About Me

I'm a freelance artist, designer and demonstrator and have been involved in arts and craft my whole life in one way or another. I design stamps for top British company Personal Impressions, under the "Lindsay Mason Designs" brand, as well as papers, templates and other crafting products. I'm a certified Ranger Educator and my first book,"Stamping", was published in 2009. I also design regular projects for Crafts Beautiful magazine and have made guest appearances from time to time on QVC. I've recently joined You Tube under the name of LindsayMason1000 where I'm posting short technique videos and you can buy my paintings and hand crafted pieces from my Etsy shop. My work takes me all around the country demonstrating stamping, papercrafts and general inkiness! When I'm not working, I love gardening, church & community activities, nature watching, journalling, music and theatre and just relaxing at home. Email me at: ljm.design1@virginmedia.com

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Long day

Evening everyone, well, late evening....night really! I woke up feeling very tired this morning, partly due to the fact that Thomas has developed a fondness for sleeping stretched out along my arm and shoulder, purring very loudly right into my ear. It's like having a heavy hot water bottle on top of me all night and no matter how many times I move him he just keeps creeping back!
Anyway, a couple of coffees got me gradually perked up and then I was straight to work in the Doo Lally room. I had prepped some pieces to carry on with this morning.......
 ....this one is a canvas with lots of cogs and textures, all painted black ready for the next stage. I had several other pieces to build up to the same point, which takes quite a time, including this heart with the word "smile".
The next part is my favourite as I really enjoy adding the layers of colour to create the depth of lustre. The metallic paints and waxes look different depending on which angle you view them from and the light.
Here's the canvas all done and dusted!
I've been working on different pieces all day and finally tidied away (!) at past 8pm. I've added the four new finished pieces to my Etsy shop now so that's me finished for the day at last and hopefully Thomas will give my shoulder a rest tonight!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Unseasonal apologies

I know it's still only August, though you'd be forgiven for thinking it was almost October after the crummy weekend weather we just had, so I feel I should apologise for posting festive images this early. It's the nature of my work, of course, to be always a few steps ahead of the calendar and it's Christmas products that I'm using on demonstrations at the moment. Only a couple to share tonight though and quite straightforward ones at that - I'll be at Paper Warehouse in Kendal on Saturday and they prefer clean and simple cards there. I find them harder to make than my usual messy style!
Anyway, I've been working with my Zendoodle range of stamps today, both the ready doodled versions and the plain ones. Although the idea with the plain ones is that you can fill them in with Zentangle patterns, they are also perfect for paper piecing. As I'm using some Teresa Collins papers on Saturday too, I thought it was a perfect way to utilise them. This one is an ultra simple card using my Zendoodle Tree stamp...
...told you it was simple! Just a few adhesive gems and some Stickles (oh yes, and I get a bit of sneaky distress ink in there with a little water spattering!) to add some sparkle.
Next is my Zendoodle snowman and I made the background directly on a folded A4 white card using a Crafter's Workshop stencil (Aspen Trees) and Weathered Wood Distress ink, just blended more softly as I went further down.
The sentiment is from my Inspirational Christmas Quotes set. I must admit that I did enjoy cutting out and piecing all the snowman's clothes - for a change anyway! I finished off with Aged Mahogany Distress ink smudged round the edges and some baker's twine wrapped round the spine.I stuck little circular stickers, from the Teresa Collins paper pack, back to back at the ends of the twine. Simple but I quite like this one!
I was looking back at my "photos from this day last year" but, as they happened to be of a ginormous spider, I decided not to put them up here! Tomorrow will be a year since Tim Holtz and the Ranger team came over to the UK for the weekend event with Personal Impressions - where has the time gone?! This was what I was doing at the event....and it was fun to be on the other side of the table for a change!
Heather and I spent some time together for her birthday - it was very low key but that was what she wanted, so the birthday stripper had to be cancelled....no...I'm only joking! We just went for a Sunday lunch and both felt like we never wanted to eat again! If you haven't seen Heather for a while you'll get quite a surprise next time you do as she has lost over three stone to date and looks great.
Well, it's only just past 9pm and it's dark already...how depressing is that?! Worse still, Blackpool Illuminations are switched on this Friday (by Peter Kay this year) so that's that! Time to wash the dishes and make a coffee I think so I'll say goodnight. 
Oh, if you read my previous post and went to look at the canvasses on my Etsy shop - they're not there anymore! I'll be adding some new items very soon though. Right, off to the kitchen now - night all.

Quickie!

