♫     Sparks fly from their fingertips . . .    

By the third day of The Creative Connection, you could feel the energy in the room almost like electricity! At first it was like a just-baked Christmas cookie, then, as the hours passed, came the frosting, then sparkly colored sugar and candies on top, gathering more sparks and shine each day, as everyone got to know each other, experienced work shops together, and became friends.  This was the last morning, the Keynote Breakfast, “Women Entrepreneurs,” and if you can see aallll the way to the front, through that aura of shimmer and shine, on the stage, the lucky person on the far right is me!

Friday night there was an autograph party Maybe twenty-five authors were signing their books, or calendars, the Where Women Create Magazine, the new Where Women Cook Book (which we’ll have on our website in a few days).  It was like a huge meet and greet; where we got to talk to everyone, all these creative women who traveled from all over the country for this event and spread their light wherever they went.  If you ever want to be in a place where everyone is just plain nice all the time, this is it! 

I have to show you these two darling girls, the DIY DISH Twins, Kris and Kim. We did an interview for their show, which will air in November….I’ll let you know when. Yes, they are from Utah, and no, they are not Osmonds!  But they light up the room with those smiles. 

We took over 200 photos!  So many cute ones of strangers you won’t know!  But these, at least, give you a taste of what it was like.  Here I am, shopping in the Marketplace at “The Paper Crown Company” talking to Emily.  “Marketplace” was booth after booth, filled with handmade original things, all for sale.

I had to get one of Emily’s handmade hats for my sister’s birthday which we’re going out to California to celebrate.  Wait until you see what I found for you (patience is a virtue, surprises are good)!

I have enough of these to wallpaper a small bathroom. Can’t wait to go to these websites.

Of course we had to get out and walk around the city a bit more; we leave this morning, driving slowly back to Chicago, getting on the train again, heading to the Southwest.  I have to say, without a whining voice at all, in a cheery little voice, I miss my kitchen!

St. Paul is right on the Mississippi River, and Minneapolis is on the other side.  That’s a paddle boat down there on the left side.

As much as we love to use the spy cam, it was impossible at the actual Event as our cover was completely blown…there was no sneaking up on anyone, they could see us coming from a mile away!  But we took this from our hotel room window (with the spy cam ultra lens), a wedding happening in front of the building across the street.  Just a little more magic!          ♣     ♣    ♣

So this is probably it for this year’s Creative Connection Event (unless you have questions…Love to answer them for you best I can, when I get to a normal place to write again.  So many wonderful memories to take home with us.  So much love was spread around; this was one of my favorite things, when Melanie brought her “almost six” year old daughter Emily to meet me, with roses, yellow and pink arranged in a cute mug, and these little hearts, that are now tucked into my journal as a remembrance of an amazing weekend that went by too fast! 

When I saw these Lucky earrings in a booth at Marketplace, of course I had to get them.  They’re made from bottle caps!  And that’s just how I feel this morning, Lucky!

Off we go girlfriends, packing the car on this cool crisp morning and heading back down south, taking advice to go toward Columbus.  And for you?  A new Willard starts going out on Tuesday morning!  New surprises, new recipe, new treats to help celebrate the season!  Have a wonderful day! 

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67 Responses to Lucky!

  1. Country Gal says:

    What a wonderful time for you. Every one there looks soo nice. I am glad you enjoyed. Fantastic photos. Have a wonderful day !

  2. Oh a whole room filled with “nice”. I bet it was electric. Looks like tons of fun.
    Thanks for sharing some of the electricity with us today. I know I felt it!

  3. Sheryle Towle says:

    What excitement! This magic journey is better than walking through Disney! Thank you for sharing, Susan!

  4. laurie says:

    You know I still get a smile everytime my blog reader shows a new post for you,, I’ve read your books for so many years and enjoyed them so much to have you here posting everday is such a treat.Your convention looked like one big tea party with prizes!So much creativity in one place,, I bet there were sparks.Thankyou for sharing this trip,

  5. Miss holly says:

    What a fantastic event……women are so wonderful…..I just love to see all the great ideas….one of your cards Sarah Jane…..she is one of my favorite blogs to follow….her fabric line based on her incredible so beautiful!!! I happen to have some right here….I just can’t seem to get myself to cut it!!! Not that you don’t have enough to do in your busy life…..but……your work would make some heavenly fabric!!!!!! I can think of a million things from your summer book that would be so perfect……flip flops….bicycles….beach umbrellas ….all the tea cups……your flowers in pots…..the kitchen scenes…….they would be wonderful!!! Have a wonderful day!

    • sbranch says:

      We do have some fabric in our web store . . . But we need more!!! I know that when I read all your great ideas!

