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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

Later this morning I am going to be talking about change and business at The Good Life Experience⁠⠀
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The working title for my talk is '5 things I've learned from trashing my business' and its a pretty honest account of what the last 2 and a half years have meant to me.⁠⠀
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The talk is 11.30 in the drawing room of Hawarden Castle - do let me know if you are here and able to come and say
We are promised an Indian summer this weekend - sunshine through seedheads, cool evenings wrapped in blankets.⁠⠀
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I am very glad as we are off to camp at The Good Life Experience tonight - four days of amazing food, ideas, creativity and dogs (ours are staying at home so I am at liberty to fuss everyone else's)⁠⠀
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What are you doing this weekend?
I've always been drawn to women who create homes that feel welcoming.  I believe it is a wonderful skill to welcome people in, to have them relax, to talk properly, to feel safe and listened to. ⠀
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Some of the homes where I've pulled up a chair have been calm and considered, perfect curated spaces that seem to slow down time, others have been full, layered, with piles of things going on and a whirlwind of noise.  I love both.⁠⠀
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My own house veers wildly between the two - occasionally calm and spacious (a friend remarked yesterday how much bigger the kitchen seemed now that I actually have shelves for stuff), more often caught mid-project with piles of books and fabric everywhere.⁠⠀
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What about you?⁠⠀
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This week I am meant to be doing a bit of a recruitment drive for Snapdragon Studio Membership - the price goes up from £10 a month to £15 a month for anyone who joins after 18th September. ⁠⠀
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For anyone who is a member by 18th we are freezing the monthly membership at £10 until the beginning of 2021.⁠⠀
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So if you fancy discounts (these Autumn apothecary jar essential oil soy candles are only £6.13 for our Studio Members for example), a year long Grow Your Own Cut Flowers online course, my Tuesday emails with essays, nature notes, free downloads, as well as a hard copy magazine . . . . well this would be a very good week to join!⁠⠀
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You also get a welcome pack lovingly put together by Valerie.
I fear that this may be the last properly flowery windowsill from the garden - frosts are hovering around the edges. 
One morning soon I shall wake up to a soggy, collapsed and blackened garden and I’ll be hunting in the sheltered corners for undamaged flowers and praising the robustness of sedums. 
But in the meantime I’ll feast on the delicacy of cosmos purity and the single dark, sugar spangled, scabious.
Do you buy new or second hand? Oxfam’s campaign #secondhandseptember is really about clothes but it got me thinking about buying generally - and the way we've put together our home.⁠⠀
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I grew up in a house of antique dealers - my Mum had a market stall, and then a shop, which my brother continues with today - so buying second hand has always been the default.⁠⠀
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We also moved into a 1980s bungalow instead of the old property I had dreamed of and deliberately added in layers of history with reclaimed doors and furniture and floors.⁠ I think that the only new things we have bought may be the beds. ⠀
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This dresser was from Glasgow Architectural Salvage Yard - it was originally in a primary school (which is why it has wonderful chipped and jammy red gloss paint and a strip of plastic bumper tape on the corners!)⁠⠀
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I particularly love the curve of the shelves - they look like they have put in a lot of hard work.
How do you feel about dinner plate dahlias?  I've really struggled to enjoy them - the lollipop-on-stick look of them, the way the stems aren't long enough to make a balanced arrangement without plastic cones.⁠ The way that they collapse inelegantly as they age. ⠀
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Last year I dug them all out and gave them to @Katgoldin to feed her goats.  This year I accidentally ordered a whole load more.⁠⠀
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I've solved the problem by cutting them short and propping them about the place. ⁠⠀
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This is Dahlia Islander in an early C19th rose lustre cup - lounging on a dresser shelf by my Great Grandmother's tea set.⁠⠀
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(It also means you can't see the way the back petals go scruffy before the rest of the flower)
What have been your favourite flowers from this year?

I’m making a list so that I remember what I loved, what I want to make sure I plant for next year.

There is also a list of plants I found disappointing - so that I remember to walk on by and ignore the hype. 
What would be on your lists?
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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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