Hello all, Welcome! I hope you all got your WILLARD (if you didn’t, don’t worry, you will, it’s going out today but it takes three days for them all to go). I wanted to have everything ready for you when you got here, so yes, in the vernacular of the day, I’ve been “tidying up!” I have lots to show you, but let’s start with the little things that make life sweet with background MUSICA perfect to energize us for the job ahead . . . I love this time of year! Time has slowed down, a lovely long January is gone . . . our Island outside my window is cold blue sky, leafless trees, old houses, quiet and colorless (except for the cardinals, our flying Valentines), and in complete healing-mode from the Summer onslaught. No cars going by, no one on our walk in the morning but us. 😁
If you read my last post, you’ll see my sideboard looks very different than it did over Christmas! I’ve been putting my house back together. It was fun decorating with all the holiday stuff 🎄, I was a little sad to see it go, but then felt huge relief to have it all gone! It’s usually around the 5th of January, when suddenly all the sparkly, pine-needly things I LOVED in December, begin to drive me crazy. The wreaths on the kitchen doors block the light and drop needles every time we go in or out, then leave a Hansel and Gretel pine-needle trail from the kitchen to the studio. Time to say goodbye to the old year, and hello to the new. The tree came down (we don’t drag it through the house because then vacuuming takes forever ~ Joe takes the branches off to keep the mess confined, and tosses everything out the window!), ornaments were boxed up, bows and ribbons are back in the attic, dusty mistletoe is gone from the doorways, my house is peaceful and quiet with only the sound of wood falling to ash in the fireplace, joy is sparked to the nth degree! So, in case you can’t tell, we’ve been watching Tidying Up with Marie Condo. Have you seen it? It’s about a woman who loves to organize, she wrote a book about it, I think more than one, and now has a show on Netflix where she comes to people’s homes and teaches them how to de-clutter their things. Watching someone else clean is inspiring ~ and it’s catching! It makes you want to jump up and get organized ! My eyes suddenly see the chaos around us. How can we live this way!!! If you need help getting going I highly recommend it. Even Joe’s gotten into it and that’s saying something!She has all sorts of tips ~ she teaches people how to fold things into tiny packages (something I will never do because I choose speed over neatness), and file them on their sides in boxes in drawers to make them more visible. Which was thrilling to see, because it meant I was doing something right!! I’ve always done Joe’s shirts that way (except for the tiny-package folding!) . . .
. . . filed them in a row so he can see the logos and know what he’s getting into without unfolding. It’s not perfect or tiny, but Joe loves it!I don’t know if it was Marie, or if it was because it was January, but as I was cleaning up the Christmas things, suddenly I couldn’t stand to see boxes or bags parked conveniently next to a wall, did not care for piles of books anywhere but in the bookcases, didn’t want to see folded market bags piled on my little red kitchen chair, or any little bits and pieces dropped here and there that added up to clutter. 🚫 I needed clean walls I could walk up to like a starving man needs a ham sandwich. I couldn’t even work until I got this house under control! I did it! Everything’s in its place (well, not everything!) with sunshiny face . . . now it’s February (rabbit-rabbit💛) and I’m back to work! Of course, now my studio is a complete mess because as you know creating is not neat, but the rest of the house is heaven. All my best intentions fulfilled, lightheartedness returned!
Most of my table tops have barely anything on them! It won’t last long, but right now I see this and go “Ommmmmm.”
Candlesticks & votives, glass, wood and brass, are sorted and put away, Christmas books are back in the hutch, tablecloth and napkins are starched and ironed, on hangers, in the front closet, floors are swept and vacuumed, we’re dusted and ready for the next event. I think of my house sort of like a movie set . . . once Christmas is put away, everything is organized, I leave it smooth and plainly cozy until the next season or event, then I change the throw pillows, add flowers, bunnies, bunting, garden books, and voila! It’s spring!
There’s a big difference between clutter, and decorated. I do not see these shelves as cluttered! I think it’s because everything up there gets used on a fairly regular basis. I could never be a minimalist and hide everything away. Serious minimalism looks heartless to me. Life is too short not to set out my Beatrix Potter figurines, hang my teacups on hooks, fold cute dishtowels over the handles of my stove, or put a paper calendar on the wall in my kitchen. Real life is not going to allow me to hide away our family photos, or baskets of rosy apples, or old quilts just for some crazy fashion that will change in an hour anyway!
