Creativity Corner Creative Projects

the unfinished project

July 9, 2012

Here’s a question for you? Have you ever started a project and not finished it?

For those of you who are sitting back thinking: no! Congratulations. You are super humans, good on you. For the rest of us, we are probably in good company. I believe we all have unfinished projects, whatever they may be. They can range from something very small, like fixing a window in the house to a larger project of decorating a room, building a conservatory or writing that book. The list is endless!

I must admit, as time goes on and i get older and wiser there are far less unfinished projects. Maybe i’ve outsmarted elements of procrastination, maybe i’m vary of starting projects knowing very well i cannot finish. Maybe, just maybe, i’ve accumulated better tools to deal with this dilemma and learned how to avoid the ‘merry-go-round’.

So, what is outstanding at the moment? Well, there is an unfinished project, a project i’m embarrassed to tell you has been sitting here unfinished for a good couple of years. The reason i wanted to share this on the blog today is to ask you to hold me accountable!!! By publicly announcing this, i’m hoping that i can share the progress of this and show you before and after photos. Ok, this is not going to be done in a few weeks but i will try and complete by the end of the year. Let me show you what it is!

Here is one corner of my roof terrace. A couple of years ago i had this section covered in marine ply mdf board because i knew i was going to layer it in a mosaic design.

Having done a 1-day mosaic course many many years ago i thought it might be fun to do a larger project. Hmm, always a good idea at first! I measured up, designed the entire surface, chose colours, bought the mosaic tiles, got all the bits and pieces i needed and hey presto!

Once i had everything ready, i really went for it. I remember starting in july, it was sunny and i thought if only i could finish it over that summer. After about two weeks it started raining for the rest of the summer (anyone see some similarities here) and my incentive disappeared. I successfully persuaded myself, that now, i might as well finish it for the following spring. Ah, that dreaded delayed deadline. Correct me if i’m wrong here but we haven’t had a really warm and dry summer for years! This year doesn’t look as if it will be the exception!

So, this is how far i got. Still unfinished, this is the longest panel (see first photo). There are nine in total, counting all the sides, both long and short.

If truth be told, i’m still excited about both the design and the colours, which is good news. My roof terrace needs an injection of something. All my herbs have died with the torrential rain we’ve been having. Am rather upset about that. What worries me most is that i might have forgotten how to do mosaic. But then, it’s probably like riding a bike. I’m hoping that by finishing it i might lure the sun back. Could it be possible that we will have a sunny spring and summer in 2013?

Wish me luck and feel free to prompt me from time to time:)

Have you ever attempted a mosaic project? Have you ever been on a course?

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  • Reply Gerard McGuickin July 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Dear Tina. I hear you… procrastination can often be my middle name. I’m very good at finding things to do other than what I should be doing. This is often more to do with my business though… or parts of my life!

    However given that “I champion the aesthetic” I can’t leave a project unfinished in my home. Even if it’s something I don’t want to do, I have that good old Catholic guilt to fall back on.

    So darling, I implore you… finish your wonderful project. You will feel so much better for it 😉 and I’d like to be sitting there at some point enjoying a coffee (or tea).

    Hugs Gxx

    • Reply tina July 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm

      From your mouth to God’s ear…..:)

      I’m sure I’ll feel so much happier. But you know, a spell of good weather to enjoy a roof terrace wouldn’t go amiss.
      As soon as we have a dry spell, I’ll do a BBQ and you can come over:) xx

  • Reply annie July 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    How about diarising to write about it on the first of every month?

    That does look like an awful lot of work I have to say, perhaps you should have a mosaic party and rope other people in, like those painting parties.

    I’ve not done mosaicing since I was at school, looks fun though! Looking forward to seeing more of it and please can we have some more photos of your terrace??

    • Reply tina July 12, 2012 at 12:02 am

      I won’t bore anyone with this. I just wanted to say it out loud, so to speak… that always makes me feel accountable and that helps greatly with ‘getting things done’.

      Mosaic party sound great but I’m too much of a control freak to allow everyone to work on this… especially with a drink or two:) good idea though Bird!

