Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Opening my Good Things Jar 2013

It's that time of the year!
New Years Eve 2013....
It's time to open and reveal 
all the good things that 
have happened this year.



I have to say... I was surprised by how many bis of paper I had added..... although I was even more surprised that I added more at the back end of the year than the front. Surprised especially because the Winter is a particularly bad time for me as I suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder.... I've told Steve that moving to Australia would help.... but I'm not sure he heard :-)




Even Pudding came to help.....



I have to say here.... that there were far more 'Good Things' happen in 2013... like the business taking off beyond my wildest dreams, and after many years of hard graft and struggle, but I suppose I was so busy, especially during the Summer months, I didn't have time to add every little thing... which added to be bigger 'thing'.
xoxox

So.... what's in my Good things jar 2013?

  1. Starting Zumba!
  2. Starting a new Website to help other create their own websites and market their work.
  3. Started online course On marketing with book more brides 
  4. Daisies joy when grandad fixed her chair
  5. Bulbs for my birthday in September
  6. Finally got my bulbs planted in December
  7. A surprise bottle of mead from Steve
  8. Painted the kitchen lime green
  9. Fantastic Christmas day spent with the grandkids Paul and Sarah
  10. Fantastic, tasty Christmas Dinner cooked by my son
  11. Blues lab results coming back negative
  12. So happy we got all our Christmas shopping finished
  13. Valentines day my gorgeous Steve took me to my favourite restaurant
  14. 14 August painted the shed wacky colours including hot pink lime green and turquoise
  15. End of January for an busy month with lots of wedding orders
  16. My new Runrig CD and DVD from Steve's mum and sister for my birthday
  17.  taking Daisy for her third birthday present
  18. Steve's moms successful operation
  19. Hearing a friends cancer have not spread to her lymph nodes
  20. Receiving flowers from a happy customer
  21. Bonfire night with the grandkids
  22. Taking the grandkids to Darlington Park. Riding on the bikes with Daisy
  23. The little love notes Steve leaves for me
  24. Darlington Sunday People's market for meeting such wonderful people
  25. Watching Daisy for the first time on her scooter, Racing up and down the shop
  26. Enough eyesight left to at least continue my work and draw doodles
  27. Being presented with a Handmade wooden heart-shaped box containing a wedding ring
  28. 20th of September taking daisy on her first camping experience
  29. The best trading year ever
  30. Taking friends and their kids to their first camp
  31. Landmass camp 2013
  32. Watching pudding cat mesmerised by the singing Santer
  33. Finally getting round to painting the bathroom cupboard
  34. A friend Garys all clear results 10th of December the day after he moved into his new home
  35. Grateful that my friends and family survive the storms October
  36. Finally finished Christmas shopping thanks to Steve going to go outdoors 18th of December
  37. Every November I am reminded of the kindness shown by my calligraphy friends around the world in my hour of need
  38. The lovely long hot summer we've had and the mild winter
  39. Seeing Mylo riding daisys electric scooter
  40. Relieved that Paul's car didn't cost as much to get fixed as we thought it might
  41. My Kirk lettering newsletter that keeps me in touch with North Yorkshire calligraphers
  42. Being with friends on a campsite. It's the simple things of life
  43. The cute Santa that Steve bought me with the wibbly wobbly legs that made me laugh so much
  44. February rescued an abandoned cat.... We named her pudding
  45. Having a wonderful supportive man for when times get tough
  46. The successful making of Turkish delight
  47. Taking our friends on their first camping experience
  48. Steve bought tickets to Runrig five rows back
  49. Grateful that I have such a forgiving partner
  50. Spent a wonderful day creating with Katie Jen's daughter
  51. Steve painted the living room ceiling to help me See better
  52. Glorious sunrises and sunsets that nature brains
  53. Great start to the New Year work comes in before I even start back
  54. November blues continued improvement
  55. December refund from my Hermes For damaged parcel
  56. Hot chocolate in Nero's on Boxing Day with Steve
  57. A much-needed break a cup of tea and a chat with Sandra at brides and Belles
  58. Sarah J calling round with two Steve Norton CDs despite the howling wind And her poorly back
  59. Kind and thoughtful Christmas presents from Steve's family
  60. Can't wait to see Daisy's face when she opens her leap pad
  61. The excitement on the Grandkids faces on Christmas Day
  62. And of course... the many, many, Brides and Grooms that have passed through the doors of Inspired by Script this year... Thank you... it's been a great year! 

xoxox

So... the above may not seem like much to most people... but the smallest of blessings can bring the deepest of joy. As you can see, out 2 wonderful Grand kids, Daisy and Mylo, make up a large part of this list. 

