Hello to everyone popping in from Willard (or wherever you’re popping in from)! MUSICA (sorry that the Musica doesn’t work unless you can open two screens at a time on your device. If you can, click on the link, then come back to this page while it plays) . . . Welcome to my pink kitchen!
Well, it’s not really pink. But there’s yesterday’s sunrise . . . see what it did to my kitchen . . .
You can see the reflection of the sunrise from the windows directly across from these . . . turning daffodils, walls, and Beatrix Potter People sunrise pink!
The stove was splotched in pink too . . .
Morning sun sent rays across my dishes cupboard . . . had to grab the camera! Such a nice way to start the day!
Later on, a breeze came up from the harbor and under blue springtime skies, out went our sheets for . . .
. . . a little flight in the cool salt air . . .
And that reminded me, of a really good idea I had, of the perfect 30th Anniversary Giveaway for some lucky person . . . I thought perhaps a vintage quilt would be just the thing! The Grand Prize I mentioned in WILLARD. . .
I actually decided to do this way last summer . . . you can tell by the leaves on the trees and the green . . . to give away this quilt, the one closest to us in the picture, white with the patches of color . . . I’m not sure where I got it, I’ve had it for so long. Be sure to sign up for it at the end of this blog. I do this A. because I have lots of quilts and it’s fun to share the wealth. B. It’s the 30th Anniversary of Heart of the Home and that would never have happened without YOU ♥. And C. In honor of my dad who told me to
Here I am in 1999, thrilled because I had just gotten my first collection of fabrics with Springs Industries. They put me on the cover of Giftware Business (which I don’t think exists anymore), wondering, in the headline, “Who the heck is this person?” So this was an unexpected thrill. I never imagined my cookbooks could lead to designing fabric (I couldn’t even imagine cookbooks!). We won a prize for our booth at the International Quilt Show in Houston that year.♥ My corner of their huge showroom was set up as a bedroom, furnished in white wicker, a bed (the headboard), chairs, desk, even a hope chest, and the Springs people had made everything in it from my fabric, pillow cases, duvet covers, throw pillows, dolls, dresser scarves, cushions, quilts, book covers, wall hangings, lamp shades, table toppers, you name it. At a time when so many quilting fabrics were tea stained, we stuck out, not like a sore thumb, more like a rainbow on a sunny day. I’ve always loved sewing and quilts and embroidery and every kind of needlework so designing fabric with my watercolors just seemed like a natural to me, and now they were actually letting me do it! How could it be anything but fun?!
And it was fun! After Springs Industries, I was lucky again to be approached by RJR and I designed fabrics and quilts for them for several years. The only thing about fabric designing I didn’t like was that they would print the fabric only once and after it was sold out, that was it, they didn’t make any more. You’d blink and it would be gone. Like everything you see above, all gone. So it wasn’t all roses in that respect. And it was hard to get the fabric stores to know you existed, because consistency was impossible.
See those cute little teapots? I was heartbroken when they sold out and no more were made. “Why?” I wailed . . . But, it was fun while it lasted and I did love having fabric, I loved designing.
I had so much fun piecing together quilt design ideas with paper on my living room floor.
I’ve loved quilts ever since my grandma gave me one that her mom made. That was it, I was hooked, and since then I have looked for old quilts wherever I go, antique stores, flea markets, anywhere and everywhere.
I used to quilt a little bit myself, but then I learned that I could paint quilts faster than I could sew them. So when the time came, I was thrilled to design my own fabric. I just wished it could be around longer.
But no, I was not in charge, it was all gone, no cupcakes, no blue flowers, no hearts with teacups in them, no flipping tea balls. Months of work, on the parts of so many people, only six months on the market, it was all gone.😳 The licensing business has gone topsy turvy in the last 15 years, along with many manufacturers and many fabric houses. Huge wonderful Springs Industries, for all practical purposes, doesn’t exist anymore. So I have waited, still getting letters all the time from you asking for fabric, wishing and hoping and thinking, maybe someone will find me again someday.
