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Nailed it (or not)

Adventures in failed Pinterest projects


June 16, 2015

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    For many of us, Pinterest can provide endless inspiration to enhance nearly anything. Wedding decorations, baby shower games, home furnishings, and dessert recipes all can be invigorated with the spark that comes from an eye-catching pin. A session of pin-browsing paired with a healthy dose of summer boredom might lead to a vast array of artfully crafted Independence Day wreaths, seashell-encrusted picture frames, or delicious smelling homemade candles. 
    Many times, though, unbridled optimism and good intentions only get us so far, and we wind up with bruised self-esteem after hurling a half-finished project at the well-meaning friend who suggested we "should take a break and calm down.” 
    Doesn’t it drive you crazy to have something so carefully planned in your head, but which only falls apart in your hands? Or is it just me? It’s true that I have a tendency to get worked up easily, but even my most mild-mannered, even-tempered friend has taken his frustrations out on an unfortunate board while attempting a pallet-crafted wine rack that just wouldn’t turn out as he’d planned. The entire patio was filled with the splinters that rained down from his exasperation and wrath. 
    For me, it’s always the recipes that cause my blood pressure to rise, whether it’s because the ingredients are too expensive (Why does a jar of allspice cost $12 at Wal-Mart?! The recipe calls for ½ teaspoon. Y’all can keep it.) or too rare (Never again will I drive to Pooler to locate Garam Masala.) or too dangerous to prepare (Yep, I’m the girl who filets open her finger with a paring knife, then runs around the kitchen with her hands over her head, screaming “Lord, help me! Get the cornstarch! Don’t look at it! Don’t look at it!”).
    The stress that accompanies a potentially epic fail only heightens when the craft is meant to be a gift for someone else, because the number of people you might disappoint grows to accommodate the number of people on the receiving end of your well-intended gesture. Take a moment and visualize a birthday bash made complete by the drooping, misshapen cake pops you offered to contribute to the festivities. Imagine all the ways your lovingly prepared sharpie mugs and plates might backfire when they come out of the oven with the lettering now a disheartening shade of beige! Consider the embarrassment of a dinner party filled with guests who shovel your “Mouthwatering! Foolproof!” paleo recipe into little mounds on their plates without actually eating any. Think of the comic relief the neighbors will gain from admiring the burlap disaster that is your sister’s new front door wreath! 
    Attempting a Pinterest creation doesn’t have to be a catastrophe, though. Sometimes you might get lucky and end up with a beautiful, original masterpiece. There’s a certain pleasure, too, that comes from someone exclaiming “You MADE that?” when they admire your well-executed handiwork in bewildered disbelief that it isn’t store-bought. All I’m saying is that those of us with a bend toward perfectionism and anxiety should embark on all Pinterest-related endeavors with a healthy dose of self-forgiveness and lowered expectations, and things will probably turn out alright. 
    It’s important to remember, too, that most of the pins you see were prepared by experts of that craft and then professionally photographed and likely edited for maximum quality. Your finished product, however, will probably not be subjected to such careful preparation. With that being said, go forth, have fun and unleash that summer boredom on some recipes, crafts and decorations. 
    Even if it isn’t something worth bragging about, it’ll surely make for an entertaining story later!


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