North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

If you are interested in more info or joining, please email to

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Get Together & Card Exchange

Card by Vicki Van Horn

Norbag members and prospective members, please join us for our annual Holiday Gathering with finger foods, punch, and a relaxing afternoon with our community of book artists. We will be meeting around 12 noon, Saturday, December 14. All members are welcome. Members who signed up in October for the exchange will be making a set of holiday cards to distribute to all of the others who signed up. You do not have to participate in the exchange to attend the gathering. Please see your newsletter for locations; you may also contact a member of Norbag for information.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

NORBAG Holiday Card Exchange

This year marks the 19th straight year that our Guild members have exchanged handmade holiday cards. This annual event started when the guild was first formed and has become one of our most popular meetings. In this age of ecards, tweets, and texting, there is nothing like a handmade card—pleasing to the creator and the receiver. Go to the Humboldt County Library to see a sampling of holiday cards that have been made since 1995. You will be inspired.

Holiday Greetings from NORBAG to You

Monday, November 4, 2013

Star Tunnel Book

In this month’s workshop, Michele Kamprath will be teaching us how to make a small star-tunnel book. 

There are many types of star books. This one has three layers with the first two layers open to a decorated back layer. This is a fun little structure that has lots of possibilities. 

You will need to bring the items listed below.

Materials and tools to bring:

  • 3 strips of paper: 3" x 17" (this shortest strip is the one you may want to decorate), 3" x 19-1/2", and 3" x 22" * 
  • 2 covers: 3-1/4" X 2" (boards already covered if you have time) 
  • Bead/s for closure, if desired 
  • Small pictures, bits of paper, or stamps to decorate back panel 
  • Clips like clothes pins to hold paper strips together 
  • PVA and/or Glue Stick 
  • Awl 
  • Cutting mat 
  • Cutting tool 
  • Needle and thread 
  • Ruler 
*Note from Michele: Mi-Teintes weight paper or Fabriano, paper (available at Ellis Art & Engineering and Michaels) would be good paper choices or light to medium weight cardstock. You might think of decorating the front paper strip either by using decorated paper or stamping the front strip keeping in mind that there will be a window cut out for each section. Thicker wrapping paper that holds a fold might work well for a front strip though I haven’t tried it. 

What will be provided:
  • Double-sided tape
  • Some beads
  • Instructional handout
We'll be back in our usual room, BSS 166 at HSU, Saturday, November 9 at noon. There is a 50 cent fee for materials. Please RSVP Michele by Wednesday prior to the workshop. Her contact details are in the newsletter.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October's Library Kiosk Display

We are currently displaying handmade books with an autumn theme in the Humboldt County Library kiosk. If you are in Eureka, be sure to check it out.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Greeting Card Fun Day with Becky McAllister

Please note we'll be meeting in a different place this month: Harry Griffith Hall, Room 106, HSU, corner of B and Harpst. 

Since NORBAG has two exchanges each year featuring cards, this workshop is a greeting card inspiration and idea day. We will be working with shapes, layering, triptychs, a basic pop-up, and a flip card. Come get inspired about your Christmas cards or make Halloween cards for your friends. 

Materials and tools to bring
  • Cutting mat 
  • Ruler 
  • Craft knife and scissors 
  • Bone folder 
  • Scribe and awl 
  • Glue stick 
  • Colored pencils and /or markers 
  • Metallic pens or markers (if you have them) 
  • Decorative papers (can be small pieces and scraps) 
  • Any favorite rubber stamps and stamp pads 

Materials that will be provided
  • Card stock galore 
  • Many holiday images 
  • Decorative papers 
  • Rubber stamps and stamp pads 

Please note: this workshop requires an RSVP. Becky McAllister's contact info can be found in the newsletter.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Library Kiosk: Beth McIlraith

This month the kiosk at the Humboldt County Library is featuring the work of Beth McIlraith. Beth has always loved being surrounded by books. From being read to as a child to reading to her own children, books have been an integral part of her life. She began selling books online ten years ago, and often found charming and quirky books with great covers that were unsalable.

She joined NORBAG three years ago, intrigued with the idea of making her own books. At a workshop taught by Dolores Guffey, guild members used old children's books and remade them into blank journals for the library's visiting authors event. This turned out to be the perfect blend of old and new and led to a new business for Beth: Second Chance Journals.

Her mission statement: "Our goal is to give new life to old books by rescuing them from dumpsters and recycling bins and transforming them into unique hand-stitched journals." These one-of-a-kind blank books can be used as travel diaries, wedding guest books, baby books, recipe books, dream journals and more. Beth has found turning old books into new treasures a rewarding experience.

Beth's Second Chance Journals are on Facebook as well as being available for sale on Etsy.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September Workshop: Zentangles in a Stacked Circle Book

Zentangle by Peggy Marrs

Our workshop for this month will be to make the stacked circle book, using 4" circles and then fill the tiny pages with Zentangles. What are Zentangles? Working with a fine point, you just let your hand move the pen wherever it wants to go. Well, there's a little more to it than that, but it is basically a very easy process and we'll all have a lot of fun.

The only things you have to bring are:
● Cutting mat
● Bone folder
● X-acto/craft knife or scissors
● Soft pencil (not mechanical)
● Very fine pointed pen*
*I strongly recommend Micron pens. They are under $3.00, last a long time, deliciously glide across the paper and the ink is permanent. Once you have used them, you won't ever want to be without one or two or three. The pens come in different point sizes with #1 being the smallest. For our project, I recommend a #1 and/or #2. #3 is okay too. Micron pens are available at Ellis Art & Engineering and at Michael's (Michael's seldom has good supply, but Ellis has all sizes and has them in stock).

