Welcome to Happy Land . . . with Musica . . .
You might be wondering where I’ve been . . . I’ve been right here . . .
And I just finished page sixty of our book, the English Diary! Only two more gazillion pages to go, but we are getting there!
C R E A T I V I T Y
I’ve been focused like a laser, not letting myself get led down the primrose path; getting up really early, making tea, going through the house, flipping on lights, throwing the ball for Jack, and watching the sun come up, sometimes turning on a little French music to get me going — smoothing out a clean piece of watercolor paper, and in my imagination and through my paintbrush, I stand at the ship’s rail looking out over the Atlantic Ocean, or wander through English cottage gardens. Before I start work I draw my Angel Card and find out which wonderful word should guide my day. I loved this morning’s word!
I try to put my very best on every page . . . I want it to be something I can be proud of and something you will love. It is a little strange when you think that at one time these pages did not exist and now, here it is, slowly but surely, taking shape and becoming a book. Making something out of nothing. Kind of like cooking!
I thought you might like to see a little bit of it, although I hope you don’t mind if I don’t show it too close! I want it to be a surprise! But I also think you deserve to see that it’s really happening! You are so patient!
I’m handwriting it, like I’ve done with all my books, which is the thing that takes the longest. I actually kept the diary every day while we were in England, but I scribbled it quickly (and sloppily) so I could get it all down and not forget the details — I took my writing with me everywhere, always had it in the car, took it to pubs, even brought it along when we went on walks so I could write or sketch if we stopped for tea, and in the different gardens we visited; I painted too, especially in places like Beatrix Potter’s house where we weren’t allowed to take photos, so I would have it when we got home. Now I’m copying the words over neatly, in my “good handwriting,” painting borders and illustrating the pages, adding souvenirs and photographs. It’s pretty darn cute if I do say so myself.
My studio is filled with inspiration; especially books. I believe™ in the concept of “Book Osmosis,” where, if you surround yourself with the creativity and brilliantness of others, it will rub off on you; plus, I want to be sure I’m giving the correct name for the flowers we saw, the birds and the trees . . . And of course, wherever I go, so goeth Beatrix Potter. ♥ Because love is as love does. ♥
I’m having fun choosing and laying out the photos . . . more opportunity for the imagination to stay in England!
Lately the book is all I think about; I love it so much, I’m probably getting a little compulsive about it (this is where Joe would look up and say, “probably?”); I think about it all the time; that age-old question, “what do they want to know about, what can I give them that will bring them there?” I wake up every morning, with my foot wiggling, by brain clicking; sometimes, it’s the “AHA” ideas of things to add to the book that gets me bounding down the stairs. My life, in all other respects, has narrowed to the essentials. Eat (we still have lobster on beach every so often; this is not a forced-labor camp), sleep, walk, knit, read, and create. Notice what came first? (Not necessarily in that order, I should add!) I watched Miss Potter again last night, and knit. See, not all bad!
My “true treasures of home” . . . here the children are this morning, a rare moment in peaceable kingdom; and I did not order them into this position (like I even could) — But, this togetherness won’t last; already you notice Girl’s face is saying, “Take him back, I’m begging you; look at him . . . he’s looking at me again. Make him stop.” And he is repeating the same question over and over at a thousand words a minute, “What’d she say, what’d she say, what’s she saying? Tell me what she said!”
And while I’m consumed with my work, and Jack is consumed with Girl, the world continues to turn; fall arrived yesterday, and was crowned with a sunset rainbow last night, right outside our front door! I think I have never seen brighter colors on a rainbow! It’s supposed to be cool and dry for at least a week; I’m wearing a sweater right now; we had to put a down comforter on the bed last night (windows open, crisp ocean breeze coming in, heaven)! Joe and I just planned a leaf-peeping, four-day getaway for the end of this month for a surprise for us, since we have been working so hard. Meanderment (meandering wonderment) in the van . . . no plan! Back roads! New England!!! Leaves! Ponds! Oh my. Dreamy.
And, on the other side of the house from the rainbow, this was the sky . . . everything so beautiful on Martha’s Vineyard in the fall, everything except our kitchen.
Which I won’t show you, it is too much of a nightmare. Having an old house with lots of nooks and crannies, wainscoting, chair rails, window trim, scalloped aprons hanging from the ceiling and the like, are, 99.9% of the time, so wonderful I have no words. That other .1% — is when you have to paint them. Joe is doing a great job. He has the patience of Job.
It will never be done. But I don’t care . . . he does that; I paint; we plan our getaway; Girl plots revenge; Jack keeps us laughing; everyone is staying out of trouble. Life is good in the Heart of the Home. Hope it’s the same for you! ♥ Have a wonderful day!
P.S. Leave me a little message (be sure to mention where you’re from! Inquiring minds want to know, right Girlfriends?) and you’ll be entered into a contest for a FREE, signed copy of my (out of print) AUTUMN BOOK! You may already have it, but wouldn’t it make a wonderful gift for someone you love? ‘Cause it’s that time of year! ♥
I love Autumn. Growing up in Houston there are two seasons…hot & hotter! We moved to Cleveland in ’99, then to Indianapolis in ‘ 01. So here I am, in Indy with four seasons! Four glorious seasons! Now that I have actually experienced all of them, Autumn is my favorite!
for me, the time between the first of september through to new year’s day is my favourite time……..
it all begins with the change of the sun’s light, to that crisp breeze at night…then onto the magic of the changing leaves and the first snows of november…and what can surpass Christmas Eve? bliss
I know, and when we make the first fire….
Oh how exciting to see a stack of pages! FUN! But, must be patient and wait… 🙂 Thank you for getting up early and bounding down those stairs with new ideas in your head!
