North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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Saturday, July 31, 2021


Our August workshop will feature Celeste Chalasani showing us the basics of how to embroider on paper. Celeste has been teaching Stumpwork, an embroidery technique that produces three dimensional work, for ten years. She has recently begun exploring embroidery on paper and will take us along on her journey.

These photographs are examples of Celeste's embroidery.

French knots enhance the waves along the shore.

Celeste will begin with a slideshow presentation showing us different forms of embroidery on paper. Next she'll demonstrate some basic embroidery stitches that we will be able to use to embellish book covers and pages. The actual project that we're going to be working on are 4" x 5" pages with stitch diagrams. Celeste's idea is to work the stitches on the cardstock to create a small stitch reference. She made hers into an accordion book to refer to later when working on future projects.

Celeste's accordion style reference book

Materials needed:

  • Two size 8 embroidery (crewel) needles
  • A wine or beer bottle cork to use to make a very fine pricking/piercing tool
  • A thick acrylic pad, mouse pad or paper to protect your table surface
  • Cardstock (8 1/2" x 11"), white or ivory
  • Stranded cotton embroidery thread such as DMC or Anchor, any color
  • Single sided Scotch or masking tape

*Before the workshop, you will need to create a pricking/piercing tool using one of the size 8 embroidery needles and the cork following the directions provided once you RSVP. Celeste will also provide a pdf for you to print on cardstock so that you can practice embroidery stitches as she demos them. Please RSVP to Dolores (contact information is in the newsletter) by August 9 to receive the instructions for this workshop. To learn more about Celeste and her classes visit her website at

What:   Embroidery on Paper workshop
When:  Saturday, August 14 at 10 a.m. Pacific time
Where: On your computer, tablet or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP:   YES to Dolores Guffey by August 9 to receive password and Celeste's pdf
Workshop questions: Celeste Chalasani
Zoom questions: Bobbie Hayes
Contact information is always in the newsletter

Monday, July 12, 2021


 Our July workshop was a little bit of a trip down memory lane to back when we were practicing penmanship in grade school. Australian book artist and paper engineer, Jean Kropper, got us thinking about how we can modify our own style of writing to make words become part of our art. More than 50 of us from England, Canada, and across the U.S. came together via Zoom to explore how our writing can play a significant role in design. Many thanks go to Jean for getting up at 4 a.m. “down under” to teach this workshop.

Jean showed us that we don’t need to be expert calligraphers. By changing such simple things as how we hold our marker, using unusual or different sized markers, changing the space we use between lines, printing versus cursive, or even not using our dominate hand can give a whole different look and perhaps a different meaning to our writing. We practiced printing a simple paragraph using both upper and lower case letters while trying to write in even, straight lines with tight spacing. Then we tried it again with a loose, haphazard style before attempting the same paragraph in cursive. When you compare the look of these samples you definitely get a different feel for the words.

Margaret's sample

Bonnie's sample. 
The top right sample was done with her left hand
 which gave a VERY childish look to the words.

More than one person had a hard time writing in a straight line without lines being drawn on the page. Jean showed us ways to solve that problem by using a light box or even writing against a window. One participant said she changed how she held her pen but then couldn’t figure out how to start forming an “s” or which side to make the circle for a “b”. Experiences like that got us laughing at ourselves. We certainly learned that it takes practice to control the different ways to write. Thank you Jean, for reintroducing us to the art of the written word.

Museum Exhibition

The following photos are from the new rotation from the Cynthia Sears Artist's Books Collection at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. The theme is Every Day & Special Days, "a journey from daily delights and mundane activities to once-in-a-lifetime events. Time is marked through postcards or weather observations, holding ceremonies, or simply surviving a pandemic."

Shared Illusion by Bryan Kring

The Land by Deborah Greenwood

One rhododendron bush in May 2020
by Aimee Lee

A Mealtime Blessing 
by Bonnie Thompson Norman

Quiescent Temple by Karen Stahlecker

Local Conditions by Chandler O'Leary

This is a close-up of one possible assemblage
in Chandler's collection shown above. 

Like Small Birds Singing
by Shane Miller

This collection of books on exhibit will continue throughout the summer.