Country Living Magazine ♥

I actually hate to move past the last post.  It’s so beautiful in the garden, especially with the bees buzzing and the birds singing! ♥  But I thought today I would show you some of the art I did for Country Living Magazine.

Just after my first book came out, I gathered all my courage together (it always takes courage, even today!) and wrote a letter to the editor of Country Living Magazine, who, at that time, was Rachel Newman (she quit her job a few years later to become a wonderful oil painter; go look at her amazing art!  She definitely did the right thing; so wonderful to see people follow their dreams!).

I sent her a copy of Heart of the Home with a letter asking her to please let me do something in their wonderful magazine, paint, write, cook (work in subscriptions, sell ads, sweep) anything would have been OK with me!  That magazine was my bible, my best friend!  We went out to lunch together every month!

There were no computers in those days; I couldn’t email it; my letter had a stamp on it and it went snail mail.  I wrote it in my best handwriting, and put little watercolors of rolling pins and measuring cups between the words to try to make her like me.

I waited, thinking every day, I wonder if she got my letter.  I wonder what she thinks.  I wonder if she’ll write me back.  Probably just be a form letter with the words “no thank you” on it. Maybe I’ll never hear anything at all.  Waaaaa.

And then one day, I opened my mail box and found a letter with the Country Living logo and return address on it.  My heart skipped a beat; please God, don’t let this be my subscription renewal notice.

And it wasn’t!  I jumped and leapt out of the PO back to the car when I read that Rachel had already seen my book!  And wanted to get in touch with me!  To figure out how we could work together!

It was such a surprise!  One of my dreams!  It taught me that at least you have to ask (I know we have lots of artists reading this, and I just wanted to say that “No” is a very popular word, but asking is free).

The Country Living staff decided that what they wanted was for me to illustrate recipes; a page every other month.  Which I was thrilled to do as I think you can tell!  After I’d done quite a few, they asked if they could make some of the designs into prints.  So four designs were chosen, we called them “Kitchen Art” since that’s where we figured most of them would go, on the walls of someone’s kitchen . . .  and they were sold through the magazine.  A few of you have written to tell me you still have them!

That’s what made me think to show these today. I really don’t think most of you ever saw them, so I thought I might share them, now that we are in the new world of computers and blogs and can show anything we want!  Hope you enjoyed them!

Also had to show you this photo I just took; the blur at the bottom left is Jack, doing what he does, but look at the light, at 6:15 am!  Streaming in!  Hooray!  I’m going to work in the garden today!  It’s not pretty out there, all brown leafy and dead, but it’s going to smell good when I rake and prune, and I’m going to love it!

Do you realize that the average person today lives better than most of the kings and queens of England did?  That’s what I was thinking this morning when I turned on the furnace.  We can fill the kettle from our faucet right there in our own kitchen!  And turn on the lights with a flick of a switch as we walk through the dark house to our art studio!  Carrying our tea in our favorite cup. 

It’s a wonderful world!  Enjoy your day girlfriends!  XOXO

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468 Responses to Country Living Magazine ♥

  1. Susan Edwards says:

    I am a subscriber to Country Living magazine now, but not when your contributions were featured …. so I appreciate your sharing these with us. My sister and I have been collecting your books for years. I believe Heart of the Home was our first. Whenever we would go to a bookstore, the section where your books would be found was the first place we would stop to see if there were any new additions.
    Thank you for putting a smile on my face with your daily blogs 🙂

  2. Marcia in Brazil says:

    Such a wonderful and inspiring story, Susan! Thank you for sharing it with us. (I loved the Kitchen Art too!)

  3. Barbara S says:

    Hi Susan,
    When these recipes first appeared in Country Living Magazine, I tore them out of the magazine and put them in my three ring binder of favorite recipes I had been collecting. Oh yes! I’ve been following you for long time. Every now and then I look over those recipes, now a bit yellowed with age, and I’m so glad I saved them. When your first cookbook came out, I bought it along with all subsequent books you have written. Thank you for bringing back some lovely memories!
    Hugs from Barbara S. in Cumming, GA

    • K. Ross says:

      I remember Susan’s recipes also. I, too, would tear them out of Country Living and save them. I just came across one recently that was safely tucked away inside my Heart of the Home book. I remember thinking that the artwork was so cozy, homey, and peaceful.

  4. Kimi says:

    Hi Susan

    I for one am very grateful to God for all the gifts he has given to this our world, for the light he gives freely and the sun to warm the day the moon to walk by night the stars to look at with great wonder! flowers that grow birds that sing bees that buzz yes even them too! sooo grateful for the rain and the rainbows good food which comes from the earth and the good cooks who make them! I am grateful for good people and your one of them too! Susan I love the memory lane walk here and grateful & thankful for you!!!xo

    • Carole K says:

      What a wonderfully poetic comment! Thank you for positive words, and beautiful images! Enjoy your day.

    • REBECCA from the Heart of TEXAS says:

      Kimi…your words paint a picture of the words in my head. Yes it is a wonderful world in which precious Susan had opened that gate to a beautiful memory lane with girlfriends “blooming” left and right as we travel down that path.
      Blessings to all

  5. Dearest Susan,
    Not only do I remember your lovely work from one of my favorite magazines, Country Living, I cut each of those out and am currently in the process of matting and framing them to hang on my kitchen walls. So funny you should write about and show them today when I was just getting them out of my arts/crafts closet to begin framing! I have loved your work for many, many years and am so enjoying this website!

  6. pat addison says:

    susan i have a question about your stove, if you don’t mind. it looks alot like my mother’s stove and that was from late 40’s early 50’s. i loved that old stove as it could outcook alot of the so-called newer and more modern ones, and it had a secret on it. the front left burner could be lowered down and you had a well to place a large stock or soup pot in and cook soup all day or deep fry in it. does yours do this????? it was the stove i ever learned to cook on and i dearly loved that old stove, i was so sad when mom and dad sold the house and moved out to Arroyo Grande and they left that lovely old stove there and the new owner junked it and put in some ugly old stove, it just ruined the looks of that kitchen.

    • sbranch says:

      My stove doesn’t do that, but it sounds interesting! There were some amazing stoves in the 1950’s — griddles, warmers, storage, clocks, salt and pepper shakers, six burners, two broilers, in all sorts of configurations, and now here’s a moveable burner. They don’t make them like they used to!

      • pat addison says:

        no they don’t, nowadays most home don’t even have a decent stove anymore. in my house there is a small wall oven, and a cooktop which i absolutely hate, only 2 burners that work and its a pain to clean. i wish i had my mother’s old stove now, i miss that old stove.

      • pat addison says:

        no they don’t. that came in so handy and she had a large oven on that stove and storage areas on the side by the front of the stove and a drawer underneath to store pots and pans, the side one you slide in cookie sheets, racks and baking pans. i miss that old stove, wish i had taken it out of the house and kept it for myself. i loved that old stove.

      • Jacquelyn Wirthlin .... Las Vegas, Nevada says:

        The stove with the movable burner/soup pot sounds like the one I grew up with too … lol. Mom’s was a Frigidair electric stove from 1950 or 51… the forerunner of the “Crockpot”! It had one regular oven and the other side was a “warming” oven. Mom didn’t make much soup so that rear left side soup pot seldom got used. What fun remembering those things.

        • pat addison says:

          that sounds like my mom’s old stove, it was fun cooking on it, she made soup, chili and lots of stock on that stove. i often wondered why today’s stoves didn’t do that.

    • Holly says:

      I’m with you! The old stoves are wonderful. I learned to cook on one too, and am currently hunting high and low for one. I am holding out for one with a shelf though… the shelf is the icing on the cake!

      • sbranch says:

        I so agree. It’s like another toy!

        • Lynn McMahon says:

          Oh my gosh they junked it!!!
          Too bad I wasn’t there when it sat on the curb!!
          My grandma had a 1940’s Magic Chef stove ( it had EVERYTHING on it) that looked like the day she bought it when she moved. I BEGGED my aunt and uncle for it but they said ” It goes with the house!”
          I sure hope it didn’t end up there too!

