Posts in Stuff
OTHER : Instagram Tips, Tricks and Hacks
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My best tip for Instagram is actually to use it in conjunction with another app. Do yourself a favor and go download the Later app! It helps you schedule your posts. It won't actually publish them for you but you'll get a notification when it's time to post. When you open that up, it copies your caption to your clipboard, then you open the photo in Instagram and you can edit your photo (if you wish) and paste your caption. And voila! You're done. This has been a big help for me to continue posting consistently while having a life. I don't want to pull myself from conversations or events or work in my life to post on Instagram. Enjoying dinner with my family, snuggled on the couch with my fiance, playing with my pup, or getting into the rhythm of my current knitting project are not times to stop edit a photo and think up a witty caption to post to Instagram. I'd much rather remain engaged in that moment. A bit of planning in advance and just a minute of my time is much better.

  • Later also lets you see previews of how your feed will look. This is surprisingly important. You might be publishing beautiful photos, but how do they look as a whole in your feed? Too many of the same style/color/tone/theme in one clump can be redundant. The preview feature on Later helps you get a visual of how to schedule your photos so they shine as a cohesive group.
     
  • Another great thing about Later is that it helps you get around the 24hr limit for uploading photos to your stories. Simply upload your photo to your later media, then save it to your camera roll. This will change the timestamp of the new file to that exact moment, giving you 24 hours to add it to you Insta story.
     
  • If you like using Instagram's editing tools but don't want to publish your photo to your feed, there is a way around that. Maybe you just want to edit a photo to share with friends or keep for yourself. Or you want to edit a bunch of photos to schedule at a later date. I used to share a post them quick delete it. But then I learned about airplane mode! First things first: you must have "Save Original Photos" turned on in your settings. Then you put your phone into airplane mode and open up Instagram. Go through the whole process of editing the photo. Now click "Share" like you normally would. Since you're not connected to the grid--via cellular or wifi--your photo will fail to publish. A little bar below the stories will show up and say it failed. You can open your camera roll and check. The photo you just edited should be there! Now go back to Instagram and click the "x" then "remove" before turning off airplane mode (this is so it won't still try to publish your photo after you go back online.) 
     
  • You should be using 30 tags. Yes, 30. Do some research on what others are using in similar posts. It helps to post these as a comment on your post, instead of in the description. This keeps your descriptions from looking too crowded or overwhelming. 

     
  • To help make tagging easier, create a block of tags. Originally I was copy/pasting them from my notes each time I published a post. But then I learned about text replacement. Open your iPhone's settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement > + . Now paste your hashtags in the "Phrase" section. Then in "Shortcut" you can type what word you'd like to write to be replaced by all of those tags. (I set mine up #knit. So when I type #knit anywhere on my phone, it automatically pastes a block of 30 knitting tags.)
    (Sorry, I don't know how this works on Androids.)
     
  • The last Instagram tip I have for today is Pods. Basically, they are a group of likeminded Instagrams who like and comment on each other's posts to boost them. At first, I thought this was kind of cheap, but the way Instagram's algorithm is set up now, the posts with the most engagement (likes and comments) rise to the top of their followers feeds. I noticed a decline in my followers and activity when they changed over from chronological. Honestly, being "social" on social media is the best thing you can do--comment on posts, don't just like them. Pods are basically a dedicated group of individual accounts that notify each other when they post new content. The other members then check out their post and leave a comment, this creates a bit of buzz and activity on this post and makes it more likely to show up at the top of your other followers feed. I haven't gotten into this area of Instagramming yet myself but am thinking about reaching out to a half a dozen to a dozen of my favorite Instagrams to see if whe can help each other out.

What Instagram tips, tricks or hacks do you love and care to share?

StuffLiesl Comment
One From the Draft Pile : Balance

I've been busy working behind the scenes, sprucing up my blog and site. Deep in the draft pile, I found this post from May of 2015. Specifics have changed but the same need for balance still and no doubt always will hold true. I'm glad that I have found more of healthy balance since first penning this post, but I know it's a constant effort and I always have more to learn. Since it's still relevant, I decided I'd go ahead and post it.

It's been quiet here on the blog. I honestly didn’t have a lot to say or rather, I had a hard time saying what I wanted to say. But a combination of recently turning thirty, having a lot my mind, and this post over at the Have Company Blog has inspired me to write and publish this post.

Over the last three to four years, I've been learning to value my time more. It hit particularly hard when my father passed away suddenly last year, that life can be very short and it’s so essential to make the best you can of it all. I still struggle and hit snags where I know I’m wasting time and energy on things that don’t matter, but I’m a lot closer to understanding and directing my energy into the right areas.

