This SEPTEMBER SUNDAY will never come again . . .

So where were we? Oh yeah, paint. And curtains. Nesting. And, oh! It’s September! And Shirley Temple’s favorite, September Sunday . . . Who could ask for anything more? Not moi! MUSICA

 On days like these . . .

The light is changing . . . the late afternoon wall-sparkles are back, jumping and blowing all over the kitchen!

Diamond-bright light shimmering through the trees and onto my walls ~ nature gone wild in the best possible way, distributing beauty, free of charge . . .

The shimmers follow me all over the house, they sparkle across the bed, glimmer in the sink, even when I’m on the floor doing my exercises, the twinkling lights find me and I have to take advantage of the moment to wave hello to you!

It’s been going on for a while . . . the change that’s coming . . . the days are shortening …

And it’s getting more noticeable daily. I had to sweep leaves off the porch for the first time yesterday . . . they’re just beginning to flitter out of the trees . . . the air smells like fall, after a long hot wet summer, there’s a heavenly change in the air.  It is so easy to count my blessings . . . As forever and always, I am so grateful for these little things, as I am saying prayers for all our girlfriends, their families, homes, and their petty pets in the Carolinas being devastated by rising waters. The weather is so capricious, landing anywhere and everywhere, causing fires, floods, and storms, willy nilly, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be next, this little dot of an island sitting out in the Atlantic, but today, I’m especially blessed with the feeling of gratitude and appreciation for the kindness of so many rescuers and volunteers helping their neighbors. So much divides us these days, but in times of trouble, we turn to each other with no thought of religion, color, or politics, and it’s a beautiful thing to see. Just what we expect and know to be true about ourselves.

Oh yes, my heart is at home, and sunlight through the trees is not the only thing sparkling my walls . . . we have been very busy! I work on the new book early in the morning when it’s quiet, and the rest of the day, I work on the house!

I don’t know why, but I seem to do so much more cleaning in the fall than I do in the spring. I guess I’m just a born hunker-downer, is this true for you? I love everything about preparing for the cozy season. All my down comforters have gone to the big washers at the cleaners, all our pillows have been washed and dried on the line . . . I’m going through piles of linens now.

Washing tablecloths, napkins, dresser scarves, and curtains, mending, bleaching, starching, and ironing them into snowy clouds . . . this house has made it clear that it expects me to do this. It is not happy without its pretty old linens. It’s that kind of house. There are times I regret it, but we made a pact a long time ago ~ as the caretaker, I know what I have to do, there is a strong element of love involved.

And Jack, as always, helps! I am not alone.

I wrote last time that we were painting our dining room. I thought then, for a moment, I might paint the walls navy blue, which would have been gorgeous against the white trim, until I realized that during the winter the blue would turn black and I don’t want to live in a black house! And, the house, when it heard, actually, would not put up with it,  so we decided to paint the walls pink. Joe painted a little stripe and the dishes said YES!

We had to take down our old flowered wallpaper (there was a mold problem) which I knew I would miss so I started shopping for flowered curtain fabric! Old house says, give me flowers. I say, your wish is my command.

And, the cat . . .Mr. Adorable, helping Joe . . .

Jack blesses the work from the tops of ladders or draped over my clean sheers. How do kitties know which is very cleanest thing ~ the exact thing you are trying to keep clean and smooth? My art, he always tries to lay exactly on the page I’m painting!

Fabric swatch choices for the dining room were narrowed down to these three. I put this photo on Twitter and got lots of advice from our girlfriends! I went back and forth . . . believe it or not, they do sort of look alike, but it was a very difficult choice!

All of this frenzy of curtain activity is because every time we’ve gone to England, I’ve fallen more in love with the curtains …  those people understand curtains like no one does . . . they are everywhere, in every house we stay in, no matter how fancy or casual the house is ~ they are in all the hotels, and even in the pubs ~ Siobhan has a thick green velvet curtain charmingly hung over the inside of the door to her cottage to keep the chill out. I have promised myself for years, I’m going to go home and get me some of those. But I never do.

Look at them!  They’re real draperies (although they do call them curtains), heavy, thick, and lined . . . twice. With heavy flannel and then a backing to protect them from the light.

I really could give you dozens of pictures of curtains I’ve taken everywhere we stay, but I think you get the gist … well, okay, maybe one more . . .

This one was in a hotel room.  We only stayed there one night, just passing through on the Wales/England border, saw the hotel in a book and said, okay, let’s go there … and I have about twenty pictures of the curtains in our room, in the dining room, in the sitting room!

So here is the fabric we chose for our dining room ~ it was the less “structured” art of the three, more like watercolor I thought, and I love the touch of blue . . . we’re waiting for the fabric to arrive from England . . . I think they’ll be up by the time we come home from California at the end of October.

So we put the room back together . . . All I can do about the new curtains right now is dream . . . it’s 

And here is our choice for the new curtains in our green living room! Yes, I’ve gone stark staring curtain-mad. MAS MUSICA?

Here’s the “before” photo for the living room . . . I probably bought those green curtains at Target maybe fifteen years ago … they’re old and have little rips and it’s time to say goodbye. BUT, we get to keep a bit of their essence: they had a very nice trim on them which we took off to use on the new curtains.

And there it is! This is my talented curtain-making girlfriend Jessica . . . she does this for a living ~ she’s a good friend of my neighbor Lowely which is how we met. So of course, here she is, doing the first installation of the first valance (Rachel says, in England they call this piece a “pelmet”)… I am taking pictures and saying eeeek! I love it!

Here’s a better look at the little trim we took from the other curtains . . . looks good!

She put them high above the windows, so we lose as little window-light as possible.

Jessica taught Joe how to install the rest of them . . . then she left.

Besides saving light, putting them up that high also visually raises the ceiling height (you can see when you look at the “before” photo).  Jessica’s now making the actual curtains which we should have by the end of the month. The house is rockin’ and rollin’ in flowers now!

She’s going to do the other end of the living room too . . . We’ll keep the lace curtains, but there will be matching long curtains on both sides of this alcove window.

And outside, at the same time, we’re painting the house!

All scraped and ready for paint, something about this I love, would be fun to leave for haunted-house look for Halloween! Under all the crunchy bits, Mrs. House of Creativity is smiling!

This side too. She’s an old house, built in 1849. We hadn’t been attending to things, and finally said, when we come home from England, we PROMISE to take care of you!!!  The last coat of paint is going on today, her gutters all got linseed yesterday, and when she’s done I’ll take photos and show you next time.

Jack watches the cans of paint and ladders go by… while I . . .

. . . make new stuff . . . I heard you, Girlfriends, and finally got busy and did the final designs for a few new pieces . . . Yes, the little Courage vase is done! 💞

And here is the back side . . . you can use it as a cream-for-one, too! It’s 1 5/8″ tall.

And there will be other things . . . two nightlights . . . (this is the back of one of the designs)

And two butter dishes, one plain, with just flowers and border, and the other has this quote from the movie of Little Women . . .

The Courage vase/pitcher will come in a set of three tiny vases . . . here’s vase #2 …

And this little round one is the tallest of the three, at 2 3/4 inches.

This is the back of the last one . . . there will be more too, a tea bag caddy, a kitty dish, a ring dish, a large vase, a heart ornament that hangs from a ribbon, and a pencil cup. We will get them in to the Studio right around January first!

And this? This is going to be my first stuffed doll, how appropriate that it will be Jack! I drew him in pencil, and he’s being made into this ⤵️ !

A soft little doll you can embroider and stuff, with his own little quilt, which has a bit of embroidery outline, but the letters are printed (which you can embroider or not). For a little one. They can put their baby to bed. Coming soon. Watch this space!

Before I put the dishes and glasses back in the dining room … I washed everything, wanting to do a good deep cleaning. AND while I was doing that, I finally went through the boxes of things I’ve bought over the years, as we travel, that I saved for you . . . to put up on our website in the Vintage section.

Such as these gorgeous, etched, vintage wine glasses . . .

It’s a set of six with an extra to break (always good to have an extra) … and when you toast with these very thin glasses, they ring like bells.

And this sweet little cream and covered sugar bowl. There’s lots more, including a couple of sets of dishes, I took pictures for Kellee . . . so watch our Vintage store over the holidays, Kellee will begin putting them up on Monday.

I also signed a contract to do the new 2020 calendars coming out this time next year . . . And there’s going to be a new addition! It will be mostly photography … a 12 x 12 wall calendar showing the beauty of the English Countryside. This is the cover . . .

And here’s a sample of the inside, the top-page for May 2020! I’m sure you know that our 2019 calendars are up and ready to go when you are!

So, when I finally got my dining room/gym back, I was lying on the floor doing my exercises . . . looked up, and there he was, head dangling over the side watching me. So adorable, I had to get UP, and go get the camera.

He just laid there waiting for me.

Being the most adorable. Ah, kitty love…

Remember this? It’s the soap dish I’ve had on my counter for probably 30 years. I found it in a kitchen shop and it’s been just the best thing ever. I’m not a person in love with pump-bottles of soap on my kitchen counter, so this more-natural looking thing makes me happy.

So just in cases you aren’t a pump-soap person either, I finally found the wood dishes for you . . . and then they stopped making them! And then they started again! Yay, so we just got them back in our web store . . .  with the perfect hand soap for next to your sink, a giftified set of soap and wood dish with sweet label to make a special little stocking stuffer/housewarming gift. The soaps are also available separately in sets of three.






Joe and I leave for California by train on October 3rd (three days of Twitter from the Twain, Boston to LA, follow us on Twitter for cross-country fun! You don’t have to join to look at the pictures and read). Part of what I’ve been doing is getting the house ready for fall . . . we get home four days before Halloween, we want to walk into AUTUMN! So I got out my Autumn Book to inspire me . . . 🍁

So the owls are on the window sill . . .

And the wreath is on the wall . . .

Reminding myself about decorating, getting out wooden candlesticks and bowls, planning my Halloween menu, Touchdown Chili and Corn Pudding and Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Sauce . . .

We bring home a bit of the woods on every walk . . .

Dried corn is on the door, and right before we go, once the house is good and dry, we’ll line our pumpkins on the little shelf over the front door.

We’re having luv-lee sunsets lately, the pink of this one attached itself to the spire,

Jack says bye-bye . . . stretching in the sunlight

Bye Bye to the picket fence garden . . .

Bye Bye to whatever this is, just a cute photo I felt like putting up!

Your cups are in the cooker . . .  never know exact date, coming all the way from England, getting through customs, but before end of October if all goes well!

Hope to see you at the Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo, CA on October 13th at 2 pm for a talk, book signing, and question answering! So excited! I believe it’s sold out, but they do have a waiting list. Yes! And for you hip east-coast girls,  don’t forget when we get home we’ll be at the West Falmouth Library on Cape Cod, MA for a talk and signing on November 10th at 1:30 pm.

My son helps me paint (in his own way). And I am writing like crazy, it’s like living in a conscious dream, being “there” all day and thinking how I can tell you the story in the best way. Joy of joys. I’m in the zone.

I leave you with a quote that was printed in Yankee Magazine in 2013 . . . Here comes that time of year when you can make a little world for you and your loved ones. Has to do with the smell of cooking foods they love, with fresh sheets on the bed and cozy jammies, having a little petty pet to love, and really and truly, it has everything to do with counting our many blessings.

Oh yes, and P.S., if you stuck with this long enough to get all the way to here, you should have a reward 🎉🎊, so here you go #1, the “movie” is still being thought about💃, and #2, you’re the first to know, the name of our new book is  . . .

 E  N  C  H  A  N  T  E  D

England, Wales, Scotland, and IrelandXOXO, from your Pal, Enjoy your September Sunday (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, too!) xoxo

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732 Responses to This SEPTEMBER SUNDAY will never come again . . .

  1. angie says:

    What a great way to spend my Sunday evening. THANK YOU. Your efforts in doing the blog is so appreciated. Guess I will get my Autumn book out and then I am going back to the store to see what is new. Looks like a lot.
    PS. Jack is the cutest. Kudos on your decorating also. Looks terrific.

  2. Thanks Susan…for bringing a lovely smile and inspiration with your blog. We
    recently adopted two kittens to help move on from the sadness of the fires. They are so good for the soul! Give your Jack a hug from me! Safe travels to California!

    • sbranch says:

      Brilliant! There is nothing like a kitten for automatic joy. And two truly doubles the pleasure. I will never get just one kitty at a time again. It’s hard to introduce a baby to a grown cat, and I know Jack wouldn’t like it, but I haven’t had only one kitty in a long time. So next time, and forever after, it’s two. Have fun Mary! xoxo

  3. Cindy Maulin says:

    Hi Susan!!…. as my granddaddy would say…” you little dickens!!”….sneaking our title in there like that!!! Just happily LOVE it!!! Perfect!! It will be a joy to read.
    House is looking amazing and all cozy. Thank goodness Map Man is also HandyMan!!!
    It reflects you…. I think that’s what I like the most about it.
    It is 91* here in Florida with a real feel of 105*….crazy hot…. but I am still preparing for fall… the decor is out and up with Halloween on the horizon. Best time of year! Made the first pumpkin bread today….and Julia’s beef bourguignon for Jerry’s birthday request tomorrow …fall cooking and baking… love it! The Autumn Book is my favorite..cherish it🧡
    Thanks for the great blog and enjoy the nesting❤️❤️❤️

    • sbranch says:

      I like surprises. It’s hard to hide them on a flat page, so it’s good it worked on you! Yum, Jerry’s birthday is going to be DELICIOUS! xoxoxo Happy Birthday to you both!

  4. kathiellen says:

    Dear Susan,
    I was very happy to read your new blog! Your house is looking SO beautiful!!…. but then, it looked beautiful before!! I love the Pink, Green, the new curtains and that you are sharing it all with us!! ENCHANTED is a perfect title for your new book…I can’t hardly wait to read it! AND…..the happy news that #SBBookToScreen is still on the agenda!! ( not sure if I got that right…it’s been awhile ) You have brought so much more happiness into my already happy Little Corner Of The World! Thank you Dear Sweet Lady! You are a Blessing and Inspiration to us all! Have an enjoyable, relaxing, safe trip to California and treasure the time spent with your Mom, family and friends! I wish that I could twitch my nose like Samantha on Bewitched and appear at your Book Signing at The Apple Farm! Part of the Special Sweetness of you is that through your Blog, I will feel as if I were really there!! I love all of the cute, new pretties that you are coming out with soon!!! I’ll be watching your Blog Shopping Site daily now! Will you be creating any new recipe cards….something British or Irish maybe? That would be fun!! I love all of your recipe cards!! Sending You, Joe & Jack, Love and Happy Wishes!!! xo

  5. Doris Minear says:

    I too am ready for Fall, it just seems to be getting cooler, and I am in S. Cal.believe it or not. Last week there was a chill in the air. I hope we still have it when you get here. Would luv, to see you in at the Apple Farm but they are sold out. We have been there many times, it is a great place. My Chrysanthemums are blooming, so it must be fall, in the past I have hung Indian corn on our front door, but the past few years the birds have eaten most of it, so this year I put up a wreaths of fall leaves. I hope the birds will find their food some place else.

  6. Evie Tong says:

    Susan Dearheart ….. YOU bring enchantment into our lives💝
    Alo-ha-ha w/much love, Evie in San Diego

  7. Peggy Cooper says:

    I’m so glad you went with the pink for the dining room. I loved the idea of the navy blue, but agree it would have been too dark in winter. And pink makes everyone look so good, especially by candlelight. I’ve noticed how beautiful the draperies are in England, and have always wished I could find those here.
    We are in southwest VA, so waiting for our turn at Florence. But it’s really died down quite a bit, and we are on a hill so I think we will be fine. If nothing else, it’s reminded us to keep batteries, candles, water, etc. on hand for emergencies. We are stocked up now. Rain has been on and off all day, and will be hardest during the night through tomorrow. But by Wednesday we will be back to sunshine. I’m seeing the beginnings of fall, and I love it. I know once the rain stops we will have sunshine again, and I just love the light at this time of year. Hoping for good fall color this year. Haven’t had that the last couple of years. Thanks for another lovely post!

