Monday, June 08, 2020

Weekly Catch Up and Random Ramblings

Hi Tribe,
well it's been a mix bag of emotions kinda week, which is becoming the norm rather than the exception. 

The makeshift counter has once again moved from right in front of the door to the side. 

The Government guidelines are still rather sketchy on how we operate face to face contact in a small consulting area which changes on an almost daily basis.
I can't really criticize as we all seem to be winging it. 

My original idea of putting the counter slap bang in front of the door felt a bit too intrusive, especially as the area is so small and coming out of the work/shop meant that I would be within 2 metres of them when they walked through the door.

I have to admit I wasn't keen on customers having their hands all over my stock, but when it's your main USP I am reluctant to give this up.... more deep thinking! 

It's a really odd situation. We have to be prepared for customers to return, but we have no idea when and I have no intentions of opening until I decide when I feel it's safer for me to do so. At the moment I don't! And I know I'm not alone. 

I thankfully have the website set up already, so it's possible for people to buy on-line and use video calling on Messenger, so this may be an avenue to explore.... Virtual consultations. 

The good news is everything is clean and fresh and Steve's done a sterling job of repainting all the outside and making the sanitising station. I really don't know how I would have got through this without him! 

In other news.... THE CHARITY KITS launched!

And they are all ready to go.  I really do hope that these take off! I make no money on this what-so-ever. Only the postage is covered in the price.

I don't think I was prepared for the amount of time it takes to make up kits and write the instructions, but we'll see how we go.

I'm currently debating on which of these 2 cards to put in the JULY kit.
I love the idea of the pop-up box card, but writing the instructions is a bit complicated and I don't want people to struggle to make them.

The concept is easy when you get the hang of them, but whether that converts to explaining it on paper may be another thing altogether.

I may make kits with these z fold cards. I'm currently at the R&D stage of a blank card is all I have to show you!


I swear it was my neighbours' young daughter who made me do this! Especially when she said 'Sue....your hair has gone all grey!' I have to admit, it shocked me too! I looked like a cross between my mam and BoJo. 
Something had to give! Now, I'm one of those people that think if something worth doing you may as well go for it... life it too short.... I'm right aren't I?

What the only live once!.... so this happened!

My hair is thick and dry, but even the hairdresser leaves my colour on for an hour....otherwise it simply washes out.

The instructions advised 3-15mins.... and so I bottled out at 15...I should have just gone for it and left it on for half an hour!  Anyhow....this was the result!


After almost a month of beautiful sunshine, the weather had to go and spoil things. However, I was glad that the garden didn't need watering for a few days. 
I was shocked at the hailstone though... now that I wasn't prepared for! 

If there's one thing I am truly grateful for during this lockdown, it's the chance to really notice and appreciate the garden. 

I've seen flowers open that normally I only get to see in a brief moment during the year, usually when I finish work and before tea. After the rain came the water irises, always a joy to see how well they grow and with the pond always filled with water they take no looking after! 

The fish have long since gone from the pond and the flowers have all but spread over the whole pond. Water buttercups with their sunshine yellow and Water irises the colour of summer skies. Natures natural beauty.

I've loved watching the bees all over the flowers of my white Hebe. In Autumn and winter, it just looks like any other evergreen shrub. Come Spring the flowers burst into life and it's covered. Perfect for bees! 

Well, that's my not very eventful weekly catch up. Strange how the weeks are starting to fly by. At the start of lockdown, a day felt like a week!

I hope whatever you are doing, you are keeping safe and well. Please leave a comment and let me know you've visited the blog. It's great to see the old familiar names and faces connecting once again and new readers joining in too!

Until next time, Love and bright blessings, Sue xox

If you want one of our CHARITY KITS we still have a few left
CLICK HERE the buy button is at the bottom of the post.

Monday, June 01, 2020

Charity Kit #1 - June 2020

Hi Tribe, Introducing our June Charity Kit.

Available for pre-order now,
release date: the first Friday of the month

A 5.00 donation from each purchase
will be given to help small charities
who don't get the same support as the larger ones.

The finished cards

Card 1 - Portrait style

Card 2 - Landscape Style


Kit Includes:

2 x WHITE Folded Cards measuring 10.5cm x 14.7cm.

