Willard Sign Up


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Willard is free, it goes out about once a month,
it will come to you in an email.
(Be sure your computer won’t think it’s spam.)


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“I don’t want to be rich, I just want to be wonderful.”Marilyn Monroe
Everything, we think, within reason…..Susan has spent many hours creating her beautiful blog along with her “WILLARD” newsletters to surprise her “Girlfriends” over the years. If you have found them to be of value, and if it tickles your fancy, please consider supporting her time with a donation of your choosing: anything between the cost of a glass of wine or a good dinner! And don’t even think about this if it puts the slightest crimp in your wallet as she will love you forever no matter what happens. ♥

heart ………….heart ………….heart



I would like you to meet my grandfather, Willard Smith. When I was around eleven, and in full letter-writing mode, I sent a letter to his house in Sioux City, Iowa. I had fallen in love with “the olden days” and so I wrote to ask him for pictures of when he was young. He sent me lots of photos including this one of him in his pilot goggles.

As far back as I can remember, my grandfather wrote long newsy letters at Christmas and sent them to everyone he knew; a year in his life more or less. My mom would bring the letter to the dinner table and read it to all of us. He was the first person our family ever saw do this. We thought he invented it.

One day, someone else sent us this same kind of letter, my mom brought it to the table to read; my brother Stephen, who was then about twelve, put two and two together, piped up and said, “Oh! It’s a Willard!” Of course this sent all of us into hysteria, we thought he was so brilliant and brave. Brave because we didn’t usually call Grandpa by his first name for one thing, it was normally frowned on. But my parents were laughing too, this was a good one. So when it was time to give my newsletter a name, my choice was obvious. “It’s a Willard!” I thought you’d like to see a picture of “Our Founder.” He also sent me this photo of his smoking dog Jack. (Don’t think for a moment I agree with this, I cringe a little when I see it now, but it was of its time.) Of course we kids loved it. Willard was our hero, he was the bee’s knees. Liked pork chop gravy on his chocolate cake. A legend in his own time.

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660 Responses to Willard Sign Up

  1. Ann McKenna says:

    Dear Susan,
    Congratulations on your Blog anniversary! It is a wonderful thing to be able to read the things you have just written and be able to communicate with you. You are a blessing to the world..
    As always, I’m excited for your 3 upcoming giveaways! The winners-to-be are very lucky, indeed! Thanks for everything!

  2. Kathy Kiefer says:

    Dear Susan
    Thank you for giving me a remembrance of how the world was meant to be.
    Being a 64 year old, I connect with your humor, style and art.
    Bravo !

  3. Mary Calaway says:

    Looking forward to Willard !!!!!

  4. Penny Cornett says:

    I would consider myself fortunate indeed to receive your newsletter, as well as any of the products in your give away.

  5. sue says:

    I would like to participate on your blog, but anytime I send a comment it always says something like your comment is in moderation, what does that mean, and what am I doing wrong… Thanks Sue

  6. Kathie Burkhart says:

    I love ALL of your things… Every single one!! When will you be coming out with new fabric designs?

    • sbranch says:

      It depends on if I am approached by a fabric company . . . right now I have no fabric license. :-( Maybe someday again.

  7. Judy Flynn says:

    I love all about your site. I love the good old days, the prints you show, the books, the things you enjoy…all of it..and hope to be a part of it here now..that I found your lvely site.It is very peaceful here and I want to thank you for having this blog
    so people can come visit…Happy Summer to you and your family. Also, I found you on fb too..should be fun..looking forward to it..here…

  8. I have the book..” To My Daughter with love from my Kitchen”.
    Do you have one that is to my son?

    • sbranch says:

      No, we should, but I can’t talk the manufacturer into making it (I license my art and design for that book, but they are the ones that decide what’s going to be made). I’ve asked them, but they say there isn’t enough of a market for it. I disagree. If you want, you can look on your book for their website and contact them . . . they are much more likely to listen to you.

