Downton and the Full Moon

The Full Moon and Downton Abbey go so well together!  MUSICA

Violet's House

Did we love it?  Oh yes!  There are many wonderful houses on Downton Abbey; I just love going inside those gorgeous rooms, with the beautiful dishes, fireplaces, paintings, wallpaper, furniture, rugs and cut glass pitchercut glass, etched glass, sparkling glass ~ it’s the reason I watch,  besides the clothes, the jewelry, the views of England, the history, and the witty repartee ~ but this brick house is my favorite ~ Violet’s (the Dowager Countess’s) is the one I would take if they offered me my choice.  Yes, much more than Downton Abbey itself.  That’s just too much house for me.  Home darling.  Let’s go home.  Pull in, get the suitcases . . . Jeeves dear!  Bring the tea!


By the way Violet’s wonderful house is called Byfleet Manor in real life; you can go there, have tea, and even stay there!  It’s in Surrey!

One of my other main reasons for loving this show is these two:

The girls

That’s how they talk to each other.  They don’t even have to talk, they manage to say everything that needs saying just with their facial expressions.  Their tongue-in-cheek comments require that I see each episode three times in order to catch everything. Not to mention their clothes.  Look at Isobel’s jacket, the buttons! The gloves!  Their acting is wonderful but you have to give credit to the storytellers, Julian Fellowes and his team . . . something so cute last night (in the first episode of the 5th season) was the detail that the grandchildren are calling Robert (the Earl of Grantham) “Donk” (Donk, referring to Pin the Tail on the Donkey). It just has to be something they came up with from real life!  No one could make that up!

Downton Abbey Who's Who

These are the upstairs characters (missing is Lord Gillingham, Mary’s current boyfriend and childhood friend, and others I’m sure) ~

Downstairs charactersHere are the downstairs characters . . . Alfred has gone off to cooking school, Ivy’s gone and Edna is evil and gone too, but now we have Phyllis Baxter, who is Cora’s lady’s maid and just gave away the secret that Barrow was holding over her head.

I know not all of you are watching, so I won’t stay on this subject further, suffice it to say (about last night):  I LOVED sweet Mr. Molesley’s personal make-over to attract Baxter’s interest, despite Robert’s question about him being “Latin.”  And doesn’t Thomas Barrow make your skin crawl? I kind of think that if he got together with Miss Bunting (the schoolteacher rabble-rouser) they could join forces and terrorize the neighborhood.  I’d be scared, that’s for sure!  And I can’t wait to go on the scandalous vacation with Lady Mary and Lord Gillingham, maybe next week? ~ I hope they go somewhere in a darling car, with darling luggage,

darling car!

and lovely traveling clothes to a Country House Estate with massive gardens in the beautiful English Countryside . . .  if you didn’t catch it, they are going to “audition” each other for possible marriage; trying out s-e-x because they are in l-o-v-e, but afraid.  It’s 1924.  OMG.  Oh yes, and Edith.  Poor Edith. There’s always something.  But last night she made me laugh out loud when she disdainfully said to her sister Mary, “I thought only imbeciles were happy all the time” in her precise English accent which turns the word “imbecile” into a kind of sausage stuffed with cheese.

happy! I know those of you who saw it will have your favorite parts and it’s fun to hash them over ~ (I’m probably wrong about Miss Bunting; but right now I’m old enough to be firmly against change 🙂 despite how good it might be, plus she was really rude to darling Robert), but, get ready for a rapid change of subject, the real reason I’m writing is this, below . . . Because I don’t want another full moon to get by without you having your New Year’s present!


Full Moons 2015

I don’t want us to miss a single one! (Especially those school children who are waiting for their bookmarks!)

4 am

Outside in the summer, inside in the winter, from the beach, from the car, from the woods, in your own front yard, you get to make wishes on them all!

up close, the moon

A pure sky miracle!

The pink moon

How can that be possible?

Susan Branch Moon Bookmark 2015

So click HERE and you can print it out . . .

And now, it’s back to work for me


I’m working on this little painting


Kind of easy to see who we’re talking about here 


Jack likes it . . . he modeled for me . . .


