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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!

SEPTEMBER 3rd - GROW YOUR OWN CUT FLOWERS (MODULE 1)

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.

OCTOBER 1st - GROW YOUR OWN CUT FLOWERS (MODULE 2)

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?

NOVEMBER 5th - NATURAL GIFT WRAP

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

DECEMBER 3rd - INDOOR POTTED BULBS

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.

JANUARY - PLANNING WITH EVERYDAY JOY IN MIND

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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Later this morning I am going to be talking about change and business at The Good Life Experience⁠⠀
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The working title for my talk is '5 things I've learned from trashing my business' and its a pretty honest account of what the last 2 and a half years have meant to me.⁠⠀
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The talk is 11.30 in the drawing room of Hawarden Castle - do let me know if you are here and able to come and say
We are promised an Indian summer this weekend - sunshine through seedheads, cool evenings wrapped in blankets.⁠⠀
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I am very glad as we are off to camp at The Good Life Experience tonight - four days of amazing food, ideas, creativity and dogs (ours are staying at home so I am at liberty to fuss everyone else's)⁠⠀
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What are you doing this weekend?
I've always been drawn to women who create homes that feel welcoming.  I believe it is a wonderful skill to welcome people in, to have them relax, to talk properly, to feel safe and listened to. ⠀
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Some of the homes where I've pulled up a chair have been calm and considered, perfect curated spaces that seem to slow down time, others have been full, layered, with piles of things going on and a whirlwind of noise.  I love both.⁠⠀
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My own house veers wildly between the two - occasionally calm and spacious (a friend remarked yesterday how much bigger the kitchen seemed now that I actually have shelves for stuff), more often caught mid-project with piles of books and fabric everywhere.⁠⠀
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What about you?⁠⠀
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This week I am meant to be doing a bit of a recruitment drive for Snapdragon Studio Membership - the price goes up from £10 a month to £15 a month for anyone who joins after 18th September. ⁠⠀
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For anyone who is a member by 18th we are freezing the monthly membership at £10 until the beginning of 2021.⁠⠀
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So if you fancy discounts (these Autumn apothecary jar essential oil soy candles are only £6.13 for our Studio Members for example), a year long Grow Your Own Cut Flowers online course, my Tuesday emails with essays, nature notes, free downloads, as well as a hard copy magazine . . . . well this would be a very good week to join!⁠⠀
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You also get a welcome pack lovingly put together by Valerie.
I fear that this may be the last properly flowery windowsill from the garden - frosts are hovering around the edges. 
One morning soon I shall wake up to a soggy, collapsed and blackened garden and I’ll be hunting in the sheltered corners for undamaged flowers and praising the robustness of sedums. 
But in the meantime I’ll feast on the delicacy of cosmos purity and the single dark, sugar spangled, scabious.
Do you buy new or second hand? Oxfam’s campaign #secondhandseptember is really about clothes but it got me thinking about buying generally - and the way we've put together our home.⁠⠀
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I grew up in a house of antique dealers - my Mum had a market stall, and then a shop, which my brother continues with today - so buying second hand has always been the default.⁠⠀
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We also moved into a 1980s bungalow instead of the old property I had dreamed of and deliberately added in layers of history with reclaimed doors and furniture and floors.⁠ I think that the only new things we have bought may be the beds. ⠀
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This dresser was from Glasgow Architectural Salvage Yard - it was originally in a primary school (which is why it has wonderful chipped and jammy red gloss paint and a strip of plastic bumper tape on the corners!)⁠⠀
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I particularly love the curve of the shelves - they look like they have put in a lot of hard work.
How do you feel about dinner plate dahlias?  I've really struggled to enjoy them - the lollipop-on-stick look of them, the way the stems aren't long enough to make a balanced arrangement without plastic cones.⁠ The way that they collapse inelegantly as they age. ⠀
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Last year I dug them all out and gave them to @Katgoldin to feed her goats.  This year I accidentally ordered a whole load more.⁠⠀
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I've solved the problem by cutting them short and propping them about the place. ⁠⠀
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This is Dahlia Islander in an early C19th rose lustre cup - lounging on a dresser shelf by my Great Grandmother's tea set.⁠⠀
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(It also means you can't see the way the back petals go scruffy before the rest of the flower)
What have been your favourite flowers from this year?

I’m making a list so that I remember what I loved, what I want to make sure I plant for next year.

There is also a list of plants I found disappointing - so that I remember to walk on by and ignore the hype. 
What would be on your lists?
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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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