Hello Darling people, I have new news for you, but . . . first off, delicious MUSICA!♥ Every once in a while, everything starts to happen at once, and June seems to be the month, for more reasons than one . . .
. . . the roses are finally blooming on the Island, something we wait for all year, making today a total red-letter day, despite the fact that we’ve been FREEZING here all week! But, even the strawberries in our garden are ripe and juicy!
I love them because they come back every year all by themselves and I don’t have to do a thing! Even after a winter like the one we just had. And, in the vein of everything happening at once, some of the work I did over the winter is starting to come in . . . like this:
Oh yes, the 2016 wall and mini calendars have arrived at the Studio! Kellee called to tell me a couple of days ago, and, because she wants to announce it to everyone on Facebook, she told me that if I want you to know first, I better hurry up! Luckily we are three hours ahead of California, time-wise! Ha!
You’ve seen some of the artwork for this calendar already . . .
Laundry baskets and aprons!
And most important . . . Mr. Jack himself, complete with pony tail band.
Here’s the cheery April page . . .
But, I think this is my favorite page of all the calendars I’ve ever done . . . kitties and pink pumpkins! Who could ask for anything more? I want October to last all year! (This photo is a little dark because it’s still not full light outside, but you get the idea.)
Jack gets the idea too. You want to photograph the calendar? Here, let me help.
Bo-bo baby. My shadow.
FYI: The blotter calendar is still on the way, supposed to arrive at the end of the month.
And another surprise in the mode of everything happening at once . . . Remember these? Our Secret Notes? We have them again! These are tiny matchbook-size cards, in fact, the box IS a matchbox, the drawer slides open and inside are thirty-two, 1¾”x 2″ love-notes you can tuck into suitcases, lunches, cards and letters, jean pockets and under pillows.
And now, back to my regularly scheduled programming . . . checking diary reminders for the new book! My dining table has all my photo albums laid out, the book is coming together and more fun than I can tell you.
And Painting, painting, painting . . . And exciting news! I’ve never tried for much publicity in my career, mostly everything so far has been through word of mouth, which I have always loved, because obviously, what’s better than something your best friend, or your mom or your sister tells you about? ♥ Nothing. But one of our Girlfriends wrote to tell me she has her own publicity agency, and guess what? I hired her yesterday! I talked to her on the phone and she was a total kindred spirit who had read A FINE ROMANCE three times! So now we’ll see if she can figure out ways to tell new people The Fairy Tale Girl is about to exist! I’m excited. I’ve never hired a publicist before. It feels like I have a “team” — besides Joe and Jack and Girl Kitty! And Kellee and Sheri and Alfredo ~ and YOU! Actually, I have a pretty wonderful team! ♥ But I’m working so hard on this book, I don’t want it to just go Bang, then disappear the next year. I want people to find it. So I’m putting my best effort into helping that happen. I’ll let you know how it goes . . . because it’s all new to me too!
Until then, don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers . . . I promise, I won’t forget either! XOXO P.S. If you need a little laugh, Google “youtube baby lambs” ~ or watch THIS ONE. Too adorable for words! ♥
My comments still in moderation
I’m-a comin’ — sorry!
What a beautiful summer! I hope you and your family are well. Missing those blog posts but looking forward to the new book. Be well.
Won’t be long now Vida, thank you!
We all miss you, Susan, but I’m sure everyone understands that you’re trying to finish your book! We are so eagerly awaiting it and know that you have to spend your time finishing it. We all love and miss you, and you’re in my prayers! Xoxo. Love from Mary S. in Fresno, California
Thank you Mary! I feel you guys right beside me! xoxo
You just keep on Drawing, Painting, and Writing that book…
…and let JOE write the Blog this month!!! Come on!!!
He can give us the REAL story on what day-to-day living is REALLY like with a Creative Force of Nature!!! Haha!
And I KNOW he has a recipe or two to share!
And Jack can add his Two Cents…which is ALWAYS a Delight!
