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Church Ladies

Remember the church ladies from your childhood? My childhood was the late 50's and early 60's, so in my memories church ladies were always dressed in lovely print dresses with hats, always hats. You all know how much I love those hats.  

Well, that hat doesn't look great with my hair style, but I still like to try them on.

I would see the ladies at mass, but where they really showed their stuff was church events. They would serve as hostesses at luncheons and receptions, usually making all the food that was served. They showed up at celebrations as well as funerals. They have always been a unique group of women who represent the community offering support and comfort when needed. I thought they were fantastic. When John and I bought our first home and joined a parish, I signed up for the Ladies Sodality so that I could be one of them. I met some of the most wonderful women through the organization.

As I spent time with individual women, I learned so much about their own celebrations as well as their losses. I loved the pictures and stories of their grandchildren. I listened to their news when they spoke about their own or spouse's illness. The collective love and acceptance of these women held me up throughout my own hardships. It's a lot more than someone showing up with a cassarole - although never underestimate the value of a cassarole dropped off on a day where you can't move one more step forward, and now your family is fed tonight. It's the unsaid support they bring to your life. Little acts of kindness that assure you  don't have to travel through life alone. 

I have continued to move through my life inside strong groups of women who offer support and shared life experiences. I've found it in my Friday painting group, in my art associations and in my treasured group of knitting friends. I recommend it to everyone.

So here are a few sweet church ladies for you. Maybe you remember them too. Hope so.


Verna and Estelle are going to the pancake house after mass. Verna is worried about syrup drips so she wears a dark print dress, but Estelle is throwing caution to the wind and is wearing white with ruffles.

I really love Verna's pearls. I think she wears them with everything. And I hope she doesn't drip any syrup. I'm pretty sure, if Verna sat and held my hand I would feel real comfort. I think Estelle might be the best organizer.

You wouldn't know it, but Lil is the fearful one. Leona thinks Lil is just a little too curious about other people's business, but Leona loves her so she goes along. Lil makes Leona feel adventurous, and Leona keeps Lil grounded. I would like to be on team Leona and Lil.

                   Loretta and Bea have been neighbors for 43 years. They always go to church events together.  In the evenings, they sit on one or the other's porch to knit or talk about the day.
They are so lucky to have each other, and I hope they never have to be alone.

Agnes and Eunice are attending a ladies sodality luncheon. Their handbags are loaded with new pictures of the grandchildren. They can't wait to share them, and I can't wait to see them.

I hope my church ladies bring sweet memories of the church ladies you knew. I would love to hear your stories.






I have two sisters and two brothers. That is me in the photo above with my sister, Becky. She is closest to me in age. I have written about our relationship here. We played together all of the time, we dressed the same and I guess, since she was two years older, I was supposed to act her age. I always thought she was bossy and she thought I was annoying. Oh, life!

Well I love her, so she is imortalized in a birthday card!

And let me just say to Becky-

Even though we don't speak that often, without you, life would be impossible.

Send your sister a birthday card. Find this card in my shop. 



new cards for spring 2018

I've had so much fun painting fashion illustration this year, that I decided to make some of these fun images into greeting cards. I love the clothes and the incredible styling of fasahion photographers in the 50's.

When serching for new images for paintings I often see really ridiculous images of what we were supposed to be doing at home in the 50's - baking, cleaning, doing laundry and loving every minute of it. I've had fun expanding on those ideas and giving them a contemporary twist.

Hope you have fun with the new cards! Here is the link to my SHOP.

                                                                                                                    Cheers, Susan 


YAY for Christmas Paper Dolls!

Love all of you, Susan


Celebrate Autumn