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Susan Jane May MBFA

Sudbury, Suffolk

Pink Rose Bridal Bouquet Wedding Flowers Suffolk

Susan Jane May




The Busy Florista Blog

Putting Pen to Paper...

How we React to Things...

Artist Susan Jane May sketchbook at Studio2Artwork

I recently had a situation happen to me that comletely knocked me for six, floored me, upset me beyond belief and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Nothing.

My website provider switched my site builder from one day to the next, completely reformatting my website. The first I knew about it was when I clicked on my site and thought it didn't look right and definitely not how I left it last time.. Different fonts, mis-aligned text, different colours...

All the hours of SEO work that I'd learnt how to do had gone. Nothing there. Removed. Blank sheet. From 21st October 2020 this was, effectively, a new site on the net. Old stats gone. Tools I'd relied on since first building my site in 2008 gone. Just gone.

About two months ago I did receive an email about upgrading the site at some point. No date given and no communication whatsoever since. No heads up on the change over date - nothing. I had no chance to screen shot info or key words and there's no tutorial on how to use the new builder. Do you laugh because it's nuts or do you cry... I cried.

 I felt like I'd lost a huge part of me - a bit silly maybe but there you go, that's how I felt. I liked to look back to see what visits I'd had from where and see how my site had done over the years. I was really proud of the 80% SEO mark I'd managed to get by tweaking a word here, adding a different phrase there, making some words plural and others not... all these little things make the difference and it was a fair bit of a learning curve for me - I've got none of them saved , of course..

So... Anyways... Deep breath...

I recently treated myself to a lovely book - The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. A truly beautiful book.

The Boy, The Mole, the Fox and the Horse book by Charlie Mackesy

On one of the pages it says " One of our greatest freedoms is how we react to things ".

So very true..

Can I live without all that archived data? Yes, of course..

Can I learn how to use this new builder? Yes...

Will it take me hours to re-do the SEO work? Yes!!! :(

But can I do it? Oh yes...

Um... Is it easier to write this blog post in the new builder format...? Yes.

Does my website now have that lovely little secure padlock icon? Yes.

Might I learn to love this new builder? Oh probably...

There's a cherry in here somewhere - I just have to find it...

And find that pesky, invaluable SEO analyser... now where on earth has that gone???

Best get Coffee and Carry On

Happy Sunday Everyone

Catch You Next Time x

My Blog


Uggs in April??!!

Posted on 21 April, 2018 at 12:24 Comments comments (5)
Hi Everyone! This is the post I couldn’t publish last week due to ‘Technical Issues’ so I thought I’d post it now anyways ~ which means there’ll be two this weekend !
Blog Post from SUNDAY 15th April…
So where does the time go??  It absolutely FLIES past doesn’t it? … Busy Days…
Busy Florista Ha!…
Here’s what’s been happening in a Nutshell for a Quick catch up for now…
So… Our Lillycat is back and Happy and Healthy and Getting Better by the day :)
Our James is back and Ditto – Ditto – Ditto 
My washing machine and washing-drying-piles are bearing evidence of that and Blossoming much better than the Garden’s been of late ha!
Looks like another CSI to me… the return of the Deepest Darkest case from the Orient Aaaarghhhh!
In amongst all this I had a Fabulous day teaching at the West Suffolk College and look at what my Super students did! They really got a hold of the Hand-Tied technique SO well – I was really pleased (Read Chuffed – Delighted – Impressed) that they all had such a super day and did so very well xx
Oh and yesterday I had a super-dooper consult over at Alpheton Barn for a wedding I’m doing there in August and just Look at the Fabulous display of Daffodils there were along the lane leading to that venue – Just totally Gorgeous! Spring is here now surely…
As a cold-fingered-and-footed-most-of-the-year Florista I have to tell you that I’m still in the Uggs…
And I want Ugg Mitts too please…
I also hear they do Ugg Slippers!
And....Guess what? …
I'm putting these extra Ugg items are on my July-Wedding-Anniversary-What-I-Would-REALLY-Like-Gift-List ha! 
All ready for when the weather turns chilly again in…..September? October?...
Anyways – Ugg Slipper Consults could be an Autumn theme here at the Studios…