  6. Doreen Strain says:

    Good morning Susan, I’m so happy you had a good time. I have decided that the next Creative Connection Event will have one more participant…ME! Thanks for sharing. Have a safe trip and don’t forget to stop and get Joe another “Butter Burger” (or two)! LOL ! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  7. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Thank you Susan & Joe for taking us along to The Creative Collection! Your photos are great & I love all your written words, they’re so descriptive and I feel like I’m right there with you! And, the extra bonus – a Wedding! I’m impressed that you had any words left after 3 days of meet and greet with all those wonderful women! Enjoy your drive back to the train & happy hunting! ♥

  8. Jeannie M from NC says:

    I could just feel the happy vibrating from that room! What fun to get together in one big room with like minded friends from all over! What great memories you are sharing with us! I can’t wait to see what you are going to add to your store! If you aren’t sleeping the rest of the way to the train I bet you will see alot more antique stores, Have fun, you also Joe, drive safe, be happy!

    Oh! I have seen bottle cap earrings but never like these, what a great idea to hammer them flat! Have to show my daughter-in-love, she wants to add bottle caps to her earring making style! Can’t wait to see that vintage pin on the paper cone!

    bye bye!

  9. Gert says:

    Oh Susan this looked like so much fun, learning, sharing, meeting new “friends” & of course best of all “shopping”.. Wow what could be better? Of course the time spent with your honey & the spy cam had to also be a ‘fun’ time as shown in your great photos! Thank you so much for sharing this magical time with us! And best of all (for us) knowing Willard is coming to our mailboxes this week! ~big smile & a little giggle of delight~

    xoxo Gert

  10. JudyCnNC says:

    Your inspirational journey takes us right along. Thank you for sharing with us all.
    Judy C

  11. Francine says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. Almost like I was really there! I could feel the excitment. Love the heart earrings! Have a safe trip back to Chicago!

  12. It was so great to meet you! You are so sweet and talented! 🙂

  13. Nina says:

    That looked like so much fun! Thank you for sharing it with us Susan. I could feel the excitement and buzz coming through the screen from all those creative women! I would love to go somewhere like that. I am going to be checking through those cards now and looking at the websites! xxxx

  14. {oc cottage} says:

    Geez, maybe the planners are “withcy women” to be able to pack SO much fun into so few days! Thx a million for sharing so many details with those of us who will never experience it! {especially the Butter Burger…although I am from the home of Carl’s Jr. Famous Stars & In n Out Double Double(animal style!), any bun grilled in butter would have my undying devotion! ;}

    Have a safe trip!

    m ^..^

  15. Jacqui G says:

    This sounds like just the thing I would love to do. These are my kind of people and all your girlfriend’s too 🙂 Maybe someday I can attend something like this… So looking forward to your new little presents coming our way. CREATIVITY RULES!

  16. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Your pictures of St. Paul are beautiful. Have you heard if next year’s Creative Connection is going to be held here? Enjoy your trip back to train in Chicago–good luck antiquing! Oh, wanted to ask you: What brand or where do you get the Earl Grey tea with lavender? Thanks!

  17. mari1017 says:

    Susan, you write as good as you paint, bake, cook, garden, photo… 🙂 Your description of the day and the event as a Christmas cookie brought it all to life for me! How amazing to be in such a warm and creative company of people – I’m writing this wondering where in the working world did all my creativity go??? I’m itching to blog, sew, garden, create, LIVE !!!!! ♥♥♥ Thank you from my grateful ♥ for sharing this weekend with us! ~~ )))hugs((( ~~

  18. Becky says:

    I have to second what Laurie said~I can’t wait every year to get the new calendar (always from my mom for my birthday), I have all your books and collected all the Willards until it went electronic. I just want to thank you for taking the time to write so much and include photos, it is like a celebration each time you post. <3 I'm loving your travel entries! <3
    Safe travels to Cali!

  19. Martha Ellen says:

    What a wonderful experience Susan! Just goes to show you how much talent we all possess! Enjoy your trip south and then on the train to visit your father. I’m enjoying it all. Thank you Susan for sharing! XXOO

  20. Connie B. says:

    That red head spikey ‘do would be a good look for you…fun and funky…ha-cha-cha!!!!

  21. deezie says:

    Hi Susan
    Oh how I wish to be at an event like that. Magic is all I can say. So many fun and wonderful people doing such creative things. Love it all. Love the hat you got your Sister, she is going to go coo coo when she sees it. I adore the Lucky earrings too. What fun they are. I bet you miss your kitchen. I would too
    have a safe trip and can’t wait to hear more

  22. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Great photos of St. Paul! Have a good trip back to Chicago to train–happy antiquing! Oh, wanted to ask you: What brand or where do you get the Earl Grey with lavender tea? Thanks! 🙂

  23. Denise Leavens says:

    I love the shot of all the business cards – what fun eye candy here.

