Okay, so the drawing wasn't really priceless, just fervently searched for.
Let me back up a little bit.
I am currently working on a commission and the client really loves a couple of my Emergence series pieces and wants some elements from them in her piece. As you can imagine, designing the new piece with those elements is far easier if you have the original drawings.
That was where I thought my "save everything" nature would help me out. The problem? When you save everything, there is so much stuff that it is hard to find what is really important.
I knew where the dye formulas were. I had them in hand in about a minute. Score!
Next I went downstairs to look for the full-sized cartoons. I knew that I hadn't thrown them out, though I was sorely tempted, when I packed up my Santa Fe studio. I also knew they were in a couple long skinny boxes. Found and found. Two minutes for both the paper line drawing and the acetate upside down weaving copy.
Searched my one flat-file shelf downstairs. Found some cool stuff I had forgotten about, but no Emergence drawings. I put on some shoes and crawled under the stairs where we have some boxes full of things we'll "never need"... after climbing under tubs of stored yarn and sifting through the empty boxes (stored for the next inevitable move), I realized the drawings weren't going to surface.
At that point I gave up. I sat down to re-create the new cartoon from scratch.
But wait! The term "flat file" jogged something in the back of my brain. I remembered an old plastic file box that was shoved in the back of my closet that had received some papers in the Santa Fe move. After moving a good quantity of spinning fiber, I opened the box and right in the middle was a lovely file labeled "Emergence series". Bingo. The drawing I needed was at the back of that file.
I'm off to draw a cartoon. Dyeing by the end of the week if the client likes it!