          • pat addison says:

            yes the new owner of the house junked it and replaced it with a newer more modern looking stove, can’t see why as the old stove worked better than the newer stove. but then he rented the house out to students from the local Junior college and they trashed the place, destroyed the yard and the pool. so sad, it broke my heart to see the ruins those idiot kids made of the place where i used to live. i wanted to murder that new owner.

  7. Lori from Maine says:

    Hi Susan and girlfriends! Your garden post was so beautiful! I had hubby go out and check if the chives were coming up – they’re the first thing to show up every year – but…not yet. In Maine we have to be very patient about when we plant our gardens. I remember one year we had a hard frost in the middle of May. We lost all of our perennial buds (astilbe, some daylilies, etc.)
    I too love CL magazine. It has gotten a bit beyond my taste and budget as far as decorating goes though. Your recipes look so good – my mouth actually started watering when I read the blueberry recipe. I have a “secret place” where I can pick highbush blueberries right from my kayak – they’re yummy! Shhhhhh don’t tell anybody!
    xoxoxoxo from SW Hbr. Me

    p.s. It would be really great if you could put all of your CL recipes together in a book – I’d buy it (and I’d subscribe to your magazine too 🙂 )

    • sbranch says:

      Nobody tells about their secret Blueberry patch! Our chives are up! Everything is coming up, I hope we don’t have that frost. If I hear it’s coming I’m putting bed sheets over everything!

      • pat addison says:

        ooohhhhh i love blueberries, and we have a small farm that grows wonderful berries and sells them every summer, i can’t wait for them to do that again this summer. i also know where there are some cranberry bogs near Coos Bay, Oregon and where one can get some wonderful cranberry jelly and candy there. 🙂

  8. Kate says:

    There are two kinds of people. Those who see miracles every day and those who don’t. You are one of those who do. I am too. Aint life grand?

  9. Penny Baker says:

    I also tore out all of these illustrated recipes of yours, even though I just didn’t like to tear anything out of my favorite magazine, “Country Living.” I then rotated them in a frame, propped up on my kitchen countertop, according to the seasons or months. I still have all of them. I think I’ll get them out and check on re-displaying them!

  10. claresgabby says:

    I have been a fan of yours and “Country Living” for years. I do remember when you were featured…I always knew they are were a “smart” magazine. Your blog made me think about Jo Northrop’s column which was featured each month (reminiscient of Gladys Taber). I decided to check Amazon to see if maybe they had compiled the articles into a book, and there it was. Thank you!!

    • Linda says:

      Claresgabby, would love to know the name of the book your referring to! If you would like to share… Thanks so much!

      • claresgabby says:

        Hi Linda. The name of the book is Country Matters. I just went to Amazon and typed in her name. It looks like there are a number of books available! Enjoy!! ~ Pam from Calif.

    • Oh I so enjoyed Jo Northrup! What beautiful sayings she had, and what a sweet lady! Thanks for the memory, I am going to check if they have any more!

  11. Alicia says:

    Hi Susan! I am new to your blog and love absolutely everything about it! You are so very talented and so very blessed! I am so grateful for having found your website and have begun to collect so many of your books, cards, etc. I find your site to be very inspiring. It really uplifts my day. I love your little house with all it’s warm and cozy decor. You should do a house tour video or pictures!!!! I am sure that everyone would love to see the rest of your lovely home! I have already gotten so many decorating, gardening, and cooking ideas from you. Thanks so much for being you and for sharing your talent with all of us!!
    Alicia. 🙂

  12. Susan, I was feeling particularly low today… Sort of a what-am-I-doing, will-anyone-ever-want-to-buy-or-use-my-art, day. But, this post really helped. Now, I’d better start writing some letters and sharing some art… even if “no” is the answer, at least I can try!

    Thanks for the nudge and inspiration,


  13. Cathy in Golden, CO says:

    Oh Susan, I love that little shelf with teacups hanging from it on your squash muffin recipe. Oh to have a little old, country house with a shelf like that!!! Well, I have loved Country Living for years but didn’t save them. I PROMISE you and myself that if you ever, ever write/create for another magazine, I will save them forever. I could just kick myself. Do you think you would ever do that again or, better yet, have your own magazine?

    • sbranch says:

      We are thinking of getting a set of the pages printed up . . . the girls in the studio are figuring out if we can do it.

      • Chris Wells says:

        Please do! I do not want to cut up my old magazines, and then the girlfriends starting talking about how they framed them. I am very torn (no pun intended). I would buy prints to frame!

      • Christine from Lafayette, CO says:

        I second that awesome plan! I remember saving all my old magazines for years with all favorite pages marked with paperclips so “one day” I’d get to these fabulous ideas. Unfortunately, they got pitched during a move. (Excuse me while I indulge in a silent SCREAM) We all need do-overs and second chances! Please! Please! Please! REPRINT!!
        *Be sure to wash your hands after reading this – I have a miserable cold 🙂

  14. Diane from Washington state says:

    I never got to see these before…so thank you so much! I can never get enough of your art and your writings and recipes and pictures…..I think I am beginning to sound like a stalker! lol. I just love and appreciate all that you share with the girlfriends!! I cant tell you how often I have laughed out loud or exclaimed in joy over what you share with us…it always feels like there is a gift to unwrap waiting for me when I see that you have a new blog!
    I can only imagine what you must have gone through…and still feel…each time you want to be published somewhere or you create something and attempt to share/sell it! It must be agony and excitement all at once. I cant remember if you said you were a bit on the “shy” side? If you are…..oh my goodness how much more you must feel while you are waiting! I so admire your courage to have pressed on and taken the “no’s” until you received your “YES”….not many people can do that long-term and still feel great! I do hope that you will never stop all of your life with sharing what you have……have a great day and rest of the week! 🙂

  15. Diana says:

    Good Afternoon Susan and GF’s: Oh, I LOVED LOVED LOVED when your recipes/art appeared in CL Magazine. Back then, I had very small children and that magazine was my splurge.. just for me. I too tore those beautiful recipes out of the magazines and put them in a three-ring binder that I still use to this day… all the family’s “good” ones are in that binder!! LOL… Thanks for the reminder to go back and look at those oldies but goodies! I am a particular fan of the Valentine Brownie… a tradition in our house! Hope your gardening has gone well today.. I am off work and going to go sit a spell and read and relax before the evening events kick in! Have a great evening all! Diana, Highland, IL.

  16. Holly says:

    Hi Susan, hi ladies! Susan, I love what you wrote about the kings & queens of England. That has been on my mind lately. I’ve discovered old BBC serials/mini series on Netflix! I hate to admit it, but I do love all the Austin & Dickens characters come to life in these stories. Also, the gardens, the costumes, the manner of speech, the poverty of the cities, the window into the way of life 150 years ago. I do find it so interesting. Listening to these stories while I draw, sew or quilt is quite enjoyable.
    Do people in 1st world countries of today ever consider the abundance of their lives? You are so right! Our warm homes, with heat, running water, a refrigerator, it’s all so comfortable, even in the most modest of situations. We are all blessed.
    I hope you enjoy your gardening. I think we’re all as excited to see the blooms in your little garden as much as you are!

  17. Jenelle says:

    I have Country Living to thank for finding out about you. In was in the 2007 October Issue. I just loved your lettering and painting in there so much I had to have more. I have just about every book now and I love them. I still have that magazine too. And I grew up with one of your little prints hanging in our kitchen – the queen victoria quote- I didn’t realize till I was grown up and saw it somewhere else after I had become a big fan that the painting was yours. Love it 🙂

  18. lori says:

    I thought that was pretty cool that your reflection is in the mirror and I liked seeing your living room and Jack the blur. Thanks,


    • sbranch says:

      His new name, Jack the Blur!

    • REBECCA from the Heart of TEXAS says:

      Lori…glad you mentioned the reflection in the mirror, as I am this late getting to the end of this lovely post, and wanted to say a big Howdy to “Susan in the Mirror”, wonder if she knew her reflection was there when she made the post!!!!!

  19. Susan Stollard says:

    Susan, is that you reflected in the mirror in the picture of the sunshine, glorious sunshine? You’re hiding in the shadows! I subscribed to Country Living for a hundred years (not really, of course) but it’s my favorite magazine (actually it’s a tie with “Tea Time”). I’m making that blueberry cobbler tonight because blueberries were on sale at the market this morning. Love your recipes!

