HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I was going to give you a little vacation from WILLARD for this month, let you get your feet back on the ground after the holidays, give you some quiet time to figure out what resolutions will be easiest to break :-), but then stuff started happening, and now I have to write! I promise to keep it short....ha ha ha ha ha.

Working on a blog! Trying to decide what the banner will be, there are too many choices, should it be a photo, should it be art, should it be both?? Big questions! It'll be a couple of months before I get it going, but I'm soooo excited about it.

Sorry about the lack of new videos for YOUTUBE lately, I'm going to get a new camera, which I still haven't done; the one I have is just too fuzzy; but it's on my list.... Then I'll get going again, kitties, garden, the creek out back, poor Joe, all my victims are ready.

So, YOU'RE INVITED, to two things, if you're in our neck of the woods, which means California (where the sun is shining today by the way), we'd love to have you come to our booth again this year at the ROAD TO CALIFORNIA QUILT SHOW, where everyone comes and sets up booths of pure creativity and inspiration and where we'll be introducing my newest FABRIC COLLECTION, bringing along free projects; calendars and books along with other fun stuff. That's soon, Jan 14 - 17 ...... right around the corner. For details; directions and hotels here's a link to their WEB SITE.

Our booth - last January

Your other invitation is to our FARMSTAND ANTIQUE SHOW AND SALE, with a side dish of plain old-fashioned YARD SALE....something for everyone! That will be on the beautiful Central Coast of California, at 9 am, Saturday, February 6, 2010 (with a rain date, just in case, of February 13). There will be food of course, it's a girlfriend extravaganza, there will be cupcakes; but you can bring your guy because we will have what is being called the "Dude Section," by dudes for dudes; we also have friends driving across country, bringing wonderful old things from Pennsylvania, big things and little things; kitchen things and garden things, lots of furniture too; we have a girlfriend who collects and revamps vintage Airstreams; she'll use one to display her wonderful antiques and old linens, we have someone who makes fabulous jewelry; we have things from the studio, we have old books; we have friends volunteering yard sale things, it's going to be SO MUCH FUN. You should think about coming...the Farm Stand is in Arroyo Grande, California, half way between LA and San Francisco. We have a map on our web site, and a list of good little local hotels for you right HERE.

Other than that, this is the month all of our new stationery products arrive at the studio....we have a darling Gift Box with 24 different greeting cards inside, and lots of wonderful NEW STATIONERY; so keep your eye on FACEBOOK or check back at www.susanbranch.com, we'll announce it the minute it comes in....

Kathy Barrord Nagel with the story of her life (so far!)

We've been getting new things in for the WEB STORE, a few Valentine's things, and we have my LOVE book -- but we SOLD OUT completely of the 2009 Limited Edition Christmas Ornament; we'll be doing our third one next year for you who are collecting.... Most of the calendars are also gone, we have a few of the wall calendars left... and of course we still have our Book of DAYS, for all of you who are doing the story of your lives.

I have to tell you, I just LOVE FACEBOOK, many of you must be loving it too because we got so many wonderful stories over the holidays...funny, sweet, touching, great stories from great people -- YOU! I check in at least six times a day, that reminds me, wonder what's going on there right NOW? We're almost 5000 friends, girlfriends!

I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying writing my new book. Half of it is still in my head, but I see it all as if it's done, just have to get it out of the head on onto the paper! If I could have one wish, it would be more hours in a day! Been painting like crazy too; new art for the book, new art for fabric collections (we have a new collection coming in April and then another in October of this year), new art for the calendars coming out in August. So sorry, but still haven't found anyone to do our stickers. They must think no one is interested, but I know you are interested from all the letters we get; perhaps you would like to contact WILTON, who owns two great sticker companies, EK Success and K and Company? If you'd like, you can email them at: [email protected] and let them know HOW MUCH you wish there were Susan Branch stickers and scrapbooking things!

O winter, King of Intimate Delight...

I hope everything has slowed down for you, that you're able to take a little quiet time, this is the perfect time of year to regroup. We do it with breakfast in front of the fire with Sunday Morning on CBS, one of my favorite shows (it's all about creative people and positive things). I make us thick-cut bacon and my recipe for German Pancake, a wonderful quick oven-baked breakfast (any excuse to heat up the oven this time of year is good!) -- here's the recipe; it serves 4:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
4 eggs
2/3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 c. milk
3 Tbsp. butter

Butter a heavy 10" skillet or pie plate. In a large bowl, whisk eggs to blend. Slowly add flour, whisking constantly. Stir in salt and milk. Pour the batter into the skillet, and drop the butter by teaspoonfuls into the batter, spreading evenly. Bake at 450 for 15 min, reduce heat to 350 and bake another 10 min. It will puff up really high and slowly begin to deflate after you remove from oven and sift powdered sugar over the top. Serve with heated maple syrup.

If this is a Valentine's Breakfast In Bed EVENT... then at the same time you bake the pancake, put one whole banana per person, skin and all, on a cookie sheet, and bake for 20 min. until it turns completely black. Slit it open, moosh it up, put a scoop of vanilla ice cream next to it, sprinkle all with fresh coffee grounds. This, with the puffy pancake, hot syrup, and bacon will give you all a heart attack, but you will die with a smile on your happy loving-winter-especially-now faces.

Go outside in nature, and have a wonderful January! Your friend for life,

With love from The Heart of the Home and me... Susan Branch