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Monday, April 14, 2014

Stephanie Rose: DIY gardening expert and blogger

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Stephanie Rose grew up in a big city without a garden. But when she bought her first house, she slowly started freshening up her outdoor beds with flowers. Before you know it, she had transformed her garden and was on a journey to transform her surroundings by getting her hands dirty with new DIY projects and recipes. Today, she shares her discoveries on her popular blog, Garden Therapy. See how Stephanie uses Pinterest to find ideas and use collaborative boards to build a community with other gardening enthusiasts.

Tell us about yourself, how you got into gardening, and ultimately started blogging?

Unlike a lot of gardeners, I didn’t spend my childhood days puttering around the garden. I grew up a city girl without a garden to play in nor the thought to do so. Once I bought my first house I started by freshening up the beds with some flowers, perennials, and then vegetables. Before I knew it, I was growing hundreds of varieties of plants on my small urban city lot and the physical pain that plagued me for years was easing.

I started Garden Therapy as a way to log the transformation of the garden and share my thoughts and photos. It was such a healing journey that I wanted to find ways to get others involved. I began writing DIY garden projects in response to questions from readers on how to get started. I now have almost 500 easy to follow projects, recipes, and crafts that will get people out for even a short while for some garden therapy. I hope that once they tackle a project, they will get hooked like me!

More and more people are getting the green thumb. Why do you think gardening is worth getting into?

Gardening is such a rewarding activity, you get to enjoy the gorgeous blooms, fragrant flowers, or tasty fruit from your hard work. But more than that, it feeds your body and soul. The fresh air and sunshine are good for you, no doubt, but breaking a sweat turning soil or planting an herb garden are just as healing. As you stretch, balance, dig, lift, and squat, you’ll be surprised you ever needed a gym membership. And a connection with nature is not something that you can replace indoors. All that fresh air, exercise, and beauty really is healing for the body and soul.

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What are some easy projects you’d recommend for someone looking to finally start adding some green to their garden this spring?

Start some seeds! Why not get down to the grassroots of gardening? You can save money and enjoy the magic of seed starting at home, plus it’s rewarding to sit down to a meal that you started from seed. I recommend deciding on what you want to grow and then starting with one or two kinds of seeds. Pick ornamental plants that you would typically buy as annuals and start the seeds indoors. Create an instant flower bed just by scattering a package of mixed flower seeds. If you want to try edible plants, pick vegetables that you love and that grow well in your area. One of the most popular plants to start from seed is tomatoes. You can get all sorts of heirloom varieties in seed that you won’t find as bedding plants.

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We caught your “bringing the outdoors in” boards on Pinterest. How do you find inspiration or ideas on Pinterest?

My home is filled with wood, stone, plants, and flowers, but not in the same way they would be found outdoors. I have photographs of my garden flowers printed on throw cushions that decorate my couch. I have coasters made from a special cedar tree that was cut down in my neighbourhood. I’m delighted to find that others on Pinterest have found ways to bring the beauty of the garden indoors as well. From decorative terrariums and string gardens to botanical prints and moss as art, the “bringing the outdoors in” board if full of ideas on how creative pinners out there celebrate the beauty of nature, year-round and indoors.

I follow a diverse group of people on Pinterest who pin gardening, crafts, food, and home decor in different styles. I love my news feed! There are so many brilliant ideas that scroll down my screen. When I see an example of something from nature being used indoors in a unique or stylish way, I add that to the bringing the outdoors in board.

You have a lot of group boards too. Can you share more about how you collaborate with the gardening community on Pinterest?

Gardening has always been a collaborative activity. Seed sharing, harvest parties, tips passed down through generations are ways the knowledge used to be shared. Collaborative boards are the virtual manifestation of the generosity of the gardening community and the way a new group if gardeners passes on their best practices.

The first board I joined was the Garden Writers United, a board filled with the wisdom of those who write about gardening professionally. The collective wisdom on this board is nothing short of astounding. Next, I joined some craft and DIY boards as I found my projects blurred the lines of pure gardening and pure home improvement or crafts.

Follow Pamela @RedWhiteandGrew’s board Garden Bloggers & Writers United on Pinterest.

I’ve since met a group of garden bloggers who have a similar style and we have come together as The Garden Charmers. We use Pinterest to share our projects with each other and with our collective readers.

I recently started my first group board, Quirky Gardening, to celebrate all that is non-traditional and a wee bit strange out there in the gardening world. You will find people have turned just about anything you can think of into a container garden (typewriter, toaster, flip flops!), they like to wear plants as jewelry or clothes, or turn the strangest things into garden art.

Follow Stephanie @ Garden Therapy’s board Quirky Gardening on Pinterest.

Like anywhere else on the internet, there is a lot of good information available, but there is also misinformation. Some gardening tips that I have seen flow through my Pinterest timeline are cute but just plain wrong. Whether it is scientific inaccuracy or gardening tips that set beginners up to fail, not everything you read is correct. The group boards that I love best are those filled with the wisdom of true gardeners with dirty fingernails and full harvest baskets.

What if someone doesn’t have a yard or lives in a big city without space? What about Winter?

I don’t live in a large space, I have been able to garden successfully in the city. For small spaces, container gardens are a great solution. They can be grown on balconies or decks and can be full of beautiful flowers or edible treats. Another popular small space gardening trend is vertical gardening. If you can find a wall with some sun, you can certainly garden. Plus, this is much kinder to your back!

Winter-schminter! It may be a bit harder to dig in the soil but there are all sorts of activities you can do in the winter to get in your garden therapy. Each year I make a fresh evergreen wreath and holiday planters for the house. I also do a lot of sprouting indoors so I have fresh greens even if the garden is covered in snow. Winter edibles are becoming very popular with the use of cold frames, greenhouses, and hoop houses you can extend the season and still be harvesting dinner in your snow boots.

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What’s growing as your next project for your garden or plate right now?

I became a mom last year so this gardening season will be all about how to garden with a little one. I’ve always planted things for my family and children in the neighbourhood, like ground cherries and blueberries they can pick with me, or herbs they can taste. I’ve taught kids about farming and agriculture as part of my volunteer work as a Master Gardener. But this year I will be balancing my garden therapy with creating a garden playground for my son to explore and grow with.

Thanks Stephanie for letting us take a peek into your backyard. If you want to see what Stephanie is growing or cooking up next, visit her blog and Pinterest boards!

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Rosanne Cash: Award-winning American Roots singer

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With a Grammy in hand and a long list of No. 1 hit singles, records, and top charting music, Rosanne Cash has taken the country, folk and blues scene by storm. Now, armed with her new album, The River & the Thread, read how Rosanne uses Pinterest place boards to dedicate and map out inspiration for her lyrics and songs.

It seems music runs in your genes. Can you tell us a bit about your background? Did you always know music was in your future growing up?

