Cute Livestock

Good Morning . . . let’s go hang out with the cute livestock for a while! MUSICA

I fell head over heels in love with lambs when we were in England.  Now I’m feeling sheepish.

Because while I’m choosing the photos and painting for the book,

I’m with them every day.  (This one looks like he’s up to something.  If he was mine, I would have to go check what he is doing!)

Sheep are everywhere in England, part of the fabric.  I would love to go on that walk in the Yorkshire Dales right now.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?  Believe it or not, on the right, just out of the view of the camera, is the 12th century ruin of an amazing castle that belonged to Richard III.  OK, I have to show you, even though it’s not a lamb.

We climbed to the top of the castle, which was sprouting all over with wildflowers.  Not exactly Downton Abbey, but still, it truly told a wonderful story.  Narrow stone stairs worn in the center, huge openings for fireplaces, little slits for windows.

(BTW, My mom used to sing this song around the house! She still won’t get a computer; I may have to phone her and play it over the phone!  She’d be off to dance with the refrigerator door!)

This is one reason that spring is so special in England, besides the wildflowers, these little guys are playing in all the meadows where you can walk right up to them, unless their mom’s call them away!  They are the sweetest!

This little guy was in the buttercup meadow at Hill Top.

So picturesque, they make the countryside beautiful.

 They also keep the whole country looking like a well-tended parkland!  I would like one for my back yard!

So darling.

Little sheep families everywhere.

This one was sure the grass was greener on the other side of the street.

Misty mornings and lamb meadows.  I am standing right there.  It’s hard to believe.

Those tails go a hundred miles a minute when their mom’s let them nurse.

I’ve been painting lambs for a long time — here and there, in calendars and greeting cards.  This pink-cheeked one was originally painted for a fabric design.

Sorry to say, fabric designs are one of those products that doesn’t stay around long… they print it, it sells until it’s gone, and they never print it again.  I don’t know why, but I think it has something to do with that chant I keep hearing . . . What’s new?  They always prefer to make new. But it’s cute while it lasts.  This design is all gone … you probably know that.  I don’t have anyone making my fabric right now, but if I did, I’d have to do more lambs!

Still, I thought you might like to see it. It has little hearts on too, and, besides blue, it came in pink and yellow.

So any way.  Lambs.  I’m painting them in the new book, and they are SO fun to do.  The one I’m just about to paint is wearing the Union Jack as a shawl.  Since they’re on my mind, I thought I’d give us a little retrospective and look at the real things.  Also, several of you mentioned  the pair of white lambs I had on my mantle at Christmas time.  And guess what?  You may not be able to get that lamb fabric, but . . .

I bought a bunch of these lambs for my web store (if you click there, look in the very bottom right corner of the page) – we have some in stock now, and more on the way.  All the rest of my decorations went back up to the attic, but these lambs are year-rounders; I can’t see any season they couldn’t grace!  They look cute every where.  I carried them around with me . . . the kitchen counter, my art table, on top of a stack of books, on the bathroom counter.  Very cute on the tea table!  I have to pass the mantle every time I leave my studio, so there they are, making me happy every day.  They’re actually iron banks, they have a slot in the top, but to me, they’re just a reminder of all that English countryside beauty.  They look like vintage, but the price for the vintage ones has gone to the moon . . . these are bearable.  You can also start saving for your trip to England in them.  Makes a nice gift!

What else, oh yes, Brenda, one of our girlfriends, has recently started a collection of heart-shaped rocks and she wrote to ask if I’d post a picture of mine again, so there they are Brenda!

I found one rock down by the water in the shape of a fish, see it there in the middle!  Almost as good as red sea glass!  See my darling girl?

Lately, food-wise, I have been pure as the driven snowbound groundhog, eating fresh fish, organic chicken, and fresh salads all the time; having scrambled eggs (with only one yolk) on top of steamed spinach for breakfast.  Being a healthy little groundhog.  But Joe just walked into my studio and this is what he put under my nose.  Half an old-fashioned cruller and a cup of chocolate coffee.  I had to get the camera, and then . . . Snarf. Groundhog noise!

