Sunday, January 19, 2014

I Had a Pin Fail

That's what they call it, right?


Was supposed to yield this:

Really, I just have to laugh.

I am a perfectionist in certain areas of my life. DIY is not one of them. I know my limitations. The bar is set very low. I expect to have a fail of the pin variety. I’m shocked, pleasantly surprised, when my endeavors come even close to the bright and shiny picture.

You may be expecting a post hating on Pinterest right about now. Something along the lines of: Pinterest makes mamas like me feel inadequate or pressured to be perfect.

Or, maybe, something like: Pinterest is reactionary, a throw back to the days when a mom’s worth was measured by her ability to make an apple pie (or play-doh).

I've read posts that say as much, and know that Pinterest has become another great divide between mamas. I find myself resting somewhere in the middle -- a craft-impaired mother who loves Pinterest. You might say I'm looking to become a Pinterest peacemaker, so to speak.

I love Pinterest despite the fact that my DIY adventures are more likely to be pin fails than pin-worthy. I’m glad there are women other than me -- the ones who actually possess the crafting gene -- who come up with ingenuous ideas and recipes that wouldn’t occur to me in a million years.

They’ve given me the know-how to actually make stuff with my daughter, which is the definition of quality time for me. When play-doh is made at home, it is somehow infused with the good vibes of having your hand in it and of being together. And, just to clarify, our homemade experiments don't mean that I am obligated to always make play-doh every time. We have the store-bought kind too, but I digress.

I do believe that there is power in making things by hand, though. Yes, I am incredibly grateful that Amazon Prime opens up a whole world of consumer goods, which appear at my door, as if by magic. I am likewise glad that making play-doh is the perfect tonic to an Amazon shopping experience. I want Claire to learn that clicking a button on her computer doesn't count as agency or effort.

And that agency and effort count for something -- I want Claire to value process as much as product. Actually, when I really think about it, I'm even more of a fan of Pinterest because of the Pin fail. I am trying to teach Claire to embrace the fact that things don’t always turn out the way that you expect (which is often the case with a craft-impaired mama like me. She will be well schooled in this lesson). I want her to see that mistakes can yield surprising results too.

No, we did not create finger paint like the lovely picture above. The result of our toil together was much, much more like slime (what’s ironic is that I put in the green dye BEFORE it went the way of pin fail). But, guess what, Claire loved it!

No, I will never be Martha Stewart. I don’t need to be. My daughter needs a mama not a Martha anyway.

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Photo Source: Aaron Gilson, Flickr

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Check out this week's fab features:

Mommy is for Real: Raising Feminist Daughters

Left Brain Buddha, Rite of Passage: Ready for Air; Ready for Motherhood


  1. I baked with my son and daughter today and thought about how we were being disgustingly pinteresty but at the same time, I was teaching them a skill that they needed. There is a middle ground, like you say. Also, when I saw that picture, I thought you had canned pickles at first! We've had more than our fair share of projects end up like that.

  2. I look at it this way, if I try something and fail, I can always put it in on CraftFail! That's because my life resembles CraftFail more than Pinterest...

    And I thought it was relish... ;-)

  3. Haha - I don't know that I've ever had a pin success! But I suppose Pinterest needs to be there to inspire the rest of us to aim higher. You have a great attitude!

  4. We have these "fails" all the time! The funny thing is, even when I consider something a failure, my daughter still usually has a good time with however it comes out, or even just the attempt. So maybe it's a "win" after all!

  5. *that* was FINGER PAINT?


    At least you got a blog post out of it, right?

  6. I had to laugh out loud at those photos... but I love your refreshing take on Pinterest! Such a healthy perspective! :)

  7. Oh how I love pinterest.
    It is true about what you say in that I can sometimes feel inadequate at times. As long as my kid is happy, really that is all that matters.
    And if my make-up and ass looked just as good as some of the pins, I'd be laughing.

  8. LOL!!!! I share on pinterest, but I just can't get into the DIY stuff.... SOOOOO not me! I applaud you for trying!

  9. I'm definitely not into the DIY stuff on Pinterest either. And in my opinion kids learn so much more from failure than from perfection and constant success. You're so right! We learn from the process, not the product!

  10. I'm still getting to know Pinterest but I love parts of it. The DIY stuff? Not so much. When I do make things, I do find it rewarding and fulfilling but often I get the pin fails too which is frustrating and annoying and makes me feel incompetent. Mostly I just don't make stuff. I should more though. Maybe not the finger paint though HHAHAHA (sorry but it IS funny right?). :D

  11. I love to look in awe of others' creations, but I am not a DIYer, either. I use Pinterest to post inspirational articles and to find recipes for baked goods (I can only bake, my cooking is terrible). Works for me! PS: My son would love that green slime. :)

  12. I have so many pins I've never even tried and probably never will! So good for you for trying and it sounds like it ended up being time well spent anyway!

  13. At least you tried something on Pinterest! I pin so much that I have full intentions of trying one day.....

  14. I love this post! This was the whole inspiration behind my desire to do 12 months of Sensory Dough. I wanted to show fail and success! Please join us and show what happens when you try them :) Next month Cloud dough!

  15. I don't "do" pinterest or really officially know what it is (essentially isn't it just stuff from the internet?), but I do know that the "failures" in the garden is where we always learn the most! Well said. I do love Martha, but it is fun to see the "mess-upsmistakes/imperfect side of things at least once in awhile!


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