The fact that it was in London swayed me. I figured I could combine it with spending some time with my daughter and granddaughter - which was lovely as I don't see them often enough. It did involve sleeping on an airbed in their kitchen/dining room, which was the only real drawback (the noise of the fridge, the thoroughfare to the loo, the lack of sleep...).
Oh, and the cat. It's possible I may have a cat allergy. Gorgeous cat though...
OK, I know you are probably more interested in the party than my temporary domestic arrangements...
I arrived in plenty of time, and got chatting immediately to the lovely Nicola from Belle Noir Bride and Clare White from Whiter than White Weddings (I seemed to meet a lot of wedding bloggers...)
And it wouldn't be a Pinterest party without some crafting, would it? Drawing with Sharpies onto glass/ceramic was something I saw first on Pinterest. Nicola and I both enjoyed making over some shot glasses...
The setting was amazing. We were at Kings Place, overlooking the water. This isn't the best of shots but
this one (below) probably gives you a better idea of the stunning waterside setting. The evening was warm, just perfect to take advantage of the verandah right on the water's edge.
Busy waiters and waitresses attended to our every need, inside and out. They brought wine, beer, cocktails, soft drinks and tray after tray of food.
Unfortunately, the only gluten free option seemed to be a teeny tiny vegetable and halloumi kebab. Yep, just the one - I didn't see that tray again. Absolutely delicious but not nearly big enough to line my stomach and ...well, that's my excuse. I had two wines and was definitely a little bit tiddly! But I don't get out much...OK, I'll stop with the excuses now. There really is no excuse!
This was so cute, I took photos from several angles and I will definitely be creating a digital stamp inspired by this actual teeny tiny shop! I told you, I'm seeing possibilities everywhere for my new digi stamps range!
I met up with Sabrina who runs the Wolves in London blog. Sabrina was the only craft blogger I met there - why, oh why did I not find more craft bloggers? - but do check out her blog! I love her blog but I loved chatting to her more. We should have more of these parties and meetups!
I also met another wedding blogger - Kat from RocknRollBride - I was completely in awe of Kat, simply because she manages to not only earn her living from blogging, she employs her husband too. Now that is what I call a successful blogger! She also teaches workshops on blogging, which look pretty amazing and inspiring. Kat's blog is well worth a read even if weddings are not on your radar - she blogs business tips too.
Evan Sharp, co-founder of Pinterest, gave a talk. It was fascinating to hear how it was set up not with any sort of global aim in mind, but just as something he wanted to do and share. They never had an official launch, just played around with it, gradually improving it, and - well, you know the rest: it ended up becoming much more successful than he'd ever imagined!
The one criticism I have of these sort of events is this: it's quite easy to miss people you would love to meet. I think it would be great to group together bloggers of the same genre for a group session at the beginning (maybe with a little ice-breaking activity) and perhaps then it would be easier to mix. It's quite hard to walk up to a complete stranger and introduce yourself, especially if you have no idea who they may be. Name badges aren't really enough. The Pinterest staff were really helpful though, and tried to ensure people weren't standing there feeling lost and alone!
The main point of the party from Pinterest's point of view was marketing. There's a Pinterest blog campaign launching soon, which is one of the things this party was all about Watch out for it on several different blogs (most people have their instructions already on this one, but I don't. I don't know whether I've been missed off or whether my instructions will come later on).
The other reason for the party was feedback - we were plied with alcohol and then invited into video booths to chat about our views on Pinterest. No, I didn't. Video filming scares me a little bit. If I make a fool of myself the video makes it permanent!
And what was in that goodie bag? A rather cute little Pinterest board with press-out pins
I've not tried it on yet, but I suspect I either need a really good diet or that Pinterest tutorial where you cut a T-shirt up both sides and insert some pretty fabric into each side seam to make it bigger ...