Hi Girls!  So sorry, I have been away from the computer; that’s why your comments are all waiting for “moderation!”  I have to “approve” them before they go up, which I will try to do VERY soon.  I have about an hour this morning … so in the choice between approving comments or putting up a few new photos with a bit about what’s been happening, I chose photos!  I’ll approve asap!

It’s been SO fun!  This is Bette on the left, she’s a freelance stylist; Nat is from England! He’s lived in Rhode Island for eight years.  He’s a free-lance photographer; and Heather works for Yankee as the Photo Editor — she’s in charge of the shoot.  They are WONDERFUL to work with — and will all be back over here early this morning, so that’s why this is going to be short.  I need to get out of my jammies!

I was in charge of supplying the “props” — which I did; the best one being this old house, where you can do no wrong.  But here is Bette, tweaking, moving, making a story . . . trust me, Nat’s photos will be AMAZING …. he has the best camera stuff!  Such talented people.  Isn’t this pretty?  I’m leaving it this way! 🙂

Whenever I could feel like I wasn’t in the way, I slithered in to take some photos . . . but my best prop of all . . .

 . . . has been the most darling!  You would not believe what Jack did.  Nat wanted him in a shot, in front of the tea table in front of the fire.  I’m thinking, this will never happen. Cat’s are notoriously never going to do what you want them to.  I go get him, bring him in, hand him his red ball, and what does he do?  He cuddles himself in, in front of the fire, in the perfect place, and charmingly kitty-like, looking round-eyed, directly at the camera, he bats his little red ball around until Nat has taken a thousand pictures.  Who is this cat?


Thought you’d like to see everyone hard at work…here we are in the dining room.


Here’s how it looked while I was getting ready for them to come . . . and HERE’S how it looked when it was done.


Here’s Nat upstairs in the Peter Rabbit Room! img_5661

And this is Bette and Nat upstairs arranging a photo of the sewing room.  I didn’t get a lot of pictures of them in the kitchen, but I did get this video, HERE!  And here are photos of what I did to get the Peter Rabbit Room ready for the shoot, before and after.  Okay girls, gotta  go, they’re coming again this morning, but you know I’ll be back!  xoxo

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  1. Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

    Susan, You are such a good friend to us–keeping us in the loop–knowing that we all were just dying to know what’s been happening with you during the photo shoot. Thank you so much! I thought of you today in the grocery store because “Marshmallow World” came on and it made me so happy!

    I haven’t read all the comments, yet–I’ll do that later. But I wanted to have time to say–Susan, you’re the Best!! Thanks for being such a sharing, giving, inspiring, loving Girlfriend!

    Can’t wait to see more of “Christmas land” at Susan’s (starring everyone’s new Cary Grant–Jack!!) Yes, I read some of the comments to know we have a new heart throb–our own dear little Jack.

    • sbranch says:

      xoxo Linda!

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      Hi Linda,
      Just wanted to say hi, and wish you merry holidays. I always look for your comments…..it’s fun to know we have formed some really good SB girlfriend friendships…!
      I know you must be excited to be with all of you family for Christmas!
      And of course the “furry” sweet cuddle kitty too!
      I also think of Susan everytime I hear Marshmallow World….that song was on the first video I saw that she had made….and it is such a happy tune, it stuck in my head.

      May your holidays be filled with all the joy, laughter, love and merriment of the season……! Can you believe it is 12 days until Christmas……oh my…..I need to reve up my “Elfing into high gear”
      Christmas Hugs,

  2. Rachel says:

    I am guessing it is all that training you have been giving him… taking photos of him all the time 😉 Jack’s an old pro now!
    Your house looks amazing, you’ll have to remind us next year when the magazine comes out so we shall get to see those amazing photos!

  3. Cheryle says:

    I’m glad the shoot went so well with Jack as the star. You gotta know he would have to show off ;-).
    You are a treat for my day, Susan. God bless

  4. Betty Burton says:

    And speaking of the Peter Rabbit Room, the Morgan Library & Museum in NYC has a special exhibit of illustrated letters of Beatrix Potter. The show is up until the 27th of January. We were just there and i thought of your wonderful posts from England.

