January love


I am coming to love January. Consciously. In the same way that many people loved September when they were kids. It is the beginning of new things, a time to contemplate the hopes for the year ahead, think about the year past. For me it is also a time to clean up the mess in my studio from the (minimum) 6 weeks of madness that always seems to precede Christmas.

I am sorting through piles, putting things in their places or finding a new place for them. This involves collecting all the pattern pieces that seem to be scattered everywhere and getting them back into their folder and file drawer. Sorting through fabric that is everywhere into- too small to keep, the right size for applique decorations, big enough to cut a doll part out of. Also the very important”what-was-I-thinking, I’ve-got-to-get rid-of-this” pile and the”how-could-I-have-forgotten-this-treasure” pile. Putting the various threads back into their drawers- embroidery floss, sewing machine threads, embroidery wools. It so inspiring to go through and touch all my materials.


I have been working on the buttons. When I moved my studio, I knew I had a button problem. They were everywhere and what happened was there were the buttons I used and the buttons I’d forgotten about. I have buttons from my mom, from friends, from Yard Sales, from all the clothes I disassemble. Way too many. It has been fun and relaxing to sort through them all. My goal is to end up with one drawer. Everything together. I now have a big bag of buttons that need a new home. As I sort through the buttons, I keep asking myself, would I ever use this? On Anything? The good ones engender visions of dolls with coats and sweaters, earrings, shoes, hats. And there are the good ones that I  love just for their color, design or how they feel in my hand. You see why I am having so much fun?

I am also refolding all the cotton fabrics that somehow spilled out of their bins during December. It makes me wish I had twice as many hours in my day to work with all these beautiful colors, patterns, and memories.


btw- I was never one of those kids that loved September. There might have been a day or two at the beginning of each school year when I hoped that some magic would make the year a good one. It never happened and I grew up and discovered that life isn’t school- Thank God! Label that as confessions of a creative, ADD, artistic, school failure.

11 thoughts on “January love

  1. Wow I spent my first days of January sorting buttons too! Nothing makes me happier. I really relate to your post, and esp about school and the ultimate disappointment of another scary, frustrating year, in my case due to undiagnosed Aspergers. I am also excited about finding the floorboards in my studio once again and enjoying the decisions to keep, purge, use. Cheers!

  2. Ah, you captured it so well, Mimi! The fun in organizing, and the excuse (need?) to go back and touch each material and supply!

  3. Looks as if your sorting is coming on well! I love the process of re-establishing order, before it all goes horribly wrong again! I am with you on September too! And as a teacher I feel even more that way! (I do love my job-but I love my summer holiday SO much!)

  4. I really enjoyed reading through your last few posts. What a full year you had. I admire the things you have created and very much look forward to seeing what the new year brings forth. I am tempted to make the trip from the Berkshires to take your February workshop. I’ll have to check into my family’s schedule and see if it is doable. By the way, I just sorted my load of buttons. I have a jar for each color – but I like those plastic sorting boxes you have used. Easier to see individual buttons.

  5. I just loved running into your website/blog today. The little African Boy with the stripes is soooo cute. Check out my blog…. you’ll see why…. It brought a smile to my face….


  6. i think my favorite part is touching all the fabric and buttons. Sometimes i just like to sit in the room and look around. it is a magical place of our own and i am glad that there are others out there that understand.

  7. I’m enjoying January, too. My studio is sunny and full of wonderful materials to work with. I’m working on a doll order and find I love doing dolls by commission. There are knitting projects swamping sections of my house, good books on the bedside table, a bowl of clementines in the kitchen. It’s cozy. Beth

  8. Hi Mimi-

    I’m a longtime lurker and a big fan. Your creations make me smile and give me inspiration.

    I hope January proves to be a fresh start for you. And thanks for mentioning your struggle in school. It’s such a drag for those of us who don’t fit the mold but I’m so glad you found your passion and are doing what you love.

    I have to share that when my dad was within days of dying last April I was exhausted and couldn’t concentrate on any of my normal projects, let alone be creative and think up something new. So when I came home from sitting with him all day I curled up on the couch with my large tin of buttons and sorted away for a couple evenings until they were all catagorized. I don’t know why but it made me feel better. Buttons are lovely for so many reasons.

    Keep up the good work and thanks again for sharing your life on your lovely blog-
    Angie in WA

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