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

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Autumn approaches

Thanks to everyone who came along to my demonstration at Crafty Corner in South Shields yesterday. It was great to meet you all and I hope that you will all be getting nice and inky with the ink sprays and spritzers! As promised, here are just a few of the cards from yesterday to remind you of what I was doing.
The snowman from my "Cold Hands, Warm Heart" set,stamped coloured and cut out and I used Stickles Icicles over his ruffles and pom pom buttons. The background is the Crafters Workshop Aspen Trees stencil that I used Distress inks through, adding less pressure as I moved down the card. The words are from my Inspirational Christmas Quotes set. Super simple!
This card is one of those that came from creating something else! I was inking a Sweet Dixie die cut dove with Versamagic and I decided to make use of the negative. I placed the dove onto a piece of card that I'd already decorated with Goosebumps spray and Distress inks and then stroked the ink over the image...thereby coating the die cut and creating the negative at the same time. I embossed the dove with both gold and silver powders and the card below with just gold.
I was showing how brilliantly Dylusions ink sprays work to create backgrounds on white card but here I used them on some manilla coloured card. By adding the opaque White Linen spray to the other, transparent, colours,it completely changed the look and toned them down. I used images from my Moon Gazer stamp set and a white gel pen to add highlights.
 Of course, as I hadn't been to Crafty Corner before, it was only right to do one of my faux bleached snowman scenes! This time, to ring the changes, I decided to work directly onto 300 gsm card that I had cut using the Sweet Dixie Holly and Star die. Those of you who have seen me demonstrating this technique before will know how simple it really is....just Distress inks blended over the card and then the snowy foreground, trees and snowman created just with brush and water...with a few details added to the snowman of course.
Of course, the cards I make on demo days do tend to be rather "unfinished" looking...often without greetings or those little extra dimensional extras - it's all about the techniques on the day!
I'd gone up to Newcastle on Friday (quite a trek) and stayed in a hotel right next to the rail station. A beautiful interior greeted me as I entered, including two magnificent chandeliers....
....they were e-nor-mous! I wouldn't fancy the job of cleaning them and they did give me a smile remembering the famous Del Boy chandelier moment!
Today has been a bit of a rest day as I was really shattered after all the travelling and getting home late. Church this morning followed by coffee with friends and then home to enjoy some sunshine in the garden.I'm making the most of the warmth as there are definite signs of the waning season...coming home last night it was already dark by 7.30pm (groan) and this morning I had to squeejee the condensation from my  windows - how depressing! To crown it, when I set off for Church, there were skeins of geese flying overhead, honking away....there we have it...autumn is on the way!
Still, the darker evenings do tend to herald good telly programmes! Downton was a real treat tonight...no spoilers though in case you haven't watched it yet! Good start to the new series though.
Well, I'm away to my bed now.My sister, Heather, is coming round tomorrow and we're going to be spending some time together in my Doo Lally work room....I guess that means we probably won't get much done if past experience is anything to go by! (Yack, yack, yack.....!).
Don't forget to leave a comment below the Blog Candy post (a few posts back) if you haven't already done so. It finishes on the last day of September. Night all.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A little help

Good evening all, I hope it's been as glorious where you are as it's been here in Lancashire.What a beautiful, sunny day it's been.
I've had a little help in my Doo Lally room this week,or should I say a little help-er...and not so little either! Thomas seems to have decided that my work needs to be supervised - only trouble is that he doesn't leave me much room to do anything!
Not even sure that he approves of my work!
I'll be travelling up and across to Newcastle on Friday and then onto South Shields on Saturday morning for my demo at Crafty Corner. I've got lots of Christmas cards and tags made using my latest Christmas stamps as well as Sweet Dixie dies and various sprays and spritzers. Could get messy (could? Who am I kidding?!).