  5. Diane from Poulsbo, WA says:

    Your house is simply beautiful and so perfect for Christmas…and for the mag. shoot. I dont know how you manage to create such a warm, elegant, but cosy decorated house, but I am in love with it and your island and you! Could it be because of Jack? He certainly is the star of all of it. I laughed out loud as I was scrolling down on my computer and saw him stretching like that….lol…he is too adorable. I cannot wait to see more pictures. I think he is so loved and knows that he rules the household, so he was showing off HIS house to everyone. As I am writing this, I am contending with MY cat, Muffin. He is meowing and whining for me to open the back door, but as soon as I do, he realizes for the 100th time today that it is cold outside. Can we make a trade? Muffin for Jack? Obviously, I am not serious….but it can be tempting on days like this! lol. I am so happy for you about the magazine shoot and cant wait to hear more about it. Have a wonderful time!!!! 🙂

  6. CarolK (Flemington, NJ) says:

    Gosh, I just love your old house. I drool everytime you show pictures of it. What character (besides the four-legged ones who live there). Maybe next time you guys go on vacation Jack can come stay with us then maybe, just maybe his star quality will rub off on our two boys (er catz). I’m dying to see the Peter Rabbit Room and how you decorated in there. Hugs from NJ…..

  7. Jackie P says:

    This is ALMOST as exciting as the trip to England!!

  8. Susan says:

    This was just plain fun! Thanks for sharing~

  9. Rita from MN says:

    Good choice! Thank you for the pictures. We have to wait a whole year to see the magazine photo shoot results? Oh, no! Thanks for the sneak peak. And for those of us who are memory challenged make sure to remind us next year.

  10. Wow how fun! Your Jack is too funny- but just like a kid you never know what they’re going to do! That’s an adorable shot of him stretching above the cabinet! I do love the looks of the coffee table and I would keep it that way too!
    Love your big Christmas tree.

    • sbranch says:

      This house came with a spot that seemed like it was just built for a Christmas tree. We’ve had a hard time figuring out how to decorate it in normal times.

      • dottie (in the OC in SoCal) says:

        A nice round table for jigsaw puzzles or games or a romantic supper for two or to serve as a library table — or… heh, My living room window is not so lovely a shape as yours but my paternal Grandmother’s round oak lion’s paw table and the four oak chairs which belonged to my older paternal Aunt will take center stage in front of the window when I finish the re-decorating of that room — hopefully by next Christmas time. Love getting inspired from wonderful photos such as yours, Susan.

        • sbranch says:

          Funny you should say that… a round table is exactly what goes there, so we can have dinner in front of the fire. We take it out for the tree, but after Christmas, back it goes!

  11. Susan, thanks for the preview…can’t wait to see it all in the magazine! Jack is a riot…up there stretching atop the cabinets. Such a cat! 🙂 He is def the best accessory of all. So cute!

  12. What fun! So exciting! Your pictures of them doing their thing, and the picture of your tree in your mirror, how perfect! Lol, Jack knew what he was doing, he had to be the center of attention! He wants to be in Yankee Magazine!


  13. Doreen Strain in Florida says:

    I’m so happy you are having such a good time. Thanks for sharing the excitement with us. I was thinking about you yesterday while I was in my office at the hospital around 11:30 am saying ” I wonder what Susan is up to with the Yankee magazine people?” Thanks for letting us share in all the excitement of yet another Susan Branch and the girlfriends adventure! The Jack is just the cat’s meow! Who could not love him???? Give him a kitty kissie for me and a few extra rubber band shoots across the livingroom, throught the diningroom and down the hall! LOL! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  14. Marge says:

    I think Jack is an old soul and he knows what’s what, that’s what!!!! (lol)

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      Couldn’t agree more! I think ALL cats are old souls. Plus rescued pets really know how lucky they are. Jack knows in his sweet little kitty heart it could have been very, very different for him. Today he saw his big chance to make Sue & Joe proud of him by being the very Best Boy ever! =^..^=

    • stephanie says:

      Marge – you said it! I think you are on to something there!

  15. Sherry Palla says:

    Hi Susan. Bet you are bushed and turn in early tonight! Happy 12-12-’12~
    Nitey nite~

  16. Michelle says:

    hi Susan! I’ve been decorating like mad around the house…can one ever have too many Christmas decorations? I, too, enjoy the old-fashioned traditional decor…the same ornaments pulled out of their tissue and boxes, old friends to share the season with each year and remind me of Christmases Past! A few years ago I went to a church rummage sale and found a whole bag of Christmas wrapping paper that someone had lovingly saved through the years, probably starting in the 1940s. What a treasure, and how interesting to see how wrapping paper has changed from delicate tissue paper in only white, silver and red, to the wild hot pink angels of the 70’s! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  17. Ann Y. - Adamstown, PA says:

    Oh, Susan…your home looks magical ! And Jack is such a cutie ! The photos made me want to come in, sit down, have a cup of tea and chat …so cozy and comfy. Thanks for sharing…can’t wait to see/hear more. You and Joe must be pooped….and when I read about you not getting to the posts…well, I don’t know how you do it when you are NOT being filmed for a magazine !!!
    Reading the posts you see everyone is needing a bit of magic now….so many touching stories. Keeping all in my thoughts and prayers….

