Monday, June 14, 2021


Our Medieval Closure and Back Stitch Twist Binding workshop was well attended by more than 45 NORBAG members. Dolores Guffey taught us a wonderful medieval style closure that she learned at a workshop taught by Lori Sauer while traveling in England. Lori graciously gave her permission for Dolores to teach this to NORBAG members. This closure worked perfectly with the soft cover book that we bound using a stitch found in Keith Smith's book, 1, 2, & 3 Section Sewings, that Dolores adapted. The Back Stitch Twist Binding has what looks like a bead at each station, but it is actually the thread wound around the straight stitch. We discovered that the more times you wind around the thread; the more pronounced the "bead" becomes. Thank you Dolores for sharing these techniques with us. If you missed the workshop but would like to see the recording, send Dolores an email and she will send you the link.

Here are a few examples of some of the books that were made.

Carol DuBosch
Carol used her lovely eco-dyed paper.

Michele Kamprath

Donna LaVallee

Margaret Beech

Margaret modified her stitch by wrapping
four times to enhance the look of the "bead".

Bonnie Julien

Mary Elizabeth Nelson

Mary Elizabeth also wrapped her stitches
 four times to achieve this larger bead on
her beautiful cyanotype cover.

Margaret tried another version of the closure
using two straps and a longer woven vertical piece.

Two straps instead of just one. She used
Dylusion spray inks to color the cover.

Donna-Lynne Miller

Donna made her own closure tab that goes
very well with her cover paper.

Saturday, May 29, 2021


 Join Dolores Guffey at our June workshop as she guides us in making a single signature book with a medieval closure. The back stitch twist binding can easily be adapted to a multi-signature book (instructions for both single and multiple signatures will be provided). Dolores's intent when teaching a workshop is for us to make a prototype which will serve as a sample/reference for making additional more elaborate or more decorative books. Shown below are examples of the book using different colored papers and different types of threads for the binding. Hopefully this will help you decide what materials to use for the workshop. Please RSVP to Dolores (contact information is in the newsletter) by June 7 to receive instructions for the workshop. Papers need to be cut prior to the workshop.

Here are examples of the looks you can achieve using different colored papers and threads.

Decorative cover with contrasting closure

Spine binding

Book using same paper for closure

Plain cover with contrasting closure

Close-up of the binding

A is waxed linen
B is Perle cotton
C is embroidery floss

Multiple signatures using 
different colored threads


Cover paper: One piece 12" x 5 3/4", grain short. Suggestions: decorative or plain cardstock; Mi Teintes; Fabriano; watercolor paper (that won't crack when folded). Any decorative paper suitable for a cover that is more substantial than text weight paper.

Closure: 3 1/2" x 4 1/2" piece of paper to contrast with the cover paper. It can also be the same type of paper used for the cover as long as it is heavier than text weight.

Signature: 4 sheets of 8 1/2" x 11" text weight paper

Jig: A piece of cardstock 2" x 5/8" (please be sure it is exactly 5/8" wide)

Thread: Waxed linen, Perle cotton; or embroidery floss. Thread color should complement, rather than match, the color of the cover. This is a decorative stitch to be seen and admired.

Adhesive: Double stick tape or glue stick

Tools: Needle (#2 crewel needle or #22 tapestry needle; piercing cradle (or a phone book) and piercing tool; bone folder; ruler; scissors; X-acto or craft knife; 2 paper clips; and a pencil

When:    Saturday June 12 at 10 am PST
Where:   On your computer, tablet, or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP and workshop questions: Dolores Guffey by June 7 to receive the password and further instructions
Zoom questions: Bobbie Hayes

Contact information for both Dolores and Bobbie is in the newsletter

Tuesday, May 11, 2021


Update: This short article was inadvertently left out of this blog article so the editor apologizes and adds it now...better late than never! There are some great tips about photographing your work. 

How to Photograph Your Artwork at Home or Tips for Photographing Your Artwork. Textile artist April Sproule writes, “I did the video initially so people wouldn't be intimidated about photographing their work to submit for online entries or exhibitions. It is aimed at amateur photographers who might not have lots of fancy equipment or software. The video is available on my new YouTube channel, so if you want, please ‘like’ the video and perhaps subscribe to my channel. Go to Thank you! April Sproule”

The May NORBAG workshop was a wonderful introduction to Mary Elizabeth Nelson's collection of artists' books. We also received some great tips on how she photographs her books. We would like to thank her very much for sharing her books and workspace with us. If you missed this event and would like to view the recording, contact Dolores Guffey.

