Cleaning the Sewing Cottage and Thinking About the World

December, the month for cleaning studios to get ready for the new year.  Right after New Year’s I swear I can feel the light increasing every single day…until it’s a little bit light at 5:00 and on we go.  New Year, new work, new energy.  So today I started by tidying up the sewing cottage…what a mess.  Paul came last week and pressure washed the bricks and trimmed the hydrangeas so from the outside it looked pretty tidy…

…inside though a different story…

We got one of the big red Ikea shelves in from upstairs and I started sorting, folding, etc.  Trash, Goodwill…etc.

Slowly things came together…

and while Billie Holiday Sang…

I thought about the homeless guy sleeping the the doorway yesterday, about all the refugees in the world trying to go forward in foreign cultures and foreign languages…and then I thought of the 98% turnout of black women voters in Alabama with gratitude.  I thought of all of us who have experienced some sexual harassment (probably close to 98%) and of all the women who may now be empowered to go forward in a career without sex with a “gatekeeper”…and of all the men who are worried out there…and then I wondered how all the nice middle class people who voted for this president feel about the big tax cuts for rich people and businesses and how mad they are going to be when their cable bills go up and they pay even more for premium stations…and then I thought about my studio at the Mill…but that’s tomorrow’s job.

and then I noticed it was getting dark…

time to grab my favorite local author who was writing all day, as he usually does, and head for a reward…Spanish coffee and a martini with a twist…a little Christmas shopping after….

Possible thoughts for tomorrow include earthquakes and tsunamis, loss of parkland, stocking stuffers, human suffering.  I’ll be busy.








  1. here i am. luckily hearing the ding of ‘on the way’ news from my iphone. delightfully photographed. brave endeavors. big red ikea shelves. no bullshit. honest thoughts about the world. hope, a martini with a twist & R. thanks bonnie. you made me smile.

    nicholsloystudio sent from iphone


    1. i feel i should apologize for my response last night. your rumination exhilarating! i could hardly stop myself from typing, “damn straight, bonnie!” old mill worker expression. in my childhood home all serious conversation took place over a game of cards, much as your serious thoughts took place over cleaning. an inspiring post!

    2. Thanks San for the nice words…it really was about “musing” and how our brains move along from gravity to absurdity and back while our hands do mindless things…BTW I LOVE folding, fabric, laundry, napkins, anything. It seems so calming and rewarding…xxoo

      1. good thing you’re not playing cards. to fold not good. nic & i, two obsessives, have opposing views on folding towels & washcloths. my inherited know how custom vs his distaste of the trim band. it’s hilarious. muse on. muses are the sources of our inspiration.

  2. But take time to anticipate holiday time with that darling grandson, hot coffee or mulled wine on a rainy afternoon, the sparkle of snow, the joys of time with friends and art and fabric and thread! Somehow that helps when the world seems to be swirling out of control! Merry Christmas, and I love your blog. I hope my sewing room looks half as organized as yours in a couple of weeks….have to sew my way out of there!

    1. Pat I couldn’t find the Juki or the scissors or the fabric I was working on…it was bad. I finished the Christmas sewing at the beach where there was nothing else in the way. Now full steam ahead to Chrsitmas! XO

  3. My! You had a busy day. Your sewing room looks great,wished mine did but it is going to have to wait until after the holidays. Everything that I don’t know what to do with is ending up in there right now.😱 so I’ll shut the door, and just enjoy family.

    1. Oh Deb…the beauty of having the sewing room outside is I can’t stash stuff in there…no matter though, it was a whole year of deferred cleanup! On to holiday fun!! XO

  4. Oh Bonnie, our thoughts have been on the same page. But I have been tidying up on the property and the studio (with Jim’s direction.) Thank you for sharing, for caring, for thinking. Sending you and Roger lovely holiday wishes and much love. I miss my Salem people. PS. Your studio cleanup looks great! I remember those red shelves at IKEA. Merry Christmas!

    1. It has been too long Jane…mindless musing is such a funny thing if you track your brain jumping from subject to subject. Onward…here’s to seeiing you soon and hugs to Jim…XO

  5. Loved this post Bonnie! The sublime and the unbelievable all together in consciousness while performing the meditative ritual of making calm, making clean, making lovely. I see you have a Guadalupe on your design wall. Hooray! On Wednesday I went to the Hallie Ford Museum with my friend Renee. Reading about it in your posts was my inspiration. We had an easy drive (from Portland) and loved the museum and even found a nice lunch at Tap Root. The very best to you in the new year and always!

    1. Yay Frances Barnes…so glad you got to the Hallie Ford (and the Taproot…personal favorite…spicy bowl)…and I know it’s further from Portland to Salem than it is from Salem to Portland so good for you to bravely come down…I ALWAYS think of you now when I see any VofG…and this one’s been on the wall a long time…now that I can fiind the fabric though I might move ahead! Merry Christmas!

  6. Boy Bonnie….you are carrying a lot of stuff for the world. Thanks for the effort, great thoughts are heavy!


    1. Martha I think it was the young guy curled up in the doorway of the former beauty school on a freezing morning…while I drove up in a car with heated seats. What a world…the only one we have…xo

  7. Wow! I felt like I was inside your head. I had some of the same thoughts and smiled all day Wed. People really are listening. I live I deep Trump country so threre were some long faces here. Ha. Merry Christmas Ho Ho Ho M.E.M.

  8. You brought tears to my eyes with this one dear Bonnie.Your photos, your thoughts, your words and your cleaning! You make me feel so not alone. Thank you. And i wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and many happy hours of creativity in the future (which will be filled with PEACE and ENOUGH for everyone)! xoxo

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