    • sbranch says:

      I hope it’s not too bad Peggy. Waiting for a hurricane seems to never end. I think I would choose earthquakes as alternate hideous thing. At least you don’t wait for it, plus it’s over in a minute. Scary though, as are hurricanes.

  8. Michelle Colwell says:

    My last night of my first ever visit to your island and I get a sweet surprise of a new posting from you! I didn’t see it until tonight because I was out enjoying your Isle of Dreams all day. This trip has been on my bucket list forever and I was not disappointed! I loved the beautiful weather and like you, know that the storm just as easily could have come this way and I am so sorry so many are suffering. BUT I’m so excited about the movie news, the book news and all your beautiful decorating! Have a wonderful trip to California — it looks like Joe needs a rest from all the projects!

    • sbranch says:

      He will be glad to get on the train where there is no work! Although he always brings his tool knife, just in cases! Love that you’re on the island Michelle, you are getting a perfect taste of how it is right now. So many tourists have gone home, and the weather is perfect! xoxoxo

  9. robin says:

    We just made you bourbon pecans…… so yummy with our PNW fall weather.

  10. Georgia Larson says:

    Aloha Susan,
    I’m so excited for you getting to see your mom & get back home for awhile. I won’t be there this time but will be soon. I love all the cute little vases and you’ve inspired me to get back to sewing. The house is looking great. Did Joe make those cornices? Their beautiful and lifting it up does give more height to the room. So bright & just think of all the more shadows that will create for you to photograph.
    Since our volcano has more or less stopped (Hope forever) our weather is warmer & the blue skies are incredible. They say it’s like it was before 1983.
    Well my friend, Happy Train Travel, Happy Fall & Have a Wonderful Time.
    Aloha from this “Enchanted” Valley Girl To Another .
    ❤️🌴 Georgia

  11. Jan Davidson says:

    Love the name of your new book! Last year my son and I were on your beautiful island. We took a taxi to your town and I bought your Autumn book which I love and also got your 2018 calendar. We also had dinner at the Black Dog. Really nice place to eat by the beach. We stayed overnight in the town next to yours. They have the best donuts I have ever had! What a lovely place to live. The ferry boat ride was wonderful. I can see why you love it there so much. Praying that the storms don’t hit any more places on the east coast. Praying for the people who are suffering through these storms. Here in Calif. we have been hit with some terrible fires. Love and prayers…Jan❤️❤️❤️

    • sbranch says:

      I know. When we get on the ferry on some beautiful day, it’s all huge, white and looming in the blue sky, with seagulls flying above, and it blows its horn, I think, what a rare thing to be a part of. It’s something still from the past. I know the donut store, they’re famous for their Back Door Donuts, fresh out of the fryer, people line up at 1 in the morning! I know, fires, and floods, it’s all too much. Blessings on our angry planet, and grateful for the moments of snowy mountains and green valleys we still have. xoxo

  12. Amy from Salem says:

    It’s so good to hear from you. I love the pink walls and especially the floral curtains. I have always loved the way the British decorate. Excited about all the new items you are designing for us. Absolutely love the title for the next book and can’t wait until I can order the 2020 calendar. Most of all I thank you for your lovely blog, like a candle in the window.

  13. Patti from Pleasanton, CA says:

    Hi Susan!
    Paul & I have been thinking a lot about you & Joe lately as we’re planning our trip East to arrive on Martha’s Vineyard the day you are leaving for our sunny state of California. It will be fun to ride the ferry from Woods Hole, eat at the Black Dog Tavern and get a feel for all the places you love on the island that have become a part of your life story. We had planned to drive by Holly Oak but are now hoping that some day your dream will come true (wink wink) and we can visit it then. (So happy to hear the movie is still a possibility!)
    This may sound crazy but I feel like I’m coming to get a glimpse of your life, a person I admire, much like you traveled to England to get a first hand glimpse of Beatrix Potter’s life. The only difference is that Paul & I have actually met you & Joe twice & know first hand how friendly & gracious you both are.
    We will miss seeing you this time around but are excited to be going on our own adventure in the North East during our favorite season, Fall.
    Wishing you safe travels and God’s blessing.

    • sbranch says:

      You will love it Patti, the Island is dreamy in October. All the pretty houses, the leaves beginning to turn, the restaurants will still be open, you will have an amazing time, a step back in time, American history. Thank you so much, blessings on you both.

  14. Cheryl Hutchinson says:

    Susan, I came across this little fact about our Beatrix and wondered if you have heard of it? ” In the late 19th century, author Beatrix Potter, who invented Peter Rabbit, kept a journal in a secret code so complex it wasn’t cracked until 1958.” It would be fascinating to decode and read!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, wild huh? And they did decode it and printed it in a book … I have it! I haven’t read the whole thing, it covered years from around age 17 (I’m guessing) to around 30, but I will!

  15. Debra Cella Hutchinson says:

    I spent this Sunday doing laundry and hanging it on the line. The wind was blowing pretty steady most of the day and added to the charm of clothes on the line. I then opened a bunch of windows, upstairs and down and was treaed to the birds singing and the hummingbirds chirping. I cleaned my upstairs and everything things feels so clean and fresh. We had a wonderful dinner and were entertained by the birds bating in the bird bath. It was a good day. But then I get my bath ready with bubbles and salt, slip into the wonderfully soft, warm water, and I see your blog. My day is now complete. Thank you, dear Susan, and I am so excited about your next book!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      And there you go, the secret to a happy life! All internal, nothing from the outside but nature. How heavenly! You made it yourself.

  16. Charlene Scholey says:

    Am just home from having a hip replacement and have found your lovely post The fabric selections are perfect and I love the pink in the dining room. Jack obviously approves. Can hardly wait for your new book. I saw someone the other day who had heard very littl about you. Yours ears must have burned for at least two days. She now knows a lot about you.Thank you so mush for all your lovely thoughts. They inspire me every day.Safe travels to California.We hope the worst fires are over.With love, Charlene Scholey

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Charlene, and I hope your hip is feeling better already. Such a success story with those surgeries!!! And thank you for the good word … I appreciate it. Word of mouth wins the day every time! xoxo

  17. Barbara A Case says:

    Remarkable !…….as well as Enchanted……I am literally gobsmacked at finding someone who could practically be me in sooo many ways. Bar soap and a wooden soap dish……how many people have that……almost goosebumpy !! As usual….. lovely blog. So newsy and exciting. I have been looking for chintz upholstery fabric for years with very little success, but I shall persevere ……very much looking forward to new book and goodies…enjoy your trip and looking forward to great fall weather. Take care… love to you all !!

    • sbranch says:

      I know. This new “invention” of pump soap ugly advertising for your kitchen counter just doesn’t work for me either! xoxo

  18. Barbara A Case says:

    Where do the posts go ??? I hit post and it disappeared

  19. Ginny Otsuka says:

    I am with you on the Fall cleaning instead of Spring! It’s much more cozier!😍 I do love the name of the new book too! I have my Autumn book out also! My girlfriend and I went to your book signing/lunch in Pasadena, California when it came out. My birthday is in November, so it was a birthday gift to me!!😍 Have fun in California! I live there and it is NOT Fall weather.😕 But, I fake it with all my decorations!😍
    Safe Travels!❤️

    • sbranch says:

      Fake it till you make it! Hopefully by the time we get there on Oct 6 it will at least be moving in the right direction!

  20. Linda Hill says:

    Wise choice in going light and pastel —navy is wonderful but could get very claustrophobic . The flowery drapes are exquisite. Traditional choices are so pleasant to live with and timeless. good job!!!
    Can you make the cat pillow look more like Jack with his mustache and coloring–this cat looks like a plain old white cat which he is not!
    Wish you could come out with a monthly magazine online similar to ME’s Home Companion filled with her art and decorating. It would be alot of work but could include a calendar that people could print themselves etc –well you get the idea.
    Have a safe trip to California!
    Linda from Idaho where the weather is still hot in the daytime but cooling in the evenings. Purchased a big restored clawfoot bathtub for my backyard landscaping!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I’d like to but I’d never get to write another book! My girlfriend Margot has a clawfoot tub in her backyard … she hung gauze in the trees around the tub, so when she’s taking her bubble bath, they blow in the wind. Don’t you love it! Or are you planting yours with flowers?