I have Autumn Book but I would love to have a special copy to give away!
Deb (Southwest Missouri)
Hello!! Happy almost Fall! I am from Santa Barbara, CA. I do have the Autumn book of course but would love to give it someone I love!
Today finally felt a little like fall in Lehi, Utah. I’m sooo excited! My favorite season!
Up north here in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, there are signs of the
trees starting to turn colors. It’s time for me to get out my copy of your
“Autumn” cookbook which my sister gave me last year. I love it and would like
to give a copy to a friend. Can’t wait to see your completed kitchen project
and your travel book!
Can not wait for your new book! Your work makes me happy. everytime I see it. Thank you for that. We lost our 20 year old cat, Maggie the Cat, last September and have been thinking of adding a new cat to our family. My three year old is lobbying hard. Your Jack makes a compelling case.
If I get (another) copy of your Autumn book, I would give it to my dear friend, Laurie, she introduced your work to me as a college sophomore, way back in the mid/late 80s.
Best of luck with the painting – your and your Joe’s.
Hi Susan, Hope you are having fun writing your book. I am glad autumn got there already. Not such luck here in Ukiah, Ca where it’s been in the 90’s with big forest fires all around us. Can’t wait for fall.
Love your blog, pictures, quotes & drawings! I live in beautiful Bloomington, Indiana. Our colors are already starting to change just a little…..probably due to the severe drought. This time of year makes me want to sit on our porch with a cup of salted carmel hot chocolate! Who knows….maybe this is the year that I finally try water colors!
Good Morning! I would love to have your Autumn Book! My sweet daughter’s name is Autumn! She will be turning 10 on October 30th! What a neat birthday gift it would be. It would be so special for her “Hope Chest”. She loves this time of year…. so many things with her name on them:-) She also enjoys your stories along with me. Especially if Jack is involved. Her cat’s name is ‘Peaches’, and we can certainly relate to all of the cat antics. Thanks for all you do!
Angie and Autumn
Good morning from Western Maine. Living very near the White Mountains I have seen many beautiful fall seasons, but each one is special in its own way, no two are ever the same, and that is one of the many reasons that Fall is my favorite season. My husband and I always set at least one day aside to play tourist, we pack the dogs in the car, throw together a cheese, crisp apple and cracker lunch and head out to get lost exploring the back roads. We try and pick the perfect “peak” of perfection day, sometimes we hit it and sometimes not, but it is always a most special day. Susan, I hope when you and Joe head out, you hit that day. The leaves are the brightest, the sky is the bluest , the apples are the most crisp…just a perfect day.
I love starting my day with your blog. It is so calming and has joyful simplicity 🙂
Laurie from Mars Hill, NC
The new book looks great. I am a fan of all your books…. the Autumn book is a favorite…. love this time of year!
I grew up in New York but now live in Connecticut…. with a few stops in between.
Here on Long Island it is still summer!! Looking forward to a beautiful fall!!
Autumn is my favorite time of year! Summers are very hot and humid here in South Carolina, so the nice cool breezes, and vibrant colors, of Autumn are a much anticipated and welcome relief. Thank you for sharing your love and talent with others. Your books and blog make me smile!
Thank you so much! New computer wallpaper (or whatever it’s called)….now to make a choice. What says New England more than autumn leaves? Glad you are able to take a break to enjoy New England at it’s best!
I can’t wait to get “our” book about “our” travels through England. I enjoyed it the first time round and I’m looking forward to enjoying the memories over and over through your beautiful book!
We were driving between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown and saw the very same rainbow!! Wasn’t it gorgeous! For a brief moment in time, it was actually a double rainbow. We didn’t see the double but the person next to us at dinner that night (We ate at State Road – – -yummy!) showed us a picture he took. My best friend and I just returned from our annual girls vacation on the Vineyard – for 26 years we have come the same week. Happy Land indeed. We wandered by your home the day of the rainbow and saw Joe busily working in the yard. We did not want to intrude so we kept walking; but, your home is just so very lovely we had to walk by to catch a quick glimpse. We both eagerly await your book – We have all your books, from the first edition of Heart of the Home which we purchased at Bunch of Grapes the year it was published. We each buy your books, write a note about our lives and our friendship, and give the book to each other. It is so much fun for us to read what we wrote years ago and to relive what we were each going through at the time we wrote it. Thank you so much for being such a wonderfully cheerful and positive influence on our lives and the lives of so many others. Jenette in Connecticut.
Oh Susan, your posts are always a treasure and this one warms my heart especially. I lost my mother August 19 and my heart has been raw. I miss her so very much. This view of your slice of heaven on earth is a comfort. And your sweet ‘children’ always give me a boost–their antics never fail to bring a smile. The book is going to be wonderful, of that I am sure. God bless you as you work on it. As to the fall leaf peeping trip on the back roads of New England–I will be sneaking into your suitcase, a castaway in need of a diversion. I’ve been to NE in the fall 3 times in my life and those memories make me long to come visit again…should I be the one drawn to win the copy of your Autumn book I’d be thrilled from head to toe…..from the hills of TN.
So very sorry for your loss xoxxo
So sorry for you and the loss of your Beloved Mother…..may all your special memories that you hold in your heart give you comfort and peace at this time.
It’s still hot here in Flower Mound Texas. I can’t wait for some cooler weather. Please enter me in your giveaway. I’d love to win the fall book. I’m new to your blog, and it’s like reading a little bit of sunshine. I just love it!
Happy to hear that Leslie, welcome!
I have been inspired by you and your blog so many times. You are such an inspiration. Don’t you just lov..e.e…e.. this weather? It is gorgeous here in NC.
I have been busy getting my fall decorations in place and thinking of:
October’s Party by George Cooper
October gave a party; the leaves by hundreds came. The Chestnuts, Oaks and Maples, and leaves of every name. The sunshine spread a carpet, and everything was grand, Miss Weather led the dancing, Professor Wind the band. The chestnuts came in yellow, The Oaks in crimson dressed; The lovely Misses Maple in scarlet looked their best. All balanced to their partners and gaily fluttered by; the sight was like a rainbow new fallen from the sky. Then, in the rustic hollow, At hide-and-seek they played, The party closed at sundown, And everybody stayed. Professor wind played louder; They flew along the ground; And then the party ended in jolly “hands around.”
This is my mom’s favorite poem for fall and she recites it beautifully.
Hope your kitchen turns out beautiful and you will be in there whipping up delicious fall treats!
And I put some of that same poem in my Autumn book, only I added a few of own words to the end . . . “and they danced off hand in hand …”
You’re too cute Susan. Such a perfect ending!!
Lovely poem – I had never heard it. Thank you.
Yay! Just three hours from home. I got out your Autumn book to see what new ideas I can find for Autumn decorating. I’m going to put the shells and rocks I collected on MV around the base of my candles inside the hurricane lamps to remind me of my time there for starters. Then I’ll go to my garden and gather rose hips and whatever else I can find. I hope my house sitter remembered to water my potted plants!
Oops! I should have said hurricane glass globes–the things you put over a candle to keep it from blowing out!
I live in Oklahoma…wishing it was like your part of the world. But I know I can always plan a trip there to visit MV.
I love the Autum book! and would love to give it as a gift! It still feels like summer here in Southern California. I cant wait for some cooler weather and your new book. Is the Miss Potter movie easy to get?
I have followed you and your wonderful stories and watercolor paintings since I found you first book, Heart of Home, on sale in a gift shop over 10 years ago.
Thank you for your trip postings….we can all go to England…..with your thoughts, pictures and now your new book.
Hi Susan, this has nothing all to do with this blog. A few years ago you had a screen saver I think by Thomas Edison that went something like…. it may not look like it but there is a lot of work going on around here. Do you remember that? It was on my computer at work and I had more comments on that…. everyone that say it loved it. Then we got new computers and there went the screen saver. I was hoping I could get that again.
“There ain’t no rules around here, we’re trying to accomplish something.” ?? Could that be it?
It feels like fall here–we have a slow rain falling and temps are in the 60’s. Yesterday we had the airconditioning on–it has been 90 for past few days. After this summer I am ready for cool autumn days!
Would love to win your book as a gift to me!
I loved reading this post SOOOO MUCH! I have always longed to see your work space and the size of those little paintbrushes. I am wondering, what type of pen do you use to write the words on the pages?
I simply cannot wait for this book to come out. I plan to buy lots of them for me and for gifts, and for inspiration. Thanks for using your creative gifts to create something we can all enjoy so much. (This blog is one of those gifts. I just feel peaceful and happy and inspired whenever I read it).
Jenny (of Missoula, Montana ~ but my heart feels like I should be a New England girl)
Being born and raised in Silicon Valley, California (Santa Clara) and now in Folsom, CA, visiting the East Coast last October was a dream come true. And now all I want to do is go back and spend the entire month of October there. I loved seeing the fall leaves, smelling the apples as you drive down the road and seeing pumpkins decorating everything. I told my husband next year when we are empty nesters, I am moving there with or without him. He can come visit on weekends. I just felt so at home there. I do have the Autumn book as well but if I win the signed on, I will give my other one to a girlfriend. Blessings to you Susan for bringing such joy to our lives. (And you too Joe, Girl Kitty and Jack)
Today is very warm here in Dunkirk, NY but we did have a few cool days and it was just so putter inducing..I loved it! Even though it is HOT out, I can’t seem to stop baking. My neighbors love it because I can’t possibly eat it all myself. As you are sitting there day after day working on the England book, then the Breakfast book and the blog and the Willards, I hope you know(and I’m not sucking up here because I already won and can’t win again) that the world is a better place for you being in it. Your balanced life gives me inspiration every day. I can’t thank you enough.
Good Morning! Linda from Arizona and I love the rainbow over the steeple-so beautiful and perfect! I would love your Autumn book. I am from New England and it never leaves your heart or soul; it is my favorite time of year. Even in the desert heat of Arizona it is almost time for chili and apple pie and beef stew!
Love the glimpses of the England book, too.
Can’t wait for your new books. I think they are going to be so fun too. Your Autumn Book is such an inspiration, your calendar is hanging in “my” room and think
I just might have to make the Iowa Corn Bread today. 🙂 Perfect day in CO with cooler temperatures and fall colors. Your blog is something I look so forward to
reading….thank you for sharing “you” with “us”.
I am live in Fort Wayne, Indiana. One of my favorite things about living here is that we get all the seasons. I love every one of them for their own special reasons. I get so excited when a new season rolls around. Time to change the decorations, the clothes, the food. There is always something to look forward to… right now it’s cooler nights, leaves changing colors and delicious apples!!
Wow! So many comments! I just re-read this posting, and the hand lettered quote of Beatrix Potter jumped out at me, like she was speaking to me! So true, especially today, with the turmoil overseas. “Home” means so much more. Thanks again for an excellent post, always a blessing.
I’m also a big lover of Autumn. It’s always a beautiful season in Rochester, NY.
I’ve already spotted the geese flying and have been busy collecting acorns for a fall wreath.
It’s so good to see Petey again. I’m glad he’s been keeping you company!
Can’t wait for the new book and thank you for your wonderful blog!!
