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'.

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! 


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! 

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