Our Tech Coordinator, Bobbie Hayes, sent in the following information about our Zoom recordings. "Zoom has a maximum storage capacity for our account. Since our Zoom workshop recordings are of varying sizes, we cannot always save the recordings for an entire month when we exceed the storage limit. We are notified on the Wednesday after the meeting if we exceeded the limit and must delete the recording the next morning.

We have already adjusted the recording to make them as short as is reasonable but cannot tell in advance how large the recording will be. If you want to see the recording, send an email to Dolores BEFORE the meeting day. She will send the link as soon as it is available and let you know if the time for viewing is limited."

The second part of our Zoom meeting was to share the May exchange books. It was a very inspiring group of books made for the theme "circles". Sandy Vrem shared her book that she made using some "experimental" (paper towels!) paper that was colored during an afterhours play-time during the 2011 Newport Paper and Book Arts Festival (NPBAF) in Newport, Oregon. Dolores Guffey brought the supplies so that we could color the paper towels with various inks for a different kind of texture effect. It's amazing that Sandy still had some of these experimental papers to use for a current exchange book. It just proves that "real" book artists save EVERY scrap that might work in a future book! Here are some photos of that 2011 experiment.

Sandy applying ink with an eye dropper.

Beth takes her turn.

Our display table in 2011 showing all of the projects
from our various workshops and experiments. 

And here are photos of the book Sandy made for the May exchange using pieces from that ink on paper towels experiment.

Sandy's Circle book using the paper towel circles.

Back side of the book.

Sadly, the 2020 NPBAF was cancelled, but this year it will return in virtual form September 17-19. There will be different workshop formats that will be recorded with access available until December 1. While we will certainly miss the in-person sessions and the camaraderie that occurs when like-minded people share time in workshops during the day and then create impromptu art projects in the evening, it should still be an informative and worthwhile event. Registration for the 2021 festival opens the first week of July with full details of costs and workshops offered available at that time. To receive this information, be sure to contact to get on the mailing list.

Here are some photos of Newport and past festival events and projects to whet your interest for this year's event.

The yellow building facing Nye Beach was our main
meeting place. The white building beyond it is where
many of us stayed and where the paper towel project
took place.

Nye Beach mural.

Woven spine binding taught by Margo Klass in 2018.

Another great class by Margo (standing on right) 2016.

Another "afterhours" project.

Various books made during the 2013 event.

Sunday, April 25, 2021


 According to Wikipedia, "the hobby of collecting includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining items that are of interest to an individual collector". The May NORBAG workshop will feature Mary Elizabeth Nelson, aka Emmy, sharing her collection of artists' books. She began collecting books back in the early 1990's. After starting out as a calligrapher she quickly added bookmaking to her art projects. Working with many of the creative ways of embellishing papers and the various methods of folding and binding them into books led Emmy to collect as well as to make books. She will share some of her special books that have been created in a wide variety of print media and issued in all types of book formats. Here is a preview of some of the books she will be sharing with us.

The May workshop does not require you to have any supplies handy as this will be a "Show and Tell" event.

When:   Saturday May 8 at 10 a.m. PST
Where:  On your computer, tablet or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP:    YES, to Dolores Guffey by May 3 to receive the password and instructions
Workshop questions: Mary Elizabeth Nelson
Zoom questions: Bobbie Hayes
Contact information for everyone is in the newsletter.

Monday, April 12, 2021


 The April NORBAG workshop featured Sandy Vrem via Zoom teaching about 50 members how to make a variety of “Folded Curiosities”. These prototypes will provide us with some great ideas on how to use the structures in cards or as inserts in books. We look forward to seeing how our members use them in future projects. Thank you Sandy for giving us an inspiring workshop. Catherine von Schwind made a wonderful "Thank You" card using one of the "Curiosities" folds.

