Rabbit Rabbit 2016!

MUSICA Rabbit Rabbit 2016A toast to my good fat friends

wave bye bye

to 2015

December 2015 wall calendar

We had a lovely Christmas . . .quiet and filled with all the gentle reminders of what Christmas is supposed to be. Food, friends, family and

Love I've got my love to keep me warm


But now it’s time to . . .


dancing chickenTurn your calendar over andcelebrate

January 2016

Because, for the New Year and always . . .


January 2016

HERE’S TO US . . .



I love having you here . . .

Happy New Year

Time for


winter from my window

I remember last year around this time . . . out my front studio window, it looked like this!

Birds in the snow

And here, from the kitchen window . . . it was birdland!

Birds in the snowand the wonderful world of Cardinals.

Bird in a love cup 

Beatrix Potter people were warm and toasty on the kitchen window ledge . . . despite the blizzard . . .

Kitchen garden in winter

And it was so Beautiful! Every morning I would jump up to peek out this window in our bedroom to see what the morning would be.sense of beauty; susan branch art

Winter storm Martha's Vineyard

Pristine and white, I could never be thankful enough.

snow day candles in a snowy window


Vineyard Haven Ferry

Deep dark and delicious

snowed in

Magical Fairyland

on the walkAnd even though we have no snow now . . . it is still very beautiful, and getting colder every day. Today, in fact, is a three sweater day. . . that’s what I am wearing right now. I took this picture yesterday while we were out walking  . . . I’m looking into a rain puddle with the leaves at the bottom and the woods and the sky in the reflection. Is this not gorgeous?


In this one you can see where the puddle ends

photo 3-11

And here, where the woods begin . . .



Martha's Vineyard Isle of Dreams

Overhead fly the swans . . . so I painted this one for my new book . . .

on the walk

And out at the end, the waves come on shore and it smells fresh and wintery and like a garden of composting leaves . . . and way back you can see the ferry crossing . . .Merry In The Winter



Sunday! Be still my heart . . . 

Downton Abbey Highclere Castle Series

Our last season . . .I will love every moment . . .

Girl Kitty

Downton will make our winter very cozy, Downton, the kitties, Joe Hall Guardian Angel Extraordinaire, and me, with a book project and my paintbrush. It will be a nice winter. MAS MUSICA



Susan Branch Winter

Count your blessings

Jack the climber

Just about to start putting away the old year . . . dreaming of the new one coming and all the good things I hope will happen . . .

light houses magic My favorite fairy

dining room after Christmas

The table is cleared . . .

Christmas dishes

Christmas dishes are all put away . . .

Counting our Blessings

My Days Book is next to my bed with all the lovely empty pages inside and the future yet to be known . . .

And me?

inspirationYou know where I am. Every day I add more pages to the new book, Martha’s Vineyard: Isle of Dreams ~ finished pages. My goal is to have it done by, at the latest, Valentine’s Day . . . not printed, but off to the printer by then. I thought you might like to see a few new bits I’ve painted for it recently . . .There’s a little story behind each watercolor, but I’m saving them as a surprise for you. 

Martha's Vineyard Isle of Dreams

Martha's Vineyard Isle of Dreams Martha's Vineyard Isle of Dreams

Yes, there is singing in this book!If you do it with heart . . .

Martha's Vineyard Isle of Dreams

And Kitties!

Jack paints

And Jack, who is constantly with me, proudly helps, thank goodness, I could never do this alone.

memories summer memories

my first house

my first house

holly oak in the snow

You remember the little cottage I bought when I first came to the island? It was called Holly Oak.holly

Martha's Vineyard Isle of DreamsWell, in this new book (which should be coming out right around April), we go inside the house, I want to show you around, it’ll only take a minute, as you can see, it’s not very big, but it has a really cute stove . . . I’ll show you both with watercolor and with lots of photos, before and after photos too. I think you are going to love this book.gifts

It’s totally tied with heartstrings. And this is too . . . wishing you all the very best . . .SB art/BlessingHappy New Year! Thank you for another wonderful year of connection, of knowing we are not alone. I’ve loved every second of it . . . XOXO

here we go!

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566 Responses to Rabbit Rabbit 2016!

  1. Terry Jansen says:

    I was pottering in our garden last night (it’s been very hot) checking on the plants and I thought “I wonder when Susan will be in touch” and there you go! Saturday morning here and once again I’m delighted to read your post…as we all are! Happy New Year! you are the ultimate feel good parcel Susan..can’t wait for your new book!x

  2. Laurie Walt says:

    Happy New Year! Rabbit, rabbit, Downton is coming, Downton is coming! And last but not least, a new book is coming in April. Something about a new year makes me inspired and hopefully. I know we can make this year whatever we want as long as we keep on keepin on❣Love.

  3. Carol says:

    Happy New Year! My best friend (Jenette) and just shared your new calendar as our New Years gift to each other last night! We just love the entry for January…what a wonderful start for the 2016! Thank you for all your posts, books and calendars. They truly inspire us year round! We are looking forward to your trip to Madison CT May 1st (just in time for our birthdays). We can’t wait to meet you!!
    Grateful for all you share!

  4. Lisa G. says:

    Wow – I did not know Jack was also an artist! How cute!

  5. Margot near the Bay says:

    We had a nice Christmas, and then on the 28th they delivered my furniture. An hour or two later…it came…the beautiful snow! I was not supposed to stay as we haven’t closed on the house yet…but there was no where to go.
    Shoveled out the next day, and I am enjoying the new year with my mother-in-law and her friends in Chocolate City, USA. Two invitations in one day. One for brunch, and one for lunch with the quilting gals!
    Happy 2016 to you and the girlfriends!!!

  6. Donna says:

    Happy New Year, dear Susan!

  7. Vita Avanesian says:

    Hi Susan, I LOVE the color green on your living room walls!! Do you remember what it is called or who makes it? I would love to use green on my walls but it is a tricky color and would love to try it!! Thanks, Vita

    • sbranch says:

      That one got away from me, I’m sorry Vita, I forgot to keep that color. I love it too, and will miss it someday!

