Monday, February 11, 2013

I've changed how I use Pinterest ...

I am a doll collector. If you've visited this blog more than once, you may know that.

I started with Barbie.
Loved her as a child.
Love her as an adult.

Then I met the Asian dolls, Momoko, Misaki, Susie and Kana!

Which lead to Jason Wu's Integrity Toy Company where Fashion Royalty and Poppy Parker dolls are created in very limited numbers.

Not to mention the 16-inch dolls Gene Marshall and Tyler Wentworth.

Clothes. Accessories. Furniture to scale. Cars. Books and Magazines. Shelves of dolls. And, more shelves filled with my girls! A room dedicated to my hobby.

You see, the thing about being a collector of anything is that you want to meet other collectors who collect the same kind of thing you collect.

Got it?

Doll collectors are an enthusiastic group for the most part. They enjoy sharing their collections and being with people who enjoy talking about dolls. Up until the turn of the century, we would meet at doll shows and club meetings and conventions, but today, the doll show has all but disappeared from the collectors' social landscape, doll clubs come with their own politics, and conventions are few and far between and very expensive. This change in how doll collectors congregate is a direct result of the internet.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, doll collectors began turning to ebay to purchase the dolls of their dreams. This online marketplace decimated doll shows and took away the most rewarding way collectors had to connect to each other. Then, just when we had adjusted and become accustomed to being lonely doll collectors again, social networking appeared.

It took a while ... but, we found each other again ... and, then some! Which was my answer to gaining "followers" on Pinterest!

I gain from 2 to 5 new followers a day now because of my doll pin boards. And, the movement is growing! Doll collectors have been sharing on Flickr for years, and, yes, you can create sets and collections with your photos. But, it's not the same. Somehow Pinterest brings collectors together in a new way.

Last year, shortly after I discovered Pinterest, I was, for reasons I cannot explain, obsessed with the site and the process of pinning. {I even write about it here.}

For nigh onto a month, I did it for hours each day. The Android ap wasn't yet developed, but I found a way to pin on my smart phone. {Yes, I was ecstatic when they DID create the ap!}

About two months into it, I created my Fashion Dolls board. I thought it would be fun to create a place where I could have stuff that I liked! A couple of months after that, I saw I had a lot of Barbie Fashion Model Collection (BFMC) pins, so I created a board dedicated to them. Then, Vintage Barbie & Friends followed, along with Momoko and Poppy Parker and, more recently, Barbie Basics. Just like a small child, I found the process of sorting these images and web site links very satisfying. And, it was free!

My most useful pinboard is "handmade."  I like to knit and crochet, do scrapbook and journal stuff, so Pinterest has become an especially good way for me to keep up with those crochet sock patterns I wanted to try and those journaling ideas I had admired and felt inspired by.

And, the time did I arrive when I actually USED my pin board as a RESOURCE! Over the weekend, I was working on a granny square afghan I've been making for forever. (Or, so it seems!) I had pinned several different methods for joining those granny squares, so, it was a pleasure to not have to wrestle with my 3-ring binder of patterns or folded sheets of paper buried in my yarn basket to find the one I wanted. It was right there on my "handmade" pin board.

I introduced my darling husband to Pinterest, but not because he's into fashion or landscape design ideas like me. Instead, it became useful when we were doing work on our kitchen. It provided me with a forum to share with him on line as we shopped for materials and design ideas.

He has since discovered it is a handy way for keeping track of recipes. He likes to cook and bake and he's always on the lookout for new ideas for the kitchen! He has a 7.5-inch tablet and sets it on the counter just as my mother and grandmother used to do with their recipes written on 5" x 3" index cards.

My how times have changed, huh?

So, where I used to be obsessed with how many pins and followers I had, today, Pinterest has become a genuine resource for me, and, I think, for others who share my interests. Especially doll collectors! We're a special breed and we've found a new way to connect! Maybe that's what the Pinterest people intended all along!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Time keeps on slipping into the future ...

Holy cow! It's February! I know you get tired of hearing it, but, gosh, it's the truth ... time keeps on slipping away ... into the future ... (isn't that a song I heard somewhere???)

So, my January has been filled with lots of little projects. Art Gallery 21 opened on the 17th, we've got two artist workshops coming up on February 1st and 8th and the planning for art shows and special events never stops, like the days on the calendar. I did some freelance design work for a friend to replenish my doll budget, planted a little winter garden, and cleaned out my closet, so I've been busy! Maybe that's why the days flew by so quickly!

2011 "Barbie and Friends Take Over Old Davie School"
I've just this week started planning for  "Tea with Barbie," in July. Now, "Tea with Barbie" started as a special event that complemented a fashion doll exhibit a friend and I installed in the Old Davie School ca. 1918. The 2011 National Barbie Doll Collector's Convention was held in Fort Lauderdale (where I live), but I couldn't go. My husband's daughter was getting married on a hilltop outside of Seattle that same weekend, so I had to find another way to get my "Barbie Fix!" Coincidentally, I was asked about creating a museum exhibit of dolls, so I paid tribute to Barbie with an exhibit of 606 fashion dolls, mostly Barbies. It took two days to do the installation, but when it was done, OH, MY! Was it a delight!!

My dilemma this year is which Barbie should be this year's "face" for marketing and PR? The first year it was a "Barbie Basics" doll from the first collection ... she was the one that lured the local TV stations to come check out the exhibit, which set a record for attendance AND the tea party, which was a sold out event!

2012 "Tea With Barbie at Old Davie School"
The executive director at Old Davie School was so enthusiastic about the outcome from the first year that she said she wanted to do JUST the tea party. So, "Tea with Barbie" became an annual event. Last year I decided I wanted to tap into the western theme that is prevalent in Davie, so I rooted around in my doll room and found a  wonderful one-of-a-kind dress that was made by one of my doll club members and it seemed perfect on my favorite play line doll with the Mackie face, which I love-love-love! Once again, that photo caught the attention of the media and this time, the TV stations and the local newspapers were on hand for our tea party! It was so much fun and, if you're interested, you can see photos from last year's event on our Facebook page, "Barbie & Friends Take Over Old Davie School."

This year? I just don't know ... should I go with a brunette? Vintage? Silkstone? Which lovely Barbie will represent "Tea with Barbie" this year? I'm thinking I may hold photo auditions and see if our fans want to vote on one. Ahhhh ... those creative wheels are turning!

Enjoy your weekend! And, Happy February!