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

Friday, 30 January 2015

Mixed Media

Sorry it's been a while but I'm in pre Stitches mode now so there's not much time for posting on here which always seems to take me an age to do! I have, I confess, been using Facebook more (which I never thought I'd say!) because it is much speedier. Even if you're not on FB you can look at my page as I've made it a public one.
So, tomorrow is another workshop day, this time at The Craft Range, Burnley.We'll be using Mixed Media techniques to create a secret drawer book box and, if time allows, a little wall hanging plaque too. If you're coming along, then you may wish to bring some of your own embellishments to add to your project...Tim Holtz Idea-ology bits and pieces are good, or even broken bits of jewellery, charms etc. If you have a palette knife and a couple of flat brushes then bring those too but don't worry if you don't have anything - just bring yourself! I'd suggest "old" clothes as we will definitely be getting a bit messy!
Here are a couple of the book boxes that the ladies made on my last workshop, just to give an idea of the kind of thing we'll be doing....
This one was just my colours!
Lots going on in this one.
I've posted this on Facebook already that if anyone would like to attend one of my workshops, but can't get to them, I can always come to you. If you have a group of friends and somewhere suitable just send me a message and I'll get back to you with details.
If you want to contact me at the moment it's best to do so via my email (which is at the top of my blog page) or by PM on facebook rather than phoning me. I confess that I really do try to ignore the phone when I'm busy. Like anyone who works and can't take personal calls...it's just the same for me even though I am working from home...I sometimes think that because I'm at home it's not regarded that I'm really at work! Sometimes I've been stuck on the phone for ages when I really need to be cracking on with things! My mobile is also now giving up the ghost and I rarely have it switched on, certainly not when I'm home. It even charges me to listen to voicemail so I always hope people don't leave me messages! I know I probably sound like a real old misery now but yesterday was one of those days where the phone never stopped ringing and I couldn't get work flowing with all the interruptions. Bah Humbug and all that, I know!
As I said, I'm really busy now with preparations for Stitches Trade show - even more so as I'll be on two stands this year rather than just one. I will, of course, be on the Personal Impressions stand but I'm also going to be demonstrating and hosting make n takes for Deco Art too, so I have even more samples to make than normal!
Other than work it's been pretty quiet here apart from a couple of notable exceptions. We had a visit to St Chad's from the Bishop of Blackburn which made for a really interesting evening's service. He gave a very inspirational sermon delivered in his softly spoken voice which really drew one in. Earlier this week my sister and I met in town and went to a matinee performance at the Grand Theatre where we saw two ghost stories both starring Jack Shepherd. They were excellent - both classic tales and performed within very atmospheric and realistic sets. One featured a railway line leading into a very scarily dark tunnel...very evocative! There were several "jump out of your seat" moments too!
Hope everyone is keeping warm and cosy, although, at least here on the Fylde, it's a beautifully sunny and bright day today - better inside even so I daresay!
Well, I have drunk my coffee and eaten my banana so I will now get back into my work room. As it's the vestibule it's not the warmest room in the house but at least it's nice and bright. Hi Ho and all that...!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Workshops and demonstrations

Just a quick post to say that I'll be at Daisy's Jewels and Crafts near Coventry on Saturday, teaching a full day mixed media workshop. If you're coming along, and as the class is heavily subscribed, please do bring your own palette knife and paint brushes if you have any.You may also wish to bring any of your own personal embellishments to include in your project...keys, charms, watch parts etc - but don't worry if you don't have anything to bring!
I've updated my workshop and demonstration list and will be adding more dates as I get details. After Stitches trade show I usually have quite a few new events to list!

Monday, 5 January 2015

David

Treasuring memories of my wonderful David on his birthday - the third one without him. Loved and missed more than ever....

