Friday, December 16, 2011

{Something Old, Something New . . . And a Couple of Thoughts About Pinterest, Too}

Several months ago I started to hear people refer to this thing called Pinterest. It was often connected with the words, "Look out! It's addicting!"

That sounded rather dangerous. So I waited.

Over time I talked with a few friends to see if there was anything beneficial about joining such a site. I learned that it can actually be a very useful tool, when used wisely. I timidly tip-toed on board (pun) and started pinning.

At first I just pinned random things that I liked. It was scattered, and I was trying to get my bearings. Then I started to get the hang of things and began to see how helpful it was as an organizational tool, especially for school, art and craft ideas.

I've since learned a few things about myself that have helped me keep this whole Pinterest thing in perspective.

The main thing is this: If I'm tempted to pin anything that might lead to a spirit of discontent, I let it go. (A certain lamp and cake post comes to mind . . . .)

I've struggled with contentment for years. So I intentionally do not have a board where I list all of the "things" I would like to have someday. The dream house, the dazzling wardrobe, the vacation destinations. Nope. I pin the things that will be helpful and practical in the very near future. (Please note: this is my personal choice. I know that many people love referring to a "dream home" page for inspiration and some really wonderful ideas, and there certainly isn't anything inherently wrong with this.)

My second rule is this: Only pin what I can afford to do.

Again with contentment. If it's going to cost me more than five bucks, I let it slide. It's not worth it.

Chalkboard paint over a $4 Goodwill print. Perfect for the school room!

I've also learned (at least as far as projects go) that if I can't complete a project in a day or two, I probably won't actually get around to it. So I dismiss the projects that require more than that.

Some of my favorite projects have led me to look in my own home and delight in what I already have. Making something old transform into something new is a satisfying thing. (Perhaps this has something to do with the One in Whose image I am made? Just a thought.)

Here are a couple of projects that I've enjoyed lately. The cost has been minimal, and I've enjoyed the added touches they've given to our home.

The JOY banner came about as I was searching for a variety of mantle decoration tips. I decided I'd like to do some sort of banner, bearing in mind that it should cost less than five dollars and require only a little bit of time. I was able to print up the graphics from home, and the ribbon ended up being my only purchase. It brings me such . . . joy!

Our centerpiece features a hurricane lamp that was used at my sister and brother-in-law's wedding reception. It was fun to come up with a new use for it. The plate is a Ross find from several years ago.

I had been searching for holly, but didn't want to spend money for something that grows on trees (ha). While walking through the park the other day, I spied a holly bush and immediately borrowed a few sprigs from the obliging (yet rather prickly) branches. The cranberries had been in my freezer since last year's cranberry-and-popcorn garland creation. A perfect way to add a bit of Christmas cheer to the table! And the cost? Free!

I had to add this one, even though it's not Christmasy. My sister-in-law, knowing my love for books, whipped up this Pinterest-inspired project for my birthday (although she was sneaky and didn't pin it until after the party!). She used a book from the dollar store and created a work of art. I love it.

Many of us are still pulling together gifts and decorations. It's a lively, festive time of year, and there's great satisfaction in creating something new with our very own hands. Pinterest is a great resource for such ideas, and can certainly be a very useful tool, especially when handled with wisdom and practicality.

Are you a pinner? Feel free to share your Christmas ideas with us!
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  1. Finally, one of my own kind. I do not have a Pinterest account. I could so easily spend time time time in there. I am an artsy person by nature and the inspiration is serious. But my plate is full and my cup runneth over. So I go and look for something specific I need in the moment, but no board to pin it to. :/

    I have found some amazing ideas for my life, but I frequently come away thinking how easy it is to just mindlessly look and not feel calm and content when I leave.

  2. Contentment is such a valuable and precious way of life, isn't it? So glad you're able to recognize the areas where it might be tempting to give into a spirit of discontent. I know the Lord will delight in using your artistic creativity in ways (and at the right time) that will bring Him all the glory!



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