The whole quote from my mom’s letter is “Bye ~ Your very own Mommy, Patsy, Popsy, Pooples . . . ” That’s how she is. 😇 Here comes Mother’s Day, thought I’d play you one of her favorite songs ~ she sang it when I was little as she walked through our house, collecting clothes to do the laundry or while stirring soup … MUSICA 🌼
As of yesterday I finished writing the words for my new Christmas book🤣 ~ that’s how I’ve been keeping busy! And there’s Joe, not letting the rain get him down, going through my pages to make sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Now I get to start painting and putting it into my “good handwriting.” I’m thinking I’ll call it a Susan Branch Christmas Story. All the other titles have been taken. Would LIKE to call it A Christmas Carol, but that perfect title is definitely gone! It’s been lovely writing this book, spending so much time with my mother at least in my imagination ~ the book is about the joys of Christmastime at our little house when I was young, circa 1957, the oldest of eight children, and my mom’s right-hand person.I don’t think I’ve ever written a book that wasn’t an ode to my mother. She and her simple, down-to-earth, practical wisdom are between the lines of every page.
Yes, she’s between every line … I’ve tried all my life to show her what her sweet devotion to her family has meant to me . . . I could never find enough words, but I’m pretty sure most of you know . . . you have mothers too.💞
No, you never get over it. Another of my attempts to tell her . . . for her 80th Birthday Party, our family came together to create for her an album of love… I sent blank pages of a large photo album to our family and friends so everyone could contribute pictures, stories, poems, quotes, and memories to her book. Of course, this book became her most-loved thing. It had her whole life story in it, told by the people she loved most.
This was one of the pages I did for her … I have pretty much every card and letter she ever sent me, my mom was a prolific letter-writer for as long as she was able . . . I pulled out excerpts from just a few things for this page … so she could actually see some of what she’s put out there all these years. She will never know, it all seems so normal to her. There, in the middle, you can see who she is: “Bye– your very own Mommy, Patsy, Popsy, Pooples.” My very own. That tells me she knew.💞
Wishing all you moms and grandmas, you nurturers and caregiver-types who make something from nothing every day, a very
H A P P YHave I said thank you for what you do? This world would be no good without you!💞
So what else is new in the House of Creativity? Calendars are humming along … I just received the proofs … the calendars aren’t assembled yet, but the manufacturer asks me to approve the colors. They look beautiful if I do say so myself… Approved!✅ For all of you that have ordered, we should have them in the Studio by July. (I wonder what the world will be like in July?)
Outside, Nature is doing all her creating the old-fashioned way! Painting the world my favorite colors of pink and green!
Making me hum old songs like Lida Rose …🎶
For several years, kind of quietly, whenever I feel like it and have time, or if Kellee asks, I’ve been designing prints to put in our web store. First there was one, then there were two, and over the years, slowly but surely, they kept coming ~ but I’ve never looked at how many we had and never wrote about them. Recently Kellee suggested, “Let’s weed out our prints, and see if there is anything new you want to add.”
So I did . . . you’ll recognize some of them because much of the art comes from my books . . . but lately I’ve been inspired . . .
to add some new ones … and put them all on sale in honor of Mother’s Day ~ And the Dam Panic, and being trapped, and perhaps needing a light-hearted hug. Starting today and for the whole month of May! Might as well get them out there where they can bring cheer rather than have them in a dark corner of our shipping barn! Some of my prints were inspired by what we’re going through now…💙
Many of the prints have my favorite quotes . . .
To make it easy, I think maybe all but two fit into a standard 8″x10″ frame.
This one, “New Rules,” you might remember from A Fine Romance . . . (I see my mother here, especially #7).
My Grandma’s Pie Crust recipe (along with “Pie Craft,”) both from the 30th Anniversary of the Heart of the Home ~ it’s pretty easy to see my grandma here! Proof that no matter how far I’ve traveled, I’ve never gotten too far from home.💞
There’s also Bathroom Art, the art from these two is from Girlfriends Forever.
You can see close-ups of the rest of the prints HERE!
Oh yes, can’t forget this one, perfect timing for Reasons To Go On Living . . . Have faith Girlfriends (and boyfriends, too), life will come back to normal, despite all the yammering on TV (A reminder: you own it, it doesn’t own you💞), there are a LOT of brilliant people out there working day and night to solve this thing. And while I’m thinking of it, my prayers join yours for the suffering, the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, and for those that have lost loved ones. Such a scary time. My tears join yours for the tremendous acts of courage, compassion, and selflessness we are learning about daily ~ and our gratitude goes out to all those who are sacrificing so much for the greater good. This is America. It’s what we do for EACH OTHER that matters. Be strong, as Queen Elizabeth put it so perfectly, “with quiet, good-natured resolve.” And listen to your Governors. Unless they are insane. Then listen to yourself, you with the common sense.♥️ The sun will come out, tomorrow.
And don’t forget … I put a pattern for this crown in my last post . . . there’s a link there with instructions you can print out to make your own Mother’s Day crown (just scroll down to next post) . . . It’s free, and fun to make someone’s day (there’s my mom again😍).
Oh! And something else I wanted to give you ~ this is the BEST recipe!
Next forage-trip to the supermarket, don’t forget to get the ingredients for these delicious pancakes… you will love them! Banana Fritters would be a wonderful Mother’s Day treat, too … that recipe is in the post below this one.💞
Remember the photo of Joe in the last post? When he was going to
rob the supermarket? Barbara Cummins, one of our darling Girlfriends, saw it and decided to sketch it and send it to me . . . isn’t it cute? I printed it out and put it on our fridge!
