Mary Corbet

writer and founder


I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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To Pin or Not to Pin: Why I Use Pinterest & Love It!


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I’d like to open up a discussion about Pinterest, the visual social network that created a lot of controversy in the arts & crafts (and especially needle crafts) blogosphere when it first started up, and that still has its adamant advocates and staunch opponents.

Since there are quite a few needleworkers out there using Pinterest, I think it’s a worthwhile topic to discuss, and I’d love to hear your opinion about it.

Lately, too, I’ve received some well-meaning, but horrified, e-mails, informing me that they saw a photo from my website on Pinterest. I had to write back and assure my friends that it’s ok. I actually like Pinterest, and I use it a lot, and sometimes (between you and me), I even post my own photos on there!

Needle 'n Thread on Pinterest

I don’t have a lot of boards on Pinterest, and all my embroidery pins are filed under the very generic title of Embroidery.

There are some needleworkers out there (like Wendy Schoen, for example), who have done a brilliant job categorizing their Pinterest boards by embroidery techniques.

Instead, I pretty much dump everything related to embroidery – whether it’s whitework, goldwork, surface embroidery, embroidered monograms, you name it! – under Embroidery. That way, I figure people can follow my pins more easily.

When it comes to lace-making, felting, quilting, temari, and the like, I have another board, very creatively titled Other Needlework.

Why I Like Pinterest – as an Embroiderer

I like Pinterest for a number of reasons, but as an embroiderer, there are two primary reasons: 1. It inspires me; and 2. It motivates me.

Needle 'n Thread on Pinterest

Pinterest inspires me, because there, I find images of beautiful needlework, shared by other embroiderers, needleworkers, bloggers, and artists who have exquisite and interesting tastes and creative ideas. And their tastes and ideas are different from mine; this divergence helps form me, too, by exposing me to other approaches in the vast world of needle arts.

Pinterest motivates me, because it confirms that aspiring to and achieving greater skill is possible, that beauty in needlework is appreciated by others, that the needle arts are alive and people are hungry for the beauty that needlework can bring to their lives. And all this gives me something to work towards.

Why I Like Pinterest – as a Blogger

I like Pinterest as a blogger for slightly different reasons.

As a blogger, I like Pinterest because it is a valuable tool. It allows me to reach and connect with other people who like embroidery, and it allows me to do this in a visual way.

The world we live in is prone to visual stimulation – images attract. So Pinterest is an ideal form of making connections with other people, using visuals of those interests that we have in common, specifically needlework.

Needle 'n Thread on Pinterest

For example, I’ve been able to make some wonderful connections with others who like historical ecclesiastical needlework as much as I do. I’ve been able to exchange ideas with them – ideas that will enhance my own work, ideas that will eventually be passed on to my own community here on Needle ‘n Thread.

The Mercenary Me

And then, I admit it, there’s a “mercenary” reason why bloggers love Pinterest: quite simply, it is an easy way to direct traffic (and lots of it) to a website, which is another part of making those connections mentioned above.

When new readers come to a blog, they help grow that blog’s community, they add to it through discussion, through the sharing of ideas and the asking and answering of questions. And that sense of community – that interaction and discussion and question asking and answering – is really what blogging is all about.

Every good blog needs this. Without it, the blog withers, either because the blogger becomes bored since no one is responding, or because the readers become bored, since the conversation is only one-way.

So the direction of traffic from Pinterest is a really good thing for a blog, on a number of levels: 1. more traffic is good; 2. and more importantly, the influx of new people with similar interests is good; 3. the growth of a stable, interactive community is vital to keeping a blog alive, interesting, and forward-moving.

False Conceptions of Pinterest

In the arts-crafts-needlework world, when Pinterest first emerged, there were many false conceptions about Pinterest floating around on the internet. And, because Pinterest was new, and it involved images, the questions of copyright control with the sharing of images became a big issue.

Needle 'n Thread on Pinterest

And while copyright issues are always a concern for artists, writers, and bloggers alike, the notion that, once an image is posted on Pinterest, we lose control of that image or we hand certain rights over to Pinterest (the rights to publish images and make money from them and so forth) is false, by the very nature of copyright.

Pinterest is also very reliable in taking down reported images that don’t give due credit, that violate copyright, or that don’t like back to original sources. It’s just a matter of reporting the image and giving them a little time to take care of it.

Using Pinterest Correctly

When you use Pinterest, it’s important to use it correctly.

When you want to post an image on Pinterest from another website (besides your own), be observant.

Some folks believe that Pinterestiquette (Pinterest Etiquette) requires you to contact each individual blog owner to get permission first, before posting an image from that blog onto Pinterest.

If we had to do that… well. Who would use Pinterest?! One selling point of Pinterest is that it is a quick way to catalog and organize the things we come across online that we like. If we had to write permission requests, the notion of “quick” goes out the window.

Instead, just be observant. If the blogs you visit sport statements like “Follow me on Pinterest” or offer handy little “Pin It” buttons, this means those bloggers want you to pin their stuff.

Needle 'n Thread on Pinterest

Here on Needle ‘n Thread, I have some handy little custom-made Pinterest buttons that I can attach to different photos within blog posts. When you scroll over the buttons, they turn red. When you click on them, you get a little pop up with the photo, your board menu, and a place to type your description. It’s simple!

Needle 'n Thread on Pinterest

In the top left corner of Needle ‘n Thread, I also have some social networking buttons which include Pinterest, so that’s a pretty good sign that I am agreeable to your pinning my stuff on Pinterest. Absolutely! Go for it! Please!

If a blog does not have those indicators on it, or it clearly says “no pins,” or it has a very bold copyright statement in the forefront of the blog that includes something about not pinning, that’s a pretty good sign that you should either ask permission or just skip it. (I’d say skip it.)

When you pin something from a blog to Pinterest, you should always link back to that blog, giving credit to the source. You can also include credit in the photo’s description, but the best option is the link back to the source, because descriptions can be altered easily with each subsequent re-pinning. Mentioning the source in the description, but not linking back to the source, is not really good etiquette.

When you re-pin something on Pinterest (an image that’s already on Pinterest), check the link to make sure it sends you back to the original source. It’s always a good idea to check the links with the photos you re-pin, anyway, to make sure there’s no nefarious misdirection going on.

What Do YOU Think of Pinterest?

I’d love to hear your take on Pinterest: Do you use Pinterest? Or do you avoid Pinterest? Why or Why Not? Do you have concerns about Pinterest? Do you allow people to pin from your website? Why or why not? Do you see Pinterest as a helpful tool or organizer, or do you view it as a waste of time? What’s your take on Pinterest?

And finally, if you use Pinterest, do you have a needlework board on Pinterest that you’d like to share? Leave a link to it! I’ll come follow you!

Have your say on Pinterest below – would love to hear your thoughts!

PS. Any bloggers who want specific information on traffic stats (whether or not it’s worth it to get into Pinterest), implementation, use, and so forth of Pinterest, you’re welcome to contact me by email.


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(141) Comments

  1. I LOVE PINTEREST! And agree with you 100%. I have found many needlework artists and blogs through Pinterest and find the visuals so inspiring and motivating. And very useful. Often I go to Pinterest to look up how to do something instead of Google. I find it easier to search for an image of what I am interested in learning about which then leads me directly to the relevant website (most of the time, if the image was pinned correctly). Thanks also for reviewing the etiquette of pinning.

    I have a Needlearts board where I pin all things embroidery. And recently added a board on Crocheting and Tatting.

    Keep on Pinning!

  2. Dear Mary

    Thanks for this email on Pinterest. Yes I’m on Pinterest although I don’t use it that often. This might sound daft but I do find it confusing for example how do you pin a photo on a particular board, I tried pinning my photos of embroidered eggs, onto egg embroidery and had difficulty pinning it.
    I’ve only just discovered how to set up a board on my Pinterest so I can separate different embroidery projects.
    But that said, I do agree with Pinterest you have access to all different embroidery related subjects which can inspire and motivate you.

    Regards Anita Simmance

    1. Mary, about pinning a photo onto a particular board – I did the whole thing from scratch last weekend in relation to my crochet projects – and I was gratified to find that it was extremely easy – I’m not the world’s best on techno stuff, so if I can do it, then anyone can do. You choose which board to upload your photo before you press the button. There are only a couple of steps to it. Good luck!!

