One day when archeologists dig up my house they are going to marvel at the amount of white dishes found in the rubble.

And wonder what I was going to do with all the pieces of reclaimed wood.

And license plates.

And baskets.

But when they discover my project closet?  With all of its zillions of half-done projects and half-painted signs and half-painted coffee cups and half-sewn pillows and half-woven placemats.

And they are going to look at all of that half.

And their eyes will widen.

And they’ll jump for joy and call the press and book a museum date.

Because they will have officially discovered…

….the eighth wonder of the world.


Why do I do that?

Why do I start one project and BEFORE IT EVEN HAS A PRAYER OF FINISHING start another?

I think it’s because I chase rabbits everywhere.  In my conversations.  In my food choices.  In my television watching.  In my home decorating.

And in my projects.

But this week?  I turned over a new project leaf.  It all started when I was watching a movie about a girl who had a coffee shop that wasn’t very successful and she pulled herself up by her coffee bootstraps and rethought her life and how she was spending her minutes and bought a food truck and changed her outlook and found a new cute boyfriend and a new apron and changed her perspective.

Just between us, that whole life changing thing is amazing and great and I’m super happy for her and her food truck.  But truly?  What I loved?  What inspired me?  Was the new decor she added to the coffee shop.  And in that moment, I looked up right above the very television I was watching and got inspired and went to my project closet.


Just in case you needed me to reenact the moment.

Here is the actual television.

And the actual sofa.

And the actual unfinished project.

I had bought the fabric to make roman shades for that window months ago.  It was sitting folded up in my bedroom.  I had stared at this space over and over and OVER again and thought that I needed to make that roman shade.


Until a coffee shop came along.

And so.

I took the fabric that I already had.

And the supplies that I had purchased.

And I used these instructions.

And made a roman shade for that window above the television.

Here’s a close-up of the fabric.

And the shade pulled up next to the built-ins.

And the actual view of the new window with the new shade next to the old television.

I love everything about it.

The way the folds lay.

The color and pattern of the material.

The way the sunlight bounces off the fabric.

It took me about four hours to sew it and put it up.

An afternoon.

That’s the amazing thing about projects.

Have you ever noticed that if we totaled up all the time we spent thinking about them and re-discovering them in a closet and shutting the door and then feeling guilty about leaving them unfinished?  If we totaled up all that time it would be so much more time than if we ACTUALLY DID THE PROJECT.

It’s like we need to go all Nike on our projects and just do it.

Raise your hand if you have unfinished projects.

And then?

Come sit by me.

We are not going to let our projects defeat us.

Together we can do this.

Together we can finish a project.

Together we can spend less time feeling guilty and more time getting something done.

PS  I want to add molding and architectural interest to the built-ins next.

Maybe I need another Hallmark movie. 🙂

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  1. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Yes! When we were moving from one home to the next, we decided a garage sale was in order. I had SO MANY craft ideas, projects, etc that I created a table sign that said "Michael's had a sale and I went CRAZY" many people laughed at that sign, but guess which table was emptied first??? My unfinished craft supplies! Yes. I'm raising my hand. I want to sit next to YOU!

  2. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    I'm sitting on your other side, as I have so many unfinished projects! Love the curtain above the TV. Looks perfect!!!!

  3. Image for Dolly Dolly

    This piece written today was just the best! I wonder what will happen when I die and my kids go through my things and if anyone of them will finish my most cherished thoughts on the day I started that project. They just don’t understand what treasures they have!

    1. Image for GreenDoor GreenDoor

      I can do you one better....I am a seamstress. I have gone to estate sales and rummage sales and bought OTHER PEOPLE's unfinished sewing projects (one of them a huge quilt that needed the insides put in). It made me sad to see other people's projects unfinished at the time of their death. Except many of these are now MY unfinished projects. Which will probably still be sitting there 50 years from now when I pass on....

      1. Image for Shannon Shannon

        How funny!!!! I am a "seamstress" too LOL and I did EXACTLY the same thing!!!! Last year however, I got the "urge to purge" :) My workroom had just too much stuff and unfinished projects. I literally packed it all up and donated it along with tons of unused fabric to a local historical society. They have an enormous textile sale once a year and it's quite the event!!! I was so proud of myself for letting things go that I didn't let myself go to the sale either!!!!! LOL

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Debi, I bought it from It's from Magnolia Homes. Here's the link: Happy day friend! karianne

      1. Image for Mary Mary

        I love this fabric! Used it on window treatments but I have it running the other way. Oh no - did I sew it sideways?.??