He might ruin my “image!” Ha ha … I would LOVE Joe to blog, but he won’t even read them, so I think it’s a hopeless cause. He makes a mean breakfast though, so I forgive him. Jack can’t wait for me to be done either. All he wants to do is PLAY!!! For a treat, I carry him outside almost every day, and now he begs for it!
I’ll put a post on my facebook page (facebook.com/cottagegalstyle) with a pic (borrowing yours) and links to your blog and store so they can preorder your book! I just preordered it myself…can’t wait to get it! Looking forward to Vol. 2 as well already. Have a fabulous rest of the summer.
You’re a doll, Lynnie — THANK YOU!
Where are you? It is now the middle of July and you have not posted since June 5th. Is everyone healthy or has something horrible happened?
Nothing horrible, all good things, but it’s book writing I’m doing and trying to make the deadline, I sort of ran out of time. Read some of the other comments and you’ll get a better picture! Thank you Lynn!
O.K…..yes it’s A – O.K. Dear Susan,
Now we understand how big a deadline looms and you must finish the book. I don’t think any of us really understand what that must be like. We had to have just a tidbit from you letting us know what is up. So now we have. I hope I can speak for everyone. “Carry on dear friend. We’ll hear from you when we hear from you!”
I thank your Dad for his wonderful descriptive note. It explained a lot.
And yes we will love this book.
We are your biggest fans, we blog readers and we only wish you the best…..not meaning to make demands. We just care about you!
So do your best, I know you will and then take some time for yourself just to be.
It’s coming soon . . . yes, all those little pages have to be designed, laid out, watercolored, arranged ~ kind of like highly decorated Christmas cookies, one at a time! I TOTALLY understand, you girls are the best! I miss you as much as you miss me! Can’t wait to get back to the Blog! Thank you Gale!
Good morning, Susan! It’s a bright, beautiful (but hot) summer day here in Central Texas! 😀 I’ve been a fan for a long time but wanted to ask you a question. Seems I’ve read this somewhere but I can’t remember….what kind of paints do you use? I’ve been daydreaming about a set of Chinese watercolors at the craft store but thought I would ask what kind you prefer. And do you sketch everything out first before you paint or just sketch some and freehand the rest? One day, I would like to try my hand at painting 🙂 I love your work and how generous you always are in sharing your life with all of us – thank you so much!
You should! You might love it like I do. At the top of the page there are drop downs . . . I’ve done posts on the watercolors and how I paint, so go there and you’ll get all the information about that. Thank you Amy!
Keep up the hard work it will be worth it, I can not wait to read and for you to sit back enjoy your work. Sign me waiting…
Getting there, Nancy!
I am so happy my “imaginary friend” (you ! ) is well, and happy and her “real live friend Joe” is by her side. Do you realize how BLESSED you are ?????
I , like many here, was getting worried that there was something wrong with you, and hey…I even dreamed of Joe the other night and woke up wondering if he was sick or something. Whew ! was I wrong. Was I glad to find out he is just fine, thank you very much !
I am just so blessed to sit down here and look for you and your wonderful , kind way with words, and all your talent. I am so glad your life is filled with love and joy and it oozes out of you like little red hearts pumping out love to everyone around you and each one has a little “rubber band” tied around it.
Enjoy your talent as you compile your work which I know will be another GIFT to those who end up holding it in their hands in more ways than one.
It’s gonna be a happy day when those little birds announce your “come back blog”
( I am pretending to put music to that….so you pretend to hear it, okay imaginary friend ? ) …… oh, and don’t forget to rest. You need that too.
Yes, I do feel VERY blessed, even on the days my hind end would like to GET OUT OF THIS CHAIR, and go play! I still know that being ABLE to do what I do is the thing! Nothing wrong with us . . . that a good long vacation wouldn’t help ~ we are fine and dandy and looking forward to getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. Your words are so dear Judy! How can I feel anything BUT blessed with my Girlfriends cheering me on? I’m plotting my return, believe me! Until then — like maybe in a week, think of me and I’ll think of you. xoxo
I can feel the excitement building! Keep going, Susan! You can do this!!