  3. Thank you for all the insight on Pinterest. I understand what you are saying from an artist’s point of view. It does give you a lot of traffic I’m sure. For me I could spend hours on there just looking at all the beautiful needlework in all forms, it’s inspiring for me also. But most of all Pinterest is soothing, relaxing, stimulating and more. It gives me a way to enjoy all the things I love besides needle work, vintage dolls, vaseline glass, food, ideas for my grand children, animals etc. One thing I wish it did have, is a way to thank all the wonderful artist’s like yourself besides just re-pinning you pictures. Although I would love to make all the things I pin, that just isn’t going to happen in this life time!
    I have learned so much just from the visual aspect of looking at all the pictures. I’ve made sketches of what I would like to make and select a few of the tid bits from several pictures, maybe finding a picture with a certain bead that I would never have thought of on my own, or a certain embroidery stitch that made me say WOW that is beautiful, I’ll have to learn that one. I do want to take the opportunity now to say a big THANK YOU TO YOU ! You have inspired me in more ways than you could ever imagine. I’m sure for many other followers also. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU !.. Carol

  4. Dear Mary’ I love Pinterest. I have a few boards there too. I have one for my own embroidery and then one for other people’s too. My reason for liking it is the fact it gives me tho opportunity save stuff I like and inspire me on a specific board. It also, like you said. takes me to specific websites where I am able to learn more or get fresh new ideas. When I want to go back to look something up’ it is there and very easy to find as it as opposed to bookmark something on you computer. You have a board complete with a photograph and the necessary references.
    I can see how it can become a problem. Some of the Pinners have sometimes up to 20,000.00 pins on one board! It is then that I wonder, do they do anything else besides pinning? 🙂 Used correctly, Pinterest can be a valuable tool for us ordinary folk as well as serious bloggers like you. 🙂 If anybody is interest in my boards, here is the link : http://pinterest.com/elza1/

    In the meantime for those Pinners out there: Happy pinning everybody!!
    Love Elza Bester

  5. I use Pinterest to find inspiration and to save things I am interested in for a later date. I also use it see thinks my daughter-in-law is interested in for the grandson’s or herself so I can get ideas for surprise gifts or crafts. If I see something for the garden in the winter time, I save it to Pinterest so when I am able to actually try it out, it’s right there waiting for me.
    I do get frustrated when people do not pin back to the original link on the internet.

  6. I do not use Pinterest for at least two reasons although you have given me a different perspective and I may now try it. In general I think that Facebook is egocentric. I don’t assume that everyone, indeed very few, are interested in what I’m doing every day, what I’m interested in, etc. It has been great for me to connect with old friends much differently where as for many years we seldom wrote letters (I’m 72) and talked infrequently on the phone and now we are in contact daily and I am much more involved in their lives. For that reason I think it is good. Since I love your blog and it is my sole tool for learning about embroidery I will rethink the idea. I’m still not sure that everyone needs to know nor is interested in my hobbies. I keep my ‘friends’ to 12. I see others with 1200 which is absurd to me.

    1. Mary Ann, I’m a big pinner and don’t have one photo pinned of my own work. But, if I work on something and change it up a bit, use different fibers or fabric that works (or doesn’t), finish it in a different way, I may pin a photo because others may be interested but also I can have that info handy too.

      I pin for inspiration in design, color, technique and I pin examples of things that speak to me. I’m pretty selective on what goes on my board, if it doesn’t bring an immediate reaction I don’t pin it. Mostly because when I go back and look at my boards, I see…me. The colors I love, the styles I love, and I’ve learned so much from that.

      I could go on and on. I, like Mary, have one huge board with Needlework, I’d like to separate it out but don’t know quite how to do that and inform followers that that’s what I’ve done. Pinterest motivates me, inspires me, and makes me so proud to be a needleworker in the company of so many with such talent. From the simple to the complex, the whitework to the infusion of color, the delicate to the bold. Love it!

    2. Mary Anne,
      Pinterest is not the same thing as facebook. facebook is more of a messaging format. Pinterest is pictures that you can look at, and if you like them “pin” them to your own “bulletin board”. It’s kind of like a virtual scrapbook. This is what I get if I go to pinterest.com and type “embroidery” into the search box:

  7. I joined Pinterest not long ago because my daughter uses it for cooking ideas and kids’ crafts (she’s a teacher). I still don’t understand it. I did figure out how to browse categories like needlework but many are just photos with someone’s name but no source. That means I don’t know who made the project, where it came from. Even worse, I’ve seen full patterns on there where the designer is not mentioned much less given permission to post such a thing. That broke my heart. So I’m not following it much. Perhaps I’m too old but I don’t “get it.”

    1. Forgot to add that I keep getting notices that people are following my pins on Pinterest and ask me to follow them. I don’t know how. And under needlework I saw a picture of mine! Someone pinned it to her board from my photo on Facebook. Very interesting process. In a way it was an honor to see my stitched quilt block there but also a surprise. She did mention my name which was kind.

    2. Hi, Irene – normally, if you click on the picture, it should take you to the source of the image. So, if you’re looking at a board with lots of small pictures on it, you click one picture that catches your eye, and it is enlarged, so you can see it better. Then you have the option of re-pinning it, liking it, or clicking on the picture. If you hover your cursor over the photo, you’ll see if it’s clickable or not. (It will turn to a little hand with a finger pointing.) Then, you click the picture, and it should take you to the source of the photo, which should be the original blog post or page it was pinned from. You can turn off email notifications in your settings on Pinterest, so that you don’t get emails every time someone follows your board or re-pins an image you pinned, etc. I like the email notifications, because it helps me see if it’s someone I should connect to, or if it’s a comment I need to reply to, etc., – but that’s more the “business” side of things for me. I would think an average user who just keeps their interests on Pinterest boards wouldn’t need to have email notifications on. Hope that helps a bit! ~MC

  8. I’m new to Pinterest, but so far I really enjoy it — although, it has the potential to be a time waster! The other comments I see seem to agree – Pinterest is a good thing, so long as it’s used properly. But that’s true of any tool, yeah?

    PS – I just followed the link and checked out your embroidery board, and it’s great.

  9. I love Pinterest. I page through like I would a magazine without the need to recycle all that paper, and can save things I like much easier than making a scrapbook of ideas. I don’t have a blog or website, but I always follow the links to see that what I’m pinning is actually available. Tania Kleckner said it well. It’s a great resource.

  10. I love Pinterest!! I’m on there every day. I am a very visual person and find so much inspiration from the posts of others. I love to select a favorite image and go to the original blog posting to learn more about the pin. I then enjoy browsing the blog for other items that may interest me. It has opened up a whole new world of inspiration to me.
    Thank you, Mary, for your continual inspiration through your excellent blogging! You are a leader in the world of fine embroidery and I’m so thankful for your sharing your art with us!!

  11. Thank you, Mary, for your clear views on Pinterest. I value the many blogs and websites I have learned of through Pinterest, including yours! I try to always give credit andto add comments when I see an image not properly credited. I will work harder at checking that links work in future. My boardsare Threadworks-Quilting, Threadworks- Embroidery and Textures, and Threadworks- Tutorials, etc. Which shows how my mind works, I guess.

  12. I like Pinterest – it gives me ideas to think about. I do check the original post to be sure it is truly a good site. Pinterest gives me some quiet time and enjoyment to see what others in this world are doing.

  13. I have over 11,000 pins on Pinterest. Needless to say, I like Pinterest. It is a source of beautiful images… and tasty recipes! I have two quilting boards and several other stitchery boards such as embroidery, cross stitch, crochet, etc. Also have two boards for dresses both modern and vintage. I really love those two boards. Also have a number of boards for faith-based and scripture quotes, general quotes, several recipe boards, and boards for interior design and gardening. Plus a few others.

    Pinterest has recently improved the look and functioning of its website, but it deleted the ability to comment on other people’s pins. I can see where leaving comments could create problems in the wrong hands, but I kind of miss the ability to comment now and then.

    I enjoy clicking on various pins to get to the original source, which often leads from blog to blog. Very fun. Also, I follow a number of people who almost always pin things I love. Very enjoyable. 🙂

    1. I love how clicking on one pin can be like falling down the rabbit hole–you end up in the wildest places when going from link to link and blog to blog. ^_^

      I kind of miss the commenting, too, but there was so much judgey-ness and hatefulness going on, with people making rude/insulting comments on pins that they didn’t like for one reason or another, instead of just moving on. So I guess I can’t be too sad that they essentially halted that.

  14. Wow! I have never even heard of pinterest before you mentioned it. Well, I had to check it out… To me it is looks like a blog (it probably is) . I don’t see much problems with people posting there pictures (as long as NO copywrited charts posted).
    And I am totally agree with you on inspiration. Besides, more people see what embroidery is, perhaps more will be willing to try it!

  15. You lay out a very good argument for using Pinterest. I don’t have a blog, nor anything of my own to post. I am merely a follower of your blog and a few (ahem) others. I have avoided Pinterest simply because there aren’t enough hours in the day. I know if I get started looking at it, I’ll never tear myself away from the computer. As it is, I spend way too much time online (why am I even bothering to make a comment here?) and I am ashamed of myself everyday when my husband comes home from work and asks what I did today. The pull is powerful, but I am determined not to get sucked into yet more eye candy. Someday I’ll use it as a tool to research something, but for now, I need to stay away from casual browsing.