But so far I’m still waiting. And while they were not finding me, wonderful things were happening on the Internet. New ways of doing things were being invented. Even our small studio could give you free bookmarks and stationery to print out. We could send you patterns, via email. A new world was opening. And somewhere else, genius people were learning how to print fabric on demand. ON demand!!! Which meant a designer could put a fabric design onto their website, a customer could find it there, and get just what she needed, a quarter of a yard, 10 yards, whatever. The customer had a choice of designs that were available in no other place. And those print-on-demand sites have just been getting better and better.
And now, in case you haven’t heard of them, I’d like to introduce you to Spoonflower.com. Because all by myself, with no contract to sign and nothing standing between me and you, I can upload any fabric designs I want to this site, and you can get them there, in a magnificent almost unbelievable choice of 20 (twenty!) different fabrics. And you know what else? Not only can I do this, YOU can do it too! You can design your own fabric, and they will make it! Anyone can! Your child’s drawing could be fabric! They will send you one of their little swatch books for $1 (like the one above and below) so you can see all the different fabrics, check the quality, touch it and feel it. Too good to be true.
Not only can you provide your own designs, but you can shop Independent Designers from all over the world. And they have twill, they have organic cotton, they have silk Crepe de Chine, they have poplin, they have stretchy! You choose the fabric you like, and then you choose what weight you would like it in. You can cover chairs in their fabric! You can line picnic baskets! And you know what else? Let’s say you like a fabric so much you wish it was wallpaper. Guess what? You can have any of the fabric designs in wallpaper! AND in wrapping paper!!!! I am beside myself.
So I asked them to send me a fat quarter sample of my Martha’s Vineyard Toile in “Linen-cotton canvas” so I could check the quality, and this is what they sent. I wish you could feel it. It’s gorgeous. Digitally printed, eco friendly. You could make a bag out of it, or heavy drapes, or thick pillow covers. But you can also get this design in quilt fabric, you could make poplin jammie bottoms, it could be curtains, it could be wrapping paper. It could be wallpaper. And you can do this with any fabric on their site. All of it designer, all of it one of a kind.
My samples came fast too. Took maybe a week.
I asked for samples of my birthday fabric designs . . . and here’s what they sent. I thought it was wonderful. And this is a new design for me, it was never made! So we’ve decided to go ahead and let this fabric make its debut on Spoonflower! I see napkins, I see pillow cases, I see an apron. I see wrapping paper! I even see wallpaper used as drawer paper, polka dot drawer paper!
I’m a pros and cons person, so I really thought about it ~ the pros for doing fabric this way far outweighed the cons: Spoonflower fabric is made in America! No one can discontinue my fabric but me. I could wallpaper, make drapes, cover a chair, and make a duvet all in the same pattern. It ships internationally so my Australian and German and Japanese Girlfriends can get some if they want!♥
(Does anyone recognize those shoes on the window sill in my sewing room! Agnes!)
The other thing is that Spoonflower isn’t my business. They will sell my designs, but Spoonflower is responsible for the business side, not me. They take care of the customers, answer questions and are responsible for quality control. Once I upload the designs, they take over. And they carry so many choices of fabrics, they even have patterns you can buy that come with the pieces all cut out for sewing. And believe it or not, there is no minimum order! The Pros go on all day. I think they offer an amazing service. And they started their business the same way I started mine, at their dining room table. So I get to support a small business.
My wheels keep turning . . . I can have a line of Baby fabric again! My Teds! Lamb wallpaper! Lamb wrapping paper! Lamb curtains!
There is only one con that I can see, better known as a drawback . . . but even that has a pro side. It’s the price. Print on demand and “made in America” doesn’t come cheap. And their fabric isn’t available anywhere else! But prices aren’t really as bad as you might think, especially for the heavier weight fabrics ~ compared to other designer prices, it’s affordable. And the bright side of this “con” is that Spoonflower does not compete with all the wonderful little quilt stores that we love and want to stay around forever, because for all of this amazing service, they really can’t compete with quilt-store prices. The good side of that is that the shops don’t carry Spoonflower fabrics, and Spoonflower doesn’t carry the shop’s fabrics. They are the same yet entirely different.♥
And you can make a lot of pretty things with just a little bit of fabric. You can edge pillowcases, and make tiny quilt squares . . .
You can have sweet little appliquéd dish towels with way less than a quarter of a yard.
You can appliqué cupcakes for almost nothing. You can line a bread basket or make a window valance, or a scarf (because they also have 100% silk). You can cover boxes or line your shelves in the peel and stick wallpaper. You can use the wrapping paper as scrapbook paper. And I’m sure, with your kind of creativity, you can think of a jillion other things to do with it.
A little fabric goes a long way . . . someday I’ll design an I Love England collection. I’ve been playing with paper ever since I learned about this. I love the birds, that will be next.
Gone, but not forgotten. ↓
Just so you know, this is not paid advertising, or even unpaid . . . I have never spoken to anyone at Spoonflower, we’re not connected in any way. They don’t know me from Adam. I just like them and knew that if you didn’t already know about them, you would want to. You can follow them on Twitter, along with their 33,000 other followers, of which I am one, at @spoonflower. So NOW:
As of today, we’ve put up three collections, 15 designs, HERE. And we’re just beginning . . . The first is called “They Say It’s Your Birthday” ~ the second is the “Martha’s Vineyard Watercolor Collection” ~ and, lastly, just in time for the think-ahead people, our “Christmas Watercolor Collection.” And we will just keep adding on . . . we’d love to hear what you want, you want the big Santa face that looks like Joe? No problem! We will always do our best. Slowly, over time, when we are not crazy with new books or on the road traveling the country, we will add more collections and build up a nice little store where the fabric designs stay up forever and ever and ever. Ahhh, the Internet, how I love thee, let me count the ways.
And here are a few more reasons to love the Internet ↑ Giveaways! And we can connect in a way we never could before. This back and forth we have together is just amazing.♥ When I was in my twenties, I had to have my wisdom teeth pulled, and they gave me some sort of knock-out drug. While they were waiting for it to go into full effect, I started talking to my mom in a drugged-up-loony-bin-way about how someday, la-la-la . . . I wanted to have a knitting store, la-la-la, Mommy, where all my girlfriends could come and we could sit around and knit and embroider and drink tea from a tea pot and watch soap operas and teach each other things. The idyllic world. And guess what? If you count Downton Abbey as a soap opera, which I do, I got my dream! Pretty darn close, anyway! So Girlfriends, Happy my Anniversary! Please be sure to leave a comment at the end of this blog. Just any little comment will enter you in the drawing . . . there will be three winners, three names drawn in a week or so, each getting a set of books (the trilogy) PLUS a well-used paintbrush, a pencil stub, a blotter bookmark, and a seed package from my own driveway . . . And then, ONE MORE name will be drawn, for the Grand Prize . . .
This gorgeous old quilt ~ and of course, a package of wisteria seeds. Because I know you. ♥ Happy Almost Mother’s Day! ♥ See you at the bookstores! ♥ Lots to look forward to in 2016!Dig and be dug Girlfriends! Wob you!
Years ago I bought your book Grandma Tell Me Your Story for my mom to fill out and give to my daughters. It was a Channukah gift for my mom and one she could pay forward by giving it back to my children. My girls were very young and so I put the completed book away for them. My mom, loved by her children, grandchildren and two great grandchildren, passed away a few years ago. I then presented this cherished book to my daughters, now grown and mothers themselves. It meant so much to them to read my mom’s loving words to them. Thank you for writing such a thoughtful and meaningful book for us to keep forever.
My pleasure Judi, I know what a treasure that must be. I wish I’d done it in time for my own grandmother. I kept all her letters, but she always wrote about me, and not her! It makes me very happy to hear your story. xoxox
Carol from Carlsbad
I just finished Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams and I still feel in the moment. What a beautifully written book. I could actually see what you wrote about. Vivid descriptions of your journey. Sad to have finished as I loved every page with all the quotes and the art work. You are truly an inspiration. I’m a NJ girl and spent my whole life there and visiting New England and my heart is heavy missing all those places. CA. does not have all the warm fuzzies for me, but THANK YOU for wonderful nostalgia. Safe travels to you and Joe. Best love.