PS.  Comments & Questions always Welcome on the Blog  :)

May The Sunshine Shine :)

Posted on 5 April, 2018 at 16:09 Comments comments (25)
Today I have been a Gardener HOORAY!!
Yes, I’ve got some serious office work to catch up on after taking some time off over Easter…
Yes, I haven’t hoovered in a couple of days (read many, many, several, too many)…
Yes, there are, well, Loads of things I should do…but… Not Today eh? The Sun is shining and, for once, in absolute ages, it’s warm out there!
Here – see – Now how could I not go out there and resurrect my garden when it looked like this…

Every picture tells a tale…these are the Strawberry plants wanting some long overdue attention…and the Geraniums just getting above themselves…and handy those Floristry buckets when there’s a bit of weeding to be done ha!

The best thing was that our Lillycat came out with me – She is oh such a very Happy Cat to be back home! We had a bit of ‘Sunning’ in the studio doorway followed by a bijoux bit of ‘Baking’ on the bench with me while I had a coffee break – well, coffee and biscuit break – well OK – coffee and biscuits break… (so how can you eat only ONE Oreo? Not possible!)

Lil’s did make a point of mentioning, in her own way, that she had a bit of a sore leg…
See the   l  o  n  g   stretch of it towards me?
My little chicken-leg-cat… a bit of fresh Tuna helped no end…

In the meantime the Big Blonde had made himself comfy up on the bed… Hmm… Knew I shouldn’t have left that particularly-prone-to-creasing cardi there but I was just in such a hurry to change and get outside…
Note To Self: Add ‘Washing to Do’ to the list…

Tomorrow’s a busy day too…
There’s prep to do for the Wedding Flowers Day Course I’m running at the West Suffolk College here in Sudbury on Saturday.
And at least 2-3 hours of office work to get done.
And I want to get over to the Beth Chatto Garden in Elmstead Market for plants, herbs, inspiration, coffee, ambience, bird song, plants, woodland plants, ideas, cake, photographs…
Did I hide the cake bit enough? Ha! They do REALLY lovely cakes over there… Just saying…
And then I’ve got that washing to do too…
And the Drying…

This already looks like the leaning tower of Pisa… Oh Ha Ha!!
 Wish Me Luck!!

Is Spring Sprung???

Posted on 3 April, 2018 at 17:03 Comments comments (8)
What a Difference a Day ( or two ) Makes!
Is Spring Sprung at Last? Let’s Hope So..
And more good news, our Lillycat’s coming Home tomorrow -  Hooray!
Reason enough for some Joyous Pics I think…. These are Flowers from my Garden this time Last Year – let the Springtime begin…please…


Now I do have to tell you that, being someone who REALLY needs to live in the Southern Hemisphere (Queensland specifically please), I ordered a pair of Ugg Boots just before Easter because I was fed up with being Cold…
And they turned up this morning…


Swiftly followed by the sunshine-ey-ist, warmest day we’ve had here yet ha! ..Oh my… Talk about perfect timing… But I still wore them..
And with the arrival of the First sunny, dry day came the inevitable… The ‘Clearing of the Studios’…

Oh, urgh, aah - lovely....Mixed up Boxes, quite a few Spiders, Long-Lost vases that hadn’t made it back to their rightful places at the end of last season, some Spiders, lots of Boxes, More Boxes…and did I mention the SPIDERS!! 
Urgh… Hate them…Yukky yuk yuk YUK….
But… I have a secret weapon from Oz to deal with these…

MORTEIN!! May the Force be with You….and against them…at all times…everywhere…
PS. I don’t like spiders
PPS. Not good when you work in Garden Studios
PPPS. Even worse when you like Gardening
Anyways – job done – well, almost ....getting there.... This is Studio 1 full of sunlight and Blossom Tees - still a bit disorganised but I do know where everything is now ha!
So, onto another thing that needs doing... the ‘Drawing of the Straws’ between me and Iain for who gets to do the dreaded ‘ PILLING OF THE CAT’…
Did you see those Teeth in the last Blog?... Let me remind you…

 Lils might be small but she is definitely Feisty…
The tablets have to be given MANually (get the hint there?) morning and night…and they’re not small, little wee tablets I can tell you – oh no, they’re, like, half sections of the big old fashioned Paracetamol tablets? Huge! Watch this space for further developments… I’ve got a Video somewhere of me doing it in the past and I’ll see if I can Blog a link to it somehow… totally hilarious…
But for now, let’s look forward to some Gorgeous warmer weather and Spring and Flowers and Summer and Sunshine...


And, oh, Weddings!!! WEDDINGS!!!!!! Oh Yeah! There’s LOTS of those to come this year…
Love it
Love what I do

Lilly's Story

Posted on 1 April, 2018 at 12:54 Comments comments (8)
This has been a funny old week full of ups and downs and highs and lows and excitement and worries….and out of everything that’s been happening here, I’m going to share Lilly’s story with you all today. 

In 2014, just two months after homing her, we nearly lost Lilly to a very rare condition. Unlike most cats, she was not immune to Toxoplasmosis. It attacked her nervous system, her ability to move, virtually paralysing her and would have killed her. She was saved back then by the Animal Health Trust’s neurologists and expertise. And by the fact that we’d taken out hefty pet insurance.
Unfortunately, the condition does come back and she became unwell again last Monday…it’s the back legs that ‘go’ first…


Lilly wasn’t, however, overly pleased to be given an emergency appointment at the vets..

We started treatment, same as we’d done a couple of times since 2014, but this time it didn’t work. Lil’s got poorlier and another vet’s visit saw her referred once more to the AHT on Thursday… She wasn’t feeling too good… I wasn’t feeling too good… 

And my James was leaving on a school trip to Beijing on the Friday morning and there was packing to be done and an overly worried Mother here that was having a meltdown about that let alone anything else… I went to school down in Cornwall and our school trips were to Penzance maybe, or Plymouth…but Beijing?? Hmmm.
And why does everything always have to happen at once?
And then there was Harley…  So? Where's she gone then?? 

Is she back yet??

Why’d she go without me eh, why?….. 

The good news is that Lil’s is now stable and slightly improving. And Hissing at everybody. Which means she’s feeling better…and more her feisty little self….

So, Lillycat, these are for you..
Feel Good , Feel Happy

And come home soon my honey…
The same goes for my son…


Posted on 24 March, 2018 at 14:22 Comments comments (2)
I think I’ve got a thing about feet…and travel….travel and feet. Feet on travels. Feet in sandals. On beaches. In the sea. In the pool. With tats. Without tats. Mostly with tats… Lots of feet….
WP 20160120 08 55 02 Pro (3)Florist's Feet...The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane MayThe Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May

The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May
The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May

What I’ve been doing today, amongst other things, is going back through my Google photos looking for something and it struck me how many pictures of my feet there were in there. Ha.
We all do this right? It’s not just me with some sort of footy fetish??
Travel absolutely and completely inspires me. I love it. I love the journey, the flight, the whole transition thing – the moving from one life-space to another. Just adore it. And the warmth when I get there, oh my goodness, do I like that or what! It’s like my skin just opens up and goes ‘Hey! I’ll have some of that pleeeease! Oh yes! Over here!’
I am, without a doubt, living in the wrong hemisphere ha.
My sister lives in Brisbane and I am one lucky bunny because I get to go visit her at the start of each year.
33 - 38 degrees of sunshine?  Oh yessy yes please.
High humidity too sometimes?  No worries, nope, absolutely fine.
Huge tropical-like storms with masses of lightning, the lot?  Like – Aah-May-Zing!!
I do a lot of photography while I’m there which I use for my artwork and design ideas - it was some of these photos I was looking for when I spotted all those feet…
Now, I do have The Most Fabulous travel companion who’s always come with me everywhere… Let me introduce you to Woofs, International Traveller Extraordinaire!!
Here we are arriving at Brisbane Airport… oh oops, wonky pic again..
DSC 0221 W2 The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May
And havin’ some Beach time…