  18. Melissa Olson says:

    Great idea for the homemade croutons Susan! How long do they keep for? All my Christmas gifts will be shipped over to the West Coast, so I am wondering if they would still be good 2-3 weeks later?

    • sbranch says:

      If you put them in an airtight container, I think they would. I can’t say we’ve ever kept them for three weeks, we eat them too fast, they are sort of like candy.

  19. Suzanne says:

    This is just so exciting!!! Your house looks just absolutely gorgeous, its picture perfect for Yankee magazine. Can’t wait to hear more about it! I just knew Jack would be the ham and probably steal the show, you must be so proud of him. Hope you enjoyed it all! ~East Longmeadow, Ma

    • sbranch says:

      I am proud like a mom is proud! I know it’s crazy — at least a mom has some connection to the behavior of their child; Jack does anything he wants! But I can’t help it!

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        I understand completely–feel the same way with our schnauzers. For some unknown reason, when we take them along when we travel, they are on their best behavior. (not their place to guard?) When people comment, I’m as proud as any parent would be of their children. Also, when we have company–it is funny because people always tell us how well-behaved our dogs are and Norm and I just glance at each other and try to not laugh! (Eg. socks or worse being dragged into the living room from the closet, sitting barking at squirrels out the patio door–you get the picture. Just normal doggie mischief when they are bored. Maybe that is the answer right there!) LOL! 🙂

      • Suzanne says:

        That’s because you love him so! 🙂

  20. Barbara (WA) says:

    I’m still chuckling over the photo of Jack and emailing people to be sure to stop by and see him :o)

  21. Cyndi in NC says:

    Cats are also like kids. They don’t do what you want them to do but when you think they are not going to cooperate they do. Go figure. *L* I’m sure the shooting is exciting and can’t wait to see the end result. It would be fun to watch them doing it. Glad Jack will have part of the spotlight.

    • sbranch says:

      This morning I was emptying the dishwasher … doing it in stages, as I walked in and out of the kitchen, making tea, taking dishes to the dining room — the dishwasher door was open … had put about half of the dishes away, needed something in cupboard, was going to close dishwasher when something caught my eye. There, waaaaaaay in the back, in the dark, behind the open dish-drawer, was Jack, lurking. Just sitting there. Why? Because he is a silly kitty.

      • judi says:

        Glad you checked!!! I’m sure you need to check on him often (just like a 2 yr. old) so he doesn’t get shut in somewhere.

        • sbranch says:

          It does occur to me! So far we have not lost him! I worry when the attic door is open, but he comes right back down, so far!

          • My first cat did that very thing! We heard this noise coming from the attic. We have pull down stairs so you can imagine our surprise to find her up there when we went to investigate. This cat was the one who’d climb up our 40 foot Aborvitae and poke her head out through the branch she’d climbed out on. And my current cat is so silent she gets closed up in rooms we’ve entered–just follows us in. We have no idea until we notice we haven’t seen her in awhile.

          • sbranch says:

            It happens! I feel so bad when it does, but I really don’t think mine notice, they just want out, and when they are, that’s it! Another thing I love about animals, they don’t hold grudges!

          • Rhonda D. says:

            We’ve lost our little (now 16 year old) pomeranian (the same size as a cat) a half dozen times in our house or on our property, and I have to tell you it is pretty scary. We’ve gotten very panic stricken, but always managed to find her. They’re so sly and inquisitive sometimes.

          • sbranch says:

            And quiet! When least expected!

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            My sister’s cat is always ducking inside the coat closet when the door is open – but we don’t see her in the bustle of hanging up coats etc. Then an hour or so will go by – and no cat padding around – and we’ll go “where’s Tess?” Now of course we know to check the closet right away but at first we’d hunt all over, even worried that she’d scooted inside quickly when no one saw her [though she’s definitely not an outside cat]. Now we open the closet door and there she is, curled up way in the back, happy as a clam. =^..^=

      • Deborah Norling says:

        Thinking of Jack in the dish washer..reminds me of something a few weeks ago in my own house…I walked into the kitchen and noticed the cover over the baseboard was slightly pulled off..I thought, well…something else to add to the fix it list…pushed the cover back down and noticed my cat Lizzie…was sitting there and her eyes were W I D E OPEN…she kept looking at me and then at the base board…so of course I thought…ooo noo..there is some huge bug or something else I don’t want to see behind there….so I take a deep breath..prepared for the worst..pull the cover back and..discover the tightly squeezed-in face of my cat E L S A peeking out at me..wedged in an opening not even 4 inches wide ….some how she got in…turned around..but couldnt get out…it took some grabbing of paws and nape of neck but I eventually slide her out…and..the minute I got her out….she tried to get back in…never a dull moment with cats around….

