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What is Snapdragon All About?

jane lindsey of Snapdragon

Welcome to SnapdragonLife , I'm Jane.

Snapdragon Life is part online shop, part membership community - both sides stem from what I have learned in building my own simple and seasonal integrated life, cutting down on stress, removing overwhelm. I would love it if you joined me on this journey.

Fifteen years ago I moved to the countryside - to grow things, to keep chickens, to live in tune with the seasons. I wanted to slow down, to spend time with my family, to learn how to simplify my life.

We settled in a patch of land in Loch Lomond National park and I learned how to grow food and flowers, how to create a garden and try and keep it all from being eaten. I learned how being in nature and finding time to be creative changed the way I felt. I discovered simple ways to make life more joyful.

I did not come to a simpler, more seasonal, more engaged way of living for any altruistic reason. It wasn’t spiritual or ecological, or even for the good of my children.

It was a purely pragmatic thing.

I have an auto-immune condition called Addisons disease. Basically a part of my brain, my hypothalamus, doesn’t work properly and it no longer sends orders to other parts like my pituitary and adrenals who therefore sit around lazing away, doing nothing much. It is really well controlled as a condition - I take daily steroid medication - but my body is a little bit like a car with the wrong grade of petrol in it. It doesn’t run smoothly, it putters and misfires, I get random symptoms, I am always very tired and very hungry.

Some days are naturally better than others and what I have spent the last decade working out is how to minimise the bad days and maximise the good days. I have become an expert on how to live well with an auto-immune condition, how to get the absolute best from my life.

Fairly early on it was obvious that the more stressed I was, the worse my symptoms were - if I allowed myself to become stressed then I would soon be so tired that I could hardly move, my brain would fog up, I couldn’t get the correct words into sentences. I would be panicking inside but I couldn’t let anyone else know what I was feeling, I would turn mute and sleepy.

For the past decade I have tried to work out how to minimise stress, how to turn myself from a constantly striving perfectionist into someone who was actually enjoying life.

It is all these things that I share in my blog, newsletters, ebooks and membership - not just with people who need to manage their stress because of auto-immune conditions or anxiety or depression, but with everyone who could benefit from slowing down, connecting, getting in touch with creativity, with nature, with people.

I’m not interested in creating elaborate complicated flower arrangements or show stopping cakes. I am no longer about striving for perfection. I am all about the practical and the easy win.

What I share is the simple, the traditional, the seasonal - easy ways to do things, behind the scenes tips, things to make life joyful.

And at the same time I run a small business, creating homewares and creative kits based on my life in rural Scotland, season by season.

Snapdragon is the result of all that - a shop, a membership, a community.

I love to design, I love to write, I love to garden and cook and sew and sit and watch the world. You will find my life in our blog, in our free Facebook Group and in my weekly newsletters.

I would love to get to know you better so please do join us and get in touch - jane@snapdragononline.co.uk.

