Seasonally inspired things to Learn, Make and Do

Journal

The Studio Club - Roots and Wings

brambles at sunset

Somewhere, as a society, we lost our roots. We became adrift from the natural world.

I don't know when it was - the beginning of agriculture? the enclosures? the industrial revolution?

I don't know what is to blame - the education system? the financial system? consumerism? capitalism?

I've heard all these and more - but actually I don't think it really matters.

What matters is that we feel our way back, step by step, moment by moment, until we feel we belong again. Deeply belong. Until we feel our roots grow back.

This is what the Studio Club is - an attempt to help us all settle back into the seasons, into making things with our hands, watching things grow, eating well, celebrating the world in all its seasons.

It isn't a course to be completed or a programme to follow - there are no musts or homework or things that need to be completed. You will not find any productivity hacks or ambitious plans.

Instead it is a series of gentle resources that can be picked up and put down, all carefully designed to gradually settle you back into being part of the seasons.

  • At the heart of the club is a beautifully illustrated monthly e-magazine. It is based on my life, lived here in the middle of rural Scotland. It covers what I am doing in the garden, what natural dyes I am collecting and using, what seasonal recipes I am loving, what books are on my bedside table. There are articles on natural history (for November I am writing about the amazing, quite mind boggling, world of lichens) and profiles of people who are doing amazing and inspirationally joyful things in the world. It is a fifteen to twenty minute read that sets you up for the month.
  • There is also a series of e-courses is published through the year - natural dyeing, foraging, herbal recipes, growing cut flowers, decorative mending, rewilding your garden. They are all topics that combine learning about things with some actual doing - if you've ever fancied having a go at something and not known where to begin, these are for you. They get stored in the Club Library and are yours to keep forever.
  • Supplies for most things used in the e-courses are sold in the shop and I use my bulk buying ability to supply these at a lower price to Studio Club Members - so a little like a co-op, but I package it all up prettily. There are flower and vegetable seeds that will take you through the year, craft and dye supplies, jars, tins and vintage fabrics.
  • I run a private Facebook group for all Studio Club Members - this allows me to share extra things, links, videos, explanations - it also allows me to answer questions that come up frequently. There is a genuine community building up there, so it allows things like seed swaps to flourish and for people to share their skills and experience and cheer each other on. For people who don't use Facebook, for whatever reason, I can also tag Studio Club Members as my 'close friends' on Instagram and share some of the extras on stories there.

My aim with the Studio Club is to gently guide people into the seasons, to encourage them to step away from the hustle filled world of competition and perfection for a bit, to enter into something more calm, gentle and joyous.

We all know this is a difficult and anxious time to be living through, and I believe that connecting with nature in a deliberate way can help us all, giving us solace, giving us courage, allowing us to become both rooted, and with wings.

There are three ways to become a member of the Studio Club - arranged so that cost is not a barrier - you can find out about what is included and how to join here.

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Engagement, connection, community, regeneration, celebration, magical, possibility.⁠⠀
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Words matter.  Words matter so much. ⁠⠀
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Yesterday I walked around a new local community garden that I am to be involved in.  I walked the site with Lauren @herbal_homestead (who looks after @katgoldin ‘s market garden at the Gartur Farm School) who is the permaculture consultant for the project.⁠⠀
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The words at the top of this post were the words that were tumbling about as we walked along the stream that edges the plot and discussed the contours and what the potential is for this new space.⁠⠀
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I have missed those words a lot.⁠⠀
Elderberry vinegar, a brilliant natural immunity booster and treatment for sore throats, is steeping in my cupboard at the moment - the colour is so vibrant it is obvious that it MUST be good for you.⁠⠀
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It is one of the things you learn to make in the Simple Herbal Apothecary course in the Studio Club. ⁠⠀
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It is really funny how having a Pay What You Can option for membership has made me feel that I can talk about what you get in the Studio Club without feeling all 'exclusive' (I hate that word because, when you think about it, it actually means that some people are excluded and that we are fine with that).⁠⠀
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The Pay What You Can option has been really popular - second only to the Full Membership - which makes me very happy. ⁠⠀
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I've had a lot of emails from people who had been looking at joining the Studio Club for a while but couldn't justify the cost - because unemployment or illness or caring for others restricts their budget - but who have now been able to join.  So if that sounds like you the details are all on the front page of the website - snapdragonlife.com.⁠⠀
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Time.⁠⠀
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Yesterday I asked a question about luxury and the thing that came up again and again in answers was 'time'.⁠⠀
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Time to just be.  Time to do things for ourselves. Time to be creative or read. Time to focus.⁠⠀
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It made me think - that if we see time is our greatest luxury, why do we squander it so?  I know I do.  I scroll.  I dither. I catch myself almost deliberately doing nonsensical things that waste time to the point that it completely disappears.⁠⠀
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Give me an unexpectedly free evening and my natural tendency is to waste half of it deciding what I want to do MOST.⁠⠀
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(This is why I created the Plan your Dream Life workbook for myself - just so that I would have a list of things that I knew I had chosen to do when time appears - if you don't have this workbook already you can get it by signing up to my newsletter list Snapdragonlife.com.)⁠⠀
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What is your idea of luxury?⁠⠀
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I stumbled across a discussion about luxury on a post the other day. It was about whether you could crave luxury in your life if you were also set in “overthrowing the capitalist systems our world is based on”.⠀
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In some ways it was hilarious, and shows what a muddle we get into, but It really made me think about what I count as luxuries in my life  They certainly aren’t what the commenters on the original post defined as luxury - the fancy sports car, the designer brand names, expensive toiletries. ⁠⠀
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Rather, my idea of luxuries are things I want in my everyday life.  Proper coffee, clean sheets for the weekend, tomatoes still warm from the sun - perhaps most importantly, the luxury of time to do nothing more than stare upwards through bright leaves . . .⁠⠀
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What about you?⁠ what are your luxuries?⠀
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Messy edges.⁠⠀
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Pretty much everything in the House Garden and Studio Meadow will stand until Spring now.⁠ I will leave it alone. ⠀
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For in my head I'm not really growing teasels, I'm growing gold finches. 
Yesterday, as I headed down through the meadow to light the studio stove, were dozens feeeling atop the teasel heads.
It is the time of the year to embrace the beauty in decay.⁠⠀
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To look at the soil regenerating.⁠⠀
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The appreciate the beauty of a good compost heap -even when it is composting the cosmos that you had hoped would bloom for a couple of more weeks.
Yesterday the doors of the Studio Club opened up to new members again. ⠀
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If you want to engage more with the natural world, live a more seasonal life, learn how to grow things, make things and also hear good news about inspirational people making a positive difference to the world - then this is the Club for you! ⠀
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There are now three ways of becoming a member - a Full Membership which includes physical products, a Digital Membership and a Pay What You Can Membership. You can find out more about them by clicking though my profile or at Snapdragonlife.com. ⠀
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In less than 24 hours over half the Full Memberships sold out - so if you are thinking of signing up for one of those then I would do it sooner than later. ⠀
Nettles and docks and tansy and meadowsweet. ⁠⠀
Heather and willow and onion skins.⁠⠀
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The journey through plant colours this year is coming to fruition.  Out of frame is a striped jumper on my needles.⁠⠀
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I am hoping to have enough yarn to make something for a newly arrived baby - all the energy of the Scottish hills in something to wear.
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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.

 

Learn more about why here

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