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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Guided Search hits the web!

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A few months ago we introduced Guided Search on mobile to help you make discoveries and find things you didn’t even know you were looking for—your next road trip, backyard idea, BBQ recipe, anything! This week, Guided Search is rolling out on the web just in time for summer exploring.

Visual guides help you along

Now when you search for something, descriptive guides will help you sift through all the good ideas from other Pinners. Scroll through the guides and click any that look interesting to steer your search in the right direction. You might be surprised where you end up!

Find things more easily

Along with the visual guides, you’ll notice that the search bar is now front and center for speedier finds. We also made it easier to filter your search by Pins, boards or other Pinners who you might be looking for.

Guided Search will be available in English to everyone over the next few weeks, with more languages coming. Stay tuned for more updates!

—Yuliang Yin, Software Engineer, Currently pinning to San Francisco

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Chris Ahrendt: Steampunk designer & artist

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As a sci-fi fan and Civil War reenactor, Chris Ahrendt started making his own costumes. Then, his son introduced him to the world of steampunk. This opened the doors for a new direction of creativity, allowing Chris to produce a new genre of artwork consisting of gizmos, gadgets and cosplay. See how Chris keeps the steampunk culture alive by connecting with the community on Pinterest, while using Pins to find inspiration for his next design.

Hi Chris, can you give us a quick background on yourself and how you got into steampunk?

I started off doing Civil War (and other era) reenacting. Some of the time-periods I participate in need to have items custom made, so the choices were to either make it myself or find someone to custom make it for you.

I had been reading sci-fi and discovered steampunk as a literary genre but did not know there was more. My son introduced me to the cosplay aspect. Again, it was easier to design and make it myself, and I’ve been producing steampunk items for over 5 years now.

We caught your steampunk inspired boards about art, comics, fashion and beyond. Can you describe steampunk history and what it means to you today?

Steampunk as a genre really took off after the phrase was coined in the 80’s. But the genre has been around since the writings of HG Wells and Verne. Today, for me, it’s a chance to take the best aspects of a time and add the idea of technology to take to a completely new and different direction. Each item I create, or items other steampunk makers create, have a uniqueness all on its own. It’s a work of art.

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Your steampunk clothes and masks and headgear boards gave us a peek into past and modern steampunk culture. How do you use Pinterest to keep steampunk culture alive?

I use multiple sources to find what I categorize, but mainly Pinterest. It allows me to follow my interests the way I want to. As I find the items which interest me, I catalog them into their appropriate boards. I use Pinterest to collect ideas and inspiration on projects. It might be something as simple as a part on a costume or a full instruction on how to use pepakura to make a mask I may use for one of my cosplay outfits.

The way I use pinterest for business is to use it to get my name out in the community and to show what myself and others create. I then sell my work via word of mouth.

How do you use Pinterest to design your steampunk items? What are you designing next?

I like creating gadgets, like gizmo’s and weapons. To make an item, I usually go through my scrap piles or make a trip to a thrift store/ flea market and find some pieces that inspire me. Or I begin with a picture on Pinterest of an item I really like and would like to have as my own a similar item. Then I go looking for the parts. Once I have the base creat,ed I then embellish with lights and so forth.

My current project is a steampunk communications console. This item will emit smoke signals and morse code via lights or a terminal.

Steampunk culture seems to be gaining a lot of attention, as seen on your celebrities board. Where do you see steampunk culture going now with big social events around the country?

I see it continuing along the course its going but with many sub-genre’s depending upon the geo-location. I am also seeing more of an expansion on multi-cultural aspects at big social events like Dragon Con and Comic Con. I see it growing and evolving.

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Any advice for someone looking to get into steampunk culture?

My first piece of advice is that its not expensive and you can get into the genre with $40 or less. There is no right way or wrong way to do steampunk. If you want to combine an interest in star wars with an interest in steampunk, there is nothing preventing that. Use your imagination…let it go wild…

Thanks Chris for bringing us into the steampunk world. If you want to see what Chris is designing next, visit his Pinterest boards!

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Pin Picks: Keep up with your fitness goals

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It’s time to hang up the jackets—the first day of summer is right around the corner. With warmer days approaching, fitness goals are trending on Pinterest and it seems a lot of you are looking to keep motivated and on-track to stay in shape this season.

