The 2014 Calendar . . .

The 2014 Calendar is Done!

I’ve been missing you!  Did you think I’d run away?  Oh no!  Not that I wouldn’t like to!  I’m ready to go outside and play! I’ve been making lists of things I’m going to do when I get done with my work, daydreaming, I have big plans.  But I designed us a new calendar and about fifteen minutes ago I turned it in!  DONE!  SO excited!  You were the first ones I wanted to tell!   It’s filled with new art, I’ve been painting up a storm.  I’m hearing the 2014 calendars should come in before June this year (they made me promise not to take any bets on this!) so we don’t have too long to wait.  I’ve never turned in a calendar so late, they were nice to let me do it!

We have some flowers coming tomorrow girlfriends! 

This was me this morning, doing that last page for January.  NOW, fyi (because I know I’m MIA), I still have to design the mini calendar — but that will go much faster!  And then I have about fifteen pages of our book to do — and then . . . I’m free as a bird! I’m not in a huge hurry to finish the book, I love it — it’s turning out to have so many clues to my artistic roots, I’m still dreaming of it at night … all kind of a surprise for me.  By the way, whichever one of you, and probably it was more than one, that gave me the idea of doing a pre-sell for A Fine Romance, I can’t begin to tell you how glad I am we did it!  I never would have had enough!  And now the publisher knows how many to order ahead of time and we’re all going to get ours!!!  Brilliant girlfriends!  I tell Joe how much I learn from you and he’s now starting to get the picture! 

By the time I get done, it will be looking like this in our garden!  Perfect timing.  I know I owe you all a virtual trip to California, and I promise I will take you soon, complete with video.  ♥ Your support has been SO wonderful girlfriends!  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.  Soon I will get this blog back in gear, have us a fun giveaway . . . but let me get finished with this, I’m so close, and I’ll keep checking in. Here comes spring!

I can’t seem to go!  Once I get on a calendar-designing roll, I just keep it going right over onto the blog!  Anyway, you know how I feel about continuous small treats?  Look what I just got in the mail about twenty minutes ago!  Direct from Susan Branch Studios, all wrapped in tissue and stickers … my reward for working so hard …. a black Emma cup!!!  Cute eh?  I had to have it.

 Because I love black and white — it matches my cats 🙂 … also, it says TEA on one side, MUG on the other —  inside it says, “English,” and then “Breakfast!” I love all those words!
OK, I meant to send one little snow picture and look where I’ve gotten myself.  I have to go now!  I have entertained you long enough, as Jane Austen would say.  Love you girlfriends!  Happy St. Paddy’s Day — I was thinking about you!  ♣ ♣ ♣

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453 Responses to The 2014 Calendar . . .

  1. Andrea Geary says:

    Hi Susan,

    Lovely mug, Emma does wonderful designs. Loving the photos on your blog and wishing for Snow in Bramhall England! 🙂

  2. Marcia A. Sherman says:

    Happy St Joseph’s Day, Susan and all her family –

    Here’s hoping you will include in the book a DVD of all the little films you took while on the way to, and all around, and on the way home from England.

    blessings –

    Marcia in Sewell, NJ

  3. Cocoa says:

    You never have to apologize for “missing in action”, everything is a treat for us, and always so very special! I think myself and all your fans would kindly give you all the time in the world on anything you were working on! We always know you keep us in your heart!!! And we do the same for you!!!
    Hugs, Cocoa

  4. Pam says:

    OOOh the picture for the calendar looks gorgeous and can’t wait for the new book. Your new mug looks very posh, hope you enjoy your English Breakfast Tea in it 🙂

  5. Mary in Phoenix says:

    C*O*N*G*R*A*T*U*L*A*T*I*O*N*S on the calendar!!! Woo-hoo! Jane Austen also said, “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort”. So stay in that cozy home of yours and enjoy creating the finishing touches of your masterpiece. Thanks for all the “snippets” you post. They make our day … P.S. ♥ the TEA MUG 🙂

  6. Juliana - Jackson, NJ says:

    Susan, thank you for this little surprise! I check all the time and voila! Whatdya know? Something new! Keep up the good work – you’re so close! Maybe that’s why there is still snow, so you won’t be distracted with the spring weather 🙂 Just wanted to let you know I had Pear Cider in your honor for St. Pat’s day (not much of a beer drinker) and it was delish! Ok, that’s all – back to work! 😀

  7. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Congratulations Susan on finishing the 2014 calendar. I so don’t want it to be January but I love your January page. It is more like winter than spring here in Toronto. I’m still catching up on Downtown Abbey – so sad about Sybil. Still watching to see what happens to poor Mr. Bates. Enjoy creating the last few pages of your book. I’ve ordered 4 copies but haven’t heard yet re the international shipping costs. I expect Kellee and Sheri are swamped which is a good thing so I will be patient.

  8. ReNae says:

    Can’t wait to get the 2014 calendar!! This is my first year having one and it is such a treat to turn each page and see what awaits! I try not to peak!! Having a difficult year and I smile every time I see your calendar in my kitchen!! Thank you for bringing me smiles!!

  9. Karen K. says:

    Thank you for checking in with us – we miss you, but know how busy you are! I love the snow picture and also the sneak peak of the January page – thank you! And thank you for reminding me of the quote “All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today” – I stitched a picture with that quote for my mom waaaaaay back when I was in 8th grade – she still has it! Enjoy your last few pages of painting – we can’t wait!!

  10. Cheryl (in Missouri) says:

    Glad to know the next calendar is finished! Your calendar is my favorite, so I keep it at work, where I get to see it more often. #2 hangs in the office at home. I love that you put so many things on each month. So much to see and read! Really, though – only 13 pies for 100 people? You KNOW somebody is going to have more than one piece! (like me!) 🙂 I don’t have the discipline to keep a journal, so my calendar keeps track of everything. Kittens born, new dog, big snowstorm, the pelicans migrating through – you name it. Sometimes it’s entertaining just to look back and see what was happening at this time a year or two or ten ago. Someday, perhaps, one of my descendants will pick up one and say, “Oh, isn’t this a pretty calendar! Look! It’s a Susan Branch!”

  11. queenmum says:

    I LOVE the January calendar page, and cannot wait to see the rest. Your calendars make each month such a joy! I laminate some of the pages and hang them on my office door at school as decorations; they inspire me (and my students!) Happy days to you…

  12. judy says:

    Welcome back! We’ve been checking every day to get a progress report. Is it snowing where you are or is this a reflection of your latest project? Loved it, regardless! Yardwork is just around the corner for those of us who love to do it! Really looking forward to your to-do to help me with mine. Judy

  13. Susan Ericksen of Bainbridge Island, Washington says:

    Susan, Susan, Suan….You are the most amazing woman…you give so much of yourself to so many of us…I just adore your notes to us. They mean so much to me and bring me such inspiration and motivation…and so many memories that trickle back to all of us. You are nearing the end of a long adventure in “A Fine Romance” and am so looking forward to stick my nose in and see what you have accomplished….I love what you do…your artwork, your honesty, and sheer simplicity of everyday living. Susan, you are the cats pajamas!!!!! xoxoxo

  14. judy says:

    OOPS–that is “To-Do List”!

