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. Beverly Brewer says:

    You’ve been working so-o-o hard for all of us—thank you! Your EB mug is an eye-catcher! I love black and white, too—so classic and crisp and with touches of red like your dalmation puppy in the previous post, so dramatic! Thank you for the glimpses of your artwork—we have so much to look forward to!

  2. Linda Pintarell says:

    Loved that snow picture, Miz Sue. It’s sunny and blue skies here in San Diego. One of “the girlfriends” and I went to a lovely tea room in San Diego a few weeks ago and wanted to share it with anyone who lives in area. It is – check out the website – it was FANTABULOUS! Cutest thing ever. And I love their tea – had some this morning.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve been hearing about that place!

      • Cindy Tuning says:

        Thanks Linda. I wrote that down. We’re going to SanDiego on Friday to see my daughter and grandaughter (we live in NY state). She also told me about a garden show thats going on. Looking for new things to see. I’m estatic that we’ll be there 2 Saturdays which means 2 trips to the Farmers Market in Little Italy. Love it!

      • Jack says:

        Sue, Linda, Beverly, don’cha just love it? “We’re going to San Diego this Friday.” Like it’s just down the street and around the corner from “New York State” — and we’re going to do all the fun things when we’re there! 3000 miles away!
        We live in a Golden Age, and it’s only going to get better!

  3. Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

    Happy Spring, dear Susan!! I think of you every day… and definitely feel the connection of kindred spirits. Just love knowing that you are doing what you love! When you announce that our book is finished, we will all join you in a great big Happy Dance… coast to coast… and around the world! It won’t be long now…
    Happy painting!

    • sbranch says:

      I really think maybe three more weeks! Yikes! Happy Dance! Thank you Dawn.

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Whoopee! 3 weeks?! Let’s have Joe video your happy dance, send it to us, & we can all dance with you!!! Whoopee!!!

  4. Lucy says:

    Hello Susan,
    So excited about the 2014 calendars and everything that is coming! I wanted to let you know that my girlfriends love your Lenox “A Proper Tea,” china! Last night we had our little book group and reviewed Kate Morton’s “The Forgotten Garden.” When they saw the refreshments on your beautiful china pieces they were so delighted and wanted to know all about you! They loved the quotes and were disappointed when I told them how hard it is to find the dishes now. Oh, I hope there might me more of your creations to put “continuous small treats” on in the future!
    XO, Lucy

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

    good morning susan, hello girlfriends, good morning to all. Happy First Day of Spring everyone!!! its definitely spring in the barnyard, ducks laying eggs in their nest, chickens hollering for the roosters to come courting, they turkeys are courting…spring, spring, spring!!!! we will definitely be waiting to see the lil ducklings we get when Dotty finally stops laying and starts sitting. its raining here this morning, the house is all decorated for Easter, definitely spring has arrived. off to go feed the birds and sweep out the barn, then back to spring cleaning. have a wonderful first day of spring everyone. hugs….. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Spring Pat and Everyone!

      • Carol Maurer from Eureka, CA says:

        Happy ‘first day of spring’ to you too, Pat. It’s also raining here in Eureka. Plus windy and cold. Spring? Not here, haha.

        • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

          hello Carol, yes its wet and cold here, but not bone chilling thank heavens. it doesn’t look much like spring here, but it is spring here in the barnyard, our ducks are laying eggs in their nest, and soon Dotty will be egg sitterin’ 24/7 and the duckling will hatch in about 28-31 days. we can hardly wait to see what we get and how many as she has been quite busy laying the eggs. its going to be fu to see the lil ducklings take their first swim in the ducky pool. can’t wait to see that. Happy spring everyone!!! 🙂

  6. Cindy Stokes says:

    Just got back from a LONG overdue workout and sat right down to read your entry for today…with a cup of Black Raspberry Tea in my gorgeous birthday mug from your online store : ) It’s gorgeous but chilly here in Cincinnati. Has rained for days so this is a great respite from that. Snow last week. When will spring be here…soon! I’m excited about the calendar : ) I love the 2013! I save them you know…too fun to pitch! I’m off to my studio to work on projects for upcoming classes and a booth I’m scheduled for! It’s good to get projects completed! Enjoy the rest of your day!

  7. Sue from Simi says:

    You SOOOOO deserve whatever play time you are planning – both in MA and in CA! Keep us posted on your plans in California so I can plan to come and see you!!! I will have my “A Fine Romance” in hand for signing!

  8. Susan Miller says:

    I LOVE that everything ordered from Susan Branch Studios is wrapped so nicely in tissue paper and stickers! The first time I received an order and saw the stickers on the outside of the box, I got so excited! YES I DID! Then when I opened it….it’s almost like getting an additional treat! I pre-ordered a book for both my daughter and myself. We are so excited and can hardly wait till it arrives. I know…patience…patience….patience.
    Thank you again for all your lovely designs….and your blog..and Willard…and your kitties….and all your beautiful pictures! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Susan! Yes, Kellee and Sheri try and make the packages special — I felt the same way as you do when I got mine!

      • Julie Marie says:

        I LOVE the stickers that come on my orders from you!… my Jack takes a heat gun he uses when working on his model airplanes and heats the stickers gently until he peels them off of the box and saves them for me… I immediately put them on a page in my Susan Branch “Days” book!… I don’t want to lose a single thing from you Susan!!!… xoxo Julie Marie

  9. Sue U. says:

    Susan, I am sooooo coveting that black/white Emma mug!!! Did you get it in the U.S. or do you order from England? Some day I will just have to go for it and buy one!!

    • sbranch says:

      We carry them in our web store! They come from England — just put a little by, and then go for it. They’re little art pieces and because they discontinue the patterns after a while, they are collectible.

  10. Ann says:

    Three cheers for finishing the calendar! It was nice to get a quick update. Happy you are getting so many pre-orders for “A Fine Romance”.

  11. Asha says:

    Hi Susan! So happy to hear from you! We got 17 inches of snow yesterday here in central Mass. It sure doesn’t look like Spring here today! The sun is shining brilliantly though which makes up for the cold temps. Sooo glad I pre-ordered your book! This is a list l’m happy to be on! Now I hope I am able to get one of your calendars. Can we pre-order those too???? Take good care and blessings to you, Joe & the kitties! oxoxox

  12. Noël Holly says:

    I just love to see all the amazing projects that you are working on! The wall calendar is always a *must* for me every year.
    Here in SoCal the wisteria has come into full bloom almost over night and I am reveling in its beauty. It is one of the ” come back kids ” in my little backyard garden. One year the winter winds blew down the fence between me and the duplex next door and the landlord cut the wisteria waaaaay back- to the point that I thought it was a goner for sure. However that wisteria is made of stronger stuff and it came back ! Not as full that year, but now it is going strong!
    Happy Spring to all!

