Quote

Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Fabric purchases

Here's today's beautiful fabrics. I bought 2m of each.
The plan is for the plain coral to be a summer jacket and for the print linen mix to be a summer skirt.
I bought them from the lovely guy who runs the fabric stall on the local market on a Monday (Monday Market Man) and have been eyeing up the print for weeks. It uses my favourite print - the leaf motif - and has 3 good colours for me - coral, brown and ivory so I think its good.

Monday, 29 June 2015

KonMari 1.7 Hanging Clothes in Wardrobe

Here's the hanging things in the wardrobe.

The right wardrobe has at the top a basket of Craghopper type casual trousers, and then all my various bodywarmer and fleece type tops.
The hanging section has shirts and blouses by colour, then skirt and trouser suits and then a few things for going to the pub at the weekend (denim skirt/jeans, leather jacket) or parties (nice dresses). This makes it super easy to get dressed for suited meeting days.
At the bottom I have my handbags.
The left wardrobe has smart separates. They are mixed up a bit so that the things which work as outfits are next to each other. I find this easier than having all the jackets together and all the trousers together.
I put things I have worn on the far left to encourage me to cycle through everything. At the far right are a few casual things which are a bit smarter and cooler than Craghopper and a fleece. The top section contains my knee length boots, and the bottom has scarves on the left and belts on the right.
This is probably still too much but is an improvement on what it was like.
I have stopped using my hanger multipliers and will be donating them, including an unopened packet!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

KonMari 2.0 Books

I still have some work to do in the clothes category around socks/tights/under things and night things, but paused that as I got a bit fed up after multiple days, but I will definitely revisit very soon.

Instead I moved on to books for a while and did try to do this all in one go.
Here's the totality of the books.
Some books are definite keeps and other books are definite give aways.
Others I need to go through and decide which books on a topic I want to keep and which to donate - beading/jewellery, personal style/colouring and home dec sewing are in this category. These are back on the shelves for now to avoid overwhelming my living room, but I will put a sticky note on then to remind me to have a few evenings flicking through.

Here's the give away pile so far.
I am sure I shall be adding to this over the next little while, but will get these packed up to go.

Friday, 26 June 2015

KonMari Mari 1.7 Casual clothes, shoes

Another couple of drawers, plus folded the clean laundry and put that all away.
Today's pile for donation.

Undies, PJs, bags, belts and jewellery still to do.

KonMari Mari 1.6 hanging clothes

More hanging clothes, this time from the special occasion stuff.
In the past I would have kept some of this stuff as it was still Good, but now it can go to another person.
I am remembering to learn from these pieces.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

KonMari 1.5 scarves

Not quite in order but a simple category late at night.
I love scarves so I am keeping the rolled ones (left) and donating the others (right).
Can you tell what my favourite colour is? I am definitely a Spring colouring, I am donating almost all the Autumn colour palette ones as they are too dark for me.
I may revisit this category again as I have not reduced by much here.

Fabric purchases

From the stall on the Monday market.
75cm of pale pink jersey, hopefully for a simple tee to be worn with PJ pants.
2m of dark navy and white stripes - for a knit top
2m of medium navy with white stars - for a knit top

Monday, 22 June 2015

House and garden changes (KonMari?)

This is probably not really KonMari type things but all part of making my home an even more lovely place to live in.
House - Doors
My parents came over on Saturday for a visit which was lovely. My father in particular is not the sort of person who likes to sit and chat. He likes to do things first and then have a chat later on. His mission on the last trip and this trip was to fix all my internal doors so they worked properly.
 This has involved changing quite a lot of the handles, moving door plates, in one case moving a hinge and in several cases sawing or planing the bottom off the doors so they don't catch on the floor. Now it was only a minor irritation before I have to say compared with other major things, however it is absolutely bringing me a great joy to be able to close any or all of the doors, and it makes the upstairs landing feel positively serene when I come up the stairs to see 5 closed white doors.

