Find Inspiration

May 24, 2010

Have you ever found something while out on a walk — a stone, a shell, a feather — and taken it home only to realize what a tiny treasure you really have? Outdoors it may have appeared to be such a mundane find, but in the surroundings of your own home the item takes on a new look and feel. I found this random feather in the park near my house and brought it home and just as the sun was setting last night I admired it resting on the table near the window and thought that I should capture it with my camera (my husband gave me his Olympus DSLR so now I am officially learning how to use one, yay!). As I shot, I placed it on a few different surfaces to see how it would affect the mood and these are my favorite three shots.

Find Inspiration

Find Inspiration

Find Inspiration

Find Inspiration

Sometimes we need inspiration but have very little means of getting any whether that be lack of money to travel far, lack of motivation to change something in our life, lack of energy — the list goes on. Perhaps on your next walk outdoors you can look for something small and seemingly simple and bring it home with you and photograph it showing the object in three different moods. Think of what you are trying to show, a story you are telling, as you take the photos. Here I thought about how birds can represent so many things, freedom and wisdom (the wise old owl!) but also how very delicate and precious they are. And then I just clicked away and found something in the end that made me feel inspired and myself all over again.

(images: holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply Rambles with Reese May 24, 2010 at 6:29 am

    I just stumbled upon your blog and I really have to say how much I love the design and layout. Also, these photos are truly lovely, especially the one with the feather laying on top of the paper with letters and numbers. And it’s so true about the different sources of inspiration that’s out there.

    I look forward to reading more.


  • Reply Sue May 24, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Beautiful photos Holly. I so wish I had an SLR. A point and shoot is great for alot of images but they just don’t capture the depth an SLR can do they?
    .-= Sue´s last blog ..Hot Pink Triangle Pattern Collage =-.

  • Reply Caro-lines-images May 24, 2010 at 6:33 am

    I have a large rusty nail laying on some books. I fount it by some old railwaytracks, passing it by. Inspiration is never far away: I go outside on the lunchbreak, take a look in some old magazines or look in my inspiration-book: if I might have forgotten a good idea. Or look here :).

  • Reply Brianna May 24, 2010 at 6:52 am

    What a very nice little post.
    I’ll keep my eyes opened today! I’m at the beach, and there are always tiny things we bring home from a beach trip [like shells] but that’s so common right?
    I’ll keep my eyes open for something new and interesting!
    I’ll let you know if I have any luck!


  • Reply New England Fine Living May 24, 2010 at 6:53 am

    There is something so calming about the photos. I needed that this morning. Thanks!

  • Reply ishtar olivera May 24, 2010 at 6:54 am

    oh Is so god to have you back HOlly!!!
    all of these images are GREAT! wow! Before reading your post and realizing they were yours, I thought it was the portfolio of a photographer.. : )
    I hope you feel much better soon!!!!!

  • Reply Kristopher K May 24, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Beautiful photos … and inspiring words ;)

    and Yay! for learning how to use a DSLR – so on my “to do” one day list!
    .-= Kristopher K´s last blog ..Is it really the weekend … ? =-.

  • Reply Megan Zuniga May 24, 2010 at 7:50 am

    I love how’s it’s like a quill. Needs an ink jar beside it though. It would totally look like a quill and the letters already look like calligraphy.

  • Reply Labiba May 24, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Thanks, Holly! I needed this little bit of inspiration on this dreary NY Monday morning! Glad to have you back!! :)


    creativeBangladesh’s last blog: On turning 30

  • Reply Gina May 24, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Thank you for this post. I think I can face Monday, now.
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..before you make your garment =-.

  • Reply Make, Do & Send May 24, 2010 at 8:40 am

    I really love these images Holly :) I have a big smooth white stone on my desk that I found amongst all the regular stones on Brighton Beach. It was a bit of a drag lugging it around brighton all day but im so glad I did. Its really precious to me now, not just because its so beautiful but because if reminds me of such a lovely day trip with the boyfriend.
    .-= Make, Do & Send´s last blog ..Free Sunny Fiona Printable Poster =-.

  • Reply Jessica May 24, 2010 at 9:13 am

    ooh, I love that last one with the plain background, the texture of the feather really stands out. Thanks for this perspective today, heading into a busy day at work and these will be on my mind.
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..just one thing =-.

  • Reply carole May 24, 2010 at 9:16 am

    really like the photos of the feathers, I’ve done this in the past too, but I think your results are way better!

  • Reply claire May 24, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Beautiful! I’ve been thinking about inspiration lately. I went to an exhibit and saw how the designer was inspired by a creature with really large eyes — she made a lovely clutch with closures that mimic those eyes. Inspiration comes in many forms…all we have to do is look & pay attention :)
    .-= claire´s last blog ..Trying My Hand at Applique’ =-.

  • Reply Tricia Rose May 24, 2010 at 9:42 am

    An un-sung benefit of shortsightedness is being able to marvel at the details of things like feathers, sea-urchins, the pores of a leaf – as you get older you tend to lose this, so maybe it is truly seeing things like a child ~
    .-= Tricia Rose´s last blog ..Cross Stitch =-.

  • Reply Marthe May 24, 2010 at 9:56 am

    You take beautiful photos! I have a few nature finds around the house, but mostly branches and flowers. A feather would be nice too!
    .-= Marthe´s last blog ..How to get started with lomography =-.

