North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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

Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Let's start off the first workshop of 2020 with this versatile binding taught by Dianne Byington. Apparently there are numerous variations and different names for this binding (Dianne found six). To add to our skills and techniques we will make an exposed-hinge cover, concealed-hinge cover, narrow and wide paper hinge pins, flat wooden hinge pin, insert and adhere an extra page for memorabilia or ephemera, AND make a hinge binding strip out of Canson Mi-Teints, Fabriano Tiziano, Tyvek, or 65+ lb cardstock.

Basic book with hinge & pin variations.

Flamboyant variations are within the realm of possibility.

Materials to bring:

  • Double-sided tape, any size from 1/4" to 1" wide
  • 4 pieces of cardstock for pages, any colors: 4 1/4" (or taller) x 11" folded in half to size 4 1/4" (or taller) x 5 1/2"
  • 1 piece of cardstock for hinge pins, any color: 4 1/4" (or taller) x 3"

Tools to bring:

  • Awl or push pin or paper piercing tool
  • Craft knife or Xacto
  • Cutting mat
  • Bone folder
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Magazine for piercing cradle (optional)
  • Ruler (optional)

Dianne will provide:
Some hinge binding strips and hinge pins and instructions. 

When:    Saturday, Jan. 11 at noon
Where:   Eureka Methodist Church at Del Norte & F Streets
Bring:     See list above
Cost:      $1
RSVP:     To Dianne by Jan. 7. Contact information in the newsletter

Wednesday, December 25, 2019


On December 14, local members got together for our annual social and card exchange. Sandy V’s home was the venue. She always decorates her home beautifully so this has become part of our holiday season. Each of us brings finger food and it is on display in Sandy’s kitchen. For about an hour before the actual exchange, we eat, talk and laugh together. Everyone is invited to be there whether they participate in the exchange or not.

When we enter Sandy's home, we walk into the kitchen
 and proceed to fill the counter with finger foods.

Sandy's kitchen is so spacious that we have one counter area
 for savory dishes and one for sweet.

So much talk about food, but it is the center gathering place to eat and talk,
 catch up with those we haven't seen in a while and discuss our projects.

During most workshop meetings, we have the exchange books on a table, then settle ourselves at the tables for a brief business meeting and then on to the workshop. We don't usually have the time to just sit and chat together.

We are all comfortable in the living room getting excited about the exchange. The cards are put on tables seen through the walkway on the left.

The holiday exchange is different than our usual book exchange. It is not a one-to-one exchange. Instead, we sign up in October to participate, bringing one card for each participant and one for the NORBAG library. This year each of us made 32 cards. The theme is holiday, not Christmas. We had Christmas, Hanukkah (Chanukah), winter solstice, new year’s and nature cards.

While this may sound simple, it involves a bit of work. Local folk simply sign up and show up with their cards. Those of us who are out of town know that there are mailing deadlines.  Dolores sets up the exchange making sure that all the cards are set out and oversees the actual exchange. After the rest of us go home, she takes the remainder of the cards home, makes packages for all the members who could not attend and mails them. It is a big job. 

This is the general setup in the dining room. We had enough cards that we used two tables.

We had two tables this year.

When we are all ready, we get a bag with our name on it and fill it with one of each card.
After we gather our cards, we sit in a lovely room with views overlooking part of the forest and with a huge floor to ceiling fireplace and the fun begins. Each person takes their turn at showing their own card, discussing materials, themes and how the cards are made. The out-of-towners send colophons and one of us reads the colophon for the card.

The room is beautiful. We had about 20 people attending this year.

Those members that can attend show their cards
 and add more information than is in the colophons.

One of our local members reads the colophons from people not attending.
At the social and at many of our workshops, we hear a refrain about something. At a recent workshop, we did something that involved thread and the refrain was "and put a bead on it." At the social this year, the refrain was “and it lies flat so that mailing is so easy.” We have had some interesting three-dimensional cards involving twigs, origami boxes, stars or other dimensional items that are a real puzzle to mail. 

This year, we talked about the workshops that we would like to have in the upcoming year. A couple of people volunteered to give workshops. We also sent a “thank you” card to a local merchant who gives us a small discount. And then we went home with our bag of cards. What a delightful day. If the out-of-towners are ever planning on being in Eureka, give us a call. We’ll let you know what we are doing and invite you to attend. Happy holidays to you all.

Get your list of themes for the upcoming year ready. It will be fun! 

Note: All of the photos are going up on Flickr. The instructions for getting yourself to the holiday album are in the newsletter and in the column to the left of the blog posts. Tap the "Album" area on the banner and you will see each month's exchange grouped together. Please feel free to expand upon your colophons. Since we put them in Flickr instead of the newsletter, we have much more room. Use it if you like.

Thursday, December 19, 2019


It's holiday celebration time at the Humboldt County Library in Eureka! Currently on display in the kiosk by the checkout counter are many handmade cards made by members of the North Redwoods Book Art Guild. Members who wish to join in the exchange sign up in advance and make an edition of original cards for all the participants. The cards celebrate winter holidays such as Hanukkah, the solstice, Christmas and the new year.