      I’m not in love with my terrace at the moment, dur to the weather. I need that gorgeous dog sculpture you bought. Been looking for interesting stuff for ages.
      James, who photographed my home for Heart Home is coming back (weather permitting) to take pics of the terrace.

      • Reply annie July 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm

        You should definitely get yourself to Sunbury then – there was so much brilliant garden stuff, furniture, statues, planters, huge outdoor clocks, all sorts of stuff.

  • Reply Holly July 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Tina, I‘m always amazed when I stop by here. Seriously. WHat will you show us next!? This looks like it will be an awesome project! The colors, your design, I just love it 🙂 Your terrace will be an even happier place.

    Never attempted mosaic-ing. As fun as it looks, I‘m not even going to think about adding it to my to do list, as there are quite a few things on it I haven‘t finished (blush). I have a pile of clothes that need altering or fixing that I just don‘t want to get rid of. I have a sewing machine I promised myself I would learn how to use properly to help me with this project. Both the machine and the pile of clothes are collecting dust in my bedroom. Or how about my knitting project. I have a half done scarf that‘s been that way since last summer. There‘s also my latest painting that sits on my easel, starring at me everyday, half finished … the list goes on. Ahhhh! When it comes to my work, I‘m not a huge procrastinator, but my other hobbies always fall on the back burner. I know it‘s not good, but so ist das Leben, I guess. Maybe as I get older, I will also hopefully grow wiser and gain some control over this procrastinating / time management issue. Right now, I‘m just a silly fool, lol!

    Very invigorating post, Tina xoxoxo

    • Reply tina July 12, 2012 at 12:04 am

      My terrace needs SUNSHINE, that’s all:)

      Darling, you’ll see, these things get better with age and wisdom. LOL.
      You sew, knit and paint??? How cool is this? Oh, don’t fret. They’ll all get done in time.

      Good job you don’t procrastinate in your work. I can imaging you being highly efficient.


  • Reply Theresa July 10, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Ugh, the plague of unfinished projects. It’s true that I have less of them as I get older. I think reality sets in about what I can really get accomplished. That said, I still have a window that needs repair (thanks for the reminder ;), some blog tweaking, some further decorating, a book that needs to be finished…And so and so forth.
    Your mosaic project looks magical. I love the design and all the color. I have never done mosaic…It definitely looks like a labor of love. I like Annie’s idea to report back to us monthly and give us a progress update (with photos). Though, I do suppose progress is all contingent on the cooperation of your weather.

    • Reply tina July 12, 2012 at 12:06 am

      Do I hear ‘Blog tweaking’???:)

      Not sure how/when I’ll report back but the pressure is on:)
      Btw, I do the mosaic in m y flat. Only when finished, you apply it, grout it and stick it down on the terrace so no excuse there!!!

  • Reply Kelly July 10, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I have to admit I’ve a half finished garden, the builders doing the patio walked off the job 2 summers ago and left me with holes where lights should be in the steps, I still haven’t got someone in to do it! I’ve also got a pile of weeds where my ‘tropical area’ should be.

    I love the idea of a mosaic seat on your roof terrace! Such a lovely cheery design too, you could sit out there under an umbrella in the rain and still feel summery with those bright colours. When I was in Barcelona earlier this year I wrote ‘book a mosaic course’ on my to do list after marvelling at the Gaudi mosaics, still haven’t done it.

    Perhaps you should book a party to mark the completion of your mosaic so then you have a date it must be done by. Also happy to help if you have a mosaic party where everyone does a bit 🙂

    More photos please!

    • Reply tina July 12, 2012 at 12:09 am

      Ah, Gaudi in Barcelona. Will never get to that level. How beautiful is his stuff???
      Funny that you wrote down to book a Mosaic Course. I did one many years ago and loved it. I choose to make a coaster and I still use it.
      My next project is this one. How crazy am I?

      Great idea to plan a party and therefore deadline. Only problem is the weather…. but am committed to finishing by the end of the year.