  9. Eileen Kimble says:

    Dearest Susan,
    Last year I purchased your pocket calendar–your artwork captured my eye. Then just the other day I was in Barnes and Noble and your new book “A Fine Romance” jumped out at me and I picked it up and started browsing. Well, of course I had to get it and I just love it. I am so glad you shared with us all your wonderful trip to England in your book. Thank you so much. So many details, photos, your wonderful artwork, quotes and tips re: traveling. My mother was from London and I have been over there; however, not to the wonderful places that you were. I need to leave you now as my hubby wants to get on. Bless you my kindred spirit, eileen hugs

  10. Alison says:

    Hi Susan!
    Thanks for putting your older stationary back into use!! (Free Stuff!) Takes me back to a time of “no more strife ….the simple life”!! Of course, everything you do, does just that! Happy Summer to all!

  11. Karen Forsten says:

    About 4 years ago I received as a gift a box of 64 Happy, fun, little inspirational sharable thoughts of JOY cards. Loved them! Where and what do I do to order several more boxes? They’re called JOY cards by Susan Branch. Please HELP!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I know, JOY cards . . . there were also “Love Notes” and “Girlfriends Forever” — but they’re long gone I’m sorry to say.

  12. Char fruland says:

    I have ordered your amazing calendars for years
    Of course that won’t change;)
    I wonder if anyone noticed the fact that there wasn’t a July 31 on the 2014?
    I probably wouldn’t have except it was the day we leave for a little getaway with our four kids and their ‘littles’ .
    Love everything you do. Char

    • sbranch says:

      The bad news is that it’s true, July 31 is MIA. The other bad news is my pitiful excuse . . . the good news is the FIX, because it really does work. Go HERE to read more and get the perfect little fix. And please forgive me, Char . . . I’ve posted about it several times, here and on Facebook, but I knew some people would slip through the cracks. Thank you for your sweet, soft, kind FYI. xoxo

  13. Miley says:

    Hi, Susan! I’m starting to like art and I saw your website. This is really fantastic. I love every bits of it. Hope to learn more from you. Thanks! :)

  14. Barb Whyte says:

    I just finished “A Fine Romance” – what a wonderful book, could not put it down. I have
    collected all your books, beautiful artwork ! Your trip to England reminded me of a trip I
    made with my husband fifteen years ago, he passed away last year, it brought back beautiful
    memories, thank you.

  15. Vivian Borgstrom says:

    Susan…I have been a fan for so many years! Everything you do is just so wonderful and positive and lovely and I could go on and on !
    I do hope you will soon be coming to California ! I know you have been here in the past, but I was not able to go to see you……now I can and I just hope and pray you will come back !!!
    Thank you for all your wonderful things and attitude! So refreshing in this day and age! Love you !

    • sbranch says:

      I will be there in November . . . and have dates for two signings; one in Santa Barbara, the other in Cayucos. See EVENTS in the right hand column on the main page of the blog for times and directions and all that good stuff. Hope to see you there Vivian!

  16. Adrianne E. says:

    I recently started getting the emails from the Susan Branch Blog. Are the Willard newsletters the same content? I don’t want to get duplication (not that I don’t love this stuff, but I just have too many emails to sift through now!!) I don’t want to miss ANYTHING!!
    Thank you.

  17. Carol Reynolds says:

    Dear Susan~
    I had to write and let you know that I just received my copy of “Autumn”. I haven’t even gotten past the first few pages and I LOVE IT!!!! Thank you for inspiring me through your words, your thoughts and your watercolor images. Fall is my most favorite time of year and I can’t wait to read each and every page. I have just ordered another copy to give to my sister – she will love it as well! I love reading your blogs and seeing all the beautiful pictures of your home and surroundings. We are way down here in Florida so things are a little different but when I am into your website, in my mind everything is the same! Thank you again!
    Carol Reynolds
    Alachua, Florida

  18. Ruth says:

    I read “A Fine Romance” in two evenings and loved every page of it. In fact, I am going to read it again in a few weeks, maybe a I missed something the first read.

  19. Gammy Ro says:

    Love your blog, and just signed up for the “Willard”s. Am going to buy your book and see you in Santa Barbara. Yahooo!

  20. Colleen H. says:

    Five years ago I purchased 5 of your AUTUMN books, and gave four of them to very special people. I saved one to give my future (unknown at the time) daughter-in-law. Now, today, a brand new bride of 2 weeks, I gave her this precious book for her 28th birthday! Next to my Bible, YOUR book is my favorite of all! Thank for this treasure!

  21. Barb Schrock says:

    I just received 2 of your 2015 calendars..the large and mini..cute..except I was so disappointed in the quality of the calendar paper..thin..not your usual heavier quality paper..

    • sbranch says:

      Oh dear. Well, I’m feeling the paper on both the old blotter (made by the other company) and our new one, and I can’t really tell the difference. If it’s the 12 x 12 wall calendar you’re talking about, there is a difference ~ they decided to change the paper to be easier to write on. I think the weight is the same, but maybe the texture is different? Either way, I’m truly sorry if it isn’t quite what you expected.

  22. Cheyenne Renard says:

    I plan to come to either Santa Barb or to Cay near morro bay to see u. I am planning on it hope to get to see u. Love to you both all 4 actually Love Cheyenne XXX

  23. Jeanne says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your free downloads of stationery and bookmarks. It is greatly appreciated.

    • sbranch says:

      My pleasure. In the old days when I wrote snail mail Willards, I always included little gifts in them — this was the only way I could do it via the computer, but it works!

  24. Susan says:

    I love, love, love your books and calendars and everything! I have two questions. Will you be getting more of the autumn charms (I really, really want one)? Can we put our name on a backorder list? My second question is a flag that you had in the past. It is the Halloween flag- “the goblins will get you if don’t watch out”. Is there anywhere I can get one of these garden flags, anywhere? My grandmother used to recite this poem to me when I was young, and it brings back such good memories for me? I have looked on eBay and the internet and haven’t been able to find one. Could you PLEASE help me? Susan

    • sbranch says:

      I’m not sure about the flag . . . I forwarded your question to Sheri to see if maybe we still have one of those around. As for the charm, I’m working on that now, but I just don’t know yet. Keep in touch!

  25. Carol Ney says:

    For the last six months or so I was rarely getting your blog and I think I only got one Willard. I wasn’t sure why this was happening, but recently found out that my computer had been “hacked” and after having it thoroughly “scrubbed” and “debugged” etc I have been assured that all is well as of Oct. 4 however I didn’t get your Oct. 6 blog posting and I haven’t gotten a Willard since April.
    In light of this, I thought that (since I’m already subscribed to both your blog and Willard) there was something that could be done at your end that would fix the problem. Please let me know if I need to do something so I can continue to get your wonderful “pieces of mail from the land of cozy fires, sweet kitties, little lambies (my honey’s nickname for me–he is my wolfe) and wonderful friends who don’t have to live next door to have a special place in your heart. Thank you,
    Carol N

  26. Sara says:

    Hey, Susan, I can think of no better way to spend the morning of my 69th birthday than skipping around on your website, reading posts by your girlfriends and your replies, and stopping by your online store. I think it’s great that stuff flies off your Cali shelves but a little sad that I missed getting the autumn charm and the lavender soap. I’ve been checking every day, because I firmly believe that the early bird gets the worm, even though I must have been just sitting in my favorite tree watching the world below when the charms and soap first appeared in your store. Hope springs eternal with me!

    I know you already know this, but it bears repeating again–you bring such joy to so many, including me! It was fun meeting you, Susan, and every time you blog, it’s like you’re right there, sharing your enthusiasm for life with me. It’s a beautiful day here in Indiana, and this afternoon I get to take a Nanny hike in search of all things great and small with my three grandsons and then share my chocolate cake with penuche icing with my family. It just doesn’t get much better than that!

    Have a wonderful day! :) Sara :)

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Birthday dear Sara!!! I know the soap will be back soon — cup is half full! Sorry about the charm, they are truly making it difficult for us to reorder them. Happy happy day to you and yours!

  27. Linda Dillon Jones says:

    Susan, I just started reading your wonderful book A Fine Romance, and I wanted to write to you immediately to tell you how much I’m enjoying it. Your comments are interesting, your drawings are beautiful, and I think this is the book I have always wanted. I think it is actually a better option than a travelogue film, because you can curl up with it and enjoy it over a long period of time! Even though I love to pass my books along to others, I think I’m going to keep this copy by another copy for my friend.

  28. Linda Dillon Jones says:

    I meant to say BUY. How embarrassing. I pressed “send” too soon!

  29. Lisa Popelka says:

    Big question: While I have been begging for you to put out more stickers for years and scouring ebay and everywhere else to get my hands on everything possible, (I am OBVIOUSLY a HUGE fan, ESPECIALLY of your “months”,) all of a sudden ebay is flooded with your stuff. Stickers that I’ve never even seen before. Are you selling somewhere again? I started buying your stickers at scrapbooking/craft stores and other places. I find it hard to believe that all of a sudden everyone is giving up vintage Susan Branch! Meanwhile, I’m buying everything up as fast as I can like a maniac.
    What’s up? You know, I LOVE your stickers!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I did a huge number of designs with a company called Colorbok many years ago. All I can think is that because of my newest book and perhaps a little resurgence of popularity for my art, people are finding the old stickers and putting them on Ebay. Are you able to buy as many of any design you want? I only saw one of this or three of that, but not an unending supply. If there is an unending supply, I would start to worry. I have tried to get another company, such as EK Success, to manufacture my stickers, but so far they have not replied to my queries. Maybe if you try? They always like to hear from consumers! Thank you Lisa!

  30. Hi! My sister showed me a picture of two kids hugging that you posted. Do you have a book of art that I might put into a frame? These watercolors are so beautiful and would be lovely in my granddaughter’s room.

  31. Candy N. says:

    I just realized I haven’t ordered my calendar for 2015 yet. Are you aware that Calendars.com sells them for $13.49 while your own website is selling them for $14.99? Any chance you plan to reduce the price?


    • sbranch says:

      No, we are definitely not the cheapest place to get our calendars, but we are surely the smallest ~ a mom (me) and Pop (Joe) organization working hard to pay our bills, pay Kellee, Sheri, and Alfredo, pay our rent, storage and insurance etc. But we know there’s something for everyone, please feel free to get your calendar anywhere you like. I understand your question, and don’t mind a bit that you ask. I’m sure others wonder about that too, so thank you for bringing it up. Happy Thanksgiving!

  32. Jilli Oyenque says:

    I have loved Susan Branch for a very long time. We must be family….

  33. Jane Alexander says:

    You, dear friend have flooded my life with sprinkles of joy. You are a gift to us. A friend that loves us all. Thank you for showing us the immense joy of life. I love all you do, & pray for blessings to abound upon you and Joe forever.

  34. Karen Dyser says:

    Hi Susan,
    My father’s name was Willard. I have not heard of many Willards. I think they are “rare birds”. He was a character, born in 1915 and died in 1984.
    Loved A Fine Romance and look forward to each article. Merry Christmas!

  35. Lisa Champion says:

    I’ve always loved receiving your “Willards” and I’ve always loved your art! It takes me back to when days seemed simpler. You portray the seasons with such beauty and it’s because you put your heart into each work of art you do. I see your work and I feel warmth and comfort and peaceful. Thank you.

  36. Lyern Riedl says:

    It seems like I have been out of the loop for awhile, I am not sure why. I too love your
    Work. You are blessed to be so gifted. And also blessed with a husband who supports and helps you with enthusiasm. Wishing you both a very Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year!! Love Lyern in Des Moines, Wash. (State). It is beautiful here, you must visit. It would be a whole new inspiration! It does not rain as much as people think!

  37. Diana Hartman says:

    I recently viewed your most recent Willard Newsletter with a picture of a cookie jar. I wanted to copy the recipes but cannot find it. Also, the cookie jar is so cute, you should have it made and sell it.

    Merry Christmas
    Diana Hartman

  38. mary spring says:

    …I heard Willard was here recently… ‘don’t know why I didn’t see him yet…but realize a lot of transitioning is going on amidst a most busy Christmas season…I’ll be patient and still love and have gratitude for all that you do !

    • sbranch says:

      Did you get Willard, Mary? It was our traditional Cookie Jar . . . ???

      • mary spring says:

        …dear Susan, I didn’t ever receive this December’s Willard…but I did look up past Decembers’ Willard’s news (wow-try to say that fast-lol ) to find your traditional Cookie Jar !…’don’t want to be a bother…you give us so much already !…thank you !

  39. Betty Welton says:

    Just finished reading your book “A Fine Romance” loved it, felt like we were with you. Enjoyed it so much and inspired me to work on my garden this spring. Looking forward to your blogs. Have a nice Holiday. New girl friend. Betty

  40. Kathy Minges says:

    Oops! Santa didn’t bring me the 2015 version of your pocket/purse-size calendar and I can’t find one anywhere: Not on your website, not on Amazon, nor in any of the calendar oriented stores at our regional mall. Any possibility more will be printed? The year won’t be the same without one!

    • sbranch says:

      Shockingly we have sold out of almost all the calendars this year . . . never has happened before! I know the manufacturer won’t be printing anymore now . . . I’m sorry. Hopefully they’ll print a few more next year!

  41. Margaret Blodgett says:

    I’m 92 and love reading your thoughts and comments. You definitely an inspiration.

  42. John Henry says:

    Dear Ms. Branch,

    I am hoping that you will re-release or re-publish your Christmas Memories keepsake book. I did manage to purchase three of them through the years, and we have filled 14 years of Christmas memories in the Henry household. Next Christmas will be the last we have room for in your lovely books.

    An internet search for a new copy shows several offered through Amazon, starting at $249.79 (plus shipping!). I would love to surprise my wife with a new copy (or two or three), but not at that price! We would also give new copies to our children when they move out on their own. I am hoping there would be a great demand for a re-issue; maybe you could post a query to gauge interest.

    Thank you for all you do. Your calendar is hanging in our kitchen, as it has for years (my wife always knows what one of her gifts will be)!

    Thanks again,
    John Henry

    • sbranch says:

      No, I think 249 is a bit much! Wow! We’re looking into the costs of a reprint, hopefully we can afford to do it and then we will! Thank you for asking John.

  43. Mary Compton says:

    In response to your blog about Downton Abbey, I have to agree– I would take the Dowager countess’s home any day over “the big house”! It is so beautiful. And I love the china, crystal, and silver, too. Oh, to be invited for the weekend would be wonderful.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, just one little weekend, that’s not asking too much! But I have to say, when we were in England, bits and pieces of this lifestyle are still there, the castles and houses, and you can go to amazingly beautiful Country House Hotels and there are tablecloths and cutlery and service, it’s so lovely.

  44. Susan says:

    Have read all Gladys Taber books based on your recommendation. I am hooked. Thank you

  45. Mary Kay Franklin says:

    Dear Susan,

    I was gifted many years ago with one of your books and I told my friend how much I enjoyed it and she through the years has given me I do believe all of them. However, I purchased A Fine Romance for myself since I love my journeys to England, romance, tea, Gladys Tabor, Martha’s Vineyard and all that is quaint, sweet and of course not to leave out Emma Bridgewater. I enjoy all of your beautiful work. I also have your fabric in a porch quilt. Please keep enlightening us with pleasant things.

  46. Marilyn Taylor Young says:

    Hope this is the right spot to put my name in the drawing for Valentine’s Day, the most romantic day of the year. If I am so lucky to win, my signed copy will go straight away to my friend Marie who dearly loves whimsical things like me!

  47. Marilyn Taylor Young says:

    Susan, I just noticed my new quilt that I’m making has this pattern on the sides, etc. How very strange!

  48. Connie Adamkiewicz says:

    A friend took me to a luncheon/book signing in Wilmette Il where I purchased your book and read about your trip to England just before taking the same trip.
    At the luncheon I met a women who told me about Friends of Gladys Taber, a
    long-time favorite of mine. I’d say that was a bonanza! Learning about Susan Branch and her lovely book, becoming re-aquainted with Gladys Taber and becoming a member of FGOT.

  49. Linda Nigro Wallach says:

    I have always cherished small things: a shell, a button, the book – “The Borrowers”, a piece for a doll house and the dots, scrolls, flowers, fruit and the like that you embellish each of your pages, they too I mentally cut out and place in my wee box of special little things. They make me happy and for that I thank you greatly. Plus I lover your book, “A Fine Romance” and I long for more – please.

  50. Sara Dalcher says:

    Dear Susan –
    Thanks for continuing to share your joy in living with all of us. I certainly perk up every time I read something on your website, and you never fail to deliver.

    Now…about those gorgeous calendars of yours. Might there be ANY chance that the format could be set up so that the week begins w/ Monday and ends w/ Saturday & Sunday together on one side of the page or the other?? It’s maddening to have to enter tasks twice & draw a big arrow so as to make the connection!
    Optimistic thanks –

    • sbranch says:

      My publisher is very traditional; wants everything to be “standard” — which means Sunday is on the left and Saturday on the right . . . otherwise, they think, people will be confused and they fear they will be yelled at! But why do you have to enter tasks twice?

  51. Marissa says:

    Hi Susan, I’ve been a fan of yours since my mom bought the book, Summer…. I think I was around 14 years old at the time. I now have all your books and can’t wait till your next gem comes out!!

  52. I would love to receive your Willard newsletter. My dad’s name was James Willard. My kids called him Grandpa Will. A wonderful man, a wonderful dad. I miss him. Thank you Susan. Looking forward to reading “Willard”.!!!!!! Well ,I guess this is where you also sign up to be in a drawing for any of your give aways! Please sign me up for that too. Glorious!

    • sbranch says:

      This is where you sign up for Willard, the give-aways are on the blog, as each of them are announced you sign up by leaving a comment on that post. Hope that helps!

  53. Jan Dearborn says:

    Latest blog:

    The quote:

    “Never complain. Never explain.” was said first by Katherine Hepburn

  54. Betsy Groher says:

    Thank you for your book A Fine Romance. While I have traveled many times to England I suffer from end stage kidney disease which ties you to Dialysis so traveling abroad is not easy. But this week I traveled to England with you and I want to thank you. You book transported me from the high desert to the lush back roads of the English countryside. It made me again want to plant somehow an English garden.

  55. Georgia Fisher says:

    I am a summer resident and gardener on MV. I have loved following you through the snow storms this winter. Many thanks for all the photos and detailed descriptions of what we miss when we aren’t there.

  56. Vicki - Kentucky says:

    Susan, I love everything about you. I enjoy your blog, Willard, and books, etc. very much. Margot Datz is amazing. I hope to someday visit the Whaling Church in Edgartown. Congratulations to Margot, Scarlet and Yoda on the arrival of beautiful Georgette.
    Do you have a print of Inspiration – Reasons to go on Living. You have written many of my favorite things in life. I can really identify with it, and would love to have it hanging in my kitchen.
    Thanks Susan for many happy times. My best to you. Vicki xxoo

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