    • sbranch says:

      Love the smell of wisteria … and the way the seeds pop from the pods in the spring and hit our kitchen windows!

  13. Ro from Rose Cottage, New Jersey says:

    Time for Susan to take a brake and get reintroduced to Joe!
    Weather here in New Jersey can’t make up its mind, snow then sleet, then rain, today Sunny! Hung out my laundry (nothing fancy like quilts just clothes) everything smells so nice when I bring it in.
    Hope all is safe on the Island from this past winter. Time to take a walk and see what is trying to Bloom.
    Happy Spring, Happy Easter!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s good for the planet too . . . a win win!

      • CarolK (NJ) says:

        Hey Sis, hanging out laundry! Today! It’s sooo cold and windy out they’re going to be stiff as a board. You get a T for tenasity. Now don’t forget to bring it all in before night fall. LOL

        • sbranch says:

          I just thought brrr at the idea of hanging clothes out here today … although it’s bright sunny, it’s very deceptive.

  14. Jan says:

    Happy Spring!! Congrats on finishing the 2014 calendar! Can’t wait to see it – new art included!! Love the new Emma mugs, especially the Easter and Hare ones. I love rabbits. Just might have to order one for my birthday present to me; even though my birthday was two days ago. Can never think of anything at the time my husband asks. Have to say also that everything I have gotten from your store is always packaged so nice – stickers and all! Does make one feel special.Thanks for keeping us updated when you have such a busy schedule. Wishing you a happy first day of Spring and a great week!

  15. Anne Branco says:

    Congratulations on getting the calendar finished Susan! I soooo missed your blog and I see I’m not the only one. I know we all truly understand that you have so much on your plate. I really can’t understand how you do all the things you do. But I’m sure you can see how much we all love you That new mug is adorable. Happy First Day of Spring! (We got 8 inches of snow here in Maine last night. But as you said, Spring is in the air.) Have a great day. Anne

  16. Cindy says:

    So good to hear from you! Now that the pine pollen has done its thing here near Charleston SC, we will be cleaning up our screened in porch and getting it ready for Easter company. I am so looking forward to “our trip” to California! Fun times!

  17. Kathy Phenix says:

    I have one question! How many hours are in your day, Susan??? You must have more than 24. You do so much! Wish I had your energy and stick to it- ness! Thanks for including all the girlfriends in your creative, funny life. Kathy

    • sbranch says:

      It is a funny life! I don’t have enough hours, that’s all I know. I want more more more. Is that too much to ask?

  18. Anna Marie says:

    Happy First Day of Spring, Susan. Thank you for all your hard work. I can just envision a massive “happy dance” being perfomed on so many front porches as we all receive our copies of you new book! Enjoy your new tea mug! ps, how did you get the image to “snow”?

  19. I will be ordering through Amazons since my book budget is Amazon credit I earn through my blog.

    However, I’m already thinking A Fine Romance will be a great Christmas gift for both my daughter and daughter-in-law (who love all things English as much as I do).

    My daughter actually spent two weeks in England for a wedding anniversary a few years ago. Oh, yes… she took her husband along. 😉

  20. Hi Susan! I apologize for being the last comment on this wonderful post, but I’ve been in the hospital and laid up for awhile. I’m fine now, but very behind! Looking forward to everything you have been working so hard on, and when I get my tax refund check any day now, I’m going shopping on your blog! There are items I have wanted for so long! Kudos to to you, Susan, for all your wonderful accomplishments! Love you so very much. I want to be just like you when I grow up! Ha, I’m 66! Judy from Arizona

  21. Joann says:

    So darling, as usual! I can’t believe you have to do calendars so early. Actually, I do know it’s true, but no wonder it’s so confusing…what day is it? What year is it? What holiday is it?

    Well, Easter is almost here—all the decorations are up, but we’ll have a very small group: 4. Kids here, there and everywhere but mostly NOT here!!

    Pray for snow, rain, or anything wet for our parts as our town of Fort Collins just had another fire, burning 1300 acres, but luckily no homes burned or people hurt. But the air was filled with smoke and ash….not pretty.

    Still, VERY brown here; typical Colorado………..

    but I’ve got my birdies at the feeder and a song in my heart…………



    • sbranch says:

      Something else with the fires this year Joann! Love the song in your heart!

    • Chris Wells from West TX says:

      I pray for the end of the drought for all of us. Two years ago my part of Texas was on fire. I remember ash falling like snowflakes, so scary. Be vigilant and have a plan for your family. We just need to keep praying for rain.

  22. Sue Miller says:

    So good to hear from you. Hope you are able to stay warm while the latest (and hopefully last) storms of winter blow through. Thank for bringing Springtime smiles.

  23. Susan, your calendar is looking beautiful! Can’t wait to see it and can wait to read A Fine Romance! ♥

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      Susan from the porch,
      Where did you find the Summer Breeze sign that is on your porch???

  24. Tisa at Seattle Retro says:

    Ahh Spring….sun…wind…rain (here in Seattle) all in the past 2 hrs. Can’t wait to see your Cali pics & get homesick! Must confess that the book I REALLLY want to read is your Mom & Dad’s “Little Susan” tell-all. You know, the one where the adult-to-be is shown in childhood photos doing what they love & are probably going to grow-up-to-be, only nobody knew it yet. Of course, with your family size your parents photo albums are probably MASSIVE (or nil, film too expensive on a family budget 🙂 ) No childhood camping for me, my mom grew up in Seattle & my dad wrangled a camping trip out of her ONCE, that was it. Kinda boring for an only child anyway! BTW I did JUST NOW get my 2013 mini calendar….realized I needed something on my desk to write appts on, so tacked it to the open roll-top edge & it fits perfectly. Now I get a little S.B. everyday even if you are too busy to blog! Thanks for it’s cheerful cuteness!

    • Jack says:

      Actually there were eight big full albums, plus a box of misc pictures. Pat, Sue’s mom, was meticulous in maintaining a photographic record of all our family activities, birthdays, Christmas, camping, Easter, our dog Nipper, first day of school, Thanksgiving, football little league, or just miscellaneous. It must be where Sue gets her photographic perspective that serves her so well in capturing the essence of her daily life. You put all these little bits and pieces together in one person and you come up with a pretty fair artist!

      • sbranch says:

        I remember that first camera… the black square box, remember that one? And that satisfying click noise it made when you took a photo?