      Sorry to hear your builders walked out… crap situation:(

      Thanks Kelly x

  • Reply leah of sang the bird July 10, 2012 at 10:32 am

    my unfinished project list is long. i’m hoping september will buoy my energy! your project is ambitious, but it is in capable hands!!
    i love your design and colour choices, i’m excited to see your updates. enjoy xx

    • Reply tina July 12, 2012 at 12:10 am

      Thanks, I’m smiling because you believe my project is in capable hands!!!:)
      Will update you guys and also show you the colours and fabrics on the terrace… xx

  • Reply Heather @ Canal Notes July 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Oh Tina! Not only do I have an unfinished project – I have many! In fact, I have loads of projects not even started. I bought all the materials and supplies which have just been sitting unused so far. But I’m hoping for a burst of energy in the autumn – I always feel energized then – something about that leftover back-to-school feeling from childhood 🙂 Your mosaic pattern looks lovely and I can’t wait for finished photos – either later this summer or in the autumn if you too share that back-to-school energy:)

    • Reply tina July 12, 2012 at 12:13 am

      Ha. So I’m not the only one with an unfinished project. Good

      That’s interesting. Leah said the same thin g about September/Autumn. I knwo what you mean it is the beginning of the school semester and also for me, it’s London Design Week etc and real life starts again. I do think of July and August as holiday months.

      It’s easier when it gets darker earlier to nestle down with a cup of herbal tea and spent some time on the mosaic. I’ve made a place for it so have no excuse now!!

      I’ve missed you blogging x See you at the meet-ups!

  • Reply Michaela July 11, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Love this Tina – you really have an amazing way with colour! xx

    • Reply tina July 12, 2012 at 12:14 am

      Oh, thanks Michaela. That is a great compliment!!! x

  • Reply Sam Lennie July 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Is anything ever finished ???? Things evolve and grow and change. I don’t really like the word as it’s too final.

    Anyway, here’s mine:

    A patchwork quilt
    A leak in the roof
    A garden (the list is too long here to write)
    A chopped about main bathroom
    A living room pelmet and blinds
    An interior design course
    A sons bedroom

    Good luck with the mosaic 🙂 x

    • Reply tina July 12, 2012 at 12:14 am

      Gosh, Sam, put your skates on…. x

  • Reply Chi@106 July 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    First of all your mosaic looks VERY impressive, finished or no. I love the colours/pattern you chose – so vibrant! So you!! 😀

    Our main unfinished project would be our home. We moved into it while I was pregnant, L came along early and we’ve been playing catch up ever since.

    As for courses, here’s a fun fact for you: I once did a voice-over course. I’d been told that I had a great voice for it so I thought: why not? Haven’t done a thing with it, though … :/

    Can’t wait to see your mosaic in situ when it’s finished – I’m sure it’ll look fab!

    • Reply tina July 12, 2012 at 12:18 am

      Hello Chi, welcome back!

      Thanks so much:)
      Ha. L had other plans for you. She wanted full attention from as early as possible:)
      I once had a friend who was still working at their house 30 years later when they finally managed to finish the master bedroom. I have high hopes for you and M:)

      Hmm. Voice over. I hear it’s very well paid but very cliquey… I think onezerosixkids suits you better and has more purpose. How’s it all going?

      Oh, am sure something will go wrong with the mosaic, like, remembering it’s a mirror effect I’m working with. But hey, it’ll be a labour of love!!

  • Reply Catherine Bedson July 12, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Hi Tina,

    I’m as guilty as everyone else with unfinished projects..the wool and thick knitting needles I bought to knit a scarf for winter being the latest!

    I’ve done mosaics before and know how time consuming it is…you could classify this as a long time project and do one bit every weekend and have it ready for next summer. It’s looking beautiful, love the design and the colours you have used. I have done so many courses over the years from chocolate making to pottery and everything in between..I’m self teaching now. Thanks for your comments re the Sydney trip Tina…means so much to me, was thinking of you when I was there (how much you’d love it if you visited). Catherine

    • Reply tina July 12, 2012 at 7:05 am

      I’m staying well away from sewing and knitting as I can’t cope with all the things I’m doing anyhow:)

      Mosaicing takes a long time, especially a complex design. I deliberaterly designed something simple because I knew I would struggle with the sheer size of it anyhow.