  15. Carol Maurer from Eureka, CA says:

    Hi Susan~~ While doing my daily checking to see if your blog was new, I got really excited that it was!! Plus, looks like I’m the first comment besides…yah!

    I have great news….. our house sold. We go in to our realtor in a bit to sign the final papers. Sooooo excited about this!! Going up to WA this weekend and start looking for a house. OK…. Susan, you can now come to Spokane and/or Kennewick for a book signing 🙂 🙂

    Loved the colorful print of this blog. And the 2014 Calendar…. yahoo!!

    Bye for now…. gotta get going to the realtor’s office. Put word out on FB and so far have 35 comments on the house. Love it, LOL.

    xoxoxox ~~~
    Carol M

    • Carol Maurer from Eureka, CA says:

      What’s taking so long for my comment to get out of moderation? I was the first one to reply this time around and look what’s happening.

      Carol M.

      • sbranch says:

        Me. I can’t seem to get caught up. I approve six and ten come in! And what happens is that ones that come in first, they go to the bottom and then more pile on, and I approve them, and then more pile on before I can get to the bottom. I know, it’s crazy, I love to read them though, so sorry it takes this long!

  16. Pat Stansel says:

    Loved your little tidbit of news even though you are in a time crunch, you still
    are thinking about your girlfriends! It was fun seeing the bit of artwork in progress.

  17. Debra V. ~ Southern California says:

    You’re Brilliant! Just Brilliant girlfriend. How on earth do you make the snow falling on a photo of the snow, and it’s still snowing? You’ve really got it together, quite a few tricks up your sleeve, I’d say. Loved your sweet little visit. Like a good friend just popped in to spread some cheer. So glad I pre ordered the book too! Can hardly wait to see it, hold it, savor over each page of it. I know a lot of love went into it and that we’re going to love it too. Thank you for your inspiration today – and thanks for sharing the snowfall.

  18. Wendy Louise says:

    Oh Sweet Sue, You are so inspiring to me, I just get so filled with joy to hear from you. We know you are creating away to share with us all and it is so comforting knowing your kindness. Seeing you at work is magical to me, just that one picture of you creating is such a treat! And that you dream about it, you are so lucky! I am waiting patiently here for you to finish your creation, it must be so joyful. Take your time, really, it’s like Christmas and being here in Massachusetts where we are getting a foot of snow really feels like Christmas. I do have my spring flowers, underneath all that snow, waiting for Spring to arrive soon. You know, I think this winter is just holding on for you to finish. Then Spring will come when you are done. oxox 🙂

  19. How do you come up with all those new ideas for calendar pages all the time. I am in awe of your imagination. Do you think on these for awhile and then have at it? I hope there will be another purse calendar as the one of yours I am using ends this year. We DO appreciate all your loving hard work for us. 🙂 Love the mug. What a lovely treat to yourself for a long winters work. 🙂

  20. Congratulations on getting the calendar finished. Sounds like an enormous project to me! Filled with new artwork???(Do you sleep?) 🙂 Your snow picture looks like the scene outside my window for the past two days–so hard to imagine that Spring is so near, though I can almost feel the daffodils and crocus stirring underneath the blankets of snow outside. There is a baby honysuckle vine happily outgrowing its starter pot on my window sill, and I can tell that it’s eager to move into its future home outside that window. I do soooo understand, because I can hardly wait to feel the soil between my toes and fingers myself! Buds have been quietly forming on small branches in spite of Old Man Winter, — he is slowly loosing his grip, and though the icy wind is playing along, we know it’s just a matter of time! That new Emma mug is quite a handsome one–and I know just who needs it!!! Happy Spring!!! (tomorrow)–no matter how it looks outside your window. 🙂

  21. Elaine says:

    Wonderful photos and post ! Oh you have been working hard with all that lovely art and writing you do ! I do like that mug and those words in it are lovely ! Oh kettle has boiled off to get Papa’s and my tea now ! Thanks for sharing with us and may spring be around the corner for us all ! Have a good evening !

  22. Hi Sue!
    Snowflakes fell here in Ohio today just as fell in your post! The good news is Spring arrives at 7:02 am ET tomorrow! And looking back on Winter, you kept us enthused & entertained with your art and your stories! Reading about your gardens, your new book, and your day-to-day life kept us simply enthralled!

    And tomorrow, will you try balancing an egg on the sidewalk? It really works! Each year, though my children are grown, with children of their own, they grab an egg with anticipation as if they’re balancing it for the very first time! lol

    Thought of you when I read this quote: “Nature is God’s first missionary. Where there is no Bible there are sparkling stars. Where there are no preachers, there are Spring times. If a person has nothing but nature, then nature is enough to reveal something about God.” ― Max Lucado

    No need for rose-colored glasses with Spring on our doorsteps! lol

    Happy “Book Ending” Happy “Spring Beginning!”
    Hugs, Bunny XO

  23. Christine says:

    Oh Susan, I can’t wait for the calendar to come out!
    Can we pre-order the calendars?
    I know they go fast and I don’t want to be without one!

    By the way, congratulations of finishing the calendar.

    • sbranch says:

      We’ll for sure have them at least until December…I think Kellee and Sheri are still reeling from the book pre-order and might kill me if I try to do it again soon …. I’m sure we’ll have enough calendars especially if you order before Thanksgiving, no question, we will have them! I think! 🙂 No, we will.

  24. Hello Susan,
    I have received a beautiful pillow and a delightful rug from your shopping site. It was so FUN to receive them in the mail…like receiving surprise birthday gifts! They are wonderfully and excellently made…I will return to your shopping store often!
    Congrats on finishing the 2014 calendar which I look forward to…another special treat!
    Fondly, Jenny

  25. Susan says:

    Thank you for doing so much to make our days brighter…..we appreciate and enjoy everything you create. Can’t wait to read your new book. Have a great day.

  26. Sue G says:

    Just love everything about this post….you jumped all over the place in your sharing, and it was like I was sitting across from you on my couch as I enjoyed the journey. I shoveled snow again for the 100th time it seemed yesterday and had a wonderful discussion about spring with my junior kindergarten class today. In case you are wondering they don’t believe it is spring tomorrow because we still have snow on the ground. I am beginning to believe they know what they are talking about. Loved the floral present of drawings and quote about daffodils above. Looking forward to hearing more spring like conversations, pictures and drawings. Best of luck as you finish up your many projects!

  27. Jeanette says:

    Hi Susan! What a nice surprise to start my evening!!! A sweet post.
    We’re here for you, always! We know you’ve been painting your fingers to the bone. Of course, I can’t wait to see the new calendar!
    I look at and oogle over your calendar every day, it’s just to the left of my monitor and since I spend soooo much time working away at it, it is my visual vacation, retreat! I adore it and you!
    Take the best care! BTW, I love my new black Emma mug, a bit of a departure for her, lovely of course and I too love all the words!
    Warm spring hugs and lots of LoVe,

  28. pat addison ( cave junction,OR) says:

    hello and good afternoon susan and girlfriends. been a busy day her…decorating the windows for Easter, putting the cookie cutters in the kitchen window and of course looking after the chickens, ducks and turkeys. some happy news we have baby chicks (peeps) in the house, about 15 of them, 12 Plymouth barred rocks and 3 Rhode Island reds. we keep them in a large box in the house under a sun/heat lamp to keep them warm and comfy, they have added pleasure of being near the woodstove to keep the m nice and comfy and warm for now. its too cold for them to be out in the barnyard now. plus our ducks are getting ready to do some egg sitterin’. Dotty our female duck has been busy laying eggs in a nest for the past week and I figure she has about a week to 5 more days left before she starts sitting on them 24/7. ducks do that, they will go and lay eggs in a nest for about 2 weeks sit on it for awhile to keep the eggs warm and then bury them in the straw to insulate them and keep them safe and warm, after the female is done laying she will sit on them 24/7 for 28 to 31 days and then the hatching begins. we can’t wait to see what we get. its definitely spring in the barnyard, the hens are getting broody and so are the turkeys, soon it will egg sitterin’ time and then nests full of babies for the spring. congrats on the calendar, and I can’t wait to see the new book. off to get busy with the dinner preps and washing the eggs. have a good evening everyone. tomorrow is spring so Happy Spring to all. hugs…… 🙂

    • pat addison ( cave junction,OR) says:

      oops pardon all the goofs……been a busy day here. hugs…… 🙂

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        I know how you feel Pat A., I have to go get the meat I forgot to p/u at the grocery store after church today. I changed the menu this AM!

        • judi says:

          Wow, love all of the “country” info. Didn’t know ducks were so patient – 28 – 30 days 24/7 – UFF DA! Bet those little peeps in the kitchen are adorable!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        It must be so much fun to hear the sound of those baby chickens peepin’ away in the house…

    • Paula B. says:

      Hey Pat, this Rhody girl liked your post, did you know that the Rhode Island Red is our state bird, coffee milk and Del’s frozen lemonade are our “state drinks of choice”. We used to have a professional hockey team called the Reds, and back in my dad’s day there was a popular song that ended with the loyal, patriotic words about being R.I. bred and R.I. red. The other day as I was foraging in the refrigerator, I was thinking about how I prefer brown eggs to white and wondered if it was a local thing. Happy spring and good luck with all the critters.

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        Happy spring everyone. yes it is fun hearing all those peeps just peeping away, but it is hard to keep the cats away from them…best thing for kitty tv I guess. to be honest I have no idea who is more patient, the ducks who do all their laying then sit on the eggs for up to 31 days or the chickens who sit and lay at the same time. either way its about 28-31 days of egg sitterin’!! but the ducks take up to 2 weeks to do the laying, while the chickens are sitting and laying at the same time. the chickens get it all done a bit faster I guess. but the female duck is lucky, the male will protect her while she is on the nest, and he will defend the nest while she goes to eat and swim and bathe to keep clean… he will sit on the nest until she returns, won’t catch a rooster doing that for the hens. hugs… 🙂

        • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

          Paula, I don’t know if it is a local thing, but a lot of folks here prefer the brown eggs, but they are so expensive at the stores…..almost $4.00 a dozen, I sell what we don’t use or eat for $2.00 a dozen, makes a nice little extra income and pays for their feed. thanks for the best wishes and Happy spring to you. hugs….. 🙂

          • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

            well good morning everyone, woke up this morning and went out to the barn to let the birsds out for the day and discovered our tom turkey has attracted 3 wild females now, we have 3 wild femals, 1 domestic one and tom is in heaven with 4 females to chase and court. they must hear him gobbling a mile off and come around and see that he has food and shelter and stick around. well I can’t complain, the ore merrier and more chances for baby turkeys this spring. hugs everyone… 🙂 Happy Spring. 🙂

  29. judith waller says:

    Hi Susan,hoping I can get your new book in Australia it looks wonderful. Got any ideas about where I can find any of your books?

  30. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Just popped in to check on your progress & you did it, 2014 calendar is done! Congratulations! Loved starting with snow, then the promise of Spring. Thank you for the sneak peak! You’re almost there…………..xoxo

  31. Vonnie says:

    Erin Go Bragh to you, Susan! I hope you enjoyed the snowstorm more then I did over here in NH, I’m a bit done with the snow now. We got 12+ inches off this one and it was H-E-A-V-Y stuff! Can’t wait to see the new calendar…and read about the trip to Cali! Be well, safe travels! ~Vonnie

  32. Hi Susan!

    Excited about all your projects. All of your work is such fun because every page is just filled with so many wonderful little surprises. I’ve looked at your books over and over for inspiration and always notice something new.

    I, too, have put together images for some 2014 calendars… The images are ready but, as a rank amateur, I am designing and creating the whole thing myself. Layout, printing… Whew! It’s OK, though… The dream of being a “pro” someday makes it all worthwhile! I am planning three separate projects – one based on my black and white botanicals, the other on my series of cakes and the third featuring my signature “Dapper and Dreamy” couple. Like you, I am always dreaming up new things! It’s sometimes hard to finish a current project because of a new idea!

    If you are interested in looking at my art (there’s a lot more than the last time you visited), I’d love to have you. My portfolio is at and I’d love your comments!

    All the best,


  33. I accidentally clicked on” my Susan place” and WOAH! You have updated unexpectedly!! Love the snow picture! Also the art you have shown!!!
    Am so looking forward to the book, knew it was a Great idea to pre order!
    Keep going there! Your free time is now in sight!! Thank you for the happy surprise just now! Bye for now.

  34. Debbie in WBL says:

    Welcome back, we’ve missed you! Tomorrow is the 1st day of spring, and still in the 20s here in Minnesota! Can’t wait for those spring flowers, until then I will enjoy your beautiful drawings and dream of daffodils!

  35. Judy in Oregon says:

    The thought went through my mind today that we hadn’t heard from you in awhile. But I did picture you busy at work on the book. Love the snow picture, the sneak peak at the calendar and the black & white mug.

  36. Karen P. - Wisconsin says:

    Oh Susan! I HAVE missed you but I know you’ve been up to fun things! January’s preview is beautiful! Carry on and finish so you can reward yourself with some playtime! Just perfect timing for Spring! (Love that mug!!!) xo

  37. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~What a cute mug!~ No wonder you had to have it!~

  38. Patricia says:

    Hi Susan,
    Love the fact that you are ahead of schedule and still enjoying the process. Dreaming about it too! That is a good sign. Say, I did see the black and white mug in your Emma Bridgewater section of the online store. I love the three egg cups too! Lots of little things to make me smile

  39. AAAdorable mug and all that work…well done! You’re an inspiration and, as Dave Ramsey says:
    “Work is doing it.
    Discipline is doing it every day.
    Diligence is doing it well every day.”

  40. Rosinda says:

    Love you too, girlfriend! Congratulations on completing the 2014 calendar! I love your new black and white Emma mug! Happy spring! Hope it’s filled with warm sunshine, pretty flowers, and the lovely sounds of birdsong…xoxo

  41. Sarah Maldonado says:

    And I was thinking about YOU so here I am! Love that Emma mug. I just saw on a preview of a documentary about Queen Elizabeth that she has one of those embroidered pillows at one of her places that says “It’s Good To Be Queen”. Isn’t that the best?? What a sense of humor! I just bet some days it IS good to be queen!

  42. Katherine says:

    Susuan…I can’t wait to dance with the daffodils, we just got more snow in PA. Spring is just around the corner, right…at least that its what the calendar says…SPRING BEGINS tomorrow! I can’t wait to get your 2014 calendar. Happy tea drinking!

