SHARON - Jill Johnson will probably stop adding to her collection when pigs fly.
A lifelong Stateline Area resident, Johnson has built a swine shrine at her home located between Clinton and Sharon.
The unique collection, showcasing thousands of pig items ranging from toilet-lid covers to toothpick holders, is a show-stopper.
"It used to be that I thought I could own every pig item ever made, but I'm aware there are many I've never even seen," Johnson said.
She may not have every pig item that exists, but Johnson has certainly discovered quite a few at places like antique stores and estate sales.
Every room in her two-story farmhouse has some type of pig displayed, and a few areas are completely devoted to showcasing the collection.
"I'm not even sure where the collection began, other than that my first pig was a stuffed animal that my dad bought me as a present," she said.
Not all of the pig collectibles are all that exciting or even cute, Johnson said during a recent tour.
But that's of no consequence to Johnson - she loves all the little piggies just the same.
"Even with the ugly ones, it's like they would speak to me (when shopping) and say 'why not me?,' so I brought them home," Johnson said.
The gargantuan pig collection expands beyond the house, along the driveway and into the barns on her property - including one that is home to an actual pig named Oink.
"Oink is very smart and acts kind of like a dog," Johnson said.
"It's also probably wrong, but bacon is actually my favorite food," she added with a laugh.
There isn't a particular type of pig item that Johnson most covets, but she does enjoy antique pigs and quirky items, like handbags.
"It used to be that I would go out and just buy more and more pigs whenever I'd find them, but now I'm much more selective," Johnson said.
Pig collectors are actually more common than one might think, Johnson said.
The hobby is so popular, in fact, that Johnson is part of a group called The Happy Pig Collectors Club.
Active on Facebook and offering a newsletter and card exchange, the club brings together pig collectors.
In July, about 40 of the group's members from around the United States took a trip to Johnson's home to check out her collection. They spent the day exploring, swapping pig items and having a hearty picnic featuring pork, of course.
"We love to get together once a year and just talk, laugh and have a great show and tell," Johnson said. "This year we even had a visitor from the Philippines come."
A hobby like collecting pigs might not be for everyone, but Johnson said that it has been an exciting part of her life.
"I like them, and that's really all that matters," she said. "I just like being able to do something that's different."