So for this week’s Pin Picks—and with a little help from our Pinners—we show you 5 ways to keep up with your fitness goals.

Log it:
If you’re looking to set a rhythm to your routine, Jade Martinez shares a tip on how to keep a journal for your exercises. Logging your workouts can help you stay consistent, accountable and on-schedule.

Slow-day strategy:
James Henley shows us that it’s possible to keep the blood pumping and calories burning with quick indoor workouts even if you decide to skip the gym.

Up and alert:
Feeling tired or lazy? Suchitra Malvankar shares tips on staying focused and active towards an active lifestyle.

Sound the alarm:
if waking up and getting out of your warm bed is the main culprit, Ashleigh Looper shows us alarm clocks guaranteed to get you out of the covers. This flying helicopter launches a propeller into the room, and won’t shut off until you get out of bed.

Treat yo’self:
According to Jennifer Fisher, the best way to keep getting to through a post workout is to keep treating yourself with little victories. Next time you hit the finish line, try a healthy treat like this light blueberry frozen yogurt.

Tell us how you’re planning on staying on track with your fitness goals via the comments below. If you need more inspiration, keep browsing Pinterest for more ways to keep focused with your fitness routine. And of course, tune in next week for more Pin Picks.

—Pari Mathur, Content Guru, Currently pinning to Chicken Coup

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pin Tip: How to Pin things you find around the web

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You can always Pin anything you find on Pinterest, but did you know you can also save things from around the web? All your browser needs is a Pin It button!

Collect recipes to try. Browse your favorite food blogs and Pin whatever looks good.

Save articles for later. Pin any juicy headline you see to read at your leisure.

Weigh your options. Shopping for a couch? Pin all your ideas before you commit.

Whenever you spot something interesting out on the web, just click your new Pin It button and…pow! You’ve got a visual bookmark that links right back to the site it came from.

On your computer? Grab the Pin It button for your browser. On your phone? Here’s how you Pin on the go.

—Evany Thomas, Content Strategist, Currently pinning to Would you look at that!

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Monday, June 2, 2014

Diane Keaton: Actress and home decor enthusiast

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Diane Keaton’s love of art and design began at an early age while crafting and scrapbooking alongside her mother. Today, with an accomplished acting and filmmaking career, she’s also turned her attention to sharing candid and intimate moments about beauty, aging and the importance of staying true to yourself with her new book, Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty. See how Diane continues to shares her vision, style, and flair—as well as design her new dream home—all thanks to Pinterest!

Hi Diane. How did you find your passion in the arts?

My mother was a crafts nut. You have to try to imagine the 50’s, and with it, Sunset Magazine, a kind of early “Martha Stewart Living” publication with breezy suggestions on how to create the perfect California/Cliff May lifestyle. Mom made mosaic tile tables. She sewed the living room curtains out of yardage she found at the Goodwill Thrift Store. She created separate scrap books for all four of her kids on a yearly basis, as well as a variety of shell boards she hammered into the walls. Then came the collage. When Mom began collage-ing trash cans, pencil boxes and book covers, we all joined in. I was 15 when I collaged my entire bedroom wall in black and white photographs I’d cut out from Vogue Magazine. Later I became an early tear sheet fanatic. This is why Pinterest has been such a home run for me. Pinterest provides more photographic “fixes” (I am an addict) than anywhere else on earth!

If you asked me where I’d like to take my next vacation. It’s easy. Book me two weeks in a dark room with my computer, next to my Ipad, with my Iphone resting on top.

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You’ve probably come across a variety of words on a page and new ideas in conversation. What gets you excited when you read a script or hear about an original concept for the first time?

Like most women, I’m moved by human interest stories. Stories with strong psychological conflict and stunning image driven content. I love romantic comedies with a great look. Let’s take Nancy Meyers’ film, “Something’s Gotta Give.” It’s been ten years since it was released, and women still come up to me Ooohing and Aaahing over the kitchen in “that movie you made with Jack Nicholson”. They don’t always remember the name of the film but they ALWAYS remember the kitchen.

We caught your After a Fashion, Factory Floor, and Home Library boards. Can you give us an insider look about your inspiration behind these boards?

