North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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Monday, December 11, 2023


Our annual Holiday Card exchange took place on December 9. Once upon a time this event was a great opportunity for our local members to get together to celebrate the season and display the cards at Sandy Vrem's lovely home. Sadly the pandemic put a stop to that, but it also got us acquainted with Zoom so that we could expand the celebration to include our out-of-town members. Around 30 members attended the event to see the unveiling of the 22 cards in the 2023 exchange. The difference between this exchange and the rest of our monthly exchanges is that members sign up in advance and then make one card for every member in the exchange, plus one for the NORBAG library. We rarely have more than 30 participants so it isn't too difficult to get all the cards finished in time and delivered or mailed to Dolores before the second Saturday in December.

This year was another wonderful example of the creativity of our members. Some cards featured Christmas, some the New Year or the Solstice and some utilized recycling techniques. We asked each artist to introduce themselves by saying where they live and how they learned about NORBAG before they described their card. It was amazing to learn that some of us have been members for more than 20 years while others have just joined this year. Here is an interesting statistic from Dolores, the keeper of all the records. This year we had 22 members who made 22 cards each for a total of 484 cards. If we go back to the first year of exchanging holiday cards in 1995 and add up all the cards made since then, it is a grand total of 21,670 cards!  With members participating from the UK and Canada as well as across the US, we are truly a global organization! 

Individual photographs of each of the exchange cards will be on our Flickr site in about a week. Until then please enjoy these two group photographs of the cards.

Happy Holidays from NORBAG!

Monday, November 27, 2023


 Our December Zoom meeting will be the presentation of the Holiday Cards Exchange. Twenty-two members participated this year, and they will share with us their inspiration along with the structure and design of their cards. The photograph below of cards (from previous years) shows many different ideas that our creative members have found to illustrate the spirit of the season. As time permits, after sharing the cards, we will have a "visiting" time amongst us to exchange best wishes and hopes for the new year. May it be one of continuing creativity.

When:    Saturday, December 9, 10 a.m. PST
Where:   On your computer, tablet or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP:     To Dolores Guffey by Dec. 4 to receive the password
Zoom Questions:  Bobbie Hayes
Contact information is in the newsletter

Notes from the Art Lab

by Bonnie Halfpenny

I get excited every time the newsletter comes, but especially in November, when book themes for the new year are unveiled! I immediately photocopy the page and put the list where I can often refer to it. Eventually I rewrite it, as I find I need more space between each suggestion to scribble down my ideas. My first thoughts are pretty basic, but at least they get me going.

January - Old photos (Who can't wait to use them? Vacations? Kids? Historical?)

February - Valentines (There is always a new way to tell someone they are special.)

March - Junk Journal (Don't we all have plenty of "junk" or "treasures" waiting to be displayed?)

April - Book with a Surprise (Pockets? Boxes? Foldouts?)

May - Compendium/Project Page (From the vast assortment of earlier newsletters--almost any idea works.)

June - The Private Lives of Everyday Objects (Guaranteed to get your imagination going!)

July - Exquisite Corpse (I have loved these crazy mix and match books since I was a child.)

August - Pangram (A real mind stretcher for me!)

September - Second Chance (Who doesn't have a couple around to choose from?)

October - Leaf (So perfect for Fall; then, there is the other kind of leaf.)

November - A Fabric Book (An excuse to stitch and show off some of those fabulous threads, buttons, ribbons and fabric scraps that collect over the years.)

December - Holiday Cards (A favorite part of the season.)

Just thinking about the possibilities and what kind of structure fits these ideas is a fun thing to do. Meeting a deadline can be a challenge, but even if I don't finish I can usually apply those ideas or pieces to another project. Receiving an always interesting book in the mail a bit later and seeing how someone else took a completely different approach to the same idea just adds to the payoff.

Here's hoping we all have a happy & creative 2024!