Oh wow! Hope we get to see the finished product soon… I can’t wait!!!!! Love the musica… I always say you are my “Julia”!!!! Keep on being a great inspiration! Everything you do is just beautiful from your decor to your art. I always enjoy your blog. It is like talking to a good friend at the end of a long day… you know that one girl friend who always has the cool stuff that you want to know allllll about! Thanks for being you! Lots of love!
P.S. to previous comment,
I was born and raised in a tiny little mining town called Butte, Montana. However, married a man in the Navy and I live in his native Orange, Texas… but I would rather live in Martha’s Vineyard… Texas is too hot and does NOT feel like FALL. It feels like summer most all the time to me! I guess I will have to get our your Autumn book for inspiration to feel “fall-ish”…
XOXO thank you Teresa!
Helloooooo, I live in Tustin, California (about 15 minutes south on the 5 fwy from Disneyland.) I teach school very close to Knott’s Berry Farm in Anaheim. I have the lovely Autumn Book— of course would love another. Would happily give my original to my best friend, and keep Susan’s signed book! I use your books year round as holiday decor! So Autumn will be out in another few weeks, to kick off the Fall decorations at my house! Thanks or the great stuff you do Sus! Christl
How refreshing and beautiful your Autumn book looks! I live in Southern California where it is still near 100 degrees each day! Oh how I love the first cool night and a hint of the season changing on one afternoon where it takes me by surprise when finally the long, hot summer is behind and sweater weather is approaching! Joyful fall to All!
Autumn is my favorite season of all – the colors, the smells, the textures, the food, the activities. It is a great time to be home and ‘nest’ a bit. In California we are just beginning to cool down – just barely – and I can’t wait to start simmering cider and get out all my fall decor. I would oh so love to have your Autumn Book!!
The rainbow over that steeple is pure perfection or should I say divine? 🙂
It’s exciting to see how the English Diary is coming along. We are still in the painting business around here – I really need to stay on task and finish it up, but then I’d miss Autumn, because it is beginning to show a little here and there in the mountains here in Kentucky. PS – the scalloped apron is charming. My father-in-law made one for a large window in our old house and I’ve wished so many times that I could have just pulled it down and brought it with me to my new home. It adds so much cuteness to the window.
You are always my brightspot here in NW Arkansas. You bring me back to what is really important in life. Thank you for that! Hope to take my own leaf peeping road trip later this month. Autumn is my favorite season! Can hardly wait for the new book and would love to receive the Autumn
book to enjoy during this season.
I simply love your blog. It brings me so much joy. I love Martha’s Vineyard and if I didn’t live where I currently live in Westport, Washington, I would live there. We were there last October and loved every inch of it. Thank you so much for your frequent posts. I check several times a day! I would love your Autumn book. Fall is my favorite time of year.
I absolutely love everything you design. I love old homes, but my husband – not so much. We built a turn of the century (we’re not telling which century) Queen Anne Victorian, and moved in July, 2003. After 9 years, it now needs repairs – oh, well!
I have been wanting a blog for so long. Our young friends visited over Labor Day with their 2 and 4 year olds. She teaches all things “tech” in High School, so I asked her to set me up with a blog, and I finally connected with Colorado Lady yesterday. Not perfect, but getting there.
Ohhhhhh…….look at all those pages that are finished! Oh boy, can’t wait. You’re doing a great job, what with chaos in your house and 2 kitties to help you both. Tell ya’ what, I’ll come and play with them so you can get more work done. Aren’t I just the greatest friend to come and play…no, no, no, I mean ‘help’ you. Oh well, you found me out, kitties are my fav. Hug them for me. Back to work for all of us. Hugs…..Marge
Capturing the scents of autumn in your book each year would be like a slice of pumpkin pie with homemade whip cream….delightfully yummy. It would be an honor to win!
Many thanks for ushering in my FAVORITE time of year with my FAVORITE of your books. 🙂 Happy thoughts and good wishes from my <3 to yours…
Fall is in the air here in New Jersey. Sweater mornings…sleeveless afternoons. Who doesnt love Fall? And who wouldnt love a copy of your book, Autumn? Thanks for the blogs and the books….you are an inspiration to all us closet artist. 🙂
Hello Susan, I found you by following along from Cynthia’s blog and I’m so very glad I did. I really have to stop reading tonight, it’s got late here but I know I’ll be back! Your cats are adorable, your home looks wonderful and I envy the way you write, holding the reader’s interest and adding humour but most of all I’m in awe of your ability to express yourself with painting. People who have your talent make it look so easy but I know it isn’t. Thank you for sharing all these lovely things with us.
I’m English but now live in Granada, Andalucia, Spain.
Hi Gill! You are hands down the luckiest girl in the world! Granada is my favorite place on Earth! There is nothing to compare it to, all of the colors and textures and food and beautiful people, a slice of Heaven for sure!!!
Claro que si
oh Susan my most favorite time of year is the fall. It always has been even as a little girl. While everyone loved summer not me it was fall all the time.
We just moved into our beach cottage full time and sold our “real” house that was in Wilmington Delaware we are living in Bethany Beach, Delaware now. The lower slower Delaware. Enjoy your get away for leaf peeping how I envy you since we can’t make our anual pilgrimage to NewEngland our most favorite place on earth. Nancy Settel
Oh Susan, your book looks like it is going to be nothing short of WONDERFUL! Speaking of books, I own your “Autumn” book and have for years, but a signed copy? Wow that would be incredible!
Autumn… my favorite time of year here in Bellingham, Washington.
Enjoy your leaf peeping!! New England in the fall is on my bucket list! 🙂
Thank you for the sneak peak of the England Diary book. I am looking forward to getting a copy when they are available. I’ve also been looking for your Autumn book for awhile now so would love to win this one. Thank you for the chance!
