Seasonally inspired things to Make, Learn & Do.

Journal

Seeing yourself

seeing yourselves as others see you

A couple of weeks ago I went away with a friend to a swanky hotel. It was only for 1 night, it was squashed into busy schedules, meeting halfway up the country, it felt as though it might be too little.

We went with a purpose - to talk about work and life and plans with someone who wouldn't judge and who might have a different perspective.

It turned out to be transformational - a mini mindset change.

And that wasn't because of the plans we made or the contacts we pooled - though they were great - it was because I got to see myself through my friends eyes. And she sees me in quite a different way to how I see myself.

Where I see from the inside - with all my doubts and cringes amplified and distorted by the fairground mirrors in my head - she sees me from the outside.

From the outside with generosity.

And she believes that I can do things - no question. She is incredulous that there would be doubt. 'Of course you can, why on earth not?'.

'If not you . . . then who?'

It got me thinking - how often do we tell the people we love how we see them? How often do we say to people that they are a wonderful mother or a great friend or a calming influence on the world? That they give us hope, that theirs is a presence that we rely on.

How often do we tell people what we believe they are capable of?

And it made me decide to try to do just that. Yesterday I wrote letters to a couple of friends whose bravery I admire and I told them of the impact that has on my life and how much I appreciate them.

I tried to let them see what they look like through my eyes.

Who could you give that gift to? Let me know in the comments.

Tags: life

Comments: 5 (Add)

Joyce Bullock on November 22 2019 at 10:19

What a wonderful idea! So simple, and so necessary! Most of us go around wrapped up in our own thoughts and not telling others what an asset/clever clogs/great friend etc etc they are...
I am guilty, I will try to remedy.
Thanks Jane for the nudge!

Jane on November 22 2019 at 12:21

Thanks Joyce - you are right, it is very easy to get wrapped up in ourselves
Much love,
Jane

Alison on November 22 2019 at 22:42

This is so true . I have just lost by gorgeous dad this week and had such lovely messages about the wonderful person/ friend he was . It’s just a shame that people didn’t tell him about his lovely qualities while he was alive 😟

Hazel Blue on November 23 2019 at 17:26

Enjoyed reading this, Jane. And I hope you know how much this friend admires you and values your friendship! I went to a Humanist funeral on Thursday for the sister of a good friend. She was my age. David Bowie and Brian Ferry featured strongly and we sang along with Louis Armstrong to "It's a Wonderful World". Very beautiful and the general message was to live every day with love , and to be generous with compliments, and to strive to find the good in other people. 💕

Jane on November 23 2019 at 17:43

Alison I am so sorry to hear of your Dad's death; sending you lots of love. J xx

Snapdragon social

Between the plum trees and the studio is a sloping space that was created when we flattened a patch of land to build. It is a mix of subsoil, rocks and odd seams of rich pasture land. ⠀
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As grass began to grow there about 7 years ago,  I sowed a perennial meadow mix, I planted lots of random plants from the cutting beds, I worked without a plan, without knowing what would thrive and what would gently vanish. ⠀
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Now there is minimal gardening involvement - I try and keep the nettles from taking over, we dig out brambles - and in the autumn and winter I lure the chickens there to scratch out patches of bare soil for the wildflower seeds. ⠀
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It’s a patchy space, caught on the cusp of abandonment - but it is the most beautiful space in the garden, buzzing with insects, rustling with birds. ⠀
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Low light, bright petals, setting sun. ⠀
A couple of days ago I got a message from a friend asking what I thought about all the 'picking wild flowers' photos on here and the fact that a country style magazine was promoting it as a
My Gran had hangers like these.  Knitted from odds and ends of wool, hanging softly squashed together in the big dark wardrobe in her bedroom.⁠⠀
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My cousin and I would take the fancy silky 1960s dresses from them and transform ourselves into glamorous detectives, spying on passers-by from behind the net curtains, making notes.⁠⠀
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Now the hangers are my favourite things to make from wool scraps - each takes 37 grams of wool and you only need to be able to do a plain stitch to make it. ⁠⠀
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As well as being chock full of nostalgia for me, they are also the most practical kind of hanger, as the garter stitch keeps even the flimsiest of straps in place so clothes don’t end up on the floor.
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This week's business improvement was deciding to make the postcards that go in with orders more useful, getting Kate Stockwell to turn them into activity cards for me. ⁠⠀
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This is the first, going out with orders from today.⁠⠀
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I’m always amazed at how many plants from sunnier climes take to the garden. ⠀
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Sicilian honey garlic - Nectaroscordum siculum - is one of the plants that grow in rows in the orchard - ghosts of the flower field, buzzing with bees, happy in grass, a strong whiff of onion as I pass. ⠀
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This month I’ve been experimenting with solar dyeing- using plants and sunlight and a jar to dye wool on the windowsill. 
I was amazed at what bright shades were possible and at how easy and self contained it turned out to be. 
It was part of the Studio Membership mini “Introduction to plant dyes” course but I’ve also put together a kit in the shop with full instructions and everything you need to get started with solar dyeing wool (there are mini skeins in the kit). The photo is my drying rack on the dye deck - part of the studio where I used to prep flowers when I sold them. 
The wood rack used to be for shoes and wellies.
Inspired by @josephinepbrooks I’m still using this time for some serious decluttering of my business - looking hard at which parts have descended over the years into one of those drawers stuffed full of things.  Which bits are muddled, useless, impossible to open without everything falling out. 
Last week was the turn of the blog - so many out of date things, so many broken links, pretty much impossible to browse. 
Now it’s been sorted out - David and @fuzzyjill at Fuzzy Lime helped me divide it into sections and now it’s all easily accessible from the navigation bar.

So if you are looking for tutorials, nature notes, gardening, recipes or musings on life you can find them without scrolling through hundreds of pages. 
And - as always seems to happen when you  declutter - I’m suddenly full of ideas for things to write about, so that I can fit them nicely into my new space! 
The poppies are from Friday’s blog about how they make wonderful cut flowers.
Another week. Another new morning 
I was chatting to a friend yesterday about what was the best thing about running my own business - and I decided that it was probably being excited about each day and all the things I want to do. ⠀
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That I now rarely need to force myself. ⠀

Today it’s finishing off this week’s Studio Members lesson about solar dyeing and putting together these activity postcards which I am getting printed to go out with orders. ⠀
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What are you looking forward to doing today?
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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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