  16. I have heard of Pinterest of course and several bloggers I follow talk about it.
    I have not delved into it because….. simply I don’t have time. I have a couple of hobbies (embroidery being one of them) that take time and lots of detail, and if I started perusing Pinterest I am afraid I might never come up for air. So I have resisted the pull. Maybe someday if I ever get to retire I’ll have the time to dive in.

  17. I love Pinterest. I got into embroidery basically from admiring people’s work online, thinking “Hey, I could probably do that,” then trying a few things out (working from pictures), reading more and getting ideas for projects and stitch combos from images online. So Pinterest is a great resource for me–it challenges me to think about needlework in new ways and try new techniques.

    I will say, however, as much as I love the idea sharing that goes with Pinterest, I also understand any Pinterest-hesitation from needle artists who create their own patterns or designs and are worried about people copying their designs. Some are flattered but some are not and the line between “inspired by SO AND SO” and “totally ripped off from SO AND SO” is interpreted differently by everyone.

    And I think I have just realized that I don’t follow you on Pinterest. What an egregious oversight on my part. Off to follow and repin! ^_^

  18. So far I have avoided joining Pinterest because it’s such a time-sink. I already spend too much time on the Internet and Pinterest would not help. OTOH I’m slowly starting to think it might be nice…

    1. Hi, Jean – you’re right about the time element. It can definitely be a “time sink.” The way I handle that is pretty much the way I handle all my online / blogging stuff. There are certain scheduled hours of the day that I devote to blogging, social networks, and email. Blogging and email are my first priorities, and on some days, admittedly, I don’t get around to any social networking, besides sending my blog post out to Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. I do all that through an aggregate. But when I have a little extra time – on days that email or blog comments are light – I’ll spend that time beefing up the social networking stuff, by browsing Pinterest, or posting extra photos on Facebook or the like. Once my time is up, I get off the computer! So for me, it’s a matter of scheduling, for the most part. -MC

  19. I couldn’t agree more with you! I love Pinterest because it inspires and motivates me too, but most of all, because I LEARN A LOT from you experienced artits! I just began doing embroidery late 2011, so, I’m just a baby, learning its steps through this marvelous world!
    I got to know you blog through a pin on Pinterest, so no need to say more!
    thank you for your exemples and tutorials. I follow daily your blog, and it isn’t boring AT ALL!!

  20. Hi Mary
    My daughters introduced me to the wonders of Pinterest and I soon got hooked. I use it as a place to store all those pictures I would like to reproduce in future embroidery projects. THis is so useful as in the past I had folders all over the place with printed pictures stored but could never find them – now I just go to my Pinterest board. Like you I also use one of my boards to display my work which in turn links to the Etsy store. I also search other boards for ideas and it keeps me current with whats popular. Pinterst is Great!

  21. I don’t know how I ever got along without Pinterest. As both an artist and an embroiderer i always start a project collecting images. But no matter how I promise myself that I will keep everything in order, things always get away from me. With Pinterest, I KNOW where I put that image and if I cant’ find which folder I put it in on my computer or tablet, I can always go back and get a copy from Pinterest. (and yes, I spend time to find who the orginal artist is if I possibly can – because if one of their things is good, what else might they have done that is also wonderful)

    And the inspiration! So many artists and needle workers – photos of just about everything from travel blogs to color palettes. It makes the search for inspiration and images so much more rich and diverse.

    In short, Pinterest puts it all in one place and feeds my artistic soul with what it needs. Its an invaluable tool.

  22. I like Pinterest. Ironically, one of my very first pins was one of your works, which I attributed to you, of course. I, too, primarily use Pinterest for inspiration and admiration for the work of others. It really never occurred to me that someone would find it objectionable. Now if a person was pinning a how-to of a pattern being sold by someone that is objectionable, but I’ve certainly never seen that.

    There are just so many incredibly talented people out there whose work I would never have heard of, if not for Pinterest.

  23. I love Pinterest – as a matter of fact that is how I found your site. I totally agree with you that the links should be linked back to the original, I really don’t appreciate those that just pin and it leads to 20 different sites! If the person doesn’t want to be linked to Pinterest there is a message something to the likes of sorry no pinning! I like Pinterest because I can easily find what I pinned; unlike my bookmarks which I accidently erased!!I really love your embroidery brings me memories of when my mom would put embroidery on our dresses…growing up my favorite craft was embroidery!

  24. I also have many pinterest boards, including “Embroidery,” which you’re welcome to visit. I especially like finding pictures of antique/archaeological textiles. For me, pinterest is an easy way to save a link that I might want to go back to. The sharing part is secondary, but welcome.

  25. I love Pinterest. It is a virtual scrapbook. No glue, no blisters cutting. Easy to use, organize, browse.
    Most of all, it inspires me to try new things; reinforces my skills (it’s empowering to learn I’ve been doing something the right way); and it teaches me new ways (tips and tricks) to do something to make it easier or neater.

    Plus, the pins lead me to blogs I may never have discovered on my own.

  26. I love it! At first I only had a few boards but recently I have added a few more to organize what I have been pinning. It’s been a very interesting exercise and I’ve actually deleted quite a lot of my earlier pins. I don’t know if it’s because my tastes have changed or that I’ve become more selective. It’s such a wonderful tool to organize images and ideas:) I think I’d really miss it if it disappeared.

  27. I am completely bemused by the copyright furor over Pinterest, and I can only assume that it is perpetuated by people who do not understand how the system works. It is a site about LINKS more than anything else. Yes, there are occasional images uploaded by the user, but the vast majority of the images LINK BACK to the creators page! It is free advertising! There can be issues where people don’t pin an image properly – ie linking to the front page of a blog instead of a specific post, but it is certainly not difficult to go through and find the specific info. I feel creators and bloggers do themselves a great disservice by not embracing the site, as it is wonderful inspiration and networking. If people are that worried about sharing their ideas, they really need to stay the heck away from the Internet. Those people who embrace the site as a valuable tool are in a much better position to control the flow of information – ie by having a ‘pin’ button they can ensure their images link back to their page and their specific blog. I have pinned a couple of thousand images, and I have NEVER claimed them as my own work, or tried to make money off them. Wherever possible, they link back to the creators page. That is NOT infringing on anyone’s copyright, as anyone familiar with copyright laws will confirm. I respect (and am in awe of) the creativity and talent of artists out there, and I will always take down anything the creator wants me to remove. In good faith, here are my boards : http://pinterest.com/belbelleb/ anyone out there who owns any of the creations or images, and would like me to remove them, please do contact me 🙂

    1. I think you’re confusing copyright with plagiarism, namely passing someone else’s work off as one’s own. Copyright doesn’t mean that. Amongst other things, it means that the copyright owner (in this case, the taker and, usually, original poster of a photo) has full legal rights controlling the copying and distribution of their work – two things that Pinterest and related sites take right out of one’s hands!

      If this were not true, then Pinterest would not have a procedure for removing copyright violating pins. Having followed this a few times myself, I can confirm that all one has to do is prove that one is the originator of the photo and state that it was pinned without permission and Pinterest will remove it. There would be no need for this if it were not actually legally problematic.

      It’s rare that I agree with any furore about things as they’re often the results of mass misinformation, but, in this case, the protesters are quite correct! People have said with good reason that the *only* safe usage of Pinterest is posting strictly one’s own photos.

  28. I totally agree with everything you’ve said here. I love Pinterest. The way I see it, you MUST link properly (e.g., from the actual blog post, and not the blog’s front page) and it is a best practice to also put the source’s name in the comments section. I do get very annoyed when people pin from Tumblr sites. It’s very frustrating not to be able to find the original source.

    Oh, and I found you on Pinterest!

  29. I’m with you, Mary. Pinterest is all about inspiration. Needlework is meant to be seen. The more it’s seen, the more it inspires, and the more of it is then created to continue the cycle. I am awed by amount of talent out loose in the world, so much of which I’d never seen but for the internet.

  30. I LOVE Pinterest! I have found it to be a valuable resource to remember an amazing amount of information and things, to have tutorials all in one place, for inspiration…etc.
    I always try to link back to the source, and am happy to give credit and I know it also gives other people information on where to purchase items or follow blogs, etc. I have found it to be a valuable tool and just FUN! thanks for your instructions on embroidery too! Blessings~

  31. I love Pinterest. I find lots of inspiration and, as another gal mentioned, find it soothing and relaxing to browse around. I think of it as a big scrapbook of my favorite stuff. I have found many wonderful recipes, freebie cross stitch designs, inspiring art, etc.
    Is it a time waster? Perhaps sometimes, but it is such a pleasure, I just enjoy it.
    I know not everyone agrees and many don’t want their work pinned – Sharon B of Pintangle mentioned, at one point, that she didn’t want her work pinned. I don’t know if she has changed her stance on that, but I certainly respect it. It does seem to give a lot of exposure though to artists and crafts people. I am extremely careful to make sure there are pin backs to the source so people get credit as well as visits to their blogs and website.

