Taking a walk in the woods is a surefire way to synthesize ideas and sort out new projects in my head. The air is clear and the birds are good company. Inevitably, I come home with a few bits of tangible inspiration- leaves, branches, sprigs of this and that. I find botanical patterns fascinating. To reduce the shapes into simple silhouettes, I use the sun when it's high overhead. I photograph the shadows so that I can incorporate them into stencils, stamps, illustrations and embroidery later on. It's really quite simple. If you're looking for interesting patterns and shapes for your own designs give it a try.
The only tools you'll need are your camera and the sun. This will work most times of the year, but fall stalks and weeds are especially stark and lend themselves to shadows beautifully.
Bet,you can find some interesting materials out your back door, too. Try a neighborhood park to expand your repertoire. This is quiet, meditative work that doesn't take very long, but will slip you into an instant peaceful state. If your children are about, they'll enjoy it too... they are expert foragers, as you know. Have a wonderful weekend, friends!