Monday, April 28, 2014

The Summer of Unfinished Projects

I am the worst type of crafter. I never finish projects. Never.

Oh, I begin with grand ideas and good plans, but somehow I never seem to finish. My projects usually begin in much the same way:

Step 1: I am inspired. Whether from a fellow blogger's beautiful project, or from something I spy at a craft store, or from my own imagination, I become inspired by an idea.

Step 2: Plan the project. I then spend countless hours working out in my mind just how I am going to do the project, what I want it to look like when it is done, and what materials I'll need to finish it. This might take a little thought, as with a stamped embroidery piece, or a lot, as with an embroidered piece begun from scratch. Regardless of the complexity of the project, I will spend hours obsessing over the details.

Step 3: Purchase the materials. And try to minimize the inevitable guilt at the bigger-than-I-expected final cost with the thought that this project I WILL finish, and it will look SO BEAUTIFUL when it's done.

Step 4: Dive right in. Spend all my waking hours working on this, to the exclusion of my house, my schoolwork, my kiddo (as much as she lets me), my husband. And when I am not working on the project, then I am thinking about the project.

Step 5: Something gets in the way. I might become frustrated because it isn't turning out as nice as I wanted (this is especially true in the case of a gift I am trying to make for someone else-- my standards are ridiculously close to perfectionist). Or I get bored. Or life gets in the way. For what ever reason, I "temporarily" stop working on the project. And somehow never get around to it again.

Step 6: Repeat.

But not this summer. This summer I am bound and determined that I will finish at least five unfinished projects, and start and finish a project I planned years ago but never got around to beginning. This summer will be different.

Here are the selected projects, as modeled by our kitty, Ricky (forgive the poor lighting, it was evening when I took these):

Here Ricky is helping to show the first UFP I will complete, which is also the one I am the most ashamed of having never finished. It was intended to be a gift for my mother, and I started it in Summer 2001-- 13 years ago!
 The project itself is a bread cover w/ a Delft Blue Heart pattern worked in cross-stitch in each corner. The corner showing is the only corner I've completed. My goal is to have this done by my mom's birthday in July.

This next project is second because it is my second oldest UFP. It is a pair of embroidered pillowcases w/ pink and yellow flowers. I started this as an engaged woman in Spring 2009.

 This is also the project that I am the closest to completing. All I have left, as you can see below, are three small flowers and the stem and leaf work on half of one pillowcase. An afternoon's worth of work. There is so little left to be done that I might finish this one first, just for the confidence booster of successfully completing a project. I'd like to have this done by my birthday next month.

The third project on my list is another pair of pillowcases. These are ones that I drafted did from scratch, using purchased pillowcases and an iron on embroidery pattern. The pattern is of flowers in vases repeated three times, with the flowers in deep red and the leaves in green.  This one is a bit more work than the first two. I have to finish the flowers and stems on one pillowcase, and then do the vases and ribbons underneath the vases on each. Originally intended as a wedding present for my cousin, my goal is to finish it in time to be a present for their second wedding anniversary in August.

 Some what seen at the top of the above photo, and in better detail below is my fourth unfinished project. Although my most recently begun, I started this a month ago, it requires the least amount of work of the three least finished projects. It is a pre-stamped pair of monogramed pillowcases with cross-stitch letter and flowers. I have the "O" and half of the flowers completed on the first pillowcase, and everything to do on the second. I have no real time goal for this one beyond the general goal of finishing everything by September 1.

The next two projects are low on my priority list simply based on the sheer amount of work I have left to accomplish. Below is a dresser scarf I started as an intended compliment piece to the first set of pillowcases. This is the only project thus far that I have done completely from scratch-- I measure, cut, and sewed the fabric, and then traced the pattern from a book. It is meant to have lattice work with a flower border at each corner and a single flower on each side in the middle. Thus far I have traced the pattern on one corner, and done the lattice work on that corner. I still have to trace the pattern on the other three and the middle flowers, and then embroider everything. On top of that, I'd like to add ribbon and lace to the edge, but that's a decision I can save for later.

Finally, here is my yet to be begun project. It is meant to be a pair of pillowcases with blue and yellow daisies embroidered on it. 

My goal is that by the end of the summer all of these projects will be completed.
For those who craft, what are your tricks for completing projects? I need all the help I can get!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Renewing my blog....

I was gone a long time.....

When I wrote my last post, my daughter looked like this:

 And now she looks more like this:

(Actually, this is from last summer-- she's even bigger now)
Then, I was at stay at home, brand new mom wondering what the future was going to be. Now I am a nursing student (although I am on semi-hiatus at the moment), the (somewhat) more experienced mom of an active three year old, and still wondering what the future will hold. So, I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same....
My plans for this renewed attempt at blogging are many and diverse. I have some bubbling thoughts on future posts (maybe even series) on society, crafting, home and all the wonderful bits in between. My goal is to, at first, attempt to post once a week, twice at the most, but that is likely to vary greatly (especially with a six week General Chemistry II course staring me in the face at the beginning of the summer-- gulp!), so we'll see.
So, for now, it is great to be back, great to have you stop by, and please, do so again soon!