I jump in, sometimes with just a color or pattern in mind.
A friend gave me a worn wooden salad bowl. It was nothing special, and not even vintage, simply plain, old secondhand (originally from Pier One, then unearthed in a thrift store, yeah...).
I had saved some black and white striped tissue paper (because I save and reuse things), thinking of decoupage possibilities down the line.
I pictured the exterior of the bowl covered, haphazardly, asymmetrically, with the paper.
I didn't know where I was going to go from there. I jumped in, cut up the paper, and broke out the Modge Podge. I discovered that tissue paper requires a delicate hand, and that it wrinkles and crinkles in an unexpected way.
The black and white was not enough, I thought, when done applying the paper. I turned to my acrylic paints and blocked out stripes and shapes in grey, midnight blue and pink. Then I highlighted, defined, sharpened those with crimson, green, and turquoise.
The paint not only served an aesthetic purpose, but also a practical one, covering any seams or tears I did not like.
Here I am now. Not done, but getting there, in progress.
Next? Sealing the decoupage and painting with more Modge Podge, then layers of polyurethane for durability. And then sanding the interior and conditioning it with food-safe oil,