  20. Tora says:

    I just renewed my subscription to CL after a long absence. Can’t wait for my subscription to start…I’ve always loved that magazine!

  21. Jan from Northern CA says:

    I so wish I had room for a garden as lovely as yours. But, the idea of pots, or maybe a big barrel is forming in my mind. Thank you for the inspiration! Oh, I too have been following you via your wonderful books for many years. I am especially enjoying this blog. You help us see all the little blessings around us. It brings me peace and reminds me to be thankful.
    Thank you again.
    Jan from Northern CA

  22. Deb from Dixie says:

    Darn………………now I’m craving Peach Pie !!!!! LOL
    I read all the posts, and it is just amazing how insync the girlfriends are….no matter near or far, we all seem to have saved and enjoyed the best of Country Living Magazine, clipped the recipes and ideas…..and savored the moments, turning every page. Thanks for sharing the recipes with us again!
    Susan, you have and continue to create such a Heart filled space for us all to connect, thank you.
    So, for you Susan and all the girlfriends…..I send just a few lines from one of my favorite poems, by Donna McCord.
    Kindred Spirits
    Sometimes when you least expect it someone comes your way
    That touches you invisibly with what they have to say
    They seem so familiar like you’ve known them your whole life
    And they radiate around you and envelope you in light.

    And if you spend more time with them a type of bond occurs
    You’ll find you end their sentences before they say the words
    You look forward to tomorrow when you can talk to them some more
    And the meeting’s even nicer than it was the day before.
    ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ♥♥♥♥♥♥ ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ♥♥♥♥♥♥

  23. Jacquelyn Wirthlin .... Las Vegas, Nevada says:

    Your post was a wonderful surprise ! I, too, remembered these from CL and instantly became a fan. Your thoughts about submitting your art to the magazine is a real inspiration to those of us who sometimes lack confidence in ourselves or abilities. Just “asking” could change our lives! Thanks again for this continuing source of joy.

  24. Kathy Lorenzini says:

    What wonderful memories! I would tear it out of Country Living each month,frame it and hang the new one up in my kitchen! I know right where they are, I think I will start framing them again!

  25. Gumbo Lily says:

    I’ve always loved CL, but have subscribed to it on and off so I think I missed your contributions. Glad you shared them here.

    I think about how good we have it a lot when it’s SO cold outside and I can just click the heat up with my little finger. I’m so thankful for our modern day conveniences.

  26. JoAnne Baker says:

    I remember when these came out in Country Living!! I tore them out, put them in frames and displayed them in my kitchen! Loved them. Thank you.

  27. Marie (Williamsburg, Virginia) says:

    Susan~as I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m one of those fortunate ones who has your “CL Kitchen Art” in my recipe binder. I’ve been a fan/subscriber (still am) to CL for eons; I also loved “Country Home” and grieved over the demise of that magazine for a long time.

    Thanks for the memories!

    Happy…rest of the week…everyone!

    Marie xo

  28. Terry says:

    Hi, Susan!

    Yes, I have some of your artwork from Country Living Magazine. Of the ones you put on the blog, I have the Peach Pie one. However, if you saw my fudge one you would know that it is the most loved. That recipe comes out every year. It looks a bit ragged – – no, let’s call it “loved.” That was when I fell in love with your artwork. I was so disappointed when your beautiful work was no longer in the magazine.

    Happy Wednesday!

    • Kathy Lorenzini says:

      My daughter uses the fudge one every Christmas! I finally broke down and gave her the page this past Christmas!

  29. Barbara T, Wolverine Lake MI says:

    I have most of the recipes torn out of my Country Livings – I’ve subscribed every since we got married in 1980. I keep all my saved pages of your recipes inside the front cover of Heart of the Home: Squash muffins, Sugar cookie hearts, BBQ spareribs, Cheesecake, Valentine brownie, Gingerbread men, Pumpkin cake, Strawberry shortcake, Crescent cookies, Pineapple upside down cake, Watermelon basket, Blueberry cobbler, Peach pie (one of my faves!!) Spring garden pasta, Vege Lasagne, and they are all a bit yellowed with splashes of food. My mom always said a good recipe is always messy from frequent use 🙂 So Susan it’s like we’ve grown up together even though we’ve never met. I’m a fan of your recipes for many many years. I even took 2 loaves of your “very plain” nutbread on a plane down to Dallas TX once. It survived very nicely on my lap double wrapped in saran wrap 🙂 LOVED seeing the “clean” versions of the recipes – WOW! ha!!

  30. Debbie N. says:

    Hello Susan,
    I am very familiar with your Country Living illustrations. I was getting the magazine on a regular basis at the time. Those illustrated recipes became a favorite of ours. I eventually tore the recipes out of the magazines, put the pages in page protectors and put them in a special binder where they happily live today. The sugar cookie, the cranberry bread and pineapple upside-down cake recipes are still favorites of my family. Sadly I didn’t get them all (there were months where I couldn’t afford Country Living), but I think I have most of them and it is still a joy to leaf through them and enjoy your lovely illustrations.
    I so enjoyed your blog today. A little trip down memory lane.
    It’s been a lovely day here in western Pennsylvania, sunny and warm. Tomorrow the weatherman is calling for rain but still mild. Spring is on its way!

  31. Robin B says:

    I am a “charter subscriber” to Country Living Magazine and I certainly remember your beautiful pages. They are what sent me out to look for your cookbooks. I treasure those cookbooks and re-read them like a novel to get in the spirit for each emerging season. Of course, some of your recipes are standards at our holiday dinners. Each year I used to try a new sweet potato recipe looking for the “winner”. The year I made your sweet potato casserole was a landmark year! I was told to stop experimenting, I had found the winner! We leave off the walnuts, sorry, but the crowd is very happy. Thank you for the love and attention you put in all of your posts. They brighten each day.

  32. Pam G. Canandaigua, N.Y. (fingerlakes) says:

    I always haved loved Country Living and remember your pages well. Today was 70 degrees by Canandaigua Lake-I cannot believe the weather! I soooo badly wanted to go out in the garden but after just coming home yesterday from a visit to the grandkids I had to see my Mom and Dad. (blessed to still have them at 89 and 90). There will be other fine days but not always mom and dad. Tomorrow it will rain and the next day snow-crazy, huh?

  33. mari1017 says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post! I so love your artwork ♥♥♥ Would you ever consider putting a collection of your CL recipes in a book just like your Willards? I would certainly buy a copy and more for my friends 🙂 Your joy for life and creativity always brings joy to my heart and a smile to my face, even at the end of a long, hard day at work! Thanks, thanks!!!
    Enjoy your Spring gardening today 🙂

  34. Sylvia Faye says:

    These last two posts are so very special…

    I can smell the freshness of spring in the gardens and the aroma of good cooking in your homey kitchen. Love your receipes made the Susan way.

    May your day continue to be blessed.

    ~Sylvia Faye

  35. Gail Buss says:

    Susan, I love all these “homey” recipes and want to try them. Love that living room with the morning sunlight filtering in but the best part is that I can see you in the mirror taking the picture……..that is so neat. Our daughter and family are coming for Easter this year so I’m thinking the Blueberry Cobbler (she loves blueberries) will be on our menu at some point that week. Hope you enjoyed working in your lovely garden today. I’m still working on Joe that I want one just like yours! I showed him the blog and also opened my copy of your Summer Cookbook and left the diagram opened on the counter. And, yes, I love CL and saw recipes of yours in the newspaper the County Register (I think that’s what it is called.) Hugs, Gail & Joe, Beverly Hills, Fl

  36. Pam T. says:

    A long time ago I bought “Heart of the Home” second hand. The kind person who sold it to me had pulled out two of your recipes from CL and included them with the book. Wasn’t that sweet of them? Reading your post, of course I remembered them and went to see which I have; the Valentine Cherry Tarts and Homemade Pickles. How fun to look back and remember…I recall being delighted that the seller thought to leave those in the book rather than discard them. Must have bee a kindred spirit who knew they would be appreciated even years later. Makes me happy to think so, anyway. 😉

  37. I don’t know why, but reading this article made me want to cry. Not because it is sad or anything, but because it is beautiful…..and beautiful just touches my heart so much that it can bring tears. I am so thankful that you are blessed with such talent and are willing to share it with us. It blesses me in so many ways to read you and see your pictures and art. Lovely….just lovely!!! <3 <3

  38. The very first time I saw your art was in Country Living Magazine… it was asparagus on toast!! I had never tried it and immediately loved it (the toast and the art!!!)! By then, your second book was out and that’s what I ordered first (yes, I have them all and your dishes, tea towels, etc…- really I’m not a stalker- I just love your “style” :)! I still have my page of asparagus on toast, loving torn from my Country Living Magazine held in my picnic basket with all my old Willards.

