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

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Happy Christmas everyone

Here's a suitably chilly photo that I took at the beginning of this year to say "Happy Christmas" to anyone who I don't have an address for or whose card may not yet have turned up! I've just finished all the cards that we're hand delivering, wrapping gifts and getting the last few things organised, so excuse this being a brief post!
I'm signing off for a week or so now, but hope to come back feeling refreshed and ready for the challenges of the coming year. So, wishing everyone peace, friendship and happiness. Lindsay

Friday, 17 December 2010

Christmas card apologies...

Here's the thing. I made almost all of my cards. I used A4 folded card. I added a small gem to each. I tied a ribbon round each spine. No bow. Just tied it round. I used my Post Office size guide. I pushed a card through the standard slot. It went through. I tried a second one. It went through. It didn't struggle. Just went through. I stuck the stamps on. David posted them.
How sublimely simple that was. Or, at least, I thought it was. Today I had to send a few parcels, plus a couple more of my cards as described above and some that I had made seperately. These were thicker cards so I knew they would need large letter stamps. The nice man at the Post Office took everything off me and said he'd price each item and stick all the stamps on for me (I must have looked even more tired than I feel!). He did all the parcels and then moved on to the cards. "All of these are large letter rate" he said. "What?", said I. "I've just posted all my cards with ordinary stamps on....they went through the slot.". "Well, they don't go through my slot" said he. I felt like telling him just what he could shove through his slot, I can tell you!
The upshot is that, if the postman/sorter is feeling all Christmassy and charitable, you may just get your lovingly made Christmas card from David and I. If, on the other hand, he is related to a certain seasonal Dickensian character, you may just get a card from the postman requesting your presence at the local sorting office where you will be asked to part with at least a pound of your hard earned money to retrieve something which may, or may not be, our card to you. I say may, or may not, as it's as likely to be a card from anyone who is as confused as I am about how the Post Office decide what will and will not cost less than a side of salmon to deliver these days.
Annoyed? Me? Never been known. Lindsay

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Dates for next year's diary!

Hello folks, sorry it's been a while, but what with the computer problems, working hard to get designs finished by the end of this week and sorting out Christmas cards I have struggled to have time to post on here!
Anyway, I had a very eventful time in Norwich at the weekend....yet another horrendous train journey on the way down, which I will post on my rant blog as soon as I can. Let's just say that it involved two females who were drinking and getting drunker and more foul by the minute, and a ticket collector (I won't use the word "guard") who was unwilling to put the rest of the passengers first. After checking into my hotel I spent six hours wandering around the city centre and on walking back, I managed to find what was probably the last remaining piece of ice in Norwich and do a spectacular dive through the air that ended with me skinning my elbow and knee!
Saturday, at the new Hobbycraft store, was a much more pleasant experience however! Hello to everyone that came along - hope you are getting on well with the distressing, the punching and the stamping! The day went by really quickly and I then looked forward to getting home...I had a four and a half hour journey but, as it was on one train, I didn't have any lugging bags about to bother with. Instead, the train had no heating! Oh well, guess I had to finish my 2010's travels with a humdinger of train journeys!
So, to the title of this post...I will be adding some dates to my sidebar and these will include workshops at Dawn Bibby's design studio. I spoke with Amy today, so we have arranged the first set of classes. Those who were asking (you know who you are!) will be happy to know that we have included the all day journalling class. There will also be a couple of two hour card making workshops as well as the normal three hour classes, including making jewellery using Ranger products, a Shadow box, mixed media Guardian Angel and a Mermaid Art Doll! Please check the sidebar for more details, dates and prices. All classes are booked through Dawn's Studio...there's a link in my sidebar. I have some demonstration dates around the country...I only have dates and places at the moment and will post more details next year - yikes, that sounds terrible! Keep your eyes peeled for some special guests at Dawn's in February too!
Many thanks for all the Christmas cards and gifts we have received. I can't tell you how fortunate we feel to have got to know so many special people this year. Our cards are either on their way, still being made, or about to be posted! Hopefully they will all arrive before Christmas....fingers crossed and weather allowing!
I have a few more days of intense work and then can start thinking about relaxing for a couple of weeks over Christmas. I always start to feel really drained in December, so that little break is just what's needed...guess most of us feel that way.
So, I'll sign off and get the dates onto the sidebar as promised! Lindsay