I’m sure you miss the seasons . . . unless you’re in the California mountains! That’s the thing I could no longer do without, this first bit of spring, the leaves crunching underfoot, the first snow of the season, snow on Christmas Eve, thrills me to the bones. I’m so happy you enjoyed the book! Thank you Carol.
Carol from Carlsbad
I just finished reading Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams! What a wonderful sharing journey you took me on. I was so deeply immersed in your life that I feel I am waking up from a dream. You made lemonade out of some sour times in your life and you came out a strong determined person and with much success. I am in awe of you and how dreams became a reality. Been loving and enjoying your creativeness for years. My cookbooks were lost in my move from NJ to CA and I’m happy that your Heart of the Home will be coming out anew and waiting for the July delivery. I replaced two of your other cookbooks. Sadly my cookbooks held many memories inside them. Letters, notes, postcards, drawings, photos, invitations from friends and family plus family recipes -all lost. So happy to know about Spoonflower, placed an order. Are there meditation tapes? I need to learn how to meditate. Going to do some ordering now as there are items I love and want to order. Thank you for all the sunshine you bring. Happy and safe travels to you and Joe.
I’m thinking about recording the meditation imagery I learned, and added to over the years … maybe next winter, when we are all settled in. Last night we visited friends here in PA . . . she pulled out her original Heart of the Home that I signed for her in 1987. The flat pages have become three-dimensional . . little chunks of dough stuck to cookie pages, smears of olive oil on the pesto page, all yellowed and old and SO filled with family DNA it almost made me cry. Her first child, not even born in 1987, is just about to get married. xoxo
Susan, I have followed your wonderful work since I bought your Summer cookbook when it first came out. I have since bought them all! I collect well-loved old quilts and winning yours (or your books) would be the cherry on top of my small collection! You are a rock star!
Thank you Cris xoxo so are you!
Love you and all you do…safe travels
Thank you Liz!
My girlfriend and I are getting ready to meet you in Willamette, IL…, just printed out our name tags…. and I am almost done with Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams…
Thank you so for your work…. that sounds funny – but – don’t we all love when we find a friend who shares so much of the “same” with us.
See you May 10th!!
Yes, we DO! See you in Willamette, Maggie!
Susan: We so enjoy your warmth and charming photos and , of course, stories that you are so kind to share! You are a blessing to those of us who have enjoyed a kinder and more gentle culture in our childhood. Television needs your talent, but it is so much more charming and fun to enjoy it with others on your blog. We buy your books but your genuine kindness is the magnet you possess! I worked in philanthropy and quickly learned that giving is the warmth in the room. Hug your kitty lots, our
tuxedo cat just checked out leaving our family with terrific memories but a major
empty space. May all the joy and kindness you share return to you !
Major empty space. I’m so sorry. 😢 We are never ready to let go of the lovely people and pets who’ve shared our lives. My kitties are home while I’m on the road and it’s the hardest part of it, hoping they’re not mad at me! Thank you for your lovely words. I’m so happy to have you here. xoxo Don’t forget there are lots of wonderful kitties waiting at shelters for YOU right now. The laughter of new-kitty antics won’t take away the memories, but it will be very soothing. 💞
Susan, I am uber happy that you are doing this on Spoonflower. If I could have found fabrics and wallpaper and wrapping paper from you 39 years ago I am positive my modern style home would have had at least a Susan Branch bedroom. Instead, I have a soft yellow room ripe to add some quilts and other sweet fabrics done with your designs!
I am also starting on Hope chests for my grandaughters and I think the very first item just might be some Birthday napkins embroidered with their name or initials, to be used now and then tucked away, perhaps! You are so smart to do this!!