That white spot is my favorite green plaid shawl over the back of my chair . . . and that’s what I’m about to do right now; finish painting it! Then, after Comcast comes and updates our service, we’re going for our walk; 40 degrees and clear today, turkeys pecking around in the yard as we speak.  Then I take in my new computer because the Google bar has disappeared!  Try living without that for a few days!  Those Downton Abbey people were lucky ~ their problems didn’t include lack of Google!

Have a wonderful day girlfriends! Wob you! XOXO 

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598 Responses to Downton and the Full Moon

  1. Karen Andersen says:

    I’ve been using your Heart of the Home calendars for years. They make me smile every time I look at them and put me in a great mood. Happy you were able to do a blotter this year. Your idea for the “password” address book sure makes sense.

  2. Mary McFarland says:

    Love the blue address book with the old fashioned phone on front.
    Would be happy to have it!!

  3. Susan w says:

    Hurray! WooHoo! Joyous shouts! THANK YOU for the moon bookmark! I’m over the moon happy to receive your gift. I’ll be printing it out today, getting out the rubber cement and my sharpest paper scissors. Which is a good thing to do as it’s -2* and we’re not going outside for very long. I’ve got to fill the bird feeders, shovel the snow that blew in last night and clean up trash from a bedroom where we installed a new hardwood floor this past week (Black walnut saddle). A pot of beef vegetable soup as well to warm us up. I hope your weekend is filled with wonderful things to do and enjoy,too.

  4. Sue Bobbett says:

    I’d love to have these address books. They’re adorable! Pick me! Pick me!

  5. Delaine Fortenberry says:

    Love the idea of using an address book! Like you, mine are written on post-its and scraps of paper and stuck in a drawer. This is an excellent idea!

  6. Flo Molinaro says:

    Heartwarming blog. Very clever use of the address book. And it’s a lovely book!

  7. Lisa Mac says:

    Hi, Susan! My 83 year old Momma, Delores, just adores you…and sends me your blog each time she gets it. I enjoy scrolling over it on my iPhone, and always wish I had a LARGER screen to see it on!! Anyway, my Momma has visited England, planted a country garden, loves your artwork, books and blogs, and is a HUGE SB fan!! Last Christmas I have her both your cooking/recipe sharing books and calendar. I never run out of things to get her for Bdays/Christmas, as long as you STAY BUSY!!
    I would truly LOVE to surprise my Momma, win the address book and give it to her!! Please consider my request, she just had a Bday, and at 83, each one is a blessing!! Thank you for writing such a sweet blog, and we both just adore seeing your pictures!! I haven’t subscribed yet, because SHE gets a kick out of forwarding it to me, with comments!! Thanks so much for your consideration, Miss Susan❤️Lisa Mac

  8. Renee says:

    Dear Susan,
    You are so very gifted! Love your self-portrait!
    I remember that full moon. Was in Sarasota at the time. The fullness of the blast of round light, startled me. She rose above the bay and threw sparkling diamonds upon the water. During her nightly reign, Her Royal Fullness moved over the Gulf that filled with generous amounts of moon-beams. The water foul nesting on the beach, were confused. Twirling about in the moonlight.
    The night magic ended with Downton! Oh boy! New season! I’m on a walk in England this July, and will visit the site. (Highclere and surroundings).
    Here’s to the many great one-liners delivered perfectly by Dame Maggie Smith!
    Thank you, Susan!

  9. Lynnette Smith says:

    Great idea with an extra phone book. Keeping track of all the logins and passwords is a bit overwhelming! Fantastic solution and looks much better than the pile of notes laying about. Always love your little ideas.
    Lynnette Smith

  10. Angela Mok says:

    I’ve been using address books for my internet passwords too.
    But mine are plain ones from the Dollar store.
    It’d be great to have a Susan Branch address book.
    I love your illustrations.

    Happy New Year !

  11. Anne Laird says:

    The address books are such a good idea. I really need to get organized this year.