It reminded me of the card another one of our girlfriends, Denise, sent me via Twitter.  So I say THANK YOU JOE!  And you, what have you been up to? Have a wonderful weekend Girlfriends!  We have friends coming for Twine today at 4, and Downton Sunday night!  Yay!  xoxo

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467 Responses to Cute Livestock

  1. Susan, I missed something. Something about Yankee Magazine and your home being in it…….when will that be?

    • sbranch says:

      Not until the Nov/Dec issue for this year! I’ll announce it on the blog — they came and photographed just last month.

  2. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    Does anyone know this poem by Christina Rossetti? Every Spring in kindergarten we learn this and see which of the Fives can first guess what the “white sheep” really are… :>)

    White sheep, white sheep
    On a blue hill,
    When the wind stops,
    You all stand still.

    When the wind blows,
    You walk away slow.
    White sheep, white sheep,
    Where do you go?

  3. Dinahsoar says:

    The sheep are wonderful– lovely England. And your lambs on the fabric are the sweetest. And girl Kitty looking up–she’s an angel. BUT–WHERE’s JACK?? I didn’t see him in one photo…something is amiss. I wonder what he’d think of those sheep…from the hills of TN.

  4. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~Good Morning~
    Just wanted to say I received a pretty copper tray~ type container as a gift from a friend before Christmas. She told me it was planted with amaryllis bulbs~ Much to my surprise this morning I awoke to the sight of all the bulbs in bloom~ 4 red stems and 2 white ones!~ I had no idea they were so big and beautiful~ good thing I had sense enough to stake them!~
    I bet yours are looking beautiful too Susan~ I will save the bulbs and try again next year~
    ~Happy Tuesday~
    Lynn

  5. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Bahhhhhhhhhhhhheautiful Photos Sweet Sue! ;-) So Cute! & That Photo of Girl~Kitty at The Window Looking Up at You…Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrfection! (Meow!) All is Well Here! We’ve had a warm (Not January~Like at all) Week here in Florida…colder weather on it’s way for The weekend…I watched The Second Downtown~Abbey Sunday Night…Oh My Goodness…Pure Television Magic! Cheerio! :-) Well sending a Bit of Pixie~Dust for Your Week & Hugzzz & L♥ve to You & Joe & Girl~Kitty & Jack! & to All Us “Kindred~Spirits” Here In The Wonderful Blog~World! Twirling into Joy! Yay! xoxo Poof! :-) `♥*¨`*¨♥*¨`*. `♥*¨`*¨♥*¨`*. `♥*¨`*¨♥*¨`*. `♥*¨`*¨♥*¨`*.

  6. Suzanne says:

    I just love those cute and cuddly little four legged creatures. Wish I has a cottage with a few wandering in and out of the kitchen (along with a gaggle of ducks) keeping me company. You have no idea how your photos and blogging amuse me and simply make my life so mich more enjoyable. I have to say my favorite one was of the sheep looking “sheepish” like he was up to something. Your comment made me laugh till my tummy ached! So much fun! Thank you for being YOU!

  7. Deborah Norling says:

    I’d like to back up Terri’s” suggestion of taking a look at the Nick Parks clay-mation dvd…many of his characters are sheep…If not familiar Nick Parks is a British animator, he has been awarded several Oscar’s for his work.. the claymation is amazing and the charachters are adorable..well..except for the “bad guys”…I think his 1st three works are the best… a trilogy with “Wallace and Grommit” …Wallace and his side kick Grommit..( a dog..who is far wiser than his owner and makes the most adorable facial expressions..)…..the trilogy are entitled..”A Grand Day Out”..”The Wrong Trousers”…and..”A Close Shave”…very entertaining and when you think of the work that goes into creating the films..you will enjoy them even more !

    • Terri says:

      Deborah, I’ve loved all the Nick Parks movies I’ve seen (he also produced ‘Chicken Run’ and ‘Arthur’s Christmas’). We have all the Wallace & Grommit movies we’ve been able to find, including Wallace’s Wonderful World of Inventions (once again, supposedly for the grandkids, but we watch them too – and the cats, of course!). All of his work is so creative, with such wonderful gently clever, British humor. Also, I just realized I misspelled ‘Shaun the Sheep,’ in my earlier comment. ‘A Close Shave’ is where Nick Parks first introduced that character, then Shaun was later spun off into his own series. ‘Wallace & Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit’ is another top favorite. Though not nearly as sheep-ish as some of the others, it is hopping full of bunnies. ;)

      • Deborah Norling says:

        Hi Terry, I’m so happy to find another Wallace and Grommit fan . Just like you said…I bought the tapes for my son when he was little..but loved them as much if not more than he did.