  32. I love looking at Pinboards as I call them for inspiration. It does suck you in and I love some of the places I’ve been to that I would never find on my own. I don’t use it because it scares me. I don’t want to violate any copyright laws because a blogsite I visit told of her experience and how expensive being sued can be. I may try it again and only pin things with a “Pin It” button. They shouldn’t have that button if they don’t want to share. Wish someone had a quick & easy cheat sheet on using/setting it up. Even a Dummies for Pinterest would be too much to read.

  33. hummm. No, I don’t love Pinterest and only use it to look up something. It seems to be one more reason to go shopping but I do see good ideas on there and have pinned “some”. Marketing stragedy? Could be… but I think, like any thing else in this world a person could get caught up in that. I came, I saw, I conquered.

    I’m a cyclist/hiker and I just don’t have time for this and any other site like it.

  34. I absolutely love, love Pinterest! It is my way of filing ideas, and how-to’s especially instead of bookmarking. I have pinned some of the wonderful embroidery that I’ve seen here more to share the beauty of this art form and maybe interest some of the younger people to sit and use their hands and minds to create. Pinterest is so unlike Facebook that once you actually start using it and see that there isn’t any “we went to breakfast at today”, it’s more of a great sharing tool of ideas from all over the world.

  35. You’ve opened a very interesting discussion Mary – thank you. I have visited different pin boards and must admit I have been intrigued with the concept. On the other hand I have read so many horror stories about the issues of copyright infringement so have really been afraid of getting involved. After reading your insights (and the comments) I might have to give it a second thought. I really do like the idea of being able to refer back to things that are inspirational in a visual way as opposed to bookmarking them.

  36. I love Pinterest! It gives me ideas and I can see what others are doing. It keeps me abreast of the crafting world.

  37. I do pinterest and am glad you addressed it on your site. I am going to talk about your site in my next newsletter article. In reading other responses especially about facebook I, too, don’t find it necessary or important to post all my doings on the internet. Pinterest is different. It’s not interested in your daily doings, it’s for just what it’s name says…pin (as in pin on a bulletin board) your interests. Thanks for all your fabulous information.

  38. Mary,
    I signed up with Pininterst. I was totally overwhelmed by it, in a negative way. I was on it for an hour….I finally searched for your items. I probably won’t be returning to it. I didn’t like the disorganization, the time it took to find anything that interests me. I feel like it is just a waste of time.

    If you have any suggestions that would assist me, I’m very willing to try them.


  39. A friend described Pinterest to me as being able to see lots of gorgeous things and not having to dust them! I love that.

    I have found so many wonderful designs and artists that I might not ever have had access to.

  40. Hello Mary:
    I too love pinterest for many of the same reasons you mention. I joined to promote my own needlework designs through my board Northern Pine Designs.
    However, I receive much more from Pinterest in the form of inspiration and ideas. I also get to see needlework, quilting, beading, and many other artwork forms that I’d never see any other way, and it opens my eyes to wonderful things.
    There are even boards just about colour so I can learn from that too. It’s a feast for the imagination. Get on there, share, look, see, and create! That’s what it’s all about in my book!

  41. I love Pinterest! It has sparked my creativity unlike anything else I’ve encountered! A library at my fingertips! And it leads me to websites and blogs like this one.

  42. I love Pinterest too — have well over 12 000 pins now — and agree with you all the way! It’s super inspirational, it makes me find crafters, bloggers, tutorials, supplies, techniques, artists etc I wouldn’t have found otherwise. I found people to follow who share my taste in everything from art and craft to humour and lifestyle.

    The visual is so important, especially today when we are bombarded with information and especially when looking for inspiration as crafters and artists. I’m on Twitter but the word-based format is so dull and I find it hard to read and keep up — or be inspired. With Pinterest it’s all about images and you get that direct visual impact.

    I write a blog for beaders and jewellery makers and go through blogs for hours to find those little gold nuggets to write about. Pinterest is a great complementing resource in my research, even if I still rely a lot on dear old Google too.

    It’s also something as egocentric as a confidence boost, which means a lot to a lonely, socially awkward girl with low self esteem as me: I feel happy and proud when someone pins something I’ve done as it means they like it or perhaps even love it. And of cause I like that it drives traffic to small blogs like my two (even though I don’t have a business nor accept blog advertisers so the new readers are purely a confidence boost for me, not something to make money on). It really is one of the best drivers of traffic I have for my Wild roses blog.

    One thing I’ve done for my fellow pinners, when some of the Pinterest sceptics/haters started to blog about how bad Pinterst was and how you could be sued for pinning an image (something that seems to have been more of a thing among embroiderers/needleworkers than among beaders where I belong), is that I made a page where I stated my view on pinning from my blog, making it clear for all that they may pin from my blogs and that I’d be nothing but happy if they do.

    Ok, some people aren’t good at pinning photos so it’s easy to find the source (not always intentionally, one must remember!) and some use the embedding function without crediting the source. A small group of people probably even use it to steal photos as they do with Google image search. BUT the vast majority are great, honest people who just want to show you something fab they found and keep an online folder of things that inspire them without any mean hidden motives.

    When it comes to copyright and image sharing websites, there always seems to be misconceptions about what the laws actually says and sometimes the formal wording of terms and conditions on a website can cause people to misunderstand or read too much into it. It’s very unfortunate.

  43. Seems that this post has struck a cord with many users – If you are interested there is a site that explains how to use Pinterest which is http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Pinterest

    It has detailed pictures so it may seem a bit long but has tons of useful info. I have been using Pinterest from the days when it was brand new and it has improved alot. Like with everything else, it is a way to pass the time during the cold snowy blizzard days of winter. Alas, one day Spring and summer will arrive and we shall all benefit from the sun!

  44. hi Mary….I don’t do anything with Pinterest except look at it very, very occassionally. No blog, no web site, try to limit my time spent with the digital world. Would rather stitch and “play” with my miniatures.

    However…..I do see a whole lot of potential for copyright infringement there. Have swiped a few design pictures for myself to copy someday; there don’t seem to be any restraints. I was 30 years in the needlework business, wholesale, retail, teaching and I sure know how touchy everyone was about being copied. Me? I just figured if we kept designing bigger, better, more detailed then no one could profit by copying. So we didn’t worry about it. But most designers do.

    More interesting though, I read in the Wall Street Journal a week or so ago that Pinterest’s market value was calculated to be about $2.5 Billion. That means to me that they intend to either market the lovely images that have been given to them or that it will soon become just another big advertising billboard like everything else in the Internet.

  45. I used to cut up my magazines and file the pictures and articles into various files for everything from remodeling ideas to childcare. Now I can do that online! Takes up no room in my tiny house and its quick!

    I latched onto Pinterest and had a blast! Then came the big hullabaloo over copyright infringement and I left Pinterest alone for a year. Seeing as no lawsuits against Pinners made the news, I have been enjoying Pinterest again.

    I always follow a pin through link after link back to its original source. If I cannot find it, I won’t repin it. I’ve noticed a lot of “repinning blogs’ full of advertising links and no original source. I think these sites are deceitful and avoid them at all costs, regardless of the appeal of the pin.

    I agree with a previous commenter that its akin to thumbing through magazines. I find it inspiring, relaxing and quite entertaining. My daughters and sisters enjoy finding pins of interest for each other and pin @ each other. It’s adds another layer to the ways the Internet keeps us close regardless of the distance in localities.

    Thank you, Mary, for giving us an artist’s view on the matter!

    1. I can’t tell you have many conversations begin, “Hey, I saw a pin…”,
      I’ve even had strangers in cashier lines pipe in and join the conversation! Another point in the internet’s favor when it gives fellow gardeners a or home improvement shoppers a reason to connect in person!

  46. I am addicted to pinterest. I found your blog there and am a faithful follower of your work and ideas. I also use it as inspiration for work I do. I also found out about Trish Burr on pinterest and have bought two of her books and am attempting to do needle painting. I agree with your blog 100%. I just need to quit pinning and start stitching.