  21. Kathy Hughes says:

    Susan, this was perfect in every way! I love all your decorating choices because I never tire of flowers, and green and pastel pink are two of my favorite colors. What is the pink paint you chose? I want to paint my bedroom pink, and that color is lovely. You have done an outstanding job with all the new creations! All precious! Can’t wait to own a few! Have a wonderful trip to CA.

    • sbranch says:

      Our pink doesn’t have a name, we only have a formula, I’ll put it up on the next post!

      • Kathy Hughes says:

        Wonderful! I remember using Benjamin Moore for the living room, and it was OW23.😂 That meant Off-white with a couple of drops of another paint to keep it from being too white. I’m looking forward to your next post.
        Thank you!

  22. Jacquie says:

    I’ve a pink room, too! (Benjamin Moore’s Queen Anne Pink) I chose to go pink in my den several years ago and I still find myself noticing just how much I love those pink walls. This particular shade is both cheery and soothing and practically glows in the late afternoon sun. There must be some truth to the psychology of color because there is most definitely a calming vibe in this room. I hope your new pink room makes you as happy as mine does me!

  23. Debby Suovanen says:

    I found myself smiling as I read through your blog. They are always so enjoyable to read and to look at your pictures. I’ve been decorating in my house too since I moved in less than a year ago. Your ideas are inspirational. And you have certainly whet my appetite for your new book – “Enchanted” – now how are we supposed to wait for a book like that! We all want it now! But we don’t want to pressure you or anything 🙄 ! Good things are definitely worth waiting for. I was disappointed when I went to sign up for your talk in San Luis Obispo, it was already sold out. Well, I’ll get you the next time. Have a safe trip and enjoy visiting with your family.

    • sbranch says:

      Believe me I want it now too. When I’m writing and painting, it is so luv-lee, like going into a wonderful room filled with the smell of wildflowers, and there’s pub food, wonderful history, ancient churches, and winding roads ~ joyful things. It’s a good place to be. It’s all going into the book! xoxo

  24. Martha says:

    Love the picture of Jack “saying goodbye”! He is the most adorable kitty. I got my Autumn cookbook out and can’t wait to make the Spiced Pecans. If anyone has not tried that recipe, they need to. I make several batches and give them to neighbors. They are delicious! Happy Fall to all!

    • sbranch says:

      I thought I answered this, Martha, but just in case, thank you … and I wanted to say how Trader Joe’s helps a lot with this recipe with their big bags of shelled Pecans!

      • Martha says:

        Sorry, I sent this twice because the first time I sent it, it looked like it didn’t go through. You are not losing your mind! You did get this twice! Sorry again.

        • sbranch says:

          Thank you, I love the reassurance! I think the inner workings of this blog, WordPress, changed it’s MO, and took away the “waiting for moderation” notice they used to put up.

  25. Martha Rodik says:

    Love the picture of Jack “saying goodbye”! He is the most adorable kitty. Got out my Autumn cookbook and can’t wait to make the Spiced Pecans. I make several batches and give some to neighbors. If anyone has not tried this recipe, they need to! Absolutely delicious. Happy Fall to All!

  26. Linda Metcalf says:

    Getting ready for Fall is wonderful! And nothing like deep cleaning and curtain changing. The smell of fresh and clean is very calming and inspires Fall/Winter nesting! Loving your drapes!

  27. Lisa Buick says:

    Your blog posts, as well as all your books, bring me back to that time when all was safe with our world. I mean that sincerely. It’s always a pleasure. Safe travels and maybe one day you’ll visit near me – I’d love to meet you – have been there from the beginning. Happy Fall.

  28. Lisa Buick says:

    Shoot – forgot two things – love your Joe, love your Jack, love you.

    Also, several years ago, I was lucky enough to buy several cross-stitch patterns of Beatrix Potter characters. Wish I could post a picture here. Anyway, they are on my “to stitch” list.

    Thanks for happy reading.

  29. Lisa Buick says:

    Not sure why, but my comments rarely make it through to you.

  30. Susan, I have always loved your art and a few weeks ago was thumbing through an old Victoria Magazine and saw an add for your book, “A Fine Romance”. The day before I had mentioned to my husband that, this year being our 25th anniversary, I thought we should plan a first time trip to the English countryside. I had also spent all week trying to figure out how I could purchase some William Morris fabric in a simple blue and white design that I’d fallen in love with – so I could make curtains! So that day I ordered the book and so thoroughly enjoyed it!! Today I saw that you are making curtains from English fabric – I had to chuckle. Many fabric shops won’t ship to the U.S., but I think I’ve found one that will – of course shipping is a bit pricey – but I’m following my heart on this one. Chalk me up as an Anglophile too!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s an honor! How fun, totally on the same page aren’t we Michelle! Have fun, love William Morris, not only for his fabric but for his stand on handmade things, he was an original! xoxo

  31. Joanne Conte says:

    I love this blog. Reading you as a new day begins! The house looks beautiful, and I’m so happy your movie is still being considered! Happy fall this week, and enjoy California!

    Joanne xoxo

  32. Cindy Tuning says:

    I love everything about this post !! Those pink walls are absolute perfection and I’m with you on the need for flowers and linens to make the house happy. To me, that’s why it’s called Fall. I FALL in love with my house all over again. I finally have the energy to do all my Fall primping after a very long recovery period. Just as we were getting ready for a Mediterranean cruise to Spain and Italy with hubs Scotland cousins, my appendix ruptured and after 2 surgeries and 2 hospital stays, things are finally back to normal. I didn’t even mind cancelling the trip because when it hits the fan…there’s no place like home!!!
    Those little vases are adorable and I think I’m going to need them! Can’t wait to see the curtains when they are up. Gorgeous so far !! So happy to see a new post this morning and I hope you have a beautiful day of nesting.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh my, I know just how you feel. Lucky you it happened while home was still in sight!!! Love hearing from you Cindy!

  33. Gwyn Whelband says:

    The most delicious blush pink…….love it!
    I’m looking forward to the tiny vases – perfect.
    Blessings, Gwyn

  34. Laura Ann in Vermont says:

    Susan, I know exactly what you mean about the U.K. and drapes! When we came home from a trip many, many years ago, the first thing I did was to make beautiful lined, pinch-pleat drapes for my living room windows. They had a pelmet and ran floor to ceiling; the fabric had an ivory background with navy, burgundy and dark green flowers, very sophisticated. I was very proud of myself as they fit beautifully and took a long time to make. We moved ten years later and when I had an opportunity to visit my old house a year later, I was shocked to learn they had taken down my drapes and put up mini blinds instead. The English drawing room style was not theirs! But…plastic mini-blinds! How could they?

    Your new drapes are going to be beautiful! It just makes me so happy to see you doing this!

    • sbranch says:

      See? The trick is to just, right now, decide, that no matter where I go, I’m taking my drapes with me! When I left Holly Oak, I left that old wonderful stove there, white, like the one I have now. And the people who bought it got RID OF IT. I thought, why did I not ask to take it??? But now I’ve learned! Thank you Laura Ann, luv-lee to hear from you!

      • Laura Ann in Vermont says:

        Eek! Not the stove! What is wrong with some people? I hope they sold it to someone else who is loving it. But, you’re right, take the things with you that you love. It doesn’t hurt to ask, does it? I find that asking gets easier with age, though. I don’t think anything of asking the most outrageous things now that I’m in my fifties, things I would have never had the courage to ask in my twenties.

        • sbranch says:

          I know. total idiots!!! I went back to visit and said, WHERE IS THE STOVE???? LOL, heart attack. I thought I was being so generous to leave it with the house who loved it! No, I couldn’t ask either, seemed so grabby! But there are ways of asking that really turn out to be more illuminating than greedy!

