Cards and inspiration

Five note card set
I am so excited that my cards are finally in stock over at my Etsy shop! I had cards made of five of my most popular images; Hope, Seasons, Longing, Solstice and Beginning. I'm so pleased with how they turned out and I can't wait to give them as holiday gifts!
They will be for sale alone and also in 3 or 5 card sets. My favorite is the set of five cards with one of each image pictured above.

Thinking more and more about visual process makes me want to share more of my way of working with you! One of the ways that I stay inspired is through constantly collecting images. I always have my camera with me to capture inspiration in my daily life (photographing birds anyone?) and when ever I read I am looking for images that grab me. I love to read design magazines (oh I miss domino magazine). I have even been known to pour over wallpaper catalogues, spend hours in fabric stores, and lounge around with botanical illustration books. Since having children I have discovered a world of inspiring children's book illustrations.

I keep all of my collected images in file folders in my studio. When I am online and see an image that I love I drag it into a file that I keep on my desktop labeled "inspiration". Since I'm still a paper kind of girl, every so often I go through that file and print out the ones that still sing to me.

These are images that I refer to whenever I am feeling stuck, uninspired, looking for pattern or color scheme ideas or just need to rev-up my creative engines. I keep my current favorites pinned up on an inspiration wire next to my studio table. I really do find them every where...

This butterfly poster from the Museum of Natural History has been calling to me lately. Nature is endlessly inspiring.

I make an effort never to copy any of the images directly, rather I use them as a jumping off point. So often I am surprised where the ideas generated from one image will take me! Isn't that the excitement of the creative process!
How do you get inspired and keep your inspirational tools at hand? I'd love to know.