2 x KRAFT backing cards

2 x WHITE Matching envelopes

The kits include ALL THE PRE-CUT PAPER ELEMENTS for the top

and includes FREE SHIPPING TO THE U.K!

All you need is glue.
We recommend P.V.A. applied with
a cocktail stick for the more delicate shapes.

If you'd like to help support our charity of the month,
here's the payment  link

We hope that these kits will be a great success
 over the coming months.
Every little helps!

 Love & Bright blessings,
Sue xox

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Weekly catch up and random ramblings

Hi Tribe,
We ventured into the studio yesterday, mainly to catch up on maintenance and get this kit idea off to a start. 

I set Steve to work on rubbing down the paintwork on this dilapidated cottage that I fondly refer to as my second home. But first.... he needed to trim back the bush as he couldn't get near the windows!

 During this lockdown I've noticed how blue the sky is. Something I haven't seen since I was a kid! I doubt anyone believed it when I used to reminisce how blue the skies used to be, but thankfully they've now seen it for themselves. 
In a selfish twist, I'm glad the plane companies are going out of business. Not only for the environment but the economy too. If more people spent their money here we would be more financially stable as a country and don't even get me started on the carbon footprint all these travelling planes cause. 

I have to admit, it was a hot day... perhaps too hot (Did I really say THAT?). It was so hot Steve went on a mercy mission to get the last remaining ice cream lollies out of the home fridge. 

I finally put all doubts and worries aside and the work on the new Charity Kits has started! As I said in a previous post it's really bothered me that the smaller charities are down on their vital fundraising. Their shops are closed and the events that they rely on so heavily cancelled. So, I'm making it a priority. 

Oh the irony of paying a small fortune for a diary this year! I bought this and remember almost fainting at the price.... but it went with my branding so I clenched my teeth and bit the bullet!

Now it looks like it's going to end up being a notebook, what with all weddings cancelled and such like.

Perhaps I'll buy a cheap one next year!

I'm thinking of launching the Charity Kits on the first Friday of every month.
This will give me enough time to make the kits, write the instructions and get the blog post written.

I've designed the cards already. I just have to decide on how many to make available and what charities to support.

Steve managed to get the paintwork rubbed down, but the more he sanded the more wood fell out. The heat was unbelievably hot and too hot to paint. So we ended the day on a high, but knew when to stop. at least.

Yesterday seemed much more optimistic. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it was when the government announced that we can meet in groups of up to 6 people? And while I have no intention of leaving my little town at least for the time being, it does mean we can see the grandkids, which is brilliant news.

Regarding opening the work/shop. While I'm happy(er) to be in there I am not happy to be open to the public anytime soon. Even though I have all the measures in place that I physically can, it all seems too soon and way out of my comfort zone right now.

The numbers may be dropping as a national average, I know fine well that they are NOT dropping here and while R number is nearer 1 than 0, I won't be opening to the public.

I have a website and I'm happy to do messenger video calls, so the only advantage of opening is that the public can see and touch things. Touching things is not permitted under the government regs even with hand washing.

Whether this is a good idea or bad, I have no intention of putting my life or the lives of my family at risk... it's as simple and clear cut as that.

We drink very little and haven't had a drink all lockdown, but last night it seemed right to crack open the Pimms that has been in the cupboard for at least 2 years and have a celebratory drink.

I'll leave you with my only lockdown ' non-essential' beautiful, solar, moon-gazing hare and the beautiful blackbird friend that serenades me first thing ona morning and last thing at night.

If you read my blog posts all the way through, please can you leave me a comment, a message or simply a quick hello? It will be nice to have something more than a thumbs up that we usually get on FB.

With love and bright blessings, Sue xox.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

From books to charity kits

Hi Tribe,
After losing my centre vision the thing I miss most is the ability to read. I loved reading. Then someone pointed me in the direction of Audible and quite frankly it changed my world. 

At first, I absorbed myself in marketing books, but there's only so many 'I became a millionaire overnight' success stories you can listen to and all of them were a far cry from the little business I had built up. Talks about social media calendars and planning went right over my head. I don't do strategy and funnels.... it's just not my way.

