Back To The Drawing Board

OK, it happened again. I was working on a new idea, a macrame flower, “exploring the possibilities and potential of the materials” (i.e. nylon cord and beads) and I got to a turning point (several hours of tedious work later) when I had to make an important decision. The decision was – “Do I continue pouring more time and energy into this piece or do I stop now and add yet another half finished thing to my shoebox?” I didn’t want all the hours I’d already spent on this thing to go to waste, but as it progressed with only so-so results, I kept thinking, this is tedious, this is no fun, this is taking forever. Joseph Campbell advised us to “follow your bliss”, and it was very clear to me that this was not my bliss! So I tossed it into the black hole (my shoebox of no return) and I’m happier now because I’m freed up to work on something else. Something that I can feel good about, maybe even get excited about.
Or maybe to just sit on my porch and stare off into space……
I like to think that there are no such things as“failures” in art and that I learn something valuable from all of those partially finished thingees that I’ve made over the years. Well maybe I’ve learned a few things that I just can’t remember at the moment. But today my lesson seems to be that life is short, and macrame is very long, so I’ll quit working on stuff that doesn’t make me happy and only make things that do make me happy.


  1. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with a shoebox full of "I don't like this any more!" projects.

    I always keep that shoebox around though, because I figure that I might some day have an epiphany as to what to do with some of the stuff in it. 🙂

  2. I have soooooo many of those projects that just didn't work the way I had envisioned. I love your take on it as a learning experience; nothing is wasted that way!

  3. I have those too! What's really ironic, though is that the finished "I just don't like this' items are usually the first ones I sell! I guess there is just no accounting for taste! Ha ha! I now, force myself to put those out there reluctantly and sure enough (!) that will be the first one someone picks up and exclaims "I LOVE this!" I have learned to bite my tongue, and smile, as I usually want to squinch up my face and say "Really???" Patience, Grasshopper… and silence too… 🙂

  4. Wow I thought I was the only one who did this xD so glad I stumbled onto your blog today, can't wait to catch up on some older posts 🙂

  5. Haha I'm guilty of this too! I refer to them as my pieces in limbo. There is usually 3-4 in there at a time. I always end up going back to them, some designs just end up being tweaked in your mind until later. Sometimes you can undo (up to a point) and sometimes it is just better to salvage the cord and start again fresh. Without the proper inspiration to work on a frustrating one, moving on to a new project is a much less stressfull prospect! 😉

    It makes me glad our materials never "go bad".

  6. I can relate too, I like to believe that my box of ‘not sure about this’ pieces will one day come to fruition.. Some pieces, I looked at and thought ‘that is so ugly’, but stubbornly carry on trying to make something out of it.. sometimes those ended up my favourite pieces. Other times they were the first ones to sell, same as ‘anonymous, jan 1st! Thank you for sharing thoughts on your process. Your work is inspiring.

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