Seasonally inspired things to Learn, Make and 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

Small runs.⁠⠀
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The single thing that has made the most difference in Snapdragon Life's eco-footprint over the past 9 months has been choosing only to make small runs of products.⁠⠀
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I know that can be frustrating sometimes - people get upset when something sells out.  @amandabanhamceramics wrote about this recently - how she received frustrated, sometimes even nasty, emails after every online sale of her houses.⁠⠀
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Once upon a time I would make 100s, sometimes even 1000s, of a single design. ⁠Now I make 10 or 20 or 30 of something. ⁠⠀
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And that is it. ⁠Once they are gone they are gone.⁠⠀
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⁠The photo is of some allium embroidered lavender cushions, embroidered onto C19th handwoven linen - part of the Just Breathe gift set - a limited edition of 20. ⁠⠀
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Half have sold.⁠⠀
A big sky and a bright pond for the end of the working week.⁠⠀
#lochlomond
This week I've been setting aside time to make things.⁠ It has felt grounding in the way that gardening is when we aren’t ankle deep in mud. Carefully chosen materials, working with my hands, concentrating. ⠀
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These patches of antique linen, embroidered with the dark lines of allium seed heads, are for a new batch of the 'Just Breathe' gift sets which should be up on the website tomorrow.⁠⠀
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I taught myself to draw with a sewing machine⁠⠀
years before I learned to draw with a pen. ⁠⠀
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In many ways I still find it easier - as though there were something backwards in my head that is happier thinking in reverse.⁠⠀
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At the weekend I read Anne Lamott's 'Almost Everything: Notes on Hope' - a book written in 2018, ⁠⠀
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I copied out this quote ⁠⠀
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Oh this linen from @scottishlinen is wonderful to embroider on.  It has inspired me to try something I have been meaning to do for ages.⁠⠀
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All Summer I have been decorating order boxes with mugs and flowers.  I must have done a few hundred by now, the initial of the customer on the mug, fine liner on card.⁠⠀
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It is a design device I love - the wonderful works of @debbiegeorgeartist and @angielewin are my inspiration - and I wanted to see if I could get fluid enough to have it work as a freehand machine embroidery.⁠⠀
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I don't work from a sketch, there are no lines on the fabric, I just put my sewing machine pedal down and go.  It helps a lot if there is some level of muscle memory.⁠⠀
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This large lavender cushion is the result - this particular one is going as a gift to a Club Member who has agreed to write for my January edition of Some Seasonal Notes. ⁠⠀
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The link to have me make one is going first to Studio Club Members their e-mail this morning, but then will go up on the website later today. The last order date will be 30th November as I can't stockpile them and will need time to make them.⁠⠀
My Dad would hate this photo.⁠⠀
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Growing up candles were banned from the house except from on Christmas Day - and even then he spent his time blowing them out as he passed.⁠⠀
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This is a rosemary covered jam-jar.  I first saw these in 1990s when they were a speciality of the florist Paula Pryke and the tie was a silk taffeta bow.⁠⠀
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This rustic version - with a tie make from linen offcuts - is the 15 minute activity going out in tomorrow's Studio Club email.
Dixie is slowly getting used to being a Studio dog.  All last year - as  I changed the way Snapdragon Life worked - she spent her time with me working at the kitchen table, bossing the cats around, barking at the postman.⁠⠀
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Earlier this year, I moved back into the Studio full time and she came with me. To begin with it was fine, she was mainly outside and the doors were open.  She spent her days lying across the Studio threshold and watching out for trespassing pheasants.⁠⠀
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But now it is too cold to have open doors and I can't be bothered with constantly letting her in and out, so she is a full time studio dog, curled up on the chair by the stove.⁠⠀
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She very clearly finds it “boring, boring, boring” and thoroughly disapproves of both my music and the lack of biscuits. ⁠⠀
Now that we are in the season of mud I am spending most of my time looking up.⁠⠀
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Birds stripped the orange rowan berries within a couple of days, but these yellow ones were still hanging bright against the grey.
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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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