Arts + Crafts, Inspiration, Rooms

Notes on finding refreshment…

July 10, 2007

Flickr is still my favorite site, hands down. There is no other website on earth that does it for me quite like the fantastic images that I discover in the many photo streams there.

Notes on finding refreshment... A fabulous 50s kitchen from Crafty Beaver

I think it’s important to use our time wisely, even when it comes to mundane pursuits and what others may consider “time suckers” when referring to hobbies involving entertainment – like watching movies, television, surfing the web, etc. I have to defend this by saying that to me, it’s not a time sucker if it’s productive in even a small way. If you’re parked in front of television, glazing over as you half watch a program, that’s a bit of a waste. One would be better using their time sleeping as that is at least repairing the body! But if you are watching a program that, when you walk away from it, leaves you feeling energized and refreshed, then that’s positive, and that is using free time wisely. Sure, we can’t over-analyze everything we do because that’s no fun. But if we are devoting considerable time to something, it’s good to ask whether or not it really is refreshing or is it simply a time sucker, energy sucker, and altogether draining. This spans everything, from friendships to hobbies, even career, but I’m focusing more on websites and the time spent online. And this leads me back to Flickr.

Notes on finding refreshment... A colorful corner from Wisecraft with curtains that I really like. :)

Notes on finding refreshment... A nature-inspired grouping on a simple shelf from Little Birds.

Notes on finding refreshment... Ivanka Trump’s Living Room from In Style magazine via SarahLeeAb. Spot the foo dogs?

Notes on finding refreshment... A gorgeous fireplace decorated by Abigail Percy. What a dreamy blue background.

Notes on finding refreshment... An IKEA paper lamp with an added touch from two straight lines – handmade butterflies! This is a nice way to add some charm to something that all your friends may have… You don’t have to accept something as is. Look for inexpensive ways to make things more personal, and beautiful!

Notes on finding refreshment... Jeana_Sohn’s cozy kitchen nook. I love this little space because it’s simple. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in dotting all the i’s. Maybe we can give some corners of our homes a little “less is more” treatment? Just a thought…

Notes on finding refreshment... Great use for library card catalogs – a craft room must for bitsandbobbins.

Notes on finding refreshment... Kitchen flowers from GMW.

Notes on finding refreshment... Ships ahoy! Amazing sailboats handcrafted by Ann Wood. (She is something else!)

Notes on finding refreshment... A Brooklyn brownstone in the heights, snapped by Alternate Words (also my husband). This place had a ton of pendants hanging inside, see them? It isn’t a reflection, there must have been at least 6 of them. This is from our June trip to NYC. We both agreed that Claire Huxtable and Heathcliff had to be due home any moment.

Notes on finding refreshment... Sleepy kitty from Accolady. Zzzz. I want to kiss its little nose.

Notes on finding refreshment... A fabulous inspiration wall from Matirose.

Notes on finding refreshment... Altogether gorgeousness from Annamariahorner. What colors!

Notes on finding refreshment... A pink beetle in Mexico via ***anahita.

Notes on finding refreshment... And finally, a lovely arrangement of things by mizutamago.

On Flickr, I see people living life. Tons of images showing families spending time together, great food shots from devoted cooks and newbie chefs trying out a recipe for the first time. Pet photos, images of handmade crafts (lots of soft toys!), and travel shots that will take your breathe away. It’s also fun to peek inside the homes of others, even to look at the self portraits people snap of well, themselves. When I look at all of these images from my nearly 1,300 contacts, I walk away feeling like a new standard for living has been set.

It’s not about just accepting what we’ve been given. It’s about being more.

To borrow from the army, Be All That You Can Be. I like that expression. I walk away from Flickr feeling inspired to bake more, plant more, and just be a little more than I may be today. Not in a do-it-or-die self-promoting way, but in a let’s take it up a notch way. This is what I call finding refreshment from the whole online experience. For me, it’s through the blogs I read and the lovely Flickr site.

Your turn. What are your thoughts on this? Do you have Flickr favorites that you would like to link to in the comments below? Go for it!

I have to mention that this post is a result of a lovely conversation that Marisa and I had today. She is wonderful. :)

(images: sources noted beneath each photo)


  • Reply S. July 10, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    I think the mirror frame in that last photo is from the Small Storage Cabinet in Target’s Global Home bathroom furniture line. I have one and the door pull is exactly the same.

    Great pics!

  • Reply Jaime July 10, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    i love flickr too. it’s so addicting. that brownstone shot reminds me of 227!