I was about to give up and delete my subscription when Milly Johnson popped up on the best sellers list. I listened to the brief audible snip, oh how I laughed! I realised she was not only a very clever writer but hilariously funny and an amazing storyteller. Added to that she came from my neck of the woods and wrote about brides (The White Wedding) .... a territory I was familiar with.  Over the next few months, I went through every book listed on Amazon and couldn't wait for the next one to be released.  I followed her on all social media... (Do you ever feel like a stalker?) I was desperate not to miss her updates.
If you are going to start listening or reading her novels I suggest you start with The Yorkshire Pudding Club. 

Just as I had ran out of Milly's books to read she recommended Carole Matthews
and one of her books  Paper Hearts & Summer Kisses, a story about a paper crafter, stood out. I loved the story and could really identify with so much of Christie Chapmans life.... as a paper crafter with a passion but also the drama and shock of been given bad news and taking comfort and solace to get you through the bad times.  Then somehow and I can't remember how I found that Christie was a real person and the news of her young sons brain tumour and the book was based on her. So I followed her on Facebook . 'Hope & Chances Creativity'.
I'm not a srtalker honest... I just love following the people I love.

Now then, you are probably wondering what all this has to do with anything much... but there's a wonderful sense of synchronicity going on bear with me....

For the next week or so I am mulling over what I can do to keep the business afloat. I'm doubting that I will have an weddings to make invitations and stationery to make for the rest of this year. If you read the last post you'll realise I have more paper, card and envelopes than UI can shake a stick at and I also had that nagging thing at the back of my mind that I should be doing something to help not only myself but I realised that small charities with their fundraisers gone and the shops closed and that they too would be struggling.

After a lot of thinking, I was pretty set on making subscription boxes. With more and more people finding comfort and joy in being creative, I had everything I needed to get started. the more I thought of the generous task ahead the more I put it off. Afterall if I started this, how would I keep it going when the couples returned and the quiet season became my busy season once again?

Then a really weird thing happened. A link popped up on my Facebook feed. Christine was offering Charity Kits for sale to support the NHS I followed the link and found her blog Hope & Chances. On reading further I saw that this was not a new idea of hers.... she's been doing it for a long time..... since June 2013 in fact! What an absolutely brilliant idea! And something I could manage on a monthly basis. Not too taxing or time-consuming if this got crazy busy in the wedding world! I ordered a kit in support of her idea and to get some idea of what was involved. The May Charity Kit arrived!

WOW! Stunning!  I haven't that many dies and was thinking of something simpler, that perhaps would suit kiddies more. Then the Rainbow kit was released. Not one but 2 smaller cards RAINBOW CARDS can be seen HERE Perfect! I'm looking forward to handing these over to my paper mad 10-year-old granddaughter Daisy to make!

YES! YES! YES! This would be perfect... but I didn't want to roll this out without checking with Christine first. So I contacted her and she very kindly agreed it wasn't a problem AMAZING LADY!  Please do pop over and read her blog HERE and help her charity card fundraising by buying her kits. They are awesome little gems and great fun. All you need is glue and some gems if you want to embellish your cards.

Now, I'm in the process of putting together my first kit designs. The board backed postal envelopes have just this minute arrived and all being well, I'll be ready to rock and roll by the end of next week!

I think this will give me a great focus and get my backside moving back into the studio. It's been a very strange time of ups and downs both emotionally and mentally and I know I'm not alone.

The one thing that has kept me going through the dramas of my life is taking a simple piece of paper or card and making it into something incredible,

Crafting is good for the heart and soul, of that there is no doubt. Paper crafting especially gives great pleasure. it's readily available and affordable. What's not to like?
Please find Christine and Hope and Chances

With love and bright blessings, Sue xox.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

How did it get to this?

Hi Tribe,
On the 26th February, we finally got round to changing the window and adding a beautiful rose and leaf screen at the back, This was so overdue it was embarrassing, but when you are busy with orders these things seem to get put on the backburner.

Not only did it look pretty, but it also made the window
 far more accessible from the other sie. 

We also covered the shelf with stunning glitter vinyl 
which would enhance any of our invitations and stationery. 