  24. Peggy Cooper says:

    Oh what a wonderful time. Reminds me of the women’s conventions I was involved in with a philanthropic group I belonged to before I retired and moved. I understand exactly the energy you are talking about when a group of women get together. Besides being jealous of the wonderful experience you just had, I’m coveting that tiara!!! Happy trails for the rest of the trip.

  25. Carol Lichwala (gramz) says:

    Love your photos. I love the scenery. I have never been too far off the east coast and now I am travelling with you.
    So glad you had a wonderful time at the convention. It looked like so much fun.
    Drive safely and can’t wait to read “Willard”.
    Happy trails to you and Joe.

  26. Carol C says:

    Oh,yes! Fabric from illustrations in the Summer Book! Great idea! Did you visit any quilt shops in that area? They have fabulous ones in Minnesota!

  27. Maryellen says:

    Oh Susan, it sounds like such a wonderful event! The business card collection is inspiring – so many creative women!!! I really do think we lead similar lives. On a different road trip (than the Butter Burger introduction) – my van load of 4-H advisors attended a conference in Michigan. Right outside our window . . . A WEDDING. Not just any wedding, but one with a Steam Punk theme. We had to have the theme explained, but the guests, who were also dressed in Steam Punk frocks were more than happy to explain and pose with us! My only regret – I never got a glimse of what I heard was an AMAZING wedding cake. Don’t you love special surprises? We had tried to take pictures through our screen, but were able to figure out a way to (almost) attend! Of course we were as quiet as church mice and respected the ceremony from afar! Have a safe trip home!

  28. Jen says:

    I was born in Columbus! Althought, that was 33 years ago, so I’ve no idea what it’s like now. They also filmed the movie Public Enemies with Johnny Depp there. It’s raining here outside of Milwaukee – hope it’s nice where you are!

  29. Mary Cunningham says:

    Hi Susan, I’ve sooo enjoyed the trip with you! Such fun and it was all made possible with your blog! Yay! Can’t wait for the inspirations you had there to come sprinkling out in the months to brighten my world!

  30. Terry says:

    “A whole room filled with nice.” I love it! Now, I really really really really want to attend one day. Thank you soooo much for sharing your experience. I will definitely be at Vogue Knitting Live NY in January. Will you be there? I went last year, and it was amazing!

  31. Roxanne Henke says:

    Susan–Loved hearing about all your adventures on the way to The Creative Connection! Thanks for sharing. One question: Will The Creative Connection event be in St. Paul again next year??

  32. Lee Ann G. says:

    Thanks Susan for sharing the Creative Connection with us. Those twins are gorgeous and yes they do look like Osmonds!!! Really love the birthday hat. I hope you will take a photo of either you or your sister wearing it and show us.

  33. Susan, It was so great to finally meet you in person. You are just like I imagined. Wonderful! The Creative Connection was truly a great experience. So many creative hearts in one place. Thank you for all that you are and all the joy that you bring. I Look forward to reading your blog posts and Willards. Much love, Angel

  34. Carolyn Ann says:

    I loved how you compared The Creative Connection event to a Christmas cookie! So glad you had a magical time with all those nice, creative women……..and I love those red Lucky earrings. Have fun wearing them!

  35. Paulette says:

    Columbus Antique mall? Then where in Wisconsin perhaps the Oshkosh Antiques mall…..follow 151 to Hwy 26 and then Hwy 41. It’s my favorite!

  36. Diana says:

    It was so special to meet you Friday at the Creative Connection Susan! My daughter and I have long admired your work and reading your blog, what a picture you paint with your hands and words. I enjoyed your “Girlfriends Forever” book on the drive back home today. Happy Travels!

  37. Debbie says:

    Hi Susan,
    It was so great to meet you @ TCC! What a wonderful magical event it was, as you so aptly described! Such nice, kind women… one of them being you! You were so sweet to allow my friend & I to have our pics taken with you several times to show our friend at home! ( because that’s what girlfriends do for each other)!! LOL! We have been wracking our brains trying to remember what you said when you were up on the stage that started with ” If at the end of the day a small voice whispers this question to you……???? It was good, but our brains were on such inspitational overload that neither of us can remember the rest!
    Yes, Susan IS as sweet & nice as she seems to be in her books! And, if they have TCC next yr ( no word on when & where so far, I don’t think), you all should go~ it was awesome! Thanks again, Susan!
    Debbie 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Great meeting you too Debbie! You’re my inspiration for today….I put that quote up for you, I know what you mean about inspirational overload. It was perfect! Still bathing in the light! xoxo

