It actually happened sort of by mistake...I don't tend to be much of an actual collector of any one thing, though I do have pack-rat tendencies. I have so many things that I've saved from when I was younger. Most of it has sentimental significance to me, and I've held on to much of it thinking, "oh, this would be great in a scrapbook!" but have never actually scrapped any of it! LOL (Seriously...it's all packed away in a "memory trunk" at the moment...no lie...) When I was younger, I had this thing for collecting all things cat and/or Tigger. While I still have it all (somewhere in a box), I've pretty much lost interest in it. However, when I was in Domrémy-la-Pucelle looking for the perfect little souvenir for my mom, it just kind of happened...I gravitated to the thimbles!
Now, I am a craftily inclined person, but I don't generally sew very much. Maybe that's why it didn't present itself to me as an obvious choice. Also, thimbles are actually a pretty commonplace collectible, and I tend to gravitate to the not-so-common things. But it's pretty perfect as thimbles are small, and as a military family, there will be quite a bit of moving about in our future.
I got my first one in France, and I'm pretty sure that after getting myself the 2 in London that I did, I am well on my way to becoming a thimble collector extraordinaire!
(If only I could have come to this decision while living in Italy! I could have looked for thimbles from Venice, Verona, Florence, Siena and Treviso! Not to mention Salzburg! I guess that just means I'll have to go back...) ;)