Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Altered Book Course: Epilogue

Before you search for a linky link to show your book covers, I wanted to let you know I didn't create one this time.  I can't see any links on my blog, even when I use my translator.  So please leave your links in your comments.  And don't forget, if you need to change embedded comments, please scroll to the end of this post to learn how to change them.

Have you been bitten by the altered book bug?  Would you like to make another one?  Would you like to share your love of ABs with others?  So where do you go next?  Let me show you a few examples.

On the left is the first round robin I ever participated in.  I sent my book out into the world.   This was a book on techniques, and there are some truly awesome ones others in the round robin created, including the beads on the outside of the cover.

The middle book is a book of tip-ins.  It was created from two swaps.  One was Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for 5th of May), and the other was Dia de los Muertos, (Spanish for Day of the Dead).  I left the book jacket on this one because the book cover was plain.

The third book was one sent to me by friends who were grateful for a few things I did for them.  It was also a tip-in book.

Some of you may remember the Buffy AB.  It was also a tip-in book.  However, each of these books is slightly different in their origins and handling.

For my techniques AB, there was a host (not me), who created the routing order.  Each person created a few pages in her own book, then sent it to the next person on the list.  That person worked in the book, creating a given number of pages, then sent the book on to the next person on the list.

In a round robin, you ALWAYS send a book to the SAME person each month.  So, if I sent to Susie this month, I would also send to Susie next month when I sent the second book I worked on.  I would do the same when I finished the third book I worked.  Each month I would send to Susie and I would RECEIVE the next book from the person who always sent to me.  It's pretty much like it sounds, in that the books go round to the next person on the list each time.

 However, in a tip-in round robin, like the Buffy one I hosted, the host sets up a matrix and each person sends to a different person each month.  For example, the first month, I would send a given number of tip-ins to the first person on my list, say Susie.  The second month, I would send to Mary.  Depending on the matrix and the number of players, Mary may send to me the first month and Susie may send to me the second month.  Here is a very simple matrix:

Mary        Susie     Me
 1               2          3
 2               3          1
 3               1          2

Sometimes hosts set up swaps.  I suspect some of you have joined some.  I hosted the Cinco de Mayo and Dia de los Muertos swaps.  Swappers sent their tip-ins to me, I sorted and exchanged them,

then returned the swapped pages to the other participants.  I realize some hosts charge for you to be in their swaps, but I never do.  In fact, I find it offensive, since besides being the host, I'm also one of the players in the swap.

In this post, I show how to host an effective swap.

This book was sent to me as a gift.  Someone hosted the tip-ins and tipped them into the book.

Although I can't show any individual pages in the book, they were filled with kindness and love.  I will be eternally grateful for this book, as it shows how an online community can come together out of respect and kindness.

I suggest you find other like-minded friends, whether on the internet or in your hometown, to  either trade ABs or tip-ins with.  It is a wonderful experience.

Here are a few pointers:

1. If you are joining an online group, make sure you can trust the host, whether you are sending ABs or tip-ins.  Some hosts can't be reached after a few weeks, and the round robin falls apart.  That is when books are often lost or never sent to the next participant.  This would not be a problem with a local group, because everyone would already be familiar with the other players.

2. Make sure you insure your AB if you are swapping in the US only.  Swapping outside the US makes insurance costs prohibitive and may even be prohibited by the receiving country. You may want to insure your tip-ins, but I never found a need to do that.

3. Make sure you do your part in the swap, whether it's sending books or tip-ins in a timely manner, or sending swap items to a host.

4. Make sure you do your best work.

5. Some hosts insist you decorate your cover along with a given number of pages before you send it into the world.  Decorating your cover first only invites trouble for those persons who must work in it in the future.  I would discourage decorating the cover first, if I were hosting a round robin.

6. If you are participating in a tip-in swap,

each player should provide a tag to go with their pages, as we did in the Buffy tip-in swap.

If you are participating in a round robin, 

you should begin with your preferences and requests, as I did in my Color round robin AB.  My theme was built around my kitchen remodel and the colors were cobalt blue and copper.

