Not working?

What do you do when it just isn’t working for you? How can I finish a piece that I’m not happy with, even though I know that someone else may like it just fine?

I followed my own advice and picked the stone first. It’s an unusual shape and color and I wanted to put it on a simple background. So far, so good.

Then I started beading it. And ripping it out. And re-beading it. This is where I’m at right now.

Sparklie not

Do I continue adding the blue beads and hope I’ll like it better? Do I try the same green beads where I have the blue? Do I use the stone and green beads and leave the rest as a plain background? All I know for sure is that I’m not happy with it right now and I think it needs to go to time out for a while! And, of course, the stone is glued on and I don’t know if it would come off if I wanted to start all over…

There was success with the other stone I chose to highlight! As soon as I saw it, I knew what fabric I wanted to pair it with. The layout kind of suggested itself and I was very happy with the embroidery. It might have been better to do the embroidery by hand, but I’m just not practiced enough to go there yet!

Sparklie 17

Sooooooo—one good, one bad not so good.

It’s fun to select the stone first, because I can easily see myself going into ‘production mode’ if I start making backgrounds. Yards and yards of scraps could be put together without thought and stones could be thrown on to them quite easily, but I’m enjoying the slower process. Concentrating on one stone at a time and creating a background specific to that stone is so very satisfying. I think I’ll stick with that for a while and leave the production sewing for another time!


12 thoughts on “Not working?

  1. I am thinking either not enough contrast for that pale greenish stone. Or maybe there just isn’t anything to tie it together with that background… Maybe a diff dark shade of green instead of that blue. But you are right, it just isn’t ” popping”


  2. Love the second piece….perfect balance of shapes, color and movement. The first piece seems to need an accent….maybe yellow, maybe red/orange. Not sure the green is working the way you want.
    The comment that Jenny Klyon made is so true, not every piece can be our best….but we do learn each time and the “doing” is still such a huge part of our process. I have a green, blue and yellow quilt that I’m struggling with and the geometry of it is just not working. Good luck to both of us!


    • It’s pretty easy for me to know when a piece ISN’T working…the hard part is figuring out a solution to the problem. And I’m getting some great suggestions! Thanks!


  3. I love the second one! I think the first one is too early to judge. The green of the beads needs to be repeated and since it’s only in one area right now it shouts. I’m a huge fan of the book Art and Fear and the authors remind us that it takes a bunch of mediocre or bad work to make that one fabulous piece. Works the same way for all of us….unfortunately!


    • And I have definitely made a LOT of mediocre and bad work…these small ones can be easier to abandon, too, and re-start with a different plan. Don’t know yet if I’ll struggle through to a solution or start over! I think maybe I don’t like the green I started with!!!!


  4. I am always asked to donate things to charity events. If I feel that they are of good quality, but just not up to my standards, I donate it. I put things aside for this purpose. Also, I have work that has been exhibited many times and have to retire it. I use these too.


  5. Do you have any beads with the multi colored finish that have green and orange in them? I forget what they’re called but the beads you are using have that finish too. The reason I say that is because maybe you need to pull the green color (not necessarily the same ones used around your stone) into the background and the orange/gold would spark your blue. Maybe just some single beads or tricot clusters here and there in the rows that won’t be beaded with the blue. Not a lot just here and there sort of randomly planned. Would add just a bit of a spark without overpowering the piece. Trying to make pieces to pleas others is always the hardest thing for me to do.


    • I’m pretty sure it doesn’t need blue beads, even though the background is blue and green. I’ll try some others with small clusters. You’re right–I don’t want to overwhelm the focal point! And there’s a lot of greeen in that part! It’s possible that the green around the main bead is the problem!


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