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What is coming up in Snapdragon Studio Membership

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'So which makes you feel happiest? Someone buying your e-course or someone becoming a Studio Member?'

I was chatting with my creative coach, Jen Carrington, about my targets for A Seasonal way e-course. I had been going round and round a little with the business and the way I felt that I was holding it back. I kept getting stuck around business issues where I felt I was excluding people. Being excluded from things is a massive personal fear of mine, a fear that is so obviously rooted in the infants' playground that it is laughable.

Not wanting to exclude anyone from the heart of my business - through money or time or geographical location - kept coming up time after time after time in my coaching calls. I was reluctant to put up prices to reflect the value of what I was creating, If I'm honest I was reluctant to charge at all. When I divided up my work into a list of things I intended to charge for, and things I wanted to be free, the second column covered pages and pages, the first had 4 things on it.

But that isn't the way to run a business that actually makes a profit and survives, it isn't the way to give your best, it isn't the right energy. It feels heavy.

For the past couple of months that question of Jen's kept going round and round in my head. "What makes me feel happiest?" And what makes me feel happiest will always be having people become members of Snapdragon Studio, because that is an ongoing relationship.

At about the same time I had a really vivid dream one night - perhaps not surprising given how much of my brain space was taken up with this - where Snapdragon Studio had so many more members, where I felt incredibly confident about it, where I had worked out what my job was and everything felt joyous and easy. Sadly I couldn't remember how I had actually achieved that in the dream but the core feeling, that ease and flow, has remained as something to guide me.

I decided that what I needed to do was to run the membership as though it were the size it had been in my dream - none of the 'we will do that when there are xxxx members', none of the holding back.

I committed to a date for raising the price of Studio Membership for new members (it goes up to £15 a month on 18th September - all existing members on that date continue to pay £10 a month until 2021).

When I first came up with the idea of a Studio Membership I based it on discounts - there were free downloads and artfiles and gift-wrap, we had an open day and there were seeds from the garden but the most tangible 'value' was through buying things at cost price.

As the years have gone I've become more convinced that we all buy too much. While we still continue to craft things and put them on the website and talk about them, and while I love the things I make, I don't want Studio Membership to just be about buying things. I want it to be about trying things, learning things, having a go, I want it to be about the way you live your life, about community and sharing and all the intangibles that make life amazing.

So - as well as those discounts and early bird offers, open days and free perks - this is what will be coming up in Snapdragon Studio over the next year.

At the heart of what I'm bringing out is a year long course - a distillation of my 20 years experience in growing cut flowers. It is a mix of video, downloads and lessons - I shall be releasing it a module at a time, each at exactly the right time of year to take action, with a space to answer questions and discuss issues in the Facebook Group. I'm interested in showing what works and why and in helping you to grow the flowers that you love to bring the seasons into your home.

This is a course I have been planning for 2 years - procrastinating a lot obviously. The proposed price for this when I was intending it as a standalone course was £170, but now I've decided to make it exclusively for Studio Members as part of their membership - because that is what I would definitely do if Snapdragon Studio had 1000 members!


The first module talks about how to plan your cut flower patch - where to grow, what to grow, how to end up with the flowers you actually want to pick for your home. It also covers the hardy annuals that you can plant this autumn, why you might want to do that, and the best varieties to choose.


This talks about spring bulbs as cut flowers - the obvious ones like tulips and alliums, but also smaller, lesser used ones like fritillaries and snowdrops. What is the best way to grow them? Which varieties will come back year after year? How can you ensure a long flowering season? How can you grow in pots or window boxes?


A short e-course of ideas, templates, tutorials to help you add simple, inexpensive, eco detailing to your gifts this year.


In early spring I fill my home with potted bulbs and plants - and this mini course if full of tips on forcing flowers, getting a long life from your bulbs and bringing the outdoors in.


I will be honest and say that this isn't planned in the slightest yet!

The Tuesday letters - with weekly nature notes or seasonal recipes or things to make - will continue each week, except for when I am on holiday.

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The hazel tree on the back lawn was the only tree when we moved here 16 years ago. 
Over the summer, when Euan was repairing the shed floor, he found thousands and thousands of empty hazel nuts under it, all neatly gnawed open by tiny, tiny teeth. 
Imagine those field mouse parties, the hazelnuts held up between tiny paws.

