I've slept on it, and come to a decision. i am abandoning my not very far along idea for the TIF challenge, and going with a design based solely on the color scheme Sharon provided as an alternative. And I've learned some things about my design process in all this.
First, moving from words to visual image is very difficult for me. It sometimes feels like my brain is bifurcated (split, if you don't speak legalese!) when it comes to words and images. And that is especially true when it comes to concept words rather than descriptive words.
I've also learned that the computer is not the best place for me to start to develop a design. I need the tactile experience of the fabric and thread. if I run into a roadblock with those, then using the computer to hash out options is fine. But don't start there.
So, we are halfway through the month, and I am back to square one. Originally, the colors did not appeal to me- no zinger, no hot accent color! But they have started to grow on me, and I think I can develop an abstract design using them. I got the DMC colors from another participant's blog, so I'll track those down this week and use them to go through my stash for fabric.
I do so envy those who manage to develop designs in a very linear, straightforward way. i often feel like I'm going in circles looking for the way out! But, as Jane Steinberg says, that's just one for the crap quota we all have!