Friday, February 07, 2014

I Can Fix This!

My brother and I have a long-standing joke about the time that we tried to jointly cook up our grandmother's enchilada recipe.  Every time he spilled something, dropped something on the floor, or made a mistake, he would loudly announce "I can fix that!"  Not a big deal except that all our guests were in the nearby family room and had no idea what we were doing other than they were hearing repeated exclamations about things needing to be fixed.
Needless to say, this process did not engender confidence in those about to eat the results of our cooking!  Nevertheless, the enchiladas came out fantastic and everyone enjoyed them and no one need be the wiser about the details of what we had to fix and how we fixed it.
Which makes me wonder why, when it is POSSIBLE to fix things so they are either as good as the original intent, or, sometimes, even better, I hate to have to re-work designs or worse, fix actual mistakes.
I'm sure it's tied into that whole perfectionist thing I've got going on because, before you can fix a mistake, you have to actually ADMIT that you made one. 
On top of that, there's the whole wasted materials bit (wire that has to be cut up, crimps that are already crimped and can't be re-used, beads that might crack if you get your cutters too close, etc.) and (another biggie for me) the wasted time.  Time spent cutting apart and re-doing a design is time that is not available to spend on a NEW design.
And, then there's the final kicker:  impatience.  Not only do I get impatient to finish a design (especially if it's a more complicated necklace that I've been fiddling with and tweaking for a while), but I also find that I can only spend a certain amount of time/attempts on a certain idea before I'm creatively "over it" and have to move on.
However, having said all of that, I also can't stand it when I look at a finished design and realize something isn't right.  If it's a mechanical flaw (too much slack in the wire, a sharp end, a mangled crimp, etc.) then obviously, it has to be fixed or the item is un-sellable.  I can't sell sub-standard work.  It's a bit more of a gray area when it's just a design issue...or a perceived design issue. 
Sometimes, I'm not even sure if there's anything really wrong or if I've just spent too much time staring at a particular design.  I can usually alleviate that by letting something sit overnight (or a few days) and either I decide it's okay after all, or I figure out what's bugging me.
Lately, it's taken seeing things post-photograph stage to discover an issue as in the case of this bracelet: 
I knew I wasn't completely sold on using the black tagua toggle clasp as described in a previous post, but I wasn't sure whether this was due to it being a new material for me that I just wasn't used to or if I really and truly hated it.  After I posted the photos and saw how much that clasp became the focal of the design (which I didn't intend for it to do), I knew it had to go.  Don't get me wrong, there's times when it's entirely appropriate for the toggle to double as the focal point, but this bracelet isn't one of those.  It's meant to be more of a seamless idea running around the wrist.  The gold toggle still pulls a bit of focus, but it's much more integrated into the overall design and I'm much happier with this version.  That black toggle will find a new home in a different design where I'm sure it will be much happier.

This pair of earrings started of very similar to the ones I posted here with the pink flower, except this pair has the geen, patinated metal links from Miss Fickle Media around the outside and had a yellow flower as the center.  It was okay, but a little too much duplication with the other design AND the yellow didn't pop as well against the background as the pink did.  I decided to swap out the flowers entirely and I replaced them with these cute brass seahorses.  Although the color scheme is much calmer now, I think the seahorses give these a spark of personality that counterbalances that.  Brass seahorses from Patina Queen.
This pair...I'm still thinking about.  It was really difficult to pull beads in colors that coordinate with the shades of these enameled brass conchos from Gardanne Beads.  Most everything was either too intense or too pale.  I finally found these encased lampwork nuggets to pull out the rose color and some small Czech glass rondelles to match the aqua color.  However, in the photo, they don't appear to match as well as they do in real life.  So, is this a photo issue?  Or do I need to re-think the design and color choice?  Hmmm...I need to sit with this pair a bit more, I think...
How do you feel about re-working or fixing things?  Do you stick with your original choices regardless of the outcome?  Do you like fixing things or is it difficult?  Why?

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