For the most part, 2013 was taken up with work and business matters and getting my act together! It was hard work and many things were sacrificed... but we wouldn't change it for the world.

I've known from the start... way back in 1999, that I am doing the job I was born to do..... in fact, it's not a job at all.... it's a pleasure.

This coming year I plan to be a bit more attentive and add more things as they happen. The jar works for me as I keep it in the kitchen with a pad and pen near it. It's easy to scribble a note and drop it inside.
I have tried Gratitude journals in the past, but for some reason I never really get past a couple of weeks with them. Perhaps it's because I can see the stack of paper building up in the jar that makes me more likely to keep things up.

It's definitely been worthwhile... and I've met some great people on the Facebook list too :-)

Well then.... have I persuaded you
 to make a Good Things Jar?

I really hope I have.  

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Great alternative to a guest book!

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, 2 December 2013

Winding Down but lots to do behind the scenes.

Well here we are.... the beginning of December already! And this year my feet haven't touched the ground, thanks to all the wonderful couples that have passed through the doors of Inspired by Script and those who I haven't met personally, but have had a deep and close relationship with through internet orders from my website. 

It's unlikely there will be anyone shopping for invitations at this time of the year and I'm taking the opportunity to have a well earned break to recharge my batteries ready for the new Brides and Grooms that will enter the shop just after Christmas, as the proposals during Christmas and New Year reach an all time high. 

Although I work hard all year round to bring new and fresh ideas (many ideas coming from couples themselves), I usually take advantage of this down time to work on my website, learn more about social media and internet marketing, which in this ever changing world of technology has to be kept on top of. Sometimes it seems, no sooner have you learnt one thing and something else comes along. It's ok for you young things.... but it certainly keeps us oldies on our toes. It seems daily I have to learn a new abbreviation for something or other :-)

These days... it's not just a case of building a website and that's that. People view websites on a wide variety of devices and you have to make sure that your site is compatible with all types of devices. you also have to learn where your traffic is coming from, when they are leaving and try to analyse WHY they are leaving. I've had to learn how website and social media are integrated and how everything from Facebook to Blogging, Twitter to Pinterest and not to mention Google+ all help your Google ranking. If all this sounds technical... well it is and so far removed from Calligraphy and the making and creating of Wedding Invitations and Stationery... but hey ho.... who said being an artist was all coffee shops and afternoon tea? for me and many others like me... it's all part of the job.

All this takes precious time away from the making and I'm not convinced that this is the way society should be going... but like it or not, it's here to stay and you have to embrace it or loose valuable clients. 

So... as well as improving the website... Starting in the New Year, I have some really great ideas and exciting plans for the blog too.... but that will have to wait for now. Be assured that behind the scenes, during the Christmas break... I'll be working my socks off to make your experience on my website the best it can be. 

I won't lie and tell you all this is a breeze.... some days it gets ontop of you and feels like a never ending mountain to climb, but on the whole it's fascinates me and the job of marketing becomes far less arduous as I remind myself of these words.... 


Working with couples 
is not a job...
It's an honour! 



Wednesday, 20 November 2013

BEWARE OF WEDDING SCAMS!

It saddens me that Brides (and Grooms) get ripped off... especially on one of the most important days of their lives. Every now and again I have to post a reference to one of the worst cases of scamming I have ever come across... which I blogged about here. Kayleigh's was one of the first cases of scamming I had ever heard about.... but her's wasn't the last! I could fill my posts up with at least 1 a month and they are only the ones I hear about personally! 

But... no matter how many warnings are posted on the internet... still the scams pour in!


The Wedding Wire put out THIS POST about Chinese Knockoff - My actual DH Gate Trash the Dress Dress vs. what's advertised 


Morilee have had to put up a HUGE list of fake websites offering to supply their dresses at a greatly reduced price! And I have to admit I was totally shocked by the crazy amount of fake websites... here....

And the problem doesn't end with Wedding Dresses.... even stationery can be a scam! I had a Bride come to me, who had not only been scammed with her dress... but her wedding stationery bought from 'Light In The Box'  I wrote about Kayleighs horrendous experience HERE

Ollievision Photography have been having their own problems with a scammer that used their Photographs to promote his business. Their article 

Steve Jackson Photography – A statement from Ollievision regarding Steve Jackson’s unauthorised use of images taken from my portfolio tells the full horrific story. 


And believe it or not... these are only the tip of the ice-berg! 