    I think I immediately went out and bought watercolors so I could try and paint like you! You have always felt like an amazing friend because you write on such a personal level and I always feel like you’re writing directly to me. Your kindness shines through and we all need kind, loving friends in our life!Thanks for that. I’m still doing art after all of these years and loving it- the watercolor has evolved to many other things :)!

  39. Elizabeth says:

    We have had crocuses up since the end of February…it was almost 70 degrees here in Montana on Monday, and yesterday it was 35 and snowing! We’ve started grubbing out the raised beds in preparation for planting…the dirt smells so GOOD…can’t wait to get gardening! Thanks as always for your wonderful blog…am slowly healing from the car accident and enjoying catching up.

  40. Janet says:

    Bring back Kitchen Art! Or something similar? I would LOVE to have a Susan Branch seasonal set of something! Anything! Could I make a suggestion? I myself have a strange addiction to – of all things – doors. Like you I have a big box I keep all kinds of “treasures” in and one day – just pleasantly poking around in it, I realized I had a lot of drawings and photos and greeting cards I liked [and bought but never sent to anyone] etc etc – featuring doors. I just like ’em, I guess. Formal front doors in all styles, with brass doorknockers and Christmas wreaths and baskets of flowers. Casual doors with summer screens, May baskets, seasonal decorations. Just an idea. I know whatever you wanted to do, we’d all love.

  41. I remember your posts in Country Living! LOVE them. That magazine was my bible too. I drooled every month over the contents. It was such a joy.
    I am curous about the lampshade in the last photo….there is a chance I might have made it. I used to do big folk art shows…and did a few on the Cape. That is certainly a pattern that I made. Of course, someone else could have made it but I hope it was me!!

    • sbranch says:

      Would you know Ayn Chase? I probably bought it from her here on the island. Or maybe I got one of yours!

  42. Carol C says:

    I have the recipes that I cut out of CL all those years ago, too. That mag, Country Home and Early American Life were my special joy to find in the mailbox when I got home from my day in first grade. They lost me in the shabby chic years. My taste is stuck farther in the past. Still love EAL, though.
    Yesterday at church the women missionaries spoke to the Women in the Church about their ministries. One who is retiring after 28 yrs. in Ethiopia and Kenya spoke about the miracle of water and how they had to carefully ration every drop and reuse every drop in some way. She said that the hardest thing when back in the states is seeing the waste of water; how standing in the shower of warm water for a few minutes seems so luxurious and wasteful, That it is unreal to be able to turn on the tap and have fresh, clean water to drink and that we even wash our cars with drinking water that could quench a village for a day. We are so blessed here in the USA and do take so much for granted!

  43. Cathy McC. says:

    It was a joy learning more about you, Susan. My heart was pounding as I read about the opening of your mailbox and your anticipation of the response from Country Living — was yours, as you retold the story? Thank you for reminding us all of the importance of persistence, faith, and courage. AND, I especially LOVED the way I could see you in the mirror as you were taking the picture of your deLIGHTful living room. (At first I thought it was Joe peeking around the corner!) I’m hoping that tomorrow we’ll have a sunny morning like that here in South Bend, IN. 🙂 Ethel

  44. Dorothy says:

    Always loved your column, alas, never saved due to being gifted with your books. Have always saved and used from Country Living from the 80’s – Big Beautiful Muffins. Blueberry muffins were my go to family recipe for the weekend!

  45. Mia Sophia says:

    Lovely artwork and delicious recipes! Thank you for showing us more of your charming work. I too have noticed the moring light but I am excited about daylight savings starting this weekend! I just love it when it is still light at 8-9 in the evenings…long lazy days of summer is just around the corner! I am thankful for hot showers, lights, indoor plumbing, refrigerator, a roof over my head, etc. My family lineage can be traced back to King Charlemagne (always knew I’d make a good Princess) but I’m glad I am here today and happy I was born in the 50’s. 🙂

  46. Joyce says:

    I remember your Country Living recipes/artwork. It’s what led me to buying Heart of the Home way back when. Thanks for posting a few!

  47. Anne says:

    Hi Susan: Thanks for the last 2 posts – just beautiful. I was thinking of you and everyone else too – the full moon tonight is sooooo amazing! Like a big pearl in the sky. It’s warm in Pittsburgh tonight and I’m sitting out on my deck looking at it right now. Love love Country Living – I’ve recently resubscribed to it after a few years and so glad I did. Your beautiful watercolors fit right in those pages. Hope you had fun gardening today. Thanks again:-)

  48. I love Dreams Come True stories! I cut out and saved 22 of your Country Living recipes and put them in a notebook as my first Susan Branch cookbook, but I don’t have the Cherry Tart and Blueberry Cobbler ones. Do you know off hand how many you did altogether? How did I miss them?!

    Enjoy the early morning light while you can this week….we’re being put back in the dark again this coming Sunday! At least we’ll have more light in the evening to work in our gardens!

    • sbranch says:

      Someone in the comment section mentioned how many there were — It’s somewhere in the 20’s but I forget what she said!

  49. Gert~Iowa says:

    Susan, oh my goodness I just love these & was not a subscriber at that time so really enjoy seeing them now! I can see why they were excited to have you jump on board!! smile… I bet they thought they had struck gold!

    Hope you had fun working outside today! Our temps went down….today…quite a change from our 76 degree temps yesterday! smile…

    Was thinking of you while I had my cup of English tea! Oh yes, with a bit of Sue Bee..(our local) honey! smile…


  50. Cynthia Krynock says:


    I loved this….from beginning to end….loved the kitchen wall art and will be making some of the recipes, starting tomorrow morning…squash muffins sound super yummy, don’t they? And I thank you for the reminder of how blessed we really are….sometimes we forget that all the conveniences that we have and use daily, weren’t always available….and the sunshine…oh, yeah! It was amazing to see it at 6:30 this morning…got the kettle on to boil and stood at our deck door basking in it!


  51. Alyssa says:

    Hi Susan,
    Love how the sun saturates in the morning! My favorite time with tea or coffee and Max the dog. Love your green walls in the living room. I see you have “one of those” pets too! I, too, have that same green color in my kitchen and hallways. I love it! Hope you enjoyed your garden work. I was able to do a bit last week before the snow hit. We never cut much down either as my husband loves the look of the sea grass and other grasses in the snow. Back to you-You have a beautiful home and I love it all! You’re such a good soul, Susan who enjoys the beauty of it all! I love that! Your blog is my mini-vacation;)Off to correct papers~Spring is almost here (TOMORROW!) ;)Alyssa of Boston Bee

  52. Mary S. says:

    Your cute, funny blog!! Always make me laugh!
    I have some of those BEAUTIFUL recipe pages from Country Living that I cut out and saved from years ago!! and I didn’t even know you back then! But I absolutely LOVED them and couldn’t throw them away!
    Thank you for showing us more of your beautiful home!! I always love seeing it! (I LOVE the picture on your wall in the last photo!!)