Little did we know that less than a month later we'd be closing the doors and not knowing when or even IF we'd be opening again.

I'm not sure the penny had dropped for most people but I actually shut shop almost a week before lockdown.... I just got the most horrible feeling and just HAD to do it.

All businesses were instructed to stop what they were doing and STAY AT HOME! I'm sure people didn't realise the implications of this and with hotels, pubs and venues shutting shop, weddings were postponed and overnight the customers who I had relied on to keep my shop open disappeared, with no real understanding of when they will reopen.

I worried for them I contacted all 15 couples who had weddings booked so far and who had already had stationery from me and told them I would do their change of date cards free..... but as yet I'm holding off printing them as some couples postponed till August but even then they seem unlikely to be going ahead. I'm afraid it's a waiting game.

Anyway..... before lockdown I placed a last-minute order for card and envelopes.... listen if I was going to be closed for any length of time I wanted to make sure I a) Had enough crafting supplies to get through and b) make sure I had the stock for when I reopened as there's going to be delays in supplies when we do open.
Thankfully the order came the day we shut shop! 

O.k. I really do have enough paper, card and envelopes to last me a lifetime.... but I wasn't quite thinking straight. I didn't worry about not having a haircut for 6 months, but card and envelopes? NOPE! And then I ran off to buy white gloss and emulsion.... just to keep Steve busy decorating you understand! (Slight giggle here!)

The first 3 weeks were spent with Steve working from home and me generally cleaning all those places that get missed when you work 6 days a week. At last, I could once again see out of my windows, the corners of the room got hoovered and even the skirting boards looked at me surprised when I offered them a damp cloth!  Once Steve was furloughed the ceilings got painted and the doors and those still in shock skirting boards got a new lease of life.  The garden had an early spring makeover, the grass was but and then..... it all sort of went downhill after then.

The novelty of a stay at home person soon wore off. It wasn't a holiday as no-one could go out.  Daily updates became almost an obsession and the statistics became horrifying. But the good thing to come out of all this is the change ALL  business owners have had to STOP, re-evaluate and rethink their businesses and where they are going. It's been a time of majors.... Major ups and Major downs, but the one good thing small independent businesses have over large national ones is that we can pivot and swivel at the drop of a hat. We are more flexible and adaptable. Here-in lies our strength.

I've seen the most awesome things happening in the small business world. Clothes manufacturers have been making gowns, Gin makers have been making hand sanitizer and restaurants have been making and delivering means for those self-isolating or shielding. 

I'm going to put this on a t-shirt!

I love designing and making wedding invitations and stationery, but there are times in the year when there simply is no business and with the current covid19 issues it seems very unlikely to me that there will be any weddings at all this year and I certainly don't think that couples who haven't already booked will go rushing out to book this year at least. 
Late Autumn into Winter is not many people favourite time to get married so it's generally quiet for me. Last Winter I offered Personalised baubles, LED bottles and other small personalised gifts which certainly helped keep me solvent through the lean times. 
As well as the wedding stationery I already make and offer cake toppers, t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies along with making small business stationery for fellow crafters... again all these help to keep the wolves from the door, but not enough to do full time. 

So, with all hands on deck and me feeling pretty useless I was sort of transported back to when Inspired by Script was born. As many of you know I started life as a calligrapher and lettering artist. My work involved commercial work and commissions but I also created pieces for sale, generally working with positive, inspirational and motivational quotations that I either wrote on canvas or made into little books.  I got to thinking what do people need right now? How can I help? What can I do? And then BOOM! Affirmation cards! Something from the past that helped me so much when times were really low! 

Of course, I found an old set and realised that after putting them to bed almost 10 years ago I needed to revamp and almost reinvent them! 

Before I knew it the boxes were being replaced with tin ones and my finger had clicked the buy now button on the packaging website!

A new up to date instruction card
 replaced the small booklet.
And the tins made them more durable.

The cards were made larger and the font more modern

I listed them on my website and sold 7 straight away!

That doesn't sound a lot but when you haven't sold anything since the middle of March it becomes a big deal! 

