North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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Wednesday, April 8, 2020


Since we, and most of the world, are staying home in hope of flattening the curve of coronavirus cases, this blog will strive to offer suggestions and projects from some of our members. We will try to update the blog every two weeks, so be sure to check in for new ideas as well as information about when regular NORBAG workshops will resume. Remember to scroll down for previous projects sent by our members.

Edith Fuller, our member from Portland Oregon, sent this suggestion.
"I meet monthly with a small group of paper enthusiasts here in Portland. I decided there might be a need for some sort of paper project that would stimulate us into DOING something!  --At the very least for myself!  So I started in mid-March with one simple paper project and mailed everyone an envelope with instructions, a finished structure as a sample, and precut papers... and the suggestion that when next we meet (who knows when now!), that we bring our efforts to the meeting to enjoy.  I got some good feedback and am working now on getting the April project ready to send out. Editor's NOTE: We've had some problems with the blog and lost many photos, including those by Edith so those are now missing in action.

If the structure is appropriately not too complex (neither has been so far), I also send sets to a friend with two pre-teens at home.  As you might imagine, she's always looking for something. Her reply yesterday when I offered her long strips of paper I no longer want to use was: We would love that! Crafts are keeping us going.”

Here is another little gem of a book from Margaret Beech. She writes, “This maze book is very easy to make and I’m sure will be appreciated by your friends and family right now.  Everyone loves to receive something in the post – especially grandchildren. You could leave the letters uncoloured and suggest that children colour them for themselves.

Missing You! Is an alphabetic maze book with a message. This simple structure depends on the placing of the letters and the omission of the letter ‘U’—hence ‘missing you!’. It can be made with a sheet of 8.5” x 11” paper or a larger size if desired. Just be sure to follow the folding and cutting guidelines along with the placement of the letters.

Back side of paper

Card opened and showing the missing "U"

Many thanks to Margaret and Edith for their contributions.

Some of the following photos might provide some inspiration for using "found" materials. These exchange books from past years show a lot of creativity in both construction and materials used.

Michele Olsen made this fabric book for a 2009 book exchange. It was made in her cabin in Nebraska on a 1960’s Polish sewing machine she purchased for $10 at a local auction. “The pages are canvas, painted with liquid acrylics and I’ve created fabric collages from scraps given to me by my mother-in-law, a former quilter. Other pages are cut from a vintage handkerchief. The clothespin and key are vintage items; the nail was rescued from the charred remains of my husband’s family barn. Most words were written with Pitt artist pens using a stencil. Decorative items are buttons, vintage keys, and annealed wire I bent into various shapes.”

Sailing in the Clouds was made by Catherine von Schwind for a 2013 book exchange. In her colophon she described the book as a “flip book structure experimenting with the use of triangular shapes for the flaps”. She used cardstock, recycled mailers, and the calligraphy was done with a metal nib and gouache.

Beetle Mania is an exchange book made by Michele Kamprath in 2011. She wrote that the structure design is from Peter and Donna Thomas’s book, More Making Books by Hand. Mi Teints, handmade Mulberry paper, and cardstock were used to create the miniature book that is 2” wide by 2.5” tall and 15.5” when extended. A beetle stamp from Meer Image was used for decoration.

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