I started writing poetry at the age of 8 or 9, and I knew I wanted to be a writer of some kind. In my early teens I started thinking about putting poems to music, but I didn’t have a concept of being a ‘songwriter’ yet. I don’t think I really registered that women could be songwriters until Joni Mitchell. At 18, I started writing my first (terrible) songs. However, I didn’t want to be a singer or a performer. Instead, I went to the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in Los Angeles. After a couple years of college and six months of living in London, I loved the work and the intensity of acting school. But I knew after a few months that I could never lead an actor’s life. It was too hard, with too much rejection and emphasis on appearance. But it was a great experience and I use some tools I learned in performance today.

I was writing songs all along, and I ended up making a record in Germany. I still didn’t want to become a performer, but after that record, it was just the next natural step on the path. It was very hard at first—in fact, it was very hard for many years. I had stage fright and I didn’t enjoy the attention. I wasn’t very good at it. But if you keep showing up for work, something happens…you get better, you find more subtle experiences, and I have come to love the temporal nature of live performance, and the spontaneity. I have learned to get out of my own way.

With all music you have released over the years, how have you grown as an artist and performer? Any significant moments or milestones?

I’m curious, and it keeps me growing. I love what I do, and I feel incredibly lucky that I get to live out my dreams of music and writing and performing. I was very sick several years ago and had a good hard look at my own mortality. When I recovered, I felt an urgency about doing the things I most want to do in this life, not wasting any time doing them, and not hedging my bets. As my friend Ethan Russell says about people my age, “You have more to say, and less time to say it.” It’s motivating.

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You just released your new album, The River & the Thread, and we caught your map of places that chronicles the journey you took in creating the album. Can you tell us more behind the inspiration for your place board?

I love maps. I spent many hours in the map room at the New York Public Library looking at maps from the last 300 years—mostly of the Southern states, including Civil War field maps, which were beautiful and chilling. I thought of maps the whole time I was making the record, and imagined all the geo-cultural-spiritual spots I was singing about—Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Virginia—as well as Barcelona and Paris. The whole album is a map. I wanted to put a map on the album cover, but the shot on the bridge was too compelling, so the Pinterest board satisfied a lot of Map-Love I had!

Follow Rosanne Cash’s board The River & The Thread album map on Pinterest.

You’ve dedicated a board, Modern Blue to a song off your new album. From the description, the song is about “carrying your home inside of you”. How do you combat being on the road, on tour, and away from the ones you love for long periods of time?

I am never away from my son for a long period of time. I have never gone out for a month, or weeks at a time, because of my kids. The longest I was ever away from my kids was 16 days and it almost killed me. So I’m a weekend warrior during the school year, and I take him with me on school breaks. He goes to camp in the summer and we work a lot then. I have an internal balancing mechanism—I go out for 2 to 4 days, sometimes 5 days, then I’m home and I’m really HOME. And I do travel with my husband, so I see him more than anyone.

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What is the biggest challenge today for musicians starting out? Any advice for young talent looking to follow in your footsteps?

It’s a tough business. The whole backstory of a musician’s life—the pace you keep, the travel and the exhaustion—is a little shocking to young musicians. My daughter is a musician and she said she knows bands who are outraged and complain after the first 6am lobby call, “I can’t do this!”

There’s a huge wake-up call about the exact nature of the job. No, you don’t get airlifted to a perfect theater with a perfect sound system minutes before you walk on stage. Well…maybe some people have that experience but most of us are in the trenches, grabbing a nap between sound check and the show and trying to figure out if there’s a real meal in our future.

But if you love it, and more than that, if it’s the reason you’re on the planet—to make music—then you develop your stamina and you show up and don’t complain. This is all assuming that you have a strong work ethic regarding the actual work—that you “show the muse you’re serious”, as my friend Steven Pressfield says.

Thanks Rosanne for taking us backstage and letting us peek into the music world. If you want to see what Rosanne is writing or performing next, visit herwebsite and Pinterest boards!

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Lisa Wells: gluten-free recipe blogger

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Lisa Wells had to address a health concern which prompted her to change her diet and go gluten, grain, and dairy free for every meal. But that didn’t stop her from experimenting and creating delicious recipes to satisfy her palate. This lifestyle became the catalyst for her blog, Cook Eat Paleo where she now shares tips and tricks about how to whip up simple and easy paleo recipes. Read how Lisa uses Pinterest to discover ingredients, substitutions, and even satisfy the sweet tooth!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? How did you fall into an all paleo diet lifestyle?

I’ve always loved food. I’ve been a foodie and home cook for years. About five years ago I had to give up gluten, grains and dairy to address an autoimmune disease. I had to relearn how to cook and bake without those ingredients I had always used. That’s what got me started on paleo. The paleo diet removes ingredients that can cause inflammation, or other side effects, so it’s helpful for a lot of health issues.

What jump started your idea for the blog?

I learned so much about this style of cooking and eating that I wanted to share. Having gone through so many recipe experiments, I learned how to make it quick and easy to put meals together. I probably cook 90% of my meals at home, so I’ve definitely learned some shortcuts, and some simple go-to recipes that take the place of convenience foods. And hopefully it will inspire people to try paleo if they think it would be good for them.

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Removing those yummy (and unhealthy) foods seems hard and intimidating. What are the biggest misconceptions about an all paleo diet? Was there something you craved or missed when you decided to venture into the gluten free path?

I think the biggest misconception is that it is too hard. There is definitely an adjustment period when you’re first learning to cook paleo, but once you learn a few recipes and some simple substitutions it becomes a lot easier. A great trick, for example, is making gluten-free pasta out of zucchini. My philosophy is I can eat anything I want as long as I make it myself. So if I want brownies or banana bread, I’ll figure out how to make it with ingredients I can have – and post the recipe on the blog.

Your Pinterest boards have ideas for each meal and season, such as your Paleo Breakfast and Paleo Thanksgiving! If I’m new to the diet, where do I start?

A great place to start is my Paleo / Primal Resources board. That’s where I have a lot of information on the paleo diet. I pin books, articles and infographics I find helpful. But the best way to start is to just dive in. Look at a category that’s appealing to you and pick out a recipe that looks easy. I think it’s best to start with something that’s familiar, like a frittata. It’s quick and easy and works for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Follow Cook Eat Paleo’s board Paleo / Primal Resources on Pinterest.

Where does your inspiration for new recipes come about?

I use Pinterest for both sharing and discovering recipes. My boards are like my personal recipe box. I pin recipes that I’ve created. And I pin recipes I find on different food sites and blogs that I want to try. I click through and read the ingredient list of every recipe I pin, and I only pin recipes that have paleo-friendly ingredients. So if I’m planning a menu for Thanksgiving, I can go to my board and see my recipes, plus all of the recipes I’ve collected that are perfect for Thanksgiving.

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It seems like you’ve cooked, whipped up, and created it all. What’s next on your paleo food adventure?

Believe me, I have no shortage of recipe ideas. I’m working on a chocolate walnut pie recipe at the moment. With the Kentucky Derby coming up, I’m creating a paleo-friendly version of the traditional derby pie. A recipe like this one, where I’m recreating something that I used to eat before going paleo, takes some trial and error. But experimenting and tasting the different variations is always fun!

