Welcome to Nick Steen's website
I also make minimalistic works of existing products. Minimalistic might sound easy, but finding the path between too much and too less details can be pretty hard. I try not to erase too much details so the original is still recognizable.
Most recent project: ATtiny85-driven clock
As you can read here, I made a clock using 64 LED's (8x8 matrix), 2 74HC595 shift registers, an L7805 voltage regulator, and an ATtiny85 as the beating heart of it. Using the Time library I did not need any RTC, it might be possible it is off for about one second every day, but I don't really care, since setting the correct time is a piece of cake using my software. More info can be found here.
BTW: you lost