I hope you enjoy my first Guest-Requested MUSICA . . . for you, dear Girlfriends, from my darling friend Margot, the Magical Mother of Scarlet (the elf), the Grandmother of Georgette (the gnome), and dog mother of Yoda (the Naked Leprechaun). 

Scarlett and baby

Scarlet kindly granted me permission to show you her new baby! Thank you Scarlet! Those little baby pants are a very soft wool, and with the pointed white hat, there was no doubt that Scarlet had given birth to a gnome.



Totally worth waiting for, don’t you think? Didn’t Scarlet do a fabulous job?  This was our Baby Snuggle Tea, where Scarlet brought her three-week old baby girl Georgie to meet and greet Margot’s best girlfriends.

Let the Fun Begin


We each got to hold her . . . she made us feel like we must be really interesting looking.


scarlett and georgette

Scarlet’s already a wonderful Mom . . . Georgie went out like a light when Scarlet put her into this little wrap. (I’m thinking about getting one of these for Girl Kitty, she would LOVE it.)



We are going to enjoy watching this little gnome grow and thrive, she comes from a family of extremely creative people.

natural beauty

scarlett and wolfie

This is Scarlet and her adorable brother Wolfie at my house for an Easter Egg hunt many years ago ~ it’s been fun watching them grow up.

watercolor flowers

Margot art

This is the baby announcement Margot painted when Scarlet was born.  Is it not the most adorable thing you have ever seen???  Me, too!  I think it should go into the Smithsonian for best baby announcement ever.  Maybe I’m biased.

watercolor flowers


Margot loves to celebrate her July birthday at the beach.

watercolor flowers


This is Margot’s dog.  Its name is, of course, Yoda. 

Margot and Tom

To make Yoda feel better about “everything,” Margot and her fiancé-for-life, Tom, modeled themselves on Yoda for Halloween.  Look at the top of Tom’s head! Look how happy they are!  Don’t they know what they look like?

halloweenA scientific comparison of Yoda’s hand and Margot’s hand.

Tom and Margot

Just so you know, Tom and Margot don’t always dress like Yoda.  But they always do have fun, and . . .

fun is good


Last summer, Joe and I went sailing around Edgartown Harbor.  I took a picture of this little pointed beach. Later, we went to Margot’s art show . . .


And this was one of her new paintings! It looks like the same place! 

Creativity is Magic


If Margot seems familiar to you, I’ve mentioned her before, along with her wonderful book, the Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids.  If you haven’t seen it, I asked Kellee to put some up in our web store.


Besides everything else, Margot is a very famous local muralist on Martha’s Vineyard . . . not only Martha’s Vineyard ~ Margot’s done projects in many parts of the country.  Here she is doing a mural for the Oak Bluff’s Steamship (ferry boat) Authority. That’s not the real sky, that’s the sky Margot made.



This is a project Margot did at her art studio at home.  It’s for a private home. The home owners had an indoor balcony off their bedroom and asked Margot to paint some ambience for it.


But this has been Margot’s most ambitious project so far and one for which she will go down in Martha’s Vineyard history. You can see the “before” in the top photo, and the “after” down below, Margot painted the mural behind the musicians.

The Whaling Church

It was for this historical  building in Edgartown called The Whaling Church which was built in 1843. You can listen to a story about the renovation of this church and see Margot in action by clicking that link.


During the restoration, they found this old photo and discovered that in the 19th century there had been an amazing mural that had been painted over. 

IMG_5842Using the photograph as a guide, Margot made a working drawing so she could reconstruct the mural as close to the original as possible. I thought you’d like to see some of the photos I took while she was in the process of doing it. 


This was the space as it was before the new mural began.


And this is it while Margot was working on it.  Every so often we girlfriends would come over to see what she was up to. We knew it was big, but we had no idea!  I could not wrap my mind around the fact that what we were looking at was a flat wall.

on a flat wall

I had to get closer, and the closer I got, the harder it was to believe.

A complete flat wall . . . if you try to jump onto that checkered floor, you will body-slam yourself into a wall. 


Hard to believe, but it’s true.


Margot has worked two freezing winters on this project . . . the first year she did the front of the church, and this winter, she trudged through one snow storm after another to complete the sides and back.


I think you can see the passion in Margot’s eyes as she explains to Lowely and Barbara (and me) what she has been creating.  Note: no matter WHAT else Margot is wearing, no matter if she has been dipped in paint, she always has on a pretty scarf and cute earrings.


The patience, the sheer energy this took! (Margot is 61; she said I could tell you.)


tromp l'oeil

Here’s a close up of some of her detailed brushwork . . .


See the flat walls, that’s what it looked like before Margot got her brush onto it.  Not to mention the fact that she was up and down this scaffolding, carrying paint and brushes, twenty times a day.  If I got up there once, I would cling there, a ball of dripping adrenalin, until the fire department came to rescue me.

you make it look so easy


Yoda came to work, dressed for action, every day.  Margot says sleeping with Yoda is like sleeping with a naked leprechaun.


Whirling Yoda

Yoda does the happy dance.

oh happy day

Scarlett with gnome

Margot didn’t have to do the whole thing alone, besides Yoda, she had Scarlet and an incognito Georgie, as the perfect assistants.

it takes a village

IMG_5834And every so often we would all trek over to Edgartown to check out Margot’s progress, sit in awe as she explained how she was doing this impossible thing, and take her to lunch.


We did the right thing by giving her no advice.



So here is the “before” of the back of the church which Margot finished about two weeks ago.


It’s very subtle, but you can see the panels on both the bottom floor and the top, the gold leaf details below and around the clock. Tromp L’oeil  panels also go both sides of the church.


The panels look raised, but they are completely flat too, all the way from the edge of the window trim.


The eye, she is fooled! I have to say, the whole island is proud of what Margot has accomplished here; generations will applaud what it took to do this.  ♥ Thank you, also, to Chris Scott and all the supporters of the Preservation Trust, for bringing back to the island history that had been lost.



See what I mean?  Flat. Margot explains these stripes of color in this link.

And I bet now you’re saying to yourself, I’d LOVE to see what that girl’s house looks like inside . . . right? Mas Margot MUSICA  

Come with me to the Casbah. . . and . . .

cake love how to be happy

Margot Datz House

Oh, yeah.  Margot, along with Scarlet and Wolfie’s dad, Charlie Blair (the afore mentioned “fisherman”) who is now the  Harbormaster of Edgartown, built this log cabin.  And then Margot did things to it.  See that sofa?  Just an old run-of-the-mill brown sofa, but not after Margot got her hands on it, recovered  and fattened up those cushions, and voila! And the panels around the windows?  She made them. Wah ~ Wah.

If you do it with heart

Margot Datz House

     How about this magical “doll house” Margot made for above the fireplace?  She used to make lots of doll sculptures that she called “individuals” for obvious reasons.  She fashioned them from high-fired stoneware and fabric. The hair, she said, came from Poodle Parlors, and I’m told that if you had a dog with a very nice tail, you had better watch it when Margot was around.

Margot Datz House

It is the perfect creative surrounding for costume parties at Margot’s.  But, you say, I wonder if she has anything cute in her closet?  Is it all paint-spattered jeans, or what?

OK, you asked for it ~ because Margot puts Vanna to shame. (Don’t tell Vanna I said that.)


For starters, she wears diamonds on her feet.



Poor thing, she simply has no personality. Tsk Tsk.

november 2010 817

quote clothes

studio 709

As you can see, I keep my camera ready to see what cute thing she wears next. I try to talk her into doing a whole book of clothes.  Then make them, then sell them to me.  In normal sizes.


Darling Margot, Mother, Grandmother, Original, Artiste Extraordinaire, Hard-worker, Funny, Smart, Problem-Solver,  World-Class Survivor.  Great Cook, Excellent Bargain Finder, and All around Good Dresser. And Best Friend to Many and to Lucky Me.




I hope you enjoyed our Baby Snuggle and Grandma Snuggle, our elf, our gnome and our naked leprechaun . . . I know you will LOVE Margot’s paintings, you can see some of them and “Like” her on Facebook at  Margot Datz Designs or go to her website at


With love from me to you Girlfriends.  Hope you enjoyed that!  I am working hard on our book, and making progress!  Thank you for all your wonderful supportive comments.  You’ll never know how much they mean to me.  HAPPY SPRING!  XOXO

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  1. Maria in Long Beach, CA says:

    Thank you…and Margot…for the beautiful tour of the church. I was gasping at each picture. Incredible talent! I kept thinking, “how do you not lose your way while painting such a vast space and also making it three dimensional?” And what a fantastic home…just screams “fun people live here!” Lucky little baby to be born into such love, fun and creativity 🙂

  2. Kathy Hughes says:

    One of your best posts ever !! Scarlet and her baby are just beautiful; thank you, Scarlet, for allowing Sue to share your happiness with us. Margot is amazing! I still can’t believe the fabulous mural she has completed. The church went from pretty to “drop-dead” gorgeous. Margot, to climb up and down that ladder 20 times a day is quite a feat for a person of any age. You are in great shape! Loved this post! Loved seeing Margot’s family, fairy-tale house, clothes, shoes, absolutely all of it! Susan, thank you for remembering us, the Girlfriends who are so inspired by your talent and the creativity of your many dear friends.

  3. Jack says:

    Susan — How many of my ,—” I hate Kale”— tee shirts do you want?

    • sbranch says:

      Do you hate kale? Maybe you are just getting too darn healthy!

      • Ann Jane Koerber says:

        I had something really nice to say about your wonderful blog and then saw Jack’s comment…….cracked me up!…….Hello to Jack and hope you are very well!……..I want one of those Tee shirts…..but back to the blog…..awesome! Thank you for introducing us to yet another talented wonderful artist and I’m not surprised that you two are best friends….who wouldn’t love either one of you and your endless energy and talent! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! THANK YOU!!!

      • Jack says:

        Nothing helps Kale — not even healthy !

  4. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    So nice to meet you, Margot! That baby!xoxo Love how Margot expresses herself in all things, from her art, to feathering her nest, and her clothes! That is the cutest ruffled skirt I’ve ever seen, and I remember it from when you posted pix previously, I think from a bridal shower? (I also remember your beautiful table.). The most touching photo on this post is the one of the two of you, which tells the story of love between best girlfriends. Thank you for sharing!

    For sharing this creative and very talented woman.
    Not only is she all that, but she must have a ton of patience and be very warm blooded!
    Great post!

  6. carolynn says:

    wow!!! Loved this blog, it opened up a new world for a lot of people, I’m sure. I have a friend who is mermaid crazy and I can’t wait to share Margot’s mermaids with her.

  7. peg says:

    Wow and WOW! Love Margot’s work!!!! And, here’s something to think about…there’s no dusting needed for the intricate scroll & molding! A win-win all the way around. Thank you, Sue, for sharing Margot with us. She is truly lovely and her passion just illuminates the room! She glows with it! Lucky, lucky you to have her as your friend. I’m off to check out her book….looks intriguing!! Have a wonderful weekend, dear Sue…..we are back in the 90’s so yard work will commence before breakfast and cease by noon! xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      You are so right Peg! No dusting! Probably saved thousands of work hours by doing this! 🙂 Margot is a wonderful writer, I know you’ll enjoy her book.xoxo

  8. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Jewels….jewels…and more jewels!!!! Thank you Susan for sharing this beautiful story about your friend Margot! You surely have a treasure chest of friendship knowing her!!! Looks like Martha’s Vineyard currently has it’s most famous historical figures living on the island today!!!! Amazing, just amazing!!!

