Thursday, May 17, 2012

So You Want to Flannel Your Fridays?


I thought it would be helpful if I compiled some of the things that have worked well for me in contributing to Flannel Friday posts over the past year. If any of my fellow bloggers have a tip I neglected to mention, please leave it in the comments!

1) Schedule your posts. I like to have 4-5 posts all prepared and ready to go for Flannel Friday. I find it much easier to spend a few hours writing and photographing at once rather than finding time to do it each week I want to participate. I will often have posts scheduled for 2-3 months out, particularly as I am preparing my own storytimes each session at a time. This is also helpful at forcing me to look for which upcoming holidays I might want to prep a flannel story or storytime. 

2) Take good photographs and edit them. I use my iPhone to shoot my flannel stories. The key is to find somewhere in your library or house that has good lighting and to hold the camera as still as possible. To edit photos, I first upload them into my (free) Picasa web album. Then I have the option to Edit in Creative Kit (also free, look under the Actions heading in the menu). 

Creative Kit gives the option to crop, rotate, adjust exposure, sharpen or resize your images. Often I will just select the autofix button and maybe crop the image as well. You can also add text, if you'd like to use a watermark or just give the title of the story. 

3. Cite your sources like a good librarian. If you used patterns from a professional resource book, please include a link to the author's Web page or a online store that sells the book. If your post was inspired by  another Flannel Friday participant, definitely link to the idea. Don't be embarrassed that something wasn't your original idea. The whole point of Flannel Friday is to share our ideas and see other people's. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

4. Related to #3, be mindful of copyright implications. It's fine to say that you used clipart from Microsoft Office, but if you're sharing a printable pattern online it should be your own artwork or artwork you have permission to use and/or modify. I love Openclipart.org for this.

5. Follow the procedures for submitting your Flannel Friday posts to the roundup. You can find out who is hosting this week by checking the This Week @ Flannel Friday page. You can even have that information delivered to you every week when it is updated by subscribing via email (check the right column near the bottom for the option to do this) or through RSS (center bottom). 

6 comments:

Great post! I struggle with #3 ~ only because some of my shares are ones that I have used for years and years! I don't have an original source because it was handed down to me by former coworkers whom I don't have contact with anymore. When I taught, we shared everything but never cared about getting or giving credit because we weren't on-line at that time.

I totally agree that giving credit is really essential if you know the source. You should see my craft post for this week! I think I give credit and link to at least 3-4 people or websites! LOL!

K, I know the feeling! I started making flannel boards long before Flannel Friday and for whatever reason, I didn't write the sources down for them. So I have been trying to track those down. I think it's OK to post an unknown source if you acknowledge that it wasn't your original creation. You can always edit that information in if you stumble upon it.

I will be reading your craft post sometime soon.

It is my craft post about a Mother Hen and her 10 Eggs. I bet you can guess the rhyme and where I am going with it. It is a popular rhyme for the FF crowd. LOL!

I haven't posted it yet. Pictures are taken but time is tight so I'm hoping to post it this weekend. :o)

Thank you! this is outstandingly helpful and professional

I struggle with the photography. My digital camera died and my phone is o.k. in GOOD lighting. I feel silly bringing everything out to shoot it, but my pics this week were so fuzzy...

Well, I wouldn't worry about it too much. As long as people can make out the gist, it's fine. It might help to try them against a darker background (even a black piece of construction paper could be worth a shot) to see if added contrast helps.