  8. diana from ancaster says:

    Health, happiness and best wishes for 2016!

  9. Donna Hall says:

    Oh, my … my heart is warmed.

  10. Laura says:

    Thanks Susan for your cheerful message. I lost my sweet kitty Oliver two days ago to kidney disease and seeing your kitties made me smile.

  11. Terrie Trebilcock says:

    This morning, I said, “Happy New Year!” to my cats, but forgot “rabbit, rabbit”! That’s the hardest one to remember!

  12. patti says:

    You are amazing girlfriend !!! Hee Haw Hats & Horns Blessing’s dear Miss Susan <3

  13. Kelley S. says:

    Happy New Year! Wishing the best of the best to Susan, Joe, the Kitties, and all the girlfriends.

  14. C.M. says:

    ~Susan, “Best wishes to you & your family for the New Year!”
    Thank you for your wonderful & uplifting blog. You are an inspiration to one and all.~

  15. Peggy Cooper says:

    Took a peek to see if there was a new post – and Happy New Year – here it is! Wonderful as always, but a little difference for me. I decided today was going to be a “me” day where I would just do the basic necessities in the house and just piddle and enjoy myself with surfing the web, crossword puzzles, visiting friends on Facebook, and reheating leftovers, etc. I usually don’t take the time to read all the posts by the girlfriends, but tonight I did, and enjoyed them, and your replies, so very much. Two sleeps to Downton, and I’m with you on wishing Mary and Tom would end up together, but I’m not holding my breath on that. Have you noticed how they’ve been teasing us with having Edith get so close to Tom? The Christmas decorations will probably stay up a little while longer to cheer the long dark nights of winter. We’ve had dustings of snow, just enough to be pretty, but not enough to cause travel problems. I didn’t get The Fairytale Girl for Christmas as I’d hoped, so I’m buying it for myself.

  16. Ruth Winkler says:

    And here in Vermont we had a shower of snow, drifting down so lazily. No accumulation tho. Our tree and decorations are still up and will stay up a few more weeks. Love this time of the year with its ending and new beginning too. Happy New Year to you and Joe and all your furry babies.

  17. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Happy New Year to YOU, JOE, GIRL KITTY, & JACK!!!! So happy to hear your Christmas was merry!!!! Thank you Susan for your beautiful posting of well, everything!!!! The words, the photos, the sneak peaks of your Isle of Dreams, everything! Wishing you a wonderful 2016 and may all your dreams come true!
    (After blowing out my birthday candles today, I hung your adorable 2016 calendar on my kitchen wall……the best present….my hubby almost forgot to get it out from the hiding place in his closet!!!) God Bless You Susan & Take Care! (Oh, and we had light snow flurries throughout the day, in Dearborn, Michigan. It was almost like angel dust, very fine, but very pretty. Mother Nature’s gift for the first day of the New Year!!!)

  18. julia walker in Cincy says:

    Happy New Year Susan! Your snowy pix are so beautiful especially the birds. I’m forwarding your blog to my sisters in MD.,CT. & N.C. They will love your paintings, quotes & cats as well as your beautiful home! Where can I buy your wall calendar?

    • sbranch says:

      We still have them in our online store (see “shopping” at the top of the blog), and they are here and there in the retail world, never know quite for sure, but they are also at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Tell your sisters I said Hello!

      • Ann says:

        Hello back to you, & a wonderful 2016 to you. Julia’s sister in Charlotte, NC

      • Rosanne Murphy (Keizer, Oregon) says:

        For the past 10 years or so I have had a Gathering of the Girlfriends in my parlor on New Year’s Day. We drink Veuve Cliquot with strawberries, munch little bites, ring in another year together. One girlfriend always brings me your calendar! I think she’s trying to be my favorite guest.😄Your January page is perfect! I also saved that kitty quote above, because my kitty is with me constantly as well. We will be settled in together to watch Downton!

  19. Karen Seward says:

    There’s no better way to start my day than to open up your newsletter/blog the absolute best way to start my New Year, I get so inspired and i so relate to Jack and Kitty because i also have two Cats who i adore and make my home so cozy and warm, Happy New Year to you Susan Branch!!!

  20. Claudia Cole says:

    Oh dear. The first sentence: “A toast to us my good fat friends.” How did you know, I’ve been enjoying the holidays from Thanksgiving through today. But it was so delicious and so well worth it! I have “A Salute to Downton Abbey” on the
    telly and Hugh Bonneville just said about the first season “…it was so delicious” as I was typing those same words in the last sentence. Yikes!
    Susan, I love Holly Oak Cottage. How long did you live there? It is so lovely for a talented and creative lady with kitties.
    I opened my 2016 calendar and hung it on the nail in the pantry. I just love it. Sigh! Happy New Year to you and yours. Meow X’s 2.

    • sbranch says:

      But it all comes to the right place when it says “to hold such hearts as ours!” 🙂 I lived in Holly Oak for seven years. Happy New Year Claudia!

  21. Nancy B. says:

    I love your beautiful images of the little puddle! So pretty to see the colored leaves and the flection of the trees. That little puddle is a really BIG reflection of beauty. I always love to see pictures of your warm home and the kitties too 🙂 Happy New Year and all the best to you, Joe and the “kiddies”.