  43. Karen C from NC says:

    Happy day ! You are such a hard worker, glad to hear the calendars are done. Missed reading your blog – glad you are back ! Happy 1st day of Spring tomorrow, time for some green. Hope you have a great rest of the week.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll be more regular after everything gets turned in, I think I have three more weeks of work! Such good timing, I can’t believe it’s working out like this!

  44. Martha Ellen of VA says:

    So happy to hear from you today Susan! You are getting lots of snow–right? My daughter in New Hamphire says they have a respectable 7 inches so far. I think of you when I see the weather map and hope you are all cozy and warm finishing up A Fine Romance and your beautiful calendars. The black and white Emma mug is lovely. I’m sure you will enjoy your tea in that beauty. Take care and thank you for sharing your world. xoxo ♥

    • sbranch says:

      We missed the snow yesterday! Too “warm” down here . . . all we got was rain. I’m sure it’s gorgeous where your daughter is!

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        Today it looks and feels like Siberia in January! Cold wind from the North is blowing our driveway shut–temps in single digits and double digit wind chill factors. I’m wondering what Easter will be like this year??? No tulips and daffodils here, I can guarantee…Susan, I have a question: Quite a while back you had a link on where the bedspread like you use for a tablecloth can be purchased. Could you give that again? Thanks! 🙂

  45. Jack says:

    All the seeds of all the flowers of tomorrow are in the bellies of all the birds of today, in this neck of the woods — happy Cardinals dressed in pink with a Pompadore — while the Mrs is obviously into some kind of perversion being all black on her back and they are all fighting over the seed block …..the quail take over whenever they want, but at the same time let any other birds join them ….very democratic and sharing. Seems to me that “list making” takes away from productive project time ?

    • sbranch says:

      Reading along … your first sentence, I laugh and say WHO wrote this…and of course … its YOU! 🙂

      • judi says:

        Love your little bird saying:)

      • Gert~Iowa says:

        Susan..I know…that first line really draws a person in! Good job Jack! Also, so happy you are ble to enjoy your bird!

      • Barbara T, Wolverine Lake MI says:

        You are so very lucky to have your dad with you! Miss my dad dearly, but dream about him often 🙂 “I’ll see you in my dreams”. Susan you should do a blogpost about your parents and include many photos and a video 🙂 Of course that would add to your list…….

        • sbranch says:

          I need a book for them! They were so young when I was born, they were a lot of fun to be children with — and still are!

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        Same thing happening on the quail block outside my kitchen window Jack … cardinals are fighting, quail are loving … democratic is a great description! Can’t wait til May when the quail babies will be following their parents all over the yard. Love how quail hatch “ready to run” rather than helpless like most other birds who stay in their nest. Its so cute to see them all in a line following mom and dad … almost look like wind up toys 🙂

        • Julie Marie says:

          Hi Mary… we love our little Quail babies too!… we call them “puffballs” when they are so teensie!

          • Esther says:

            A friend calls our little Quail babies “walnuts” because of their size. We are so blessed that our cats have never been interested in all of the Quail or Hummingbirds. A great post today – love how Susan grasshoppers around and fills us in on what she’s been up to.

  46. Vickie in Olympia says:

    I just adore that mug. I think it will have to go on my Mother’s Day wish list. 🙂 You needn’t be in a rush to get to California, it might be a tad warmer but you will probably be trading snow for rain. The ground on the West Coast seems to be shouting, “Spring,” while the skies keep yelling, “Winter.” In Western Washington the cherry trees and forsythia are blooming and there are winter stom warnings for the mountains.

    • sbranch says:

      Oooo, love that weather report. No, you’re right, I’ve very happy here — pretty soon this whole island turns pink with the weeping cherry trees (or at least that’s the way it feels to me!).

  47. stephanie says:

    i just found something I need to share with you – so I thought posting a comment would be the fastest way!

    Sunday night in the UK they showed a new documentary about the Queen’s 2012 jubilee year – called “Our Queen”. It was not shown here in the US – but I found it on youtube – and it’s FANTASTIC. Don’t miss. This was the year you were there!

    I’d watch it soon because they tend to take down the good stuff on youtube quickly.

    You don’t have to post this comment if you don’t want – I was really just wanting to share it with you!

    Can’t wait for the book!

  48. Marsha MacLean says:

    Oh Susan!
    So nice to hear from you tonight. Thanks for the wonderful post. It’s terrific to hear (and get a peek at) the new art work!
    So fun to hear the news about next year’s calendar… And I love the new Emma mug… I saw it on the website earlier this morning and really have to think seriously about it, because of my upcoming black and white supper club dinner, but mostly, because MY baby, (whose name is Grumpy, btw) is a black and white border collie!
    We will wait patiently for your California post…and so happy to know Joe is now getting the picture!
    Enjoy, and be encouraged.

  49. Marion Rose says:

    Good evening my friend! A nice surprise finding a new post. You have given us another thing to look forward to. Is it hard to work months in advance? Love your new mug! It’s fun getting a mug with all the words you love in black and white. TEA being the best!

    • sbranch says:

      The only problem about working months in advance is that it’s easy for me to forget what year it is! When you think about it, the whole world is one year behind. From thought to fruition takes a year for so many things, like clothes for instance … the designer thinks of it, and a year later it’s in the stores.

  50. Mary A. Brown says:

    Hey Susan,
    I can’t wait for my copy of “A Fine Romance” and please let us know when we can order our calendars! Give Girl and Jack a hug and kiss from me. Sending love from California (where daffodils and roses are blooming), Mary

  51. Patty in Redlands says:

    Wow Susan. . . Do you ever eat or sleep? You finished an entire calendar since last we “talked” and my goal was to finish the ironing! I’m so I impressed with the picture of your hand and brush hovering over the January page. It’s beautiful and I know I’ll love having it adorn my house next year. Also love the dancing chick and the garden gate and arch. Visiting in your world is always positive, beautiful, and inspiring. Thank you for letting us peak in, even when you are SO busy. Good luck with the rest of the much anticipated book. We can’t wait!
    Love and good wishes, Patty

  52. Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

    I have kind of a “dumb” question: When you do the lettering, you do it in pencil first and then paint it in, right? Well, do you draw pencil lines, also, and then erase them or how do you get the lettering always so nice and straight? And if you erase them, do you erase them after you have done the painting? Thanks for the info. Will be watching for the calendar–how exciting for you to have that done! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I draw the pencil lines for the letters first, then paint them; when it’s dry, I erase the pencil lines. I do have guide lines to either letter on, or around.

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        Thanks! 🙂

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        What I would really love to know is your secret for keeping your paper flat. Whenever I work with watercolors, even watercolor pencils, the paper crimps. Sometimes just a little but it still makes me crazy. But your paper is sitting there, all perfectly flat. Maybe I’m not using the right paper?? :>)

        • sbranch says:

          Mine isn’t really watercolor paper … it’s smooth hundred pound Bristol board. But if I wet the whole thing? It would ripple like crazy — Most of the time I do what is called “dry brush” — just painting little bits at a time and not wetting the paper first.