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Christmas retreat

Hello chums and a rather late "Happy New Year" to all...and "Happy Christmas" too now I come to think about it. It has been over three weeks since my last post after all! Thank you somuch to everyone who sent me such lovely cards - they were all very much appreciated. 
I've been having a "switch off the computer, turn off the mobile phone and shut the rest of the world out" kind of time. I really need to retreat from work, and all things related, at this time of the year and always take a break over Christmas and right up until the decorations come down on the sixth. As I haven't had a real holiday (ie going away somewhere for a week - or even a few days) for over twenty five years I don't feel guilty about it!
I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas however you spent it. Mine was pretty quiet and all the better for it.
On the 18th Heather and I met in Blackpool for some shopping, dinner and then the Christmas concert by Poulton band at the lovely Grand theatre. This has become a regular event for us and it really makes us feel that the festivities have started.
On the Sunday before Christmas I was in Church almost the entire day being on duty at the 8am service and then staying on for the communion service that I normally attend. Then it was coffees and home before going back for our candlelit Carol service which almost left me with no voice we sang so much! Some of us then went to the Vicarage for drinks and nibbles and ended the night by singing yet more Carols around the piano - it was lovely and made me feel I had wandered into a Dickens novel.
Christmas Eve saw Heather and I visiting our mum and doing my Christmas food shop.Yes, I always leave my food shopping until the last moment but I went into the village very early to beat the queues and it certainly paid off - whilst most people were collecting their pre ordered chickens and turkeys etc, and paying a whopping price for them, I picked up a chicken for £2.25! It was still well in date, quite large and turned out to be very tasty - guess the store just bought too many!
I spent the rest of the day writing the last of my Christmas cards and then it was off to Church at 10.45pm ready to be on duty for the Midnight Eucharist service - always an interesting one as so many people come along who don't normally come to Church...as well as the "revellers" of course! So, I didn't get home until nearly 2am and then it was straight to bed!
Christmas morning was bright and sunny and I was in Church for the 10.30am family service which was delightful as always with each of the chidren bringing in one of their gifts to show to the congregation. It always elicits some comical moments and I think it's a lovely way for those without family to enjoy the children's excitement.
Once I got home it was time to start the "Christmas dinner for one" (!) which included my favourite home made bread sauce. Meanwhile, I opened my gifts which were all lovely, especially this wonderful wall art that my sister created for me...
...she chose the word "sanctuary" very carefully and it really is a perfect word to sum up how I feel about where I live now. I'm just waiting until the decorations come down now before I give this pride of place on the chimney breast.
When I looked up from opening gifts I saw that a certain someone had noticed that I'd started laying the table and she thought she'd get herself seated in readiness!
I'm pleased to say that the roast dinner was delicious and was very much enjoyed by Thomas and Tara as well as me! I think Tara wonders why she has to eat "rotten cat food" most of the time when there is tasty fresh chicken to be enjoyed so why can't she have it every day?
Boxing day was when we all got together at my sister's house - "all" being Heather, my nephew and his girlfriend plus me! We had another roast chicken dinner and then played games all evening - great fun.
Since then it has been a very quiet time, watching seasonal films, listening to music and just doing nothing very much at all really, though I did tackle the spare room yesterday...it's my dumping ground for just about everything and had really become overwhelmingly messy and cluttered. It's still bad but not quite so overwhelming!
We've had some gorgeous weather here including some very frosty mornings.Very cold, but I do love to look out onto this in the mornings...
...the bins don't look very attractive! Thomas is just on the other side of the fence in the field...looking for mice I'm afraid! These lovely views have been threatened by a proposed housing development but I'm happy to say that a combined effort by residents, councillors and the local MP have led to it being refused - fingers are crossed that no appeal is lodged.
I brought the New Year in in my, now, usual way - snuggled into David's big coat and raising a glass to him whilst standing in the lane that you can see in the photo. We always used to stand there to watch the fireworks going off on Blackpool sea front (if I down the lane to the right of the photo I can see them really clearly) though they were much less spectacular this time. The sound of a field full of geese angrily being woken from their sleep was much more dramatic! I don't really enjoy new year as it always seems a sad time to me...saying goodbye to things and bidding farewell to the special spirit that surrounds everything over Christmas.
Tomorrow I'll be helping to lead the service at Church as the puppets (Mitten Ministry) are on the menu again! Lynne and I will be Clyde and Camille the camels again and we'll also be in charge of the prayers and readings - as ourselves for these!
This evening is marked down as another one settled on the sofa and, as Tara keeps pinching my spot every time I leave the room, I guess we'll be snuggled up together again....
....she is such a grumpy looking thing sometimes! By the way - those are one of the two new pairs of lovely socks that Heather knitted for me...snazzy eh?!
Right, that same little madam is driving me mad now, demanding her dinner and threatening to jump into the Christmas tree to get my attention, so I had better go! All the best for 2015 everyone and let's hope that it's a much more peaceable one than the last was.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Drawn out days until Christmas