  25. Rae Ann from northern in Minnesota... says:

    Happy first day of spring…which is different from the first spring day…which will be a long time coming here in western Minnesota…finally all shoveled out today after winter storm UKKO + a blizzard incapacitated us this past Sunday into Monday…whew…if we get one more snowflake, I don’t know where we will put it!!!…now there is a pile taller than my hubby who is 6’2″ beside our driveway and patio…I am so over snow, winter and cold…the wind chill this morning was -25*…it hurts my face to just go out and get the mail…so your thoughts of spring are helping me and forcing me to realize that at some point this snow has to m-e-l-t…xoxo…

  26. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    Happy first day of Spring girlfriends!!! We may have flurries at the beach tonight. LOL Really!
    Susan, I do like the snowing picture. I have been planning my flower garden. So I called around to the B&Ns here, AND I found out that the different B&Ns don’t all carry the same magazines! Also, can we attach our calendar order to our book order???
    Stay warm. I jumped the gun after Saturday and got out spring clothes, but now I am shivering. LOL Oh dopey me.

    • sbranch says:

      Since we’ve never done pre-sales for anything before, it’s been quite the thing in the studio. Because we’re able to get all the calendars we want, at least from the time they come in until early December for sure …. we better just wait until they are actually in-house so we won’t get any more disconbooberated than we already are! I’ll be sure to let everyone know. LOL, shivering!

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        What can I say I live for warmer weather. Winter is just a C&I picture. 🙂

    • Dear Margot . . The day I arrived in Virginia, after driving cross country from sunny California it was snowing heavily . . all the way to my new home just of General Booth Blvd! It snowed for days and it was touch and go if my Daddy would make his flight out of D.C. after his Great American Adventure! My hatches are battoned today in a very wild and windy Wales! Stay warm, but more important, stay safe!

  27. Diana - Highland, IL says:

    I just KNEW there would be a post from Ms. SB on or around the first day of SPRING!!! WHOO HOO!!… It is sunny today here in the Midwest, which is nice, but the wind is blowing pretty fierce, temps are chilly, and I think one more fire in the fireplace is in order!! Spring will spring out at us soon enough!!… then it will be hot and I will be sweating.. not a good look!! LOL.. I am trying to enjoy each season as it comes to us… especially since fall and winter are my favs! LOVE your new mug!! I have one EB mug and it is the blue sampler with LOVE on it.. it was a second with just the tiniest little chip on the bottom.. hardly noticeable and saving me from doing it myself!! LOL…

    Susan, I wish we could preorder your Christmas ornaments.. I am like a fiend checking and checking when it gets to be about late July or August for that.. they are gorgeous and I don’t ever want to miss one.. I have started my collection and I only have one since I waited too long the year before!!

    Thanks for all you are blessed with such a kind spirit and a wonderful talent and just know you are appreciated beyond words!!


  28. maybaby says:

    My friend and I are embarking on an adventure, opening our own occasional store, and we have been using your calendar to help us plan our fun! An event around Julia Child’s birthday, and also Beatrix Potter, and Zelda Fitzgerald and Tasha Tudor too! Thank you for your beautiful calendars with all of the little extras-we wish our shop was going to be bigger so we could invite you to do a book signing there, but there is simply no way we could accommodate all of your fans here in the Twin Cities! I so admire your perseverance, even when you are doing something you truly love it is nice to say a big project is DONE. All of your girlfriends are behind you, gently nudging you to the finish line, and we will all help you celebrate too!

    • sbranch says:

      How fun for you to do events like those! I thank you for the thought — hopefully I’ll get up your way — pretty soon we’ll have to start planning our trip across country!

      • judi says:

        Susan, you have soooo many girlfriends from MN that follow/contribute to your blog. Sure hope you do stop there even tho, sniff, I no longer live there.

        Good luck to maybaby let us know where your shop is ….I’ll have to have my daughters/granddaughters visit!

        • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

          What is the name of your shop, maybaby, and where in the Twin Cities is it located? 🙂

  29. Susan (Grayslake, IL) says:

    Susan … we have been missing you and the kitties, but keep working on your projects. We will “survive” a bit longer in order to enjoy the fruits of your artistic labors 🙂 Have a special Easter season. 🙂

  30. nancy says:

    Hey Susan, love the falling snow, can’t wait for the book….and the calendar!

    My daughter and I are in the midst of planning our “leaf peeping” trip at the end of September. Flying into Boston and then heading to points beyond, Martha’s Vineyard included. Since you are experienced in this, do you have any suggestions on must see highlights or routes or cute country stores in the surrounding states? We have 1 week and I would like to fit in as much as possible.
    Thanks so much!!

    • Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

      Hi Nancy! At the top of this blog, you will find a tab entitled, “Visiting Martha’s Vineyard” where Susan shared some highlights of the island. Very helpful. Have fun making plans!

    • P.S. There is a website called Dwellable that collects links to Bloggers who’ve blogged about their vacations. You might find lots of suggestions there, too.

  31. Mary Anne spradlin says:

    Hi Sue, I figured you were hard at work and that was why there hadn’t been a post for a few days. Good for you and for us too, when we get to see the fruits of your labors. I just finished a book I think you would like, when you get time to relax and read. It’s called “When Wanderers Cease to Roam” by Vivian Swift. It’s full of lovely little water colors and the every day magic of 1 particular place with lots of travel memories thrown in. Happy Spring to us all!

  32. Kelley S says:

    Hi Susan! Sure have missed you, but the rewards of your labors are worth the wait. So happy to here the 2014 calendar is in the works. I love the Langston Hughes quote on the calendar this month. Love your wall calendar so much that I have one at home in the kitchen and one in my office at work. I’ve always wondered: why do you prefer to start the day’s work in the wee hours of the morning? Is it because the stillness, dark and quiet make it easier to concentrate? I’m not a morning person, so I can’t imagine having to think that early in the day.

  33. Happy Spring Equinox! Spring is here . . or at least she is supposed to be here, but I think someone forgot to wake her up 😉
    Today was such a beautiful day, with a lovely sunset, and I was able to spend a few welcomed hours in the garden, but someone needs to tell Spring that she can’t start her job and then take two days off . . for the next two days are back to winter with forecasts calling for strong gale force winds, snow, or torrential rain . . ugh!
    Loved, absolutely loved, seeing you painting the 2014 calendar and that is such a sweet, just like you, picture! It is so hard to believe that in just ten short days (or slightly longer days now that we are passing the Equinox) we will be preparing to turn our 2013 calendars into April . . quite scary, really, how fast this year is flying by . . and soon it will have flown so far that we will all have our lovely new Susan book to treasure! Hopefully, time will slow down, just a tad, as we sit and pour over the treasure I know it will be!
    Happy Spring! xoxo

    • p.s. I’ve started saving my spare pennies so I can put together the minimum international order so I can make sure that next year I get the big wall calendar plus a few other treats, like stickers, love them stickers, this year for sure! xoxo

  34. Kathleen Forde says:

    Hi Susan! I had been wondering if I had missed one of your blogs… but can see you are knee deep in the finishing touches of so many things! Can’t wait to see your new calendar : ) BUT SERIOUSLY… NO JACK???? I can’t go on any longer without a Jack fix!!!! BTW, we have Jack’s sister – Spotty – that lives with us and is as adorable as Jack! I’d send you a pic but I don’t know how on the blog… probably better that I start that anyway – ha!