The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May
Keepin’ cool in Noosa…
FB 20150420 16 06 38 Saved Picture
Catchin’ some rays…
DSC 0227 W3 The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May

And Enjoying a Cappucco at Redcliffe….
DSC 0237 W4 The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May
Oh yes, we have a special relationship me and Woofs…

Aah… Yes… well…er…there is just one teensie, weensie, little problemette…

HPe The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May Oh ..aah... Hiya Harls!   You alright?   Anything wrong??....
((  Jealous?  Harls?  Er…  well maybe, yes…. just a tad… ))

PS.  I can't get these photos to load right today but Enjoy Anyway, life's too short  ha!

Because It's Worth It

Posted on 14 March, 2018 at 14:35 Comments comments (2)
Hi there and Happy Wednesday from me and The Big Blonde :)
It's been a busy few days - here's what we've been up to today...
Harley's just had a thorough eye cleaning session and, as you can see, is totally exhausted...

The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May
The same, of course, could be said of me... This cleaning-of-the-cat-face involved me getting him in an arm lock, with his backside wedged up against my stomach so he couldn't reverse out of hold, while I applied the "damp-tissuette-of-DOOM" as gently as possible to both eyes.
What a palaver.
You'd have thought I was trying to do open-eye-surgery or something... He kept squiggling around and stuffing his face under my armpit so I couldn't get to his eyes. This manoeuvre, whilst not resulting in him avoiding the eye cleaning, did managed to cover me in Springtime-Cat-Moult-Fluff which required a change of top afterwards...  
Harls is, without doubt, the biggest wuss-puss ever... but I Love him to bits and, as they say, he's worth it...
It was a little while later at lunchtime when, with the sun all shining in and Lillycat all lying around in it relaxing on the kitchen table, I decided it would be a nice thing to give her a wee bit of a brush...

The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May 
Half an hour and several HUGE brush loads of Tummy-Fluff-Fur later I had a kitchen table cloth that looked like it was growing some sort of Penicillin culture, another top covered in cat fluff and a pair of contact lenses in that were definitely not as happy as they were first thing this morning...
And Lilly?
Oh, well, she was one Happy-Purry-Cat! And what's more she gave me a very rare and gorgeous "I'll-sit-and-pose-for-you-no-worries" picture. I might look in need of yet another makeover right now but I Love her to bits and, as they say, she's worth it...

26 The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May xx
Apart from 'Cat Spring Cleaning' days, there's other times that I end up in need of a bit of renovation....Like at Christmas time when there's door wreaths and garlands to be made... sticky / messy stuff Nordic Spruce...just look at these hands!! And don't forget I'd have brushed the odd strand of hair off my face during the day and, maybe, rubbed my cheek...well, you get the picture I'm sure ha! #chimneysweep

22.jpg Busy Hands...The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May

But, of course, it's worth it because you end up with lots of things like this!
26112392 10154993925851875 1782650764823284773 n
Another thing I do is design and create Tribute Flowers which, to me, is such a very important service I offer as a Florist. People come and see me quietly here in the studio and talk to me about what it is they'd like. 
And I put everything I have into creating it for them.
Because it's important.
Because it's worth everything and means everything.

Some designs are hand drawn from scratch..
POPPY TRIBUTE  Funeral Flowers    Susan Jane May
Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers    Susan Jane May
Poppy Tribute Bespoke Funeral Flowers    Susan Jane May  
Some are measured and built from scratch...
WP 20150919 18 57 33 Pro
WP 20150919 20 04 01 Pro
Bespoke Design - Billiard Table Tribute  

And some are designed, carved and built from scratch..
Bespoke Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May
Bespoke Scottie Dog Tribute  
But they're all made with Love xx
Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers    Susan Jane May

Whatever You're Doing Today - Be Happy x
MASONS SUSAN MAY 04 Resized (1690x1125)Because You're Worth It  ;)

My Little Helper...

Posted on 10 March, 2018 at 6:24 Comments comments (2)
Completely ran out of day yesterday so here's a little, quick Saturday morning Hi!! as this is a busy day too...
I've got a helper in the studio today which is great...
The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May

He likes to get 'Paws on' and help whenever he can, bless him...

