Inspire Launch, Studio Refurb, Photography and Flower Sketching

Hi all. It’s been a busy week at Susan HQ (aka home!) Many of you that read my blog, are on my email list or follow me on Facebook or Instagram will know that I have been building up to launching my new Inspire membership group over the past few months. Well, the first of June arrived… and Inspire has been launched. This has been a big focus for me this week, but I also carved out time for myself – for some photography, drawing and furniture building! Read on to find out more…

Inspire Launch

Well, I just have to start by talking about Inspire. This past 7 days have involved late-night video editing, ongoing discussions with my lovely friend Natalie (who is a website and marketing whizz) helping me out, and of course writing 3000 emails. I exaggerate, but it feels like I am writing emails and talking non-stop about Inspire every day (I‘ll stop soon I promise)!

However, the doors are open and registration is in full flow for the next two weeks (from 01-14 June 2020). The thing I have REALLY LOVED over the past few days and wanted to share here, is hearing from everyone that has registered. I have loved seeing pictures of people’s work, reading their story with regards to creativity and already with just 2 days under our belts seeing the community shape and grow. Creative souls have joined and come together in Inspire from across the world – not just in Surrey and the UK near me but as far away as Canada, the USA and Australia.

I love how everyone is sharing WHY they joined a monthly group and what crafts everyone does – it turns out many of us have multiple hobbies and arty interests – I have seen the word ‘dabbler’ a lot! The main theme I see is people wanting to spend some regular time on their own creative pursuits and to have a focus each month – a project or theme to work on and OF COURSE a place to share with other people of a similar mindset. The positivity already radiates through in the group with helpful and happy comments on work and supportive responses to sharing personal experiences and stories.

Ok so I could talk all day on why I am loving the Inspire community – but I have a studio to refurbish….

Painting and Building Time

Work has begun now on reshaping my home studio, where I do all my creating and film all my videos. For the past two months I have had temporary shelving and a dubious box-stacking arrangement. It has been great to take the time to work here and decide what I need and where (oh and look on Pinterest for ideas!!) I think some positives have come out of lockdown for me in that I have had time to experience and appreciate before needing to rush into buying things or deciding on an arrangement too quickly. I know what I use the studio for, I have discovered where the best light for doing my art and filming is and what creative pursuits I have ACTUALLY been pursuing (and which ones have gone in boxes to return to later.) I have painted a wall and built 5 shelving units from Ikea (good old Kallax) and now I am pausing again before I install work surfaces and big cutting tables! Fun times.

Photo Caption: Studio in Progress – Kallax Units built – Work-surface needed!

I Found My Camera!

One of the great things about having a clear out and a tidy up is the wonderful things you find! As I know that many of you have multiple creative pursuits like me – it is ways fascinating to find stuff you have stored away and ready to do. I found felting kits, candle making kits, plants of beads for jewellery but most exciting of all – my digital SLR camera. I haven’t used it since I wrote my last book and I honestly don‘t know why – it‘s a fab camera and makes the process of taking photos a really enjoyable one. I think I opted for the convenience of camera on my phone, which to be honest is such good quality.

Photo Caption: Me and my cameras!

So I have been taking loads of photos! Many of which I will use for inspiration for drawing and sketching projects. Ive taken snaps of my garden, my daughter and we even saw a stag beetle in the woods this week too. I’m looking forward to taking more, especially as I get out and about more!

Flower Drawing

Well after taking all those photos, I just had to do some drawing. Last time I wrote I had been doing some loose floral watercolours and so this week I decided to work on some more fine detailed drawings that filled the pages of my little moleskin sketchbook. I started with some pencil planning lines and rough outlines and using previous sketches, photos and real life flowers as inspiration. Then I used a 0.2 UniPin fine liner pen to create the outlines and some of the detail and a super-fine 0.05 Unpin Pen for some of the finer details. After a few days I also added colour using my Derwent Inktense pencils. As I just wanted a pencil effect I didn’t actually activate the ink in the pencils by adding water (But I may change my mind and do that later!!). There was something really quite relaxing about taking these drawings slowly and steadily and doing the same style of drawing three times – I didn’t have too think too hard, just pick a flower, repeat it several time on the page and fill in with leaves and cross-hatching. I have one page left to fill two complete this little set…

Here are some images of these drawings. (Yes I know some are sideways!)

I hope you all have a fabulous week and I look forward to seeing some of your drawings as well.

Don‘t forget you can follow me on Instagram here: for regular photos of my work in progress!


For more information on Inspire please visit:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *