It’s official we are now live!

Hello one and all, today is a big day for us as we have gone live with the website. There are a few things for you to look at and we are hoping to bring you loads more. So if you are interested in us promoting your work, just contact us.

So how does this all work?

Well the plan is to have three updates a week, two of which will be contributions from an artist/writer and the other will be a blog update. The blog section will be what we are getting up to and a mishmash of things we find interesting around the web!

What are we looking for?

Creativity in a Christ-centred life. Our definition of creativity is wide open, and we are not just looking for two hundred portraits of Jesus. Any creative output from someone who follows Jesus will reveal their faith and values so the work doesn’t have to be ‘overtly Christian’ at first glance. What we do want to do is promote you and your work.

Now what?

We are super syked to have a Q&A post from Pinstrosity and Lynsey Berry. Both have some great insights to their success.

Watch the video below, a quote from Ira Glass. Be encouraged, be creative and have a look around the website!

 

video sorce: Daniel Sax

Q&A with Pinstrosity

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When it comes to creative work most of us want to show the world the best of the best of our output. We only want our perfections on display. Yet one blog has found the joy and inspiration in enthusiastically displaying creative projects that have gone terribly wrong.

Pinstrosity is a fun and friendly corner of the internet and, for a site that documents good ideas that have ended in disaster, it is strangely inspiring.

Meet Marquette, Emilee and Rachel for a behind the scenes look into the wonderful world of Pinstrosity!

How would you describe Pinstrosity to someone who has never heard of it before?

Pinstrosity is a place in cyber space to show the real side of Pinterest. It is a place for people to come to showcase projects that didn’t turn out as seen on Pinterest, a place to come and giggle at yourself, and a place to come to learn new tips and tricks. Pinstrosity is a community of real life Pinterest users, showcasing their humorous project results.

Why did you start the blog?

We started Pinstrosity as a fun personal blog after a few of our own Pinterest projects turned out as flops. It was a blog to make fun of ourselves and to document our Pinterest projects. We wanted something that we could do together as friends and the blog seemed like the perfect idea, as well as a great reason to keep trying out things from Pinterest.

What have been some of your favourite ‘pinstrosities’?

We know that this is corny, but picking a favorite truly is a hard! As we were putting this together, Rachel said “I love that people take the time to write to us and share their stories. I love being able to share my fails with people who understand.”

Of course, GCT 4s and 5s always warrant a gasp and then laughter ensues (if no one was seriously hurt). I will say that one of the things that makes for an especially good Pinstrosity post are lots of details and pictures. I always appreciate witty writing, and some of the submissions received are downright hysterical.” But, with that said, we decided to at least show you some of our favorites. Are these our all-time favorites? No clue, but they definitely are favorites!

Melted Minions:

Q&A1Q&A3

 

The Leaning Tower of Kids:

Q&A4Q&A5

 

Yarn Balloons:

Q&A6Q&A7

 

The Russian Honeycomb Cake:

Q&A9Q&A10

 

To say that ‘Pinstrosity’ highlights a lot of hilarious failures, the site is never mean-spirited or mocking. You laugh with people not at them, and then you research and offer advice on to how to avoid the problem next time. How important is the ‘how to fix this’ aspect of the blog to you?

We feel like the “how to fix this” portion of the blog sets us apart from other Pinterest and social media humor sites. Many of the sites are there simply to make fun of posts and projects through pictures. We knew that if we wanted our site to be different, and if we wanted the site to not be seen as snarky or mean-spirited, that we needed to have an aspect to the blog that most of the others didn’t have. We feel like having the “how to fix this” aspect turns our blog into more of a community, or support group, than just a humor site. Readers send in such awesome emails and comments with additional tips and suggestions on how to fix a project, or saying “Hey, that happened to me too! Now I know what I did wrong!”. It makes the site a place where we can all laugh at ourselves and help each other out.

The blog covers a whole range of crafts and creativity from baking and cooking, to art work, design, fashion and hair and beauty… What are your personal favourite forms of creativity? What do you like doing the most?

Emilee: Redecorating my house!! I love re-purposing thrift or second hand goods for decorative purposes. Finding an old cast off thrift item and turning it into something beautiful and usable for my house is so much fun. This allows me to bring my style into my home, and to make my home uniquely ‘us’ without draining our bank account in the process. And it’s always fun to say, “Thanks! I made that!”.

Marquette: I really love event planning as it allows me to try out so many different forms of creativity. Creating decorations, food, taking photographs, costumes/clothing, games, invitations, and seeing others enjoying the event are all so much fun for me. Music and writing are also major parts of me and my creative core. Some of the times in my life I have received the most inspiration from God is when I have been singing, playing the piano, or writing.

Rachel: I love fashion, but since I can’t sew, I compensate with cosmetics and nail polish. I love food, but am still learning how not to burn water. I have gotten much better at baking, so that is consistently fun. I also enjoy a wide range of art: painting, drawing, 3D design, yadda yadda. A little bit of everything, I suppose.

The fact that you are close friends comes across very clearly and now Rachel has joined the team. What advantages are there to working as a team in this way? Does it ever cause trouble?

Three heads are way better than one! Rather than there being just one of us to come up with ideas, write posts, answer emails, design the blog, and research, there are three of us! We are able to split the work, take the submissions that fit our areas of “expertise” (not that we’re experts on anything though!), and help to fill in when one of the three of us needs help. Coordinating the posting schedule between three busy ladies into something that flowed well and worked well for us took a while to figure out, that has been one of our main challenges with working as a team.