        • sbranch says:

          You were very brave to look! LOL! So funny!

        • Diane Harris says:

          this is hysterical!

          • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

            Oh…be careful before starting dishwasher, wash machine, or dryer!!! 😯 I always say our Betti has radar. I lean a gate up against our bedroom door during the day to keep the schnauzers from helping themselves to un-make our bed and get cozy. If I go in there and come out, forgetting to put the gate back in place, she is there in a minute–even if she was sleeping on the sofa a minute earlier!

          • This reminds me of losing our cat in our house we live in. We had just moved into it 9 years ago this month, with our furniture on a truck coming from CA in a couple days. So we had nothing but what we could pull in a trailer behind our van. So there was nothing to hide in. Our cat was upset from the two day trip in a car. We made sure all doors were closed and let her out of her cage only to lose her in an EMPTY house. I had a come apart thinking some how she had gotten outside and was lost forever. After a time we realized she had crawled thru a tiny area above the top of the wood burning stove inset in our fire place that let heat out into the room. There she was hiding behind the side decorative, bolted down, Iron screen covering the side of the fireplace, peeking out at us not making a peep. She couldn’t get out and we had to take it all apart to get her out with limited tools. We ended up getting an iron grate made up to put over it so the heat holes weren’t blocked but the cat couldn’t do that again . I don’t have 9 lives to go through! 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            Cats! No room is too empty for them to ferret out a hiding place!

  22. KarenP (Wisconsin) says:

    Exciting…..gorgeous…..fun….Christmasy…kitty cuteness….all rolled into one!!!! So excited for you. xo

  23. Brenda Caldwell says:

    I was late getting to read your post today, but it was well worth the wait! Your house is beautiful and Jack is difinitely ‘Star material!’

  24. Pamela C Betz says:

    Thanks for sharring, I’m loving each photo! Pam

  25. Susan (in VA) says:

    JACK! What a perfect model–he hams it up just at the right time, too.

    I can’t see clearly, but it looks like he might be on the sofa in the first shot, too.

    I know you think I visit your site just to look at Jack and comment on how cute he is. I do come across as being quite the Jack groupie. But I promise that I like all of the non-Jack posts, too.

  26. Nancy Ciminello says:

    Yankee Magazine made the absolute perfect choice. Your house is a delight. It’s the kind of house you walk into and say, “Ahhhh.” And Jack is the icing on the cake.

    • sbranch says:

      I have to say you are so right. Separate from me, this house has something, a personality of it’s own, it wraps its arms around everyone who comes in and gives a big, smothery, grandma hug.

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        I love that description! Sighing loudly! I think I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I’m old, I forget – we’ve toured lots & lots of beautiful old homes & I swear (cross my heart) you can feel the love & spirits in homes! A few felt cold & sad, & grabbed our hearts! You’re continuing to give your home love & wonderful spirits. xoxo

  27. Jackie says:

    But of course…Jack knows exactly what is going on…he is a star after all! This is going to be one fantastic photo shoot and I am betting Jack gets top billing! Thanks for sharing amongst all this stuff going on!!!!

  28. Cocoa says:

    Susie-Q First of all you do not slither into the room, you my friend walk in on “kitty-cat” paws and take your photos! Sorry, I do not like the word slither, maybe thats because I live in San Diego county and we are visited sometimes by slitherey critters with no legs! The photos are Christmas perfect! Thank you for sharing!
    Hugs, Cocoa

    • sbranch says:

      You are so right, I was just thinking slither because they had all this equipment around, and also, there were three of them, and I didn’t want to be in the way, so I had to make myself skinny (which is much more difficult than it sounds) and eeeeek between everything not to tip or touch or crash — which did have a slithery feel to it for me! 🙂 Cat Paws, much better!

  29. Nancy says:

    So much fun! 😉

  30. Theresa from the Shire says:

    Good Evening Susan!
    Your home looks so beautiful, the paint on the walls, all the white furniture and yummy food and carpeting oh so cozy…just stunning at Christmas!! You truly are a gifted artist…your presentation is brilliant!!
    I love how you have your bible displayed near the fieplace!!
    You do inspire!!

    Have fun and thanks so much for posting…Blessings

  31. Sb says:

    That’s too funny that Jack knew how to model himself for “his”photo shoot. He’s a smart kit. The living room looks fab, can’t wait to see more!

  32. Janet G says:

    I love the peter rabbit room! what a great use of a small space. The way you have it decorated it actually looks huge. Can’t wait until the Yankee Mag comes out!

  33. Margo says:

    Susan, you have to blog about what the stylist did so we can learn too! Thanks for sharing details about the magazine story!