  35. sondra fox says:

    Susan’s here today, yah, yah, yah! You’re my reward for redoing a lovely chiffon skirt for our grandson’s girlfriend. I worked on it from 7:30 A.M. until noon today. It wasn’t difficult to alter, it’s just that I’m slow. Can’t wait for her to see it. She’s such a lovely girl. The skirt will look gorgeous on her. I love sewing, especially on the quilts I make for everyone.

    The video of snow made me homesick for snow country. Love snow. In the past, we drove to snow country several times throughout the winter. My husband is very ill with cancer (no doubt told all of you many times before) & we’re grounded. We get out each day, but big trips are OUT. So, thanks for the beautiful picture of falling snow. Last week we slept in our motorhome every night of the week, just because we missed traveling in our home away from home. It was sort of like camping out again. It was fun. When we go to bed in the motorhome, we jump (well sort of) into bed, turn off all the lights, then turn on the radio to old classic radio shows, such as “The Shadow,” (which was scary years ago, but silly now), “Tales of the Old West,” “Johnny Dollar,” & many others that we enjoy. The older we get, we turn to simpler things that we enjoyed many years ago. It’s still a “Wonderful Life.”

    The poem about Daffodils by William Wordsworth is so beautiful. Just think of how long ago Wordsworth passed & his words still bring joy to our souls. What an art to be able to put a small amount of words together in such an inspirational manner.

    You must feel such a sense of accomplishment Susan, when you’ve completed your calendars, & books! You keep working each day, looking towards your goals, & finally you’ve met your challenges. That’s wonderful. Just working on that little skirt this morning gave me a sense of accomplishment. I too make lists of plans. My garden list is getting oversized. How I love to get out in the garden & dig, plan, & dream of how I want things to look. We were in Savannah, GA in 2011. Had a great time in that marvelous city. We saw this beautiful statue by Sylvia Shaw Judson, called The Bird Girl, in a museum there. I fell in love with the statue & couldn’t wait to look for it when I got back home to CA. I searched my gardening haunts around town, to no avail. One day I was looking through catalogs & there she was, The Bird Girl. I immediately ordered her. Got her last week. She’s now in our garden overlooking the birds who visit us on a daily basis. I look at her & think of our wonderful trip through the south & Savannah. I must say that Savannah, GA, & St. Petersburg, FL are favorite cities of mine. Georgians were particularly sweet to us. I realized what Southern Hospitality was after visiting Georgia.

    I sure hope you take vitamin pills Susan, ’cause you do so much that you need to take good care of yourself. Love your energy & drive.
    (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

    • sbranch says:

      I LOVE what you two do with your trailer. How romantic and sweet! Also love the Bird Girl! You got one, so happy for you. xoxo to your husband for me.

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      William Wordsworth definitely had a way with words!!! I love old poems.

  36. Terry says:

    Hi, Susan!

    You are an inspiration! Years ago I was a Mary Kay beauty consultant, and Mary Kay had a motto; “Plan your work and work your plan.” You are doing just that. Hooray for you!


  37. Mary Pat says:

    Oh, how lovely! Just came home from a day of my husband and I helping a friend work non her new house, and there is another wonderful blog to have with my cup of tea! YAY! How can you jeep all these projects straight? I’d never be able to keep so many plates spinning. You amaze me. Here in Western Massachusetts (Pioneer Valley) we have bright sun that’s melting yesterday’s snow-ice-sleet mess away, AND our daffodils have sprouted! It MUST be Spring! Tra-Lah!

  38. Susan in Tennessee says:

    Hello Spring:) I LOVE your new mug!!!

  39. You sure have been a busy little bee! Just like all the ones I am seeing around my daffodills! I have to find out where to get a calendar here in WNC. Last year I found one at World MKT, but not this year! I was hopeing my husband would take the hint and order it from you but he was looking here as well! Then it was too late to get one! So guess what I did! I cut the months out of a 2013 calendar and taped them to your 2012! Silly huh! I was thinking abt you when I was driving home today from dr’s appts and treating myself to shopping at my most favorite shop in Asheville the Screen Door! Lots of creative juices in all the fun little booths, sometimes I find something and sometimes I don’t but I always manage to spend 1-2 hrs just wandering and looking, Love it! Anyway, I was wondering how you were faring through all the snow in New E! Are you getting it all too? I was also wondering if all the missing manuscripts have been found I keep reading abt on facebook! I sure hope so! Help! We want our books in Sept! I am so excited!
    Sorry, you don’t have time to read all this, you are busy!!!! Take time to walk your awesome path and pick up interesting things along the way! And take deep breaths, spring IS on the way! It sure is here, forsythias, red buds, and others are all starting to bud and sprout!!! Yea! 🙂

    Hugs blessings and kisses!
    Jeannie and my big black cat Sammy!
    Chirp Chirp!

    • sbranch says:

      You can always get them in my web store — that’s why I started it, because no one could find anything! So if all else fails . . . We have had no snow, although again, we are hearing we should get some tonight, we’ll see!

  40. Mary Ann in Mexico says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you for the post. It’s always a treat. I wanted to let you know how much I LOVED the Pink post. I love pink too. At Easter I bring out my pink dishes and pink glassware. Once I return to the US I will be hunting for more pink. The dishes I have are getting difficult to find so I’ll have to scout other sources. Meow meow to the kitties.

  41. Shanna says:

    Happy first day of Spring, Sweet Sue! Even though it is cold where you are, and rainy where I am, Spring is a state of mind, and in my mind there are flowers and bright, sunny days, and soon a new book to treasure 🙂

  42. Laurie Walt-Illinois says:

    Happy Spring Girls!!!!!! I have been setting a garden for our yearly flower and garden show this week! Thursday we get to plant all of our tulips, daffodils, herbs, veggies, and assorted other flowers and vegetables grown by the kids at a greenhouse that our master gardeners teach at! The students have temporarily fallen off the path, and we try to connect through all things earth! They are a good group of young people-they just need to believe it themselves! Can’t wait for all of your artwork-it’s nice to have something to look forward to and your stuff fits the bill. Smell the tulips girls!

  43. Di Word says:

    Congratulations on the completion of the 2014 calendar!!! The corgis and I are smiling and sending you our love.

