R15: How to Create a Pinterest Style Blog Layout

Using pinterest blog, looks great but I needed to link images into another website.
I am using posts with the wordpress featured image, I failed to link from the feature image as its greyed out, If I add the image to the post it duplicates the image.
If I remove the feature image, I only see text

Don’t use set feature image in the post
Disable place thumbs on posts in Theme Options
Tick grab first post image in Theme Options
Also I disable comments