Best Gardening Tip EVER, from the Heart of the Home! MUSICA. (a little garden music, think: swaying happy dandelions: )

I’ve always liked dandelions.  I like the wishes you can make on them before blowing all the seeds into the wind.  The yellow flowers are pretty and perky — they make our lawn look like a wildflower meadow.  Wild dandelion greens and flowers, unsprayed of course, are a delicious nutritious addition to salads too.

But everything in moderation, and “wild” is the operative word.  Seems like we get more and more of them every year.  Sooner or later, those charming yellow flowers form a puff ball made up of  a zillion seeds that are dispersed, with no help from me, in the slightest breeze.  What you see in this photo is just one small part of what we are facing now!  The feathery part of the puff acts like a parachute which gently guides the seeds to the ground (heaven forbid one should crash-land) and the next year, you get MORE.  I like SOME yellow flowers in my garden, but I’m not crazy about having a lawn made up of dandelion greens with their eighty foot roots as-thick-as-carrots you can never get out.  I actually have all the dandelions I ever want.  I’ve gone out to try to collect the little furry heads before they can disperse, a terribly nasty job that I would not wish on anyone, plus it doesn’t work.  Yesterday, talking to Joe, in a moment of Morning Science, brilliance occurred!  I had to show you!  But suddenly I’m thinking that maybe everyone isn’t familiar with Morning Science, so before I tell you his brilliant idea, for those who don’t know, here’s how I described Morning Science in my AUTUMN book:

So now you know.  We are obviously not scientists, but we do like to ask questions, we’re always trying (weakly) to figure things out.  So the question of what to do with the field of dandelions came up.  And this time Joe outdid himself.  He said, “Get the dust buster.”

At first I laughed, the dust buster?  He was suggesting we vacuum the seeds right off the stems!  You can’t do that.  But then I  thought about it and went and got the dust buster.  See the stem of the dandelion leaning into it?  It wants to go in there!  I just put the tip of the vacuum next to it, and it jumped in!  Once I actually did three flowers at once!  Rather interesting don’t you think?

Voila!  I mean Voi-friggin’-LA!  Can you believe that?   De-nuded, in one fell swoop. So I went and did the entire area.

We went from this . . .

to this!  I missed a bit here and there, a few weren’t quite ready to let go, but see all the little stems?  That, plus more, took me about 10 minutes of extremely satisfying vacuuming.  Then we mowed, everything smelled like heaven, and the stems all disappeared.  Yes, we will still have plenty of dandelion leaves for our salads, but next year’s crop just got wiped out by the two geniuses and Morning Science!  Well, one genius and the other person that hangs around with him.♥  

So, there you go, garden hint of the day — I bet you never heard that one before! 🙂

Every day now something else blooms here in my Martha’s Vineyard garden.  The tulips are still going strong, and now the clematis is blooming on the picket-fence garden.  I love this plant, it’s taken a long time to get established here, but I think we finally made it.

Isn’t it romantic?  Clematis is a vine that comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.  This one is Clematis Montana, var. rubens ‘Pink Perfection.”  They like their feet (roots and bottom of plant) in the shade, and their heads in the sun.

I have to go soon.  I have a meeting at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore here on Main Street — a famous little independent bookstore here on the island —  the same store where I had my very first book signing all those years ago.  I’m going to meet with the owner and show her our book! (Excited! What shall I wear?) Kellee has printed it all out for me now, and although the pages are only printed on one side and not bound, everything is there, it looks beautiful and it gives me something good for show and tell.  But I have a quick question for you before I go:

See this?  My girlfriend sells these bracelets and the little hand-blown Venetian glass beads that go on them.  I had never seen one before but she tells me they are very popular and that many people collect the beads, which come in a huge number of colors and designs.  They collect them the same way they collect charms, when they travel, or have a life event, like a new grandchild or a graduation.  She says it’s the “new charm bracelet.”  (This is the only charm bracelet I’ve ever had … so far!)

The beads come in a sweet little box, all with different quotes — I think they would make a lovely gift.  Here’s the bead she will be selling this summer for Vineyard Haven, our town on the island. Her website is not up yet, but when it is, if you like this bead, I’ll let you know where you can get it.

They can be manufactured with any words on the side.  She thinks I should have a bead made that says Love and Kisses on one side, and Susan Branch on the other.  Or something like that.  Or all hearts.

But since I never saw them before, it’s hard for me to understand if anyone would want them?  Do you have a bracelet like this?  The beads sell for around $30, so I figured out, for a bracelet like this

It would cost around $350 for all the beads including the bracelet itself.  Of course you would gather the beads one at a time, so it wouldn’t be all at once (unless someone wanted to do it that way), you’d just get them at special times.  I really think they’re gorgeous.  And the beads aren’t all in blue — there are other colors — my girlfriend has all blue because hers are all Martha’s Vineyard beads, and with the ocean all around, the roses and green fields and trees, you can see it all reflected here.  So, my question is, have you seen them before?  Are they your cup of tea or not?  Am I the last person on the block to know about them?

So, off I go, but I will leave you with one last lovely picture … this wild-looking parrot tulip.  I was talking to my dad on the phone yesterday.  We were talking about you, and the beautiful comments you left on the Mother’s Day post (like all the others, by the way).  He was saying how NICE it is to go into the comments and read them, that when he is done, he feels like all’s right with the world.  I feel exactly the same way.  Each of the comments is meaningful, but when you put them all together, they’re even more powerful, it’s the accumulation of the love, and the connection to things that really matter.  I just wanted to say thank you for making my blog such a loving, funny, thoughtful, heartfelt place to be. You are the perfect example of what’s right with the world.

Hopelessly devoted to you, bye for now, xoxo, me

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762 Responses to GARDEN TIP OF A GENIUS

  1. Sarah Maldonado says:

    Oh my, yes! That’s regarding the bracelet bead idea! I have a Pandora bracelet, similar idea but they don’t have writing on the side and that’s what I love about these!!! Would love to have a Susan Branch one and add other beads, too. I also like the box with the quotes. Both the writing on the side and the box steps this bead bracelet up a notch from others. Actually, several notches!
    Also loved your dandelion buster. Lol. Creative minds make quick work!

  2. Kate says:

    Joe may have just come up with the best idea ever for eradicating dandelions. Sweep them right up. I can see it now. People all over the country out in their back yards with their dust busters vacuuming dandelions. Love it.

  3. Cheryl Walsh says:

    Pandora is the “big” name in these braclets- VERY expensive, but they are sterling silver. I found some pretty beads at Michael’s and made myself 2 for Valentines day, 1 for St. Patrick’s day, a couple in a pretty aquamarine color for my March birthday month. When they were on sale, with the bracelet, I have the look for only @ $20 each! Your friends bead is very pretty, I am sure she will sell a lot of them this summer.

    I love your blog and appreciate all the time and effort you put into your posts! I have preordered your book and am looking forward to getting it!

    Have a wonderful Spring! :o) Cheryl

  4. shelly says:

    What a neat idea! Does your girlfriend sell the martha’s vineyard beads online. Would love to get one of her’s! I love these bracelets and collect beads. You should have one made.”heart of the home” or something like that~

  5. Suzanne says:

    Hi Susan!
    That is a most brilliant idea! Vacuuming the heads of the dandelions, so simple that I don’t know why anyone has not come up with it before! Joe is indeed the scientist of the day!
    The charm bracelet that you speak of has been quite popular for about 5 years now, I have one myself all in pink (my favorite color) I have crystal beads, glass beads, silver beads(one a teapot), there are hundreds to choose from, and also many bracelet companies selling them. Just be careful as some charms won’t fit different company bracelets. They are really beautiful once they are filled, I love mine. It’s nice too because they are great gifts to give.
    Maybe it will be your next item to collect? Have a beautiful day today!
    – East Longmeadow, MA

  6. {speaks with a knowing smile} I have just been drinking Dandelion Tea with one of my friends at a local café and I come home, check Susan Branch Blog (as the permanent bookmarked tab reads) to see if there is a new entry, and YIPPEE! here you are talking dandelions! This “weed” has to be one of the best plants ever . . although my neighbours do not care for my tendency to let them proliferate, for they do not see them as useful in any way shape or form . . I’ve never roasted and ground up the root to make ‘coffee’ but I have made nutritious salad and tea from the leaves, and even wine from the flowers . . so all in all a very useful plant . . Oh! and rabbits and chooks love them too, apparently. Really must try that little trick of yours, I have plenty in full puff right now. Then, of course, they also make grand subjects for photography (the ‘clocks’ that is) . . I was raised to tell the time by a dandelion clock . . however many puffs it takes to blow the seeds away then that is what time it is . . not terrible brilliant because all you are doing is dispersing the seeds in their hundreds 😀

    ’bout those beads . . oh! those beautiful beads . . I’m going to be looking out for that website information just as soon as you post it and hope that I can get one shipped internationally, just so I can have the Martha’s Vineyard stamp on the side to add to my little collection!