  22. Marilyn S says:

    I read Fairy Tale Girl again this week for the second time and I have to say, I think I enjoyed it even more this time, if possible. So this is how I squeeze every drop of pleasure from my Susan Branch wall calendar. I order it as soon as it becomes available to I make sure I get one. But when it arrives, using great discipline, I don’t open it and put it on the shelf in my closet. Then, on Dec. 31st I pull it out, open it and look through it quickly, just to get an idea of what’s in there. I go through each month and write in all the family birthdays and events using my colored fine point Sharpies. Then I go back to each month and read every word, look at every picture, enjoy every creative border and “wallpaper”, and all the little pictures and quotes you sprinkle throughout. (I especially love the sock monkey on Chinese New Year :)). Then I go through my old calendar month by month, copy down any recipes I want to make, enjoy reading it one more time, and lovingly store it on the closet shelf with all the past years calendars. I can’t bring myself to cut them up for gift tags or books marks as others have so creatively done. I just save them to pull out and enjoy again. Every year, they just seem to get better and better – they are a treasure trove of Susan Branchness! I don’t know how you have time to do it all but I’m certainly glad you enjoy creating your books and calendars as much as we enjoy reading them! Happy New Year to you and Joe!

    • sbranch says:

      That was so sweet Marilyn, and you even noticed the sock monkey! 🙂 I give myself a little laugh every so often with silly little things like that. Happy New Year!

  23. Helen Smith says:

    Happy new year. I look forward to your new book and have enjoyed all the others.

  24. Linda says:

    Happy New Year to you and yours!
    Please explain rabbit rabbit again as I don’t get it. I know you explained once long ago but I just was not paying enough attention. (God knows it can’t be my getting older!)
    Linda from Idaho where we got a gorgeous snowfall on Christmas morning and it lasted all day long…several inches and it is still all here as it has been so COLD that nothing melts even though the sun shines all day long. It is 7degrees out right now!

  25. Carol D. in Sierra Madre, CA says:

    Susan, I want to say thank you, just, thank you…for being there for us girlfriends when we need you, and we do!! You always know just what to say and when to say it. (That creative mind of yours never ceases to amaze me!) So, thank you for being you. Have a wonderfully Happy New Year, Susan, both you and Joe!!

  26. Sandra says:

    Wonderful blog post, as always! I love all the photos of your home and garden. It all looks so dreamy and homely! All the quotations and your artistry is always much appreciated!
    It’s quiet round here and there is still no snow – even in Switzerland! Though the mountains have finally got some much higher up!
    Wishing you the most wonderful and creative New Year!

    • sbranch says:

      Now we know we’re in trouble ~ Switzerland should have snow! Thank you Sandra, wishing you all the very same. xoxo

  27. Amy G. says:

    You have a new book coming out, I’m so excited! I didn’t know. Love the photo of Jack, helping, and of course all the photos of your gorgeous house!

  28. Kathy Hughes says:

    Happy New Year, Susan and Joe! I hope this year brings even more love, contentment, beauty and prosperity to you. I’m looking forward to your new book and to the enjoyment that your blog brings to so many people.

  29. Amy from the O.C. (California) says:

    Loved to read your first post of the New Year! You always make my day brighter! Loving all your inspiration and heartfelt sayings. Looking forward to the many good things the new year will bring us, especially your new book! Blessings to you and hope this coming year is another great one for you and yours!

  30. Lauri Hyde says:

    Happy New Year, Dear Susan!

    I so look forward to reading your blog. It makes my day every time I see it pop up in my email. Oh, joy! By the way, did you happen to see the Pasadena Rose Parade in TV today?
    Did you see the Downton Abbey float? OMG. I am thinking about going to see the floats parked on the street in the next day or so. It used to be free, like so many things, but now it’s $10 if you want a close up look. I tried to paste the pic of it here, but all I got was this link. media.gettyimages.com/photos/the-downton-abbey-float-winner-of-the-queens-award-on-the-parade-picture-id503101788. It boggles the mind what they can do nowadays. I wish they could preserve it somehow. So much artistry went into the making of that thing. I think they ought to keep it on permanent display somewhere. Then if you can’t get to see the real thing, well, this is pretty darned good if I say so myself! Let me know if the link works. Enjoy!

    • sbranch says:

      THAT was amazing. And all with flowers! I just put it up on Twitter! Thank you Lauri, I’m sure people will love to see this!

      • Lauri Hyde says:

        My pleasure, indeed! I’m thrilled that I was able to share something so spectacular with you that you had yet to see. I decided to start a Twitter account to see how that works and to look at how you posted the pic on it. I still can’t quite figure what to do with it. I’m not big on social media, but that is the wave of the future, so I guess I’ll just hang ten and dive in! Happy Holidays to you and hope you get your snow. Out here in So Cal, it is a rare sight indeed and my hubby hates driving in it so if I ever get to enjoy it, it will take an act of God! Hope he’s listening?

        Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016!

        Lauri Hyde

  31. Martha Rodik says:

    Happy New Year! Loved seeing how everything is put away waiting for the new year to begin. Hard to believe our Winter last year was nothing but snow. This year some of the primrose are blooming! Can’t wait to receive your new book!

  32. charlotte m. says:

    Happy New Year Susan. Looking so forward to the new book!!

  33. Ann Woleben says:

    Susan, Happy New Year to you and Joe and the kitties. I’m dreaming that I could work from home like you, but alas, not yet. My birthday is in April so it would be perfect if your book could be published by then – a gift to myself! Although the Christmas items have been put away, I’m trying to keep the spirit in my heart. I am placing my snowmen out along with a few snow-dappled (is that a word?) bottle trees in hopes of a beautiful, peaceful snowfall. Tis the season for dreaming of gardens! Then coming home at the end of the day for knitting, reading, and baking (my husband would like more of the baking). Downton – whee!
    Blessings to you as you continue the new book~

  34. Carole Woolery says:

    Happy New Year, Dear Susan! Thanks for another beautiful post…heartwarming and so lovely.

