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!

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