  12. Ruth Winkler says:

    Oh what a wonderful idea. My list, too, was overwhelming and constantly changing. I would dearly love to have one of those address books. Please enter my name. And, yes, loved the Downton Abbey program last week. Waited forever for it. Thank you for all the wonderful blogs you send to my e mail. Look forward to each and every one.

  13. Queenie says:

    I love your ideas for the address book, Susan! At last, I will be able to throw away all of these out of date addresses and pieces of scrap paper if I am picked. A belated Happy New Year to you, your family and to all the girlfriends out there!

  14. Pat C. says:

    I love those ice crystals, Susan, on the windowpane. They look like strands of silver snow jewelry. And January is a good month to start on the organization process. Thanks for giving us the incentive.

  15. Tricia says:

    Thanks for the great address book idea! And of course yours would be the cats meow. 😉

  16. Brenda Winter says:

    What a marvelous idea to use the address book for your passwords! Wish I’d thought of that. Sigh……

  17. Jan says:

    I just finished your wonderful book “A Fine Romance” which I received for Christmas, and LOVED it! I love all your art work and would love to win an address book from you!

  18. Susie Rodgers says:

    My grandma had a black telephone like the one on the blue address book. When I was in Jr. High my best friend , Pam, would call me on that phone and play Inagodavida (long version) while I just sat and listened. My grandma NEVER said a word to me or asked me why I wasn’t talking while sitting in her kitchen by the stove on her wonderful , black, rotary phone and being so very ” cool” …. And looking back on that I appreciate her even more now than then…if that’s possible, I loved her for that…she was actually the “cool” one 🙂

  19. Oh I loved your idea too. I write down the many passwords on this & that & when I need them they are nowhere around. I found an old, rather ugly unused address book & started doing the same thing. I have to tell you that whenever I read your blog I feel so good. It’s like a magic elixir. Thank you Susan.

  20. Celeste Curtis says:

    I’d love to win an address book!
    I’ve been following you for 20 years. I love your work!
    Have a great weekend 🙂

  21. Heidi Wooters says:

    What a great idea for passwords and such! I’m going to use it, for sure. Smallville is an awesome place that I love to visit now and again. I too cannot wait for the next Downton episode. I loved when Mary said she hat to go upstairs to take off her hat. And want to thank you for you calendars, I have the datebook, small calendar, regular size calender, and received the desk blotter for Christmas. Love them all!

  22. Janice says:

    I always enjoy reading your comments about Downton Abbey – so on-point and funny! I love to see the room furnishings and clothing too, as well as hearing the cooks’ talk about the food. Did you see the special about the “manners” of Downton Abbey? So interesting and it might not be such a bad thing if some of those old ways rubbed off on some of us in the 21st century. Makes me want to act a bit more refined 😉

    Thank you for providing another “full moon” bookmark. I loved mine from 2014!

  23. Peggy Thomas says:

    This is my First Day here….

    My friend Carol Schlerf opened my eyes to you yesterday in her lovely beach cottage while making me a wonderful breakfast… She lives in Santa Barbara as do I right now. I was living in Pismo Beach before here, and she tells me you have a business/house in Arroyo Grande. How fascinating! I cant wait to visit their and tell others (my mother Joyce and a precious friend “Peachy”). Your style warms my Heart to tears!

    Thank You! Thank you for sharing your heart in such a Beautiful Way..

    ps. I hope to visit Martha’s Vineyard; I have a daughter that lives in Baltimore.

    God Bless,

    Peggy Thomas

  24. Sandy says:

    Great idea! I would love to win an address book (I’ve loved your artwork for decades now!)! Stay warm in Smallville!

  25. kathy holder says:

    Dear Susan, I own the address book with the red cover and apple basket!! My sister, who also is a big fan sadly does not own one. I’d love to win one for her!!

  26. Debra J from Colorado says:

    Oh Susan, I am so happy that you use the address books for you computer things, I too have been doing this for the last couple of years and boy is it a life safer! It is so difficult to recall passwords and such and this book does the trick and it is pretty too! Thanks!

