Autumn in Spring

You might notice some changes around here – it’s been a lot of busy work which needed to be done. Since I still have photos from last year that are waiting to be blogged and I am doing all this catch up/busy work, a purely photo post. The first lot: St Giles Hill in early autumn of last year.

St Giles Hill

St Giles Hill

St Giles Hill

St Giles Hill

St Giles Hill

St Giles Hill

St Giles Hill

St Giles Hill

Happy spring!

Smaller and Smaller Still

There’s been quite a lot of talk on Twitter about destuffing/decluttering lately. And there’s also been a lot of talk about clothes. And as you know if you are on Twitter, it’s really hard to explain in depth concepts in 144 characters. So, to the blog!

How the progression worked for me: after 13 weeks of sitting around with my foot elevated and encased in plaster, this idea sparked.

Destuffing: Result

I read The No Brainer Wardrobe. I read Already Pretty. And then this happened.

What I found though, was while this was awesome and wonderful, it also didn’t work for me. I had gotten rid of all the extra stuff but what I had left was a bunch of weird things that didn’t work together. I had clothing, but I didn’t have a wardrobe.

I scoured the archives of Into Mind. I saw how a capsule wardrobe could work for my needs, not the needs of your average business woman or stay at home mom. I updated my style board on Pinterest and chose 3 images that encapsulated it. And I got rid of even more stuff.

The Destuffed-To-Bits Wardrobe

This is my current wardrobe. Yes, this is all of it. Except a drawer of socks and underthings and what I was wearing when I took this photo.

Some things you’ll notice: that’s not a lot. That includes my house wear AND my going out wear. Before I made a huge deal of having the house stuff not counting toward my wardrobe, but it does now. There’s a lot of neutrals because then everything goes and I don’t have one shirt that can only be worn with one scarf and one pair of shoes. Any pops of color are either accessories or on against a neutral background. (Except my Mickey Mouse pjs, they’re red. Because they are.) I count blue as a neutral by the way, jeans go with everything.

A few things:

1) I am doing that thing where you turn all your hangers around and then turn them back as you wear the item. I still have a few facing the wrong way so they may not stick around.
2) I have a lot of geeky shirts. Probably more than I need but they have Sherlock and Loki on them and I traded yarn with Melissa for a bunch of them and I DO WHAT I WANT. *ehem*
3) There are holes. Holes I am filling using the French 5 Piece Wardrobe. Next on the list is a black maxi dress for summer and a new backpack. Since I started nailing it all down in preparation for winter, this autumn/winter shouldn’t need much in the way of filling holes.
4) 4 pair of shoes (one for just around the house since I can no longer go barefoot at all), 3 necklaces, 2 rings, and a partridge in a pear tree.

The biggest issue isn’t space, funnily enough. I had the exact same amount of clothing in an IKEA dresser which took up lots more room than the bookcase (you can see it in that photo above). The biggest issue is not falling into the trap of thinking I need things that I really want or feel I should want because they are in or cool or whatever. And knowing that when I do buy things that are in or cool or whatever, it’s because I have thought long and hard about whether I need or just want them. It’s not that I’m not allowed to stay fashionable, it’s that I need to understand why and where the desire to do so comes from. If it comes from actual lack (I need shoes I can walk in and those ones are both cool right now AND come highly recommended for The Foot) or implied lack (all the cool kids have them and I don’t). It’s a lot more thoughtful than I’m used to. Because let’s face it, I learned to shop way before I learned to budget.

The Breakdown (if you’re curious):

- 3 pairs of jeans, various washes and lengths: cut off capri, black skinny, dark wash blue bootcut
- 4 pairs of house pants, various thicknesses: thick flannel house pants, thin house pants, full length leggings x2
- 3 tank tops, pink, grey, black: various weights for layering and summer wear
- 6 plain tshirts, black, grey, white: vneck for around the house, crew neck for out
- 9 geeky tshirts, navy, dark grey, light grey, white: all crew neck, all geeky
- 1 short sleeve lightweight sweatshirt with sparkly studs on the shoulders – to be honest, I have no idea how to wear this and only have it because last year sweatshirts were in
- 1 stripy 3/4 shirt, beige and black
- 5 long sleeve shirts, navy, dark grey, light grey, white: various weights and necklines
- 3 cardigans, navy, navy with white, black: light, medium, and heavy weight
- 2 sweaters, ugly Christmas and beige: heavy and medium weight
- 1 sweatshirt, dark grey: Gryffindor Quidditch team, natch
- 1 waterfall blazer, navy: light to medium weight
- 1 puffy vest, navy blue
- 3-in-1 North Face jacket, black: fleece lightweight jacket, windproof and waterproof outer shell
- pjs
- shoes
- scarves, various weights and colors – any color in my wardrobe shows up here so they are a bit…bright

At any rate, that feels better. And it’s way quicker to get ready now. And everything fits and I feel good in all of it. And that is a good, good thing.

Oh yeah, thanks to Helen and her daughter for giving all my yarn a good home. I am now completely yarn/knitting accessory free and it feels SO GOOD. As Melissa pointed out to me (she’s really good at that), knitting had been toxic for me for a good long while before I gave up on it. So. Onward and upward.

Into The Blue

Film: Warwick Castle

So…hi! I had this big (rather dreary) post written on routine and change and how it was all really hard. But DUH. I know this. You know this. Posting what is already known is kind of boring.

Film: Warwick Castle

Instead, what’s been up since last time I posted a whole month ago (part of the routine and change thing). Destuffing continues. My wardrobe is smaller (again), I have less in the way of shoes I never wear and now only a few pairs I wear all the time. Huge pieces of storage furniture have been emptied and there is a massive rearrange under way. And not just a moving of furniture. Moving of routines, of where things go, of how things work. I won’t lie – it has been stressful. Upheaval always is. But you knew that.

Film: Warwick Castle

The big one: no more knitting. And I’m letting it all go. I have been trying for about 2.5 years now to keep knitting going. It just doesn’t have a place in my life anymore – it hurts too much and every time I have picked up yarn I have had a physical reaction, I’ve been flinching away from it. So it’s ok. I can’t say it was fun while it lasted (I am not a product knitter and there’s only so fast and so long you can knit before it gets a bit tedious – at my worst I was knitting upwards of 8 hours a day. That’s boring, no matter what you are knitting) but I can say I have met the most amazing people from it. So for that, as well as for the Noro Friend Blanket and all the FKS that found wonderful homes, I can say I am grateful.

Have no fear that I shall never be crafty again – I have finally decided that now is the time to try my hand at quilting. Wish me luck.

Film: Warwick Castle

(This sign made me laugh.)

Link Soup:

  • How the wardrobe got smaller yet more useful: the idea of getting rid of stuff was great but I’d cut down from functional outfits (more pieces = more flexibility) to a finite number of things that just didn’t work together. Enter Into Mind. It’s revolutionized how I view my wardrobe (pieces to be curated, not shit to collect). With my Style Statement, I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere. Useful + beautiful is my clothing credo. Refined Vitality is my style.
  • New Coriolanus trailer. O.M.G. I have been meaning to review this since we saw it but I can only describe it in superlatives. It was awesome. It was unbelievably brutal, funny, sexy, and bloody. The cast is astounding, but Tom Hiddleston was mesmerizing (and I don’t just mean his epically tight jeans). Mark Gatiss was brilliant. I wasn’t completely sold on the staging (what was with the random music?) but you cannot deny that it made a brutal and bloody play that much more brutal and bloody. Seriously, there was a lot of blood. If you get a chance to see it, DO. SO GOOD.

Film: Warwick Castle

Health:

Slowly easing out of this flare. Still with the nerve pain and the current round of specialists is in turns frustrating and draining. Meditation has been helping. A lot.

Film: Warwick Castle

Reading:

Rereading the Emily of New Moon books, The Desire Map, GRLB.

Film: Warwick Castle

Watching:

Over the past month? The Olympics (I did not boycott in support of the gay athletes that were taking part), Sherlock, Avengers, STID, Four Lions, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (eh), Benedict Cumberbatch photobombing U2 at the Oscars…notice a common theme there?

Film: Warwick Castle

Listening to:

New Kylie! Cabin Pressure.

Film: Warwick Castle

All photographs taken at Warwick Castle in September 2013 with my trusty Leica AF-C1 and unknown expired film.

Ticking Over

Film: St Giles Hill

Basically this. Another round of destuffing (you would seriously think we would have nothing left to get rid of, but you’d be wrong there), so much internal/mental/priorities upheaval that I’ve had insomnia for a week, goals and plans and future dreaming, real life focus. It’s been kind of crazy in that duck-on-a-pond way: it looks nice and calm but under the surface it’s everyone run around screaming.