Thursday, 9 December 2010

My last demonstration before Christmas

Hello folks, me, signing in from the library again! So, no pictures yet I'm afraid. Hope that everyone has been keeping warm in the cold weather and not too many of you have been snowed in.
I'm off down to Norwich tomorrow...thankfully the trains seem to be back on track (!) so it should be a straight run. I'm taking extra gloves, a woolly hat and a shawl though, just in case! If you are in the area, do drop into the new Hobbycraft store on Saturday where I'll be demonstrating and hosting an informal Make n Take where you can make a decorative tag to take home.
Last weekend was a busy one as I was demonstrating on Saturday and then teaching two workshops on Sunday. The double class days are hard work but great fun too. We made Fairy Doors and Christmas decorations...pictures will follow as soon as I am back on track with a computer. It was great to meet some new crafters as well as catching up with Chris, She, Kath, Elaine, Caitlin, Tracy, Paul, Edna and Gill. Joanne and "Peg Leg" dropped in too, so it was a busy old time. Thanks to everyone for cards and gifts which are so appreciated. I have made a start on my Christmas cards....finally! Paul....the hot chocolate was delicious - can I put in a repeat order?!
I have been busy all this week on two projects for Crafts Beautiful magazine which will be in issues next year. I do a regular project each month for them and, of course, always have to be working several months ahead of the publishing dates....so it can be very odd, thinking about Spring time themes when there is snow everywhere and Christmas Carols in the background! I'm also working on designs for next year and having to re-do some things which were stored on the computer...gggrrrrrr! I have another week of trying to get all of the work finished and then I might be able to start relaxing and thinking about Christmas. I'm looking forward to an afternoon in Norwich tomorrow though, so that will be fun.
Unfortunately, it does mean that I have to miss the last Christmas bash at Dawn's Studio this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday. I would normally be there to join in the fun, but it will be a good weekend if you can make it. I believe that the usual mince pies, hot mulled wine and chocolates will be on offer along with demonstrations by Dawn, Amy and the team and lots of last minute special offers! There are Make n Takes as well as demonstrations and a gift wrapping service too...how posh! Hope it's a great weekend and just sorry that I'm missing this one.
Since the trees were cut down next door (see my rant blog for that story) we've been making an extra effort with the birds and wildlife to make sure that they are well fed. With the icy weather I've been putting fatty food out at night so that there is something for the shivery little birds when they wake up. Did I say "little" birds? The latest visitors this week have been seagulls! just shows how cold it is as we never normally see them, but they are obviously needing some extra food too. Our regular foxes have been calling earlier than normal and asking "can I have some more please?"!!! A new addition was a Robin who we saw every day until a few days ago, so hoping he hasn't succulmbed to the cold. It's amazing just how they survive these temperatures isn't it? So, as Joanne said on her blog, remember our feathered (and furry) friends and put extra rations out for them. I grilled some sausages the other day and drained off the fat from them into a tin plate, poured in some bird seed, stale cheese etc and then let it set in the fridge. Saves having to dispose of yucky animal fat, saves buying fat balls or lard and was so quick to do. The birds loved it!
Well, my case is packed, so I am all set for my last trip for 2010. Am going to go back home now and have a relaxing evening before my early start tomorrow. I'll take some pictures and hope to share them with you before next year!!! Have a great weekend everyone and a special greeting to my new followers - welcome. Lindsay

Friday, 3 December 2010


Hello all, just to say that I am sat in the library typing this, as my laptop has officially died! Well, David is, as we speak, trying his best to resurrect it, but, at the moment it is looking grim.
So, just wanted to let you know that I will not be able to reply to any comments or emails for the moment until we sort something out. Nightmare!
Also, just to say that tomorrow I'm at C J Cards in Edgeley, Stockport, from 10am-4pm where I'll be demonstrating the Meltpot, Beeswak and UTEE, Darkroom Door stamps etc. At least if it's chilly I'll be able to warm my hands over the Meltpot!
On Sunday I'll be at Dawn Bibby's Design Studio with workshops in the morning and afternoon - Fairy Doors and Christmas decorations. I do know that, as of Tuesday at least, there were one or two places available, so do call the shop if you would like to book a last minute place.
Look forward to seeing everyone this weekend and hope you all travel safely and are keeping warm.
Sorry for any errors in this as the library computer will be ejecting me in a couple of minutes, so no time to double check my typing!
Hope to be up and running again soon....Lindsay

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A mini hibernation!