  9. judy says:

    Being a retired librarian, I recognize the Carly Simon books that Margot illustrated. It is so nice to know more about Margot, the artist. Another great post Susan! Thank you for your inspiration and for sharing your friends and their talents. It is a joy to come here every time! Continued good luck on your new book.

  10. Tara says:

    Wasn’t Margot the artist who illustrated Carly Simon’s children’s book “Amy the Dancing Bear”. I have loved her work for so long!

  11. jamie hopkins says:

    oh my. thanks for sharing these. she’s a wonderful painter. I love that people for generations to come with be able to see her work. Sometimes I feel like we don’t do enough for future generations. Have a great Easter!

  12. Troy Louise says:

    What a wonderful post. Scarlet & her baby are adorable. Margot is beyond words – what an amazing lady. Thanks for sharing her beautiful work with us.

  13. Julia says:

    OMGoodness! (ST said that) All that talent and a precious
    granddaughter, too. You are a good friend. Why do you think
    creative people seem to be drawn to an island? It’s the same
    here in SC. Lots of drunk poets and artists! Just kidding!

    • sbranch says:

      Ha ha ha . . . I think living here you HAVE to get creative, because if you can’t make something work for yourself, there’s not much else . . . no industry or anything like that.

  14. Paula DePalma says:

    Thank you for your blog today! The murals are beautiful. There is a lot of talent on the Vineyard!

  15. Bonnie says:

    Wonderful wonderful post! Beautiful baby, beautiful church.

  16. Nicki Anderson says:

    Aren’t “Best Friends” wonderful.? You can surely see the love between you two girls ! It is a beautiful thing.

  17. Cheryl Craven says:

    Susan, thank you for sharing the work of Margot. She is an amazing woman!! Her daughter was so kind to let you post pictures of her darling baby!!! On this damp, dreary day over here in “America” this post was a ray of sunshine!

  18. Dear Susan. I have admired your talent for such a long time. Your paintings, books and the way you have decorated your home with cherished items from the past and present. You have brought to our attention many of your talented friends by showing their art and creativity. From the US to Europe, your friends range from far and near. You keep sharing them with us, so we may enjoy the pleasure you receive from knowing them and in turn we derive pleasure from meeting them through your blog. Thank you so much Susan, and I will look forward to see the Spring blossom as you share your home and the kitties and the beautiful Island that is your home.

  19. Carol D. in Sierra Madre, CA says:

    Loved your blog today! Margot is such a talented, creative person! You’re both so lucky to have each other as best friends! What she is able to do with a blank wall —WOW! I’d love to see her work in person someday. Have a great weekend and say “Hello” to Joe for us! xoxo

  20. Janet in Rochester says:

    Awwwww. I love it when babies are SO new they still haven’t quite figured out how to get their eyes in focus. So darling. Congrats to the new momma, poppa, grandmas & grandpas etc [and beloved honorary aunts as well]. Georgie has certainly landed herself among Good People. I think she can look forward to many fun, creative and memorable days with her Grandma, for sure. Do you know if Georgie is a Georgianna, Georgeanne, Georgina? Or maybe she’s just Georgie? My maternal grandmother [born 1898] was a Georgianna. It’s such a great old-timey name. PS – not only is Margot an amazing artist but she’s evidently also a high-wire act. Talented AND brave. I could work that high in a cherry-picker because I think I’d feel safe, but there’s no way I could ever take a job that involved months and months on scaffolding anything higher than a stepstool. I love that the church wanted to have that work done too/considered it important. The “before” church was still starkly-beautiful in that old New England way, but Margot’s artistry added so much. Must be deeply-satisfying for her.❤️

  21. Kathy V. says:

    I agree, this is one of your best posts ever. The artwork in the Whaling church is absolutely stunning. What a talent your friend, Margot has! And the comments and photos in friendship are so touching.
    Would love to see the interior of that church some day. Can’t even imagine having a talent like that. Thank you for these marvelous photos. Loved Yoga, the doggy too.

  22. Kathy V. says:

    I love the brown velvet gloves too!

  23. Kelly from Pennsylvania says:

    WOW! I just listened to the story of the renovation of the church and the work that went into the mural. Just fascinating to see the research and understand how the architecture all ties together. A truly phenomenal “re-creation” by Margot Datz! It warms the soul to see the process is not not much different than in 1843. Thank you for sharing Susan!! Love it…. 🙂 Kelly

  24. Andrea Hanson says:

    Margot The Magnificent in her glory spreads her joy as mother, artist, grandmother, lover of life, lover of Tom, and the rest of us who love being her friend. Thank you for condensing all this talent and love in comprehensible technology…Great work about greatness!!!!

  25. Margot }~~~O @ Virginia Beach says:

    Thank you for sharing Margot’s Grand Hall. And her children, grandchild and home! I know she has illustrated other author’s children’s books besides her own.

    Artistic people always have pretty scarves and cute earrings. And don’t forget the shoes and belts! At least the ones I know. I can do the clothing thing, and decorate almost as well as I dress, and I definitely can dress a diningroom table; but that painting thing will never happen in my lifetime. Maybe I will write a book or something…
    Remember girls…We aren’t “Landlocked Mermaids” anymore!!! }~~~O

  26. Sarah says:

    Absolutely incredible. She is truly Michaelangela! 🙂

  27. Susan (Grayslake, IL) says:

    Margot is an artistic genious with a beautiful daughter, grand-daughter, and dear friend (Susan Branch). Thank you for sharing her story and artwork. I hope to follow her on FB too.

  28. Beth from San Diego says:

    AMAZING! Thanks for sharing. She’s an original.