  35. Leslie Scutellaro aka Mrs. S. says:

    Dear Susan, I want to share something beautiful.”Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,/ As the swift seasons roll! Leave thy low-vaulted past!/. Let each new temple, nobler than the last,/ Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,/ And thou at length art free,/ Leaving thine outgrown she’ll by life’s unresting sea.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes.
    Thank you for all you do. Peace and love…

  36. Leslie Scutellaro aka Mrs. S. says:

    That’s shell not she’ll. Ah, computers…

  37. Stephanie C. says:

    Happy New Year Susan! I love the violin music!!! I’m not a realist but very much a dreamer and a fairy tale girl, so much that I even raised one. I taught her that life can be a fairy tale if you make it one. You must find the good in every situation. And I got my Fairy Tale book for Christmas!!! Yea! Can’t wait to find a quiet moment with some tea to enjoy it. And oh yes, I have been counting down the days to Downton Abbey!!! Love it! Will be so sad when it is over. My Mom and I have been to MV in the late summer and we were just looking at pictures of MV in the winter and saying how much we have always wanted to see the Vineyard covered in snow. I love snow and we don’t have any either here in northern Indiana, but I smiled when I saw the snowy pictures of the Island. Maybe someday. I also smiled when i saw your tablecloth, it’s almost like mine! I fell in love with it at an antique shop, faded red with a few small holes, but I love it! We have the same taste:) I also have quilts on top of my hutch. So I am wondering how Jack gets up and down the hutch, on top of the quilts without breaking anything! I am looking forward to the New Year 2016 and all the great things to come! Praying for health and happiness. Thank you Susan for all you do to bring joy to my life. Best wishes to you and Joe and kitties this new year! (P.S. hoping we both get snow soon!)

  38. Connie T. says:

    Happy New Year 2016, Susan! Love, love love your posts and your attitude toward life. Live, love, laugh and thank God for it all! Looking forward to Downton Abbey right along with you and all the others here. I hope you recap for us again about each episode – you seem to catch so much more than I do. I know you tape it and watch it over and over, which helps. I have no way of recording shows so I see them once only! My DH will have to go watch the Vikings football game at another’s house as I can’t miss my Downton! 🙂 Joy, joy, joy to you and yours!

  39. Beth L. says:

    Happy NEW Year, Susan!

    I’m wondering how exactly YOU use your DAYS Book?
    I know there are a zillion ways, but I always freeze afraid of messing it up…or not keeping up with it as a Journal. Its so lovely and I hate writing in it!

  40. Beth L. says:

    P.S. LOVE LOVE LOVE the Pink/Gold Champagne Glass! Looks like Vanna’s hand holding it!? She’s such a Diva!

  41. AngieTink says:

    ☃☆♬♪❄♡♕✰♬ Rabbit~Rabbit Sweet Sue & A Very Joyful New Year! Fabulous Blog~Post… Wonderful~Musica! & Girl~Kitty & Jacky~Wacky Pics Adorbs! 🙂 Our New~Year’s~Eve Was Delightful & Yummy Herbster & I Even Danced Around The Living~Room! Yay! 🙂 Guess What? Tomorrow January 3rd is My Birthday!!! (Happy♬♪✰♬ Birthday To Me!) 🙂 Yay! & Downton~Abbey Begins…I Should Be Throwing Myself A Downton~Abbey~Birthday~Tea~Party….. 🙂 You Know What? I Shall Blow~Out My Birthday~Candles in Front of The Telly While Sipping a Lovely~Cuppa~Tea Then Herbster Will Pour Me a Glass of Pink~Champagne…& Sing Me ♬♪♡♕✰♬ Happy~Birthday….As We Say…CHEERIO…. Yay! 🙂 & a REAL Cold~Front is Coming Tonight! Finally… Here in Florida…. ☃ & The Winter~Weather is Going To STAY At Least This Whole Week! So Cozy & Warm In Front of The Fire We Shall Be! 🙂 ☃ Sending Lots of LOVE & Winter~Pixie~Dust For You & Joe & The Kitties! & Wishing Everybody a Blessed Glorious New~Year! xoxo Poof! ☃☆♬♪❄♡♕✰♬☃☆♬♪❄♡♕✰♬ P.P.S. & Sweet Sue So Very Exciting About “OUR” New Book! Bravo! Well~Done~You! 🙂 ☆♬♪♡♕✰

    • AngieTink says:

      Good~Morning Sweet Sue Tis “Downton~Abbey~Day” Yay! Twirling With Delight & a Lovely~Cuppa~Tea! xoxo Poof! & A “Cheerio” We’ll Discuss on Monday! ☃☆♬♪❄♡♕✰♬☃☆♬♪❄

  42. Linda Miller says:

    Happy New Year, Susan!

    Just finished reading your blog and enjoyed every photo, January’s calendar, words
    of wisdom, and all its charm! You capture nature and God’s glorious world in all the seasons
    magically. Thank you for sharing your little corner of the world with us!

  43. winnie Nielsen says:

    Happy New Year Susan!! And YES, this 2016 is off to a roaring start with Downton Abby for the final season. I hate to think this is the last one, but I have immensely enjoyed this BBC drama and grateful to Julian Fellows for his commitment and creativity to this production. Then…..we are going to be enjoying your new book when the daffodils bloom. I can hardly wait to see what you have been putting together all these months and years. Then…..we will be packing our bags for another visit grand trip to England. Oh, it will be glorious and exciting!!!

    Yep, 2016 is going to be one wonderful year for this GF and I am looking forward to every moment.

    Happy New year wishes to Blog Daddy out there in California land!!

  44. Bonnie says:

    How did Jack get way up on that hutch without knocking over the candelabra? 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      After I took that photo, I moved the candles! I have no idea how he got up there, but I feared strongly for the coming down!

  45. San says:

    Wishing you and yours a very happy New Year Susan!

  46. Michele Taylor says:

    Thanks for the lovely note to start our new year out! When I first looked at your picture of the puddle, I thought it was a reflection of a tree decorated with twinkle lights….beautiful! A question….how does Jack get clear up on top of the quilts on top of the china cabinet?? And does he break anything on the way? Happy new year to you and all the girlfriends!

  47. Ann says:

    “Hello” back to you, & I hope you have a very wonderful 2016, from Julia’s sister, Ann, in Charlotte, NC. I too, love your blog – all of it!

