Finish what you started

One of my Christmas card ideas. there is some sparkle but it never shows on the scanner.

Or not, as the case may be. I’m a good starter, full of ideas and beginnings. Sometimes, when I’m really on a roll, I keep on keeping on until whatever it is is complete. BUT, not always. We have a cupboard under the stairs and it doesn’t have room for Harry Potter. In fact it doesn’t even have room for his wand. It contains many unfinished projects, knitting, sewing, embroidery, crochet, you name it. And not only things I’ve started and lost interest, but also stuff bought and never even unwrapped. When I was working full time, I used to go to craft fairs and shows and I would buy kits and/or materials that I didn’t have time to do but would put aside “for when I retire…”

Well, I retired but, since I bought all this stuff, my interests have changed and I don’t want to do a blackwork harbour scene or crewel flowers and the only knitting I’m interested in is for very small children, so I can get it finished before I lose interest altogether. There’s a lot of stuff in there that I can’t throw away; it’s never been opened; it would be a sin; my mother would come back and haunt me if I did that. I might ask the Stitch n Bitch girls if they want any of it, if I can bear to give it away.

This one, however, I started and finished over two evenings. and it's huge, well, bigger than A4 anyway.
This one, however, I started and finished over two evenings. and it’s huge, well, bigger than A4 anyway.

So, when we up graded the study/craft room/office, it was brought home to me somewhat forcibly that it was happening again. There was a gathering, a convention, a conglomeration, of papers, card, stamps, dies, stencils, stamp pads, scissors, boxes, folders, drawers… And, worst of all, so many pieces of paper with half completed projects on them, where I had the idea but didn’t get very far; they filled a drawer all to themselves. So I’ve made a New Year’s Resolution. It’s early or late but either way it’s due.

I’m going to finish these unfinished symphonies or throw them away.

Stunned silence. I know. Now I’m going to be sensible about this, I’m not promising to start nothing new until they are all finished, that would make it a punishment and anyway I know I wouldn’t stick to it. All I’m saying is, by Christmas they must all be done or gone. Watch this space. (But maybe not tooooo closely. I have the organisational skills of a newt; can’t think how I ever held down a job.)

Christmas starAnd so I’m starting my Christmas cards. I’ve decided on a cheat to cope with the majority of cards and save the detailed work for a chosen few. Lazy? Yup. Bothered? Nope.  So I’m going to choose one or two templates or stamps or stencils, pattern them and then scan. I’ll print them off and add colour and sparkle  individually. In fact, I’ve got some friends coming round in a day or two to do a Zentangle session and I’m planning a card for us all to do then.

One of the ideas I’ve had is shown at the top of the page and this star is another one. I think I will cut it out and attach it to a card using a brad, (split pin) so it will spin round.

I'm going to try another one of these and see if I can do better.
I’m going to try another one of these and see if I can do better.

In addition, I’ve been seeking inspiration from Youtube, which has some fabulous and some awful tutorials. Among the fabulous is a guy called Shoo Rayner and his lessons are soooo easy to follow. (I suspect they are for children but we’ll gloss over that.) Anyway, I watched one he did of the Nutcracker toy soldier and produced my own version, which may also go on a Christmas card.


I know how this one feels.
I know how this one feels. Going to tangle her and see hoe she likes it.

The stamp/scan idea for Christmas cards didn’t work very well, as so few of my stamps turn out to be all that amenable to tangling, except this one of a middle aged angel. (Well you can see how that would resonate, can’t you?) What do you think of it? I stamped her on water colour paper so that’s what she needed to be painted with, as I know the alcohol markers would bleed too much. I thought simple patterns and a few dangles would make it into a possible card topper, and here she is, finished, I think. (I’m never completely sure when I’ve finished.)

Looks to me as if she's already been celebrating.
Looks to me as if she’s already been celebrating.


Otherwise, it’s back to the drawing board, so to speak.


In the end, I went for something simple; a Christmas tree outline filled with circles, filled with tangles. Like this:

Christmas card tree bw





And then I did a coloured version:

Christmas card tree blues


Alex card
Alisons card
Lil's card










These are the ones the girls did at my house. You can just about see the pencil outline on the first one.  And now I’m suddenly full of ideas and need to be left alone to get on with it. (Bet the phone rings within minutes.)

For instance, just words, tangled or dangled and glittered. (Peace, Joy, Noel, you know the sort of thing.) Something like these. The glitter doesn’t show up too well but it’s quite shiny in daylight.

Of course, the white pens make for a slightly more laborious job but that's the price for doing something a bit different.
Of course, the white pens make for a slightly more laborious job but that’s the price for doing something a bit different.

Christmas card peace





Or, the words left white and all the background filled with tangles.

Or, the same ideas but using typically Christmas symbols, such as trees, stars, holly, stockings, candy canes,  robins, baubles, snowmen… Good job I started in July by the looks of it.  At this stage, I feel the need to remind myself of two things; 1: the title of this post 2: ALL of these are new projects, not one of them is finishing off an older one. Not looking good for my resolution is it?

And tomorrow is Diva Day again and I long to see what this week’s guest Challenger has to offer…


27th JULY

Hooray, hooray, it Diva Day today! And the guest Challenger is Cari Sultanik, who asks us to be organic, choose our own patterns and let the creative juices flow. So I did. I really did challenge myself too, as I started with a little Trio by Hanny Waldburger, which I love to see and hate to draw,  then wrapped it in Mooka, my nemesis, filling with a little Queen’s Crown by Suzanne MacNeill. I added Flux, which I do a la(le) Rick, some Ansu, which I haven’t used much but really enjoyed and, of course, Zinger and Fescu – how could I not? I really, super duper enjoyed this one and I might even do another, just for fun.

Could have been a bit more subtle with the shading...
Could have been a bit more subtle with the shading…


Good bye for now, world, see you soon.





13 thoughts on “Finish what you started

  1. Ouch. A little rueful recognition here on the other side of The Pond about the unfinished project collection. I have an armoire with a box of all my old music, my oboe which would need some serious repair to ever play again and several recorders which I do occasionally pick up and play. Then there’s that sewing machine I bought when I was “into” quilting, other quilting supplies, a stash of fabric and of course, an unfinished quilt from my machine quilting class. I have convinced myself I’m working on a combination tangle/collage thingy, so all that stuff came down to the beach with me so I can have unfinished craft projects in two locations—two different states even. I’m soooo impressed that you’ve gotten to work on your Christmas cards—a dying tradition around here, I’m afraid. The middle aged angel (I think I went to elementary school with her or her doppelganger) definitely looks better after you doctored her up with color and decoration. Your Diva challenge tile definitely follows the edict to think organically. Nice.

  2. Oh, my guess is that you really hit home for a lot of us. I, too, collected so much stuff so that I would have whatever I needed to keep my busy when I retired. I have been retired for two years now and my interests have changed/grown as well. Good for you. I’m not ready to purge yet myself. Nice work! I particularly like that dangled angel!

  3. I do wonder of you are an Aries??? I am and I have left unfinished things all my life. Indeed, so very enthusiastic in the beginning and then loosing interest. I was told that this is typical for an Aries.
    I like the simple idea for Christmas cards and may ‘steal’ it.
    Your Diva tile is very elegant and beautiful.

  4. so much delightful christmasy stuff to look at! My favorite really is the little woman, her canopy overhead is VERY special. Gives her a modern, funky look that I like a lot. You stamped her, you say? That gives me an idea about how to start a project I want to do: Faces with tangled hair. Maybe there’s a stamp out there for that. At any rate, another delightful post. Love the Xmas trees there! nice job, girls.

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