North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 NORBAG Holiday Card Exchange

This exchange is a favorite of members and the following slideshow captures much of what makes the event so special. Thanks to Sandy for hosting, and Ellen for taking photos of each of the cards for Flickr, thanks Bonnie for all of the photos used to create the slideshow and photos of cards for the monthly newsletter. Did you know that the NORBAG library keeps a set of cards from each year, allowing members to check them out? I wish we could check out some of those cookies.

Reminder * Arrow over the slideshow to reveal controls that allow you to move through the slides yourself, or if you click on the slides you can view still images *

Time to start planning for next year!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Card Exchange, 2011

Royalty-Free Image, Dover

It's time again for our annual Holiday gathering and card exchange. This is our most popular exchange of the year with 29 members participating in the exchange this year (sign-up was in October). Each member will make 29 cards plus one for the guild library—a total of 900 cards!

Members who are not participating in the exchange are MOST welcome.
Details on the location and time of the event are on page 1 of our newsletter. You can also call any board member listed on page 2 of the newsletter if you have additional questions. 

Also, we will not have the library at the exchange but there will be a box so that you can return any you may have checked out, or any you wish to donate.

Note: Please bring a finger food to share!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Library Kiosk for the Holidays

If you're still looking for ideas for creating your own unique holiday cards, these photos of cards created by our members are sure to inspire. If you would like a closer look (besides clicking on the images) you can see them in the kiosk behind the checkout desk at the Humboldt County Library. Thank you Bonnie for the display and thank you to all the members who make these cards for our annual holiday card exchange.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Joys of Monthly Book Exchanges

Valentine Card Exchange
Our guild provides many activities that encourage our members to become more involved and creative book artists. One such activity is our voluntary monthly book exchange. During a recent workshop members were asked what they liked about the exchanges. Here are their very interesting responses, regrouped and synthesized:
  • They are always inspiring. One: for new ideas. Two: It's always nice to have a deadline. (Editor: All three were mentioned more than once!)
  • I usually need some time to come up with an idea for a book. Knowing ahead what the monthly themes are allows me this 'thinking time'.
  • The books I receive are great to show friends who wonder what an artist book is. 
  • I love seeing the different interpretations of a theme.
  • The exchange pushes me to think, plan, do art work and calligraphy for the theme. The theme sometimes pushes me to learn about a subject I may not have explored during my life. 
  • The exchange helps me to 'turn on' my creativity.
  • Making books help me to remain sane. The exchange is very motivating. It's sometimes horrifying and sometimes a huge guilt producing machine but worth every minute!
  • Once a decision is made as to what you will have as a theme, the ideas of what to do with it explode.
  • Self confidence grows as each project is completed.
  • (I get) a new book for my collection. 
  • Making a books is one thing. Decorating it is another thing entirely. I love seeing how creative the group is and actually getting to take something home from someone else is so inspiring. 
  • I sometimes worry about my skill level, but it's fun.
  • I enjoy making Holiday cards.
  • I always learn something new that inspires me to try another structure, use a new product or tool, or complete a project that I was stuck on. 
  • The subject matter of some exchange books I've received have inspired me to visit a new place, read a certain book, or try a new recipe. 
  • When artists describe the creation of their book, I enjoy hearing about their problem solving process. 
  • Making a book based on a theme I didn't choose sometimes helps me to break through artist's block.
Pat describing her exchange book during a meeting.
The particulars of the exchange are highlighted on our website. This is a great opportunity for our distant members to be involved in the guild's activities. Participants are encouraged to work with the designated theme but it is not required. You do not need to sign up in advance, just bring your book and colophon at the start of the monthly meeting. You can choose not to have pictures of your book posted on our Flickr site or in the newsletter. If you live out-of-town you can mail your book and colophon to ( mail your book so that it arrives in plenty of time prior to the meeting, which is the second Saturday of each month):
PO BOX 225
CUTTEN, CA 95534

For more encouragement to participate in exchanges, read this!

"The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the "quantity" group: fifty pound of pots rated an "A", forty pounds a "B", and so on. Those being graded on "quality", however, needed to produce only one pot - albeit a perfect one - to get an "A". Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the "quantity" group was busily churning out piles of work - and learning from their mistakes - the "quality" group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay."
 From Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland

So, another item on the list of the benefits of an exchange might be:
  • We may go beyond our comfort zone, explore with wild abandon, and then present our books to an appreciative and supportive group of like-minded artists. Yeah.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November Workshop Report

About twenty members gathered today to make these calendars. Thanks Dolores for a well organized and fun workshop and a special thank you to Suzanne Stalder-Mansure, one of our out-of-town members, who sent this project to us. For those members who could not attend and would like the instructions, Dolores will be happy to send you the pdf file containing the layout of months and instructions. Just send her an email.

The following photos show the construction of the calendars in some sort of chronological order. Every book artist has picked the images for their calendar.
The calendar pages were provided but had to be cut to size.
Members had a choice of making a book with or without a cover.
Images were glued on for each month.
Several member used photo editing software to create their images.
Coordinated papers were selected for the months and cover.
Let the gluing begin. Burnishing the image with a bone folder.
Auditioning the photographs before gluing.
Other members used their granddaughter's art for the images.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Workshop, 2011

with Dolores Guffey

A special thank you to our member Suzanne Stalder-Mansur, who lives
in Folsom, California for sharing with us a fun project which lends itself to our
November workshop. Suzanne designed a desk top calendar using a carousel
structure. This little 5" x 3½" calendar would make great little gifts for the holiday season. The pages will be printed on white cardstock and have a 2" x 3¼" rectangle area at the top of each month for your creativity. You can decorate it however you desire: photographs, rubber stamps; decorative paper, collage, etc. You also have the option of attaching front and back decorative covers, allowing the calendar to fold flat; or eliminating the covers by gluing December back-to-back with January creating a permanent carousel. You may order more than one calendar and assemble them at your leisure. Members who are not able to attend the meeting (including out-of-towners) may email for the template and instructions which will be sent as attachments. Those attending the meeting need to RSVP no later than November 9th letting me know how many calendars you'd like to have ready to assemble.