  48. Ann says:

    Happy New Year to you! I loved seeing your kitty high up on top of all those quilts, that really made my morning.

  49. ann deakers says:

    Dear, dear Susan,
    Just finished The Fairy Tale Girl. Was quite pleasantly surprised to find we share the same birthday, only I’m one year older. I grew up in Sherman Oaks, just a hop, skip and a jump away from Reseda. I was so happy to read about your happy childhood with loving parents and sibs galore. I was able to get through the Cliff part of the book, knowing that better things were to come in your life, but I was glad you spent the time sharing your family stories. Can’t wait for ‘the rest of the story?’ Oh, and God bless Diana! I’m lucky to have a few of them in my life!

  50. Holly Schimmel.... says:

    Love your blogs, Miss Susan! Must ask though, is the bird in the Love teacup a mushroom bird or a painting of a real species I’m not familiar with? I reside with three kitties, all ancient babies now and so I know a cat’s jumping abilities to lofty perches… But how in the world did Jack make it to the top of the quilt stack past the tippy wooden bowls AND navigate the two gorgeous candelabras!? Impressive! Wishing you a cozy, peacefully creative winter.

  51. Jane Alexander says:

    My heart just turns to mush, when I look at your blogs. You are so warm and friendly, and thoughtful. I love looking at the world through your eyes. And I love the little home., And I love your present home. I gave one of your calendars to all of my daughters, and myself. I feel like it is a healthy way to present a thankful life to them. Your attitude is one to share, and you do it well. glad your kitties are there to help you! And of course our dear Lord. And of course your dear family and friends. Happy New Year! We will focus on the joys available to us every day, and pray blessings upon all others.

  52. Marge says:

    Wonderful year indeed Susan! Have enjoyed following along on all your grand adventures! Thank you for sharing with us :0D Can’t wait to see what this year brings next! Happy New Year ~ Marge ~

  53. Cecelia says:

    Susan, I cannot wait for this book!! I know you said it goes to the printer in Feb, but when do we get our hot little hands on it?

  54. Debra in So CA says:

    Loved your post as always! I was impressed by the reflective puddle, full of colorful leaves and trees. Really creative! Visiting your Posts are like visiting a very good friend. Time filled with awe & wonder, beauty & amazement, laughter & inspiration. I haven’t watched Downton Abbey – so will try to catch it this season. Sure if you all love it, I will too. Look forward to the new book. Loved the Fairy Tale Girl. I found so many memories in common even though I’m a few years younger, I had similar experiences. It was really was enjoyable. Today I will write in all my birthdays for the year in my new calendar. I loved reading I’m not the only one who enjoys the new Susan Branch calendar so much. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

  55. Frances Fowler says:

    Happy New Year, and thank-you for this inspiring post to mark a new beginning! This post-Christmas Day portion of my school break was almost completely taken up by an absolute, unproductive glut of Downton binge watching. I didn’t realize until about a week ago that Amazon Prime had every season running, so of course I went back from the Titanic’s sinking to the season 5 finale, replaying episodes I only napped through when I should have been in bed asleep! Like you, I’m an early morning person, and these past few weeks of bed/waking times that are far more suited to Lady Mary after a grand party leave me with purple half moons under my eyes. I am not ready for Downton to be over, though since the Christmas Day finale in the U.K, I have known the unsurprising spoilers via the internet. And although I know Grantham, as well as the Crawleys’ often progressive social attitudes, are fictitious, I can’t help but think of Downton when I again peruse through “A Fine Romance”. But as for today, the tree will come down; I will be transferring important dates to my new Susan Branch wall calendar, ready to begin afresh. I keep all my old calendars, not only because I love all your artwork, recipes, and inspiration, but because, with all the notes and reminders, they are a sort of diary. Thank you for sharing your 2015 with all of us. I know we’re all looking forward to your new books and posts as you and Joe take your next trip to England!

  56. PAULA says:

    Dear Susan;
    Ah yes, it’s time for all the holiday things to be put away, peace and quiet to prevail in our little corner of Silver Strand beach. { We miss the children .} We have some of our Gourmet group from Glendale stay for the New Year, and leave after the Parade, so all is REALLY quiet now. A time for everything, organizing, reflection, and enjoying the tree for one more day, and reading all the comments. I too wondered how the cat got on top of the cabinet. We have an old cabinet too, and our cat Okey can only make it to the first landing with the help of a chair. Sometimes I forget how mysterious cats can be, “jellicle cats” with their own broadway musical, how could I question a cats ability?
    Your lovely pictures and paintings keep us going, and thank you for what you have done for your readers this year, we are waiting to see your new book and all you have planned for 2016. We wish you and Joe,and the cats too, happiness, good health, and lots of love. Polly, from Oxnard.

  57. Vivian Borgstrom says:

    Good Morning and Happy New Year ! I am treating myself to a leisurely reading of your blog (I always LOVE them) this morning and then out comes the Calendars! One big one for my desk and a hanging calendar for the kitchen. Marking time begins today……listing all the birthdays (children, grands, great grands, girlfriends…..) It takes a while ! I have all of your books…which I dearly love….You are, indeed, a very important person (VIP) in my life….of happiness, ups and downs and every day occurrences. I missed going to see you in (what is for me) northern California…..and I surely hope you come out this way again this year.
    God bless you and yours and may you enjoy much good health and happiness in
    2016! Really looking forward to your next book. I love the east coast and have a
    daughter and son-in-law in Maine. Anxiously awaiting your next blog !!! Many
    hugs and kisses! Keep on keeping on !!! Love you.

