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

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!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Full pelt

I'm just about recovered from the show at the NEC and now busy making things for my Christmas market stall. The show was busier than ever, and Wendy and myself were demonstrating for the entire four days. Thank you to everyone who came to the stand and for all the wonderful comments about our demonstrations and samples - makes all the hard work worthwhile!
Of course, Wendy was showing how to use her beautiful Majestix stamp range....the cards she was making were just stunning and everyone was very inspired. 

I was using Viva Decor and Deco Art products and using mixed media techniques...very messy...my default mode!
 It was so busy that the main products I was using were all gone by the end of day two, so, with another two days to go, I had to work off the cuff so to speak, and come up with new ideas, changing things as I went as more things sold out....very nerve wracking but it's good to have to think on your feet!
Here's a triple hanger that I made on day three....
....the large snowflake is made using the Tim Holtz Alterations die "Layered Snowflake" which contains a die and matching embossing folder - really like this set. I used Deco Art white modelling paste to create the snow, sprinkling it with Glamour Dust.
I didn't get chance to look round the rest of the show except for quick glimpses on the way to and from the loos! This was the display at the main entrance to the Hobbycrafts hall....
...all made from paper except for the poppy wreaths which were crocheted.
At the entrance to the Crafts For Christmas hall there was another display, this time featuring "The Snowman" - as I love snowmen I had to get my picture taken with him!
I got back from the show on Sunday evening and then spent Monday relaxing on the sofa catching up with Strictly Come Dancing and a few other TV programmes - didn't even feel guilty! I was so glad to be back home with Thomas and Tara who were very happy to see me. My neighbour told me that Thomas had been sulking for England! On Sunday night Thomas crept under the duvet with me and, amazingly, so did Tara....this is a minor miracle as usually Tara won't even stay in the same room with Tom! They do seem to be getting along a little better at last.
Yesterday was the third anniversary of dad's passing, so Heather and I went to St Chad's and laid some flowers at his resting place as well as lighting candles and looking in the memorial book which was open at the date and had dad's name written there. Being Armistice day makes the anniversary even more evocative. 
It also means that I've been back here in Poulton for three years now which seems unreal - although I also feel I've been here forever at the same time. Time....such a strange thing that seems to ebb and flow depending on what we are thinking about, remembering or looking forward to.
Well, we also did some shopping and Heather even brought me a food parcel - including plenty of cat food - so I am well stocked up now. It was so cold and dank yesterday that I was relieved to get home and look forward to some time inside without having to go out again. With a full larder and fridge I can batten down the hatches and just get busy with making things to sell on my Christmas Market stall in December. I've just finished adding texture and embellishments to some MDF ornaments which are now drying as I have this little break. They'll then be painted black before I start adding all the lustre and sparkle.
I do have to go out this evening though, as it is the town Forum meeting...lots of important issues so I don't want to miss it. The police, councillors and local MP will be there, so it's a great chance to put things to them and get things done!
There is an amendment to my demo dates as we have postponed the one at Card-io in Wigan which I was meant to be doing this coming Saturday. because all the products sold out at the show, I will now be going there on Saturday 29th November where I'll be showing the Mixed Media techniques and giving ideas for Christmas gifts and decorations. I'll be returning on Saturday 28th February when I'll be teaching Mixed Media workshops - more details to follow, but if you want to ensure a place, please get in touch with Card-io directly here.
Well, I think those decorations will be dry now, so I shall get cracking with the next stage. I need to get an awful lot of things made by 5th December!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Hi Ho, Hi Ho it's off to the NEC I go...!