I've been noticeable by my absence this week, as I needed to recharge my batteries after my very busy weekend in the North East. It was a really good few days and I must say big "hello's" to all the ladies that I met in Darlington and Chester-Le-Street. Thank you for the very kind emails and comments which have been much appreciated.
I didn't take any photos as I had so much gear to carry that my camera was just one extra weight and I decided to leave it at home this time. I must admit that my bags were the heaviest ever and, going up the metal stairs of the railway bridge at Chester-Le-Street, in the rain and the dark, I almost fell backwards down them. (Get the violins out please!) Anyway, I survived all the travelling and the friendly enthusiasm from everyone made it worthwhile. Special thanks to the owner and staff at the Art Shop for the huuuuge box of chocolates that they gave me.....I do meet some lovely people!
I've had some time off and have also been progressing with some designs that I'm working on for next year and, this afternoon, David announced that we were going out in the car. Unbeknownst (?! that looks wrong!) to me he had bought some bags of birdseed and we ended up at Redesmere reservoir where we haven't been for, shockingly, almost two years. We were greeted by looooaaads of geese, ducks,coots, swans and moorhens, all charging up to us, making the most hilarious racket of quacks and honks! I had ducks standing on my feet, pulling at my tights and skirt to get my attention...it was absolutely, to quote Wallace "A grand day out!".
Anyway, just to let you know that I have squeezed another couple of demonstrations into my calendar before Christmas. Check out my diary dates on the left. The first is this Saturday when I'll be at the opening of the relocation of The Craft Shop in Congleton. The second is another opening event, this time at Hobbycraft in their latest store in Norwich. More details will follow about this one nearer the time.
So, apologies to anyone awaiting an email from me, I shall rectify that very soon! Lindsay

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Travelling North.....East

It's Thursday again...I can't really believe it...which means that I am off on my travels again tomorrow, this time to Darlington and Chester-Le-Street up in the North East. Bet it'll be a bit nippy up there! My bags are really heavy because I'm packed for two demonstrations and have punches as well as paper stacks and card....surprising just how heavy card is! Anyway, I'm pretty tough, so it will just give my muscles a good work out!
Last weekend I was in Bury St Edmunds which is one of my favourite large towns to visit as it has interesting little shops as well as a lovely area of parkland and gardens behind the Cathedral. I had a less than relaxing jorney down there as my train was running late and I knew I would miss my connection with a looong wait for the next one. I was willing the train to speed up but we seemed to be going very slowly all the way. After being given wrong information by everyone that I asked, it then transpired out that I could pick up my connection from a later station. So...it turned out okay but meant that I had been "on pins" for no reason. Oh well! There's not much wildlife watching to report from my journeys at the moment, but I saw quite a few dead animals and birds on Friday's trip. I think they must have succulmbed to the storm the night before, poor things. Hopefully I'll see some more uplifting sights tomorrow.
I had a very busy day at The Stamp Hut where I was using the Melt Pot - great fun! I hope the ladies who were making Christmas wishes will be receiving Melt Pot shaped packages from their husbands....I did drop plenty of hints to them on your behalfs! Thanks to Paula and Dot for looking after me and keeping me hydrated with fruit tea as always!
I have a few new pieces to share with you tonight. Well, the first two are actually only partly new! I have been trolling a Grungepaper flower tag around with me as well as one that was unmounted. So, I decided to give them a new lease of life and made two new tags. They are both covered with TH paper (Retro and Vintage Shabby) and both feature alcohol inked velevet flowers and ribbon. I've used a Timepiece and Game Spinner on one and some pleated Symphony Tissue Tape and a new (for me) MS punch called "Modern Garland".The next photo really doesn't show this tag very well, so I will take a better one if I get a chance. Here it looks quite flat but it's actually very dimensional. I used the Vintage Shabby paper again and a mix of Bundled Sage and Victorian Velvet Distress ink to smudge around the edges. to make my rosette I cut a full strip from the VS paper stash and then scored lines along the length using a ruler and ball ended tool. A bit laborious, but not too bad! I then concertina folded the strip, stuck the ends together and flattened it into a rosette. I stuck this onto a punched circle as a base to keep it in place, added it to the tag (after sticking some Tissue tape across the bottom) and then glued one of Tim's buttons into the centre. I carefully piped Diamond Stickles around the edge of the rosette....I chose Diamond for the golden glint it has which tied in nicely with the button. I dyed the ribbon and Jewelled Florette flowers (Petaloo) in my usual way! (ie alcohol inks) and added these. The butterfly is a Grungeboard element of two seperate wings which I lightly inked and curled before glueing the into place. I cut a simple body from a scrap of Grungepaper and wrapped it in Tissue Tape before glueing it over thewings. I cut the antennae from more Grungepaper and slidd them under the head before adding more Stickles. A few MS Opal gems filled in some blank areas to complete. My final photo tonight is of a card featuring my Fairy Silhouette stamped onto an alcohol ink monoprint on gloss white card. I then stroked Paint Dabbers over a page from my charity shop bought copy of Grimm's fairy tales (no wonder they were the Grimm brothers - some of the stories are positively horrific!) and cut out three rectangles and three triangles which I glued down to create towers. I added details with my fine black pen. I dyed and added some flowers at the base and then popped blue gems to their centres. I drew two of my "grown up stars" with an Inkssentials white pen and then covered the fairy image with Stardust Stickles to give her a softer look. I have done a similar thing with the "Paint Dabbers on book page" towers on a recent Journal page which gave me the idea for this card.I'll have all these, plus lots more of course, with me over the weekend, so do come along if you are in the area. On Staurday I'll be at The Art Shop on Bondgate, in Darlington. I'll be using lots of Ranger products including TH stamps and papers, Idealogy and inks etc. Then, on Sunday, I'll be at Lambton Garden Centre in Chester-Le-Street with similar products as well as my stamps and cardstock. I'll have MS punches with me at both as well. I'm looking forward to this trip, as it's a while since I was in the North East and I always enjoy my time there.
Okay, better sign off now as I have some emails to send and train times to copy out before we have dinner. So, have a great weekend everyone. Lindsay