  53. Peggy says:

    I have your apple cake recipe from country living in my favorite recipe book
    Your recipes and art helped to buy country living
    Thanks for the memories they were lucky to have you

  54. Christine Stadler says:

    Oh my gosh, so many of us are kindred souls collecting and appreciating the intrinsic beauty in art work, morning light, an old familiar recipe, gardening etc. One could happily go on and on… I too, have your warm and comforting recipes tucked away in my three ring binders. We could start a club couldn’t we all?? Susan, I am one of the girls who begged you to talk about your Country Living illustrations. Thanks for sharing with all of us today! You shower us with your down to earth reflections and observations. Like spring bulbs, we, your readers again gain the chance to stretch and grow as we poke our heads above our daily lives. We are newly inspired, and, thanks to your inspiration, we flourish and search for yet a new way to create beauty and nurturing for those we cherish. I can’t wait for your kitchen art prints to be made available again!
    Christine in Southern Connecticut

  55. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan….i have been a faithful Country Living girl since 1979..the year i got married and still, to this day, consider it my muse. Been being inspired by you in many forms after all these years!!!! smiling….. love, cindy
    ps…especially love the blueberry cobbler one..thanks for reminding me..xoxo

  56. Jeanine says:

    I still have some of those recipes! I carefully tore them out and saved them. They are kind of yellowed but I don’t care. Would you consider putting them all together into a book? I would LOVE it!!!!! Maybe you need to contact Country Living again…

  57. Barb says:

    Hi Susan, I do think about how we live in much more comfort and luxury than even the kings and queens of old. It especially came to mind as we were touring Versailles several years ago. Sure, there were fine furnishings, fabrics, and art, but our guide told us it would get so cold in there in the winter that their drinks would freeze! Then we saw Marie Antoinette’s bathroom – with a tub that looked like a horse trough! Give me indoor plumbing, electricity and central heat/air any day.
    I love reading about your lovely home and garden. Thanks for sharing your Country Living recipes. I subscribe now, but was not receiving the magazine back then.

    • sbranch says:

      Even if you had a maid to boil your water and fill your tub, it would never be as wonderful as turning on the faucet and pouring in the bubbles!

  58. Linda P says:

    You selected some recipes I had not seen in the CL magazine. I have several I have torn out and put with very special recipes – that’s when I first met you. I knew then we were girlfriends!! I would have loved to have seen the prints framed!
    I went gaga over the Peach pie recipe. We planted a peach tree here when we built our little mountain home – it was ready to bear fruit last year, and did and we woke up one morning and there was nothing, not sure what happened to them. It bloomed like crazy – we were so excited.
    I picked blueberries from trees, isn’t that how they grow? You talking of wild berry bushes?
    Have fun in the garden, cleaning it all up. Pretty weather is on us!!

    • sbranch says:

      As far as I know there are high bush blueberries and low. But for all I know, they’ve now made blueberry trees. I’ll have to look that up — I’d love one!

  59. CAROL OLIVER says:

    Hi Susan,
    Enjoyed your story…I love Country Living…and have been subscribing for over 20 years…and remember Rachel Newman…thanks for the Heads up on her Art work.I took a look…wow…pretty awesome…very lovely work…and I love what she paints…your work is forever…old or new…its fabulous…I can see why CL picked you up all those years ago, with such beautiful Watercolor and Writing. I knew you when, my favorites to this day…still GIRLFRIENDS and the LOVE book and thank you Susan…both signed by you. Loved your Blog as usual…thank you for completing my day…
    Carol O. in So. Cal.

  60. Lin says:

    I remember them, Susan, and I’m another who tore them out and still have them saved at home!! I just couldn’t bear to part with them, even after I got so many of your books. Loved seeing them again!

  61. Joanie B from San Diego says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, it gives me courage to TRY. That is my goal for this year to try my dream. If I don’t try I will never know what could be, I’ll only be frozen in my fears and doubts.
    Yes, there are so many simple gifts to be thankful for, eyes to see the sunshine, water, food, etc, etc. My personal favorite is…. my BED. I am so thankful for my nice warm bed every night. 😉
    Also thankful that I have something to look forward too every other day… this blog!

  62. Bonnie Crawford --Arroyo Grande, California (Where we miss Susan!!) ;-) says:

    Hi Sue!~~
    After all these years of knowing you, I never knew that you had your recipes published regularly in Country Living! I have back issues I have saved, so now I’ll have to look at how far back they go! How wonderful! =) You were featured again a few years ago in their Fall issue, and I saved that one! Remember when I wrote to their editor about you, and they printed it? =) (I still have that copy too…) They were so smart to work together with you, and you have added a whole new wonderful touch to the Country Living feel! Thank you for posting those recipes. I will print them off, and add them to my Susan Branch cookbook!

  63. Pamela Jo says:

    I’ve been away for the last week, so really enjoyed catching up with your blog tonight. Beautiful artwork! The dried flowers photo from your previous post is so lovely and colorful. I bought a flower press several years ago, but each time I dry some blooms they come out faded to a dead looking, brown color. I never have any luck getting such colorful results. Maybe I’ll try using a big dictionary the next time I press some. Have a great night.

  64. Nicki Anderson says:

    Just as you loved Country Kitchen Magazine…. is the thrill I feel when I see your name pop into my email ! I just LOVE your blog. Thanks for all the entertaining moments you share. Yes, I read them over and over.!

  65. Joan in TX says:

    Okay you talked me into it. I’m going to ask… I love your couch and arm chair! I’m in the market for a new couch – where did you get them if you don’t mind me asking. Are the slipcovered? They are so white and clean looking especially with two kitties around. In fact just about everything always looks so tidy and clean in your photos. I only have one (short hair) kitty and it’s an ongoing battle with cat hair at place. You must vacuum and dust daily!

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t know why but my cats don’t seem to leave much hair . . . unless it’s on the place they take their naps. And, yes, the sofas and chair are slipcovered in matelasse. I bought them many years ago, I’m not even sure where!

  66. Rosemary says:

    I am so glad you showed the pages you did in Country Living magazine! They are so charming and pretty and just maybe that is where I first spotted Susan Branch! I took CL for the first seven years of its existence and saved every copy for years. Just in the last couple of years did I renew my subscription and am happy to have it again. Someone previously commented on being from Canandaigua Lake in NY and that was fun because that is where we visit in the summer.
    Don’t you love that morning sun streaming in in the early a.m.? Certain times of the year, it is especially nice where it comes in the living room window, streams across the floor through the pass-through fireplace into the kitchen! The only problem I see with this is….it certainly shows off the dirty windows!!!!! These small things are so enjoyable. Love how you notice these treasures, so relatable.

  67. Jenny L. says:

    I remember those recipes. Just looking at them now takes me back to that time in my life. I was such a fan of anything you did and still am. I read your cookbooks like they were novels, even if I never made a single recipe. Your Heart of the Home book was the first one I read (stumbled on it at the library) and it was my favorite until the Christmas book. It warms me just thinking about all the delightful work in that book. I can’t tell you how many friends I let borrow my Susan Branch books because I wanted them to experience the magic too! It has been great getting to know you better through your blog. My tuxedo kitty that I got about the same time you got Jack has really stolen our hearts. My husband (not really a cat lover) has fallen in love with him. A friend of mine mentioned that she thought he had bengal in him and I googled it and there are black bengal cats. Obviously he is mixed with something else because of the white on him but there is definitely something different about him. He fits all the personality quirks and body style (huge ears too) of the bengal. He gets into a lot of trouble but we love his bossy personality Now, if his brother Sammy the tabby would fall in love with him all would be well. It might help if Teddy would stop attacking him when he is bored! I can’t let him outside here because we do not have a cat friendly neighborhood so I am going to try him on a leash. I will keep you posted on how it goes and try to find the time to send you a picture.

    • sbranch says:

      I read something the other day that says kitties should be 2 years old before they go out on their own, because they are too nutty and crazy to pay close attention to where they are if they go when they’re young. I’m thinking about going that way if I possibly can. It will be hard in the summer. But I would have a bit of a meltdown if something happened to Jack! I love the sound of your kitty’s big ears!!

  68. Joann says:

    Hi Susan!!!
    These are just lovely… favorite part is when you said you put little rolling pins and such around the letter….so she’d like you…..that’s so honest!!!

    Well….she did and I do, too!!! LOVE the pages; thank you so much for sharing them!!

  69. Receiving letters from magazines and Publishing companies in writing- because YOU have to self address the corresspondence is like writing a letter to yourself that you were DENIED!! It’s cruelty at its worst when you love to send and receive correspondence! This post made the jitters build in my stomach, my palms sweat and my heart pound! And it made me remember that all those letters DO pay off! Occassionally!!!! And to KEEP DOING it! Never give up!