  29. Sheila Fuesting says:

    Susan, thank you so much for this post. The baby is just adorable! Those eyes! They make you wonder just what she is thinking. Precious. And Margot? A fairy goddess? Truly. Absolutely amazing mural work. She will go down in history. But I’m with you, no way could I get up to even the second step of that scaffold.
    I’m going to pay a visit to her other links to see what else she is doing. Love the picture of the two of you together. Now we’ll always know who Margot is when you mention her name.

  30. Eleanor Haines says:

    A most exceptional honor for a most exceptional woman. So glad Margot and son Tomas found each other and I can say “I know Margot Datz!”
    My thanks to Susan Branch (Ms. Creativity) for enveloping Margot’s strengths and beauty. A well deserved tribute.
    Eleanor Haines

    • sbranch says:

      Oh my goodness, you’re Tom’s Mom! That’s so wonderful. You have a perfectly adorable son! I just called Margot to be sure this was you, and she said, yes, and to say Hello!

  31. Judy C in NC says:

    You sure do keep good company – this is outstanding … I cannot even imagine seeing this work in person and during the progress and “believing it” – Margot is artist Extraordinaire! Just imagine the three generations of such talent in one family and such a beautiful family. Thank you Susan for sharing this friendship with us all. Judy C

  32. Mercedes González says:

    Simply awesome!!!

  33. Conchita says:

    Susan, I love your blog, always and today I just had to leave a comment. What a beautiful baby Scarlet has, so squishable and edible and just so adorable. …and Margot, of my goodness, what amazing talent! I have always admired houses with murals like the one she painted in the church, even the panels are just out of this world, sorry, but words fail me. Just all so amazingly wonderful. Thank you so much sharing this with us all. Every single time I open my email with your posts I am in awe of the beauty you share with us, THANK YOU!!! I LOVE IT and it makes me so happy! 🙂

  34. Carol in KS says:

    Congratulations to Scarlet and family!! Amazing work, Margot!! Thank you for sharing, Susan!

  35. Robin says:

    Oh. My. Oh! My heart swelled. I found myself crying. Literally. Extraordinary. So much talent and generosity in one lovely person. All presented so beautifully by you. Thank you Susan for a blog I’ll never forget (and am now sending on to my friends who are not—yet—one of your friends).

  36. Oh my goodness, what amazing talent. The mural in the music hall is beyond beautiful. I’d have body slammed into it since I cannot believe it’s not a opening in a arched doorway to a hall. What a fun and talented friend, lucky you.
    The baby is adorable, such a sweet post. I always come away with a song in my heart after reading your positive tales.

  37. Betty binder says:

    loved your post and Margot’s paintings. Need to come back to the Vineyard to see it in person! But the real reason for me writing to you is I was reading the L.A. Times this A.M. And came across an article regarding Downton Abby. Knowing how much you LOVE the show (me too) and maybe you already know, but season six will be the last season. Oh no they can’t do this, or should I say they already have! Not only do they make us wait until next January, but now they leave us with this shocker. So sad!!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, we do know that. Sends an icicle through my heart. We have one more season, I don’t want to think about it now, I’ll think about it later.

      • Susan on Bainbridge Island, Washington state says:

        And it came out yesterday, that there is a possibility that there will be a Downton Abbey MOVIE!!! can you imagine how wonderful that would be? fingers crossed!

  38. Lacy says:

    My heart skipped a beat when I saw the photo of Yoda the dog next to the container of grapes. Among other foods, grapes or raisins are extremely toxic to dogs & cats. Sorry, if I’m a bit over board but, animal welfare is important to me and should be important to everyone.

    Pet owners get in the bad habit of giving their pet’s human food as treats. This can turn into a big problem, because some common foods can be poisonous for dogs and cats.

    For instance, grapes and raisins are delicious and healthy snacks for humans, but can be potential health threats for your pets. Owners should avoid giving any pets grapes or raisins and be on the lookout for signs of toxicity if a pet ever eats these fruits.

    Signs of toxicity:
    Vomiting is usually seen within 12 hours of ingestion. Other signs that may occur within 24 hours include:
    Lack of appetite
    Decreased urination
    Abdominal pain
    Possibly death

    • sbranch says:

      They were actually blueberries, which aren’t toxic to dogs, but the berries were for us at the beach party, Yoda had no interest . . . but it’s always good to be reminded.

      • Lacy says:

        So happy to hear they were blueberries! Yummy!

        Those are excellent for dogs as well as humans for their antioxidant properties.

        Sorry, if I came across as an alarmist. Having lost a dog to kidney & liver issues I’m a little over protective.

        I’m more a chicken & not a wolf. (smile)

  39. Robin on the Vineyard says:

    I just read this top to bottom three times. This is an incredibly beautiful tribute to one of the most talented and amazing people that I have ever met created by another woman who is equally and talented and delightful. I am so happy that you two met each other many years ago and have enriched each others’ lives so deeply.

    • sbranch says:

      We have spent many years over my kitchen table solving the world’s problems 🙂 and figuring out how it all works, we are a work in progress, but in it to win it, and always friends.

  40. Ellen says:

    How wonderful to have and share so much love and affection for such a dear friend. Lucky her and lucky you. A beautiful post, really, really beautiful.

  41. Mary Ann now in TN says:

    Thank you for such an uplifting post. Margot is wonderful! How fortunate to have her in your life. But I have a feeling you attract many wonderful people, dear Susan.

  42. Penny H. from Oceanside, CA says:

    goodness gracious ~ thank you for sharing Margot and thanks to Margot for sharing her daughter and new granddaughter ~ I sure hope you’ll show us what Margot does with the rest of her life and what exercise routine she uses following the 20 times a day up and down the scaffolding 🙂
    PS ~ is your snow all gone yet?