As some things are still a work in progress in all of those rooms its nice to be able to shut the door on the clutter and not have the visual noise all the time.

Garden - Hedge
In the garden at this house I have a front hedge for the first time and mum showed me how to use an electric hedge trimmer. There was another hedge under the front window all across the house, and this we removed half way on Saturday. N and I finished it off on Sunday, since half a hedge is a very odd looking thing. A couple of stumps are left and I'll have a think about what to do there.
Before the hedge trimming mum and I sorted things in the back garden, pruning an overgrown buddleia, twining the pretty climbing plant further round the pergola etc whilst N mowed and strimmed the lawns. Its is looking lovely and has made me very happy I have to say.
I have 10 bags of garden waste left that would not fit in my green bin (nor the top of my neighbours, with permission of course) so will need to deal with those another day. They are in the garage keeping dry in case I need to take them in the car for disposal.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

KonMari 1.4 Hanging items

So having done the other tops naturally lead on to looking at the shirts and blouses which hang up.
I went through these and found 5 to donate.
I then carried on with the hanging items making up outfits as I went,
matching jacket+trousers/skirt suit
jacket with co-ordinating skirt/trousers/dress
and a selection of navy and black bottoms which together with the various tops work with the bright jackets (red, lime, turquoise etc)
A few things I learned from the things which got donated were:-
I mostly don't wear light bottoms, two things which had a trim round the neckline (a piped jacket and a grosgrain trimmed shirt) are not my style (too preppy?)
Overall I donated 4 jackets, 4 skirts, 1 knit dress, 5 shirts, 1 scarf and 2 pairs of trousers. I did wear these things occasionally, but always in a slightly forced way so they are not going to be a huge loss in my wardrobe.
I am sure there will be more to come out, but at this stage, and without much pain I am pleased with.
No pictures of the wardrobe yet as I have lots of stuff in the bottom as yet unsorted!

Friday, 19 June 2015

KonMari 1.3 knit tops and tees

Folded as per the method these seem to take up less space which will allow me to add in some cooler weather items currently up in the loft.
Casual tops
And smarter tops which can be worn with work clothes.
I got rid of 17 tops and have 2 for alterations. (The discard pile).
Interestingly the discard pile included some duplicates all bought at the same time as each other, 3 tee shirts bought for going on holiday but not in colours I really loved and 3 tops for work which were made of quite thick polyester and were always too hot to wear in comfort (though great for packing for trips).
I need to learn from that!
So feeling pleased about that. There is space in the drawers so I'll be able to add the cool weather tops which are currently stored up in the loft.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

KonMari 1.2 Camisole Tops

I know so far the KonMari posts have been light on the photos. So here is my first attempt.
These are little cotton knit strappy camisoles I wear under anything sheer or low cut.
I have shortened about half of them to the best length for me. Three are in duplicate colours (black, ivory, white) and I would always choose the others so these will get donated. I am wearing a teal one.
I've folded them into squares and they are stored in shoe box sized storage I already had (from Ikea, bought for something else) and in a larger deep drawer (for now at least). Later these may move to the smaller drawer unit which is currently still full of underwear, socks, makeup etc.

KonMari 1.1 Preparation and vision phase

I've been working on my end state vision both by imagining my space and creating some inspiration boards for my clothes and home.
I put all my clean laundry away, have done all my ironing, shortened some too long camis, had a first go at folding things (those camis) collected books from about the house and put them on the bookshelf and I've also been researching other useful KonMari related resources.

This link contains people's answers to how to develop the instint for what really inspires joy.
http://ask.metafilter.com/277896/KonMari-How-to-develop-the-instinct-for-what-really-inspires-joy
Several different answers together helped here.