  44. sandy says:

    hi sweetie! about the time I think, gee it would be nice to hear from Susan again, I wonder what she’s up to, you come thru! happy happy about the 2014 calendar done already! you’re awesome! spring is springing here–clouds, sun, rain, wind and all the possible combinations and variations all thru the day, but the sun has moved to straight east to west at sunrise and sunset and that means we have six months before it has turned around and is back on that line. yippee! you and spring! what a great combination to make me happy! xox 🙂

  45. Jackie P says:

    Just returned yesterday (yes, in snow, snow, snow) from a week’s vaca in FL and was afraid that I missed so much since I was not connected to the internet for 6 days. Now I see that you were (and still are) so busy with all of your projects. I know, one step at a time, but still, YOU ARE AMAZING! We know you are there — we’ll be waiting regardless . . .

  46. julie bersano says:


    What is most amazing to me is how you take time and have the talent to paint each little letter with different shades and strokes of paint….and how everything comes to life with your choosing of just the right color for the house, bird, tree, child’s shoe.. etc….(aaahhhh)….the genius of an artist..that is what is most amazing to me when I view your art 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your talent. It is eye-awakening, day-brightening, awe-inspiring….BEAUTIFUL.

    Julie (Thankful for beautiful art) in MO

  47. Carol C says:

    Love the house picture in the Jan. calendar page! In fact, LOVE all the houses in your books, calendars, and stationery! My favorite stationery was yours—periwinkle polka dot with an adorable house and a quote about a friend’s house. Would love to have another box or five, hint hint. Also, since so many of us are “house” people, how about a calendar with a different house on each month.

    On another note: I have been wondering how Rhonda D. is doing? I want her to know that she is still in my prayers. Please keep us posted, Rhonda, on your progress and know that you are not forgotten and have our love and support!

    • sbranch says:

      I love the idea of the House on every page. My favorite subject too. I haven’t heard from Rhonda, maybe she’ll read this. You are so thoughtful Carol.

  48. Sylvia Faye says:

    Susan with nearly 200 responses so far you can see how each of us, your girlfriends, look forward to your posts. Thank you for the update and it reminds me that I am not sure you have put me among the girlfriends who wish to preorder your book. I just do not want to miss receiving a copy as I anticipate reading it as I used to anticipate my one gift at Christmas as a child. Please let me know by email that you receive my request as I will not know otherwise.
    Love all your happiness you joy you emit in your posts and your creativity and thank Joe for allowing you to include us in his life.
    With fortitude,

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Sylvia! I’m not sure — did you pre order the book yet? You can do that if you like … just go to the shopping pages and click on the book, it’s pretty easy. If I’m misunderstanding, just let me know!

  49. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    So glad to hear from you today. I knew you were hard at work, but we still miss you. I don’t what I enjoyed more today, your post or your dads clever comments. He is very funny. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      He’s a cutie pie! Don’t tell him, because he will be hard to live with, but I did a whole calendar page about him for 2014!

  50. Hi Susan!

    I think my first attempt at commenting must have disappeared!

    Just wanted to say that we are looking forward to both the book and the calendar. Everything you make is so full of fun and surprises, you can look at every page again and again and find something new!

    I’ve worked on creating some calendars this year, too. It’s been fun, but a real challenge, too.

    Take care,


  51. Janet OC says:

    Hi Susan,
    I thought about you this morning before I left my house. I kept thinking that I missed your latest post because I had not heard from you. When I came home tonight, an email announced your latest post. Your snow picture is beautiful, as well as the illustrations for next year’s calendar. Just looking at your post is the best way to end the day :).
    There are so many beautiful messages from everybody. It’s so much fun to read comments and your responses. Sometimes I just want to jump in and add my two cents.
    Thank you for making my day complete!
    Janet xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      It’s my favorite . . . takes me forever to “approve” all the comments because I need to read them first!!! 🙂

  52. Pat Bates says:

    Greetings Susan-

    I was so stunned to learn that You had also received a Black Toast and Marmalade EMMA mug in the mail yesterday! To date, it is one of my very favorites……… Any idea just how many EMMA mugs you have collected altogether over the years? Thank you for all of your inspiration.

    Pat Bates
    Retired and loving it!

  53. Arlinda says:

    I was missing you! I began reading past posts. lol

    I too love the preorder option for A Fine Romance.

    We are looking forward to the 2014 Calendar. This year I have to order two calendars. My daughter insists on one for her study area. Thank you bringing smiles to my home.

  54. Brenda Caldwell says:

    Well, I see I am ‘bringing up the cow’s tail,’ which is what my mom would always say when we were late 🙂 But late or not, I loved the blog today and it was well worth the wait! I can’t wait until I can order your 2014 calendar…And oh yes, I’ve never heard the term ‘disconbooberated’ before, I got a good belly laugh out of that one, lol!

  55. Judy Tracy says:

    Don’t worry ever about us. You need to do what keeps you flourishing because that only blesses us:>) So happy for you that you have met another goal!
    Blessings for this Easter season upon all of us!
    As ever, Judy Tracy

  56. CindyK says:

    Oh my goodness! I can’t believe how long I have waited to respond. I wanted to wait until I had an uninterrupted moment to read this! I’m so excited about the new calendar, and can’t wait to see it. Thanks for the sneak peek of new art! 🙂
    I have a question dear Sue……….do you always draw your art in pencil before you paint it? Is that easiest for you? I’m just wondering, ’cause I can’t seem to do that. I’ve tried, but I just can’t stay in the lines. I can only paint “free”, which limits my subject. I usually just paint flowers. But I’m really wondering how you do it? Everyone has their style I guess. Thanks!!

    • sbranch says:

      I think you’re right — it’s different for everyone. I’ve always drawn in pencil first unless I’m just fooling around. But you notice my art isn’t really “loose” and I’m sure that’s the reason why! I also paint with a tiny brush, a number one — so those little places, I just love them.

  57. Elizabeth in Montana says:

    Crocuses happily blooming here, tulips, daffodils and hyacinths are on the way up, and our quaking aspen trees have buds that resemble pussy willows. Happy Spring!

  58. Brrrr….Happy Spring?? I think today was colder than any day in February!! I truly think it is those March winds that cut right through a person that doesn’t make me think of Spring even though my poor Daffodils that have had blooms on them for weeks and partially opened just can’t be successful!! We will wake up to a temperature of 16 tomorrow and the weather person said several more weeks of these temperatures…ok, having said all of that Winter is over and I know that warm sunny days are ahead so I have decided to be a team player and be patient!! Snow flurries too…oh my so hard to stay focused and how can we plan what attire to wear on Easter…lovely pastels covered up by a Winter coat…now there is an image!! haha Happy Spring Everyone!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I know how you feel … spring really doesn’t start here until the last two weeks of May! Up until then, it can be very cold — I gave up years ago and rather than allowing everything to get tattered and worn out from spring “breezes” — I don’t plant my garden until June 1. But as always, TIME, go slow. That’s my motto.