  58. Bobbie in Spokane says:

    Wonderful holiday season with family and friends. Lots of snow covered walks and trees here in the Eastern side of Washington State. My treat to myself was reading “A Fairy Tale Girl” and “A Fine Romance for the second time for both. What a fine time for me, such pleasure. Thank you, Bobbie

  59. Janice Nelson says:

    I hope you can come to The King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City on your book tour. I will stop by there next week and request it! There is another bookstore in Salt Lake called Weller’s in Trolley Square that is quite nice as well. And in Park City there is Dolly’s. But The King’s English is my favorite. And if you do make it to Salt Lake, stop by The Grand America for tea. It is fabulous. Better than any place in Boston. Although I am still homesick:-( your pics of MV are great. We may go this summer. It has been 4 years since we moved and I miss New England every day. Your blog helps. Thanks.

    • sbranch says:

      We are all set for the King’s English, we think it’s May 24, or close to that anyway . . . and thank you!

      • Marilyn S says:

        Oh, jumping up and down, squeals, screams, high-fives!! I live in Salt Lake City and I’m so excited you are coming to the King’s English! It is a charming bookstore – one of my favorite’s. And May is a lovely time in Utah! So glad you will be coming!

      • Janice Nelson says:

        I cannot wait to meet you! I have been following you through your books since the beginning.

  60. jeanie m says:

    This post is so sweet it brings tears to my eyes. Just love that music too.
    Happy New Year, Susan Branch. You are a gift from God!

  61. Jennie Lou says:

    and so begins another year! What a happy beginning! My head and heart are full of the possibilities of it all. I cannot stop smiling. Outside, a curtain of fog hangs between tall Douglas fir trees on either side of the street. Cars appear like actors through the curtain, travel a short distance and disappear out of sight around the corner. The view is framed with lace curtains and a valance of red beaded garland that cheered our Christmas and will stay up until St. Valentine’s Day. Inside our little house, walls of books surround me, and I think Jack would have a field day leaping from shelf to shelf and never touch the ground. Joy to you all, and thank you, dear friend, for this community you have brought together of like minded folk from all over.

  62. Marilyn Young says:

    :oved today’s Blog Susan, always look forward to reading each and every one. I love your big white house, but oh how I believe I could live in your little cottage. It’s like a dream to think of getting on a plane, renting/buying a little cottage, decorating it my way with flowers, floral furniture, you name it and then going about the business of living. You’re a lucky gal to have found such an ideal spot to live and be happy. I think all of us are lucky with all we have and our homes and such and we can all thank God for everything he has guided us through, for all He has blessed us with. Have a great 2016 Susan, and I hope I get to see you on the West Coast at a book signing.

  63. Linda in Pennsylvania says:

    It’s always such a treat to see a new blog from you, Susan – it just makes my day. I had to giggle over the little spider you drew in the basement of your first home on the island – I love your whimsy. On the first day of each new month I “allow” myself to go back and read all your blogs from that particular month. I start getting real anxious around the 29th or 30th – but I do wait – and then, hurrah, it’s the first of the month and I can dig in! I guess that sounds a little goofy, but we find happiness where we can! You’ve been a part of my life for many years through your books and blogs and I’m so grateful for “knowing” you – you really are a treasure. Here’s wishing you and Joe and very happy New Year!

  64. Sandra Fox says:

    Happy New Year to You, Jack, and Kitties!

    We wish you a Healthy, and Happy 2016!

    Sandy & Bill

  65. Donna Hrehor says:

    Awesome post as always, can’t wait for Downton & your new book in April!!! When I read the blessing at the end I cried. Thanks for sharing “you” with all of us. You are a blessing!!! Hugs!!! Donna (Idaho)

  66. suzy says:

    So glad that someone else wondered about Jack up on the hutch..My late olympic jumper (siamese) would jump over high backyard fences which made me crazy as I would have to climb over them to get him back. On the ‘up’ side, I could say jump to him and he would land on my shoulders and curl around my neck. ah, memories.
    Happy New year and may it be much better for all of us than the past years..

  67. Margaret says:

    My kitty, Bailey, is very impressed that Jack can jump to the top of your hutch. He doesn’t help me with watercolors, but he loves to help me read your new book and bathe simultaneously while warming my lap. Santa brought me your calendar and book, I guess I was a very good girl last year! Thanks for your fun and inspiring notes! God bless you and your loved ones in this new year of adventures!
    Can’t wait for Downton to start, but don’t want it to end either!

  68. Joann says:

    Happy New Year Susan!! I’m very excited about the new book and looking forward to reading it 2 or 3 or more times, savoring every teeny bit. Christmas here was wonderful, with daughters here for children, 3 grandchildren around the table, along with that ‘little one’ who was super elfish cute!

    Today, I’m literally exhausted. I’m cleaning out a closet, but slowly and deliberately, and I think I need a nap. I rarely take them, but today I need one. Company left this morning and my heart aches for them. Counting my blessings. All the best in 2016!! Love from Colorado, Joann xoxo

  69. Nola Richter says:

    I love all your works!

  70. Happiest New Year, dear Susan! It’s so nice to look back as we wrap up the old year. I just love new beginnings, so I always feel happy when a new year begins. My ‘One Little Word’ is ready to guide me through this busy year. I just love peeking into Holly Oak. Can’t wait to learn more about your first sweet, cozy home! I’ll be thinking of all of the Girlfriends tomorrow evening as we settle in with our tea for Downton Abbey.
    Happy painting!

  71. Charlene Scholey says:

    Susan , thank you for all the fun reading– I can hardly wait to get your next post. Have to figure out ho w to contribute to make sure you don’t stop these beautiful messages. Will you be in Pasadena on your tour? I am in Menifee, not too far away. Happy New Year!
    Charlene Scholey

  72. Danella on the West Coast says:

    Hi Susan,
    Your blog post is a lovely way to start the New Year. I hope you enjoy a wonderful 2016. All the best to you and Joe and the kitties.

