When to Give Up on a Project

Some handmade projects cannot be salvaged. Some ideas don’t pan out. Some hours will be wasted. Some supplies will be ruined. Some capacity of emotions will be spent. It’s just the nature of the biz and we can chalk it up to a lesson learned and move on.

A project is especially doomed from the start if I don’t start it off right. Take this floating bridal necklace, for example. Because of the shape I cut the tulle to begin with, the finished piece simply does not work. Sure, it looks fabulous when laying down on a flat surface and posing for a picture. (Although my dirty mind can’t help but adhere the general shape to male genitalia. Shhh.) But once worn, the applique drapes in the middle and the whole design is distorted. Basically, it looks like a piece of crap.

I should have given up right away. I should have chalked it up to a “learning experience” (rainbows, unicorns, and all that other good-feeling shyte.) But I didn’t. I stubbornly tried adjusting the ribbon tie so it would change the angle.

That didn’t work.

So then I tried to add additional, stiffer tulle along the right and left sides to try to prevent the piece form collapsing in on itself. That still didn’t work.

Finally, I decided I am too sick of this piece and it is reminding me too much of a male naughty bit, so I am tossing it aside. It will sit in a bin in my art room and wait menacingly for me to try yet another doomed effort at reprimanding that will suck my time and creativity dry.

Learn from my lesson. Give up on such haunting projects while you still can. Your time is better spent on projects that don’t mock your design skills with such mercilessness.

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4 thoughts on “When to Give Up on a Project

  1. Barbara April 30, 2012 at 7:45 am Reply

    Enjoyed your post, especially your honesty at admitting what it looks like! :)

  2. Suzie April 30, 2012 at 11:30 am Reply

    It’s true…sometimes you just have to hang it up. Been there myself, many times.

  3. paxdesignjewelry April 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm Reply

    Thanks for bringing this up! I frequently get a “brilliant” idea that just doesn’t make it in the real world. After spending waaaaay too much time on it, I feel guilty that I wasted so many hours or even days. I have to learn when to fold.It’s depressing too when I get to thinking that I’m just not good enough to puzzle out my idea. Sigh. I know it’s crazy, but I guess this is part of the process. Your ‘naughty” photo is going up on my inspiration wall to remind me that even the most talented jewelry artists have to let it go sometimes! Thanks again!

  4. thebeadden April 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm Reply

    Oh, Megan, I’ve been there more times than I’d care to admit. I can see why you kept trying. I can see it being a beautiful piece.

    You are right, by tossing them aside, you never know when you can put it to use with something else. I have a small bin full of these.

    It’s a good thing we can always re-use the beads!

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