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, 30 August 2009

New look

I finally figured out how to download a fresh background for my blog as you can see. It took me a while to choose, but this one matches my text colours, and it's a touch grungy so it suits me fine!
I had a brilliant day at Handmade Heaven in Chorley yesterday; it was so busy that customers could hardly fit in the shop and everyone was very enthusiastic which makes it all worthwhile of course. I was demonstrating the Sakura range and had some converts to the Superpoint pens which look really boring until you realise just how versatile they are - they include an eraser pen which is the "secret weapon" in the box. I was also signing my new book which was fun. So, hello to all the ladies, and one or two very patient gentlemen, and I hope that you are having great fun with your new pens, stamps and books! Congratulations to the two raffle winners as well - I had the honour of drawing the tickets, so blame me if you didn't win!
If you haven't already taken a look at my sister's new blog, do pay a visit - she will be adding more pictures of her wonderful art work soon. Well, that's all for the minute. Had a busy morning so we are going to relax for the rest of the day now....lovely! Lindsay
PS Matthew, our traumatised pigeon, is doing really well now. His tail is coming on a treat and he is coping with his one healthy leg just fine, even managing a few pecks and wing batterings at the others who are after "his" birdseed. What a trouper!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Check this out

Just a quick post to say that my sister has finally got around to creating her very own blog, so do check it out at http://www.fennedwards.blogspot.com/ - she will be posting more photos as soon as she has found her way around things. Heather does some amazing beadwork as well as lots of altered art, ATC's etc, so keep an eye open for any swaps she may be doing. I've pestered her like mad to start a blog, so please do take a look! Lindsay

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

A few more pictures

Right, let's see if the pictures behave and upload properly this time! Well, they did upload, but I wasn't able to move them around once they were up, so I'll try again now.
A couple more pics from Farmer Parr's....I was very fortunate to be there, camera ready, as this stunning Peacock put on a display for a singularly unimpressed Pea Hen....in fact she ignored him so completely that he began to literally bristle with indignation, so that his tail feathers were quivering and making a sound like wind through bamboo. I had to take the picture through wires, hence the cropping of his tail, but what a gorgeous creature he was.
Next is me having a go at "Shove Halfpenny" (well, shove wooden discs actually!) which was one of the old games on display in the nostalgia museum on the farm. My dad doesn't look overly impressed with my efforts, but I did get a couple of good shots in...it was actually great fun! Below is a picture of one of the pygmy goats (a young one) who looked as though he was making a bid to escape! He kept poking his head under the wire fencing although it looked like a painfully small gap to us. I doubt that the animals would want to escape from the farm though as they are all looked after really well and get lots of attention from all the visitors. Well worth a visit if you are near Fleetwood any time.
Whilst I'm on the animal theme, Matthew is progressing very well now and is even beginning to get a bit stroppy with the other birds. His tail feathers are growing very quickly now and his neck and back are fully covered again - amazing really.
Lastly, here are a couple of photos of the inside and back of the acetate card which I made at the weekend. These cards are easy to make so long as you remember to use double sided papers and cover all the adhesive so that nothing shows through. The great thing is that, although they are simple, they do look very expensive, and the style suits all sorts of themes. Using the Peppermint Twist papers and embellishments meant that everything co-ordinated really well, so I just had to use the right colours for my stamped image and some toning gem stones and ribbons.
I received a Cuttlebug machine today, to use with my new Nestabilities and Shapeabilities, so will be making sample cards combining them with stamping and K&Co papers. I'm not really a die cutting sort of person, but I am looking forward to using these. I'll post pictures as and when they are ready, and I will have them with me when I go up to Strikes in Carlisle on the 5th September. I spent today making cards for this Saturday's demonstration at Handmade Heaven in Chorley, combining Sakura pens with stamps, acetate, glitters etc - there is a light sparkly dusting around the room now!
My stamping book should be in the shops from tomorrow onwards and thank you for all the emails I have received about it. Your comments and good wishes are always apreciated. Well, it is time for dinner now, so I had better sign off for tonight. Lindsay