Material Fee: 50 cents per calendar ordered.
Materials to Bring:
• Craft knife (with new blade) or scissors
• Cutting mat (old magazine can be used instead)
• Wax paper and waste paper for gluing
• Bone folder
• 12" metal ruler
• Pencil, eraser
• Large glue stick OR double sticky tape
• Decorative papers or whatever you will be putting in the rectangle. You
will need the following: 12 pieces 2" x 3-¼" for the months; 2 pieces of
5" x 3-½" (grain long) for the covers, if so desired. Note: Cut the cover
paper slightly larger than this size (about 1/8" all around) to allow for
trimming to fit the finished calendar.
RSVP (or request for template & instructions) to: Dolores Guffey

Samples thanks to Dolores Guffey and her wonderful marbled papers!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October, 2011 Workshop

Editor's note: I was unable to post the information about the workshop prior to the activity. So, this post includes Peggy's instructions given prior to the workshop, followed by photos of the actual workshop.

with Peggy Marrs

Peggy's lovely
Have you ever been daunted by writing or drawing in a journal you've made or received? In this workshop we will make a journal that has removable pages that can be replaced with fresh, brand-new pages which should help reduce the "white page fear." This book is one of the structures in Gwen Diehn's, Real Life Journals,reviewed in the September newsletter. The paper you need to bring is up to you. If you want to write on it, you can bring computer paper, lined paper, or binder paper. If you want to draw, choose a nice paper that accepts pencil lead well; if you plan to paint, use a 70# or 80# watercolor paper. This is a fun, fast book and opens a lot of possibilities for future journals.

What to bring:
• 5 pages 8-1/2" x 11" paper, cut in half lengthwise to 4-1/4" tall and 5" wide. This is the signature(watercolor or drawing paper may be a bit larger).
• A strip of paper in a contrasting color, 24" long x 2-3/4" wide and 1-1/2" shorter than the signature (MiTeintes paper is perfect for this).
• 9 strips the same height as your signature by 1" wide in matching paper.
• 2 pieces of decorative paper 4-1/2" tall by 11-1/8" wide (or the size of an open signature plus 1/8". Part of the long strip will show, so keep the colors harmonious).

Tools to bring:
• Cutting mat
• Scissors
• Glue stick
• Bone folder
• Awl or push pin for small holes
• Pencil and eraser
• X-acto knife
• Ruler
• Small folding stylus

Workshop Photos (by Bonnie Julien)

Peggy explains the flat style
Larger examples of the structures being made
Folding the accordion end onto the cover
Gluing the accordion end onto the cover
A completed book
  Thanks Peggy!



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Journals and a Variety Show of Books

The top shelf is a display of several of the journals that will be given to each of the authors participating in the Children's Author Festival that begins Oct. 20. The books are vintage children's titles that were found at yard sales and second hand stores. At the August workshop we bound blank pages into the covers with Dolores' "bow tie" stitch and then added some illustrations and/or text from the book for added interest. This is NORBAG's contribution to show support for the Author Festival.

On the other shelves are examples of some of the very different but beautiful books that we make. There are informative books, illustrated books, big books, little books, collaged books, blank books, a book with some pop-ups, and a wonderful collaborative tunnel book made by Simona and friends. Members all have different interests besides bookmaking that we can incorporate into our books—these photos provide a number of examples.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Exhibition Opening at Eureka Books

Our 4th annual exhibition at Eureka Books is now on display through the end of the month. The opening was this Saturday, as part of the monthly Arts Alive event in Eureka. The reception was well attended, with crowds streaming in throughout the evening.

Arriving early in the evening

Books were made from every conceivable material, including a Monopoly game.
The folded sculptural book in the back is a display stand. 

The crowds kept coming as the evening passed.

There were books in display cases as well as on tables.

You also might want to check out this article about the exhibition, and book arts in general, that Simona Carini wrote for The Northcoast Journal. (She happens to be the artist behind the redwood forest accordion above). 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

September, 2011 Workshop

with Ilene Harris

Ilene's whimsical postcard booklets
 Ilene invites you to "Come and play!" She will present the following:
1. Easy/Peasy embellishments using mixed media, ephemera, found objects
and more. Come play with your friends at NORBAG. Open-ended projects,
ideas, supply sources, books and more…
2. We’ll be making little booklets using postcards and adding
3. A brief introduction to Mail (correspondence) Art, including making and
embellishing envelopes
There will be no cost to this workshop.

What to bring:
• Scissors
• Glue stick
• Bone folder
• Picture postcards
• Paper for inside postcard booklet
• Ephemera *
• Buttons, charms
• Paper cutter (if you have one)
• Pencil and colored pencils
• Markers and paints
• Needle and threads
• Rubber stamps and stamp pads

What will be provided:
• A variety of tools
• Paints
• Rubber stamps and stamp pads
• Collage items including fi bers, found
objects, buttons, and more

* Ephemera: n. items designed to be
useful or important for only a short
time, especially pamphlets, notices,
tickets, etc. (Ilene suggests postage
stamps, pictures, text)

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Decorated Page at the Library Kiosk

The new display in our kiosk at the Humboldt County Library is not only a visual delight but it provides information about several ways we embellish our books using handmade papers, marbling, and paste papers. Thanks to Dolores, Karen, Ellen, Michele K. and Bonnie for making this possible. The display will be up through the middle of September.