  4. Image for Jillian Jillian

    LOL...well I am the same way with books...fiction, nonfiction, cookbooks, design books,feel good self help books...on and on. There are a lot of books not read yet here. And bookcases. big bookcases. It is an illness possibly. But I love my little friends. So, a word of warning-there comes a time one has to let them go, hence my winter project of clearing some some out. It's like having to find homes for puppies.

    1. Image for Rebecca Rebecca

      Great analogy that it's like "having to find homes for puppies"! We love our things like puppies and want homes for them with people who will love them just as much. Thanks for that thought. 😊🐾

  5. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Oh, that's so funny! I do the exact same thing. Usually inspired by some random thing in something I'm watching. Thank goodness for the pause button! Because when the inspiration hits strong enough, I have to stop what I'm doing (watching) and get to it. And, usually, I have what I need in my bins -- plastic bins with lots of 'stuff' within my closet -- to do it. Or, I'm inspired to rearrange things I already have out. Amazing! All that said, I have to say I LOVE the roman shade and all that blue and white! And that you can add just any other pop of color to it and it becomes the perfect background neutral. Or, just on its own, its beautiful!

  6. Image for Diane Diane

    I anxiously await your blog ! Not only for your beautiful designs but for the way you write the article. Love that way with words you have. Bought both of your books for my daughter in laws birthday, but boy I wish you would write a novel!😉

  7. Image for Teresa Ann Harral Teresa Ann Harral

    I loved this blog! I knit for charity and my craft room has many many totes with wonderful ( UFP) (unfinished projects). I see a wonderful idea or pattern and I rush out to collect several different color schemes and begin the project and whoah...another idea takes me into a different direction. Your article made me realize that I have more projects in process than being turned in. Thanks for this reminder! Love what you made for your window!

  8. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    Love how your Roman shade turned out! And you make me laugh 😆 Your graphic is so funny “actual TV I was watching” etc. And I get you on this- I’m the same way. And WHY does Pinterest mock me when I sign on- asks me in a prompt: “Did you try any of these Pins??”. Well, actually, no.......

  9. Image for Stacey @ Poofing the Pillows Stacey @ Poofing the Pillows

    Raising my hand over here with unfinished projects and lots of beautiful decor items hiding in the closets too!! So glad you found that inspiration from food truck girl so you could inspire us too.

  10. Image for Celeste Celeste

    I had a half finished crocheted baby blanket that I moved from home to home for 32 years (yep 32 years) and with the arrival of my first grand child I decided to finish it this past Spring. That opened up a new hobby of crocheting...and yes I have a shawl that I have been working on for 3 weeks and it's not close to finished. Meanwhile, I have painted three paintings, two of which are not completed. My art room is a whole collection of started projects.

    1. Image for Suzy Suzy

      Celeste, I laughed out loud! I did finish crocheted baby blankets for all my children years ago, but in the past 17 years, since I have been a grandma :), I have started blankets for the grands. I recently took the old finished ones & gave them to the grands. I think they liked the idea that they now have either their dad's blanket, or Aunt Jenny's or Uncle Randy's blanket. I do still have at least one unfinished baby blanket.

  11. Image for Candice Candice

    I have a cabinet full of the most beautiful yarns. I cannot resist buying gorgeous, soft yarns for the many projects in my head. I own the rainbow. The problem: I don’t know how to knit. Or crochet. Can anyone beat that?

    1. Image for Jean McGee Jean McGee

      This is a loud laugh out loud......Thanks for the laugh and the following smile. At one time I both knitted and crocheted. When we moved to another state I gave away allllllllll of my yarn to charity. Jean McGee

  12. Image for Susan Susan

    I’m so glad it’s not just me with a workshop filled with unfinished projects! And I saw that movie and it did motivate me-but only for a moment until I forgot what I was going to go work on... Cute movie, though : )

  13. Image for Cynde Cynde

    The roman shade is beautiful, the fabric is gorgeous. I'm new to your blog, but it makes me smile everyday. You have such a cute way with words!