Hello everyone and hope you are all keeping warm in this seasonally cold weather...it took a while to get Wintery this year but I think we can definitely say that it's arrived. I'm sitting on the sofa with the Christmas tree lights twinkling away, waiting for the daylight to get a little stronger so that I can start work without straining my eyes. 
I really do enjoy putting up the decorations and especially the trees. I have this one in the lounge and a really old one in the window of the Doo Lally Pip room. The star of the "lounge tree" this year is my new traditional glass snowman which was an early gift from Heather.
I think he's adorable!
Well, after all the long hours of work I put into getting things made for my stall at the Poulton Christmas Festival the morning finally dawned when I had to get myself wrapped up like Scott of the Antarctic! It was a 7.30am start to be ready in time...there were tables to be brought out from Church, a gazebo to be erected and then the job of setting out my wares and hoping that the forecasted rain would stay away - it didn't! It was quite windy too...the worst combination of course - so I had to lash the gazebo to the benches that were behind me to stop it from being carried away on a strong gust. Thankfully the rain came in short bursts so it was a case of hurriedly moving things to protect them from the wet which I mostly managed to do.
I was against the Church wall which gave me a bit of protection at least. It was a cold day of course, but not quite as freezing as I'd feared it might be, although there was a rather surprising hailstorm in the afternoon with large stones that covered everywhere in seconds!
I was there until 6.30pm so it was a very long and tiring day - aching feet and legs for a couple of days afterwards and I fell asleep very quickly that night! It looked very festive as the sun went down and we had the lighting of the Crib at 4pm with carols and the Churchyard tree also being lit.
You can see how many layers I had on beneath my coat...I struggled to bend in the middle!!!
It was a really enjoyable day and, thankfully, my creations sold well. I had a surprise visit from Jacqui and Christine who had travelled over for the afternoon...lovely to see you ladies! Heather came for a few hours too and manned the stall while I nipped for a "comfort break"!
I didn't have a great many of my mixed media pieces left but I've put what I didn't sell on the day onto my Etsy shop shelf now. Here are a couple of them...
 A butterfly wall hanger and a framed mirror....
 ...sorry about the reflections of my conservatory net curtains in the mirror!
Speaking of my mixed media techniques, Christina from A Maze of Memories sent me the link to show me what her customers had been up to in their scrap club. You can see their results here. I love what they've done using the white backgrounds!
On Saturday I had planned to do the neglected housework and give everywhere a good "Spring" clean before putting up the decorations. I was so tired when I woke though (I must have looked a charming sight, shuffling around with stiff ankles and leaning my head back so that I could peer through my half closed eyes!) that I decided to have a lazy day instead. However, after a strong coffee and warming up a bit, I gave myself a kick up the rear and set to work. The Doo Lally Pip room had become a disgrace....
....shocking mess!!! But, after some determined tidying, it looked like this....
 ....and then I added the old tree....
I gave everywhere else the same treatment but I will say that nobody is going to be allowed to look into the spare room until after New Year! Lol!
Sunday was a madly busy day too as I was on duty at the 8 am service at Church which meant another early start and then I stayed for the 9.30 am service which is the one I usually attend. The Sunday school children were performing a play for us so you may imagine that there were some extra smiles all round! Then it was coffee with friends from Church and some much needed grocery shopping which I had to carry home through yet more hailstorms....it was very crunchy underfoot! I warmed up and confess to a small snooze (!) before it was time to walk back to Church for the lovely Christingle service....
...myself, Jane and Rebecca holding our Christingle oranges. In case you don't know, the orange represents the world, the cocktail sticks represent the four seasons, the sweets and fruits on the sticks represent God's gifts to us, the candle is the Light of the World and the red ribbon around the orange represents the blood of Christ. 
We all made a big circle around the pews in Church and then our candles were lit from one to another...such an atmospheric service.
Yesterday, apart from adding the items to my Etsy shop (which took quite some time) I decided to have a really lazy day and just sat on the sofa watching Christmas films with the company of Thomas and Tara. I didn't even feel guilty!
Today though, it's back to work and I have lots of drawing to get on with in readiness for new stamps designs. So, as I think it's as bright as it will ever be today, and as I've warmed up a bit now, I had better get started!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Michelin man spotted in Poulton!

Well, there may well be tomorrow anyway! I have my wardrobe sorted for the Christmas Festival market day....makes me feel cold just thinking about it so I shall be wearing....two pairs of tights, pop sox, fluffy socks, jeans, boots, leg warmers, thermal T shirt, thin polo neck, long sleeved fleece top (PJ top as it happens!), loose fitting long sleeved top, wool coat with fur collar, wool wrist warmers, thermal gloves, silk scarf, fluffy scarf, fur trimmed thermal hat....!!!! If I can even move it will be a minor miracle! I also have one pair each of hand warmers and foot warmers which I will be saving for later in the day.
Everything that I could make in time has been made, priced and packed into boxes along with everything I can think of that I might need on the day. I just hope the weather stays reasonably kind and the forecasted blustery showers hold off.
In case you are in the area and fancy a few hours in Poulton, the market will be starting at 9am and going through until 6pm. Along the way there will be childrens fairground rides from noon, free parking from 2pm, Poulton people's choir will be singing, the lighting of the crib will be at 4pm and Santa will be arriving on his sled at around 5.30pm. Should be a fun day. My stall will be outside the Church between (apparently) the fudge stall and one called Pretty in Punk.
Over the weekend I'll be adding whatever I don't sell tomorrow to my Etsy shop - its been rather neglected this last few weeks.
No photos tonight, and not much news to share until after the weekend when I'll try and make up for being somewhat absent from here lately. Oh yes, one nice thing today was that my sister has booked two tickets for us to see Neil Diamond next July when he comes to Blackpool...should be a fantastic night!
Right, I need an early night as I'm being picked up at 7.30am tomorrow and I will need quite a bit of time to get into all those clothes and have porridge and hot coffee before venturing into the cold!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Normal service

Hello blog followers and apologies for my absence...a combination of being really busy, very tired and an annoying advert thing that keeps popping up when I come to my blog page that has been driving me crazy. It seems to have stopped coming on quite as much now so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
What's been happening since my last post? Gosh, I have to stop and think - don't know about you but the days very easily run one into another. Mainly it's been me at home, in the Doo Lally room, making as much as I possibly can for the Christmas Market and my last two demonstration days of the year. I'll be at The Craft Range in Burnley this Thursday when they have their craft event in the evening from 4.30pm until 8pm.
It will be a great evening with lots going on as you can see.
On Saturday 29th I'll be back at Card-io in Wigan where I'll be working with Viva Decor products as well as dies, stencils, modelling paste etc. Hope to see lots of you at one or other (or even both!) of the events.
I'll have another few days after that to get the last things made for 5th December when I have my stall at Poulton-Le-Fylde Christmas Market. I'm really looking forward to it but I'm hoping that the weather will be kind and stay as sunny and dry as it has been lately - I can cope with the cold (just!) but wind or rain would be another matter! As well as lots of festive stalls there will be fairground rides, the lighting of the Crib outside St Chad's Church, Carol singing and the event will finish with the arrival of Santa Claus in the square!
Other than head down, full production in process not a great deal else has been happening. 
Last week though, Heather and I went into Blackpool to do some window shopping and we both needed some footwear - boots for Heather and a pair of shoes for me...my only pair of black shoes had become peep toes which they were not intended to be! We also chose to go into town that day so that we could visit HMV where Alfie Boe was making an appearance to launch his new album, Serenata. Although we weren't buying the CD we were able to get a good look at him (Lol!) and take a few photos....
 ....definitely worth a good look at I think!!! He really is a lovely, smiley man. We saw him in concert last year and he's not a bad singer either! ; )
Last week I had a little visitor to the garden - I know there are hedgehogs about as they leave tell tale presents for me - but they don't normally trot about in the day time. This little chap was very bold and made no attempt to roll into a ball or scurry off when I went near to him.I put cat food down for him whilst I took his photo but he wasn't interested and he just carried on snuffling about in the autumn leaves. I keep putting food out in the evenings but I don't know whether Hedgy is eating it or if my two are just thinking it's an extra treat for them!
I'm trying not to put the central heating on too much, but it's getting too cold now not to give in! I'm always aware of the meter in the cupboard clocking up the pound signs as well as being concerned that the country doesn't run out of power as they very nearly did last winter apparently. It's tricky when I work at home though, especially working with my hands which just don't do what I want them to if they're cold! I trade off having the heat on in the day with turning it off when I stop work in the evening - then I snuggle on the sofa with socks and a cosy fleece. We really are having a very mild November so far though, certainly here in Lancashire.
Well, I'm going to take a look in the kitchen cupboards now and figure out what I can cobble together for dinner later on! Then it's sofa time with Thomas next to me and Tara on the footstool...well, at least they are getting nearer to each other bit by bit!