Discovery and Inspiration From My Neighbors in Cyberspace
As smart and creative and ingenious as we think we might be at any given point in time, the universe will humble us by introducing us to people who are infinitely smarter and more creative and more ingenious… and I love that!
I love learning new things… or new ways to do old things… or more clever ways to do anything.
I love knowing that I will never be bored because there is so much genius all around me that keeps me in awe.
And I love the fact that however strongly I feel about anything, there are people on this planet who will look at the same thing and walk away with a different perspective… and that makes life infinitely fascinating to me.
The new world we live in brings us in contact with people like this everyday. We don’t have to wait for the opportunity to travel to another continent to meet the kind of people who will trigger a paradigm shift. They are all around us… just a few clicks away.
When I was younger, however, there was no cyberspace, no Internet, no world wide web… in fact the most technologically advanced thing I remember when I was in grade school was a game called Pong, which is not even worth explaining if you are under 40. Suffice it to say that the world was a much smaller place then.
It was around that time, I was nine or ten years old, that I would visit with my next door neighbor, an older lady in her 80s. She was an endless well of kindness, useful home-making advice, and creative ways to re-purpose old things through arts and crafts projects. It was like watching PBS… and before you say anything, I love PBS!
Unfortunately, very few people get to know their neighbors anymore. Perhaps we are all too busy with our family and jobs to make the time. Perhaps living in a more transient society, in neighborhoods with greater turnover, we just don’t want to invest the energy to get to know someone who may be gone in a few years. Perhaps living in more dangerous times makes us fearful of reaching out to one another. I suppose the reasons are as varied as the people.
But something wonderful happened between then and now… a technological bridge was built.
The Internet, personal computers, and other digital devices have opened a window through which we can connect with family and friends across the country or meet near and distant neighbors from all around the world.
It is through these new cyberspace neighbors I meet everyday, that I discover new and better ways to do things, to fix things, to cook things, to look at things.
Although there are many bloggers I follow who have great do-it-yourself / arts & crafts websites, I have found that my recent discovery and exploration of Pinterest has opened up a whole new world of project ideas and creativity… all in one place, all within minutes, I get exposed to thousands of bloggers, photographers, home-makers, crafters, mothers, designers, artists, gardeners, scientists, chefs, writers, entrepreneurs, and countless others from around the world and around the corner.
This community of people, simply by collecting and sharing (pinning on their virtual cork boards) things they find of value and interest on the Internet, create a neighborhood swap meet of beautiful and creative and inventive things. They collect or pin everything from blogs to photos to videos to quotes to project ideas to recipes to home decor to gardening to fashion to… well, anything and everything!
Looking through other people’s’ boards, which you can ‘follow,’ is completely acceptable. People want to share their great finds or remedies or fixes or creations. Others, use the boards to help themselves collect photos and ideas for weddings, for travel, for business, for inspiration… and if it helps someone else, all the better.
At first, I couldn’t appreciate the true value of this site. I created boards with my photographs and designs and music, all of which are for sale. And I waited. And I waited. Two months later, I have six, yes, 6 ‘followers,’ one of which is my daughter. However, I found myself checking the site daily, not even to add more of my creations to my Pinterest boards, but simply to find inspiration in others.
Beyond finding inspiration as an artist, I discovered and have collected great gardening tips and tricks for my own garden; home-made recipes for clearing clogs and removing impossible stains; creative arts-&-crafts and do-it-yourself projects; breathtaking photographs of animals and places I have never seen before; beautiful indoor and outdoor living spaces and holiday decoration ideas; delectable edible recipes to die for and five-minute booty exercises to work it off; words of wisdom and humor to keep things in perspective… and I just started! (See below for links to my boards where I have pinned all these things.)
As you can see, it is a little addicting and infinitely useful, like having thousands of neighbors all sharing ideas and fixes and projects and recipes and advice, and I get to collect the ones I like on my boards, which others can see, passing on the best of what I discover… like a good neighbor would do.
And, so, I am sharing some of my new favorite discoveries… hope they inspire you in new directions!
Martie Hevia (c) 2012 – All Rights Reserved