Do you procrastinate? Are there unfinished projects lying about in your house?

Years ago in graduate school at Florida State University, my husband Cliff made these bisque-fired salt and pepper shakers. He says creating the shakers was a side project back then, something he had the urge to do with clay leftover from a major assignment. Just so you know, after the clay dries slowly for several days, the initial firing (called a bisque) would be placed in a kiln.

The shakers have sat in my china closet for a long time now. For decades, actually. They have a pleasing shape but they are not usable for the palate.

Why? They are unfinished. In the busy 1970s, the man of the house wore several hats including teacher, graduate student, and graphic art business owner. Making the shakers was a side project: He wasn’t being graded for it. The need certainly wasn’t urgent either. Obviously, I could use other salt & pepper shakers. So, completing the project with glaze and a final firing fell by the wayside.


Next Steps

According to Cliff, three things would have to happen to make the shakers usable:

  1. Use a diamond-tipped drill to finish opening up the holes on top, so each spice could be shaken from the top.
  1. Apply a non-toxic glaze followed by a final firing.
  1. Insert cork stoppers to the bottom after shaker wells have been filled.


The Lessons

  1. Opportunity still knocks, even though many years have elapsed.
  2. Sometimes one needs to be prodded to take the next step.
  3. It doesn’t take much to finish a job that’s partly done.


On a much larger scale, Designed to Sell, an HGTV broadcast, tells the story of a distraught couple whose unfinished projects kept them from being able to sell their house in order to downsize:

Completing a Home’s Many Unfinished Projects. Season 27, Episode 4

When Arynne and Eliot Danghaar bought their four-bedroom brick colonial, they had big plans for it. Now, with too much house and too many projects, they are ready to downsize. Before they can sell their current home, all of those unfinished projects need to be completed to compete with the . . . homes in their neighborhood.



Your Turn

What unfinished projects await your “next step”?

What would it take to turn them from in-progress status to the completion stage?

Have you recently finished a project you’re proud of? Yes, it’s okay to brag a little!   🙂

More advice? Do share . . . thank you!


Bisque-fired clay vase, Cliff Beaman circa 1970