  47. Hi Mary,
    I love todays Blog. Good job!
    I love Pinterest! I’m always hungry for new ideas whether it be cooking, nature, needlework, sewing, going places and I could go on and on. I feel the same as you.
    For me it stimulates my senses and causes me to stop awhile and smell the roses so to speak. Before my busy day, I get a glass of Iced tea or a cup of coffee and just sit and play on Pinterest. I feel like I leave worries behind and travel and see and do things I like and would love to make or do one day. I reflect on past memories, good times, and I count my blessings.
    Then I see on my email someone is following me or pinned one of my pins it feels like I have made a new friend, and has the same interests I do. I usually turn around and follow them too, or visit their site and pin the things I like about their adventures, or get a new recipe in life.
    I love it! Its fun and entertaining too. Its a way of connecting, and the Lord knows we need to connect to our fellow man with good things, love and kindness. To me Pinterest is one way of doing that. It puts me in a great mood too.
    Keep up your great Blog I just love it.
    Happy Pinning

  48. Balanced article Mary, well said!

    I’m getting to the point of thinking that I may as well give pinning etc permission as people are going to re-post my photos and all sorts of things without asking anyway, so I may as well remove my valid reason for complaint!!!=)LOL! Whilst laws in the on-line world where use of others’ materials are concerned are the same as for other media, they’re a lot easier to break and so I’m beginning to think that, as it’s a losing battle anyway, I may just as well give and say ‘Pin away, folks!’

    I may even set up a board myself when I start trying to make some cash from my work as I seem (from the Analytics search I just did) to have got over 500 visits from Pinterest within the last year and a bit – despite a big take-down request last spring, although I suspect many were just there to grab more images….who knows? These things can be insidious time wasters and, once we get boards, we want to fill them up, make them the best and get the most re-pins and….


    1. Argh, I hope you do, you have no idea how frustrating it is to not be able to pin your great tutorials. I’ve moved away from bookmarks because I vastly prefer the visual bulletin board pinterest gives me, so when I’m stuck in a rut, I go visit my crazy quilt board and scroll through it looking for ideas. Bookmarks just don’t work for me in the same way.

  49. I used to Pin, when I was firstdiagnosed with cancer, but found it to be of no real use -HOWEVER, I have since ropened an account, and have found that, this time round it’s going famously! I have several boards, one of which is ‘Embroidery’ – this covers the whole category. I have been able to find sites previously unknown to me (I,m shortsighted and nosy,so I always follow the link)and have been delighted by the number of fabulous sites, the incredible amount of technique help, inspiration, and opportunities available. I’d say that you need to have at least a vague notion of what kind of Pinterest account you want. I’ve found, also, that it’s a handy way of having your resources corralled and available without having piles or folders of the same kind of resource(without getting side-tracked!)and becoming buried! I’m gratified to learn that my boards are well pinned and have proven to be of interest – maybe helping someone else to formulate or stimulate some ideas. I’d say, too, that you get out what you put in – in this, I mean effort and goodwill. There are any number of tips and techniques, which are always helpful, however experienced you are.

  50. I love Pinterest so much, and could and have spent hours getting inspiered looking at all sorts of things, from quotes to recipies. Being on a NOOK Color, I especially like the “new look” as it is easier to re-pin

  51. The reason I don’t like Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook is that there never are directions on how to use them. I’ve gone on all of those sites and can’t figure out what to do once I’m there. I have signed up for all three and have had people on Pinterest say they are “following” me, but I have no idea what that means or what to do about it. Besides, they are mostly a waste of time, to me.

  52. I LOVE Pinterest (and your blog). I love all embroidery, especially reproductions and have a number of Boards. Needlework, Needlework Wallets, Needlework Purses, Needlework Caskets, and a few more. I use these for storing info that I find and like but also to share with others who enjoy stitching. Thanks for posting and encouraging use. ann

  53. i would never have found your very helpful site. i love the beautiful work, i am humbled by your talent. i aspire to your ability. but more than anything, i am learning so much about style and how-to from you. i am excited to try so many new things that you take the time to explain in a way i can understand. i thank you

  54. Dear Mary,
    I love Pinterest – don’t use too often. I tend to get “lost” in all the wonderful things offered and spend too much time looking. Also like blogs. I like to see and read about what other people are doing. I have also found great sources for supplies. Of course, your website is wonderful – you have great ideas and are so very talented. Thanks for sharing.


  55. I find Pinterest very inspiring and helps me find new receipes or new interest that I otherwise would not have been exposed to. Even though I am still trying to figure out how to do some things in it, I appreciate people who are willing to share. It sure saves on printing out ‘my dream house’ or ‘my dream craft room’ or dang I wish that was in my size! I find it fun!

    Thanks to all that share and don’t always expect payment for showing a picture. Allot of us would never try anything new if it wasn’t for a picture. It is truly worth a 1,000 words!

  56. Love, love ,love it. It is inspiring, great for information on materials and methods of doing many types of crafts from sewing to decorative painting. As stated I have learned so much from information posted and about where to go to get information on so very many topics—-now if I would put all the household cleaning information to use I would have aspic and span house!

    1. Translates as:

      Yes, I use and love, love, love Pinterest!
      It’s a great source for research and a good file/archive!
      I have boards about subjects that interest me and one of my own work.

  57. Hi,
    I love Pinterest! My thoughts mirror many of the others… I spend more time than I should on it, but love that I can tuck away work for future inspiration. Thru Pinterest I have started following several bloggers I wouldn’t have known about before & have been introduced to beautiful work from artist I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. It has also been a great resource for learning new stitches & techniques. I save them under one board labeled ” stitches” that I use for both embriodery & needlepoint. I have purchased several patterns that I have pinned because I was able to have them all in one place & could easily find a new project when I was ready to start a new one.

  58. I have a Pinterest account, but I don’t use it much. I’m afraid if I start I’ll never be able to stop! There are so many cute things and most of them seem to wind up on Pinterest.
    I enjoyed reading your view of it. I have some friends who are adamant in their “Pinterest is Evil” opinion, so it was nice to hear from a designer who is firmly in the other camp. (this might encourage me to use it more, too. )

  59. I love pintrest. I do have a board simply labeled embroidery.
    One reason I love it is that it has linked me to places like your blog. In west Texas area there are no resources for people who want to do embroidery not cross stich. I love doing my own thing but need inspiration. There are so many techniques that I had never seen before finding you.
    Thank you for sharing.

  60. Hi Mary, I have not yet dived into Pinterest, but my daughter sent me a copy of how to make a cookie plate from those red and green starburst mints! I love to see needlework and it makes me feel good to see beautiful pictures of all types of needlework. I’m going to have to jump on board.

  61. I enjoy Pinterest as well. I have my own quilts posted there as well as draw inspiration from others. It makes me happy to know that sometimes my quilt musings are helpful or inspirational to others. I am not good at using it and need some practice, so I really appreciate your comments about etiquette. I believe my pins usually go back to the original source, but it is something I will begin to check out. I’m glad you are okay with it because I was wondering if I could share those beautiful embroidery Easter eggs on my Just Fun to See and Share Board.

  62. I’m with you, Mary! I really enjoy Pinterest and have found much inspiration by following other stitchers’ boards. I’m recently discovering the world of reproduction samplers, for example. While I get most of my inspiration for shopping trips to sites such as The Scarlet Letter from blog posts, I’ve also had a lot of luck finding great photos of samplers on Pinterest which I otherwise would have missed. I recently commented about Pinterest in a Facebook group for Stitchers, and was surprised by a number of negative comments. People were claiming there are too many copyright violators on Pinterest (I’ve yet to see any charts illegally posted on Pinterest, though?) This is a visual art we are involved in, so what can be wrong with blogs, newsletters or sites like Pinterest which allow us to share our creations or be inspired by the photos posted by others there?

  63. I agree, it is good to network to keep interest alive, and to inspire us to put down our computers and stitch!…(thanks for following me-I’ve been following your pinterest for quite sometime and receiving your emails for much longer-i love your email and feel it reminds me of “what i’d rather be doing”
    it is important to print out anything you “can’t live without” , be it pattern, recipe or otherwise, as these things often vanish from the internet.

  64. Pinterest is a fun site – I don’t use it very often but once in a while it’s fun to check out my stuff and pin new stuff to it. It can be inspiring and motivating as others have said.

  65. What a great topic, Mary – Thank you.
    I love Pinterest! In our ‘needleworld’ we are all visual people so this is such a perfect way of interacting with other creatives. My only problem with it is that I find it too easy to spend too much time admiring and finding inspiration and too little creating.

  66. I love pinterest! My main embroidery interest is crazy quilting, and I have been amazed at the inspiration I have discovered through pins. Like you my boards are pretty simple, crazy quilting and embroidery, but they are a constant source of ideas and enjoyment! http://pinterest.com/blueeyes2001/

  67. I love Pinterest! And I have used it for inspiration and a place to organize things I would like to try. Since I do not have a blog, it is also a place I can share things I have created. If someone does re-pin me, I am flattered. I try to make sure to include the link of the pattern I use. And will even click on it to make sure it works. I usually do that with all my pins, it’s frustrating when you see something you would like to try and the link doesn’t work. I think there are always going to be those that want to cheat and take things for their own. But it’s not just Pinterest they do it on. They can “take” from people’s blogs too. Hopefully they do not ruin it for those of us that pin with respect. I have the Pinterest app for my phone. Love browsing while waiting for appointments.