Susan…you are truly blessed! Enjoy your creating, I know all the GFs can hardly wait until you are done…on another note..FALL!!! Really!!?? It is 105 degrees here in California today…hopefully soon we will have cooler weather. Wear a sweater for me and Jess!!
Just wanted to enter the giveaway. I do have the Autumn book of yours and love it…BUT..who wouldn’t want a signed copy??? 🙂 I am from Brazil, IN. It is a small town about 65 miles southwest from Indianapolis. I just adore your blog and have a bunch of your books too. I just ordered my new desk blotter for next year!!! Yay!! 🙂 I have the best dressed desk at work!! 🙂 HA! Thank you for your wonderful way of living everyday and sharing it all with us. You are the best!! GOD Bless!! Love and Hugs, Tricia B. XOXOXOXO
Yay! Angel cards and your Autumn book, two of my favorites! Have both and have been enjoying them both every day for years! I’d love to share the extra copy of your Autumn book with my daughter, Emily:); it’s my favorite of your books and Autumn is my favorite season (I’m lucky enough to have a September birthday). Thank you for always sharing!
Deep in the heart of Texas I love reading your blog but I can’t wait for your English Diary to be finished!
I love your cheerful blogs. I love your kitties and their personalities. I love our virtual visits where I feel as if I’m right there with you when you are bounding out of bed and the muse is upon you! You inspire me to be creative. And I’m positive if I lived in an old house on Martha’s Vineyard and ate lobster on the beach that I would be….But I don’t and I don’t even really like lobster so you’re safe from competition for now. Besides, I can’t paint. Or write prettily. But I do love china and Beatrix Potter!
You’re so cute. “Happy Land”. Fun!
It’s great to see Petey supervising your work every step of the way! Of course, it’s always fun to see Jack & Girl Kitty. They are a joy to us all.
I want to thank you, Susan, for this opportunity to win an Autumn Cookbook. I had a treasured copy but gave it away to a needy friend. I have already put it on my Christmas List so, if I am not the lucky one drawn by Vanna I will at least get one soon!
It has been very chilly here lately in the Pacific Northwest, at least here on the western side of the mountains. I miss summer already, but autumn is truly my favorite season. It’s so fun to get out the alpaca sweaters and warm alpaca socks. The cuddliest feeling ever! 🙂 I have about a ton of raw alpaca fleece, much of it to be made into yarn. Hopefully, I’ll have something made for myself this year from my own animals 😀
Can’t wait for the English Diary. Page 60! You are flying through this book – you must be sooo excited!
Enjoy your wonderful Happy Land at MV for me! I should be nearby in about a month! (oh boy! Should be some lovely color at that time)
Love to you and the girlfriends!
♥Deb♥ of Buckley, WA
I’d love to own the Autumn book, it’s my favorite time of year! Especially love seeing Jack and Girl Kitty in the blog. I always look forward to reading it!
It’s like a little get-a-away to places I’d never get to visit. Thanks for sharing your stories with us here in Oklahoma 🙂
Dearest Susan, You always have the sweetest books pictured in your blog photos. Have you ever seen the ‘Mary Frances’ book series written by Jane Eayre Fryer for young children ca. 1912-1918? After seeing the books you love, I know you would love Fryer’s books written for children. The original books are hard to find, however, there was a reprint of the series in 1998. “The Mary Frances Housekeeper: Adventures Among the Doll People”, “The Mary Frances Cookbook: Adventures Among the Kitchen People”, “The MF Garden Book”,“The MF Sewing Book”, “The MF First Aid Book”, “The MF Dressmaker”, “The MF Knitting and Crocheting Book”(Mary Frances learns things from the knitting people…, etc.) An absolute delight! amazon.com/Jane-Eayre-Fryer/e/B006898P36. Her biography: digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/html/authors/author_fryer.html
With affection and a tra la la, Carol
And what a fun middle name she had! Thank you Carol!
I LOVE the Mary Frances books! I learned everything with my Grandmother’s original copies – I sewed every single pattern in the sewing book – starting with the laundry bag and progressing to the sateen hooded cape – the best part was hunting down the vintage fabrics called for- like dimity, etc. I gave the new version of the cookbook to my own daughter when she was little- and now she is a baking nut! My dolls were well dressed thanks to Jane Eayre Fryer! I must dig out the small trunk of clothes that dressed my dolls. Thank you for joging my memory!
Susan–an old house is never done–but you guys surely are going a great job of renovating! Fall in Austin while can be frustrating because I remember the color change in Princeton. But what excites me is knowing that my 3rd growth season of beautiful roses has just begun. Everything balances out in life right? As I look at your drawings and hand-written notes from your trip I find I can’t wait til I receive your new book. I felt like a passenger, tourist, and finally an insider to your wonderful trip to England. Enjoy your fall trip and know that we are all enjoying it also! Packing another virtual suitcase…..
I love hearing from the heart of your home. So many times the words that you post are straight from my heart. Your ability to look at the beauty of this world lifts my spirit and I look forward to your posts to see what you are working on and what the kitties are doing. I even showed my kitty the picture of yours from the blog. Mr. Jake wasn’t quite sure of what to make of that kitty with the moustache! We even had the double rainbow here in Pennsylvania at about the same time! Thank you for elevating the simplest things to an adventure!
xoxo thank you Pat!
It is so fun to get a peek of your work on the diary! Autumn has forever been my favorite season and I would be thrilled to win a signed copy of your book. I lived in Missouri and Kansas, before being fortunate enough to experience life in New England. Autumn is so spectacular here! I found it to be much too fleeting in MO/KS, here it is long and sweet. Just what one needs before the harshness of Winter. (Let’s not think about that part, though!)
