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Altered Books - Round Robin - IDEAS for getting started.


From: Carolyn Roberts (croberts18_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jun 12 2003 - 16:22:24 PDT

Okay...I've been keeping a list of everyone who wrote saying they were
interested...and I have a list of 25 names.

I will also need full names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and email
addresses so we can determine the best route for the books to follow. Now
this is a lot of names and Michal has suggested that we could break this up
into a couple of groups of so. The reason for the telephone numbers is in
the event someone doesn't keep the chain going.

Please sent your personal information directly to me at: and don't mail it to the entire list, for obvious
reasons. long do we want to keep this open for others to join before we
get started?

I went through all of my old books here at home and I didn't have one that I
wanted to I purchased one today that was on sale and cheap. The
Dollar Tree sells hardback books for $1.00. We need to look for one that is
small enough so as not to cost an "arm and a leg" to mail.

Since we don't want this to continue for more than one year...we need to do
this on a two week basis....say, mailing them on the 1st of the month and
the 15th of the month. That way, we will be allowing one week or less for
time and a week to work in it. It shouldn't take any of us more than a week
to complete a double page.

The book I bought has the slick pages inside as Michal suggested would hold
up better. Also, it is a hardback book measuring 8-1/4" x 7-1/2" x 1/2"
thick and has 80 pages which would be enough for about 35 people to
participate...if we each do a double spread page.

If you want to paint the cover of your book, that is fine...but don't add
anything extra that would create extra weight and also be in danger of being
damaged from the mail. The front pages of the book should be devoted to the
owner of the book...with personal information that you want to
well as a photo if you are interested. This is a way to get to know each
other and learn more about those we "talk to" on an almost daily basis.

Also, leave a double page blank...either paint it with white tempera (if you
use black tempera...then include a gel marker) and we can leave that for
every one to sign and date it when you receive it and date it when you mail
it out....also, add the page number that you created.

As far as rules go about altering your book, I think that is up to you.
These are some of the suggestions I made to my students when they got

Ideas for pages:

1. Self-portrait page
2. "Facts about you" page
3. Your family
4. Your pet
5. Friends
6. Favorite food/foods
7. Favorite Singer
9. Dislikes
10. Think of a country you'd like to visit and do a page based on this
11. Choose an artist and do a page.
12. Favorite sport
13. Abstract collage using different values of your favorite color
14. Old letters
15. Old photos
16. Old cards
17. Old tickets to movies, shows, etc.
18. Memorabilia
19. A weaving of two pictures from magazines

Also, something that is fun is to find words on the page that you
like...highlight them or draw boxes in ink around them and work up a design
based on this. For example...the book I worked on this year was "The
Bridges of Madison County" and on one page I found the words...."Lying naked
where blue whales swim"...I drew a rectangle around the words and then added
some other stuff to the pages.

I have done watercolor paintings on the pages...even with the words showing
through the paint. Also, painted the pages with solid color acrylic and
then did a painting on it.

Hey...with budget cuts like we're getting at our school...this may be the
only paper we have to use this year...LOL!!!! If my principal sees this
book and what I'm doing...he may cut even more off my budget...(hmmm, this
won't be girl's book had such thin pages, that she glued several together
to make them thicker and more sturdy.

Another idea...paint the pages with black tempera paint and then use gel
markers to draw...beautiful!!!

All's your turn to add your ideas.

Another thought...if anyone is out of the much will it cost to
be sending these books through the mail? Does anyone know?

Let me know what you think...and if you want to split this up into more than
one group.

Carolyn Roberts