Beyond the Project List

Choosing, creating or prioritizing a project — beyond the project list — intimidates some people. You’ve undoubtedly heard there are two sides to everything. Your creative projects can produce momentum or overwhelm. Listing your pending to-do’s will either create clarity or confusion.

A hyper-achiever, I understand this conundrum. I set out to quell my “scatteredness” with a list. Once on paper, the pieces of a project, or the projects themselves seem more manageable.

Since stations in my studio allow me to differentiate the type of work, I divided my project list accordingly. (NOTE to self: Additions/subtractions from the list are appropriate and likely will happen.)

Metal Work Project List

Why is my workbench with its solder station paused for now? Because I’m paused on chain creation. While custom chain creation captures my attention, I’m taking a break. Still, as I glanced at the bench, a list emerged:

  • Assemble chain of yellow brass
  • Wrap and cut jump rings of yellow brass
  • Make s-hooks of yellow brass
  • Patina a sterling silver chain already complete with liver of sulphur
  • Design another focal piece in the backplate series
  • Long term: complete my box clasp with soldered jump rings to use on a bracelet
  • Gather scrap sterling silver, weigh, and submit the scrap for purchase

Bead Project List

A number (a near-unlimited-number) of opportunities await my beading attention:Beads from a re-cut necklace that did not sell must be reorganized in appropriate containers, rather than living on the bench.

Kumihimo concentration is apparent. 

  • Two kumi disks, each with different packages attached await braiding. These are road trip options. I can pick the project up and take it with me.
  • A simple two-color braid of fuchsia and turquoise awaits finishing. I’ll use seed beads around a ceramic turquoise goddess with fuchsia beads and make a focal for the necklace before I add its endcaps. This project is gathered in its own project bag for ease.
  • My beaded kumi pendant necklace is ready for its adjustable leather component.
  • A two-stranded kumi bracelet awaits completion with findings of large hole beads and an amazing clasp.

Overhand knotting

  • Outline an overhand knot necklace video to submit to an art school class
  • Make an overhand knot necklace as a sample for the video
  • Use the sample to fulfill a Creative Spirit project for this month

My Pursonalities Plus project occupies one entire table. A stack of cupcake tins with beads sorted in them by color and size await future assignments. 

  • Design and wrap earrings from a few of the cupcake tin bead assortments. Look for unusual shapes in coordinated colors
  • Form kits for makers who want projects to do on their own: overhand knotted kits for necklaces, stretch bracelet kits, earring kits, etc. 
  • Organize donated materials by color and type and place in plastic boxes under the table.

Sewing Project List

  • My heART series continues. I create a collage heart of fabric, then hand sew the hearts to a backing and affix them to greeting cards. Decorative threads make the simplest running stitches stand out.
  • Upcycle calls to me. Near the sewing machine, three men’s shirts await tailoring as I combine them into a tunic dress and embellish them with lace and crochet.
  • Lace and linen are stacked into a plastic box for my cloth book project in September. I plan to hand stitch and embellish some pieces prior to that time.

Needlepoint Project List

  • I’m immersed in a blocking project for a large wall hanging. After more than 20 years on roller bars, it was skewed to the right. More on this learning opportunity in a future post.
  • My current needlepoint project is a colorful rendition of a Matisse print. It will become a pillow. Resurrecting these unfinished projects for completion has made me conscious of tracking my stitches, threads, and intentions. Hence, the inspiration for a post on my process.

“The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.”

—Orson Welles

It’s obvious to me that variety spurs my creativity. Yet, I realize constraint often infuses invention. If one doesn’t seek balance, multiple projects could become a fertile ground for unfinished chaos. Where is the happy medium? I hope to discover it with focused intention, creative flow, and a generous allotment of productivity.

What advice do you have for me about creative flow with multiple projects? I’d love to hear how you handle your project list.