Talking of my pusscats, I had a close shave this week in the form of Tara - who else? What a little monster she can be! I was letting her out and she stretched her front legs right up as if to tell me to hurry up.I bent forward to give her a little kiss on her head and her paw came right up and into my eye - it was so fast that I didn't have time to blink. I felt her claw in my eye but, thankfully, no damage was done. She really can be a minx!
Thomas was rather unpleasant to be around yesterday as he was rather whiffy! I think he'd been curled up in the sun too long and he's also recovering from a bout of fleas...yikes! They do both have their drops but, living with open land so close by, and the fact that there are quite few farm cats about, fleas can be an occasional problem. He's been scratching, as they do, and was generally looking (and smelling!) a bit of a mess! I made the bold decision to give him a bath!
Never in a million years would I contemplate this for Tara - I'd be flayed alive - but I thought that Tom might just be okay with it - enough for me to give him a little wash anyway. Having read that a few drops of vinegar in the water is excellent for cat's that have had fleas, I added some into the warm bath water, changed into my old clothes and shut us both in the bathroom. 
Of course, as soon as I started to lower him into the bath his legs extended in four directions and he made rather a loud grumbling sound. However, once he was in the water,he placed his front paws on my shoulder and stood quite still as I gave him a really good wash! He even purred! Once rinsed off I got him in a big towel and dried him off and, after a few shakes, he trotted off very happily and sat in the sun. He seemed to actually enjoy the whole experience and he looked a lot happier!
Well, aside from feline escapades it's been pretty quiet here except for working on various samples and projects. I made a few jewellery pieces for my Etsy shop using metal bezels and Ice Resin. They are fun to make but the frustrating part is leaving them alone until the resin sets....sooooo tempting to stick your fingers in to check.....not a good idea! I hid them away till the following day so I wouldn't be tempted and then I was able to add chains, bows etc. This one is called "Fly Free", with the little bird,some metal flakes and a bow.
And this one is called "Soulful" which seemed to bemuse my nephew when he saw it on Facebook!
All my "stuff" for Saturday's demo is packed up now, so I don't have to think about that now until Friday. Tomorrow will be a mixture of a little housework (nnoooooo!!!) mainly prompted by the fact that my neighbour will be popping round to look after the two terrors. She always says that she doesn't notice the lack of housekeeping but I'm sure she must be thinking that I'm a real sloven!!! Lol! I'll also be working on some canvasses that have been ordered and then it's Church in the evening, although not a service. This time it's puppet rehearsals first and then we are hosting a concert called "A Little Night Music" which is songs from the shows. There will be refreshments and a raffle...I'm helping...with refreshments....not singing! So, it should be a lovely evening altogether.
Right, I am off to make a coffee and a sandwich before Bake Off, so I shall bid you good evening and hope to see some of you on Saturday.
Don't forget, if you haven't already done so, do leave a comment after the previous post to be in with a chance of winning my Blog Candy. All the details are below. You can't win it if you're not in it!


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Candy Time!

Hello all, I have some Blog Candy to give away! It consists of six of my latest Christmas stamp sets....
The six sets are Doo Lally Pip Angel Wings, Zendoodle Reindeer, Humourous Christmas Quotes, Zendoodle Christmas Trees Ready to Go, Christmas Baubles and Doo Lally Pip Stringy Snowman.
Here's a slightly closer look....
 ....and the remaining three.........
The sets are plain wrapped ones, that is, with none of the usual packaging, but they are exactly the same as those that are seen on the shop shelves! The stamps would cost around £36 to buy, so well worth winning!
To enter the draw for the stamps, just leave a comment below this post by midnight on the 30th September. If you can add a link to here from your blog, or Facebook page, that would be appreciated too.
I will randomly draw a winner on the 1st October so don't forget to check back to see if you have won.If the winner doesn't claim the prize within three days then I will draw again and so on.
Good luck everyone!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

I've given in!

