Who is Susan Branch

usan Branch is the self-taught artist and author of the fourteen (so far) best-selling "Heart of the Home" lifestyle BOOKS all published by Little Brown and Company. From her studio overlooking her picket-fence garden in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, Susan writes and paints about the "home arts" of cooking, gardening, sewing, family, best friends, entertaining and the little things that make life sweet. Her books are "homemade" as in, watercolored and completely hand-written. She has a monthly newsletter she’s been sending out since 1995, called WILLARD, named after her grandfather. It goes to 42,000+ (mostly) women, sisters of the heart, all over the world, who’ve signed up to receive it. These are "the girlfriends," as Susan calls them…she walks through the studio and says "What do we have for the girlfriends today?" and we know who she’s talking about. Through LICENSING, her artwork has been used to design many products. Besides her yearly wall calendars, Susan’s art has decorated lots of stationery things, from shelf paper to greeting cards; she’s designed pajamas, teapots, hooked rugs, scrapbooks and stickers, and quilting fabrics. Her web site has been up and running for fourteen years; and it now includes her BLOG. See FAQ for more information on Susan’s products, or SHOPPING to see what what’s new from the studio today.

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569 Responses to Who is Susan Branch

  1. Maureen MacKenzie says:

    Hi Susan! You’ve inspired me to paint again. Years ago I started painting murals of animals in the forest, etc for my bulletin board in school that my students painted. I painted wood cubbies too, mostly folk art style of houses, trees, and animals, but this was still while I was living at home with my parents. I stopped painting because of a bad marriage…the opposite of you, but now that I’m happily married and have a home of my own I’ve started painting again. My tastes have changed…now I want watercolor pictures for my walls. Drawing/painting is so relaxing for me. (Wow…it’s snowing big beautiful flakes right now – on LI-I just had to take a moment and enjoy it.) Anyway, I have two questions for you. I have a .25 Koh-I-Noor rapido pencil…it seems dark…what mm do you use? As I erase on the paper the lead seems to go everywhere and it looks a bit messy. How do I remove it? Do I paint then erase it? Oh, I have a third question…Do you use a pen at all before you paint for a black outline or is the pencil the outline? Thank you so much for any help you can give me….I really appreciate it!

    • sbranch says:

      I just use Ticonderoga #2 pencils. They are soft and erase easily. I usually paint and then erase any pencil marks. Once in a while I use a pen, but mostly it’s just a pencil. If I do use a pen (I’ve done it maybe 3 times, I do the pen first, then the watercolor.) But remember, I’ve had no lessons, so there may be a better way to do all of this! 🙂

      • Maureen MacKenzie says:

        Thank you so much…you’re the best! It’s funny…when I analyze too much what I’m drawing/painting it just doesn’t come out right, but when I just “let go”, enjoy it, and let the inspiration flow through me instead of me trying to force it the drawing flows better. Does that make sense? 🙂

    • Annie Dupont says:

      Dear Mrs Branch,

      My name is Annie Dupont and I live in Belgium, a very small country in Europe. Just want to say how much I love your books, I just bought the trilogie you wrote and I am so glad I did. The handwritten stories and the lovely illustrations are so refreshing in these dark times. Thank you for bringing so much joy to me and all of your readers.
      Sadly the older books are no longer for sale here in Belgium but I hope there are many more to come in the future. xxx

      • Debra Rollins says:

        Dear Annie Dupont, I’m not sure how or if you will get this message, but if you do and if you have EBay in Belgium, check there for books not available. I just read Martha’s Vinyard which was a Christmas gift from one of my daughters and I adored it and wanted more and that is where I looked. I am not real near a large book store, so do a lot of online shopping. I just ordered A Fine Romance from Susan’s Web site/Blog.
        Good luck, eBay US has many sellers who ship to most European countries, and I have bought many things from the UK and Germany also. eBay is in many countries.
        In friendship, Nancy Schroeder

  2. Debbie Christin says:

    I just love all your talent, thank you! I love reading about you through FOSB

  3. Betty Welton says:

    I purchased the black and white iron dogs, just in case I won the heart cup. Ha ha. Received the dogs, they are so cute and sweet. I have a black and blonde cairn terrier which looks like these dogs. They are so cute, I put them on my kitchen hutch so I could see them often, as I am in the kitchen a lot. They make me feel good every time I see them. Thanks hunting these items for us to enjoy.

    • sbranch says:

      I love them too . . . I have an antique pair in my kitchen . . . they are exactly the same design as these new ones, I was thrilled to find them! Fun to share. xoxo

  4. I have never joined a blog before. Here I am, in RI, very deep in snow and being creative. I googled your name after uncovering an old page of stickers with your name on them. It’s torn & ripped but could read “Licensed by Art Impressions, Inc,for Colorbok, Dexter, MI. …”these stickers come with love”. very nice.
    (#12682 Floral). Are your designs still being produced in stickers, wrap or other? I’ll continue to search…
    I took some time to read your blog and would love to join it. What a wonderful discovery
    Thank you – Melissa

    • sbranch says:

      I think we still have a few stickers in our webstore, but they aren’t being made anymore, unfortunately. Happy to meet you Melissa!

  5. Kim Smith says:

    Hello Ms. Branch,

    Just a quick note to tell you how much I love reading your ‘very words’ in my Cocktails book that I purchased from a Marshall’s store years ago. I forgot that I had this book, until one of friend’s ask me to make a special fruity drink. Then I remembered that I had your book. I love the inspirational thoughts throughout the book, they are memorized keepers for me to pass on. Thank you for your art, I look forward to purchasing additional items from you from this day forward.