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            Ah ha! That makes complete sense, though it seems odd that paper sold as “watercolor paper” wrinkles when you actually use watercolors on it! I will be getting myself some 100# Bristol board now. Thanks, Sue! :>)

      • Gert~Iowa says:

        Pat, that was a great question! Thanks Susan for letting us know!

  53. Holly says:

    Hello everyone! Has anyone ever seen such a long winter here in the Midwest? It’s freezing here in Indiana, and they say more snow is coming! It can’t be so!!

    Susan, You’re so close to being finished! ~~we are all proud of you & your steadfastness! I hope your publisher knows that most of the girlfriends will buy at least two more copies for gifts throughout the year. So I hope they print more than normal.

    • sbranch says:

      They’re trying to find the exact right balance (I’m glad I don’t have to decide!). Stay warm Holly!

  54. Heartsdesire says:

    What a hard-working gal you are. It won’t be long now before the finish and then, hopefully, you can relax. Would love to take a virtual trip with you to California. Actually, I could just drive down the coast to California. That would be so much fun. Must talk to my girlfriend about a road trip. Love the black and white Emma cup. Jack would probably love a sip of tea from it.

  55. Connie Michael says:

    A loving pat on your back, a hug, and a huge ATTAGIRL to you! What you are doing requires so much dedication, concentration, time, and hard work……and to blog in the middle of all of this! You are amazing. My hat is off to you Susan! What an accomplishment for you…..and we get to enjoy the results! Hope you aren’t all snowed in up there! Chin scratches to the furry babies!
    Hugs! Connie

    • sbranch says:

      We have a cool blue sky day and no snow! We’re still bundled up though, but I’m SO glad. I don’t want it to turn warm until the second I am done with the book! Thank you for the pats on the back, it feels so so good! xo

      • Shannon Stark says:

        Hi Susan and All the Girlfriends! Susan, I love the snow picture! It has been 70degrees here in Southern California and not very wintery at all :(. I can’t stop staring at it. Also, the Girlfriends were so amazing at giving me ideas for the Leprechaun trap my kids had to do! I posted my question on – your facebook page and wa – la! Ideas galore! I worked on one with my son, and my husband worked on one with my 1st grade daughter. They had the BEST TIME working on it and had a really sweet conversation! SO…THANK YOU GIRLFRIENDS!

        • sbranch says:

          This is the blog where the geniuses check in regularly — no matter what question I’ve had so far, someone, and often more than one, always has the answer! Yay! Glad you all had so much fun!

      • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

        oh-ho! So that’s why it’s staying so cool on the East Coast–so you can finish your book! Well, for you (and ONLY YOU!), I will suffer through these cold days, knowing that you are in the process of making all of us very happy!
        Love you, Girlfriend!

        • sbranch says:

          I am the culprit alright …. it turns nice, and I’m in BIG trouble! When we open the windows over the kitchen sink and wisteria smell comes in? Big trouble!

  56. OOOhhhh, now I had to get the Emma cup too! Just a little present for ME!

  57. Donna Wilder says:

    Happy Spring!!
    Thank you for putting so much love into A Fine Romance. I can’t wait to receive my copy. I can always hear your voice so clearly in all your books. I know it’ll be like you are sitting with me in front of a nice fire with a cup of tea while we talk about all your adventures!!

  58. Cindy Tuning says:

    So close! My neck hurts just thinking about all the painting, writing and drawing you’ve been doing. I hope you are going to treat yourself to a nice relaxing message when you’re done. Can’t wait to see the new calenders and of course the book. As much as I love pastels I’m lovin that black and white cup. Stay warm and cozy…Spring’s right around the corner!

  59. Victoria Miller says:

    Thank you, Susan! Wow, are you hard at work, with the book and the calender! I just read somewhere the author James Patterson has 35 manuscripts at a time going! It’s amazing what people can do. But everyone has help. You have Jack, and Joe, and Girl Kitty…. A lovely snow picture, and tomorrow is the Vernal Equinox! Just fact checking on, I learned “equinox” is Latin for “equal night”, because on the equinox the hours of day night are approximately the same. You do learn something new everyday. You might want to look at that site, it’s interesting and there is a wonderful picture there with a little verse about “…daffy-down-dilly is now come to town with a petticoat green and a bright yellow gown!” The Wordsworth poem The Daffodils is one of my favorites! Your mug is wonderful, and those are some of my favorite words, too! Joyous first day of spring, and You Go Girl!

    • sbranch says:

      Thirty five!!! Now that would be something. He should leave his brain to science! Thank you Victoria!

  60. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    Oh Susan! I’m so excited for you – and for us too! You have certainly earned an R&R break! Have you ever dreamed about a book in progress before??
    I think that we all help stimulate one another’s creativity! You are helping us to be fearless and try new things – listen to new viewpoints – travel to new venues!
    This really is the best of what a blog can be – for me at least!
    Happy Spring to all!! Have a wonderful week! 😉

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve finished books before, but always on my own — this is the first time I did it with a bunch of girlfriends! I like this much better! Happy Spring Kerry!

  61. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan…loved the do you get those pictures on the blog to have motion?…like the snow falling and the fireplace blazing..i just love it… and the snow picture was perfect for here too as spring is certainly taking it’s sweet time coming to st. louis…last sunday night we had thunder, sleet, rain,snow, lightening..all at the same time!! crazy…. excited for the 2014 calendar too, but still totally loving the 2013….the little glimpse of january looks adorable as ever…. living for spring break!! love, cindy

  62. Amy Lynn says:

    Thanks for taking time out of your busy, tiring, exciting, creative schedule to send us love notes SusieQ!!!
    We all LOVE and appreciate you as well!!!
    Amy Lynn

  63. Gail says:

    Hello Susan…..
    I am looking soooooo forward to my receiving my book!!!!! Can’t wait!!! Dying for the calendar to come out! I love the snow picture….we don’t get much snow in Southern California!!! How did you get that???? You clever girl…..

    I am a red and white girl……but I have a pink room and love pink too. I have two grown sons and when my oldest moved out….by the end of the week my husband had painted the wains-coating pink and I bought a pink and white quilt!!!! Been adding pink accessories ever since!!!

    Have a great rest of the week and don’t work too hard!! Blessings…..

  64. Raven says:

    Everything here is so delightful as, I am sure, your book, A FINE ROMANCE. I purchased on March 1st but have yet to receive it. I sent you an email, but I guess you are really busy as I have not heard back. If you have run out of copies, I can wait for a new batch, just refund my money.


    • sbranch says:

      Hi Raven, this was a preorder … it’s all explained in my last WILLARD …. you can read about it here. If you decide you’d rather have a refund, just scroll to the bottom of any shopping page and you’ll see a contact number …. call Kellee or Sheri and they’ll take good care of you.

  65. {oc cottage} says:

    well, the snow picture would have been
    enough…at least for me {hot flashes
    and this unseasonably warm weather
    have me dreaming of sitting on a block
    of ice…while plopping a snow cone down
    my shirt! ;} but the glimpse of your new
    calendar is an ever so fabulous treat on
    this fine 1st-day-of-spring-eve!

    m ^..^

  66. Chrissy Thrower says:

    Susan! You are so kind and sweet to think of us when you are so very busy! I love the snowfall, and the garden drawings….yearning for Spring! I don’t know how you seem to always have that magical touch to send us your purely delightful ideas and artwork just when you know we can’t wait patiently anymore without some delicious tidbits from our Girlfriend!
    P.S. I love black and white too! You must have an amazing inner organizer gene..from Mom or Dad?

