Friday, 22 February 2013

Flannel Friday - Once I Caught a fish Alive!

This week's flannel set can be used for a number of fishy rhymes and games for storytimes and baby rhymetimes.

I made it primarily to use with this nursery rhyme:


One, two, three, four , five,
Once I caught a fish alive.
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
Then I let him go again.

Why did you let him go?
Because he bit my finger so.
Which finger did he bite?
This little finger on my right.




I can't take credit for the design (although I'd be proud to). It's the work of MiniEco a UK blogger, designer and author, whose blog I've been following for 2 years or more.  She has generously made her pattern available to download as a .pdf document. I took the pattern and traced it to transform it into a cutting file. The white parts were cut from flocked heat transfer material on a digital cutter, and the backing parts were cut by hand. I then added some numbers cut from sticky-back felt as I'd run out of transfer material.


The backing for the transfer material is clear (once the negative parts of the pattern have been removed) and placed on the flannel/felt fish shape. 






A hot iron is applied, with a cloth between the pieces and the iron, for 45 to 60 seconds and once it's stuck, the backing is peeled away. I really like the details but unfortunately not the price, so I'm looking for an alternative product that is less expensive.















I have plans to make a flannel dish and use it to illustrate the traditional song "Dance to your Daddie". There is some debate as to whether this is an English or a Scottish song, and a comparison of the two sets of lyrics can be found at Mama Lisa's World, a fabulous resource for rhymes and songs from around the world. If you're not familiar this song, this version is most similar to the one that I grew up with and sing in my Rymetimes

If you have more ideas on how to use this set I'd love to hear them. Please leave them in a comment.






You can see all the other Flannel Friday Roundup submissions for this week on Kay Leigh's blog Storytime ABC's.



If you want to know more:


Find out about Flannel Friday on the dedicated website. Features include past roundups, host schedule and how to participate.

Scan images and links to Flannel Friday posts on Pinterest.

Search for flannels and storytime ideas at Mel's Desk.

Discuss storytimes and flannel boards on the Flannel Friday Facebook Page.



Thursday, 14 February 2013

Flannel Friday - Three Craws, flannel makeover

Looking back at my posts I realise I've been promoting the use of flannel and felt sets to enhance library storytimes on my blog for more than 18 months. I've shared these as the sole Scottish representative in a weekly social media event called the Flannel Friday Roundup, an international community of blogging librarians, teachers and early year's folk who share ideas about storytimes and who provide advice and support to each other via Facebook and Twitter.

I have written about using felt props to extend and re-tell stories, and to add a multi sensory element to rhymes, songs and early literacy games.  Along the way I've learnt a great deal about presenting storytimes and the practicalities of selecting appropriate books, songs and rhymes as well as the making of flannel sets. 

One important thing I've learnt is it that spending a little extra time to make the props multi-functional is time well spent. Some of things I made early on have seen better days, including the Three Craws finger puppets I made back 2011. So when the time came to remake them I wanted to build in some extra versatility. 

So, I present the NEW Three Craws (Crows) Sat Upon a Waw

- stick puppets 

- finger puppets (just remove the handle) and

- felt board set (felt sticks to a felt backboard).


Three craws sittin on a waw ...
Sittin on a waw, sittin on a waw-aw-aw-aw.
Three craws sittin on a waw ...
On a cauld an frosty mornin.

The first craw wis greetin for his maw ...
Greetin for his maw, greetin for his maw-aw-aw-aw.
The first craw wis greetin for his maw ...
On a cauld an frosty mornin.

The second craw fell an broke his jaw ...
Fell an broke his jaw, fell and broke his jaw-aw-aw-aw.
The second craw fell an broke his jaw ...
On a cauld an frosty mornin.

The third craw couldna flee at aw ...
Couldna flee at aw, couldna flee at aw-aw-aw-aw.
The third craw couldna flee at aw ...
On a cauld an frosty mornin.