      • Great Motto Susan; but, why does time go by so quickly now?? It seems that it is Sunday and before I know it here is Thursday. I remember how slowly time went when we were kids and the summer vacation seemed like a year…Anticipation tends to slow time down, Unprepared seems to hurry time along, so maybe just relaxing and enjoying each and every day will make time tick by at a slow steady speed?? Worth a try and I’m sure with your book deadline approaching you are sensing a rushing by time am I right?? Just relax and breathe can you see the light at the end of the tunnel….put on your sunglasses…almost time to make preparations for Easter be sure to save out some time to enjoy this Blessed Day!!!!

  59. Diane from Poulsbo, WA says:

    Such a treat of a blog today….and I so appreciate it! I have had THE busiest of months, and I have even managed to mix up dates…..I belong to a women’s group, and I thought this week …today, in fact…was the luncheon. I woke up at 5 AM in a panic because I had nothing to cook or whip together since my husband is out of town and my daughter and I have been winging it each night. (such a fun thing to do!) I got dressed, rushed out to the store and bought food. Of course, it was raining buckets and we had a windstorm going on, and it was pitch black. When I got to the store, I realized I had forgotten my purse! Back home…back to the store, and by 545, I was back home AGAIN. I cooked up a storm and headed out to my meeting….tired, but happy….and proud…only to discover it is NEXT week! lol. Guess what we had for dinner tonight? Anyhoo…..your blog is the perfect “recipe” for centering my heart and day and week! Happy Spring to you and Joe and the kitties!!!! I love hearing that you reward yourself in such lovely ways for all of your hard work….you deserve it so much! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I shouldn’t laugh! But I’ve been there!

    • Jack says:

      When I was about 15, I got myself ready for school, walked the three miles to get there — found out it was Saturday! That was about when I learned that swearing could be helpful ….

      • sbranch says:

        I can just hear your “swearing” – GOL DERN IT? Or perhaps if it was really bad, sugar or fudge?

  60. Pat Johnson of Paso Robles says:

    You completed ANOTHER project???? How AMAZING you are!!! Here I have been walking around my house trying to complete even a portion of a project – and I just look at it and sigh! (isn’t that what you are suppose to do???) It has been gray in SLO county but no rain – how sad!! Had to water my lawn so it wouldn’t die on me! Hopefully tomorrow will bring sunshine. Always happy to hear from you – it makes my life complete! Sending you sunshine and hugs! XXXOOO Pat

    • sbranch says:

      Deadlines, they are horrible and wonderful at the same time! Sunshine and hugs right back to you Pat!

  61. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    So good to hear from you Susan. You really love your work and it shows in everything you do. You are an inspiration to all of us creative people.
    Loved the snow video, I look at it and dream. Last weekend it was 90 degrees here in Los Angeles. I long for the cold, snowy weather. We always want what we cannot have!
    Hope spring arrives just at the same time as your freedom.
    Happy Spring!!

    • sbranch says:

      I know it’s the opposite of what is done but some winter, think about a week vacation in snow country … even up by Yosemite. You will love it, and appreciate the 90 degrees so much more 🙂

  62. Terri says:

    You’ve been busy as a bee. Hope you had a happy St. Paddy’s Day and a happy first day of spring!

  63. Dorothy Ann says:

    * Good Mornin’ Susan *

    So wonderful to log onto your new “Hello Everyone” post.

    And there you are…talented artist that you are…finishing this…ready to design that…and in-between…putting those all-so-important final touches on 15 pages of “A Fine Romance”. Congratulations!

    We can all say…”we were there, with you, from lovely start to fabulous finish”.

    You sound soooo excited! I believe that your new book, your calendars and your future projects will all be extraordinary and very successful.

    Without genuine enthusiasm and excitement, there can be no success in what we do or ever hope to do. I’m not sure who said that. Perhaps it was me, because I just thought of it and wrote it.

    Do continue to keep us posted on how you are doing.

    Happy Spring!
    * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Dorothy! I am excited, I have to say, it’s wonderful to be able to use the past tense, I did it!

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      And now, by the time I am reading this, I can say,
      *Good Afternoon* to my dear friend, Dorothy Ann,
      I just read your note and am happy to know that you have survived winter! I know you had a cold or flu(?) a while back. I hope you are now officially over that and ready for spring! Maybe you are having springlike weather? We are not. At all. Not in the least. Today when I left school, it was very sunny, but honestly, the wind and chill were not pleasant.

      But I know it won’t be long! I have it from a Good Source (SB) that it needs to stay cold so she can finish her book. Then and only then will the weather get nicer. So I will hang in there!

      Hope all is going well for you!
      Love ya!

  64. Pam Fortune says:

    Hi Susan
    I am in the Forest of Dean at the moment with my youngest daughter Penny and we have just finished breakfast. Whilst we were waiting for the fresh eggs to boil (straight from her hens) we were discussing your calendar and looking at it and admiring all the sentiments and drawings. I have just tuned into your new blog and, Hey Presto! there you are painting your 2014 calendar, quite a coincidence. Another delightful blog may I add I always look forward to seeing the latest one and reading and seeing what you are doing and as ever I am most grateful.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh how fun! I love your daughter’s name — It’s so sweet and old fashioned. I wish I was there!

  65. Barbara T, Wolverine Lake MI says:

    Susan you have been added to my prayers at night, when I do my list of what I’m thankful for! 🙂 I am praying for your health. Just thought you might want to know. Even though I don’t “know” you I feel I do and you are such a blessing to many. You are inspirational and uplifting. In a world where so much is wrong, you are the opposite, you are a Pollyanna and a gift to us all. You have embraced your Gifts and use them to inspire and beautify ….. today 2nd day of Spring, it is 18 degrees, snowing, with windchill of 8 degrees. 🙁 pretty but so cold!! Have the week off of work, and finished a baby quilt yesterday!!!! (baby shower on Sunday)

    • sbranch says:

      I love you for praying for me, I love to be prayed for! I was just thinking this morning of how strong I feel — must be YOU! 🙂 Thank you Barbara … congratulations on the new quilt! You are going to make someone very happy!

    • Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

      So well said, Barbara. Susan, I’ll bet you would be flabbergasted (love that word) to know how many of us girlfriends are praying for you and giving thanks for you! By the way…thank you for the “A Fine Romance” postcard..girls, it’s on the free stuff link on the shopping site. Cute!

  66. Lee Rose says:

    I look at my new Ahhhh Spring background on my computer (thank you) then out the window at the snow coming down. Oh well, they are both beautiful. So is everything you create–You go girl.

  67. Gloria says:

    Hi Susan!

    Great news about the 2014 calendar! Eager for A Fine Romance, too.