What?!! Over 1600 comments on this post?! That’s incredible!
While you’re leaf peeping, I’m going to be on Martha’s Vineyard! My sister and I are taking our Mom on a trip to Cape Cod and ‘Happy Land’! My Mom has wanted to go for many years. So, so excited! Can’t wait for the 3 of us to explore, relax and laugh together!
What a wonderful trip for your family! Have fun! It will be gorgeous. Pack sweaters!
So much fun reading of your latest adventure! I am curious, are those pages laminated? And how long does it take for you to complete one page of your book? I just took out my copy of the Autumn Book yesterday and it has been lovely re-reading it! Have a lovely weekend! Kit
The pages are in plastic protectors, in case of water spills — which are more likely since Jack likes to dance on my art table! Pages take different amounts of time, depends on how quickly the right words come to me, once I get it written, it takes anywhere between a half day to a full day. I love it when I get two pages painted in a day, but that only happens when I’ve spent the previously two days writing and editing!
I love reading your blog. I love your outlook on life. It cheers me so each and every day.
I am from Wisconsin. Our leaves are just starting to change color. Autumn in Wisconsin is a beautiful time to come visit. 🙂
We were there last fall, I fell in love with the beautiful countryside, especially the barns!
Summer used to be my favorite season. I would go to the beach and worship the sun. Now I know better, and have adopted autumn as my new favorite season. I love to see the leaves turning from green to yellow to rusty red, and of course there is always Thanksgiving with family and friends that just makes it the perfect time of year. I have only been following your blog since the beginning of the year and do not own any of your books. I would so love to receive a copy of your autumn book. I hope I’m lucky enough to be chosen.
Thanks for all the inspiration and your wonderful blog. I look forward to reading it each day.
Oh thank you for the sneak peek! Love seeing the work in progress. I am SO in awe of how quickly (and beautifully!) it’s coming together.
Thank you for the opportunity for your book! I have your Summer book (which I love!) and loving autumn, would so L-o-V-e to have your Autumn book, as well.
A drawing for your gorgeous Autumn book?!
I have two of my own, one upstairs, and one downstairs. But know a few people that would absolutely love it.
Am so glad you and Joe are going meandering later this month. The best way to take a trip. No plans.
Love seeing the page in your Diary with the start of the story of you and Joe. You told us a little bit before you went to England. Looking forward to the rest.
What a wonderful diary this is going to be!
And the captions for Jack and Girl Kitty keep me laughing!
Sometime, if you get the chance and if you have one, could you show us a photo of Girl Kitty as a kitten?
Suzanne in Carmel, CA
Oh I would LOVE to do that!! She was adorable!
Can’t wait to see her as a baby.
She is such a beauty.
Would love to be entered into the drawing for your Autumn book. I don’t have that one! Winter is my favorite season but Autumn is a close second.The sight of the paints and brushes and the stack of pages is so exciting. Creativity .. ah, contentment.
Susan, So…I have the tree that gives us the Wisdom of a Tree from your Autumn book painted on my living room wall, with leaves blowing all over the room…I believe in “word osmosis”…the more imaginative, inspiring and mind blowing quotes, the better. Here’s my favorite that I found today:
“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” –Rumi
Anyway, where I live — Davis, CA — we have these tiny little yellow slivers of leaves that fall and try to foretell that autumn is really coming. Like a small child, I cover my eyes and pretend not to notice. Not until the Fire Ash tree is flaming red will I believe and feel that it is truly fall. We have a while yet. Thanks for all of your hard work! Can’t wait to see your finished book. ~Beth
PS I’ve been saving this bit of irony for just the right moment: I searched all summer for your darling Summer Book that I had in my house somewhere , I found it yesterday. Guess summer must be officially over! 🙂
The nick of time! And I loved the quote! Thanks Beth!
Hello from Spokane Washington, alsmost as far North from you as I can be! We have fall starting here, and I am planning a trip through the Columbia Gorge to the Oregon Coast…we are sure to see the wonderful turning of the leaves..my most favorite time of the year.
You are such an inspiration to us, thank you for sharing such a window into your life and “Heart of the Home” world..
I would treasure a book signed from you..if you should choose me!
thank you for all the joy you share with us.
Okay girlfriends, time to show our power and contact Little, Brown & co. to ask for them to reprint Susan Branch books. It’s time we stand together and speak as one voice… WE WANT MORE SUSAN BRANCH on the market!! (what’s with those guys, can’t they see how popular you are in today’s market?)
Susan, I loooooovveeeee ( and own) your Autumn book…but it would be wonderful to receive a signed copy…I signed my life away just yesterday, along with my husband – committing to purchasing a big old 1828 Victorian home that’s going to need lots of work! At a time when other “empty nesters” are downsizing we just jumped into a project that may take years to complete… I thought of you actually , as the back yard contains a picket fenced in area which at once time had to have hosted a lovely garden…oh my- what an overgrown mess now, but I plan to bring it back in true Susan Branch fashion, complete with the straw hat!!!…this past month has been quite a journey for us- we came back from vacation to find our sweet little Cape Cod style home flooded out-it was surreal…my daughter and her family rushed from the Cape the very next day to help us reclaim family photos- saved about 80% of our photos thankfully…and though I have been somewhat neurotic since it happened, my husband who is a minister, reminds me that it was all “just stuff” that we lost and no one was hurt…(we weren’t at home lying in our bed when the bedroom ceiling collapsed, for example)…and he is so, so right…insurance company moved us into temporary housing, and the fourth move landed us three doors down from this beautiful old Victorian-which, providentially, came back on the market the day prior to us being relocated to the newest rental home ( from 3 hotels-like gypsies) – so we took a giant leap of faith and now here we are wondering “what have we just done?!!!” – but it just seemed like God was moving us along this path to this “new” old door that seems to be opening…outside of San Francisco, we apparently have the highest concentration of Victorian homes in the US…Willimantic was the ‘thread capital of the world’ at one time- who knew?! It is good to be doing something normal for me today by turning to your blog- before the flood I checked your blog almost every day…loved your English travels and will be first in line to buy your book along with your other thousands of admirers!!!”
