Here's a picture that I took during a our tour of Ephesus, Turkey. It was a fantastic day spent amounts the ruins, I had no idea that the city once had more than 250,000 inhabitants. If you ever get a chance to tour the ruins, don't turn it down!
One of the photos I took had so many ideas for design, whether you choose appliqué, paint, stitch, embroidery.....
Here's the full photo:
How about this as a repeating border design or painted shadows.
More plumes, but a really great design along the bottom.
More plumes or leaves and a little beaded line underneath.
Now, how about these leaves, gorgeous line and shadow.
Do these give you some ideas of what is possible by just looking and trying to use small sections of a picture?