Many of you probably know that for many years I had a small Etsy shop. I didn't run it for the financial aspect of it, if anything, I under-priced my work because it kept the cycle going more smoothly—make something, sell it so I could buy more materials to make more things to sell so I can buy more materials, and on and on. I was honestly in it for my emotional well-being. Then, in 2012, I realized it wasn't filling that hole anymore. I closed up my shop and did some soul searching. I refocused my energy into the personal and health issues that I was facing at that time.

There is a general assumption that people who work from home just sit around in their PJs all day and “have the life.” While that is somewhat true (I can sit around in my PJs and so many times I’ve stopped to think about how lucky I am to not be stuck in a cubicle, and that I have such flexibility with my schedule, especially now when I’m needed here at home), it’s not always as ideal as it seems. One of the biggest challenges is that there are often no boundaries between work and play, work and family, work and well-being. Sometimes I envy people who punch a time clock, put in their 8 hours and go home, back to their personal lives. (Unfortunately, I know far too many people whose work follows them home from the office—company cell phone ringing at dinner time, putting in extra hours or wasting personal time on long, stressful commutes.)

Another eye-opening experience has been the fact that my 92-year-old Grandma has been in a hospice program since February. We are very determined to keep her here at home—even if that means she is our 24/7 focus. She has good days and bad days and we are so grateful for the professional and personal help we have been receiving. I’m grateful for my Mom and Uncle who seem to be relieving me of “Grandma Duty” more often so I can devote time to her and time to getting my work done: outside, in the garden, in my studio, over a dye pot, and in front the computer.

Though I try not to think about my twenties and all the "what-could-have-been's," there is one thing I do regret and hope to do differently in my thirties and that is to invest more in the people in my life, in relationships. I know my work is what helped me get through some very rough patches, but time and experience have taught me that people can, too.  Now that I've reopened a shop, I feel much more comfortable and confident in charging closer to what my time and energy is worth. I'm also learning to draw a more distinct line between work and play--scheduling work hours for myself, not replying to emails when I'm not "in the office" and therefore freeing up time and wholehearted attention for friends, family and even myself. 

For those of you who work from home, how do you balance it all?

StuffLieslComment
Buckaloo View Shop - Grand Opening

The Buckaloo View Shop is now open!

Originally, I had hoped to have a great deal more available at this point but this is a good start. The dye season has only just begun, so expect to see more frequent updates with yarns and goods in the coming months. 

Thank you all for your support and encouragement! 

StuffLiesl Comments
A Spring Swap/KAL

Hello and Happy Friday! 

Just want to pop in to let you know I'm hosting a Spring Swap (and KAL.) It runs from March 20th to April 10th. For more details and information on how to sign up, check out this thread over at the BV group on Ravelry. 

Also, a little reminder that, on March 20th, the Buckaloo View Shop will be opening! 

Have a great weekend!

StuffLiesl Comments
2015 Craft Goals

Every year, I give into the lure of making resolutions even though I am terrible at keeping them. There is something about the fresh beginning and the hopeful expanse of a "new" year. I have a handful of personal goals but I'd like to once again share my craft goals with you here. Last year, I shared my 2014 goals, which I leniently called "hopes" and am happy to look back and see that I accomplished a handful of them. Considering the year I had, I find that something to be proud of. Now, onward to what I hope to achieve in 2015! My main goal is to learn all I possibly can about wool and fibers. But more specifically, I hope to:

design knitting patterns.
set up a dye studio in the barn.
achieve new colors when dyeing yarn (like greens, reds and blues, in particular.)
as well as experiment with more plant sources.
spin yarn.
open up the Buckaloo View shop.
and finally, make soap.

What craft goals do YOU have for 2015?

 

PS : I've created a Buckaloo View group on Ravelry and would be honored if you joined. I hope it's a place where we can chat about natural dyeing, patterns and yarns I release and general knitting/fiber talk. I'll also be looking for testers for patterns and yarns in the future via the group. (Actually, I'm hoping that sometime this week I can open call for testing my very first pattern!) AND... there is a thread there to chat about and share sneak peeks for the Mystery Hat Swap! (So far we have over 30 participants!)

 

StuffLiesl Comments
Happy Holidays!

I had hoped to do a few posts next week, then sign off for the holidays but I have been so disorganized and undisciplined lately that I don't have any decent posts for next week. So, instead, I'll be leaving a bit earlier and will be back with new things in the new year. 

When I return, the first order of business will be a Mystery Hat Swap I'll be hosting! It will start around the 21st of January and run for about four-five weeks. I'll do a post on the 1st with more info and open the sign-up. In the meantime, keep it in mind. I'd love it if you joined in! 

I wish you a very happy end to 2014 and hope you are surrounded with love and warmth.

StuffLiesl Comments