How To Make a Stop Motion Video for Instagram

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How to Make a Stop Motion Video For Instagram

Instagram is probably my favorite social media platform, especially when it comes to promoting my etsy shop, Barnacle Designs. Facebook has become so huge and unpredictable; Instagram feels more like I'm interacting with friends. Friends who I've maybe never met, but who are like minded about how great handmade is and who don't mind having me as a crazy stalker person.

Awhile ago I decided to try my hand at making a stop motion video to post on my feed. It got a lot of views and likes, so here I am sharing how to do it with you. My video got about 50% more views than my usual posts, so I think it's worth it to bust out your creative director side and give it a go.

This is the stop motion video I made showing off a zipper pouch from my etsy shop.
Here's whatcha you're gonna need to make one yourself.

1. iphone camera
2. the "flipgram" app downloaded on your phone
3. little iphone tri-pod to stabilize your phone
4. remote camera shutter
5. items that will be in your video
6. some kind of background, I just used a white poster board

 Fancy! I bought the tripod and the shutter at Target, and they were each under $10. These two little workers keep your camera absolutely still while you photograph, and keep your camera exactly the same distance from your set up as you are taking multiple shots.

Once you have this set up, it's just a matter of taking a ton of photos, yelling "show me sexy! show me fierce!" and moving your items no more than 1/4 inch after each shot. 

Some things I learned along the way that might help you:

*Set everything up in an area with really nice natural lighting. You want all the photos to have consistent good lighting and you will have WAY too many photos at the end to have to edit them all for brightness. That would be so yuck.

*Plan your beginning, middle and end before you start shooting. Flipgram will load all your photos into it's "reel" in the order you took them, and while you can reorder them, it's easiest if you take your photos in the order you want them.

*With that in mind, delete any unusable photos (say because your hand is in it) as you go.

*Only move your items a tiny bit between each shot. More photos with smaller increments of movement will make a better finished video than less photos with bigger jumps in movement. Aim for about 1/4" in distance moved. I ended up using 120 photos for a 25 second video, that's about 5 photos per second!
*Here is a collage of some of the 18+ photos of the earplugs "walking" into the zipper pouch.

*Make a tiny mark on your background surface to use as a, well, mark for your items. In my video I made a small pencil dot on the poster board that appeared as the front and center of the frame when I looked at the camera screen. As I moved items around the circle I made sure the item in front at the time touched my dot. This kept the whole thing sort of centered throughout the video.

*Take multiple shots without moving anything if you want there to be a pause in the action.



Once you've taken all your photos:

*When you open flipgram it will walk you through setting up your new video. The most important option you have is adjusting the speed, it looks like a little slider with a bunny icon. 

*In my opinion a video for instagram should be no longer than 30 seconds and even shorter is better. Increasing the speed is mandatory as it makes your stop motion look smoother and makes your video shorter. Your goal is to make people want to watch your video again, not wish it would get over.

*When you load your finished flipgram onto instagram, you can actually use the built in editing tools to edit all of the photos in the flipgram at the same time. Way cool! And much easier than editing them all individually.

And there you have it. If you have any questions ask in the comments and I'll get back to you, and if you make an instagram video tag me @barnacledesigns so I can check out your ah-mazing work!





Thai Shrimp Salad

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


It has been so HOT here! And as much as I love my old ranch house one thing it does not have is a powerful air conditioner. It has an air conditioner, but all it does is cool the floor about one foot in front of each vent and cost us $300 a month.

Which means that when temperatures climb above 90 degrees it becomes completely mandatory that I make dinners that don't require any oven time! Our oven is the original 1947 Westinghouse that came with the house and while it still works, and is super cute, it has very little insulation. When I turn it on it raises the temperature in the kitchen a minimum of 50 degrees. I'm not making this up.

So we eat a lot of salads. If I make something. We also eat a lot of cereal and watermelon. You do not need a recipe for cereal or watermelon, but I am totes ready to share one of our favorite salad recipes. 