Thanks to Social Media, we are now starting to see Facebook pages emerge warning Brides of what they can expect if they order from the internet from unscrupulous companies.

There are hundreds (I'm not kidding either!)
of people who have been caught out
and left out of pocket.
Their only crime is to try and save a few quid at a very expensive time!

CHECK THESE OUT!

Brides Beware!




My advise to Brides on the whole is 

DON'T BUY OFF THE INTERNET!

Or.... if you do... protect yourself as much as possible
and be prepared to throw away your hard earned cash 
and have to buy the item again somewhere else. 

I personally, can't believe how many young Brides (and some older ones too) will trust what they are seeing on Facebook and eBay and in fact, the internet in general as being totally genuine. 


FACEBOOK pages can be closed down and deleted at the click of a button!

EBAY - Many eBay sites nowadays state that the seller is from the UK... NOT TRUE!  I myself bought a really large sheepskin rug from a company in London. It took 8 weeks to get here, it was unwashed, came from Morocco and was only large enough to cover my Springer Spaniel! (See even I get scammed!).

WEBSITES - No matter how professional and dapper the website looks... DO NOT TRUST what you see! Just because the URL states .co.uk or .com means nothing!

Truthfully... the safest way not to get scammed
IS TO BUY LOCAL! And buy from a company that has some history and feedback. Not just a company that has just started up, no matter how well intentioned they are... many companies fail within the first 2 years of trading! And if the company is local, make sure they have a valid business address on their website! And a land line telephone number... not some mobile number that can be switched off in a heartbeat!


BEFORE ordering ANYTHING off the internet 
(and I mean ANYTHING!)

Check out the website 
 by going to SCAM ADVISOR .COM
and entering the websites URL! 

Above all remember:
If it sounds TOO GOOD to be true,
it generally is!

And you'll be hard pushed to get your money back! 

If you have been scammed... get in touch with your local
Trading Standards Office



Monday, 18 November 2013

Why EVERY Bride needs PINTEREST!!

"Oh not another Social Media, sharing website!"  I hear you cry!
OK... I know you are busy and time is precious. Pouring over endless magazines and websites to gain ideas and contacts can drive a girl to distraction right?

And all this while you are trying to plan your big day and seem endlessly bombarded with everything trying to distract you and send you into a total panic about planning the perfect day!


Never fear! PINTEREST is here!


I have to admit, I groaned too!

"Oh lord! not another thing to get me head around"

Well... Now I'm hooked... and I hope you will be too!


So... What IS Pinterest exactly?


Pinterest is a pinboard-stylephoto-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, "re-pin" images to their own pinboards, or "like" photos.



OK.... So I get that... How will it help me as a Bride?


Well....You know what it's like. You're surfing the internet during your break times and lunch times and one thing leads to another and before you know it, you really can't remember that website where you saw that special something or indeed, what it was in the first place!


Pinterest makes things a whole lot easier! With virtually 1 click, you can pin the picture to one of your boards and go back to it later. It's great for idea catching too.


It's like your own virtual scrap book and will help you keep everything together... all neat and tidy like :-)


Hmmmm..... ok... I'll take a look... 


How Do I Get Started?


It's simple! Pop over to the Pinterest website http://www.pinterest.com/ 

And create yourself an account. 


Once you're on,  you'll need  the "Pin It" button installed in your browser tool   bar. This magic little button is what allows you to pin things online. Installing the button is very easy -- when you're in your Pinterest account, look to the upper right-hand corner and hover above "About," then click on "Pin It Button" and follow the directions to drag the button into your toolbar.
Or instead of using the "Pin It" button, you can also copy and paste links from sites you like, and it will search for photos from that page, which you can then pin. You can also upload photos from your computer

I've created quite a few Inspiration Boards for my Brides


CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT I'VE PINNED


You then have the option of following individual boards or all of them.


Let me know how you get on... and if you post your Pinterest link below, I'll follow you :-) 



REMEMBER: Sharing is caring! 

Friday, 15 November 2013

Purple Themed Weddings -Kerry & Ryan - Lisa & John

Purple... and in particular
Cadbury's Purple is one of the most popular colours.

So much so, that this year all the UK stockist of Hot Foil were out of stock
and as the supplies come in from the US we were all on a wing and a prayer as to whether we c0uld get any more.


More worryingly for me... I had 3 orders in a row... asking for purple.

Lisa & John went for a Purple and Lavender Post Box


The 2 colours went well together
and took some of the over powering intensity out of things.

Don't get me wrong... I'm a girl that believes,
you can't have too much Purple... 




While Kerrie & Ryan needed a seating plan....


