My Inspiration Folders

February 10, 2009

I found a blog that I really connected to awhile back but then I forgot all about it until last night when it showed up again.  I seriously could not take my eyes off of the many images and I started to think about creating pretty collaged papers myself. All of the photos that you see in this post are my own work inspired by Record the Day.

a handmade tale

Do you know this blog? It’s lovely. I create books with images inside but lately I hadn’t felt much like doodling and pasting in my inspiration books. Plus my books are so permanent and I wasn’t feeling creative at all last night when I created the collages shown in this post. At least at first. The more I started to play around, the more inspired I became! That is the beauty of sometimes not over thinking something and just doing it! Record the Day encouraged me though her concept is a little different as instead of using words to blog she uses collected images glued to a piece of paper to show her readers what she is feeling or thinking or seeing on that particular day. It’s very cool. My idea was to use a similar technique to hopefully inspire me and it absolutely did!

playing house

Looking at the collaged images on Record The Day, I sat down last night with a stack of torn images from magazines, found papers, old wallpaper, some ribbons, a stack of old file folders, and a glue stick and for two hours and I just glued and cut. No music on, no television, my iPod touch and cell phone on ‘off’ tucked away in my handbag… just me in a quiet living room on the floor cutting and pasting. I thought about what inspires me and tried to include a lot of those things into each collage. I tried to think of feelings and experiences that I recently had. Suddenly my manilla folders came to life. I was only going to do one but completed eight. Perfection or artistic skill is not needed (as you can see), just a desire to have fun and enjoy the process.

how pretty


lovely nest

country blues sweet dreams

travel time

It felt good to play a little, so today I’m going to encourage you to do the same if you can make the time for it. It was an easy, inexpensive, no frills way to inspire myself and have a little fun in the process. I was also looking for a quick fix, nothing that I needed to work on for days or weeks at a time. Just a quick session and I was finished.

Now I’m thinking of how much fun it would be to ask some of my friends to bring over collected images and things so we can sit around and do something similar as a small group. I guess it’s like scrapbooking or knitting circles… but less fuss and cheap (mostly recycled) materials. Maybe I could call my ladies night “Creative Cut + Paste” and serve some fun cocktails and homemade cookies.

What do you think? Could this be a fun hobby for you? Or maybe a fun girly night with your best buds? I’m always looking for easy, no frills but hands-on ways to get inspired…

(images by holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply Jamie Watson February 10, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I love your folders! I think that is a super fun way to spend an evening with girlfriends. My friend Jess and I just signed up for two workshops in San Jose. One is called Create Your Best Life and the other is Soul Collage – both include cutting & pasting photos like you did. I think any woman would love doing that at her friend’s home with some wine and snacks. Plus, people who say they are “not creative” don’t usually feel intimidated by cutting and pasting. (-:

  • Reply Karalee Serra February 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    cool blog find. thank you!

    Karalee Serras last blog post: The Pink Taco Necklace

  • Reply katherine quinn February 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Looking at these images I can’t help but smile and feel happy… so easy to do too, even if you feel you aren’t very creative.

    A very good idea indeed to do it with a small group of friends.

    katherine quinns last blog post: My old self when I was younger…

  • Reply julz February 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    absolutely beautiful! teal, pink and orange make me so happy ;) that sounds like a really fun evening! i had a sunday crafty day last weekend and 1/2 of the girls cut little pictures out of magazines to create collages, i was too busy with fabric and markers. it seemed sort of therapeutic in some way though. thanks for the idea. i think i need to dive into my magazines for some ‘soul collaging myself’

    julzs last blog post: Organizing the portfolio : Hangtags

  • Reply Courtney von T February 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    You have totally inspired me to start organizing my big ol’ pile of scrapbook magazines into an inspiration journal…today! LOL
    Thanks for helping give me direction on a really blah snowy day!

    P.S. I would love it if someone invited me for appy’s and scrapping! Cool idea!

    Courtney von Ts last blog post: Awww….

  • Reply Dana February 10, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I love it!

