Friday, February 16, 2018

Minimalist Capsule Wardrobes for less fabulous lives.

   So, I'm paring down to a capsule wardrobe. Clothes from thrift stores and free piles are my comfort food. But I'm sick of them everywhere. Piles of them in every room. Falling on the floor again and now they're covered in dog/cat/guinea pig hair. Or worse.
   So, I'm using those giant paper lawn and leaf bags to purge the smothering excess. The el huge-o ones I could camp in if I had to. I have needed many and there is still SO MUCH MORE.
My goal here is to not have to care for so MANY THINGS. Especially fabric. It stains, and gets dirty and needs so much CAAAAAARE. My clothes, my two daughters' clothes, textile bizarre random things I've collected, Ben's stuff. He doesn't care much about clothes so long as they're comfortable, wash and wear, and maybe have an amusing game, beer, or anime related theme. He came from a really big family so I think he's just happy to have clothes that are only his. (besides what the household womenfolk steal.)
BTW today I'm writing from a place of burned-out I don't give a shittedness right now. So.

   So, as for MY clothes/other fabric crap I own, here is my plan (i.e.vain hope):
Minimalist capsule wardrobe. I actually like neutrals and earth tones. Brown is my favorite color. (Really. In real life.) So pretty much every minimalist wardrobe post one sees is all neutrals so that part should be pretty easy for me right? One could be forgiven for getting the impression minimalism requires a trim, black and grey casual, yet subtly expensive "uniform" in an all white room.

   I have looked up and pinned several hundred thousand ideas for minimalist capsule wardrobes (irony) and though helpful, they do not seem to be geared toward my life. I seem to have a lot more mud, pet hair, and stains. I also have a definite lack of need for a blazer to look "put together". I don't object to looking put together, I just don't see it as a regular occurrence. Also WTH  are "evening shorts"? (I really-and-for-true saw that listed.)
   I can't bear high heels. They leave me with crippling back, hip, and foot pain and I get whiny. So I guess I can't be that kind of effortless, stylish French girl. Maybe just a regular, schleppy French girl?

   So my plan is to just pare down to much fewer of the things I do wear and then maybe upgrade from there? Things I thought I liked it turns out that I don't anymore. I can't believe things that I though of as "Annie things"...aren't. Well crap. But also good? Because if I don't like anything then I can get rid of it all, right? After, of course, I work through the feeling I'm abandoning a dog that trusted me by not getting rid of some clothes that I don't like (I'm sorry! You are GOOD clothes! You have VALUE! We just aren't meant for each other! You are GOOD and LOVABLE, just not for me! (I don't have attachment issues to inanimate objects. Nope. You're thinking of someone else.)

It turns out I actually wear:

Skinny jeans: Whoa. After a period of incremental adjustment during which I felt like my legs were suffocating I actually mostly like them.They are my version of high heels. They are much more practical and useful than high heels and make me feel cute and perhaps stylish. They upgrade an outfit from schleppy to "maybe intentional".
I want to be comfortable but not quite to knitwear elastic pants, not yet. Although there've been times where I'm helping an elderly client get dressed and I think , "Hmmm. Sure are easy and comfy." But my clients are in their 80s so maybe not just yet.

Not skinny jeans: For when I get tired of skooching my pant leg back down my calf with my foot whenever I stand up. Mostly "jeans-style" corduroys as it turns out and a too-big, elderly pair of Levis for when I'm giving no shits. (Or "boyfriend-style", yeah, that's the ticket. I think to qualify as boyfriend style you have to wear very high heels with them to prove you meant to wear those big 'ol pants.)

Sweaters: I LOVE sweaters. They are my nest of comfort. I miss them in the summer. So I have a lot of them. So my wardrobe needs more of them than what others might consider justifiable.

Big brown cotton one. Comfy, stain-hiding, brown. I love brown.
Black cashmere high-end Brooks Brothers Goodwill one. Eight bucks for an (apparently) $400 sweater! Great price right? I was excited. I forgot for a minute that black loves pet hair and gathers it affectionately to it's bosom. Especially sweaters (almost as much as velvet.). Oops.
Schleppy tan cardigan with pockets. Meh. For when I want my shirt to show. Serviceable.
Floppy open knit pretty, mossy green, Old Navy sweater I actually bought new. Good for warm weather chilliness. Whatever you are wearing under it kind of peeks through in a becoming way. Too big and floppy now.

T shirts: Solid, neutral colors. Not prints. I love and have hoarded so many fabric prints. For decades.
I don't wear prints as it turns out. They make me feel like being near a noisy crowd I can't get away from. Overstimulating, I guess. I'll just have to enjoy those on other people.