  35. Karen Mikell says:

    I was stalking you…just last week I said to myself..”I must have somehow missed the latest blog post” and then lo and behold you posted a few days later!! I ALWAYS love reading the latest from your neck of the woods, Musica & photos. (I’m not really a stalker). Jack has the greatest cat personality. Thanks for all the latest home updates, book updates, updates in general. The house looks so cozy love the new curtains. Still crossing my fingers for #SBBooktoScreen!

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, I know you’re not a stalker!!! Love having you here, my fingers are crossed to. I’ve talked to some very nice people!

  36. Grace Johnston says:

    I can’t tell you how happy I was to wake up this morning to a new blog post from you. And a long, beautiful one full of pictures and musica (the curtains are gorgeous!). I just found your blog in the last couple of months and have been enjoying it (and your books, of course) so much! Do you think you might eventually send out the Willard again someday? I love reading the “back issues” but new ones would be nice, too. So glad to hear there’s a new book in the works!

    • sbranch says:

      You mean a hard copy of Willard through snail mail? I would love to. But the last one, which we sent around 2004-ish … I think it cost over $25,000… it had slowly grown to be so expensive that in the nick of time I was able to send Willard via computer. Not quite the same, but a good little tree-saver! (Pollyanna kicks in every time!) Thank you Grace!

      • Grace Johnston says:

        I was thinking of the email version. I can understand why it would way too expensive to send by snail mail!

        • sbranch says:

          Oh, good! I sent one out before we left for England, hopefully I’ll have time when we get home from California! It takes about three days to write a Willard!

  37. Sophie T says:

    Your fall cleaning is inspiring, and so is your room decorating (you already prompted me, earlier this summer, to paint my corner cubboard white… it looks lovely with the white and blue dishes inside!). I love your old house, and how it speaks to you and you listen to it!

    The new painted china pieces are lovely. You are so creative!

    I can’t wait for your new book to come out! They are always such a pleasure to read… Hopefully it is out by my birthday, this winter, so I can treat myself!

    • sbranch says:

      I’d love it, but I bet it takes a bit longer than that. I’m working on it though! Fun to paint your corner cupboard, little things like that make such a difference!

  38. Julie V from Springfield, MO says:

    As always a fun and interesting blog. I do my “spring” cleaning three times a year in January – always feels good to clean after all the holiday things are put away and to start the year off right. Then in May to have the house fresh and clean ready for summer parties. And then in September to clean and organize for a new school year (back when I had someone in school) and to make everything warm and cozy for Fall. Got your Autumn cookbook out and displayed on the kitchen counter opened to opened to one of my favorite recipes – Chicken in cream sauce over Happy rice! Like you I am a “nester” and like to make home the best place to be for my family. We are building a new house so this is the last fall, last Halloween and last Christmas in the place we have called home for twenty one years. Love the beautiful floral fabrics you have chosen for your new window treatments – has inspired me to do a very English bedroom in our new home. Love, love, love the name of your new book and so looking forward to reading it! I will be following you as you travel across the country by train to sunny California. Have a fun and safe trip – sending love to you, Joe and Jack.

    • sbranch says:

      Happy new house Julie, what fun to move into something that doesn’t need a thing, all perfect, and just what you want! xoxoxo

  39. Pearl says:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely updates with us! Everything looks so beautiful, and I do love having pretty floral bits around the home. You’ve chosen so well, and I know your cottage is delighted with it all. I look forward to seeing your new curtains in the pink room as well. The outside looks so good! My husband and I walked by last week and noticed that the fresh coat of paint was up & everything was so very lovely! I was hoping to say hello over the garden fence, next time perhaps. Now I’m off to read your book that I picked up in the lovely little book store. Enjoy your time away, and I know you’ll look forward to HOME.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m inside a lot these days Pearl, doing my art thing . . . but I’m happy you got to see the beautiful Island!

  40. judi says:

    I have enjoyed following you since you first started this blog. Fall has a bit of a melancholy feel for me. Whilst the extreme beauty of the changing leaves and the sounds of the geese in flight heading south are imprinted on my mind, now living in a southern hut, the yearning for those fall smells persist. Love your redecor. It is YOU over and over😉👍. Happy trails to you two and kisses to Jack💕. judi. 🤞for the movie!

    • sbranch says:

      I think once you’ve experienced the seasons, it’s hard to live without them. Nature’s free gifts to lovers of change and beauty and tradition.

  41. Lynn Marie says:

    I adore the new vases and will have to be watching the “store” so that I ca get them ordered along with that butter dish!☺ The pink is fabulous in the dining room. I also do FALL cleaning instead of Spring cleaning–always have. It doesn’t make sense to me in the Spring but then we don’t heat with coal or oil anymore either so I guess maybe that is the reason. (?) Have a happy west coast vacation!

  42. Kathy Branch Spicer says:

    Fair warning . . . the following comments are in no particular order and will not lead to a cohesive post, but I MUST say them. I love the name of the new book! SQUEEEEE! It will be ENCHANTED and ENCHANTING! And, to know the movie possibility is still alive . . . so exciting. Jack is really the cutest thing (but you knew that) and I think he is ALMOST as cute as my four kitty girls. The curtain fabric you picked for the dining room is the one I liked the best! And that shade of pink – to DIE for. Makes me wish I had a room to paint, but all of my rooms were painted when we moved in to the house in March. Actually , I do have one room to paint, but I have to remove yards of wallpaper first. It’s the upstairs bath, the only room not painted when we moved in (because of the wallpaper) and I’ve selected a dreamy periwinkle, which will look fab against the bright white wainscoting and trim! Finally (because I could go ON, but will refrain), I cannot wait to check out your online store for new things. Perhaps I’ll treat myself to something for my upcoming birthday! Happy September!

  43. Liz Hand says:

    I needed cheering up this morning, thanks for being there for me again. Hugs from Illinois.

  44. Nora says:

    Thank goodness! I have been waiting for this new blog for so long! Just what I needed. Love all the pictures of your house………getting it ready for colder days. We sold our house in May…………and I now live in a little 2-bedroom apt………with little to no charm. 🙁 My goal is to follow your lead and morph my small space into an autumn oasis.

    • sbranch says:

      Wallpaper is genius for charmless places. Changes everything. If that is something you like. Find an old mantle piece at a second hand store. You may have no fire, but you can have a mantle, and they are charming to decorate. And mirrors make everything seem bigger, plus you can drape foliage over the top or hang bunting on it. You’ll make it wonderful. xoxo

  45. Be still my heart on the tiny vases! and the Little Women butter dish! You are amazing… we ask for a little comfort and cheer and you give us the biggest miracle of comfort and cheer. What a light you are in this world. I read in the girlfriend chit chat that… Margot has a claw foot tub… Outside?!!!! surrounded by surrounded by gauze in the trees?!!! Oh heaven! We are putting on a first floor master bedroom and first priorities are fireplace and claw foot tub!!! I LOVE the pink in your dining room..your beloveds faces will be rosy with happiness and glow! and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the name of our next book!!! I can barely wait:) PS! My beloved husband and daughters got me going on my blog about health and aging. They said, I’m an expert, a PT who has been aging all my life!!! LOL PPS!This is inspired by you

  46. Kathie says:

    Thanks for your creativity. It inspires me to put out the fun fall decor and do some needed sorting and ironing and cooking. Loved the musica which led to thoughts of my Dad and then on to Robin and Jonathan on Johnny Carson! See you just never know where you send us…. it’s all good.

  47. Lori Hamilton says:

    Hubby and I just got back from a trip to Ireland. It was a “bugger” to get home from Boston because of hurricane Florence but 2 flights to Norfolk and a rental car finally got us back to NC. Thankfully, we only had a few shingles to blow off and no real damage. God is good!
    Your talent for time management always amazes me and when I finish this little comment I’m going to commence my own housecleaning.
    Be safe and we’ll “see” you & Joe when you get back.
    (Can not WAIT for the next book and – maybe – movie!!!