  • Reply Bea February 10, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I like your beautiful collages! At the beginning of the year I also made a collage or an inspiration board and I really enjoyed the process! It feels so good to just cut and paste without judging the result. Here you can see a picture of it:
    And you know, when I was a teenager I started making simple collages and I remember making some together with two very good friends and having a lot of fun!

  • Reply Afi February 10, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    That was amazing Holly! You also had a post that you had matched your favorite rooms with some cakes, that one was also very inspiring! I just LOVED those series :)

  • Reply collette February 10, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    I also love Record The Day & Lobster & Swan. I remember when you posted about RTD and I love, love this idea.
    I especially like your idea of getting together.
    I’ve been doing a few myself in an old sketchbook I had. It’s really relaxing and easy. Using manilla folders is a great idea. So many possibilities.

    collettes last blog post: February already

  • Reply leaca February 10, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    I do this too. I use a moleskin planner but a folder is a great idea.

    leacas last blog post: Be mine texture

  • Reply Heather February 10, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Seeing these reminded me of a little obsession I have…
    I started a visual journal about a year ago, basically so I would have a place to store all of my favorite clippings (I’m a magazine-a-holic & an image junkie). Instead of stuffing everything into a file folder, to be forgotten & neglected, I cut & paste them into my book so I can look at it whenever I want. Now I put just about everything in there… ideas that inspire me, images that are just plain beautiful to look at, or images for links to sites I discovered on-line (usually thanks to you Holly).
    When I’m feeling extra inspired, sometimes I’ll draw little details on the pages to zam them up a bit. I’m completely addicted!
    I just finished Volume 1 & it’s busting at the seams. Just looking at it makes me giddy & I can’t wait to get started on Vol. 2.
    I uploaded a few quick shots & put them on flickr in case you want to take a look ( ).
    Thanks for constantly reminding us to get inspired :)

  • Reply emma February 10, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    I love RTD, I always feel so inspired when I look at her blog! I’ve been thinking so many times that I want to try this myself, but you know how it is sometimes, you just never get to it… Now I will definitely put this on my list of things I want to do. (I keep a list of nice things that I’d like to do every season, like drinking hot chocolate in front of the fire, make chutney, go iceskating on the lake and other stuff that lets you enjoy the seasons just a little more.)

    Sounds like a great idea to invite your friends for a night of cut-and-glueing! I wish I lived closer…

    emmas last blog post: I’ve been tagged!

  • Reply Bry February 10, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Your work reminds me of an artist I fell in love with at London’s 100% design show. Natasha Kerr does very similar concept of work and it is so beautiful and so amazing. Highly recommend having a look at her website.

  • Reply Laura February 10, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Yay! Just looking at your collages is making me happy :) Using the file folders is an awesome idea – it’s a nice way of framing the work, and seems like a good size to work with. I also love the sound of a “Creative Cut + Paste” night!

    This also reminds me of something… a while back (like, last year?) you posted about the Style Statement book, which is amazing, and I was just thinking how fun it would be to host “Creative Cut + Paste” nights with ladies who have done their Style Statements & those want to, and each person could focus their collages on aspects of their own Style Statement.

    Lauras last blog post: DIY Small Project Contest {with Apartment Therapy & Etsy!}

    • Reply decor8 February 10, 2009 at 7:13 pm

      Laura – Love that idea. Wow, you’ve been reading that long and you remember that stuff? It’s amazing to me how you all really listen and remember some of the things I write about here. I think sometimes that what I say is watered down and lost after the average person reads their daily 10,000 design blogs and magazines… But it’s readers like you who remind me that perhaps not. Thank you! Also to Heather@ Hang Tight Studio too.

      Hi Emma!! Yes, you are to far from me in Stockholm. :( wahhhhh

      Hey Bry – :) WOW! Nice thing to say but sheesh this is by no means considered work or anything more than playing with glue for two hours. Natasha Kerr (who I didn’t know until now, thanks for the link) appears to be trained, seasoned, above and beyond me. Again though, thanks for the pat on the back – it’s so nice to be compared to good work like that!

  • Reply Tammy February 10, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    I am inspired! Thank you for reminding me of RTD blog. I have a few magazines sitting right her, marked with pages that I thought were inspiring to me. Perfect chance tonight to cut and paste.

