Beatrix Potter’s Birthday and I have News!

Guess what tomorrow is??? Beatrix Potter’s 151st Birthday! MUSICA 🎶 And I have news!


The Genius, Generous, Life of Beatrix Potter.

Here’s where I was on this day, July 28, last year, celebrating the 150th Birthday of Beatrix Potter with so many of YOU and the Brewster Ladies Library, on Cape Cod. What a fun day that was!

Right after that, my Girlfriends, who also happen to be my nun friends (I’ve written about them before), sent me this wonderful little thimble to celebrate. Wasn’t that the sweetest thing? They love Beatrix like I do.💞

Because not all of you are intimately familiar with the life of Beatrix, I thought I’d at least give you a very simple time-line of her life so you can get the lay of the land, so to speak.

Most of you know how crazy I am about Beatrix because I wrote the whole story of my slow discovery of the person that she was, not just an artist, not just a scientist, not just an author, not just a business woman, not just a house-lover and adorer such as we, but more, so much more, a fierce, forward-looking conservationist whose passions still reverberate today ~ she changed her part of the world, and hence, in a sense, the whole world. . . that’s the hero I tried to tell about in my book A Fine Romance, Falling in Love Love Love, with the English Countryside.

So, to celebrate today, I thought I would take you on a special tour through a brilliant book about Beatrix that was published by Penguin Books in 2006. It’s written just as if it was Beatrix’s own scrapbook, in first person. But inside it says, “This is a work of fiction based on the journals and letters of Beatrix Potter.” Not entirely fiction, but kind of, because Beatrix didn’t actually make this book herself, it just looks like she did.

Using Beatrix’s words to tell the story of  her life, the designer who compiled this informative book (who is not mentioned anywhere, but must be a kindred spirit, and girl after our own heart), filled it with Beatrix Potter artwork, mementoes, personal letters, stamps, and photos, and with words in what looks to be Beatrix’s own handwriting, with entries dated, as in a journal … and many of the things in the book, like the little photo album above, are glued-in and three-dimensional! I’m not kidding! Books like this don’t come along every day! Unless you make one yourself!

Pure charm, filled with pressed flowers and wonderful old photos, that’s Norman Warne there …

Above are glued-in “proofs” of the pictures for her first book. There’s even a real envelope that opens and inside you can pull out a perfect copy of the famous letter she wrote to Noel, her governess’s child, illustrating the story of Peter Rabbit for the first time on paper.

And on this page, an illustrated map of the Lake District unfolds … I could put ten exclamation marks after every page!!! Books aren’t usually made this way!!!!!!

Then, at the end, just when you think you’ve seen it all, and  you are already sighing because you don’t want it to end, you find an amazing surprise embedded in the inside of the back cover. See the little ribbon? “Hmmmm,” you say to yourself, “What’s that?”

At first you don’t see it, but then, with a little tug, an invisible door opens . . .

and inside is an exact copy of Peter Rabbit that Beatrix had printed herself after having been rejected by publishers. (This was a very brave thing for her to do, considering women’s “place” at the turn of the century, but only the beginning when it comes to the bravery of Miss Potter). If you ever need a hero that will help you be brave, I suggest you read the biography of Beatrix Potter by Linda Lear. Forevermore, after that, you will say to yourself, “If she can do it, so can I.”

Her first printing, in black and white to keep down costs. A totally delightful surprise! I have to say, I think I might be forced to paint inside these little line drawings!

But you can do what you want when you get your hands on this little jewel, because, to celebrate the 151st birthday of my hero, Beatrix Potter, this book, and the book where I wrote about sailing the wild and windy Atlantic, then trekking across England in order to fulfill a long-time dream to finally walk through the doors of Beatrix Potter’s house at Hill Top in the Lake District ~ will both become the property of one of YOU darling people. Just leave your name at the bottom of this post, click on the tiny word that says “comments,” and leave a few words … and in a wee bit o’ time, we’ll draw a name and see who these books get to go home with. Happy Birthday, dear Beatrix. We will never forget you! 💞

One other thing . . . you remember the picnic we had last year in Stourhead, Wiltshire, England? Of course you do! And you remember how it happened? Well, just in cases, I’ll tell you again:  When we knew we were going over to England last year, I wrote here on my blog, “Joe and I will be in the park at Stourhead, having a picnic, at 12 noon on September 18, and we would LOVE anyone who’s going to be in the neighborhood to BYO Picnic Basket and come join us and say hello!”  We had no idea what to expect. Would anyone come? Might there be seven people? Could there be fifty? No idea.

As it turned out, there were sixty of us kindred spirits spread out on the lawn on a lovely spring day, next to a 12th century stone church, in a garden designed by Capability Brown over 200 years before, with the sun weaving in and out of the clouds . . .

And we had a wonderful, joyful afternoon, sitting, laughing and talking and getting to know each other, marveling over the unlikelihood of this happening at all … it was really a thrill. Lots of people from the US, lots from England, some Americans who now live in England, and others from Europe . . . a surprise and so perfect, I still live in the glow of it. People brought things, like gorgeous quilts they’d made, or their own Petey dolls, or their children, and lots of delicious lunches … and I signed books, and we had a great day.

We took a “class picture,” and I think you can tell by the smiles what a wonderful time we were having.  “We all kept saying, we need to do this again!” Well, dear hearts, we are going to do it again . . . we’ll be taking the picture for Class of 2018 next year on May 11,  and we hope you can come, wherever you are!  But this time, we’re be having our picnic someplace else … so if you want to come . . .

You will have to drive through countryside like this . . . sorry, but you have to!

Where oh where are we going . . . ? ? ? It’s a mystery! MAS MUSICA ~ we loved playing Vera Lynn in our car while we drove through the English Countryside . . .

Past lakes with swans and and wildflowers, pulling over at a pub for an icy Peah Cid-ah . . . it’s a tough job but someone has to do it!

In May, hillsides of English Bluebells will be in bloom!

You’ll have to meander between narrow hedgerows speckled with cow parsley, watching for bunnies, rolling down your windows to hear the wood pigeons coo, “My toe huts Bet-tee … “

Past curving rock walls and gingerbread stone cottages . . . can you guess where we’re going yet? You probably can, but you probably can’t believe it! Me either!

Almost there ~ must go through bunting-decked villages where the buildings look as if they’re covered in frosting … oh darn.

The frosting makes them shine from the hill sides  . . . you’ll be stopping to get your camera out.

Because you’ll be marveling over handmade chimney tops and slate roofs like these . . .

. . . as you drive past hillsides with cows and lambs and sparkling lakes, turn off your car to hear the wind through the trees . . .

. . . and through the hedges of wild roses and rhododendrons. But, a hint:  Before you go, you’ll probably want to read this wonderful little book  . . .

For inspiration. ❤️ Squealing yet?

Because, Yes! OMG, I’m not kidding! Where we’re going to have our picnic is totally impossible, it can’t happen, but it is and it can . . .

We’re having our BYO Picnic Basket Party right here, next May 11, at Castle Cottage, where Beatrix Potter (Mrs. Heelis) and her husband William lived for 30 years! Just in front of the house, across Post Office Meadow (which will be filled with frolicking lambikins in May), is the gate to Hill Top in Near Sawrey, heavenly Lake District, beloved home of Beatrix Potter!!! That’s where we’re going, Girlfriends!

And here’s a preview ~ this photo is actually from inside Castle Cottage, sent to me by my friend Mandy, showing the wonderful view over rooftops of Near Sawrey (with Mandy’s Ollie Dog in attendance) . . . From here, you can see the famous Tower Bank Arms and the entrance to Hill Top ~ the very same view that Beatrix had. For us. Us us us us us! We get to go go go!!!

Here’s how this miracle happened,  . . . As you may remember, I was asked to speak at Beatrix’s 150th Birthday Party last year by Betsy Bray of the Beatrix Potter Society (are you a member? I love the wonderful newsletter I receive from England, and their luv-lee E-Newsletter called Pottering About) ~ that’s Betsy on the left . . . she and I have kept in touch, and a couple of weeks ago, she came to lunch and brought her friend Mandy Marshall, who just happens to LIVE in Castle Cottage (shaking head in disbelief) . . . and we started talking and our talking turned to plotting and then it turned to planning and I just heard from Mandy yesterday that she would love to have us for our picnic there (she opens the house only by special arrangement, which this is!), and Betsy wrote to say she’d be there too! So now, we’re inviting you! And if you CAN’T get over there in person, that’s okay, because we will take so many photos you will think you’ve been there! That’s a promise!

Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter!

Love you dears, leave a comment to win the books, and mark your calendars for May 11, 2018! Oh! I almost forgot, the cups! They are in LA, sort of stuck in a mire of Homeland Security (very dangerous cups) and Customs. We call, we holler, they ignore us, but it should be soon now. 💞 Bye for now! xoxo

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2,071 Responses to Beatrix Potter’s Birthday and I have News!

  1. Margo Plyler says:

    Susan, I am looking for the name of the champagne or wine you had gotten at Trader Joes for one of your trips. You said it was an inexpensive one. Can you help me?

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve heard it may be hard to find, but ask … it’s wonderful and so inexpensive … Amor de Paris.

      • Margo Plyler says:

        Thank you so much! I did find it when looking a few weeks ago and then lost the name of it, so I can’t wait to try it. Margo

  2. Connie Kaupe says:

    My cups were waiting for me on Friday, when I got home from work! Despite the nasty-hot day, I immediately brewed a cuppa and sipped away from my lovely Robin cup. Gorgeous!!!

  3. carolyn mason says:

    would love win the books, how exciting!!

  4. Kathleen Trepp says:

    Dear, Dear Susan…….

    Here I am re-reading your posting about Beatrix Potter……..I have recently moved into an assisted living arrangement and it seems I will never get closer to Beatrix’s home than all the lovely accounts you have written……but those are all first rate with all the references you share and your beautiful photos (for which Joe also is to be thanked!!!)…….This next May 11th I shall attempt to create a little picnic here in our courtyard where we have a beautiful water feature and we enjoy the wonderful water fall sounds. Food is my thing and I shall explore the possibility of providing some very special Beatrix and English provisions for those who will attend the picnic……Thank you for all the inspiration you are for all the girl friends of many ages……..my heart swells when I read your blog and all the writings you do, let alone the gorgeous paintings………May God bless you and Joe and all the exquisite work you do!!!
    Love, Kathleen

    • sbranch says:

      Bring all your new friends to the picnic with you and us, Kathleen, the more the merrier! I’m so happy you’re here! Happy new home!

  5. Tammy B. says:

    How exciting is this? Wow. Thanks for taking us along. I would love to win the two books!

  6. Rae Ann R. says:

    Oh dear…I hope I’m not too late…we’ve had a houseful of guests and I’ve been off the grid and in the kitchen…using Susan Branch mugs, bowls and stickers😉

  7. Gabi says:

    I soooo love your blogs! I will keep my fingers crossed about the books!

  8. Stacey says:

    I have tried several times to get my name in for the drawing. It keeps going to the ether zone! One final try. XOXO

  9. Guess what!? I’ve made reservations at Tower Bank Arms for May 10-11-12! You have a way of getting a person to quit dragging their feet and go into action. I’m finally going to realize my dream to go to the Lake District. ❤️

    • sbranch says:

      Hooray! Good for YOU Cathy! It’s going to be wonderful, and you’ll be right in the thick of things and won’t have to drive or anything!

  10. Sherrie Collins says:

    Hey Susan,
    Enter me in your drawing, please! ❤️
    XOXO, Sherrie

  11. Amy says:

    Hi Susan,
    Just wanted to let you know that the Benjamin Franklin quote on the July page of your calendar is apocryphal – in other words, he never said it. I’m surprised your editors didn’t catch this very common error – described here: economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/04/historical_inaccuracies

    • sbranch says:

      Oops, and I try to watch for that kind of thing too! Thank you for letting me know, I will take that out of my repertoire of lovely quotes.

  12. Kim Tomes Dietz says:

    Am I at the right place to put my name down for a book?

    Dear Susan,
    I love stopping my day and curling up in a chair with your writing and drawings… You have such a great gift, that I believe almost can’t fit inside one tiny person! It’s funny how our lives take such dramatic twists and turns… never knowing quite where you will plop! Lucky for many of us, you landed in a spot carved out perfectly to share your generous creativity! Thank you so much!

    ❤️ ❤️❤️ Kim Tomes Dietz

    • sbranch says:

      Not as tiny as I wish I was. 😜 Working on that, but thank you for your very sweet words!! xoxo

  13. Susan, sharing your thoughts, adventures, and beautiful artistic works with us on your blog is like reading a storybook itself! I would love to become the new property owner of those two beautiful books. I am recovering from eye surgery. I’m excited because I am now able to read some and that is my favorite hobby, actually since I was six years old and the most fun place to me was the library! Thank you for making us all feel that we are girlfriends, even from far away!

    • sbranch says:

      Isn’t it magic what they can do for eyes these days! So happy hear you’re getting yours back! xoxo

  14. Heather says:

    Ohhh what a lovely post! I am also a huge admirer of Beatrix— as an artist and writer and a ‘girl with big dreams’. I would LOVE to win these books, I somehow dont have them in my collection yet! I recently read your book “A Fine Romance” and thoroughly enjoyed it. If I ever make it across the pond, I’d love to do it in a ship, the old fashioned way, just like you did. Its a bit far living in land-locked Oklahoma, but a girl can dream! And also cross fingers for winning these books! 😀

  15. Larkin says:

    I want a chance to win!! Love you Susan.

  16. Nancy says:

    What beautiful photos of the lovely British countryside! Wish I could tag along but I’ll just enjoy vicariously!

  17. Nancy says:

    Don’t see my comment in your feed. Please add me to the contest!

  18. Julie Narcisso says:

    I completely lose the world around me when I jump into one of your blogs….just like little Peter Rabbit jumping into Mr. McGregor’s garden !!! 🐇 😘
    I would absolutely love to win those two fantastic books!! 💞💞💞

  19. Maureen says:

    Enjoying your blog. thanks

  20. Sheila says:

    Oh yes, please, if I’m still in time, enter me in your drawing. I will be with you in spirit on your picnic next year, what fun!

  21. Kelsie Butts says:

    I would love to be put in the drawing!! ☺️

  22. Linda... Gardnerville, Nevada says:

    Love the latest posts! Great reading on these especially hot summer days! Keep ‘me coming!

  23. Catherine L. says:

    Oh my!! What a treasure the Beatrix Potter book is !!!
    Just a few days ago I received my bluebird and autumn mugs in the mail. They are so beautiful! I am so glad I got them! At first I was afraid to use them, for fear I would chip them. I consigned them to my china cupboard. But today I succumbed. I took my coffee in the bluebird mug. What a pleasure. So much nicer than a plastic Quiktrip mug! I love the translucency of the bone china, & the handle is so comfortable! Many thanks, Susan! ☕️

    • sbranch says:

      You’re so welcome Catherine! They are supposed to be extra strong … Joe and I use ours every day and put them in the dishwasher and everything, and they are holding up just fine. No stains in the bottom and no chips!

  24. Bren Leyland says:

    Dear Susan,

    I have tried to leave comments before but it told me there was an error. So we’ll see if it goes through this time. Your giveaway sounds gorgeous and whoever wins it will be one excited girlfriend. Thank you for your generous heart and all the splendid thoughts and loveliness in your post.

    Bren xox
    @WordFromHome

  25. Denny says:

    I can’t wait until we go on your next trip to England with you. I so enjoyed the last adventure.

  26. Julie Kostas says:

    Such lovely photos! I remember my first visit to the Lake Dustrict and Beatrix’ museum. One of my favorites trips ever! Now you make me realize it’s time to go back again!

  27. Susie Q says:

    Ordered an Autumn cup for my best friend and praying it will be here before her birthday!
    I am also a big fan of Beatrix Potter and am looking forward to your pictures and adventures while staying in Castle Cottage!

  28. Brenda Stokes says:

    Imagining that the enchantment of Beatrix will be present at the picnic in May on that sacred ground. Thank you for always gifting us with wonderful surprises!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sure it will be … I found that enchantment just walking through the streets of her small village, knowing that she had walked there too.

  29. Susan Erickson says:

    Thank you so much for giving me the chance to own two very special books. They both are truly a treasure along with both authors, you and Beatrix Potter.

  30. dewena says:

    I just wanted to say to Beatrix Potter, thank you. Thank you for your stories and art work. Thank you for saving the land and animals. Thank you for all the caring you showed for a life time. You will never know how much happiness and love you have brought to millions of people world wide. Your legacy still lives on in 2017. I think she would have been surprised. Enjoy the rest of your summer Susan. xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      As far-seeing as she was, I think she would have been surprised too, how long-lasting and important her legacy has become.

  31. Cathy Lynn says:

    My first backpacking trip was to England while in college and it took me to the Costwolds. I began in London and just followed the Youth Hostel map around England by train. That was the first time I discovered that beautiful area.
    I would love to go back one day, perhaps without the back pack this time.

  32. Susan says:

    Delicious reading! Through you I’ve come to know, appreciate and enjoy Beatrix Potter AND the English Countryside. Thank you for widening my horizons and enriching my life!

  33. Stephanie says:

    Susan, I hope you know how much joy we receive from following along with your blog, twitter, instagram. Your happy gene is contagious and we are so lucky to be exposed to it first-hand. I read your posts/books before bed and if always gives me happy dreams. My version of mediatation. Take care, dear and keep having fun on your lovely island!

  34. Lou Ann Gieringer says:

    Just reading this. Visiting family took me away from the computer. Hope I’m not too late. Just got my cup on Saturday. So happy.

  35. Kathy says:

    Oh, how exciting…Thank you Susan!!!

  36. Lauri Hyde says:

    Hi Susan,

    As usual, I just adore your blog! But I just found something utterally adorable out there on the internet. I cut and paste the link below. I hope you can see it? It’s a link to my FB page. Now if that is something you can’t look at or connect to here, I apologize. If nothing else, check out my FB page under Lauri Hyde. It should be there. Somebody made an adorable re creation of Peter Rabbits little blue coat, hat and shoes that he lost while running through Mr, MacGregor’s Garden! I just knew you had to see it! Try to check out my page if you can’t use the the link below. You will just swoon! facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209841236572741&set=a.2222968138864.2106509.1387542447&type=3

  37. Deborah James says:

    An ordinary day can always be blessed with a bit of magic by savoring your latest blog and drifting back to the lovely English countryside. Your trips have taken me where I always dreamed of going but have yet to visit. Still, I feel as though I have warm memories to keep for a lifetime. Cheers to my favorite tour guide and thank you again for sharing your joyful spirit with this lucky world!

  38. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    I just got my bluebird cup! I LOVE IT! Happy dance 🙂

  39. Debbie Butler says:

    I can’t wait for my tea cups to arrive! The look so pretty on your blog…
    😀

  40. Dd says:

    Happy b day Beatrix!
    Such exciting news

  41. Lorraine from White Plains, NY says:

    Hi Susan — Just dreamily re-reading about the Beatrix Potter book you are giving away. Did you succumb to the desire to add a little watercolor to the line drawings to her first little book? It would truly make it unique in all the world!
    Hope you are enjoying this cool/damp break in the weather there in MV. It’s almost like a typical English summer day today…

    • sbranch says:

      I thought the person who wins might like to have that little job all for herself! Yes, rain today, and I’m wearing my shawl, and just about to make tea!

  42. Tina says:

    Too funny! I’ve had that book on my wish list on Amazon for a while now and since you posted the above, it’s become unavailable unless you want to pay a LOT! There are over 2000 comments on here! My goodness, I hope you know how much we love you! Beatrix Potter is not the only woman of influence. Reading your books and this blog have given me more courage than I could ever express. All of us would like to win the book, but I think it’s safe to say that we have already been given the most precious gift of “you”. Thank you so much for being our friend! PS. Some day you should have someone turn this blog into a printed book. Maybe in the form of a magazine? Printed yearly? I’d by one! 😉

    • sbranch says:

      “Reading your books and this blog have given me more courage than I could ever express.” No words could ever make me happier. Believing is such a hard thing to do! Good for you Tina! And thank you for all the kind words!

  43. Kate says:

    Susan thank you for sharing your life. The peace that comes from reading your posts are priceless. I hope I’m not to late for the book drawing. And I hope to purchase your lamb cup soon. I have a special affection for lambs and always give my grandchildren a stuffed one when the are born.

  44. Elaine says:

    WOW, Susan! So delighted for you to have this experience and all the Girlfriends who can join you there! Wonderful!

  45. Gerri Daniels says:

    What a lovely post. I will try very hard to accept your invitation and make the trip over the pond! I’m hoping my first two published books will bring in some money…I know where to put it too!
    Thanks for the chance for the books. I still have my original Beatrix Potter books from my childhood, along with a couple of figurines from you!
    Here’s hoping, Gerri

    • sbranch says:

      I know what you mean, it’s one thing to write a book and a whole other thing to get paid for it! Best of luck to you Gerri!

  46. Kim S says:

    What a wonderful post. I love Beatrice Potter. Who doesn’t? The garlic bread sounds yummy

  47. Karen says:

    Love the prayer at the end of your blog. Would love to win the books!

  48. Lynn Hillston says:

    Oh Susan!! I’m so excited about this! I live in England near Oxford and have marked May 11on my calendar–Whooping with excitement! I bought my first Susan Branch books on Texas waaay back in the early 80s and can hardly believe I’ll be able to meet you😃 My sister is a children’s author/illustrator who’s mad about Beatrix Potter, so let’s see if we can entice her over from Seattle for a special picnic 💜 Thank you for being such an inspiration and for organising this huge treat!😘

    • sbranch says:

      Wonderful, and who would ever imagine we’d be meeting at Castle Cottage? All completely undoable until a few years ago! What fun!

  49. Erin Middlebrooks says:

    Oh Susan. I really hope Vanna picks me!!!! I am so inspired by your love of Beatrix Potter I have started my own collection of Beswick figures. I tell people who come into the store, who love Beatrix Potter as well, to go to your blog and find the post where Joe repaired Jemima Puddleduck. One of my favourites. You are a treasure, and we, the girlfriends, are lucky to have you in our lives. Thank you.
    Erin

    • sbranch says:

      Those little Beatrix Potter People (as I call them) will just cheer your every day. Of all the things I’ve had in my life, and I keep everything forever, including all my pots and pans and knives (first ones I ever bought), my BP People are still lifting me the way they did way back when I first got them…in the early 70s. I love them! Ha ha, Joe’s repair! Wasn’t that a good one? xoxo

  50. Joanne Condlin Lawson (a/k/a Jody) says:

    Susan and friends, I so love your blog and all the books….just everything you do! Recently picked up “A Fine Romance” at my local Library and loved it……just awesome. I would be very lucky to be the winner. Thank you for the opportunity. Have a good rest of the summer.

  51. Karen Houston says:

    You have whetted my appetite to read more about Beatrix Potter! Apparently she was a very interesting woman with a fondness for cute bunnies! It would be a joy to be the winner of your lovely books!

  52. Janet Hundley says:

    How exciting! I will wish for beautiful weather for your picnic.

  53. Dorothy says:

    Dear Susan, I received my Autumn mug today and I love it. Had to make a cuppa right away and I love how the handle is wide and my thumb fits just right (Not that I have a fat finger) but helps with the balance. Wishing you a pleasant and safe reminder of the season.

  54. Donna Winchester says:

    I would love to win this book…..I am coming to England in a week to see my daughter and her husband who came out on the Queen Mary 2 last September. We have a trip planned to see Beatrix Potter’s home and the surrounding area. I cannot wait to see it. My daughter is really excited as she has always wanted to visit Hilltop. I have your book about the English countryside and have read about your visit to Hilltop and around. My daughter saw you on the Queen Mary 2 at a presentation you gave and can’t wait to read your books! Thank you.

  55. SM Surber says:

    I have enjoyed Beatrix Potter since we were stationed in England in the late 70’s – and have
    been lucky enough to visit Hilltop more than once. I too, have many of the Beswick figurines!
    Would love to be included in the book drawing!

  56. Deb Edinger says:

    I visited Hilltop many years ago with my late husband. I love the Lake District and would love to return for your picnic but I probably won’t able able to because of my work. I’d like to return once I retire though. Thanks for reminding me of happy times.

    -Deb

  57. Eileen says:

    Dearest Susan, our girlfriend,
    To read your blog and your books makes my day/s so much better.
    You take us into your world
    and it is such a joy and treasure.
    I thank you for sharing your life, and your art, and much much more with me and so many others.
    God has given you many talents and gifts.
    We all appreciate you so very much.
    Much love and continued blessings to you, Joe and your kitties. hugs xo

    • sbranch says:

      I feel like we’re all pulled up to my kitchen table, drinking our tea, sharing our lifetime loves. xoxo

  58. Debra Sewell says:

    Beautiful Willard. Devoured every bit. Would love to win.Have you seen the sweet tiny book Beatrix wrote called “”Letter to Children”” ? It’s all written in her penmanship. Sweet sweet book. Tiny and Robin’s egg blue.

    • sbranch says:

      I have it but mine is kind of yellow gold with her letters scattered over the normal-sized book cover… wonder what you have!

  59. Jennifer Wallace says:

    How lovely all of this is! Especially you. 🙂

  60. arlene koktavy says:

    Would love to be in the drawing

  61. Peggy says:

    Hard to believe but my husband were leaving the Lake District and had to drive right by Hilltop after a day at Rydal Mount and Dove Cottage in 1987…and not see it. That’s always the problem….figuring out what NOT to see.

  62. Laura B says:

    Save my Susan Branch desk, wall and mini calendars each year to look back on the artwork and sayings and quotes. They live longer than one year an a couple months! I write little notes on dates which makes them like a journal for me. As a new year unfolds, on different days, I will look at the same dates from previous years to see where I was and what was happening one, two, three…years ago.

  63. Rhonda Cooper says:

    Enjoyed every minute spent reading your wonderful blog. Glad for the rain that led to reading and as always, so much better for all you share.

    Rhonda

  64. Regina Walker says:

    Winning your books would be a treasure! I enjoy reading about Beatrix Potter.

    • sbranch says:

      I can’t really give as many details as I would like, there is so much about Beatrix that’s interesting, but there are some wonderful books out there I’m sure you would love. xoxo

  65. Linda says:

    As always I enjoy your blog. I have only been to England once, a brief visit mostly sight seeing in London. A one day bus tour to Bath, Stonehenge, and Windsor Castle. I collect “creamers” so have one in the pattern of Queen Elizabeth’s breakfast China, and one from Stonehenge with wildflowers of that area on it. I would LOVE to go back someday. I also have a little Beatrix Potter book, The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy- Winkle. So precious!
    Looking forward to hearing of your next voyage across the pond!

    • sbranch says:

      Creamers make the best vases! Your trip was brief, but you got out of the city for a taste of the English countryside, and that’s a wonderful thing …

  66. Tracey Steele says:

    The Lake District used to be our go to place when I was a child, but I haven’t been for many years. A few weeks ago I mentioned to my husband that I would like to go for another visit, and we decided to do so next year. Well reading this post, I now know when we will be going! How exciting, I cannot wait.

  67. Ellie Jacobson says:

    Thank you, Susan, for that wonderful tour of Beatrix Potter and the world of Peter Rabbit.
    I save your posts for when I have the time to sit down and really read and look at all the parts of your artistry. I think you are carrying on BP’s heritage with your art! Again, many thanks.

    • sbranch says:

      My pleasure. Watch out, a very long WILLARD is in the works … will start going out next week!

  68. Lenora Kirby says:

    Finding you was like finding my Fairy Godmother – I love being able to fly along on your adventures. Thank you forever for sharing your life, through cyberspace and “the seeing eye.”

    • sbranch says:

      If I could have another job, Fairy Godmother would be the one I would choose. I have a wand. I am so ready! Thank you Lenora, that was so sweet. xoxo

  69. Sue says:

    Would love, love, love, love 💕💕💕💕💕💕 to win this book! Did I mention that I would LOVE to win this book? 💕💕💕💕💕💕💕

  70. Susanne says:

    What a wonderful and exciting plan to have a Picnic next year. I bought the same beautiful Beatrix Potter Journal book for my daughter about ten years ago, she loved it (but I think I loved it even more LOL) I would love to be added to the list please if it is not too late, I love Beatrix Potter and am always delighted to find out more and more about her, she was such an amazingly multi talented lady. Have you seen the film Miss Potter with Renee Zellweger? It is beautiful and always makes me cry.
    Thank you so much for a chance to win such a delightful giveaway.
    Warmest best wishes from France,
    Susanne

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, Susanne, I love that movie too! It’s too late for this drawing, but there will be another one soon! Say hello to lovely France for me. xoxo

  71. i reread few books – but i can’t put yours down
    i keep reading about Heart of the Home being accepted
    and Carlton’s carpentry and Joe’s beret..the word is CHARM
    and you own it

  72. Saartje says:

    I’m so sorry I didn’t read this post in time to enter the give away. But I already have your book, so I’m happy!
    And I’m happy that instead of reading blogs I have been camping and playing in my garden and planning a sewing bee slash tea party for my mum, my mother in law and my sister in law. Your books and blog inspire me to embrace these small things in life. So the bunting is already waving in the breeze under our porch*, the hanging baskets, which were getting tired, have been tended to, and the menu has been made. I’m planning a high tea, with savoury bites (piroski and cucumber sandwiches), some scones with jam and lemon curd and finally macarons for desert (I’ll be buying those, we have a good patissier in Tervuren, but I’ve never tried macarons in my life). I have also planted my first cut flower patch this year and I’ve been making some beautiful little bouquets, with sunflowers and Ammi, and snapdragons. I was very late with my sweet peas this year, but that means I might just be able to pick the first blooms for my tea party, now that they still have long, straight stems. I also plan to make some jam from home grown raspberries. But first I have to hang the washing out to dry!
    * In Belgium not many people have a porch. It’s more common to have either a terrace (no cover except for the parasol) or a veranda (like a greenhouse attached to the house). But I grew up in the tropics and when we renovated our house I wanted a BIG porch. It gets a lot of use, even in our temperate climate. We eat outside when it’s warm enough, even when it’s raining, or too hot to sit in the sun. The kids’ inflatable pool get a spot there in the shade and we stall our bicycles there, dry and close to our back door. And every summer I have wonderfully colourful hanging baskets, because they hang in a sheltered spot. I’m growing a Wisteria and a honeysuckle under it, too. It’s a lovely spot. And this Thursday we’ll be having our sewing bee/tea party there. It’s big enough for a cutting table, ironing board, sewing table and a little seating area where we can have our tea and leaf through the sewing books I got from the library. It’s going to be so much fun!

    • sbranch says:

      You are nesting Saartje … your tea party sounds wonderful, so does your garden. So nice to hear from you!

  73. Rhet Peterson says:

    I absolutely love your cup designs, especially the Bird of Happiness! How could you not be happy just by looking at it? Thanks for your artistic creativity that inspires me.

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