Monday, 24 August 2009

The week's events

Hello folks, I have pictures to share tonight as I finally got the camera batteries sorted out...about time too! Today I received copies of my new book as well as the three others in the series. To get a sneaky preview just go to http://www.magmaker.co.uk/ and click on the link to the Mastercraft books. They should be available in the shops from the end of this week.
Now for Matthew's progress.....good and bad news really. The good news is that his tail feathers are now coming through and already about a half inch long which is great, as it means that the feather follicles were not damaged when he was attacked. The bad news is that, because he has no tail to balance with, he is having to rely very heavily on his one good leg and he is obviously struggling, so he was finding it very hard to hop onto the sill to get his seed and nuts in the last couple of days. However, we are making sure that he gets a fair ration of the food, so it is now fingers crossed that his tail regrows quite quickly so that he won't have to carry his entire weight on one tired little leg. Will keep you posted of course.
On Thursday I had caught up with myself so David decided that we should go out for the afternoon and we ended up in Southport. We had the best fish and chips that we have had in a very long time - from The Dolphin, on Scarisbrick Ave if you are in the area! We had a stroll through the town and along the marina front before the obligatory spending of several pennies in the arcade of course! I then got a phone call which meant that we had to curtail our day and head home so that I could write some project instructions for a sudden next day deadline! Such is life!

On Saturday I was in Lancaster at Card Craft and below are some of the cards that I was making on the day. The one below is using my Robin Post stamp on a background of Peppermint Twist paper, and some of my favourite snowflake embellishments from the K&Co Swell Noel range. I used pens to colour the robin and then added a sheen using the Gold Just Glitter pen that gives a subtle accent. My newest acquisitions are two Martha Stewart border punches and you can see the vellum border near the bottom of the card which is the Doily Lace pattern and is just stunning and really easy to use. I have used my other punch - a Zig Zag with holes and an embossed line - on the pink snowman card. I added fine Candy Floss glitter to the embossed line using a glue pen. These punches will be getting a lot of use I think! Next is an acetate card which I hope that you can see okay as, for obvious reasons, this card was tricky to photograph! It features my Feathered Friends stamp as well as K&Co Peppermint Twist papers and embellishments. Some toning ribbons just finished the design off nicely....a good tip is to round all the corners of the acetate, including those on the backbone, which gives a nice notch to hold the ribbon securely in place.

The card with the Sitting Snowman Baby in lilac is a "cheat's" shaker card! I can't take the credit for this idea which I saw...somewhere! ButI thought it was a great idea and a good use of the cellophane bags which we put our cards into. The image has been stamped and stuck well down onto a background then put into the clear bag. Then I added chunky glitter and some Micro Beads before sealing the bag, sticking it to the card front and adding a simple covered frame over the top. Eh voila! A quickie, cheaty shaker card! The final card here is one where I just got carried away and combined my stamped image with Peppermint Twist papers, Swell Noel snowflakes, grunge board flourishes and some sheer ribbon. Over the top, but fun! Mmmmm, now I see that the pictures have actually come up in the wrong order, so I hope all that made sense! Hello to everyone who came along to see me in Lancaster - your kind comments were very welcome and I hope that your fingers didn't get too dirty with all the Distress inks that you bought! Thank you to Joanne, as usual, for the ATC swaps...I love the them.
Today I went to my parents' as it was my sisters' birthday so we all had a day out together (I'm doing well for days out just now!). Part of the afternoon involved a trip to Farmer Parr's in Fleetwood, which is a lovely place full of friendly farm animals and also has a museum of farming and domestic "nick nacks", tools and general nostalgia. Here are just a few photos to share the day with you....how adorable are these white Chipmunks? There were about six or so in a large enclosure and they all wanted to be at the top of this artificial Christmas tree! They were tearing around the cage at a rate of knots and we spent ages just watching their antics. Very entertaining little critters! Well...I had some more pictures to share, but for some reason they are just refusing to behave now, so I shall have to sign off for tonight and try again tomorrow to complete this post properly. Maybe it is getting late and my brain may have gone awry now! So, I'll say goodnight and continue, hopefully, tomorrow. Lindsay

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Room with a view, talented ladies & Matthew!

Here are one or two piccies as promised. Unfortunately I didn't get to take any of the cards that I made for Saturday's workshop with the failing batteries in my camera, but here are all the ladies on the class proudly holding their wonderful creations!They did really well with the Distress inks and blended some gorgeous sky effects - I think some of them quite surprised themselves! It was a lovely, messy workshops with inky fingers all round and - great fun!
Next is the room with a view, which in this case, was the view from our hotel room in Scarborough. We were so close to the sea, it was lovely. Being born and brought up at the seaside I sometimes don't apreciate how much I miss it until I can smell the salty air. And I couldn't resist showing you the Koon Koon pig from the animal sanctuary near Filey. Doesn't he look handsome in his "leopard" print coat?!
Lastly, here is Matthew. Who is Matthew I hear you ask? Well, that is the name I have given to our poorly pigeon......I said that he looked like an oven ready chicken and he doesn't look like a Bernard, so....Matthew it is! I shall give you regular reports on his progress. He has been visiting each day for his seed and peanuts and has now started to get a little more feisty, batting the other birds with his wing to keep the away from his food whilst propping himself up on the other one. He was preening his feathers today and seemed to be wondering just where his tail had gone!

This picture shows his good side and though his wings are folded back here you can just see where his tail used to be. His back and neck feathers are coming through and, if his leg doesn't get infected, I think he may just be the comeback kid!

I have been making sample cards today for my demonstration at Card Craft in Lancaster on saturday, so have got rather sparkly hands now! Yes, the glitter has been wafting around the balmy air and turning plain penguins into little dandies in sparkly black evening dress! Do pop along if you live in the area and...don't forget your ATC's for swapping.

Right, I am off to catch up with a few emails now before a relaxing evening watching a (hopefully) good film. Will post pictures of my latest cards very soon. Lindsay

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Catch up time!

No photos today because I need some new batteries for my camera before I can upload them! I will add pics as soon as I can though. It's been great to have a little bit of time to relax, with a smattering of making card samples thrown in of course.

We had a lovely day out last week when we drove up to Leek (over the rather nail biting Cat & Fiddle road) and found a "nature park" which was an area of land which had been left to run wild except for the pathways. We stood on a little stone bridge overlooking the stream and saw dragonflies dancing above the water and the breathtaking sight of a kingfisher which shot from beneath us and had gone the full length of the stream almost before we had registered the dazzling blue plumage. This was only the third kingfisher that I'd seen and it made my day! We did also see a mole which, unfortunately, was dead, but it was fascinating to see his perfect little velvet coat and his huge spade like paws.

The next day we set off again and went to Whitby which had changed beyond recognition from how I remembered it.....sometimes it's better to leave fond memories as just that! It was incredibly busy so, after a spot of lunch, we travelled over to Scarborough where we spent a lovely evening having a sail on a "pirate" ship, a walk on the beach...I had a paddle of course!...losing a few pounds in the arcade (what is the appeal of putting 2p pieces into a machine and getting different ones out again as they fall off the ledge? Bizarre, but fun!) and having a delicious dinner. The moon was full and the light falling onto the sea was picture postcard perfect.

Next day we carried on to Filey and had a wander around the small town and along the promenade before the mandatory fish and chip lunch! Next was a trip to a local bird and animal sanctuary which was quite small but very well run. Koon Koon pigs (one was orange and black!), Alpacas, donkeys and ponies were all keen to eat the food pellets which we had bought at the entrance....these guys all recognised the white paper bags! It was nice to see turkeys, geese and chickens who were not destined for the dinner table and there were lots of smaller birds to admire as well. It was also good to see masses and masses of butterflies flittering amongst the wild flowers alongside lots of bees. We called it a day then, as we both had sore feet after all the walking we had done over the last few days, and wended our way home "the long way round" with no motorways in sight. It was a short break, but a much needed one.

This last week has been a mixture of relaxing at home and making samples for a new kit which I have designed for QVC as well as preparing for my workshop at Topaz which was yesterday.

On tuesday I had fed the birds as usual and, after most of the pigeons had flown off, I noticed one of them hopping along the ledge and looking rather odd. I took a closer look and my stomach wrenched when I saw the state that he was in. His entire tail had gone, his back and neck were almost bald and his left leg and foot were dangling and obviously broken. The pigeons are all very different and some are pretty tame, but this one would not let me get near enough to catch him, so all I could do was to put food near to him. He ate a little and then stood looking at me as if asking me to help him.....I talked quietly to him to try and calm him but couldn't do any more. He stumbled off and I guessed that he was going to find a quiet place and would soon pass away. As we have seen a hawk grabbing a pigeon before, we guessed that this had been what had attacked this poor chappie by the look of his injuries and the huge loss of feathers.

Well, before you get too depressed (those of you who are as soft as we are anyway!).....the good news is that two days later he reappeared, still looking like an oven ready chicken and hobbling about, but much brighter. He was back again this afternoon and is obviously a real little fighter, there are even signs that new feathers are coming through on his back. It's amazing just how much pain and injury these little creatures can withstand - we would keel over I think! So, I shall keep you posted on his well being and, fingers crossed, his tail will grow back so that he can, at least, balance a little better.

Yesterday, of course, I was at Topaz, teaching a workshop featuring stamping and using Distress inks to create skyscapes. It was great fun and the ladies all did really well and made some great cards. There were a few sharp intakes of breath when I said that we would be doing a little hand drawing of fences, but they all managed it! There were definitely some converts to distressing I'm pleased to say! David took a picture of everyone with their creations so I shall post that one soon.

Well, that is a short round up of how life has been here since I last posted. I'll be busy getting things ready for next weekend's demonstration at CardCraft in Lancaster with some lovely K&Co Peppermint Twist papers to use along with my Christmas stamps but we may manage to squeeze in a day out or two as well! Until next time, take care everyone. Lindsay.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Thank you Hazel

Thank you Hazel for the Circle of Friendship Award. Now, I'm not sure if this is the same as the one that I got from Artyjen or a different one, but I have to share five things that I enjoy...that should be easy enough! I am also meant to send this to ten blogs but, like Hazel says, I think just about everyone seems to have this one already, so I thought I'd be naughty and offer this to those of you who read this blog but do not have a blog of your own - you always get left out! Consider yourself included in the Circle of Friends.

Now, five things that I enjoy.....

1. Spending a rare day off with David and doing something "non crafty" for a change!

2. The cold side of the pillow on a warm night & an iced lime & soda on a hot day.

3. Tough cryptic crosswords.

4. Making people laugh.

5. Feeding the ducks.

Non bloggers - you could join in by adding five things you enjoy to my comments section!

I may not post for a few days as we may be making the most of my deadline free period to go away for a short break. If we can decide where to go that is! So, I will say cheerio for now. Lindsay

Monday, 3 August 2009

Time for a breather

Another busy weekend has come and gone! I am a little late posting my account of the weekend at Topaz as I was really tired last night but had an interrupted night, so have still had very little sleep....feeling a little bleary eyed today, and looking forward to a couple of days of welcome rest and relaxation before the next deadlines loom large.

I was really looking forward to the weekend - not only a chance to catch up with people that I don't often see, but it it's also exciting to launch new designs and I especially enjoy working with the Christmas images. Here is part of my table with just some of the new stamps piled up. My ATC album is just behind...though I have to say that I was very disappointed as I only swapped four!!!

Behind my album you can see the candles which I had decorated and this proved to be so popular that I ran out of candles to stamp! Dawn's sister, Rena, brought me some from home on Sunday which were part burned down which gave them a very authentic look! Here's another view of my table with more cards on show and you can just see the unmounted rubber sets of stamps which are new for Personal Impressions this year. Hopefully they will appeal to those of you who, like me, really enjoy the versatility of a rubber stamp but also need to think about space. (Mmmm...sore point...despite all my clearing out I seem to have more clutter than ever!). The card at the top left of my display board features Distress inks used to create a moody sky, which is one of the things that we will be doing at my workshop on the 15th September.

It was wonderful to meet so many of you over the weekend - new faces and more familiar ones. Sheila (Crafty She) said hello and has already posted creations with her new stamps on her blog...a very keen crafter indeed! Sheila had sent me a beautiful belated birthday card and ATC so I was really pleased to be able to say thank you in person. Paul came to see us all and handed round chocolates to keep our blood sugar levels up! Serena, Carol, Sharon.... and so many more who I know by face but not by names - thank you for all the lovely comments and the positive feedback.

There was some fabulous work on show - my friend Sarah was using new Hero Arts stamps and made some gorgeous dimensional flowers using Grunge paper....this is a great product as, if you shape the petals, the flowers will stay curled and of course you can ink, punch and Distress it. Leonie was creating some luscious effects with Smooch inks (the ones that look like nail varnish!) and stamps. Jane, was making some amazing scrapbook pages with Vintage papers and some really great embossed effects. There were lots more great projects too many to mention or photograph, but certainly lots to see and get great tips from.
Below is a quirky card using a couple of my new stamps (Script Robin and Star Topped Tree) along with some Grunge paper and Grungeboard swirls and crown. The papers are all Peppermint Twist by K&Co.
The next card had exactly the effect which I had hoped for, that is, to make everyone smile! I used my new "Sliding Polar Bear" stamp and created three mini bears from Shrink Plastic. Carol Wilson Jingles paper covers the DL card and then I cut a simple iceberg shape from white card, slightly larger than the base card so that I could curve it to make it more dimensional. Tabs left at either side allowed me to stick it to the front and then I shaded and glittered it slightly before adding my slippy slidey bears! I am thinking....parachuting, bungee jumping, hang gliding Polar Bears may be adorning a few of my cards.
The last card in detail is the Script Robin again, but this time I coloured directly onto the stamp with Le Plume pens, using reds for the breast and browns elsewhere. I spritzed with water and stamped onto white card and simply mounted onto Jingles paper. I was pleased with how clearly the words still showed because the water can often cause details to be lost. However, Personal Impressions cut the rubber so deeply that this was not a problem as you can see.
On saturday evening Sarah and I tootled along to the design studio where the remaining demonstrations had been. Paula Pascual and Sheena Douglas were both there along with Dawn of course. We all went out for a lovely meal and then went back to Dawn's for a catch up and to meet the goats (who were, of course, adorable!) and say hello to the doggies. We sat around the kitchen table which was weighed down with card, pens, stamps etc and, of course, Dawn got us all making a card each...well, we tried anyway! It was very funny because we all felt "carded out" and were too embarrassed to show each other our creations!

Here are Sarah and Sheena having a well deserved giggle and Dawn and Paula who both look a little "pixyish" here! The night was vanishing quickly so Sarah's hubby, Ewan, came and collected the two of us and we went back to their house where I was having a sleepover. Good conversation scuppered our plans for a healthy, early night of course! Ewan had baked two trays of delicious brownies for Sarah to give to customers the next day - what a thoughtful husband!
Sunday came and went very quickly too - as always happens when it is very busy. One of the most popular, on the face of it rather boring, products on my table was the new Stazon spray cleaner. This is a must have which I can really recommend as it doesn't just clean a stamp but, unlike the original Stazon cleaner, it removes the blackness too as well as conditioning the stamp. A basic product, but brilliant.
Well, excuse the rather rambling nature of this post, but I think that the lack of sleep is really kicking in now and I should probably get to bed. Thank you Hazel for the award - I will get to it asap - promise! And thanks for all the lovely comments as per usual. Now I am off to have, I hope, a lovely dream with no double sided tape, paper, scissors or ink anywhere in sight!!! Lindsay