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12/08/2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Pinterest


I wish I'd invented Pinterest.

I've always considered myself a pretty creative person.  And for as long as I can remember, I've clipped craft ideas and recipes from magazines, which I dip into periodically for inspiration (or I flat-out copy).

Then, along came this amazing little social network.

I first learned of it about 2 years ago, shortly after it launched, when I worked at Brides -- it's perfect to gather wedding ideas.  But I really embraced it about a year ago as a place to keep favorite recipes.  Next thing I know, I have more than 1,500 saved.

No wonder I can't fit in my pants!

Pinterest's mission is simple: connect people with things they find interesting. 

You pin (or re-pin) photos to virtual bulletin boards that you create around any theme, with a link back to the source so when you want to cook that great recipe or make that cool craft, you know how it's done. 

So, pin + interest = Pinterest.  And with more than 10 million registered members, clearly, they're on to something.

In my mind, there are 3 things that distinguish this site from other social networks:
  1. It's primarily female -- when you think of most networks, particularly in their early stages, they are typically dominated by men.
  2. You often interact with people you don't know -- most social networks connect you with people you already know.  You can do that here too, but I'm always introduced to new ideas from people I've never met.
  3. Your pins have longevity -- the shelf life of a single Facebook post is about a day.  Twitter?  Maybe an hour.  On Pinterest, people regularly re-pin photos that are a month or even a year old.  A good idea is a good idea.
Speaking of ideas, here are a few I've tried -- the image on the left is the original pinspiration, the one on the right is what I actually made.

There were some hits and some misses...

#1 RECYCLED CRYSTAL LIGHT CONTAINERS 

Why this pin?: 
I had a ton of leftover containers from our Crystal Light taste test, and it's that time of year again when I get a card slipped under my door with the names of 18 guys who work in my apt building.  I wish I could give them all cash, but kisses (of the chocolate variety) will have to do.

Materials needed:
Crystal Light containers (I used the large ones here), bags of wrapped candy (I used a Hershey's Kiss medley -- milk chocolate, milk chocolate with almonds, and the festive white chocolate candy cane), small bows, ribbon, and gift tags.  Note: 1 large container holds 57 kisses.

Cost:
If you don't count the containers, it's about $4 each.

Verdict:
A hit.  Unless you are one of the guys who work in my building.  They prob would have preferred cash.



#2: GLITTER ORNAMENT


 
Why this pin?:
It's Christmas!  I've made ornaments before and knew this one would be easy.  The key here is to apply the glitter inside the ornament rather than on the outside.  Much neater that way.

Materials needed:
Clear ornaments (easy to find at Michael's), spray adhesive, and glitter (I used Martha Stewart in turquoise).

Cost:
About $1 per ornament.

Verdict:
A hit.  I love sparkly things. 


#3 S'MORES COOKIE BARS


  
Why this pin?:
My sister-in-law made these for a Superbowl party last year and it took all my energy not to eat the whole tray.  I HAD to try to make them myself (so I could eat the whole tray).  Then I remembered, I'm a horrible baker.

Materials needed:
Pyrex dish, butter, brown sugar, regular sugar, egg, vanilla extract, flour, graham cracker crumbs (you can buy them already crumbly from Honey Maid, you don't have to smash your own), baking powder, salt, large chocolate bars (Hershey's) and marshmallow cream (Fluff).

Cost:
I think the ingredients for this cost me about $25 but that's here in NYC grocery stores with their minibar prices.  Don't let that scare you.

Verdict:
Mixed.  True to s'mores form, they look messy, but they tasted pretty good.  Not as good as when my sister-in-law made them, because she actually can bake!



#4: OMBRE NAILS



Why this pin?:
It looks like such fun to paint all your nails a different shade!  Then you do it.  And you quickly realize you have giant clown hands that you probably can't wear to work.  So you paint all your nails the same color as your pinkie and forget it ever happened.  Or maybe that's just me.