You'll find many versions of this traditional song on the internet in both English and Scots. I like to use this set with the book Katie's Coo: Scots rhymes for wee folk, illustrated by Karen Sutherland. All these pieces were cut with a digital cutter, but could also be cut by hand.


NEWS FLASH!

On March 15th 2013 FLANNEL FRIDAY will be 2 YEARS OLD!

Where in the world are you?
As part of the festivities, the team are putting together a map of our bloggers AND readers. We want to include you! Please fill out the survey and we'll add you. You do not need to list your precise location. If no city is given, you'll be placed in the capital of your state or country, as appropriate. The map will be revealed during the anniversary roundup.



You can see all the other Flannel friday Roundup submissions for this week on Storytime Katie's blog.



If you want to know more:


Find out about Flannel Friday on the dedicated website. Features include past roundups, host schedule and how to participate.

Scan images and links to Flannel Friday posts on Pinterest.

Search for flannels and storytime ideas at Mel's Desk.

Discuss storytimes and flannel boards on the Flannel Friday Facebook Page.




Friday, 8 February 2013

Cutting flannel (or felt) with a Silhouette Cameo

I've been experimenting with using my (personal) digital die cutter to make flannel (felt) sets for storytimes and thought I'd share some of my experiences, both good and bad.

First of all, although I love using the software (Silhouette Studio Designer Edition) and the machine (Silhouette Cameo) for cutting paper and card I don't see it as the perfect method for making flannels.



The combination has amazing functionality - with the ability to import all sorts of images (jpg, svg, png, for e.g.) and providing the means of turning them into cutting files. It has a print and cut function, which aligns prints made on your existing printer with cut lines on the cutter. You can manipulate, re size, recolour and then cut out all kinds of images, which I think is brilliant.


However, there are some disadvantages for flannel sets:


Iron-on Interfacing slips on flannel boards!


  • Firstly, the cutting results are variable - not all felt or flannel cuts well. I found a felt mix (wool and polyester) cuts best, but if you're like me and source your felt from different suppliers (and then store them for some time), you may no longer be aware of the source or the mix.
  • Intricate shapes don't cut successfully from felt, anything too elaborate will, at best, need to trimmed with scissors.
  • Before felt is cut it requires a backing (iron-on interfacing) to stabilise the felt. This adds to the time and cost. Also, and most importantly to Flannel Friday-ers, the interfacing limits the stick-ability of felt to the board. It's fine if the bottom layer is hand cut, but often you'd only be using one layer anyway.
  • Then there is more waste, unless you're prepared to cut down the scraps by hand to iron on to other projects.
  • The manufacturers don't give instructions for cutting felt as they do for other media including cotton and canvas. Although I haven't tried it, a conventional yet robust (non-electronic) die cutter would appear to give more effective results, without the need for backing material.
  • There are copyright limitations of the free and paid-for images and files available from the manufacturers. I still prefer to either draw from scratch (time consuming), or use clip art with minimal use restrictions (Open Clip Art is a great resource). 
The flannel layers stick together well when ironed
However, when the felt cuts well, the process is both quick and effortless. The layers stick together very smoothly when ironed and the finished result is uniform and pleasing. I used this method for my Five Current Buns set.

In order to combine a hand cut bottom felt layer with the detailed cutting capabilities of the cutter, I experimented with heat transfer vinyl. This worked very well once I worked out which way around everything needed to go. This was the method I used to make the Where is Little Green Bug set.  I'll tell you more about that in another post.






Check out Courtney's blog, Miss Courtney Meets Bobo, for this week's Flannel Friday roundup.



Want to know more? Find out about Flannel Friday on the dedicated website. Features include past roundups, host schedule and how to participate.

Scan images and links to Flannel Friday posts on Pinterest.

Search for flannels and storytime ideas at Mel's Desk.

Discuss storytimes and flannel boards on the Flannel Friday Facebook Page.


Flannel Friday celebrates it's second birthday in March. Look for out for ways in which YOU can participate (even if you don't have a blog).

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