Snapdragon social

Today is the last day to become a member of Snapdragon Studio for a while. I close the doors to new members at midnight. ⠀
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I actually took the decision a couple of months ago, while doing @simpleandseason ‘s excellent course The Playbook, when I realised that I really wanted to work with a settled group of members instead of constantly looking for new ones.⠀
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Now the decision seems even more right, the opportunity to hunker down and support each other through this. ⠀
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The plans I had set out at the beginning of February aren’t the right ones now, so I need to make new ones, and this gives me a chance to make new plans together. ⠀
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Tomorrow I’m going to be sending out a survey to members to see what their new circumstances are and what would be most useful. ⠀
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If you had thought about joining then you can still find all the details on www.snapdragonlife.com today or DM me.
Twelve thousand years ago, when Loch Lomond was frozen solid, glaciers grinding out the soil, the ridge where I live would have been the outermost bank, the bit reaches just as the ice retreated. The terminal moraine. ⠀
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This has become my daily walk - the fields falling away on either side of the road, hills circling in the distance, blues and greys and increasingly bright olive greens. ⠀
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And now lambs. An animated landscape.
Last week Euan forwarded me a spoof article about “Middle Class Quarantine”, people making sourdough bread, transforming the flower border into a vegetable patch, collecting eggs from their flock of bantams. ⠀
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This is Caspar, the head of my flock of bantams. ⠀
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I’ve never felt so privileged in my life as I do now (and I’m a pretty privileged person at the best of times). ⠀
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Part of it is the gift of having space, of being able to walk out into beautiful countryside from my front door, of having a studio in my garden so that I can keep working. A proper spare room to move into, an extra bathroom and back door. ⠀
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But it’s more than just the circumstances of the life we have built here - it goes right to the core of me, the luck of having a temperament happy to work alone, of having grown up daughters who came home and get on with each other.  It is being an introvert, getting my energy from being by myself, my comfort from cooking and gardening and making things, the way I always, always have food in the cupboard. ⠀
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I look out from my isolation here and I see the gaps opening wider and wider in society with this and it frightens and terrifies me. When we get out again we will have so much work to do. ⠀
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There is something so 'Old Mastery' about fritillaries I think. ⁠⠀
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I planted (or more accurately @eileentisdall planted) hundreds of fritillaries under the plum trees and they are beginning to bloom.⁠⠀
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We also potted some up for indoors and kept them in the cold greenhouse - and I planted those ones into these tea cups as soon as they had full buds.⁠⠀
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Once the flowers are over they will join the others in the orchard.⁠⠀
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If you want to try this - with any small bulbs - you can dig them up from the garden and bring indoors temporarily, water lightly (remember there is no drainage), top with moss and keep coolish.⁠⠀
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Watching bulbs unfurl and bloom is a wonderful way to take advantage of having to stay indoors more.⁠⠀
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Like many people I have been racking my brain as to what I can do to help.⁠⠀
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I am stuck here so I can't deliver or run errands, I'm not a natural maker of cheerful phone calls and it will be a good few weeks before anything I am growing is actually ready.⁠⠀
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I do however have a Royal Mail pick up in place - on Tuesdays and Thursdays from the garage - and it seemed that I should make use of that while I have access to it.⁠⠀
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All things on our website can be sent direct with free gift wrap and a card - and, more importantly I think, I am also hand drawing cards and sending them with your message inside (or letter - I can print it out and put it inside the card). ⁠⠀
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For members I am only charging postage, for everyone else there is a minimal charge to cover supplies.  The details are on the front page of my website www.snapdragonlife.com.⁠⠀
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I know that my elderly relatives are oblivious to all things digital, all the ways that I keep in touch with friends, have passed them by and I do worry about how isolated they must be. ⁠⠀
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A letter through the mail might make someone's day so much brighter.
One of my blessings at the moment  is that my daily walk is along the road that passes through our neighbours’ farm. ⠀
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A sheepy maternity unit, where the heavy, still sheep of one day will be joined by bright, bouncing, tumbling lambs the next. ⠀
Lupin - in a halo of light here - has recently become top cat in the house. ⠀
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Minou, my morning cat, has given up the job reluctantly in a flurry of spats over the past 6 months. ⠀
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What has been fascinating is how Lupin has not changed his routine, he still sleeps 90% of the day moving only to keep in the sun and to eat, yet he has mysteriously transformed into a  massive and dense ball of fluff coated muscle. ⠀
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It just shows how much is in the mind and the role taken on. ⠀
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This weekend I was very down, worried about what comes next for NHS staff, frustrated at the thoughtless actions of others.⁠⠀
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Today though, I have decided to draw a line.  I cannot change anyone's behaviour.  I doubt that the people who watch my stories are the same people who are treating this pandemic as a Bank Holiday.⁠⠀
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Instead I'm going to try and produce as many useful things as I can.  On Friday I published a blog about all the things that you can do to bring the feeling of the outside into your home.⁠⠀
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It is actually a piece I originally wrote about chronic illness and the fatigue that can trap you indoors, but it has a wider use now I think.  It is about the science behind the way that our brains perceive nature and how you can get a lot of the wellbeing effects of being outside without leaving your home.⁠⠀
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The blog is on the home page of my website - www.snapdragonlife.com - and you can get to it via my profile too.⁠⠀
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If you have any other tips please comment and I can add them in.
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About Snapdragon

At Snapdragon we gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

Through our communities, both free and paid for, through Jane's writing on the blog, through carefully hand crafted gifts and activity kits, and through our online and in-person workshops we aim to bring people back in touch with the rhythms of a seasonal life.

Learn more about why here

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