    I have a spiral bound writing journal you did years ago. On the back is a 1999 copyright and “Branch – Tea Cup & Floral Chair.” The front is so beautiful with an upholstered floral chair with open “Herbs” book on it, a little round table with a cup of tea, your straw hat hooked on the wall, an urn of geraniums. You must remember it. Inside the pages are lined and outlined with hearts and have the tulip cup of tea alternating with a journal as the artwork.

    Anyway, all this to say, would you consider offering that writing journal again, or writing journals like it? I know you just poured yourself into to A Fine Romance and the 2014 calendars, but you mentioned that you value suggestions. This is mine–sure would love to journal again in the loveliness of a spiral bound SB illustrated journal.

    Thank you for all you do to bring cheer and optimism and joyful thoughts and ideas into your girlfriends’ lives.

    • sbranch says:

      Oddly enough I had that very book in my hand this morning, wondering if people would want them again!

      • Susan ( an Ohio gal in SoCal ) says:

        I would love to have one!

      • Carol C says:

        Yes! We want them!! Also want periwinkle dot stationary with the house!!

      • Gloria says:

        Hi, again, Susan (on the writing journal subject),

        Since I had my SB writing journal in my hand the same morning you had yours in your hand, along with sharing the same thought about wondering whether they could be available again, it seems to me that the creative muses who do the incubating of a notion are at work on the idea.

        Thank you for considering it.

  68. Vida Howard says:

    Hey, Girl! What are you doing chatting with us?! Don’t you have a book to finish? HAHAHAHA Just Kidding. You know we love to hear from you. I want to be you when I grow up. You are a happy thought for me when I am having a bad day. And the last few days unfortunately have been bummers. I turned 50…not the problem, it was great!…but I have some sciatic pain in my stupid hip that is keeping me from springtime fun! Boo! Oh well, doing my stretches and going to start an upper body weight lifting regimen while my lower body is recovering. And now I have blathered on and taken even more of your time. We both have things to do, so hugs and best wishes on all your projects.

  69. Anne says:

    Sooooooo good to read your blog today! It fills me with calm 🙂 I’m attempting to make your coconut cake for Easter this year! Wish me luck! If you have time, I don’t want to interrupt creativity 🙂 would you kindly post your Fruit Compote recipe? For the life of me I cannot find it! I know I wrote it down last year….one of these days I’ll be organized. Thank you 🙂
    Blessings to you and Joe and the kitties xxxooo

  70. Elly says:

    The calendar says it’s Spring, but outside my door it’s definitely still Winter!
    So I guess I’ll call it “Sprinter”! Now that the sun is higher in the sky and it shows its face once in awhile, the snow melts a bit quicker than when it’s January.
    Hopefully, by the time it is Easter, the snow will be ALL gone. We are blessed with this “phenomenon” called “lake-effect” snow, bringing snow from Lake Michigan and covering just the area where I live, called West Michigan. It would be pretty if it were Christmas, or snowing someplace else! 🙂
    But whatever the weather, I hope the weekend will be a wonderful one for you Susan, and all the girlfriends around the globe!

    Love and (((hugs)))

  71. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Happy Spring to you too! I am so enjoying your 2013 calendar that I cannot wait to see what you have out together for 2014!! How busy your days have been lately with so many projects sort of going simultaneously !! I fully appreciate how wonderful your days will feel once the deadlines are completed and you can enjoy a break. Big projects that take a year or more to complete are difficult and it is such a great feeling when they are done. So, I am joining all of the other girlfriends to wish you lots of positive energy as you wrap up your book! It is going to be so wonderful!!! And I am one of those who is so thankful that we got a chance to pre-order so we get ours next fall . Yay!!!!

  72. Debra V. ~ Southern California says:

    Did I understand correctly in the comments that we can order your calendar this summer? I wanted to purchase one of your desk calendars…because now I can really use one, but I’d imagine they get sold out quickly. Next time I want to be ready to order early. I remember reading in past posts that some use it to cut & use in Scrapbooks when they’ve finish the current month. I think that would be great.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, the calendars will be coming in early, end of May, first of June … except, I’m sorry to tell you, the manufacturer ( who made the desk blotter calendar has just decided to drop it from their line. Very Sorry!!! It’s a company that makes beautiful things, I was always hoping they would ask for more than just the one calendar.

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        Tell them we need more PJs!!!

      • Diana - Highland, IL says:

        Oh say it ain’t so about the desk blotter!!! I LOVE THAT!!!

        Should we write the manufacturer???.. will they bend under the pressure of so many requests???

        Maybe someone else would be kind enough to publish it!!! Another thing to add to my prayer list!!! 🙂

      • Thank you the link. I just sent them an e-mail requesting them to please reconsider!

      • Stacy says:

        Susan – I just e-mailed them as well begging them to resume carrying your blotter calendars. I have bought your desk calendars for many years for my office and at the beginning of each month, one of my absolute favorite things to do is find out what the next page looks like! I never allow myself to peak beforehand so it’s a real treat. I can’t imagine not having it on my desk here at work!! I SO hope they reconsider!!! Thank you for all of the precious moments thru the years.

  73. Theresa says:

    Thank you! Can’t wait for all of the upcoming goodies! Your blog is like getting a candy bar when I haven’t had one in days…. Delicious! Blessings from the very green pastures of Texas!

  74. erica says:


    It’s such a good decision to choose an EB mug which matches your cats, I’m sure Emma would love to hear as she had the foresight to do so, yes? Yay for both of you, such smart women!

    Spring is trying to arrive here. Mother Nature needed to get some more wind and water off her chest, as has been evident the past few days. The once perky crocuses along my sidewalk held on for life and look rather ragged and sad today as do the bird houses which blew sideways off the tree branches and onto the lawn. Hope she’s done now.

    It’s always a TrEAt to hear from you! XO


  75. mary spring says:

    …’have to tell you, Susan, altho this is such a small post, that it is the sweetest post…love the snow in action and love seeing a photo of you doing what you absolutely do best (to my knowledge any rate, thank you for being such a true friend to us all !!

  76. Helen says:

    Yesterday, in our backyard, there was the perfect scene for you to capture in a painting. An adorable little cottontail rabbit came hopping across our lawn and right behind her/him in hot pursuit was a blue jay skittering along the ground as fast as he could………..trying to get ahold of that little cottonball of a tail! We were just entranced watching them for a few seconds – and then we noticed a little brown bird sitting low on a bush following the whole episode with great concentration!…….A priceless little gift from nature:-).

  77. helen says:

    Wanted to mention that I preordered two copies of your book….one for a dear friend for her October Birthday and one for me. My worry is that she will also preorder…..and then we will four copies! Can’t ruin the surprise though by telling her “Don’t buy”:). She gave me a precious blue and white plate with a friendship verse on it for Christmas….purchased from your “store”…..and it had a ribbon with “Susan Branch”printed on it tied through the top of the little plate….a thoughtful one of a kind gift!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh I remember that one! You are a lucky girl to have such a wonderful friend …. but it’s pretty clear it’s a two-way street between you!