    It also reminded me of James Harriot- the sweet, English Vet who would send his BRICKS to publishing companies and always get them resent to his home where they landed with a big “thump” when the post pushed it through his door slot! His book: All Creatures Great and Small is a MUST read for any individual….. I HIGHLY recommend this peaceful book about a hard working man in the country helping poor farmers and innocent animals for meager amounts of money, in locations that often caused him to walk by foot to reach, and about the humble people who owned, loved, and raised these animals.

    Beautiful. And even he got rejected over and over!! Imagine what we would have missed had he thrown in the towel! : )

  70. Dorothy Ann says:

    * Hi Susan * March 8, 2012 @ 12 Midnight Pacific Time.

    Your Blog today was absolutely wonderful. I loved those lovely photos…and your delightful artwork recipes for Country Living Magazine(I did notice the tiny spoons and hearts and cherry tarts you painted within the recipes)…and the “icing on the cake”, well, that would be those yummy recipes! Oh! the sun..that glorious morning sun greeting you in your living room! Now that is a beautiful wake-up scene.

    In Girlfriend Robin B’s post today, she mentioned your special sweet potato casserole recipe. Any chance you could post it in one of your up-and-coming blogs? Perhaps it is in one of your Cookbooks? I don’t have all of your books, yet, Susan, but I am working on that! That sweet potato recipe sounds soooo delicious! Thanks.

    If I may quote from your little heart design…from your CherryTarts Recipe:
    “When this you see, Remember me”…
    * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington.

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Dorothy Ann . . . that recipe is in both my Autumn Book and my Christmas Book . . . hope you have those!

      • Dorothy Ann says:

        * Hi again Susan *
        Thank you for your note about the recipe for your Sweet Potato Casserole and that it can be found in the pages of either your Autumn Book or your Christmas Book.

        Well…no…I don’t have those books…yet…but I will order one or perhaps both from your web store this weekend, if they are available. How deliciously delightful…I will have more Susan Branch Books to add to my beginning collection
        of your keepsake books!
        Love, * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain,Washington *

        • sbranch says:

          Its probably not so much Sweet Potato Casserole season anymore, but I’ll probably be putting the recipe up next fall!

          • Dorothy Ann says:

            * Susan…you are so right! * Sweet potato casseroles are so perfect for the fall or winter seasons..
            So, I shall wait ’til and I’ll look forward to you posting that recipe then. Thanks, Susan.

            Oh so sorry to hear you had some sort of a “blog glitch” today as you were writing your new Blog! We will all appreciate it even more because you had to re-write it.
            Happy weekend!
            * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, WA *

    • Lori from Maine says:

      Hi Dorothy Ann – How are things in your part of the world? It’s 54 degrees here today, bright and sunny, but it’s “blowin’ a gale” as they say up here. I keep thinking I see little green shoots coming up, but it’s just my imagination (runnin’ away with me….).
      I don’t know which of Susan’s posts hit me the most…her beautiful gardens or the recipes – I enjoyed both of them so much! 🙂
      Maybe we can try to ask Susan again about girlfriends exchanging e-mail addresses??

      • sbranch says:

        I’m not sure how to do that . . .

      • Dorothy Ann says:

        * Hi Lori from Maine * 3/9 @ 12:16 am Pacific Time

        Soooo wonderful to hear from you again! Everything is just fine here in our little corner of the world. We had a hint of spring today, our temperatures were in the fifties and we had a bit of sunshine for about 15 minutes! More rain showers are on their way, though, but we are used to that in March and April. Brings May flowers, as they say.

        I see from your note that you had a balmy 54 degrees today too, but on the blustery side. Oh! beautiful Maine, but it can get very windy along the coast, for sure.

        I know what you mean, Lori, Susan’s most recent 2 posts were awesome…her magical garden and all that she grows there and her Country Living Magazine artwork/recipes were all so special. I,too, enjoyed both of them. Susan is so talented, genuine, sharing and loving and it translates into everything she does in her work and her life.

        Aren’t we lucky to have “connected” to her via her Blog?
        I feel lucky to have met and connected with you too!
        I know you read my 3/3 reply to you.
        Did you happen to catch my follow-up note, written on 3/4, on the “Dancing Chickens Blog”?

        Regarding sharing our e-mail addresses, Susan did reply that she’s not quite sure how to do that. And, as busy as she is, I know we shouldn’t bother her about it. But, what I can say is, let’s just you and I think how we can get each others e-mail connections without posting it here.
        On Susan’s Blog reply page it says: Your e-mail address will not be published. A security factor, I think.

        So, in the meantime…look for more little notes coming to you, Lori from Maine from:
        * Dorothy on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

  71. Marie says:

    Susan, I used to devour every issue of Country Living when I lived in Canada and was a lot younger. I used to save each issue and they moved everywhere with me during my many moves as a Military Wife way back then. I do remember your illustrated recipes very well and they were favourites then and are favourites now. As a fellow artist who struggles to be seen, I truly admire the courage it must have taken for you to put yourself out on a limb like that. I keep sending my stuff off to card companies, but so far there are no takers. I sell loads by word of mouth, each one hand made and printed, but it is so labour intensive. The card companies just keep telling me that I am “not their image.” but I must be someone’s because I almost can’t keep up with the hand made ones that people want. I will keep trying because one of these days, like you . . . I just might find one who thinks that I am “their image!” Thanks for the pep talk and inspiration! xxoo

  72. How thoughtful of you to share these beautifully illustrated recipes; I have never seen an American Country Living, so this is a real treat that you did this today (or yesterday?).
    Love Jack’s blurry dash across the living room. That is one of the wonders of digital photography!
    The Kings and Queens of yore didn’t have it half as well as we do today. It makes me sad though, that so many in our precious world don’t have it half as good as we do; what we have and what we take for granted. We are lucky and blessed.

  73. Carol says:

    Thank you Susan! I am looking forward to making the blueberry cobbler this weekend for family 🙂 you continue to be my inspiration…you are a Godsend 🙂

  74. Sandra Przybylo says:

    I had also saved all your recipe pages from Country Living magazine. I had been so disappointed when they stopped appearing!

  75. Victoria says:

    Dear Susan,
    Your recipes are so yummy and beautiful! Thank you for sharing them with us. All of your work should be out and available as it is timeless and so delightful and it gives me and so many so much joy! I never tire of looking at all your art I have collected over the years. I do hope you can make available the prints individually, or compile them into a book.
    I was wondering if you could tell me what years they appeared in CL magazine?

    Well, I’m always dreaming up ideas…as I tell my friends, take what you like and let the rest go…
    I’ve been thinking that it would be great if you could do a Susan Branch App. or even several! ha! ( I’m always over thinking). You could use your artwork and quotes and feature your cooking videos and many of the things you have already done on your blog. I would love to see you do videos of you doing your water color painting… And love Girlfriend’s idea of a house tour. I found your walks to the beach or driving to the grocery store really interesting. Some of my favorites were even before your blog, a dog on your porch on a snowy day and your kitchen at Christmas… I played them over and over. Your writing and pictures stir up so many wonderful memories. Us girlfriends love seeing the world through your eyes!
    I really know nothing about making Apps but I understand that once they ‘re up there, the $ just keeps rolling in… which pays the bills and gives more free time to do your fun things and relax!
    Some of the most well done Apps I have seen are Martha Stewart’s …Check our her Cookie App. Of course a very fancy production company did this in her style, but perhaps you could do one in your style. I saved the best for last … A Jack App! Who could resist?…

    Susan, You’re on Fire!!! You Go Girl! We love it all! xo!


    • sbranch says:

      What wonderful ideas you have, love them all! I believe my art appeared in Country Living from 1987 to 1991. Here I go, off to check out Martha Stewart’s cookie app!

  76. Jeannine Holmes, SC says:

    You really know how to catch beautiful moments! (and . . . I can see you in the mirror!) Sunrise is my favorite time of day and it’ll soon be warm enough to sit on the back porch in the dark morn and watch for “le point vierge”. Wonderful, glorious morn!!!

