How do you use Pinterest?

Some people use it to collect fashion / craft / food ideas. Some people have optimized it to promote their blogs and/or online shops. Some people use it as a tool for work. And some people just follow a lot of boards but don’t pin anything.

Pinterest came into my life years after I developed an elaborate Favorites Folder system running across the top of my browser screen. It took what I was already doing and made it so I could look at the links I’d collected. It was easier to rearrange things, give them order, and to know what I was looking at without having to click for a memory jog. Mostly, I liked that Pinterest gave my links pictures. But I’m also kind of private, and I didn’t like the idea of having all of my favorites broadcast for anyone to see before I was ready to share. I bookmarked WordPress and Blogger before deciding which to use as my blogging platform. I bookmarked Etsy before deciding to open my shop. I have a folder of the social media sites I have accounts with even thought I only actively use a handful.

And then Secret Boards were born, THANK GOODNESS. I use Pinterest mostly for the secret boards. Here’s a list of mine, and what I use them for. I know, I know. Why have a secret board and then tell everyone about it? In case you aren’t using secret boards, or you need some ideas.

“Gift Time”

This is my most important board. I pin gift ideas for people as I find them and use their name for the description. When a birthday or holiday comes up, I just have to scroll through the board to find a gift! I did my Christmas shopping in under an hour this year because I spent the year collecting ideas for everyone. It was magical.

“Unsorted”

Where I put all the cool things I find but I don’t want to take the time to put it in a folder yet because: I am lazy. Or I don’t want to spam the feed with a bunch of history pins. I’ll save organizing these pins for a time when I need to organize my thoughts. I don’t know why, but it works for me so I’ll keep doing it.

“Get Serious” 

Embarrassing blog help. I just pinned an article on how to reply to comments. Because I’m bad at it! But I’m also embarrassed by this, so it didn’t go in my public “Blog&Shop” board. But now I’m telling you about it, which negates the whole point!

“Wish List”

I started this one near my birthday to collect gift ideas for my boyfriend. It’s mostly just Lego sets now.

“DIY Ideas”

A collection of things I want to do. Sometimes I’ll find a tutorial and pin it but I try to put those in one of the other folders, like “Skirt and Dress Projects,” or “T-Shirt Ideas.” This is more for when I see something and  say, “Hey, I bet I could make that.” That’s how I started crafting when I was younger and it’s still the most inspiring way for me to create. A lot of the things in there right now I’ve found on ModCloth. There’s this lace trimmed sweatshirt I think I can make with an old sweatshirt and some lace/ribbon I already have, which will be way less than $50 ;)

“Whales”

Yep. You guessed it. Where I collect whale things from the Internet to use in Wednesday Whales Love. They’re ready for me when I’m ready for them.

If it wasn’t for secret boards, I would still have to use my favorites folders, especially for “Gift Time.” But one of the best things about Pinterest is it will save the picture for your pin even when the link is dead, so you don’t lose your idea.

How do you make Pinterest work for you?

Jingle Shell picture frame

I found this picture of my Gramma and Great Gramma after my Grandpa died. It’s one of my favorite pictures of them because it’s exactly how I remember them- smiling and happy and in the kitchen of the condo (where we lived when I was very little). It makes me think of going to Great Gramma’s in the summer so Dad could mow her lawn, only to find that she had already done it. Running around her back yard on Easter and shrieking at ear wigs. Summer cookouts at my Grandparents. That time my Great Gramma gave me hot mustard. Making play dough spaghetti at the table when Dad got home from work. When my parents had the kitchen tiled and we got to eat in the living room!

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But (obviously) this frame is a little worse for the wear. It’s tarnished and held together with elastics. I used to keep the picture out on a shelf, but it kept falling off and busting open. It needed a new frame. I got a cheap frame from Walmart, one that the back would definitely stay on. And on Easter, I collected jingle shells from one of my favorite beaches.

Jingle shells are these fragile, translucent shells that absolutely litter Little Harbor. Growing up, my Dad said they’re called jingle shells because if you fill your hands with them and shake them around they make a jingling noise. But he also made up a lot of names for things (a story for another day) so a Wikipedia search was in order. Turns out, jingle shells are an acceptable, and widely known name for them.

I got my shells, frame, and glue gun together and put a piece of paper down so I wouldn’t get glue all over my desk. Again.

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I decided to go with hot glue instead of E-6000 because it dries quickly and I wouldn’t have to worry about the shells sliding around (as I learned from my Glass Jar Upcycle project).

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It didn’t take long to cover the frame.

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And once I added a hook, I could add it to my wall!

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That’s my Gramma’s retirement announcement on the left, a baby picture of my Mom below, and a mini whale poster from my cousin in the bottom right. I keep my strong ladies in view of my work area :)

Do you have any craft projects going on? A wall devoted to the strong women in your family? Baby pictures of your Mom on display? I want to know about it!

Wednesday Whale Love: Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day, everyone! It seems only appropriate to feature repurposed and plat-related items on the blog today. I’ll save the knife collection for next week :)

This driftwood coaster can hold your drinks and your pens!

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I would love to have this upcycled pendant in my collection. Can you believe it used to be a spoon?

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This wall garden is gorgeous! And the plants are low maintenance- just my style.

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I hope everyone is having a good week so far!

