Thursday, October 31, 2013

Baby is here!

Marquette had her baby yesterday morning!
Mom and baby are doing great and everything went really well! He is ADORABLE!
Good job Kette and Cam :)
I am not sure if she is wanting to share pictures/details quite yet, but if I get the ok, I will post them up along with all the details!
Marquette has blogs scheduled for the next few days because she is the most with it person ever! So everyone enjoy those while I try to get my stuff in order and get my posts up in between!!
Hope everyone is having a happy and safe Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Aliens or Skeletons?

Halloween is almost here! Have your costumes ready? Your candy bought? Your decorations for parties done? Need a last minute fun project for Halloween? I've got just the thing for you today then! It's a knock-off Potter Barn vase project. 

Here are the original Pottery Barn vases:||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-
Blogger Danielle Monroe saw these and came up with her own much cheaper DIY version inspired by the Pottery Barn vases:
Creepy and cool, no?! I think they are awesome. Serena did too and decided to give these a try last Halloween. Here's what she ended up with:

The Pinstrosity:

Serena said, "When we put it in the pumpkin we carved, my husband said, 'That's a nice alien sweetie'. And I realized he meant my skeleton vase. Fail on skeleton vase, win for aliens!"

This is hard one to make work as per the directions, as spray paint dissolves styrofoam. I'm guessing that when the directions say "Bring the vases back out to your painting area and give them another light coat." they mean a really really light coat. Some dissolving of the styrofoam will be okay and might make it look cool, but too much dissolving and you'll get alien heads instead of skeletons. You could try painting the styrofoam with white acrylic/crafting paint in the same color as your vase, but that's going to be hard to get the two colors exactly the same.

Then my other idea for this project (just something I'd try if I were doing this...I don't know how great it'd work), is for the gluing process. Once I had the heads glued onto the vases I'd add some extra glue around the edge of the head where it meets the vase, and spread it a little to try and get the texture to look like the head is coming out of the vase and not just stuck on the vase. Then after all the glue is dry I'd paint it. I don't know if that'd work or not...but that'd be one tweak I'd try out just as a part of my personal over achieving crafting mindset. 

But even with the dissolving that went on with the skeleton heads for Serena's skeletons, I like how they turned out! That second vase really is creepy and so Halloweeny and awesome...even if it is an alien and not a skeleton. At least aliens are still Halloweeny! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Classification of a Pinstrosity

It kinda cracks me up when people get bent out of shape over what we classify as a Pinstrosity. Over the course of the blog we've had all sorts of comments on our posts, comments on Pinterest, emails, comments left on discussion boards, etc. about how we shouldn't call certain projects Pinstrosities. "That's not a Pinstrosity, she deviated from the directions so it's just her fault." "That's not a Pinstrosity, it still turned out usable." "That's not a Pinstrosity, I'm Grumpy Cat." 

So, I thought I'd clear up some of the "confusion" and tell you what we, the creators of the site (and term) Pinstrosity, count as a pinstrosity: any project that doesn't match up to the outcome of the original pin for whatever reason. On the right sidebar you can find a text box that says this, "Pinstrosity™ content submitted from Pinterest users like you. This isn't a site to just laugh and make fun of projects gone wrong (although occasionally giggles and guffaws do come out), but also to help troubleshoot and learn from the Pinterest Fails we all have. Life isn't Pinterest-perfect...but it's not supposed to be. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the community of pinners showing Pinterest projects as they happen in the 'real world'." We hoped that would get our general idea across, but we still get comments like this:

  • "But you show projects that still turned out well! Those aren't Pinstrosities!" 
    • Yes, there are varying levels of success and disaster, but that is why we created the GCT Scale (which has been around since the beginning of the blog). Why the scale? 1. It's funny. 2. It's an easy system to show how a project turned out. 3. Different people can try the same pin and end up with different results. We're not rating the original pin, we're rating the project outcome. We do show pins on Pinterest that just don't work EVER, but that's not the only point of the blog. We're showing Pinterest projects as they happen in real life, not in magazines. 
  • "But that project failed because they didn't follow the directions exactly." 
    • Yes...people deviate, and I know it drives some of you up the wall. If we left out projects that came from neglected directions or unsuccessful supply substitutions we'd be leaving out a whole big group of people and projects. We don't all craft/cook/clean/repair/style the same. Some deviate, some don't. Some like to get a project exactly as seen on Pinterest, some are just using a pin as inspiration because there's something about the pinned project that doesn't quite match their style or ability. This blog is here as a representation of all of us on Pinterest: the deviators, the sticklers, the explorers, the first timers, the new crafter, the experienced chef, etc. Em and I both deviate from the directions and supply lists with some of our projects, so for us we know it can be helpful when we start a project to know what substitutions and deviations do and don't work. Just look at those deviation project posts as an exploration and learning process. Who deviating, someone might come up with an easier way to get something done!
  • "But I did that pin and it turned out fine, so that can't be a Pinstrosity!" 
    • We get that all the time. Some pins will always go wrong. Some pins will work for some and not for others. Even if two people follow the same recipe, making no deviations, there is still so much that can make the two meals turn out different. Differences in crockpots. Differences in brands of ingredients. Differences in elevation. Differences in air temperature. Differences in mixing speeds/times. The same goes for crafting. Things are not going to turn out equally the same every single time for everyone. This is another reason why Pinstrosity rates the outcome of the project, and not the pin itself. 
  • "If this site is about projects gone wrong, why don't you post up more level 5's?" 
    • On one hand, we'd love to have more level 5 projects to show you, but at the same time we're glad that people projects are going better than that! We can't show you a level 5 project until we have one that either happened to us or one that got submitted by one of you. We could purposely start messing up projects to get level 5's, but that'd be a little bit ridiculous. We do keep our eyes out for pins on Pinterest that look like they have no possibility of working, but those don't just pop up every day. 

So there's our view on Pinstrosity projects and why we showcase the projects we do. This blog really is here just for fun. Fun for us, and fun for you. It's not meant to be anything super serious or life changing. Pinstrosity is here as reassurance that it's fine to not have a project turn out perfect and that it's okay and perfectly normal to not have "magazine worthy" meals/houses/decor/yards/children/etc. In a way I guess Pinstrosity is the "real life" magazine with its soupy casseroles, lumpy crafts, vomiting dishwashers, and cranky children. Why hide it all? This is life as it actually happens. 

Mix It Up Monday: Awesome Jack-O-Lanterns

We weren't sure if we'd get to come up with costumes this year for Halloween, or if we were going to be sleep deprived zombies by default. But, Merle hasn't made his arrival yet, so we were able to actually get in costume for this past weekend's party (Em and our friend Randi did a great job with the party!). I'd tell you all about the party and Em's costume...but I imagine she wants to do that and I don't want to steal her thunder. So hopefully sometime this week you'll get to see her awesome handiwork. But I thought before I jumped into today's post I'd at least show you what we went as for Halloween:
Where we got the items and how I made the chimney broom are listed in this post:

It's Bert and Mary "Pop"pins, hehehe. We all know they eventually got together, right? So now her measuring tape needs to read, "Mary Poppins: Practically perfect in every way. Well...almost." Thanks Mom for letting me borrow your Poppin's costume (she was Mary Poppins too...only not the preggo version, lol)!
Well, on with the rest of the post. 

As I mentioned a while back, I LOVE carving pumpkins. I've never been super creative with my Jack-o-lanterns though. I thought I was clever or creative when I made them...but now that I've seen these I'm just going to have to up my game.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Show-And-Tell Saturday: Pins from the Past

I don't remember exactly when I joined Pinterest, but it was a little while before Pinstrosity was born. I obviously had goof up projects from Pinterest (hence, Em and I made this blog), but I also had some fun successes as well. I thought I'd pull those out of my picture archives and show you some of the pins I tested back in 2011 and 2012 which came out successfully. These are all pins I'd do again, and some I already have repeated. Give them a shot! 

Pin Report #1:
There was something about these that really just caught my eye. I loved the simplicity with still being able to create a portrait that resembles the actual people. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be; the instructions are excellent. 

I followed her instructions almost exactly. My only tweak was how many colors I "posterized" to in PicMonkey. I did 4 colors rather than the 2 she suggests. This gave me a little more "definition" and "shading" in my final picture. I traced the design on using her directions, and then applied the watercolors. Here's what I ended up with:
It even won a blue ribbon in the county fair this year! 

Pin Report #2:

I first saw these in 2011, which was also the first year we really did much by way of Halloween decorating. They were so fun and easy to make. 

I bought a pair of stockings, cut the legs off and stuffed them with stuffing. For the shoes I dug a pair of black shoes out of the thrift store bag, sprayed them with spray adhesive and dumped red glitter on them. I then glued the stockings into the shoes, used a spatula to tuck the top ends of the legs in the crack between our porch and our house and voila! Witch legs. Cameron helped me gather twigs to tie to a stick to make the witch's broom. They stored well and we used them last year on our front porch. They're a hit with anyone who visits. 