  • Reply decor8 July 10, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    OMG Jaime! Where’s Lester huh? :)

  • Reply mati July 10, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    OH, thank you Holly for including me!
    Lovely photos and I’m honored to be part:)

  • Reply kstyle July 10, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    Flickr is one of my favorites hands down. Another site that leaves me feeling thoughtful and often enlightenned is Gretchen Rubins The Happiness Project.
    Lot’s of mind candy here and Gretchen is so refreshingly honest about her work and herself. And she offers new fascinating links every day. Definitely no time wasted here. k

  • Reply Marisa and Creative Thursday July 10, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    That was definitely an energizing and inspiring post. I LOVE all those images. Makes me want to go get my new camera today….to take even more beautiful photos. Thank you for your refreshing post ~ you’re a gem!

  • Reply Anonymous July 10, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    I love Jeana Sohn’s dining table! Does anyone know where it’s from?

  • Reply Jeana Sohn July 11, 2007 at 12:16 am

    hi. the dining table is from modernica. i saw similar ones on ebay (look for folding tables) for cheaper prices. ; )
    thanks decor8!

  • Reply Alisa July 11, 2007 at 12:31 am

    Just thought you might like to know that the picture of Istanbul isn’t actually something she built- she just used an effect in Photoshop to make it look that way. :) Here’s more:


  • Reply Alicia July 11, 2007 at 1:15 am

    I adore flickr and each one of my favorite photos. They give me so much inspiration, and I never feel like my time is wasted because I am always motivated to try something new. Browsing through my contacts reminds me of my late night walks in the city, (before kids) when we would try to get a peek into everyones windows to see how the homes were decorated, or image what kind of people lived inside.

    Because we really don’t see the whole story behind the picture I think it makes everyone’s lives seem rather fairytale-like.

  • Reply Andy Mathis July 11, 2007 at 2:02 am

    I have only been browsing flickr for a short time, and have started using it for my own photos.

    I have set up a group so family members can upload their photos from family christmas gatherings, reunions, weddings. Those photos will be more special through the future.

  • Reply simply olive July 11, 2007 at 4:01 am

    such an inspiring post. i too feel so much inspiration from everything i visit on the web, it has opened me up to a whole new world. (i’m new to this blog thing, and have never spent so much time on my computer–it’s actually stealing away precious knitting time–but i must say that i don’t mind). it can be an awesome tool for us designers.

    i have not yet entered the flickr world–i’m almost afraid to add one more thing to my already very busy day–but the images i have seen from there are quite fabulous. it just reminds me of how many other creative and talented people there are out there in the world.

  • Reply katiedid July 11, 2007 at 4:11 am

    I think I must visit flickr more often! The pic that caught my eye for some reason was the little card of the kitty with bird on the head. Sweet! Thanks for the great post of all the wonderful ideas.

  • Reply vineeta July 11, 2007 at 6:10 am

    ckwmlThe net is such a wonderful thing. Its let me know, you & so many other people whom u’ve linked here. And because i HAD to submit for the moodboard contest i had to start a flickr account. now i regularly upload comment & get comments. Its opened up my world in an unimaginable way & daily i discover some new mindblowingly talented person. like this Its not a flickr link. but this woman is awesome. im constantly thanking the powers that be for stumbling into your blog.

  • Reply vineeta July 11, 2007 at 6:24 am

    Theres one more thing i have to say. these past months that i have turned this complete net/design blog/flickr junkie- is also altering my design sensibilities in more ways that i can imagine i am sure. And when these start practically start altering my life- in the way i do things- i will post & you holly will be one of the 1st people i will send the link to :)

  • Reply Sarah July 11, 2007 at 7:04 am

    I love these photos you have picked out.
    I see a lot of blogs with gorgeous photos they have found on flickr and I just wonder how long you all look to find these gorgeous things? I just don’t know where to start!
    The brownstone looks a lot like Carrie’s apartment in SATC.

  • Reply Heather Moore July 11, 2007 at 7:07 am

    Gorgeous! Funnily enough, I also spent some time on Flickr yesterday, after finding Lisa Congdon’s photo stream. Beautiful things there – highly recommended!

  • Reply t-berry July 11, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    Beautiful pictures! thanks so much for posting!

  • Reply t-berry July 11, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Beautiful pictures, thanks so much for sharing them :)

  • Reply Jocelyn Durston July 11, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    I love flickr! Honestly – your flickr site was the first one I stumbled across that had a lot of interior design pics. Now I regularly scan everyone’s photos for inspiring ideas.

    One of my favorite photographers (and friend) is Tracey. She takes breathtaking photos – you should check out her flower shots. Her link is:

  • Reply Jamie Meares July 11, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    i love flickr — just yesterday i got so excited thinking about christmas, so i went directly to flickr and searched for images and found SOOO many wonderful inspirations.