  8. evangeline says:

    Have spent the last few days re-reading all the comments and your post with the lovely sheep….so sweet and peaceful….makes the rainy gray weather outside not so depressing…even having to go to work in the rain…I still picture the lambs frolicking on the hillsides…I grew up on a beef farm…lots of cows….I of course loved the curly headed-calves..and wanted to name them each one…my father tried to make me understand…they were NOT pets…I didn’t understand for years what really happened to my little “cows”..ha ha…would you believe I am a vegetarian now!! Susan, thank you for sharing “spring in England” with us…I find such pleasure in “being there” when looking at the pictures…I can even smell the fresh air..Thinking of you in your studio creating your book…thank you.. smile…you are so appreciated…you do have a very lovely kind face
    ..happy to you….evangeline

    • sbranch says:

      I do believe you’re a vegetarian, once you get to know a person it’s probably very hard to eat him. Thank you Evangeline!

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Cracked me up! Dear sweet Sue, on days when your hand is too sore to grab that brush, you can do stand-up comedy! xoxo

  9. Mary E Osborne says:

    Oh how very lovely. I’ve always wanted to go to England – it’s exactly as I have imagined! Too beautiful with LOTS of sweet sheep. Many, many years ago when I was attending Pierce College (I know you’re familiar with Pierce – or “Cow Tech” as it was lovingly known ;-) in the ’70s ) I took sheep production and was in charge of my very own sheep. Too wonderful. Loved every minute. I have longed to own some (and maybe some goats, llamas, horses, etc too) ever since. Wonderful pics. Thanks for sharing. luv. MaryO

  10. Cindy Holshouser says:

    Last spring I had to put down my cat after 20 years of togetherness. It was so hard. Every time I see your pictures of Jack it makes me want another cat:) So cute. He looks VERY content being your model.

    • sbranch says:

      It might be time for you Cindy! It’s so wonderful to have a kitten!

    • Deborah Norling says:

      Cindy….I know how you feel..I was so heart broken after having to put down my best loved kitty-boy in 1996…it took me 15 years to get another cat..even though no other pet replaces your best loved kitty..when you are ready, you’ll discover it’s so nice having the wild crazy entertaining loving little creatures back in your life.

      • sbranch says:

        I have had the same problem, losing a kitty. But the chief and winning question for me was, do I want to live in a house with no little furry critter to love. The answer was no.

  11. Connie Haltermann says:

    I still have that 2000 calendar with the beautiful basket and cat. I save all your wall calendars, of course, as they’re works of art and I can’t part with them.

    I have some questions for you. I see from the pictures of your new book that you sort of pencil in the words first, and then go over them with ink. What happens if you make a mistake when writing with the ink? Do you have a really effective ink eraser that can do the job, or do you have to start the page over? Just curious. Can’t wait for the book to come out!

    BTW, I have a joke to share with you and all the girlfriends–one that I’ve heard many times over the last few years, but one that ALWAYS brings a smile:

    I don’t want to brag or make anybody jealous or anything, but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school.

    • sbranch says:

      I write it in pencil first because it helps me not to make spelling mistakes. But I still do! I don’t have any kind of ink eraser, I just correct it with whiteout or, now, we can replace it with the computer after it’s scanned. Good for you on the earrings!

  12. Nora Cavic says:

    I somehow KNEW you’d be a Downton fan. Kindred spirits, we are!! Love the blogs. I work at a small private college in central Massachusetts and I am elbow deep in preparing for our students’ arrival next week. So the blog is a wonderful diversion for me. Many thanks!!!! -Nora

  13. Melissa Quarles says:

    Love the kitty photos…what beautiful animals they are!! Also, love the sheep…heart stones…you mention red sea glass….the most difficult to find….when my sister and I were small and great beachcombers, I ran ahead of her and found a small but beautiful piece of red glass…I am still the reigning “Queen of the Glass”! Thanks for making our world a much friendlier and beautiful place!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, it definitely makes you the Queen. Red sea glass … and it just doesn’t count when someone gives it to you…you really need to find your own! You are a lucky girl!

