How to Remove “Picked For You” on Pinterest

Pinterest is about the best thing that has ever happened on the internet for people like me. I *love* to keep bins of images that inspire or inform my art process. Then the folks at Pinterest had a crazy invention: Picked For You pins! They devised some algorithm that would find pins I might like, based on my boards, and fed these pins into my feed. I don’t know about you, but I really have not found computers to be good at understanding my  artistic taste. Not Pandora, not Amazon books, and not Pinterest. And these “picked for you” pins were getting more and more frequent. My very painstakingly personalized feed was being overrun with them.
Amazingly, I was able to get rid of ALL the “picked for you” pins. Here is how you do it:

1. log into your pinterest account via your computer’s web browser. Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner and choose Edit Settings.

2. Under Personalization, you will find two controls:

“Use sites you visit to improve which recommendations and ads you see ”

“Use information from our partners to improve which recommendations and ads you see”

toggle both of these to NO.

3. Voila!

(Note: this technique does not get rid of promoted pins, which I am fine with. They have a right to make money on their great invention through a little advertising.)


Now, a disclaimer.  I did this about a month ago and it did not seem to make a difference. But when I restarted the app, the dreaded pins were gone!  It seems to me, also, that there was an additional step you might have to do in your browser, but going back and trying to find the instructions I originally followed  (google: turn off picked for you on pinterest), has been impossible. So follow above instructions and let me know if this works for you!

Happy Creating and Pinning!





Moveable Display and Storage Walls For Your Studio

I want to share an exciting new invention my husband and I came up with to give me display walls in my studio.  I really believe in putting your work on the wall and stepping back from it to see it better. My students have been amazed how much it changes their work to see it on the wall.

My studio is, in fact, the “Formal Living Room” of our home. Its a light filled, airy space which was getting no use whatsoever, but I didn’t want to mess up the walls with a bunch of push pins or nails. And, as you collagists know, storage is ever the aim!



These walls are built from 4′ x 8′ sheets of foam insulation board (from Home Depot) attached to steel shelving units, with wheels (from Costco).  The insulation board was originally Lilac purple which I immediately painted to a very white white. This board is very lightweight and is fine for holding paper pieces with push pins or T-pins.

We bought 18″ deep racks, both for stability and for more storage. The wheels are indispensable. So nice to hide all my supplies behind a nice white wall and have quick access when I need it.

The foam board is attached to the rack with two long screws, on left and right of the board, at the top 3 shelves. Large washers were used, front and back, to distribute pressure over the foam. Finally a  handy piece of hardware used in framing (name unknown) has been used to firmly clamp to the steel racks.. So, for each wall, we used 6 screws, 6 bolts,  12 washers, and 6 framing clamps.

What is that dark rectangle on the lower right of the middle panel?  A cat scratcher. Our newest cat LOVES to shred the foam and this has, so far, averted his effort.



To be able to hang panels on this wall, we made a modification, in the form of a wooden bar, attached through the foam and onto the steel rack. I put screws every few inches, in the wooden bar, so I could hang a variety of panel sizes.

Above is a closeup of the back, side, and front (clockwise) of the wooden bar so you can see the hardware better.



There is a variety of ways to hang on these walls. I am using T-pins on this paper collage because the watercolor paper substrate is bending and the T-pins will hold it more secure and flatten it out. Anything non-flat or heavy is hung from the screws on the wooden bar.

My friend Jane Davies constructed a variation on this design, using a homosote panel, which might be the better idea. This foam works, but it is weak. Your cats will love it though~!

Thanks for reading and happy creating!





Using Photoshop to Debug Compositions

I just had a wonderful collage workshop last weekend and I am still thinking about the process of editing your design once you are well into the process. This is, after all, where most of the time is spent. Its usually easy to get started, just start pasting. But then, soon enough, your design gets off track.  How do you pull it back into balance? Its very tricky and, of course, unique to each artist but I thought an illustration of how I might go about “debugging” a composition might be instructive.

I was working in a Three Column structure on the piece below. The last element I put in was in the upper left, the circles over some  “Mrs. Homemaker…” text. I was liking everything but felt like I needed something at the top of the composition. I chose a pretty different and busy piece.

fixer upper
original scan

After looking at it for awhile, I decided two things were bothering me:


  • The circles piece seemed to be leading us over into an empty corner.
  • the middle column lacked strength. Two very similar rectangles of similar value… The line between them was weak and disturbing.

So I scanned this piece and brought it into photoshop to play around with possible solutions.



fixer upper1
version 1 – photoshop

I was sort of in love with the “Mrs Homemaker, The Car, and Travel”, but It turned out this was the biggest problem. Covering it over (in photoshop) suddenly got me back to my original intentions.

Now the color in the three columns modulates in a pattern that I like: The middle column is the tallest, then the left column, then the right. I like this mountain or skyline shape. I also like the variety in the sizes and shapes of the rectangles, the bits of type that act as texture from this distance, and of course the drama of the stripes!

It feels balanced, but I still want to add some emphasis to the yellow rectangle.



fixer upper2
version 2 – photoshop

A simple outline around the yellow gives the middle column much more strength.  Now it is on even par with its neighbors.









fixer upper3
version 3 – photoshop

In the final version I have added more blacks to ground the piece at the bottom, and pull all the light rectangles into a frame.

I think of this as a loose guide to where I want this piece to go. Its easiest in photoshop to make straight lines but I may choose more organic, uneven, shapes when I get this back to the collage table. I will also play with the thickness of these lines but the basic weight of the blacks, and their distribution, is working. For now.

It could easily be that I look at it for a few days and find something else I want to change. But my advice is don’t belabor it too long. Better to make more work than just a few perfect pieces.



I am curious if any of you readers use photoshop in this way, or what your methods of editing your compositions are. Please share with us in the comments below!

Thank You and Happy creating,