North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Do you love the look of real leather for book covers but the cost and hassles of working with it make you nervous? If so, then this is the workshop for you! There are many ways to treat paper to get the look and feel of real leather and Edge Gerring will lead us through the process. We will be learning two methods, using shoe polish and "distress ink" applied to craft paper, cardstock, and grocery bag paper. These two methods give a very nice pliable material with either a shiny or matte finish. the process is quick and not very messy, but it is advisable to wear gloves (provided).

Edge's scroll book, with faux leather cover. Additional photos
of this exchange book are in the NORBAG flickr gallery, July 2018.

Materials to bring:

  • 1 can of shoe polish, any color, if you have it (some will be available to share if you can't find any).
  • Ranger Distress Ink Pad(s), darker colors better, and pad must stand above the top of its plastic box

Shoe polish should be used with good ventilation (due to its toxic solvent fumes), so there will be a table set up in the back of the room near an open window with a fan blowing for those who want to try this method.

Leather comes in many colors, so for the ink pad method bring whatever ink pads you have, although darker colors are better. If you are buying an ink pad, some recommended Ranger Distress colors are: Aged Mahogany, Walnut, Vintage Photo, and Pine Needles.

Tools to bring:

  • Spray bottle, any size, with 3/4 cup (6 oz.) of water in it
  • Clean, soft rags (to apply & buff the polish)
  • Gloves, if you have favorites (some will be provided)
  • Old towel, newspaper or plastic sheet to protect the table

Edge will bring:

  • Glycerin
  • Craft paper, cardstock, grocery bag paper
  • Non-latex, disposable gloves, one size fits all & fits either hand
  • Heat guns for drying papers
  • Written instructions with a lot more information about other possible methods, plus websites with how-to videos

   Saturday, Nov. 9 at noon

Where:  Eureka Methodist Church, Del Norte & F Streets
Bring:    See above list
Cost:     $1.00
RSVP:    YES, by Monday Nov. 4 to Edge (contact information in the newsletter)

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


Our Loopy Books workshop was fun and gave us three alternatives to the simple pamphlet stitch. As stated in the NORBAG Newsletter, this method came to us by a rather circuitous route. Inspired by Keith Smith and Susan Longerot, Kris Nevius wrote her own instructions and gave a workshop to the Sonoma County Book Arts Guild. She very generously shared them with NORBAG and Donna Gephart volunteered to give us the workshop.

Just as the pamphlet stitch can hold signatures in covers, these little sewn bindings are simple and quick and add texture to books as an alternative. Starting with a jig, we spaced the holes along the folded spine. In the first two examples, the stitching had either an odd or even number of holes about every half-inch. We used either waxed linen thread or waxed or unwaxed Perle Cotton into one hole and out of the next making a simple running stitch. When we got to the bottom, we returned by wrapping the thread around the exposed running stitch back to the top for tie-off. In the third book, we completed a double stitch between two holes and wrapped with thread for each stitch as we worked to the bottom to tie-off. On the fourth book, we made a chain stitch all the way down the spine and then moved back to the top of the spine, wrapping each stitch on the way back up with a tie-off at the top. Each stitch pattern had a slightly different effect depending on tension and thread.

As usual, it was all about creativity and imagination. These can be simple little signature books with lovely surface designs or perhaps a double row of stitches resulting in two signatures. A Dos-a-Dos structure would lend itself to this binding. And, because there is thread, you could put a bead on it.

These are some of the samples that Donna brought.

Donna widened the spine and sewed three signatures
 using two different threads for contrast.

This is the close-up of the first book with a running stitch down
 and wraps on the way back up.

This is book three and has a lovely profile.

This is book four and was made with unwaxed Perle cotton
 and looks like a fuzzy caterpillar.

We had a wonderful set of instructions that made the stitching very easy.

On to the stitching and surface design

This is book three. Stitches are complete before going to the next series of holes. 

This is book four before the final wraps.

Now you get to see the finished products. Complete with surface design.