    Sun is shining, sky is blue (thunder is forecast, but that is later on) birds are singing . . grass is growing . . Happy Spring is here today!

  7. Terri (in Richmond, VA) says:

    Oh Susan! I love it! You made me laugh so much because I am picturing all the girlfriends out dustbusting their lawns! And since I dont have one, I’m wondering if my Dyson cord will stretch that far. What a wonderful eco friendly idea. No awful weed killer, and you still get to enjoy some dandelions. Oh my, you two together are geniuses! Thanks for sharing it.

  8. Judy Wooley says:

    the bracelet and beads are a wonderful idea. they are like the old charm bracelets. Like your science questions! Thanks Judy

  9. Angie(Tink!) says:

    ✻✿✿¸.*✻Sweet Sue…& We are “Hopelessly Devoted” to You too! (Hello Jack!) (Joe & Girl~Kitty & Kitty~Jack too!) Meow! 🙂 I Love those Beads! I Have a Friend with an Entire Bracelet of Beads for The Florida Gators (One of Our Great College Football Teams) I Love The Blue Martha’s Vineyard Bead! Gorgeous! & Yesssssssssssssss You Should Have a Susan Branch Bead! Hearts & Love & Kisses Goodness there is So Many Ideas for Your Susan Branch Beads! Excellent! it’s Like a Modern Day Charm Bracelet I Think it will Be a Huge Hit! Ok Now for Joe & His Brilliant Idea & Your “Getting it” & then Doing it! OMG! 😉 I Can’t wait To Tell Herbster about This Brilliant Idea! I Keep Thinking about All Those Wishes inside The Vacuum! 😉 Wow Morning Science Turned into a Brilliant Idea…Hey Now You Could Invent a Dandelion Vacuum Bright Yellow….etc…. 😉 I’ve Gone Mad….lol….Bravo Sweet Sue & Joe! anyway….Have a Lovely Time at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore…So Very Exciting about Your New Book! Getting Closer Every Day! Yay! Thanks for Sharing all Your Gorgeous Flowers with Us & Sharing Yourself with All of Us! a Bit of Pixie~Dust Mixed with All Your Dandelion~Dust…Make a Wish! xoxo Poof! ✻✿✿¸.*✻ 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      *☀✹☆Poof*❉✳✸ Angie!

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        I Love Your Pixie~Dust Sweet Sue! Twirling! xoxo Poof! ✻✿✿¸.*✻*☀✹☆*☀✹☆*☀✹☆ 🙂 Scrumptious! 😉 see The Dandelion Dust Makes it Even More Magical! :-)*☀✹☆

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        I can’t figure out how to make the pixie dust! HELP

        • sbranch says:

          If you have a Mac, and this is a state secret 🙂 — go up to Edit — at the bottom of that little screen is “special characters.” Have fun!

          • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

            Thanks!!! I can’t make it stick.

          • sbranch says:

            Hmmm. Make it stick. You mean they disappear when you put them up?

          • Jackie P says:

            Wow! ☝This is the ✰tip✰ of the day! I couldn’t figure out how to make the symbols (was trying HTML tags, unsuccessfully!) on my Mac. Thanks — what fun. (I am really restraining myself!!!)❡The glass beads are beautiful, but that style bracelet is not my cup of tea — too heavy looking and feeling. However, those Pandora-type bracelets are very popular (on the mainland!☺). I’ve also seen them worn on chains as pendants.

          • sbranch says:

            I felt the same way when I found out about it. You did very well restraining yourself Jackie! 🙂

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            Oh! So THAT’S how that’s done! I’ve had my MacBook for 2 months – been looking for those characters the entire time! THANK YOU, THANK YOU! :>)

          • sbranch says:

            It’s the little things that count! 🙂

  10. Susan Frey says:

    yes, Yes, YES…do the beads! I’ll be among the first in line! European (large hole) beads are VERY popular…and yours would be unique…beautiful and thoughtful.
    I went to a bridal shower where the suggested gift was a bead that was meaningful to you and/or the bride…by the end of the afternoon, she had amassed a gorgeous one-of-a-kind work of art!

  11. Hello Susan,
    Did any of your neighbors see you vacuuming your yard????? Just asking…..
    The beads are very popular and are sold many places and in all price ranges. I think the bead is beautiful especially with Marth’s Vineyard inscribed on it. I’ve seen people buy just one or two and wear them on a silver necklace. The beads are also made into earrings in many places so yes, they are very popular!
    Have a great day!
    Kathy from New Albany, Ohio

    • sbranch says:

      I was a little worried about the neighbors and cars driving by, and then thought, oh well!

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        OH…Who cares what the neighbors think!!! How many great inventor’s neighbors thought he/she was crazy??? Remember Caractacus Potts (Crack Pot) in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? LOL

  12. Patricia says:

    Hello Susan,
    Great idea to share with my husband who just cannot embrace the dandelions in the front lawn he keeps so trim and tidy! I am getting a “visual” of you out there hunting the Dandy Lion puffs.
    I guess I have not been tuned in to the bead bracelet collectible thing. I like the idea of your friend’s very much. Quotes with beads with memories attached!
    I can hear your inspirational wheels turning!
    Have a beautiful day out there on your island!

  13. Kathleen says:

    Love the idea for the dandelions !!! Pretty inventive ! As for the bead bracelet…I started my daughters and daughter-in-law with the bracelets and two beads each …Now if they have a special event in their lives or as a birthday gift I add to their collection..Pandora /Trollbeads are inter-changeable ! Love the Martha Vineyard bead…PS : As a surprise one Christmas the girls gave me a bracelet and several beads….Love it !!!

  14. Robyn B says:

    I have seen these. In fact, I have one. I believe they were originally started by Pandora and for awhile were known as Pandora charm bracelets. If you look at Pandora online you will see the VAST number of different charms they sell. Of course they’re not the only ones just the first ones that I heard of.

  15. Chris says:

    Oh Susan…you made me feel so good…..dandelion destroyer! I fought the good fight in NH then moved – guess they won.

    Pandora and copycat bracelets are so very popular. I made one with the months of our wedding, children’s and grandchildren’s birthdays and one for my sister with the same. Even found a Mickey Mouse bead at one of the Disney resort gift shops. There’s an entire world of beads out there.

    ps…..the find of a lifetime at a yard sale last week – 2 Bunnykins figurines for $1 each! I told the lady what she had but she was only interested in getting rid of things.

  16. Chris says:

    Oh Susan…you made me feel so good…..dandelion destroyer! I fought the good fight in NH then moved – guess they won.

    Pandora and copycat bracelets are so very popular. I made one with the months of our wedding, our birthdays, children’s and grandchildren’s birthdays and one for my sister with the same. Even found a Mickey Mouse bead at one of the Disney resort gift shops. There’s an entire world of beads out there.

    ps…..the find of a lifetime at a yard sale last week – 2 Bunnykins figurines for $1 each! I told the lady what she had but she was only interested in getting rid of things.