Hi folks, the eagle eyed amongst you may have spotted the large "F" on the left side of my blog. Yes, I have finally caved in and gone onto Facebook...mainly to shut certain people up who have been pestering me about it for ages now! I'm still finding my way round it...probably offending people by not replying to things that I don't even realise they have sent to me!
Anyway, there we are. I shall still be blogging and trying to make sure that I don't get too caught up in this social media lark. As I only use my lap top for all this stuff and don't have a smart phone I certainly won't be on Facebook all the time.
So, I've had a mixed few days. Monday was a drawing day and then yesterday I went into town to meet my sister, Heather, as we both had M&S vouchers to spend from our birthdays. Heather found a top that she liked but I didn't see any clothes that took my fancy so I spent my vouchers in the homewares department. Two "owly" purchases...a retro biscuit barrel to keep my crackers in and a cushion that has an owl with the most appealing expression....he kept looking at me and I had to bring him home with me!
I keep looking at him now, so I know it was a good choice!
This morning it was a really fresh start to the day, that is to say, it was cold! So much so that Tara plonked herself in front of the fire and stared at me until I switched it on! 
Must admit that I needed the warm up myself too! I should also say that I don't normally have photos and canvasses on the floor, but things have been temporarily moved around to accommodate things I've recently made...I like to hang them up so I can look at them for a while and make sure I'm happy with them.
Once I'd got warmed up and, after a bit of prevaricating about what to do first (!), I went into the slightly chilly Doo Lally room and got to work on a few things. Thankfully, once the sun got a little higher in the sky it turned into a pretty warm day again, so I was able to ditch the socks and the sweat shirt that I'd bundled myself into!
This owl is a variation on the canvasses and mirrors that I've been making recently. I've given him cog eyes and used various dimensional patterns and textures for his wings, body and beak. He's about 4 1/2" tall and he is free standing.
I needed to be patient with these....
....they will be fully cured by tomorrow morning and I had to use all my will power not to keep poking my fingers into them to check if they were set! Why do we do that? The pieces will be being turned into jewellery once I can handle them without leaving fingerprints in the resin!
Then it was time to plant a few bulbs in the garden. I have lots to plant but I hate the job, so I just do a few every day when I can. trouble is, I forget where I've already put them!
Now my eyes are really straining to close so I think it's time to get to bed. Another work day at home tomorrow and then I will be at Church in the evening for puppet rehearsals...in readiness for the Harvest Festival services. Busy, busy, busy!!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Sunday....my favourite day of the week

Yes, I really do love Sundays. It's the day to recharge my batteries and I'm always up bright and early so I can enjoy a leisurely coffee before strolling into the village to the sound of the Church bells calling everyone to the family communion service. 
This morning was also a Baptism service - for a very sweet little boy who was the only baby that didn't cry during the service, even when he had three very generous dishfuls of water cascading over his head.Our Vicar doesn't hold back when it comes to the water! The little chap got a round of applause and then the Vicar carried him round the Church so that everyone could welcome him. A lovely service.
After Church quite a lot of us go for coffee together...this used to be in the Church hall but it's been closed for some months now as there were too many problems with the building. Hopefully, it will be re-opening before too long once it's been overhauled. Meanwhile, we go to the local pub for coffee...too many of us for the little local cafes! It's a good chance to have a catch up and today I took some of my garden produce to give away. Just like last year, I found a huge marrow lurking under one of the courgette leaves and it was far too big for me to eat...not only that but my last attempt at cooking a stuffed marrow was a disaster!
Hard to tell from the photo but it really was a bit of a monster! It went to a good home though as did the lettuces that I took with me...crikey, not only enough for veg for me but a surplus! Of course, it will be harvest festival in a few weeks and in times gone by that would have been an ideal time to give some produce away. Unfortunately, as with most things, modern harvest donations have to be tinned or dry goods - just as much of a gift but not quite as evocative as the days when I remember all of us schoolchildren carrying baskets of fruit and vegetables into Church.
It's another warm and sunny day here and, after doing some drawing in the Doo Lally room I decided that I really couldn't stand being inside and missing out on the sunshine for the whole afternoon. I sat on my garden bench with my book for a while and then lay on the lawn to just enjoy a peaceful half an hour. I did the same yesterday and was quite surprised when somebody flew right over in a microlight aircraft - I wondered what it was at first! He circled and went over again, even lower....so low in fact that I waved at him as I lay on the lawn...and he waved back!
No microlights today but there was an even bigger surprise and (for me) much excitement when I decided to come back inside, went past the teeny tiny micro pond and saw this.....
......yes, I nearly shrieked (well I did actually!) when I saw a little frog sitting there quite happily on top of the tiny clay pot in the pond! I ran in to get my camera and, thankfully, he was quite relaxed about me taking his picture. I can't tell you how happy that one little amphibian has made me today! The idea that my old washing up bowl has become an attractive enough habitat to tempt a frog into it.....wow!
Cute or what?!
He dived into the depths (well, such as they are!) after I took his photos, but I popped out later and he was back on top of the pot again. Hopefully he'll make short work of some of the slugs that have started appearing again this last week or so.
Anyway, that's all for now...I'm just off to look at the pond again....