Pin Report #3:
I was getting ready for my sister's baby shower and found this picture online and decided I wanted to make something similar for the invitations for her shower. Only this picture didn't link to a website and I didn't know how to google search an image yet (I've since learned and the link I gave you goes to the original source). So I looked at the photo for a while and finally came up with a method I figured would work. I tested it and it worked, so I put together a tutorial of my own.

Pin Report #4:
I saw this idea when I was looking for "manly apron" ideas for Christmas one year. We were trying to do a homemade Christmas and I just needed an idea of something I could make for him. I've used this twice now: that Christmas and then again as a wedding gift for a friend:

Pin Report #5:

I was putting together a Christmas box to send to my sister and decided to try making these hot cocoa stirring spoons. I didn't have as pretty of supplies, but it was really easy to make and they were really yummy (we had to test one ourselves of course...couldn't send her anything nasty).

And then these next two aren't really successes...but not really failures either. More like Level 1's on the GCT Scale. 

Pin Report #6:
I did this, only I used those sticky hooks on the walls to attach my string to. It held for a few weeks, but then came crashing down randomly one day. It did keep them all out of the way, but it was kinda obnoxious trying to pull rolls out or put them away without knocking others down or munching edges.  So this one is just a "meh". 

Pin Report #7:
The instructions say, "Freshen the air each time you go to the bathroom, with this handy trick. When you get out a new roll of toilet paper, place a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the cardboard tube of the toilet paper. This will release the scent of the oil each time the paper is used." We didn't have any essential oils, but we did have perfume oils that we use when we make bath salts, but I figured that'd work. It smelled good for the first day after applying the oil, but then after that the scent was gone. We still don't have essential oils, so I haven't been able to test this one out correctly yet. Anyone try this and have it work? 

Well there you have it. 7 Pinterest projects from the pre-Pinstrosity days. Give them a shot!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Shaving Cream Painted...Pumpkins?

One of my favorite days in elementary school was when we had to clean our desks. The teacher would come around and spray a big glob of shaving cream on our desks and we'd get to smear it around, paint with it, write in it, and have a marvelous time "cleaning" our desks. In college I went on a big group date where we were supposed to paint with the shaving cream, but it just turned into a shaving cream fight. Shaving cream is just fun for kids ages 2-937. 

Lindy sent us in a Pinstrosity dealing with using shaving cream and food coloring to paint with and her pictures had me laughing pretty hard. Here's what she was going for:

The Original Pin

Lindy says, "Our finished product was not the Pinstrosity, it was the steps that got us there that went all wrong. All wrong, in like, 2 minutes...I saw this craft on Pinterest and thought, that will be a fun activity to do with the boys. They will love swirling the foam with their stick and seeing the colors combine, just like the little girl from the original post. So you can imagine my surprise, when, before I could even get the food coloring into the shaving cream, my boys were head first into their work stations. Their sticks were buried beneath the foam and they were clapping their hands in excitement as foam flew across our kitchen. I tried to persevere, thinking if I could just get the colors in, that would slow them down as they swirled. Umm, not at all. They squished all the colors together making a strange green color using their hands, feet, knees, etc. The party came abruptly to an end when they both found out shaving cream does not taste good and burns your eyes!"

This first picture is my absolute favorite. When I first looked at it I smiled. And then as I sat there looking at it longer I started laughing harder and harder until I was crying. 

The Pinstrosity

And here are their finished shaving cream painted pumpkins:

So this seems like a Pinstrosity and a Pin Win all at the same time, and it's awesome. It's bringing the kid out in me and I want to go paint with shaving cream now. Too bad the hubby doesn't have normal shaving cream (here's his take on shaving), and I just use regular hair conditioner for my legs (works way better in my opinion). I may have to go buy me some shaving cream and see what sort of art project I can come up with for me to do. Please tell me I'm not the only child stuck in an adult's body. Well, even if I am...I'm happy with my inner kid...keeps life entertaining and adventurous! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Em's Internet is back! And she is has a Pinstrosity for you!