    • sbranch says:

      It’s Gone! Hallelujah! Now for some warmth and we’ll really have something.

      • Maureen MacKenzie says:

        It’s back……we have an inch+ on the north shore of Long Island already this morning. We keep saying that this is the last snow of the season…over and over. But we know what’s under it: snowdrops and crocus already blooming and tulips and daffodils growing steadily. So, enjoy the “last” snowfall of the season! (Yes, I’m trying to be positive about it.) 😉

  43. Cynthia L says:

    Thank you so much for all the work making this blog entry to honor Margot the Amazing.
    I am thrilled that she has Precious Georgie to add another blessed dimension to her family.
    Here in New Orleans, I am the proud recipient of Margot’s artistic prowess…we have 2 fabulous wall murals painted in 2012 and 2013. I wish, I wish I had more blank wall space.
    It is so wonderful to see the pictures you posted of The Whaling Church. Margot really is a modern day Michelangelo.
    We miss you Margot ! Come back soon !

    • sbranch says:

      Isn’t that fun? I don’t think you have to worry about Margot getting back to New Orleans, she adores New Orleans, talks about it all the time. Nice to hear from you Cynthia!

  44. CarolK from NJ says:

    What talent and all on that little island. If I thought it was contagious I’d move there in a heart beat!

  45. Judy says:

    My Grandgirls, ages 5 and 6, said…..those are the best shoes EVER, referring to the silver sandals.

  46. Wonderful, wonderful post, Susan! I found myself smiling throughout. You are blessed with genuine, talented friends. Please have the ‘1866, Dinah Craik friendship quote printed to 5×7 or 8×10 so that we can bestow the charming sentiment on our very best friends…selling them in your store.

    Take Joy!

  47. Susan Boucher says:

    Aloha Again Susan,
    Thank-you so much for sharing Margot’s wonderful work! What an amazing artist. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this piece and aren’t girlfriends GRAND?
    Aloha from a surviving mermaid in the sea! 🙂
    Susan from Maui

  48. Pamela Jewett says:

    Hi Susan,
    Wow! Margot is a regular Michael Angelo… talent and no fear of heights.
    Bravo to her and to the historical society for choosing the right person. Love your post today. Definitely a happy one.
    xoxo Pam

  49. Peggy Cooper, Pueblo, CO says:

    Oh oh oh! First when I saw the baby’s picture I thought what a doll. Gorgeous baby – gorgeous mother. Thank you Scarlet for sharing you precious one with us. Then seeing Margot’s work and Margot herself is like a work of art. Oh – as the English say, I’m gob smacked! My mouth hung open over that mural. I’ve been looking at a lot of blogs showing minimalist and neutral styles and thinking I needed to change my look, but now I’m thinking I have to add even more color and interest to my rooms. That’s more me and I need to get over wanting one of those pristine houses the young ones are going for. And Margot certainly is Margot! I feel like I know her, or at least want to know her just by seeing how she lives. Oh, I’m feeling so inspired! Thank you Susan for being you and letting us share in your world. Maybe you can show us more of Margot’s home some day!

    • sbranch says:

      That less is more thing is lovely to look at in magazine pictures, but the question is, where do we put our teapots? 🙂

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        Agree … You can never have too many teapots 🙂

      • Diane Harris says:

        We stayed recently at a friend’s home in Phoenix that they’d had redone into something out of Architectural Digest. It was wonderful but I want curves, chintz and color. Enough with the neutrals, I say!

        • lin rader says:

          Me too, life is dull without chintz, teapots and memories. That is why I love England! Hard to snuggle in a sterile environment, but a lovely chintz chair with a cup of tea and a susan branch book. Now that is comfort and solace any day!

      • Peggy Cooper, Pueblo, CO says:

        Smile, smile, smile! Where indeed! We need to be ourselves. I’m 66 and still learning this. Which is why you are so important to us. Less isn’t more, more is more!

  50. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh my! Margot is absolutely amazing!! I still cannot wrap my brain around that “flat” wall! But I sure would love to wrap my arms around that sweet little baby! It is just adorable! Thanks for this wonderful tour! Bless her creative heart!

  51. Cyndi in NC says:

    Oh my goodness I’m breathless! The talent she possesses is I don’t even know the right word for it! I have talents but Margot is something else, something very special!! That and you can just tell she’s a fireball! You all are very lucky, you have a special friendship. That and baby and puppy oh my! Are they just so cute I could eat them up! I enjoy all of your blogs but this is an extra special one. But I have to add that Girl Kitty and Jack have nothing to worry about, they are still our favorites!! I have to show my husband this tomorrow. He’ll appreciate it! Hugs to all!

  52. Diana, Highland, IL says:

    Oh this post’. First the baby! Adorable! Just want to hold her and smell that beautiful baby smell. Her mother is gorgeous, and thank her for sharing her precious baby with us. Then Margot! I’m so glad you said she was 61 as I just turned 61 and am hanging on to my long hair. Hers is beautiful just like her, and now I must look further into her art. My favorite is the picture of you two. You can see the love and Margot is just savoring the opportunity to show you how she feels! Brought tears to my eyes? Oh, love her gloves too. In my mind I would totally dress that way but I end up in my safe clothes. Ah well, I’m working on being the bohemian soul I truly am. Lol. Thanks Susan for sharing.

  53. Ginene Nagel says:

    I thought the baby was a work of art until I viewed Margot’s work. I am in awe. I’ll probably go over this post 10 times as I’ve long wanted to paint murals like that in my old bank building. It wouldn’t take me two years it would take me 10 years and it wouldn’t look like hers. The cabin, the clothes…oo la la – thata lady has gotta style!

  54. Vicki S says:

    Wonderful fun! Is it possible that Margot is the same magical artist who did the wonderful murals at the Daggett House? We stayed there about 20 years ago and I’ve never forgotten those wonderful paintings.

