Thursday, May 24, 2007

Process of Elimination

Well, my daughter is getting ready to go to Prom and as any of you out there with teenagers in your life know - a big part of Prom is all about the preparations, sort of spinning out of control if you ask me, but that is a different story. Anyway, as I was getting my hair cut today we were discussing how my daughter is trying to decide what kind of "up do" she wants with her hair. My hair dresser (Shelia Boone in Cary, NC - I'd recommend her to anyone) wisely suggested that she first decide what she doesn't want, leaving plenty of room for the person styling her hair to make suggestions.

This suddenly clicked in my mind as such a great way to design jewelry for others also. Many times people will ask for a necklace and earring set, but not really know what they want and it can take a great deal of time to come up with a plan that suits us both. I think next time I'll ask first what they don't want (no blue, nothing close to the neck, not too fancy) then, by process of elimination I'll be able to help guide them to what may be to their likings. Most people seem reluctant to say what they want since they really want the designer to have room to express him/herself, but they still have personal preferences that need to be included in the design.

Shelia explained that she uses this approach of using the process of elimination to help guide her choices with all sorts of things such as choosing drapes, cars, hair styles / colors, finding clothing quickly in a department store, whats for dinner and so on and so forth. I am going to try using this approach more often - I am one of those people that can take forever to make a choice - sometimes driving the people around me crazy, and just plain wasting my own time. Maybe this will help me feel confident about my choices while getting the job done in a more timely manner.

Leave a comment about when you used the process of elimination to complete a project or make a decision - you probably have a trick or two to teach me!

Thanks! - Elaine Ray


macati said...

to help the person I ask to make me something I say what I like: colours, animals, music, books anything that will help the artist and mention what I don't like, of course... don't want to take risks... am a bad liar...

Cynthia said...

Elaine-I love this idea! It is usually so easy to articulate exactly what you don't want...even when the specifics of what you do want aren't so obvious...

Elaine Ray said...

Macati and Cynthia - Thanks for the comments. I have been trying to use this idea in other aspects of my life. Sometimes if I can take out the ideas I don't want to pursue, I can then focus on those I do want to pursue. This even has helped me start to get rid of some of the physical clutter in my life - eliminate the stuff I really don't want so I can concentrate on the stuff I do want.

Thanks again,

Dawn Chastain said...

So wise!!
I love that Idea. A lot of times I'm not sure what I want but I have strong opinions on what I don't want and haven't thought to express them that way!! Thanks for the eye opener..dc

Elaine Ray said...

I took a look at your blog - nice bead work! Also, I noticed in your Etsy store information you talked about "palchemy". I had never heard of this and am intrigued! Now it is my turn to say thanks!

- Elaine

PS, look for a future blog about palchemy!