We love Thai flavors, so I invented this recipe for a Thai Shrimp Salad based on this one.
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 
  • 1 small red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound cooked medium size shrimp tails removed
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce 
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated 
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • Honey, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • 3 carrots, grated (or small bag of shredded carrots)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped cashews (I like the ones that are roasted AND salted)


Instructions
  1. Heat coconut oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for four minutes. Add shrimp and saute until heated through.
  2. Make dressing by whisking together lime juice, fish sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Add honey to taste.
  3. In a large bowl combine cabbage, carrots, scallions, basil, cilantro and shrimp. Toss with dressing. Top with cashews and serve.
กิน 
(Kin)
That is Bon appetit in Thai. I love the internet! If you love Thai too, here is a fantastic recipe for Thai Curry Seafood Stew.

Treasure Island Flea Market? Go!

Friday, June 3, 2016

I know it's not my job to tell you what to do, but if it were my job, I'd tell you to get yourself to the next Treasure Island Flea Market!

Maddie and her friend Sarah came down from BYU to spend Memorial Day weekend with us and we went for the first time. You guys! It is super cool! It isn't like a normal flea market with a lot of junky stuff, it is an awesome outdoor market, on an island, with a spectacular view of San Francisco, a TON of food trucks, live music and tons of vendors selling beautiful handmade goods.

AND ALSO ROLLER DERBY!

Really, such a good Saturday. Maddie and Sarah made their own little terrariums, Maddie put a tiny Totoro in hers. Love.
There were tons of fantastic vendors. Here are some of my favorites.
Felt sushi!

Entire costumes for all your steam punk party needs! I, personally, have never been to a steam punk event, but if I were going to one I would like to wear the outfit in the middle with the ruched skirt.
A plethora of spices and loose teas; this vendor's area smelled so divine.
Teensy tiny little succulent worlds.
Pretty patio things.
And so so so many food trucks. It was like food truck heaven. Also I stole that photo from the flea website. Mine looks like this:
 There were at least twenty trucks there. We got lobster rolls.
So I've convinced you to go, right? Trust me, you need this in your life.

We also went to Bodega Bay over the weekend. Katie joined up with us and made my month. Nothing is better than having all my kids together!
I want to climb in that photo and smooch them!
We also had a fantastic bbq at my parents house, no pictures though. How was your Memorial Day?

Celebrate Friday!

Friday, May 27, 2016

I thought we could celebrate Friday by watching silly youtube videos that make me laugh. I sure hope they give you a good giggle too!


And my favorite, Kristen Wiig as Doonece. It's not on youtube, you have to click through here. This skit is especially funny if you, like me, can remember laying on the carpet in your Grandma's house watching The Lawrence Welk Show with the lights off and a groovy fiber optic lamp softly changing colors on the side table.

Tips For Planting Succulents Indoors

Thursday, May 26, 2016

tips for growing succulents inside
Here is what I know: I love succulents, you love succulents, we love succulents...but they have proven darn hard to keep alive inside our homes! Happy patio succulents? Sure. Gracing our coffee tables and bookshelves? Not so much.

But we want them on our tables and shelves; they are so pretty and interesting and let's just admit it on trend.

With this burning desire I have researched tons of articles online trying to glean the secrets that might end my reign as a plant killer. I'm not going to pretend to know it all now, but I have managed to keep my little group of Costco succulents alive and in my house for over a month now. They are even growing.

I've applied three tips that I've gained from my reading and pestering of people who know.
1. Plant them properly for growing indoors. More details on that in a minute.

2. Only water when the soil is dry, approximately once a week and water low to the soil because the leaves don't like to be wet. I used to use a mister but now I pour a little water near the base of each plant in the container.

3. Place your succulents in a room where they will get plenty of indirect light.

My directions for how to plant a terrarium for indoors are primarily from Leaf and Clay. It is a fabulous website with TONS of information on succulents. I keep going back for advice and if you are serious about growing succulents their blog is an excellent resource.

So here is a summary of what I learned there.
how to plant succulents indoors
Start with a container you like. This method assumes that your container won't have drainage which is nice and allows for a lot of freedom to choose whatever you think is pretty. Here are some of my favorites from around the interwebs :-)
//via//
These little air plant containers are actually pretty cheap at the craft store.
mason jar terrarium
//via//
Mason jars! I need to get on this; I have tons of jars left from Maddie's wedding.
I can't find the link for the original source of this photo but lets just all agree that these geometric planters are fabulous!
succulents in apothacary
//via//
And apothecary jars, I just have to toss out all the hotel soaps that are in mine right now :-)

Start by filling the bottom with rocks or pebbles. This gives the water a place to drain to so the roots don't sit in wet soil and rot. Yay.