I wrote about it in my Girlfriends Book. How when I was 11 or 12 I would try and get my girlfriends to play, “Let’s go home and decorate our bedrooms.” A game I mostly ended up playing all by myself! I still redecorate the way I wrote about here . . . and put back one “joy bringer” at a time.
Marie suggested that as we sort, we shouldn’t be looking for things we want to throw out, instead we should look for things we want to keep! It does make it easier! Gather everything into a pile, keep just the things you love and get rid of the rest! She sees organizing as a spiritual endeavor … believing there’s a divine spirit in everything. It feels like that to me. A sort of gratitude for all we’ve been given. It reminds me of a quote I put in my Autumn book by Joe Friday (respected elder of the Alaskan Yup’ik Eskimos) . . . who’s gone now but should should be remembered for this lovely thing:
So glad to the wood. Everything is related. Touch one thing, you touch it all. I say thank you as I oil my wooden cutting board, imagining the people who made it, remembering all that chopping for all those dinner parties, as I oil the wooden handles on my old pots and pans,
and my wooden cooking spoons (my dad made the one with my name on it 💞 ). I want them to last forever. I starch and iron my curtains, shine my windows, make my stove sparkle with plain hot water, refold my old quilts, and dust my bookcases. Because things we use every day have character. Makes me happy.These things aren’t just merchandise, part of a throw-away world. They’re gifts. When my Grandma died, the only thing I asked for, since I had always gotten her very best when she was alive, was the old wooden spoon she used to scramble her eggs and mix her cookie dough. Because that spoon had her in it. That spoon and my grandma had cross-pollinated their DNA, while alone in the kitchen, beating brown sugar, butter, and walnuts, a long time ago.
It’s why I love old things and that includes this old house of creativity filled with kindly ghosts of the past. As I was tidying up, it was easy to know which of our things “sparked joy” as Marie says, and which ones made me sing out, 🎵 Yaaaard Saaaale 🎶 as I packed up boxes to go. Our busy lives and this modern world do not naturally provide us with the peace and sustenance we need to grow, space for creating, a gentleness for our families. But we can make it for ourselves. We have all the power. As the Chinese proverb says, “Outside noisy, inside empty.”One more thing, in case you find yourself in a cleaning-emergency on a day when deep tidying and tiny folding is not going to be possible, with possibly just ten minutes to clean your house for guests, here’s what you do:
So, in-between the tidying up, what have I been doing in my studio? Lots. I guess I should say, “we.” We’ve been busy!
Here’s the other half of “we,” my partner-in-crime who plunks his righteous self down in the middle of my art table any time he wants and gives me this look. Like, “What?” Requires belly rub, many kisses. Petty pet of my dreams.
I made a soft little embroidered doll of Jack. Put his heart on the outside. Gave him a little quilt all his own. He’s only 6″ tall (extremely gentle, for children) ~ he and his quilt will come in a sewing/embroidery kit. We’ll have the kit in the web store soon, so some little child out there, maybe yours, can put Jack to bed someday. ♥️
And a quick update, for all of you who pre-ordered and are waiting patiently for your little vases, butter dishes, tea bag holders, and all the others, we are being told to expect them soon. I keep asking, when, when, when, they keep saying soon, soon, soon 😜 . . . so have faith and know the SECOND they arrive, yours will be first to go!! We won’t forget! Soothing MUSICA to make you forget. 🎵 And this:
And, despite kitty distraction in the Studio, new cups are on the way! At the end of the last post I asked everyone what cups they’d like to see and did the best I could to make you happy! So here we go: Four new cups, Fine Bone China, made in England, coming late March! This one, the large 16 oz, is “Bella Luna!” For all you moon-watchers like me! 💛
Every time you use it you can wish on a shooting star! I never painted a shooting star before!
The moon and constellations in a sea of stars . . .
And here is brand new Cup #Two, “Home Sweet Home” . . . this is for you who love the smaller, 11 oz. size, a bunting-draped celebration of . . .
Here’s the side, says it all.
Here is the other side…. a little house of my own . . .
