Lucky me, time spent in my shop doesn't feel much like work. I don't love shipping, but the rest of it is rewarding. A great day is when I have a nice block of unscheduled time, hot coffee, emails are caught up, music on, and I feel like creating. The hours just disappear!
I start by following random searches on Pinterest, then spend time on Flickr. I'm looking for pictures of places or things that inspire a design, pattern, or color scheme. It's especially rewarding to discover a nature photograph that has perfect color harmony.
It's great fun to run a photo through the Chip It! tool and see what you get. I like to overlay my inspiration photo on my design graphics to show the color group's relationship to a real world item or place.
But I've had fun with Chip It! in my hobby time as well. Recently, my family worked together on an embroidered baby quilt for my niece's firstborn. I roughed out the arrangement of our 'Cinderella' themed blanket and transferred the words and pictures onto fabric.
Next, I downloaded a Google Image of the Cinderella DVD case and put the image through the Chip It! process. I printed out copies of the results and when I handed out the embroidery to the Aunts and Cousins, I also gave them a Cinderella Chip It! It may have been a little bit controlling, but I feel like the result was worth it.
The colors everyone used for their embroidery really meshed and the blanket was adorable. I took the Chip It! to the fabric store to guide my choices for the fabric strips I needed and it was so helpful to use. I forgot to take a photo when the borders and back were on, but here it is almost finished. It was a fun, collaborative project!