Taken in Glacier National Park, I couldn’t help but notice the reflection here. Hmmm…is this nature’s inspiration for a ‘snowflake’ design??

After three weeks of camping our way through the Rocky Mountains – from Colorado to Montana – as well as the Badlands and the Black Hills, we arrived home to the sweltering heat and humidity of Minnesota.  Tired and looking forward to such creature comforts as showers and comfortable beads, we also came back very much rejuvenated and inspired by the abundance of nature’s gifts.  Despite one’s best attempts at photography, it is nearly impossible to ‘capture’ the feelings one has when standing on a mountainside full of colorful spring flowers…or gazing at a mirror reflection on a lake nestled in majestic mountain ranges.   However, I can assure you that all these experiences will likely serve as a resource for future designs and creations.

Nature never ceases to amaze me!  So now, as I catch up on 3 weeks of mail, gardening, and other assorted daily tasks, new ideas are already spinning in my head!  Some will present themselves sooner than others.  I will share a few of my photos that are encouraging my senses to respond!  Perhaps, you too, will be inspired – if not by my photos, then maybe your own.

Nature’s formal symmetry….another ‘snowflake’ inspiration?

Wow! Look at all the beautiful colors here!

Beautiful patterns, colors, and textures…all waiting to inspire.

I have a fairly simple camera and I don’t believe that you need a particularly fancy camera to capture images that provide inspiration. Today, technology has allowed even the most inexpensive cameras to take really good pictures. Of course if you find yourself enjoying ‘the hunt’ – finding designs, textures, colors – and have the resources to invest a bit more, there is a wide variety of cameras and lenses out there that will allow you to have a lot of fun. While a newer, fancier camera is tempting, I tend to think I’d rather spend the extra money on things like more wool felt!!

Doesn’t this look like there’s a little seed bead at the end of all those hairy spikes?

I’m not much for yellow, but I adore this soft creamy version

I love blue flowers and especially enjoy the graceful repetition of the flower forms in this picture. Repetition is one of design’s tools!

So, enough for photos and inspiration. I am blessed to have been able to travel and see so many of nature’s wonders. I wish for all of you to be able to get out where ever you are and find the gifts in your environment!

Prior to leaving on this trip, I promised that I would begin a tutorial on the construction of one of my patterns – Fall Leaves. I spent yesterday organizing all the photos I took while making the topper (there are over 80 of them!). They are ready to go and tomorrow I will begin posting the tutorial on the blog. I am hoping that this will provide you a sense of how my patterns function as well as some of the techniques I use working with wool felt. While I will be working with the Fall Leaves pattern, the basic principles will apply to any of the other patterns.

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