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‘Morning Girls, here’s your MUSICA❗️This is a very good song for memorizing ~ it’s delightful for singing at the top of your lungs in a Smallville shower, nice while cleaning out cupboards, fun while driving in the car, even good if you have to be in bed to wait for your new knee to heal (or something like that).Sing it into the ear of a child, or your better half, and life gets really good.
winter on Martha's Vineyard
Speaking of Smallville; here is a little thing that will make your frozen mornings snow treea little less so. I have two pairs of these darling sexy shoes you see above,the most comfortable shoes in the world . . . this pair is in the kitchen in front of the heating vent getting warm, while the other is on my feet, slowly (but surely) chilling up. Soon I will exchange places with them and my cold feet, as they slip into the deep warmth of freshly heated shoes, will purr the immortal words: Ooo La Wee.
little things
winter dressing for new england
hearts and flowers
Some variation of these two old cashmere sweaters and that brown shawl are my daily outfit for working at my art table. Not pretty, but cozy ~ works perfectly in Smallville. I took the picture pointed at my lap, sucking in my tummy to protect the innocent.
small treats
As you know, I’ve been doing lots of painting for my 2016 calendars, but I took a little time out and did something just for fun I thought you might like to see.
Dapper Paul Lucas
This is Paul Lucas, he is the darling husband of my good friend Rachel. It’s his birthday at the end of the month. And it’s a big one.
Paul, Rachel and Joe
That’s Paul on the left, Ray in the middle,(we’re in Maine) and who’s that other guy in the picture with the beret? Oh, yeah, that’s Joe! Some of you know Ray from Twitter, some know her from Sugar Moon Brownies, and others from her own Blog (she’s more famous every day, another hardworking girl in Smallville) . . . and,
Ray and Pauls
Here’s where they live. You might recognize it because I wrote about Ray and Paul in A FINE ROMANCE; they are English and live in England and part of the reason we went over was to see them. You might remember that wonderful recipe for Ray’s amazing Lemon Butter Cookies on P. 139 of A FINE ROMANCE? (One of our Girlfriends made the cookie HERE in her Blog, in case you don’t have the book but need the recipe!)
hearts and flowers
Paul and Will
This is Paul with Ray’s darling nephew Will. Paul is doing a one-of-a-kind birthday cello recital for Ray’s mum on her sun porch. See? he’s wonderful.
Just ask the love of their lives . . . this is Ray’s and Paul’s “dog” Alice. I use the word “dog” only because I know Alice doesn’t look at blogs.
Alice's collar
Her collar says it all.
dapper paul with mustache
You may have noticed that Paul is the picture of sartorial splendor, he always looks darling. As you know if you read A Fine Romance, he sometimes wears an ascot. He’s one of a kind. I love his new beard and mustache.
It’s men like this that give me hope for the world. (He’s in my pantry ironing his pants a couple of Christmases ago.) So I decided I wanted, even though I’m much too far away to do him total birthday justice, to help him and Rachel
So I decided to paint him in all his charmingness, or at least as much as I could muster onto a flat, non-ukulele-playing piece of paper. Including the dog pin on his lapel and the brilliant scarlet scarf in his pocket.
painting paul
The colors in that photo of him made it easy to make the decision ~ I had fun painting every single stripe, plaid and eye gleam.
If you do it with heart
paint water
I’m almost done!
signing my art
I added words, watercolored his name and then signed it. Paul is funny with words: instead of Vineyard Haven, he calls where we live “the Haven” (no one calls it that); and instead of Martha’s Vineyard which many people shorten to “The Vineyard,” not Paul, he calls it “Martha’s.” He calls Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, “Kimmie.” And now, so do we and all our friends. It’s catching . . . if you like Kimmie, you’ll probably call it that from now on too. It will go viral!
Witty, Talented and Cute. Oh yes, and he raises bees in their garden.
for Paul
So, while Joe reglued an old frame we had lying around Smallville, taking out all the teeny nails and framing it for me . . . I wrote a card, and went looking through my sticker collection for something Birthday-like to put on the cupcakeenvelope. My eye landed on a three-dimensional pink polka-dot birthday hat, with a real, red-yarn pompom on top (no longer being made if you can imagine that sad state of affairs) I tried it on Paul. It fit perfectly. So him.
Paul's Birthday
So I left it, stuck to the outside of the glass, thinking it was kind of the cat’s meow. Joe wrapped it up in 3 lbs of bubble wrap and it’s on the way to England even as we speak.
birthday party
So that’s what makes Smallville special, we’re in charge around here. We make our own fun.
susan branch address books
And now you! You know I can never just come out and announce the winner of a Giveaway. Oh no, must drag out the suspense like my dad used to do at Christmas, thereby almost doing his children in with the hysteria of the thought of what Santa might bring them!!! Unbearable! Hope I can do the same for you. (No, I know ~ it’s not quite the same thing!)
Kate HudsonOK, anyway, Vanna, unlike her usual self (usually she sleeps in late, resting up because of the many Euro Trash parties she loves to attend), is actually already UP, and dressed and ready for her big moment. She wafts by me in the palest whisp of Chanel #5,wearing a gown that looks suspiciously JUST LIKE the one that Kate Hudson wore at the Golden Globes, (Vanna has no idea how she freaks out the people who live in Smallville. But her joie de vivre is so compelling I can’t put a damper on her. I just let her do what she needs to do and get her out of here before Joe gets up!)