  48. Valorie Veld says:

    Ahhhh……….thank you for this. It is getting me inspired for fall 🙂 The new pieces you are making…..especially the butter dish with the quote from Little Women – I am in love. Blessings……

  49. Carol on the farm in Iowa says:

    Love seeing all you are doing in your home, the painting, curtains and linen washing.
    The sun and shadows all over the house. Keep it up girlfriend you make me want to do the same!

  50. Joanne says:

    Oh, everything lovely! I adore the new colors! We just got back from New York and so much travel, and you’ve put me in the mood to nest and make a safe place for everyone to come home to. I’m going to go get my (your) autumn cookbooks out now!

  51. Marianne in Mo. says:

    I LOVE the new decor! So fresh. Glad you nixed the dark blue, I kinda thought it might be too dark for winters, but then I thought, maybe cozy? I was conflicted! Praying for N.C. and beyond, fires out west and typhoons too. The uncontrollable only makes us remember to love thy neighbors. Hoping you have safe, fun travels across this country of ours, so you can come home again to more nesting and fall beauty.

  52. Ruth Hoffman says:

    Was so happy to hear from you! Your house projects look wonderful and are truly inspiring!
    I love your new curtains…my dear Mom has designed and sewed gorgous curtains and bedding for our homes for years…just like your friend is doing, she has made every kind of curtain imaginable (beautifully). Almost 80, it is becoming more difficult for her, but her old sewing machine continues to whiz away…she will be making me some sweet little sheer vallances to cozy up the windows in one of my rooms as soon as I pick out the fabric!
    While having to say goodbye to the joys of summer, there are many wonderful things about this time of year…refreshing, cleaning and preparing for coziness of fall and winter!
    I love it too! Can’t wait to see photos of all your finished projects. Have a great trip to California. My husband and I head there in a week and a half (for first time😀) and are very excited!
    Love the name of your new book. Can’t wait!

  53. Shirley says:

    Darling, everything is just darling. The decorating and all the helpers, the inspiration, the light everywhere, the ideas I never thought of, the new gifts to order, the sparkling white linens, and your kindness to your dear house. Thank you, thank you bunny bunches for sharing your corner of the world with the rest of us.

  54. Joanne Condlin Lawson says:

    What an inspiration you are! Love your new looks in your home! And Jack! He is just the cutest, isn’t he….. Plan to visit Falmouth on Nov 10. Will you have calendars, etc., with you for sale? I can hardly wait for your newest book. Safe trails and enjoy your time.

    • sbranch says:

      Im not sure what they will have, maybe you could check with them? They would likely bring some along. One of our local bookstores will be handling that part.

  55. Ann says:

    I love your new drapes and the lovely shade of pink you selected for the dining room. Also, the photos of Jack and also now we know the name of the new book! Yippee!

  56. Becky Ross says:

    Hello dear Heart, loved your blog today. I just got back from escorting 34 all around the English countryside and Scotland. The Highlands were magnificent as was the Military Tattoo in Edinburgh. I decorated our English Manor house the 1st day of September so everything is very festive. I am waiting for you to come to KC and stay in my Beatrix Potter bedroom. We are two peas in a pod…. Oh, the fun we will have, when you come for a visit…. I sent your wonderful “A Fine Romace” to my darling, single niece, who lives in Boston, as a thank you present. She fixed a pot of tea and stayed up half the night devouring every page. Now we have Enchanted to look forward too. God’s blessings to you… As ALWAYS your friend, sends you lots of love, Becky Ross

  57. Hi Susan…Found your new post this morning as I finished setting up for my old college friend ( hey, we’re not OLD) and her husband to come for lunch. Table set, leaves and apples and pumpkin place mats…Monte Cristo sandwiches ready…and of course, champagne for mimosas because friendship is something to celebrate. LOVE all your changes and your new curtains! I smiled when you said you were mad about curtains. We used to say my Aunt Katie was “curtain crazy”…always changing her kitchen curtains and fussing with her drapes. My mom was not far behind…we would be sitting watching television and she would get up, get the step stool, and adjust something on the window that did not look quite right! Thanks for bringing back the memory. I love your thoughts at the end of the post on fall, hunkering down, and getting cozy. We are one year here in our new “apartment home”…and we love it. We may have downsized, but we kept the cozy! Safe travels to California…Happy Fall! PS..Your “Autumn” book is center stage in the corner of my new kitchen!

  58. Margot in Sister Bay says:

    Love both rooms and curtains!! I too am having the house painted, the second coat after the siding repairs! We had a cool snap two weeks ago which started the pops of color, however last week going into the weekend reminded me that it is still Summer. My September Sunday was spent having our church services in the woods (property was donated), and a nice long afternoon beach walk. I found some treasures along the way.
    I am staging for Autumn in the next weeks, because I will be leaving to spend a months time with my Arnie again.
    Will you share the names of your paint colors, especially the dining room.
    #love 🍎

  59. Anne says:

    Dear Susan,
    Another lovely and inspiring gift from you; thank you.
    Out west our weather has turned a corner and we are on the road to Autumn. With cleansing rains, the smoke from the fires is gone. I too have spent joyful hours cleaning and refreshing indoors. We are enjoying big bouquets of dahlias and vine sweetened tomatoes. I have apples to pick and prepare for the freezer all good.

    Your changes are so pretty and will help to make the perfect backdrop for many happy gatherings in the months ahead. I think that Your choices will be pretty for all the seasons. Just think how pretty your Christmas decorations will be!

    Thanks again for sharing and Have a fun trip.

  60. Ann says:

    Hello Susan – Just reading this as I wait for my old college friend and her husband to come for brunch. Table set, Fall everywhere, and your Autumn book as the focal point in my kitchen! Love the changes to your home…you made me smile when you said you were mad about curtains. My dear Aunt Katie and my mother often said they were “curtain crazy” – always changing the curtains, fussing with them…wanting everything to look just so! We are one year in our new apartment home and even though we downsized we are keeping it cozy – getting ready for a fabulous Fall. Safe travels to California, and thank you (as always) for the reminder to celebrate everything!

  61. Cathy L says:

    I really enjoyed reading about the work on your home. I am doing the same with my window curtains here in So. Calif. We had new windows put in recently and now I am trying to find similar ( and some different) curtains for them. Soooo, I really appreciated reading your comments about hanging curtains, techniques, etc. It gave me options and ideas. I too will now pay more attention to curtains on my travels!
    Oh, by the way, to my mother you are the “sticker lady.” She has trouble remembering your name so I remind her who you are by telling her she uses your stickers for envelopes and birthday/holiday cards all the time. To which she replies “Oh yes. I like her!”

  62. MERRY K DEMSKE says:

    I am new to your site. I was so surprised to see you have a Poirot cat.

  63. I LOVE that you used the trim over from those Target curtains! Fabulous! I had tickets and a lovely room to see you at the Apple Farm, but then good friends announced their WEDDING DAY on the 13th, so, sadly I will miss you! Hopefully another time soon! Thanks for the notes of fall that we don’t really get here in Southern California!

  64. Debby Rickett says:

    Hi Susan and Joe (and Jack!!)
    So good to hear from you 🙂 loved the post. All of it. Love the color on the dining room walls, the beautiful fabric for the windows, the “new” projects and most of all the name ENCHANTED. It’s the perfect name.

    You continue to inspire me every single time I read your blog so thank you!

  65. Karen H. says:

    Luv-lee as usual! I’m sad to miss your visit to SLO next month. Maybe next time. I was visiting SLO two months ago and stayed at Apple Farm 😊. Also bought your Grandmother memory book and writing in it for my daughter and two granddaughters. So much fun! Best travels to you and Joe. Xo

  66. Tina says:

    I am reading Isle of Dreams for the 3rd time. Your books are so comforting. I love your quote at the end of this posting, I think it sums it all up! I’m so happy to see the movie is still in the works, I hope they pick someone marvelous to play you, and I can hardly wait for the new book! Bless you Susan! Your girlfriend from N California, Tina

  67. Cindy Huk says:

    I, too, anxiously wait for each new post from you. Glad to see I’m not the only “Branchophile”! Your kindness and gentle spirt have helped me weather many rocky times since I was fortunate enough to discover your first book (which I still have, well-used over the many years). Paths have taken me to the little 1800’s farmhouse which is now Home. I was a devout Gladys Tabor fan as well, thanks to my dear grandmother & aunt. Your soothing words remind me of her writings, the simple things that mean so much and anchor us together in a sometimes stormy sea. Enjoy your next adventure. And many, many thanks.

