An idea - this is how it begins: An image! (Needlepoint is slow to stitch, so I won't get this done, obviously, by tomorrow - but I can get the canvas painted.) When I first saw the colors for April, my immediate thought, was the Australian Aborigene art and the old Amerindian pottery - mainly the Pueblo pottery of New Mexico. I first saw this beautiful ceramic when I was about 7 years old, and visiting Santa Fe with my parents. At that time, of course, it was the color and form I liked, with no thought to how it was made or where the colors came from for the decoration - or the meaning of the decorative motfs. It wasn't until I enrolled in a pottery class at the local art museum several years ago (something I have always wanted to do, but had no time for in college) that I realized what a wonder these things are - they are totally coil built! Amazing how uniform the shapes are, and how smooth the surfaces. The study of the flora and fauna and other shapes and their symbolism is an area I want to get into, and have now ordered some books - so interests change! (Last year it was the exuberant and flamboyant Mexican Talavera-style ceramics) The illustration is an Acoma pot from the mid 19th century - from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. I browse there often just to look at these wonderful works of art. The Mimbres pottery too is a great source for design, as it is more conventionalized in pattern - so quite mathematical, which is what I enjoy. The next step in this process, happily, was to go to the LNS for threads and beads to use in the stitching. (I always love a valid excuse for spending money on these things). I had a bit of trouble with the golden/orange, so had to opt for the Splendor silk with some beads a bit more subdued, which will, I think, get the mottled effect of the color on the pot. The Sundance beads, fortunately, have many colors in the finish that isn't glittering or sparkling -so will just add some textural interest to the piece. The simplicity of this work would not be suitable for doing textured "fancy" stitches, but it does need something to jazz up the needlework a bit. I have already made a rough sketch of the motifs on the pot, and now just have to rearrange and clean it up a bit - and with artistic license, create a wonderful decorative accessory for my home! Tomorrow, which is the last day of April, I will show the painted canvas!