What will be provided:
● Pre-cut circles
● Information handout
There will be a $1.00 fee. Please RSVP (see newsletter).
Now take a deep breath, smile, and get ready to have some fun.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Create a Display in Your Library

Bonnie Julien, longtime Norbag member has appealed to "distant" Norbag members to create book arts displays in their local libraries. Her story is inspiring, please enjoy it and the photos that follow (you may recognize your books).

"The Kitsap Regional Library branch on Sylvan Way in Bremerton, WA has graciously allowed me to create a display of NORBAG exchange books in one of their display cases. They have two full-size locked cases with glass doors opening to both the lobby and inside of the library. One or more of your books are currently on display for the month of May. These books are from my collection and also some borrowed from Dolores. Your names and home towns are included in a list inside the case. I wanted the viewers to see that not everyone who joins the Guild and participates in the exchanges lives in Humboldt County. Apparently the response has been great. The first set of about 25 bookmarks disappeared so I just added 30 more. The bookmarks have information about book art in general as well as the web addresses to Norbag. My name, phone number, and email are listed and I've already had three responses...two who I believe will become actively involved in book art. I also included Dolores' name and the Cutten address in case anyone wanted to join NORBAG. It is a policy of the library to only allow an individual or organization to use a display case once in a calendar year, but the person I'm working with is so excited by the books that she thinks the library board will allow another display this December of our holiday cards.
Those of you who live outside of Humboldt County might consider asking at your local library (or school or college) to see if they would be interested in having you do a similar display. The only real criteria is that they have a secure case."

Editor Note (Michele): I will take Bonnie's advice to heart and create a display this fall in the small town library of Fullerton, Nebraska. I am also donating Cover to Cover by Shereen Laplantz and may give some introductory workshops. Thank you Bonnie for your support of the book arts.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Library Kiosk: Constance Rose

The Humboldt County Library kiosk has a display of local artist and Norbag member, Connie Rose. As always, it is better to go see them than rely on two-dimensional photographs! Connie says this about her work:

"My interest in book arts is focused largely on creating journals from recycled materials. I make "art" journals, as distinct from writing journalsthat is books with pages that might be painted or collaged on addition to some narrative text. My journals aren't "about" anything in particular, but exist to be filled in some creative way, thereby becoming something special as one is used.

I fill the journal with pages made from recycled book and (heavyweight) magazine pages, journal and accounting paper, sheet music, wallpaper, my own sketchbook pages, scrapbook paper, drawing paper, old envelopes—anything that can withstand being folded and bound. I cover books with hand-painted or printed papers, hand-dyed fabrics, or recycled upholstery samples. I use different methods of binding each new journal using one of a variety of hand bookbinding stitches."

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Altered Book—Recycled Journal

August Workshop with Connie Rose

We’ll be altering an old book by removing the book block, reinforcing the spine, and inserting pages of our own. Use an old book you already have, pick one up at a garage sale or thrift shop, or choose one to work with from a selection provided at the workshop. We’ll make a 3-signature journal and learn the Diamond X stitch to bind the book.

The workshop is in 3 parts:

Part 1, we’ll dismantle and rebuild the book itself. 
Part 2, we’ll cut or tear papers and create three signatures. 
Part 3, we will bind the new journal.

The fee is $45. Please RSVP as soon as possible, and send payment by Tuesday August 6 . See newsletter for details. 

Materials To Bring:
Old book to alter, with spine no more than 1 inch thick.
Various papers including scrapbook or drawing paper, magazine or catalog pages), large format picture or photo books, pages from large old journals, accounting paper, flap envelopes of any kind—pretty much any paper you can recycle/reuse.
Decorative paper for insides of front and back covers.
Piece of cardstock 3 inches wide and as long as your book is tall (for hole template).
Book cloth tape OR contact paper OR plain or decorative duct tape for inside spine.

Tools To Bring:
• PVA or Mod Podge and glue brush
• Cutting mat
• Craft knife
• Scissors
• Pencil
• Bone folder
• Awl or screw punch
• Binding needle
• Waxed or unwaxed linen thread – can also use hemp thread
• Wax, if using hemp thread
• BIG paper clips, the plastic-coated kind (they don’t mar the paper like metal ones often do)
• OPTIONAL: If you want to cover the outside spine of your book with paper, bring a special piece for that purpose, 4 inches longer than the spine and 5 – 5-1/2 inches wide. OR you can use contact paper cut to the same size as above. OR if you want to cover the outside spine with fabric, then cut a piece of fabric the size specified above, glue it onto paper smoothing it down to get all the wrinkles out, let dry completely. Or you can fuse the fabric to paper, which I prefer over glue. In either case, bring the fabric/paper/contact paper strip to the workshop ready to glue onto your book.

Materials to be provided:
• Extra papers/pages. You’ll need between 15 and 24 papers to fold into folios. Bring 15 and use some of Connie’s if you need more.
• Decorative duct tape (Duck brand). If you want to buy your own, Michaels has the biggest selection, also Ace Hardware.
• Contact paper. Also available at Ace if you prefer your own.
• Hemp threads in neutral colors. Michaels has in a variety of colors
• Books to alter, if you need one
• Piercing cradles

More detailed info will be emailed when you pre-register for the workshop.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Library Kiosk: Workshop Books

This month's Humboldt County Library display contains examples made by NORBAG members at workshops held out of the area. Every year in April, the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts holds the Newport Paper Arts Festival, which consists of three days of celebrating papermaking, surface embellihsment, bookmaking, bindings, techniques, and tools for working with paper and fiber.

Focus on Book Arts (FOBA) workshops are held every other year in June at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. This year there were five days of workshops taught by nationally recognized book and paper artists. 

These "out of the area" workshops are a wonderful way to explore new techniques and styles, and to meet new wild wacky, and talented book artists! Join us sometime!