Alrighty. So I came home from the Fund Schools First meeting the other night and wanted to write my elected officials and tell them what I think about cutting the education budget. I thought about the most fabulous April Dockery, who got up at the mic and encouraged us to give our kids a voice. I whipped up this little postcard and people seemed to like it so I wanted to tell you all how you can make your own. It took me about 15 minutes and a $2 trip to OfficeMax to make a dozen. That is enough for Henry and I BOTH to write to our elected officials and tell them what we think.
This "how to" is going to be pretty comical because I am NOT a tech person, but hopefully it will get the job done. My husband could probably make a killer one but he is currently under the house ripping out and replacing my hot water heater so you are stuck with me. Yikes. I'm sure there are tons of folks out there who have fancy software and whatnot but this way you can do everything using online software. Easy peasy rice and cheesy.
1. Go to www.picnik.com and click the big "Get Started Now!" button in the middle of the screen.
2. At this point you can create and account if you want, but you can also just go for the gusto if you prefer. Click the "Upload a Photo" button and browse your computer to find the cutest, most studious or convincing picture of your kid you can. Higher resolution photos work better for printing.
3. Okay. You've got your photo up. Now Click the "Create" tab at the top. Wait until you see my amazing screen shot. I was so excited when I figured how to write on it. I probably shouldn't admit that.
Okay, that's smaller than I thought it would be but hopefully you have your reading glasses on and can see it up there.
4. Okay, now click the "text" button.
5. Once you click on that "text" button a bunch of different font choices should pop up on the left hand side. Scroll around until you find one that you like. Some are reserved for paying members but there are a ton of good free ones. Click on one you like. You type the words in the at top left and when you hit "Add" they pop up on the picture. You have to type it exactly how you want it to show, so make sure you hit return if you want several lines of text like I have.
Grab one of the little circles at the corner of the text box to shrink it to fit your space and use the color chart to change the color if you need to. You can drag the text around by clicking in the center of the text box and dragging it wherever you want it.
6. When you get it how you want it, click the "Save and Share" tab up top.
7. In addition to saving it, you should also share it on as many social networking sites as possible for maximum exposure. Picnik makes it easy for you by having a whole toolbar full of buttons to share on Facebook, Twitter, GoogleBuzz, Flickr, MySpace, etc. Get click happy and spread the LOVE!
8. I got mine printed at OfficeMax by the AVL Target. I put my pictures 4 to an 8x11" sheet using PhotoShop, but I am 99% sure that if you bring in a single file the awesome OfficeMax folks will do that for you. You can bring it in on a disk or on a little thumb drive.
I got mine printed on Bright White regular card stock and then used their slicer (you have to ask them for it because they keep it behind the counter these days) to cut them into postcard size. Here is what they look like front and back (after I addressed it by hand).
Okay. Now that you have that done, sit down and write to your elected officials. Tell them that you are willing to keep paying the $.01 sales tax you probably didn't even know you've been paying to help fund education and other essential public services. Tell them that a cuts only approach to balancing the budget isn't going to work. Tell them that if they want to slash our education budget it isn't going to happen with our quiet consent and they better get ready for busloads of angry parents, kids and educators on their doorstep.
I've already got road trip snacks...