    • sbranch says:

      Both. Really organized people! I guess they had to be with eight children. Our camping trips — my parents deserved the Academy Award for best organized family …. tents, high chair, stroller, sleeping bags, cereal, pillows, all stuffed into a station wagon … my mom cooked a lot of the food ahead of time. Now there’s kind of a mini competition between my brothers and sisters as to who is best at packing a car!

      • Have you ever read Frank Gilbreth Jr.’s book, Cheaper by the Dozen? Their father was a “time and motion study and efficiency” expert who used these techniques to run his family. I think I would have fit in perfectly in his and your family. I think my own family of just 3 sons benefited from my “efficiency”, although they never acknowledged or appreciated it :-). Perhaps once they have their own children they will???

        • sbranch says:

          I’m not sure my brothers noticed it when they were kids, but they’re really good at it now!!

        • Lynn McMahon says:

          My Mom had us on ” Lombardi Time” (as in the GreenBay Packers coach)~ “If you’re not 15 minutes early~ You’re Late!”
          I’m not even sure she knew that ~ but Dad did!

          • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

            Lynn~At our house it was called Swiss time. (My grandfather was Swiss.) To this day our family is amazed by the people who show up late for things. Appointments, concerts, church, etc…

          • Lynn McMahon says:

            Swiss time~ too funny!
            I’m glad mom and dad ” ran a tight ship”~ so much less stressful~ especially when you have to drive somewhere!
            I usually bring a book or magazine with me so if I’m really early I read!
            ~My kids can’t figure out how I did it~ went anywhere AND arrived on time with 4 of them~ ( especially without their Pop) ~ I say it was simple~ you followed my schedule~ not the other way around! ~With age comes wisdom~ LOL!

          • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

            You got that right Lynn!
            The kids should follow the parents schedule, (except when we had to drag them to sports or band practice, but then we still put it on the schedule and ran the show).

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        We used to be entertained by watching our dear friends across the street, with 6 children, pack their station wagon for camping! Your “Camping” page in “Summer”, with the car all packed, always makes me think of them! We only had 3 children, and a VW van, not nearly as much fun for them to watch us pack!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Your mom & dad qualify for a Most Courageous Parents award too. No kidding – a camping trip – with 8 kids [including a baby] & all the necessary equipment. And in one vehicle! The logistics of this must have rivaled the Invasion of Normandy! When I starting teaching, I was always asking my mom [6 kids in 7 years] “Mom, how the heck did you manage everything with 6 kids under the age of 7?” I mean, I was truly impressed since I only had 24 5-year olds 7 hours a day [and wasn’t trying to run a household at the same time either]. Just getting all us little rugrats in and out of snow gear must have required an hour or two of her day. And my mom would always get this look on her face – I can’t really describe it – and say “Well, I don’t know… we just did it. We didn’t know any better….” Pretty amazing when you stop to consider it, especially these days when people with only 2 kids think they MUST have a van! :>)

        • Janet [in Rochester] says:

          PS – just love that new Emma mug! I’ve never bought any Emma before [because I just have so many other mugs & space is limited]. But that new black mug is SO attractive I just might HAVE to get it. :>)

        • sbranch says:

          I don’t know how they did it! It was fun for us, but I can’t really imagine how hard it must have been for them. My mom says, “We didn’t know any better” too! I believe her — I’m sure they didn’t!

  67. Deb Surman from Illinois says:

    Glad to hear all is well. With the finish line in your sight, we all know and appreciate how busy and hard working you’ve been recently. Can’t wait for things to return to “normal” here at your blog, but I know it will all be well worth the wait and I am so glad I pre-ordered my copy of your beautiful book. I predict you will have outdone yourself when this one is published!

    • sbranch says:

      Getting to know everyone here on the blog, I’m thinking about you while I’m doing the book and the calendar — suddenly it gets a lot more personal! Makes me want to do a good job!

  68. Mary S. says:

    How wonderful to hear from you!!
    That photo of you working on the January picture of the calendar is fascinating!! I just sit and look at it, marveling at your patience, talent and attention to the tiny details!!! Wowee!!! And I thought doing stained glass took a lot of patience!!

    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  69. judi says:

    HAPPY VERNAL EQUINOX EVERYONE:) Susan, way to go with your calendars mostly done, book almost finished and spring peeping in. April will indeed be a month to celebrate in more ways than one. Love that little dancing bird.

    Hard to believe our sunrise times are so far apart right now – yours 6:45 a.m. and SW FL 7:31 a.m. I know we have more daylight in the winter than the north but, wow, didn’t realize such a difference now at the equinox.

    Ha, you say we intertwined into your life – yesterday went and bought Country Living UK and am loving it. Came home and toasted brown bread and had it with my tea. Seems you are quite an influence on us too – HAPPY one of course.

  70. Ann says:

    Will be making note to self to be on the ball when it comes to ordering SB calendar for 2014, don’t want to miss it. Love the EB mug, how smart is that? will certainly look out for that one. Really looking forward to receiving my copy of your new book, and now you know just how many other fans are too. Thank you Susan for all the hard work you are putting in to the book, we already know we will LOVE it.
    Ann in Thame xx

  71. mari1017 says:

    Happy Spring, Susan! Spring is what we live through winter for 🙂 At least I do! Thank you for your faithfulness in doing new calendars each year – every one is a treasure, and I still have them all holding the memories of all the days. ♥♥♥

    • sbranch says:

      I keep mine too, for the same reason!

      • Debra V. ~ Southern California says:

        Funny how we all think alike. I keep my old SB calendars too. I like to remember special events and I cherish each page so inspirational, the artwork, the colors and quotes are all so much fun to revisit. I look forward to seeing the next year calendar too. I think of them like Scrapbooks because so much love and detail went into each page.

    • Hang onto all your Susan Branch calendars in case she ever quits making them. They can reused in future years! For instance, 2013 will be repeated in 2019. This website allows you to see which years are the same:

      Susan, you can just go back and find a calendar you’ve already done and just change the year on it 🙂 For instance, you could have used your 2003 calendar for next year’s calendar. You have so many new friends no one would be the wiser!

      • sbranch says:

        After this last week, I LOVE that idea! 🙂 I’ll keep making new ones, then when I get old (er), that’s what I’ll do!

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        I used to do that too, to have a spare.

      • stephanie says:

        Great tip Cathy! I have all my SB calendars saved – I can’t bear to part with them! I’m still bummed they aren’t making the little easel calendars anymore… 🙁

        • sbranch says:

          The same people who cancelled the easel calendars . . . just (I hate to say this) cancelled the blotters. No more blotters. Luckily they are not the same company who make all my other calendars, so we’re in no danger of losing them.

          • Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

            Oh no!! Just when my girl friend & I have become addicted to them! Rats!

          • sbranch says:

            I know, me too. You just never know with licensing! It’s what I don’t love about it — no control!