We tend to just pick the easy to reach nuts, tonight I’ll make a carrot and green hazelnut salad and I shall feel nicely smug at eating from the garden! 
I’ll leave the windfalls for the mice and the high ups for the red squirrels. They were here before us. 
Hazel trees fruit at a fairly young age. The ones we planted as tiny whips in the hedge 10 years ago are fruiting this year and I’m sure they would have been faster if they hadn’t been growing in long grass, part of a deliberately neglected wild area. 
I’ll put the recipe up on stories later.
When I was on holiday last month I messaged a number of close friends with a three point 'priority list' that I wanted them to hold me to. ⁠⠀
It read-⁠⠀
1. Simplify things so that people actually know what the Studio Membership is.⁠⠀
2. Make amazing things for my members.⁠⠀
3. Talk about what I do to lots of people in lots of ways.⁠⠀
The point was for the to stop me doing other things as a distraction from my main job, a job that is feeling more and more important, helping people being more small joyful things into their lives.⁠⠀
I've been working on 1 and 2 since getting home - the website now has 1/4 of the categories that it had, the link to the membership is now actually on the home page, I've been finalising new products and working on next month's members e-course (about how to wrap beautiful natural seasonal inspired gifts without the Pinterest fuss).⁠⠀
The third - the talking - is always a struggle for me and I suspect it may always be. There is too much conditioning there, too much being a nicely quiet, head down, work hard, Scottish girl at heart. ⁠⠀
But I am trying hard . . . . and have resolved too email some people this afternoon and tell them what I do.⁠⠀
I love bracken at this fleeting time of year - the burst of bright gold before it blends back into the forest floor. ⁠⠀
An unusual photo for me perhaps but over in the Snapdragon Studio Bee we have been having a really interesting and honest conversation about what people look for when they are buying things - whether it is eco packaging or organic contents or everything made in the UK.⁠⠀
It was such an interesting topic that it made me realise that I have really not done enough to show the thought and reasoning behind all the things in our products.  I think I felt it was a bit eco-smug at the time. ⠀
Anyway . . . I have begun with the calendula balm kit and you can see the result above - making a flat lay of all the contents and a key as to what everything is, where it comes from and whether it can be recycled.⁠⠀
If you want to join the Facebook group it is completely free and open to all - just google Snapdragon Studio Bee and let me know what makes you smile.⁠⠀
And the balm kit now has all its info in place and you can see it on the website www.snapdragonlife.com
Natural dyeing.⁠⠀
I think that the most amazing thing about my little foray into natural dyeing is how adding a modifier, in this case a little bit of rust, can transform a colour.⁠⠀
⁠⠀ Both of these were dyed in the same pot.  I chopped up willow leaves and bark and soaked them in water for two days, before simmering for an hour and leaving to steep overnight. ⁠⠀
I then removed the willow and simmered my 2 hanks of silk yarn for an hour and let the liquid cool.  One hank was removed - which is the gorgeous pale pink - and I added some rusty metal to the pot and watched the silk turn dark grey as though by magic.⁠⠀
Natural dyeing has been something that I have meaning to try at home ever since I went on a course with @debbiethedyer years and years ago.  I'm so glad that I actually thought to make it into a little project and actually put it in my diary this year.
Since I got back from holiday the bottles on my bedroom windowsill have been empty.⁠⠀
They looked pretty - like an art installation - but also sad.  There was so little left in the garden that it felt a shame to pick it and turn all views from the house into a sludge of frosted stems.⁠⠀
Yesterday I decided enough was enough - that there must be some small things that I could pick and Dixie and I went for a walk along the road with a pair of secateurs.⁠⠀
This was the result - a windowsill that Euan claims is overstuffed! - berries and leaves and seed heads all tucked under the long grass.⁠⠀
It was a lesson in remembering to venture out and look.  What have you seen recently?
Sometimes it takes a long time to see things clearly, to actually see what it is that is the heart of what you want to do with that ‘one wild and precious life’. I finally feel I’m getting there and I’m tagging a whole bunch of amazing people who have helped me figure it out and winnow it down over the past couple of years.
Who else is dreaming of planting spring bulbs at the moment? 
I can’t think of another activity that sums up that Audrey Hepburn quote “to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” - the tucking up of smooth bulbs in the cold ground, the watching for shoots in spring. It feels miraculous. 
This month’s Studio Members e-course is about Spring bulbs, how to choose, how to plant, what I have learned here over the decades. 
It has been lovely hearing about what people are planting and why.
Overwhelm - I wrote a blog this week about how I fell prey to overwhelm and what I did to get over it - you can read it by clicking through my profile.⁠⠀
I had actually always thought of myself as someone who didn't get overwhelmed, who had so many tactics in place to stay present, stay slow, stay engaged and take action.⁠⠀
I thought I was immune to getting caught up, tangled up in overwhelm.⁠⠀
Until that wasn't the case and I ended up weeping at the sheer difficulty of everything.  All I wanted was someone to breeze in and do all my adulting for me.⁠⠀
It was a lesson in not taking things for granted and to stop and take stock more often.  To avoid drama, to sit still, to do meaningful things.⁠⠀
I'd love to know your tips, in a comment here on on the blog, or as a direct message.⁠⠀

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