I did some holiday shopping and bought a couple of things for myself. One I bought for embroidery reference will surprise you. It's Tattoo Sourcebook by the editors of Tattoofinder.com. It has 516 pages of mostly tattoo designs. The introductory chapter on tatooing was interesting, but it was the designs that caught my attention. Many of them would make great embroidery motifs. I plan to use some. But not this one:
I do like dragons and here is a sweet one:
Here's something very pretty for a music themed block:
The images are divided into categories, each section beginning with a history, paragraph on symbolism and something specific about the tattoos in the category. From this I got some info about symbolism for the "wisdom" block I'm planning. During Betty Pillsbury's class at the Crazy Quilt Adventure in April, I embossed a piece of velvet with the word "wisdom." It's to be part of a block with other words meaning wisdom such as "sophia." I learned that the salmon represents wisdom to the northeast Indians and the feathered serpent was a wisdom god to the Aztecs. With an owl, those images should make a very wise block.
Look everywhere for cq inspiration.