So then my brain started to go into overdrive. What could I do to keep the business alive during what could possibly be the worst year ever and potentially see me shutting up shop forever? 

The recent week and extraordinary synchronicity that seems to thread through my life would give me the answer when I least expected it... but I'm going to leave that for another day. 

I hope if you have a small creative business you are seeing a way through what feels like dark wood. I hope you are finding new ways to pivot and market your business and most of all I hope you are reaching out to those around you and to others when you need them 

If you've found a way of adapting your business, I'd love to hear. 
Pop me a comment below, I promise to reply. 

with love and bright blessings, Sue xox

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

It's been a long time! Since I've seen you....move over darling!

Hi tribe! 
WOW! A whole 6 years and 5 months since my last blog post!..... really where does the time go? So much has changed and yet so much has stayed the same!

I've toyed with the idea of starting a new blog... many, many time, I dreamt up titles and started with good intentions, but somehow nothing seemed to fit! Nothing felt quite like the warm comfortable space that I created way back in September 2006

In those days blogging was still new and I created it as a sort of diary with photos recording my thought, my pets, my garden, my spiritual life, my passion for all things paper and my little business Inspired by Script. (Yes I'm still hanging on in there!) 21 years who would have ever believed that!?

Facebook was still relatively new and Instagram hadn't been invented!  the only way to get photos n your blog was to buy a digital camera and laboriously download them each night, save them to your hard drive and then upload from there. Now we have photos on our phones and can add them in an instant!

Through this blog, I made many friends also with the desire to share their lives with the outside world. Blogging wasn't the commercial venture it seems to have turned in to these days. It was simply a way to connect and share our passions and deepest thoughts. 

Since those early days... I've met my soul mate Steve, my son got married 11 years ago and I've become a grandma of 2 awesome kids Daisy who is now 10 and Mylo who is 8. My cat family has left and been replaced, but I still have Dodger (now 17 years old). 

So why restart this blog rather than leave the past behind and start something new and fresh? 

The whole COVID19 (Damn thing!) Made me do it! 

I'm not going to lie and tell you that everything in the garden is rosy. Like most people, this has been a very emotional time of ups and downs and whys, ifs and buts. I've spent hours trying to find the positives in this whole world-altering thing (and I have) but I've also spent hours in tears, mourning the loss of life but equally, kindness seems to set me off just as much. 

I've loved the fact that the earth has time to recover from the pollution which has ruined the eco-system, I love the laypeople are speaking to each other, caring for neighbours and stepping up to the mark and for once considering others before themselves. (That's how it used to be yanno!). I've loved how parents are finally interacting with their kids and also getting creative with them. Teaching them about nature. Speaking of nature I think i9t's truly awesome how people have had time to STOP and actually take note of the little things around them.  People who are lucky enough to have gardens are now appreciating them and seeing the benefits of being close to nature by just stepping outside. The small joys of life suddenly become a big deal during lockdown! 

Above my own little builtin sanctuary,
aptly called the Zen Den

And here's a non staged picture taken today.

Back to the blog!

I came to realise that no matter what titles I came up with, they didn't quite fit me like this old familiar glove. I toyed with the idea of deleting all the old posts and starting fresh. I looked over some posts and thought either OMG! 'What???? Did I really write THAT!' or simply cringed at others, however in my higher wisdom, I've decided to keep the posts and the blog and most of the elements on it. If you choose to read past posts that's fine, there are some hidden gems amongst them (I promise).
That was life then and this is me now. Not sure I am wiser, but I'm definitely older. 

This is me. I make no apologies for being me. 
Take me or leave me, I am what I am!

If you are new here.....welcome, This is just my on-line journal of life as a creative spirit. Homelife mixed with studio life. The ups and the downs.
Probably a mish-mash of all sorts of random shit mixed in.  

Please feel free to connect and leave a comment. It will be good to see how many people this reaches. 
with love and bright blessings, Sue xox

Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Good Things Jar 2013

As the year draws to a close it's easy to focus on all the negative things that have happened throughout the year. 

I saw this idea sometime in mid December 2012 and was determined to start one for myself.

The concept is simple. It costs very little to put into action And will help you realise it's the small things in life that bring the joy and reflections of all the good things that happen Throughout the year.