  55. Sara says:

    Oh my. My, my, my, my, MY! You have wonderful friends, who are just as warm and talented as you are, Susan. So happy for you! And so happy for me too, because I got to read your blog and smile, and ooh and ah! Thank you, Susan, what a lovely respite from this lingering winter. Blessings… Sara

  56. Pat W. says:

    Exceptional & terrific blog … I was so overcome with joy & awe of all this beauty…baby, friendship, artist, creativity….thank you Susan for sharing. What a truly special relationship with Margot … the picture says it all. You are so fortunate & so are all who go to the church. I do not have a long “bucket list”, but the Whaling Church is definitely on there now. Words escape me…how can we ever thank you for opening our minds, hearts & eyes to such truly amazing new people in this world.

    • sbranch says:

      I think what goes on with Margot, goes on, in its own way, everywhere. People going their best and making a difference. We just don’t hear enough about them.

  57. What a lovely story. How nice to meet Margot et al. I wonder is she has heard of the amazing painted churches in Schulenburg, Texas. Might be worth a trip some day. Y’all come too, ya heah?

  58. Linda says:

    The birth announcement is the most original one I have ever seen……….so very clever..frameable! AND of course that darling baby!!! Makes me long to hold a little one in my arms. you definitely need to get the snuggly for you and Jack!!!
    The mural is so realistic…amazing. So much talent wrapped up in that one woman!
    I have a friend you has a business called “A Passion To Paint” and she does murals in private homes as well as commercial buildings. She was commissioned by our local hospital to paint murals of underwater creatures for the children’s ward and it was so beautiful! I also grew up with a famous local artist who lived behind us who painted the walls of anything—even the insides of her kitchen cabinets. She also painted the walls of a local children’s hospital for free with wonderful drawings. Old mills, barns, restaurants…nothing escaped her brushes!! Her name was Tiny Donelson and I miss her every day but have a home filled with her artwork!! Thanks for this wonderful post. It also brought back so many memories of my friends. Linda from Idaho where it has been like summer—70’s and wearing short sleeve shirts and swinging in my hammock!! PS loved the darling pic of you and Margot!!

    • sbranch says:

      Margot was commissioned by our local hospital to do an underwater sea creature mural too! Isn’t that interesting. Sounds almost like the same person!

  59. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    What wonderful friends you have. Thanks for sharing the unique creations and that log house décor !!! Love it. I think Georgie the adorable new baby, has landed in a most marvelous place to start her earthly journey. Makes me happy to think about it. I’ll be spending some time perusing Margot’s website. Love the mermaids and everything else. It must be close to your birthday about now, Susan, so Happy Birthday when it happens.

  60. judi says:

    Thank you for this lovely post about your adorable, talented dear friend Margot. Her daughter and new sweet granddaughter are scrumptious! How lucky to have them in your life (and you in theirs).
    Margot’s talent is …words fail. You can almost see the creative juices flowing in her birth announcement – wow – you even see the seasons change. Love her flair and remember the famous “table” skirt we all fell in love with from a past post. She is truely amazing.
    Best of days with your new book, stay warm and a special hug to the “new” kaledaddy:) xoxo judi

  61. Sue says:

    Loved this post, Susan — darling babies and their fabulous families — but the best part of all was that the completely pure celebration of your wonderful friend’s talent shone throughout. With you two both being in similar creative fields it would be easy to see a hint of jealousy somewhere in the realationship, but you make it obvious that you are so very proud of Margot’s accomplishments and talent…that’s the glorious thing about TRUE friendship, isn’t it? If we’d just check Webster’s carefully, I’m certain that would be part of the definition. The only thing I can think of more fun than hanging out with the two of you is hanging out with my own wonderful BFFs.


  62. gerri keating says:

    Oh Susan, thank you so much for sharing the phenomenal creativity of this woman. I so enjoyed seeing what she can do and does, in so many areas of her life. You are indeed lucky, to have such a friend…and she to have you.

  63. Allison says:

    A little “Georgie girl” – how precious! Nothing says happy spring like a new little one.

    Best wishes,
    Allison & my lambs Annie & Clara

  64. Sharon . . . currently on the coast in South Carolina says:

    WOW!!! How amazingly magnificent Margot’s Trompe-l’oeil mural is! I am in TOTAL AWE of it and of her!! I must come to visit Martha’s Vineyard so that I can see The Whaling Church in Edgartown. You and Joe live is such a magical place! Happy Spring Susan, Joe and kitties. I just got the news this past week that I am now “under contract” to compile my book! YAY!!! I am so excited!

  65. Margot }~~~O @ Virginia Beach says:

    I am just fasinated by the 3-dimension in the murals Margot paints. I love the mural she painted for the library too…! I used to draw houses when I was a kid and could never get it right. I keep looking at the picture where the corner comes together with different shades of gray stripes. Amazing!
    The other thing that amazes me is how she got up on the scaffolding and could paint without shaking!
    Tell Margot I am going to use the garbage bag idea when I go to work on the boat. Fiberglass splinters. I should write a book about boat repair entitled “The Sailor and the Mermaid, Stories of their non-sailing adventures.”, since I have told him that’s us for years. LOL
    I LOVE the friend hug…the way Margot hugged you shows she cherishes your friendship very much!

  66. Anne says:

    What a remarkable talent! And she has beautiful hair!!

  67. Margot }~~~O @ Virginia Beach says:

    A Mermaid’s dilemma: So many beautiful shoes, such a tail…What’s a girl to do??

  68. Jack says:

    Tell Margo to have Tom nail a strip of wood across the ends of those planks she uses when up on the scaffold — that will insure they won’t ever slip sideways !