We have a show and tell table each month

Edge G is experimenting with "leather" looks using paper and paste shoe polish.

Michele K is also experimenting. She is using various solutions to deposit iron onto paper.

Dianne B displayed some of the future project page structures.

Sunday, October 13, 2019


All Stitched Up is an international juried book arts exhibition currently at Collins Library at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Curators Catherine Alice Michaelis, Jane Carlin, and Diana Weymar describe the theme as "to stitch is to join together, to mend, or fasten as with stitches--to sew. To stitch is to bring together fabric, paper, wounds of the body, or cultural divides. Stitching can be an act of healing, hope, practicality, creativity, and revolution. All Stitched Up recognizes and celebrates the work of book artists' where stitching has become an integral part of the visual design." This exhibit will run until December 11, 2019.

Trial by Fire - Catherine Alice Michaelis

Threads: Clothing Superstitions - Deborah Greenwood
Handmade paper from cotton jeans, vintage lace, and handkerchief inclusions.

Vanilla - Lynn and Gene Olson

And I Never Go Back on My Word - Clara Congdon

Women on the Water - Jan Ward & the WOWers

Hands - Patricia Grass
A Drum Leaf Binding

Bark Beetle Book Vol. XXII - Suze Woolf
Log with fir engraver galleries, iron-oxide dyed felt, embroidery,
 beads, brass grommets & binding post.

Nine - Naomi Velasquez
Flag book, vintage typewriter, found papers, embroidery floss

Cities & Skies - Alicia Bailey & Lauren Winges

Common Threads 101 - Candace Hicks
Hand embroidery on canvas

Revealing Invisible Patterns - Debbi Commodore
Fifty-nine (59) 1, 2,& 3 section non-adhesive exposed spine
binding signatures from a discarded reference book.

Stitching a Living: The WPA Sewing Rooms - Nancy Brones
Fabric book, 100% cotton muslin, batting, embroidery floss, silk &
metallic thread, vintage quilt pieces, reproduction quilt fabric, colored pencils.

Stitching the Forest Together - Lucia Harrison
Flexible forest floor rests on star-shaped piano hinge accordion.
Handmade & commercial papers, botanical printing, thread, oak, archival ink.

Friday, October 4, 2019


The October meeting will be a binding workshop taught by Donna Gephart. These three binding stitches were recently taught in Sonoma County by Kris Nevius, a NORBAG member since 2003 who lives in Graton, California and is also a member of the Sonoma County Book Arts Guild. Kris cites Keith Smith and Susan Longerot as her inspiration for the stitches.

Materials to bring:

  • Covers: Three (3) pieces of 5 5/8 x 8 7/8 paper folded in half. Canson Mi Teintes, or similar paper works well. The stitch is the "star" here, so a solid color spine shows it off best. For Mi Teintes, or other papers that might tear when sewing, bring a piece of the cover paper or another decorative paper 1/2" x 5 5/8" to glue onto the inside or outside of cover as reinforcement for the spine (one for each book). If you want this reinforcement to be a decorative element for your book, consider making it wider than 1/2". Bring decorative elements for your covers if you want to decorate them in class.
  • Signatures: Three signatures (one per book), with 6-8 sheets in each signature. Sheets: 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" folded in half to 5 1/2" x 4 1/4".
  • Thread: One piece of waxed linen or Perle cotton, color to complement your cover paper, 25" long (middle book in photo). Another piece 35" long (book on right) and another piece 45" long (book on left).
Tools to bring:
  • Piercing cradle, foam board or phone book for piercing
  • needle (s)
  • cutting mat
  • piercing tool
  • X-acto or craft knife
  • ruler
  • bone folder
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • glue stick to glue your reinforcement (or decorative) paper to the spine
Donna will provide instructions.

When:   Saturday, Oct. 12 at noon
Where:  Eureka Methodist Church, Del Norte & F Streets
Bring:    See above list
Cost:     $1.00
RSVP:    YES, by Tuesday Oct. 8 to Donna (contact information in the newsletter)