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Candy Winner....

Knowing that I had this rare Sunday at home, I chose today to draw the Blog Candy Winner. I thought it would be fun to try a different way to pick the winning name and, seeing the plastic pull ring from this morning's orange juice carton gave me the idea. So, I wrote out all the entrant's names on sqaures of paper and screwed them all up. I put the plastic ring onto the floor (it isn't a black carpet...thats my jacket - velvet makes a good background for photos!) and then David dropped all the paper balls. The winner would be the one that landed in the circle. Simple! (?) Here they are, cascading down...
.....and I have to confess that we had to repeat this process twice more before any of them actually landed in the circle! However, third time lucky and here I am plucking the paper ball from the plastic ring. And, the winner is..............dddddddrrrrrrr...... Clare H . Congratulations Clare H! Please email me with your details by this Tuesday and I will post the Candy out to you. Sorry to those who didn't win this time, but I will gather some more things together for another giveaway before too long. Lindsay

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Melt Pot creations

Hello everyone on yet another wet and windy evening. Well, I haven't felt too chilly the last two days as I've been working with my Melt Pot creating some samples for my demonstration at The Stamp Hut. I've made a range of things so here's a sneaky peek at some of what I'll have with me on Saturday.
I did take some closer pictures of these two necklaces but they looked awful, very blurred, so hope you can see some of the detail in them here. They both feature images which I got from Suze Weinberg when I was at Ranger U a couple of years ago. I eke them out as you can tell! The left one has a tiny key embedded under clear UTEE poured into a Memory Frame with the image adhered to glass inside the frame. I've used a Swivel Fastener attached to the hanging loop (at the bottom) and I Glossy Accent-ed (!) the other end to the corner of the frame. Once set I added a couple of alcohol inked Foliage flowers with inked gems in their centres - the alcohol ink just knocks back some of the bling. I then attached various charms to the chain using Mini Paper Clips, added a Hinge Clip at the top and threaded the whole piece onto a length of Lace Chain.
The right hand piece is made in the same way but with a teensy dragonfly as oppoed to a key. I added the clip at the bottom and strung a key and a letter charm from it. More Foliage and gems and some Glossy Accents drizzled around the piece to which I added some Beadazzles (that was fun!). I srung this piece onto large ball chain. These were fun to make! Next is a card that I made using the technique which Dawn Bibby amazed Suze herself with! If you haven't tried this, or if you don't like cleaning out you Melt Pot, then do give this a try. Simply cut a piece of non stick craft sheet to fit inside the Melt Pot. You can then add various UTEE and powders without them gooking up the Pot. So, here I added a scoop of Black UTEE, a sprinkle of gold and copper Perfect Pearls and a little Bronze UTEE. It only takes a few seconds to melt and then I whipped out the craft sheet piece and place it onto another craft sheet before pressing my stamp firmly into the surface. After a few more seconds just peel away the stamp and craft sheet piece to reveal a thin, lacy edged piece that can be stuck to the front of a card or used however you wish. This card is very simple and I just used an EK Success punch (Scroll & Hearts) to add some extra interest. Simple card for a man I think...as opposed to a card for a simple man! Oh dear! The next card features the same technique to make the focal image using different colours. This is an example of my "looking at clouds" way of working....that is I sometimes look at an abstract thing and either something will jump out at me, or I'll try to see something in the design. This one was the former! The piece of stamped UTEE just looked like a Christmas tree to me, so I decided to add it to a Best Creations paper background and then added a border of snowflakes across the top - MS Snowflake Trim M42-70016. A bit quirky but I like itThe penultimate picture is a mixed technique piece which started out as a boring coaster. These are great - cheap to buy, a nice size to work on and you can easily pierce them to make holes for a wire or ribbon hanger. I covered the coaster with a page from an unwanted (charity shop buy) book of Fairy tales, using Multi Matte Medium to glue it in place before trimming. I then brayered the page using a Soothing Sunset Big n Juicy ink pad. To this I added another of my precious Suze W. images and the word Heart from Tim's Seasonal stickers pad. I melted natural Beeswax in the Pot and brushed it over the whole piece, thicker in some places than others. The thicker areas obscure the images underneath, but you can scrape away thin layers of the wax to re-reveal them. I then dropped a paper flower into the melted wax and then secured that to the corner using more wax. The heart was a piece that I had already made by placing a greased cookie cutter on top of a colour copied image and then pouring melted UTEE into the cutter, allowing to cool and then removing the excess paper with a finger dipped into water. I also inked and partly embossed a Grungeboard flourish before sticking these to the piece with melted wax. I added more wax over the top, scraped areas away and then added the wire hanger. The final piece is my favourite! Those who came on my Matchbox Shrines workshop may possiby recognise the crown which was one of the car boot treasures which were on the table to dip into. Nobody had chosen it, so I decided to use it myself! I began with a teeny canvas that I had already begun and then given up on...all I had done was used Paint Dabbers to colour it and then stamped the TH sentiment over that. I used white Beeswax to texturise the whole canvas and added another Suze image in one corner. I stamped Marion Emberson's lovely dandelion from her "Make a Wish" set. The image didn't completely take on top of the wax, but that's okay. I added the extra word and a teeny dragonfly before adding more wax layers. I cut some Maya Road chipboard wings in half and embossed them with silver and verdigris powders...just enough to leave them looking a little textured. I adhered the wings to the back of the canvas with Glossy Accents and, once they were set, I adhered the crown between them. It was an old brooch that I was able to easily snip the pin off..think it may be made from lead! I finished the piece by adding more Beadazzles held in place with Glossy Accents...not just decorative, they also help to keep the wings and crown in place. Hope you like this piece. So, tomorrow morning I am setting of down to Bury St Edmunds which is a lovely town. I'm especially looking forward to this visit as last time I was there I discovered, too late, a whole area which I had somehow missed on my previous visits! It takes a good few hours (four and a half to be precise!) to get there, so I'll be doing some of my exploration in the dark and, probably, the wind and rain if the last few days are anything to go by! If you are in the area please do come along and say hello. Meanwhile, remember that my blog candy ends on Sunday and the winner needs to email their details to me by Tuesday, so leave a comment, if you haven't already, and pay another visit on Sunday evening to see if you've won! (I've confused myself now! Lol!)
Have a great weekend whatever you are getting up to, and see you back here on Sunday. Lindsay