  68. I LOVE Pinterest. I love that it refers back to the original pin – great for ideas, inspiration and just fun (places I will never go but love ot look at. I do not like Facebook, I am just starting a blog but I do love Pinterest and I think it is a valuable tool for artists.

  69. I love Pinterest and I follow you. I obviously get your blogs emailed to me and I love that as well. Not everything is interesting to me and isn’t that just fine? When the subject is something that I like then I read with relish. When it is just kinda fun I skim through quickly. Thanks for your diligence and dedication to making your blog interesting in varieties of ways and keep on pinning

  70. Mary, even after reading your article I am still a little confused, I hope you can clear something up for me, I embroider and quilt and love to see what other people are doing and reading about them, I am not good at transferring things on to line nor am I a designer or retailer, I just like having that needle in my hand and sewing and seeing other people’s work, so is Pinterest any good to me? or is it simply for very clever people like yourself.
    Regards Flora

    1. If you like seeing other people’s work, it’s perfect for you. You don’t have to pin anything yourself (pinning is just when you see something on the web you want to look at again, it does not involve uploading pictures of your own work) and can just look at other people’s work.

  71. I am not currently a blogger, just a person that loves embroidery. I use pinterest for inspiration, instruction, and to become familiar with the bloggers. Thanks for sharing on Pinterest.

  72. Hi Mary
    Your post is so opportune as I´ve just started using Pinterest and there were a couple of things I wasn´t aware of (eg. bloggers prohibiting pinning by statement instead of just blocking the visuals).
    I am not a blogger(too reserved -not much of a communicator:))so I´ve used this app to put up a few examples of my work but I use it mainly to follow what inspires me (found lovely new forms/techniques of artwork) and to record it for future reference – and for others to enjoy as well!
    Main word to describe Pinterest, in my view: ADDICTIVE. I visit everyday and could spend hours looking at all the lovely pins out there.
    Keep well.

  73. I agree that Pinterest inspires you. It also helps me to organize the things I am interested in and reminds me of the projects that I want to attempt in the future.

  74. One think I do like about Pinterest is that it’s an alternative to saving things to your own computer. I’d think that saving things to an individual computer opens up more copyright issues than pinterest (?).

    And what I don’t like about it is the location where you link to can disappear. People shut down their blogs and don’t renew their website rent. Or totally rework their site. There have been some wonderful tutorials lost that way. What happens if Pinterest is bought and goes “for pay” or simply goes away (remember the big photo hosting site that went away a few years ago?) Even if there’s warning, you still need to transfer everything. Or look at it as an opportunity to start fresh.

    I haven’t been lured in (yet?), but do have some boards bookmarked. I don’t have any interest in starting up with Facebook or Google+ either. I don’t need another time-eater. On the other hand it might save time in not having to clean up files on my computer and try to find things! Dang, I may have just talked myself into it :-O 🙂

  75. Okay. I opened a Pinterest account yesterday … to see for myself what it was all about. They forced me to choose 5 boards from a limited number of options. I tried to find the Needlenthread board … no luck. I went back to the email and found it, clicked it, but don’t appear to have added it. How on earth do you find boards on embroidery? I wasn’t able to find them. So far, my experiences with Pinterest are pretty ugly. I will try again, but I’m not expecting much based on what I have found. Any suggestions? Anyone?

    1. Hi, Joan – There’s a search option on Pinterest. You could try that – just type in “embroidery” to the search bar, and choose “boards” – and that should bring up lots of boards on embroidery. Further up in the comments, there’s a link to a clear picture tutorial on how to get started using Pinterest, if you want to check that out. ~MC

    2. Hi Joan, one way I found lots of great boards was by seeing where the pin was repinned to, that’s at the bottom of the pin (when in large view) and also if you repin it, pinterest will suggest other boards where its been repinned.

  76. I love it for the reason that if I like something and want to be able to go back to it, this is a nice file, I see it as the same as if I were tearing out a magazine page and putting it in a folder, but with the advantage of being able to go to the original site and see more…I am a very visual person and I do all kinds of crafty things, but I like to see what others are doing as well. inspiration, motivation, and sharing are all part of being a crafter to me.

  77. Ahhh, triggering subject… How am I to be concise??

    I noticed you *like* Pinterest, Mary. I noticed little P icons. So I see you’re sociable and open-minded.

    Now while I admit Pinterest may be useful, I don’t really approve of it. Of course, copyright issues rise even more with it. It’s not so much felt by “surface embroiderers”, as by cross-stitchers…

    In your case I would think that of all blogs yours could never lack community or influx. Sometimes I feel sorry you have to read and approve so many comments!

    I agree it can be inspiring, but it’s also exhausting!
    It’s not like we didn’t have enough sharing and inspiration without Pinterest; I don’t think it’s so necessary after all (and I hear with it, people waste even more time on computers instead of embroidering). Plus all the unnecessary frustration for people who don’t want their photos ‘all over the web’… Some call it success, *I* wouldn’t want such popularity, because off all sorts of consequences. Most people pin images for mercenary or dishonest reasons… or just to brag…!

    I find that I have already seen so much and to create something original (instead of borrowing ideas from others) I should rather turn to my inner self. It’s not internet that makes the artist, it’s her soul

    1. Dear Lily,
      I’m so sorry you have had so many dealings with dishonest people that you feel “most” are dishonest.
      I consider myself to be honest and I only see very few that are not. I know this day and age we have to be careful and be aware, but we can’t live or lives in constant fear. I belong to Face Book and Pinterest. I Don’t do a whole lot on Face Book lately, but I love Pinterest. I also subscribe to You Tube, I get instruction from it and I learned to quilt from it, also I learned to improve my Embroidery from Mary’s Tutorials on YT, but I think that’s a place where you can get into trouble if your not diligent. I never post on it, but if I did it would be for good not bad, and you have to post to get your face all over the net, just be careful what you post. If you don’t want it, don’t do it, that’s your choice. But pleasedon’t judge the few bad ones, and link them to us good ones.
      I don’t think they are boasting, either, I think they are proud of their accomplishments. People like Mary, bless her, are in business, and are like you and me, they like to eat. So they advertise their beautiful wares on these Social Medias. That’s a good thing for them and us who enjoy the pleasure of our hobbies, and in my case–I can’t get out and about like others and I depend on my internet to do my shopping, instruction, information, and yes, my indulgences of meeting, and becoming friends with honest people. Have I ever been taken advantage of, yes, but I forgave them and I moved on.
      Granted their are few that try to take advantage of us, that is unfortunately life, but I think by far the good out weights the bad on Pinterest. If you do your homework you can weed out the bad.
      I’m an artist and I do sew, paint, and design from my soul, but there are times my soul needs to be inspired and visual stimulation what does it for me. I think you can get a small peek into the soul of people by seeing their interests and likes. That’s what I see when I pin.
      If I don’t like what I see, I move on.
      I don’t have to like everything and everybody, as long as I don’t loose sight of what is honest and good in people.
      But first we have to open our mines and hearts to see these new things and new people. I do a lot of pinning on Pinterest, and I have never as far as I know infringed on any Copyrights, and the way they have it set up now the links are already there for the sources. You might give it another chance, if not that is your choice.
      Lots of Love to you,

    2. Dear Lily – I think Tippy is being very nice in her response to your really not nice post.
      “Most people pin images for mercenary or dishonest reasons… or just to brag…!”
      I shook my head and read it twice because I couldn’t believe it, good grief! I’m sorry you have had such experiences that have left you with this attitude, but I don’t think it justifies what you said. Ever hear of an artist’s morgue? Years ago, I was taught to keep one by my art teachers – collect images that serve as inspiration for my painting. It is very common, not dishonest. That’s what Pinterest can be – an artist’s morgue, a scrapbook, a place to share and collect favorite things.

    3. how is it bragging? I don’t pin my own work, I pin other people’s.

      You say that people “waste” time on Pinterest and that it’s not necessary. I don’t think it’s up to you to decide how other people spend their time and I think it’s a great way of bookmarking things.

  78. I sent you a tweet the other day saying I was honoured that you had started following my Pinterest board and that is the reason I love it, you get to pick the minds of so many other interesting people. I am wary of copyright issues and most of my pins are ‘repins’ that I know link back to a website. I know that one embroidery artist I follow is sensitive to copying her images so I made sure I asked first and she was happy for me to pin her work but was grateful I asked. I pin quite a bit of my own work and personally I am thrilled when I see someone has repinned my images.

  79. Thank you, Mary, for that info on Pinterest.
    I am relatively new to blogasphere stuff and you really cleared up the fog about Pinterest. Wow,the light shines in the darkness.
    I will have to explore now.

  80. Visiting from problogger. I absolutely love pinterest. It sends tons of traffic my way every single day! I think its simply godsend for sewing/crafting bloggers like me.