Take a Kilner jar or something similar, This could be a pretty box or container with a lid like a teapot perhaps And starting on January 1 fill the jar up with pieces of paper writing on each piece anything good that happens. 


Then on new years eve of that year open up the jar to see all the good stuff that has happened that year. I am surprised and impressed with how full mine actually became. With all the bad news in the media and the normal struggles of everyday life it's easy to become entangled in the web of negativity. 

I'm thinking of creating some of these jars for my brides and grooms And will call them wishing jars. Guests can write on pieces of paper or card and add them to the jar. The bride and groom can then open the jar and read the messages from their friends and family. 

Why not start the jar for 2014? I think you'll be as surprised as I was as to how much good stuff happens. I wish you all the very very best for 2014

If you are on Facebook.... come and join our dedicated group: Good Things Jar 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lance Cpl Ben Hyde - We Shall Remember Them

In memory of all those lost in battle.... but in particular Ben. The people of northallerton will NEVER forget.
Special warm hugs to John and Sandra today who lost their only son and who have devoted their time to the Ben Hyde Memorial Fund to raise money for others and their amazing courage and determination to see the 'Justice will be done'. We are all behind you xxx

Lance Corporal Ben Hyde was one of six Royal Military Policemen who died on24"'June 2003, killed by a mob in a fire-fight at a police station in the town of Al Majarr Al Kabir Southern Iraq.

Monday, April 29, 2013

A week in the life of.... Sue Simpson..... Anything can happen!

As most people who know me and are familiar with Inspired by Script know, the studio is open Tuesdays - Saturdays, so I try and catch up with my Blogging and paperwork on a  Monday. 
During busy times it's hard to blog as each job is completed and so I'll try at least to do a once a week post. Finally, I seem to have caught up with all the orders and this week (hopefully) I'll be spending time creating some new designs :-)

First item on the agenda last week were some table names for Nicky and Adam.... these are their Wedding Invitations so they had to match......

Again the gorgeous Kingfisher Blue foil was used and Nicky & Adam 
named each table after a type of butterfly.... lovely!

Then there were some Kingfisher Blue place cards to do 
who had chosen the same colour scheme......

I was at a Wedding Fair the week before and was approached 
by the lovely Constance from Connie's Cakes 
This is her work below and you can see more on her website
Connie makes the fab figures and her lovely mum bakes the cakes! 

Her and her mum had seen my Egg Cups 
and wanted me to do not only Egg Cups,
but a matching Bride and Groom plate and mug too.
I had to admit I hadn't done plates before,
but there's a first time for everything....

The plates were probably easier than the Egg Cup and Mug put together :-)

Then it was on to Enna and Stephens 
'On the Day' stuff.
I'd already made the Wedding Post Box,

And cut the hearts for the Seating plan....
but the Seating Plan is one of the last things to be made 
as my clients have to wait for last minute replies to their invitations.....

I took the inspiration from the hanging hearts,
which I really loved and worked well....

And .... there we have it....
The finished seating plan :-)

Then, some lush violet paint was mixed.....

And the place cards completed. 

Phew! A wide a varied week for me. It's so nice sometimes to do bits and pieces. It sort of keeps my mind flowing and my enthusiasm going. Don't get me wrong, I love creating the Wedding Stationery, but the 'On the Day' stuff is just as important to me. Variety id the spice of life.... or so they say :-)

And so came the weekend and I want to share this magic moment with you. .... Whatever the weather, Steve and I were determined to get out in the fresh air and blow off some cobwebs.  These days we seem to work all day everyday and find very little time for ourselves. So we decided to pack a picnic and get ourselves off to Studley Royal. (near Ripon, North Yorkshire). 

Steve especially had never seen Deer running free. At reception we were told the that even though they had around 300 deer there, the chances of seeing them were pretty remote..... but he managed to spot one and get a pretty good picture.....

And further on and round the corner..... we were blessed with this......

Whoooooah! That must be the whole damn herd then! 
I LOVE those MAGIC moments, do't you? 

Don't forget....
My website is at
And you can call us on 01609 776 866 
during opening hours.

All photos and text
(c) Sue Simpson


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