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!
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.