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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

I spent a lot of the weekend in the studio - sorting more, painting more, gently transforming it into what will be a light-filled  creative space. ⁠⠀
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Part of that is getting all my fabrics out of the boxes in the shed/garage/attic where they were banished while the space was a production workshop.⁠⠀
⁠⠀ I was wondering whether you would be interested in seeing it as a work in progress, in all its unfinished mess? ⁠⠀
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Or whether you like to just see the pretty finished, tidied, end result?
A couple of years ago at a festival, I was chatting to someone about food and he told me that his family had recently decided to eat meat only at weekends. 
It seemed such a sensible solution, so civilised and doable - to move from the tokenism of ‘meat free Mondays’ to tip the balance the other way. 
Since then that’s pretty much what we’ve done too. 
As my personal meat consumption has gone down the opportunities to  buy carefully reared local meat direct from the farmer have increased and now, as well as an excellent local butcher in Drymen, we can buy beef from our immediate neighbours @duncan.family.farms, slow reared pork from Craigievern farm across the road.  I get amazing hogget from my friend Sarah @mogwaii_design who sends it by Royal Mail from Lismore and goat from my friend @katgoldin in Port of Menteith. 
I say hello to this bull most days as we walk past - he usually stares back for a few seconds and then returns to gazing out over the hills, part of the landscape.
Do you have a favourite door, or is it just me? ⁠⠀
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I see this door most days - it is on a neighbour's disused barn, the door from the barnyard out onto the farm road.⁠⠀
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It seems perfect to me - just enough weathering, just the right colour.  It always makes me smile as I pass.⁠⠀
There is a weather warning out for the weekend - gales and rain are forecast. ⠀
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Today I will be doing 2 things. ⠀
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I shall be bringing some snowdrops into the house to appreciate them in the dry. ⠀
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I shall be taking a flask of soup⠀
On a long walk at lunchtime. ⠀
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What are you doing today?
Simplicity is what I'm craving this week - how about you?⁠⠀
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I feel like that springy pause on the ball of a foot before jumping.⁠⠀
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Green glass and white flowers in low spring light.
Do you remember the flower fairies? Cicely Mary Barker’s floral figures, each with a poem?  The snowdrop one was called Fair Maids of February. 
My Mum was very into the flower fairies, a bathroom was wallpapered with them, the painted walls hung with decorated flower fairy plates. For a lot of my childhood she was working on a cross stitch of the ‘bramble fairy’. Decades later I saw a beautiful blotchy lithograph in a friend’s kitchen - also called Fair Maids of February- by the early C20th artist Lily Blatherwick which I found via google images last night. 
At the moment my snowdrops certainly look more like her hail blasted ones than the demure fairy.
What do you have planned for February? ⠀
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I said at the beginning of the year that February was going to be my January this year. I knew by then that January was going to be an emotional month, a cluttered month, a bit brain foggy as I tried to work my way through shrinking Snapdragon down to its core. ⠀
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And I was right. I’m typing this sitting in a hotel bed in London after an amazingly restorative couple of days with Euan and my girls, listening to music, meeting friends, seeing art and eating so, so well. It took me right away from all the stuff in my head. ⠀
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Sitting here with my coffee, I am completely clear headed and can exactly see where I’m going. And it is exciting. It is very exciting. ⠀
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The photo is of my reclaimed machine embroidery threads newly sorted into old wooden seed trays - for years they had been jumbled and tangled into random boxes unusable, unseen. ⠀
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This weekend I head down to London - to see my girls and to watch the inspirational @marychapincarpenter sing at The Cadogan hall.⁠⠀
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On our hall wall we have written in big block letters her words - 'Why Walk When You Can Fly?'. ⁠⠀
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It is what I see as I head out for the day. ⠀
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The word I have chosen for the year is 'Soar'. ⁠This morning things feel scary but also as though they are coming together in some way. ⁠⠀
It has been a weird month, it has been a weird year if I'm honest. My ears are ringing. ⁠⠀
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Things changed a bit at work yesterday and now I am back to being a Company of One.⁠⠀
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I am cool with that. I'm refusing to see it as a diminishing.  I feel that I'm doing my best work ever - bigger is rarely best. ⠀
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Snapdragon Life continues - just with fewer coffee cups on the rack.⁠⠀
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I wrote about the story of Snapdragon for a newsletter that goes out this morning and now I'm packing up my train snacks, walking the dog and am headed off to spend time with the people I love best in the world.⁠⠀
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(you can also catch a lot of the story in an episode of @me_and_orla's Hashtag Authentic podcast that was broadcast last year)⁠⠀
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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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