Hellllllo all!! I am back!
After 6-ish long weeks with the internet out at our house, I am back to my regularly scheduled programming, (cleaning, sleep schedule, eating, etc.) and this includes blogging! Big round of applause for Super Marquette for doing all the blogging while I have been out. She is a super trooper! Love her!
I was at the school for homework and assignments this last 6 weeks and those computers do not play nice with blogger. But here I am and I am ready to get back to the swing of things!
While I was out, my Sister-in-law Tonya sent me this Pinstrosity through a texting convo.
Check it out!
The Original
The Pinstrosity
Tonya liked how fun the polka dots were, and this is just in time for Halloween, but they didn't quite work like she was hoping.
 Chip's first words when he saw it were, "Those are toes not fingers, there isn't enough room for art on toes!". In a sense he is right, toes aren't always good for nail art because toes are smaller, the big toe is usually ok, but fingers are generally a lot easier for stuff like this.
She told me she used a bobby pin for the dots, and I mentioned that the end of a pen, or a safety pin would be good, or even the end of a mechanical pencil, or the end of an old earing. These are all smaller than the bulbous end of a bobby pin. There are tools you can buy to do nail art specifically and they come in different sizes, I have one but after winging it for years I almost prefer a safety pin or sewing pin. With that being said please be cautious with those, they are sharp!
We laughed about the picture she sent, and then she sent me this no more than 5 minutes after our conversation:
She dropped the nail polish and got it all over herself, her kitchen cabinets and her floor! At which point she asked me for pins to clean up the mess.
I sent her this, while I have never tried it I thought it might be worth giving it a shot:
Putting sugar on spilt polish. Supposedly it is supposed to soak up the polish so you can just sweep everything up. Unfortunately she had already cleaned everything with acetone nail polish to try to get it off (which I would discourage it can take color off your floors or cabinets), instead I suggest non-acetone nail polish remover. We got a good laugh out of it though!
Anyone else have any Halloweeny Pinstrosities!? Send em' our way! We would love to see and perhaps feature them!
Has anyone tried the sugar trick form above?! Tell us how it worked for you! We would love to hear that as well!
Hope everyone is having a great week!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Complicated Cake Concoction

For some reason when we're asked to bring dessert to someone's house for dinner or for a party, I feel the need to try and make it absolutely delicious AND gorgeous. Needless to say the gorgeous part usually doesn't happen...and sometimes the delicious part either. Why do we feel the need to make our food gifts gorgeous? I don't know, but it is fun. Well, presenting a gorgeous food item is fun. Often the making of the gorgeous food item is a frustrating adventure all on its own and you end up with some interesting tales. Today we have just such a tale for you, and this one is fantastic. I'll let Kathryn take it away: 

"I like to consider myself an informed pinner. I pin things that I'm thinking of investing in, paint colour ideas for the house we're building and foodstuffs that I fully intend on cooking. I don't pin things that don't link to anywhere except.... DUN DUN DUN"
The Original Pin

Anyone know the original site for this? I'm finding this picture all over Pinterest and re-posted on blogs, but I can't find the original source. I even tried by searching for the separate pictures and not the collage, and no luck. But this cake is amazing and I'd love to give credit to the creator. Kathryn also tried finding the original source, but had no luck either. She said, "So, given that the link to the cake takes me to a media cache picture of the cake and googling the image took me to more pinterest pins, all I had to go on were the pictorial instructions. I watched a couple of youtube vids on constructing a roll cake. I chose a cake flavouring I thought would look impressive and OFF I WENT!!".

I love her adventurous attitude! I don't know that I would have been that dedicated, even though that is a GORGEOUS cake in that pin. It looks almost too pretty to eat. But at the same time, it looks so pretty that it makes you think it HAS to be absolutely delectable. Kathryn was equally impressed: "When I saw this pin, I was amazed! It looked so cool and effective! Check out those vertical layers!! It should also be noted at this point that I make cakes for the taste. Not for the presentation. EVER! My carrot cake is super crumbly and held together by the cream cheese icing. But by golly it's delicious! But these days I have TIME! Impressive!cake is impressive!! Must attempt!! I knew when I pinned it that I'd probably end up submitting it as a post".

And now I could tell you what she did in her attempt to recreate the cake above...but she tells it much better than I ever could. So here is what she did:

"I bought a new, larger flat pan for cooking the roll cake in. I spread it all out evenly on the baking paper, pre heated the oven, went to put it in but... MY OVEN WAS TOO SMALL FOR THE PAN!!! *cue enraged rage built up over the last 18 months of living with my tiny, tiny kitchen, plus pregnancy hormones* A medium sized, empty, innocent cardboard box was sacrificed to the RAGE and is now thoroughly kicked into uselessness."