  72. Sandy Richmond says:

    Good morning Susan! . Normally I am content with the weather, whatever it is, but I find myself daydreaming about being out on the porch, and out in the warm sun… I have an old cupboard that I want to paint (some shade of green) and put it on the porch. I am decorating my porch in my head! Lol…today is my wedding anniversary, first day of spring! 36 years! Will save the celebrating for this weekend as we both have to work … Doing the calendars looks like fun! From wintery Attleboro…

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Anniversary Sandy!!

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        Yes, Happy Anniversary Sandy and Al!!! 🙂 How can you be married 36 years, though? Were you a child bride? (I know better…) It is just that we don’t seem old enough to have been married as many years as we have. Are we REALLY getting older? (signed, Mrs. Peter Pan…) 🙂

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      That cupboard on the porch sounds like fun! What will you put in it?

  73. Dinahsoar says:

    Love the mug! Love the snow pic! Love what I could see of the 2014 calendar! And my daughter is going to pre-order your book for me for Mother’s Day!…I know I will LOVE it. Don’t you worry about us–you’ve got a lot on your plate….soon, you’ll be free as a bird–then we can play tog….from the hills of TN…

  74. Gert~Iowa says:

    Susan…I just knew we would hear from you on this first day of spring! And how fitting that snow picture by the forecast, it looks like the east coast is being plummeted by it! You are such a trooper…keeping your nose to the grindstone…so to speak! It can be difficult unless you are doing something you love!! How exciting having another calendar I flip each month I think of all the work you have done to get it ready for us! (Did I ever tell you how amazing you are ?)

    Have a blessed day!!


  75. Sara D NW Georgia says:

    Books, calendars, blogs, oh my! LOL!!! You sure are a busy bee!!!! It is good to hear from you today 🙂

  76. Chris Wells from West TX says:

    Happy Spring Susan…and girlfriends….it arrived @ 7:02 your time! Did you notice? I think it just slipped in on quiet bunny feet. Spring is even showing up here in W. Tx despite the lack of rain. The hummingbirds are returning, the first one arrived the 15th, right on schedule. My Carolina Jessimine are filled with yellow buds and my wild clematis are winding their way out of the ground……..all with no rain for months! Amazing.
    Love the black and white Emma mug! And the peek at the new calendar. We can all shout out a cheer when the book is done and then we just have to wait for the printer to do their thing….and then it will be ours! Can you just see the book arriving…all over the world! Girlfriends carefully unwrapping…okay maybe ripping the tissue, flinging it to the floor and holding A Fine Romance in our hands! Kettles of water, put on for tea. And the world will stop spinning, just for a little while, as we carefully turn the pages, and relive England!
    Enough dreaming…okay back to work Susan……. We love you XOXO

    • sbranch says:

      Oooo, I loved that picture, and I will be doing it right along with you!

      • Patty in Redlands says:

        Chris, you did a great job of describing what I’m sure will happen! Love the visual of A Fine Romance’s tidal wave! 🙂

  77. Nadine says:

    Working on calendars as well as a book?!!! Wow! But I have a question (maybe you can forward this to Vanna or Kelli or someone: I thought I pre-ordered A Fine Romance, but did not get a return email or any message saying my order went through. As well, I don’t remember when it was, and whether I used my old credit card info (which was stolen) or the new info. Sorry to bother you with this. Is there a quick way I can check?

    Thanks for all your posts. I enjoy them so much and folks here are impatient for
    Spring also, although we aren’t getting all the snow, just unseasonably cool temps and dreary skies. Oh, well, it will get here soon!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, go to any shopping page in my web store, go to the bottom of the page, there’s contact info there … write Kellee or Sheri, they can help you Nadine.

  78. anne weadon says:

    Speaking of black and white cats, we had one such named Daisy Sue, whom we used to call a Holstein cat (or, cow-like cat). Then we started calling Holstein cattle seen alongside the road, “cat-like cows.”

  79. Marie (Williamsburg, Virginia) says:

    Susan~I never look at anything you create…whether a book, calendar, or treasure, without appreciating the amount of time to details it took to get to completetion. I’m looking at my 2013 calendar and SB books on the shelf at this moment and saying, thank-you Susan, for enriching our lives in all you do.

    LOVE the tea mug!

    Happy Spring-Happy everything, Susan & GF’s!

    Marie xo

    • sbranch says:

      Makes me happy that you’re happy with it Marie. You deserve the very best and I try my own very best to make it that way.

  80. The calendar looks beautiful! I have your pocket calendar in my purse, (just like last year:>) Love your beautiful blog and your beautiful artwork!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you… what a beautiful name you have!

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      I agree about your name. My sister is Katherine and I like her name better!

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        Better than mine~Margaret. So I changed it to Margot. That is what the sister after me called me when were very young, and my coolest Art teacher in primary school called me that too.

  81. Angela W in Oklahoma says:

    I was delighted that you gave us an update…It is like going to the mail box everyday looking and then…the thrill of a letter being there!!! I’m very glad you encouraged us to pre-order “A Fine Romance”. Waiting and anticipating it’s arrival is half the fun!!! I too love black and white for I have one solid white kitty and one solid black kitty. Thank you for keeping us in your heart!!!

  82. Gloria Dotzler says:

    Today is officially the first day of spring but will someone please tell the weatherman that. Thermometer outside my window says 8!!! and they keep telling us how warm it was last year at this time. I know eventually we will have those beautiful sunny days but “hurry up”.
    I love the new Emma mug, perfect for that first cuppa in the morning while reading your blog and comments from the girlfriends.
    Better get my day started, it was so nice to have a message from you first thing, looking forward to more, more, more.
    Wishing you all a very Happy Easter and warm days full of sunshine.

    • sbranch says:

      8! That’s ridiculous! I am blowing all my hot air in your direction, you should be warm in no time at all!

  83. Terri (Richmond, VA) says:

    Thanks so much for thinking of us when you are so busy! And happy Spring! We are not seeing much spring-like weather here in central VA, but with all the rain and snow we’ve had, when she does burst forth, spring will be gorgeous! So excited about the new book and calendar, and I adore the mug, but this week I am ordering “Lammie Pie” from your website for my soon-to-be grandson! Have a lovely day!

    • sbranch says:

      I can tell you right now, you will have a hard time giving lammie pie away! He is the softest sweetest thing! Happy new Grandson!

  84. "Auntie" says:

    Must wait for your mini calendar, here. Because of where I hang it, in my Kitchen.

    Btw, I start each month’s first blog entry, with a pic of your mini calendar page of that month. Always pretty. Why not, say I? -smile-

    Snnnnnnnnnnnnow covers my world, on this First Day of Spring. I am trying to still see the beauty, of the world outside my window. Bare branches, and pine branches, snow covered… Trying… Trying…

    But I am so tired of being cold. -little pout-

    Happy Spring!

  85. "Auntie" says:

    Back again! Thank you for the picture of your hand, painting in that page. It is a marvelous tip, on how you do your lovely colored “words.”

    I try to do water colors. Try… Not awfully good at it yet… But trying… I notice any random tips, which you (“THE EXPERT”), give us. Thank you.

    Happy Spring!

  86. Debbie P ~ Weedsport, NY says:

    Good morning, Sue ~

    …and Happy 1st Day of Spring! We have several inches of snow left on the ground here but the birds know it’s Spring…they were singing so loud and clear this morning, even in the cold and dark!

