Project Minima:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

State of Project Minima - The First Year

Yes, a year has gone by since I decided to launch Project Minima and I'm still as involved as ever.  Let's look back and see if I accomplished my original goals and what other doors have opened along the way.  hmmm.
illustration by Clare Owen.

Well, the main goal I had written on Day One was: "...everything works, everything looks good, it all fits and I like it."  I would say I have achieved that - although in ways that I had not envisioned at the time.  In terms of my starting with the clothes list, I have favored the "play with to be altered" item rather than the "give away the not wanted."  The significant refinement came for me in my second post when I decided to go on a shopping free ban for the year.  I haven't bought a single item of apparel (new or used) in all that time.  This allowed my creativity to flourish -

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Some Summer in the City

All of a sudden it was so hot this Memorial Day weekend that the air conditioners went into action just like that (snap of the fingers).  And I whipped up a little something something to wear in all that heat.  wait til you see it...

painting by Alfred Galura.
Well, first off I rehabbed a semi-sheer camisole and matching pantaloons to fit me a little more comfortably.  I added some stretchy matching print fabric from my stash to the side seams of each item.  Once that was completed I felt I really needed a bit of a cover-up to wear over them since they were on the sheer side.

How about more semi-sheer fabric?!  I took a swatch of floral scrap fabric I had and wrapped it around my waist like a sarong, tying it at my hip - voila.  Then I found a beautiful bit of lacy-looking stretch fabric.  I just folded it in half and cut out a boat neckline and then sewed a tiny stitch in the middle of each side edge where the sleeve underarm would be.  Now I had a cool and breezy cropped top.  Check it out!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Status Update: Celebrate Good Things!

I've kept my end of the bargain up - so far so good.  Today is my check-in day with the coach/owner of the exercise place.  Yes, I did the group calisthenics, which was actually more like indigenous dancing if you ask me and performed in a circle so I couldn't even be in the back row!  Nevertheless I kinda did have fun after a bit.  I also woke myself up at 5am to get there by my 6am deadline on one of the days.  I did enjoy being up and about before anyone else was out on the streets. It reminded me of when I was a kid and used to get up real early to talk with my dad before he left for work in the mornings.

painting by Thian Joo.
In other news, the studio/supply room/enclosed porch/dressing room project is declared a success!  All is satisfactorily completed and I'm still in a state of shock after all that moaning and groaning I had going.  Of course there's always some fine tuning that could be done - like organizing my sock drawer by color (oh, it already is!) - but the most important things have been accomplished.

I am so ready to get back in there and do some sewing again.  yea!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On Getting it Done

I did show up on Monday.  I let it slide til afternoon, but that was because I was working on the studio/dressing room extravaganza.  And I did the F.A. (Fitness Assessment) rolling of the eyes here.  Facing reality is good.  geez.  It's a start,

painting by Catherine Kehoe.
I'm starting...and look here,  I'm at the foreseeable end of the studio renewal project which several weeks ago seemed insurmountable.  yep.

To help things along, I instituted a new habit.  After I take that first sip of caffeinated beverage, I go upstairs and get dressed for exercise - whether I go or not is a different matter.  It's the getting dressed for it that's the habit I want to form.  So linking the task to something I already do without thinking - like getting my caffeine is the idea.  Like I said, it's a start.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How the Universe Provides..?

Coming up on a milestone birthday and the first anniversary of my blog in June, not coincidently.  What has occurred at the same time, without planning however, is my true love's drastic reduction in hours at work.  The resultant cut also makes our health insurance coverage null & void effective immediately.  yeah.  Good thing I've been practicing Project Minima, huh?!  And liking it too. 

painting by Wayne White.
Meanwhile...I've been going down the block to an exercise place for quite awhile now, first as a devotee, and in later years, less often, as a slug.  So yesterday, the owner was in and I asked about the possibility of working there, yada yada yada, for all the obvious reasons.  Be careful what you ask for!   Too funny.  Right away she says,

Friday, May 18, 2012

Keep those doggies movin'

artwork by Nick Scalfittura.
Another day well spent.  After a morning of my task and nap routine, I was able to sustain the task aspect for the rest of the afternoon.  Accomplished much more than expected - even though there's much more still to do.  Man-o-man.  Note to self:  just keep at it, rather than dwelling on what to do or how to do it, etc., etc. and

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Just Move It!

I'm doing it, moving it.  With much help from my true love, of course, who got me started this morning.  yea.  
painting by Eric Budovitch.
All the driftwood has been boxed and taken to the garage (it's a long story).  The enclosed porch has been swept, all the shelving cleaned - still some empty boxes to get rid of though.

