Monday, March 28, 2016

How To Do This - Capsule Wardrobe with Coordinated Colors! Part 1

As many of you may already know - I have 6 drawers of clothes. That's it. No closet, no clothing storage, no boxes of different stuff - 6 drawers. I used to have a closet, and hangers, and a full dresser, and boxes of clothes for every season... but now I have 6 drawers. Odd thing is, I always have something to wear which wasn't always true before when I had full closets!

When we first decided to move into the tiny house and I knew I'd have to pare down I was really nervous. Running through my head were thoughts like:
  • I already can't find clothes to wear!
  • There is not enough storage for anything!
  • I'm going to have to give up my favorite X!
  • What about my fancy / expensive thing that I only wear once a year?
  • Nothing I have matches!
  • But I'll be able to fit into these jeans in 6 months so why get rid of them?
I approached purging with dread. Going through my dresses, jeans, and tops - I kept thinking I was losing something. It was slow, torturously slow, but by the time we moved in I had donated several boxes and bags of clothing. I had less, but I still had way more than 6 drawers worth of clothes.

I think I was searching online for storage methods when I came across "capsule wardrobe." A capsule wardrobe is a curated collection of essentials - core garments - that can be augmented with seasonal pieces.

Sounds good - but how do you go about making one?

Step one - Be Inspired!

I spent some time online looking at images that made me happy. Whenever I found something I liked I opened a paint doc and dropped a copy of it there. This isn't the original image-board I went to step 2 with - that board was much larger and full of lots more images, but this is a quick sample for you folks to get the general idea.

Make your own board with things that you really like - but the key here is visual things. Quotes or ideas don't work on this. Look for things that both mean something to you and have an image with colors you enjoy looking at.



Step two - Find Your Colors!

I talking Paint here because that was the easiest and more accessible for me. You could totally do this same project on Photoshop or any number of digital art programs.

Open your picture board in one tab. Open a blank paint window in another. Make it big. Make a black rectangle. Copy/paste until you have a large grid of black rectangles. Make as many as you want!

Now go to you picture board tab and, using the eyedropper tool, select colors that stand out to you and drop them into your blank rectangles. When you pull a color ask yourself: do I like this color? Is this the best color from this image?
My original color chart
Step three - Narrow it down!

Before moving on to the next step, ask yourself - how many clothes do you want to have? How much laundry do you want to be responsible for? How many colors might you really need in your wardrobe?

Some people may need to have 4 full seasonal wardrobe changes. Some might want 3, or 2, or maybe they just want one signature style. I chose 2 clothing switches - a fall/winter and spring/summer. That means I made one color palette for fall/winter and another for spring/summer.

I made a palette grid with 2 basics, three main colors, and 4 accent colors. I pulled the colors from the large grid of colors. It took a while of playing around with different options - I mean, how many shades of pink are there in my grid? How many shades of pink do I want to wear?

Take some time finding the right color combinations - you have your large palette which has already narrowed it down, you have a good start! Now, are there any colors that particularly stand out for you? Copy/paste them to the side of the grid and arrange until you are satisfied.
Step four - Build Your Wardrobe!

Shop your closet for things you already have. Keep in mind your two basics - work pants, work skirts. and other hard-use items often fall in those two workhorse colors. Everything should go with them.

Your three mains are colors that you wear often. Monday-Friday you can be found in combos of your main colors and your basics. They are comfortable colors that are probably already your favorites.

Your four accent colors (while still matching and coordinating well with everything else) are your chance to liven things up! These are items that really make you smile. You might not wear them every day, but you feel like a million dollars when you do.

Shop your existing closet to find the items that fall into your palettes. If you feel nervous about nixing the rest, toss them into a box and see if you need any of it for a month or two before checking if you can let it go yet.

Once you have a wardrobe where everything coordinates you'll spend less time building outfits, less time hunting for "that special shirt," and your confidence that no matter what is in your closet at the end of the week. you'll still look fabulous.

Another important benefit to note is that you will save money by not buying clothes that you don't have any matches for. Print out your color pallets (on the clearest printer you can find!) and stash a copy in your wallet. Before you part with your cold hard cash, take a look at your fabric. Does it match one of the colors in your pallet? If not, put it back on the hanger. Keep your money for something that will match more items in your closet.

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Hopefully this has helped you to whittle down your closet into a organized system that works for you instead of you working for it. I ended up getting down to 6 drawers, but it took a few weeks to really get comfortable with the new system.

What has worked for you? Would you give a system like this a shot?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Mustang - She Lives!! (Starter replacement)

So, you already know the ending - Musty has come back to life!