  17. Carol Maurer from Eureka, CA says:

    Good morning Susan and girlfriends everywhere ~~~ I like those beads. I’ve seen them advertised on television. Yes, very expensive, but oh, so pretty! A “Susan Branch” bead would be great.

    I put up a comment on the last blog about my twin grandsons being born this past Saturday. It must have gotten lost as I don’t see it now. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that they have been born a tad bit earlier than was expected, but in good health and they are sooooo cute!! We plan on going up to Washington next week to see them. Since they are a month premature, they are sleeping an extra amount. My son says they sleep all the time.

    Last week I bought a bunch of flowers to plant in my containers. Sure makes the garden look very nice and pretty. I’m hoping that all the people looking at the house have enjoyed them. No more bites on the house as yet, but we’re hoping that will happen soon.

    Have a great spring day!
    Carol M

    • sbranch says:

      I saw it Carol and commented — the gremlins must have gotten it. But CONGRATULATIONS is what I wanted to say! Have a wonderful day yourself!

    • Congratulations Grandma! Double the joy for your family!

    • Congratulations Carol on the birth of your twin grandsons. I looked for your post and found it by using the Find feature on my computer and typing in your last name. Depending on what kind of computer you have you should be able to find the Find feature under “Edit” in the menu bar at the top of computer screen. After you click on Edit another menu will drop down and then put your cursor on Find, move over to the new menu and click Find. A search window should open at the top of this page. The quickest way, if you have an iMac, is to hold down the Command key and press F and that search window will appear.

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

      Congratulations, Carol, on your twin grandsons! I have a set of 2.5 year old twin grandsons. They are pure joy!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        I saw it too Carol – it was later on last night [Wed]. But you didn’t see it so – CONGRATULATIONS again on your new little guys! What fun you are going to have!! Are they identical? What are their names? :>) xo

        • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

          CONGRATULATIONS Carol, you should start what my grandma started for me, a book collection of all the wonderful children’s books and stories, like Beatrix Potter and Black Beauty, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Little Women and such and she subscribed me to Jack and Jill magazine until I was 12 years old. everytime I went to visit I got a new book to read, so I wanted to visit her often to hear and read all the wonderful stories she collected for me in her little library for her grandchildren. she somehow managed to get the entire series of OZ books ( the Wizard of Oz, Ozma of Oz and so on) in her collection, books that I love and treasure to this day. and yes I nherited that little collection and I read to my nieces all the Oz books, and show them all the Jack and Jill magazines I got when I was a girl. create some wonderful memories with those. hugs… 🙂

        • Carol Maurer from Eureka, CA says:

          I’m glad that you guys got to see my entry at last. I was sooo excited to let everybody know about the twin’s birth. They are both boys, but not identical twins. You’ld never know it though…. they look exactly alike, but they are forternal twins. Jorden and Dylan are their names. Looking forward to seeing them next week 🙂

  18. Jen Y says:

    Love the dust buster idea! Though the dandelions just don’t bother me. I live way out in the country on 5 acres & my whole yard is weeds so who cares. I want to make a wish jar when I have grandchildren. You carefully collect the seed heads in a canning jar & store it up high. Lable the jar ‘grandmother’s wishes’. When good little children visit, rarely, they’re allowed to take one wish from the jar & use it. I love this idea!

    I have heard of the beads but I think That’s just a waste of money to spend that much on something to collect. Just my opinion.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s what I wanted — opinions — so thank you Jen! Love your wish jar!

    • Susan in SC says:

      Oh my goodness, Jen !!! I love the Grandmother’s Wishes jar. I’ll have to get started on this right away. Thanks so much for sharing!

  19. Sabrina says:

    Many of the women in my family have this type of charm bracelet and they love collecting the beads. I made some rolled sterling beads to fit on these bracelets as a gift for my mother and sister.
    I think your friend’s beads are lovely and the print on the sides really makes these beads stand out from others that I’ve seen.

  20. Trish Painter says:

    His Susan,
    I have a bracelot like the one you had on your blog and am adding charms and beads for wonderful memories. I would be soooo interested in getting the pictured bead your friend is selling. I came to Martha’s Vineyard a few years back and fell in love with it. This was before I knew you lived there. When I learned that, it made the island even more charming. You should sell a bead for these bracelots. It would be a hit! I would be one of the first to buy. Thank you for all your wonderful posts you bless us with. I enjoy them so much. A true fan, Trish.

  21. Lori says:

    Good job to you two morning scientists! I am still laughing about the dust buster and the dandelions. : ) The bracelet and beads are very popular and of course your input on a design would be awesome. <3

  22. Claire in Atlanta says:

    I have a pandora bracelet, love it. I use only the glass beads because I love color. If you’re into silver you can do that too. Your friends beads are lovely, the packaging is terrific. I have no doubt she’ll sell out her stock.
    The duster buster worked ,but I gotta say the picture of you vacuuming the yard made me laugh very hard!

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

    Good idea about the dandelions–sure beats pouring on chemical weedkillers as our townhouse association advocates! I thought I was the last person to learn about the beads when I saw Pandora bracelets…Your friend’s beads are beautiful and I think they would probably be good sellers. Just aren’t in our budget as we are in the middle of a bathroom re-do and painting…but I like the idea of a person being able to buy one at a time and create your own personal bracelet. I will say that it seems like there are a lot of people selling beads and jewelry at craft shows in the Midwest so maybe it is a “fad”?

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve learned a lot from everyone and their own ways of building their bracelets! But I agree, first comes the bathroom!

  24. Paula Truitt says:

    As many others, I also have a Pandora bracelet and charms. I’m just starting to fill mine up and would love to have a Susan Branch charm! Even though you don’t know it, I spend time everyday reading and perusing your website. I love the bookmarks…especially the one for A Fine Romance. It is tucked away in my Susan Branch desk calendar under August so when my book comes in, I will have the matching bookmark!!

  25. Elizabeth from Pasadena, CA says:

    And did the newspaper photographer happen to come by and take a picture of you using the dust buster on your lawn?

    Yes, the bead bracelets are very popular in SoCal. People ALSO but one or more beads on a chain necklace — maybe someone has already mentioned that.

  26. Angie S says:

    I have had my bracelet for 2-3 years, and LOVE it. It is FULL. It’s a good idea to buy the bracelets a bit large, as the more beads you add, the tighter it fits. I have birthsones beads of my children and grandchildren, as well as memory beads from vacations to the beach ( a starfish), and those that just fit “me”, (a little pink camera). You really can find them in varying price ranges, from only a couple of dollars on up. A starter beacelet makes such a nice gift, especially for a new mom or a graduate. So FUN!!!

  27. Tana Griffith says:

    Yes I have seen those beautiful beads but alas, I don’t wear jewerly! I spend my money on books and fabric. But the beads are beautiful and I bet there is a large market for them. One or two on a key chain maybe would be right up my alley. I would write more but I am off to charge up my dustbuster!

  28. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Susan, your Joe had a touch of genius for that particular day of Morning Science! I am serious here. It is a very useful idea and perfect way to accomplish what you need without having to use poison that would ruin the leaves for salads. So cool!

    The beads are quite pretty. I have seen them before but do not own any. However, if you decide to create some Susan Branch beads, I could be swayed to start a necklace or bracelet. The blue Martha’s Vineyard is the prettiest one I have seen with the blue and white flowers. Gorgeous! Maybe you can get some made and offer them in your store? Or at the book signings? The signing event could become “Book, Beads, and Branch event!” Can’t you just see the flyers posted in bookstores where you will be coming? And, of course, you could design the flyer into a bookmark we could all have with our ordered books incase you don’t come near to where we can attend. And bookmarks at your signing table for those purchasing books. I am getting excited about the possibilities here!!!