  • Reply lauren May 24, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Thank you for the beautiful reminder. I’m an amateur photographer, and while I love travel photography, I have to constantly remind myself that I don’t need to go to a foreign country to be inspired. (“discovered” your site recently and will bookmark it). Best

  • Reply Kate @ Songs Kate Sang May 24, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Lovely, absolutely lovely!
    .-= Kate @ Songs Kate Sang´s last blog ..{Santa Monica, CA} =-.

  • Reply leslie May 24, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Your photographs are STUNNING my dear…really poetic…
    .-= leslie´s last blog ..Hello =-.

    • Reply decor8 May 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm

      Leslie thank you so much. I feel like a new person using a DSLR and almost like I could kick myself for holding back for so long (my husband gave me this camera a year ago!).

  • Reply Victoria Bennett Beyer May 24, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Gorgeous shots – they are all three equally beautiful.

    Some of my favorite photographs are of these sorts of treasures. It all began when I was young, and I still have a shoebox of birds’ nests and butterflies and smooth stones that I gathered when I was a child. I’m no different now. I pick up pretty leaves and acorns and even after I’ve photographed them, I have a hard time parting with them.
    .-= Victoria Bennett Beyer´s last blog ..Purple Clematis =-.

  • Reply charly May 24, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Some people say that when you find a white feather like that all on its own, its because a guardian angel has been around… you can come across them in the weirdest places sometimes.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente May 24, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    So beautiful and so inspirational hun….I am so happy you are back & so excited for you for your next trip. What a wonderful adventure!
    .-= Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog ..Pin-it-Forward: What home means to me.. =-.

  • Reply Amber Jordan May 24, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I needed this today! Thanks for this simple reminder. Congrats on your “new to you” camera..it is addicting!

  • Reply Carolyn May 24, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I have a little shell collection that sits on top of a wooden pedestal serving dish (I don’t know what it is actually called). My grandparents brought it back from Switzerland. Collecting the shells was such a fun, simple and almost childlike activity. They’re a nice reminder of our time at the beach a few months ago.

  • Reply Hayley Blease May 24, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    beautiful words holly! I am going to do this with my children this week. I think no matter what age we need to find something that is special, even if it is a simple feather, a rock or anything else we can find on our travels. thank you for the inspiration and reminding me about my pet rocks I had as a child.

    love the images!
    .-= Hayley Blease´s last blog ..a moment with a little sunshine on a cup =-.

  • Reply monica of hola!design May 24, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Great images! I love the first one. Pretty, pretty.
    .-= monica of hola!design´s last blog ..Chronicle Books Fellowship =-.

  • Reply Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas May 24, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    All your images are lovely, Holly!

    I really like the one with the feather laying on the lettering sheet and find it especially cool because where the shaft lays is on calligraphy style letters and numbers that a quill pen could have crafted.
    .-= Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas´s last blog ..Lovely Las Vegas: Stereomood =-.

  • Reply das. May 24, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    nice shot! and where u get the blue notebook? we use this kind of notebook when we were young in HK..
    .-= das.´s last blog ..Navy Blue Polka Dots Cotton Tote Bag with Dark Turquoise Cotton Base =-.

    • Reply decor8 May 25, 2010 at 2:15 am

      das. – It’s from Chinatown in London! It’s a school notebook for learning how to write Chinese characters. :)

  • Reply Carol@The Design Pages May 25, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Well if you decide you need a new career, you’re setting yourself up beautifully to become a photographer. Stunning shots.
    .-= Carol@The Design Pages´s last blog ..You Asked for It! – A Fabulous Front Hall =-.

    • Reply decor8 May 25, 2010 at 2:14 am

      Carol thank you but a photographer is something I would never become professionally — I’m just not technical enough!

  • Reply Étienne May 25, 2010 at 2:33 am

    What a lovely, inspiring post – I shall go walking tomorrow and see what I can see and then take photographs of my little treasure. Thank you in advance for opening my eyes once again to the beauty of appreciation and simplicity.

    Your photographs are stunning!

  • Reply Coco May 25, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Wow what a coincidence! This morning i just found some similar feather on the street while walking my children to school. I picked it up and brought it home of course. And now I’m checking your blog and you have a feather! haha Only mine is not so nice as yours. But it reminded me to look more carefully too notice the small treasures nature can bring us sometimes :-)

    This weekend we were off to the beach and i wish i could bring the sea breeze back home! I stayed at Sissy Boy ‘Paviljoen’ (beach-restaurant?) and felt so lucky and over-joyed! It was such a nice surrounding (well is Sissy Boy not always perfectly decorated?) and with the sea as a view you can only feeling happy i guess.

  • Reply Diana L May 25, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I love this post. This is how I feel every time I walk on the beach and find tiny pieces of sea glass, shells or heart shaped rocks. My favorite find is an Eagle feather. I call them free souvenirs. On the banks of the Rhine I took home river glass and a heart shaped rock. In the German Alps I found heart shaped rocks as well. These are my most treasured items from our holiday in Europe.
    .-= Diana L´s last blog ..Wow Green Sea Glass Pendant =-.

  • Reply Chloe C May 26, 2010 at 10:05 am

    lovely photos of the feather, Holly.
    I always drag something or other home from outside.
    A good stick. A good rock. A whole log….

  • Reply ArtShades May 27, 2010 at 5:11 am

    Love your depth of field experiments – I’ve been trying it out a lot lately since the lovely Lesley showed us how. I too was inspired by a feather – it ended up as a lampshade design! http://www.artshades.co.uk/blog/2010/03/three-takes-on-a-feather.html.html
    .-= ArtShades´s last blog ..Rhododendron – Bloom of the Week =-.

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