  81. Well, I occassionally get links for recipes and such, so, I tried to do my own thing to show my paintings, quilts, embroidery, etc and found I had a terrible time uploading the photographs and getting them into “folders”. I am no usually computer-challenged, so, I have given up for now until I have more time to do the research to find out why I had such a hard time. I like the links I received, however, I don’t have alot of time to work on a site that frustrates me. I will give them another try and look for your page. G Daniece

    1. the thing is, you’re not really supposed to upload your own photos – you can, but that’s not the way it works.

      you pin things you see when you’re surfing the net. You can pin your own work, but it’s easier to do that from a blog or your flickr account.

  82. Your articles are clear concise and a daily source of interest, inspiration and knowledge. I love Pinterest as it has so much information in such a beautiful format, another source of inspiration. I stayed away for almost 2 years for fear I was going to use it incorrectly by pinning. Now I relish in the sites. Your information today has been helpful and informative. Thank you for shedding more light on the issues around Pinterest.

  83. SO happy to see this article. I was so frustrated when there was an uproar within the crazy quilting blogs I read about how that some random person pinning from a website would give Pinterest copyright and reproduction rights to your work, a) totally absurd and would never hold up in court and b) if MAJOR brands are using this all over their website…. why would pinterest waste their time stealing some blogger with 200 readers content? And why would the MAJOR brands’ lawyers approve of having “pin it” buttons all over their website.

    Anyways, ranting a little but I really love the visual directory I can create and share in pinterest. Thanks for the links to your boards!

  84. I haven’t bothered with Pinterest at all Mary. I think it’s best to focus on just a couple of social networks, and do them well, rather than give everything one a go. I’m putting all my effort into Facebook and Twitter. Another social network would just see me diluting my efforts.

    However I think that if your niche is in some way visual, then it is probably well worth it – like embroidery or photography. My niche is internet marketing, so it is not a visual niche.

    1. this is a massive misconception, Pinterest is NOT a social network site, you don’t post statuses or upload photos, it’s more of a bookmarking site where you can see what other people have bookmarked. it is nothing like Facebook or Twitter

  85. Great insights of Pinterest as a blogger and thanks for removing the false conceptions as well…

    You have done remarkable job by increasing one more user, Now I’ll use it more often…

  86. I said “most people”, because I have seen so many galleries with designs that are obviously scanned or stolen, so that, yes, I believe Pinterest does more harm than good. (I’m a cross-stitcher, I’m only too familiar with people’s habits of sharing with everyone designs, that are supposed to be for your own use only).

    I find it ridiculous how people became obsessed with taking pictures of *everything* from *every* angle and post it, and post it, and post it… It’s true they get something out of it, otherwise they wouldn’t have bothered…

    Life’s to short for many things, you keep hearing. And I’m tired to see how people out there just keep inventing new ways of how to rob others of their time.
    Is thing like privacy even exists still?

    I occasionally look through Pins looking for inspiration, and you know what? I end up still being “hungry”… Again, art isn’t about that… This is just staring and feeling insatiable … and then what?
    Remember that most prolific periods in art happened during times without internet, when there was no “progress”, nor much civilization. And yet… people had inspiration and created… they saw with heart, not eyes.
    With internet it’s only eyes. Things are stale.

    I’d rather be a voice of reason, than a 100th person who posts “I love Pinterest! It’s great”…

    You don’t like it – feel free to ignore what Lily says

    1. Having read your comments, I’m not sure why you bother with the online community at all. You can have all the privacy you want, you don’t have to write a blog or share on Facebook, that’s up to you. I find it bizarre you’re visiting a blog and openly criticing people who share things on line… like in a blog?

      Again, if you feel it “robs you of your time” don’t do it! But don’t criticize those that do.

  87. I’m sorry, one more thing (even if it’s the last thing I’m allowed to say here)

    To me priority number one is toiling not the showing. When something is done I want to show it, of course, but it won’t make me happier if instead of 3 persons, 3000 will see it. In my book that’ll be vanity.
    Art is done for art’s sake.

    And when I don’t like someone’s comment I would never respond to it, nor tell them “you’re not nice, tsk tsk tsk”…. Because that in itself wouldn’t be nice.

    1. Hi, Lily – I think you have some valid points, but I also think that each person’s approach to art and inspiration is different. Your experiences with Pinterest have obviously been negative, but for many others, Pinterest is a catalyst for their creative side, as well as being an effective way to visually organize their interests, and that’s the point I wanted to emphasize here.

      I wrote the post to generate discussion on the subject, and I am glad that you felt comfortable expressing your opinions, and that others have felt comfortable adding theirs to the discussion, too.

      At the same time, though, I would not like to see anyone offending anyone else on Needle ‘n Thread, so I hope this discussion doesn’t turn into an on-going argument on any side.

      From my point of view, Pinterest makes sense because it is a way for me to connect with other embroiderers and to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s popular, what people like, and what’s going on in the wider embroidery world. But keep in mind, Needle ‘n Thread is also a business, so this makes connectivity especially important.

      I never really think of online publishing as the opportunity for bragging – it is just the way I show what I do, with the hopes of spreading and encouraging a love for and interest in embroidery. It’s what I love, and what I want other people to love and learn, if they have an interest. But I think you understand this, and aren’t accusing everyone who blogs about their work of being vain or self-centered. 🙂

      Thanks again for your input and comments!


  88. Found your blog through Probloggers’ discussion challenge.
    Great article! I personally feel like I’m new to Pinterest, but love the learning experience. I have a personal account, where I collect anything of interest to me: books, clothes, tattoos, art.
    Also, have one for my website: PaperDroids.com, which is geared to geeky girls and women (pin mostly superheros, geeky fashion and nailart, books, film posters, etc)
    And I do the one for the company, Atomic Reach, I’m interning at too (which is geared towards content marketing and bloggers.
    I think Pinterest is great for people who love visuals and find others with the same interests.

  89. Sorry to disagree with you, but the whole Pinterest thing misses the point–the artist alone has the right, the exclusive right, to distribute images where and when they see fit. Links, credits and names do no good when permission is not asked or given, and when images are mis-attributed, used on spurious sites with no credit at all, and when people who don’t want their work pinned get slagged. Google images now leads 80% of the time to pinhercrap rather than the artist, so how does the artist benefit? And how about those who download a photo then upload it with no name or link to the artist?

    And if i hear one more spurious argument that i “shouldn’t” post images or blog or use Flickr, i’ll scream–*that* is my right: to post as well, since *i* am the one posting my own work.

    I’ve filed 100’s of DMCA takedowns and strikes myself, and they are fast but that’s not the point. I shouldn’t *have* to do this. And what’s really funny is that some of these “artists” have copyright notices plastered all over their own site, so how do they justify taking other people’s images??????? I’ve subsequently found my work on weird sites and can’t find contact emails to complain, but occasionally a friend who has polyglot language skills can figure it out for me and make the complaint for me!

    If you want another side to Mary’s viewpoint that is rational and well thought, read this http://postcardsfromwildwood.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/why-i-dont-want-my-images-on-pinterest/ along with the comments, and there’s always the Creators Against Pinterest, http://pinterest-out.blogspot.ca/ one of my faves 🙂 It was quite an education to read what pinhercrap really is about and the behaviour it encourages!

    And again, cutting the artist out of the equation does no favours, so it’s not “PR” or “flattering”!

    1. Thanks, Arlee, for your comment! And thank you for the links, which I perused and read.

      I think it still comes back to the judicious & correct use of Pinterest. As I mentioned above, I only advocate that folks pin from sites that are Pinterest-friendly, where it’s obvious that pinning is allowed, and they should only pin with the proper credit or link back. If a site isn’t pinterest-friendly – or if it isn’t clear whether it is or not – ask first, or simply don’t pin.

      Personally, I like people to pin my images, as long as they do it correctly with the proper link back. It helps get the word out, not only about Needle ‘n Thread, but about embroidery in general. That’s why I make it clear on my site that I don’t mind it if people pin from Needle ‘n Thread. Just as it’s your right to choose to post to flickr, it’s my right to allow people to post my work to Pinterest. The benefits for me and my work outweigh the “risks” involved in using Pinterest – so they are “risks” I’m willing to take, and it’s my choice to take them. But from the outset, Needle ‘n Thread has pretty much always been about sharing my own information, and I’ve never been too stringent about people using the stuff I put on my site, as long as permission is asked (or I make the permission obvious, for sites like Pinterest or other social networks that can be shared to, directly from Needle ‘n Thread) and proper credit is given. I want people to share my stuff – as long as proper credit is given. Admittedly, sometimes proper credit isn’t given – but that’s a risk I take.