    Life is good~

  6. Mary C. says:

    Susan, love your blogs , and now I am very excited about your new book Fairy Tales, which I have already ordered. Your drawings and art work are just so sweet and memorable, please keep up your beautiful creative works. Many thanks . Mary

  7. Bev Morris says:

    You’ve inspired me to take up drawing. I love the art in your books. My last encounter with creating art included a Crayola crayon. I’ve bought a sketchbook, erasers (probably going to need plenty more of these) some pencils and located classes provided by artist in my locale. I’m so excited I can barely stand it! So happy I found your books thru a FB friend! Wish me luck!

  8. Patricia Nicotra says:

    Susan, Thank you for the gift of “A fine Romance”. I have now read it four times! This book allowed me to travel a journey I may never take in the real world!!! I would sooooo love to travel to England on the Queen Mary but my husband refuses to take a trip on any body of water!! This book let me escape into another world….one of which I was grateful to experience!! Thank you Susan!!! Ps…..Thank you for your blog today, it reminds us all to see the beauty in nature and in life…..we must to grateful for the small things and to keep that as our focus!!! So looking forward to your next book!! Thank you again, Patty

  9. As a new follower of “you’ I find your content and the visuals intriquing..
    First thought is “I wanna be like her” then self responds:” But you are not her.”

    True, so I won’t allow your talent to discourage me but to motivate me to remain confident in what I am presenting to my followers b/c truly I trust my initial motivation, goals and determined to stay true to those.

    I must write a note to self to order several of your 2016 wall calendars!! mmm they must be gifted to special people who will truly adore what you do.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, you are so right, There’s no one alive who’s youer than you, as the good Dr. Seuss would say . . .I’m just glad to have you here! Nice to meet you Jonell!

  10. Dorothea McMahon says:

    Hi Susan,
    Your beautiful paintings and inspirational quotes always make me smile. You make the world a prettier place so thank you. I remember seeing your work in Country Living magazine years ago, and just rediscovered what I found so appealing back then. I’ll be trying my hand at painting again, after a long, unproductive period, and checking into your blog for much needed inspiration.

  11. Kim Venegas says:

    Susan, I’ve been collecting your books since the 1980s. In 1990,while we were stationed in Italy, my grandmother ordered a book from you and you signed it, With Love from Mamoo. Many years have passed, now I’m a grandma three times over, and we’ve just moved to Fort Collins, Colorado to be near our grown sons. I was happy to find the recipe for tomato soup here because we haven’t finished unpacking yet. Just wanted to say hi and how much I’ve enjoyed your books over many years.

  12. Lisa Fladung says:

    I am almost finished reading A Fine Romance. I plan to be quite sad when I am done. I really don’t want it to end! You are my Beatrix Potter. I feel like I need to collect every piece you have done! You are so very talented, and I enjoy your wit. Thank you for an amazing book and I look forward to the next one.

    Many Blessings,

  13. Tanya says:

    Ah, England, you have so many lovely artists… There’s so much to learn from you. Love and Blessings from Ukraine

  14. Denise Stock says:

    Got one of your cookbooks years ago as a gift & got hooked……. Love all your recipes and antidotes!
    Looking to make your linguine & clams,when I realized I left that book at the beach.
    Hoping to find the recipe on line & discovered your website!
    Happy Day for me…..

  15. You certainly have made the world—my world a better place!
    ——Restored my faith in fairy tales and real love + joy.

    I don’t need any more self help books; just yours: cookbooks, calendars, etc.

    (apple crisps + pear tarts)
    teri x x x x x x x

  16. Barisca Menting says:

    A few days ago I saw your work for the first time. It is fantastic! Full of inspiration. Thank you from the Netherlands.

  17. Deb says:

    I love everything you have published!!! Have you done an adult coloring book? They are so popular right now. Or…..what about things to do/make after a family is grown? (Places to travel, things to do)

  18. Holly says:

    Oh Susan! Your calendar was like the diary of my year! I am working on a children’s book. Since there are no beaches in Kansas per say, I took my little 9 year old friend, her mother and we went to North Carolina Kitty Hawk. I photographed her on the beach and filled up every page! The story is ofa little girl who goes through the day on a beach and draws all she sees. I have taught children and adults to draw from Real Life and Pictures for over 20 years, and now I am taking time to renew and see a dream come true: writing and illustrating a children’s story. I have been like Bob Ross-I draw and they draw with me. We use watercolor pencils, pastels and now I get to share it in a book……so the picture of the girl on the beach with the poem this month(Aug 2015) by Nancy Walker is so me!! I must carry the “..the song of the sea in (my) heart evermore!” Thankyou for your inspiring pictures, it is so exactly the friend I need right now and for this blog-I hope to continue putting the book together and looking for a publisher/art direction. Have some ideas, but always looking for advice from experienced published artists….. I hope you are enjoying your fall. I planted basil and am growing a garden too. Hugs from Kansas.

  19. Angela Milazzo says:

    I have not seen any new videos on youtube. will you be creating any more? I really loved following along – entertaining in your beautiful home, scenes from Martha’s Vineyard of course and especially the videos of the cats.

    • sbranch says:

      I will, it’s just the time thing as usual! Posting them to youtube takes a few minutes, then getting them onto the blog takes some more!

  20. Jana says:

    Dear Susan,
    I used some of your adorable Christmas stickers — along with saved Christmas cards and postage stamps — to decorate a large unfinished wooden trunk that I painted green and filled with Christmas magic! Your snowmen peek up above the brass handles on each end, too! Very cute. I tuck gifts away in it throughout the year.

    I love all that you create, Susan, but most of all I love your spirit. You are such an uplifter! You are one of the brightest stars in my life. My girlfriend and I use your recipes for our tea parties. New blog posts or Willards wait for the afternoon until I have a cup of tea in hand. And you are so kind to share not only your books, but your daily round. For me, you embody comfort and joy. With much appreciation and blessings! Jana

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t know how to thank you and everyone for these delightful, funny, and touching comments . . . I feel very blessed. Thank you Jana!! XOXO

  21. Sharon says:

    Hi Susan,
    My friend of 40 yrs just sent me a Willard newsletter. Although I’m sure I have purchased a few items(stamps from the 80s or 90s), I think I will purchase a few of your books too! I’m a “new” fan of yours at 64yrs 8months 11days, born and raised in California(without talent..lol)! Looking forward to “fairy tale” dreaming again!!