    Tammys last blog post: Scrappy Jessi giveaway

  • Reply Shanon February 10, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    I think this sounds like a super fun way to spend time with friends. I think we all in some way or another do this on our own, even if it’s just mentally. But to be able to give the act credence, and to make it special, would be so fun! Especially with some sangria and some lovely girlfriends. =)

    Playing House, Remembering, and Lovely Nest really sing to me…

    Shanons last blog post: A Fluttering Sound

  • Reply Missy Lee February 10, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I love your collages. I really want to spend more time working on them. This is something that I have always wanted to do in my free time. I take the first step, which is tearing out items that inspire me…I just need the follow through of putting them all together in a creative, beautiful way. :)

    Missy Lees last blog post: via Decor 8
    These collages are something I have always wanted to…

  • Reply Carolyn February 10, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    So funny, Holly! I was on your blog last night looking for photos to help me with my inspiration board! I came across your most recent one (I believe) — it had great pinks and blues (with beautiful tassels) and stayed up most of the night working on my board :). It must have been an inspiration board night! We should do a fun Boston “Creative Cut + Paste” Event!

    Thank you for more inspiration!!!

    Carolyns last blog post: Clear and Simple Monday

  • Reply Bonnie Tsang February 10, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Absolutely in love! I started collecting inspirational photos to help me brainstorm an Engagement Session or some Wedding Portraits, but I’ve never thought of putting things together like yours! I’ll start one soon!

    – B –

    Bonnie Tsangs last blog post: Wedding at The Parker – to be continued

  • Reply Concha February 10, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    I love it!

    I have inspiration books where I glue my favourite magazine tear-outs but this thakes it to the next level! Very clever indeed!

  • Reply lindsey clare February 10, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    aww holly. wish i could come and play cut and paste with you :)

    you’ve inspired me today. i often feel like doing collage work, but get put off by the thought of doing all the gathering of materials (my stuff is all over the place, i really need to get it sorted into drawers or something). but yours look quite simple and lovely. so i think i will bust out the glue stick some time soon.

    lindsey clares last blog post: bushfire help

  • Reply Anne @ The City Sage February 10, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    What gorgeous collages you put together! I love the idea of doing this as a fun and relaxing break during the day—a great way to get my creative juices flowing! My only trouble? I get so attached to my mags that I hate the thought of cutting them up…maybe I should start buying two copies of each issue ;)

    Anne @ The City Sages last blog post: Book Review: ‘Found Style’ by Amy Butler

  • Reply Jacqueline February 10, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    Holly, this is very very inspirational. I love love the colors and the way you work on your folders. You have totally inspired me to start organizing my journal with colors and cut outs. Thank you so much for sharing…love the idea!

    Jacquelines last blog post: The little orchard on a mango tree

  • Reply Andy Mathis February 10, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    now see. . . as a guy, my first thought is I don’t have enough magazines for that.

    however. . . if cereal boxes are sufficient, that’s cool, I’m there.

    Andy Mathiss last blog post: Roxie and Tillie- Boston Terriers

  • Reply Heather February 10, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Isn’t collage the most fun ever? Once in a while I do something similar in my journal but you’ve inspired me to do more. Who says cutting up magazines are for kids? Its art no matter who is doing it. Plus, then all your lovely things and ideas are in one place instead of 50 thousand magazines all over the house. I’m going to go get started right now! I’d be thrilled to hang out with friends and do this kind of thing.

  • Reply dwellings and decor February 10, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    I have been really inspired by the Record the day blog as well. I really love what you did and it definitely motivates me to do my own. Nice work!

    dwellings and decors last blog post: Before & After: My Side Table

  • Reply Deana February 10, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Your “Girls Night” sounds like FUN! And cocktails & cookies are a definite MUST for getting creative! :-)

    Deanas last blog post: I am weird…

  • Reply Funmi February 10, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    My girlfriend and I have actually sat around and done this…Her husband thought we were insane…but it was really a lot of fun, and a great way to get the creativity flowing.