Thanks Lisa for sharing tips and tricks on paleo recipes. If you want to see what Lisa is creating next in the kitchen, visit her blog and Pinterest boards!

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Tyler Goodro: Designer & Craftsman

Tyler Goordo: Designer & Craftsman

Designer Tyler Goodro has an eye for design. In fact, his passion for mid-century modern and contemporary design is what gave life to his blog Plastolux, which has now become a hub for architecture, furniture, art and DIY restoration projects. Finding pleasure in quality and simplicity, Tyler teams up with craftsmen in bringing fallen pieces to life. Today, as a husband and father of three, see how Tyler balances design in his active household and also find inspiration for his next projects with Pinterest.

Can you give us a quick background on yourself and how you found your passion in contemporary design? Did you always have an eye for design growing up?

I went to school for graphic design which was the catalyst for my fondness/obsession of Contemporary and Mid Century design. My first introduction to modern design was in college. I needed a cheap desk and went to the closest thrift store and bought a $29 desk, I just liked the simple clean lines. The desk was designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller, after researching these two names, the obsession began. Growing up, I was always messing with something. Taking things apart, changing the color and “making them better or unique”. I remember in grade school, anytime we would have a creative task or art project I always had to take my project one step further.

What catches your attention when it comes to architecture and home design?

I have always felt it harder to create something with a modern aesthetic. Modern is stripped down, almost exposed, any mistake or wrong calculation can standout in the worst way. With home design and architecture, the same principle applies. I love very geometric structures using natural honest materials (as I write this from my vinyl sided tract home…good grief). Repetitive monochromatic texture is always a plus for me. Horizontal stacked brick, vertical slatted wood or textured concrete can create visual separation or blocks of color. I am also very enthralled with the Modernist movement from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

modern furniture design

You call yourself a true DIY person. What types of designs do you like bringing to life, either from restoration or from scratch?

I am always sketching new ideas, mostly furniture. Plastolux has led me to partner with some very talented craftsman. Matt Eastvold has helped me bring some of my designs to fruition. The Goodro Credenza was a collaboration between Matt and I and the Plastolux cube side table was one of my designs. Sometimes I feel like some furniture being produced today is of lower quality, almost like they want it to have a short life so “we” have to buy more. It is very rewarding to restore a piece of furniture that may have been tossed out or continued to be abused by someones dog or cat.

modern living room design

How did the idea for your website, Plastolux come about?

Most every day I would spend an hour or so looking at modern architecture, furniture and graphic design. I found myself shooting links to friends with “check this out” in the subject line. One day a friend of mine said; “Stop sending me all these links, start a blog”. Coincidentally, we had just purchased a unique house that we were making some changes to and I was able to really use my blog as a showcase for that as well. At the end of 2007 was the year I started Plastolux.

You are a husband and a father of three. What challenges do you have raising a family and trying to balance design in the home, especially in an active house like yours?

I am an avid mid century modern collector, continually scouring Craigslist and eBay for deals. I find that we have to strike a balance with new and used furniture since furniture is meant to be used. In the family room and higher traffic areas we tend to keep newer pieces in use. In the master bedroom and my den are some pieces that should have “don’t touch” tags on them. My two year old thinks it is his job to perform durability tests on everything in the house. My twelve and nine year old have grown to appreciate my habits as I share with them the origins, material and designer of a piece.

Tyler Goordo family photograph

Your "Interiors" board has over 1.5k Pins with various styles, tones, and moods. How does Pinterest play in your discovery process?

There are a lot of people with the same likes and dislikes on Pinterest as myself. I have found it a great way to discover new designers, identify vintage pieces and follow other “obsessed” people. I like the way Pinterest is “tiled”, it gives me opportunity to scan quickly, sort of like when I am in a thrift store scanning for a little MCM.

The modern aesthetic isn’t just applicable to architecture, furniture and art but that is what I focus on with Plastolux. Pinterest allows me to “collect” other interests that encompass modern traits such as fashion, automotive and graphic design. Pinterest also allows me to categorize more specifics like sculpture, stairs and kitchens. I use Pinterest as another way to share my discoveries. I feel like people are consuming information differently now, they are utilizing social medias more and more. Pinterest is an important extension of the Plastolux blog.

Follow Tyler Goodro’s board Interiors on Pinterest.

We caught your "mid century modern" boards. What part of this era plays such a vital role for you?

I might be able to write a novel here but I will keep it short and sweet. The mid century or modernist movement involved people that were pioneers in exploring new materials and simplified structures. It wasn’t just architecture, this aesthetic or ideology was be explored in just about every aspect of life. These designers and thinks paved that way for contemporary design today. Reaching into the past, every good idea and design was sparked by a previous.

If you could add one dream design element, piece of furniture, or any other object to your home, what would it be? Or have you already found it?

I actually have a mental list which has some check marks but I am still in search for a couple of items. The Arne Norell, Ari lounge chair and ottoman or The P40 Lounge Chair by Osvaldo Borsani for Tecno. A pair of either of those would be stellar.

P40 Lounge Chair

Thanks Tyler for giving us a quick insight into the design and architecture world. If you want to see what Tyler is designing or building next, visit his website and Pinterest boards!

Read "Tyler Goodro: Designer & Craftsman"

Monday, March 17, 2014

Eddie Rossetti: Menswear addict & fashion blogger

Eddie Rossetti: Menswear addict & fashion blogger

Eddie Rossetti’s fashion sense started as a kid when his mother would dress him up for picture day at school. Years later, his style and closets are up to date, along with his popular blog, where he shares fashion tips and everyday snapshots. Taking the internet by storm, see how Eddie uses Pinterest to discover new trends, avoid mistakes, and collaborate with some major fashion brands for business.

Can you give us a quick background on yourself and how you got into men’s fashion? Were you always up to date with what was in-style growing up?

I’m Eddie Rossetti, a menswear addict, social media junkie and brunch fanatic who lives in the suburbs of Connecticut. I joined Pinterest to keep track of various style inspirations, back when users still needed an invite to get on to Pinterest. I pin 2 to 3 times a day, mostly at night, and it’s become part of my daily routine, a way to relax. When I’m not pinning, my boyfriend and I keep busy taking care of our two dogs, entertaining friends and family, and watching movies at the house. Pinning dovetails nicely with my job as a social media specialist at an integrated marketing agency, where I work with brands to strategize and make the most of their digital presence.

My mother was my biggest fashion influence growing up. Every year she made a big deal about picture day. Whether it was a bold-print cardigan, chambray shirt or turtleneck, we made sure that those classic 90s backgrounds matched my outfit. Twenty years later, I still keep updated versions of each in my closet. That being said, I strayed fashion-wise during high school, and made some terrible sartorial decisions that I’m glad didn’t make it on to social media. It wasn’t until college that I developed my current style, which I would consider a mix of classic and modern Americana.

Eddie Rossetti as a kid on picture day

A lot of people wonder what makes good fashion, good fashion. Tell us how your blog came to life?

My blog came about because … of all things … a New Year’s resolution to practice what I preach to my friends and colleagues. My inspiration was my friend MegBurns. I picked up her best practices and made it a point to share style tips and everyday snapshots. I still have some things I want to expand on, like more leadership posts. I’m looking forward to integrating them into my blog this year.

Good fashion is quality. It’s more than a trend. It’s something that can transcend time again and again. It’s an investment. It’s a reflection of a moment that becomes timeless, whether you wear it now or 20 years from now.

Your “extra flair” board has over 2k Pins. How do you use Pinterest to add that extra flare?

Extra Flair is my everyday style board. I post images of men rocking everyday wear with a twist — be it their personal style, a quality garment or that special detail that makes it stand out from all the rest. Through Pinterest, I’ve discovered different styles within my own, expanded on what I know and who I know. It’s allowed me to avoid mistakes other people make and experiment with looks that I’ve never thought of, like a short-sleeve button-down shirt under a short sleeve tee, cuffed at the sleeve. Who would have thought that would look good? But it did.

Follow EddieRossetti’s board Extra Flair on Pinterest.

Your boards have opened the doors to some new business partnerships. How did Pinterest play a role in your boards getting you discovered?

I’ve had remarkable opportunities to work with some amazing brands. It all started a year ago when my friend recommended my Pinterest boards to her colleague for a possible partnership with Banana Republic. I was invited to New York to preview their fall collection and take photos of all the men’s fashion to pin. Because of my focus on Pinterest, I’ve been featured in their street style board and have been offered the opportunity to contribute to a guest board for my favorite men’s fashion trends and looks. My favorite partnership perk is that I get to style and photograph some of their menswear pieces for Pinterest. That has allowed me to be more creative and original with my pins.

Another amazing opportunity that Pinterest fostered for me was the chance to work with Giles & Brother, winners of the CFDA award for best jewelry in 2007. What’s funny is that I actually came across Philip Crangi’s personal style on Pinterest well before I knew he was the jewelry designer for Giles & Brother. I didn’t even realize I was already pinning their jewelry. It’s a mix of “what men wear, and women love to steal from their men.” Thanks to Pinterest and the various pins I’ve curated, I’ve been invited to photograph and pin images from the GQxNorthern Grade pop-up shop on March 22 & 23 and also contribute to one of Giles & Brother’s guest boards.

My latest partnership is with vineyard vines. I attended their spring collection preview party, The Fashion Series blogger event, and have styled and photographed some of their menswear pieces for Pinterest. They’ve been great to work with and are always looking for new and creative ways to engage with bloggers.

I’m looking forward to expanding my partnerships with different menswear brands and being able to share those experiences with my Pinterest network.

Eddie Rossettii at a fashion event

If you had a male friend, who had no fashion sense, and needed help getting put together for an event in a few hours—say an interview, first date, or a party—what advice would you give him? Where does one start?

Dress to impress, but always aim to be comfortable. You should feel confident in what you’re wearing and be able to pull off what you’ve put on. Also, make sure to dress for the occasion without sacrificing your own personal style. Just because an invitation says black tie doesn’t mean you can’t stand out by incorporating a fun pocket square or a unique tie bar.

St. Patrick’s Day is today. How are you planning on incorporating green into your wardrobe this week? Any suggestions of do’s and don’ts? What’s the best way someone can add some subtle green to their attire?

Less is more when it comes to dressing for St. Patrick’s Day. I plan to wear a plaid shirt that has a hint of green in it. Nothing too intense, just a subtle pop. For a more formal setting, I suggest a muted, pastel green button-down shirt or green socks – show some personality without being too flashy.

What is one piece of fashion every man should have in his closet?

A well-tailored suit. Spend the extra money and get your suit fitted. You’ll thank yourself later – and you’ll grab other’s attention.

Thanks Eddie for giving us a quick insight into the fashion world! If you want to see what Eddie is wearing or what styles he’s curating this season, visit his website and Pinterest boards!

Read "Eddie Rossetti: Menswear addict & fashion blogger"

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mike Werner: Motorcycle rider & blogger

Mike Werner: Motorcycle rider & blogger

The need for speed caught Mike Werner at a very young age. Having lived in 23 countries and getting behind the wheel of different types of engines all over the world, Mike found a passion with motorcycles. Today, he is the author of the popular blog, news.motorbiker.org, which is a premiere destination for motorcycle information and news on the web. From the Dakar race in Africa to the roads of the Austrian Dolomite mountains, Mike plans to ride the world on two wheels. Now with Pinterest, see how Mike discovers his next destination to start his engines.

Can you give us a bit of background on yourself and how you fell into motorcycles as a passion and hobby?

I was born in The Netherlands, but quickly moved out (I was three months old when my parents moved to Iran). But since a young age I was always interested in speed and engines, and motorcycles were the right, and only, way you could get both for a reasonable price. The fun you have riding a motorcycle can not be obtained in any other legal way. As the saying goes “you never see a motorcycle outside a shrink’s office.” So I have been riding for as long as I can remember.

What was the catalyst for your blog?

I was working in the aviation industry and in the mid 90’s blogging had become the thing to do, so I started a motorcycle blog about my daily rides. It was one word; “boring”. But then I decided to quit the corporate world and do something I really loved, motorcycles and news. So I took my blog, now a news blog, to the next level and concentrated 100% of my time on it. I was one of the first, if not very first independent news blog on motorcycles, so quickly I gained an international audience.

A couple of scopes, and before i knew it, my time was being taken over writing and going on location to make photos. And then other sites and even magazines contacted me for writing some articles, and then magazines outside the motorcycle world asked me to write for them. And before I knew it, I was 100% enrolled in a journalist’s job, and loving every minute of it. Now I write and make photos not only about motorcycles, but also travel & tourism and gadgets.

riding motorcycles around the world

You’ve lived in 23 countries and speak 10 languages. What has been your experience working with and riding motorcycles around the world? Any unforgettable rides, motorcycles, or adventures you can share?

From childhood I have learned that cultures are different, even in the same country, and trying to get them to understand yours is an uphill battle that you can never win. It was up to me to adapt. The same goes for riding motorcycles. Each bike is different, and needs you to adapt to its behaviour. Riding motorcycle in each country is as different as the eating habits, language and culture in that country. I’ve seen great American riders get into trouble riding in European countries because they did not change their riding style, thinking that their style would have locals adapt to them.

As for unforgettable rides, every ride is unforgettable, but the best ride is always—and I mean always—the next one. The most interesting one was in 2005 when I followed the famous Dakar race on my own motorcycle into Africa. That was epic because of the difficulty levels, scenery and people encountered. Rides in the Italian and Austrian Dolomite mountains are incredible as well, something any biker who has been in the Alps will tell you.

electric motorcycles

Your Pinterest boards showcases a variety of motorcycles, from electric to racing to vintage bikes. How do you use Pinterest to dive into the motorcycle world?