And here is the cute handle! These are only paper mockups, I promise the real things will look much better!
And #3, You all asked, so Yes! A great big 16 oz. Birthday Cup! Because everyone has a birthday and what would be a better celebration than “Having your cake and eating it too?”
There is singing . . .
. . . balloons, a hat, and suggestions for fun!
And another perky handle! Happy Birthday Girlfriends! 🎈
And one more large, 16 oz. cup, due to popular demand, it’s the “English Corgi” cup . . .
With the perfect T.S. Eliot quote surrounded by blue forget-me-nots:An empire of imagination!
And the side . . . complete with Union Jacks, lamb and castle.
And would not be complete without an English rose on the handle.🌹
And, extra exciting news, guess what? For the first time, the actual BBC website is going to carry one of my cups, this one! For their print catalog and web store! And also my book, A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside! So honored! Secretly extra-thrilled as it is one step closer in my diabolical plan to get to the National Trust. Would love for them to carry my book someday. At least now we’re in the same neighborhood! 🇬🇧 👍
They’re already in production in England, and up for Pre-sale now… as you know, I try to make sure there’s enough for everyone, it helps so much when you pre-order, that way, when I give the factory final numbers, I’m fairly sure everyone who wants one will get one! I usually add on some extra for those who forget, but sooner or later they’re gone. So if you have a special birthday coming in September, be sure to think about it now!Movie News: I keep promising you an update on the “movie” ~ the project in the works to get my book Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams onto the big (or even little) screen … and every time I think I will just blab what I know, the person working to make it happen sweetly warns me not to!!! 🎬 Grrrr. So all I can say is that it’s still a possibility. Which is better than saying it isn’t! Seems so easy! Movie about starting over, woman and three cats in darling cottage in woods? What could be better? Just say Yes!Okay, back to the drawing board, 🎨 but before I go . . . I was thinking, what would be a really special giveaway for today? I thought of the perfect thing, then another idea popped up, then another, I didn’t know which to do! I finally gave up and decided to do all three! It’s almost Valentine’s Day! 💖 All you have to do to enter is leave a comment at the bottom of this post (click at the tiny word “comment”), and you’ll be automatically entered for all three gifts! In a few days, Vanna, our resident “Random Number Generator” will draw the names of three lucky winners and I’ll announce them here. So, here’s giveaway number one, very rare . . .
A brand new copy of Girlfriends Forever! When I find out the winner’s name, I’ll personalize it before I send it. They’ve been out of print for a long time, but during my “Tidying Up” phase, I found a small pile of these books in the back of a closet! Buried treasure! And timely, because what could be better for a Girlfriend’s Valentine than a book about best friends! You may have one, but perhaps a special Valentine girlfriend of yours doesn’t! So anyway, this one’s for YOU, and Sheri put the others in our web store for however long they last!
And then I was walking by my newly decorated stove shelf, and was suddenly reminded of this timeless Valentine . . . charming old words I found carved on a stone on a dovecote in England.
Here’s a closer view! Giveaway #2, Love Stays!
And, last but not least, this luv-lee 16 oz, fine bone china cup that asks, “Have I told you lately that I love you?” Is there a better Valentine Message? This one will be going out to some lucky winner in honor of our Girlfriend Dee Lamphear and her husband Brad 💞, to celebrate their forever love and happy marriage.💖
This is the back . . . it says it all, cup-wise, winter-wise and love-wise.
So don’t forget to leave a comment! Remember, you have much better chance of winning here than if you played the lottery!💖
Last but not least, here’s a delicious recipe to help keep your house warm . . . I wish I could send out smells from my computer, so when you opened my page on a freezing cold morning you’d find the cozy smell of baking biscuits. That’s how you would know it’s me. I wish someone would invent that. Unfortunately, under the circumstances, you’ll have to make them for yourself!
Make them in heart-shaped pans and they’re the perfect Valentine gift.
Cut them in half, toast them, add orange marmalade or yummy Christmas Jam and bring them to a lucky Valentine near you. For more Valentine’s ideas, plus a link to get a Valentine Bookmark, go HERE. If you haven’t signed up to receive my Blog in your mailbox, and you’d like that, or you’d like to surprise your mom, sister, grandma, or best friend, please go HERE.Winter is king of intimate delights, Enjoy the quiet, light the candles, make a fire, pull on toasty socks, feed the birds, eat hot biscuits. Life is good. Have a wonderful day Girlfriends, kindred spirits. Bake and stay warm! More surprises in the next blog!
Love this blog and you! From the bunnies and me…….
I so enjoy receiving your Willard/blogs . For me it’s getting a letter from a dear friend. I’ve read your three book “series” several times . I started with ” A Fine Romance” , being a fellow fan of the English countryside ( though I’ve not been there yet) and Miss Potter. I have not seen the girlfriends book yet, but looking forward to it. I have some of your cookbooks and have given them as shower gifts too.
So thankful that you and Joe had a good ,safe trip .
Love this blog and all your wonderful artwork-it makes me so happy. I have your mini calendar open on my desk all the time. Thank you so much for your beautiful words of wisdom and sweet thoughts.
I can’t even tell you how much joy your new corgi mug is bringing me from the screen! I’m so excited about it. From the bottom of corgi-loving hearts everywhere, thank you SO much! It’ll look so good near my two handsome corgi princes as I sip coffee and share cookies. <3
My birthday is February 4. This year we were on a cruise so I celebrated it in Nassau How wonderful. We live in St. Louis Mo. where our winter has been different this year. We left St.Louis with a -2 and went to Miami where it was 78 I like your birthday mug and would really love to have one. I could treat myself to one. Hopefully I win your giveaway. Will be looking for the little quilt too. I love all of Susan Branch
Love your blog. It always brightens my day!
As a former SoCal woman, who also loves England, I have found your books and blog posts rather fetching! Thank you for sharing your charming life with many others… ;0)
How timely you are with the Marie Kondo inspiration! I too, jumped into action and asked myself, “does this bring me joy?”, as I pared down our things, being mindful to keep the treasures. Thanks for your sunny outlook and example!
Reading your blog is like a mini vacation! It forces me to slow down and use almost all my senses – just wish I could smell those tea biscuits!
Dearest sweet Susan ♥️
You fill my life with joy and love‼️ 💖 Happy Valentine’s Day 💖 early, I love this month of LOVE
My kitchen is warm this morning, as the yummy scent of your Lemon Pepper Tea Biscuits (heart shaped with your pan of course) fills my heart and home.
Love to you, Joe, your kitty family, and the girlfriends.
Thanks for sharing your lovely words here on this blog. I have your pretty calendar on my right also. February with a quote from the Bible and Rumi…just perfect for this girl!
I love Marie Kondo! I read her book awhile ago and was hooked. She’s a mad genius! I now ask does this “spark joy?” with everything and if it doesn’t , I move on😊👏 I have not watched the Netflix show as yet but it’s on my to do list❤️ Enjoy the quiet, it’s the namaste 🙏🏻 time of year🥰
What a perfect way to spend this morning…a cup of coffee as I read your blog and comments from other kindred spirits! I have always loved your watercolors and quotes…and books, of course! We have a winter wonderland outside today, with a lovely blanket of snow not typical for this area (Anacortes WA).
Thanks for your inspiring words!
Love reading your blog! Thank you for the chance to win.
Enoy your blog and enjoy all the flowers.
So happy you mentioned Christmas Jam. I made two batches to give away as gifts to friends and family. Yum Yum!!
You’re posts always make me smile and want to cuddle in at home and make things pretty and lovely. Thanks to your inspiration of Kitty-Kat Hair Band Extravaganza (had to name the sport), I decided to shoot a hair band clear across the house for our Sylvester Kitty (Lucy) to which she took off like a shooting star! So funny, she loves the new sport – so thank you for that! 🙂 Kitty Kats and Puppy Dogs make life worthwhile and posts from you too!
I absolutely love your blog, it always makes me smile. Thank you so much! <3
Love your blog! A great way to warm up a cold, winter day.
Love your blog. Happy Valentine Day!
I look forward to the movie of your book! I’ve read all of them… Thank you for being so open and honest with us, your girlfriends! I appreciate you and your work so much. Your blog adds so much joy to my life. I too love England and hope someday to visit the Cotswolds.
So wonderful to be able to read something positive and uplifting. Your corgi cup would be perfect for my dog-loving English daughter-in-law!