  14. Image for Kathi Kathi

    I have a plan! Yes, it is a mistake to plan, however, next Tuesday is demo day, to borrow a phrase. The kitchen is being gutted and the bottom floor is getting all new hardwoods, all while we still live here. Then I am having Two Men and a Truck, pull everything left from moving from the storage room and carry it all upstairs. My intention is to KonMari the heck out of my projects. After a breath, I have sworn to get those projects that are left completed. Wish me luck! And you and I both know that as soon as that is done and I open Pinterest, I will start with More projects again. But I am going to give it the ole schoolgirl try. LOL. Love the decorating book by the by. I have notes, samples and all such sticking out of it.

  15. Image for Rebecca Rebecca

    Love your blog, Karianne! My hand is raised along with many others'. I, too, have a couple of roman shades to sew, numerous quilts in progress, and lots of other crafts. I dread clearing out the unfinished projects in my garage because it takes away from my sewing time. My current goal is to finish a Halloween quilt before I... ooh, there's another pretty quilt pattern!

  16. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    You are such a cute, silly ninny!! I do like the Roman shade and the fabric you chose. It's all coming together, girl friend... 😘 Love ya Let's start getting ready for fall... YEAH!!!!

  17. Image for Liz Runge Liz Runge

    Yes! Get it done! I think part of it is because it's usually much more exciting to start a project than do that last 3/4. But the finished product!!! I also LOVE your coffee table and all of the white and blue in your home! I need to find a way to incorporate some of it in mine. New projects, here I come! ;)

  18. Image for Missy Elam Mangum Missy Elam Mangum

    I so get this. I have been waiting for my husband to travel out of town - he left at 5:30a this morning and will be gone for two weeks AND I have already cleaned a closet, ironed, consigned and gone to work. I WILL reupholster all of the kitchen chair seats and paint the mudroom while he is gone. I am determined to not turn on the TV which is my downfall while it seemed to be your inspiration!! Off to google how to upholster the chairs....

  19. Image for Cristie A Morton Cristie A Morton

    It's Absolutely gorgeous! You did Great, I'm so proud of you! One thing though... You Only have a Project Closet??? I have a Whole Unfinished Project ROOM... MY kids would Probably say, I have a Whole Unfinished Project House! Can you relate? I'll try to remember Just Do It!

  20. Image for DeAnne DeAnne

    Beautiful...and you've inspired me to start a project that I dearly hope I will finish but that I know will take me MUCH longer than it should. Where did you get your roman shade instructions?

  21. Image for Mary from Life at Bella Terra Mary from Life at Bella Terra

    First of all, I LOVE the fabric and it looks terrific! Secondly, I just started watching Stay Here on Netflix where a former HGTV designer and a British real estate guy go in and transform vacation rentals all across the country. It has motivated me to have fresh eyes on just about EVERYTHING! We have a summer vacation rental cabin in the mountains of Arizona and I can't wait to get up there and remodel. Love your energy!

  22. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    I am so glad you finished that roman shade!!! It made the living room complete--I think. Lol You carry on girlfriend!!!

  23. Image for Pamela Pamela

    Well, I'm feeling convicted now! I have the fabric and lining for a set of dining room drapes and we've been living here a year. I thought the threat of having our new preacher and his wife for dinner would shame me into getting them done, but uh So, okay I'm gonna go all Nike on 'em.

  24. Image for Laura Harrie Laura Harrie

    KariAnne, hard to believe that there are so many of us project challenged people in the world. I am with you in that something I see will inspire me to build, or make, then paint and complete a project. Those things hit me just like you were awakened to get that Roman shade made!

  25. Image for Karen Mary Karen Mary

    The curtain is beautiful! Perfect fabric and perfectly done! I relate so strongly to this post. But guess what? You are one of my Coffee Shop movies. I always leave here inspired to go get something done—in my home or on my new blog! Thanks bunches!

  26. Image for Edie Edie

    Your home is so pretty. Thanks for all the posts - it is fun to look at someone's ideas. I must have had the same inspiration as you did. I finally scraped off the old wallpaper border and painted my hall bathroom. Glad it is finished. I looked at that sad bathroom for too long. Have a wonderful day now that you can sit back and relax in front of the television.