Let me start by saying Pinterest should be outlawed. Kidding… but whenever I go on Pinterest to get inspiration for articles, I mean to go there for a few minutes. And before I know it, my day is over and the night has crept in. I get sucked in by all the incredible photos, and they are not only from motorcycles, but any type. The quality of the photos are top notch, and I can spend hours looking at them.

Often when I have photos of my own that I deem nice enough, I’ll pin them on my own boards, but I rarely feel that they are as good as the ones I see on other boards. But I use Pinterest to get ideas for articles, and usually when I do get one from here, my resulting articles are hits. I love going through the different topics looking at amazing photos. There is so much creativity in the world with people who master their art. Pinterest is a great source for inspiration and amazing discoveries.

Follow Mike Werner’s board Motorcycles on Pinterest.

For someone looking to get into motorcycles, how and where would you advise them to start?

People who want to start riding must start with a good school. There are no two ways around it, riding motorcycles is dangerous, and many people think it’s easy. They might have been used to riding mopeds, even bicycles, and think a motorcycle is no different. Already the physics of motorcycles is different, but like flying an airplane, you need to be brainwashed in safety drills. Only by going to a proper school will you learn to automatically do the right thing no matter what happens on the road. Anyone who goes riding without proper training is a statistic.

Where is your next dream ride?

I was actually planning to ride to St. Petersburg, Russia but that seems to be off the planning for the time being. I might go back to the Republic of San Marino with my wife (SWMBO in biker terms, She Who Must Be Obeyed) since I was there last year without her, and want her to discover this wonderful place. Riding through France and Italy is always a great ride, full of beautiful scenery, fantastic people and incredible food.

motorcycle riding with family and friends

Thanks Mike for taking us on a two-wheel ride! If you want to see where Mike is revving up his engines next, visit his website and Pinterest boards!

Read "Mike Werner: Motorcycle rider & blogger"

Monday, March 3, 2014

Terry Irwin: Designer & Educator

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Terry Irwin is a designer and an educator. Her creativity and imagination has paved a way for over 40 years of experience leading teams at international design firms as a Creative Director working with Fortune 500 clients, holding faculty positions around the world, and ultimately landing in Pittsburgh as the Head of School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. With a game changing curriculum to place design for society and the environment at the heart of the program, see how Terry uses Pinterest to curate mini-exhibitions and also for a final project in her classes.

Can you give us a quick background on your work, how you became a designer, and ultimately landed in education as a Professor at Carnegie Mellon?

Two things led to me to become a designer and educator: 1) My father was a typesetter at the newspaper in my home town, so I grew up around letterforms and printing, and 2) I love to learn and would stay in school for the rest of my life if I could. During my 40 years career I’ve tried to maintain a balance between practicing, teaching and studying design. This wasn’t easy or lucrative, but it’s been incredibly challenging and rewarding.

In my early career I worked for large corporate identity firms such as Landor Associates servicing clients like Sony, Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Apple Computer, Asiana Airlines and Hyatt Hotels. In 1992, during the early days of Silicon Valley and the internet, I co-founded the San Francisco office of MetaDesign with partners Erik Spiekermann and Bill Hill. Designers were just beginning to explore how they could shape digital environments and experiences. It’s amazing to have lived through the transition to today where we see digital communities like Pinterest bursting on the scene.

Since 1986 I’ve also been an educator. I have learned more about design from teaching it than I have practicing it. I’ve served on the design faculty of Otis Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles, California College of Arts and Crafts (CCA), San Francisco, Schumacher College, England and the University of Dundee, Scotland. I’ve taught a wide variety of courses including color theory, typography, letterform design, information and interaction design and, in the last ten years, courses related to sustainable design.

In 2007, while my husband and I were living in Scotland, I was contacted by the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University and was invited to apply for the job as Head of School. It was one of those calls that come out of the blue, but looking back, it seems as if it was inevitable. I’d had almost 10 years to explore a new territory of ecological studies and my PhD work gave me the opportunity to think deeply about how I thought design needed to change and in particular, how design education needed to change. Since joining the School in fall of 2009, I’ve been leading re-visioning efforts and I’m excited to say that in fall of 2014, we will launch all new programs and curricula at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels.

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Over the years, you’ve probably seen a transformation in design. How do you keep up with evolving style, voice, trends and especially technology?

There has been a tremendous transformation in design just in the past 20 years, largely a result of new, emergent technologies. In terms of style, I don’t try to keep up with it. I think style itself holds more meaning and is more ‘fun’ when you’re young and learning to design. You’re trying on different styles, scanning culture, immersed in trends, even sparking trends. That’s one of the great and essential things about youth. You are learning what is meaningful to you (and others) and most importantly you are developing a vocabulary and ‘voice’. At some point I think one’s focus shifts. My vocabulary and voice had matured by the time I was in my 30s, but what I choose to apply it to as a mature designer is constantly changing and always exciting.

Trying to keep up with trends and technology is like running on a treadmill; you’ll never catch up and will eventually become overwhelmed. I don’t even try. I’m a naturally curious person and am interested conceptually in technology. I am deeply aware that for the first time in human history we are connected on a planetary level and have the ability to communicate almost instantaneously no matter where we are. In contrast, we are living in times that will demand that we become ever more mindful that we are always embedded in place and each place has its own distinct characteristics, boons and limitations. Some people call this awareness ‘cosmopolitan localism’; the ability to share information globally and apply it appropriately and responsibly through place-based solutions and lifestyles. I should add that I mean analog lifestyles—not solutions that only exist in the digital realm.

My interest in the long-term objective of how we design the transition to a sustainable society keeps me engaged in emergent technologies and design solutions. I probably wouldn’t stay as abreast of what is going on if it were simply to ‘keep up’…I would find that boring. As far as style for style’s sake goes, you might call me a dinosaur but I believe in form following function.

We noticed you’re an active Pinner with over 7k pins! Your “Now you don’t see this everyday” boards and “Multiplicity in Unity” boards are very captivating and organized. How does Pinterest fit into your inspiration and discovery process?

When I first started pinning I created boards on topics that already interested me: color, form, wire things, Living Systems and Boston Terriers (who as everyone knows are the world’s best dogs). Later I became inspired by the river of images that is the live feed, and was struck by the absolute absurdity of many things. That gave birth to my “Now, you don’t see this everyday” and “Creatures” boards.

I especially like my Creatures board because they are things living and non-living, representational and non-representational, vernacular and formal works of art. It’s the unplanned juxtaposition of images that makes the ‘whole’ greater than the sum of its parts. For example, an image of the back end of the Antares Rocket looks like a face and it sits next to a metal Anatolian Idol which sits next to a live Stone Fish on the sea floor and he in turn is next to a magnified image of a Black Vine Beetle. Where but on Pinterest would you ever see those things next to each other and have a relationship to one another? Because they have been decontextualized, or rather, re-contextualized, these creatures share a new, common world on equal terms with each other. When you enter the board you quickly suspend belief and see all of them as creatures with individual personalities. My Round Things board is similar. I have collected round things for years and wanted to see what a Pinterest board would be like. Round Things is a wild juxtaposition of anything round. I have intentionally not included many works of art because real and vernacular round things seem to create more unexpected and even delightful juxtapositions. I’ve had more traffic (and cloning) on the Round Things board than any other.