Susan, I just love your drawings, recipies and entire world of Susan Branch. Hope the movie is a go soon. Thank you for having a loving heart and sharing it with us.
Great blog! Listening to the music on Google speaker since I can’t open both tabs on my phone. Ha. Happy Valentine’s day! Hubby and I just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary yesterday. My how time flies! Thanks for all the goodies! Still enjoy your blog after all these years!
I enjoyed reading about your “take” on the Marie Condo way of organizing. This is the great time of year to try to declutter our lives. Thanks for the chance to win more giveaways. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!
What an inspiration you are! Your blog is always a treat to read, and I’m enjoying my first Willard.
Thank you, Susan for your blog. I love reading it and seeing the pictures of Jack.
Finally got back to finish reading this post! Yes, we are absolutely kindred spirits, and when the calendar turned to February, I decorated (or should I say redecorated) my sideboard for Valentines Day! It perks up the house on these dreary winter days and seeing my vintage 5 cent Valentine cards, my sweet little Napco heart-dressed cherubs, pink depression glass… it makes me smile each time I pass by! Valentine doilies on the windows and red touches on the kitchen windowsill make my day! A real home is made up of all the special little touches that mean something to us! Your wooden spoon mention especially touched me because I use the wooden spoon my Dad used every day and keep it right next to the stove so he’s with me all the time when I cook! I gave my rolling pin to a dear friend after my mom passed away and kept mom’s rolling pin for myself because I feel as you do…her magic is in it. I got my love of baking from my mom and when I am in the kitchen I feel closest to both my folks now that they have both passed away. The tangible keepsakes I have from my folks speak to me every day and help to make our house a home. Thanks for always making me smile with your warm stories and inspiring happy art! Sending you love for Valentines Day and always!
Sweet memories Donna! xoxo
Your post is so “love”ly! I look forward to what you are up to with each post you share. It feels like a visit when I read your words and see the pretty pictures!
Hope I’m not too late to leave my comment. Glad to hear the movie is still a possibility; I think it has “Hallmark” written all over it! 🙂 I’ve been watching Marie Kondo as well and trying to implement the “spark joy” philosophy. It really helps the decluttering process. Wishing you and Joe a very happy Valentines Day!
Always so enjoy your posts!
Can’t wait to make the tea biscuits! Happy February!
So happy to receive Willard. I quickly signed up for your blog. I look forward to receiving it on a regular basis. It was a welcome bit of warmth to help thaw these old bones out after the cold snap we have had on the East coast. Well keep warm, sip tea and cuddle Jack! That’s my plan except my lap warmer is Mango. Spring will be here before we know it (she states hopefully) and it will be so welcome this year. Rosemarie
Oh, Susan! How I love your blog! I sit down, read and reread and it makes my heart happy!
May you be blessed for blessing us with your words❤️❤️❤️Dianne Roper
Thank you Susan! So glad you are able to tidy up! Thank you for all your wonderful [posts!
Love your blog
Regarding Willard: I’ve been watching for it, only to just now see it sitting in ‘Spam’…so I click on ‘Not Spam’ and it popped up in email. All good. Then upon reading it, I see directions to sign up again per your routing instructions – which I did. Not so good, as I got a message that I’m already signed up. So am I still going to receive email notifications for both the Blog and for Willard??
Confused in Alabama
LOL Hi Sharon… I’m combining Willard with the blog, you’ll just get the one notice now . . . and you’re perfect!
I will be ordering the corgi cup. My favorite!
Finding your recent blog post, made my entire day. Yellow Volkswagen convertible: Yes, please!
Happy Valentine’s Day! 🥰
I have always loved reading your words and seeing your drawings. It always makes me happy!
Happy Valentine’s Day to all the girlfriends! Yes, it’s time to cozy up our nests and wait for spring which can’t be far away now! With someone like precious Jack, time passes quickly. Spreading joy and smiles everywhere!
I just told my hubby my cupboards can’t hold any more SB tea cup. I guess ill have to rearrange. Must have the Happy Birthday and I can’t resist anything with forget me notes. I cannot wait to try the lemon pepper biscuits for my Valentine’s day tea.
Happy Valentines Day to you Susan ❤️ You are Loved !
