Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 - The Year of No Goals

Table of contents:

Click a picture to see the related blog post.

Year of 12 Jackets and Coats

You may recall that last year I joined the "Year of 12 Jackets and Coats" challenge on Stitcher's Guild. I completed 8 jackets. I started (and made good progress) on more than twelve, but I now have several UFOs.

hanging head in shame

Why so many UFOs?

Well, a variety of reasons. For two of them, I needed more supplies and they languished (and lost momentum) while I waited to acquire said supplies. One was too oversized and needed major alterations. One had "bleh" issues and another had issues relating to my alterations.

So, there you go.

In fact, because I did not finish this goal, nor did I finish my Autumn 6-Pack (though I came close), I decided, no more such commitments in 2012. Despite the fact that "Shirt of the Month", "Pants of the Month", "Top of the Month", (not to mention the 2012 Swap), are proliferating on Stitcher's Guide, I am resisting. It does not help my creativity when I start to feel pressure to complete something in a specific time.

We'll see if this helps my floundering mojo. Yesterday I had to take to my bed with a full batch of fudge, so I can use some mojo resuscitation.


I must be one of the last people around who has talked about Pinterest, at least on my blog.

Have you used Pinterest yet? Have you heard of it? I resisting signing up for it, at first. For a couple of reasons. First, the idea that everyone could see what I was pinning creeped me out a bit. If you didn't know, Pinterest provides a facility for creating virtual bulletin boards. You can create any number of bulletin boards, with any categories you wish. You can then "pin" any picture you see on the internet to one of your bulletin boards.

When you pin a picture, Pinterest saves a copy of it, so even if the web page goes away, the image is still available on your bulletin board. If other Pinterest members like what you pinned, they can "re-pin" it to one of their boards. Or they can "like" it. They can also comment on it.

The other reason I was reluctant to join, is that you are required to create an account using a Facebook or Twitter account. But once you create a Pinterest account, you can "unhook" your Facebook or Twitter account, and you can create a pseudonym, so you don't have to use your real name or have it exposed to the world. I did this immediately, so my Pinterest name is "Shams", as it should be. :)

I should also mention that you either register a request for a Pinterest account, or you ask someone who *has* a Pinterest account to extend an invite. I registered a request and it took only a few days, but I am happy to invite anyone who is interested, until I run out of my allotment. Just drop me a line, or leave me a comment.

Having said all that, I have been using Pinterest now for several months and I find it to be an invaluable tool. I have learned about new shops, new products, new creative ideas. Let me give you a few ideas about how I use Pinterest.

First, I created bulletin boards based on creative things that interest me. For example, I have a "stripes" bulletin board where I pin images of clothing that use stripes in interesting ways. I have a "polka dot" board. I have a "techniques" board, where I pin techniques I have come across that are interesting. In this board I have pinned various youtube videos as well as other techniques I have found on blogs and whatnot. This is one of my favorite boards. I have a "recipes" board of recipes that look yummy, and a "healthy recipes" board for when I don't want to be tempted by the unhealthy yummies. :) I have a board for saving cool ideas for a Sewing Room. You can pin just about anything!

Whether or not you create your own boards, you can then follow other people. You can choose to follow an individual, so that you will see anything they pin to any board. Or you can choose to follow specific bulletin boards that they have created, so that you see new items added to those boards.

I have used the "search" feature to find some of my favorite pinners. For example, by searching on some of my favorite brands of clothing (like Oska or Eskandar) in the search field, I found Karyn A, who has a fabulous sense of style. At least for what I like. :) I don't know Karyn personally, nor have we ever spoken. That's the way it is on Pinterest. You aren't "friends" with the folks you follow, or the folks who follow you. You are interested in what they are pinning, and that's as far as it goes, at least inside of Pinterest. It is not a "social app", the way Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace, are.

So, not only can you search for things, and follow people and their boards, but you can see what sources people are using for their pins. I find this to be one of the most fun ways to use Pinterest. For example, say you love clothing from Anthropologie (as many pinners do). You can find out what people are pinning from Anthropologie by entering, in the URL window of your browser, the following string:<website>/. Where it says <website>, enter So it would look like this: You can now see what other folks have pinned from Anthropologie's site, even if the items are no longer available on the Anthropologie site itself.

I have spent a lot of time playing with this feature and it's very fun. If you have a blog or a website, you can see what people are pinning from your site. I've provided a few sites for you to get started:

Anyway, you might see that Pinterest can be an addictive site. I don't tend to spend a lot of time on it myself, but I find it to be a wonderful resource when I do browse there. I do often find that their servers are slow, or down, so I presume these are just growing pains and that it will improve over time.

Just be warned, it can be quite addictive. :)

Funny Video - "Like the Costume Fairy, Only Taller"

Finally, one of my Facebook friends posted this very funny video on her wall. Enjoy!

Happy New Year!