Add about an inch of activated charcoal. 

Top with a layer of moss. The moss keeps the soil from sneaking down into the rocks.

Now put in your special for cacti and succulent potting soil. Leave room for your plants and and a final layer of soil.

Leaf and clay recommends that when you transplant a succulent to the new container you "gently loosen the roots, brushing away old soil." I did do this although as I brushed away soil I'm afraid some of the roots went along with it. I guess I'm just saying to be careful my friend.

Dampen your dirt sparingly and then place the succulent in a shallow hole in the new container and stabilize with more soil.
Most of the articles I read recommend that you now wait at least a week before you water your baby plant.

As a final touch I like to add a layer of rocks over the top of the soil, and, if you want, a gnome. I cannot think of any reason why you would skip the gnome.
succulent garden with gnome




Girls Trip to Napa

Friday, May 20, 2016

Last weekend I was in Napa with my two gorgeous friends, Leah and Lacie. The weekend was mainly organized by Lacie, and I believe she has a future as a travel agent or maybe cruise director on a very fancy, very expensive ship. I was awesome. Okay, I see that typo, I meant to say "It was awesome," but I'm leaving that Freudian slip in there because I was awesome-I am EXCELLENT at dining, shopping, laughing, spa-ing, and I found a fabulous pair of sandals too. 

When she first texted our itinerary I immediately texted back that I loved it so much I would marry it. We stayed at the beautiful Meritage Resort. I didn't get a great photo of how lovely it is but I did steal this one from the internets. 

And this one.
It was a little too breezy for us to lay out but we did enjoy sitting by the fountain and telling inappropriate stories.
On Saturday we went to a little spa in Calistoga and had massages and mud wraps. Because mud wraps were on my bucket list. Don't judge! It was super fun and very relaxing but to be honest, I don't think they do much as a beauty treatment. It is supposed to be like a giant clay mask that detoxifies your whole body. Maybe it did, I don't know how you would tell, but I didn't feel any different.

We took a picture but I'm not sharing it. 

No, you can't talk me in to it.

Here, look at this one.
This is Celadon, where we had lunch on Friday.

And this is at the Calistoga Inn where we had lunch after the spa.
It's a hard life, but somebody has to live it. Later we did some shopping in adorable St. Helena. 
image via
There is a fantastic chocolate store with all handmade chocolates, called Woodhouse Chocolate.
The chocolates are $2 a piece but SO yummy!
We also went in a shop with this giant sparkly dragon.
I LOVE dragons, but I still want to know who buys this and where do they put it? I've never been in anyone's home with something this, ah, magnificent. Marc tells me it will not be in our home...

There were plenty of great, clothing and jewelry shops too. My favorite was a home store with a huge collection of John Derian plates that left me drooling and wishing I had room to add to my plate wall.

But really, the best part of the trip was getting to talk about everything under the sun with these two fantastic women. We laughed so hard, dissected our parenting strengths and weaknesses, shared make-up and shoes, revealed some of our most difficult struggles and kept telling each other how much we love each other.

They both made me feel so loved and accepted and valued. Let's end with my favorite photo from the trip.
I call it, "I don't know why my eyes are closed, but so what, I'm dating two super models."

Guest Post by Monica: Tips for Getting Decorating Done, Even With Kids

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Hi, you! I’m swapping blogs with my friend Monica today. She has amazing taste and is like a project completing machine in her lovely home!  I asked her to share the secret sauce she uses to get it all done with three littles in the mix.  I think you’re going to love her.  Oh, and I’m writing about what scares me over on her blog aboutprogress.com.  Come see me too!
Hello!  My name is Monica and I blog at aboutprogress.com.  My blog is about making progress in our lives without hyper-focusing on perfection.  Come visit me there to see posts on food, parenting, exercise, interior design, DIY and more!  (I’m a bit all over the place…)  I am also a mom of three littles, ages 4, 3, and 10 months.  (That’s why I’m all over the place!)
We’ve owned our little home for 3 ½ years.  It is still in its original glory, ala 1949.  We have loved every square inch of it and worked hard to improve it with what pennies we could spare.  I love interior design, so I’ve always got a project up my sleeve. Here is a sampling of the projects we have personally done ourselves:
Painted 6 rooms, two of them twice.
Painted ~20 furniture items from Salvation Army and Craigslist.
Painted the whole exterior of the house, including the trim.
Made an upholstered headboard.
Replaced a toilet.
Installed light fixtures inside and outside the house.
Removed and replaced an old brick mailbox.
Pulled out a million weeds and little trees growing on our front lawn.
Rehabbed our front and back yards.
Filled in a doorway, making a better entrance into our house.
Created a brick barrier along the sides of our backyard.
Re-hauled our fireplace including demolition, tile installation, and refacement.
(And a 100 other small DIY things, including lots of IKEA hacks and organization.)
Hi, you! I’m swapping blogs with my friend Monica today. She has amazing taste and is like a project completing machine in her lovely home!  I asked her to share the secret sauce she uses to get it all done with three littles in the mix.  I think you’re going to love her.  Oh, and I’m writing about what scares me over on her blog aboutprogress.com.  Come see me too!  [Optional Post title: Guest Post: House Projects with Young Children]  [Family Photo Here]   Hello!  My name is Monica and I blog at aboutprogress.com.  My blog is about making progress in our lives without hyper-focusing on perfection.  Come visit me there to see posts on food, parenting, exercise, interior design, DIY and more!  (I’m a bit all over the place…)  I am also a mom of three littles, ages 4, 3, and 10 months.  (That’s why I’m all over the place!)   We’ve owned our little home for 3 ½ years.  It is still in its original glory, ala 1949.  We have loved every square inch of it and worked hard to improve it with what pennies we could spare.  I love interior design, so I’ve always got a project up my sleeve. Here is a sampling of the projects we have personally done ourselves:   Painted 6 rooms, two of them twice. Painted ~20 furniture items from Salvation Army and Craigslist. Painted the whole exterior of the house, including the trim. Made an upholstered headboard. Replaced a toilet. Installed light fixtures inside and outside the house. Removed and replaced an old brick mailbox. Pulled out a million weeds and little trees growing on our front lawn. Rehabbed our front and back yards. Filled in a doorway, making a better entrance into our house. Created a brick barrier along the sides of our backyard. Re-hauled our fireplace including demolition, tile installation, and refacement. (And a 100 other small DIY things, including lots of IKEA hacks and organization.)   [Fireplace photo here]   My husband is great and has really been a partner on those bigger projects, but he can only help on Saturdays—so I’ve done most of that above list myself.  And 100% of the time, my young children were present, alive, and (mostly) well fed.   People often ask me, “Monica, how do you do it all?  How do you do all your house projects with those young kids at your feet, constantly asking to be fed?”   Just kidding!  Nobody asks me that.    But if they did, here’s how I’d say we’ve done so much around this little house despite our well-meaning “helpers:”   1)   When the Cat is Away…: Most of what I do is when the kids are asleep: naps or at night.  That means my “me” time is gone during our more time-consuming projects and my own sleep is limited, but I don’t have to worry about them drinking paint or accidentally hurting themselves with my tools.  2)   Get Them Distracted: Sometimes, the kids have to be around when I’ve needed to do something that doesn’t involve endangering them.  I’m thinking things like plastering nail holes, yard work, laying out a tile design, sanding furniture, or hanging things.  I’m not a huge fan of letting my kids have more than 20 minutes of screentime a day.  (When I do, they act like entitled demons. Seriously.)  So it’s worth it to me to take a few more minutes and get them properly set up with a real activity that will keep them busy.  That entails: finger painting, coloring, doing puzzles, playing with their trains/dollhouses (or whatever toy(s) they recently forgot about), etc.  Sometimes, it also means just shuffling them into the backyard with some bubbles, chalk, or a snack, and giving them a time limit before they can come back in.  (I actually set the timer, so we’re both accountable!)  If a project is necessary to do during the day and the kids aren’t cooperating (or it’s simply unsafe for them to be around), I turn to my next tip… 3)   Trade Off:  Brad and I largely team-tagged our fireplace project during the day a few Saturdays in a row.  Trade off with a spouse or even a friend when you need to get things done during the daylight hours.  For example, we’ve had a friend watch our kids so my husband and I could make a big Home Depot run.  Get your friends in on it and return the favor! 4)   Get the Kids Involved: This one is trickier.  Obviously, you can’t let your young children help paint and use power tools.  But sometimes, I give my child an unused paintbrush, a cup of water (or no water!) and ask them to “paint” a certain section of the wall or piece of furniture.  Keep in mind, that still entails careful instructions and mom’s attention. We have found that yard work is a great way to get your kids involved.  When we recently added the brick divider around the fence in our backyard, we had our kids picking up sticks and pulling weeds while we did the hard labor. We were out there for hours at a time. Lately, my older two have been getting paid a cent per plum they pick up from our neighbor’s tree along our shared fence.  A lot of encouragement and rewards go a long way in simultaneously helping your kids be entertained and learning the value of hard work.   Finally, when all else fails, just turn on a dang show!     And since I’m all about progress, not perfection, I thought I’d end this post with a picture of what my house looks like mid-project.  You are welcome. [Picture of messy home.]     What tricks do you parents have up your sleeve for getting house projects done with kids?