  22. Kathleen Trepp says:

    Dear Susan………..

    To my very favorite happy person………You are just going to have to jump on the wagon and publish a coloring book for adults (all us fans) and featuring Jack and Girl who we might have great fun with our colors with (is that a sentence?).

    Thank you always,

  23. Chris Miller says:

    Dear Susan,
    I have never cherished a book as much as your “A Fine Romance”. I treasured every page, illustration, quote and photograph. As much as I longed to be there with you, I was continually grateful to experience everything through your wonderful writing. I felt so many emotions while taking this journey with you, but none were as strong as when I came to the last pages of the book. I cried with the realization it was ending and I would not have your uplifting narrative and joyful appreciation of life to embrace. Thank you Susan, from the bottom of my heart. You have warmed my heart, delighted my imagination and enriched my soul. Words do not do justice for what you have given me. Many blessings to you!

    • sbranch says:

      If you watched me while I was reading what you wrote, when you got to the part “it was ending” my hands came together and folded under my chin and tears popped in my eyes. It’s because I loved it too. Thank you. Such a gift you are. xoxo

  24. Patricia Ruehle says:

    I just received notice that your new book is on it’s way to my door. I cannot wait.
    I could not put “A Fine Romance” down.
    Poor Henry! There will be very little cooking and cleaning done once “The Fairy Tale Girl” arrives. Love to y”all from Houston, Texas.

  25. Chris Miller says:

    Greetings Susan,
    In your recent blog you mention going to the Innisfree Bookshop. I wanted to share that I am singing a song about Innisfree with the CA State University Chorus for our concert in November. The name of the piece is “The Lake Isle”, music by Ojeilo and words by William Butler Yeats. Although this song is about an isle in Ireland, when I sing it, I still think of you and your travels to Innisfree. Perhaps you are already familiar with the poem, but here is the first stanza in case you are not: “I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made. Nine bean-rows will I have there,a hive for the honey-bee. And live alone in the bee-loud glade.”
    There are 2 more verses which are ever so lovely too!
    May your travels to Innisfree be lighthearted and unfold seamlessly!

    • sbranch says:

      I LOVE that song…Isle of Innisfree, one of my favorites I learned by watching the old movie The Quiet Man — “I’ve met some folks who say that I’m a dreamer . . . and I’ve no doubt there’s truth in what they say . . .” not sure that’s the same one you’re talking about . . . but you can hear it on Youtube . . . it’s also very beautiful.

  26. marti says:

    hello Susan & Joe, I just love to read of all your adventures – my other half is also named Joe. we have been married for some 57 years now – you make me feel so young (there is a song coming on) when you talk of your travels. I will be going to Barnes&Noble tomorrow looking for “Fairy Tale Girl”. Your calendar hangs on my kitchen wall looking forward to each month with love. thank you

  27. Denise Watson says:

    Hi Susan, I just got Fairy Tale Girl in the mail the other day and I started reading it this afternoon and I can’t put it down! I’ve laughed and cried and reminisced!! I want to thank you for sharing this with all of us! As usual you have out done yourself!!! I can real ate to many things you talk about. I’m going to stop reading cause I don’t want it to end!!! So looking forward to “Martha’s Vineyard Usle if Dreams” !!! Keep up the great work my dear!!!!! Denise Watsin

  28. Rita Zwicker says:

    Just read that you will be at the Titcomb Bookstore in Sandwich …. A few miles down the road! Can’t wait to meet you. Your blog is o refreshing znd uplifting!

  29. Susie Brey says:

    Yay!! I received your book from Amazon and I was so thrilled to have it in my hands…I finished all my chores so that I could start your book..I knew that I would not be able to put it down. Well it was wonderful!! I cried, I laughed, I loved and breathed this book for 1 day..yep I could not put it down..The lovliest book of all. Sigh, deep breath, close eyes, hug book to chest, ahhhhhh.. sound familiar…Anxiously awaiting your next book.. Thanks for all you do for your fans..love and hugs….

  30. Hi Susan!

    I’m a writer and my protagonist loves old movies–so I was googling for inspiration and found your blog. What a lucky find! You reminded me of so many wonderful films.
    I bookmarked the page and sent a link to my best friend of fifty-something years–we always watched old movies when we were kids. The photo of you and your friend reminded me of us. Right down to the hairstyles.

    Even though my series is called “The Murder Blog Mysteries,” I don’t actually follow any blogs. Until now. I’m looking forward to reading all your past posts.

    And tonight I’m watching “The Enchanted Cottage”. Thanks for reminding me!


  31. Connie says:

    Hi Susan
    I have a couple of questions for you…what watercolor paints and brushes do you use? Would this ever be something you would sell at your store? Also, is your font available to purchase for scrap booking. It would be great to add to my scrapbooks
    Loved your new book so much. Can’t wait for the next one.

    • sbranch says:

      You can read about my watercolors at the top of the page if you click on “About Me” ~ or just go HERE ~ So far, I don’t have a cursive font, and my printing font is just sort of an in-house thing. Thank you Connie!

  32. Vicki Gibbs says:

    Hi Susan,

    I have been a fan of your work ever since I bought my first book for a Christmas present. I was in the grocery store (a VERY nice grocery store!) and needed a nice gift for my then very best friend, Jane. I saw your “Christmas from the Heart of the Home,” and decided I would buy one for her and one for me also. Well, after that, I was hooked!!! I have several of your books and love all your products. You have such a wonderful way of “taking the reader” back to a kinder and gentler time. I always feel better after reading “Willard,” or browsing through your website. Please keep up the good work!

    With Admiration and Affection,

    Vicki Gibbs

    (P.S. I notice you have gift certificates available, will have to “leave hints for my husband for Christmastime.”

  33. Kat Fry says:

    Oh my Dear Sweet Susan….I sat up until after midnight reading The Fairytale Girl. With many cups of pumpkin coffee ( some laced with Baileys). I laughed, I cried, I wept buckets! I texted my best friend of over 30 years & shared parts…she’s getting her copy now. And when I got to the End I was crushed! However could I wait until May!!! It was a sleepless night, but an epiphany! I am now rereading A Fine Romance…skipping ahead 6 years will have to do until May arrives. I am definitely preordering! I remember going into the Book Store to look for A Fine Romance when it came out, everyone got a laugh when I was paged with” will the lady looking for a fine romance come to the front counter.” quite the conversation starter!
    My shelves are filled with your beautiful & fun filled books. As are so many book shelves of friends all over the world! Heartwarming to think, out here in beautiful deep East Texas on our little Farm where we raise goats & chickens that the same pages I love & reread over & over are being read by millions of others that I’ve never met. What a lovely small world you have created! You are so near & dear to my heart.
    Many thanks, ever Kat on Rose Creek Farm

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, that is a keeper, “will the lady looking for a fine romance . . .” Cute! You are wonderful dear Kat, thank you from the bottom of my heart. xoxo

  34. Carol says:

    Susan, your art and your books make me happy. Whether I read them or just look at them they make me smile and feel better. Thank You!!! 🙂

  35. BARBARA CHANE says:


  36. Suzette Shoulders says:

    I ordered the quilt kit made of your design fabrics, perhaps 4 days ago? We had 12 inches of snow just before Thanksgiving, but today the quilt kit came! I intend to make a sweet strippy quilt with your dear fabrics . I still have some of the pansy fabric you designed, that I bought years ago, so it gets to play with these sweet tea and heart and floral fabrics! Thanks , Susan!

  37. Suzette Shoulders says:

    Susan, I just love your blog, Willard, and of course, your books. I just finished re-reading ‘A Fine Romance’ and am thinking of re-reading ‘Fairy Tale Girl’ in January when the cold always seems to get to me here in central Oregon. Today I read about your Mom and your Dad, and I got all teary at both entries. I still miss my dad, who has been gone for 24 years, and I loved his strong hands, and holding hands with him, so many times over the years! My mom has been gone now less than a year, and I miss her , too. Your sweet sharings have helped me get through this year. Thanks a million, dear lady! I love hearing about your darling Joe, and that kitty Jack, oh, my! Love your music and taste in movies, too! I have been to England a number of times, and should have a badge that says ‘certified Anglophile” , just to let people know! LOL, thanks for being you, Suzette

  38. elaine hamm says:

    I live in Arizona. In Wickenburg, Arizona…a way out West. I read your books, blog, and buy your cards and calendars. And, I wonder, if Susan Branch would ever visit Wickenburg, and I think just what would she paint, what would capture her eye and would she feel the spirit of the West: the early Spaniards, hardy homesteaders, cowboys, ranchers, adventurers and explorers and the food! What new things would her next book hold if she came West…not just Arizona, but way out Wickenburg Way. Winter is best, but we have no snow, just sunshine. No snowmen, but we do have cowboys and cowgirls, rodeos, roping, and cactus. No evergreen trees, but Saguaros and Palo Verdes large enough to cause wonder. We’re the last of the real West.
    I love your work, and my best to you, darfarling garfirlfararfriend.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve driven through Wickenburg because my dad lives in Cottonwood! Not sure where we’ll be when we get to that narfeck arfov tharfa warfods, but I’ll be sure to post the itinerary as we get it done!

  39. Chloe Ferguson says:

    You are the breath of fresh air we need to pass on to our daughters, granddaughters and everyone within reach. We must instill something of lasting value after all the “selfies” have faded into obscurity. I purchased your early books years ago and have ordered twenty-five at the local hardware store to get other women involved with a life style and values that have almost disappeared. We do not have a Christmas without “Annie Hall’s Butter Cookies”. Our books are stained with finger smudges of ingredients – which is the highest tribute to an author of a cookbook ever. My mother, bearer of 15 children once said, “When you become the cookbook, you know it’s good”. She, as I now do, had all the favorites committed to memory, but always opened a book to the family favorites and as we sat and watched and learned, she imparted to us her knowledge and love of cooking. She was the “Heart of the Home” as you are. I can not express my most loving thanks that you have been guided to continue to show women a lifestyle that is timeless and rewarding beyond the instant gratification generation. We had to learn, and learn we did from you. Now it is our job to teach and pass on all the inspiration and knowledge you have given us. Take your grandkids to Stockbridge, Sturbridge and the Devon Bridge from your Joey’s home town. I was raised in his small town and still live that mindset. You encourage us to play outside, catch fireflys, build snow people, play hide and seek, press leaves in wax paper and gaze at the stars. Thank you for being our shining star.

    • sbranch says:

      Such nice words Chloe, I just hoped and then found out YES, there are many kindred spirits who love what we do.

  40. cathy corell says:

    Hello I just want to say I have all your books. Look forward to getting your new one. You are always so nice when you are signing your books.
    I enjoyed meeting you.

  41. Shirley Ballentine says:

    I am looking for your book mom tell me your story I don’t see it on your post

  42. AMO says:

    Dear Susan,

    I just found some ancient stickers of yours, and there are several little stickers with “O.U.Q.T.” and a flower on them. What do those initials mean? Thanks very much. I love your art work. Did not know you wrote books, too, so I will investigate.

    Best wishes,

  43. Susan Butler says:

    When will the anniversary edition of Heart of the Home be available for order?
    I love the new book. It is ENCHANTING! See you in Denver!

  44. I read Chloe’s post back in January just now and I will have to agree with her 100 percent! I was just in a bookstore today and was telling a lady the same thing that Chloe had mentioned – in that Susan Branch hasn’t changed her style. She has stayed the same. Her ideals are what most of us knew were good and valuable 30 years ago, but so many change with the times. I said not Susan! She has stayed true to herself and to her girlfriends – the ladies whom still seem to seek contentment in baking a good meal or making home a sweet (not showy) warm and cozy place for the family. And that wearing short hair – for goodness sakes – still is cute no matter what the current hairdo is!! Thank you Susan for helping me peer back into the girl I used to be and bring her back into existence! See you in Woodstock Georgia in June!

  45. Phyllis Davis says:

    Susan, Did you sell your cottage? I loved Isle of Dreams!! You touch my heart in every book.

  46. pam braun says:

    Love your books, stickers and pansy dishes.

  47. Gayle says:

    Susan, We are at the Redneck Riveria along the Alabama gulf coast vacationing with our family. We both just finished reading your beautifully written and illustrated Isle of Dreams. For supper tonight we made your summer tomato salad which has been warming in the 80 degree Alabama sunshine. It tastes and smells divine! We will serve it over crusty French bread and thick slices of mozzarella. Would you like to come to dinner? Margaritas start at 5:00 on Mobile Bay. Thank you for the transporting us into your world through your writing. We are smitten! Elaine and Gayle, the traveling cousins

    • sbranch says:

      You should have seen the roll of my eyes of yearning to be there when I read about the crusty French Bread! XOXOXO

  48. Marilyn Young says:

    A while back, I saw fabric on your site and hope it is still available. I can’t seem to find it today? I just called to order your book and calendar and when they call me back, perhaps they will be able to tell me where to locate your fabric for making quilts, etc.

  49. G Gray says:

    enjoyed your 2nd book and wondered as with most books the type of type script is described and credited in the back of the book . i know u hand write all your books but why not acknowledge at the back of the book as “susan branch ” typescript and give a brief history of its usage.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t know… it’s just my handwriting.. the history is long (almost 70 years) but very brief!

  50. DON FRIESEN says:

    I have just read, A Fine Romance. I have been to the Lake District and the Cotswolds three times and the Yorkshire Dales once. My perceptions and descriptions mirror yours exactly. Cornwall is lovely, too.

  51. DON FRIESEN says:

    I forgot to mention in my previous reply about taking the Secret Cottage Cotswolds tour. We took the train from London to Moreton-on-the-Marsh. We were met by the tour owner, taken to her house ( thatched roof built in 1580) in her SUV, fed refreshments, taken on a backroads tour of thatched roof villages (villages the regular tours never visit), back to tour owner’s home for lunch, back to tour some more, back to the home for cream tea, and then back to the train station. The highlight of all my English tours. For more information go to secret cottage.com

    • sbranch says:

      Looks wonderful Don … I couldn’t find secretcottage.com but I found another good website for it . . . it looks like the perfect thing for someone not driving . . . accessible from London, too, and a great taste of the English countryside if you only have a short time! Thank you so much!

  52. Lisa Miller says:


    I am Lisa C. Miller. I am a poet who has published two books of poetry so far and am currently working on my third book.
    I found three memoir books at the library. I love them. They are quite enjoyable.
    My family and I live in the beautiful state of Alaska where the spirit of animals and men roam free.

    I got a kick out of your comments about the weather where you live imagine -10 being cold. I laughed so hard I almost fell out of the couch.
    I hope you don’t mind me taking a moment of your time to talk about the weather in Alaska. I currently live in Anchorage but have also lived in Delta Junction and Fairbanks.

    Fairbanks and Delta are in the interior of Alaska. One thing I asked my husband to buy me was a parka. We bought this in Anchorage. It was 20 above at the time. I wanted to wear my new parka. So I slip it on and sweated down one street of Anchorage. This is when I found out you do not wear this until at least -30 below.
    We moved to Delta lived there for 6 years. It is windy, we plug cars in at 20- below. It has to be properly dressed for the weather. people wear cartharts and bunny boots even to church. I went out at 72- below in my shiny new parka and enjoyed it. I only wore my parka three times.

    We moved to Alaska in 2002 now it is 2016.

    Fairbanks is a desert. people wear leggings under jeans, wear boots.
    Anchorage is warmer it might get 20- below.

    Summer- ranges anywhere from 30 degrees to 100 degrees. We get heat stroke real easy here.
    A person does not see the Northern Lights until at least 30- below or more. then the sky dances.

    At 10- below people start wearing shorts and consider it summer.
    As far as my husband Bob is consider it is hardly ever cold to him. If he starts to wear a coat beware because a normal person is on their there way to freezing solid. He is tough.
    I hope you have enjoyed this.


  53. Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

    Hi Susan!

    So happy you and Joe are home from all your travels. I know you’re looking forward to just “being in the moment” and enjoying life for the next several weeks till you begin your adventure to Scotland in September. I’m looking forward to that, too.

    I’ve been admiring your Glecee print of Zinnias and Baby’s Breath on the shopping site for the longest time. I was looking at it again a couple days ago on the iPad when hubby sat down bedside me (same fairy tale guy hubby who came with me to New Hope to meet you in May) and said “why don’t you go ahead and order it for your birthday?” My birthday is in September, so it sounded good to me! I ordered an Artists Proof edition and am so excited for it to get here. My question….should I have it framed under glass? Ive never owned a Glecee before and a Google search turned up conflicting advice on whether or not to use glass.

    Have a great weekend…and thank you so much for just being you 🙂 You bring so much happiness to your fans in all you do, and gosh, do we ever appreciate it!

    • sbranch says:

      I would definitely put it under glass. They have glass that protects it from the light, and from dirt too… The paper is acid free, really heavy and beautiful. Thank you Shannon!

  54. Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

    Whoops….that should have been Giclee!

  55. Christina Martin says:

    My aunt met you in St. Charles and asked if you would sign three of your books for me as a special gift. I am 3/4ths of the way through Fairy Tales and feeling as though my life is somewhat parallel to yours. I too was married, husband cheated and divorce soon followed. In the blink of an eye my two children and I were kicked out while out the “new girl” was moved in to our home. Since then I have been on my own journey discovering myself and my place in this world. I am on my way towards becoming a teacher, and showing my children that with determination and goal setting any dream can become reality. I’m truly enjoying your writing and find it inspirational. Thank you for sharing your soul with this kindred heart.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s everything for your children, and in turn, the world. You are doing an amazing thing. I know I’m not really the right person to say it, but I can’t help it . . . I’m so proud of you. Now no one will ever again be able to “kick you out.” You go girl! 👏

  56. Anne J. Poe says:

    My friend Theresa Menzies made a batch of the delicious lemon cookies with corn meal that were featured in your book and they were unbelievably good. I look forward to getting my book so we can try all of the recipes. Anne J. Poe, Sherwood, Oregon

    • sbranch says:

      They are heaven . . . they’re my English girlfriend/ex-penpal and now dear friend, Rachel’s cookies. She, in fact, is coming to visit us from England, getting here Thursday! So happy you enjoyed her cookies!

  57. Melissa Archer says:

    Thank you, Susan, for solving a practically life-long quest of mine. My mom has given me many of your books over the years, all of which I pull out and peruse now and again. Usually I just get lost in the ‘daydream’ but I’ve also tried, with great success, many of your recipes over the years. Since I left the US for adventures farther afield 20 years ago, your books have provided much comfort and soothed my intermittent homesickness. But, to the quest. You see, I’ve been looking for the perfect chocolate mousse recipe since I was a teenager (too many moons ago!). That first taste of chocolaty delight I’d had in restaurant as a young girl was by far the best I’d ever tasted and tried many, many times to replicate without success. Inspired during one of my many re-readings I decided at long last to try your recipe for chocolate mousse. I think from the Autumn book. It was perfect! Even better than the one I’d remembered. So now, along with the years of comfort and happiness, you’ve brought me sheer elation through that special recipe. Thank you for your marvellous work and your generosity of spirit. And for that special recipe that is one part cookery, one part science and one part magic. It’s without question my new favourite dessert.

  58. Lisa says:

    Hi, Susan,
    I am Lisa Dong from China. I am an English teacher in Beijing. Just now I happened to see your blog and am fascinated by your design of your blog very much. I think I will visit your site very often because you make me think there are so many beautiful things in life.
    Best wishes.
    Lisa Dong

  59. Lora says:

    Hi Susan, I just bought your book A Fine Romance and I LOVE it!! I will definitely be checking out your other books too. I was wondering, since you are a self-taught artist, do you have any advice for an adult who wants to teach themselves to draw and paint? I’ve always wanted to take drawing and painting classes, but because of several chronic health conditions I haven’t been able to. There are so many drawing and painting instructional books out there, but many that say they are for “beginners” really aren’t.

  60. Wendy Smith says:

    Your beautiful and inspiring calendars hang in my home and my cubicle at work:)! They bring me Peace daily and love all that you inspire and share in your talents!!!

  61. Susan, I have reconnected to our lovely work and art energy after a long absence. You are an inspiration. I find joy in the creation process, and find that working from the heart not the head is my reward. Having a wonderful art hobby of which I sell my art cards of watercolors and other style of cards too at a local business and I do a Farmers’ and Craftsman Market each Saturday in Las Cruces NM. I am grateful for those venues.
    Can’t wait for my first Willard !!!

  62. Barbara A Case says:

    Dearest Susan, Well here I am…two years your senior and just finding you. Saw your Fine Romance, purchased and read. Oh holy cow, to find someone with so many of the same likes and interests is “freaky”. I have a small group of friends that I knit with, but share few of the other interests. Old movies are the best. I have loved Fred and all his dancing partners since I was a kid. Katharine Hepburn my absolute favorite actress. Found Gladys Taber when she did the monthly page in Family Circle. Have read most of her books. Always loved Beatrix Potter since I was very young. Her art is exceptional. Her story inspirational and losing Norman heartbreaking Finding you has been an epiphany of sorts…..don’t feel quite so alone. I have always felt I must seem a bit odd to other people. Oh well such is life….Scotland is the place that really calls to me but Herriot made me love rural England. I love to bake….scones, oatmeal bread, pies, make homemade jams. Have always been a tea drinker….to me coffee tastes like mud must taste.(snicker, snicker)! I’m sure you have heard all this before……really enjoyed your book….also bought Isle of Dreams. I love going to Maine and taking a windjammer sailing off the coast….I’ve gone on the Stephen Taber three times….once with husband, once alone and once took our grandson. It is wonderful !! In other words you have another huge fan.
    Luv’ to you, Barbara

  63. Barbara A Case says:

    Sure hope there will be a book from this latest trip……a “Fine Romance” just wasn’t long enough ………….I want to go to Scotland myself one day. Hope every thing is going great, weather cooperating and so forth. I’m sure we all think about you each day. Take care, Barbara.

  64. Laura A. McCormack says:

    Dear Susan
    I received your first cookbook as a gift and thus began my love affair with everything you – the handwritten pages, the water colored pictures and, of course, the quotes.
    A few years later, my husband and I rented a house on The Vineyard in Edgartown, and thus began my love affair with The Vineyard.
    I recently received a copy of Isle of Dreams and immediately bought the remaining trilogy.
    I have all of your books now, and they are my treasures.
    Thank you, thank you thank you for allowing me to read about your life!
    Laura McCormack, Key West, Florida

  65. Alexandra St. James says:

    Dearest Susan….
    I hope this finds you really well.

    I am in my mid-40’s, about to buy my first house – a new one built from the ground up, nervous as heck, came across you/your work/your words only a few days ago….and was amazed that such a unique and gifted person like you existed. Wow! The Lord blessed us all, that’s for sure!
    I bought and last night read about 50 pages thus far of your book “MV, Isle of Dreams”.
    Your writing and candidness gave me a place where I could breathe thru all of my stress…
    I am moving fwd with the house and also another challenge in my life that is both incredibly beautiful and a bit scary. Thanks to you.
    I have been frozen for a few weeks, wondering if I can do it. For no specific reason…just the fear/responsibility of it all.
    And then your book spoke to me.
    I sure do appreciate you, Susan.
    I thanked God for you this morning, and I will continue to do so.
    My life is a new adventure. Daily. And sometimes I forget due to being bogged down in fear/responsibility/stress of…..well, you name it.
    You helped me to soar last night when I read just a bit of your book. It was comforting, and I was praying for that yesterday during the day.
    The Lord was VERY gracious to me for introducing me to your writings and personality.
    Thank you for awakening me, Susan. And for (unknowingly) speaking into me hope & courage.
    Keep up being the perfect you that you are! Wow…what a magnificent creation!
    You are definitely following your calling.
    ~~ What a gift you have and are to many…! ~~
    All my admiration and gratefulness,

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you dear Alexandra . . . I was just talking to a young friend the other day, about her following her dreams, and I told her fear is like a piece of furniture, it’s there, but you have to step over it and get on with things, because really, what choice do you have in this one amazing wonderful life of yours? xoxoxo Good luck with everything!💖 I’m proud of you!

  66. Sandra Flagg says:

    Are you still selling “Days from the Heart of the Home” books?

  67. Melody Laubach says:

    Worse year of my life as my mom and mother-in-law both passed. However, I just finished reading your trilogy and feel so uplifted. Thank you for sharing your ups and downs with us.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry Melody . . . I’ve had sort of the same thing so I can understand what you’re saying. But here we go, right? On into the future, but with a bit of heart missing. We have each other. xoxo

  68. Wanda Merriett says:

    Hi dear Susan, I love your books! I’m a new comer to your story, but am among the many who are blessed, by your giftedness. My life borders on paths that your journey has in many ways. For 50 years I wished over and over, that I could draw and paint, never trying was the biggest road block I had. Not even recognizing it as a fear, I simply believed I was for others and not me. At my age 61, I have been working on a project of taking my life stories, journals, and watercolors and complying them for my granddaughter. Which brought me to your works, a true inspiration, for me. I too, love “handwritten” books. I have read your Fairyland Girl and Martha Vineyard book, am half way through Fine Romance book. Own them an love them!!❤ I have been looking at your cookbooks also. I wonder have you a receipe for Apple butter? Thank you again for sharing who you are, I shall always be among the many who are inspired! You are the best! Cheers!

    • sbranch says:

      How wonderful Wanda, good for you! You probably know I didn’t start painting until I was thirty, because like you, I never tried! I think there might be a lot of us out there! Your Granddaughter, and her children, forever, will LOVE the effort, time, and heart you are putting into a most profound gift. I have a wonderful recipe for Apple Butter: Take 4 lbs apples, wash, quarter and cook them over low heat (don’t have to peel or remove seeds) in 1 cup apple cider and 1 c. cider vinegar, simmering them until soft. Put them through a strainer. To each cup of pulp, add around a half cup of brown sugar, to taste. I don’t like it too sweet. Add 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground cloves, 1 tsp. nutmeg, plus zest from one lemon. Cook until thick, so it’s spreadable. Do spices to your own taste! xoxo

  69. Cheri Mattern says:

    Do you have a grandpa or papa book

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sorry we don’t. I don’t manufacture those books, I just license my artwork to the company that does, and they decide what products they want to make with it. I have tried several times to get them to do books for boys and men, but so far they just don’t think there’s a market for them. I don’t agree, but I don’t have the power to do anything about it. So sorry.

  70. Debra Rollins says:

    Dear Susan,

    For many years I’ve missed a chocolate cake recipe that you included in one of your calendar in the late ’80’s, I would venture to guess ’88 or ’89.
    It was a simple cake with a small amount of flour covered with a chocolate Ganache icing I think. Maybe in the picture you had a pattern of sifted powdered sugar on top. It was a favorite of mine and I’m sorry that I lost it. I’m hoping its in one of your books or that you could share it.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, that cake is in my Autumn Book called Birthday Cake. It has no flour. I hope you have that book!

      • Debra Rollins says:

        Many thanks, Susan. I thought it had flour and have the book so, “YEAH!” I look forward to baking it very soon.
        I didn’t mention in my previous post how much I love all your artwork and writing. It takes courage to state your beliefs and I am 100% behind your expressions in this past year. A favorite quote of mine from Elie Wiesel;
        We must always take sides.
        Neutrality helps the oppressor,
        never the victim.
        Silence encourages the tormentor,
        never the tormented.

        I wish you many blessings and Godspeed in 2017. May you delight in adventures both near and far.

        • sbranch says:

          All the important things have been said, by people who know what they are talking about. Bad people say things too, and their quotes are still around for learning from. Thank you dear Debra.

  71. laura brown says:

    Hello and Happy New Year! Please sign me up to receive WILLARD! My hubby and I recently bought a remake of the 1961 Shasta camper with wings – red and white and sooo cute! Blessed that both our children and their families were home for Christmas. A tiny and full house, hub and I decided to snuggle up in the camper Christmas Eve, taking our presents out there to open before everyone woke up in the house. We got up at 5:30am, turned on the coffee and the rotating Christmas wheel light. As it turned, it cast red, orange, green and blue light onto our little silver Christmas tree. We sipped coffee from heart shaped mugs, we read the Christmas story from Luke, then opened presents. While we waited for 8:00am to go in the ‘big’ little house, my hubby played with his new camera and I read Fairy Tale Girl. I didn’t want to put it down! I will cherish this special part of our Christmas.
    Yesterday I had lunch my BFF. I had ordered and gave her an anniversary copy of Heart of the Home. While she at, I read her your story of the Beatles. We laughed and laughed. Cooking/Julia Child, sewing/Singer, Girl Scouts/the patches and yes, love/heartache…thank you for putting our era/life down on paper so beautifully in Fairy Tale Girl. (A new favorite!) I placed a separate order on your website for the same cookbook and other goodies. I’m eagerly awaiting their arrival! Thanks for the memories! Now, to look for my Shirley Temple DVD…

  72. Gerta Zinda says:

    Now that Planners are becoming all the rage, stickers would be a BIG item to sell. Your art would be perfect for it and something I would definitely buy. Along the lines of your Alphabet Stickers. Or at least I am hoping they are smaller than the Jumbo stickers. I am hoping for just your simple flowers, little cats, the items that accent your pages already. They are all wonderful.

    It is something for you to think about. I think it would be a winner.

    Absolutely loving your blog!

  73. Linda Whittock says:

    I received A Fine Romance as a Christmas gift. I had no idea what was awaiting me when I opened it! My English husband, John, was killed last year as he rode his trike to our daughter’s for afternoon tea. We had been married almost 58 years. He took me to England many times and shared with me so many of the wonderful places you experienced with Joe. As winter has kept me cocooned indoors, I’ve been reading your journal. It is a wonderful journey through English country that in spite of modernity, exists to remind us of the power of history and the determination to protect that story that is that of each of us…somewhere in TIME. Thank you for taking the time and effort to complete the story of love and life. More to come, I hope….

    • sbranch says:

      So nice to hear from you Linda. Breaks my heart to hear about John, it just makes you wonder, how does such a thing happen. Your memories sound wonderful, and I love what you said about the “power of history and the determination to protect that story that is each one of us.” Very beautiful. xoxo

  74. Estrella Aclan says:

    Hi Susan, I am Estrella Aclan from the Philippines. I love your books. I do not have the complete set, though. Your books bring warmth to a weary heart and peace to this troubled world. I am a facebook user and i have been sharing your art to my friends. Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      Very nice to meet you Estrella, thank you so much. All my best to you in the Philippines! Love that we can “meet” here!

  75. Patty says:

    Every time I read your blog my heart I get a big smile on my face. You are so endearing and, really, just the cat’s meow! XOXO

  76. Amy Rose O'Hanlon says:

    Dear Susan,

    Firstly, I’d just like to say what a beautiful website you have. Your painting is absolutely delightful and your posts are always a real joy to read.

    I do hope you won’t mind my contacting you with an inquiry regarding Emma Bridgewater. I desperately searching for a particular item of Emma Bridgewater pottery – a small child’s mug bearing a simple design of sponge-printed dinosaurs: pinterest.com/WhatJu1ieLikes/dinosaurs-tractors-cars-elephants-1994/ – as a present for my sister, who owned the same mug when we were growing up.

    I notice you collect Emma Bridgewater pottery and wondered: are you perhaps able to help me in my search? Have you ever come across the mug, or do you perhaps even have one you might be willing to sell (I’m willing to pay a considerable amount!) in your own collection? If you did know of any stockists or sellers who might be able to help me track down the item, I would be so grateful for your help.

    Many thanks and very best wishes,

    Amy Rose
    Cambridge, UK

    • sbranch says:

      We used to have that cup, but no more, and I’m sorry, I don’t have it, I would give it to you if I did, I do have a lot of them! Emma Bridgewater retires their mugs after a while, but have you contacted them? Or, try Ebay or Etsy…you might have good luck there. Maybe someone on my blog has one they might part with? Good lucky Amy Rose O’Hanlon (I love your name!)

  77. Shannon(Pennsylvania) says:

    Hi Susan!
    So happy to see that you’re almost home! I’ve been out of commission for several weeks but I cannot tell you how much delight you brought me through your posts. Loved the winter weekend in VT, the tutorial on how to starch☺, the twitters from the twain going to and from CA, the drive up and down the coast….all a balm to my soul! Had scarey surgery 6 weeks ago, came out of it minus a kidney but cancer free….no treatments!!!!! Will have to see doc every 6 months going forward for CT scans, scopes, labs, all that jazz, and should it rear its ugly head again we’ll be in top of it! I ordered your set of 3 mugs as a YAY present for me, also preordered the new printing of your Autumn book. And, I “may” have ordered the Gratitude book and a copy of the Betty Crocker Kitchen Garden book, but hey, this is a big YAY celebration!!! I am blessed, hubby has been my rock through it all, life is so very sweet and precious.
    Hugs to you and Joe and Jack!

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhhh Shannon, I am so happy to hear that, especially no treatments! Very scary, and now the sky is bluer and every new flower is a blessing. 🌺 Spring of springs! And many kisses to the rock. ❤️ xoxoxo

  78. Hello Susan,

    I just finished reading your three books- ” A Fine Romance”, “Fairy Tale Girl,” and “Isle of Dreams.” I LOVED THEM ALL! I have several of your cookbooks which I purchased years ago and discovered your autobiographies last year. You are truly an inspiration.
    Blessings and gratitude to you,
    Thomasina Levy
    CT State Troubadour 2006/2006

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Thomasina, that means so much to hear.💖 I had to go look up what a CT State Troubadour was, what a lovely honor! Creativity abounds! xoxo

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