Sunday, August 29, 2010

Simplifying the wardrobe

I was inspired by a thread on the Simple Savers website to go through my wardrobe today and throw out everything that I did not like, anything washed out or stained or just never worn.
Anything worthwhile I put aside for the local op shop, but I ruthlessly culled all socks without a pair, and anything which could not be repaired.

When it comes to simplifying one's wardrobe, there is a great deal of good advice out there. The inspiration was this site, referring to the Capsule Wardrobe -a set of basic clothes which coordinate and can be mixed and matched to make a variety of outfits for a variety of occasions.

Let's face it, it is too easy to get sucked into the commercial hype around clothing, that makes women feel inadequate and sends us off to buy clothes which hang in our wardrobe rarely worn because we have nothing which goes with it. The idea of working towards a basic wardrobe can save money and stress -when you pick something out, it should work with other things hanging there!

I like to look nice, but I only pay an occasional nod towards the world of fashion. Fashion was not meant for the likes of me -too short, and too womanly in shape to feel as though I was going to get far down that track. As it is, I find it difficult to find pants that fit, or shirts where the sleeves are not too long, or clothes that actually keep me warm!

There is a fascinating story on the web of a woman who took a stand against fashion, and wore ONE DRESS for a whole year. You can read about her experiences here:
The Brown Dress
What she discovered was that other people rarely notice what we are wearing -they are too busy with their own concerns! She also found a certain freedom in getting off the fashion treadmill.

What I found today was that I like to wear black, red, blue and green with occasional bits of purple or pink.

I have a fine collection of jackets (15!) , and some good shirts, but I am lacking one or two foundation pieces like a black skirt for work and a couple of pairs of dress pants.

I have a very fine collection of scarves and pashminas, which I use to dress things up, and a good collection of ear rings and other jewellery, which finish off an outfit.

It will be necessary to buy another pair of summer shoes as the ones I have are looking a little worse for wear.

Knowing this will help me buy what I need to keep the wardrobe simple, but effective.

When I see the victims of the Pakistan floods on the TV, with nothing at all to their name, I take it as a worthwhile corrective to the acquisitiveness which comes in our Western culture too easily. I hope I can keep thinking simple when it comes to my wardrobe!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Here are some thrifty things we have been doing this weekend.

We noticed our neighbour was throwing out some white tiles, during the last Council Clean Up weekend. DH rescued them and this weekend he has been laying them in the porch outside our front door.

The area is very dark -dark bricks, dark floor. The idea of tiling had occurred to us, and these tiles turned up at the right time.

We had to buy cement and grout for the tiles, and DH needed a special tool so I guess it cost $100 all up to do this makeover. (the tool is ready for other jobs, of course). The picture was taken yesterday, before the grout was applied.

We have already noticed how much the tiles reflect light into this dark space, and when we get our new doors installed soon, it is going to be quite transformed.

Spring time is nearly here, and I noticed these bright place mats in the local op shop for $1 each. I think they are just the thing for a spring weekend lunch.

It was the same op shop that supplied this lovely box with red butterflies. All it needed was a split pin to hold the lid, and I am delighted that it matches my desk mouse pad. I am using it to hide my camera cable etc.

We planted this lavender in the veggie patch to encourage the bees to hang around and pollinate our veggies. I get to look at this loveliness, the bees like the flowers and everyone is happy. I guess it cost about $4.oo.

AND all these lovely green leaves, for salads. They are quite perfect at the moment, given the showers of rain, and so fresh and healthy. This tub probably cost $12 for the seedlings.

We planted some early tomatoes, peas and more lettuce today. Well, in a few weeks these lettuces will be finished, and lettuce leaves are one of our favourite garden crops.

Thank you for those who leave comments. I am always delighted to get them.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Time for a progress report-DH at work!

My Dear Husband has been at work doing lots of jobs for me. This installation in my sewing room is a panel curtain from Ikea, which replaces the wonky wardrobe doors. These slide, so do not intrude into the room, and yet cover up the craft storage cupboard, which I am still organising. I really like the look of them.

I keep finding bits of craft materials which I had stored in all sorts of cubby houses all over the house. Just yesterday I found a lovely selection of coloured cotton reels hidden in a decorative box on top of the piano!

As you can see, they are easy to slide in any direction so I can get what I want. I have been gradually labeling the boxes, and deciding what to put where, so that I can easily find it again.

The panel curtains can stack at either end or in the middle.

It is so nice to see these jobs being done around our house.

The carport is finished and looking good. My DH has been doing some jobs around it, to make it all perfect again. Some of the driveway bricks had been disturbed and needed to be relaid, and there was a bit of leftover building material which needed to be disposed, so there is a skip on the front verge, and we have a week to get some of the junk into it before it goes away.

I hope you like the pictures of our home improvements. I am very grateful for my lovely DH who is such an enthusiastic partner in all of our home improvements around here. Thank you DH, for being willing to tackle so much of this stuff for me. I know he gets a big sense of satisfaction when it comes out right. Don't you think he does a good job?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Celebrating democracy

Something very exciting happened this week.

I am a GetUp member, and we were happy to support the High Court case brought by GetUp to challenge the validity of a law brought in by the previous government, which had the effect of disenfranchising a lot of people -mostly young people voting for the first time-from voting in an election if they did not manage to get on the electoral roll within 24 hours of the poll being called. We took a court case and ....we won! It is estimated that there may be up to 100,000 people who will be able to vote as a result, in the next election, due in 2 weeks' time.

Have a look at the story here.

I do believe that the cause of Simple Living is one which does not just relate to growing veggies, cooking from scratch or living frugally. It also encompasses contributing to the community in which we live. GetUp is a new way of doing this.

On Tuesday next I will be participating in a silent vigil organised by GetUp and others, to highlight the plight of the mentally ill in our society, in the run up to the election. I am making a sign which I will carry which will say:
"immigration detention causes mental illness".

If you are a local Perth resident, please feel free to join us.

A candlelit vigil will take place in the Perth CBD on Tuesday 10 August commencing at 5.30pm for a 6.00pm start. Concerned members of the public are invited to gather at Stirling Gardens, on the corner of Barrack St and St Georges Terrace, Perth. The group plans to do a silent walk through the gardens. There will be speakers and singing.

The Vigil is being planned by a coalition of individuals and community groups. It supports the call by Professor Patrick McGorry for national mental health reform.

The vigil will be conducted to remember those who’ve been lost, and those who still suffer needlessly because of the inadequate mental health care system. Simultaneous vigils will occur in public places across Australia, including a similar event at ‘The Gap’ which will be led by Professor McGorry.

People who attend are being asked to bring warm clothes, candles, banners and pictures of loved ones affected by our failing mental health system. This is a non-partisan event, calling on all political candidates to make mental health reform a priority.