North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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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.