One of my favorite things there are: Hope chests. So much goes into everything in there, and all imbued with the best of all things, Hope. Have fun Teresa, your granddaughters are LUCKY to have you! xoxo
I just came back from meeting you in New Hope, Pa and thought I would catch up reading my e-mails and of course your blog. I really enjoyed today meeting you and Joe. My only wish for you would have been better weather. As you mentioned “all our beautiful Dogwood Trees”, the colors would have been sharper with the sun shining. Have a safe trip across country.
I can’t imagine it could be any more beautiful! We just LOVE it Nancy, want to come back again when we can stay longer and be tourists.
Loved this blog! Y’all’s kitchen…the pink sunshine splashes…the billowing quilts on the line. All the beautiful fabrics. Gives me lots of cool ideas! And yes! I saw Agnes darlin’ shoes there on the windowsill. You are such a wonderful Romantic & Keeper of the Flames & Passions. When I read Marthas Vineyard~Isle of Dreams…it was like I was there with you. I cried with you & laughed with you…& was heartbroken when Pooh died & soooo angry when ‘he’ just didn’t get it! I kept telling you ,”it’ll be ok! Joe is waiting for you! We’re all waiting for you! It’ll be ok.” I was so happy that I already knew the Happy Ending/Beginning, this was like nail biting…old movie serial cliff hanging kinda stuff. Girl, I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again…You Have a Great Story Telling Talent! It draws us in & makes us a part of it. You engage all our senses. We can smell whatever you describe, feel those snowflakes falling, see Joe standing there with that bouquet of Spring flowers, hear the great music & just about taste whatever it is y’all are eating! I finished Isle of Dreams & am re~reading A Fine Romance. So, in short, Thanks for all you do & for ahring it all with all of us. See y’all June 18 in Austin at Book People. Where we’ll do our best to “Keep Austin Weird”. Safe Travels. Sweet Dreams & Wild Fun Times
I’m sure we will add just the right touch of weirdness to Austin! THANK YOU SO MUCH Kat, that was just the best!! xoxo See you soon!
Susan, I know there is not a snowball’s chance in you know where for me to win, but I just wanted to let you know what an inspiration you’ve been to me. I’ve had to take off work and spend a couple of weeks with my mom to help her a little (she suffers from severe COPD), but I took our book along (my Pre-order of Isle of Dreams) while watching my mom in a way I have never seen her before in my life, your book kept me company. When I wasn’t seeing to my mom I had your book there with me and it was like chatting with girlfriend. It was company, inspiration, funny, loving and just what I needed to help me cope. I’ve been following you (in the background) since the early days. (I have all your books an some of the earliest calendars and yes, Willards). I never comment or write to tell you thank you…but after the past couple of weeks…I owe you a big internet hug and an even bigger THANK YOU for sharing yourself with us. Keep inspiring us all. Thank you Susan, thank you for everything. (off to find a book of quotes of my own to put stars by…) Oh and…Hiya Joe!
I’m sending a big Internet Hug back to you Barbara, for all that you and your mom are going through. Thank you for your sweet words . . . God bless and keep you XOXOXO
Hi Susan, this is Ginny, who used to live in Nova Scotia, but recently moved to Texas. Moving for hubby’s job when you have to leave your dream house, and dream yard–which you created from your own heart and hands, and daughter and grandson, is NOT fun. No, and I wasn’t really very happy about it. But, you were here when I arrived, waiting for me on my trusty computer. You and your wonderful blog, art and kindred spirit brought me sunshine like nothing else (well, God was there too…). I waited till my birthday and ordered your two new books. Ah, starting to find joy. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your heart and art. I am sure I am not alone in saying that it completely resonates with me and it is just so inspirational! I got out my watercolors today. I’m adjusting. My head is whirling about fabrics from Spoonflower! Please know that your gifts to us make a real difference in our lives. Art feeds the soul and you serve it up in heaping platefuls! Have a wonderful tour, seeing all the other girlfriends. Austin, TX is just too far, but I will be following through your blog posts. You’re the best! –Your friend, Ginny
Wow, Nova Scotia to Texas, that is QUITE a transition. It must be hard! One small thing that I didn’t think of when I moved across country, but something I would do in a minute if I ever had to do it again . . . you will need girlfriends to have tea with. So volunteer for something if you can, because, first off, when you do, you’ll immediately have something in common ~ and working next to people in a common cause is a wonderful way to slowly grow a friendship and find a kindred spirit. xoxo So happy to have you here. Happy creating Ginny!