  68. Marcy R. says:

    Susan, you always gladden my heart with your lovely blog! I LOVE autumn so much, with its beautiful colors and feeling of warmth and coziness. Actually, the AUTUMN book was the first book of yours that I bought. This post has inspired me in another way, I am learning to quilt and now plan to make one in golds and reds for next fall’s decorations. By the way, I love, love love your pastel, green room with the English-inspired curtains. It is so pretty! Thank you for sharing so much of your life..always a day brightener. Look forward to hearing your talk at the Apple Farm. I wonder if they’ll be serving those delicious cookies!🍁🍁

  69. Sherry Svoboda from Maryland says:

    Susan I give you a “Happy Dance” yes to your choice of color “Pink” for your
    dining room and Floral curtains. Love it! Your home is looking so nice and so
    cozy. I must admit I really loved your rose wallpaper that you had in your dining room prior and was sad to see it go. But the New is gorgeous. Seeing you bring out your “Autumn Book” was a delight and I had to go get mine off the bookshelf and place it on my coffee table to enjoy thru the Autumn Season. I am over the moon and must have your rose night light and Lavender Kitchen soap. I love your Indian corn bouquet, the apple garland and fall wreath in your kitchen. I can’t help myself I love everything. Thank you for sharing your wonderful delightful blog just what I needed for a gloomy Monday at work! Happy Autumn Susan

  70. Kelley S. says:

    What a luv-lee post! The curtains are amazing. Can’t wait to see everything finished and in place. Here on the coast in Charleston, SC, we don’t have to worry about freezing cold too often, but the impossible heat is a force to be reckoned with. So all of my curtains are lined and interlined, too. It’s brilliant. We are very thankful that we got very little from Florence, although she scared us to death, and we are praying and sending help to our neighbors who are affected. I can tell you that everyone I know was doing laundry and cleaning everything in sight to be storm-ready and to work off the nervous energy.

  71. Christine says:

    So much work going on there! Love the pink walls! I saw a movie recently and thought of you,The Bookshop! Have you seen it? It’s wonderful! I love the clothes and the scenery! If you get a chance to see it I think you’ll enjoy it too.

  72. Sheldon Church says:

    Thank you so much for your blog. You are such an inspiration and bring such joy to my day. You make me realize that it is okay to love my simple life and you inspire me to bring beauty into my day as often as possible and to share what I love with those I love.

  73. Simone Dextraze says:

    Susan, Thank you once again for being my inspiration in art, in cleaning, in cooking, in traveling. Hope you have a safe trip to CA.

    My husband and I will be visiting your beautiful Island in October, but will have just missed you.

    Wishing you All the best

  74. Bevy says:

    Lovely Monday morning read. Makes me want to clean my house! I actually have been decluttering and getting rid of stuff that is no longer needed or wanted. I love the “lighter” feeling.
    Fingers crossed for the movie!! 🙂

  75. Jo'L says:

    Have to get one other thing done then I can start on making the home fires burn so thanks for the inspirations aplenty. Always a joy to hear from you. Safe travels.

  76. Cindy B says:

    Lovely post, as always! Thank you! And I love the new book title and cannot wait for it to be in my hands!

  77. Paula says:

    Hello there! Always looks so fun at your house, even though you and Joe are working hard. I just love the name of the new book! Seems perfect for the way all your books make a person feel. And the movie, Yay! Hope of Hopes. I like the pink dining room, can’t wait to see the curtains. Did love your wallpaper though, but change is good sometimes. My favorite though is the curtain fabric in the living room….swoon!! Have a wonderful safe trip. Glad you are coming back before the big night, of Halloween. I love fall, and when I think of it you and your writings (of course the “Autumn” book) are in those thoughts. So many cozy, homey, snuggle down things that I have learned from your words. xoxo Paula, P.S. kisses to that love of yours, Jack the adorable kitty cat.

  78. Karen says:

    I do believe that your life is bursting at the seams with love and so many wonderful things! Thanks for sharing it all with us . . .

    I live in an old fashioned town that has many old houses. When I’m in town at night I make a point of driving past one old cottage-y house that has a red dining room (I’m not a fan of red) – but it just looks SO wonderful with the cozy lights and all. I bet red is hard to get just right in paint.

    Your friend Jessica’s hair is just beautiful! I just had to mention it:)

    Have a very wonderful Autumn – my favorite time of year!

  79. Susan Morgon says:

    Susan, you simply make my head spin! You have so many projects going on, and I just read that you might try to do another Willard following your CA trip. Girl! You inspire me. And you even exercise down on the floor. I would need my hubby on standby to pull me back up, lol. I just love the pink dining room – pink is the color of dreams. But I am most over the moon about your book title. Perfect, that’s what it is, just perfect. There could not be a better word to describe those wonderful places full of whimsical lore, and wonderful tradition and history, too! 💚

  80. Susie (Rocky Point, NY) says:

    Goosebumps! That is what I got when I read about #1 and #2. Wowza! Cannot wait. I especially loved Jack spread out on your clean sheers on your table..What a hoot! I just went though the same thing with my ‘live in supervisor, Louie’. I had company coming in from California. We cleaned like crazy one of my bedrooms, curtains, bedding, blankets. Everything. The company ended up sleeping in my lower level of the house and what did my eyes see? Why, Louie sound asleep atop of the clean bedding. Of course he thanked me for doing it up for him! Cats are that way. They pick the best place to snooze. I am loving your pink dining room and all your selections for the curtains. Enjoy your trip out west.

  81. Patricia Schofield says:

    Hi Susan ! I love the fall. I too clean more in the fall than spring. I get very “nesty” I am more creative in the fall also. Enjoyed your latest blog very much and now I am going to check out your store. God bless your day ! Patty

  82. Debbie Boerger says:

    I’m slowly working my way through all the comments here. I learn so much, and enjoy reading about the lives of others. So, Thanks to all of you!!

    Just read one about the bird baths. As I type this I can see the critters drinking and bathing in the one Tom fashioned near the front door bird feeders. Each bird, little red squirrel, or chipmunk has it’s own personality.
    When digging the cellar hole, the fabulous Ken Tracy (Ken sadly gone) ran the huge excavator like an extension of his arm. There were many very large boulders moved here by the glaciers. He made several “arrangements” with them. One boulder had ready-made place for holding water, so Tom concreted small rocks on the open side, set in a drain of pipe the diameter of a wine cork, and Bob’s your Uncle! The others boulders serve as bulwarks keeping the soil in the 3 areas for flowers, now pretty much weeds! Ken did the same for our neighbors with the entry doors at their house….wonderful stones rather than ready made granite ones.

    Ok, I guess I’m jabbering. I wrote a reply to Nina, who sent me a personal note. I don’t see it on here, but again, Thanks, Nina.
    Off to walk my neighbor’s dog.
    Much love to each of you,
    Debbie in Maine

  83. Laurie says:

    Loved all the photos of your darling Jack in this blog. My beloved tuxedo kitty of more than 20 years went over the Rainbow Bridge exactly 3 years ago. He looked like Jack in many ways. I still miss her so much, but am traveling too much these days to get another. So, Jack photos make me VERY happy..

  84. Donna says:

    Susan! Love, love, love your pink dining room! And I’m swooning over your pretty curtain fabric! Can’t wait to see your curtains in place. Thank you for sharing your delightful blog with us.

  85. Nina says:

    Dear Lady of the light~I’m so grateful for your posts about Autumn. It might not be cooler just yet, but the light…ahhh the light is so much sweeter in the fall~ Dappled, shaded, almost peek-a-boo, sometimes fractured, always precious light~I notice the beauty all around me so much more since I started following your blog. It’s like stepping through the closet to Narnia. You never know what ‘ll be on the other side..but it will always be magical.