Materials needed:
5 nail polishes ranging from light to dark in the same shade (from thumb to pinkie, I used Essie in Baby's Breath, Essie in Charmeuse, Essie in Splash of Grenadine, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Back to the Fuchsia, and Essie in Bermuda Shorts).

Cost:
$0.  I have a bazillion nail polishes, so I didn't have to buy these.  If you did, the cost for 5 could range between $10 - $50 depending on what kind of polish you like.  Or you could probably just get a manicure and ask for this to get it out of your system.  Just make sure you don't have any big meetings that week.  (Seriously, clown hands.)

Verdict:
A miss.  This seemed like a better idea than it actually was.  And I just about passed out from the fumes of 5 bottles of polish open simultaneously.
 

#5 MAGNETIC MAKEUP BOARD


Why this pin?:
I have very little counter space in my teeny weeny bathroom.  So I have tons of makeup that I never use. The bag I keep in my purse only holds a couple things -- a blush, mascara, and a bunch of lip glosses.  That's it.  I thought this would get me to use all the other stuff I've bought thanks to my Sephora addiction, because I could actually SEE what I've got.

Materials needed:
A metal board and containers (I got mine at the aptly titled Container Store -- this is a desk set that I converted into a makeup board), and adhesive magnet strips (also from the Container Store) to stick to the back of all your makeup.

Cost:
This was about $45 (not including the cost of all the makeup -- I don't even want to think about how much I've spent on THAT!).  But since it doubles as art for my bathroom wall, I'm ok with it.

Verdict:
A hit.  People who see it think I'm clever.  And, really, isn't that the point of Pinterest in the first place?


While we're on this topic, here's a collection of my most popular pins -- I think I haven't really inspired people so much as I have reminded them how great the 80s were.  

I'm ok with that.

My 5 Most Popular Pins:

Wonder Woman Underoos

Re-pins: 897
Likes: 175
Comments: 32

Why this pin?:
I loved her so much I wore my WW bathing suit as a Halloween costume one year.  My mom even made me tin foil cuffs.  I would have worn these outside too, but... they're underwear and people generally frown on that.


Re-pins: 713
Likes: 111
Comments: 1

Why this pin?:
Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, and Red.  Simple as that.


Dynamite Magazine & Rick Springfield

Re-pins: 284
Likes: 42
Comments: 12

Why this pin?:
I totally had this issue!  I loved this magazine and Rick was my first concert.  Dr. Noah Drake may be showing his age now, but back in the day, he was dreamy.  And destined to marry me.  That worked out well.


Hand Painted Yankees Toy Chest

Re-pins: 215
Likes: 52
Comments: 7

Why this pin?:
I painted this for my nephew when he was born because I wanted to make him something special.  Babe Ruth's number is on one side and Donnie Baseball is on the other, to represent his grandfather's and father's favorite players.  After all, he is a 5th generation Yankee fan (until he becomes a Cubs fan). 


Cabbage Patch Kids

Re-pins: 169
Likes: 18
Comments: 0

Why this pin?:
This chubby gal looks just like my own doll, Gabrielle.  Also someone (who is not my brother) had one (who was definitely NOT named Fletcher). I may have been a touch old for dolls -- I was 9 when I "adopted" her.  Today, I think kids that age are busy stealing their parent's car and driving to keggers and tattoo parlors, but 1982 was a simpler time.






So, are YOU into Pinterest too?  Do you love it?  Think it's a passing fad?  A colossal waste of time?

Inspire me below!


tags: beauty, crafts, pop culture, technology

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love Pininterest!!!!

Chris said...

Hohoho I had no idea you were so craftie! Even though I can't get behind the Yankees that toychest is really beautiful, lucky boy and nice painting job :)

Jessica said...

I am totally making those Crystal Light candy boxes. I also tryed my hand at ombre, with a cake. Let's just say I don't recommend it unless you like wasting six hours of your life on a dessert that stains your teeth blue.

Anonymous said...

great ornament idea thanx

Anonymous said...

even bad smores are good smores