Thursday, May 3, 2012

An agonizing decision

As I told you yesterday, the workbench photo in that post was NOT an accurate representation of what my workbench looked like when I first arrived at the shop yesterday.

This is what my worktable actually looked like first thing yesterday morning:
Well, almost - the 100% truth is that the portable DVD player that you can see at the far back left was actually very close to the left front edge of the table, because I don't see very well, and in order to see the DVDs, I need the player to be pretty close to my face. And that is why the iolite fringe necklace is lying precariously close to the edge of the workbench - that was the only place it would fit (plus I needed it pretty close to me, too, just so I could see my work!)

So, let's pretend there is an imaginary clock face superimposed on the picture above, and I'll give you some explanation of all the stuff on the bench.

Let's say the DVD player is at 11:00. Right in front of the DVD, on the left? A black and white cabochon I am close to finishing - I finished beading the bezel about 10 weeks ago, glued the ultrasuede on the back, and then got distracted by other projects, and the cabochon has laid there, untouched, for months. Now it, too, has become a zombie! I don't even know where the ziploc bag containing the seed beads I was using on it are. Story of my life.

In front of the right side of the DVD? An amethyst heart paperweight - I found it when I was cleaning out the back room a few months ago, and decided it was too pretty to be in a box. So now it is cluttering my workspace.

At 12:00? The ziploc bag that all the various components for the iolite fringe necklace were stored in.

Immediately to the right of that ziploc bag, on the paper towel? The pile of copper headpins I enameled on April 17. They are all cleaned up, and ready for use. They need to be put in their box (and yes, I have a box ready for them) until I'm ready to use them. But, alas, I am a hopelessly lazy piler. No telling how long they will lie there on my bench, in my way. And I wonder what's under that paper towel? I didn't look.

From 2:00 to 4:00? My optivisor and glasses, right where I threw them down when I went home Tuesday night. Underneath them? The piles of seed beads ready to be stitched into the Iolite Fringe Necklace.

At 5:00? The custom-ordered Cubic right angle weave (CRAW) bracelet I am currently trying to finish. I carved out a teeny tiny corner of my huge workbench so I could meet the deadline on this bracelet. I'm sure none of you can relate to having to carve out a tiny space to work in, when you have such a nice big work area at your disposal!

From 5:00 to 7:00? The dreaded Zombie Iolite Fringe Necklace, perching precariously on the edge of the table. If you look over at the far left side of the necklace, you can see the unfinished ends, with the 28g sterling silver wires hanging out in space, just begging to get caught in my Fireline, or to latch on to a passing Golden Retriever - a disaster waiting to happen!

And filling the middle of the table: all the various seed bead tubes and findings, etc that I need to work on the fringe necklace. Except for that pile of black seed beads to the left of my Thread Heaven - those are for the cubic right angle weave bracelet, but I moved them over closer to the DVD player, so I could reach them more easily while I was beading (while watching movies, of course).

At 9:00? Three Swarovski crystal Christmas Tree earrings that don't have mates - I intend to take them apart and put the crystals with the ones that I have for sale. "Intend" being the operative word. Taking apart those earrings, putting the crystals where they belong, and recycling the sterling - all of this would take maybe 5 minutes. But those earrings have been sitting there for months. And right beside them? A needle file I used on April 17 when I needed to slightly enlarge a few holes in some beads so they would fit on the mandrels on that studio day when we were last enameling - would you believe that that file goes in the drawer whose handle you can see right below the iolite fringe necklace? But no - it sits on my workbench, because I'm lazy. In my defense (sort of), the Christmas tree earrings and the file have actually been hidden underneath the DVD player all this time, but, still. And I suppose I should be saying all this clutter is because I am so busy, not because I am so lazy - but the truth is the truth. So there it is.

OK - on to my agonizing decision.  This zombie iolite fringe necklace. I love the concept, and I want to have the completed necklace. But getting from Point A (where the project is today) to Point B (completion) is making my stomach churn. As I've talked about before, my beading style has evolved in the last 5 years, and I just cannot, to save my life, replicate the stitching I was doing back then.