    • sbranch says:

      Oh dad you are so cute. I bet Tom would love to hear that. Lucky for him Margot’s done and the scaffolding is down and gone! xoxo

      • Jack says:

        I know — but I’m thinking of her “next” scaffolding job . It’s ok until
        It falls –like the glass shelf on our etagere……

    • Margot }~~~O @ Virginia Beach says:

      That is such a fantastic safety tip Blog Daddy!!! My dad was always safety conscience too, and so is my Arnie. Is that from good NAVY training? My Arnie claims he learned safety from his dad.

  69. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Wonderful blog, fills me with great joy that I can sit here & yet be there with you all! What a treat to see darling Georgie & her Mommy & Grandma! Amazing artistic talent dear Margot, & good grief you can still have a steady hand on top of a scaffolding!!! Happy heart here, thank you dear Susan! Waitinggggg for your latest book! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I have cried buckets reading it, I think you are going to like it! 🙂

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Awww, it’s so near and dear to your heart, as it will be to ours! !! Sending you a magic wand tap & prayers that your book will soon be at “The End” & on its way out to us & flying off the shelves! xoxoxo

  70. Elly says:

    WOW! Beautiful baby! Beautiful mom! Beautiful grandma! Fabulous artist! And last, but certainly NOT least; as you say, Lucky you, to be a part of their lives! What sheer joy! Thanks SO much for sharing this part of your life!
    I really enjoyed the short clip of the restoration of the Whaling Church. I went to and “liked” Margot’s FB page! Going through her posts and viewing her paintings, I was struck by her insightful and thoughtful comments about how she views life! Simply wonderful! Thanks again, Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you for liking Margot’s page. I really think more people would love to know about her!

  71. Diana from Ohio says:

    Wow there are so many great blogs and each one is my favorite! I have always admired anyone that is an artist but always am fascinated by Tromp L’oeil. My word the work it took on the church. The town I am sure is proud so proud of Margot’s work.Would really love to see it sometime. And the house. I could just keep on gushing but won’t. Thank you for sharing.
    PS love the announcement. What imagination!

  72. Barbora says:

    Beautiful! Beautiful baby, beautiful daughter, beautiful grandmother, beautiful everywhere and everything. Susan, thank you for sharing this with us. You are beautiful, too.

  73. Maureen MacKenzie says:

    Wow…what talent!

  74. Diane Harris says:

    Hello Susan,

    I’ve not posted in awhile; who wants to hear me slobbering all over your wonderfulness with every blog, but this one put me over the moon, and I HAD to interrupt your day to thank you for this intimate look into your life and that of your dear friend Margot. Thank you for using “100 years” as your music for this blog; it is perfect; I used it twice for the slide shows I created for both of our daughter’s high school graduation class. So wonderful!

    And they call me the ‘baby hog’ at church because I adore that two ball stage of life, where there is a head ball and a body ball and they’re still all curled up like they were in the womb, before their limbs start reaching and grabbing! I could feel her wonderfulness from here.

    And being a huge fan and owner of trompe d’oeil, I could not stop looking at the work of the Queen Margot (whose sense of style is at the top of my list)! When I win the HGTV house on Martha’s Vineyard, I’ll be there to see it in person! Hear me squeal?!

    And finally, yes, please do buy one of those papoose things for Girl Kitty! and show us how you two look with it on!

    I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing more of this new book!! When can you reveal more info?

    Hugs from the frigid hills of western PA!

    Diane Marie

  75. Linda T. from Maine says:

    The baby is so adorable. I loved those brown shoes Margot wore. Love them. Thanks for all the pics today. Happy spring to you also. LOVE the daffodills.

  76. Carol Maurer~~~~ Kennewick, Wa says:

    Hi Susan and to all girlfriends~~~

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post and all the lovely pictures of the church restoration of Edgartown Whaling Church. Margot’s little grand daughter, Georgette is the most precious baby! I remember you mentioning how Margot’s painting were so life like. Thank you for sharing with us all.

    Carol M

  77. Jennie Lou says:

    Oh! What breathtaking goings on on your end of the globe! I have been trying to put thoughts into words for hours and get lost, deleting what turns into gibberish time and again. I could almost see my Mother, a kindred spirit on so many levels, sitting up on that scaffold, fearless, vibrant, in her maroon BAUMHOLDER GERMANY sweatshirt with paint scraps on it, her big-framed, black, Edith Head glasses pushed close to her eyes, nodding and listening, her eyes never leaving her sketchpad. So much more. Thank you and thank you for sharing Margot with us. You connect us to a bigger world.

  78. Robin - Henderson, NV says:

    Amazing! What a transformation! What a perfectly lovely church! Thanks SB!

  79. What an amazing talent, Margot has! I love her eccentric ways! And her daughter and grandbaby are adorable!

  80. Asha says:

    Oh Susan! You have done it again. Just when I needed a pick-me-up the most, you posted a beautiful new child from heaven and an artist beyond belief! Thank you. I was in a motor vehicle accident early this afternoon. Everyone is ok but shaken. When things calmed down, I decided to see if you had a new post and here you are! Our son was married in the Old Whaling Church 10 years ago. Unfortunately, the marriage didn’t last but the memories of that wedding in that beautiful church will stay with me always! I am excited to see the beautiful new art work someday when we again visit MV. Thank you, Margot and thank you Susan for sharing your wonderful work with us! OX

  81. Frances Fowler says:

    You talented artists hang together! As for the baby gnome, how many times, on the way to an infinite number in her lifetime, have those precious little cheeks been smooched? What a beautiful family, all of ’em!

  82. Steve & Karen says:

    Hi Susan, My wife Karen is longtime fan of your work and every so often, she will share something particularly creative or interesting with me. This piece takes the cake. What a wonderful achievement on Margo’s part. Truly amazing. It makes us want to go and see it firsthand – ideally with strings playing in the background and perhaps champagne served after. And in a perfect world, Yoda would be there in full punk hair regalia. It’s good of you to share the limelight with other artists and creative souls – not everyone would be so generous. Keep up the great work!