How has ‘Pinstrosity’ made a difference in your lives?

Pinstrosity has become so much more than we imagined it would be, and has affected our lives more than we first thought it would. It gives us motivation to keep exercising our creativity and to try out projects that we might otherwise let slip by. We have learned greatly from all the comments, from the research we’ve done for various posts, and from our own trial and error (heavy on the error part!). We have also made some friends that we wouldn’t have without the blog. Pinstrosity has opened up doors for us with writing, meeting new people, and trying new projects.

What is the most rewarding part of running ‘Pinstrosity’?

Some of the most rewarding moments have been the emails we’ve received from readers saying they needed that day’s post, or that it inspired them to try again. Knowing that we’ve helped to put a smile on someone’s face, heal a bruised ego, or given someone the motivation they needed to push on through the day makes the work we put into Pinstrosity worth every single second.

Rachel adds in, “I’m certainly not one of the wonderful women who “run” this blog…but contributing has been a blast. The exchange of warm fuzzy feelings with readers and the other writers makes you feel great. Everyone loves to learn something new. Laughing until your stomach hurts is an added bonus!”

Since the blog began two years ago what have been the milestones or most memorable moments?

We were beyond excited with how fast the blog picked up. We started the blog in February of 2012 and by the end of July that same year we hit our first million page views. That was astounding!

One highlight for us was also when Studio 5, a segment on Utah’s KSL News Program, did a featured clip about Pinstrosity. This was our first television mention!

Here in the US the New York Times is a pretty big deal, so we were floored when we discovered that we had been linked to in an article in their style section.

And our most recent excitement was when we hit our 500th post on the same day that we hit 18 million pageviews.

If you had to give one piece of advice to the crafters out there what would you say?

Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid to try. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to try again. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to read the directions (there really seems to be a fear of reading the directions out there). Don’t be afraid of yourself.

You will have projects large and small that flop. You will have projects that come out absolutely amazing. You will have projects that won’t look like your neighbor’s projects. Life isn’t about putting on the perfect party, having the perfectly decorated DIY living room, having the perfectly dressed children, or presenting the perfectly iced cake. Life is about finding joy. Don’t be afraid to find joy in your life and to find joy in your successes AND your failures.

What’s next for Pinstosity?

We have garnered quite the list of ideas for this year for Pinstrosity: video tutorials of troubleshooting hairstyles, more guest posts, a post from our awesome menfolk, crafting challenges, theme weeks (I’m quite looking forward to chocolate week!), and more. This year we also plan on a blog and logo redesign!

Our pie-in-the-sky/we’d-wet-our-pants-if they-happened dreams for Pinstrosity? Writing a book, and being invited to be on the Ellen Show.

Manchester Rain

Back in August 2010, I worked near the Northern Quarter in Manchester. If you have spent any time in the North of England, you will know that the weather can change so quickly, and there can be such a contrast of extremes.

This was one of those days, and it completely tipped it down. Luckily I had my camera in with me that day.
Not so lucky for these guys.

Rain Hide

Rain Run

 

Hound of the Baskervilles Lego

The new Lego Movie had just been released and Waterstones ran a competition to mark the occasion. The aim was to build a brick version of a favourite moment from a book. So I had to give it a go!

The Hound

My wife Cathy came up with the idea of The Hound of the Baskervilles, but when she said it, I instantly saw the scene of Sherlock being chased by the hound across the moors. I also had a quick recap of the book via Wikipedia :s

So where to start? It’s defiantly got to be “The Hound”, the beast is the focal point, and it has got to be menacing. The figure probably took the most time to workout and build. It’s kind of a cross between a bulldog and a lion. In the book the Hound glowed green, so hopefully I could produce something along the same lines, but probably not green. We also watched the BBC Sherlock series, purely for research purposes. Loving the show had nothing to do with it.

Next up was the environment. How do you show the bleak vastness of the moors? Do I have even have enough Lego to create an impressive background, in the colours I need? Errrmmm I know, I’ll create it at night. That way I can hide a lot, but also focus the mood and attention by lighting.

I’ve used all sorts for lighting. Candles to give a warm glow, some white led bike lights to give a harsh cool moonlight, and some red bike lights for the Hound to give that rising out of hell look. I also turned on the fairy lights to brighten up the room because I wanted the camera to have a faster shutter speed.

So why did I want a faster shutter speed? To capture the detail in the fog, obviously!

I looked at many ways to create fog, most of them were too expensive for a one off project. A smoke machine would be over kill, I even tried to create fog by boiling glycerin mixed with water, but that didn’t work for me. Another choice would be to use an ultrasonic fogger for a terrarium, but I wasn’t too impressed with the effects. I ended up chatting with a friend from work about the project and hey presto he gave me the solution.

  • candles
  • from-above
  • e-cig

The e-cig works like a smoke machine but in a smaller form. It evaporates a solution usually mixed with nicotine ( in my case there was none! ) and you get lots of foggy vapor. It worked great for the project.

I used a straw to place the fog all around the scene, and took quite a few pictures in hope that one of them would be suitable.

And I got it, just needed a little bit of brightening up and BOOM!

I’m pretty happy with the results 🙂

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Full size image here »