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life & design

finish fifty - a creative girl's attempt to finish what she started

Well, here we go–a big and brand new series for a brand new, beautiful year.

Here is a little something to know about me: I tend to be one of those mad-scientist-makers that goes into a frenzy with a new idea, leaving a trail of forgotten, half-made beautiful things in my wake. My creative madness makes bringing projects through to execution challenging–directions, patterns, tutorials, and marketing easily fall by the wayside. Ideas come in waves and droves, really (also overwhelming, which I’ll save for another discussion), but the completion part takes the effort, the blocking, finishing ends, sewing in the lining, snipping the threads, packing it up, all are difficult.

You’d think this veritable rainbow of UFOs (unfinished objects) would simply be forgotten, headed for the dustbin, but I still love 90% of the ideas, and I think you would too. I know what inspired them, why I was making them, and for whom the little creative beings were intended. Their unfinished sadness nags at me–those little stresses you’re not supposed to have. I keep wanting to go back, pull them out and finish, yet I get distracted by the busyness of life and the next grand idea. Just look at the loveliness peeking out of these bins–can’t you hear them yelling, “me, next!”

I never felt the urge to wrap up these projects more keenly than as I was packing up my studio for the move (back in JULY!). I started to go through all my handmade projects in my studio one by one, including fabulous knitting, crochet, sewing, jewelry and finger-knitting ideas, in order to organize them into bins. I mercilessly gave away oodles of the kids’ toddler toys, just to accumulate more empty bins for my hoard of projects–some of them dating back 10 years or more!

I neatly organized one project per bin–until I plum ran out of bins, and then I had to double down. And, the photos don’t include all bins! As I frantically stuffed one more project into an overwrought bin, it occurred to me that my life would feel lighter and easier if I could just finish what I started. So this is my new year’s goal, to

50 projects. I know it’s a lot. I won’t tell you–okay, I will–that I actually counted over 100 projects that needed finishing, all at varying levels of completion, ranging from a notebook sketch to something just waiting for a test knitter. I won’t write patterns or tutorials for every one, unless the demand is sky-high. Some will have to be re-purposed or gasp, I’ll just have to give one or two up as a bygone idea. Some of them, I’ll simply finish, photograph, and send off happily to a new owner. For others, I can’t wait to share the tutorial or pattern. Can you imagine how much lighter I’ll feel as I pick up these waylayed, orphaned projects and set them free? What do you think? Do you have a lot to finish? Tell me about your secret stashes of unfinished goodies.

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