A happy colourful blog, just like a vacation during our cold winter days.
Sending a little head rub for your petty pet Jack.
Yep it’s been the perfect season for tidying!! Makes me fall in love with my home all over again…
Enjoy all that will be blooming soon…
Susan, thank you so much for sharing your fabulous artistic talent, your love of relaxing old timey music and especially your optimistic attitude on daily living and what’s important in life. Now I feel inspired to tidy up and plan to begin by viewing the Netflix program you recommended. I keep wondering how in the world you make time for all your accomplishments AND to share them with your girlfriends too?? Amazing and wonderful YOU!
Hello dear Susan, just moved to another house and was without internet for one week, it was a joy reading your lovely blog again. Just a bit of me time after a busy time.
Susan, Love your books! Love your blogs! Looking forward to your new book! Your joy is contagious!
Love your blog Susan! Happy Valentines Day!
I LOVE Marie Kondo! I was scaring my husband because I started going room to room organizing and tossing and folding! I was a mad woman! But forced to stop because I fell and sprained my ankle BADLY! So I just dream of my next organizing adventure (yes sad I know 😏) and of our small tiny potager garden.
I will be trying those tea biscuits 😋
Is there a petition to sign for your movie??? Would LOVE to see that. Get my tea and biscuits ready with my cross stitching project and watch! I hope they agree to it.
No petition yet, but what a good idea!
As always your message touches my heart. Downsizing and moving after the death of my husband of 59 years each little message is helping me move on. Thank you ❤️
Wishing you all the best Judith. 💖 xoxoxoxoxo
You are such an inspiration…in your art, your blogs, your recipes, your decorating! Even though I am vegan I find your cookbooks to be my faves. They just make me want to spend all my time in the kitchen. Thank you!
Susan, you are so blessed to be so talented. Thank you for sharing.
Love, love, love the moon cup!!
Check this out… Here’s a fun site…I have this book (your book) I purchased several years ago.❤️
Snow Day today! I’m a teacher, so when I hear that lovely automated voice over the phone at 5 AM saying “school is closed” I leap out of bed ready for a day of coziness, baking, magazine reading, movie watching excitement. The snow is falling softly, I’ve got my new Victoria magazine…all is well 🙂 do you have a recipe for thumbprint cookies that you like? I may add that to my To Do list for the day.
Hugs from my cozy nook to yours! <3
You feel like the kids do!!!! How darling!
Susan, always enjoy reading your blog. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe, from: Donna and My Joe❤
Your blogging about Marie Condo is spooky. Our daughter has just been converted to her way of decluttering and even her ten year old step son loves it. It definitely must have something going for it!
Happy Valentine’s Day. xxx
Oh my, what a beautiful post again….I love all your beautiful wording, and sketches of life…I am hoping to buy some of your cups through the u.k site ( as I live in Cornwall u.k)..jack is such a handsome boy, give him a cuddle from me. Sue x
Susan I can’t thank you enough for giving me your lovely blog and Willard to read. We’ve been snowed/iced in here in PA for two days. I am keeping busy cooking, baking and reading. I have heard about this tidying up thing a few times now so may just check out the show and get inspired to start myself. I adore and have been wanting one of your mugs and plan to treat myself soon!
YIKES!! I’ve been out of sorts lately, our Penelope (our much loved family dog) passed away on January 31st, and for whatever reason yesterday was a really bad day (my eyes are so swollen I’m having trouble focusing to read?!).
Anyway, I decided to catch up on emails – Holey Moley – I saw yours and was so DELIGHTED to read that you’re back to your old self again!! I have NOT RECEIVED my Willard newsletter – could you please let me know what’s going on?
I’m so sorry Margie, terrible sorrow when our little petty-pets leave us. I’m happy you’re here. HERE is the WILLARD. It will give you a new place to sign up, hopefully better than the last!
Woohoo…Snow day in Syracuse! A chance to curl up with the kitty and a cocoa and catch up on your blog. Blissful! Happy Valentine’s Day!