And Kirsty & Paul also needed their seating plan....


If like me you LOVE purple,
pop over and see my Pinterest themed board

If you are thinking of using Purple as your theme,
why not mix it with a little bit of Peacock Blue

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Red Themed, Wishing Tree Themed Wedding Invitations - Stacey & Ben

Stacey & Ben are getting married
among Cherry Trees!

While she liked the Wishing/Blessing Tree design,
I suggested I'd try another design or 2 and see what she liked best.

So.. I set to work drawing some stylised  Cherry Trees
in a similar style to the blessing Tree....


The rule of thumb here is... the more black there is on the design,
the more red and therefore the more stunning the card will look.

Nope.... she wasn't convinced and we went back to the 
Wishing Trees... but added a couple of butterflies...

Stacey & Ben chose Folded Invitations for the Day Invites
and Flat for the Evening


Here's a close-up of the design....


hey! Just going to mention here... if you colour theme is RED
There's some great ideas!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Hot Pink & Black Themed Wedding Post Box - Lindsi & Kyle

Lindsi & Kyle had already sent out their Wedding Invitations....
but came back to me for a Wedding Post box

Again in their Hot Pink and Black colour Theme



As with the invitations...
the printing was in Black and the Ribbon in hot pink



As always I sent Lindsi a photo for approval,
and she then decided she wanted some small hearts on the box,
I think they worked pretty well :-)



CLICK HERE to see more Wedding Post Boxes...
And also CLICK HERE to see even more on Pinterest

Oh... and in case you're wondering...
here's the 2 Proofs I created for their Invitations...


Hey! If your Wedding Theme is Hot Pink or Fuchsia Pink

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Hot Pink On The Day Stationery - Victoria & Andrew

The date on the top of this seating plan...
shows you just how far behind I am!




Although Andrew was against 
'Too much hot pink'
we soon won him round and in fact...
he was more than keen with the idea
 once we could show him how stunning
the colour can look.



I had already made the Wedding Invitations
some months before.
So these were the little extras that people
like to have which we call
'On The Day' stuff.

PLEASE NOTE: 'Stuff' is a great Yorkshire word for
Bit and Bobs and items too numerous to mention

Here's the Wedding Post Box



And the place cards...


Andrew had seen my display vase
and decided that instead of the usual Tent Cards,
The numbers would look good like this....


I think Vicky and Andrew managed to get hold of some cream coloured jugs,
And filled them with natural flowers.

The table numbers could then be hung from the handle.... cute eh? 



Monday, 11 November 2013

Large Butterfly Wedding Invitations - Hannah and Lionel -

Hannah & Lionel got married at the beginning of November.
Hannah was keen I kept her invitations, ordered way back in February, a secret.

So... it's only now I can let the cat out of the bag :-)


Hannah chose the largest butterflies
foiled in Silver on Ivory.

Folded Invitations for the Daytime Guests
& Flat Invitations for the Evening Guests



Here's a close-up of the day invites



Later she needed a Silver Butterfly 
Wedding Post Box



To match the Invitations and her general, overall, theme


One of the nicest parts of my job,
is making all the Invitations and Stationery to match

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Vintage. Art Deco, Chalk Board, Inspired - Save The Date cards & Tags

Vintage. Art Deco, Chalk Board, Inspired 
Save The Date cards & Tags

It's been one of those 'funny' weeks. I'm thumb twiddling 
while I wait for couples to get back to me with final details of their orders,
which can take some time :-)

So... for a long time, I've been wanting to get on with some
SAVE THE DATE ideas.

Here's the first:
Based on a Chalk Board Style Font.
The 3 samples are in Pink, Purple and Blue,
but of course you can have anything you want.



The second is inspired by 
Art Deco..
A particular favourite period of mine :-)



And the 3rd idea is a classic vintage.



Of course, these designs are simple jumping off points.
We at Inspired by Script, work closely with our couples
and use their ideas and our creativity
 to come up with something that little bit different. 

Do you like them?
Leave a comment below
or drop us an email
... we LOVE to hear from you 
Sue x

Monday, 21 October 2013

Wedding Gift - Personalised Cut Outs

I LOVE LETTERS
and anything to do with letters. Much of my work is Wedding Invitations and Stationery.... but I also offer a gift service,
for those who are looking for something that little bit different.

Here's a couples favourite quotation....
cut from paper......

Two hearts, 
that beat
as one


The couple had this printed on the front of their invites,
so it was clear they loved the quote....

So their Chief Bridesmaid 
had it commissioned for them.