  77. Sue C says:

    Hi Susan,
    I remember seeing your sweet recipe illustrations in Country Living — loved them then, love them now just as much.

    Right now it’s a little over 50 degrees. Spring is in the air. Noticed a wonderful bed of yellow crocus on my walk to the library yesterday. Funny how it made me feel so good.

    Hope you had fun in the garden yesterday !

  78. Miss Pat in Indiana says:

    I had a “Girlfriends” day yesterday and didn’t get to read the newest blog until this morning. It’s mild and rainy in Indiana today. Looking at the blog, it would seem to me that each of the recipes that were included if printed, would look wonderful in a kitchen. Along with your calendar, they would just make the kitchen an even more cheerful place. Thanks for sharing.

  79. Hi Susan, I love waking up to bird song! Yes, we do live in easier times thanks to technology! How luxurious to be able to walk in the kitchen with the coffee already brewed, pop toast in the toaster and take out nice brown cinnamon toast, turn on our electric light and open up your wonderful fun exciting blog! Seeing a flash of jack, and morning sun shining thru your windows in another part of the country! Walk down memory lane! I always love Country Living mag, don’t subscribe any more, they have changed and gotten larger, and I just plain don’t have the room, cause I like to keep them! I finally whiddled away and kept the pages I wanted out of each one, and sold the rest at a garage sale! So many ladies love these magazines! The pages I frame and change out each month are the Simple Pleasures that were on the last page! I love them! Also love your art work on the recipes, havent framed your pages, I have them in my recipe albums, BUT! I am going to get them out and frame them, when I get my new kitchen! Yea!
    Thanks for the sharing!
    xoxoxo Tweet Tweet!!!

  80. Sandi Zier says:

    Oh my Gosh, you lifted my spirits, waiting is so hard. I did a pitch your product to Country Living after them accepting my submissions to them that I really debated over doing. I pitched in October and am still waiting. Your talent inspires me to keep on working at what I love to do and keep on working at it every day after early morning playtime with the cat ROXO. Thank you, thank you.

  81. queenmum says:

    I LOVE this post! Last November a box arrived from my dear sister; it contained a few birthday gifts and some odds and ends. My favorite thing in there was the stash of your Country Living pages that she had cut out and saved all this time…and then decided that they would have a better home with me. Aren’t sisters WONDERFUL??

  82. Cyndy Szarzynski says:

    I, too, loved Country Living from the Rachel Newman era. Even though I still subscribe, I am not as satisfied with the current format – change is not always a good thing.

    Susan, you are such a positive person. That is a wonderful characteristic. But, the reality is that the world is changing. Our life, as we know it, is changing. And, I do believe, not in a good way. I wish people would become more aware of what is truly happening under their noses so that we can work together to keep our country great! I do not want to lose my freedoms. Do you? Time is running out.

    Being positive is a good direction to take, I get it; but it will not stop the new, negative direction our country is making – life as we have enjoyed, will not be available to the future. Most people are unwilling/afraid to speak their minds. Soon, it will not matter. Whatever is important to you personally (and I am speaking to the general population) will soon be gone – food choices, health care choices, vehicle choices, religious choices,…get the drift, the reality?

    Our freedoms are slowly being taken from us.

    Yes, we all need to stay positive for peace of mind and you are very helpful in that regard, but we need to educate ourselves to what is coming and be prepared for a less than ordinary life.

    I grew up poor, worked hard, and made my life better than my parents. Today, the entitlement program does not stress work, personal worth, a better life. There is a huge percentage of the population that is very willing to take the government handouts because it is easier than working for a living. It is not working in Greece. Yes, help those that truly are in need. The others need to find a job and self-respect.

    I know this is not the kind of response you expected from your blog, but the closing just hit a sore spot with me.

    I do not want to be one of those who said nothing, and was remorseful about the outcome. Maybe I am wrong, and maybe I am not. But, being prepared never hurt anybody!

    • sbranch says:

      Since the first time I read this quote by Gladys Taber many years ago, I have followed her wise advice:
      “But in this season it is well to reassert that the hope of mankind rests in faith. As man thinketh, so he is. Nothing much happens unless you believe in it, and believing there is hope for the world is a way to move toward it.”
      Sometimes I turn off the TV, turn off all the noise; I just listen to the birds and lawn mowers in the neighborhood, the kids voices walking to the grammar school; I take note that if all I did was look around my neighborhood, and get my news from my girlfriends, I’d hear how so and so was having a baby, so and so had passed away, so and so was painting her living room, so and so had tried a new recipe and, pretty much, things would be exactly the same today as they have always been.

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        Your quote from Gladys is exactly why I read your blog, & buy your books, Dear Sue. We all know the reality of life, but, bless you for giving us such a lovely respite, & I thank you from the bottom of my heart. God Bless! xoxox

        • sbranch says:

          Like another favorite quote
          “I am weary of swords and courts and kings. Let’s go into the garden.” xoxo

          • Joan Lesmeister says:

            Perfect! 🙂

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            I really like your responses to the above. I truly believe that optimism and positive thinking will stand us in greater stead through our lives and future than negativism. I think that is one of the many good things about your blog, Susan, this spreading of your optimism, positive thinking, and happy thoughts. Several years ago in a time of my life when I had lost both parents, was working long hours, not getting enough sleep or “down time”, and had had a couple of negative things happen in my life, I realized one day that I was waking up in a “negative cloud”. One negative thought seemed to lead to another. I am thankful that I realized it and made the conscious decision that I was going to change my way of looking at life. Being positive snowballs–it makes you a happier person and that rubs off on everyone you come into contact with. It colors the way you look at your world as well as your daily life. And, in the end, it strengthens and enables a person to accomplish more good–like passing a light. It reminds me of what our church does, and I know many do the same, at the Christmas Eve service. We all have unlit candles and at the end of the service, the electric lights are turned off and we pass the light along by lighting the person’s candle standing next to you, and then that person lights the person next to them, and so on. And pretty soon there is light in the dark room…So thanks for passing the light of optimism and happy thinking along to the world in your blog! 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            Beautiful Pat! That’s exactly why we are here, to keep each other’s candles lit! xoxo

          • Dorothy Ann says:

            Hi Susan..
            Love your two oh-so-special reply quotes…one from Gladys Taber and the other… “swords courts and kings and let’s go into the garden”. By the way who wrote that quote?

            Now, if I may add another “positive” quote…It is from a Classic Bette Davis movie, and I know how much you and Joe love classic movies,”Now Voyager”. At the end of the movie, Bette is trying so hard to be positive for Paul Henreid, who asks if she is content. She says: Oh! Let’s not ask for the moon, we have the stars”!
            Have a wonderful weekend, Susan and all our Girlfriends!
            * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, WA *

          • sbranch says:

            That was Mary Johnston. I believe she’s the novelist who wrote To Have and To Hold. Thanks Dorothy!

      • Sandi Zier says:

        what great advice, thanks

  83. Kelli says:

    Country Living is one of my favorite magazines! I wish I was a subscriber when you were in it. One other magazine I LOVED was Country Home. I was so upset when they discontinued it. I have all your books so far and I just pulled out the Summer Book. With the weather being so messed up here in central NY, It seems as Spring has sprung a few times. Next week the temps are all in the mid 50’s and with springing the clocks ahead it makes me want to work in the flower beds.
    Keep being AMAZING Susan!!

  84. I am waving my hand in the air as one who saved your prints from Country Living Magazine back in the day, Susan! I love each and every one of them! I still own quite a few late 70’s, 80’s and nineties Country Living magazines but I have been slowly going through them, removing what I want to keep to a folder and disposing of the rest. I’m in a “downsizing” mood lately and I’m trying to simplify my collections.

    Aren’t the longer days delightful? It is “Spring Ahead” weekend so we will see another change of light next week,

    Have a wonderful day and enjoy your gardening!



  85. Marie (Williamsburg, Virginia) says:

    Hi Susan~me again. Just wanted to give a “shout-out” to “Deb from Dixie.” Thanks for the “Kindred Spirit” poem, Deb; I have now entered it in my “journal
    of quotes & poems.” Sharing is one of the best parts of FOSB and this blog. BIG thanks, Susan!

    Happy EVERYTHING, Susan and Girlfriends!

    Marie xo

    • Debbie P Weedsport, NY (near Syracuse) says:

      Great idea, Marie! I’ve got to start a journal of favorite quotes and poems!

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      I too, am keeping a journal… many quotes, poems, or ideas from Susan and the girlfriends have touched me. This post seems to have really sparked discussion…..I agree with the Gladys Tabor quote Susan posted and thank you Pat Mofjeld, for your reponse and reminding us that each of us has the power to light our candle and pass on the light of optimism. In a world where we all face daily challenges….the kindred spirits here…share, laugh and support as we get to know each other….what could be better than that?

  86. Barb says:

    Hello Susan,

    Thank you for sharing this post. I never got to see all of these before. Congratulations to you……on all your hard work and your persaverance for never giving up! You are truly an amazing woman. Its so exciting how you have become a teacher to all of us girlfriends from all over the country and the world, whether we have found your work years ago in a magazine, a cookbook, your art, or through your Williards, or your new blog and your videos and the list could just go on.
    I for one, will also mention that if you could do your own Magazine… would be
    fantastic. You have such a great following of people whom always want more because you feed our souls with so much delight and everything is so much appreciated. Thank You!

    Barb from Ludlow, MA

  87. Valerie Mathews says:

    Hi Susan, I have two pages from Country Living that I have saved all these years. One is from June 1989 for your Pineapple Upside-Down Cake and another that is not dated for Asparagus on Toast. I love these pages as much today as when I first saw them. What great memories you have brought back!!!

  88. Karen Saunders says:

    susan, i was just wondering…are the illustrated recipes above copies of ones in your books or were they done especially for CL?? just wondering.

  89. NANCY JO says:

    Hi Susan,
    I just went to see if any of my older Country livings had you featured. And I found one. “Holiday Fudge” ta-da!. So I cut it out and put it with my Susan collection.
    Nancy Jo

  90. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Hello Sweet Sue Oh How I Love All Your Art~Work from The Country Living Magazine…Beyond Gorgeous! When I see The Dates Below of when each Picture was Printed It brings Back such Memories….Through The Years….Goosebumps…Thank You for Sharing these with all of Us…so How was Your Day in Your Garden?….it Hit Me That Saint Patrick’s Day will soon Be Here & I know I’m gonna Make Corn Beef & Cabbage & New Potatos Yummy…Hey do You have a Yummy Recipe for Irish Soda Bread?…..Let us Know! Thanks! Wishing You & Joe & Everybody a Magical Night Under The Full~Moon! Yay! I woke up at 5:00 am this Morning Krept Out into The Garden… Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh & The Full~Moon was Huge & Bright White with a Halo…so Of Course I Twirled & Made My Wishes! 🙂 xoxo Poof!

  91. jacqui G says:

    Hi Susan! I have some of these that I tore out of my Country Living all those years ago. One of my favorites was the pickle one. Do you remember that? This was how I discovered you in the first place…guess you never knew how many girlfriends you would end up with from those beautiful illustrations 🙂 Been so busy lately- but I read every blog! xoxo Jacqui

  92. pat addison says:

    susan just read one of the post that you plan to try to leash train jack. my cats, 2 out of the 4 are leashed trained, Tabitha is just starting her training, and miss kitty will be starting soon. we have the harness on Tabitha, and she doesn’t mind it too much, but when we attach the leash she sort of freaks so we let her run loose(in the house only) with harness and leash on. she is starting to calm down with it and will walk with us a bit before she tries to eat the leash. she is only 1 and a half years old now. the others, Tabby and Midnight were leashed trained much younger, like at 6 months of age and took to it right away. they love roaming the yard on their leashes, just look out when they want to climb trees after birds and squirrels!!! then it gets fun as you are standing by the tree holding onto the leash and the cat is trying its best to get that bird or squirrel. it looks ridiculous!! LOL!!!!! but our cats love their leash walks, and we walk the property daily with them.

  93. I too remember your wonderful pages from Country Living magazine. (just reading this blog should be enough to convince any publisher to help you make this book a reality) After several moves and downsizing, I no longer have mine, so would really love to see it happen. I’m still a subscriber to CL, but I agree that it is no longer the treat it used to be–nowadays, it’s more about other countries and their customs etc. It’s time for the pendulum to swing back again. So glad to have found your blog recently, and have been enjoying everything you share with us all.

  94. theresa says:

    I love Country Living magazine : ) and I remember those adorable recipes you did!!! I loved them, they always made you want to go fix them right away! 🙂 So cute! I have been drooling over that garden !! My hubby is in for some work :). I love to garden !

  95. Gail from Hingham, Mass. says:

    Dear Susan,
    Your fans are everywhere! While at the gym this morning I noticed a woman reading Country Living Magazine while walking on the treadmill. Sure enough, she is a “Susan Branch Girlfriend” and we had a lovely conversation all about your wonderful blog. I can’t wait to buy my own copy of CLM. You are so spot on when you say that it’s the little things in life that often bring us the most delight. Wishing you a lovely evening.

  96. Marcia A. Sherman says:

    I had a two similar experiences: I approached the editor of my local newspaper and told him I wanted to be the paper’s Anna Quindlen, he told me to submit something and I ended up writing a human interest column for about 18 months; later I sent in an essay to Llwewellyn Publications – a cold call if you will – and an editor got back to me with a request to make it longer for one of their annuals. I enter my fourth year of writing for them very soon. As I tell my daughter (and anyone else who will listen) “the answer is always no if you do not ask”. Now if I could just get someone to publish my children’s book – I keep asking…
    MASherman in Sewell, NJ

  97. Jean D. says:


  98. Terri says:

    When my old issues of Country Living were taking over my bookcases and I had to force myself to part with some of them, I went through them to find all your lovely drawings and recipes to keep. Your work in Country Living was my (and my best friend’s) first introduction to you, I think, and we’ve loved your work ever since.

  99. Pam T. says:

    Oops! So sorry…just realized it’s (not .com) :/

    • Pam T. says:

      Ok, now that’s just so silly. I wrote to you about a post that got “lost”. It was before this and then I remembered something and posted this…and now the original post is somewhere in the ether and you have no idea what I’m talking about! LOL! The wonders of technology!! ;0)

  100. Jan says:

    Left a comment on your blog March 7 @ 1016am – still states awaiting moderation ????? Shouldn’t take that long to get to you, should it???? This has happened to me before.

    • sbranch says:

      Hmmmm. Drives me crazy. I have no idea. There’s nothing awaiting moderation. I have gremlins. SO sorry! Let’s see if this goes through . . .

      • Jan says:

        Yay! This comment did get through. Guess I will repeat what I had written on the 7th. Loved the Country Living prints and recipes! Wondered if there was a printer friendly version of these and others you sometimes post as I have a homemade three ring binder collection of recipes I keep. Had said I saw four fat robins hopping around in the front yard – a sure sign of Spring here in Michigan. Liked your living room picture also. Noticed all of your pillows, (lovely) my husband always asks me – Why do we need so many pillows? My response: Trust me, It’s a girl thing! Hope you had a good day outside and in the garden!!

        • sbranch says:

          Oh good! Sorry about the other one! I’m not sure what is or isn’t printer friendly or how to make it so, although occasionally we do put up free bookmarks to give away that people can print out; Kellee told me yesterday that she’s making sets of the Country Living recipes suitable for framing that are going to be available in our web store.

          And I do understand the pillows!

          • Jan says:

            Thanks for your response! The Country Living framable prints sound like a great idea!! Have printed some of your bookmarks and stationary pages. Some of the cooking web sites have the recipes that you can print out, so you don’t have to hand copy. Thanks again!! Have a great weekend!!

    • Pam T. says:

      I feel a little better now. I left a message for you yesterday that also still says “awaiting moderation”. I was beginning to feel left out! ;0) (kidding of course, I know technology isn’t always as perfect as we presume it to be). You would never ignore me, I’m quite sure of that! 🙂

      • sbranch says:

        No, I do really love everyone’s comments! But so you know it isn’t all one sided, today I did a brand new post, had it almost all done, when the blog went down and took all my work with it!!! (I’m trying to get over it).

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