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Blog Candy artwork

Hello folks, and welcome to the new followers who have recently joined. I had a terrific time in Thame and at A Maze of Memories in Long Crendon on Saturday. It was a very busy day with lots of ladies joining in a make n take using alcohol inks and my fairy stamps. Here's a picture of some of them hard at work...concentration on every face! Everyone was so friendly that it was a pleasure and I was kept topped up with fresh cups of fruit tea all day...thanks ladies! It's a beautiful part of the country and I had a few hours looking round Thame itself on Friday. Even though it was pouring with rain I really enjoyed having a good long walk and it blew the cobwebs away that's for sure! So, hello to all the ladies that I met on Saturday and just to let you know that the ink came off my hands by about Monday!Anyway, I'm posting a couple of photos of the picture that I've created for the Blog Candy. Hope you like it. I decided on a Fairy as I think these appeal to most of us. She's quite a "modern" fairy I suppose, with her stripey tights and all! Her wings are slightly glittered and she's attired in some of my favourite colours of lilac and teal. I've put her into a plain black frame and the mat around the picture is from the Tom Holtz Vintage Shabby paper stash. Ha ha, sorry, I meant Tim not Tom!!! Here's a closer look...and this is the finished piece. So, if you haven't already left a comment, remember to do so by the 14th when David will pick a random winner.
I'm off down to Bury St Edmunds on Friday for my demonstration at The Stamp Hut on Saturday. I'll be using the Melt Pot with UTEE and Beeswax as well as EK Success punches, stamps etc. I'll be making cards, Christmas decorations and jewellery, so hope you can call in if you're in the vicinity. Lindsay

Thursday, 4 November 2010

My next little trip

I'm off on another train journey tomorrow down to Thame in Oxfordshire where I'll be demonstrating and hosting make n takes at "A Maze of Memories" on Saturday. So if you're in the area, do pop along as it will be a fun and interesting day. I've been busy making samples so thought I'd share some with you. This first one features the Celtic Owl from my Swirly Birds set...this isn't a new design, but it's one that I use all the time as I do love owls and he suits lots of occasions and styles. I've stamped him onto the new PI 300gsm white card using Walnut Stain Distress ink and then waterbrushed the ink to colour him. The PI card is great for this as the ink stays wet for longer than on standard card. I added a touch of white to his eyes and beak. I then created the background using Distress inks in Worn Lipstick, Old Paper, Spiced Marmalade and Brushed Corduroy then spritzed with water and painted the moon with water before dabbing with tissue to remove the colour. I then added a large drop of Walnut Stain ReInker to the base of the card and blew it through a straw to create the tree....haven't done this technique for a while and I'd forgotten how woozy it makes you! I used a mix of ink colours to paint on some tatty leaves - just for the effect of those lingering, crumpled ones that hang on as long as possible. I covered a large card with paper from Tim's Retro paper stash and used another piece as a mat around the main image. I placed the owl onto a branch and cut the word from Tim's Seasonal stack. Three leaves from the Idealogy Foliage pack were enhanced with some alcohol inks and stuck down with silicone glue around the word. To complete the card I added a strip of Hobgoblin Tissue Tape once I had inked it lightly. Good to be able to use Halloween themed products after the event!
A fairy and toadstools from my Fairy Silhouettes stamp set are the focal points of this card. I made a monoprint of alcohol inks before stamping the images over it...I curved the toadstools slightly before stamping some of them to give more variety. This was matted onto silver and then a paper from Tim's Vintage Shabby stack which I smudged with a mucky foam pad to get a mix of colours! I punched the corners using the MS String Lace which I also used on the large card blank before smooching some more colour around it all. To finish I used some peel offs...I know...peel offs! These are glittered stars and I alcohol inked them first which I think raises them up a level (for you peel off snobs out there....I know who you are!). Oh, I did add some of my "grown up stars" to the main panel using an Inkssentials pen. This next piece was fun and simple to make. I squidged Glossy Accents over the back of a Tim Holtz Facet and stuck this to a piece from the Seasonal stash....I placed it with the drilled hole at the bottom. Once dry, I cut around the piece and pierced the hole from the back, threaded a jump ring through and hung an Idealogy Bauble from this. I dyed some ribbon with alcohol ink and made a loop with a double knot which I stuck to the back of a metal Corner before sticking the Corner to the top of the Facet using good old Glossy Accents. I tied a bow around the hanging loop with a second piece of ribbon and added a little Gesso and glitter to complete. Next is Mr Twit Too Whoo again! Told you I use this stamp a lot! This time I stamped him with Archival ink and coloured him with Memento pens. He's on a Distress ink background with a tree stump drawn on with a brown Memento pen that I later added Gesso to. The backing papers are from the Vintage Shabby stash and I added a calendar tag that I cut from "Traveller" Tissue Tape. I also made a ruffle of the tape to go below the main image....this is one of Tim's ideas that I really like as it adds dimension. I've found that if you double the tape back on itself first (ie make a double sided strip) then it doesn't crush. Lastly, here's a full on grunged card! The backing paper is from the Seasonal stash, the music score from the matching salvage stickers. The numbers are Grungeboard that I've inked and added Gesso to....love Gesso, despite the dangers of mess! I also inked and Gessoed an Adage ticket and added a dyed ribbon, a strip of Tidings Tissue Tape and some Foliage accents. Hope you like them! I certainly had fun making them. Oh yes...check out Tim's blog as there is great news about Colourwash which I really love using. New colours (including some of my all time favourites) a new, handier size and improved spray nozzle. I am keeping my fingers crossed that these will be coming soon!
Remember to leave your comment to have a chance for the blog candy....you don't need to have a blog of your own to do this - just follow the directions after pressing "comment". I'm hoping to start the artwork side of the candy on the train tomorrow! I do a lot of doodling when I'm travelling, so I should, at least, get something sketchy done.
Finally, we're holding Dawn, Rena, Amy and the rest of the family in our thoughts and hearts as they go through this difficult time. It's at these moments that their strong family bond comes into its own. Lindsay

