Category Archives: Autumn

Susan Branch, Author + Watercolor Artist

So.

My recent search for a botanical print led to my discovery

of a favorite new watercolor artist . . .

. . . Lucile Prache, about whom I blogged yesterday:

botanical lucileskitchen food

. . .  + whose work reminded me

of another favorite watercolor artist + author,

Susan Branch . . .

susan branch photo better

. . . whose books I used to sell in my old shop, Heart-in-Hand.

susan branch heart of the home

I just love her sweet illustrations

+ charming, hand-painted fonts:

susan branch sea illustration

How adorable is the plaid border she’s painted on this page!

susan branch gift baskets

susan branch summer days

She’s written all sorts of books + publishes an annual calendar,

available on her blog.

susan branch calendar

She’s also written a series of 3 memoirs,

2 of which I’ve read + highly recommend.

The middle book, Martha’s Vineyard, Isle Of Dreams,

which I read first,

is about her moving from California to Nantucket island:

susan branch nantucket try 2

Since I’ve always wished to visit Nantucket,

it was wonderful to read her description of her life there

+ her renovation of a charming cottage for herself.

Look at her darling diagram of said cottage:

susan branch book page with house diagram

As you can see, each page is just a visual treat:

susan branch book page with font

As this book comes to an end,

Susan had met, fallen in love with + married Joe Hall:

susan branch and husband in book page

Okay, everybody: awwwww!

Isn’t that sweet?  Relationship goals!

 Joe is the proprietor of Nantucket’s famous Black Dog Tavern,

from which one can purchase all sorts of home goods + apparel

with the Black Dog logo:

susan branch dog mat

Her third book,

A Fine Romance / Falling In Love With The English Countryside,

is a diary of the couple’s car trip in England:

susan branch english book

Once again, she’s in a place I’ve longed to visit,

+ her vivid descriptions allowed me

to travel vicariously with her.

They toured many beautiful English gardens,

including the one surrounding Beatrix Potter’s** cottage.

peter rabbit

** Yes, that Beatrix Potter,

of Peter Rabbit fame,

yet another author/illustrator whose watercolors

I’ve always admired.

Soon enough I found myself watching

the Renee Zellweger biopic,

Miss Potter,

which was just as charming as all get-out

+ for which I give an enthusiastic THUMBS UP!

susan branch miss potter movie

Here’s Renee now, on location:

beatrix potter movie location with renee

I don’t know if that’s the actual Beatrix Potter cottage,

but isn’t it swoon-worthy?

beatrix potter renee painting

Anyway, in conclusion,

while there are 3 volumes in Susan Branch’s memoirs,

+ I have read only the 2nd + 3rd books.

In fact, I just discovered the existence of her first

while I was writing this blog post

 it’s called The Fairy Tale Girl —

+ is about her early life in California.

susan branch fairy tale girl

The above photo is from Jama’s Alphabet Soup (cute name!)

 blog post —

which is a very interesting read (trust me — check it out!)

In conclusion, I shall request The Fairy Tale Girl

from our inter-library loan system, TODAY.

You can buy signed copies of all 3 books on her blog,

so if anyone’s wishing to send me an early birthday gift . . .

. . . hint!

 


Our Yard’s Blue + White Theme

It’s starting to look like Fall in our yard,

as some of our + our neighbors’ trees are dropping their leaves

Speaking of  leaves, check out these, on one of our Oak Leaf hydrangeas:

IMG_2345

IMG_2347

 If only I’d taken this photo a couple days ago,

when those red leaves were so vivid + gorgeous!

IMG_2349

They already pop nicely against our neighbor’s light wood fence,

so imagine how stunning they will be when all the leaves turn scarlet!

They’ll eventually grow to 8′ – 10′ tall + will provide lots of privacy.

I blogged about them last August when we were planting them.

hydrangeas with chairs

They were only about a foot tall.

hydrangea border new looking ssouth

They’re now almost 4′ tall.

IMG_2349

This first season, we had only about 6 or 7 total blooms,

but fingers crossed they will look more like this next summer:

hydrangea oak leaf

While I was outside this morning,

I decided to snap a few more photos of my groovies.

There’s my very pretty blue gazing ball on an old hollow stump,

 a vintage Dachshund statue,

+ some velvety Pulmonaria (a.k.a. Lungwort) plants:

IMG_2339

That bit of a fern belongs to our large Boston fern (below),

+ those cobalt blue glass stars are from my favorite garden center,

Blumen Gardens in Sycamore, IL.

IMG_2343

Here’s a better look,

with some companion globe thistle plants, in our last house’s yard:

blue glass stars

So pretty!

And wouldn’t you know it — I got the globe thistle plants at Blumen Gardens, too!

Anyway, it’s easy to see that our yard has a bit of a blue + white theme.

IMG_2337

Some pretty blue Endless Summer hydrangeas

are growing just across the yard from our Oak Leaves.

hydrangea endless summer

We even painted our garden shed blue.

That’s our bee garden that we planted this summer.

The pretty white Coneflowers are the stars right now,

+ yes, we attracted bees!

IMG_2353

That bird bath on a stand is also from Blumen Gardens,

+ how much do I love that mosaic blue + white transferware plate!

IMG_2355

Oops.  I should have tidied it up before taking a photo!

Finally — in closing — next spring

we’ll have all sorts of pretty blue + white spring flowers.

We planted lots of bulbs, about which you can read more, here.

That’s really going to be a much-needed morale boost

when everything’s gloomy + muddy in March

+ I’m so cold I can’t feel my toes.


Less Is More Fall Decor

Earlier this week, I shared both my current

+ my most-recent-past fall porch steps:

HA!  I must’ve had a lot more time on my hands back then.

Or maybe I’ve embraced the highly regarded

 LESS IS MORE school of seasonal décor.

Let’s have a look at some fall LESS IS MORE happiness inside our house.

Our huge sorter in the living room has had a wee bit of a makeover:

img_2154.jpg

I emptied all the cubbies + refilled them with small pumpkins + gourds.

img_2160-e1506452232835.jpg

L O V E !

IMG_2224

I’m really fond of these next 2 photos; perhaps I will have one or both framed.

But back to the sorter.

The black books + the red books switched places.

I love black in the fall + wanted the black books to be more prominent.

img_21541-e1506452563751.jpg

Speaking of good colors,

I’ve always displayed my yellow ware bowls in the fall.

This year, some of them are marching across the top of our sorter:

IMG_2154

IMG_2154

IMG_2229

IMG_2168

IMG_2154

I made that silhouette of my grandson

+ wanted its black + white + antique gold for my fall vignette.

IMG_2165

Don’t you love the crackled glaze on this vintage yellow ware crock?

IMG_2233

IMG_2219

We also hung my vintage St. Louis map on the front of the sorter:

IMG_2162

Well, this concludes the fall décor portion of my blog,

unless I can whip up a little more enthusiasm.

Stay tuned!


THE CAVENDER DIARY

2 GROWN MEN vs a 40 YEAR OLD HOUSE

Earnest Home co.

The New Traditional

down to earth digs

life in and around the garden

bubblewrappedblog

Poppable Reviews of Books, Movies, and Beauty

Lifestyle & Design Online

Sharing our life, our style, & design online.

Hooked on Houses

A Fun Place to Get Your House Fix