Believe me, I have tried. I have added 2 more inches of fringing to this necklace, and if you click on the above pic to enlarge it, and then look at the portion of the necklace that is between the 2 bead mats, where the wooden bench is the background - this is the part I have been working on. For about 2 weeks.

That's only partly true - I worked on it for a week, and got so frustrated that this project has been lying on my bench, absolutely untouched, for over a week now.

If you look at the enlarged picture above, you may be able to tell that the segment of the necklace I have been working on looks different from the portion to the right of it. It is much fuller.

And this bothers me. A lot. And it is not a matter of taking out some stitches - because I worked back and forth, back and forth, around and around. Plus the thread ended, and I had to start another one - all these threads, as you weavers know, are intimately connected now, and just taking out some stitches is no longer an option. And I don't want to add more fringe to the already finished part, because it is perfect! The density of the fringe is perfect.


The blue arrow indicates the completed fringe - the perfect fringe. The fringing I did 4-5 years ago. The look I am trying to replicate.
The pink arrow is the portion I have been working on for the last 2 weeks.
The green arrow indicates the portion of the necklace that has 2 passes of fringe - also completed 4-5 years ago. This fringe was so thin that it looked ... wrong... prompting me to add the 3rd pass - resulting in the portion under the blue arrow. Confusing? I hope not.

The area indicated by the pink fringe is noticeably fuller. You're probably saying, "it looks fine to me - I don't see any difference." But you see, I can see it. And truthfully, you probably know that pictures don't tell the whole story - because this fullness is VERY obvious in person. Trust me - I have shown it to several people!

I vowed to myself (and to my readers - but the vow that counts is the one I made to myself!) that I wouldn't start any new projects until I finish this necklace. (The black CRAW bracelet doesn't count - it was a custom order I am getting paid for!) I really, really want to finish the fringe necklace, and the rest of my zombies! But I come in everyday, and see the fringe necklace lying there, and just inwardly groan. I am not doing it right. I am not making the necklace I want, and I can't figure out how to make it work.

So here is the agonizing decision I reached about 3AM yesterday morning. I don't know about you, but I tend to obsess about stuff that is unresolved, especially in the wee hours of the morning, when my insomnia kicks in. And the obsessing doesn't help me sleep, believe me!

So I was worrying about this necklace, agonizing over how I was going to force myself to work on it. I had been making all sorts of promises (and threats) to myself - just do an inch, come on now - just an inch a day! But I just couldn't. And since I had vowed not to start anything else, I have had the most unproductive 8 days of my beading life - I have gotten nothing done, creatively. I have balanced the books, vacuumed, dusted, cleaned the bathroom, played on the computer (Pinterest, I'm looking at you!) - but no jewelry design! I even had to tackle a huge pile of do-over jewelry (repairs) one day last week, and I actually got up and moved to a whole other table, with a brand spanking clean bead mat, bringing all my tools with me, since there was no room on my own workbench! Sad.

And with typical 3AM clarity, it came to me - I have to take ALL the fringe of the necklace, and start over. All the fringe - not just the last round. And it has to be done carefully, so as not to cut or damage the underlying sterling silver crochet structure. And then, all those seed beads will have to be sorted, so I can start fringing again. Sigh. That's a LOT of seed beads.

I have such a mental block about this necklace right now - I don't want to take it apart, but it isn't working the way it is now, and it never will. Once I accepted this, the decision was so clear. Doesn't make the decision any easier, but it has to be done. I think the fringing will go SO much easier once I can start fresh!

So I packed up the whole fringe project yesterday so I can finish the black CRAW bracelet comfortably. Then I am going to clean off the workbench, really. For real. Then I will start de-fringing the fringe necklace, probably tomorrow, get it down to the silver crochet skeleton, and start anew! Yay!

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Letting go can be so hard, especially after so many hours are put into a project. Think you are doing the right thing and I'm impressed that you want to start over rather than can the whole idea. It will be a beautiful piece though, that I know.