  • Reply decor8 July 11, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    Alisa thank you so much for letting me know that. I removed the image because that was the whole reason why I posted it, I was intrigued that this girl was out there in Turkey making mini versions of Istanbul… But since she’s not, I removed it because that was the only reason I found it captivating. I don’t have Photoshop and so I have VERY LITTLE knowledge of its features. Interesting to know though, so thank you for the information. xo

  • Reply Peggy July 11, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Great post. Holly you inspire me everyday. I also love flickr. I am finding I prefer to look at the lives of “ordinary” people more than celebrities. I love the idea of everyone being famous for 15 minutes. Andy Warhol was right.

  • Reply pinkbathtub July 11, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    Great post! I love Flickr…I am new to it and am hooked. It can be very inspiring:)

  • Reply jessilynn July 11, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    Thank you for that inspiring post! The picture of the fireplace mantel totally inspired me to finally do something with mine!

    I just found your blog via alicia bock’s blog… (thanks alicia! :) and I have to say I love it. Bookmarked it for future inspiration. :)

    * I am also just now becoming a regular on flickr. It has also been inspiring to me.

  • Reply decor8 July 11, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    i forgot to tell you that if anyone wants to add me as a flickr friend, feel free. here’s my link:

    and go through and look at all of my contacts, click on them, and have a ball. that’s the best way to learn your way around flickr – i can show you the ropes in a way. :)

  • Reply Anonymous July 12, 2007 at 1:05 am

    I found that lamp on another blog today, good news travels fast. I want to make those lamp butterflies now!

  • Reply Julie July 12, 2007 at 1:21 am

    I recently reflected on the wonder that is Flickr, myself. What I have come to appreciate is the way Flickr extends the bounds of community — much like blogging has — enabling more people to communicate, share ideas, & inspire each other. Thanks for the great post!

  • Reply NEW YORK MUHTARI July 12, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    great finds :-)) thanks for sharing it with us. I also posted the photos of Park Slope brownstones in my blog.. aren’t they fab?? I wish i could afford one.

  • Reply Colleen July 12, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    This post is wonderful! What a shot of sunshine. You make the case that one doesn’t have to make a new year’s resolution or a sweeping life change to feel happier. At work we decided to paint some walls for punches of color and it is amazing what one spring green wall or an expanse of ruby red can do for the spirit. People are walking around smiling more. All this talk about moving our office wasn’t necessary after all. It’s about taking what you have and seeing the potential. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Reply decor8 July 12, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    Hi nymuhtari – Thanks for saying hello. I’ll check out your link when I’m back from vacation, as I’m about the pack the car now. But everyone, thanks for your comments and I’m glad that these images inspired you.

    Note: the brownstone photo that my husband took was in brooklyn heights, my favorite hood in brooklyn. i’ve never been to park slope, i’m not in touch with brooklyn outside of the heights where our friends live.


  • Reply paola July 12, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    What I want to know is how Ivanka Trump ended up with such a nice sitting room after spending all her time with the interior design disaster that is the Donald.

    If that really is her taste, why doesn’t she tell him to lay off the gold leaf and repro?

  • Reply becky July 12, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    I can spend YEARS on flickr – it’s ENDLESS!

    I want that pink VW Beetle photo blown up and framed. It’s fantastic!


  • Reply Amy July 12, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    Thank miss holly for putting into words what I feel every morning as I wake up, grab my laptop and get my daily dose of flickr contacts goodiness! I was actually also talking about this yesterday with a friend of mine, who’s working on an Ajax script to view Flick favorites, and I commented to him about the inmense pool of talent there is out there. Without sounding corny (though I am), it all fills my heart with hapiness and inspires my skinny long fingers to create goodies of my own.

    So yeah, thanks for the post. I am flickr-friends with many of those people you just featured, too! yay!

  • Reply q July 13, 2007 at 2:35 am

    thanks for the inspiration – they are all lovely photos. funny, i thought i’ve added you before. i wish there’s also a feed to your favourites so i could add it to bloglines :)

  • Reply Lynn July 16, 2007 at 12:59 am

    I LOVE flickr. Its so easy to get addicted too, rifling through collections of photos of people you have never met before and to be astounded that we share so much in common despite the differences in upbringing, culture and geographical location. Here are two amazing & funny favs of mine:

  • Reply Sara July 16, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Thank you for this post. You put into words what’s so inspiring and lovely about flickr. And I LOVE all the photos you posted here.

    As much as I enjoy flickr, though, I don’t spend a lot of time on the site unless I’m looking for a particular type of image I have in mind. Do you have any tips for searching or browsing flickr? Is there any way to make this mammoth treasure more manageable?(Same goes for etsy. They’re both great, but overwhelming sites.)

  • Reply meghan July 19, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    A fabulous 50s kitchen (and the more mod one) are both DREAM KITCHENS!!!!

  • Reply ri July 26, 2007 at 9:07 pm


  • Reply shelley July 31, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    If you are looking for furniture similar to the card catalogue to organize your smaller things, there is a website you should check out. It is http://www.hobartforthe home. They have small drawer organizers and flat file organizers that have places to put labels

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