  29. Laura C. says:

    As for the bracelet, Pandora is just one of the big brands out right now. Brighton also has them. BUT, the originals are called Troll beads and have been around for about 15 years. There are also silver beads that go between the colored ones, all different. I have 2 bracelets, gifts from my grown kids, one in blues & greens and the other in pink, purple and red. I still need a few more beads, but as my kids have stopped adding beads, I think I have to finish them myself. Some of the combinations I’ve seen are really beautiful. Purple and gold, black and pink, let your imagination go wild! For people who really love color, these are perfect because no two are alike.

  30. Pat V says:

    What a hoot! Voi-friggin-la!!! I had a good belly laugh on that whole scene.
    Now to find a good use for all that fluff, perhaps teeny tiny pillows for teeny tiny critters.

    As a former shop owner on the other Cape I know the beads will be a winner, people like to find something unique to the area they are visiting.

    Keep on bustin’.

  31. You know me, I love anything with the words “Martha’s Vineyard” on it! 🙂 I think the charm bracelet is a really cute idea, and it looks lovely, even though it seems a bit on the pricey side. I’d still be curious to see who sells it either way!

  32. I think those beads are sweet. I like that they have writing on the sides, like little secrets!

    I have vacuumed leaves from the front steps but never thought of dandelions. Genius! I once vacuumed a cake, or rather, the icing off a cake. Sort of. It’s an older post on my blog. My kids still bring it up.

    Pam, waving madly from blossomy Montreal

  33. PS Another weird gardening tip? Squirrels were decapitating my tulips before they even had a chance to open. I tried bone meal and chicken wire and bits of human hair (although I think that might be deer) but nothing worked. Once the tulips were in bud, the little furry varmints would chew all the heads off in one fell swoop. I happened to have a tube of Bitter Apple gel, which I’d used on items around the house when my puppy was at the teething/chewing stage. I figured I had nothing to lose by using it on my tulips, so I spent half an hour putting a little dab on each tulip stem, right below the blooms. Sure enough, the squirrels learned to leave them alone! Pam

    • sbranch says:

      Good one!!!

    • Pam, an old camping trick a friend told me about years ago works wonders. Guys would urinate outside the canp area and it kept raccoons and the like away. So every year, after I’ve planted the annuals, I hand the husband a Solo cup to pee in then I lightly pour it outside the flower borders. Have not had a squirrel dig up a petunia or impatien on years!! Works on planters and tubs of flowers too!

  34. Rae Ann R. from western Minnesota...soon to be back in Michigan... says:

    So glad to hear from you today…I just spent two hours + in the dentist’s chair having tooth material added to teeth I have ground down over the years…whew…glad that is over…YES~I have a Pandora bracelet…they have necklaces too, but I think a necklace filled with beads would be very heavy to wear…I think they are the new charm bracelets…I do have several sterling silver charm bracelets I hardly ever wear…I take them out and look at them and remember what each and every charm represents…the Pandora bracelets are kind of like that…some of the beads are silver and have etchings of different things on them and some of the beads are colored glass like the ones your friend makes…I love them…now I have to go call California and order your book…have been busy purging and packing…I hope it isn’t too late to get a signed copy or signed book plate…I don’t mind paying full price, but hope I can get a signed copy…latergator…xoxo…

    • Rae Ann R. from western Minnesota...soon to be back in Michigan... says:

      Whew…finally got through to your California girls and ordered your new book…the line was busy all afternoon…that’s a good thing…xoxo…

    • sbranch says:

      Don’t worry, all books that come from my studio are signed. Just a part of the service! I’m signing bookplates by the gazillion right now for the new book.

      • Hi Susan, last week I received both your yellow address book and the Counting our Blessings day book but they did not come with your signature on a bookplate not that I was expecting it, but it would have been a lovely bonus. Love both books by the way!

        • sbranch says:

          I’m glad you like them — I think the girls decided that because those books aren’t “forever” books (in other words, they will go out of stock when they are all gone … no more will be printed), like the Tell Me Your Story books, and the Recipe Scrapbooks; they aren’t in the Independent bookstores. I sign all the others — if I’m there to do it, or I sign bookplates. I forwarded the girls your email to see what they think. Thanks Deb!

  35. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ Good Afternoon~
    What about dandelion wine?? My girlfriend’s dad used to make it~ maybe that’s their purpose??
    ~ Finally happy to report my new grandson was born ths morning!~ I am running on about 3 hours of sleep since yesterday morning and chasing after a 2 and 3 year old right now~ I will have my grown~up time later~ if I can stay up past 7!
    Loved the bracelet~Reminds me of sea glass ~ going out now to enjoy the beautiful weather we have again today!
    ~It’s a great day to be alive~

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      This morning I mean!

    • sbranch says:

      Congratulations Lynn, we need to know how big, and what his name is!

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        ~ Hello~
        We have 8 lb 5 oz. Connor Michael~ Of course he is adorable~ just like his big sister! His Papa ( grandpa) was over~ the~ moon when he heard baby’s middle name~was his first name!
        And I get to do this again in August with another new grandson and a great niece on the way!
        ~Thanks so much for asking~ that way I didn’t have to ” brag”!
        2 more birthdays this coming week and then a short respite before the last ones ~Uff da!~

  36. Barbara (WA) says:

    A dust buster – now I’ve heard everything!! It is actually a brilliant idea, however! I’ve seen other versions of bead type charm bracelets but these look especially pretty and I love the words on the side. Your clematis is beautiful – do you miss your CA garden? Does anyone send you photos of it?

    • sbranch says:

      Yes they do. I do miss it, can’t wait to see it again. We planted hedges before we left. And we haven’t been back in 2 years. So we have a lot to look forward to.

  37. Edda says:

    I am really interested in the beads. Hers are just beautiful!
    Would love a Susan Branch one to wear on my left wrist to be close to my heart!

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

    Susan! I love the dust buster idea for dandelion “control”!! So much healthier than spraying – easier for people than digging too!
    I love the beads! Brighton also offers beads in a variety of sizes, styles & prices! I love having seasonal beads on my purses (their purses come with a heart charm which hangs from the handle on a leather attachment which is removable – the ones made from softer leather are easy to string beads on)! Your friend’s beads are little works of art – a few would go a long way to making a special statement!! Easy to add a couple to a necklace!
    Have a terrific spring weekend! 😉

    • sbranch says:

      I really don’t like spraying. Much better with the vacuum — always have been! 🙂 Happy weekend Kerry!

  39. Cindy Stierhoff says:

    You are indeed the last female around who hasn’t seen these glass beads in the mall somewhere in this land of ours! But that is what makes you so special, you do find the good things in life sooner or later…I have never bought the bracelet before because they always show them with the silver charms and in the end the bracelet does get pricey. BUT you have opened up my eyes to your bracelet with just the colorful beads and the blue is just gorgeous, would be my pick too. So I vote for your friends blue bead of Marthas Vineyard and will surely buy it from her. Bless you Susan Branch, forever!

  40. Sue says:

    I enjoyed the photos of the success removing dandelion seeds with the dustbuster. Last night my husband took the shop vac out to the pond to try to suck the muck out that resulted when the piping came loose from the pump and created a fountain that washed sand and the clay below into the pond. There is a reason I have no before and after photos to share. He was somewhat less successful in his endeavor. I noticed the he shop vac is now sitting disassembled on the patio, so I might suggest trying another strategy to anyone (other than him) who is thinking of doing something similar.

  41. Belinda says:

    WOW! I knew you were creative but I have to admit I love Joe’s idea!! I also have a Pandora bracelet. I would LOVE one of these beads from Martha’s Vineyard…LOVE the writing on the side. You MUST consider having a Susan Branch bead made. I would love one!! Of course I would like to visit Martha’s vineyard so that I could say I have been there. The quote with each bead is an outstanding idea. Cannot wait to see which of YOUR quotes would be with your bead!! Thank you for sharing….love the pictures!!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Belinda … I think you might have to come to the island to get your charm!