Bespoke  Funeral Flowers  Susan Jane May

There's lots of this to do......

Bespoke  Funeral Flowers  Susan Jane May

And more of that to do....

 Funeral Flowers    Susan Jane May

And by this evening we'll ALL just be wanting to do this ha....

The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May

Catch Up Soon! 

The Changing of the Throws....

Posted on 6 March, 2018 at 4:47 Comments comments (2)
So, one of the things that I should've done yesterday was to change the throws in the sitting room...hmm...the dreaded 'Changing of the Throws'... You know, it's one of those simple, little things that really - I mean, really truly - doesn't take that long to do - but do I EVER want to do it? Absolutely not. Nope. Not even a little tiny bit.
And I find all sorts of excuses for putting it off... like 'oh, I MUST give my Sis a ring RIGHT NOW'....or  'I could shop later but think it'd be better to go now'...or 'well I could do it now but I've been meaning to check my ribbon stock for the last month'... I mean, anything and everything often seems better than changing those throws ha!
And today's excuse? Well, have a look see here..... 
9 The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May
Now, how can I possibly move Lilly Cat?? (deep affected sigh) Oh Dear, what a shame (another deep sigh) - well.. guess I'll have to do it later (this means tomorrow)...

I've got to confess, I have exactly the same problem with 'The Changing of the Beds'.... Is it perhaps that, after  doing it for what - over a 1,000 times in the last 20 years - I just don't want to do it anymore? Do I like nice, clean, pretty bed-linen-changed-beds? Well yes, absolutely. Do I want to change them myself? No. Noee no no. Nope. 
11 The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May
So I go find a cat or two and stick 'em on the bed instead ...job done.... "Oh Dear, what a shame" (deep sigh) - "well I guess I'll have to do the bed later..."

A Day in the Office...

Posted on 5 March, 2018 at 5:36 Comments comments (2)
This morning I've got a lot of things to get done in the office. It's a lovely little office with a nice large window and an even larger radiator. As a direct result of having my desk next to said radiator, I often find I'm sharing it with either Harley (aka The Big Blonde) or Lilly (aka Cappuccino Cat) who work tirelessly to support me in my business and have been flat out here yesterday and today as you can see...
4 The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May8 The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane May

I'm working on some floral designs this morning as well as ordering in some stock and flowers. A lot of my working time is spent in here which I didn't really expect when I started my business - I thought I'd spend all my days tinkering away in the studio being all arty and creative out there. Instead I do a lot of the arty and creative stuff in here! 

And then there's the 'Webmaster' stuff to do...
Anyone out there running their own website like me? Doesn't it take a LOAD of time to keep up with the Updating and the SEO'ing and checking which sites your site's been added to and what info's been copied from your site and is it all correct... I mean, that's a full time business in itself isn't it... Sometimes I Google myself to see what's out there and give myself a bit of a shock ha!

Anyways, here's the sort of thing I like to do - make gorgeous Vendela Rose Buttonholes, photograph them in the studio and then edit the photos. I then use these to help me make etchings and drawings and lino cuts x
IMG 20171119 100018 859 WS
Have a Happy Day!

Cold, Cold, Cold...

Posted on 3 March, 2018 at 11:42 Comments comments (3)
The Busy Florista Blog Wedding Flowers  Funeral Flowers  Artwork for Sale  Susan Jane MayOn Wednesday we had a LOT of snow here and everything did look absolutely Gorgeous but goodness me, it was sooo cold! We haven't had a snow fall like it here in years.. I thought - and I think it was a pretty good thought - that what it called for was a constant supply of Hot Chocolate while I was deciding whether or not to go outside and prep those buckets for a flower delivery that had a slim chance of getting here anyway... I'm pleased to say that common sense prevailed and I stayed indoors with the Cats and the Central Heating ...and had another hot chocolate. And I did do a lot of work on my website. And some washing. And did the cat litter trays again. It's amazing how all those jobs you're not too keen on suddenly seem like a totally good idea to do when it's  freezing outside ha!