Hello everyone, just a very short and fast post this morning. The sun is blazing down now after, of course, a very wet and cold Bank Holiday Monday - typical! Not that it really mattered to me as I was inside, working, all day, but I did resent having to put the heating on, albeit for not very long, in August!!!
Anyway, no photos this time, but just to say that I've added a couple more items to my Etsy shop....a canvas and heart shaped hanger....photos can be seen here.
Thank you for all the lovely comments and messages via phone, text and email, all of which are much appreciated.
Back to the Doo Lally room for me now and a day of making samples for this Saturday's event at The Paper Warehouse in Kendal. Hope to see you there!

PS If you pop over to my sister's website, here, you can see the mirror that I made for her birthday...she dropped some very heavy hints!!! Lol!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Waxing lyrical

Well, waxing creatively anyway! After the lovely response to the pictures of the mirror that I made for my Etsy shop last week, I decided to make some more pieces. Apart from items for Etsy, I need to be getting stocked up for my stall at the Christmas Festival here in Poulton-Le-Fylde in December, which I was invited to be part of....being involved with the Church leads to all sorts of things!
So, I've been gluing, creasing, painting and waxing over the last couple of days. I've added two of my creations to my Etsy shop - both have the word "dream" as it happens! One is a little box canvas that can either hang or stand......
 ....it's a mixture of colours but they don't show up very well I'm afraid.The butterfly wings and the letters have each got some irridescent glitter added for extra sparkle - again, you wouldn't know from the photo!
I decided to make the effort to shake off my favourite colours for the next piece, another mirror. So, after adding all the dimension and textures, I restricted myself to reds, pinks, bronzes and golds. It does make for a very warm look and the finish almost looks like leather - albeit lustrous leather!
Here's a close up of one area.....
I've finished for the day now and am about to remove my scraggy nail polish that now has everything from black acrylic to metallic paint encrusted on it! Then it's a shower and time to make something for dinner - not sure what yet. I've plenty of home grown produce to choose from though, including the sweetcorn that is now ripe for harvesting. I had the first cob last week and it was just delicious - I got the water boiling before going into the garden so the corn was in the saucepan within a minute of being cut! I've had tons of salad leaves and tomatoes as well as courgettes and green beans so not a bad haul!
I'm on duty at Church tomorrow (so I really need to get all the paint off my hands!) and then Heather is meeting me and we're going out for lunch for her birthday. So, a nice day to look forward to and then, next week I will be getting things prepared for my demonstration at Paper Warehouse in Kendal on the 30th.
Have a great "rest of the weekend" folks!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

Hello everyone, and a special hello to all the ladies who came to see me at Card-io on Saturday. It was a really fun day, very busy and lots of enthusiasm for the stamping, spritzing and spraying that I was doing!
I don't know about you, but I've felt quite sick and depressed all day after the hearing the dreadful news this morning of horrible events in Syria....it makes you wonder if humans will ever be able to just talk, agree to disagree on certain things and learn to rub along. I somehow doubt it. Especially when the news bulletins keep giving the same details about awful events, it's really hard to shake off dwelling on them and I get mental pictures that I just can't shift.
Sometimes all the horrors are just too much to take and the only thing to do is to switch off in order to keep sane. That's how I feel anyway. So, I kept the news at arms length for the rest of the day and listened to cheerful music while I worked instead.
Here's a photo of what I was working on today.....
.....looks really miserable I know! Ignore the slightly odd middle which was just a scrap of paper to protect the mirror beneath it. I began by spreading white glue over the front of the frame, one side at a time, before placing old book paper on top and scrunching it up to create some nice texture.
Next I added the dimensional elements....two burlap pieces which I chopped and shredded a little, some Grungeboard squares laid in checkerboard style, die cut flowers and leaves that I stacked for extra depth and some letters and hearts. Everything was firmly glued into place - I'm using Art Institute glue these days as it's really strong and sets nice and quickly too. Once stuck, I painted the whole thing with Black Soot Distress Paint. Great - no brushes to have to clean afterwards! 
I next used Wendy Vecchi black embossing paste to give extra depth and texture. I added more paste through a TH stencil to gave raised patterns to the plainer areas on the frame. Then came the worst part.....having to wait for the paste to set! I left the frame in the sunny conservatory while I had my coffee and toast! More waiting and then I was able to continue.
I brought out my two boxes of Viva Decor Maya Gold and Inca Gold and brushed the Maya Gold over some areas - some quite heavily and some using the dry brush technique. Then it was fancy finger time! Well, my fingers looked pretty fancy by the time I'd finished! I rubbed lots of colours of Inca Gold over the various textures, blending them as I went. More colour rubbed along the sides and just round the back of the frame and then I finished by adding a piece of TH paper to the back to neaten everything up.
Here's the finished mirror frame........
....the picture doesn't really show up the lustre of the colours too well but you can see the general effect. The piece has now been added to my Etsy shop, where you can also see some close ups.
Well, whilst posting this I stopped midway to watch Bake Off and then Operation Wild. Both programmes have lifted my mood from the black gloom that's been hanging over me today. If you haven't seen Operation Wild I can't recommend it highly enough. Spoilers ahead here! Tonight featured a dolphin who lost 75% of her tail through an infection and who consequently struggled to swim or jump. She had more or less isolated herself and her quality of life was pretty poor. However, one man was determined to fix her and kept making prosthetic tails, none of which had so far worked. The latest one though....amazing! She was waving it in the air to show it off, she began to swim  really fast and then was able to leap out of the water - yay!The most moving story for me tonight was Champer the Moon Bear who was born with Encephalitis making her half blind and in constant pain. The veterinary team at the bear sanctuary in Laos operated to relieve the swelling on her brain and insert a tube to keep liquid drained away....brilliant. She's now a happy bear!
Needless to say, I have spent the whole hour very teary eyed - good tears though! It's just what I needed to restore my faith in human nature again - seeing the lengths that the vets will go to to help the animals. Wonderful.
Well, I had better go and let my two critters in as it's sounding a little rainy out there now. Tara is almost beside herself as I roasted a chicken this evening...her very favourite thing in the whole wide world! Once the aroma of a roast hits her nostrils she parks herself in front of the glass door of the oven and stares at it! Very funny!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