  27. Loralee says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE all things Susan Branch. I have SB art up in my yarn shop (mockingbird moon) to add the cozy feel. I even have a handwritten response I received from Susan once-upon-a-time when I asked about getting another address book. My original is pretty SB phone book is pretty worn out. 🙂

    Boy would I love to win one of these new address books!!!

    Keep up the art that warms so many of us!

  28. Kristen Price says:

    Susan your address book is sweet! I will give my extra to my sis in Cinci. Greetings from Smallville Tucson.

  29. Debbie says:

    Thank you God for Susan’s talent! I know my world is much prettier and nicer with her art in it! I love the new 2015 calendars!

  30. Darlene Messina says:

    Dear Susan,
    Love the full moons bookmark. Thanks for sharing. How did you find the name of the house used as Violet’s home? The photo gallery on their web site is wonderful.


  31. Phyllis Skalko says:

    Thank you so much…….I just crammed in my last piece of paper with a password on in into my Gift Card Box I have been using to save my passwords……no more room left……and the pieces of paper keep falling out so… I have a great solution !!!! Your address books…..have to go to the shopping site and order both….love both colors…..Hope you have in stock. One organizing project to be completed….Yeah…Thanks for brightening my day….Phyllis

  32. Mary Ann says:

    Dear Susan,
    Your blog and photos provide me with continuous cheer! And your drawings and books are to be treasured.
    I had to tell you….I watch all of the Downton episodes three times each just as you do and that way I can take in every detail. Without fail I find something I had missed on the first take. I am with you on Miss Bunting. She needs to go away with Barrow for a very long trip.
    Now I must go shopping to look at your charm beads.
    Thank you for spreading that cheer…..

  33. Lisa says:

    Your blog is always so full of good ideas. When I stumbled upon it (while looking for a good chocolate sauce recipe:-) ) I was sooooo happy. Not just with the recipe – which is delicious thank you very much- but because your blog and website are about so many of the things I love too! And every time I tune in, I find more things that we all love, like Downton Abbey!!! Thanks Susan for making my day a little brighter!

  34. Kathleen Claire says:

    I have struggled with passwords and changing passwords for years…What a wonderful way to keep them all in order! Thank you.

  35. Ann Coon says:

    Wonderful idea! Love the phone on front!

  36. Dorothy Jones says:

    I love the address books and password idea. Would love to have these and get myself organized in a cheerful way! Thanks for all the smiles you share with me on-line.

  37. Gina Mahoney says:

    One of my must have gifts every year is your wall caledar! I save them every year and someday soon will frame certain pictures for my sewing room. Thanks for all you do make our worlds calm. I love the address books too!

  38. Nancy Giokaris says:

    I too have the address book that is no longer in print. But mine is a little too loved and falling apart. Great idea about using one for all computer-password and important info! Thanks for passing on your idea.
    I love your Smallville sharing.

  39. Cathy Cannon says:

    I love both books, but would love to have one for myself! I need to get my phone numbers, addressess and passwords organized as well. I have your 2015 calendar on my refrigerator! 🙂

  40. Julie Wagner says:

    Hi Susan,
    I have to tell you that I love your calendars. But I wonder if I could make a suggestion? I have the wooden calendar frames in my home which fit the standard Lang calendars. You calendar is just a wee bit short on width and length and I wondered if there is any way it can be made to the standard size? That way it could be hung in these lovely frames instead of just from a hook on the side of my cupboard. Living in hope!

    • sbranch says:

      I wish I could! 12 x 12 is considered a standard size ~ but Lang made it so their frame would mostly fit their calendars . . . and the manufacturer of my calendar only makes their calendars (they do lots of different ones besides mine) in the 12 x 12 size. Sorry! It would be nice!

  41. Joyce Collins says:

    To be organized is my goal. How nice it would be to have your charming little book
    to help me with addresses ,passwords, etc.!! I enjoy your art work. A few years ago I
    cut out two of your pages from a magazine and have them on the front of two 9×13
    cookbooks which I have put together. Keep on doing what you do best !!!

  42. Mary H. says:

    You are so cool!! I love seeing the world from your view. It always makes me smile and happier. Thanks for sharing you with all of us.