Most of my boards were chosen because of my current obsession with building a new house. The dream house. My first board was “Curb Appeal”, the next was “Last House On The Left”. Both quickly became occupied with captivating exteriors. At least for me. From there I went on to cover interiors with titles like "Sleep Tight", “Tack Room Tactics”, and “Breakfast of Champions.” At “bloglovin.com" I found an industrial kitchen with great lighting. On "Desire to Inspire’s" Country Farmhouse I saw a Kitchen bigger than most living rooms. Wanting more detail, I pinned things from "Emmas.blogg.se" where I couldn’t help choose the hanging wood Chopping Blocks on a perfect white brick wall. It’s an endlessly engaging endeavor.

Follow Diane Keaton’s board Last House On The Left on Pinterest.

What do you want people to experience when they stumble upon your board that has a variety of eclectic and stylized pins, like Picture Universe? Why the Black and White motif?

I’m not thinking about what people experience when they see my boards. I’m not thinking about what they want. I’m thinking about what I want. Everyday millions of people share their insights, their vision, their flair, and their longings on Pinterest. Just this morning I found myself on Louise Bilodeau’s profile. Inside her “restaurant/bar" board I pinned "Pizza With No name in Revkjavik, Iceland” to my “Breakfast Of Champions" board. Who is Louise Bilodeau? Where does she live? Is she French? I’ll never know, but one thing I do know…Louise has given me a Pizza place I love, and that’s enough for me.

You ask why black and white? Because color can be too demanding. Let’s just say, a little goes a long way, especially in a house. Take the great Latin American Architect Ricardo Legorreta, who used bright yellows and reds and blues to frame his spaces. From my vantage point color should never overwhelm or distract from the primary color in a home, and that is the color of the people inside. People get lost when framed by too much vibrant color. Do you like how you look set against a bright pink and purple wall? Just asking.

Follow Diane Keaton’s board Breakfast Of Champions on Pinterest.

Have you used Pinterest to prep for any roles in front or behind the camera?

I have not had the opportunity but I know several director friends who’ve used it as an inspirational story board. It’s a perfect tool on many fronts.

When and if I take on another directing job there’s no question I will be using Pinterest. Why wouldn’t I? As I mentioned, one of Pinterest’s recent gifts has been to help me map out examples of what I want my dream house to look like. It’s reassuring to come across so many other people charting out their dreams with Pins as well. The beauty part is we’re sharing those fantasies. I see Pinterest as a kind of “family of man” event, a kind of “pay it forward” thing. In a way we’re presenting our version of previous generations scrapbooks, slideshows, and home movies, right? Now it’s Facebook, and Twitter, only this time everything is illustrated with images we would have missed were not for Pinterest with it’s millions upon millions, upon billions of photographs that infuse our dreams.

What’s next on your to-do list as a storyteller?

Lets Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty" is the title of my new board. It’s also the title of my new book, a collection of impressions on beauty. First of all, what is beauty? What do we want from beauty? Is it only skin deep? How do we form our perceptions of it’s complex hold over our thoughts and feelings? There are no illustrations in "Lets Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty," yet it is filled with anecdotes, mentions, and accolades on a host of amazing people. There are no photographs of their magnificent faces, including such diverse people as Jack Nicholson, Ellen DeGeneres, and Abraham Lincoln. I’m talking about people I’ve loved, people I’ve envied, but most of all, people who’ve come to beauty by way of the back door; people who see it differently; people who’ve made their wrongs a certain kind of right.

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A few weeks ago I began pinning their portraits on a “Lets Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty” Board. There you can see Jackie Kennedy next to Katy Perry; Meg Ryan with her hand under her chin next to Judy Garland with her hand under her chin. Justin Beiber above Elvis Presley. Hillary Clinton next to Kate Moss. Gary Grant with Katherine Hepburn. John Wayne below Rihanna. You get the drift. All of them are my heroes and heroines.

For an artist looking to follow in your footsteps, what’s one piece of advice you’d give him/her?

Advice is easy to dish out but hard to take. One thing for sure…following in my footsteps is a bad idea. Why would anyone want to follow in anyone else’s footsteps when they have their own? Maybe that’s my advice, my only advice. Follow your footsteps, your impulses, your wishes, your Pinterest, your wrongs that make you right. Give it a try. And think about this…most people listen to what they want to hear, when they ready to hear it. I know that’s how it worked for me.

Thanks Diane for giving us a personal insight into your dream home, style, and creative vision. For more, make sure you get your hands on Diane’s new book, and if you want to see what she’s is pinning next, check out her Pinterest boards!