The story -

About a two weeks ago I met a lovely gentleman from the interwebs who was kind enough to donate one of his spare starters. I had replaced the starter solenoid but it still hadn't turned over, so the next likely issue was the starter...that is, according to the internet. I claim no brilliance here - I'm just crowd sourcing my mechanical advice because I don't have a mechanical background or a regular mechanic.

Last week we cleared out the garage (separate post coming later) and so earlier today D, T, and I moved the car into the garage and got to work. D jacked it and helped me with two of the bolts that were really stuck. I finished the removal and wiggled the big thing out through the bottom. Even though it isn't very big, holding it over your head while on your back under a car makes it feel pretty heavy!

The hardest part was turning the ratchet while inside the car. There really is no room in there! Tons and tons of tiny ticks later and the bolts were back on. D swapped places with me a few times when my arms were tired. Thanks D!

Auto repair in pink house slippers!
After replacing the starter I almost didn't want to turn the key. A little Schrodinger's cat situation - if the car is off can does the car work? Well, you just don't know. So, with a little bit of butterflies in my stomach I got in and turned the key...and it started! Well, it didn't fire right up...it kind of turned, then turned, then started, then rev'd so loud it started to get scary. Then I turned it off. Then I restarted it and put it in reverse and the car lurched back. I had to ride the brake to inch it back toward my daily driver car and it made me nervous it was rev'ing so hard. D says it shouldn't go that high, and that now we have another issue to solve - but it starts! Oh high heaven it starts!

Next up, removing the interior and researching the rev'ing thing. How do you tell when a car is rev'ing too high? Is it bad? Does it rev high and then come down? Musty is a mysterious lady...

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Lady has a New Ride

I've got a new set of wheels!

I was keeping an eye out for a new motorcycle - and until last week I'd thought the only bike that really suited me was the BMW g650. I liked the seating position, the low height, and the performance of the BMW but at $8,000 starting price it wasn't really in my budget. So, I considered it a dream-bike and kept my eye out but didn't go much further.

D was looking. D has a V-strom but wanted something more. Unfortunately, or luckily depending on your perspective, there just isn't a better bike for what he wants. We had tried lowering the V-strom so that I could inherit it, but even after putting on the lowering links, I still couldn't touch the ground. If it went down I would not be able to pick it up on my own. Even though the V-strom and the BMW g650 have a lot of things in common, it just wasn't for me.

So I continued day-dreaming of a BMW adventure rider and keeping my eye out - occasionally going out to see what was available. I'd throw my leg over and confirm - yep, this is the perfect bike for me. I did that for one that was so close to my price range that it was worth it to start negotiations with the dealer. But, before I signed a deal, D suggested I check out one other bike, the Honda CB500x.

I'd seen a woman riding one at a Touratech movie night, and remembered it looked pretty good, so we searched around for one online. I found a 2015 at a dealer and D and I went to try it out. My thinking was that I was going to try one more option before going back to the BMW. I threw a leg over and wow, it was a great fit!

A few days later I found one in the price and features I was looking for online. I called the dealer to see if it was still there and we took a drive out to visit. When I walked in I was surprised when he automatically assumed I wanted to check out the 2013. I hadn't heard that there was a 2013 and hadn't found a used one available anywhere. Turns out it had recently come in and had just been listed. Good luck!

2013 Honda CB500xa has ABS breaks, a similar upright riding position to the V-strom and BMW, a lower seat, and at about 400 lbs - I wasn't worried about dropping it. This particular bike came with heated grips and after market adjustable levers. Bonus!

Now I'm no longer day dreaming about riding a BMW. Instead, I'm going riding on my Honda and saving about 4 grand. Now I can afford some gear upgrades for the new riding season! Updates on that coming soon!

Sidenote: I have some plastidip coming my way and I can't wait to mod out the tank sides with Sailor Moon stickers. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Finishing the Garage


The project for February was to finish the garage and I'm happy to say we are done!

It started with bare walls, similar to our living space. We added insulation, drywall, paint, lights, and lots of organization! Not to mention tons of cleaning and elbow grease.

You'll see more projects coming up in the near future. Our goal is one house project a month - we have gardening, more organization, interior projects, and lots more!

- Pics below -

No more bare walls

Working around the windows

Taping the seams

Painted, organized, and put back together

Shop side

Storage, art, and canning side. There are some left over bits on the floor - soon to disappear!

Work tables. There are some left over bits on the tables but it is soon to be organized!


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Dog Tricks - A little dose of cuteness

A little dose of cuteness here: Fams has learned to balance a treat on his nose! I think it has taken so long for him to learn this trick because he can see the food. That, and it is hard for me not to laugh when I see him going cross-eyed and so excited to have a tasty treat so close he can almost taste it.

He figured it out though. We moved the treat closer to his eyes so he can't really see it and he's learned to watch our hands to see when he can move.
He'd really very good with hand signs.

Isn't he such a handsome dachshund?!