Friday, 5 September 2014

Fluttering days....

The days are fluttering by in more ways than one here....can any of us really comprehend that it is September? How did that happen? And there seems to have been a resurgence of butterflies....Large Whites, Peacocks, Painted Ladies....all are flitting about my garden once again attracted by the late flowering nasturtiums and the lavender. I was working in my Doo Lally room yesterday when a butterfly of a species that I hadn't seen before danced into the room. It really did appear to be dancing...skitting about by the windows and tipping its wings in a very dainty fashion. I managed to get a few photos in the moments when it settled.........
.....this made it much easier to identify it from my insect book later. The photo doesn't do it justice as it looked much prettier and the colours were certainly brighter than they look here. It turns out to be a Speckled Wood butterfly of the Satyrid family and it may well have been dancing, in a rather soporific fashion, as they apparently have a penchant for imbibing the juice from over ripe blackberries - of which there are many along the edge of my fence!
Yesterday evening I got the binoculars out so I could watch a Kestrel that was perched on a fence post in the field behind the house. He was being bombarded by brave little birds that were trying their utmost to get him to scoot but he was completely ignoring them and staying put!
I hope you're having the same fabulous weather as here in Lancashire. The sun has been beaming down through hazy skies with not a breath of wind - just lovely. It makes it all the more of a shock when it starts to go dark so much earlier now - oh to have more of the long evenings!
Looking at my "this day last year" photos for today, it seems that it wasn't quite as lovely as there are pictures of a very foggy morning and wet grass! I did like this photo though and I can remember going around the garden that morning and seeing lots of spider webs glistening from the morning mist....
In between all this "country diary of an Edwardian lady" stuff I have been doing some work too - honestly! As I have a couple of weeks without doing demonstrations I've still been busy making things for my Etsy shop and the stall that I'll be having in December. I'm looking forward to that as I'll be part of the Christmas Festival market which we have in Poulton square and part of which is the lighting of the nativity crib with carol singing followed by coffee and mince pies in Church. I'll miss out on the refreshments this time as I'll be manning my stall out in the (probably) very cold weather!
Here's a large canvas that I created this week......
....one of several that are adorning my walls at the moment like an ever changing gallery! I have a long list of things to be made for my December stall.....cards, bookmarks, canvasses, paintings.....anyone know where I can buy a few extra hours in each day?!? Thankfully I do like getting up before 6am when the light is decent, so I have been making a head start!
Tara likes to keep an eye on what I'm doing when I get the camera out - she's looking at the soil that I managed to knock out of one of the tomato plant tubs here though I think!
Yesterday was not a good one regarding the pusscats in my household! In the morning I was stroking Tara when she suddenly decided to sink her teeth into my hand - she's not done this for a while and there was no apparent reason for it this time. Of course, she had to be told off so I told her she was "a very bad girl" and  tapped her bottom as she scooted off - and when I say tapped, I do mean the gentlest of chastising taps. Of course, being the softie that I am, I very quickly went to find her so we could be friends again. She was on the window sill in the bedroom and when I drew back the curtain she cowered away from me....you can imagine how terrible I felt. Tara was a rescue cat when mum and dad got her and she's always been grumpy and nervous of people so who knows what has happened in her past....certainly  my raised voice yesterday brought it rushing back. 
Needless to say that she had extra fuss made of her (including some treats of the fresh ham variety!) and  was soon perfectly okay again. I felt like the worst person in the world though - even though she had bitten me very hard!
In the evening I heard my neighbour across the road calling my name and I went out to discover that Thomas was in her garden growling menacingly at my neighbour's cat, Smokey, who is not only very elderly, but is the tiniest adult cat you could imagine. As soon as I tried to pick Thomas up he launched at poor little Smokey and it was like a whirling ball of cats until we managed to separate them! Poor little Smokey shot into the house and Tom sauntered off looking twice as big as normal with every hair on end - and he's about the size of a fully grown lion as it is! Lol! Talk about showing me up! I was very ashamed of him, especially as Smokey is female!
So, lots of feline stress one way or another. Thankfully they are both behaving themselves today - so far anyway!
Well, this has been a bit of a rambly post but I just wanted to sign in and say hello really. I hope everyone has a really great weekend. I'm having one of my rare treats of a Friday evening where I can really relax knowing that I don't have to up at daft o'clock to catch a train to who knows where! Lovely!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Free Spirit