A few Christmas cards and tags

Hello from a very rainy Lancashire. I'm just taking a coffee break chance to do a quick catch up and share one or two more images of things I've been up to this week. On Saturday I'll be at Card-io in Wigan from 10am - 4pm where I'll be showcasing my Christmas range of stamps and various messy techniques - as well as some cleaner ones!
Here are some of the things I've been creating for Saturday's demonstration....
The first card was made using my "Little Festive Houses" set and I also added the tiny snowman from the "Cold Hands Warm Heart" set. The background was spritzed with Shimmer Goosebumpz before I blended various blue and purple Distress inks over it. 
Next up is a card featuring a Dylusions ink sprays background - with the white ink sprayed through a stencil over the other colours. I've used images from my "Moon Gazer" stamp set...I really like the whole moon gazing hares imagery and have a small hare in the garden that gazes upwards...not a real one of course! Though we do get hares in the fields behind the houses on my lane.
Now for a couple of tags....
.....both have snowmen from the "Cold Hands...." set. The trees in the left hand tag are from the "Little Festive Houses" set and the ones on the right hand tag are from "Peaceful Christmas" which I inked and then stamped onto scrap card before stamping onto the tag itself. Both backgrounds are made using Distress inks swept across the craft sheet, spritzed with water and then picked up on the tags. 
I added TH Christmas remnant rubs in white to the right hand tag before inking as the rub ons resist the inks to give a nice, soft finish.
Thank you for the great feedback I've had about the new stamps and especially these little chaps.....
 ....they are from the "Merry Christmas to Whoo" set. It's a shame that the camera doesn't pick up the amazing sparkle on this card - I used Tsukineko Shimmer Spritz, in Sparkle, over the whole front and it gives a very delicate sparkle to the picture that really does look like fairy dust! 
Here's one of the two Christmas Zendoodle word stamps used on a very simple card - great when you need to make plenty in a short space of time though!
This stamp is called, unsurprisingly, "Zendoodle Peace"! I took the photo using flash in the evening, hence the slightly creamy tinge. All I did was stamp, colour and add Crystal Stickles to the letters with some added dots of Stickles around the word - really easy and pretty quick!
A last tag to share using the "Doo Lally Pip Tree Fairy" stamp set.
This was a tag from my bag of unfinished bits and pieces - we all have those I think! I didn't really like the colours or how they had come together but I decided to go with it. I stamped the string of stars a few times across the surface and used a white gel pen to pick them out to brighten up the muddiness of the background a bit. More TH remnant rubs added very randomly to add more white highlights. Then I stamped, coloured and cut out little madam and added her before glittering her wings. Doesn't look quite so dreary now!

Talking of cards, I have added some Christmas cards for sale on my Etsy site and will be adding more items as and when I can....I have neglected my shop for quite a while so am determined to get cracking with it once more!

I've not been able to get into the garden this week what with work and the temperamental weather, but I've collected some more rocks for my latest project. Well, to be fair, I thought they were rocks but they turned out to be lumps of concrete! However, once they're half buried and have plants growing around them they will be fine and will do the job of keeping the soil in place.
I thought I'd end with a piece of music that I've been listening to a lot this week. It's sung by Enya and is from the Lord of the Rings trilogy which David and I absolutely loved....can't count how many times we watched the films. We always said we'd have a trilogy day where we'd watch the three films back to back in one go but we never quite found the time to do it!
Things are a bit rough here at the moment and, at times like this, I miss David more than ever, so this song pretty much sums up how I feel....
                                 