So Sorry Susan – I guess I’m still out of sorts, you could say…………..I had only opened up my “Primary” emails and just now when I went into my “Promotions” emails, there was my “Willard” Newsletter? I’m not computer literate any more so I don’t know why that happens? Just wanted to let you know I DID receive it though. Also, my oldest daughter has been reading Marie Kondo’s books and you can guess what happens when she comes over now – “Mom, you need to KonMari your house!” so I guess when I’m feeling up to it, you know what I’ll be doing………Thank you, your CA transplant Friend from PA…….
What fun to see your Willard and blog. My daughter and I always get excited when a new one arrives! It’s a very grey day, had snow and now it’s sleeting! So, a cheery message from you warms the heart.
Hugs, Marie Fluck
good morning Susan, Girlfriends. BRRR its a cold, windy and rainy day here and yes we had snow over the weekend… it was lovely and cold!! a good day for a few cups of hot tea, watching the storm come in and get some loaves of bread baked. I have the dough on the first rising right now, honey wheat bread. soon the house will be filled with the aroma of fresh baked bread. love baking bread, I have the control over the ingredients and it never sits around for long, its usually gone in a few days. tonight is going to be a cold one so I am thinking shepherd’s pie for dinner tonight, but not with ground lamb like in the recipe, more like ground beef but it is still just as good and warming for cold nights. the kittens are regular little gremlins around here, wrestling each other and chasing each round and round the house and scattering the toys everywhere. they are having a good time, like all little mischievous boys do. the barnyard brats are doing fine, they just had a treat of old leftover salad, and fresh salad fixings along with some grain and some stale old biscuits and as apple core or 2. pretty good treats I think. nothing goes to waste around here. for once I have plenty of firewood for the stove, no need to go out and drown getting that up on the porch. been busy reading the Vermont Country Store cook book and trying out the recipes, very yummy so far. next will be the blackberry pie, but that has to wait for summer. may try the stew next, venison stew… we have some deer meat in the freezer we need to use. off to run the dust mop around and then vacuum the carpets and punch the dough down for the second rising. busy day here. have a great day today everyone, stay warm and comfy. hugs…. 😀
You inspire me!
what a delight to find your letter on this rainy day. Have struggled with my old computer to get to read it….worth every bit of hair pulling! A new one is in my world soon. Bless you for all your wonder and wonderful ways. Jack looks so handsome!
Hi Susan, I just can hardly wait to order my new cup!!!!! They are so beautiful! I have a friend whom I gave one of your books to last year. She loved it and is reading Fairy tale Girl now, and loving it too. You, sharing your home, and your life, always brings bucket loads of ideas and encouragement to us. A friend of mine the other day complimented me on how creative my home decorating is! So, you are even getting compliments through my home! Wow. Here in SouthTexas, we have a few trees blooming. So happy to see them. Roses never stopped this winter. I do miss the snow however.
Love, blessings and prayers over your home and Joe and Jack and you!
I look so foware to your blog posts! You always brighten my day. Thank you!
So happy to see a new blog entry from you….it made my day!
Thank you for the beauty!💜💕
Hi Susan, I love getting your blogs. You have such a delightful way of saying things, which is always a pick-me-up. Also, your artwork is beautiful, fun and full of life. Thanks and may you have a very blessed year!!
Hi Susan! I too am the definition of a homebody. And a creative one like you. I actually get excited to do spring cleaning. Enjoy the rest of winter!
Love is all there is, is all we know of love! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe!
Thanks so much for this cozy winter blog. I agree with you, old is best!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️😻Happy Valentines Day!
Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe.The snow is falling and I’m sitting by the fire listening to MUSICA and reading your blog. A cup of tea in the Martha’s Vineyard cup and I am relaxed and feeling loved.
I wish I had the Valentine cup, but my tea still tastes as good no matter which one of your beautiful cups I choose to use. I love all of your beautiful artwork and books, and share them with all my girlfriends.Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us. It is definitely time to de-clutter. Tomorrow. Tonight, Willard and Tea. Have a blessed and productive new year !
You and Marie have inspired me to spark a little joy at my house! I totally agree about holiday decorations after the fact, they lose their magic and I’m ready for a fresh start! I’m ready to clean house and the clutter, thanks for the fun post!
You are such an inspiration Susan! Thank you for the chance to win one of your treasures:)
Wonderful blog, as usual! I need to get in on all the Marie Kondo doings as my home and space desperately needs it, but between my health issues, my pack rat capabilities and my sentimental problems of letting it go, I fear this process will take a long time! Thank you for the opportunity to participate in your giveaway, Susan! Wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!!