Hello all, and a special hello to everyone that I saw in Kendal on Saturday at the Paper Warehouse craft event which was really busy. The team there look after us all very well and keep us topped up with drinks and snacks all day so we can just concentrate on being creative.
I was working with my Zendoodle stamps and pens from the Artline range - all Christmassy I'm afraid! Here's one of the cards that I made which also featured papers by Teresa Collins....
....again, quite a simple card as I wasn't using all my favourite spritzy inks and sprays!
As I like to occasionally share a photo or two from "this day last year" I thought I'd jump back to 2012 and share a couple from this time two years ago. One is a card that I made using my Hopeful Harriet Doo Lally Pip stamp set....
....and the second is a gardening, well, building photo.....
...two years since I rebuilt one of the walls in my garden! Can't believe it's so long since I finished that job but I'm pleased to say that it is still standing! 
I haven't been out and about much since I was in Kendal, except for Church on Sunday, as I've been holed up in my Doo Lally room creating canvasses and hangers for my Etsy shop. I've been working in stages on several pieces at once but here's one that I finished this afternoon....
My poor fingers are every colour of the rainbow now - as well as thick black paint! I'm now working on a much bigger canvas, so I'll share a photo once it's finished.
Well, it's been a gloriously sunny and warm day today but I've been too busy to get into the garden, I might just spend half an hour on my bench with my book now though, to make the best of the evening before the sun fades. I do have loads of bulbs to plant but, I confess, it is a task that I always seem to struggle with. I think it's because there is no immediate reward as there is when putting plants into the garden - everything looks exactly the same when you've finished and it's a bit of a bore to do! However, I'm trying to focus on the prospects of Hyacinths, tulips, daffs, narcissus and crocus in a few months time to spur me on!
Meanwhile, the fields adjacent to me got their first haircut in years at the weekend. Everything had got rather jungle like and as the grasses and weeds were cut back there were rabbits running all over the place as well as much interest from the gulls and crows.
Yesterday evening I spotted this chappie....
....it's the first time I've seen a heron here, so, another one to tick off my list!
Well, I'm off to get into the garden for a while, so will sign off. Hope the weather's good where you are too.