I’m going for it! Thank you Jennie Lou!
Hope you’re enjoying the summer! Love reading your blog and have been following you for many years! I also grew up in the San Fernando Valley…. I think you grew up in Woodland Hills, I was in Granada Hills (Monroe, Class of ’77). There were 5 of us kids and life was different back then in the Valley. I loved it.
I opened a little cottage home furnishings store back in the 90’s in Laguna Beach and I would sell your Heart of the Home books (published from Little Brown) because I adored them. In time, I eventually closed my little shop, but continue to remain an avid fan. I used to love visiting your awesome store in Arroyo Grande – what a treasure!! Of course, I love your art, your books, calendars….and the reason I’m writing is – I noticed you are carrying the “Secret Notes” again; any possibility you will be re-introducing your bank checks? They were my absolute favorite and I received more compliments on those checks than any others since. Also, I live in a house on a lake in Southern California and as as result, I am often blessed with the wonderful company of family and friends. Many of your books are in my guest bedroom and my guests LOVE them, – so thank you for all the lives you continue to touch, and inspire. You are truly a blessing, my kindred girlfriend.
I wish you and Joe a lovely summer and just want to thank you for all the artistic inspiration, home decorating ideas, recipes, and photos you so kindly share with us girlfriends.
Lake Mission Viejo
Thank you so much Barbi, very nice to hear from you. I’ve just been writing all about life in the Valley in the way-back years, kind of immersed in it right now! No checks are on the horizon . . . there are certain companies that do all the check printing and they have to come to an artist and ask to license their work, and I’ve heard from none of them lately. I loved those checks too! Still have some, but the account numbers are no good anymore! xoxo
Just checking. So eager to see this book. You are almost to the finish line. Go, go, go. Every marathon runner gets just a burst of energy when end is in sight. Success will be so sweet.
Getting so close — love you Deborah, THANK YOU!
Missing you but this is the book I’ve always wanted to read! Worth waiting for I’m sure. And your dad is a peach! Such a wonderful cheerleader!!
He is a peach! I speak to him almost every day and he’s kept me going!
Keep up the super work! You are almost finished and it is almost the end.
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and the Beautiful” has a movie line that says ‘everything will be all right in the end, if it’s not all right, it is not yet the end’!!…your Dad’s comments are precious too, “A Susan Branch Masterpiece”!!
I am looking forward to it all. ~Kari
I’m almost finished… now designing the inside flaps of the cover, the spine, and rewriting the preface for the umpteenth time, but now I think I have it, since I really do know now what the book is about! 🙂 Thank you Kari! I can’t wait to get back to the blog and “real life!”
The Instagram link on your blog @dearsusanbranch is not working. I finally found your Instagram account @susanbranchauthor Color me Happy 🙂
Yay! But now my iPhone won’t go online so I haven’t been able to add to it . . . When I’m done with the book, I’ll take the phone off and see what’s wrong with it!
I heard a Broadway producer say on the radio that in writing a musical the creator first writes the opening number and then the rest of the show and, finally, goes back to rewrite the opening. You are doing the same by rewriting your preface so we know you are nearing completion. We girlfriends are waiting patiently just as we would if a special friend were coming to visit after a long absence. We can’t wait to see and read that new book! Thank you for working so hard for us, and thank you, Joe, for feeding you and taking care of other home responsibilities. We know we are gonna love the results!
Oh dear, I’m so ready to be done!
Hi Susan – I recently received your 2016 wall calendar in the mail and I was so excited opening it that I was literally bouncing up and down and thinking “Oh my gosh, if I’m this hyper opening the wall calendar, someone’s going to have to call the paramedics when “The Fairy Tale Girl” arrives!” I’ll risk hyperventilation for what I know is going to be a fabulous new book! Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait…
hahahaha, I think I will feel the same way! xoxo
You are almost finished!! I can’t even imagine how your hand is holding up to all of the hours of painting every day. We are all right there with you, peeking over your shoulder, and cheering you on! I cried when I read your dad’s comment about ‘A Susan Branch Masterpiece.’ There is no higher or more well-deserved compliment!! ♡
Just a few more days, Susan!! It will be ‘happy dance’ time!! ♡ You Go Girl!!
