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Snapdragon blog

What is a Studio Box?

studio box 2

The main difference between the products I design now and the products I was designing a couple of years ago is that now they all have the mission to change people's lives.

Not change in massive ways, not in an evangelical guru way (I'm not that delusional), but in the small incremental ways that actually make a difference to life. My coach Jen Carrington refers to it as the 'sell them what they want, give them what they need' business model which is pretty spot on.

snapdragon studio box

Prime amongst these is the Studio Box subscription - best described as a quarterly 'making things' box. These are my most treasured offering and usually I wave them off, cross my fingers, and hope that people share what they make on social media so that I can see. Occasionally though I get to chat unprompted with people about the boxes.

A couple of weeks ago I met one of our Studio Box subscribers at a workshop in Manchester and, as we grabbed something to eat, she told me her experience of the first Studio Box.

The first box had everything needed to make a hand decorated stationery set - there were pens and a notebook and full instructions showing exactly how to draw individual flowers and how to put them together as a meadow. There were cards and notepaper and envelopes, postcards and watercolours to take the skill a bit further.

Carole told me that she hadn't drawn since school, and if fact had believed that she couldn't draw. but following the instructions had found it straightforward and loved the results. But then - and this is the bit that made my heart sing - she decided that she would like to develop the skill and use it in her business.

She learned how to do some brush lettering and began to combine this with drawing to create labels for the sumptuous wedding feasts that she prepares.

I couldn't wish for a better example of what I wish for when I put together the contents of each Studio Box. That people will give a new skill a go, that they will find joy in it and even perhaps begin to incorporate into their lives.

The first Studio Box had everything to make a stationery set, the second had everything needed to make beeswax wraps and copper labels, the third box is still a secret but is winter/Christmas in theme and involves a little bit of sewing.

It is now available for pre-order, either as the first box in a subscription or as a one off.

Comments: 1 (Add)

Becky Mayes on November 7 2018 at 22:27

So excited - cannot wait for the next subscription box! For me they represent absolute self indulgence - they literally demand that you set aside some quality time for yourself! And you create end products which you can share, spreading the happiness even further. Thank you for this.

Snapdragon social

Did you have a good Easter break?  We went to Spain to visit our eldest daughter and came back late last night, possibly actually early this morning. ⠀
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The Tuesday after Easter is always an important date for me, for even though my baby birds have flown the nest, I still get the new term feeling. And the term between Easter and summer is always a busy one, so much to fit in! ⠀
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The start of a new week⠀
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The start of a new season. ⠀
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The start of a new planner, new journal. ⠀
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New plans, new pens, new garden to plant. ⠀
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These pheasants eye narcissi - with their perfect eye liner - are flowering under the plum trees in the orchard. The perfect morning commute.
On Sunday night Euan turned to me and said “I don’t think we have ever made as much difference to the garden in such a short time.”⠀
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⁣ He was right. In October we had brought in soil to make raised beds - turning the ground slick and slippery. All winter and Spring I looked at mud and worried about all the people that I had told that there would be a garden to see in May. ⠀
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But then - dry weather, fierce cold winds and suddenly on Friday afternoon we could barrow and build and by Sunday night . . . There are the beginnings of a new productive garden - a mix of vegetables and flowers for cutting. ⠀
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As usual Euan did all the heft and heavy stuff and I planted and staked and fluffed up mulch. ⠀
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If you are coming along to A Seasonal Day on 8th May I am pleased to say that there will be a garden! ⠀
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Sometimes projects come together really quickly - one of the best things about having a small making business is that you can go from idea to having something for sale in a single day. ⠀
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This was not one of those projects - I had the idea in our busy Christmas period, took away the samples to knit while travelling in Asia in February, and yet only put the kit up on the website yesterday. ⠀
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I don't normally post many direct product shots here - but this one is special to me. I wanted to make a beginners’ knitting kit that allows people to knit something practical and quick - in this instance beautiful cotton face cloths and exfoliating cleansing wipes - and which felt substantial yet not daunting. My aim with everything is to make it easy for people to give things a go. ⠀
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And I wanted it to look beautiful and be practical and all be packaged up in way that was part of the kit. ⠀
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Everything came together earlier this week and I’m so pleased with how it looks, the squidgy cotton balls of yarn, the instruction cards and needles all in their own specially printed drawstring project bag. ⠀
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I hope you like it too.
How do you like to learn? I used to be happiest just battering on by myself, making mistakes, googling. But increasingly I find I’m preferring to be shown things by someone who knows what they are doing, to have the space to ask questions, and then to go home and try everything on my own with the option to call if I get stuck. ⠀
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I find my mind opened so much more by talking to other people - rather than beginning a project from my own limited viewpoint. ⠀
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I had a great time yesterday learning E-magazine production with Eleanor from @creativecountryside and today I’m planning to practice everything by re-formatting the guide to getting the most from your cut flowers to send out with the next newsletter. ⠀
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I also met up with @bob_sy - all arranged on an Instagram whim - and had a wonderful evening discussing kindness, connection and creativity. ⠀
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Increasingly I love being able to move beyond typed words and have great rambling conversations. Is anyone else finding the same? ⠀
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GIVEAWAY - Today I am getting the train down to Lancaster to meet Eleanor from @creativecountryside.  She is going to be showing me the ins and outs of making a magazine.⁣⠀
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I have always loved the aesthetics of Creative Countryside magazine - the solidity of it, the surety - so when the chance came up to take a masterclass in how to put it together I jumped at the opportunity.⁣⠀
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I love putting together the e-magazines for Studio Members and A Seasonal Way, but I am very aware that I am simply joining together PDFs.  I want to create something more magical, more meant.⁣⠀
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My lesson is co-inciding with suddenly having fast WiFi at home - so uploading a magazine no longer requires a drive to Stirling to poach University WiFi.  This will change Everything!⁣⠀
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This magazine is the first bumper edition of Creative Countryside, as it turns from a quarterly into a biannual publication. ⁣⠀
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I am a contributor to this edition, as well as subscribing, so I have an extra copy which I would love to give away. ⁣⠀
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Just comment here - and make sure you are following me - and we will pick a name at random next Tuesday.⁣⠀
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(The knitting is the #comfortblanketkal by @louisetilbrookdesigns which shall be my train knitting)
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I knew this greenhouse as a child. It had a grapevine then, and a lead dipping trough that was home to motherless ducklings. ⠀
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There were long snakes of terracotta pots under the staging and I got to turn the cranks to open windows in the roof. ⠀
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When it was abandoned and began to fall down we asked if we could take it and give it a new home - and now  it stands in our drive, the oldest thing here. ⠀
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Euan rebuilt it all exactly - with a new base, but with everything else original.  It turned out to be a superior form of flat pack.⠀
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This weekend I stood in the greenhouse, mid watering the seedlings that are crammed in tiers onto the staging and floor, and tried to link it back to when I was seven. ⠀
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I couldn’t. Then is was an enormous space of dust and spiders and broken glass , of benches to climb on and a cold, dark trough of water we were to stay away from. ⠀
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Now it is my garden in waiting. Waiting for May. ⠀
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I did think I should maybe plant a grape vine though.
I photographed this heart of honeysuckle on the Isle of Bute last month - a random reminder that nature is at the heart of everything that I love.⁣⠀
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Also last month, I spent a wonderful evening with my friend @hazey107 - and she told the story of why she had crossed the school playground to make friends with me 16 years ago.⁣⠀
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Seemingly I was standing waiting for the P1s to come out, my toddler on my hip.  Her bright blonde hair was full of leaves and sticks, her bare feel black with soil.  Hazel immediately felt that, with such a feral looking child, I must be her kind of person.⁣⠀
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We would have been travelling back from the field where I grew my flowers at that time, we hadn't yet found this house.⁣ I was probably worried about being the only scruffy Mum at the school gate. ⠀I never felt I did school gates very well. ⁣⠀
But hearing Hazel’s story I was so glad that I never mastered that
We are promised a dry and sunny weekend here in Stirlingshire. I have 3 days completely clear of commitments. The greenhouse is full of seedlings, the ground is dry enough to work. I have 4 tonnes of mulch in the drive. 🌱

I can barely contain my excitement. 🌱🌱 I’ve been awake since 5 (though obviously still in bed!) 🌱🌱🌱 What do you have planned for the weekend?
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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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