recipe
Oct
10
2010

Welcome! Meet my special guest…

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Nope, you didn’t misread that.  Nope, not another Susan Branch. Yes, that  Susan Branch! THE  Susan Branch!

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I have been working with her and her sweet assistant Judy over the past couple of months to bring you this amazing, AMAZING interview.  I can only imagine how valuable Susan’s time is and for her to take so much time and put so much thought into the answers to my questions is just beyond any expectations I could have had.  And Susan has generously given a copy of  her Autumn book for one of you lucky ducks!

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As much as I love all of Susan’s books and calendars, I always go back to this book.  Autumn is my fave,  Susan’s Autumn book is my fave, and well…Susan is my fave!  It is just such a happy, happy book! Oh, and there will be a little something from me as well -what could I make?  :)

Surely you know how to do this by now :) Just leave a comment on this post and you can consider yourself entered to win Susan’s book (and a little something from me).  And I want to encourage you all to follow Susan on Twitter and Facebook too!  The links are at the bottom of the interview. I will draw a name on Friday and announce the winner Saturday morning…so check back.

Before we get to this spectacular interview (squee!!!!) I have to share a little something.  I have been a fan of Susan’s since her first book came out back in 1986.  It jumped off the shelf at me in a Barron’s bookstore one day and I snatched it up! And instantly fell in love!  I have since collected all her books, most of her calendars and have bought copies of books for my oldest daughter. I have a tea cup, and framed prints, and fabric but I think maybe my favorite thing is my collection of Willards.

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Check the date on Willard #1 – October 1995 – if you don’t know Willard, you should go to Susan’s website and read all the who, what, why of Willard and read the back issues for yourself.  It’s like a letter from an old friend! I have 3 ring binder where I keep all my copies of Willard as well as bookmarks, recipe cards, stickers and even the envelopes he came in!

Now let’s get down to business!  And again, I cannot express how thrilled I am to bring you all this wonderful, thoughtful interview with Susan Branch!

NQJC:  Before I pick your brain about business tell us a little about your childhood and how you think it influenced your creative spirit. Take as much space as you want here! I am intrigued and I know I am not the only one! Have you always known you were an artist? As a child were you artistic? Did you paint or draw?   How did you imagine your life when you were growing up?   Did you have wonderful expectations of being a famous artist/author?  Or were you just very VERY pleasantly surprised at the way things turned out?

First off, thank you for inviting me…it’s great to be able to say hello to your readers.  I’ll do my best to keep answers short, but it’s going to be difficult with such good questions!

I had no idea I was going to be an author or an artist; I thought I would be just like my mom, the mother of eight children.  You never know how things are going to go.  I did a lot of dreaming when I was a child. It would take me hours to make my bed, because I was on it, reading, or listening to the lawn mowers and birds outside my window and day dreaming.  I read constantly; in the summer I lived at the public library, I could walk there from my house, bringing home stacks of books. I got my first diary for Christmas when I was about nine, along with a perfumed ink, rhinestone-studded pen Santa brought me, and that’s what started the writing thing; just a lot of practice in years of diary-writing.  I didn’t paint or draw at all when I was little, I sewed, knitted, appliqued, and embroidered; went to the dime store and bought those pillow cases with the blue stamped design on them, and always had a project going.  I took seventh grade art and got an A, but I thought everyone got an A because it was an elective, so that was the end of that until I painted my first picture when I was 30.  So yes, I’m very pleasantly surprised; I come into my studio and see all the brushes and watercolors and for a tiny second, I think, who could those belong to?!  Then I say, oh yes, me!

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One of my 19 diaires.

NQJC: Tell us just a little bit about how you came to publish your first book “Heart of the Home: Notes From a Vineyard Kitchen” back in 1986. Did you wake up one day and say to yourself “Self, I think I am going to write and illustrate a book.”?

In a way, yes, but not until I had said “Self, you can’t write a book” for a few years first.  I had moved to the island of Martha’s Vineyard in late winter 1982 where I knew no one, had left all my friends and family behind in California. I came with a very bad broken heart.  I was at loose ends, didn’t know who I was really (having left my identity back in California with my house, my girlfriends, my family, my routine and my ex-husband); had no idea what I would do with the rest of my life and was very sad and lonely for a long time.  A few years before I moved, a girlfriend had suggested I combine my cooking with my new hobby of watercolors and do a cookbook, but in those days nobody I knew wrote books and I certainly didn’t think I was going to be the one to do it.  But with all the time on my hands, with no one to cook for anymore, I just sort of began it, and continued.  Inspiration was more like fear of bagladyhood, for one thing, and then of course I did love painting and cooking, so it wasn’t like something I had to force myself to do.  I hand wrote and watercolored my first book, Heart of the Home, one page at a time, sitting at the dining table of my first little house on the island.  I looked at it like this: if all else failed and I never found a publisher, I could frame each page and have a bunch of Christmas presents all ready to go.  So it was a win-win.

NQJC: Now that you are so very well known (and loved :) )Do you ever say “What have I gotten myself into?” Do you long for your privacy?

I love that you say loved.  :-)   Because the connection between me and my readers has always been my favorite thing about being an author.  If you’ve ever read my WILLARD newsletter, you know I don’t think about privacy very much; I’m much more interested in connecting and sharing. I think we’re all more alike than we are different, our stories bring us together, to not tell them is like shutting a door.  If anyone has the mistaken idea that I’m perfect, I want them to know this is wrong thinking; I make mistakes, I drop things, I say the wrong thing; stuff happens.  But I keep trying to do better, as I know so many do, and that’s the thing I love about us.  We don’t give up.

NQJC: What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst?

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The best thing is early in the morning, when it’s all quiet in my studio and still dark outside; Joe’s asleep upstairs, kitty’s asleep on my art table; I have a big cup of tea, then that spot of wet paper, the paintbrush full of paint, the moment those two things meet and voila!  the paint jumps off the brush and spreads and it’s just like magic.  A plain white piece of paper in the morning covered with something by the end of the day; making something where before there wasn’t anything.
The worst is the deep desire, prayer, and wish to do more….it’s a yearning that I have no words for, and there aren’t enough hours in a day or a year for it.

NQJC: Of all your books, which was the most fun to do?  Is there one that is just more special to you than the others?  By the way mine is the Autumn book…hence the choice for the giveaway!  Favorite time of year, favorite Susan Branch book!!!!

I know why you love Autumn; when those leaves start flying through the air, and the little wild purple asters are blooming along the roads, it’s just so exciting!  Not to mention corn pudding, pumpkin cheesecake and turkey stuffing!  But Girlfriends Forever was also pretty fun to write!  I read that now, and really wish I would have had that book when I was twelve years old!  It would have made the dreaming even more fun to get a little grown-up inside information.  Baby Love is another fun book because when I do signings, I get to hear all these stories about new babies and see all the creative ways new moms have filled in their books.  Some people wait for years for a child, so it’s extremely exciting and touching when they are finally coming.  Of course, Heart of the Home, my first one; that’s probably my favorite.

NQJC: Tell us what is coming up?  I look forward to your calendar every year – but WOW I am ready for a new book too!

Oh good! That’s what I’m working on, a new book, but there was a time when all I did was write books, and so I wasn’t interrupted, that time is over now!  It just takes much longer when other projects come between my brain and the concentration on what I am doing. But I have 5 chapters done now, and still going on it. It’s my big project for this winter.

NQJC: I read where you used to (and I am assuming still do when time permits) like to sew and quilt and such. Out of all the items you have made, what is your personal favorite and why?

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Quilt made by my great grandmother, Sarah Foster.

I’ve made lots of dishtowels, curtains, pillows in my life — but most things I made, I gave away for Christmas presents!  I have paintings on my walls, and curtains I’ve made and I still have a dishtowel I appliqued for my mom when I was around eleven (when my great grandmother died and stopped sending the boxes of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday dishtowels she embroidered for my mom, I tried to take over for her, for about 15 minutes).  My mom also still has the first quilt I ever made, a crazy quilt held together by a variety of embroidery stitches.  The best homemade thing I have isn’t made by me, it’s the Flower Garden quilt my grandma gave me that her mom made.

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Susan made the chair pillow and the dishtowel, and made patterns for her web store.

NQJC: Tell us about dividing your time between Martha’s Vineyard and California?  And though you might have answered this a hundred times already, how did you come to live on Martha’s Vineyard?  And how did it inspire your art?

Love both places, they each have so much to offer, both have wonderful people and countryside. I don’t like to fly, don’t like airports, so I take the train back and forth.  Perfect place for dreaming, in a bed in a room on the train!  California is where I was born, and that Pacific Ocean is always a draw to me.  But the history of New England sends me to the moon, the old houses, the picket fences, the change of seasons. My heart came here before my body ever did. It’s a long story, maybe I will write it in a book someday.

NQJC: Was it difficult moving to California and no longer calling Vineyard Haven your “home” – or at least “first home”?

We’ve sort of split our time, but we never quit calling Martha’s Vineyard home, nor did I ever stop calling California home.  My friends are all confused; when I’m on the island, I say “we’re going home” about CA, and it goes exactly the same in the other direction.  I’m pretty much homesick no matter where I am.  But there is nothing like this island for inspiration, nothing like my girlfriends who are constantly doing things that send my mind whirling. Nothing like the change of seasons, like now when I’m out on my walk and the wind is blowing and there is a chill in the air and it smells like ocean and leaves are blowing and feels so wonderful like I can maybe fly and I do put my arms out to do it..!  How can a person not be in love with that?!

NQJC: I think what has always drawn me to your books is the common theme of giving to those you love.  Be it food or something you handcrafted, you have inspired me in this area so much. I look at your books constantly and even though I have read them so many times, I seem to always find something new!  Do you ever feel like your “well is running dry”?  Please say NO!  But really?  Where does all this creativity come from and can you impart any words of wisdom that will inspire us to keep looking inward?

I like these questions!  They’re making me think!  I discovered the long, slow, painful way, looking inward is the answer to everything, it’s where I found all the answers I was searching for.  When I moved to the island, alone and lonely, I was searching for answers like a scientist, reading autobiographies, trying hard to find out how a person knows what she wants in life, and then how to get it.  I wanted clear direct answers. A + B = C.  First you do this, and then you do that.

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I was 34 years old, was starting all over, and tired of being a victim of everyone else’s, or so it seemed to me, whims (like ex-husband for example).  You’d be surprised on how hard it is to get a straight 2+2 answer on how to realize dreams.  But piece by piece, by reading (in the manner of a vacuum cleaner) about other people’s lives, alone in that little house, I began to get a few answers and then put them together.  Before that, I thought a new dress, or new boyfriend would cheer me up, but then I learned that it all comes from inside.  What you believe is what is true, if you believe you are contented and the world is your oyster, it is. I was lucky and happened upon a class where meditation was taught, and I learned to do it twice a day, and that’s where I found everything I’d been looking for. Inside me the whole time.  It’s in everyone, and when you see it, it’s like a shock that it’s sitting there in full view and is so simple compared to all of the other ideas you get about how to handle things.  And afterwards you are never a victim again.  Because you know for a fact that the way you look at your life is up to you.  That’s the 2+2=4 answer.
I’ve had fear I can’t think of one more border to paint!  But now I think that imagination and inspiration are infinite, I won’t be running out….I sit down in the morning and say, “Now what can I give the girls today.”

NQJC: Do you have a favorite artist? author?

My studio walls are all books…all my favorite writers are there.  Books by them, and when possible, books about them.  Their personal stories are often more compelling to me than the books they’ve written; this is especially true for Mark Twain.  He taught me (in his autobiography) how to go on when you think you are finished forever.  I love reading about the habits of very creative people, their ways of doing things that work for them.  I figure if I surround myself with these books, by osmosis, their dynamic creativity will seep into me.  I know it’s a stretch, but I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. To say which author or artist is my favorite would be like asking me to choose my favorite color.

NQJC: I know that you opened a brick and mortar in California.  Would you mind telling us a little about it and what made you decide to do so? What is the hardest thing you have faced being a business owner of a brick and mortar?  How about your web shoppe?

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Setting up scenes in my store.

I loved my little store; it was one of the most creative things I ever did, because people were always buying things and I got to change it all the time.  Sometimes I would arrange something — like I would open a beautiful vintage book of roses (this one I’m thinking about was about 2 feet tall and covered in cream linen with gorgeous paintings of roses inside), making it the centerpiece on a large table.  Around that book I’d arrange all kinds of old starched linens, and then sterling silver forks in a wooden silverware basket and a stack of old English garden books; then maybe a green depression-glass ice bucket filled with yellow apples, and a luscious bouquet of “Julia Child” roses I cut from my garden.

I’d get it all gorgeous, and five minutes later someone would come in and buy the rose book!  I wanted to throw my body over it.  No, little scream, you can’t have it!  I decided what I really wanted was a museum!  They could look, but not take stuff away!  :-)
I did the store because people kept asking me to.  I had it for three years, but it took so much of my time, I wanted it to be perfect, I wanted the “girlfriends” to love it, to feel like they’d walked into the pages of one of my books and know they were in the heart of the

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Cutting roses for the store.

home. It was a work of love, but it took a lot of my time, cutting all those roses, so when it was time to sign the lease again, I decided not to do it, three years was enough, the store was in California and I wanted to spend more time on the island.  This didn’t thrill some people, which is why we put more energy into the web store, so that people could continue to get some of the things we had in the store, and even some of the vintage things I love to collect.  It’s not perfect but at least they know where they can get my calendars, and some people are more addicted to those than to anything else I do.

NQJC: Do you have any words of wisdom for women looking to opening their own business?

All the old fashioned rules work, such as a business plan, and an understanding of what will be expected of you.  You positively must make a profit.  Profit isn’t a dirty word.  For all your hard work, you have to make enough to pay your bills and then enough extra to open up a savings account for yourself, buy yourself a house, take yourself on vacation and eat good food. It’s very tempting to give it all away, but it really isn’t the right thing to do.

NQJC: Tell us about your home.  I imagine it’s overflowing with beautiful things you have made.

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My house (on the right) is in a neighborhood of old houses and church bells.

My house was built in 1849 and is one of the big loves of my life.  I’ve written about it for years, but most especially in my Autumn book.  It’s like a person to me, always welcoming me home with open arms, smelling so wonderful of boxwood and wisteria, and right now, wet leaves!  The thing about this house is that because it’s been around so long, lots of people have lived here, leaving behind decades of everyday family life in the DNA of the walls.  The dining room is like a cacophony of holiday and birthday celebrations.  The kitchen smells like 10,000 cakes.  It has a soul.  My studio is in the front room downstairs that other generations called “the music room.”  It’s a house of creativity.  I’ve never had a sewing room before, but always wanted one.  About 2 weeks ago, after a flea-market search for a sewing table and little dresser, we made one upstairs in an alcove between the bedrooms.  The house loves it.  I can’t stop staring at it.  We are happy.

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NQJC: I talk a lot about food on my blog so I have some food related questions:

What is your very favorite meal, including dessert?
Hard question, I like everything.  I love Thai food, things with ginger in it…but homemade comfort food is my favorite.  Linguini and clam sauce with garlic bread, and hot apple crisp with ice cream.

What kitchen gadget could you not live without?
There are three rather simple tools: a microplane zester (if you don’t have one, run to your nearest store, it makes getting lime zest fast and easy, I show how it works in one of my 12 second videos on Facebook); one of those flat scraper/cutter things with a wooden handle (to pick up handfuls of chopped vegetables to carry to a pan; also perfect thing to scrape wood board after making pastry); and last is a large wood-handled metal basket that hangs in the sink which I use to drain pasta or dry lettuce.  I have two of them I got from a restaurant supply store.  I also love my Donvier ice cream maker.

Who does most of the cooking at your house?

Generally, Joe makes breakfast, we do parties and dinner together….and often take our books and the paper and go out to lunch.  Joe ran a famous restaurant here on the island for 23 years, and for a good while of that, he was the chef there.  He loves to entertain and he’s a wonderful cook!

Is there a favorite food from childhood that you wish you had the recipe for?
Yes, my grandma’s best friend, Ruth, made a peanut brittle from the gods, I was too young to get the recipe and then Ruth died, and that was that on the peanut brittle.  Huge loss to the peanut-brittle-loving world.

NQJC: What three “things” can you not live without?

Things, not people, and not kitties?  Things.  I like jeans.  Books.  And, what?  Power over the clicker.  No, I do love Netflix.  Have you seen “Falling for a Dancer?”  Get it, so good.  uh.  The nap blankets my grandma knit for me.  I could probably think of a million things I can’t live without.

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NQJC: Any parting words?  And please, please know how much I appreciate your time!  What a gift this has been!

Just that this was absolutely my pleasure — hope it all made sense!  Thank you for having me, and bye for now!

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Happy Halloween!

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And thank you Susan!  And Judy for all your help!
Now do you all see why I was so beside myself and so anxious to bring this to you!  After reading and re-reading this post I had 20 more questions but they will have to wait.  I hope you will all enter to win Susan’s book and leave her a little thank you if you don’t mind.  Have a wonderful week!  As I said before, I will not post for a couple of days but plan on resuming my writing on Thursday.  See you all soon!

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Patticakenc

Wow, great interview and with such a wonderful person!!! I was totally excited to see one of my favorite cookbook authors and artists! Thank you for putting this together for us and thank you Susan for sharing with us!

I would love to win the book, Autumn!

Happy Week!

Patti

Susan! You genius! What a fabulous, fabulous interview with one of my favorite authors. Her Autumn book is the one closest to my heart because it brings me home every time I open the cover. I do miss New England. I love that you have all of your Willards in a binder. I wish I had been so thoughtful with the ones that come in my e-mail. :( I will start anew and save them all.
I hope that you have the lovliest of Sundays, dear friend, and thank you for such a wonderful glimpse into Susan Branch’s life. :)

Robin Crittenden

Love Susan get her newsletters and am friend on facebook

Victoria

What a wonderful surprise to come here this morning and find your interview with the fabulous Susan Branch. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thank you Susan Branch for sharing, it was a treat. I loved that you shared that you found yourself looking inside through meditation. Kudos to you Susan D. for arranging and bringing this lovely interview, you always deliver but this was exceptional, thank you. Now I’m going to read it again and then cross my fingers until the drawing.

Susan…A delightful and insightful interview… thank you so very much for sharing….and of course enter me for the giveaway…….much love to you…and wishing Jerry a safe trip….Victoria in Houston

Oooh how exciting, and a great interview, I *knew* there was something special about my name :)

Susan Branch is my favorite!!! I was 23 when her first book came out & remember being a young single woman & buying it & telling my mother is was for when I finally met Mr. Right & began a home of my own!!! Susan has been such an inspiration to me & now I watch my 9 year old daughter pour over her books & dream of being an artist & also of having a home of her own.

Laura

Maureen

I love love Susan Branch. I have quite a number of her books. It started with her first book and I have just carried on the love since that one. I have given quite a number of the Christmas books out as gifts and each person who receives them loves them.
I have the address book and a number of the calenders. I love the Willards and read the Willards from start to finish.

How awesome is that! I get Willard delivered to my in-box. I love me some Willard! I already have this book so don not include me in the drawing. I just wanted to say how excited I am for you on this interview!!

thelma

What an awesome interview….so down to earth and real. I plan to look for some of her books today. What a neat surprise Susie!

That was a delightful interview! I love that she takes the train! {I do not fly either}, My favorite book that I have is “Christmas Memories” a little keepsake book. I do have beautiful scrapbooks that I’ve done of all our Christmas’s. I love how this little book inspires me to create memories, enjoying the little things like which candle scent was our favorite or what the Christmas eve menu was- and it holds several years… Susan just warms my heart.

Wow, do I live under a rock? I haven’t heard of Susan before. But I’m glad I have now! Thanks for the introduction. I know I will become a quick fan of Susan Branch, thanks to you!

What a fabulous interview! I just devoured every word of it! I have always been an admirer of her artwork..it just speaks to my soul in a way I can’t describe.

Gert Stevens

Oh I just love this interview, Susan is an amazing lady & I have been a fan of hers for years. I follow her on FB as well as on Twitter. I’d love to be in your drawing for the Autumn book!

Blessings….

I loved this!!!! Thanks to Susan for being so gracious. She inspires me:)
I like the Girlfriends book:)

Reenie

What a great interview! I love reading Susan’s books over and over again.

Rachel Anna

Thank you so much for this interview! I have always liked Susan Branch’s artistic style, and collected a few of her books once upon a time. I am so happy to see this interview here and to be reminded of her delightful books. The past few years have kept me too busy and suppressed creatively – thank you again for this lovely interview which I’m sure will inspire me once again!

terrific interview! love her art style. I enjoy the recipes and ideas that she shares in the “Country Register” too.(the quilting/antique papers found throughout the country at little quilt boutiques and antique shoppes)
thanks for sharing this.

EsSuzy

Thanks, Susan, for your interview with Susan from one more Susan I have loved Susan Branch stuff since having found the calendar with red geraniums years ago. I used a lot of her cute stickers for projects for my 2nd graders. Hope I win the book! Glad I saw this link on Twitter.

Mischelle

Loved this interview and your site! New to me courtesy of Twitter! LOL I have loved Susan Branch since I can’t remember when! I collect all of her books too and yes Autumn is also my favorite! I live for her Willards – like you say – its like getting a letter from a dear friend! Love that there are kindred spirits out there who also feel this way!

Thanks for sharing!

Such a wonderful interview. Loved reading it all and seeing the picture of her first MV home. Autumn and the Girlfriends book (which I got a copy of from each of my BFFs… and have one cover, but not one book… where are they hiding????) are my favs.

ArlineLA

One of the best interviews I’ve seen with Susan. So many of us feel like she is a kindred spirit and have for years. We were even “chasing” the Beatles at the same time in LA! My husband and I would probably never have had our unforgetable trip to Martha’s Vineyard without her inspiring illustrations. Found this website from Susan’s Twitter and will surely be back. Thanks again!

What a lovely visit with Susan. Thanks so much.

Melanie Clark

LOVE the interview. I hadn’t heard of Susan either – so glad to be introduced to her here!

Sharon

I’ve been a Susan Branch fan for years.

Carol Parks

So enjoy Susan! Am friends on Facebook and get the Willard-YES! That book would fit into my life quite nicely I think :) Thanks for sharing the interview.

You did an incredible job with the interview. I have three daughters and all of us LOVE Susan Branch. My middle daughter is the biggest fan of the daughters- every single Christmas, I get her Susan’s new calendar. I’ve waited too long some holidays and have had to go from store to store to store looking for one. One year, there was no calendar–it was incredibly sad!
For me, Susan is a true woman–real as they come. She says that she is ‘not perfect’ but that is what is perfect about her. Being human and sharing all that is you is what is so delightful about her. She has inspired me for years and continues to do so with her humor and sense of self. Her work is ‘my kind of creativity.’ From her love of wallpaper and kitties to her gardening and cooking, I feel a kindred spirit–thank you for asking such great questions and capturing her heart in each of her answers….well done!

Thank you for sharing this wonderful interview with us! And thank you to Susan for the fantastic answers. I would so love to win! Thanks for the chance.

Valerie

Oh how I adore SUSAN! Let me count the ways: I, too, am a long time fan. I am enamored with her art work, and collect her yearly calendars. I have given her books as gifts to special friends, and pour over my copies every chance I get. I love Willard and look forward to it. (That was my grandpa’s middle name!) But my most precious Susan item is a quilt my beloved Sweet Auntie made me from Susan’s fabrics and pattern. It is resting on my couch right now as a reminder of her love for me. Thank you, Susan, for bringing your joy into my home.

What a pleasure to read. I know Susan on Twitter and we always have a fun time chatting but here I got to know more about her and it was delightful to read about how she became the fun and sparkling person she is today. That’s what happens when you have a positive attitude and know how to have fun with life!

I have all of Susan’s books thus far and I get her calendar every year. I also subscribe to her newsletter. I guess you could say I love, LOVE Susan Branch! I have really enjoyed this interview you had with her. Her words, “What you believe is true.” resonate with me. I have been struggling for years to find my niche in the art world. I send my stuff to card companies and get the same answer each and every time. Not our image, and yet everyday ordinary people love them. Perhaps I need to start believing I am an artist and the rest will fall into place! Fabulous interview Susan! What a delightful surprise and treat!! xxoo
PS I couldnt’ e-mail yesterday as our internet was down for most of the day. *grumble*grumble I hate it when that happens!!

Anne

What a great way to start a Monday Morning!! Makes going to work a little easier today..

Francine

I loved you interview with Susan! Autumn is my favorite season, so I’m sure her Autumn book would be well worth having!

What a wonderful interview! Love, love, Susan!! I first discovered her in my early 20’s when I worked in this charming little Victorian gift shop. I’ve been in love with her books ever since and have them all. My fave thing about them is the funny quotes and personal stories that she weaves in.

Laura

Thank you for this interview! I have followed Susan Branch since I started my own home-making 20 years ago. Her artwork is my screensaver and changes with the seasons, and everyone comments on the calendar and books I display in my home. I gift her beautiful items to all of my girlfriends regularly. Recently, in a consignment store, I ran across a set of nesting boxes for babies- the largest one was a first shoe box, and inside were tiny boxes for first haircut and lost teeth. Needless to say I scooped them up right there and gifted them with the baby book to new moms I know. I am currently teaching my 3 girls how to applique using the towling and fabrics from Susan’s webstore. If you haven’t visited, go now! You will be so happy you did!

I love reading about other artists and their inspirations. You did a great job with your questions, encouraging her to “tell all”. I almost feel as if I know her.

I love having a sneak peak into Susan’s day and life!! I have loved Susan too for years. I remember first discovering her in one of my Country Living magazine’s with her illustrations and recipes on one of the pages. I have followed her ever since and had the pleasure of meeting her at the Titcomb’s Bookshop in Sandwich Massachusetts when her Autumn book first came out! Thank you for doing this interview! It really inspired me this morning…. : )

PS. I too, have Susan’s Autumn book (which is wonderful to read with a big cup of tea or two). So please do not include me in the drawing to give someone else a chance to have this wonderful book! I just wanted to leave my comment to let you know how much I enjoyed your interview! Great job!! : )

Wylie

This was an AMAZING interview. I am a huge fan of Susan’s, and have so many of her books. She is an inspiration!!!!

Heather

I love Susan Branch, and now I love NQJC! I’ve been enjoying SB for years, and can’t get enough of her stuff! Her books are inspirational, and help me be a better friend and make an attempt at being domesticated :) !

Thanks for sharing! Happy Autumn!!

lesliesusan

Susan has been inspiring me ever since 1990. I found her first books on sale at a cute little shop that was closing. I tiptoed out the door, hugging the books to my chest, certain I’d found treasures…and I was right!

Liza-Ann Tucker

Thank you for doing this beautiful interview. It’s a gift to me as I smell the turkey roasting, awaiting my clan of 13 for a traditional Canadian Thanksgiving. Susan Branch is the embodiment of all things good about house and home. I love her books and have almost all of them. I can’t wait for the new book to release. She inspires to be a creative homemaker and loving Mother. Keep up the fantastic work.

:-)

Darlene

What a wonderful surprise to find this morning! As always, Susan is an inspiration. Thank you Susan for all you do.

Liz Davey

Loved the interview and enjoy the books. Nothing like fall in New England. I was a New Englander before I moved here.

Julie

I enjoyed reading Susan’s interview. It gave me some inspiration.

Sandra

Love reading about her and getting insight into Susan and her creativity. When I come to the Vineyard, and stay on Franklin Street at my sister’s house, I walk by to look at her lovely home. Someday, I hope I will be able to wave to her!!!! Maybe I will summon the courage to ask for her autograph, OR maybe I will win the Autumn Book and she will sign it!!! Happy FAll, 2010.

Diane Donaldson

Wow! Great job. I live in California so I always am interested in her house in California and her life here as well as Martha Vineyard. Great Job.

Awesome interview! Susan’s art is just wonderful! Thanks so much for this peek into her home and soul.

Christy

Thank you, Susan, for all you do! Such cheery, fun books & calendars! I’ve lived abroad for 8 years now & your artwork helps fill a homesick place in my heart.