Film: St Giles Hill

Ok, last thing about blogging: I plan on continuing, it’s just one of those things that I’m looking at differently and rearranging. Working on better/different content and how to present things in a world where reblog, pin, tweet, status post, like, favorite is the way people interact nowadays. Whatever it is I do here isn’t that. I’ll stop blathering on about it until I decide to stop entirely or move (still planning a move to Squarespace at some point). You know the drill, I know the drill. But if you are still reading, just say hi, ok? It’s nice to know you’re not blogging in a vacuum.

Film: St Giles Hill

Link Soup:

Film: St Giles Hill

Health: Flare city. Everything that requires actual physical doing has not been done. Also, yesterday was a failed MRI and basically, feh. I’m tired of being sick and dealing with all this crap.

Film: St Giles Hill

Knitting: Absolutely nothing. I have developed contact allergies to the point of red raw patches and hives with all but ONE knitted item I own. So that’s another FKS and a massive destash to come. Basically, it’s acrylic or nothing from now on as I can’t knit with plant fibers or silk.

Film: St Giles Hill

Reading: It’s the beginning of the year so I’m rereading the Emily of New Moon series, as I do every year.

Film: St Giles Hill

Watching: Tom Hiddleston on Top Gear. The Olympics, which I am not boycotting in support of all the LGB/LGBT friendly athletes that are competing in the games. Coriolanus on Thursday, after which I shall blog about that particular piece of awesomeness. If you have a chance to see it via NT Live, DO. It’s, excuse my french, fucking awesome.

Film: St Giles Hill

So then, happy today.

All photos taken spring of last year at St Giles Hill, Winchester with my trusty Leica AF-C1 and some random Fuji 200 film.

Hello, Goodbye

Inspired by Francesca (whose blog you should really check out, it’s gorgeous) I am thinking about how much time I spend on social media. And how much of that time could be reasonably spent writing or doing all the real life things that seem to slide into a mammoth crazy pile of to-do that gets so overwhelming that I just pretend it doesn’t exist.

Film: St Giles Hill

I’ve not blogged much this month because of a flare (yuck) and because I’m trying to figure out if this is one of the things to go. I do like to blog. I used to have such a fantastic community via my blog. Now that community is on Twitter. And no one really comments on blogs anymore, do they? I mean, I find it difficult to do. I assume everyone else does too.

Film: St Giles Hill

But my blogging routine is clunky as hell. And I’ve just begun to dread getting it all sorted and posted and linked and written. I haven’t touched my camera in like a month. I have Instagram for phone photos but I’m barely taking them either. Flickr… hrm. I think it’s too soon to tell if all the changes made over there are for better or for worse. Facebook, pfft. I hate Facebook.

Film: St Giles Hill

I have talked a lot about online life and whether I should keep blogging. This isn’t one of those posts. This isn’t a should. This is a why.

Film: St Giles Hill

Why do I blog? No, scratch that. I know why I blog. To share photos and to blather. Twitter is not a great format for blathering. Why do I share photos? Again, not the right question. Maybe it isn’t a why at all. Maybe it’s a what.

Film: St Giles Hill

What am I doing online all the time? What do I get from blogging? From photo sharing? From FB? From Twitter? From my current crazy Pinterest addiction? Are the things I get from that (whatever they are) outweighing what I could be doing if I wasn’t online so much? Am I pinning to avoid writing? Am I tweeting at 2am because I don’t want to sleep or because I can’t sleep? Is the life I want, that achingly alive, dripping with joy, electrically vibrant, technicolor future I can see and feel really gonna happen if I’m checking Facebook 900 times a day? Is there even Facebook in that life? Will that life be defined via status posts? Ugh, I really hope not.

Film: St Giles Hill

So for now, here’s the wheres, now to think about the whats.

Twitter: @photographoe (formerly @phoeagain)
Instagram: @photographoe
Facebook: Phoe Michelle White
Pinterest: @photographoe
Goodreads: @photographoe
Flickr: .photographoe.
Ravelry: photographoe

All photos taken last January at St Giles Hill in Winchester with my trusty Leica AF-C1 and some random Fuji 200 film (I think it was the free stuff from Jessops).