Friday, January 11, 2013

Life Before Pinterest

The room...

The inspiration?

Lately I have been visiting Pinterest and thinking about my inspiration pre- Pinterest.

I have always been a "tearer".

As I looked through my favorite magazines, I would tear out pages of things I loved, decorating ideas, recipes (for Steve to try), places we should visit, quotes...

You name it, I tore it out and had files of tear outs.

About 20 years ago, I began putting all the torn pages into books I spiral bound.

I created 39 books before I found Pinterest.

a few of the books on a shelf in the attic

I know the exact number for two reasons.  

I recently moved them to the attic and it was a pain to carry them up our pull-down attic stairs.

And, I numbered them to help a little for organization -it only helped a little.

I should have created a different book for each different interest  - like Pinterest boards.

Since I have been using Pinterest and reading magazines on my iPad, I rarely buy magazines anymore.

And with fewer magazines, I don't tear pages out.

So, no more books.

All 39 books take up a lot of space and I debated tossing the books.

Something told me to just keep them in the attic for now.

I am glad I did because yesterday I remembered an article I had torn out titled "What Makes It Cottage?"

When I got home from work, I pulled down the stairs and went in search of the article.

I remembered that it was before we moved to our present home so it would have to be in one of the lower numbers.

#7 to be exact.

they had to have titles

I used craft scissors so I didn't have to make straight lines

It was fun to flip through the books although I didn't make it through all 39 books.

What I noticed was:

my style has changed from book #1 to present day 


I actually followed through and copied looks I liked.

I bought or made things, decorated rooms and  visited places I pasted into the books.

For instance,

I found this photo of a sofa I liked 

and, until last summer, this was my sofa.

 I obviously was thinking about white slipcovers

long before I decided to make new slipcovers last summer.

I pasted these beach buckets into book #7

and here are two of my favorite pails. 

I wonder if this picture was torn out before or after we moved to the beach

because it seems that I got my inspiration from the picture above.

This picture must have sparked my interest in benches

because this is my coffee table bench today.

Who knew that when I tore this picture out

that I would one day have a dining room with mullioned windows.

Metal baskets filled with books?

Oh, yes.

Vintage linens?


And, these were just things I noticed in book #7.

What amazed me most was that I don't recall looking at the books before I bought things or decorated.

The images must have been burned into my brain.

How many ideas from the other 38 books made it into the house?

In 10 years, if I look back at Pinterest I hope I have copied a lot of my pins because I have a lot of great ideas there.

I am linked up at

No Minimalist Here - Open House Party

Common Ground - Be Inspired

Homespun Happenings - Rustic Restorations Weekend

It's A Hodgepodge Life - Hodgepodge Friday

My Romantic Home - Show and Tell Friday


  1. Good Morning Carol, How interesting that you found images which correspond with your home as it is now. I wonder, does this mean we are influenced by magazines, or do we really know our style and the magazines just confirm it. Love your colours.....bright and happy. Best Wishes Daphne

  2. Your little cottage by the sea is simply
    wonderful and decorated to feel the sea..
    Thanks so much for your visit to my blog
    and your lovely comments.
    Have a wonderful 2013

  3. You are so right--I bought magazines to tear...but pinterest makes it so much more convenient! (My early stuff was ver "Country Living," circa 1980. Definitely no longer my taste.) It is interesting to see how your aesthetic has developed. I have cleaned through my notebooks of magazine photos as I move from house to house (now number five) to eliminate the looks that won't work in the next home. Love your living room look!

  4. I get so much inspiration on blogs and pinterest, but I still like having the magazines and pictures in my hands to pour over. I love all the changes you've made in your very charming cottage!
    Mary Alice

  5. Pre-pinterest...heck, pre internet, I was a big magazine collector/reader. I have 1 book that I glued pages into. I couldn't bring myself to tear out the pages when they were already professionally bound and delivered right to my mail box!
    But now, like you, I don't want to toss them...I no longer buy them, because I have the internet. It's a wash- monetarily speaking. Magazines aren't cheap. Subscription or News stand prices; they all add up!

    I love seeing your follow through on so many ideas. I'd like to think I had follow through--but like the title of your little book there, I'm afraid a lot of mine, remain DREAMS.

    have a great week. Pat

  6. I was just getting ready to do a post (well on my list) of how buying magazines has been effected by Pinterest, so interesting to come across this! wow you were a tearer! love it.
    Your house reminds me of dear daisy cottage, her blog was my favorite, it is still open but she has moved now. If you have never visited you should, I think you would love it!