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Pin Picks: Making furniture with wooden pallets

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If you’re thinking about a new project this summer, wooden pallets offer a variety of ways to get creative.

Pallet furniture is trending on Pinterest and it seems like a lot of you are searching for ways to turn leftover wood into functioning decor around the home. So for this week’s Pin Picks—and with a little help from our Pinners—we show you how to make DIY wooden pallet furniture.

Pallet planters
Got a green thumb? Carrie Stamper shows us DIY pallet planters can be hung up, decorated, or shaped to fit any of your favorite plants around the home or garden.

Serve your guests
If you’re looking to host a backyard event, Barbara Whetzel shows us how to entertain around your own DIY pallet bar. Bottoms up!

Work station
Marianne Quintero shows us how to sit and let the creativity loose or simply get some work done with this DIY pallet desk. It makes a perfect addition for the kids room too!

Book worm
If you need a place to showcase your collection of literature or current magazines, Tonya Blundon shares a pin to create your own pallet library.

Cool it
Mini-fridges can be bulky and often come in awkward sizes. Mattie Sebastien shows us how to add some design flair with this DIY pallet facade.

If you find other ways to build furniture with pallets, share it with us via the comments below. And if you’re looking for more ideas, keep browsing Pinterest, and of course, tune in next week for more Pin Picks.

—Pari Mathur, Content Guru, Currently pinning to Outside the Box

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Lauren Faul: Strategic Consultant & military wife

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With her father as an infantry officer in the Marines, Lauren Faul grew up moving frequently. Today, with two kids, a career as a Strategic Communications consultant at the Department of Defense and a husband who is a AV-8B Harrier pilot, change is still a regular occurrence. This Memorial Day, see how Lauren is using Pinterest to plan another family move, organize a home and plan for another possible deployment.

Hi Lauren, can you give us a quick peek into your background and career?

After graduating from Texas A&M University I worked on Capitol Hill for a few years, ultimately as a Communications Director for the House of Representatives. While there, I met my now-husband, Adam, who had recently finished his training to serve as a Marine Officer. I soon accepted a job working in the Pentagon thereafter as a Congressional Liaison for the Marine Corps. Shortly after getting married, Adam finished his training as a jet pilot in the Marine Corps, flying the AV-8B Harrier. Every military spouse finds maintaining a career to be challenging, myself included, but I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to continue working as a Strategic Communications consultant for the Department of Defense for the past five years. Adam and I have been married for almost 6 years now and have two children, Mack (2 years old) and Isla (7 months).

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Your husband, Adam flies a Harrier and you come from a long military family. Can you describe your experience as a military wife and daughter?

I grew up as a proud Marine Brat. My Dad was an infantry officer in the Marine Corps for 37 years. As with most military families, the only constant thing in our lives seemed to be constant change. We moved every 1-3 years, which seemed normal to us because all of our friends did as well. I actually just counted the other day that I am on my 19th move. Marrying a Marine was a natural fit with what we call the “family business.” Being a Marine wife comes with many other challenges, but just as many amazing experiences. Adam has deployed twice now, and the friends we have made throughout his career thus far have become family to us. There have been moments of immense pride and also of devastating loss that binds you to those around you in an indescribable way. I’m very proud of our life and those we share it with.

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We caught your Daddy’s Away board. With two young kids, how do you—and as a family—deal with deployments and moving around for assignments?

Having children makes it extremely painful, no doubt about it. But I have learned, mainly through watching my own mother manage our family while my dad deployed numerous times, that kids feed off of their parents. Pinterest has been a great place to find creative, fun ways to explain to kids where Daddy is, what he’s doing, why he’s gone, and even better, help them prepare for Daddy to come home! There are also some great public boards, like Deployment Toolkit, that have everything from military travel opportunities, military discounts, and other deployment resources that have been super helpful.

We caught your home-sweet-home boards. How do you use Pinterest with such an active family and agenda?

As a pretty uncreative person, Pinterest gives me some much needed inspiration for home decorating and arts and craft ideas with the kids. My husband and I also really enjoy cooking, so we’re always on the lookout for new recipes to try out. My biggest challenge with our lifestyle is (attempting) to keep our lives organized. I have found so many great ideas for organizing our home – everything from the kitchen to medicine cabinets. It’s a constant work in progress, but the little tricks we have picked up through Pinterest are lifesavers for our nomadic lifestyle.