  • Reply Denise Smith February 10, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    My teenager and her friends have been doing this for years. They, however, do it to define their fashion style, not their design style. They love to cut and paste shirts with belts and shoes and add images from music they like.

    And BTW, for what ever reason, I am much more creative in silence.

    Denise Smiths last blog post: Wall o Words

  • Reply Andi-A February 10, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Perfect timing I am laboring over my first vision board, and have been clipping like a mad woman. I really really really need this board, and I have put it off for almost 3 years, now it seems I cant go on any further without it, don’t mean to be weirdly deep. Great heads up about the blog and the others mentioned by other bloggers, cause I was starting to feel really strange exposing and expressing my life vision, not just trying to create the next thing to sell. Just want to say big thanks Holly for sharing you never know what inspires, pushes, or validates who when.

  • Reply jerusalem February 10, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    there must be something in the air because I started working on my inspiration notebooks and board again this weekend. I love this idea of doing it with simple folders – will have to give that a try soon – especially for the rooms I am really wanting to make over!

  • Reply Rachel May February 10, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    This is perfect. I was having such a cruddy day today, but I’m going to do this before bed tonight. It’s bound to get me out of this funk. Thanks for the inspiration, and I LOVE your interpretation of it for your style. Very nice. I think a party with that would be really cool….I might have to steal that idea in the future.

    Rachel Mays last blog post: Why Interior Design?

  • Reply lou February 10, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    What a fantastic idea! Reminds me of the other night where I sat down with my collection of old scrap booking supplies to make a valentines day card for a friend who is feeling really down lately. I ended up making three! It’s such a nice way to relax.

  • Reply Yvonne February 10, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    The images are so lovely and inspiring Holly! Thanks!

  • Reply Beachtropic February 10, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    I’m going to start a journal tonight. My only problem is, I love nature as well, so a lot of my ‘inspirations’ are leaves and bits of driftwood and flowers etc. My flower press will have to come into play again and maybe I can photograph the driftwood. Anne@TheCitySage…why not photocopy them, that way you can keep mags plus cut and paste as well!
    Thanks so much for the inspiration Holly, stay tuned for an Aussie flavoured journal.

  • Reply Shell February 11, 2009 at 12:13 am

    I love all your pictures. I enjoy doing collage work. It relaxes me and opens up my mind creatively. A party would be a blast for you and your friends.

  • Reply fromtherightbank February 11, 2009 at 1:19 am

    I’ve been keeping journals like this for a few years but have been pretty shy about sharing them online. You and Record the Day (love her site) may just change my mind.

    fromtherightbanks last blog post: Philippe Starck

  • Reply anastasia February 11, 2009 at 1:21 am

    this is SO inspiring – i make these too but havnt in a while…
    i think everyone has a clippings folder …it would be a fun girl evening project – your pages are beautiful

    here is the link to some of mine if you’d like to see

    anastasias last blog post:

  • Reply Jeska February 11, 2009 at 3:00 am

    sounds like a fun group I’d like to join, maybe you could make a global group on flickr? I’m too far away : (

    Jeskas last blog post: Its raining, its pouring.

  • Reply February 11, 2009 at 4:01 am

    I absolutely LOVE your little works of art! You’ve definitly inspired me to do the same. (after I’m done with all my diy’s, I would feel very guilty starting another project.. Lol…)

    http://b-living.blogspot.coms last blog post: Bambusstoler – før og etter / Before and after shots of the Bamboo Chairs

  • Reply simplygrove February 11, 2009 at 4:02 am

    Wow, so inspiring!!

    simplygroves last blog post: Marimekko….

  • Reply Lisa February 11, 2009 at 4:08 am

    I am a HUGE fan of Record the Day. Love it.
    Love your collages too.

    Lisas last blog post: Quintessential Vintage

  • Reply Fernanda February 11, 2009 at 7:05 am

    I loved them all!

    Fernandas last blog post: Sorteio – Embrulhinhos de inspiração

  • Reply Hazel February 11, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Gee I love these. I’ve been keeping scrap books for years – although not as wonderful as these. My husband says if anyone wants to know who I am they can just look at my scrap books but because I don’t want my scrap books to be confused with “Scrapbooking” I don’t admit it to everyone.