Dawn (in Illinois)
It’s not so much my hand as it is my rear end! This sitting is getting to me! XOXO Dawn, thank you so much!
I’m so thankful for your little bird who flits across your opening page each morning when I check to see if you have posted anything because she reminds me you are working hard and enjoying summer. But I miss you!
I miss you too Christine, it won’t be long now!
Oh, Susan, you delight me with your posts! I was searching for some photos and notes to copy for long time friends who were getting married. I had several under the bed storage boxes that I hadn’t opened for years. Guess what I found on top? I found your calendars, years and years of calendars I didn’t have the heart to throw away because I loved them so much! Right now I have my summer book on my counter and it makes me smile every time I look at it! Thank-you!
Yaaaaaay you are back:) I had steeled myself for Aug or possibly (gasp) Sept. Don’t worry about being gone, everyone understands and if they don’t… well you know the rest;) I tried to look at some other blogs and while there are some great ones, there is nothing that compares to the cozy feeling I get with yours. You are so special. My grandfather gave me a sterling pendant that has a snowflake on one side and on the other side it says, ” So perfect are you, so unlike any other.” I think that fits you to a tee. 🙂 I am so excited to see your book in my mailbox. I appreciate your labor of love and all your efforts and am anxiously awaiting it on pins and needles. I am going to help out on promoting it by pinning it on my pinterest account. I ran across Joe’s cookbook at a second hand book store and brought it home. Some great stuff in there and he looks so sweet in the pictures. I brought it home and left out for my hubby to see and he was all excited for some new recipes. So I asked him if he saw who the author was and… he lost it. ( I am the one whose hubby pretends that he is very jealous of all Joe’s handiness.) We just laughed so much that on top of all the other stuff he can do he is an excellent chef. My husband muttered about it all weekend. I don’t know why we find this so hilarious. It must be because my hubby doesn’t have a jealous bone in his body and to see him pretend to be that way and be so over the top about it just really tickles us. I hope it isn’t weird lol Oh well, even if it is, it’s still funny. Good luck with all your last minute work and don’t worry, we will all still be here when you are done. Xoxo
I love your husband!
Just checking to see if my comments get recorded. I had to enter my name and email. So this is a test.
Test 1-2-3. You’re in!
Not only have we missed you, but my cats Tippy Toes, Samson and twin sister Charly, have missed your sentiments and pictures of your little ones – especially the one pic with the hairband.
Cleaning I had found all my missing hairbands, reading glasses, pj’s – looks like Mama has been away too much.
Will say a rosary for your continued success !!
Blessings to you and your loved ones –
I need to clean. Thank you for the rosary. xoxo
Hi Sweet Sue! It’s so good to have you back. I have missed you so. I know what it’s like to be in a creative stupor…it’s all consuming. I just know that your book will be a treasure. Love you and all that you do and represent.
Thank you Mary xoxoxo
This is the first time I see your Blog. I love it. I love your books. How do you do it?…all those sweet pictures, quotes, thoughts etc., etc., etcetera!
I have read your book “A fine Romance” twice. A year ago. Today I am starting it for the third time, like I’ve never read it! I wonder how many times I will read it? I hide it on me so I won’t go back to it too soon! Have YOU reread it? Maybe you’re waiting until you retire from writing!? Boy, are you in for a TREAT! Doris Doody, your new friend
Yes, I have, Doris! I read it sometimes just to remember what a wonderful time we had! Nice to meet you!
Nice tribute to your Dad on his birthday. Can’t wait for your new books…..thanks for all your “proof positive” words! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Susan, I love your books and thank you for sharing your life. My son gave me your second book of recipes(Vineyard Seasons) many years ago and when I saw A Fine
Romance I knew that was you. What I would like to know is what happen to HOLLY OAK?