I love seeing the plastic sleeves stacked up! Wonderful progress. xoxo
We drove to Lake Tahoe yesterday afternoon & no Fall yet, just the beautiful green pine trees everywhere! We’ll try again in a few weeks & drive through Hope Valley to see the beautiful golden Aspen Trees. We ate (calamari sandwich from Izzy’s, yummy) at a picnic bench admiring the gorgeous lake, no sweater required at 6pm, it was amazing! My wonderful Autumn book is on the coffee table now (you all have inspired me!), & I’ll get out more Fall today, even though it’ll be about 95!!!! And, Susan, your “Free Stuff” picture of your beautiful home, fall leaves & lovely quote is my wallpape – thank you very much! Have a fabulous weekend all you dear folks! xoxoxo
umm, I meant wallpaper, my fingers need more coffee! 🙂
I love my Autumn book – it’s my favorite, book and season. I am looking forward to fall here in Lebanon, OH, and visiting Iron’s Fruit Farm for their wonderful corn maze and cidar doughnuts! Heaven…
I’m so excited about your book, Susan! Thanks for the peek into your beautiful work-in-progress and for all the gorgeous photos!
(from the Hudson Valley in NY State via San Diego, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit and Dearborn, Michigan)
Love your books, Susan. They help me slow down appreciate the unique gifts of each season and all the homey things that are most important in my day-to-day life, even though too many other things grab at most of my time. I’m from north central Maryland, close to the PA border.
Getting a peek at the pages of your new book was like getting a whiff of a pot roast coming out of the oven …… I’M HUNGRY! I’m already picturing myself attaching the bookplate inside the cover, making it officially mine. And then there is the slow, page-by-page listening to your voice, telling the story, carrying me away to England (I will be breaking out the bone china for the accompanying cup of tea!). That is a scrumptious daydream. But until then I’m focusing on the delights of approaching autumn here in Indiana. Lake Michigan is just up the road and it’s lovely when the leaves change and the air quickens. Drinking cider on the beach, tucked into the protected side of a dune….anticipation can have its own reward.
Things are great here in western PA. The weather is beautiful and God is so good.
Oh, the Autumn season, bringing in cooler breezes and colors galore! God paints such beauty over the land. Here in Pen Argyl, PA we are enjoying the most beautiful weather. Having tea in my Cottage Garden and watching the butterflies and yellow finch flit around, makes my heart content. I spent 4 days in the Poconos with friends and sat on their porch swing, watching the deer come into the yard. Little fawns jumping and hopping around with their mothers. Life is good. Thanks for sharing Martha’s Vineyard with us. Soooo lovely there!! Hugs, Marie
Just finished having my coffee while reading your blog. I too am waiting for your wonderful book, and appreciate the time and effort you put into each page!
Because of you I have dug out of storage my small things for my kitchen window. I have a small china teapot with small garden flowers in it. my black crows are drinking out of the tea cups! I even found only one salt/pepper shaker in the shape of a rose to put on the sill.
You are such an inspiration! My sister will call later and say ‘Have you read Susan today?’ We both are appreciating the seasons because you have encouraged us to do so! I have tried journaling and find it so hard to set aside time to write (and remember what happened especially after a few days!) So your writing really encourages me! Need to keep at it!
Hi Susan, For me, the onset of Autumn is that first little sprinkling of frost on the fallen leaves and the smell of wood smoke in the air. There is just something about the crispness outdoors that makes you want to breathe deep and savour the days.
Happy Fall from Herefordshire, England
Sounds delicious, would love to be there to see your fall!
From Newport Beach….we are still in summer ….swimming in the community pool at 8:00 a.m. this morning for an hour with the other ladies:>) But your words today reminded me to get your Autumn book off the shelf and on the the front hall table for sharing and inspiration. Am off to plan our neighborhood Halloween party this morning so it will have to be Fall as soon as the temperatures stop being 80 +. We have a few of our fabric homemade pumpkins out and the rest will gradually appear, but I am looking forward immensely to your new book. I think I have them all and treasure them each as I did from the day I discovered your very first book at Ports O’Call Pasadena so many years ago. Keep up the dreaming and drawing and sharing and loving:>) It is always wonderful and such a blessing for the rest of us.
As ever, Judy
Just found your blog….I love it. I am sure to become a regular visitor here. Your work is just wonderful….I love every bit of it. The rainbow is awesome…God’s work must inspire every artist….he does paint the most beautiful creations of all 🙂 Blessings
Inspiration … Inspiritu, the voice of God.
I absolutely love your books! I can’t wait for another one to be released. I read and re-read and re-read them over and over again. I change them around in my bookshelves for the season and no matter how many times I read them, I feel like I find some new little tidbit I didn’t see the last time I read them. It’s really quite fun! I’ve been making one of your recipes lately from The Summer Book, The Shrimp Fra Diavolo, however, I made it with scallops and lately I have just been making a slightly modified version of the sauce and using it on my home made pizzas on the grill! It is fabulous!!!! I’m from Massachusetts. Best Regards, Jonna
Thank you Jonna! Isn’t it just gorgeous in MA today?
