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, 31 March 2009

At last! Time to make Owl cards!

Well, it's taken me weeks I know, but I have finally got round to taking some step by step photos so I can give you the Owl card instructions that many of you have been asking me for. Sorry it took me so long! This will be a looong post because of all the pictures! Okay, here goes!You will need: Owl stamp from my clear set - Swirly Birds PICS013 (If you want a cute owl, as opposed to a serious one, then try"Fluffy Owl" FH116 which is a wood mounted one.) 3 x shades of Versamagic Inkpads...I used Night Sky, Aegean Blue & Purple Hydrangea, but go with what takes your fancy. You'll also need a black ink pad (I used Archival so I could crack on with colouring my owl) a bottle of Ranger's Distress Re-inker in Black Soot, a circle punch, a piece of sponge and a thin straw! You will also need whatever is your choice of colouring medium in various browns, greys and ochre - I use Marvy Le Plume pens and a waterbrush, and, of course, some cardstock. Okay, first of all, cut a piece of white card a bit smaller than your card blank. Punch a circle from thin card and stick it to the top right of the piece of card using repositionable glue. Make sure it is secure before the next step. Starting with the lightest of your chosen Versamagic colours, pick up a little ink with the sponge and swipe it across the card in a diagonal direction - this gives the impression of a rain swept sky. Turn the sponge around and repeat with the next colour. Finally, repeat with the darkest shade, adding colour until you like the effect. Make sure that you apply ink across the circle to define the shape.Now carefully remove the circle mask..a pricking tool can be helpful for this. Don't worry if you do damage the surface of the card beneath as you can add some Diamond Stickles to disguise it!
Next, drop a blob of the Distress Re-Inker at the bottom of the card - I usually place the card onto a bigger piece of scrap card whilst I do this as it avoids mess and allows me to lift the image for the next step. Here comes the fun part now! Take a straw (the thinner the better) and blow the ink blob up the card. As it goes up the card you can blow sideways to make a twig shoot out an angle. Keep adding blobs to the bottom of the card and then blow them to create more branches. The way the ink "spiders" across the card gives a very natural look which is much more random than drawing them. It does make one feel a bit light headed though! Mat the finished piece onto black card and then onto the card blank.
Stamp the owl twice onto thin white card and colour him with your chosen medium. You only need the wing from the second owl. Cut the images out and decoupage the wing over the first owl. It will give a more natural look if you stick the top of the wing flat to the base image whilst using silicone glue to give height to the tip. Carefully "roll" the owl around your finger to give him a nice shape and squidge a line of silicone down the back of the image before positioning him onto the card. If you want a bit of sparkle, just add a little Stickles to the moon.
Well, I hope you will have a go at the card - let me know how you get on! Lindsay

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Up and coming events

Hello everyone - hope you have as much lovely sunshine as we do here today. I remembered to put my clocks forward and was quite happy that I wasn't working away from home today, so have been able to absorb the lost hour quite smoothly. It will be nice to have all that extra light later in the day again now, that's for sure.
I was at Create With Card in Ashton Under Lyne on friday...a very chilly day but they kept me warm with hot chocolate! Then, yesterday, was spent at Top Barn Crafts (above) which is in Plassey craft and retail village near Wrexham. It's a lovely setting as you can see in the picture on the left...the tree in the gardens has been carved into a work of art featuring different animals and birds as well as a naked lady! It's well worth a visit, with various Boutiques, shops and a cafe and restaurant as well as the craft shop of course. Hello to everyone that I met at both shops, and I hope that you had fun with all the techniques using your new pens. Below is a picture of a pendant made from one the kits that I was using yesterday...the metal butterfly has been coloured with Glaze pens to give an enamelled effect. I wanted to add something to the circles at the edegs of the wings and finally decided to use eyelets! They fit perfectly and I just pushed them tightly in with some Glossy Accents to keep them securely in place. It would be nice to add beads or gems, but I had to do something quite quick. It's not the best picture as the glaze is very reflective!I'm adding some new dates once I've done this post, so do check to see if I'll be in your area and come along if you can - we always have fun at my demonstrations!
Next weekend (4th/5th April) is the big demonstration event at both Osaldtwistle Mills and Dawn Bibby's Design Studio and will be well worth a visit. Dawn will be there of course, as will Leonie, Paula Pascual, Sheena Douglass and myself, as well as all of Dawn's creative team. There will be make n takes and demonstrations, lots of new products and more than a bit of fun I'm sure!
In response to your comments - yes, I really will be adding instructions for the owl cards (promise) it is just a case of getting the time to create the design in stages to photograph. I was all set to do it last week and then something else turned up that needed doing "yesterday"...just for a change! Thank you for all the comments that you leave generally - I do appreciate them all.
I was wondering where all "our" little birds had vanished to, as we seem to have had hardly any at our feeders lately. The pigeons have been as cheeky as ever of course! Our squirrels seemed to have deserted us too...was it something I said?! Thankfully, they must have read my mind as I can report that they are back with a vengeance and we have gained a Robin now too which is great...we found our last Robin dead over a year ago and think that he may have crashed into the window. One of our squirrels was back this morning which cheered me up, as I do love the way that they stand up on their back legs and look up at the window as if to say "come on, get the monkey nuts out!" - cute! He was burying them all this morning, so I hope that he remembers where they are before one of the ever observant Magpies starts digging them all up!
Well, that's my demonstration and wildlife report done for today! Don't forget to bring ATC's to swap if you are coming along next weekend and I will endeavour to post the owl instructions this week if humanly possible! Happy Sunday, Lindsay

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Do try this...it's fab!

This is a technique that I was showing when I was at The Stamp Hut last saturday. If you have alcohol inks then give it a try as the effect is lovely...the photographs don't do it justice. You may have used white Cast Coated card in this way, but here I used the new Metallic Film from Personal Impressions (check out their website for your nearest stockist) which comes in packs of five A4 sheets. It's a versatile surface as it can be used on ink jet printers for a metallic sheen behind photographs, it can be stamped on with permanent ink and can also be heat embossed...images created in this way look great if they are highlighted with a white pen.

So, to create this lovely abstract effect, you will need a non-stick craft sheet, Ranger alcohol inks in three colours plus one of the Mixatives (I used gold here) and the Alcohol Blending Solution, plus, of course, a piece of the metallic film. I cut mine into a managable size - around 4" (or 10 cms) square(ish). You may wish to wear disposable gloves as it is rather messy, but that's part of the fun!

Okay, take one of the ink colours and squeeze a streak of it onto the craft sheet - around a 2" (or 5 cms) line will do. Now take the second colour and add a streak of that...you can either put this one beside the first, or be daring and go across the first one! Repeat with the final colour. Now take the Mixative and shake it well, with the lid on, before adding a few blobs of the ink in and around the colours streaks. Squirt a small amount of the Blending solution over the colours - the amount is up to you really, but remember that the more you add, the more you will dilute the ink colours and their viscosity.
Now take a piece of the metallic film and drop it, shiny side down, onto the inks. Press lightly (this is where it gets messy when all the ink squidges out!) and, keeping it flat to the craft sheet, twist it clockwise before lifting it up. At this point you will probably go "ooooh!" or "aaaaah" or something similar, but you may want to touch the film back to the surface to pick up some extra colour before it dries. The ink will dry very quickly but you will probably have some colour left on the craft sheet, so you can add another squirt of Blending solution and repeat with another piece of film. The colours will be lighter but just as effective. I have managed to colour three pieces of film using just one application of inks.
Once the film is dry you can use it as a background, for ATC's, stamping onto with an Archival ink pad, or even punching out shapes...butterflies or leaves spring to mind. Have a go anyway and let me know how you get on! Lindsay

Check out a great blog candy...

Hello all and thanks to Horners Corner for mentioning a great Blog Candy over on charmedcrafts.blogspot.com . Do check it out and what you need to do to be in with a chance. If I wasn't in "the business" I'd enter it myself!!! Lindsay

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Card instructions and an award!

Just a quick post to say that there are now instructions for my shelf cards on Personal Impressions website and there will be more added soon. Just go to the website (the link is in my website list below left) and click on the "project focus" button to download them.

The award is for "Best Stamps" and was won by Personal Impressions in the Craft Business awards 2008/9! We also won awards for "Best Cardmaker" and "Best Manufacturer", so we are all very pleased (and a bit proud too!!!) Lindsay

Monday, 23 March 2009

Bury St Edmunds & an afternoon out

Hello to all the ladies who came to see me
at the Stamp Hut in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday - it was a very busy and enjoyable day. My journey down there was long but the wonderful scenery along the way made it pass quite quickly. The train passed through wonderful rolling hills in Derbyshire with little lambs frollicking in the energising sunshine. As we neared the latter part of the route, the landscape flattened out to endless fields - a much starker, yet equally dramatic vista. I was not quick enough to capture the wonderful view of Ely Cathedral which was gone before my camera would whirr into action...so frustrating! Not many birds along the way, though I did see rather a lot of Pheasants and loads and loads of Bunnies - very sweet! I arrived in time to have a look around the town and, unlike my last visit in November, it was still daylight so I was able to take in the sights. Here are just a couple of views of the very atmospheric Abbey which held a beautiful park within its' walls. It had centuries of history etched into the walls and doors as you can imagine. I spent the evening writing some articles for a project that I am working on at the moment and had a great night's sleep....too good really, as I could hardly believe how quickly the morning seemed to arrive!
All the ladies who visited the Stamp Hut were so eager to see new ideas and I hope that you are all having fun with your purchases and not getting too light headed when making the trees! I was so busy that I just didn't get chance to take any photos of the day and even missed the chance to snap the new cards I had made. Oh well! Above you can see a Starbuck's mint tin which I decorated using Personal Impressions canvas coloured with Alcohol inks...I loved the leathery effect that this gave. I used Shrink Plastic to create the little medallions and strung them from gold thread which I wrapped around the tin. I used a gold Decocolour pen to add some swirls and a few bronze coloured gems added the fiishing touch.Here is the tin surrounded by the "Moo" cards which I made to fill it with. I don't think that I have made them the correct size for Moos, but they fit my tin so I don't mind! For those who may not have heard of these little cards, they are a standard, smaller sized business card, which, like ATC's, can be swapped or given away to share ideas or your details. I had great fun making this little set and it was very simple to do. I used JEJE double sided adhesive sheet to stick the canvas around the tin as it's a strong, all over adhesive so it gives a smooth finish.
My friend Elaine came to see me at the end of my demonstration, helped me pack everything away into my special Tardis suitcase and then we hot footed it to a restauant for a quick meal and a catch up before my train was due to depart. I don't get to see Elaine very often, so it was a lovely chance to get together, even if it was a bit rushed! The journey home was rather tiring to say the least - train travel in the dark always seems so much longer with no views to speed things along.
I didn't get to mum and dad's for Mother's Day, but my sister took them out for lunch. So, mum had a second treat today as we went over to see them and took a trip to a rebuilt garden centre which had been beautifully designed and was a feast for the eyes with unusual displays, well thought out decor and gorgeous flowers. There was a customer survey to vote for your favourite three from a selection (over a hundred) of brand new Violas and Pansies. They are among my favourite garden flowers and there were some exquisite little blooms of countless colours..very hard to choose!
Here are mum and dad by two Pansies, though I hasten to add that these were artificial ones and were not a new Triffid variety, though, judging by mum's face she's not too sure! Carrying on the oversized theme, we found this rather unusual planter. Dad thought he'd better check if there was a cuppa in there though! It was a lovely afternoon and a nice change for all of us! Well that is all for the moment. I thought that I'd better write a longer post as I have been away from here for a few days. I'll be adding new cards and some new Blog Candy soon, so keep an eye open for that. I'll be in Ashton Under Lyne on Friday and Wrexham on Saturday, so pop in and see me if you are around - details in my diary on the left of course. Take care folks! Lindsay

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Stampers Gallery

It was a lovely Spring day up here in the north west yesterday and also a lovely day at Stampers Gallery. Sue and Phil had organised everything perfectly as always, so I was busy for the whole day, which is how I like it! Stampers Gallery won one of the best retailer craft awards, so were feeling (quite rightly!) very proud of their achievement.
Here are some of the many ladies who spent time with me as I inked and stamped my way through the day. My only gripe was that nobody brought any ATC's to swap with me! Here is a card that I made yesterday using one of the stamps from the "Swirly Bird" set (PICS013). I drew the swirly background using Sakura silver and gold shadow pens and added some adhesive gems...I am using these a lot at the moment! I stamped the bird with two colours of Distress Ink and then waterbrushed the colour across the image before cutting out. The image was matted onto a card and I added some more swirls. A simple card - and not a very good photo...my camera seemed to be objecting to the amount of light yesterday for some reason.
This card uses the butterfly and tiny flower from the "Count My Blessings" stamp set. The butterfly was coloured using several shades of Versamagic Dewdrop ink pads (I adore these pads - so many colours and the ink is so versatile) then stamped and cut out. I used Marvy Le Plume pens to apply colour directly to the flower stamp to give a shaded effect, then used the fine point of the green pen to add the stems. I added the text using one of the stamps from the Messages set 1 (PICS010) again using a Versamagic Dewdrop ink pad.
The last card that I photographed uses the same little flower stamp and another from the Messages set. I really had fun making the panel for this one, using several shades of Distress Ink pads (Fired Brick, Old Paper and Walnut Stain) which were applied to a piece of cream card using the foam blending tool. I then flicked a little water across the inked card and, after about ten seconds, dabbed away the water with a tissue. The inks react with the water, which "bleaches" some of the colour out...great technique and one of the many fabby things about these inks. I used the pens to stamp the flowers in the same way as the previous card and stamped the text with the Walnut Stain ink pad. I popped it straight onto a DL card blank...it didn't need a mat around it because of the Walnut Stain edging... and then added three more flowers to the bottom of the card using paler versions of the colours in the main image. Oh yes, I also added a touch of sparkle to the main flowers using a clear Stardust gel pen. This is a very simple card, but it just worked because of the way that the colours compliment each other. Hope you like them anyway!
As promised, I will be adding step by steps for creating the Owl/tree cards, but please bear with me as I'm working on quite a few projects at the moment. And thank you to Sue and Phil who gave me a lovely bunch of flowers before I left the shop, which was much appreciated.
Well, that's all for the moment folks. Enjoy the rest of the weekend! Lindsay

Friday, 13 March 2009

Thank you Claire

Thank you to Claire for including me in her "top 10 fav's" - it is much appreciated! I shall endeavour to pass the award on asap though I shall have to have a little think first!
Okay..and in no particular order...
Sarah McCrossan
The Enchanted Gallery Blog
Dawn Bibby's Designs on Life
The Artsiders
Tim Holtz
Leonie Pujol
Didos Designs
Rubber Addict
Well these are just some of my favourites! All well worth a look. Lindsay

Party Night

Last night was party nght at the Dawn Bibby Design Studio and we had a very busy evening with lots of demonstrations and a make n take for all the guests to enjoy. There was mulled wine, cakes and Brenda had made delicious cookies too. I was sat adjacent to my buddy Sarah who was creating lovely acetate cards with the latest Hero Arts stamps - we thought we might get chance for a bit of a chat, but we were just too busy! At the right here you can see Jj manning the till and being kept very busy!
As you can see, I had got into the spirit of things and made a floral creation to wear....as the idea of everyone wearing Easter "bonnets" had been mentioned. Well, I made one but nobody else did! Oh well, I wore it regardless! The red nose was just for the photos as we just couldn't breathe properly with them on, and all sounded as if we had streaming colds, aside from nearly passing out from lack of oxygen!
Lots of Dawns' regular customers were there, including Serena pictured here holding just some of her purchases....my new clear stamps. Serena is a really keen crafter and always brings a sense of fun when she comes along to my workshops...remember the homicidal rabbits?!
The next photograph is of Paul Browning who I had not met before, so it was lovely to see him - do check out his blog which I have put a link to in my blog list (the artsiders). The ATC entitled "Aspire" which you will see there, is now in my collection as Paul kindly presented me with it last night - thank you Paul! Many of you will know Paul through his workshops at Topaz, he's very talented and a lovely person too.
The final picture is of just some of us wearing our noses...yes, we were wearing red noses - it wasn't just the effect of the mulled wine! Clockwise from the top left we have Jayne, Laura, Dawn, myself and last, but definitely not least, the lovely Sarah. Jj was selling raffle tickets and raised over £200 for Comic Relief.
I promised that I would add some step by steps for making the owl card with the inked trees, and will definitely put them on after the weekend. So, please do check back for this next week. I hope everyone who bought my new stamps is having fun with them - I'd love to see pictures of what you come up with, so do email them to me.
Tomorrow I shall be at Stampers Gallery in Tarleton, near Preston (details are on my demonstration diary list) so do come along if you are in the vicinity! I'll have some new photos by the end of the day I am sure! Have a great weekend everyone and come back soon! Lindsay

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Template cards

As promised, here are a couple of pictures of the cards made using the Personal Impressions templates which are designed by Anna Stemplewska. They are really inexpensive, easy to work with and very versatile - I really enjoyed making the cards with them, asit was something a bit different and made a change from stamping! I used wire to create the cat's whiskers and added details with chalks and a fine pen, as well as brown textured card to create the stripes.
The dog template is incredibly cute! On this card I added patches of a toning decorative paper and drew stitch lines around him to give him a scruffy, but well loved appearance. The chalking is a crucial addition to really bring the chartacters to life. They are a great way of using all those bits of paper and card which we all have lots of I know!
Anyway, I hope you like them.
For anyone coming along to the Party Night at Dawn Bibby's Design Studio on Thursday, do remember to bring along your ATC's to swap. Look forward to seeing you there hopefully, Lindsay

Saturday, 7 March 2009

What fun we had!

This afternoon was full of fun with the ladies at my workshop at Dawn Bibby's Design Studio! We laughed so much that we were aching, but we did manage to get some cards made as well! The theme was paper piecing and I had designed three patterns to cut the various parts needed to create the three cards, a Teddy Bear, Oriental theme and an Easter Rabbit for the children...it was this last card which caused the humour, as several ladies thought that their bunnies looked rather homicidal! These cards made a change for me and were great fun to design. A little chalking around the edge of each piece (cut from Bazzil card) made a flat image come to life as you can see from the Teddy above. Below is the Oriental card which features branches and mountains cut from card, punched blossom and a folded kimono with a face hands and feet added.
Here is the Easter Bunny who caused all the fun! It's amazing how a slightly differently angled ear, size of eyes or position of a nose can make the difference between a cute rabbit and a manic one! I thought they all looked great considering how little time was left to make the last card of the afternoon.You'll have to take my word for it, but this is Dawn taking a picture of me taking a picture of her! As I said, it was a fun kind of day! The ladies are all working away and ignoring us as you can tell!
Lastly, here are some of the class showing off their Teddy cards - I'm afraid the wall behind me didn't allow me to get a shot of everyone in this picture, but you can see that everyone was doing a good job!
I'll post some more pictures of cards that I made using the Personal Impressions templates which involve paper piecing...they are extremely cute images. By the way, if you are coming to the Party Night at Dawn's Studio on Thursday, or if you are going there in the near future...check out the newly revamped loos....that is all I am saying on the matter! Lindsay

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Lovely day

Hello everyone, it's been a gorgeous day here after a windy evening yesterday, though we did have some snow flurries at lunchtime which came as a surprise! It really does feel like Spring and the crocusses are coming into bloom which is such a cheerful sight. I have, however, been inside all day, preparing my cards for the workshop at Dawn Bibby's Design Studio on Saturday. We are going to be "paper piecing", creating images from shaped paper pieces with a little chalking to create a more dimensional effect. With so many ready made embellishments to use on cards, this is a return to making them from scratch! I'll add some images of the cards on Sunday.
I thought that you might enjoy looking at these pictures of some of Suze Weinberg's works of art that she had on display when I was at Ranger U last year. Her finished pieces are amazing, and very inspirational. I'd love to have more time to work on some pieces like this just for my own enjoyment, but there always seems to be something else on the schedule!
I am just starting work on an exciting new project, but it is top secret at the moment...be sure that I will give all the details on here as soon as I am allowed to! So, I am signing off for now to spend a relaxing evening at home and will post with news of more Candy and pictures as soon as I have sorted them out. Lindsay

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Wonderful day in Wickford!

I'm back home from a really enjoyable day at Wickford's yesterday and am putting my feet up, relaxing and catching up with emails and calls. I'll be posting the winner of the Blog Candy in a seperate post after this one, so good luck everyone!
I met some lovely people yesterday and thank you to Réne and John for looking after me so well and for the bottle of wine of course! Hello to all the ladies (and a few gentlemen I'm pleased to say!) who came along - everyone was watching with great interest but, strangely, as soon as Igot my camera out, everyone turned away or vanished!!! I'm not the only one who isn't a fan of having my picture taken, though here I am with a rather tidy looking table yesterday - that didn't last long of course!!! We had great fun, with a lot of laughter in between the techniques I was showing. I hope you are all enjoying your new goodies and have raided the juice cartons for thin straws to create the trees for your owl cards! I'll post a step by step guide to "blowing trees" as soon as I can. I hope that I can get down to the store again soon, as everyone made me feel so welcome...by the way...I ended up going to Euston via Liverpool Street, for those of you who were trying to help me out with my journey home!!! Meanwhile, do check out Tim Holtz's blog (link is further down under my blog list) as he has (today) launched a new set of videos that you can watch on there...some great techniques of course. Lindsay