   All Neutrals. All The Time. (Or largely neutrals, most of the time.)

Long sleeve big scoop or V neck. Crew neck makes my neck feel like someone is pulling on the back of shirt all day. I get claustrophobic. Black, grey, rust, stripey, weird purple I'm on the fence about.

Short sleeve non-crew neck, one stripey, brown, black, grey, two with No Face on them.  I love No Face.

Ok. More later. Like jackets/coats, shoes, bras, socks, underwear, tank tops, pajamas, leggings, skirts, dresses, etc. I need to go attempt to clean my house.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

House progress

   Although there is still so far to go, things are moving in the right direction. The clutter I've collected for years is trying to kill me. Suffocate me. Sap my will to live. I've been fighting it for years.
I would make much progress. Then I'd slide back down that hill. It wears one out. Both the struggle and just the effort required to function in a space that is so chaotic. Everything is always lost, or damaged, or dirty. Cleaning properly is almost impossible. My home was constantly sabotaging me and making me feel bad; about my home (can't have people over, even to stop by, without humiliation), and about myself (what kind of person lives like this? A hoarder. Not someone I wanted to be.)

   Lately though, something has changed. Quite a lot. Pictures like the one above look like something I'd pin on Pinterest to inspire myself. But that is MY kitchen. Part of it. Not the bit with all the crap I still need to go through, or the sinkful of dishes. But glimpses like that one keep me going. I can have a calm, interesting, supportive, functional house. Parts of my life/home are already there. I look at them and it's like I won the lottery. I cry big, fat, almost disbelieving tears of joy.
   Although I have read many, many books, articles, blog posts, etc.,about cleaning, de-cluttering, homemaking, and organizing, and many of them have helped, nothing compares to this one: "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondo (called Konmari). A friend had posted about it on Facebook.  I was always interested in books of that genre. One more tool in my arsenal. I bought the Kindle edition for eight bucks and started in. That eight dollar book was a game changer for me. It freed me to release things that sparked no joy. Things that had served their purpose, whatever that was. Even if their purpose, for me, was to show what I no longer needed. What no longer reflected me. No need to save it "just in case" or to justify it because it had cost money, or to worry that if I let the thing go, I would be shutting down some facet of myself that it symbolized. I could just thank that object and release it. If it didn't spark joy in me, I didn't need it and I could just let it go.
   As I said, I have fought this battle for decades. I am amazed that one book amongst so many could have such an effect. But it did. I am still in this process of purging. I am still a bit bemused that this huge, immovable obstacle I have beaten myself against for years to try and move, has shifted. I am immensely grateful, I am shocked, I am still wary of declaring complete victory (I've slid down this hill so many times), but I can just look at pictures like this and feel the shift that happened inside me and let the relief and joy wash over me.

Magic indeed.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Aghh! I love these! Tree rings, bronze, reminds me of the hammered pennies my teenage boyfriend used to make at his forge.
sharon sides +
hmmm. probably not excessively comfortable. Can I just have one to hang on a wall? ooo!Or a coffee table?
found here

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Thinking of a white garden. A calm garden.

Now that we've been in this house nine years all the plantings I did just to get some green things growing are TAKING OVER! I dream of a more edited, less chaotic, garden .Still a bit wild but not so overwhelming. Maybe a white garden. I am a bit obsessed with white. White walls, white white white.

I want a modern farmhouse garden. Tall airy plants, like cosmos and queen Anne's lace.

 Black flowers, sculptural flowers and forms.
And the sensuality of fragrance too.

Now, how to edit this massive, wild, green monster that is my yard? What to add?

Friday, May 10, 2013

this is the view from my desk into the kitchen.I love the way the light shines through the plants.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The shop is filling up, trickle by trickle.

 These little kitties came to visit my studio.
 Where the magic happens.Linen thread,vintage buttons of wood, metal, and shell,washi tape,mother of pearl, (coffee!), tech gadgetry.

In the shop now. A birds and clouds mobile strung from driftwood I rescued from a bonfire.

A beautiful vintage milk glass striped sugar jar. (Here without lid, used as a vase for some late summer fennel and nasturtium.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

 This cat is a lot of trouble. 
The girls and I left the house for an hour and a half today to get groceries. Upon our return was a message from  a neighbor that he had our kitty, whenever we wanted to come get him.
 Next message was from the local animal shelter saying that he had been dropped off there. Sheesh. Leave the house for five minutes and get charged $25 to get your cat back.
The kicker? 
Turns out Good Neighbor Samaritan lives ONE HOUSE OVER!