My husband is great and has really been a partner on those bigger projects, but he can only help on Saturdays—so I’ve done most of that above list myself.  And 100% of the time, my young children were present, alive, and (mostly) well fed.
People often ask me, “Monica, how do you do it all?  How do you do all your house projects with those young kids at your feet, constantly asking to be fed?”
Just kidding!  Nobody asks me that.
But if they did, here’s how I’d say we’ve done so much around this little house despite our well-meaning “helpers:”
1)   When the Cat is Away…: Most of what I do is when the kids are asleep: naps or at night.  That means my “me” time is gone during our more time-consuming projects and my own sleep is limited, but I don’t have to worry about them drinking paint or accidentally hurting themselves with my tools.
2)   Get Them Distracted: Sometimes, the kids have to be around when I’ve needed to do something that doesn’t involve endangering them.  I’m thinking things like plastering nail holes, yard work, laying out a tile design, sanding furniture, or hanging things.  I’m not a huge fan of letting my kids have more than 20 minutes of screentime a day.  (When I do, they act like entitled demons. Seriously.)  So it’s worth it to me to take a few more minutes and get them properly set up with a real activity that will keep them busy.  That entails: finger painting, coloring, doing puzzles, playing with their trains/dollhouses (or whatever toy(s) they recently forgot about), etc.  Sometimes, it also means just shuffling them into the backyard with some bubbles, chalk, or a snack, and giving them a time limit before they can come back in.  (I actually set the timer, so we’re both accountable!)  If a project is necessary to do during the day and the kids aren’t cooperating (or it’s simply unsafe for them to be around), I turn to my next tip…

3)   Trade Off:  Brad and I largely team-tagged our fireplace project during the day a few Saturdays in a row.  Trade off with a spouse or even a friend when you need to get things done during the daylight hours.  For example, we’ve had a friend watch our kids so my husband and I could make a big Home Depot run.  Get your friends in on it and return the favor!

4)   Get the Kids Involved: This one is trickier.  Obviously, you can’t let your young children help paint and use power tools.  But sometimes, I give my child an unused paintbrush, a cup of water (or no water!) and ask them to “paint” a certain section of the wall or piece of furniture.  Keep in mind, that still entails careful instructions and mom’s attention. We have found that yard work is a great way to get your kids involved.  When we recently added the brick divider around the fence in our backyard, we had our kids picking up sticks and pulling weeds while we did the hard labor. We were out there for hours at a time. Lately, my older two have been getting paid a cent per plum they pick up from our neighbor’s tree along our shared fence.  A lot of encouragement and rewards go a long way in simultaneously helping your kids be entertained and learning the value of hard work.
Finally, when all else fails, just turn on a dang show!
And since I’m all about progress, not perfection, I thought I’d end this post with a picture of what my house looks like mid-project.  You are welcome.
What tricks do you parents have up your sleeve for getting house projects done with kids?

 

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