Follow Lauren Faul’s board Home Sweet Home on Pinterest.

What are you and the family doing this Memorial Day?

Probably no surprise to those that know us, but we’re moving! Again! We just finished packing up our home in Quantico, Virginia and are relocating to Cherry Point, North Carolina. This Memorial Day, we’re so fortunate to have Adam home with us, so we’ll be spending time as a family. Having a military family we’re all too aware that for some of our own friends, Memorial Day is much more frequently than one day a year. We count ourselves as blessed to truly understand that growing another year older and having a holiday weekend with each other is a luxury denied to many. As a family, we are dedicated to ensuring we never forget that, and we raise our children to appreciate the ultimate sacrifice of so many others as well.

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We want to thank our armed forces for their service this Memorial Day. And Lauren, we thank you for giving us a peak into your family and military life. If you want to see how Lauren is using Pinterest, check out her Pinterest boards!

Read "Lauren Faul: Strategic Consultant & military wife"

Friday, May 23, 2014

Pin Picks: Think outside the grill on Memorial Day

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It’s time to fire up the grill because Memorial Day recipes are trending on Pinterest and it seems a lot of you are looking for ways to get together and honor the men and women of our armed forces over a meal.

There are numerous Pins about how to get creative behind the grill in addition to traditional BBQ dishes. So for this week’s Pin Picks—and with a little help from our Pinners—we show you 5 ways to think outside the grill.

1. Pastry cookout
Light up the coals early in the morning if you’re looking for a real breakfast of champions.

2. A serious sandwich
Warning: gather these ingredients together and put it on the grill, but only if you want a taste bud explosion.

3. Vegetarian surprise
Don’t think tofu belongs on the grill? Just wait until you soak them in siracha sauce and toss them on the coals.

4. Open fire dessert
Forget traditional baking recipes and think outside the oven while consuming this classic cake.

5. Coals and cocktails
Add a grilled pineapple to a mojito to bring some serious tropical kick into your long weekend.

Are these pins too bizarre and unappealing? You can always switch gears and and put a simple twist on the classic dishes below:

*Burger bonanza
Get your stomach ready and celebrate the humble hamburger with gourmet toppings or traditional combinations.

*Deluxe Dogs
Spice up your bratwurst with ingredients you didn’t know belonged on a bun!

*Artichoke
Here’s a refreshing combination of fun and healthy that’ll impress your guests with each crunch.

We thank the armed forces for their service and we hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. And if you run out of ideas, keep browsing Pinterest for more ways to give thanks. And of course, tune in next week for more Pin Picks.

—Pari Mathur, Content Guru, Currently pinning to Life is Funny

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Goal! Find the best places to watch the World Cup

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Over 700 million fans will be tuning in to the biggest sporting event in the world in a few weeks, so we’re catching futball fever and collecting the best Places to watch the World Cup around the globe from ESPN, TripAdvisor, Conde Nast Traveler and…you!

Wherever you’re headed this summer, discover a place to score a pint and cheer on your team—at a rooftop bar in Boston, a town square in Paris, the liveliest streets in Tokyo, or even a neighborhood pub in your hometown. You can take these local favorites on your travels, or save them for a future trip.

Did we miss a spot? Chime in with your neighborhood go-to. We’re looking for the best pubs, parks with outdoor screenings and the top picks for patriotic fans. Let us know your favorite spots to catch a match by May 30th (anyone can share!) and we’ll add them to one of the boards. Game on!

—Ben Chiaramonte, Communication Designer, Currently pinning to The Beautiful Game

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#Pinspiration Chat: travel the world with Gary Arndt

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Thinking about packing up your bags and seeing the world? We teamed up with travel blogger and photographer, Gary Arndt of Everything Everywhere this Monday for a Pinterview and are joining forces with him again this week for our Twitter #Pinspiration chat.

This theme is all about travel and we want to hear how you’re planning your next trip locally or around the world. Tweet a question (Where’s the best place to swim with sharks? Where’s the world’s highest zip line?) with the hashtag #Pinspiration to @Pinterest and @EverywhereTrip this Friday, 5/23 between 10-11am PST.

We’ll be talking about weekend getaways, packing tricks, international destinations, and more travel tips. We look forward to globe-trotting with you on Friday.

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