  34. Theresa from the Shire says:

    …oops…I meant fireplace…lol

  35. Melody says:

    What a wonderful day ~ thank you so much for sharing. I’ve put an alert on my ical for next Oct.
    -Nov. to start looking for the magazine to come out.

  36. Gail says:

    Thanks for letting us see a little of the photo shoot, just love the tea table and everything on it! Looks so inviting!

  37. Elly says:

    Cats are VERY smart! And it seems your Jack is no exception! Looks like he had the most fun of all! The photos you’ve posted all look WONDERFUL! You have such a “gezellig” (that’s cozy in Dutch) house! I just love it all! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Love your cozy Dutch word… gezellig!

    • dottie (in the OC in SoCal) says:

      Oh, one of my own favorite Dutch words! Hello, Elly, how do you know Dutch? I studied it during our time in the Dutch area of Belgium. I’ve lost most of mine now as I didn’t get a lot of it to begin with — sadly. But love the sound of it when we encounter it among tourists at places in this country.
      Susan — how do I make my name up there into a link to my e-mail or does it have to link to a website (which I don’t have)?

      • Elly says:

        Hi Dottie!
        I tried responding to your query yesterday, but something went wrong and it wouldn’t let me. Crazy computers 🙂
        I know Dutch because I grew up in the Netherlands, immigrating to the United States with my family when I was ten years old. I learned English when we first lived in Kentucky. About eight months later we moved to Michigan, and I was told I spoke with a Southern/Dutch accent. That still makes me smile, when I think of it. Now people are surprised when they hear I am an immigrant, because I really do not have an accent; though my children tell me I don’t say my “h’s” right! Whatever 🙂 I keep up my Dutch by reading, writing letters to my Dutch family back in the Netherlands, and visiting them on occasion. Since I came to the US, I have been back to “the old country” 8 times. It’s a wonderful little country; you can pretty much “see” it in a day! Like England, it has lots of great old cathedrals and the like to visit, as you probably had the opportunity to do when you were in Belgium as well. Don’t you just LOVE “visiting with” Susan on Martha’s Vineyard through her blogposts? They are the BEST!
        Have a wonderful Holiday Season!

  38. Vicki from KY says:

    I love your decorations, the photo shoot was amazing, and I love your cat. I so very much enjoy your blog. Can’t wait for the next one!!!! I really am in the Christmas spirit thanks to you!!!

  39. stephanie says:

    Too much fun! I am subscribing to Yankee Magazine (such a great idea!) and look forward to next December’s issue!

    Jack is just too much. What a ham! He knows we all love his pictures so much – he’s just giving his adoring public what it wants.

    Good luck with the shoot – your house is so cozy and perfect they won’t be able to choose the best pics!

  40. betsy says:

    oh my goodness, Jack is so adorable. I just love the picture of him stretching on top of the cabinet!

  41. Barbara T, Wolverine Lake MI says:

    When I was little a magazine came and did a photo shoot of my parent’s house (late 1950’s)! I had pretty much forgotten all about it! The photos were in a manilla envelope, guess they have long since disappeared. I remember how excited my mother was! Can’t wait to see your article in Yankee. won’t they be pleased when their subscription sales jump because of you!!

  42. Jen says:

    Gotta love that Jack!

  43. Julie Cavrich says:

    Your house looks beautiful! I could crawl right in those pics and fall asleep in one of those big white chairs. I am so proud of “OUR” Jack. I knew he would come through for you! Can’t wait for the magazine. Christmas Kisses to the Kitties!

  44. Marion Rose says:

    How did Jack get up on the cabinet? He is so funny!!! How exciting to see the photos, thanks. Look forward to the next Yankee Christmas shots of your home. You must be having so much fun! It is wonderful to be part of the circle of girlfriends in your home. xoxo
    P,S, My husband and granddaughter celebrated their 1/2 Birthday today,

    • sbranch says:

      He just looks up and leaps. It’s a very high cabinet, I couldn’t believe it! Happy Half Birthday to your special people!

  45. Sue Miller says:

    Sorry we will have to wait a year to see the magazine! Jack is a star and he knows it! He would never embarrass you. Look forward to the next update.

  46. Anna, Camano Island,Wa says:

    The photographer and sylists look like they are soo happy, I bet they have a sense of how nice your home is going to look in their Dec. 2013 magazine issue. What a fun job arranging all your pretty things. – That picture of Jack is really funny! He does make me smile. – I just got done tying beautiful ribbons on my lamps, I picked up the ribbon for next to nothing, it looks really pretty. I used to put those funny premade red velveteen bows on my lamps (because my father always did), a little tacky, but they did look festive, but I like this new look (from your last post) better, I think my father would approve. I’m thinking hmmm–maybe I will tie different bows around them for different occasions.- The next idea I’m going to try is the spice tea with half and half, its sounds like a really nice treat. Goodness, its so much fun to come here, so many good ideas. Thanks again, as always.