  42. Marva says:

    Yes, I have a similar bracelet. Mine isn’t a Pandora bracelet, but very similar. My bracelet is from Helzberg Diamonds and I have several beads on mine. It was given to me from the Kansas City Executive Women International (EWI) ladies the year I served as president of the organization. The beads you showed are lovely and as long as they would fit on my existing bracelet, they would be a great addition.

    • sbranch says:

      Why did they give you that? It sounds like a wonderful thing!

      • Marva says:

        It was a wonderful gift. Each year the president of the KC chapter of EWI is given a gift from the chapter for her service that year. I wear it proudly!

  43. Judy says:

    Another way to control the dandelions without chemicals is to pull off the flowers before they go to seed. A few minutes here and there makes a big difference. I don’t mind them one bit as our property is rather on the “natural” side!

  44. suzanne says:

    I would be very interested in the bracelet and the beads 🙂

  45. I discovered these beads and chains at Michael’s too and am hooked. It’s great to be able to create your own jewellery to match your outfit and it only takes seconds. I’ve been collecting beads here and there and especially love the ones that remind me of the sea. (I seem to have a lot in that colour range. Hmmm, it is time to branch out more.)

  46. Glenna says:

    Please thank Joe for the best laugh that I’ve had in a very long time. That is an ingenious idea! And, I love that you immediately seized and ran with it. I’m headed out to my own yard to vaccum as soon as I finish posting this. As for the bracelets, I agree with everyone else… there should be a special Susan Branch bead. I’ve been giving the beads as gifts for a couple of years and folks always love them…. especially, when you find ones that would be unique and special to them. I’ve also seen just one, or a couple of the beads, on a chain to make a necklace. Hugs and blessings – Glenna

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll tell him you said that Glenna! He’s busy now, polishing his fingernails on his shirt ♥

  47. Kathy Phenix says:

    These are the new charm bracelets. I’ve had a charm bracelet since I was 7 (a very long time ago). I loved to wear it to school and when I raised my hand to answer a question, I always shook it to get more attention!! (Imagine!)
    I have two Pandora bracelets and a necklace but I use all types of beads since Pandora tends to be too expensive. Kohl’s carries beads and charms, Michael’s and Joanne’s have glass beads, Brighton also carries beads and charms and has a watch you can add them to. I have the watch and change the beads to suit the holiday or season. I would love a Susan Branch bead and the Martha’s Vineyard beads are lovely also. Be sure to share your friend’s website when she gets it up.
    Today was a “bumper” Branch day!! Got to read your new blog AND my keepsake planner arrived in the mail. Still anxiously awaiting our travel to England book.
    Happy dandelion “sucking”! Kathy

  48. Shannon Ratliff says:

    Oh that bead is so precious! I WANT one for sure! So beautiful! And if you had one made for Susan Branch?!?! HEAVEN! I love my traditional charm bracelet so very much because of all the memories associated with it, but you know, sometimes an upgrade is DUE! I do hope in all your busy-ness (teehee) you might let us know when those beads are available for purchase! I’d LOVE one all the way down here in TX!

  49. Karen L. from Memphis says:

    Love the Dust Buster Idea. I will be trying it this afternoon to reduce the number of returning Dandelions for 2014. I just started a Pandora Bracelet with a wedding theme….My oldest son’s pending wedding is this fall. I have the engagement ring charm for the Big Event of the proposal. I will be adding beads with the wedding colors. There’s a wedding cake charm and a bride and groom charm. Their dogs will be part of the wedding party so I will be adding two dog charms and on and on till it is all full. I will love it and wear it till I have someone to pass it onto and share the fun I am having watching them plan this lovely event and memories to come. Happy day!

  50. Carol says:

    Dust Bustering dandelions if a fun thought, we use the leaf blower to clean the eave throughs. This is how one does that~ husband positions large tractor with loader, Wife (that’s me,lol) gets in tractor cab, husband gets in loader. Wife VERY carefully and slowly raises loader to acceptable height (closely watching hand signals from husband) Husband then climbs onto roof. Wife sighs relief! Reverse all moves to get him back on ground after he has walked ALL around roof expelling leaves etc. … Another huge sigh of relief!!! I think it’s time to buy gutter guards- He is 71 and very capable but…………….. What do you think?
    The beads are lovely, I wasn’t familiar with them. I might buy one of yours, but since most of my bracelets lay in jewelry box and I forget to wear them
    (who needs a bracelet on when lifting their husband in the loader?) and considering I spend a small fortune on my quilting habit, that one would probably be my limit.
    Have a wonderful Happy day!
    Carol on the farm in Iowa

  51. Pat Triska says:

    I love your dandelion control method. I even called my girlfriend giggling to tell her about it. lol I can see the whole neighborhood out in the yard with the vacuum cleaners sucking up the seeds. LOL

    We have the bracelets here in Illinois and our jewelry stores sell them. We also have commercials on TV about them. They are really cute but still love the old-fashion ones that were sterling silver. I have one that was started for me when I was very young and at age 74 still have it. My aunts bought me one for my birthdays or Christmas. Most of my aunts are gone now but the bracelet brings back many good memories of them. The new charm bracelets are great for the new mothers of today and are colorful also but still prefer my old one.

  52. Terri says:

    Love your walk. The hole in the tree may be from someone cutting off a branch. When you do that (and depending on how) the tree has a vulnerable spot where it is going to rot out, or a bird or animal will dig it out. Good spot for a nest.
    Love your genius idea for dandelion seeds. (I’m perverse, I guess. We have a little diorama in our garage for Halloween. We make it up to be the Greenhouse scene from Harry Potter, (he is HP and I am Prof. Sprout) and offer the kids seeds and little plants that I’ve started all year. I have wanted to collect dandelion seeds to give… trouble is the kids live in my neighborhood, and the parents know where I live… besides that, the seed would come back to my yard sooner than later. I guess I’m not the wicked witch.
    I have seen the beads in the jewelry department of my craft stores, probably less expensive than yours. I’ve wanted to use them to make bracelets for my grandgirls… but they are just too expensive. I have four ggs. That’d just break the grandpa bank.
    I love your blog! But I don’t often leave a comment… usually there are hundreds!

  53. Sarah says:

    “Voi-friggin’-LA.” Best word I’ve heard all day. 🙂

  54. jeannine leonard says:

    Those bead bracelets are wonderful.
    When Emily comes home today I am going to ask her to vacuum. Isn’t she going to be surprised when I tell her where she is going to go? I will let you know what she says.That is a really good tip. We like the greens with bacon dressing, and I once had a recipe for dandelion jelly. I wonder if I still have it?
    I love reading the blog and all the comments, sometimes I have to get tissues for it is so heartwarming.

  55. Barbara Luchette says:

    I love that whole bracelet. Please send me info on your girlfriend’s store or website.
    Thank you!

  56. Karen Holly says:

    Hi Susan! A dustbuster- who would have thought? Hurray for Joe!
    Susan, I am a bead bracelet person who collects Trollbeads, the original creator of this sort of bracelet. I would without doubt purchase a Susan Branch bead if it fit a Trollbeads bracelet! Just think of the fun you would have in designing the look of the bead(s) AND the fun we would have in collecting it (them)! Myriad possibilities without doubt…!

    • sbranch says:

      I really feel like I’ve been missing out. So fun to hear from everyone on the beads!

  57. Lauren Andersen says:

    Love your “Morning Science”! I do a lot of observing and exploring nature with my 20 month old son, Caleb. Right outside my townhouse is a canal and a beautiful tree. We get lots of visitors this time of year! Lots of robins, ducks (with their ducklings!!!!!!), occasionally a muskrat in the canal, blackbirds… Its just beautiful to watch nature even out my backdoor! Caleb really loves the bunches of garter snakes congregate in one sunny spot about 75 ft from my house (Yikes! Self talk….”These are friendly snakes, these are friendly snakes”.)

    I really like the beads! The colors are beautiful and I like that they have meaning like a charm bracelet. I have seen them around but one particular detail I like about these beads are that they have the lovely “Martha’s Vineyard” inscription on the inside. Though they seem a little pricey, I think that adding new beads over time would not be too outrageous.

    Thank you for your wonderful post!

  58. CindyK says:

    Love vacuuming the dandelions idea! Who’d a thought?? I’m going to try it when I see some appearing.
    As for the beads and bracelet, the girls are right, they are like the Pandora bracelets. I don’t have one, but I think they are very pretty. I would get a Martha’s Vinyard bead, and one of yours when you get one. I could start a bracelet! I know in the craft stores they have supplies to make one at a fraction of the cost.
    Loved all the flowers today! We are FINALLY having nice weather here in the Arctic (Minnesota).

  59. Elizabeth Quigley says:

    Hi Susan,
    I laughed so hard at you with that dust buster because I use Dave’s shop vac to vacuum my side walks and yard. It sure beats sweeping or raking. Lol and yes my neighbors think I am a bit wacky.
    There are 2 kinds of those beads here. I have both. pandora and camila.
    Have a happy day.
    Elizabeth Q

  60. Diana - Highland, IL says:

    Lovely Spring Day to you and yours Susan!!! I just wanted to say that the Martha’s Vineyard bead is gorgeous.. right in my heart’s desire category.. I have yet to make it to MV, but would love to have that bead to wish upon. I too had not really paid much attention to all the bead hoopla… I am more of a gold jewelry person, but have a few precious silver ones… this bead, and maybe the one you would do, with the writing on it and of course the boxes… how could I not keep the box too!.. would be totally worth the splurge and could be a new tradition. We use to collect coffee cups when we traveled, then wine glasses, ornaments and magnets, but this is an awesome idea! Please let us know when your friend has these available… From a “blue” person in the midwest!!! 🙂

  61. Jo P says:

    What a clever idea-dsutbust those dandelions!! My little grandson loves to blow the little puffballs around while his momma takes him for a walk, I’m sure the neighbors are delighted!!
    The bead bracelet is very cute. There are other beads called “troll beads” and I had no idea what those were. My sister in law gave me a bracelet with some on them and I purchased some others, there are so many different ones and can be expensive but also you can have your family give you special ones for different occasions. I would love to see one with your name and hearts on it, sounds very cute-or maybe bunnies!

  62. Rachel says:

    Oh Susan, that’s so funny that your Dad said that because that’s how I feel every time I read your blog or one of your books! It makes everything seem right with the world. My husband bought me your new book for my birthday so now I’m excited for Oct.!!!

  63. Snap says:

    LOL! Girlfriends and their dust busters unite to take on Dandelions! Quite a headline. I have a Pandora bracelet … in fact I have several … too many beads to fit on one. I play with them all the time — new arrangements for different occasions!

  64. Barbara says:

    Yes, please to the beads. My husband gave me a Kay Jewelers “Charmed Memories” bracelet with grandson’s birthstone bead and a small little boy charm. He told me it was my “Colton”(my grandsons name) bracelet. We have added to it on my birthday, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. You can intergrate beads with charms, etc. Would love the Vineyard Haven bead.

  65. Judie G. says:

    Oh, yes, do a bead! I do not have one of these bracelets but I love that bead and would wear it on one of my sterling neck chains! I’m sure others would like it as well. Please let us know when it will be available and please consider a Susan Branch bead. I think it would be a hit!

    PS, I live in the desert and do not have to fret over dandelions. But I grew up in New England and remember using a weed digger to dig up dandelions for my father. I was quite young and he would give me a penny for each that I dug up. But the Dust Buster is a great idea!!

  66. Willa says:

    See ya dandelions! What a great idea. And I WILL wait until a busy time of the day to do my “vacuuming” so my neighbors will be intrigued and want to follow my lead……I mean…your lead! Thank you for the idea.

    I love the beads! My grandgirls will adore them. Terrific Gift Idea!! I think the price is good as well and it will be lots of fun to pick just the right one as I add to their collection. Hurry website!!

  67. Never seen those beads before. They are lovely; I haven’t had a charm bracelet since I was little. Might be time to start one up again.
    I love your Morning Science!! and that little field mouse is the cutest. So looking forward to your book (“our” book!). Anxiously awaiting it!!!
    I wonder what people would say in my neighborhood about me dustbusting the dandelions? Will they think I am nuts?

    • sbranch says:

      My guess is yes, I think they would — that occurred to me when I was almost done vacuuming, too late to care! 🙂

  68. Jack says:

    Brilliant ! In rearranging her Mothers Day flowers you sent — Jeannie let the gas inflated heart escape ! As you know we have a very high , elevated ceiling in the living room and there it was hanging up there for two days until now — I fired up the vacume and reached up to the little string that was hanging -slurp!and SHAZAM ! – the ballon was now on the end of that hose And the dillema was solved —- tonight we sleep well !

  69. Debbie Anderson says:

    I have seen women wear one or two (or as many as you want) on a chain around the neck. Looks so good. I love the color in the one your friend has. Beautiful!

  70. Cynthia Avalos says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks for the little giggle this morning. I too could picture you out vacuuming your lawn! Good idea though!
    If you can, take a look at my Etsy shop. I make these faux candies out of buttons. They look really cute on a pretty dessert plate.

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      Cynthia – your bon bons are adorable! I cannot believe how creative all the Girlfriends are! Makes me feel like a major lump… I bet you can’t walk past a button now without thinking “what could I do with this one?” Keep up the good work! :>)

  71. Hi Susan! I’m building my Pandora charm bracelet one bead at a time…and I would LOVE to have a “Susan Branch Bead” to add to my bracelet. 🙂 xoxo Jacqui

  72. Fran Biamchi~Palmdale Ca says:

    I too have seen these Pandora beads and bracelets, and they are pretty pricey, but I would buy a Martha’s Vineyard bead without hesitation. I think it’s nice to treat yourself to something special. Your friends beads are lovely. I was on the island in 1998 and actually ate breakfast at The Black Dog which I understand from a previous post that Joe worked there at one time. Such a small world!

    I always enjoy your blog posts and the dandelion vacuum bit is just hysterical!
    Enjoy your Spring Day

  73. SHERI says:


  74. Barb Kucera says:

    Sue, you really had me cracking up over the dandelions. I haven’t owned a dust-buster since the kids were dropping Cheerios under the high chair, but now I think I should run out and get another (if they still make them). Brilliant idea!!
    That Joe…he’s a keeper.

    Also, I am not a fan of the Pandora bracelets at all, BUT, I really love the look of your friends’ beads. Truly beautiful!! And I love the addition of the words. I’d buy this and make my friends jealous:) Please keep the girlfriends posted when they become available.

    • sbranch says:

      They make them better than ever. I couldn’t live without mine. These days they hold a charge for a long time, and you are ready whenever anything tiny gets spilled, sandy feet, dry cat food, anything that suddenly shows up, dried mud — and of course, dandelions!

  75. Susan in SC says:

    I am enchanted with the idea of “rescuing” dandelion seeds with the DustBuster and then “relocating” them to neglected areas in need of both happy yellow flowers and “wishes.” How easy it would be to empty the DustBuster into one of those abandoned areas most of us “city dwellers” are all too familiar with or even alongside a stretch of unadorned highway.
    Thank you once again for getting the creative juices flowing!

    And about the beads. . . I’m still an old fashioned charm bracelet girl myself (I currently have three) but know that the beads would be hugely successful with Pandora fans. I say, “Go for it! We need the bead!” I could even see myself buying one of the beads (from your online store) and using it to make an embellished bookmark for a certain new book about England that I plan to read this fall! 🙂

  76. Vickie in Olympia says:

    Ummm….what did Joe do with all the seeds he vacuumed up? If they went into the garbage, does your garbage go off island, otherwise they might be blowing back to you. hahaha

    The bead bracelets are all around and people love them. Thirty dollars is a bit steep for my neighborhood, but I’m sure the materials and time that went into designing and making it are worth asking that price. It is the dilemma artists face.

    • sbranch says:

      They are still in there. Slowing turning brown and losing all their dangerous energy, and then, off to the compost heap they will go!

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        Don’t put them in the compost! You will have dandy lions in your garden!!

        • sbranch says:

          Only after they are good and dead. But you’re right, that’s a crazy chance to take!

  77. Anna Marie says:

    Dust busting your dandilions! I love this. Can’t wait to try this out.

  78. Donna in Virginia says:

    The glass beads are beautiful! I would love a collection like that. I have an Irish version that my grandchildren and daughter started for me and I quickly filled it up. It’s called Tara’s Diary and I found a site that shows them well. I bought mine from an Irish store here in Northern Virginia so I’m not promoting any particular web site, just showing the possibilities. I hope your friend has her website up soon! Here are the Irish beads…

  79. Karen P - Wisconsin says:

    I love, love, LOVE those beads! It is especially meaningful to have a message or symbol on the side and a Susan Branch bead would be so special. I love Susan Frey’s comment about the bridal shower idea. Wouldn’t it be a fun 50th (or 40th or 30th, etc.) birthday party gift idea! Amass a meaningful, gorgeous bracelets from your friends and loved ones?! I know I’d love that!

    And your comment about your Morning Science walks where you quote Joe as saying “I don’t know.” reminded me so much of my husband….man of few words. I can just imagine your conversation! Cuteness!

  80. lESA says:


  81. Mary from pa. says:

    Hi Susan,
    I really enjoy your pictures, and love of nature. The bracelet beads are something new for me also. I will be calling in to order your new book, but missed the deadline, but cannot waite! This will be my first book other then calendars.
    Thanks Susan

  82. Kelly H-Y says:

    My hubby and kids started one of those bracelets for me, with the very first bead given to me after my mom passed away last year, in her memory … it has a beautiful bluish-purple flower design, as she was an avid gardener. Such a thoughtful gift.
    I LOVE your dustbuster idea … brilliant!!! 🙂

  83. sloDian says:

    I’m lucky enough not to get dandelions (I think it’s my husbands obsession for mowing so frequently, they don’t get a chance) and love the beads. I agree with everyone, the name I have seen is Pandora and they’re a bit pricey, so I pick my beads carefully and sparingly!

  84. Barbara T, Wolverine Lake MI says:

    regarding the charm bracelet. I had one. The operative word is had. It was full. Full of adorable little charms. So pretty. Went out shopping with the girls one afternoon. In and out of every cute store in town. Got home that evening and the bracelet was gone. It had fallen off somewhere along the line. (and it was winter, so it probably ended up in a slushy pile rusting til spring). So yes, I’ve heard of them, spent a fortune on one, but no, don’t have it anymore. And no, I won’t be getting another 🙁 But it was pretty while it lasted. Or….maybe someone found it and is still wearing it. (one can only hope)

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, would rather have such a treasure be found than lost forever — terrible to lose something like that!

  85. Peggy Mayfield says:

    What a wonderful way to deal with the dandies – I love them too, but in moderation (I have a BUNCH of dandelions on my pinterest page, they are less invasive there) My children always brought me wildflowers they found on their walks – I had baby food jars, extract bottles filled with dandelions every Spring, assuring the babies that no, they weren’t weeds to Mamma.
    Troll makes the wide hole beads – I think they pre-date Pandora, and there are many copycats too. I think they are so pretty. I love any colored glass anyway. I’d sure buy a Susan bead!
    Thanks again, for a lovely post, taking me out of myself!

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

    hello susan, hello girlfriends. joe is a genius, but I went him one better a shop vac. worked very well in the back yard and in the front. I don’t have a dust buster, so that was the next best thing. but tell joe he is a genius for thinking about the idea. I love the Pandora beads and see them everywhere. I don’t have one.. yet!! but I will soon as I get myself out to the local Jo-Ann’s craft store and go shopping. they have beads there, not as expensive as the Pandora beads, and one can make a bracelet from the beads at the store with the same results. well we are now the proud grandparents of 7 baby peeps (chicks) and now we have another hen who is egg sitterin’, been 4 days for her so in about 3 weeks or so we should see what she hatches out. but our new peeps are in the nursery with mama and safe from the other hens. they will stay there for about 2-3 months, until they get big and fully feathered then we will release them out into the barnyard with the adults. our other peeps have been released into the barnyard, well half of them (7) were as the other 7 were still too small and one was injured so knowing how the hens would have picked and pecked on them, we kept them out of the barnyard for now and when they get a little bit bigger they will go in with the adults. that’s life on the chicken farm here. now if I can stop the birds from eating all the dandelions before I can get the leaves for salads, life would be perfect. have a sunshine day everyone. hugs….. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I’m enjoying life on the chicken farm with you Pat!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Me too – I just love hearing about all the “fowl” deeds you do each day, Pat… PS – no kidding, I’m really learning a lot. Thanks. :>)

        Please disregard this same comment in another spot here [guess those gremlins have taken over my brain]!

        • judi says:

          Being a “city girl”, I too love hearing about life on a farm and all your animals:) THANKS!

          • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

            well thank you everyone, how nice to hear. well I have one more funny bit of farm life for you, our youngest rooster (he’s only 3-4 months old) is now in the process trying to act like the grown-ups, he is challenging G.W. and Elmo for the hens and since this little guy is such a peewee, they are just looking at him and wondering who let him loose in there. they won’t hurt him but its sooooo funny to watch him bristle up his neck feathers and bounce around near the adults challenging them for the hens, he even got so bold as to challenge Tom Tom , our male turkey for his mate… good thing there was a fence between them. but its so cute to watch him do this everyday. its just a laugh. hugs….. 🙂

          • Carol Maurer from Eureka, CA says:

            I, too, look forward each blog to see what new antics the peeps, etc are up to. Love the story of your young roaster! Can just imagine him jumping up and down and the older ones just looking down at him and laughing to themselves.

            OK…. I just HAVE to know. Where do you live in Cave Junction? Before or after the town? Is your farm right on the highway or at least where it can be seen from the highway? We are once again going up to Washington next week to the the new twin grandsons. Each time we go thru Cave Junction I try to figure it out. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a barn from the highway.

            Have a great day, Pat

  87. Peggy Mayfield says:

    BTW, your clematis is beautiful – I hadn’t seen that var, and may just have to go hunt one down for my fence by the jasmine, which is lush right now. Clematis loves our weather, so it might be an easy grow for us. ( Don’t be mad, we can’t even think of growing lilacs here, and I bet you have them there, don’t you?)
    And your tulips are to die for – just like an Old Master painting (except yours would have to be a live bird and bunnies amongst the flowers not-so-still-life!

    • sbranch says:

      I forget, are you in England? Clematis loves England … and yes, our lilacs are just coming into bloom now and Joe brought in our first bouquet yesterday.

      • Peggy Mayfield says:

        I’m in central Texas Susan – been looking at a Clematis purchase this morning, (though dear hubby says clematis sounds like something you go to a doctor to get RID of) & I found a love pink/mid-pink stripey one that loves shade. Now I’m plant-hungry!

  88. Kathleen Spitz says:

    I love the bead, and think the idea of a heart bead is fantastic. When I visited the Cape last year I purchased a bead that said Cape Cod. Would love to have a Vineyard bead. You can purchase imitations of the Pandora bead, but you have to be careful of the quality. I for one would rather pay a bit more and be assured of getting higher quality. Love your blog Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      These are sterling silver and Venetian glass, very pretty. I’m the same as you, when I buy something, I would prefer to only buy it once, so I will spend a little more so that it doesn’t fall apart and force me to buy another one.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Me too – I just love hearing about all the “fowl” deeds you do each day, Pat… PS – no kidding, I’m really learning a lot. Thanks. :>)

  89. Debbie Borne in Fresno CA says:

    Hi Susan BTW does anyone ever call you “Suzie”? You kinda look like a Suzie(-:
    The bracelets are European Style Charm Bracelets. I shop for the charms on ebay and can get them very inexpensively. But I love your friend’s glass beads and the words etched on the sides. I have given them as gifts. I gave my future daughter-in-law one for Christmas with a mother/daughter charm.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, there is a certain segment of my friends that call me Suzie — I can tell when I met people by what they call me! Where have I been all my life when it comes to the beads — you all know what they are!

  90. Martha Ellen of VA says:

    Susan, your morning science hint is a hoot! We are always looking for environmentally safe ways of getting rid of the “tooth of the lion” (dandelion). We ( my husband) diligently gets out his special tool and gets “rid” of them. Ha Ha My man never gives up and every year we have less of them for sure. I love the beads your friend has made. Yes, these type of bracelets are very popular and I have one that I have been adding to. One of your “heart of the home” beads would be wonderful! Have a great weekend and happy dust busting! xoxo ♥

    • sbranch says:

      Joe has that tool too, but no one uses it very much! Thanks for the bead info Martha Ellen.

  91. Susan (in VA) says:

    I’ve never seen a bead bracelet quite like that, but it’s lovely. Nice for us “mature” ladies as it’s less obtrusive than a charm bracelet. (BTW, mature as used here doesn’t mean emotionally all grown up, just old! LOL. I don’t think I’ll ever grow up.)

    And I’m simply amazed by the brilliant idea of dust-busting dandelions! That deserves a Nobel Prize for creative worksaving. When I was little, one house we lived in had a huge corner lot that was filled with dandelions. We were just renting so I guess my mom didn’t want to do anything too drastic, but she was insistent that the dandelions had to be pulled up by the roots. So my 8-yo self would literally spend days trying to get those suckers to come out without breaking off. We did end up getting one of those tools specially made to dig them up by the root–along with copious amounts of soil–but I wasn’t very adept. I thought dandelions were quite pretty and didn’t understand why they couldn’t just stay where they were.

    One more dandelion story–which I know you’re just *dying* to read. 🙂 I was the youngest child, so I got bullied (and beaten up, unfortunately) a lot. But I was a trusting soul and never seemed to learn. One day, one of my brothers said (in a sing song tone), “Open your mouth, and close your eyes, and I’m gonna give you a big surprise.” Yippee! A surprise! What could it possibly be? So I excitedly complied–and he promptly inserted a fuzzy dandelion. Blech! Almost 5 decades later, I’m still holding a grudge for that.

    • sbranch says:

      You are so funny. Yes, I’m *dying* to read it! I would hold that grudge too! Boys. I never look in their closed hand when they hold it out and say, “guess what?” I move to the far end of the room and then say, “OK, you can show me now.”

  92. JoAnne Daniels says:

    Susan — how ingenious…vacuuming up the dandelion seeds! I’m fortunate (I think) in that I don’t have many dandelions growing in my lawn or flower beds, so what I do is pluck their little heads off before they get a chance to become next year’s dandelions, blowin’ in the wind!
    I love the Martha’s Vineyard bead. I have seen these bracelets although I don’t own one myself. Blue and forget-me-nots are a favorite of mine. I’m wondering if the bead could be worn on a chain like a necklace? If you’re looking for input, I would probably like to have one.
    Heavenly Spring — the air in my garden is heavily scented with crabapple flowers. I’m so happy that my hummers are back and so are the wrens and
    my most favorite — the Wood Thrush! It’s officially Spring when I hear her voice!
    JoAnne from very green NW New Jersey

    • sbranch says:

      I am hearing that they do wear the beads on a necklace — makes sense, they would be pretty that way too.

  93. Ritchie Saunders (Pacific Palisades, CA) says:

    What a great idea!! You two are scientists!! Scientists don’t know all the answers… husband is one and he asks questions all day long! Now that he is retired he is busy learning and investigating many things he didn’t have time to think about when he was doing specific research. Never boring around our household!
    The bracelets look lovely….I bought my Grand Daughter one from Pandora but they are expensive and these look even more unique and different. Would definitely start one for myself and maybe both of my Grand Daughters would love them. Cheers! Ritchie

  94. Ann says:

    Yes please! Susan Branch beads for my bracelet. My husband started me off several Christmases ago. Love your friend’s.

  95. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Hi Susan, your friend’s beads are so pretty and since they are Venetian glass and sterling silver (925) they can certainly hold their own with some of the popular makes. They look like wonderful sea glass. Loved Joe’s idea re the dandelions. Did they love your book? I’m sure they did. Have a nice weekend.

    • sbranch says:

      She did love it. She ordered lots of them and we’re going to have a book signing in her store in September!

  96. Ruth from Pennsylvania says:

    Susan, you guys have outdone yourselves with the dandelion idea. What a sight that must have been. I love it! I am just starting my own bead/charm bracelet but have been buying them for the past few years for everyone else’s special occasions. The MV bead is simply beautiful and unique. Be sure to let us know when they are available to purchase online. I agree….we NEED a Susan Branch HEART OF THE HOME bead. It would be the most perfect thing to add to our collections.

  97. Rena Haunschild says:

    I can already see a new collection for me on the horizon 🙂 I am just now showing an interest in those precious glass beads. I was wondering what all the hype was as I shopped for a mother’s day gift for my mama online and in jewelry stores. These beaded bracelets kept popping up. Now after reading your blog and seeing pictures of your friends beautiful work, I believe I’m hooked! What a compliment to both of you to combine Susan Branch and specially made glass beads. Looking forward to ordering!

  98. Cindy Tomisich says:

    I would love to purchase a bead…I also have a charm bracelet that carries many
    wonderful memories. Blessings for a wonderful day!

  99. Helen says:

    Susan – Hi there ! Thought of you today …. hubby and I were at Brimfield today and we were looking for you and Joe ! Now I know why you weren’t there ! …. You were busy vacuuming dandelions (and writing your wonderful blog) !! 🙂

    Take care,

    • sbranch says:

      You’re right. What a day to be in Brimfield. It’s gorgeous here, must be there too!

  100. Susan in SC says:

    I am enchanted with the idea of “rescuing” dandelion seeds with the DustBuster and then “relocating” them to neglected areas in need of both happy yellow flowers and “wishes.” How easy it would be to empty the DustBuster into one of those abandoned areas most of us “city dwellers” are all too familiar with or even alongside a stretch of unadorned highway.
    Thank you once again for getting the creative juices flowing!

    And about the beads. . . I’m still an old fashioned charm bracelet girl myself (I currently have three) but know that the beads would be hugely successful with Pandora fans. I say, “Go for it! We need the bead!” I could even see myself buying one of the beads (from your online store) and using it to make an embellished bookmark for a certain new book about England that I plan to read this fall!

    • sbranch says:

      I even think it might look cute on my old-fashioned charm bracelet! What if I had A Fine Romance engraved on the bead? That would be a nice memory.

      • Carrie says:

        Now that sounds like a winner! I would probably buy enough of the Fine Romance Bead to fill an entire bracelet!! I would couple it with my Pandora Charm Bracelet which has charms all about/from England!

        Let me tell you, I let out the biggest guffaw when I read, “Voila! I mean Voi-friggin’-LA!” That was priceless 🙂

        Hoovering dandelions, now that’s inspired, well done Joe! The neighbors either think you’ve gone a bit doolally or just eccentric and isn’t that sort of fun? Leave them guessing and wanting for more…

        So we’re talking three months, give or take, before “the” book comes out, right?

        • sbranch says:

          It is so nice sometimes to “win one” in the garden! 🙂 Yes, three months, More or less (with perhaps a little emphasis on the more). 🙂 Sept. 1 it should come in. Then we put on labels and out they go.

          • Carrie says:

            I saw on your twitter feed yesterday you asked which charm might be best to order and my vote is “A Fine Romance”…it’s timely with the book coming out and would be unique. So many people have pre-ordered your book…I’m thinking many of them would LOVE the charm to go with it! Your 2nd charm could be GFF. (mho)

          • sbranch says:

            I like it!

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