My Multiplicity in Unity board is something of a private joke. Most people will think it is just photos of collections of things that are similar. It is actually based upon a concept developed by the poet and scientist, Wolfgang von Goethe who developed a process and theory of the observation of how organisms change, grow and differentiate. Philosopher/physicist Henri Bortoft in his book The Wholeness of Nature discusses this concept in depth. For designers it is an interesting way to think about wholeness and the design of artificial form. I simply set myself the challenge of trying to capture this concept with images. I’ve even got photos of Goethe and Henri in there amongst the multiplicity of images.

I use Pinterest to curate mini exhibitions, I don’t use it like a bulletin board for my recipes or craft ideas like many people do and I don’t want to see those things in my live stream. I want my own boards and my live stream to be a river of inspiration and calm, not another source of static and ‘chaff’. That said, I do find Pinterest useful when I need to search for something. I often go to it before I’ll do a google image search or turn to a stock photography site.

Visit Terry Irwin’s profile on Pinterest.

What inspires you outside of Pinterest and your workspace?

Beauty. Mindfulness. Simplicity and clarity. The small acts of cooperation and kindness that are all around us if we look for them.

Watching things grow is a tremendous source of inspiration to me. The transformation of living form has much to teach designers. When we lived in Scotland our bedroom looked out at rolling farmland and it was amazing to watch the cycle of year: the brown freshly plowed earth, the first tinge of green as the wheat shoots broke the surface, the rippling waves of green, maturing wheat that would suddenly turn golden at harvest time. Watching that cycle kept us grounded. We all spend so much time at the computer in a digital landscape that we can become ignorant of and disconnected from these larger cycles and rhythms that we are embedded within. This disconnection is one of the roots of many wicked problems.

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I’m inspired by good science fiction and by found artifacts. My husband and collect odd ‘things’ from our travels as opposed to taking photographs. Our house is full of inspiring oddities.

In general I’m very inspired by visual form. That’s probably why I’m such an avid Pinner. I develop my boards to be visually inspiring—to me. Sometimes when I need a break from work I look through one of my boards. I’ve chosen each image very carefully so that each time I scroll through those images I feel inspired, excited and it feels like a place of respite and beauty.

We took a peek at your Design History board, which you use for the Carnegie Mellon curriculum, and we’re intrigued. Can you tell us more about using Pinterest in the classroom?

I taught a design history course last semester with 61 students and got the idea to use Pinterest because I had just become a user myself. I was very impressed with the educators who were using Pinterest, especially art historians who had scholarly captions for the images. This showed me that you could use text in a more serious way alongside the images. Because of the limited number of characters, it becomes an interesting exercise in being clear and concise, which is a good skill for design students to learn.

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To test the idea I created a board called the History of the Gas Light. Using about 30 images I wanted to explore how design was connected to the invention of gas light technology. I found images of gas light fixtures but I also looked at how the design of gas lighting influenced society through cultural norms, art, literature and music. I even found a connection between the design of gas lights and Jack the Ripper; he preyed on women in the poor and poorly lighted areas of the city. Neighborhoods that could afford gas lighting had lower crime rates, so socio-economic divides within a city like London were apparent at night simply by looking at the level of outdoor illumination. These are the kind of dots I wanted my students to connect within their Pinterest boards.

Creating a historical narrative on a Pinterest board is a challenge because you can’t change the position of the individual pins. To place pins chronologically on the board I and my students had to create secret ‘holding’ boards where we threw everything and then later were able to decide in what order the pins should appear. We had to pin the images onto the final board in reverse order. We created boards for 10 different eras and the students selected one design or invention that embodied that era. Students worked in teams of 4-5 people and made their final presentations directly from the Pinterest application. The students enjoyed the challenge of working in a new medium and because the majority of your Pinterest design team are recent alumni of our program, the students knew that they were working with an exciting new digital environment designed by people that had only recently been sitting in the same classroom that they themselves occupy. It was incredibly gratifying experience for all of us!

Follow Design History CMU’s board 2000 - 2013: The iphone on Pinterest.

What is one piece of advice you have for designers looking to step into the professional world today?

You’ll probably be surprised at my answer because it has nothing to do with the practice of design but everything to do with designing one’s life. What I always tell young designers at the beginning of their career is ‘don’t get into debt’. You’ll have more choice, more ethical wiggle room and be able to pursue the unexpected if you don’t weigh yourself down with all the trappings of pseudo success. Ask ‘how much is enough’. Moreover, ask what constitutes success. And, keep asking it over the course of your career and lifetime.

Thanks Terry for letting us take a ride inside your imagination! If you want to see what Terry is designing or curating next, visit her Tumblr and Pinterest boards!

Read "Terry Irwin: Designer & Educator "

Monday, February 24, 2014

Jessie Hemmons: Street Artist & Yarnbomber

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Knitting isn’t just about sweaters or mittens these days, and artist Jessie Hemmons knows that first hand. She is a yarnbomber—a guerilla knitting street artist—who uses yarn to create exhibits in public environments, such as a tree, statue, or even a VW bus. Her use of vibrant colors has caught the attention of communities from Philadelphia to Oakland, and even allowed for some extraordinary commissioned work. See how Jessie uses Pinterest to dream up and lock in her next design target.

Can you give us a bit about your background and how you got into yarnbombing?

I first saw some photos of yarnbombing online in 2009. Friends sent me links to different projects they had seen on the internet because they knew that I loved to knit and crochet. At the time, I was mostly knitting clothing and accessories, but I think friends passed the links along because they knew that I absolutely loved and admired street art. When I first saw the projects, I was skeptical about the durability of the knitting in outdoor climates, and in terms of creating my own project, I was especially concerned about the harsh weather that can occur in Philadelphia.

Then I found an entire book of yarnbombs while looking through knitting books at the bookstore. The book was called, “Yarnbombing” by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain, and inside I found tons of yarnbombing projects from all over the world. Finding this book finally gave me the confidence to start yarnbombing in my own city. That very day I began crocheting my first project and went out the next day to complete my first installation. I had crocheted a 12 inch cozy for a bike rack in downtown Philadelphia. I was very nervous when I began to install the piece, but to my surprise, no one seemed to pay attention to what I was doing. I sewed the seam of the crocheted piece around the bike rack as quickly as I could and then I walked away.

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People yarnbomb for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes people yarnbomb for political or artistic reasons, and others yarnbomb for community reasons or simply to enhance the asthetics of their environment. I usually yarnbomb for all of these reasons, at different times. I am very inspired by making artwork accessible to all different kinds of people, which is why I usually yarnbomb in very visible places. I think sometimes people can feel excluded from the “art world” and so it makes me feel happy to have those people engage my work and be inspired by it to create something of their own.

