Thursday, 25 April 2013

Tips for surviving Pinterest


So everyone here has heard of Pinterest yes? If you haven’t please tell me which rock you have been living under for the past year, and is there enough room for me in there too? For the rest of us non rock-dwellers, we all know that Pinterest is, like most fandoms, something you just don’t get if you don’t participate. While us pinteresters talk about boards and pinning and crafts and Mod Podge, the non pinteresting people just stare into space with an incredibly bored look on their face.

But even if you are Pinterest’s biggest fan, you will know that not everything goes to plan when using the ideas you get from there. And sometimes nothing goes to plan at all. And then there are the times that you end up burning your house down while trying to make grilled cheese sandwiches.

Luckily for us the rise of websites like Pinterest has also given birth to websites aimed directly at laughing at the failures of people who try the things they pin. For a good belly laugh as well as a good directory of what not to do when trying any of the pins you can find, check out craftfail or the wonderful blog Pinstrosity. There is also the hilarious Pintester, who I have mentioned in a previous post here.

So for any of you who are seasoned Pinterest fans, or for anyone out there looking to dip their toe into the waters, I have come up with a fool-proof plan for surviving any visit on any board anywhere on the website. Please take this as a reference next time you wade through the pins.

1. Avoid anything that looks deceptively easy
So if anyone tells you that you can bake a perfect soufflé in less than five steps, take a giant step back and press the bull#$%^ button. There is no such thing as a soufflé in less than five steps, or even less than ten steps. In fact the first five steps should be dedicated to egg whites alone and would probably go along the lines of keep beating, keep beating, almost done, keep beating, I know your hand is sore but just keep beating. Remember the age old saying if it looks to easy to be true, that is probably because it is.

2. Avoid anything with glitter
Glitter is the herpes of the craft world. Once you have it, you can’t get rid of it. As I type this, I am sitting in a pool of sparkly tiny metal flakes, thanks to my baby sister’s decision to have a glitter and sequin themed 21st birthday party almost two weeks ago. Two weeks ago and many goes with the vacuum cleaner and I still can’t get the @#$%@ stuff out of my carpets. We have a running gag in our house where we try to describe what Edward Cullen has been doing in our house to explain away all the glitter you can find layering every flat surface and a few non-flat ones.

Nuff said

3. Avoid anything that calls a Mason Jar an everyday household item
The same goes for Cream of Tartar, or resin, or glycerine. For some people these may be every day household items, but for the most of us, the inclusion of the words Mod Podge in a tutorial means a special trip to your local craft store and then hours of frustration and hair pulling while you try to learn how to use this new ingredient you hadn't heard of before today. If you find something you want to try with foreign sounding ingredients, buy them first and play with them a few times before you start tackling the big projects.

4. Avoid anything that Martha Stewart says is easy
There is a rumour going around the internet (started by me) that Martha Stewart is a sorcerer who sold her soul in order to be the best crafter in the world. While she may be able to make any meal look good, (see here for proof) her estimation on how easy a project is going to be is in fact a perfect indication that this is going to take several years off your life. If you can get through a Martha Stewart project without needing to be institutionalised, or at best resorting to voodoo to try and rid the world of the evil spirit that has possessed her, then you are a stronger person than I am.



5.  Always make sure the pin links to a proper tutorial
This one is a big one, and a huge source of frustration to me and I’m sure millions of other people who try to copy something they see on Pinterest. You see the beauty of Pinterest is not only is it an inspiration board, it is also an effective bookmarking tool, which looks a whole lot better than a bunch of tabs at the top of your browser. The only problem with this is sometimes people don’t actually pin things directly from the source. Sometimes they pin things from Google Image, sometimes the pin is just a link to another website where they talk about the fact that they've seen this, but don’t actually tell you how to do it, and sometimes it takes you to a spam site where they try to harvest your kidneys through your modem. (True story*) If you are just going to use the picture as your inspiration and you don’t need any instructions, then pin away whatever the heck you like. Otherwise you will be sorely disappointed when you finally try to make that button bowl and realise the website it is sending you to is just the artist’s blog where he sells the bowls pre-made.

6. If all else fails; Google it
The amount of times I have saved myself the heartache of another failed project by typing the end result into Google only to come across lots of posts by angry and frustrated people who have failed miserably at the same thing could propel me around the world twice. (I stopped paying attention part way through that sentence, what did I just say?) While Pinterest is a wonderful website full of awesome ideas, Google is an even better website full of angry people and trolls (but only around the bridges) who are more than happy to tell you not to bother trying to make cupcakes in ice cream cones, or any form of cake pops, or string balloons.  You can ignore their words of warning at your own peril, but don’t be surprised if they all show up at your house screaming “I TOLD YOU SO!!!” when everything fails miserably.

Well that should be enough to get you started for now, I'd also suggest letting friends and family know when you are going to log into Pinterest, so that they can check on you every 24 hours or so to make sure you're still ok. If any of you have any further advice you'd like to pass on to the readers, please add it into the comments box below.

*Of course that isn't a true story, if you believe that then you’ll believe anything, and this tutorial really isn't enough to help you. May I suggest some sort of 12 step program?
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