  86. Julie (Omaha) says:

    “Enchanted”!!! Perfect!
    I’m with you, my “Spring cleaning” is done in the Fall.
    I just love this time of year – sweatshirt weather, hot coco,
    beautiful trees, dancing shadows, and oh so much more!
    You’ve inspired me, as always, thank you!!!

  87. Theresa Raffee says:

    Hi Susan
    I adore your books! I discovered them about a year ago. You inspire me so much. This past May and June I took my 16 year old daughter to England for 3 weeks to meet family on my Dad’s side. We toured London, The Cotswolds, The Lake District ( Beatrix Potters Hill Top!) and finally 2 weeks in Liverpool with the family. We live in Southern California. My father Terry came to America in 1957 when he was 15 years old with his brother and Mum and Dad. He sailed on the RMS Queen Mary which as you know is now in Long Beach, California. I am now writing about my family’s story of immigration to America. It is an amazing story to tell. I am obsessed with British Culture and I have the most adorable family in England. I used to travel there with my Mom and Dad as a child. It was 37 years since I was last there until this summer with my daughter Lillian. Our trip was a dream to say the least. I brought your book Falling in Love With the English Countryside with me to England. My family in Liverpool loved it! I am hand writing my story like you. I find it helps the creative juices flow! I am hoping to go back this summer to do more research on immigration from England to America in the 1950’s. If you have any tips for me I would love it! My favorite story you tell in your book Fairy Tale Girl is when you met the Beatles!! Incredible, you lucky girl! ( by the way, my Dad went to school with John Lennon when he was a boy in Liverpool!) I can hardly wait for your next book Susan. Your awsome!!
    Theresa Raffee
    Rancho Cucamonga, California

  88. pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

    Good morning Susan, and Girlfriends. its a nice cool morning, definitely Fall is in the air here. had to harvest my pumpkins early and get them up on the hay bales to dry them and cure them. the garden is just about done with the tomatoes, after 2 nights of frost the garden season is just about over with. definitely the chickens are enjoying the cooler weather, less fussing and more clucking. been busy sorting out the laundry and getting the loads into the washer, last time for the line, after today it gets rolled up and put away. the hoses have been rolled up and hung away for the season, the housecleaning is just about done, all but the curtains. I have an interesting question to ask, how the heck does one get rid of cobwebs??? I dust them done or vacuum the darn things out to get rid of them, but they keep coming back. any way to get rid of them for good???? I know my dad did it once but I just cannot remember how he did it. I know it was so simple but I just cannot remember what he did. any ideas anyone??? Susan I love those valances, and I have some lovely Fall material I could use for some in the front room, so I now have a new project for the Fall!!! could you please tell me the name of that gorgeous crystal ( the lovely wineglasses), is it by any chance Fostoria??? well back to the laundry and shooing Miss Kitty out of the whites load, she loves Ed’s stinky socks and just rolls in that basket when they are in there… ICK!!! but she loves that funky smell and gets very upset with me for washing those socks… poor baby. oh well he’ll be home tonight and a new pair of stinky socks into the laundry basket, she will be happy again. goofy cat. Fall is almost here, and I can’t wait. have a lovely day everyone, stay warm and comfy cozy. off to the laundry…. hugs….. 😀

  89. Marrie says:

    I am currantly savoring every word and illustration in Isle of Dreams!! I take it slow so it wont end too quickly!! Thank you so much for sharing your gift with the world. I will make my second trip to the island in 2019. I hope to seek out the cottage for a drive by. Take care creative soul that is like no other!! YOU inspire us to love all things simple and pure!!

  90. Gail Golden says:

    Such a lovely post, Susan, and I love that musica – new to me. I’ll have to play that when Jem and I start using the fireplace DVD. Who knows when that’ll be since the temps are in the mid-nineties right now and Fall doesn’t come to central Florida until late November – mid-December. Jack always makes me smile with his antics, and your new colors and curtains are perfection. I’m sure the house is well pleased with your choices.

    Like you, dark colors would never do for my home. A friend of mine painted just one wall of her dining room a brilliant, royal blue and it is stunning! She’s a sailing enthusiast and, with a single painting of a sailboat in the Caribbean, that wall makes quite a statement.

    Looking forward to your new book. An interesting note as to why I love all things British – This week, Ancestry DNA sent me an update which reflects even more genetic influence. My DNA is now 96% British Aisles, including UK, Ireland and Scotland. Jem’s family is from Ireland, and we’re planning a trip over to investigate our roots.

    Happy Fall, Y’all.

  91. Laurie Walt says:

    Oh my goodness Susan I do love your new curtains and pink walls! It is such a good feeling to polish the whole house in the fall, I have the bug too! I’m going to ask my hubby for the set of three vases for V-day, I just love all of them! So much to love on your blog and in your web store. Safe journey and happy fall!

  92. Rachel says:

    Good timing… I just came by to see what autumn decor you had!
    I’m looking forward to the new book, although all your England posts make me homesick… I’ve been here in the USA for almost 20 years now 😮 and the posts always remind me of the things I’ve forgotten! Thank you for sharing 😊

  93. Claudine Toillon says:

    Realy very nice ! I love your blog. I was just looking for new curtains ! You have given me a lot of ideas. Thank you 💐

  94. Hello QTPies,
    Oh, your house must be so happy with her refreshment!
    Love your gussying up and getting ready for hunkering down.
    We just had to repaint our basement three times because it just didn’t look the same on the walls as the samples. But, Hallelujah!, finally got it the way we way we want it. 🙂
    Have fun on the train and in California too!
    Love the book title as well. <3
    P.S. Mr. Poirot, aka Mr. Charming Pants, sends his regards and salutations to Jack, aka Mr. Adorable, as fellow members of the tuxedo clan.
    Love the standing picture. xx

  95. Ivy Hinrichs says:

    I love the pink! And I am so glad to know someone else who does more fall cleaning than spring cleaning in preparation for hunkering down for the cold days ahead! I LOVE fall cleaning… I make everything cozy and ready for winter. Wash and drape blankets on the back of furniture, cook and bake and stock the freezers, set out books, games and puzzles in nooks around the house so we are ready at anytime to spend a cozy evening in! Happy Fall!


  96. Sharon Byars says:

    Thank you so much for this lovely blog. Wowsy…you have been busy and Joe too. Hope you have some experienced house painters to climb those huge ladders outside! Fall does seem to be the best time to clean and organize the home. Living here in Raleigh, we survived the storm very well. Fortunately, we live on a hill with excellent drainage. Many prayers going out to those folks south of us living around the waterways. Tragic! Heard storm is moving towards Boston but hopefully, it will lose the intensity. Love, love your new fabric for curtains! You picked the perfect one with that touch of blue. Happy travels to SLO!!

  97. Linda Landes says:

    Your blog is always a welcome treat, just like a candied apple! It is so interesting to read what you and Joe have been up to lately, but I must say I just adore reading about the love you have for little Jack. He seems,with his antics, to be part of your soul. He misses nothing about your daily routine does he? It is a great comfort having the love of an animal, and I can feel in your pictures and writing that Jack is one lucky kitty, to be loved so greatly.

  98. Linda Lepage says:

    OH! SUSAN!
    You’ve done it again! I just adore your new dining room! And I love the curtains!
    Blessings to you and Joe on your train trip!!
    Can’t wait for the new book!
    Linda in PA

  99. janice says:

    What a fun read. I love your decorating. How wonderful to have your hearts desire, pink walls and flowered curtains. Beautiful. It’s like a doll house where you can have everything just your way. I live with 3 men and my decor is dark dark dark cave like. But I can live vicariously through your blog posts and Willards. thank you for sharing.

  100. Barb Cowles says:

    I don’t just love the photos of Jack, I need the photos of Jack. My cat allergy is bad and Jack is the only kitty who doesn’t make me sneeze. Thank you Susan, Joe and Jack for such delight.

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