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

A bit of all sorts!

Just a late night post before bed time. It's been a busy day here one way and another. This morning I had the final dental appointment to fit my second replacement crown. This should have been done almost two weeks ago but the new crown had a fault so it had to be made all over again. It's nice to have a decent smile back, though it will take me a while to realise that everything's normal again I think! As my homegrown sweetcorn are very nearly ripe for harvesting, I asked the dentist if my new choppers would withstand biting into the cobs....apparently yes, so I shall look forward to that!
The sweetcorn have been very interesting as I've never grown them before and didn't really know exactly where the cobs grew. I foolishly thought that the yellow spikes growing at the top were going to magically turn into corn and was a bit disappointed at the idea of only one ear of corn per plant! As it turns out, the male flower is at the top and the female flowers that shoot out from the sides are what become the edible cobs - at least three or four on each plant...can't wait!
Talking of things horticultural, I was pretty miffed a couple of weeks ago when my new neighbours decided to cut back the shrubs that are between our front gardens. The shrubs are growing from my neighbour's side and they said they'd like to trim them a bit. The plants have come over onto my side and I said I was fine with them being trimmed as long as it wasn't too drastic as the birds like to perch in them. It was agreed that we'd do the trimming when I was at home so that we could all agree on what got cut back.
Unfortunately, when I was out one morning, my neighbour decided to get busy with the saw and hacked away at everything. Worst of all, he came into my garden and cut back the foliage that was hanging over my low wall as well as breaking one of my solar lamps in the process! I was quite annoyed to say the least. However, nothing has been mentioned and I don't want to fall out with new neighbours who are, otherwise, very pleasant. I'm sure they thought they were doing me a favour, but it has left my garden looking very bare at one side and with no privacy from next door...gggrrrr!!!
To make things worse, there's very little soil on my side in this area so I have been puzzling over what to do next. So, after visiting our mum this morning, Heather and I went to the garden centre and I got some bags of topsoil, compost and grit with a view to creating an area that I can plant up. Last night I found some large rocks that were hidden from view by overgrown Heathers, so I heaved them out and split them with a hammer and chisel. This is as far as I got this afternoon......
.....I've moved a few things around and now I need some new plants!
The gaps above the wall used to be full of lovely shrubbery with blossoms and berries : (  
I've moved some of my pots to fill the gravelly areas that have no soil at all and I've put some new plants into the deeper soil that will, hopefully, grow and create some privacy once more....
...it's not that I'm antisocial, but I don't like having an uninterrupted view into next door's garden! I've planted a lovely fern that I dug out of Heather's garden....she did give me permission! Next to it are a couple of Sunflowers that should flower nicely now that they're in open ground and, to the left of the fern is my bargain of the day..... 
....it's a "Magical Four Seasons" Hydrangea which, apparently, goes through four colour changes through the year. Heather and I loved the vintage look of it and I've wanted a Hydrangea for ages.This one was a steal in the special offers section!
Well, from gardens back to festive makes and here are one or two more examples of what I've been up to with my new stamps. This one is using my Zendoodle ready to go Angel set and the words are from my Inspirational Quotes set. The strip down the side features the Tsukineko Irresisible spray in Lulu Lavender which I then blended over with Shaded Lilac Distress ink.
Here's another card featuring my Peaceful Christmas set. I used a background from my selection that I have ready to use...it was created with Dylusions ink sprays onto damp 300 gsm white card which I then spritzed with white Dyusions through one of Tim's stencils. Not an especially festive stencil, but the colours worked really well and give a Northern Lights glow to the card. For this scene I simply added torn strips of white card with some shading of course....Distress ink applied with a waterbrush.
I'll be making more examples with the new Christmas stamps tomorrow, so will share them as and when!
I thought you might like to see a couple of new spots that Thomas has decided are great places to be. The last couple of days have seen him enjoying being in my company in the garden, but he soon gets bored of me taking more notice of plants than of him! His latest sleeping bed is here......
...curled up on top of the Heathers which make a very springy, if slightly prickly, cushion. If I pat him he goes up and down as if he's on a trampoline!
This morning I couldn't find him in any of his usual places until I went into the bathroom and discovered that his newest resting place is here.....
.....in the bath! Who knows what goes on in the feline mind!
Well, a bit of an eclectic mix of piccies tonight, but I'll be back with more Christmas creations in the next day or two. Nighty night all.