Archive for Sunday, March 13, 2005

Finishative’ proves to be an elusive trait

March 13, 2005


Initiative aplenty, but finishative lacking.

"I have lots of initiative, but very little finishative!" That statement is as true today as when I wrote it as a high school senior in Miss Harper's English class.

If it weren't, would I have a 9-year-old dismembered cloth bunny rabbit under the guest bed? Dismembered isn't even the correct term because this bunny rabbit has never BEEN membered. Its ears, legs and arms (yes, arms) have never been sewn onto its little stuffed head and body, nor have I crafted the dress and apron that it -- I guess I should say SHE -- is supposed to wear.

Daughter-in-law Val attended the bunny-making class with me. Her bunny is finished, but she'd be quick to tell you that she didn't do it. I wasn't fortunate to find someone willing to complete mine. It occurred to me to ask my friend Jean to finish my bunny, but I figured I might need her skills for a more important project.

Jean is my go-to gal for any project that requires sewing. It was she who sewed the long red satin tubes for the favor roses I volunteered to make for son Greg's wedding to Val. I managed to fold them and fill them with birdseed and they looked elegant. If you'd like to check them out for yourself, I have about three dozen of them (sans birdseed) stored in the basement.

Jean's ability to finish things for me might give me a complex were it not for the fact that she once demonstrated a lack of finishative herself at a craft show we attended. While we examined items at a booth, the exhibitor asked if we wanted to fill out cards for the chance to win something (I forget what). Halfway through filling out the card, I realized the information I provided would be used by someone to try to sell me something. Still, I completed the card and placed it in the box.

As we walked away, Jean asked me, "Did you write down your correct address and phone number?"


"I didn't!" she said smugly. Technically, I guess, she did finish filling out her card, but the way she did it made me want to smack her.

I think, perhaps, that lacking the ability to finish isn't any worse than buying enough material to make a dozen items, but only finishing one of them. That's happened to me many times. I blame it on the fact that I once had neighbors who owned a hobby store; also, on learning from experience that doing something one time is often quite enough.

Jean once coveted a framed tin decorative piece that had holes punched in it forming letters spelling out "Home sweet home." It was so expensive she decided to spend a little more to buy sufficient material to make one for herself and several others for gifts. So she bought tin, frames and the tool to punch out the holes, and you know what? Sure, you do. She made ONE.

As for me, I have a closet full of yarn for making latchhook rugs (someday I'll probably make one) and embroidery floss in dozens of colors for creating cross-stitch ornaments (I actually made three ornaments for the Christmas tree but have enough supplies to make three dozen). The closet contains a big box of narrow paper strips for quilling pictures (it was fun wrapping tiny strips of paper around a corsage pin and gluing them into shapes, but I forgot that fun is work if you do too much of it). The closet also holds a big bag of stuffing for the dismembered bunny rabbit under the bed (I could have purchased a smaller bag, but I planned to make more than one bunny. It's scary to think how many dismembered bunnies might have been under the bed).

And that's not all that waits in the closet for me to create something out of it. Tubes of watercolor paint are stowed there, along with a bunch of expensive brushes and a big tablet of watercolor paper. I became disillusioned and stashed it there when my friend Lori, a talented artist who taught my watercolor class, took a critical look at one of my paintings and said, "I thought you'd be better at this by now."

Lori isn't the only person I have disappointed. I've even disappointed myself because I think I should have developed finishative by this stage of my life. Alas, finishative still eludes me even though I had an excellent role model in my mother who possessed that quality in abundance. She was a great finisher; I, on the other hand, will be lucky to finish this col

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