  73. debra sewell says:

    There is no snow here in Clearwater, FL. Last year this time i was living in Boston and shoveling mountains of snow for hours. Not this year. When i lived deep in the woods of Maine for 32 years, heated with only firewood all those years, raised 3 kids and sheep, ducks, cats, dog, chickens rabbuts for all those years. Shoveling and crying while i did in freezing rain and snow. But i did. We were Little House in the Big Woods. Just me and 3 kids. A big city girl. But we did it. I do miss the smell of my woodstoves, the kids taking tub baths next to stove in alumumn tub cause cozy on a winter night. Walks in the woods on a full moon night when the snow would look blue and you did not need a flashlite cause moon bright. So i love your blog. It takes me back to when my babies were little and there we were. Have a wonderful New Year!! We all have great things coming up. Bright new empty planners waiting to fill!!!

  74. Pamela Betz says:

    Susan–Any chance you could sell plates like the last one in your New Year post? I hung my new SB calendar this evening, love it! Pam

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Pam … I wish we could sell plates, but it’s another entire business, the plate business. Maybe someday we’ll get an offer to license our art to a plate making company and could do it then. While I’m dreaming, might as well go all the way! 🙂

  75. Debbie form Atlanta says:

    I have been away for awhile and so happy to return!! Live the new year pust and all the pretty pictures!!! One question…how does your kitty get up on those quilts on top of your secretary without breaking your crystal candlesticks? Heehee

  76. Debbie form Atlanta says:

    Lol. I just read the post before mine!!! Nevermind!!

  77. Suzette Shoulders says:

    Happy New Year to you, dear Susan, and to Joe and Jack and Girl Kitty, too! I loved finding that you had an entry for January, saying good-bye to the old year and welcoming the New Year is such a sweet tradition. A year ahead, all bright and new, what’s not to have but hope for a grand year? hugs from Oregon, Suzette

  78. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    I can’t wait for your new book to come out this spring.
    I am still writing in your Christmas memory book each year. I have almost filled three of them. I wish they were still available.
    I have to ask you something. In your painting of your first house, what is the huge spider in the basement? I’m shaking just thinking of it.
    Also, will Jack get some credit for the artwork?
    Wishing you, Joe and the kitties a very healthy, Happy New Year!!

    • sbranch says:

      Basements, since I didn’t grow up with them, held a bit of terror for me when I first got here. The spider is an indication of that! 🙂

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        You and me both! Before building, we looked at a lot of houses and there were a few with unfinished basements that were creepy but the worst to me were the ones finished with all kinds of little rooms and closets and bars in family rooms. Neither of us are “basement people” and I wanted a clean sweep to check out if I heard a noise down there, not creepy little rooms to have to go in one at a time or a bar to have to go look behind. Norm told me I’ve been watching too much Castle on TV… LOL! 🙂

  79. sondra fox says:

    I’ve completed my New Year’s treat, which is watching the Rose Parade. Love it, love it, love it. Now, on to another treat, “Downtown,” which is on tonight (as if you all didn’t know). So many wonderful things happening, plus we’re supposed to get rain ALL WEEK LONG! (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  80. Sally Roth says:

    Dear Susan,
    As always, I love to read your blog! I am English and the tradition in my family is to say “White Foxes” 3 times the last thing you say on the last night of each month before you sleep. They chase in the new month when you say “White Rabbits” 3 times before you say anything else. For Extra Good Luck!
    Thank you for another heart-soothing, beautiful insight into your inspiring life with the Rabbits post. I can’t wait to receive your new book since I have a feeling it will be one of the best…
    Thank you again, Good Health and a very Happy New Year to you and Joe!
    PS: How on earth did Jack get on top of the quilts piled high on the cabinet in your living room? Did he fly, or did you help him?

  81. Janet G says:

    Happy New Year to all! Or as the kitties would say: “Happy Mew Year!”. I love the drawing of the plate with the beautiful verse. I think that says it all.

  82. Mary Lou says:

    What an absolutely sweet post with touching sentiments. I must say, I got a little teary. Happy New Year to you and yours and thank you for all you do.

  83. Susan says:

    Aloha Susan,
    I was wondering the same thing about Jack when I saw him way up there on the cabinet. Cats are always full of mystery!
    Well a Happy New Year to you and Joe! What fun it has been following you through many adventures last year. I’m waiting patiently for your next book to see what the other half of your life is all about. You have brought smiles to my days and I thank-you. Hope 2016 brings you health, happiness and the sparkle you need to continue to create.
    Aloha, my friend,
    Susan from Maui

  84. Marsha L says:

    I’m so thankful that I found you and your amazing spirit and talent. I look forward to each new entry. It always warms my heart. Looking forward to the new book. I hope to get to Tattered Cover bookshop in Denver to meet you in person.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m pretty sure we will be there. We’ve been talking, now just waiting for the event coordinator to come back from maternity leave (although he is the husband) to approve!

  85. Esther, Gettysburg, PA says:

    What a beautiful post for the new year. May you have a happy and joy-filled one at that because that’s how you make me feel every time I read one of your posts. Thank you also for your added music………the haunting one of Ashokan (?) Farewell is amazing. Came from the library and got your last book The Fairy Tale Girl and couldn’t put it down in the car so I sat there and read it for about 45 mins. Our library ordered it for me and hopefully when your new book comes out, they will do the same. I love that little house “Holly Oak”. Is it still there? The pictures, quotes, and stories are amazing…..just like you. Continued “happy new year” and we are so lucky to have you in our world…..

  86. Teri Cardot says:

    Dear Susan, You have so many fans in the San Diego area, and we are fortunate to have an amazing independent book store, in La Jolla named Warwick’s. It is the oldest family owned and operated bookstore IN THE UNITED STATES!!! Please consider adding their location to your book tour–I have already mentioned this to the owner, hoping to accomplish your visit one way or the other! Here’s hoping!!! Love you! Teri

    • sbranch says:

      It’s on our list to try for them, just checking the time frame to see if we can! Thank you Teri!