    • sbranch says:

      Love how you’re thinking of taking what was “old” to you, and making it “new” — keeping the tradition but doing an update. That’s what I’m trying to do too!

  47. Mary S. says:

    So incredibly funny about Jack! I LOVE it!!!

    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  48. Tasha says:

    What super pictures of your lovely home, and especially Jack! I do hope you will share lots of photos from the shoot as I doubt very much if we will get to see the mag here in Warwickshire.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I don’t think “Yankee” would be a big seller in England! 🙂 We will have it in our web store though, just in case.

      • Judy Young says:

        Was just reading this and I agree with the comment that says “Yankee” wouldn’t be a big seller in England. I subscribed to it because I don’t want to miss Susan’s “Christmas Special”, but being an English girl, living in Texas, I do not find it appealing at all! Am I alone in this??

        • sbranch says:

          It may be the history and the architecture that would interest Americans — but probably not English people as much — they have so much of their own!

  49. Pam says:

    You have a beautiful home, the magazine spread is going to look wonderful. 🙂

  50. PEGGY says:

    What fun you have been having
    Love Jack love makes the world go round

  51. Ruth Thomas says:

    Susan, your house looks like it belongs in a cool magazine! Everything shiny and bright. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful life experiences with us. Your inspiration is invaluable. Enjoy showing off your lovely home and Jack is as handsome as can be!

  52. Karen says:

    Your tree is beautiful and still loving that kitty. He is so cute………. : )
    Your house looks beautiful too.

  53. Susan!!!! This is so exciting and fun! Thank you for sharing your photo shoot with us! I just started in photography and know that I am going to love the ones that Nat took of your beautiful home. And of Jack, too. He’s got cat class and cat style . . .

  54. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Hello Sweet Sue….This “Yankee” Photo Shoot is Amazing!…Your House is a Magical Place & Now All Decked Out for Christmas Transforms into aTruly Enchanted Christmas Cottage…it’s Dazzling! Your Christmas Tree is Very Photogenic! 🙂 & We All Know That Jack is a Kitty~Star! 😉 Meow& Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I Can’t wait for More Up~Dates & When This Issue of The Magazine comes Out…I Know it’s gonna Sell~Out!…. We Need “Autographed” Copies Please! 🙂 Merry Wednesday Sweetest Elf~Sue! L♥ve to All! Twirling with “Yankee” Delight! Yay! xox Poof! 😉 ♫♥♫♫♥♫♫♥♫ 🙂

  55. Deborah Norling says:

    Will we be hearing about the Yankee crew in the Peter Rabbit room today ?..and as a tie-in…I am thrilled to announce the arrival of my three new little sisters…”Flopsy..Mopsy and Cottontail “….I originally noticed them up for “adoption” on your shopping web site…I had been on pins and needles waiting for them to arrive…I love them soo much !!

  56. Diane Harris says:

    Hi Susan,

    I’m reading a book “The Art of Racing in the Rain” amazon.com/gp/product/B0017SWPXY?ie=UTF8&ref=oce_digital which is written by a dog! If a dog can write a book, then a cat can be a photographer’s assistant and/or a stylist, don’t you think?

    I think it would be great fun to see the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of how the stylist bumped up what you did. It’s like a tiny design-school-in-a-blog!


    “It’s-my-birthday-Diane-Marie” So I’m celebrating LIFE!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s your birthday Diane? Happy Birthday!!

      • Diane Harris says:

        Thank you so much! I get shamelessly public these past few years about my birthday! I’ve learned to ask for what you want and for one day every year, I think we need special attention drawn to the fact that we’re walking this planet. So yes, today is my day! And I’m loving it and your wreath-making blog post is a special added bonus for my day!


  57. Nancy Reves says:

    I truly hope Jack can get some rest after his long days in front of the camera. I bet after days of taking naps, watching birds, chasing rubber bands, and being the star he must be worn him smooth out. (southern saying I think. =)
    Please give him our best for a fast recovery.

  58. Ethel Menhart says:

    Hi Susan, I just love the photo shots for the upcoming Yankee Magazine article; your house is as extraordinary as you are, and always, I feel badly we can’t be personal friends……oh my, your little Jack, he must be a rip; it was like he knew they wanted his picture…….so funny; I have five cats and at least one or two of them will sit atop a structure in my living room, too…….I love your work, and wishing you and your family a Healthy, and Happy Holiday!!!!

