Some of us are prone to distraction, extreme excitement over a thing we’re not ‘supposed’ to be doing, and deep dives into new skills or information. Some call these side quests, and I don't believe there's anything wrong with doing side quests... as long as I follow some rules...
I recently got 100% sidelined by re-covering a horrendous, beige, beaded, charity-shop lampshade using a traditional victorian hand sewn method, you can see the finished shade in the image further down the page on a freshly painted stand!
I'm ok with a needle but nothing special, so this was a classic side quest, and I fell in deep for weeks. I've finally finished (i'm so happy to be done) and I love it but I'm very excited to get painting again.
Cat's Side Quest Rules
I’ve found it’s much easier to follow the pull than fight it, and I feel like I’m finally finding some rules for a successful side quest. So here they are for you in case they are any help...
(Please note these are my goals for me, that I've very much not mastered yet, and other people will have different things that work for them. But it's nice to share this stuff so we know we're not alone)
Dive down that rabbit hole, but try to set a budget first! If I don't follow the side quest it will tear at my brain - I'll be up all night researching methods and materials, buying materials, looking at expensive courses, buying books and then talking to friends about the topic until even the most interested and patient of them glaze over. I neeeeeed to learn to set a budget, and I'm meeting up with the lovely Becky Stevenson soon to nail down the details because rabbit holes and side quests are a real weakness of mine 😬
OK now PERFECT THE SKILL obviously, see instagram highlight on lampshades... (joking, i’m very proud but there are many imperfections). Have a good play, scratch the itch, try to keep up with any other deadlines simultaneously though. I'm not good at this but I'm working on it 😂
Finish it, even if it's antiperfection style, or it will snowball into shame at my massive pile of unfinished projects over the years.
...and I actually did it this time! I’m finally done!!! It was harder than I expected, much harder than crochet or lino carving, but I did it and the fabric is taut and it’s all one chintzy maximalist ball of joy. Hands aching, skin falling apart, this is not the game for me long term but the scratch is itched and I am really happy to be making custom drum lampshades now using my watercolour design fabrics. A less painful, more modern, equally joyous way to turn Badibidu fabric into lampshades ❤️
- Move on and don’t expect to be able to repeat. I can’t emphasise this to myself enough, just because I enjoyed the challenge of doing it once it absolutely does not mean I will complete a second one! Ever! 😂 I need to enjoy the pretty thing and a job done.
I'd love to hear if you have similar struggles and any extra tips for me. I'm looking forward into attempting to assess which are the right side quests to follow and getting better at following my own rules...