Lets try and make this useful and not ONLY complain about how crappy inscription is now.
If you find a pattern, let us know as best you can what dropped it. If you happen to find a pattern on a vendor, limited supply or such, please mention that. Any hints on skilling up, your welcome to add.
Drops of patterns found:
Origami Slime - Found in Vashir from a male naga during the very first quests underwater. 480 skill required to learn/make its green from 480 to 490 skill.
Origami Rock - Didnt find myself but Guildie says she had it drop in Deepholm 490 skill required, green from 490-500 skill.
Origami Beatle - Unknown
Patterns that use Dreamcloth are available in Twilight Highlands, Dragonmaw Orc vendor.
I'm an Inscriptionist/ Tailor so will comment on my results so far.
Tailoring: So far I've only fully done the Vashir zone, and the cloth drops were rather rare here, usually only from naga or other humanoid creatures. It has been said that the cloth drops in early zones is very low and thats more likely due to the mostly non humanoid creatures you fight in these zones compared to others. The drop rate picks up greatly from uldum on I have heard. I've gotten less then a dozen bolts made and I havent tried to skill this up seriously until i get more of a stockpile.
Inscription: I decided to play with this last night. I bought about 200 herbs from the auctionhouse, Heartblossom seems to be the lowest priced ones and after a little research it doesnt look like you need to bother buying the more expensive or rarer ones as there is only one new type of common pigment and one rarer pigment, all obtainable from every new herb. The higher end ones may yield better results of rare pigments but considering the state of inscription and the obvious lack of work put into it for this expansion so far, its unlikely.
I started out by making scrolls of X, got about 5 points from each as they were learnable (orange skillups). It went pretty quickly. Then i got to the Adventures Journal. This relatively cheap item is going to be probably a very nice perk to have so i made as many of these as i could before it went yellow skill, and by this time i was at about 475 skill and i continued to make these until i hit 480 as i knew i would have use for them being only level 82 so far and the xp bonus they can supply would help me anyway. At 480 i had the origami slime pattern drop for me early on and after looking at the options im glad i did, 480-490 went by and i think i got lucky only having to make about 35 origami slimes to skill up this range even if they were green the whole time. Right now the only items that grant skill are relics or expensive offhands, so im going to wait and hope i get the origami rock drop to cover 490-500. At that point the engravings are available along with lots of other receipes so will write more then.
FYI: The Adventure journal is a 4 hour cooldown one use item that grants you an hour long buff thats random. The results possibilities are:
15% increase to xp earned
15% damage to beasts
chance to proc with spells or weapons a heal
(and I think 2 more that i cant remember).
Adventurers Journal CANNOT be used at 85.
Thanks to Shryke for this:
Primer on Archeology
Ok, quick primer on Archeology:
You start off with just 4 sites in Kalimdor and 4 sites in Eastern Kingdoms. These will not appear in Uldum.
They will be only Night Elf, Troll, Dwarf and Fossil.
Any spillover fragments, even those from keystones, will go to your next project. So just use keystones whenever you can.
The next project you get is completely random. However, you will never get duplicates till you've gotten all the available projects (baring some special cases I'll talk about below). So if you are getting duplicates when you are below 525, you've gotten all the artifacts for that race that are available to you now.
Remember though, not all projects are available at all levels. Alot of the projects are skill level restricted, so some of them won't start appearing till your skill gets high enough to unlock them. For instance, if you almost exclusive do NE artifacts (pretty easy if you just stay on Kalimdor), you will be getting a bunch of duplicate commons in the 100s because some of the commons need a higher skill level before you unlock them.
As you level up, you'll start getting more then 3 fragments per looting. This will gradually increase till it tops out at 3-6 fragments somewhere in like the late 300s. It's still always 3 digs per site though. This means, at max level, you get 9-18 fragments per dig, plus a chance at keystones.
Keystones give you +12 fragments. There are no Fossil keystones. The spot to use them is just below the progress bar for a particular project. You can use between 0-3 keystones per project. The more fragments an item takes, the more keystones you'll be able to use on it. Basically, anything that takes less then about 33 will not let you use keystones. Anything between about 34-43 will let you use 1. Anything in the 40s will let you use 2. And the big rare items that take ~100+ will let you use 3.
Because you can only use a certain number of keystones per project and excess fragments spill over to the next project, you should ALWAYS use as many keystones as possible to maximize speed.
1-100: You get skill ups from looting artifacts till 100. After that, it's a grind of 5 skill ups per artifact completed all the way to 525. I'd suggest not completing any artifacts till you've hit 100 to maximize gains from looting.
300: At 300, you will open up 4 new sites in Outland. Outland sites are only Orc or Dranei.
Leveling in Outland is pretty quick since the vast majority of the spawns will be in Hellfire/Terrokar/Nagrand/SMV. You occasionally get sent to Netherstorm or Zangarmarsh, but it's not very common. With only 2 races to work on and sites pretty close together, you can quickly level in Outland and get all the artifacts for both races. (The rares for these 2 races are unlocked right from the start)
375: Now Northrend opens up with 4 more sites, bringing you to a total of 16 possible sites. Northrend has Vyrkul/Nerubian/NE/Troll sites available. More annoying to level here, especially since Vyrkul sites are BY FAR the most common, but they have very few artifacts, so you will quickly be making duplicate Vyrkul artifacts while trying to get the very rare Nerubian sites to pop up.
450: Once you hit 450, Kalimdor sites have a chance to appear in Uldum and these sites grant Tolvir fragments. These are pretty rare though. It's gonna be a grind.
The only other thing to note is that while the initial 4 races (NE/Troll/Dwarf/Fossil) have tiny projects, the rest of the races are either 45 fragment projects, or 100 fragment projects. But this means, if you lucky, you can use 2-3 keystones per item. This means they tend to level faster, as long as you are decently lucky with the keystone drops.
Anyway, getting back to how artifacts are selected, most of them will not take that long. At high skill levels, you will have unlocked all the available ones and you just need to cycle through common ones till the rare interesting artifacts pop up.
HOWEVER, not all of them are guaranteed. The 2H Troll Sword, the NE trinket and probably a few other of the nicer items are NOT guaranteed to appear. (This may or may not apply to the Fossil pet and mount, I'm not sure) They are a completely random, low chance to appear as your next project for that race. This means you can be 525, have completed all the troll artifacts available except the Epic Sword, and you will still be getting duplicate commons over and over and over again, without ever seeing the sword.
So, basically, you are NOT guaranteed to ever see the fun lvl 85 shit.
The only other thing to note is that most races don't have many items. It's very easy to get every item for Vyrkul, Orc and Dranei and all the non-rare-epics from Troll and Fossil. Most of the goodies are in Tolvir and Night Elf, with a few in Dwarf. Nerubian has only a few too, but their sites are rare to get so it's hard to get all their stuff.
So generally at max level, your gonna be grinding in Kalimdor for NE stuff and hoping Tolvir sites pop. The only thing you want that you won't find a ton of on Kalimdor is Troll. For that you'll have to hit EK or Northrend.