  7. I used to tear out things I liked from magazines and file them but not quite to the extent you have done! It is fascinating to see so many of those ideas have appeared in your home.Thank you for your encouraging words.
    Sarah x

  8. How interesting! I wish you could share all the books with us, but hey, that's what Pinterest is all about these days! Great invention. I'm addicted, that's for sure.


  9. That's awesome! Ha! I have binders...something neat about flipping through pages! I'm glad you kept them! It is fun, like you said to look back! I will have to follow you on there!

  10. i've been looking through my old collections i tore from magazines, and find i still like things i liked years ago. i love how you've been inspired by your images.
    i'd like to find some of those metal baskets!

  11. I did the same thing and my pages are kept in two large binders. I go through them occasionally and update by tearing out the pages that are no longer my style. Your home is lovely and I especially like the slipcovered sofa and the checked pillows. Thanks for joining the Open House party and have a great weekend. xx, Sherry

  12. I have a large folder... lots of the pictures are from 30 yrs ago, but I can still use them. I use Pinterest, too, and love it! Have a great weekend.

  13. How neat that you did this. I'm glad that you held on to them. What a great way to remember and journal your change in taste and style! I just bought a metal egg basket yesterday and love it! Have a great weekend!

  14. Oh how wonderful. I love your books and how by osmosis you created what you were looking at. Of course your home is just wonderful. I think you could do something with those books here on your blog. I have magazines that I have saved over the years and sometimes remember something and go searching for it, but I had not ever thought to do tear outs and put them in a book like you have. Five Star rating, and have a happy day. xo

  15. And I'm fixing to pin some of your home images to my Pinterest!

  16. I thought I was the only one who tore up magazines and put the photos in notebooks. Everyone who knew me would ask to see my books when they needed inspiration for their homes. With my last move I decided it was time to do something about them and took pictures of the ones I still loved and uploaded them to my computer.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I think I knew myself well enough that the pictures I was saving were things I also looked for in my homes. So many of the places could be compared, like yours, to the photos I kept.

  17. Your beach cottage is so charming! I also use yellow and reds in my decor, as well.

  18. Love your home, especially your coffee table bench! What a creative idea. Thanks so much for visiting! Happy creating.
    Warm regards,

  19. Do you remember how people would make visual boards of what they wanted in life? That is what your post reminds me of! And yes, it does seep into our subconscious ready to appear when it's the right time. Great job on showing us the transformation and how it came to be! Loved it!

  20. I used to do the same thing! Only mine are in a binder in those clear sleeves. I also thought about getting rid of it, but as I looked through it, I remember liking the pictures so much. That was why I originally pulled them out and kept them. So for now, the binder sits on a shelf in my sewing/craft room. I think of it as revisiting a decorating book and looking at some of my favorite pictures again.

  21. I know!!! I have a couple of unorganized binders of pictures from one time when I thought that was easier than storing all the magazines. Then I decided it was easier to go through the magazines and just tear out all the ad's, so I also have a pile of thinner magazines. And then there is the piles and piles of the full sized ones that I didn't do either of those things too. Thank goodness for Pinterest!


  22. This is such a fun post. I did the same thing with magazines. Actually, I still do. I just recently caved and joined Pinterest. I was trying to resist. Thought it would mean more time on the Comp. But really, I just pin when I visiting a blog and don't go back that often. I only have two binders, but one also with quotes or poems I like for my chalkboard. Your home is so cozy and you have certainly filled your inspiration. I adore your beach pails and your red bench table. I would love for you to link this to Share Your Cup Thursday.

  23. I was just thinking about that the other day how Pinterest and blogging has changed my interest in magazines. What a great library of ideas. It seems a little like a photo album of your likes over the years--fun! Thank you for sharing this at Rustic Restorations Weekend!

  24. I never did that but always enjoyed looking at decorating magazines.For years I held on to them.But then pinterest came along and changed my world LOL!

  25. I just love your style Your place is darling:)

  26. I don't need magazines anymore now that I blog hop . So much inspiration! Love your checks, I'm a check lover myself, lost count of hoe many I have in my decor. And your colors!!!!