  87. Susie (Rocky Point, NY) says:

    Happy New Year! Glad to hear you, Joe and the fur kitties had a lovely holiday. Today is the day we all held our breath for…Downton Abbey. I have been glued to my tv watching all the back shows leading us up to tonight. I am overdosed and oh so happy. Thank you PBS. It was a perfect New Year’s project. I took it as a gift especially for ‘moi’. I had no place to go and so off I went to Yorkshire with the Crowley family. Sure I could have tackled a million home projects, etc., but I allowed myself to savor each and every moment. Guilty? Not a bit. Happy? Yes!

  88. Diane welsh says:

    Counting the days to your visit to Cedar Rapids! I have been loyally feeding the birds for them and the memory of my mom. It is such a joy and I have been blessed with woodpeckers. They are amazing. Rumor has it a large 19 inch woodpecker lives outside of town by the river. (Can’t remember his name.😕) thanks for sharing your life and reminding us all what is important and wonderful. Happy New Year!

  89. Sara says:

    From a pink painted pinkie past lights once aglow
    And bells from ringing not that long ago,
    Comes your reminder that shattered hearts can do anything,
    Fly from there to here, begin again, never to end,
    Where the Winter King of Intimate delights
    Offers forever kisses, Downton nights
    Familiar voices, glowing lights,
    Something to do, something to love
    Something together, sent from above.
    Lord, as last year drifts out of sight,
    Let this year break forth with joy and delight.

    Time for a new beginning, courage whispers into my heart.

    Through your glimpses of snow days gone by, Susan, I am reminded
    That we have to look back to all we loved and cherished
    To truly see and understand the treasures that fill our hearts today.
    Your grateful heart, transparent as puddles that reflect the sky
    Reveals there are jewels just under the surface–there if we only look.
    Thank you, Susan. (I love being here too.)

    My best to you and Joe and the kids… 🙂 Sara 🙂

  90. Tina says:

    So funny, my husband, son and I were all just wondering the same thing about Jack getting up there. Our cat Skeeeter would be right up there with him. He loves being up high! I just want to say Thank You for Christmas! I got Fairy Tale Girl and A Fine Romance for Christmas and read both in a few days. I loved them so much! I’m hoping to make it to Austin for your book signing and a trip to Martha’s Vineyard is now on my bucket list. Happy 2016!!!

  91. Trisha says:

    Dear Susan, A very Happy New Year to you and Joe…. And a very exciting year ahead for you! It was a wonderful Christmas with family and friends…..but a little snow on Christmas Eve would have been nice! I have enjoyed all your pictures of your home as you prepared for the holidays…..and loved your beautiful tree! You must be so happy as you get closer to putting the final finishing touches on your “Isle of Dreams”! I am looking forward to receiving it and enjoying every page……over and over again! Your story that you have taken all of us on has been magical !! A big thanks to you for all that you have given us thru the years……A toast to you for a Happy and most Healthy New Year!! P.S. And also a another toast to a wonderful Downton Abbey tonight !! Enjoy!!

  92. viv says:

    Thank you for being you.

    • sbranch says:

      I had no choice, everyone else was taken. Ha ha … from an old quote, but couldn’t help myself. What I should really say was what I thought first, You doll! xoxo

  93. Patty in Michigan says:

    Happy Happy New Year, Susan and Joe! What a difference from last year to this year. Here is Michigan it has been the same. It wasn’t a white Christmas for us either. That’s okay. We know snow is coming soon. My Christmas was absolutely wonderful. I have been waiting to get my hands on Fairy Tale Girl. I knew the hubby wanted to get it for me for Christmas. So I held off buying it for myself (very hard to do!!) It was read in about a day. Wow, it was amazing to read about your life. I learned so much about you. So sorry about all the hurtful things you had to go through. But it truly was incredible how you were given the gift of drawing and writing and were able to learn and grow and practice it. I have your next book on preorder already. I can’t wait to pick up where your story left off. All my Susan Branch books look so pretty together on my bookshelf. A real treasure for me. They are so pretty!!!! Love to you and Joe and kitties!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Patty! So nice to hear that . . . and it won’t be long for the next one. I’m so excited!

  94. Hi,
    All looks so cozy. I had to chuckle at the “it is a three sweater day” We have that here today too. Damp air here in Wisconsin…we are dreaming of snow, in our neck of Wisconsin we only received 4 inches. We are cross country skiers so we want more. :-))

    xx oo

  95. Jody says:

    A book about your house(s)! Oh, that will be jolly fun. I love the watercolor of your first house. Sweet. And sweet are your kitties.

  96. Tara says:

    Oh Susan,

    When I took down December and opened up my new calendar I gasped out loud when I hung it to January. January is beautiful and you did so a heartfelt, inspiring, cozy, I can’t get enough of it job. While I love the watercolors, my girls (12 and 8) loved the quotes, I have to tell you what my husband said at dinnertime last night. We were all about to sit down at the table and I was swooning over the quotes, the girls agreeing with me. And Scott said, “I found one of the quotes every inspiring.” “You noticed January and how lovely it is?” “Yes, of course, and that don’t play leapfrog with a unicorn,” so perfect. Think I’ll share that one with my school on Monday.” (he’s an elementary school principal) We all love your January. I don’t dare peek at the other months. They are like gifts to be unwrapped each and every month. I adore your blotter this year, the kitchen one hanging, and the mini…. love them all. Thank you for all that you do. Looking forward to reading your blog throughout the year. Happy New Year Susan. ~tara

  97. Barb (Ludlow, MA) says:

    Happy New Year…..Susan! 🙂

  98. Linda Hurst says:

    I’ll try so hard never to start a month again without Rabbit, rabbit! Don’t we need all the luck we can muster! Hate taking all the pretty lights down, still have the tree up, it should stay until Epiphany, and maybe longer. Such a dark corner without it! Thank you for ‘writing’ to us. Happy New Year!

  99. denni in MN says:

    How exciting…Isle of Dreams, Season 6 of Downton Abbey, a New Year of wonderful blog entries! Happy Days!!

  100. Laura says:


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