Hi Susan! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe! I left a comment last week, but couldn’t find it, so I am leaving another today . . . hope that’s ok! I loved reading your wonderful blog post, and I couldn’t possibly resist getting the chance to win one of your amazing giveaways! Winning would be soooooo unbelievable since my husband and I are going to celebrate our 29th anniversary in NYC the beginning of March. (And winning here would be like winning the lottery!) HUGS!!!
On this morning after the latest snow-ice storm in southern New England, it is so nice to listen to Benny Goodman and read your inspiring blog. Love the look/themes of the new china cups.
Love the beautiful picture of the Cardinal AKA “Valentine Bird”.
I love your blog – so homey – and love the new cups coming from England!
I love your Blog and the Valentine’s cup is beautiful!
Happy V-DAy! for Valentine’s that is. Enjoyed your Willard and blogs for years and you are sooo good at sharing your Happy Gene! Here’s to many more!
Thanks for such a fun post, I am in complete agreement with your view of minimalism! I want to be surrounded by the memories of times past, my moms quilts, my favorite china chosen because it made me happy, and all the bits picked up at random as well as the handed down treasures that truly “spark joy ”
The new cups are beautiful, my favorite is the Bella Luna.
Thanks for a wonderful blog and I most appreciate the musica that goes with it.
Lovely post for a dreary day! It’s always nice for a chilly winter day.
Marjorie from PA
Thank you for your lovely blog post. Happy Valentine’s Day! It will be mine and my husband’s 31st anniversary on Valentine’s day. Stay warm and cozy.
Hello Susan! Happy Valentines’s Day! Wishing you the sweetest Hearts Day ever tomorrow! Glad to know you and Joe are doing well in your warm and cozy home this winter season. Thank you Susan for all of the eye candy in your current Willard and Blog! I love your new Little House and Birthday cups…..so cute! I will start praying for your movie to surface sooner, than later! The snowflakes are swirling outside my window, and our Michigan weather seems to continue decorating the outdoors with all that is frosty! My 94 1/2 year old father fell the day after Christmas, and after two surgeries in five days to mend his broken hip, he is still in rehab since January. He is progressing very slowly, like a turtle and is many weeks away from returning to his home on Harsens Island. All of your pretty pictures helped me find my smile today and put it on! Thank you Susan from the bottom ❤️ of ❤️ my ❤️ heart. Take care. God Bless.
This was the perfect cozy, inspiring read for a blustery winter’s day, with the kids back in school and a steaming mug of tea at my side. Thank you for caring about the little (but actually big) details and chronicling them so beautifully.
I too love everything Susan Branch and would cherish a giveaway item. Thank you for bring joy to so many. Happy Valentines Day
New cups!! You made my week! Happy Valentine’s Week from California!
HappyValentines Day! Loved reading your inspiring words for blessing our homes with organizing, it surely gets me ready for Spring cleaning!
It’s a snow day here in Springfield Massachusetts and my 12 year old daughter normally would be thrilled but since she was supposed to go to ECOS in Forest Park for winter survival class as a science field trip she’s disappointed instead. But she saw on TV that today is “Galentine’s Day” and so since we’re home we had a “Galentine’s Day” lunch. Just a nice mom and daughter tuna salad on crackers with kombucha in fancy glasses and clementine sections for dessert. Inspired by our Susan Branch calendar on the fridge!
Susan dear Susan! We got separated when I got my new computer!! Somehow, the new Willard got through and I have re-signed for your blog! It is part of
“how to brighten my day!” Love the message, the meaning of how special your
grandmother’s spoon is to you. I also asked for just one thing. A Pizzelle iron
forged with my grandfather’s initials. I remember my grandmother turning the waffle iron on the stove. A lovely memory! Sending heart shaped thoughts to you and to Joe!
Thank you Susan! I love your posts and they absolutely make my day!
I love your blogs, especially ones in Winter because I live in Florida where we have no winter, and lots of snow birds. Tomorrow is St. Valentine’s Day, so here’s wishing you loads of kitty snuggles, and Joe kisses, and perhaps a chocolate or two just because.