    Hazels last blog post: The Flowering Calendar in Claude Monet’s Garden.

  • Reply Lauren February 11, 2009 at 9:48 am

    These are so beautiful! ‘Remembering’ is my favourite, so inspiring.

    Laurens last blog post: Little red – a4 art print

  • Reply Bethany at Emmy Lu February 11, 2009 at 12:06 pm


    This is so inspiring!! I love the simplicity of it, and the “creative messiness” that is encouraged here. Best of all… I like the idea of letting my mind and hands run away with “cutting and pasting”. Thanks for sharing!!

    Bethany at Emmy Lus last blog post: Tradition {Dogsledding Adventure}

  • Reply Allison February 11, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    i found record the day a few months ago and was inspired into an ocd-craze of cutting and pasting.
    i buy a cheap notebook for every month and fill it up. i use catalogs, found stuff, printed images from online and tutorials.

    i love your idea of a girls night. sounds fun!

    Allisons last blog post: inspire me:: 02.10

  • Reply Sue February 11, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I’ve been a massive fan of record the day for a while, such a great way of being creative and less frightening than a blank page in a book don’t you think? I love what you’ve done with your collages, i’ve been tempted to have a go myself but not quite there yet, i’m still in doodle mode at the minute, when I need inspiration on that front i’ll have a play with a collage.

    Sues last blog post: Aqua and Gold Greetings Card

  • Reply Jamie February 11, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    So pretty! I love making inspiration boards!

    Jamies last blog post: i do know jacques

  • Reply Keely February 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Oh wow, I love these! This kind of project really captures my imagination and whenever I see something similar I wish that I could set aside some time to make my own. This post has inspired me to try my own, maybe a once a week kind of thing! Also I love the idea of having a little girls night with cocktails and collages!

    Keelys last blog post: Grace in Small Things, Day 9

  • Reply Patia February 12, 2009 at 4:12 am

    These are all so gorgeous I can hardly stand it.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Reply Carolyn February 12, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Your folders are beautiful!! I’ve gone to a couple of yoga retreats with Kimberly Wilson (of the Hip Tranquil Chick fame), and we always have a session of collaging. It’s a WONDERFUL creative release, and a fun project to do with girlfriends!

    Carolyns last blog post: Clean Green

  • Reply Wren February 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    i started some “idea notebooks” like this some time ago to help me keep all my finds in some sort of order… one for holidays, one for house remodel stuff, one for crafting ideas… i posted on it here:

    Wrens last blog post: kitchen appliances & IKEA?

  • Reply Yashni Marad February 13, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

  • Reply Dayle February 15, 2009 at 2:35 am

    YAY!!! I am so glad I saw this post. I have been trying to find a new way to generate some ideas for work and my blog. I am definitely going to start this weekend. I feel so energized!

    Dayles last blog post: Give me chocolate

  • Reply Kelly February 16, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Stunning. I can see it becoming a wonderful weekly tradition for friends – “Record the Week.”

    Can you tell me where you got the images in “playing house?” There is so much there that I love.

    • Reply decor8 February 16, 2009 at 9:36 pm

      Kelly: I can’t be certain but the piano image is from Cottage Living and the right top corner image is def from Domino – I’m not sure where the bedroom image is from though.

  • Reply Kelly February 16, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Those were the two I was particularly in love with – thanks! ;)

  • Reply Sarah February 19, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    These are awesome! So beautiful! I’ve actually been doing something really similar for a few years now, though instead of using folders I’ve been pasting my clippings in a heavy-papered sketch book. It really is a great way to let creativity flow.

    Sarahs last blog post: Hump Day Favs

  • Reply Cheryl Elsbree Interior Design June 23, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    What a great way to catalog creative ideas. Sounds like a fun event to get together with firends and share each others inspiring ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Holly of So Chic Decor June 25, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Oooh, what a great idea. If nothing else, its a fantastic way to get your mind going. I absolutely love looking through design magazines and by creating collages, you can inspire yourself to do even more! Love it!

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