  27. Image for Jenifer Jenifer

    Oh, lady!!!! I have a scrapbook to ‘finish’ for my daughter’s wedding. From 6 years ago!!! I won’t really let myself do another big project until the scrapbook gets done! So, nothing has gotten done!! However, I have paid to attend a scrapbooking retreat in the mountains in a couple weeks! I am feeling hopeful again!! Thanks for your inspiration!!

  28. Image for Tracey Tracey

    My daughter asked me if I really like to sew or if I just like to cut things out. You know, she might be on to something!


    KariAnne, your Roman Shade is lovely! I just love the gorgeous blue and white fabric you used for it! Looks so nice on your window! Your home is just beautiful! Blessings!

  30. Image for Jill Brewster Jill Brewster

    I have been making felt Christmas ornaments. I finished the first set of 20 and started the second, but before I barely started it I put it aside and started making Christmas pillows. The pillows are done and turned out really cute, and now I need to get back to the ornaments, but just can't get back into the mood. Thank you for your post it may have been the push I needed. Jill

  31. Image for PJ PJ

    KariAnne, so often I have watched a television show or movie and found myself caught up in the decor. It started with Mary Richards' apartment in the Mary Tyler Moore show, went on to Kate and Allie, and continued through films like "it's Complicated" and "Something's Gotta Give." I knew it was "a thing" when Bonus Daughter came home from a film to tell me how much I would love the home in the film. And, yes, I do have a Google spreadsheet of films to watch for decorating inspiration!

  32. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Huh. I should have followed your directions for making a roman much easier than the way I did it and looks better too. (I used my old miniblinds...don't like the way it turned out. Think I'll redo it)! And what unfinished projects? Oh, you mean the ones sitting in my art room? Ok, maybe it's time to finish a few!

  33. Image for RW RW

    Guilty. Not ADHD for me -- it's Perpetual Project Procrastination Syndrome. I'm trying to find a cure. Sometimes what prevents me from getting started -- or restarted -- on a project is I'm confused about priorities. ( So many projects! So many possibilities! So many ideas! So Karianne et al, how do you choose which [ room/project ] to work on next? ) I'm also trying to learn to make myself FINISH, and trying to learn to wrap up a finished project, including decluttering the unused materials and getting all tools put away before starting into the next one. Why did I not learn that all projects have a wrap-up phase, back when I was growing up?! News to me! In fact, having the detritus from a finished project in the way is a barrier to starting the next project.

  34. Image for Peg Peg

    From all the comments, you are not alone KariAnne!! You’ve inspired a “Thistlewood Nation”!! Love the shade, the fabric, and YOU!!! xoxo

  35. Image for RW RW

    I'm an Ideas Person. A Dreamer of Projects. A Starter of Projects. A Shopper and Drawer of Plans and Director of Projects. I should have married a "Finisher" type. You think? Maybe we would have driven each other crazy. Sign me "Happily Married" and still trying to learn to finish. What I got out of this beyond the lovely photos and designs was that a lot more of us are in this boat than I thought; and that I should "Just Do It." It won't take as long as procrastinating about it. I hope you will give us even more hints on how to be better at finishing. Another post, please?

  36. Image for Kris Kris

    It's the perfect pattern! I loooove Roman shades. Do you leave it up all the time? I wouldn't mind making one for my dining area but we need the privacy so a shade that withstands raising/lowering on a daily basis is essential. I made a fabric-covered cornice a few years ago (with a blind under it that pulls down at night) and it's held up really well but in my heart of hearts, I'd love a Roman shade. Draperies won't work in that space.

  37. Image for Becky Cassera Becky Cassera

    So, what I have learned from this post is that we are all basically the same person!! Thanks for making me smile and not feel so all alone in my finished project ineptness. I adore you.

  38. Image for Patricia Patricia

    All my unfinished projects (actually not that many) got sold, donated or trashed when we downsized from a two story with full basement (where projects went to die) into a two bedroom condo. Literally no space for unfinished projects to hide! And I just finished my most recent projects this weekend; hanging a curtain rod and room darkening curtains in the guest room/ office and organized my dark hole of a closet. I keep going inside just to look at it … PS I'm the person who DIDN'T measure the window in the second bedroom assuming it was the same size as the first bedroom. Nooooo. About 20" wider. Had to re-order a longer rod and buy extra curtain panels but it all worked out great. Whew! Don't think my husband would have ever stopped reminding me if it hadn't. Now he loves it!

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