    I was struck by the photo of you at work, painting. I think it’s so AMAZING what your hands can do when you’ve been inspired! And then, your work inspires others! I love being part of this Inspiration Merry-Go-Round!

    xoxo Debbie

  87. Maria M. says:

    Each time a new month comes along, I get so excited to turn the page of your calendars, Susan. The warm colors of your artwork, the whimsical sentiments, the cute borders and great recipes always make me smile. Your wall calendars are the first thing I purchase as I begin my Christmas shopping each year, and they are always well received. Can’t wait to see the 2014 edition.

    Happy Spring!!!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s nice to hear Maria! I tried to make them extra special this year, to go with the book!

  88. Mardell Lamb says:

    Hi Susan,
    I love hearing the joy in your voice whan you add a new post! I’m so glad that everything you’re working on is finishing up & coming together so nicely. Can’t wait to see the new calendar. Always such a treat!

    Happy Spring!

  89. Yay! Been missing you! Happily I bought your book of past Willards for my mom for Christmas and she loaned it to me a few weeks ago. Interesting to catch up on all the old news!
    I would have thought by now my S.A.D. would be a thing of the past but with all the gloomy days and continuing snow we have had, it has been a struggle still. Thanks to you, I have been taking the vitamin D and I do think it has helped. Next year I will have to invest in one of those light boxes. BUT – today is the morning of the first day of SPRING! and I am so happy about that! My tulips and daffodils are doing their best to push up through yesterday’s snow and the sun is out! And here is a new blog from you! Thanks.
    Life is good… ;0)

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Karen . . . If it’s still a struggle, talk to your Dr about a little bit of a pick me up kind of pill. After 9-11 I felt pretty bad, and took some anti-depressants for about 6 months … they say that if you catch it early enough, the antidepressants can kick start your happy gene and (I’m not so good with medical terminology!) and you might only take them a short while. That’s what happened with me, and I haven’t needed them since.

      • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

        What Susan said is so true. In the day and age we live in, stress and our quick pace of life robs us of of our “happy genes”. I know many friends, (me included) who needed to take some anti-depressants for awhile to get our serotonin in balance again. Don’t worry, they aren’t habit forming and they just help you to feel back to normal and happy with life again. Hoping you soon feel better!

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      Having full spectrum lights (found in fabric stores) for reading and sewing helps a bit too. Cheaper than “the Box”. Chin up~Spring is almost here!

      • JoAnn has them half-price often and there’s always their 40% coupons if you’re on their mailing list/e-mail list (or get the newspaper ads).

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        Margot–that is just what I was thinking of, too! I have one of those to use at night for knitting and reading. It makes such a difference for seeing and also gives a person more time of “daylight”–especially in the winter when the sun is so low in the sky and the hours of daylight get so short…

    • Hi Karen . . I have a light box and try to eat from a list of S.A.D. fighting foods too, including sweet potatoes, blueberries, wholegrains, and lentils. Not sure it has helped much, but my diet has been really tasty! Hope you feel better soonest xoxo

    • Wow! Thanks everybody! What a great blog this is! I will keep all of those suggestions in mind – in fact, I better write them down. I am starting a list- sort of like the one you made, Susan, to remind yourself about remembering to take care of yourself. The problem is – when you get down you forget about some of the things you can do to feel better and get stuck on one or two. Then when you find that is not enough, things just get worse and you feel like you’re not going to be able to keep your head above water. This last time, all I could seem to remember was eating chocolate (I know that just seems like an excuse to eat chocolate – but it really does help). Of course, we all know that after eating lots of chocolate, then you beat yourself up about the weight gain and you’re right back into it. (Hopefully, you know what I am talking about and I am not completely alone with this.) ANYway, I ramble… THANK YOU again for responding with your helpful support and suggestions! ♥
      Spring is on it’s way (despite the snow flurries we are still having today) and relief is in sight!

  90. Gail O. says:

    I too am anxiously awaiting “A fine Romance” I have long wanted to visit England and this book may just be my inspiration. Would like to go in a few years when I celebrate a milestone birthday. Not sure how I will pull it off, but you have always reminded us to have dreams.

  91. Jackie says:

    So happy to see you, Susan! I am so excited for your new calendar and so grateful I pre-ordered ‘A Fine Romance’ a few weeks ago!!! *bounces* I’m praying our Spring weather is right around the corner! We’re 15-20 degrees below normal in West Virginia for at least next week or so. Might have to have one last fire in the fireplace tomorrow. *g*

  92. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    Nothing like a new mug! English Breakfast tea to sip and all the words to go with it, how cute is that!
    So good to see you here this morning, I just knew you would be here the first day of Spring. Loved the fence with flowering cherry tree. 🙂

  93. Julie Marie says:

    Good morning Susan… and Happy First Day of Spring!!!… “my” Robins are sending you a pretty little song from them through my comment… can you hear them?… they are right outside my open window, high up in my Flowering Pear tree… they love you too!… xoxo… Julie Marie

  94. Kathie Ferko says:

    Hi everyone….

    Well it is the first day of spring but still feels like winter at my home. I loved the picture with interactive snow!. The bulb flowers are in bloom and now it is freezing cold again! The few warmer days we had was just a tease. Hope all had a great St. Patty’s Day. Stay Warm!!!!!

    Kathie from Limerick, Pa

  95. Janet Hundley - Grafton, WI says:

    Happy Spring to All!
    Although it’s only 17 degrees here this morning, the sun is shining and the birds sound hopeful…

  96. Marianne from Peoria IL says:

    Happy Spring! Sunny here, no snow, but FREEZING out! So guess what I found at Big Lots yesterday….. 400 count, petal PINK sheets!!! You inspired me Susan to celebrate spring. They are hard to find, but I got em!

  97. Susan,
    You are so fun. I just love you.
    Best to you and take your time. I love how you ENJOY what you do. It is inspiration! 🙂

    We love your art and your love of life!!
    Have a wonderful First Day of Spring!

  98. marilyn johnson says:

    Your blog is such a blessing to me. I look forward to it everyday and I am so excited about the new book and now, the new calendar. Can’t wait. You brighten everyday. YOU ARE A BLESSING TO SO MANY. Hope to meet you in California.

  99. viv says:

    On this first day of Spring I’m loving the Langston Hughes quote on your 2013 calendar. So, my wish for you today is that spring will kiss you bang in the face.

  100. Michele Perkins says:

    Happy Spring Susan,

    How lovely to find your new blog this morning! It’s the first day of Spring and soft, fluffy snow flurries are dancing around our yard – a final dusting after the 12 inches Mother Nature delivered to us yesterday. The birds are having their special breakfast treat – some toast with peanut butter. (reduced fat variety!) The little chickadees,nuthatches and titmice have to quickly swoop in for a morsel before the blue jays take over their little treat.

    It’s sugaring time here in Vermont and my neighbors have tapped some of their trees for their children. Their sugar buckets are all wearing a tall hat of snow this morning but warmer weather is returning and it won’t be lone before that golden liquid starts flowing again. Yum!

    It is wonderful that your book is almost done! Can’t wait to receive mine! It has been so much fun following your progress all these past months. We all appreciate the time you have put into it and for taking the time to share your life with us. Many thanks – you touch so many people with your cheerful blog!


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