Our Vanna is named for Vanna White, the most well-known Game Girl of our times. Our virtual Vanna is a professional when it comes to pink shoedrawing the winning name from a huge vat of names. Nobody does it better. She’s the double-oh-seven of the Game Girl world and we are proud to call her our own. This is one of her bedroom slippers.
And so. While I was writing about her, she was busy digging deep into the well with all your names ~ she actually dives in, a graceful high dive (especially in that dress), and swims through them to mix them up, she’s like the Little Mermaid that way, a little silver fish. And she just popped up with teeny piece of paper. Let me get my glasses . . .
Ohhhh, how wonderful! Here goes: The winner is . . . drum roll please . . .
J A N    H A M M O N D !!!
Congratulations Jan!
You are our Winner! Please look for an email in your box, write me back and send me your address so I can pop your books in the mail to you. I hope the new books help organize you and Gale (in her comment, Jan mentioned that if she won, she’d give the other book to her girlfriend Gale).
william morris quote
But that’s not all, there’s more . . . first of all, here comes Valentine’s Day, and Janie made us some adorable new banners! I wanted to let you know before they’re all gone . . . Kellee snuck them into the store last week and they’re already flying out.
little things
Janie's heart banners
valentine envelopes
Janie always makes the cutest envelopes to go with the banners ~ these little banners make the perfect Valentine’s gifts.
sense of beauty; susan branch art
hearts and flowers
swedish hearts
Janie made these Swedish hearts for us too, they come in both white and red and in darling envelopes of their own.
hearts and flowers Sooooo, I hope everyone is feeling festive and organized and no one is too disappointed ~ the hardest thing I do is announce a winner! But I really wanted to thank you for the lovely, wonderful comments you left on the last post. You are an amazing bunch of Girlfriends! I feel like we’re on some sort of roll, I hate to see it come to an end, so, because it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I thought . . . maybe . . . we should . . .
heart teapot
have another. . .
another what?  another what?  another cup of tea?
La-dee-da . . . la-dee-da
tea time
heart teapot
GIVEAWAY!! After all, winter is long, and the secret of a happy life is continuous small treats, right? . . . and a tea pot really isn’t very big . . .just the perfect size for Smallville.
A Fine Romance
Remember, you saw that teapot in A Fine Romance?
hearts and roses
heart teapot
I’ve had mine for a long time ~ remember how well it mixes with my mismatched dishes?
hearts and flowers
breakfast valentine's party
hearts and roses
And how cute it looked at our Valentine’s Breakfast party with the Johnson Brothers Rose Chintz dishes? I think you would love having one as much as I do.
Private blend lavender tea
hearts and roses
And there’s even more, it’s a really BIG Giveaway! Because I thought it would be nice to include this ~ a tin of our own private label of Earl Grey tea with Lavender and Rose Petals. Yum!
Oh yes! And one more thing, since it’s Valentine’s Day we’re talking about . . .
Isn't it romantic
isn't it romantic
hearts and flowers
I thought, even though most of you already have it, A FINE ROMANCE would make a good Valentine’s present because you could give it away to someone you love. And if you don’t already have the book, if your name is drawn, you would now have access to the recipe for Rachel’s Lemon Butter Cookies. It’s a win-win! And I hope you do! Win, I mean. My way of saying Thank You!
hearts and flowers
Sasha is A Fine Romance
Kitties love it too.And vice versa.
3hearts  So, we’re going to have another drawing ~ after all we don’t want that silver manicure of Vanna’s to go to waste, teacup flowersand she adores Valentines Day more than any other . . . so, to sum up: if you left a comment on the post below for the Internet Address Books, you are already entered for the teapot, book and tea! But if not, leave a comment at the bottom of this post and tell your mom, your sister, your grammie, your BFF, your great-aunt Mary, your Twitter friends, Pinterest Peeps, and your Facebook pals to come on over and enter too.
pink roseThe prizes: one of our dear Girlfriends is going to get a 4-cup, Emma Bridgewater Heart Teapot, my “Come Sit Stay” tea tin with delicious Lavender and Rose Petal Earl Grey Tea, and a signed copy of A FINE ROMANCE.
(And you think YOU’RE having fun! HA! When people talk about “the power of the Internet” I think this is what they mean! At least here in Smallville.)
girl with hearts
And P.S. if just thinking about this inspires you to think about having a Valentine’s Tea Party, the first thing you will need is an invitation . . . so here you go! girlfriendsClick there and you can print out as many as you need on card stock or heavy paper (one of our girlfriends said she used a cut-down manila envelope and it worked perfectly! Probably an interesting color too, quite creative!) ~ candlelightinvite your best girlfriends, your sisters, your mom, your best guy, or someone who simply needs an airing (as Joe would say, usually about me), and celebrate as we do so well here in Smallville. Make Rachel’s cookies and some cucumber sandwiches, light the fire and a candle or two, talk, talk, talk, solve all the world’s problems, hash over Downton Abbey, and watch the cold and snow fade away to nothing.
hearts and flowers
Ah yes, here’s Nature’s Valentine, out on our feeders . . . making the world more adorable one little birdie at a time.
The little things in life SB
Love you Girlfriends, have a wonderful day!
Feed Your Creative Heart

2 Responses to Test Page

  1. Conno says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of your lovely new book. I so enjoy your books and art work and am hoping for the best and that I will win a copy!

    • Conno says:

      Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of your lovely new book. I so enjoy your books and art work and am hoping for the best and that I will win a copy!

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