  43. A “Downton Abbey” bombshell here — I watched the preview of episode 3 again. Edith —- oh, poor Edith — dropped this one. She was holding her little girl and talking with the farmer. Concerning the farmer’s wife:
    “I can’t help it if she wants another child. She can’t have OURS.” I’m glad I watched that preview again. So perhaps Edith cries over her former lover because she was untrue to him…

    • A big ooops here. I watched it ONE MORE TIME, only to discover that it wasn’t Edith talking in that scene. Oh, well. Wouldn’t that have been an interesting twist?!

    • sbranch says:

      I think that’s the Farmer’s wife saying that. I hope! That would be so weird!

      • Lisa says:

        I thought it was Edith, too! Thanks for clearing that up! I must say though, I was left seriously wanting after what was presented of the big rendezvous with Lady Mary! Maybe there will be a little more next week. And exactly what kind of birth control did Anna buy for her? I’m gonna have to Google that one.

  44. Margot ~~~ Virginia Beach says:

    We are offically hooked on Downton Abbey. Yes even Arnie.
    Did you watch The Queen’s Garden??

  45. Linda Raether says:

    I love your website!

    Every year I purchase your pocket/personal calendar that I keep in my purse. Makes me smile.

  46. Debbie says:

    What a great idea!!
    I’m always forgetting passwords :).

  47. Katy Greenfield says:

    I love your work. The address book is such a smart idea. I need to have an organized method
    for my passwords too. It is wonderful to travel to my favorite destination, England, with you.
    Jane is also my favorite author. I have been to Bath several times and where she is buried.
    I sure hope I win your gift.

    • sbranch says:

      There is lots of the Life of Jane in Bath, but I think Jane herself is in Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire, which will give you a fabulous excuse to go there!

  48. Glynn says:

    My old journal surfaced recently – my posts were entertaining in this artful book. So glad I found it.

  49. Cindy says:

    Love the address book………getting organized seems like the thing to do to start out the new year!

  50. Jackie stickfort says:

    A Susan branch item I do not own? Oh no would really enjoy!,,

  51. Vickie says:

    This is really a great idea for keeping user names and passwords. I’m constantly frustrated trying to remember! I write them here, there and everywhere! Thanks so much for your inspiring blog. It just makes me feel so warmly inspired!!

  52. terri christl says:

    Winter especially is a grand time to revel in the small things. Though, I tend enjoy it most of the time – like a big, fat scrub jay splashing joyously away in the one bird bath that is probably way too small for it. Sure did not stop him or her, and made me chuckle. Thanks for your encouragement and the new creative way to use an address book.

  53. Ginette Wheeler says:

    I’ve never watched Downtown Abbey but just reading the first paragraph of this post I was immediately anxious that I was missing out and before continuing on I went straight to Netflix and put the series on my list. Now I have this post to reference back when I want to check the characters though I will admit I vaguely read any comments you made so I wouldn’t know too much before I got into it. I can’t wait, it sounds just like my cup of tea!!! Thanks!

  54. Stacey says:

    That’s a great idea with the address books, I really should get organized like that! My Mac laptop does have a nice feature of remembering my passwords (if I allow it to do so), so that has been a lifesaver, but it would be nice to have it all in a handy and cute book! I am so glad Downton is back on, I just adore that show and all the same things you mentioned in your post. Do you watch the Bake Off show beforehand? It’s such a fun, lighthearted show, loving it too!
    Cheers! x

    • sbranch says:

      I do watch it, I am so nervous for them! I find myself talking to the TV, saying, “Quit opening the oven!” ~ or “what are you thinking, you have to make it from scratch!”

  55. Gail connelly says:

    I love the yellow one,I have the blue one and love it. So happy Downton is back on, but wish Anna and Bates could have a happy year,didn’t like their story line last year.

  56. Karen Massoni says:

    I’ve just now discovered your website, and I’m enchanted! I feel as if I’ll be spending the next month just catching up with all the wonderful goodies within! Thank you SO much for keeping your magic going here online. Sincerely, Karen

  57. Dawn Belford says:

    It’s such a joy to get your emails. Thank you!

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