  59. miss winnie says:

    What fun! The house looks wonderful and your precious Jack will be the perfect finishing touch to the photos. Isn’t it amazing how they like to get as high up as possible? Our little Glorie (now gone for two years) would jump up onto the highboy in the living room and then start to walk across the drapery rod — I was always able to stop her before she walked across and had to turn around! Thanks for sharing this special experience with us.


  60. Carolyn M says:

    Your house looks so homey! I just love it 🙂 You amaze and inspire me with all the things you are able to accomplish in a day! You are gifted in so many ways! So glad we all get to visit your home through your blog. I found the same little plate you have that says, “When two fond hearts unite. . .” in an antique store last year and was so excited to bring it home! Every time I see it in your house it makes me feel happy. And I must admit, when I see your sweet kitties I often think, “Ooh. . . I need one of those little furry babies too!!” We adopted a sweet old dog at the shelter a few months ago. He is such a dear old man (12 years old!). Don’t animals bring so much cozy love to our homes? Can’t wait to see the adorable pictures of Jack! Blessings on your day!

  61. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Jack truly gives us all “laughter therapy”!!!!! This morning my college age son was having breakfast before final exams…….he took one look at Jack stretching on top of your cabinet……he laughed so hard!!!!!! Immediately his stress level vanished and Steven left the house with a big grin thanks to your adorable cat Jack!!!!!!!! Please give Jack a cuddly hug from us in Dearborn, Michigan! (I think you could write a children’s book all about the life of your silly Kitty Jack!!!!!! Maybe???)

  62. Julie H from Michigan says:

    Oh my Gosh! Your cat is Great!! What a personality. Thank you for sharing all of this with us. Your house looks so darling (even before they ‘tweaked it’ as you called it.) I have never heard of this magazine before. I will have to look for it. Do they sell it at Michael’s I wonder?
    Take care, Julie

  63. Janie says:

    Susan, amazing is all I can say. Your home looks so lovely, warm, and inviting. It would be wonderful to sit and have a cup of tea with you and watch the hilarious antics of Cat Jack!! He is unbelievable. Although I am from the south I am most familiar with Yankee magazine and enjoy browsing from cover to cover. I shall look forward to next December issue. It is such a blessing to read your posts and anticipate with excitement as to what is to come.

    I was the host for our Garden Thyme Herb Guild Christmas this past Monday, December10 (my birthday). Like you I had so much fun in the preparation by decorating, cooking, and preparing the program. We “Sroggled the Holly” as they do in Haworth, England and shouted out the words of William Robert Spencer “Be merry all, be merry all, with holly dress the festive hall; Prepare the song, the feast, the ball, To welcome Merry Christmas.” I only wished you could have been our chosen guest. What fun we would have had!

    Share more..share more!! We all love you!

  64. Cadie says:

    I just love how Jack is all stretched out! These photos are going to be amazing and I can’t wait to see! When will the issue be published?

  65. Shanna says:

    Thank you so much for showing us your home during the photo shoot–you give me such inspiration! And Jack! He is so adorable–of course he would want to show off for the photographer–he knows how cute he is!

  66. Cats! they live to make liars of us all.

  67. Christmas Greetings dear Susan! Wow! Your Christmas decorating is so beautiful, lovely, cozy and homey! Your photography is also gorgeous!! Can you tell me what camera and lens you use? The lighting is so wonderfully magical! Love! Love! Love! I also wanted to tell you how thrilled I am that you have this blog! I have all of your books and this is so delightful that we get to read all the neat stuff that happens in between all the blissful books you write! Yay!!
    Have a blessed Christmas!!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Ruthie … that camera is a Canon T2i — the lens is the one that came with it. It came together in a box, I got it at Costco a couple of years ago. Thank you so much! Have a great day!

  68. Susan says:

    Maybe the Geminid meteror shower that peaks tonight is causing Jack to behave so wonderfully in front of the camera. Stars shooting through the cold sparkly night sky and Jack just wants to be like them too! Have fun looking for shootin’ stars tonight. I saw 8 in less than 15 minutes!

  69. Kathie says:

    I loved, in the CAT WHO (mysteries by Lillian Jackson Braun) how KoKo, the male Siamese would NEVER pose for a photo. I mean, time after time (like Charlie Brown, the football and Lucy), someone would get him all posed for a photo and, right at the very last, as the shutter was closing; KoKo would turn his tail to the camera, or lick his shoulder, or yawn or do something unphotogenic……or disappear as fast as he could. JACK is not a KoKo. KoKo was an antagonist, it seemed, at times (though he was secretly solving the mystery all the while). JACK is obviously a player, all the way. Such a fine cat.

