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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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Today is the last day to become a member of Snapdragon Studio for a while. I close the doors to new members at midnight. ⠀
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I actually took the decision a couple of months ago, while doing @simpleandseason ‘s excellent course The Playbook, when I realised that I really wanted to work with a settled group of members instead of constantly looking for new ones.⠀
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Now the decision seems even more right, the opportunity to hunker down and support each other through this. ⠀
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The plans I had set out at the beginning of February aren’t the right ones now, so I need to make new ones, and this gives me a chance to make new plans together. ⠀
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Tomorrow I’m going to be sending out a survey to members to see what their new circumstances are and what would be most useful. ⠀
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If you had thought about joining then you can still find all the details on www.snapdragonlife.com today or DM me.
Twelve thousand years ago, when Loch Lomond was frozen solid, glaciers grinding out the soil, the ridge where I live would have been the outermost bank, the bit reaches just as the ice retreated. The terminal moraine. ⠀
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This has become my daily walk - the fields falling away on either side of the road, hills circling in the distance, blues and greys and increasingly bright olive greens. ⠀
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And now lambs. An animated landscape.
Last week Euan forwarded me a spoof article about “Middle Class Quarantine”, people making sourdough bread, transforming the flower border into a vegetable patch, collecting eggs from their flock of bantams. ⠀
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This is Caspar, the head of my flock of bantams. ⠀
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I’ve never felt so privileged in my life as I do now (and I’m a pretty privileged person at the best of times). ⠀
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Part of it is the gift of having space, of being able to walk out into beautiful countryside from my front door, of having a studio in my garden so that I can keep working. A proper spare room to move into, an extra bathroom and back door. ⠀
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But it’s more than just the circumstances of the life we have built here - it goes right to the core of me, the luck of having a temperament happy to work alone, of having grown up daughters who came home and get on with each other.  It is being an introvert, getting my energy from being by myself, my comfort from cooking and gardening and making things, the way I always, always have food in the cupboard. ⠀
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I look out from my isolation here and I see the gaps opening wider and wider in society with this and it frightens and terrifies me. When we get out again we will have so much work to do. ⠀
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There is something so 'Old Mastery' about fritillaries I think. ⁠⠀
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I planted (or more accurately @eileentisdall planted) hundreds of fritillaries under the plum trees and they are beginning to bloom.⁠⠀
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We also potted some up for indoors and kept them in the cold greenhouse - and I planted those ones into these tea cups as soon as they had full buds.⁠⠀
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Once the flowers are over they will join the others in the orchard.⁠⠀
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If you want to try this - with any small bulbs - you can dig them up from the garden and bring indoors temporarily, water lightly (remember there is no drainage), top with moss and keep coolish.⁠⠀
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Watching bulbs unfurl and bloom is a wonderful way to take advantage of having to stay indoors more.⁠⠀
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Like many people I have been racking my brain as to what I can do to help.⁠⠀
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I am stuck here so I can't deliver or run errands, I'm not a natural maker of cheerful phone calls and it will be a good few weeks before anything I am growing is actually ready.⁠⠀
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I do however have a Royal Mail pick up in place - on Tuesdays and Thursdays from the garage - and it seemed that I should make use of that while I have access to it.⁠⠀
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All things on our website can be sent direct with free gift wrap and a card - and, more importantly I think, I am also hand drawing cards and sending them with your message inside (or letter - I can print it out and put it inside the card). ⁠⠀
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For members I am only charging postage, for everyone else there is a minimal charge to cover supplies.  The details are on the front page of my website www.snapdragonlife.com.⁠⠀
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I know that my elderly relatives are oblivious to all things digital, all the ways that I keep in touch with friends, have passed them by and I do worry about how isolated they must be. ⁠⠀
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A letter through the mail might make someone's day so much brighter.
One of my blessings at the moment  is that my daily walk is along the road that passes through our neighbours’ farm. ⠀
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A sheepy maternity unit, where the heavy, still sheep of one day will be joined by bright, bouncing, tumbling lambs the next. ⠀
Lupin - in a halo of light here - has recently become top cat in the house. ⠀
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Minou, my morning cat, has given up the job reluctantly in a flurry of spats over the past 6 months. ⠀
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What has been fascinating is how Lupin has not changed his routine, he still sleeps 90% of the day moving only to keep in the sun and to eat, yet he has mysteriously transformed into a  massive and dense ball of fluff coated muscle. ⠀
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It just shows how much is in the mind and the role taken on. ⠀
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This weekend I was very down, worried about what comes next for NHS staff, frustrated at the thoughtless actions of others.⁠⠀
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Today though, I have decided to draw a line.  I cannot change anyone's behaviour.  I doubt that the people who watch my stories are the same people who are treating this pandemic as a Bank Holiday.⁠⠀
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Instead I'm going to try and produce as many useful things as I can.  On Friday I published a blog about all the things that you can do to bring the feeling of the outside into your home.⁠⠀
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It is actually a piece I originally wrote about chronic illness and the fatigue that can trap you indoors, but it has a wider use now I think.  It is about the science behind the way that our brains perceive nature and how you can get a lot of the wellbeing effects of being outside without leaving your home.⁠⠀
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The blog is on the home page of my website - www.snapdragonlife.com - and you can get to it via my profile too.⁠⠀
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If you have any other tips please comment and I can add them in.
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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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