  14. Mona says:

    As I sit here writing to you, I have two cats sitting behind my monitor and one in front of the keyboard (which I have scooted over so he doesn’t have to move!). I love, love, love this blog. Your kitties are so adorable! I love seeing their pictures. It’s so nice to share our feline adoration with you. I have been a cat lady since I was a baby (I have pictures to prove it). My husband had to learn to like them in self defense, and now he has one of his own that loves only him! I can’t imagine my life without them. They fill the measure of their creation as our companions. =^..^=

    The other day we were watching a home buying show where a lady was trying to find a house where she could have a garden. Her idea of a garden seemed more like a farm. I told my husband about your garden and how you did it. It dawned on me that I quote you and use your examples frequently, and I realized that I am a Branchophile. I can’t get enough of anything Susan Branch. I am so looking forward to your new book! In the meantime, I will keep using all the other ones. I have been having the best time trying new recipes. My favorites are the cinnamon ice cream sandwiches, the lemon chicken which we have with the lemon noodles, and the spare ribs with sauce. I also made the eclair wreath for Christmas, and now feel like I can cook anything.

    We love you, Susan! You brighten our lives and encourage us to be anything we want to be (and some of us need that boost!). Lucky us!!!

  15. Jean says:

    I love your blog, I look forward to it every day and when you have not been able to post something new, I reread the previous ones, because I am always inspired by your painting and the words you write. I love the kitty pictures and the sheep pictures. I am so looking forward to your new book.

  16. Carin says:

    Hi Susan,
    Are you certain your kitties aren’t puppies? They perch and pose just like
    a dog might do! Adorable and cuddly that’s all I can say !

  17. Margi Duffy says:

    I LOVED all the pictures. I am catching up on my emails….and I do a blog for the shop I work for so I have my lap top here at work, I needed a little pick me up so I took a side trip to yours and was so “PICKED UP” with all those sweet pictures.
    I’m thinking you should put those precious paws in ink and use them as a border or signature or something…..
    Blessings, Margi

  18. Terri Landowski says:

    I came across your website in mid December. What a joy it is to read the latest. But more than that it warms my spirit to connect with others who share the wonders that I too value.

  19. Candice from Ohio says:

    Good Morning Susan,
    Just enjoyed reading all the of the “girlfriend” comments on your latest blog.
    I can completely relate to all the “kittye antics” I have 8 cats….I know crazy cat lady! I love each and every one and they all have distinct kitty personalities. I have always had a kitty since I was about 8 years old. So many have come in and out of my life and I have distinct memories of each one. My first one was named “Twinkles” she lived to be 18yrs old. Kitties are just good medicine for our souls.
    I just have to tell you that I have a board (19 in fact) on Pinterest called Susan Branch my Inspiration and I have Jack and Girl pinned on there too, of course. Your writings, in whatever form, blog, Williard, newsletters, books, photos, illustrations……are so uplifting and really are inspiration for all of us girlfriends
    You are such a blessing!

    • sbranch says:

      You are so sweet to tell me Candice. I love your kitty family! Why don’t I ever think of names like Twinkies! Darling!

  20. Becky McGinnis says:

    Susan, thank you for your sweet, happy and peaceful pages, they bring us so much pleasure. I haven’t read through all of the comments here, but I’m wondering if anyone mentioned spoonflower.com where you design your own fabric. I think it would be lovely if your designs were available(maybe even the pretty background from your blog)! Happy writing and drawing!

    • sbranch says:

      I went there, it seems like fabric is something like $30 a yard — I don’t think anyone would want to pay that much! No matter how cute it was! :-)

  21. Shhhhh, you don’t see me, but, yes, I’m still reading lol… should be working on a query letter, but this is more important, don’t ya know ;)

    Is this my card that arrived? Mine were horribly late, but after the death of one of my dear kindreds in England recently, I told my dh that he just had to send all my Christmas Cards no matter what! He said it’s way too late. I’ll be embarrassed. I said no way! Better late than never :) So if this isn’t me, it’s on it’s way!

    Love,
    Denise

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