Since we don’t have any other photographs of finished projects from the “Curiosities” workshop, we’ll share some photographs of some of the books in the latest exhibition, “Water is…”, in the Sherry Grover Gallery at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA). According to the statement by the museum curators, the exhibit features over 50 works by different book artists meditating upon what water means to them personally—literally, figuratively, and symbolically. Some book structures employed by these artists seem to seek to contain water, while accordion books suggest eternal cycles. Cloth books soften the water’s fall and flag books create waves. We apologize for not having the names of the artists who made these beautiful books.

Thursday, April 1, 2021


* For April Curiosities Workshop Information

 scroll down below this announcement *

a collaborative project between book artists–coast to coast

San Diego Book Arts invites its members, and those of six other book arts organizations, to come together to
CELEBRATE “WHERE YOU LIVE” through a hand-crafted USPS-compliant postcard exchange and freestyle bookmaking project. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to share your love, perception, or impression of where you live, a place you likely got to know inside and out this past year, with fellow book artists. TAKE PART! What a fun way to welcome fellow artists into your home, yard, neighborhood, city, region, or state.
What a cool way to take a virtual journey through their abode or environs–from the Pacific Coast through the Southwest and up into New England.

How It Works

1. Groups of 16 artists will be matched into mini collaboratives.
2. Each artist will design and mail “where you live” themed postcards to their group members.
3. Each artist will design and craft their own “Wish You Were Here” book that displays all 16 postcards from
their group.
4. All “Wish You Were Here” books, from all groups of 16, will exhibit online and in TBA locations.


April 1 Registration Opens
April 21 Registration Closes
May 1 Project Kickoff with Group Assignments
June 15 Deadline for Mailing Postcards
August 1 Deadline to Complete and Photograph Books

Requirements, Registration & Rules

• Participants must be a current member of a participating organization.
• Register for the Project at
• Rules are posted at the above link.
• For questions from NORBAG members, please contact Edge Gerring at or 707-733-5495 


Project Host
San Diego Book Arts (SDBA) CA

Project Partners
Bay Area Book Artists (BABA) CA
North Redwoods Book Arts Guild (NORBAG) CA
Puget Sound Book Artists (PSBA) WA
PaperWorks AZ
Santa Fe Book Arts Group (SFBAG) NM
New England Book Artists (NEBA) MA

Sunday, March 28, 2021


Are you looking for ideas on what to use as inserts in books, on cards, or just for general art work? If so, then the April workshop of Folded Curiosities, taught by Sandy Vrem, is for you. These Curiosities will include: Impossible Objects, Flexagons, Quadragons, Wow Folds and a Woven Accordion Flexagon Book. We will make prototypes so you will have models that you can use to explore other possible structures and unique decorating ideas. Sandy says "be ready to measure accurately and be prepared to do some trimming!" Patterns will be sent to you with the link for Zooming when you RSVP (contact information in the newsletter). You will need to print the patterns on appropriate paper and cut them out so we can have time to put them together. 

Here is an assortment of the various structures.

These are the Impossible Objects

Materials for the impossible Objects: 

Print out the Three (3) patterns on cardstock with the same color on both sides.


Materials for Flexagons:

Print out the three (3) patterns on text weight paper (computer/printer paper)


Materials for Quadragons:

Cut out four (4) pieces of cardstock 2" x 4" and cut out two (2) cardstock circles that are 4" in diameter.

Wow Folds

Materials for Wow Folds:

Cut out three (3) text weight paper squares 6" x 6" and cut out four (4) text weight paper squares 4" x 4".

Woven Accordion Flexagon Book

Above book opened

Materials for Woven Accordion Flexagon Book:

Cut one (1) piece of cardstock to 10" x 8" for the accordion, and two (2) pieces of text weight paper 2 1/2" x 8" for the woven strips.

Tools and other materials:

Pencil, eraser, scissors, craft knife with sharp blade, ruler, cutting mat, scoring tool, bone folder, clear tape or masking tape, glue stick, double sided tape, colored pencils or crayons in four different contrasting colors. Have a few extra sheets of text weight paper handy in case we have time to make more.

WHEN:   Saturday April 10 at 10 a.m. PST
WHERE: On your computer, tablet, or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP:    YES! to Dolores Guffey by April 2 to receive password and instructions

Workshop questions: Sandy Vrem
Zoom questions: Bobbie Hayes

Contact information for everyone is in the newsletter.

*Exciting News*

Check back here on April 1 (No Fooling!) for information about an upcoming collaborative project opportunity.