It sure was a beautiful day! This morning’s early morning walk was so brisk and lovely too!
We are just heading out, cold out there, more sweater please!
Love your glimpses of England. And your adorable furry friends! Looking forward to your book about your time in England. Would love to be the winner of the autumn book. 🙂
I have lived in New England for 14 years now but was born and grew up in Olde England. In America I have fulfilled my dream of becoming a teacher and greet 17 smiling third graders every morning. So much of your art decorates my classroom and keeps me smiling! I have several of your books but not Autumn so a signed copy would be treasured! I have three young handsome American sons and am currently completing ‘Mom -tell me your story’a wonderful Susan Branch memory book for when they might want to know a little more about ‘mom’. Your site never fails to bring me back home!
Your children are lucky to have teacher who “fulfills” her dream every day with them!
Hello! Would love a copy of your Autumn book – and can’t wait for the English Diary book. Having grown up in the south of England, I am really looking forward to it! Now I live in Ontario, Canada and fall is in the air!
P.S. Jack’s little mustache always makes me think of Hercule Poirot!!
Oh, Susan, you know just what to write to soothe my soul: “life is good in the Heart of the Home” just below those fabulous flowers sitting on the windowsill. And that sky!! Heaven!! I can’t get to New England right now, but thanks for sharing its beauty.
You can’t come here, so I have to send it to you! xo
Greetings from Aiken, South Carolina; so glad you mentioned getting away; we have decided to do a small getaway at the end of the month also – thanks for the inspiration!!
Yay! Good for US!
Isn’t September a glorious time?! I am a long time devoted fan of yours. We are going to England next spring (we lived in London for a year back in 1978) and I will surely be going to Wm. Morris’ home and of course, Hill Top. Big fan of their thoughts and works too. Anxiously, (you have no idea how much) your new book on England. Something special to look forward to and we always need things to look forward to, don’t we?
You asked where we are from…I live May to Oct in Peconic, a teensy town on the Northfork of Long Island with a view of the bay-ahhh, and from Oct. through April, we migrate to West Palm Beach.
My friend and I host a tea blog and would love for you to come and visit.
Here is the tea blog: ladybstimefortea.blogspot.com
Autumn, just the word makes me sigh! So excited about it all…the leaves, the food, and the coziness. I have wanted a copy of your Autumn book for, well, it seems like forever. I’ve collected a few of your others and have loved them dearly! When will your breakfast book come out? The one that you were previously working on. Did I miss it?
I put it on hold to go to England … It’s half done, and right after the Diary comes out, I’ll finish it!
Hello Susan, I read your blog for some years now and always love it and make me feel I know you like a friend. I have a cat ~also black and white (Buttons)~ and it´s so funny when I read similar things that happened to me with it. I don´t have yet any of your books but I´m sure I will some day. I live in Germany and came here from Chile 10 years ago. Your book from England will be wonderful and I wish you lot of success !! Happiness and Peace for you and Joe. I send you a big Hug!!
Thank you so much Maria!
A little late in responding to this blog. Just arrived back from MV – our annual week. We caught that amazing rainbow from our deck in Oak Bluffs – it was the most beautiful one (2) I had ever seen and it lasted forever. I met your friend Margo at Tivoli Day – bought 2 of her books. Now to wait another 51 weeks for next year! Thought of you many times as we were walking about VH and during my morning walk in OB. I’m catching up on your blog – missed it.
How wonderful you and Margot got to meet each other!
Some time ago you shared with us a link to the wonderful of eagles and hummingbird nests and i have loved watching them. I know you receive thousands of comments, but I’m hoping you will read this. I came across a blog by a woman who collects old diaries and posts excerpts from them. The following link is from a page about a 37 year old man named John who lost his wife and baby during childbirth in 1926. His writings are heartwrenching, yet speak so beautifully to his deep love for her. sallysdiaries2.wordpress.com/
Sally’s an amazing person who herself is a widow. Her main blog has excerpts from some wonderful people, some speaking of their travels back in the 1800’s. The main blog is sallysdiaries.wordpress.com/. Hope you enjoy this as much as I have. Denise
Thank you Denise, I saved them until I have some time to read, I have a mini collection of diaries too (so mini it’s hard to call it a collection), love them!
I think, Susan, you are doing your life’s work. This is what you were meant to do and because it gives you great happiness you are able to pass on much happiness to others. I loved your work from the beginning when I discovered your books while living in GA. Now I live in the White Mountains of New Hampsire and you are still passing your happiness to me. I can’t thank you enough.
Thank you back Wendy! I’ve been painting seagulls this morning, in a blue sky … xo
Thank you for sharing your talent with us! I have been a fan for many, many years! I love kitties! I just lost my Mia, 11 yrs old, unexpectedly to cancer, having raised her from 3 weeks of age when she didn’t have a mama.
I have Mo, 9rs. and Milo, 2 and his Mama K, 3. Mo came from the shelter
when I thought Mia needed a friend, she thought differently. Mama K
and Milo adopted me as they showed up in my back yard. Your kitties are
adorable!! I lived many years in a very small town, Crockett, CA, and now
live across the Carquinez Straits, in Vallejo, CA. Thank you for your contest!
Hi Susan, Crisp and cool this morning at Fort Myer, VA! Love your website and always find it inspiring! Have a great week!
I live in Kansas, which I love! I’ve lived in many states throughout my life but Kansas is where I have lived for over 30 years and here I’ll stay. 🙂 Autumn and Spring are my 2 favorite seasons of the year. I can’t wait to buy your new book when it’s ready. Your writing is so interesting and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
I just love midwest people, so Hello to Kansas!