      Your Sydney post is really gorgeous and those photographs told the story beautifully. You’re right I would have loved to be there.

      I’m so glad you’re blogging again on a regular basis. It would be a shame to deprive us xx

  • Reply Marit July 12, 2012 at 4:30 am

    Beautiful! Good luck. I definitely have millions of unfinished projects, I did NOT get the go-getter gene 🙂

    • Reply tina July 12, 2012 at 7:08 am

      Hello Marit. Thank you for stopping by.

      Sometimes I catch myself being all brave and having ‘big’ thoughts and dreams. At that moment I truly believe I can conquer it all.
      When I started the Mosaic project that was such a moment.

      Now to actually do it:)

  • Reply ursula (room to bloom) July 12, 2012 at 10:41 am

    The giveaway on my blog today nearly was an unfinished project… But, I couldn’t let my sponsors down AND I knew once I made some time for it I’d love doing it, which is why I started it in the first place.
    Sometimes it’s good to schedule time for unfinished projects, and if you still can’t be bothered, it’s time to let it go. A huge relief usually, that allows energy to flow to new projects.

    • Reply tina July 12, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Just took a look – what a gorgeous little house!!!!

      Feel the same about clothes and other stuff. Sometimes our hearts are just on in it. I think with this particular project it was the sheer size and I got side-tracked..
      I’m still in love with it so just need to get back into it.

  • Reply Lauren July 12, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Lordy do I have unfinished projects! I think most of us do. And sometimes it’s most freeing just to let those dangling go. I’m not saying you should do that here because I think that sunny mosaic would brighten even the rainiest of days, but I’m getting ready to throw out a ton of “pending” stuff and I can’t wait!

    • Reply tina July 12, 2012 at 11:36 am

      Yes, clutter clearing of any sort is very cathartic. Out with the old and in with the new. Like the word ‘pending’…

  • Reply Ingrid Weir July 14, 2012 at 3:00 am

    Hi Tina,

    I have some unfinished embroidery projects. I just wasn’t getting my designs to flow freely and look simple and natural, so I have put them away. My hope i can come back to them fresh & magically all my ideas will have come together! I was getting too self conscious about them.

    I have done some mosaic projects- I was inspired by the Gaudi mosaics at Parc Guell. From memory I think he got the workmen on the site to do the mosaics- he thought they had a good eye for what worked. And possibly that they were less self conscious and just got down to the job.

    Sometimes I use the thought “if you had to film it tomorrow, what would you do?’ Because there’s nothing like a deadline to make you crack through that barrier!

    • Reply tina July 16, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      Sometimes taking some distances from creative projects can really help!

      Yes, Gaudi, Parc Guell. The first time I saw it I was bowled over. It really left a lasting impression on me.
      That’s interesting, the deadline of filming tomorrow. Deadlines for me are vital. I seem to work best under pressure, when accountable or towards a deadline.
      Hence the idea to blog about it and openly ask for people to prompt me. Let’s see how I get along!!! 🙂

  • Reply sue July 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    this looks AMAZING… and will look even more amazing when you’re out there chuffing back a cocktail in its presence! haha… i have approximately 1,283 unfinished projects at any one time in my life (including blog posts started feverishly, but never completed)… maybe we can inspire eachother!!!

    • Reply tina July 17, 2012 at 12:01 am

      I hope it will look amazing when finished. I’ve been on purpose loose with the design as I didn’t want to give myself the added stress of perfection:)

      Cocktail, I don’t think so. That’s reserved for our friend Annie!!

      Haha!!! OK, let’s try and make it 1260 by the end of the year…:)

  • Reply Shona Lockhart March 4, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Hi Tina,

    I will be more than happy to help you finish this project when the days start to get longer and warmer. Mosaic art is my thing. Let me know when the mosaicing party begins….Shona

    • Reply tina March 4, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      Woohoo, bring on the longer days… I feel a party coming on..:-)) Brilliant, really looking forward!!

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