  38. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait for more.
    Mama Bear

  39. carol pfeiffer says:

    Susan, thanks again, I always get a surge of happiness reading your blogs. You are truly a very special lady.Can’t wait until I get a copy of “Girlfriends book”..
    You and Joe just have too much fun, lucky you………………

  40. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Good Morning Seasoned Travelers….Sweet ♥Sue You are so Lucky…& We are All so Lucky to Have You & to be so Connected….Thank You! ♫”Sparks Fly from Their Finergtips”♫…so Much Talent & Pure Magic….I feel Like I was There….I know Your Kitchen & Your Island Miss You (& Joe)…& Kitty misses her Mommy & Daddy….butShe waits Patiently….Safe & Sound….watching out the window as Autumn Begins(Meow…Purrrrrrrrrrrrr!)….Love & Hugzzzzzzzzz xoxo Poof!

    • sbranch says:

      No talking about Girl Kitty, if I start thinking of her, I might try to turn the train around! 🙂

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        ♥♫♥♫♥♫ shhhhhhhhh…(sorry)….Hugzzzzzzzzz & L♥ve….onward Train….clickity~clackity…..xoxo poof!♥♫

  41. Linda Trokey says:

    Susan, I noticed the card for Sarah Jane Studios from the The Creative Connection. I love her site on and love her artwork for my granddaughter and niece. Glad to see she was there. The trip looks wonderful!

    Linda T

  42. dottie says:

    So you had to have the Lucky earrings but just for the lucky or because it was Lucky Lager — a California beer? Just curious because I cried at those lovely earrings made of Lucky Lager caps — my beloved step-father worked at Lucky Lager for years before they were engulfed in Miller Brewing. I’ve enjoyed catching up with your journey — first chance i’ve had as we are on our own cross- country sojourn — California to Ohio until the end of September and back again. Not much computer time while here in Ohio (HOME
    Took my first train journey in several decades last month — OC to Sacramento. Maybe not quite as good as I recalled the cross-country journeys but I think they are doing a great job none-the-less. Your train talk whets my appetite for a cross-country train trip once more — even my hubby got a bit interested in it when I did the coast trip — maybe it will happen. Love your blog posts!

  43. Karen P says:

    TCC looks absolutely WONDERFUL!!!! It must be something magical to have that many creative people in one spot! So, is it for “professional” crafters (i.e. those who have businesses such as yourself) or anyone who is inspired by creative ventures? Seems like it was really a meeting of the minds, so to speak! (And a side note, I love the haircut on the girl in the front of the first photo…the short, curlier cut from the back view! So cute!) Thanks for taking us along with you! xoxox….kp

    • sbranch says:

      It was everyone. It was professional, and hobbyists, it was knitters, quilters, crafters, writers, all of the above, and people wanting to get inspired! And boy were they!

  44. Nellie says:

    This appears to have been an amazing event! I’m sure you are still feeling that energy!

  45. Suzanne in Sydney, Australia says:

    Thank you and Willard for the lovely Owl bookmark. I do, I do, I do…love it :)I’ve printed it on card and now have it in my current book “The Colour of Tea” by Hannah Tunnicliffe. Yum!

    I eagerly wait for Willard or your blog posts, read and devour the drawings and pics, but then can’t wait for the next.

  46. Lori says:

    I had a wonderful time at The Creative Connection Marketplace last Friday. The highlight of the afternoon was unexpectedly making eye contact with Susan Branch before her interview with Kris and Kim. I walked by while they were setting up and was totally star struck! What a doll she is! Just smiling away and looking very happy and friendly. I wish I had brought my recently purchased copy of Mom, Tell Me Your Story for an autograph. Oh well, maybe next time. I’ll have to do a better job of star watching! Thanks for all your beautiful products. Susan Branch, you have touched my life in so many ways and I am very grateful for that. Thank you for the beauty you bring to the world!

  47. Judy says:

    OMG…how did I not see that you had a blog ??? I get Willard…maybe my head has been foggy lately!! Anyway, so much fun to read your adventures at The Creative Connection….on my bucket list for sure!!!
    Have a safe and wonderful trip….you have inspired me to get on that train…Fondly, Judy

  48. Melanie says:

    Dear Susan,
    Emily and I absolutely LOVED meeting you at The Creative Connection last
    Friday! (Grandma, too.) We’re still talking about our time there with you.
    Thank you for your kindness!

    • sbranch says:

      Loved meeting you … so glad you wrote because I really wanted to thank you again for the beautiful flowers. Took them back to the room and they just got prettier and prettier! xo to you all!

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