.

Bonnie also used an accordion structure and added a cover
 with additional decorative stitching.

Here are a few screenshots of Celeste's embroidery.

These examples show embroidery onto photographs
to add a three-dimensional quality.

Can you find the embroidered bees and caterpillar in these photos?

The photo on the left has embroidered ladybugs.

Many thanks to Celeste for a wonderful workshop. Hopefully we'll soon see more examples of embroidery on paper in upcoming exchange books.

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.