"Oh well! I shifted the mix onto a small pan which fit. AS SOON as it came out of the oven, I was rolling up that mother of a cake in a warm towel and baking paper. Half an hour later when I unrolled it, it broke apart into many tiny pieces and was was promptly given over to our chickens. There was much rejoicing in our backyard over cake! Not to be discouraged, I whipped up another batch of cake mix, poured it thicker into a third tray with higher sides and banged it in the oven. It was much more successful. I was worried about the cake crumbling when I rolled and unrolled it, so I decided to go right in with the icing and rolling it up. But going a bit slower than before because the 1st cake was HOT when I rolled it up. I cut the cake longways into 3rds and rolled up the first third. Strangely, a bunch of cake and icing slowly squirted from the sides. When I rolled the second third into the roll, more came out. I made the decision then to roll it up vertically like in the picture, not horizontally like in the youtube tutorials. Then I used the baking paper, some ribbon and my husband to tie it all up and put it in the fridge to cool/set."

"The two small round cakes were fine. Except I ended up making 3 because one of them decided it loved it's pan too much and didn't want to part with it. CHICKENS!!"

"After the roll had cooled for an hour, and after I had made MORE cream cheese filling, I icing'd up the cakes all together, put a crumb layer of icing around the cake and put it in the freezer to set. 10mins later it came out again, I put MORE icing around the sides and decided to top it off with raspberries because I had no more icing for the top of the cake. All out of cream cheese!"

Finally the cake was done, and she took it over to her friends house. The outside looks absolutely amazing!

But what about the inside? 

The Pinstrosity

"Needless to say, red velvet cake with cream cheese icing and raspberries is DELICIOUS!! But I could have just made THAT instead of trying to be fancy and impressive. As I said earlier, I make cakes for the taste, NOT for the presentation. My friends enjoyed it. They also enjoyed my flail-y flails when I brought it over and regaled them with tales of hilarity and failure. I'm sure my chickens are SICK of red velvet cake (I can tell because the usually-gluttonous beasts left over half of the many, many crumbs I put out for them). I'm hoping for red-tint, sweet eggs for lunch today."

No, not as pretty as the original. But it looks absolutely delectable. My mouth is watering, and I just ate. Oh I love raspberries. And cream cheese. And dessert. Craving this yet? I am! Kathryn, you can come hang out at my house and bring dessert any time you want. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Shocking Jack-O-Lantern

Jack-o-lanterns have always been a favorite part of Halloween for me. It's so fun to pick out the perfect pumpkin and to decide what to carve it into. I loved it as a kid, I love it now as an adult. I love gutting it (one of the few "squeamish" things I can handle better than my husband, teehee), I love carving it, I love lighting them. It's just fun! The past few years I've seen more and more decorative jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin decorations rather than just the scary faces. It's a fun way to dress up the front porch or a display table if you don't want just a plain pumpkin, but you aren't so big into the cut out faces. 

This pin has taken Pinterest by storm and has produced some great results, some interesting results, and even some shocking results. 

The Original Pin
Gut the pumpkin, drill holes, and stick a strand of Christmas lights in the pumpkin (pushing the lights into the holes). Seems pretty easy and fail proof right? Sarah found it a little tedious, and a little shocking. She tested out her strand of lights to make sure they worked first, and finding they did indeed work, she pulled out the drill and went to town on the pumpkin. "After drilling my holes into place, I began shoving the lights in. Talk about work! I had it in my head that it would fit perfectly with little effort. Wrong, it took a lot of effort. After meticulously putting in half of the lights, I decided to test my work. I take my pumpkin to the outlet and I plug it in. I begin to feel a strong tingling in my arm and set the pumpkin down realizing I was being shocked repeatedly by the pumpkin! My friend wanted to try to plug it in, and in passing I touched her arm. My body had stored the energy, and I was passing the shock onto her! I was flipping out at this point. After bravely trying another outlet, the lights ended up not working even after being properly plugged in. Not sure if I shorted the wire in the lights with my near death of electrocution, or if the pumpkin gunk had gotten into some of the light sockets. Frustrated, I ripped out the lights and called it a day. After it got dark outside I was curious to see what my failed pumpkin would look light with candles on the inside." 

The Pinstrosity

"Not too shabby, not as cool as It was suppose to be. But usable for Halloween nonetheless..... Just don't look at the back where it looks like a small mouse has eaten away at the pumpkin for a small home. (My hole for the lights to be plugged in)."

Sarah asks, "Anyone else experience this? I'm thinking I should probably have an electrician come check out the crazy outlet. Anywho, Happy Halloween!"

I regularly get shocked by Christmas lights when stringing them on a tree, decorating with them, or just checking to see if they work. They aren't friendly little things! So it doesn't surprise me that sticking a strand of lights in a pumpkin would make them freak out. Pumpkin goo could have gotten in one of the lights, in a weak point in the wiring, or even in the socket, causing the shock. But even though this didn't work quite like the pin, I think it still looks great with the candles inside!