In place of tags, create sign-in sheets in an AB.  For the kitchen remodel, I chose paint chips and showed the range of colors of blue I hoped the players would use.

Although it isn't mandatory, I always include a routing order which includes the player's name, e-mail and full address.  Since this was a color RR and my theme was kitchen remodel, I chose paint chips to show the colors to correspond with the routing order.  This way there was no doubt  who sent to whom.  There were seven of us in the RR, so they were spread over two pages.  You can see I've blocked names, addresses, and e-mail accounts.  Remember, in a round robin, you send to the same person that follows your name on the list each time.

7. Make sure your host sets up an independent blog or Yahoo group, which is for members only.  That way you keep all correspondence private, yet each person knows where his/her book or tip-ins are.

I hope this has given you a few ideas about how you can enjoy ABs even more in the future.

The above ABs shown in this post had nothing to do with examples of completed AB covers, because in the beginning, I didn't think about creating covers for my books.  Only after completing a few books did I realize I should be decorating the covers, too.  BTW, I had completely forgotten about this Color RR (kitchen remodel) AB, so I'll show the cover in a post sometime this week, when it's not dark outside.  I may even have a few more I've forgotten that I could show, too.


Now it's YOUR turn.  Show off your completed AB cover by leaving your link in the comments.  That way I'll be able to see the link and so will everyone else.  Thank you again for participating in this course, whether you completed one, or every lesson.  I am most grateful.  You made, and continue to make me very, very proud.

13 thoughtful remarks:

enthusiastically, dawn said...

I appreciate you sharing these pictures! I am so new to AB's but peruse your posts and am just taking it in...I started an altered book but it is very basic. Can you suggest an older post for a beginner which helps simplify and start. Thanks so much, E and B! Love all your inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Sorry the computer woes continue. Books are fantastic all around as is tour advice! You are a powerful creative force! xox

elle said...

This was one project that exceeded my expectations. My altered book is more a testimony to Elizabeth's tutorials and even the examples of my fellow participants. I learned a lot and I am thrilled with my book. There are some things I'd change or do differently but then that is what the next book us for! Thanks, Elizabeth. A recap of my book is posted at:

Anonymous said...

A perfect way too finish a course.

XX Rachel XX

Halle said...

Such a plethora of info. What fun book's as well. Love your dining room table...the top has wonderful grain. (says the workworkers daughter)

Monica said...

every time I read your blog I remember this was the year to finish that Altered book started at least 8 years ago.

Julia Dunnit said...

You are such a good teacher. I love how you've shared every ounce of the wisdom you've garnered. And I love the title of the book that was gifted to you. How clever. And how true.

~*~Patty S said...

It warms my heart Elizabeth to know your candle is burning bright as ours grows dim in our time zone...thank you my friend!

btw Altered books helped get me back on a creative track after we lost our son...I thought my creating was over and done with...thankfully it has been part of my healing puzzle all these years

BIG hugs to you my friend!

TwinkleToes2day said...

Wow, those look like so much fun. I like the sound of the Round Robin. Didn't quite grasp the idea of the 'tip-in'. I have started my very first sketchbook with the encouragement of Lynn Holland and the 'Friends of...' and hope to be able to start doing an actual AB next year. Thank you for all the information held in your blog, I know it will be invaluable. Sending Seasons Greetings from NE Scotland and a happy, healthy and crafty 2013 :0) Mo x

Dianne said...

How lucky I was to have you as my first Swap host! and years later we are still keeping in touch. I treasure your friendship and all the art you've sent me! I received an envelope from you today and am simply delighted! Keep a look out for an envelope from me!
Dianne in Ohio

Craftymoose Crafts said...

An excellent round up post! I appreciated the info about tip-ins especially since I had heard the term but really did not know how you do them. I finished my cover a bit simply:

BJ said...

I didn't go a recap of my book, but the finished cover can be found in last weeks WOYWW post here -
This post links in to the stages behind the cover too. BJ

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

As promised, here is the cover for my Kitchen Color AB: