Of comfort books and magic rooms

by - Friday, October 21, 2011

Do you have a favorite comfort book?

I have a couple of books that I love reading and  re-reading--Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy and Susan Branch's Girlfriends Forever. These books are written from the heart with a charmingly homespun flavor. Sarah and Susan are what I would call the quintessential, perfect BFFs. Eternally, witty, wise and whimsical they impart their pearls of wisdom in absolutely engaging formats. Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance book  is written in diary format where topics are organized with a seasonal or monthly theme. Each day, there is a topic that invites you to think, dream or delight in. This book will never grow old since it's like a perpetual calendar of inspiration that will last through the ages.

On the other hand, Girlfriends Forever is written in the signature Susan Branch style. Every page is rendered in the handmade way--charming watercolor illustrations with fountain pen handwritten texts in  cute cursive font.

My favorite page in the book is about Real Life Good Housekeeping where Susan gives a DIY tip on how to make "The Best New Room in the House:"

So make a magic room-a craft room. Have wide surfaces to work on, a place to keep wrapping paper and ribbon-organize things so you can get to them, according to your interests- stickers, scrapbooks, glue glitter, colored pencils, pinking shears, hole punch, construction paper, rubber stamps, journals, stationery, fabric, yarn, ribbons, buttons, watercolors, how-to-books, the sewing machine and files for collecting ideas. Decorate with your own collections- have music and a good chair for dreaming in.  
On that note, we will be calling craft rooms magic rooms from now on. :)

By the way, if you like a peek-a-boo owl in between the pages of your favorite comfort book visit Susan Branch's From Me to You page.

Enjoy Susan's DIY guide to a happy life. Happy weekend!

 Copyrighted material/Susan Branch

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  1. This post caused me to give thought to which books I continue to carry with me, and also the question of whether one book can instruct creativity (which is almost synonymous in my mind with comfort). Ha ha, and when one gives thought to something, it's hard to be concise, but here is my roundabout answer to your comfort book question!
    When I first began writing poetry seriously at 18 in Paris, someone I met at the Shakespeare&Co said to me: Your poems are so cliche! Ever since, I've been trying to live life through my own eyes, which is why I guess there is no 'instruction book' I go back to.
    The books I look to are those that give guidance as to how to interpret the transient things around us.
    But that sounds so serious, so let me add that I have nothing against a good romantic comedy or a cat nap! We can't philosophise until we are full - as one obscure folk saying explains :)


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