What is the wildest experience you’ve had yarnbombing either as a commissioned project or without permission?

The craziest experience I had yarnbombing happened when I moved to Oakland, Ca. Whenever I tried to yarnbomb in the area, I was met with resistance by citizens and officials. I decided to yarnbomb one of the large heart sculptures in San Francisco’s Union Square. The first time that I attempted to cover one of the hearts, at 5:30 am, I realized I hadn’t measured the sculpture accurately and the piece didn’t fit. I went home and knit the remainder of the pieces and went back a few days later. The second time, the piece fit, but I didn’t start installing until around 6:45 am. By that time, a security guard had come on duty and started yelling at me and threatened to call SFPD. I removed the piece because the guard seemed very eager to call the cops, I think because he was elated at having such an exciting thing to do so early in the morning. After that experience I was determined to install the piece (mostly due to my rebellious nature). I decided to wait a little while to try and install the piece again, like a week or two, so that the guards would forget about me. When I finally returned, I was able to sew the entire piece around the heart. I took one photo before a guard showed up and yelled at me to take it down. My partner and I quickly walked away from the scene. I’m still not sure how long the installation lasted, but I believe it was probably as long as it took for him to find a pair of scissors.

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According to your website, you’ve yarnbombed a VW bus. How long does a project like that take?

I knitted a yarnbomb for a VW Bus as a commission for Free People in Japan. Because I work on a knitting machine, I was able to fabricate the piece about 15 times faster than had I worked by hand. I was able to complete that installation in a matter of two weeks.

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We caught your Artsy Inspiration boards which seems to be a brainstorm for some fantastic creative concepts. How do you brew up and discover new ideas?

I use Pinterest whenever I’m looking for visual inspiration for anything. I love to knit and crochet all sorts of things, not just yarnbombs. I love to knit clothing and accessories and home decor and sometimes even avant garde knitting, and I use Pinterest whenever I need inspiration for my next project in any of these areas. I have even been able to find tutorials and crochet patterns on Pinterest. Looking through a visual landscape for information makes the research much more stimulating and user friendly, so I look to Pinterest for as many inspirations and resources as I can.

I haven’t used Pinterest for business, but I can see the potential. There is such a diverse user audience on Pinterest, and they all have their own unique style and preferences. In a business situation, this would make it a great platform for me to express my unique view and my inspirations, as well as my previous projects. Using Pinterest would also provide me with insight into the inspirations of a company or brand that I might be interested in working with. This could give me the upper hand in proposing a potential project, as well as help me see if our style preferences are aligned.

Follow Jessie Hemmons’s board Artsy Inspiration on Pinterest.

What’s next on your bucket list to yarnbomb? Any dream ideas in the works?

I recently moved to New Orleans, so I’m mostly excited to yarnbomb in a new place, and introduce my new city to my work. I would love to yarnbomb one of the horse drawn carriages in the French Quarter!

Thanks Jessie for take us on an art exhibit curated on the streets! If you want to see what Jessie is yarnbombing next, visit her website and Pinterest boards!

Read "Jessie Hemmons: Street Artist & Yarnbomber"

Monday, February 17, 2014

David Neale: Handcrafted, Treasure maker

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As a kid visiting museums, David Neale saw ancient artifacts and knew he wanted to make treasures. So, armed with his imagination, he ventured into the art of gold and silversmithing. Now, with an artist’s touch and a steel rod called a mandrel, David produces custom handcrafted jewelry and treasures of his own from his studio in Australia that are in-demand all over the world. Read how David uses Pinterest for inspiration, discovery, and even for his business!

Tell us about your background and how you ultimately ended up gold and silversmithing?

I’ve got keen eyes- I notice the small wonders. When I was a kid I loved to visit museums. I was awestruck by mineral specimens and artefacts from ancient civilisations – I knew I wanted to make treasures like these. I took jewelry making lessons with a local goldsmith and later on, I assisted him in his shop. Eventually, I studied Fine Art at university, majoring in Gold and Silversmithing.

We noticed your “Wedding Rings” board. For our readers who don’t know much about the art, can you tell us more about creating a finished piece of jewelry from start to finish, say for a wedding ring or even an earring?

One of my popular rings is made from unrefined Australian gold nuggets - it’s like wholemeal, organic gold - if you will. This material is sourced from small-scale prospectors. I put the nuggets in a charcoal mould, and heat them with a 2000F degree flame, until they melt together as a liquid. When this ingot has cooled, I make a hole right through the middle, using a hammer and punch. Without removing any metal, I stretch out this hole by gradually hammering the ring down a tapered steel rod, called a mandrel. For this, I use an antique hammer, one I picked up on my travels in Italy, because it gives a subtle, ancient-like texture.

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Jewelry making can be laborious, is often tedious and frequently hazardous- some folks don’t realise this. It’s my view that cheap, exploitative imports have skewed the way we value an object- especially the skills and effort required to make it. So the studio jeweler has tough competition; we have to persuade people to skip the cheap factory trinkets and instead chose jewelry with lively presence; something worthy of becoming an heirloom.

What is the most rewarding part about being a jewelry maker?

To make wedding jewelry is an enormous privilege. I feel honoured when a couple chooses me to make the rings that symbolise something sacred. This often results in long-standing custom. They feel that I am ‘their’ goldsmith, which is a reward that goes beyond a mere business transaction.

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In your “Jewelry board” we find a variety of pieces, not just earrings and rings, but vases, models, combs, and other intricate collections. How do you use Pinterest, find inspiration and decide what to make?

I use Pinterest to present a whole visual mood for my jewelry design. I pin images of my own work, as well as images of anything that inspires me, like historical jewelry, art and design objects. Over time, as the pins build up into a ripe collection, you’ll get a strong sense of David Neale’s aesthetic. Apart from my own content, some of the images come from other Pinners, but I also draw on many different sources. I especially love to ‘rummage’ through any online Museum collections.

I also make use of ‘secret’ Pinterest boards; if a client has particular ideas for a custom piece, I invite them to pin images to a shared secret board. Then we can refer to these in our discussion, as we collaborate on a design. This is a really convenient tool.

Follow The Golden Smith’s board Jewelry on Pinterest.

Some ideas grow from previous work, pushing the edges of what I’ve already explored. Certainly, Pinterest is a great tool for inspiration; having built up a lot of pins, I can see strong patterns in what materials, finishes and styles that I’m drawn too. It’s not hard to then imagine something that hasn’t yet been made, but would totally fit in with the aesthetic that I’m presenting.

My mind wanders all over the landscape of metalwork. Sometimes I make items that people are switched-on-to right now, such as earrings or cuffs. But other times I’ll make something that I’m not seeing everywhere. For example, I really wanted to hand-make metal combs; and no-one was notably doing that. So I set about cutting some- and the response has been great.

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Do you have a work of art that is your favorite, or most fulfilling to produce?

I love making my Horse Pendants - when I make them, I try to re-tell the the happy sight of a cantering horse- with just some simple, moving parts; a little golden poem.

What new treasures are you thinking about next?