Susan, I have been a fan of yours for many years and love love love your artwork and your books. I just finished your last book MARTHA’S VINEYARD ISLE OF DREAMS and did not want it to end. I must reread A FINE ROMANCE now to refresh my memory and enjoy it all over again. I thought I had your first book HEART OF THE HOME but must have misplaced it so I’m looking to purchase it again….can’t wait for the 30th anniversary edition. Your writing is so easy to read it makes me feel like you are writing about my friends (since we are of the same generation). Keep up the great work!
Thank you so much Naomi . . . So happy you’re enjoying the books. xoxo
Howdy Susan from Texas! I love your blog and everything else!!! I have all your cookbooks and I change them out seasonally in my kitchen!! My son gave me a boxed set of monthly notepads and sticky noted of yours!! Love!!! I cant wait to read the new books!! and the fabrics again…wow!! When my last baby leaves for college (3years) I plan to learn to quilt!!! Cant wait to come see your part of the country too! If you are ever down in Southwest Texas, come visit us at the ranch!!
Sounds like something I would love . . . we’ll be in Austin for a book signing soon, come up and say hello!
Hi Susan, just had to write after finding out you had a blog! I have purchased all your books over the years, and just finished the Isle of Dreams. Oh my what a fabulous book. I laughed I cried and I didn’t want the book to end. But now, I’ve just received A Fine Romance in the mail, so I will be enjoying that too! Just wanted you to know, I love your books, your quotes, and drawings, and the whole kit ‘n caboodle. Keep it up! Don’t know where your book tour is taking you, but I am 35 miles from Reno, NV, so maybe I will hear about you coming there and I will rush right over!
I will be in Salt Lake and then over the top to Danville California . . . you would have to come down one side or the other! There’s a schedule of signings in the right-hand column of the blog under EVENTS. Thank you so much Melody . . . I’m thrilled you’re enjoying the books. xoxo
Susan, I’m so glad I had the chance to meet you today in Hudson. You are a very special, gifted person! Your new book will be a Mother’s Day gift from my daughter. I look forward to reading it and I do love your blog. I am traveling to Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard in June. I know you won’t be there at that time but I will be thinking of you! Safe travels!
I know you’ll love it Catherine! Happy Mother’s Day!
I’m very excited about your beautiful fabrics. I’ve been sewing since the 70s (home ec!) and a quilting since the 80s. As my four girlies grew, I have more time to putter in my sewing room. And who do I sew for…those four girlies and their apartments 🙂
Lucky daughters of yours! Happy Mother’s Day, Debbie!
Just found your blog, love the pictures and the upbeat tone!!! Attempted to get your books from my library in USA, they did not have them. Hope I win the drawing!
I have read all three of your latest books and I love everyone of them. I love how you write as though you are talking just to me. I also enjoy reading your blog so much. My birthday is April 13 and while I am quite a bit older than you, we have so much in common it is amazing. My husband and I love riding the train and have crossed the country many times and once came back across Canada. Best to you and Joe on your book signing tour. Have fun! I know you will. I look forward to reading about it while you are on the go. Love, Joellen, Ashland, Virginia.
Thank you so much Joellen! We’ve been taking a bit of back roads on our way so far, and we sigh every time we see the train tracks! 🙂
I just finished Martha’s Vineyard and didn’t want it to end! You write so well that I feel like I’m right there with you through all your books! And I’m beyond devastated that I won’t be in town to see you in Kansas City! My best friend from 2nd grade and I will be taking a road trip from Southwest Missouri to Mt. Airy, NC to celebrate all things Mayberry and The Andy Griffith Show, as well as our 60th birthdays. But I will be in Boston in July for a literacy conference and plan to take a day tour to Martha’s Vineyard, which I’ve always wanted to do. My cousin lived in Vineyard Haven until about a year ago, and now that I’ve read your book I feel like I’ll know the island even better. Safe travels for your book signings. Maybe I’ll see you on the island!
