Friday, January 20, 2012

Lesson 117: A Pinteresting Weekend

The above video is something I think many of you will find pinteresting (no that is not a misspelling).  Watch the video for a dose of inspiration and then read on to find more things of pinterest.  (Thanks, Terri).

Happy weekend, Readers.  It's the middle of January and if you are an Erieite like Eloise, you may be getting itchy for something to do.  I get restless in the wintertime.  Eloise can only brave the elements so long and hauling three kids and a dog around with mittens and boots is exhausting.  I am a teacher, not CEO of a Fortune 500 company, therefore weekend beach getaways are not within my budget.  My finances and the weather leave old Eloise grounded, but luckily I found a pinteresting new pastime thanks to our school's tech teacher's suggestion (Thanks, Amy).  If you haven't heard about, read on.  It's my new Favorite Thing.

Pinterest is an online pinboard, a virtual bulletin board for images.  It is referred to as a social networking site for images.  Don't have a heart attack like I did.  Immediately I thought of every bad thing that could be on there, so I launched a full investigation.  For once, I liked what I found.  Pinterest began in March of 2010, and by the fall of 2011 it already climbed to the top ten list of social networking sites.

Social networking is a term that I am growing to accept.  It used to run shivers down the spines of me and my fellow teachers, after hearing presentations from the school's resource officers about the dangers of My Space.  Facebook accounts were frowned upon, but now they are almost accepted, but there is an unstated but very understood use with caution clause for any teacher, or anyone for that matter.  As with anything, when used with integrity, social networking is a good thing.  Misuse equals abuse.  Period.

A pinterest page kind of looks like this.  It is almost like a columned facebook newsfeed.  People from all over are posting images of things they love.  There is room for a few comments underneath--just short little posts that say "love this" or "my dream shoes."  There is everything of interest on there, from recipes to photography, to workout tips, to books you want to read, to places you want to visit before you die.  There is a huge section for easy to do crafts---the simplest ideas you can make out of some paint and an oatmeal canister.  The cleverness of people never ceases to amaze me.

Ellen came home from her friends house with this cool art project---just some crayons, hot glued to a $2 canvas from Walmart, then hit with a blow dryer.  "Where did you find this idea?" I asked.  "Pinterest" was the reply.  I've been hooked ever since.

You will need to apply for a pinboard.  That freaked me out for some reason.  To what criteria must I meet to have a pinboard?  Was the Great and Powerful Oz himself determining if I was worthy enough for one?  Was there some sort of fee?  I never got clear answers to the first two questions, but I did confirm there is no fee for a pinterest account.  It links directly to facebook and twitter.  You log in that way.  I feared that perhaps everything I "pinned" to my virtual pinboard would be made public to the world, as in "Eloise likes crock pot apple pie."  Seemingly a harmless thing to let the world know, but PRIVACY is important and we as citizens must never forget that.  I've been testing the site for about two weeks and you can "like on facebook" as an option, or pin to your pinboards privately.

How about kid use?  I've been looking into that, too.  All of the posts are appropriate for my fifth grade daughter.  There is nothing that would really interest Sam or Natalie, but nothing that I would not let them look at.  The site must be policed somehow--by it's own users or perhaps a larger governing body, I don't know, but inappropriate images have been absent since my involvement.

You can make as many pinboards as you like once you get your account.  I of course, separated mine into categories and gave them cool names instead of just the general THINGS I LIKE and PLACES I WANT TO GO.  I called my recipe board NOURISH.  I called by exercise board STRIVE.  I called my craft board CREATE and my Bible quote one INSPIRATION.  I even made Ellen her own and named it ELLEN LOUISE.  She can pin anything she wants to on it, but it is under my account so I can always see what she's pinning.

This is a braid I pinned to my beauty board which I named HELLO, BEAUTIFUL!  You save the image on your pinboard, and when you want to try it yourself, the image takes you directly to the how-to link--usually on someones blog like this one, with a youtube video with how to do it.  I used Tracy Northern as my guinea pig on this one.  She has nice, long wavy hair, and lives with all men so she was more than willing to comply.

This is another craft idea I pinned to my CREATE board.  There was a similar Button Tree on pinterest and I showed Ellen.  We busted out the buttons and used her canvas and some paints she got for Christmas.  It's not exactly the same as the original--as a recreation never should be.  In fact, it's better, because it's Ellen's.  If you go on pinterestPinterest makes this ever so simple.  
This is the final product.  I love it.

In fact, I loved it so much I put it up in the Lamp Post so I can look at it when I write.  Creative people are supposed to surround themselves in things that they love when they embark on creative projects.  I love my daughter's artwork and you can see a couple of examples just from this shot.  At only 11, she is showing some great talent already.

This watercolor art is Natalie's which I think is equally beautiful.  Natalie follows her sister's every move.  When Ellen reads, Natalie reads.  When Ellen puts in a pony tail, Natalie goes searching for a hair tie.  And when Ellen does her artwork, Natalie is right next to her.  Ellen even let her sister use her good paper and new watercolors from Christmas without blinking an eye.  When I say that my daughter Ellen is a selfless soul, I mean that.

That's why I believe God gave Ellen some artistic talent to balance the stress of an autistic sister who follows you like a shadow.

Take for example the other morning.  This was the sky.  I took this shot at sunrise off of my front porch.
This one, too.  I loved how the colors turned out.  After school last week I showed Ellen.  "I think we should pin THIS to pinterest," I said.  I would, but I don't know how about doing that.  Plus I am not into sharing really, I'm into seeing what other creative people are out there doing.  I'm not out to one up anyone.

"Paint me this," I said to her.  Ellen went up in her room and came down twenty minutes later with this:

Pretty awesome.  I don't have this one on display though.  I mailed it to Tracy Southern.  It's her birthday on Saturday.  Ellen and I named the picture Twilight, in honor of her and mailed it down to her.  It represents the story she got us both sucked into (literally, it's about vampires).  Art isn't meant to be hoarded, it's meant to be shared, (Thanks, Jan) hence the idea of pinterest.

 But the most pinteresting thing about my weekend is this:  Sam got sent home from preschool today with the pukes.  "My tummy hurts and I am NOT happy," he told his Momma.  I'm in for a long weekend.

It's nice to know that I have a lap top and can surf pinterest while sitting on the other end of the couch, watching Toy Story with Sam.  Perhaps I'll find something inspiring---or a good concoction to remove vomit stains from the carpeting.  Eloise has ridden through many a January stomach flu.

Enjoy your new pinterest, Pinheads.  And don't forget to say a prayer for that beautiful boy in the opening video clip.  God really does give us all gifts and talents.  That is your lesson for today.

Happy Pinning!

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