      While I am not one to spend a lot of time hunting around online to see what content of mine has been filched, when I do come across obvious cases of infringement either online or off (especially in written matter, or in situations where important images are not given proper credit), I do take action. It’s a pain in the neck to take time out in one’s day for that, but I have legal counsel for my business and website, and it usually takes one initial, polite but firm, contact to have my written content or uncredited images removed from websites or for clarification / compensation to be made for printed, unauthorized use. You’re right – I shouldn’t have to do this, just as you shouldn’t have to fight for your images not to be pinned on Pinterest – but it is part of the risk of being online.

      I think that blogs that have a very clear “do not pin” policy at the forefront of their blogs (for example, in the side column under the “about” information, etc.) have better luck not having their work pinned. I haven’t noticed whether your blog has a pin policy in the forefront, but that might help. And there is a code you can put in your site’s html, to keep your images from being pinned. It doesn’t work in 100% of the cases, but it works for the regular ways that people are meant to pin images. It won’t, for example, keep a baddie from saving your image to their own desktop and then uploading it to Pinterest (or any other site, for that matter), or taking a screen capture of your image and uploading it. But Pinterest isn’t meant to be used that way, and the HTML code will keep people from directly pinning from your site. You can find the no pin html code here: https://help.pinterest.com/entries/21063792-Prevent-pinning-from-your-site along with instructions on where to put it on your site. It goes in the head section of any page (or better yet, put it in your template, and then you won’t have to worry about it).

      With Pinterest, since I give people permission to post my images there, I have no problem with it, when it is used correctly. And I make sure that I follow the rules when I pin. Now, whether or not other people do this – that’s another question. But I won’t condemn the platform as a whole, simply because other people use it nefariously. If that were the case – if every tool or platform should be condemned because it can be used dishonestly or with malice – then really, the internet should be condemned, because it is used nefariously on a grand scale.

      So that’s my view on it. But I have no problem with alternate views on the subject, too. I just know that, for me and for many others who use Pinterest judiciously and correctly, it is a fun, engaging platform for organizing ideas and images and promoting the art of needlework.

      Thanks again for your comment and the links. I’m going to go back now and read a few articles that I bookmarked from the second website.


    2. I love Pinterest and fully agree with Mary as to why, so there is no need to go further on a well thought out view.
      But I do want to add on the subject – as a matter of FACT – never post a comment, image, or the like unless you want to share it. You need to realize someone will copy it. Anyone with the knowledge and right software can copy anything you post – if you don’t want to share it, don’t post it! Simple enough and a fact.

  90. I love pinterest. I love that you love it. You are the first person I tell others about when they want to know more about embroidery. I am a good fan! I understand the fear of an artist’s work. I try to give credit where it is due. I use it to be inspired, to reuse and upcycle. to organize my home, and self. It can just let me relax for a few minutes when I am overwhelmed with the little things in life. I enjoy seeing other peoples work and things that others enjoy too. thanks for getting this info out to

    1. I too love love Pintrest!!!

      I do a lot of Internet research and I use Pintrest to organize all my links. I have twice lost my computer and all my bookmarks. It is very difficult to rebuild a bookmark “library”.

      It I also a great way to connect with other people who are also researching the same topics. Someone from Poland liked one of my boards so I went and checked out her boards and found a a great deal of useful information, in Polish. I never would have found it other wise because I didnt know the Polish terms to search with. Now I just us a translator and…TADA!

      I like what another poster said “It is like falling down a rabbit hole. You never know where you’ll end up.”

  91. I love Pinterest. I definitely use it to promote my blog at http://www.NoSkinnies.com. I also find it very helpful when I need a little kick in the butt to go get my workout in. There are tons of free workouts to learn from and lots of great motivational type quotes.
    Found you on problogger discussion post contest. I’m participating too!

  92. I also love Pinterest, and find it compelling, but it doesn’t drive so much traffic to my site as Facebook. Perhaps I need to pay more attention to it – as you say it can eat up time. I found your post via the Problogger challenge. Thanks for such an informative post.

  93. I totally agree that Pinterest is great for bloggers. In fact, Pinterest is my biggest referral website to my blog. I love it when others pin my posts. It’s absolutely no work and all benefit to me.

  94. Thank you for this great post.
    I recently started blogging again and discovered the value of Pinterest. So I opened a Pinterest, too.
    You have cleared up a lot of concerns that I had about copyright and permission. Funny, when I started my Pinterest , I discovered that folks had already pined photos from my blog. That didn’t upset me; I was flattered.
    I agree that the direction of traffic from Pinterest is a really good thing for a blog.
    See you on Pinterest

  95. I like to browse Pinterest for inspiration, but I do not participate there and do not want my things posted there for one reason. 1) Many people do not use Pinterest properly. I do not want my images on Pinterest without proper attribution, and I am often frustrated when I find an image and would like to use it, or a part of it, in a piece of artwork and cannot trace the work back to the original owner to request permission. So, until Pinterest can tighten up it’s requirements for posting people’s images, mine will not appear there. Well, not with my permission, anyway.

  96. I use Pinterest as a post-it to help me remember things. I cannot possibly remember all the beautiful things I come across so I pinit and can follow the link later.

  97. I love Pinterest like you it inspires and motivates me. It also excites me to see all the beautiful embroidery and because I will never get to do even 10% of it I can go back again and again and get so much pleasure out of looking at it. Last year I found a pin of a beautiful cross stitch that had been turned into a work box using embroidery hoops, I contacted the blogger who told me where I could purchase the pattern and I now have my own lovely work box with the cross stitch on the top. Mine is a different colour and quite a lot bigger than the original one I saw but I love it and through it I got to correspond with someone on the other side of the world from me about a shared love of embroidery

  98. I love pinterest although I find it quite hard to use at times and linking back to the original can be confusing. So many ideas and so much inspiration that I spend hours looking at other peoples work and just looking at a picture can sometimes solve a problem for me. Thanks to all who allow people to pin their images.

  99. I love pintrest. Having very little time I get my needlework, baking or decorating fix on pintrest. I also use it as storage for patterns and websites I like and wish to find again. Keep on pinning.

  100. I am not a blogger. I am retired and love surface embroidery and I’ve orde4red materials from several sites. Pinterest is inspiring and I enjoy reviewing all the different types/styles of embroidery. Please keep on keeping on!!!

  101. I love Pinterest, although I don’t go there often. I am a very visual person and find it difficult to leave, so I need to discipline myself.

    I see Pinterest as an electronic scrapbook and use it mostly for inspiration. I sew and use it for inspiration for projects, but I also write and use it to collect images for settings, clothing, hairstyles, furnishings, etc., of the places and people I write about.

    But here’s the really exciting thing: My mom was an avid tatter; you could probably even call her a professional, she did it so much and her work was so exquisite. She passed away in 1992. However, a few months ago I found a blog where one of her clients posted a photo of her work. How cool is that?

    Thank you for your blogs – I really love them, Mary!

  102. I love Pinterest. It’s great for collating inspirational images or techniques for a project, or even just collecting inspiring images from which to explore ideas of colour and shape. I compare it to cutting up magazines and pasting them on a mood board. The advantage of pinterest is that you can connect with many different people who have shared images that inspire them too.

    The fact that images can keep a link to their original site is fantastic! I have a whole heap of bookmarked blogs and sites to explore now through all my boards. Exploring links and new images is as much a part of how Pinterest works as just collecting images.

    Another lovely thing about Pinterest, is that you can keep a board private, sharing it, if you need to with a few friends for a collaborative project and never ever publish it widely!

    When using Pinterest, i try not to pin too many images from one single persons boards. Replicating another persons seems pointless. So i just follow that board and even find alternative images based on images from that board.

  103. I love Pinterest, it is inspiring as you say, plus you get to see what other people are doing there is so much beautiful embroidery out there along with lots of other craft I have a few boards now, personally I have been a fan of your website for quite a long time (firstly for church linens)and often see your work on Pinterest and often go to you for inspiration and technique keep up the great work

  104. I love Pinterest, for all of the same reasons as you Mary. However, as a cross stitcher, I am constantly upset at the lack of respect for designers. I now have a comment saved which I post on pins that I think are breaking copyright etc.
    It is as follows:
    “If you are a fan of cross stitch, you will appreciate the time and effort that goes into it’s design and completion. By posting pictures of charts (rather than of completed pieces) you are breaking the copyright of the designer, and harming their business. Please consider this before posting charts, and respectfully remove those you have already posted.
    Kind regards,
    A fellow cross stitch fan.”

    I do find it difficult to find a way to report this, as none of the options really cover it, and as it’s not necessarily my intellectual property, I can’t report it that way either. I am quite sure the designers have got better things to do with their time, than plow through endless copyright infringements on Pinterest. I know there are some designers who have stopped published their designs in magazines, for this very reason, and some, who have given up designing all together. This is obviously very sad, especially for those who had been depending on it to make a living.

    I’m sorry for the rant, it is a subject very close to my heart, and this seems like the perfect audience for it, as I am sure they will all be in the same boat!

    Another well written and well considered post from you Mary! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this.

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