Often when I'm making a piece of jewelry or some other piece of art, I think about it for awhile before I do anything. I get an idea, and I expand on it in my head, often before I go to sleep at night. Finally, I'll get out my jewelry tools, my sheets of metal, and I'll start playing around. I may make a few designs before I finally come up with my prototype.
I had an idea to make a little book charm and this is what I eventually made. I tried quite a few things that didn't work, too. I used mica for the front cover, and learned not too peel it too thin. I tried putting eyelets on the mica, but I squeeze too hard and trashed the mica. I had to go with a thicker watercolor paper on the inside so the pages would hold their own against the copper back. And I tried a few different rubber stamp images and ink colors for the first page. I wanted it to show through the mica.
This little charm might look simple, but it wasn't. I used a thick wire and had trouble bending it in half. I hammered flat the ends and curled them up. But sometimes I hammered too much and the wire got too thin. The cross piece had to be worked right to the edge of the other wire. That got discouraging, and I wanted to quit. This may look like a small project to you, but I really had to encourage myself to keep working on it. I had to pull out my standard "pep talk" list for getting something done (so I didn't end up with a 90% finished project).
1. Take a break, then get back to it.
2. Work in small chunks.
3. Get input from others (emailing photos to a friend always works).
4. Pat yourself on the back for what you've done so far.
5. List all the steps needed to finish, and check them off as you do each one.
6. Finish -- then finalize the list of steps so you can make one again.
This seems to help me when I get stuck or discouraged on a project. I hate having 90% finished projects lying around.
(The P.S. to the silver dangle: It was a lot of work to just make one, but I learned some shortcuts and new techniques I've used on other jewelry pieces.)