Tuesday, November 14, 2023


 The November workshop provided an opportunity for us to make a small book that could contain monthly calendar pages for 2024. This little book could easily fit in your purse, pocket or not take up much space on a desk. It was a fun, easy structure to make that provided different ways to sew or glue the binding. Any artwork could be used on the pages instead of the calendar pages that were provided. Thank you Dolores Guffey for teaching us the Herringbone structure.

Here are some examples of our books.

Bonnie Julien

"Birds" book, only 2" tall, features bird postage stamps.

Calendar book with pamphlet stitch binding.

Margaret Beech
Butterfly book with Japanese stab binding.

Margaret Beech

Margaret glued the pages together first, then
punched holes with her Japanese screw punch 
before stitching over a strip of black cardstock.

Sherrill Story

Sherrill's book opened out.

Notes from the Art Lab

by Bonnie Halfpenny

Recently I was at Indiana University in Bloomington and toured the Lilly Library.  The Lilly is an exceptionally fine manuscript and rare book institution with a sizable collection of artists' books.

To showcase some developments in publishing, they had an interesting exhibit on the proliferation of book formats in Victorian times.  We saw stacks of penny dreadfuls with titles such as Black Bess, Knight of the Road, or The Wild Boys of London.  There were copies of the earliest "magazines" with serial novels, all printed on poor quality wood pulp paper to keep costs down.  Nearly every aspect of printing became mechanized during this period and demand for low-cost reading material was overwhelming.  At the same time, the development of inexpensive printing and color techniques helped make books more attractive.

From the rare books collection we were shown an exquisitely decorated medieval Book of Hours, a Gutenberg Bible, a First Folio of Shakespeare, a book on foot care from Marie Antoinette's library, and Thomas Jefferson's personal copy of the Bill of Rights (with some corrections).

Also available upon request are items from the extensive collection of artists' books at the university.  Some are housed in the Lilly, while the Wells Library, also on campus, has over 2000.  Lilly's website at has a wealth of information on various topics related to their holdings.

Below are a few photos of handmade books I saw there.  The first work was by an amateur artist, and the second set of three photos are images of work by Timothy Ely, a contemporary professional. Ely's work is readily searched online from Wikipedia, also from and other sources.

The photo below is of a long "letter" by a 19th century sailor to his girlfriend detailing his voyage, and asking her to wait for him.  Alas, he was rejected.


The following photos are contemporary books, unique and hand-drawn, by Timothy Ely, a Northwest native.

Monday, October 30, 2023


It's hard to believe, but we're now less than two months away from the start of a new year. If you haven't found a new calendar for 2024, you're in luck because Dolores Guffey has one for us to make. This structure is an accordion variation where the pages are sewn together rather than folded upon themselves. Calendar pages will be provided, but you are welcome to make the structure without them and use your own artwork and/or content. Please notice in the photos that there are several ways for the pages to be sewn together.

Japanese Stab Binding

Calendar pages displayed

Bound with Washi tape

All the binding versions displayed

Pamphlet Stitch

Pamphlet Stitch

Chain Stitch

Sewn on sewing machine

Sewn on sewing machine

Materials Needed:

  • Seven (7) pieces of cardstock (either plain or decorated) 2 3/4" x 5 1/2" (grain short) * Note that the measurement of the cardstock is incorrect in the newsletter. Correct measurement is 2 3/4" x 5 1/2".
  • Thread - waxed linen, perle cotton, or embroidery floss
  • Needle
  • Glue stick
  • Seven (7) paper clips
  • Metal graduated rule 3/4" (if you have one) OR a piece of matboard 3" x 3/4"
  • Scoring tool
  • Bone folder
  • Piercing tool
  • Sturdy piece of cardboard for hole piercing

    Saturday, Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. PST
Where:   On your computer, tablet or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP:     YES! To Dolores Guffey by Nov. 6 to receive the password
Workshop Questions:  Dolores Guffey
Zoom Questions:  Bobbie Hayes
Contact information is in the newsletter

Monday, October 16, 2023


The October workshop taught by Margaret Beech was a very versatile structure that can be modified in many ways. It is simply decreasing sizes of single fold cards that can be arranged in different ways to showcase photographs, art, or text. Thank you Margaret for sharing this structure with us. Below are some examples of the cards that were finished after the workshop.

Sue Reynolds

Emmy Nelson, card cover 

Emmy Nelson

Emmy's card opened up

Sherrill Story's cover

Sherrill Story

Sherrill's card opened up

The following photograph is a beautiful example of the circle book structure that was taught by Kit Davey in September.

Barbara Ristaino used flower decals for her book.

Library Display

The Kiosk display at the Humboldt County Library in Eureka, California is featuring books made by Michele Kamprath this month. Thank you Kenzie Mullen for arranging the display. 

Monday, October 2, 2023


Our October workshop will be taught by our very prolific member from the UK, Margaret Beech. The structure is made of decreasing sizes of single-fold cards. Margaret said that it's the way they are attached to each other that makes it work, but it is easier to show than describe. For that reason, Margaret suggests that we complete the structure before decorating the pages. There is lots of space for content, plus the spines on each section give allowance for slender enclosures.


Use a light to medium cardstock for the six different card/pages. Cut one each of the following sizes, but do not score or fold them until we receive direction during the workshop. Note: In order to reinforce the cover page, Margaret suggests that we also cut two 4" squares of the same cardstock to glue to the two sides of the Cover card.
  • Size A (Cover) - 8 1/4" x 4"
  • Size B - 7 1/8" x 3 1/2"
  • Size C - 6 1/8" x 3"
  • Size D - 5 1/8" x 2 1/2"
  • Size E - 4 1/8" x 2"
  • Size F - 3 1/8" x 1 1/2"


  • Glue stick
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Bone Folder
  • Craft Knife
  • Double-sided Tape

Here are more examples of the structure to inspire you.

When:   Saturday, October 14 at 10 a.m. PDT
Where:  On your computer, tablet or smartphone via Zoom 
RSVP:    By October 9 to Dolores Guffey to receive directions and password
Workshop Questions: Margaret Beech
Zoom Questions: Bobbie Hayes
Contact information is in the newsletter.  

Notes from the Art Lab 

by Bonnie Halfpenny

 Whoever said "there is nothing new under the sun" was not thinking about rock paper which was developed by Molly Grosse, artist, and her mother, a process engineer.  After years of trials and experiments they are producing beautiful paper not from fiber, but from rock.  This product comes in different styles from light, translucent, and barely tinted, to heavy and opaque pieces in vivid colors.  The color is sometimes variegated on one piece. It folds beautifully, can be hand or machine sewn, and cuts like butter.  It accepts many pens, pencils, and markers although it cannot be used with printer ink (it smears).  

The cost is comparable to origami paper.  What makes it stand out from other papers is that it is waterproof-- it is from rock, after all!  To find out more about this innovative product, go to online, or search that name on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023


Our September workshop, taught by Kit Davey, provided us with a completely new structure to play with. This circular book, with pages that rotated 360 degrees, was easy to make once we were taught how the hinges work. NORBAG members can view the recording of this workshop and anyone else interested in this structure can check out Kit's website at, to see if she might teach it again. It will be fun to see if our members use this structure in future book exchanges. Here are a few examples from the workshop.

Mary Conley

Edge Gerring

Bonnie Julien

Thank you Kit for showing us a new structure to play with.

Currently on display in the Sherry Grover gallery at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) in Washington is "Sound Stories: Group Exhibition of Artists' Books".  This exhibit will run through September 24. The following photos are a small sample of the books in the exhibition.


Lucia Harrison
Consider What's Lost II

Mare Blocker
Accordion Queen

An Gates
Leonardo da Vinci's Platonic Solids

Debbi Commodore
Take a Moment

Deborah Greenwood
The Land