Then Barbara saw a photo of me wearing my mask . . . and she did it all over again! I don’t think we could ever forget this Dam Panic, but this assures it! Thank you Barbara!
I know, don’t be afraid! It’s only Jack! So Kellee gets this idea to make a Jack-mask from a painting I did of him with a rubber band in his mouth… she made this paper mock-up just to get an idea of what it might look like, thinking she could probably fix that rubber band if we decided to do it. But when I put this thing in front of my face it was so frightening, we realized that unless it came with matching ears we would scare everyone at the supermarket. Might even be worse with ears, might need a tail too. So, no … we decided we love it, but we’re never going to make it! Gone, but not forgotten!So, one more gift from me to you with love . . . GREEN, the color of spring, of life, renewal, nature, energy, growth, harmony, safety, and the environment … I think we need some of all of that … so, from my “Green” file . . . I give you . . . GREEN!
This is what we’re waiting for . . . this is the green of a New England Spring just after the leaves open.🌿
This green matches the New England green perfectly, but it’s a door on a cottage in the Cotswolds.
Joe’s showing me my iron bunny rowing his leaf through the snow…
Green beans . . .
Peter Rabbit Room dressed for winter.
Beautiful green tea set that was a giveaway here on the blog a couple of years ago…It’s gone, but it’s almost as good just to have the photos!
Me, as a tree-hugger, walking in the woods around Lake Winnipesaukee.🌳
Saw this little car in England… I think they were advertising astro turf!
Two greens: the screen door, and Jack’s eyes!
If you’re painting words about Ireland, you have to do it in green! It’s a rule!☘️
Old books had the BEST covers! Works of art!
Quilts airing on the line last fall.
Green trim on a very old house in Hingham, MA … there is a little baby looking out the top-right window!
Me, in the backyard of Holly Oak, when the neighbor’s cows surprised me with a visit!
Found a heart rock on the beach!
Self-explanatory … green!
Darling old magazine from 1934 found at a yard sale.
Glass creamers and sugar bowls make very nice votive holders! Second hand stores, antique stores, yard sales!
We still have this pattern for my chair pillow in our Love to Sew section … looks darling on kitchen chairs.
This green-roofed hotel in Long Beach California is where my mom met my dad at a dance in 1945. He was wearing his sailor uniform …I took this picture from the deck of the Queen Mary, (the old one that’s permanently docked there).
Great garden book! Sometimes we have copies of this in our bookstore… it’s old, but so full of inspiration, it makes your hands itch to start gardening.💚
My first painting ever! What a shock to learn, when I was 30, that I could paint! What a surprise! ~ guess you just have to try, because who knows? The original hangs in our dining room.
Postcard from Joe’s collection sings Spring!
My Girl Scout sash (the missing star was lost on a beret sometime in the 80s). Some badges are still pinned where my mother put them “till she had time to sew them on.” Everyone in my troop took horseback-riding lessons which I do not remember! I don’t feel very much like a horsewoman, so that first badge is a quandary. But the rest of them are the story of my life: Storytelling, Child Care, Homemaking, Pen Pal, and Cooking.💚
Here I am, laid back in the Fine Romance Van on the boat going back to the Island.
A cake to celebrate my new book in 2012, in the Before Days, when we could all eat from the same cake!
My other boy.💚Hope you loved the green, it’s like a deep breath of all the things we love. If you find yourself with time on your hands look at the top of my home page, click on HOME SWEET HOME, or I LOVE ENGLAND, ABOUT ME, or VISITING MARTHA’S VINEYARD ~ for more little stories, things you may not have noticed. I’m getting lots of questions about art lately, so you’ll find information about drawing and painting under ABOUT ME.🎨
In a recent post, one of our Girlfriends, Carol Wilson, sent this interesting-looking recipe for Wild Violet Jelly. She called it a “Labor of Love” and I can see why. But read the recipe and see what you think… might be worth a try. Some of us definitely have the time . . . and if you’ve got the violets . . . why not! I think they’d make make an outstanding gift! Perfect tea-party material!
My problem is, so far, I don’t have enough violets. They’re coming up in our lawn, but not very many and the recipe calls for 8 cups of unsprayed, pesticide free, well-washed, common wild violets ~ petals only ~ Eeek. Send your kids to do this! Wash the petals well, divide into two glass bowls, 4 cups in each, and add 4 cups of boiling water to each bowl. Let sit 24 hours. In the meantime, sterilize 1/2 pt. jars and lids (she didn’t say how many, probably 4). Pour petals and water through a sieve, pressing down the petals to get all the water and flavor from the flowers. Keep the flower water, put the used petals in your compost. Boil the flower water with 1/2 c. fresh lemon juice (no seeds), and 3 c. sugar till sugar is dissolved. Add one box (1.75 oz) powdered pectin and boil 2 more minutes. Ladle hot liquid into clean, sterilized jars, leaving a quarter-inch headway, put on lids, cover with water and boil for 5 min. Take them out and make sure they are sealed tight when cooled. “Delicious” Carolyne said, “Beautiful purple-pink color. Spread on homemade biscuits, toast, or cornbread. Enjoy!” Let us know if you try it . . . Thank you Carolyn!
Happy Mother’s Day dear ones.💞 I hope you’re all okay and staying safe . . . I’m thinking about you!