One display shelf features original cards made from recycled cards and papers. On another shelf there is an origami wreath card in tree print papers that collapses to a star shape with the flip side a sunny yellow with a celebratory solstice message. On an easel fold card a deer carries Hanukkah candles in its antlers. Other cards feature original calligraphy, lino prints from hand-carved quarter and full size stampers, marbled, handmade, and eco-dyed papers, and specialty inks. And to add to the beauty of these artistic cards are many meaningful messages and poetry by John Muir, Joseph Brodsky, and others. Inside one multiple folded card is this message based on writing by Friar Giovanni (1435-1515). "The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy. Take joy."  

Our book art guild wishes you a joyous new year!

Monday, December 2, 2019


It's December, time for NORBAG's annual holiday party and card exchange! Once again Sandy Vrem has graciously offered her home for the event. Although the sign-up deadline for the card exchange has passed, everyone is invited to come and join in the festivities.

Cards from past holiday exchanges

Directions to Sandy's home will be in the newsletter. Please bring a goody to share...finger foods and nothing too gooey since we'll be handling the beautiful cards. We will not have the library with us at this gathering, but there will be a box so you can return any books you may have checked out or you may keep them until the January meeting.

More holiday cards from past years

What?    Holiday Party & Card Exchange
When?   Saturday, Dec. 4 at noon
Where?  Sandy Vrem's house - directions in the newsletter
Bring?    Finger food
RSVP?    No, but contact Sandy or Dolores for more information

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and year to come!

Saturday, November 23, 2019


Edge Gerring led the November workshop for making faux leather papers. She showed us three slightly different methods using either shoe polish, liquid ink or stamp pads.

The materials list was simple: a spray bottle of a 1:6 ratio of glycerin* to water, paste shoe polish (usually wax based), and ink pads that are either dye based or pigment inks, and liquid inks. Edge supplied us with three sample papers that were all a paper bag color for textured product and an envelope for a smooth finish leather look. We also had a lightweight craft paper, card stock, and an actual paper bag to see how each handled the colors and the wrinkling.

We started with the shoe polish technique by spraying the papers with glycerin, then crumpling and drying the papers. The glycerin spray makes the paper soft and supple (like leather). Then we applied shoe polish lightly at first over the entire paper surface (optional to do color on the back)  and then changing or deepening colors. When the polish was dry, we buffed with soft cloths.

When using a stamp pad, we used a slightly different technique. We started by applying the stamp pad ink to the unwrinkled paper resulting in a single color or with multiple colors, then spraying with the glycerin which caused dispersion of the stamp pad ink, followed by rubbing and wrinkling the paper. We continued with the stamp, spray, rub, crumple until we were happy with the results using multiple colors at each iteration. When done with color, drying followed. Using either technique, we could then apply stamp pad ink to the textured paper to color the high places. (Note: without the crinkling, you will have the appearance of smooth leather.)

As usually happens with our workshops, Edge gave us hints about how we could use this paper in our projects using backings or collage pastes and glues to strengthen the papers.

Edge Gerring

Edge brought samples of all of the materials and shared them with us. In this photo you can see the paste shoe polish, liquid spray paints, glycerin, Mod Podge and Collage Pauge. Also forms of paper that can be used.

Each of us brought a spray bottle with 3/4 cup of plain water to be mixed with 1 oz of glycerin.

Edge brought papers for all three results and a complete set of instructions.

One of the fun things about this kind of surface design is that it lends itself to lots of variation. The samples that Edge brought each had a "colophon" showing the papers, colors and technique used on the samples. If you enlarge each of these pictures, you can read her notes and see the variations.

This is a photo of the smooth result made by pouring on a liquid ink and no crinkling. 
It actually has the feel and look of a thin leather.

Everyone put on their gloves and started playing. This was an interesting workshop because people were busily working and also walking around to see what others were doing.

Using paste polish on the wrinkled paper

Drying paper

While there is a can of paste wax open, the process our member is using is actually the smooth leather preparation. A liquid ink is put on paper, then glycerin is applied and the ink is dispersed over the entire paper.

The following photos show samples of our work. We started with relatively simple single color examples, some with little color and others with more full coverage. Toward the end of the afternoon, we were using a wide color range.

The bottom right sheet shows how a stamp pad can be used
 to emphasize the raised portions of the wrinkles.

Note: This paper is folded over to show that a single sheet 
might have a different color on front and back.

 Show and Tell table

Each month we have a show and tell table that might include newsletter project page projects, both current and future; works in progress; or samples of the next workshop. 
The open book pictured above and this book are from Peter and Donna Thomas' Wandering Book Artists workshop.

*You may see glycerine, glycerol and glycerin as spellings for our material. Glycerol is the molecular compound that is undiluted. Glycerin is used interchangeably. When you see glycerin, you are usually using a commercially available mixture that is not molecularly "pure." All can be used with these techniques.