Also since we are starting with the clothing, I had a read up on wardrobe planning, as hopefully that can work in with the discarding and storing also.
http://www.puttingmetogether.com/2013/01/wardrobe-from-scratch-part-1-defining.html

And this link discusses approaches to using the KonMari method if you are a creative type with lots of stuff for doing activities (e.g. sewing, but applies in many areas) which I found helpful.
http://www.rootsimple.com/2015/02/de-cluttering-for-diyers-homesteaders-artists-preppers-etc/
I am a core clothing sewer, with interests in other crafts as well, so it will be interesting to see how I will apply this.

I was quite tempted to do books first as there are a lot less of them then clothes, but decided that I do want to get the most benefit out of it and hopefully this comes from following the guidance as closely as is feasible.
So I will start with clothes and related stuff.

The order is at a high level as follows:-
Clothing
Books and magazines
Papers
Miscellaneous (breaks into sub categories, and I'm putting sewing/craft at the end).
Sentimental/photos.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Monday, 15 June 2015

KonMari 1

I bought a copy of Marie Kondo's 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying' and have been reading it. I've just had my third time through it, and since I managed to tear the backcover I decided to go ahead and user the highlighter pen on it (an old habit from my student days) as this seems to help me to learn what the text is saying.
If you've not read the book it basically breaks into two parts, going through all your stuff by category and deciding what to keep (and discarding the rest) and then storing what you have kept in a way which works.Her approach has you go through everything you own deciding what to keep and how to store it, which she reckons will take an average person about 6 months.

I've found various sites and blogs which cover off people's summaries of the book, but a few seem to be missing something. Which is having an initial vision of the end goal "before you start, visualise your destination". I can relate to this because in the day job I run IT projects, and one of the things we ask at the begining of a new project is what things will look like after the project is complete, you keep this in mind all the way through and at the end when you say you are done, you need to check you did actually achieve those original project objectives.

So in this context Marie wants you to imagine your lifestyle once you have done your discarding and deciding where to store things. In October I bought the home I now live in after several years of renting, so I had alrady started that process thinking about what roles I wanted my home to perform for me. However the sheer effort of moving and then sorting out some problems like a rotten bathroom floor, old boiler etc put some of this on a back burner for me, but I'm up for that next level of sorting through things now.

First I am going to revisit that vision I had for my home and its purposes, pull a few images for inspiration and really get that destination goal clear in my mind. Hopefully that will keep me on course when I start getting overwhelmed by the boxes of stuff. I have unpacked all of the moving boxes, but I still have things in various storage boxes and baskets which have not been dealt with properly, though they look fairly pretty.

Next I'm going to set myself a 6 month project duration and work through the book following as much of it as I can. Whilst Marie's approach comes from her Japanese background she's been doing this for so many years that her logic as an expert with many clients has to count for a lot. So I'm prepared to give it a thorough try. One thing I don't really see is how she caters for people who have a creative outlet. So expecting my sewing and craft stuff to be hard to tackle meaningfully I am going to put them in at the end of Komono (miscellaneous items) but before sentimental items (photos, letters etc) in the hope that having dealt with almost everything else in my house by then it will flow more easily.

Marie's order is supposed to start with things that are easy to decide about and move on to those which are harder, on the basis that each time you make the choice about whether something brings you joy you are honing your ability to make future choices.

I have lots of stuff in every category so I should be a joyous and decisive person by the time we get to Christmas. I thought starting on Sunday (the summer solstice) and going through to 21st December (the winter solstice) would mark the suggested 6 months well, and given I've spent more than 40 years collecting all this stuff it's probably going to take that long (what with working and sleeping and having a life) to pick everything up and decide one thing at a time.

In case others are interesting in following the journey I'll tag the posts appropriately as I go.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Black pencil skirt

Here's my latest finished project, a black ponte pencil skirt.
It has a centre front and back seam, and is based on the back piece of Vogue 2989's skirt lengthened to be below the knee. Its a great shape and works well in anything with some stretch to it.
I wasn't sure if I needed a back split or not, but I can walk in it easily enough without so have sewn up the back seam to the hem.