Seasonally inspired things to Learn, Make and Do

Journal

A Room of One's Own - .

a room of one's own

Over the past few months I have been feeling restless and rootless at work. I couldn't understand what the matter was - I love my job but I just couldn't settle to write or plan. Perhaps you recognise the feeling.

Then I realised it dated from a few months ago when we moved to hot desking, sitting wherever the work is and getting on with it.

That is efficient for day to day making and dispatching, for crunching through spreadsheets and answering email, but it turned out to not be good for anything creative, anything that needed a clear head.

In 1929 Virginia Woolf published "A Room of One's Own" which argued that without a dedicated room, creation is impossible. It made me think.

We are out of space in the workshop and I don't have a room in my home to convert into an office so first I tried working at the kitchen table.

I ate a lot of biscuits, I became easily distracted by unloaded dishwasher and unwashed dishes. I remembered why I had moved the business out of the house in the first place.

Then I thought that maybe what I needed wasn't a room, but a space - almost a sacred space - that was purely dedicated to creation. There isn't anyone else in the house during the day so, as long as I cleared things away, I could pick the best spot and make it my own.

I chose a corner of the sunroom - a rather neglected room that is mainly dogs and welly boots - and made my creation corner from a round table and a bedside chair. So far it is working.

 

My top tips for making space to create when you don't have a room.

1. Turn your back on household mess. If you can't see it, it can't bug you. I sit at a round table facing the garden.

2. Work out the minimum stuff you need in order to create - for me that is a notebook, a diary and a laptop, pens and a camera.

3. Dedicate the space. Make it like an altar, include a couple of things that make your heart sing. I have a bunch of sweet peas and a beeswax tea light by me as I type this. I particularly like tea lights as they smell wonderful and burn in about 4 hours which is a good writing session. Choose the prettiest water glass, the nicest jug.

4. Spend time setting out the space in the morning and clearing it up at the end of the day - think about where all your things can go when you finish - a box or a basket, a briefcase or bag. If it is set up when you start you are less likely to walk off leaving chaos. I have a simple rectangular cane basket that tucks under the table and sweep everything bar lap top, flowers and candle into it at night.

5.Put out drinks and snacks at the beginning of the session - if I don't do this I spend 50% of my time rootling around the fridge. I also find that if I have a big bottle of chilled water and a glass on the table by me I romp through my daily water.

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Yesterday I walked around a new local community garden that I am to be involved in.  I walked the site with Lauren @herbal_homestead (who looks after @katgoldin ‘s market garden at the Gartur Farm School) who is the permaculture consultant for the project.⁠⠀
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The words at the top of this post were the words that were tumbling about as we walked along the stream that edges the plot and discussed the contours and what the potential is for this new space.⁠⠀
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I have missed those words a lot.⁠⠀
Elderberry vinegar, a brilliant natural immunity booster and treatment for sore throats, is steeping in my cupboard at the moment - the colour is so vibrant it is obvious that it MUST be good for you.⁠⠀
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It is one of the things you learn to make in the Simple Herbal Apothecary course in the Studio Club. ⁠⠀
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It is really funny how having a Pay What You Can option for membership has made me feel that I can talk about what you get in the Studio Club without feeling all 'exclusive' (I hate that word because, when you think about it, it actually means that some people are excluded and that we are fine with that).⁠⠀
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The Pay What You Can option has been really popular - second only to the Full Membership - which makes me very happy. ⁠⠀
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I've had a lot of emails from people who had been looking at joining the Studio Club for a while but couldn't justify the cost - because unemployment or illness or caring for others restricts their budget - but who have now been able to join.  So if that sounds like you the details are all on the front page of the website - snapdragonlife.com.⁠⠀
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Time.⁠⠀
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Yesterday I asked a question about luxury and the thing that came up again and again in answers was 'time'.⁠⠀
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Time to just be.  Time to do things for ourselves. Time to be creative or read. Time to focus.⁠⠀
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It made me think - that if we see time is our greatest luxury, why do we squander it so?  I know I do.  I scroll.  I dither. I catch myself almost deliberately doing nonsensical things that waste time to the point that it completely disappears.⁠⠀
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Give me an unexpectedly free evening and my natural tendency is to waste half of it deciding what I want to do MOST.⁠⠀
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What is your idea of luxury?⁠⠀
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I stumbled across a discussion about luxury on a post the other day. It was about whether you could crave luxury in your life if you were also set in “overthrowing the capitalist systems our world is based on”.⠀
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In some ways it was hilarious, and shows what a muddle we get into, but It really made me think about what I count as luxuries in my life  They certainly aren’t what the commenters on the original post defined as luxury - the fancy sports car, the designer brand names, expensive toiletries. ⁠⠀
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Rather, my idea of luxuries are things I want in my everyday life.  Proper coffee, clean sheets for the weekend, tomatoes still warm from the sun - perhaps most importantly, the luxury of time to do nothing more than stare upwards through bright leaves . . .⁠⠀
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What about you?⁠ what are your luxuries?⠀
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Messy edges.⁠⠀
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Pretty much everything in the House Garden and Studio Meadow will stand until Spring now.⁠ I will leave it alone. ⠀
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For in my head I'm not really growing teasels, I'm growing gold finches. 
Yesterday, as I headed down through the meadow to light the studio stove, were dozens feeeling atop the teasel heads.
It is the time of the year to embrace the beauty in decay.⁠⠀
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To look at the soil regenerating.⁠⠀
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The appreciate the beauty of a good compost heap -even when it is composting the cosmos that you had hoped would bloom for a couple of more weeks.
Yesterday the doors of the Studio Club opened up to new members again. ⠀
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If you want to engage more with the natural world, live a more seasonal life, learn how to grow things, make things and also hear good news about inspirational people making a positive difference to the world - then this is the Club for you! ⠀
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In less than 24 hours over half the Full Memberships sold out - so if you are thinking of signing up for one of those then I would do it sooner than later. ⠀
Nettles and docks and tansy and meadowsweet. ⁠⠀
Heather and willow and onion skins.⁠⠀
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The journey through plant colours this year is coming to fruition.  Out of frame is a striped jumper on my needles.⁠⠀
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I am hoping to have enough yarn to make something for a newly arrived baby - all the energy of the Scottish hills in something to wear.
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About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I 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.

 

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