The piece was sandwiched between 2 pieces of glass, creating a floating frame.
The advantage of this is that any background you put it against, with naturally show through
so there's no need to worry about what their colour scheme is.



Don't forget.....
You can FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK!

If you need any help or advice 
regarding your Wedding Stationery
Email Us
or phone the studio on 01609 776 866
We're always happy to give advice :-)

(c) Sue Simpson x

Friday, 18 October 2013

Had I the Heavens - Concertina Book

I LOVE MY JOB!

Everyday can be different and while for the most part these days my work consists of Wedding Invitations and Stationery, I occasionally get the chance to brush up on my calligraphy skills.

I don't want to go into too many details about this commission, or in fact who it was for because to whole thing was pretty personal to the caller and the reasons are pretty sensitive. 

So without much explanation... I'll just share the pictures....

It had been a while since I did a commission 
where the words had such meaning. 

The brief was Pinks..... of all shades....




For whatever reason... the words just didn't look right. They lacked flow and were all too stiff.
Perhaps it was my anxiety of having to portray someone's emotions across in a way that the recipient would understand the meaning behinds them. 

I don't think people realise the pressure
a commission of this kind can put on an artist.

On the one hand you have your won ideas,
while on the other hand you need to convey theirs.
The best ones are the ones who say

"Just do it however you want.
You'll know what to do.
I mean... that's your job!"

I tried again......But still I just wasn't happy.



I left it alone for a few days....
but I was aware of the urgency that this piece needed to be done.

A marriage could depend on it :-( 

I relaxed and ruled up once again.....
And this time chose Gold Gouache....


Much better.....


Softer, lighter,.... heaven like.....



The letters started to form and take shape....


Formal Capitals... with a twist.....


Which helped the piece loose it's stiffness...



And the tumbling squares....
which seem to be some sort of trademark with me
and have been for some years....



Here's the finished piece before folding....
(iPads take such crappy photos!)



And once folded, glued to 2 card covers... 
forming a Concertina Card/Book



And here's the finished piece.... minus the
 front plate which has the recipients name on it.



If you want to see more 
Concertina Cards/Books

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Yahoo! and Sony and World Smurf Day

I've held off posting this for a couple of months now... for reasons I best not go into.

When I first received the phone call I did want to lol. You have to understand that I get a lot of calls, companies masking themselves as clients and trying to sell advertising that you don't need at prices you can't afford and this one was no different. When the caller said "Hi, my name is ***** ***** and I work for Yahoo!"... "Ok... and?" (my usual curt reply... "Well we were wondering if you would make some tags for us, we are running a promotion to celebrate World Smurf Day and the launch of Smurfs 2"

(At this point I wanted to lol again 
and was waiting for the sales pitch to kick in).

Now, because this could so easily have been a spoof or hoax, I asked for the callers number and company address and told them I would be back in touch Shortly.

On further investigation I did indeed find out, that there IS a world Smurfs Day and more to the point, people actually dressed up like Smurfs! (Even more lol. 

Here.... see for yourself....


Here's their promo: Yahoo and Sony Pictures invite you to showcase your Smurfy antics this summer to win tickets to the London premiere of the movie Smurfs 2 

I have to say... the deadline was tight and with 
a few emails back and forth... the job was printed and cut



The ribbons tied on.....


Bundles made......


And shipped off to Yahoo! 

I still can't get my head around WHY they chose me out of the 1,000's of printers out there and I'm sure they thought I was part of some large outfit... but never-the-less, work is work. Whether I'm doing work for the Armed Forces, Royalty, Big International Corporations or Brides on a Budget.... it's all the same to me.We don't give preferential treatment and everyone is treated equally.... that's what makes us 'Us'. 


Sunday, 13 October 2013

WEDDING FAIR! Romanby Golf and Country Club!

WEDDING FAIR! 
Romanby Golf and Country Club! 



This is one I wouldn't miss!
and neither should you!

Lots of local exhibitors,
all experts in their field.

Ready and waiting to answer any of your questions.
DATE FOR YOUR DIARY:
Sunday 17th November 2013

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Personalised Cards - For all sorts of occasions

I know, by looking at this blog, it's hard to believe...
but I do make cards for other occasions...

Here's one for a Handfasting


"Will you be my Bridesmaid?"



Bridesmaid Card....



And here's one for Magan...


This time with a butterfly....


And one for Matthew....
Will you be my
Bestman?



Complete with top hats....



A retirement card for Peter.
with 8 pages inside for multiple signatures 


And 40th Birthday card for Sandy


Just some of the many cards we get asked to make.

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