This blog post title came to mind as I was watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarves yesterday afternoon whilst I was die cutting! I haven't seen it for a long time and I really did enjoy it, singing along to all of the songs...and especially "Hi Ho" - love it!
Singing seems to have been the theme over the last couple of days beginning with Monday evening when Heather and I went to see Madame Butterfly at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool. This was one of my gifts from Heather for my birthday back in July, so we were joking that I now have two birthdays like the Queen and 3rd November is now my "official" one! 
I had been so looking forward to this as I've not been to the opera for a few years now. It was the first time for Heather and she was open minded but dubious! Needless to say, I absolutely loved the whole evening and spent most of the opera an emotional wreck! The set was gorgeous, the costumes were beautiful (including some antique Japanese kimonos) and the singing was first rate - especially the soprano.
Heather's still not convinced and I don't think she'll be going to see any more opera! Heathen! Lol!
Last night I was in Blackpool again, this time at the famous Tower Ballroom - not to see strictly, but for an evening called "Light in Darkness" with the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu. In my head I'd pictured tables placed around the ballroom a la Strictly, but it was quite different....hundreds of chairs filled the dance floor, all facing the stage and it was obvious that this was going to be a huge event. Sure enough, people were streaming in and soon the two tiers of balconies were also packed - so much so that two coach loads of people couldn't get in and had to go back. This didn't go down well with the Archbishop when he found out what had happened...I'm guessing the Tower staff got into their "health and safety" mode and decided any more people would be a risk.
There was a lovely moment when the Archbishop walked onto the stage to be greeted by the Bishop of the dioscese.....
....and promptly waltzed him across the platform! What a charsimatic man he is and his talk was inspiring. There was lots of singing too and being amidst those hundreds of people in such a wonderful setting was a real joy. For any like minded people reading this, it was heartening to see that, despite what we may read in the press, Christianity is alive and well!
My throat's pretty sore this morning so I am hoping it's a result of all the singing and not the start of anything else!
Well, I'm all set for my trip to Birmingham shortly. I've a walk to the station, two trains and a taxi to the hotel ahead of me. No problem except for this "little" lot that's coming with me...
Just the bags...not the cloth covered table in the background I should add! My bags are jam packed and there wasn't room for very many changes of clothes so I shall be wearing some outfits twice I'm afraid.
Thomas is sulking big time as he always knows when I'm going away for longer than a day, even though I try to stop it from being too obvious. Tara isn't too worried as yet! They don't go into kennels when I'm away as I think they'd find that far more stressful, so my neighbour will be popping in to feed them and will put the heat on if it's chilly and the telly from time to time to make them feel less lonely. Of course, if they got on with each other better it would help! I'll be glad to get back to them on Sunday night.
Well, I had better get back to tidying up the place a bit before I leave. Hope to see lots of you at the NEC - I'm on stand A17 with Card-io. Looking forward to it!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Calm before the storm

If it's not done now it isn't getting done! That's the point I'm at now...samples done and bags packed for my journey to Wellingborough tomorrow, ahead of the demo day at Coleman's Warehouse in Rushden on Saturday. A list is made of the last few bits and pieces that have to be packed, ready to be ticked off in the morning as things go into the bags. I also have a large pile of things that are stacking up in readiness for the Hobbycrafts show at the NEC next week and my head is spinning with remembering which things are for which event! It's something of a military operation but my lists do help!
Of course, not travelling by car means that I have to try and pack a lot into a small space, but that does hone the skills of knowing what is really needed and what will, in all probability, not be used. I have my packing down to a fine art, but, even for me, getting everything I'll need for the NEC into my bags is going to be a tough one....oh heck....I just remembered that I'll need five days worth of clothes too! Gulp!
This is a photo from a year ago today.....
....last year I was making dimensional projects using Sizzix dies for the NEC show. This year I will be using Sizzix dies again, but combining them with lots of other products to create things that would be great as Christmas gifts or decorations.
Several people have been asking if I'll be putting any new items up on my Etsy shop "shelves"....I will, but not for another week or two as I've just been too busy to get anything made specifically for my shop. Please check back in a week or so!
Well, this is a really short post and short on photos too, but I've been working since the crack of dawn and I'm feeling pretty tired and in need of some relaxation time to unwind and recharge my batteries. Hope to see some of you on Saturday!

Monday, 27 October 2014

I'm all misty eyed

Just a fast post while I'm having my lunch break! Today I'm working on projects for my demonstration at Coleman's Warehouse on Saturday. It's their 100th Big Craft Day so there will be lots going on and lots of demos to watch.
As well as my Christmas stamps, Distress inks, stencils etc I'll also be showcasing the new Media Misters from Deco Art which create some fantastic effects. Here are just a few of the backgrounds I made earlier...
Various colours, including the Shimmer effect ones, sprayed over 300gsm card that I had primed with gesso. I spritzed a little water over the colours to create some extra marbling effects. Love it! 
The Media Misters are not the usual ink type misters as they are permanent - they have a good "playing around" time when sprayed onto non porous surfaces!
These two were both done onto Ranger speciality stamping card (coated matte finish) which I put through embossing folders before spraying. Once dry, I gently went over the surfaces with gold Metallic Lustre.
This next one was spayed over plain old, unprimed 300 gsm card that I had already embossed with the snowflakes folder. This time I used the Silver Sparkle Metallic Lustre over the surface.
 And here's that same piece trimmed and used as a backing for my Stringy Snowman stamp!
I'm loving the new Misters and, if you're coming to Coleman's on Saturday, I'll have them on my table...though I think they may go pretty quickly.
I had a lovely day at Daisy's Jewels and Crafts in Coventry last Saturday and a big hello to everyone who cam along...your enthusiasm was infectious! As promised, here are a couple of photos of the secret book box which I hope we will be doing on the workshop on January 17th.!
 Please double check with Wendy regarding details and cost of the workshop but, as of this moment I think we'll be creating a card, maybe a small plaque and the book box...depending on how much we can get through of course! Here's another view of the book.
Well, I am off to carry on with my Media Misting now, and then I'll have to get cleaned up as there is a meeting at the Vicarage tonight and I daren't turn up with hands looking like they do at the moment!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Little breather!

Hello folks, I'm just taking a coffee break from working so I thought I'd do a catch up before getting back into my Doo Lally room. I've been painting, gluing, cutting, buffing and waxing for all I'm worth....my hands are a sight to behold I can tell you!
This is such a frenetic time of year of course and I feel as if I'm playing catch up the whole time, prepping for demonstrations, workshops and shows - as well, of course, as the stall that I'm having in December on our village Christmas Market!
Tomorrow I'll be off to Daisy's Jewels and Crafts in Coventry so I've been trying to cram everything I need into my tote bag...not always an easy task! I've been doing quite a bit of die cutting too, bagging up alphabets, flowers, birds etc. My bags are just about sorted ready for tomorrow now but I had to make sure that I left out the things that I need for what that I'm making for the rest of the afternoon. Here's one of the pieces that I will be going back to once I've finished my coffee.....
....that's all I'm giving away at the moment! There was a bit of sanding going on too which is not my most favourite task.
The piece in the next photo is now finished and packed into my bag for tomorrow's demo day....
....as you can see, my workspace was also cat free. Thomas has taken to lounging on my table whether there is room for him on there or not! He drinks my paint water, scratches up my craft sheet, knocks things on the floor and sits on whatever I'm trying to work on. I guess he just wants to be near his mum but there's a limit! Thankfully it's been a dry and mainly sunny day today so he's been happy to be outside.
Next week is the start of the real craziness in my diary - on Friday I travel down to Wellingborough ready for the demo event at Coleman's Craft Warehouse in Rushden,where I'll be working with my Christmas stamps and the new Deco Art Media Misters which are just gorgeous. On the Sunday I will be teaching a workshop (places still available) using these same products.
I've a long journey home and get back late on Sunday night when a good night's sleep will be just what the doctor ordered.On Monday afternoon I'll be heading into Blackpool to meet up with my sister ahead of our evening at the Grand Theatre where we are going to be seeing a production of Madam Butterfly - I can't wait! The tickets were a birthday treat for me from Heather and she has never been to an opera before...I know she's dubious but I'm sure she will love it. I know that I will!
Tuesday evening will see me heading into Blackpool for a second time - this time to the famous Tower Ballroom....not to see Strictly Come Dancing, but to hear John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, talking about his life in Uganda and his life now - I'm really looking forward to that.
Wednesday will see me loaded up like a donky, taking the train to Birmingham ready for the Hobbycrafts show at the NEC on the Thursday-Sunday. I really enjoy this show...it's very hard work, constantly talking to people, showing techniques and projects as well doing the occasional coffee or sandwich run or manning the till - but it's also great fun and the excitement of so many people all wanting to be creative is infectious. Hope to see lots of you there...I'll be on the Card-io stand, number A17.
I think I'll be ready for a long sleep when I get back! I'll certainly be happy to see my two furry friends who will, no doubt, be sulking. I do hate leaving them for more than a day, but my neighbour pops in to feed and let them out as well as generally keeping an eye on things for me, so I know they will be fine. Even though they don't get on (well, more accurately, Tara dislikes Thomas!) I have the feeling that they enjoy having each other as company when I'm not there.
So, that's what's in store for me for the next week or two! I've also just confirmed a new demonstration date which is the 27th November, when I'll be at the Craft Range in Burnley for the evening along with several other designers and demonstrators. I'm not sure exactly what I'll be doing but it will definitely be themed around Christmas gifts and decorations.
Well, the coffee is supped and there's no excuse not to carry on with work now so I shall say cheerio and leave with one of my "this time last year" photos - although this one was this time two years ago!
Probably best not to ask! Have a great weekend everyone.

Monday, 13 October 2014

An aMAZEing weekend!

Sorry about the rotten pun in this post's title but, unless you're new to my blog, you should be used to my penchant for them by now!
Well, I was down at A Maze of Memories on Saturday and I travelled down to Thame on Friday where I was met by the lovely Christina and we set off to Waddesdon Manor which was built by Baron Rothschild in the French chateau style. As my train journey was several hours long, we only had a few hours to enjoy our visit, so we didn't go into the house but, instead, walked around the grounds and gardens which was just the job after being sat down for so long.
It's a very grand house as you can see!
We were just in time to join the guided tour of the aviaries and were really impressed with the conservation work that is being done with a relatively small set up. I didn't manage to get any decent pictures but Christina sent me some of hers, including this one of a Bali Mynah bird which were, at one time, so endangered that there were only five left in the wild.
Between the aviaries was an art installation that was mesmerising to look at and completely intriguing as to how it was done. At first it looked like a curtain of water droplets pulsing down at intervals to form a sort of flat waterfall effect but, as we got nearer, we realised that there were random words forming in the water drops. We were both taken aback when, as we watched, the name "David" appeared for a moment (these moments do give me goosebumps) but then, even more so when the name "Paul" appeared a few moments later...which is the name of Christina's husband. It was quite strange as the words are apparently randomly taken from the internet and we didn't see any repetitions. Somehow, in all the mad clicking that I did, I managed to coincide a snap with a word on a couple of occasions....
 ...it's very hard to convey how clever this work was.
We managed to get someone to take a few pictures of the two of us on the steps with the magnificent house behind us....
....and this one shows the sheer scale with the fantastic fountain in the foreground....
...the patterning on the left tower, by the way,is formed from climbing plants trained into the latticework design!
We had a couple of cream teas to finish the afternoon and then spent a relaxing evening at Christina's ahead of the busyness of the following day. I made a new friend....
 ....meet Topsy - Christina's gorgeous house rabbit. She was just lovely and so gentle...with a very twitchy nose!
Next day we headed over to A Maze of Memories in Long Crendon where I was demonstrating as well as hosting make n take sessions. As you can see, it was very busy! Everyone was having a great time either working on their card project or watching me getting very colourful, inky fingers!
You can see more photos of the day and what everyone made by going to AMOM'sblog where Christina has posted lots of images http://s187244897.websitehome.co.uk/2014/10/11/thank-you-lindsay/ I didn't get chance to take a single photo!
Thank you to everyone who came along to the demo day and a big thank you to Christina for her hospitality and brilliant organisational skills. Thanks too to Alli, Carolyn and Libby for keeping me (and everyone else!) supplied with drinks...as well as the very naughty cakes which had been baked specially for the day.
It was a fantastic weekend and I look forward to my next trip there.
After a very long train journey home it was really late when I got back and I had to be up early on Sunday morning for Church duties followed by going to our sister Church in nearby Carleton where Lynne and I were performing as Mabel and Mary the sheep again in our harvest puppet performance. As my fridge, cupboards and (most importantly!) cat food supplies were just about non existent, I had to get some shopping on the walk home and hiking four heavy carrier bags back really did wear me out! So it was time to put my feet up for the evening and just relax at last!
This week I'm getting things made in readiness for my demonstration at Time 2 Craft in Chesterfield next Saturday, where I'll be focussing on mixed media techniques. Hope to see you there!