  78. Susan ( an Ohio gal in SoCal ) says:

    Your creativity inspires me! I just loved seeing the January picture you were working on. Have a wonderful weekend!

  79. Ruth Thomas says:

    Susan – how do you do all of this so quickly. Look at that beautiful calendar – I can’t wait to turn the page to April on my current calendar, but can’t stand having to wait for the next one. And, the book OMG. The snow pic is lovely except it is 15 degrees here in Muncie IN and I’m ready for some sunshine. We rarely ever have it this cold in March. I know the weather will be beautiful and spring–y for your emergence back into the real world.

  80. Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

    Hello Susan! Thank you for these beautiful posts even while you are in the midst of deadlines and different projects!! Was it just a little while ago when we were trying to encourage you with refrains of, “You go, Girl!”? :). Love how you combine an incredible work ethic with magical creativity!! That’s a hard combination to find! I have much appreciation of you…❤❤❤

  81. erica says:

    BLANKETED? It’s either cocooning or snow angels! I know what I’d do! xo

  82. Nellie says:

    I always look forward to the calendars for the next year, Susan. Is it sometimes tricky to plan this far ahead?

    Loving that mug! I think I’ll check it out!:-)

    xo Nellie

  83. Deborah Norling says:

    Thank you for checking in with us … Tea..Breakfast..English..are some of my fav words addition to Kitty Cat or “Petty Pet” as you say !

  84. annie says:

    I must own that mug! Beautious!

  85. Susie (NY) says:

    My you have been a very busy beaver and we will all reap the rewards of all your creativity. Seeing the picture of the snow made me realize it is the only snow I want to see now. I am so ready for Spring to finally make the decision to stick around. Wishing everyone a day full of pussy willows and forsythia!

  86. Hi Susan,
    I’ve followed and loved your work since the days of your gorgeous ‘artistic’ recipes with Country Living:) I always buy your wall calendar and was wondering if you could add in each month, the preceding and subsequent months to current month (you know, the little thumb nail at top and bottom of each month). I know it’s more work for you . . . but so often is the case that we need to look before and after (for scheduled dates only, as this moment is most important ♥
    Thank you so much for your consideration and warm light you bring to so many lives.
    All the best, Barbara Aspin

    • sbranch says:

      We put that in the back of the calendar… have you noticed we have the year before and the year after — but we save the little spaces on the front for art and quotes and things like that. Just turn to the inside back and all that date info is right there. Thank you Barbara!

      • Thanks so much for your response Susan. Yes! I love the year before and after and totally understand using space for quotes and art <3. I always have your gorgeous calendar framed so access to back isnt quite there but thank you for your consideration and explanation. All the best!!!

    • Terrie from Atlanta, GA says:

      I’ve often wished for those pre- and post-months, too, Barbara (and Sue!). How often are we on the phone and the dentist “Will see us in four weeks,” or we know we were someplace the last Tuesday of the preceding month, but can’t remember the date? It’s hard to flip pages, hold the phone, and write with only two hands! Love the little thumbnail months to help.

  87. laurie says:

    what a lovely cup, I like the black and white.I am eagerly awaiting the new book!
    Your calendar work photo is beautiful, I know you have said you use the tiny brush a lot, wow, that is a long process, you put so much work in each piece you do it truly shows, happy spring to you!

  88. Georgie says:

    Dear Susan!

    Your wonderful snowy picture gave me a head start on our weather this morning!!! SNOW!!!

    It’s just 9 months until Christmas!!! Can you believe it! I sure wish we had all of this Spring Snow back in December . Before we know it we will be pulling our 2014 December Yankee Magazines and visiting with YOU all decked out for the season! (okay… I’m rushing things a bit…)

    I LOVE the sneak peek at the calendar, and the Little Dancing Chick wearing the PARTY hat! Put on your dancing shoes and click those heels. You are almost there!!!

    White Picket Fences with gardens in bloom. A tea mug to hold… dreams to give birth to… YES! A blank SB Journal waiting to be filled with our dreams. Ooooh! How lovely that would be.

    Keep moving ahead, I’m so glad the light is getting closer. The spring snow is keeping you from utter abandonment dear Sue!!!

    Yardville, NJ

  89. kimberly allen says:

    Have a lovely day!!! Have fun creating we love it…no need to say you are sorry! We end up being the lucky ones! 🙂 Love the snow falling picture! ( also I was a pre-school teacher and would make the bunny cake every year so much fun!) Thank you for sharing part of your life with us!!


  90. Susan, I’ve been trying so hard not distract you with any comments so you could finish and relax! But the bunny cake is adorable and made me miss your stories and pixs and all the SB ladies.

    I was just reading through my blog roll and one of the food bloggers I follow spent her whole page trying to get me to order Hawaiian coffee so she could get compensated. DELETE! I can get adds and spam trying to sell me stuff anywhere–I can’t get good stories, good friendly conversation and sweet kitty photos anywhere except here–now can I?

    Happy Easter everyone!

  91. Marion Rose says:

    Good evening Susan, Just wanted to wish you a Happy Easter!!! Today was a beautiful Spring day. I took a ride in my car today and the crocuses are in bloom all over our town on the Cape. Mine bloomed more than a week ago, so now I need to wait for my daffodils to bloom. The air smells wonderful all full of Spring. If we have any more of that white stuff it will be good fertilizer for our gardens. Don’t forget, Good things come in small, sugar coated packages! Enjoy a wonderful Easter, God Bless

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Marion Rose! We opened all the windows in the bedroom, turned on the overhead fan, closed the door, and let it go all day, it smells like laundry hung on the line in there! Spring!

  92. Amanda says:

    Reading through the blog, showing my 10 year old some of the cuteness. Even suggested we take up painting! Try out some water colors. He’s a bit down in the dumps now that spring break has come to an end and he has to return to school. He enjoyed the posts I went through.

    He asked if you were famous. “To me!” I replied. I love to come feel at home here on your blog. Brown is all around us here in Idaho. We helped our neighbor with her yard and still have the backyard to do of our own. We call it: “Fluffing the lawn,” Which requires that we rake, hard rake, and then mow. Add Town and Country’s best lawn fertilizer- add some rain and maybe more snow- and then: GREEN. Thanks for sharing your talents here. I love it. Please note that my email has changed. The other one became compromised! And I need to see Willard!

  93. Lynn says:

    Will you have the 2014 desk blotter calendar again this year?

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sorry to say we won’t. The people that made it, have canceled it. We aren’t happy about it either — but the folks that make our wall calendars have asked for the blotter for next year, so there is a light at the end of this year long tunnel ahead. So sorry Lynn.

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