Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Drawer of Unfinished Projects (DOUP)

Some beaders may throw up their hands when a piece isn't working, step away from it, come back, rip it apart and start over - sometimes more than once until they get something they can live with.

I'm not much of a rip-it-up and start over sort of beader. I tend to doggedly continue on a piece even when it isn't working out in the hope that I'll be pleasantly surprised at the end. Also, I hate to waste beads and my time. Uhm, wait a minute, I think I just belied myself.

At any rate, all beaders have a drawer (OK, drawers) full of unfinished projects. Sadly, hardly any project I put in there ever makes it out to become a finished piece. I'm not sure why. Probably because they all bear the burden of way too much time spent on them for not enough return. Maybe as I get older I realize I don’t want to be found dead in my bead room with a reject in my hands. Time gets pretty tyrannical as we use it up.

But I came to realize that my DOUP functions as the bead equivalent of a diary:  Oh yeah, I was really interested in that stitch at one time - look what I was trying to do with it. These projects are stepping stones in my beading education and for that I treasure them. They show me where I've come from and how I got here.

There is another class of unfinished projects that are in bead limbo.  I haven't consigned them to the DOUP, but I'm not that interested in working on them. Yet they still have a faint glamour of possibility that makes me keep them Out Here in the bead room.  Some have been sitting out for years but do eventually get finished.  Others are elaborate projects by some of my favorite bead designers that involve making multiple, varied components and are victims of Enough, Already!  Syndrome, where I spend hours and hours of beading something and, just when the light really is at the end of the tunnel, I lose interest. Why do I do this? Only a few more hours are needed, finish it!  Then you can wear it!  But alas, perversity will have its way.

I think this is the mentality of someone who has a different day job than beading. Mood and whim are the attraction and bane of beading for fun.  I know there are a whole host of other banes and attractions if you bead for a living, but that’s someone else’s post to write.

Here’s one piece that will probably never be completed as I don’t do much bead looming any more. It’s been useful as it is for when I do presentations about beadwork to groups – a ready-made example of a work in progress. Forever and ever.


  1. I think I need a whole chest for my unfinished projects! Every once in a while I will go through a stack,or pile, and actually take some apart and put the beads away!!

  2. Now, Kay you know you can always tear those pieces apart and use the beads! Maybe someday you will look at them in a different way and try to re-purpose the project!