I was first introduced to the Little Fat Book project approximately 2 years ago by a member of an art group that I belong to in my area (Schenectady, NY USA). She was engaging in exchanges with the pages as a member of a Yahoo group. Our art group is a casual group that gets together, once in awhile in our homes, to share techniques and friendships. We had been engaging in round robins with altered books and we decided, as much as we loved this, it was becoming very time consuming and also expensive for mailing (some of the members of my group live outside of our immediate area). We decided to become involved with working on the Little Fat Books and, for me, this was love at first sight!!
The Little Fat Books, a.k.a. , "LFB's", "4 x 4's", or "Little Chunky Books" became our choice for exchanging art. The only requirement for the project is that the pages have to measure 4" x 4", no more, no less. My only suggestion would be to have pages made out of heavier-weight cardstock. I prefer hot-pressed watercolor paper (#90) as the weight of it makes for a nice, sturdy canvas. I encourage everyone to create their art on both sides of their pages. We can bind them, as we wish, and I prefer a simple binding of punching holes to the left side and inserting the office-type steel rings; plain and simple. I like the option of laying my book down flat so I can refer to it, from time to time, and just linger over the art that has been created by my friends.>>>>>.
I have been exchanging LFB pages, now, for about 2 years and we actually have a formal mailing schedule set up. By the 28th of each month we are to mail to a host (we take turns) 4 LFB pages and then they are sorted out and exchanged. So; one can imagine, over time, how fat our little books become. They are jam-packed with art, and this whole activity becomes very interactive as we are always emailing one another asking how a background was done, or where the "perfect" embellishment came from. etc.
I currently have the privilege of working and teaching at a friend's art studio/retail store (Art Connection, Glenville, New York, USA) and have been teaching the Little Fat Book concept. The class was met with much enthusiasm and we decided to begin a Little Fat Book Club at the studio. We have 8 members, so far, and we will meet the third Tuesday of every month. We decided the club will be interactive, we will share techniques and begin exchanging pages as we go.
I highly encourage others to think about starting their own LFB clubs; it is such fun, not terribly time consuming and in the short time that I have been engaging in exchanges with the pages, I've learned so much from the group. The Little Fat Book project enables us to use those scraps of paper we don't know what to do with, it allows for use of all mediums, not to mention using those embellishments that we have stored for a future time.
I have samples of several LFB pages in my picturetrail gallery. (www.picturetrail.com/mrock2)
Marilyn J. Rock
Schenectady, New York (USA) 2006