    • sbranch says:

      The champagne and the strings are very possible ~ that’s what the Whaling Church is often used for now, not too sure about Yoda! Thank you and Karen for your nice comment.

  83. Monique says:

    She is beautiful..her daughter is..and her grand daughter is♥
    What a lucky litte girl to have such a creative nana.
    Her artwork is unbelievabe..her home..
    Your friendship together…lucky girls!

  84. Virginia says:

    A wonderful inspiring post and the best part about it is how you portray the friendship between two women, both artists, and all of your other Vineyard friends, whatever their own creative pursuits may be. And how perfect that your art, your creativity, and Margot’s extends to your homes as well as your profession.

    Artists’ homes–and the rest of our homes as well–are really a doorway to our souls. Your post is the perfect picture of that.

  85. Pat Stansel says:

    Margot doesn’t let a moment go by without putting it to good use ! Also it looks like she lives her life with joy, enthusiasm& whimsy—what a lesson on living a full & purposeful life ! Thank you for letting us meet your special friend !

  86. Carolyn says:

    Magnificent baby, magnificent artwork, magnificent friendship.

  87. Julie says:

    Margot. Wow. I so enjoyed this post. Babies, artists, writers, oh my! All of my favorite things wrapped up in one post. Thank you for the visual feast!

  88. Fan in California says:

    Thanks, Susan, for sharing Margot’s exquisite work!! The talent!! Amazing!! Thanks for another delightful installment!!!

  89. Carol from PA says:

    I am speechless…in an utterly peaceful, thankful, amazed and gratuitous way. I wish the feeling to never end! How could anything but pure perfection exist within the walls of that that is named “The Whaling Church”! Intriguing in itself!! I just adore how important it is to you, Susan, to share with us the incredible creativity of the meaningful persons in your life. That alone is so very special of you and so generous of spirit. A huge thank you to both you and Margot for bringing so much beauty into this world. We must never take it for granted and rejoice in it daily.

  90. Pat Johnson says:

    This was a special treat to see such amazing art work! It always amazes me when seeing something this grand and almost unbelievable – but there it is! And that beautiful baby! I had my beautiful baby visiting this weekend and there is nothing like having a baby in the house – if only for a little while. And I had to chuckle reading your Dad’s comments – he is obviously much better. By the way, it was 100 degrees in Paso Robles, CA today! What is the deal here??? Hugs……….

    • sbranch says:

      He planted three tomato plants yesterday. He’s in an indomitable spirit. Yikes 100 degrees. Whoo!

  91. Terri says:

    Welcome to the world, gorgeous baby Georgie! Congratulations to her lovely family and fairy godmothers too! What a wonderfully loving, creative world for this sweet little gnome girl to grow up in. Everything about this post is simply beautiful.

  92. AngieTink says:

    ☆♬♬♬❀♡❀♡♡♫♫☆Good~Sunday~Morning Sweet Sue (Palm~Sunday) 🙂 I’ve Read & Re~read This Blog~Post….Listened To Both Musica~Choices (LOVE) 🙂 & Looked & Studied Each Photo…..Absolutely~Scrumptious! 🙂 & I Say….”Bravo” Sweetest Sue & Thank~You for Sharing Your Magical~Talented~ Margot & Elf~Scarlet & Baby~Georgie (Oh So Cute!) & Yoda (*woof*) 🙂 AMAZING!!! & I Adore Margot’s Enchanted~Cottage & That “Doll~House” Over The Mantle (My Wings are Still Fluttering!!!!!) 😉 I LOVE How “True~Kindred~Spirits” Find Each~Other & Simply “Connect” It Gives Me Goosebumps…..& Makes Me Feel all Warm & Fuzzy & My Smile on Me Pumpkin~Face is HUGE! 🙂 Again Thank~You For Sharing Your Enchanting Magical Glorious World & Friends with All of Us~Girlfriends Sweetest Sue! Wishing You & Joe & The Kitties a Delightful Springtime~Day! Yay! xoxo Poof! ☆♬♬♬❀♡❀♡♡♫♫☆

  93. Jack says:

    Sue, you and I are probably the only ones who remember Yoda, the mini collie dog?
    That was before Margot started using dog fur in her artwork!

  94. Melody says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us. The church is absolutely fabulous!! What an amazing job she did with it. Truly wonderful.

  95. Sharon says:

    Susan I’m speechless!! Do you understand the abundant happiness, love, and beauty you fill my heart, mind, and soul with? Including your magically delightful friends here is just like extra chocolate syrup! With a heavy, sad heart I opened your blog this morning hoping for a much needed pick me up to help me carry my burdens today. You filled my bucket today with a smile, delight, magic, and comfort. There is an apparent spring in my step because you share yourself with me.



  96. June Fisher says:

    Just delightful, Susan, from beginning to end…

  97. I have no breath left!! What a wonderful visit I have had today. thank you.

    • Kathy Phenix says:

      Susan Lounsbury are you from CT? Because I have a cousin by your name and don’t know what has happened to her. Lounsbury was my maiden name.

  98. Lynne Neal says:

    Oh I so enjoyed reading that blog. The church is beautiful and Margot’s working is just amazing ,what a talented individual.
    Susan your photographs are also wonderful and you did an amazing job of capturing this . thank you so much for that glimpse into your life .

  99. Kathy says:

    This is just unbelievable! Margot is more than talented. Thank you so much for sharing, Susan. Your blogs are simply…inspiring, not to mention a pleasure to read and enjoy! No wonder you two are close friends–creativity galore! 🙂

  100. Tana says:

    I am at a loss for words. Bravo Margot, Bravo.

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