Simple Style


Welcome to those of you who have discovered my blog for the first time this week.  I hope you are enjoying the recipes but please take some time to search through the almost 5 years worth of posts related to simple living which encompass sewing, gardening, decluttering and organisation.

A break tonight from dinner recipes and photos.  We had sausages, salad and sweet potato chips.  You need neither a recipe or photograph for that, although I will do a future post on oven-baked sweet potato chips -Yum!!

Sometimes you realise that you have embraced simplicity quite unconsciously.

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I bought a new pair of glasses recently to wear when working on the computer.  They are the black framed ones at the front of the photograph.  I did not notice until I arrived home how similar they were to my existing glasses that I wear all of the time.  I had bought them a few months previously and when I looked closely at the two pairs together they are the same brand and a very similar shape.

When I considered this, it made sense.  I have been wearing glasses for 44 years and have worn numerous styles, some of which did not suit me at all.  These days I can walk into an optical store and dismiss almost all of the frames on offer in a single glance as I know what suits me and I choose accordingly.  Buying frames is really no different to any other fashion choice – know your style and stick to it.

Project 333 – What Went Back

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As promised, I will share a bit more of my wardrobe clean-up.

This is an overview of the bedroom on Saturday morning before I started.

2015-05-19 01It is not looking the best as I have made it to the end of the full-time working week and now it is time to sort things out.

I mentioned in my earlier post that I removed everything from the wardrobe.  I made the bed and hung up the jackets from the end of the bed before I started so that I had a clear working space.

Although one of the basic ideas behind Project 333 is to actually remove all but 33 items of clothing from your closet I had never actually done that.  I believed that most of my clothes were worn year-round due to our relatively temperate climate.  That is still the case and I have not limited myself to a precise number but as we are approaching our coolest months of the year I removed my summer clothes.

2015-05-18 01Here is the small pile of dresses, sleeveless tops and shorts which I will not wear again until the weather is hot.  This is in addition to those items which I have specifically set aside for our trip to Singapore.

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I took the time to critically examine each garment and try on a few different combinations to discover what worked together and how I felt about it.  A few pieces have been taken by the local recycle boutique on consignment and a couple more gone to the op shop.

This is what I was left with.  I will wear these clothes for the next 3 months with 1 or 2 possible purchases.

2015-05-18 02There are 2 pairs of trousers, a pair of jeans, 2 shirts and a jacket not shown as I was wearing them/they were in the wash.  The pile of summer clothes is bagged and on the top shelf along with a couple of bags and 2 sunhats.

It is now easy for me to see what is ‘missing’ so that I can make considered choices when I go shopping.

One of the things that is obvious from my selection of clothes is that I love prints – florals, stripes, spots, checks – I have them all.  I can now see that this is what has held me back from pursuing a ‘capsule wardrobe’ as many like to describe it.  So many blogs and discussions seem to revolve around plain colours, neutrals and mix’n’match themes.  In general terms, they also lean to what I regard as ‘wishy-washy’ colours – cream, sand, khaki, pale denim which do not inspire me.  I love (and look best in) black and white as neutrals with strong, clear colour accents – red, emerald green, purple and fuschia and my clothes mostly reflect that.

I feel like my wardrobe works for me.

Project 333 – A New Dress For Christmas


Do you remember the excitement of getting a new dress for Christmas or your birthday?  It was really exciting because it was a rare occurrence.  Now it is relatively cheap and easy to buy a new outfit whenever you please and I feel that this detracts from the excitement.  Is it the fact that we are trying to recreate that excitement that sends people back to the shops to buy more and more clothes and shoes?

Black dress with white spotsActually, I did not get a new dress for Christmas, in fact I did not receive any gifts of clothing nor did I buy any clothes during the Christmas season.  This is the only dress I currently own.  It is about 3 years old and I wear it at least once a week for about 8 months of the year.

2012-12-03 01I did not feel any need to rush out and buy something new for a special occasion.  I have enough clothes at the moment to cover my needs which are the same as they were a few months ago.  I did make this skirt before Christmas and wore it to a Christmas lunch with my work colleagues as well as on Christmas Day with my family.

One of my sewing projects is to make a new lining for a skirt so that I can wear the skirt to a wedding in March.  The wedding is in Canberra so it could be quite cool so I want to make a jacket, probably black velvet and my sister has offered to lend me her black pashmina as well.

Although I am not strictly participating in Project 333 at the moment, I am constantly reviewing the clothes I own and deciding what may be the next thing to go and whether or not it needs to be replaced.  Even though we still have the hottest part of the summer ahead of us, I am already considering what I will need for winter.  I have lost weight in the last 6 months and I am managing to continue to wear most of my existing clothes but one of the first casualties was the one pair of grey trousers which I wore to work.  I had been wearing them for several seasons and they were looking a little past their prime.  I sent them to the op shop when I discovered that I could pull them down over my hips without undoing the fly.  I must admit that they were always a little on the large side.

Shopping is definitely not a pastime for me but I will have to make a concerted effort to find some nice fitting trousers.  I would like 2 pairs, perhaps a charcoal grey and a lighter grey.

I like good quality clothes that are a flattering cut and colour for me but I do not feel the need to have a bulging wardrobe.  I am getting closer to my goal of only having items that I wear regularly and being able to mix and match most, if not all of the pieces.

If you haven’t heard of Project 333 then here might be the place to start.  You can also check out some of my earlier posts on the subject by typing 333 into the search function on the right-hand side of the page.

Do you have any hints or suggestions for minimising the contents of your wardrobe?

Project 333


I have signed up for Project 333, a challenge to have a wardrobe of just 33 items for 3 months.  I will be starting on April 1st so now is the time to start tweaking my list.  You can read all about the project here.

I have started my list and here are some of the items I have selected.  I wonder if they will all make the final cut?

Black/white striped shirt
Pink cardigan

Shirt and pink cardigan

Black cord jacket
Pink and black striped top


Black striped top
Pink vest


Black/cream blouse
Pink suede jacket


Dusty pink top
Black jacket


Black top with squares

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Grey trousers
Black 3/4 trousers


Black skirt


Floral skirt


That is 14 items so far which should just about cover work and going out wear.  I still need some casual wear and shoes.  I suspect the shoes could be my undoing!

I know that the 3 month period will include a couple of days at an outdoor music festival as well as a celebration dinner at a swish restaurant as well as all of my usual activities.

It is interesting to note that most of the items are between 3 and 8 years old so they have stood the test of time already.  In fact the top with the square pattern on it is over 10 years old.

I will definitely add jeans and travel pants as well as a rugby top and polo-neck knit top.  The definitive list will be posted in the next week or two.  There will also be regular updates on my success (or otherwise).

Will you be joining in?

Space and Style


More is definitely less when it comes to decorating.  I find a single piece much more aesthetically pleasing than a cluttered jumble all vying for your attention.

Here is a glass cutting board which I have standing in a clear acrylic recipe bookstand.  It is both functional and decorative on the kitchen bench.

2012-01-18 01The living room has a long, low bookcase and I have this glass bowl on it.

2012-01-18 02Everything about this means something to me.  The bowl was a gift from my daughters.  The rocks were collected by my parents while travelling through western Queensland and were gathered almost 50 years ago.  The doily is Nottingham lace and was a gift from a close friend.

2012-01-18 03The decorative value is accentuated because there is nothing else competing with the bowl.  Simple and effective.