Moved all the not fitting jeans back there from the dressing room.  Next to go are all the T-shirts I don't wear.  Put all the shoes away for now and started sorting out the wearables from the non's so they can make the trip to the porch too.  Woo-hoo!  Soon I'll only have the items I like to wear and that fit me - all in one place.  Imagine that!  The possibilities for outfitting are too exciting...

Well, gotta go and get back to it!

Monday, May 14, 2012

To Be and To Have

Okay, I declare the studio and art supply room are done and done.  The studio is really cleaned and completely re-organized to my satisfaction and the supply room is good enough to move on.  That took 2 weeks to do with intervening naps when overwhelmingness over came me.
artwork by Alli Arnold.
That leaves the enclosed back porch (if I really need more space) and the dressing room as the next target areas.   I just can't bring myself to deal with that disaster area - aka my dressing room - right now.  awwkk!  It is filled with all the clothes unearthed from ___________ (fill in the blank).

It was about this time last year when I started Project Minima and decided to do something about my accumulation of things, especially clothes.  What I had decided to do was remake whatever didn't fit, I didn't like, or wear. So now I have all this unwearable stuff that has become my fabric stash, so to speak.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rocking Florals 3 Ways

With my Bright Red Floral Print Dress, that is.  Who knew you could take such a stand-out frock and rock it in 3 different ways?!

painting by Pat Otto.

Well, I did apparently.  Really it's just that I like the thing so much and wanted to wear it again and again.

Spring weather in Chicago has ranged from hot, to chilly, to cool and me and my flower dress went along for the ride.

Click on View the Clothes for Spring to see what I'm talking about.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What's Going On?

I found myself in the supply room spontaneously doing some artwork at the little table by the window.  It used to hold my sewing machine.  With all the re-organizing, a lot of my art supplies are now lying around in boxes on the floor, but still organized within them.

painting by Leslie Lee.
It happened because creativity has got to come out somewhere I think - and I've banned myself from sewing until I get the studio, supply room, and dressing room sorted out.  Anyway, it was fun, low-key, satisfying - in the midst of everything going on - or not going on.

Well, I'm going to have to lift that ban soon if I don't get moving with the tasks at hand.

You know, you just can't block the creative spirit.  (thank goodness!)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Some Heavy Lifting Involved

painting by Eric Budovitch.
Moved some shelving units around today, from the supply room to the studio.  Inch by inch, but I did it, yea!  And started putting some of the sewing stuff on shelves.  Not sure what goes where yet, but I'm starting to get excited about possibilities.  And it doesn't seem too crowded yet.   Still lots to do.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Studio of Our Own X 2

Rolling up two layers of linoleum covering the hardwood floor was the studio task for today.  It wasn't glued down since I originally put it there to protect the flooring in the first place from my messy art-making materials and processes.  After finishing, the Mr. and I just sat there and enjoyed the view.  smile. 

painting by Sopio Chkhikvadze.
I also brought up the subject of his closet (which he has to access through my studio...ahem).  I mentioned, wouldn't it be nice for him to have a bigger closet that he could enter from the hallway or...  Anyway, we were able to calmly discuss the possibility of expanding his closet through the adjoining wall of an unused office closet in the next room,

Friday, May 4, 2012

Taking Care of Business...Everyday

I found myself casually dropping in and out of the studio today doing bit by little bit - with no trauma, dread, or all!!!!

installation by J. Morgan Puett.

Now I have all the art supplies in the supply room and only the sewing stuff in the studio.  The floor is cleared of obstacles and new light bulbs are in the fixtures.  One by one, it all adds up.

And there's still plenty more a-waiting my attention.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Break On Through...

Yea!  With a little help from the dearest one, that is.  Thank goodness he was off today to give me shots of encouragement as needed.  Spent much more than 15 minutes this morning digging in and doing the things that must be done.

painting by Ray Caesar.
It's all still a mess, but it's more of a controlled mess now - at least in one of the rooms.  Everything is off the floor in the studio and only sewing stuff is in there now - no art supplies (sorta).  Most of the art materials are in the supply room and need to be organized, but there's still lots of sewing stuff in there too, so

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An Attempt At Sorting It

okay, okay, I put in my 15 minutes today.  30 minutes actually until I became over-whelmed.  Still.  Maybe I'll go back in and do more...

artwork by Simon Evans.
My true love had said "just pick up the garbage" so I armed myself with a trash bag and went in.  I immediately got side-tracked with sorting my scrap fabric by color!  That was fun. Then I emptied one of many tote bags full of

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This is My Studio in Chaos

painting by Joaquin Mateo.
May Day, May Day.  This is the state of my studio, dressing room, supply area... I have decided this last month of my year long commitment called Project Minima shall be ___________!  I'm at a loss for words.

Cleaning, organizing, sorting it out, re-organizing, re-structuring, re-thinking, re-planning, making it work, etc., etc., etc.  I can't continue to ignore