Making Sausage

Well, I know you’ve been wondering what happened to me and I have an excuse. I’ve been making sausage and it’s not the kind you eat! Musica? Of course!


I know some of you are worried about me. And you SHOULD be worried! Despite how normal everything looks from the outside, I’m like that commercial, “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

what a mess

Only I haven’t fallen. I’ve just gone stark staring mad.  My desk has looked like this for days now. Honestly, it never looks like this. That’s why I love watercolor, because Jack 2016 susan branch calendarit’s so NEAT. But this is different . . . my watercolors are under all of this. To add to the glory, Jack periodically comes and lays down on top of everything. Sometimes he hits the table and skids through everything. Then I wish to kill him. But instead I pick him up and kiss him madly and then he wishes to kill me. Despite the way it looks, this mess is actually organized,  until Jack gets there. Yes, throw the rubber band. Get up, stop the concentration, because this mess does require it, and throw the dang rubber band. It’s just that I am doing the funnest book-two and wish not to be interrupted. What you see here are just part of the photos that are going into the book. They say no one likes to Jack on the stairswatch sausage being made, so if that is so, maybe you should look away, because this is an inside look at scrapbook book writing.  And these are just the photos!  Wait until you see the watercolors!  I feel guilty for having this much fun while being derelict in my duties. But Mark Twain says it’s okay so if you have a problem with it, you will have to talk to him.quotetime


Here I am this morning … notice it’s still dark outside? Yes, I know, so what else is new. I’ve been wanting to write you but I keep thinking I’ll get this done and THEN I’ll write, but guess what?  It’s never going to get done!  It clearly will never happen. This is going to be groundhog day forever. So here I am, because I MISS you! 

making sausage

Don’t worry about me, it shouldn’t, but there’s something about this that puts me in hog heaven. What can Do not disturbI say?  Making stuff is my middle name. And this book has so many little textures and parts, I’m enjoying myself immensely, except if the phone rings or Jack knocks everything off the table. Until then I’m happy as a clam in my house of creativity, and I have no problem, especially when the days are chilly and the leaves are falling and I start wrapping up in shawls and lighting candles, shutting out the world and just making stuff. In fact, I feel just plain blessed.

happy home

the walk

I do allow, appreciate, and adore this.  Our walk. It’s more gorgeous than ever these lovely October days, and we never miss it, we go everyday. Doesn’t that sound healthy and balanced?  Of course it does! I have myself fooled.

the walk

Pretty huh?  I wish you could feel the breeze, and see the leaves drifting out of the trees. So far I haven’t managed to catch one in mid air, but I keep trying. It’s exhilarating out there! We walked along the shore today, listened to the waves roll in, and filled our pockets with shells, glass, tiny sea-worn bricks, and rocks.fallLovely, lovely weather we’re having.

the walk

The long and winding road . . . 


So I’m going to bed now, I just had to say hello . . . I realized I forgot to show you this. It’s a scarecrow we saw at Moulton Farmstand in Meredith, New Hampshire. Note the squash situation. I think I knew this guy in another life. Aren’t people creative? It never ends. Love you dears.  Hope all is well with you.  Never worry about me, I am a loud and frequent complainer whenever push comes to shove. If there was ever anything actually wrong, I’m pretty sure I would tell you! In fact, you can depend on it. Sweet dreams Girlfriends! XOXO

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AUTUMN from the HEART of the HOME

Hello darling people!   MUSICAMusicaTea

Get a cup of tea and join me for AUTUMN from the Heart of the Home, it’s blog time!

tree talk fall Trees make SUCH good sense when you can get one to talk. Fall is when they do it, you can hear it in the shhhhh of their leaves . . . and you find out they make sense in more ways than one! 

leaf border

through the woods

And they smell good too!  Especially this time a year, when the air is filled with them.  Here was our walk yesterday. It’s getting very beautiful out there.  Still lots of green, but the change is coming . . . 

flower border


flower border

if you dream it


As you can see, we are nowhere near peak yet, color wise, but a few things are beginning to burst, like the bittersweet . . . such a fun thing to decorate with although I can use it outside only because it’s not good for kitties.

flower border

poison ivy

You would NOT want to decorate with this inside OR out, because this is poison ivy. But isn’t it pretty?  Our woods are filled with this climber that turns bright red . . . they should have called this bittersweet — because with poison ivy you get the bitter, but in the color you get the sweet! 

fall color

You can see a bit more of it in red on the tree in the back . . . it’s gorgeous, one of the prettiest fall plants in the woods.

down to the sea

Bittersweet tumbles everywhere. It lights the shadowy places up.

Through the trees

Sassafras!  Pretty pretty pretty. The wind makes the leaves shimmer in the light . . .

flower border

leaf fall

So I was wearing this kind of loose-knit sweater and I started gathering leaves, flowers and berries to bring home so instead of carrying them, I strung them through my sweater . . .

elizabeth von arnim

wear your love like heavenThis face says Ha! I thought it looked great. I wanted to cover my entire sweater in them. Make a fall costume. But, when a car drove by us out there, Joe pretended not to know me. Silly boy. Doesn’t he know . . .

normal ones


Here it all is, that’s our woods!

windfall crabapples

These are windfall crabapples I found on the ground under a tree when we were in New Hampshire. So cute, I brought them home to put on the kitchen table. P.S. They were free!  Just lying around on the ground. Can you imagine?

last rose of season

And this gorgeous rose is the last one of the season from our garden. I debated, bring it in, or enjoy it in the garden? IN! I felt good about my decision. Up close and personal, not just for me, but for you too. Through the MAGIC of the Internet! I still can’t believe we can DO this!

2015 calendar

October, my darling, slooow down. Last two months, please . . .I really love you. I had such fun painting this page, I want it to stick around for a while!

flower border

decorating for autumn

mums from the garden

We almost always end up getting mums to decorate our porch, and then we plant them in the garden afterwards. And they always come back. These wine-red mums are growing in the garden now.

the porch

Lowely was just here for tea, she heard we’re going to have a freeze on Saturday! So I’ll cover the mums with a blanket to get them to last a bit longer. The hand-painted little thrift shop vase up there is my newest favorite thing ~ it was a gift from my girlfriend Pat  . . . adorable don’t you think? For the collection . . . From one “little vase” lover to another . . . 

…How does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells…

stove decor

Top o’ the stove as of yesterday. . .

1950s O'keefe & Merritt stove

We are cookin’ with gas in more ways than one . . . because it’s getting chilly out there!

little vases

flower border

Fall color

Casper from the back

And it’s Casper time.  A VERY friendly ghost . . . already lighting the bedroom window upstairs. . . hello to the street!


See him?  Our pumpkins are up too. But you can see, although there are colored leaves on the ground, the trees still have a little ways to go. Mas MUSICA? OUI!

stove decor

When I want to decorate I just shop my house and pull out anything that says “Autumn” to me, like these little faux pears and that pinecone I found out on the road. Nature (and the attic) provides.
Feed Your Creative Heart


I read my Autumn Book and set it up in my kitchen to get inspired . . . such a creative time of year! 

the window

See, just little stuff we have around . . . the birds we sell in our web store ~ along with little faux leaves I got somewhere and saved.

The Fairy Tale Girl

We had such a nice time at our book signing in Meredith, New Hampshire with the good people at Innisfree Books ~ Lots of our Girlfriends were there! By the way, I left lots of signed copies of The Fairy Tale Girl and A Fine Romance at this wonderful Independent Bookstore if you’re interested . . . they told me they would be happy to send you one for as long as they last. You can call them at 603-279-3905.

Susan Branch the Autumn Book

They decorate their store with huge posters that authors sign for them. I figured out where to sign the poster for The Fairy Tale Girl, but was having trouble with Autumn. The caption (and my left hand) would say, “Yeah, but where?”

border flower
Innisfree Bookstore

But I figured out . . . and was very proud of myself!

little things
Fall farmstands

We stopped in the BEST farm stands when we were up there . . . and got ourselves some very large pumpkins to carve for Halloween.

good witches

reading in front of the fire

But my favorite thing was reading in front of the fire at Lowely’s grandmother’s house . . . a little bit of heaven. 


I suggested Corn Pudding on the October page of this year’s calendar (up there  and hopefully on your wall) so I thought I should give you the recipe. It’s in the Autumn Book too. SO good, SO easy, and DO float it in a puddle of maple syrup … It’s the perfect food for this time of year, I promise!


Jackie Boy

Jack. In his new capacity of door beggar. PLEASE take me out!  Please!!!!!!!! I hope over the winter he forgets about the great outdoors because, despite his little mustache and his melting green eyes, this boy has terrible killer instincts and if he were set loose, I would fear for the world of birds, bunnies and other kitties! A neighborhood cat becomes visible through a window and Jack turns into a Rhodesian Ridgeback. One scary kitty.

sammy, Studio cat

I tell Jack he has it so easy. The cats in California are working cats! This is darling SAMMY . . . helping out at the Studio. He sleeps with us when we are there, and I have to say, I get a tear in my eye when I have to leave him. He looks a little scary in this photo, but that’s just the camera, he is the MOST wonderful kitty, SO loving. After Jack and Girl of course. (I think they can read.)

Sasha, Studio Cat

And Sasha! Another HUGE help at the Studio. Look at those front paws! I Love that my Studio has kitties. Kellee’s yellow lab, Reese, comes to work with her too, so we know we are running the RIGHT kind of business, don’t you agree? If things get too busy and Kellee and Sheri get stressed, they can just reach over, pet a kitty or a dog, and voila, stress is a thing of the past and they are smiling again!

All five stars for The Fairy Tale Girl

I’m smiling too because we have 52 five-star reviews on Amazon for The Fairy Tale Girl!!! Already, before most of our Girlfriends in the UK have even gotten their books. You can’t ask for more than that! I had to check Amazon, it’s the only way I know to gauge how the book is doing. So exciting and so lucky! Whoever has taken the time to write those reviews, if you are reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank ALL of you. I love reading your comments here on the blog. I’m really overwhelmed to tell you the truth. This book was a long time coming . . . XOXO


Just so you know, every day I work on Book Two. Trying to girl paintingget it done ASAP! Cliff hangers (I’ve come to realize) are so unfair! No matter how much fun they are! I think you think you know how this next book will end, but I think you will be surprised. *That’s all I’m saying*. And for all the talk about making The Fairy Tale Girl into a movie (or, a series with Zooey Deschanel in the starring role, ha ha), I have one thing to say, where is Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle) when we need her? Hear that, adorable Richard Curtis who made Love Actually?fun is goodAnd so are dreams. . .even if you don’t get them!

Flap copy for The Fairy Tale Girl


So, what else . . ? Oh, yes, I’ll be signing THE FAIRY TALE GIRL at Titcombs Bookshop on the Cape in Sandwich this Saturday, October 17th, from 1-3 p.m. if anyone is in the birthday kittyneighborhood. Joe and I are having lunch with the Beatrix Potter Girlfriends before the signing, to talk about next year, the 150th anniversary of the Birth of Beatrix, a light upon the earth for her time here, and still, after all these years. There are plans afoot for a celebration. I will tell you more later . . . hope to see some of you at the signing.

come see us

pumpkins in the garden

october susan branch

border flower

Joy to the world, that’s all I have to say. Not really ALL I have to say. That’ll be the day.:-) We are starting to plan our cross-country bookstore tour for next year . . . we are very excited. You know how good it feels to put something fun on the calendar?  Oh boy, do we feel good! Because we are also planning a very big birthday party for Joe next August. With a band and a tent and everything!  pumpkinPLUS, we still have another book to do, PLUS, Downton Abbey is coming, it’s all so exciting. PLUS Thanksgiving, PLUS Christmas. AND the first snow. Our cup runneth over.  Love you Girls, have a WONDERFUL day. EAT corn pudding! XOXO 

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