I’ve started to work with some talented Australian bespoke gem-cutters, which is really exciting. There are so many unusual minerals and creative faceting designs - the world of gems is a sea of color–Im looking forward to diving in!

Thanks David for giving us a peak into your treasure chest. If you want to see what David is creating next, visit his website and Pinterest boards!

Read "David Neale: Handcrafted, Treasure maker"

Monday, February 10, 2014

Caz and Craig: travel bloggers and parents

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Caz and Craig are a happily married couple from Australia with two beautiful kids. But they have a secret: they are full time travelers! Armed with a mission to show you that “travel doesn’t have to stop after kids”, the two are the visionaries behind the travel blog, YTravelBlog where they share secrets on how to live your travel dreams. They used to collect travel magazines, rip out photos, and glue them onto big pieces of cardboard to find inspiration. But now, read how they use Pinterest to dream, plan and jump into the unknown.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. How did you meet and get bit with the traveling bug? Were you both adventurous from the start?

We both grew up in the same small town on the east coast of Australia, but didn’t really know each other until our early twenties. Caz moved to London for 2 years straight after graduating from University and put her teaching degree to good use. During that time she traveled the UK, Europe and Asia before returning home to Oz, but still had very itchy feet.

It was then that we both got to know each other. Craig shared Caz’s passion for travel and his big dreams of also living overseas and traveling the world. We got married, and 3 days after our wedding took off on a 5-year honeymoon, which involved working holidays living in Bangkok teaching English, a year living in Dublin, and 4 years living in Raleigh, North Carolina. We traveled extensively in the UK, Asia, Africa and the USA.

We are now both full-time on our travel blog, having turned our passion for travel into a full-time lifestyle. It’s a dream come true. Caz left her teaching career and Craig left the construction industry. We’re currently on a 1 year road trip around Australia with our two kids, blogging and pinning as we go. So we are full-time bloggers, parents and travelers and time management is definitely tough, with no two days the same. But, we are living our passion and spending quality time with our kids so the benefits far outweigh the struggles.

How did the blog come about?

After living and traveling the world for 8+ years we’ve always been a part of the travel community, and we love sharing tips and stories with other travelers. Plus Caz has always loved writing in her journal and Craig taking photos, so starting a travel blog was a natural progression. And we needed to find a way to feed our travel addiction, to have time-freedom and be able to live where we want, when we want. So becoming location independent has always been a huge desire.

Our blog is 3.5 years old now and we are grateful for the lifestyle it has enabled us to live, the people we have been able to connect with around the world, and the brands we have been able to partner with on campaigns.

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How do you plan your trips, especially now with kids? Are your trips less adventurous and more laid back now?

Our list of places we want to see is endless, and continues to grow. But sometimes we enjoy going back to familiar places as well. As for traveling with kids, we say this all the time to others, travel doesn’t have to stop after having kids! Whilst our style of travel has evolved over the years now that we have a 6 and 2 year old, and we don’t move as fast as we did, traveling as a family and creating lifelong memories together is so important to us.

We love the outdoors, as do our kids, and we still get out in nature and go hiking and bike riding and being adventurous. Whilst we do visit “attractions for kids” and try to find the balance between adult activities for us, we’re not the type to hang out in aquariums, museums and playgrounds, preferring to get out there and explore and meet the people and eat the local food.

Travel with kids needn’t be a hassle and it can be one of the best experiences you have as a family. It’s just about paying attention to their needs and finding plenty of rest time and having enough activities for them to do along the way. Bored and overtired children become cranky and frustrated kids in a hurry—parents moods soon follow!

Our top 3 tips for travel with kids would be:

1. Slow Down - spend more time in fewer places. Plan for a slower pace than you might usually attempt if solo or as a couple.

2. Determine Your Preferences - sit down with your whole family and discuss your ideas and interests. Memorable trips are those where each member of the family gets to experience something they love.

3. Stay in Apartments or Vacation Rentals - most big-city hotel rooms were not built for families with young kids. With an apartment you get more space, thicker walls, a kitchen, a washing machine, and separate bedrooms. These facilities can make your trip so much more enjoyable.

How do your kids like traveling?

They didn’t have a choice, they chose us, lol. But seriously, they love it. They are both adventurous by spirit, social and have come to understand the benefits of travel and the memories created far outweigh any hassles.

We stumbled upon your Bucket list board with 4.2 million followers! How have you used Pinterest to find inspiration and come across new experiences?

Our bucket list board is easily our biggest and it’s mostly for travel inspiration, those dream destinations we ALL want to visit. This board is not just for us as the curators, but for all our followers to get inspired to live their travel dreams. “A pictures tells a thousand words” as they say, and there is no better way to inspire a trip and stir emotion than through travel photos.

Before Pinterest, we used to collect travel magazines and rip out photos to pin to a cork board. Or we glued photos on a big piece of cardboard and called it our travel bucket list board or vision board. Now we use Pinterest.

Follow Caz and Craig @yTravelBlog’s board Bucket List on Pinterest.

What we love about Pinterest, and what separates it from say Facebook and Instagram, is that things stay where we put them and are easy to find again, for us and others. So we LOVE using Pinterest for travel planning and sharing. There are essentially 4 phases of travel: Dream, Plan, Experience, Share. And Pinterest lends itself perfectly to all phases. By creating our boards into topics, and then pinning photos and blog posts to those boards, we can easily organize and categorize our travel planning and travel tips.

We’re currently pinning our way around Australia on a one year road trip using our Australia travel board and the cool new feature “Place Pins”, which helps people to locate a destination and plan their own travels. This is a great tool for sharing your trip afterwards, by highlighting points of discovery such as places you eat, where you stayed, things you saw, which your followers can then benefit from. We’ve also created a Sydney place pins board sharing our insider tips on things to see, do, eat, stay in Sydney.

Besides clicking on the travel category, we also use the “Search bar” to research new places, pins and boards. But our favourite way to find the best photos is to use the “Related Pins” function where you see other images from the same destination or topic as the original photo you clicked on, simply by scrolling down.

We recently published an in-depth blog post on How to Use Pinterest for Traveling Planning that outlines how we get the most out of Pinterest.

Pinterest has become a HUGE part of our business. Alone it brings in over 120,000 unique visitors per month to our blog. We also get many emails from people who say they discovered us on Pinterest so it’s been a great way to build our audience and bring new eyeballs to our site. And with new features coming out on Pinterest, the future is exciting and we’re just getting started.

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Browsing your blog, it seems like you’ve got the earth covered! What’s next?

We’re 4 months into our year long road trip around Australia. After that we have plans to road trip the USA for at least one year, and finally hit Europe for about 4-6 months. Our youngest daughter will be 5 years old by then so we hope to finally settle down somewhere, put the kids back into traditional school, and take shorter regional trips.

Let the adventures continue!

Thanks Caz and Craig for bringing us into your adventures with the family. If you want to see where they’re currently in the world, visit their blog and Pinterest boards!

Read "Caz and Craig: travel bloggers and parents"