Living in a post-medication body

When I was 8,  my doctor said I was in the perfect height/weight ration and thus needed to stop snacking. I should use snacks as a reward ONLY, something to look forward to on a Saturday or a Sunday. I didn’t know what to do or say because I played outside a lot and obviously my food choices were not negatively impacting my body- she just said I was perfectly balanced. When I was older, I realized she had her own body-image issues and was trying to push that on me as a patient. Once I realized that, I decided that my body is mine and only I get to decide what it looks like. If I want to eat cake all day and never exercise, I can live with the effects of it. If I want to eat steak and salad and jog 8 miles a day, I can do that too (ahahahha I don’t like steak or jogging ahahaha).

About two years ago, I had a major depressive episode. I lost a little weight in the months leading up to its peak, but then I started on anti-depressants. I lost 20 pounds in a month. I was out of work during that time, and when I went back my body looked like a shell of itself. I hadn’t been that small since middle school, and I had very mixed feelings on it. So naturally, everyone wanted to know how I did it. What tips could I give them. It was a very personal experience and I wasn’t comfortable sharing it with most of the people who asked, so I usually just shrugged.

I had to get used to a smaller body. I needed new pants, and most of my dresses hung off me. I could no longer eyeball clothes in a store and know if they would fit, as I had for over 5 years. And what would happen when I went off medication? Would I stay small or gain my Kerry weight back? I didn’t know.

In September, I started weening myself off my medication. I usually gain a little weight in the winter anyway, but since my body now had to readjust to a medication-free metabolism, I gained back everything I lost 2 years ago and a little more. I was more comfortable in my body, felt more like myself, and was so glad I saved all my old pants! I knew it would be a while before my body adjusted to a post-mediation metabolism and a while before I fully accepted myself again. Just like it took a little while to accept the smaller version of me. But I was ok with that.

OH BUT WAIT. A couple of weeks ago, I got a new doctor. She measured me and weighed me and asked about my diet. Maybe two alcoholic drinks a week, a non-smoker, I don’t drink coffee. She wrote my answers down and didn’t say anything about it. We talked about how I was on medication but I went off in the fall. We talked about how it was a long winter. She said I need to stop drinking soda. She said I need to loose 4 pounds and, although I’ll still be too big, I’ll be at a better weight. This was crushing. My doctor basically called me fat. No one had called me fat since my Gram in high school. I relayed the experience to my boyfriend and he said, “Mhmm.” After a few minutes he said, “You look good to me.”

For the first time in 19 years, I hated my body. Hated it. The rolls on my stomach when I sit. The stretch marks on my thighs from when my hips came in. Not since I was 8 had I scrutinized my naked body so harshly in a mirror. Poking and pulling and squishing and flattening. Staring at myself, I looked and felt defeated. I realized I’d given up the power I took when I was young. This is my body. My skin. My stretch marks. My stomach and legs and arms and I live with myself. I live IN myself. Constantly. Only I get to decide how I feel about it.

I don’t care who you are. If you think there is something wrong with my body or if you think there is something wrong with the way I look, that’s your problem.

Finance Committee Meeting

Finance meeting

New in the shop: 3 new sections!

You’ll find 3 new sections in the shop this month: Sale, Zipper Pouches, and Wallets!

Zipper Pouches: This section is making a comeback. I decided they have a place in the shop again and have been working on some new designs. And most of them will be fancy pouches, with double or triple panels and stitching details. I think the new ones are really fun, and they’re fun to make, too!

Wallets: I briefly carried card sleeves in my shop about 2 years ago. At the time, I ultimately decided to nix them to concentrate my time on pencil cases and makeup bags. But I’ve wanted to offer money and card storage for a long time, and these little puppies are coming back. I’m planning to develop at least 2 more wallet-esque designs in the near future, to round out the section.

Sale: As I work on expanding my shop and tweaking the items I offer, some thing fall by the wayside. Mini pouches went from having key rings to lobster clasps. Front pocket clutches were sized down because the smaller ones sell better. Makeup bags got a new shape. As the new things take over, I don’t know what to do with the old ones. Now they have a home! Everything is priced at least 50% off and are mostly discontinued designs.

I’ve also been toying with the idea of offering seconds in the shop. Maybe the zipper is a little wonky, or there is a fabric wrinkle I couldn’t get out, or there is a weird mark on the fabric I didn’t realize until I was done with it. Currently, I keep them aside or offer them to friends. Just like the sale items start with “sale” in the title, these would start with “second,” and I’d explain about how I spilled candle wax all over it or that because the print is silk-screened on it got a distressed look to it when I was pulling the bag right side out. I’m not 100% sold on it yet through.

How do the new sections look and should I consider offering seconds in the shop?

Making Magnets

I have a friend who loves sugar skulls, so when I saw these buttons I knew she had to have them. But would she have a use for them? Or would she horde them for a special occasion, as I would do? I like giving functional gifts so I decided to turn them into magnets.

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I started with the buttons, some pliers, glue, and magnets.

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These are my favorite magnets to craft with because they are strong and polished and they don’t leave a residue. I’ve found that the black ones you find at most crafts stores can leave marks if they stay in one spot for too long- no thanks! They’re more expensive but totally worth it.

I started by cutting the button holes off the back.

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They were a little bumpy and I probably could have sanded them down smooth if I wanted to but I knew they would come out pretty flat with some glue underneath them.

I added a dollop of glue:

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And places the magnet over it:

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Uhm, SO EASY! I separated them to dry, giving them each their own corner of the paper to sit on. I’ve had too many instances where they were too close and snapped together, which is kind of messy and annoying. I let them dry over night before testing them on my own fridge :)

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A super easy and fun project for almost anyone! Happy crafting :)



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