What a fun trip! And I know you’ll enjoy the Island . . . if you’re in the neighborhood on July 28, there is going to be a celebration of Beatrix Potter’s 150th Birthday where I’ll be speaking at the Brewster Ladies Library…go to their website to read more and if you’d like to sign up. Have a good time in Mayberry!
Thank you SO much for signing your “Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams” book for me on May 1st in Connecticut. I was so sorry that I was unable to be there, but my daughter just gave birth to her second daughter the day before and I was busy being a Grandma (aka Grandy as I like to be called!). I am so grateful to my sister Mary-Agnes who was kind enough to fill in for me, to you for including my beautiful new grandbaby’s name (Taylor Grace) on the page, and most of all, I am so grateful to you for giving me so much pleasure, happiness, and inspiration after reading such a wonderful book that I will keep, reread, and treasure forever.
You don’t have to be a bit sorry, congratulations on your new grand-baby!!! The perfect little Mother’s Day gift! Thank you Eileen, I’m sure we will have another opportunity one of these days!
Susan, this post was just wonderful. Open-eyed dreams! Loved it!!!
Hi Susan! I finished Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams. All I can say is, I am so thankful you found Joe! Happy trails! See you in Kansas city♥️
He was the frosting on the cake, that Joe!
What a joy it was to meet you and Joe on Saturday afternoon here in Austin! On Thursday night after finishing The Fairy Tale Girl I checked your website for the first time and saw you were going to be in town less than forty-eight hours later–and at Book People, no less, just 4.6 miles from my house. Hooray!!!! It was a little tempting to bring my entire collection of your books for you to sign but I knew your hand would be way too tired. 🙂 Picking up a brand new copy of Martha’s Vineyard: Isle of Dreams instead was such a treat. Your willingness to do the long hours of detailed work in crafting each book you create, especially your beautiful memoirs, has placed you among the very best heart-full author-heroes. Yes, *truly*! Here is the quote that will always come to mind when I think of your gifts to all of us: “How far that little candle throws [her] beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” ― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice.
With heartfelt thanks,
P.S. You really do have the best shoes!!! And I look forward to ordering some of the Afternoon Tea patterned fabric from Spoonflower very soon.
Oh Debra, you see why I love the comment section of this blog so much? Because of notes like yours! SO glad about the 4.6 miles! Perfect timing! Your quote made tears in my eyes. Such a true thing, for every little candle with a light. Thank you for shining yours on me. xoxo
My girlfriend, Sheryl, and I came to your talk and book signing in Woodstock, GA. I thoroughly enjoyed it as did she and I am sure everyone else who was there. I had read your Fine Romance and have already finished Fairy Tale Girl and can’t wait to start on Isle of Dreams. Purchased both of those books at the talk and book signing. It said 104 degrees when we got in the car after the talk. It was so hot that we had to sit and fan so we used our purses to hold our place in line before the talk. I would love to upload the picture of the “purse line” for you to use. I can’t tell you how much I could relate to things you wrote about in your book and it brought back a lot of nice memories from growing up in the 50’s. I think that I have all of your books and enjoyed a trip to your store in SLO a while back. Never, ever stop writing and painting and cooking. Brings joy to so many and inspires us in so many ways!!
From the heart of the bayou,
I just found and finished Isle of Dreams. In a word, “enchanting!” I was so happy you found the perfect publisher for your first book – I am waiting to get to the top of the very long library waiting list, to fill in the blank years in your story. Thank you so much for becoming an instant friend.
Thank you! xoxo
PS: I couldn’t believe that “The Ghost and Mrs Muir” wasn’t on your list of favorite old movies! LKirby
Just a mistake because that’s one of my favorites Lenora!
I was devastated not to be able to come to the book signing in Austin, but after a month of moving my father out of his apartment into our home, and graduating my oldest child from college and my youngest from high school, the fates determined that the only way I would slow down was to give me a horrible cold, which I truly didn’t want to share. So… the two scrapbook cookbooks that I’ve worked up for my daughter and (I hope) future daughter-in-law will have to wait until next year for your autographs I’m afraid. These things happen though – and you have to go with the flow, right? Thank you always for sharing your life and talent with us, and calling us girlfriend!
Those fates!!!! They can be so inconvenient! But yes, you handled it well. Hope to see you in the future, Girlfriend! xoxo
So glad to hear that you have new fabrics! I still have some from your original line- teacups, hearts, starbursts. I love them all!
We met at the Tattered Cover in May. I marvel at your composure then, knowing now about the heartbreak you had recently experienced. Your dad would have been proud.
Thank you for saying that. I know in my heart that he would. But he would LOVE to still be here, there are so many things that have happened that I would like him to have seen. I’m always wishing he could be reading your comments. He loved them so much.
You make me happy plus you make me think all is good, all is possible. I only use quilts. They are so personal. I just purchased a quilting Singer sewing machine so I can start my own memories. Thank you.
Good for you Deborah!!! That just sounds wonderful!
I don’t know if you’ll ever see my comment in the over 3,000 you already have — but I had to tell you that I just discovered your wonderful blog and received my first “Willard” today! Last week I was enjoying my first visit to Martha’s Vineyard and I was so entranced I immediately ordered “Isle of Dreams.” (I’ve had some of your other books in the past but never realized the MV connection.) You live in a wonderful place and your book couldn’t be better named — I just started blog posts on my trip and am reliving it all!
So, thank you for adding yet another blog to my reading list, another book (or many) to my bookstack, another spot to consider using for wrapping paper designs and the opportunity to win one of your terrific prizes. Mostly, thank you for the smiles!
And thank you back Jeanie! I’m so glad you enjoyed the Island, it’s quite a special place. Glad to see you here!
What an inspiration you are! Have a wonderful trip. Be safe. I so look forward to your next writings about your adventures. Bon voyage!
Thank you Cynthia! It’s getting very exciting around here as we check things off our To-Do list!
Just want to thank you for memory tears…I got your first book a few years after it came out…bought it for the little library I created for a local resort…and fell absolutely in LOVE with it and your loving spirit I could feel as I read it. My bestie Terry and I have exchanged SB goodies every Christmas since we met in 1988. So you have been a cherished part of my life since my firstborn was 4 years old! Can’t thank you enough for all the good memories the 30th anniversary of “Heart of the Home” gives me. Hope someday to meet you…..
Nice to hear from you Kitty, thank you!
Love the Spoonflower idea. Can’t wait to see what else you put on there. Maybe some tea cups? Love to read Willard. It is so informative!
Tea cups would be fun!
Dear Susan, I have made a Log Cabin quilt with an appliqued floral border. Every piece of fabric is Susan Branch that I bought from a friend. She had been collecting for awhile. I Would like to send you a photo if you can tell me where to send it.
Enjoyed Willard, Pam
Would love to see it … send it to firstname.lastname@example.org/~susanbs3/susanbranch/ … or you could put it up on my FOSB Facebook Page. Thanks so much Pam!
Would love to see it … send it to email@example.com/~susanbs3/susanbranch/ … or you could put it up on my FOSB Facebook Page. Thanks so much Pam!
I found Heart of the Home when it came out. We had a cabin in the Mts of CA, Idllwyld and a tiny crammed-full shop called Hookin, Cookin and Me, owned by a charming woman named Pat. I always knew I could find something to fall in love with there. Cookbooks by Susan Branch, watercolors, knitting, puzzles to put together when the flakes started falling, apple cider recipes – walking into her store, redolent of cinnamon and fireplaces relaxed your heart with the knowledge that here was a kindred spirit. Unfortunately, cancer found her, even in the tiny town in the mountain wilds. I miss her still