  70. Kristi says:

    Thank you for the sneak peek of your beautiful home during the photo shoot! I can’t wait for more photos. And I chuckled when I came upon Jack’s photo. He’s a kick and a rock star!

  71. Kirsten Anne Wichert from So. Calif. says:

    There is nothing left to say about your home except…Gorgeous!!! The photo shoot looks like fun. Love the photo of Jack! I’m just sad that we have to wait another year for the magazine article to come out. Thanks for the sneak peak!

  72. Marcia A. Sherman says:

    how many thousands of subscriptions to Yankee Mag do you think this will sell? I know I got one!

    Marcia in Sewell, NJ

    • sbranch says:

      They are going to love that Marcia! Thank you — it’s a really good magazine, was reading it last night, full of interesting and inspiring things!

  73. Patty Craddock says:

    Susan, I have been looking everywhere for birds like you are using in your wreaths, where did you find them? Thanks for the Christmas decorating ideas.

    • sbranch says:

      They have a few plain ones at Michaels (I think, or at least they did) — when I said plain, I meant like all white, or red — check JoAnn’s too and The Christmas Tree Shop if you have one near you. Otherwise, keep your eye open in antique stores, gift shops, they often have them. Walk around in your town and just look, I bet you’ll find some.

  74. Patti says:

    Great wreath tutorial! Thanks Joe! I loved the garland that was hanging up beside him!

  75. Aloyce Levin says:

    Dear Susan,
    May I just say what a pleasure it is to read your blog? It stands in such stark contrast to what is going on in the world today-so much sadness and grief. Especially with the news from Newtown, CN. How can we possibly process such news? I’m in the middle of making “reindeer” cookies for a cookie exchange tomorrow. I found out about the news from the friend that is hostessing same. The response is to pray, cry, wonder…how can these things be? And then one has some lunch, goes online and sees the email for your sweet blog. I watched the tutorial by Joe of how to make a wreath. Looked at your Peter Rabbit room with great joy. Somehow it was all very comforting.
    Thank you for helping to balance out the unhappiness in the world with simple goodness.
    Aloyce Levin

    • sbranch says:

      My heart breaks for the parents of those little children. We cant bury our heads in the sand, but we can count our blessings, as you are doing so beautifully Aloyce xoxo Thank you.

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        I saw on the news that people are asked to wear blue & yellow Monday to show their support/ rememberence of the victims of this tragedy . They are the school’s colors. ~I know I will. ~
        Please continue to pray for all the victims. I have a 6 year old granddaughter who came to visit me today and I just can’t imagine losing her….in times like this it only reaffirms to me there is a heaven and those sweet babies and the adults that perished with them are there.

  76. Anna Gadd says:

    I just learned that “Peter Rabbit Christmas” will be on Nickelodeon channel tonight at 7 PM!

  77. Karen says:

    Everything looks so wonderful! Thank you for sharing it with us(and Jack ) You are truly amazing. Of course Joe is very special too! God Bless

  78. Anna says:

    Have saved this email until Saturday morning so I could sit and take the pictures all in. Thank you for always sharing…..xoxox from California

  79. lois says:

    Reading all the comments from the sisterhood of susan branch I can feel the love and respect each and every one has for the simple life of yesteryear. When I look at pictures of your home I can visualize myself sitting in front of the fireplace with an embroidery hoop on my lap. You bring back the meaning of family and community we once had. I am a old softie when it comes to thongs of the past and can appreciate all the paintings and stories in your blog. Thank you for this and Merry Christmas.

  80. Peggy Willoughby says:

    Susan, Ahhh! I knew your house would be awesome and cozy. From pictures of your earlier homes I have seen your homey, warm style. Much like my own, it calls you in to sit, chat, and laugh. Can I come to visit? Ha! I am sure all of your girlfriends ask that. What an honor to have your home in Yankee magazine and you are artist in residence for, I believe, Country Living magazine this next year. It’s no wonder to me at all. You are so very special. I just love the cat picture. We sure love our pets! They make homes homey. Have a wonderful Christmas and a big THANK YOU for this blog. I know it is a lot of work for you, but please know that it is much appreciated. I love reading your adventures.

    • sbranch says:

      Actually, I would be Artist in Residence be for Victoria Magazine, but we haven’t spoken since before I went away…supposed to do re-connect in January. Hope they still want me! Thank you Peggy!

  81. Jan Martin says:

    I want to come & sit in one of those comfy chairs, sip hot cocoa by the fire & just enjoy that beautiful, cozy Christmas room. Perfection. Merry Christmas to you, Joe, Jack. 🎄

  82. MARYANN HOWELL says:

    Okay so adorable! Jack is such a cute little scene stealer! Love the house! Must by the magazine when it comes out now.

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