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Blog Candy

There are full details of my Blog Candy in my sidebar at the left, but here's a bigger picture of the contents. I'll also be including an original piece of artwork...picture will follow once I've finished it!So just leave a comment by the deadline and remember to call back to see if you've won! Lindsay

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Photos at last!

Here are the photos which I promised to post. I had to take the chance when the sun came out for a quick blink! First of all though, hello to everyone who came to the demonstrations this weekend, it made for a busy and jolly two days. Hope everyone is enjoying their new stamps, punches and inks! I met some new ladies, and some old friends....I know....less of the old! Chris brought the journals she has been working on to show me. They were great Chris, I specially liked the mushrooms and the borders that you had created...keep up the good work! Sheila and her mum also came along for the afternoon and I met some people that I hadn't seen for years, so Sunday was a very interesting day.
Here, as promised, are some photos of the very special gift which I received from Kath and Elaine last Saturday. Isn't it fantastic? There are three delicate fairies around the egg, so I've taken the pictures from two different angles to show them off. As you can see, the wings are very ethereal, even having the teensiest crystal gems imaginable on them. The egg is topped with a glimmering diamante roundel.And, in this picture you can see the other fairy and that the whole egg lights up from within. I assure you that the pictures don't really do justice to this work of art and the words don't fully express how surprised and grateful I was to be given such a generous gift.Next are the Paris Tag which Sheila made for me, with rich, sumptuous colours that are "just me"! Clockwise from this are ATC's from Chris, Joanne, Karen and Gez. Thank you all, ladies, and I promise to have some decent ATC's for you all next time we meet!Finally, this is the piece which David created in my Journalling class when we were working with magazine images, Gesso and paints. He even drew the picture that the lady is working on at her easel. Everyone said he had been hiding his light under a bushel! Well, that's all for now as I have to write some instructions for a magazine project....the worst bit! However, I'm just going to post details of my latest Blog Candy giveaway, so do check that out and remember the old cliché.....you have to be in it to win it!
Oh, and I have, at last, posted a new rant on my other blog, so do have a read of that...it's part rant, part being very upset. Well, you'll see. Lindsay

Friday, 29 October 2010

Weekend whereabouts

Hello all and, firstly, apologies for not posting my photos yet...first I had no camera batteries and then the weather has been so dismal that I couldn't take any decent ones. I was up to my eyes in paper, ink, stamps and so on this morning and, by the time I got chance to take any photographs it was so dark that I had to give up. What a windy day it has been for sure!
Anyway, this is just a quickie post to touch base and say that I'll be at Card Craft, Lune Street, Lancaster tomorrow and, on Sunday, I'll be at Klondyke Garden Centre, Manchester Road in Wilmslow. Hope to see some of you here or there!
Have a great weekend whatever you are doing and I'll have photos to share on Monday. Take care everyone and enjoy the extra hour in bed on Sunday morning....oh, we are all looking forward to those dark nights aren't we!?!? Lindsay

Monday, 25 October 2010

Happy days!

Yes, days that are filled with laughter, friends and creativity are definitely happy ones. It was a very busy weekend but all of the above made it worthwhile. On Saturday morning it was my Introduction to Art Journalling workshop and we made some backgrounds, altered magazine images with Gesso, painted and drew. There was so much that we could have done and so little time! Hopefully we will be able to fit another workshop in before long so that we can work on some specific pages, but I also hope that everyone felt inspired and more confident in their ability to put pen to paper and create something special. Here's one of mine that shows my impatience! I used a magazine image for the head and torso of the mermaid and Gesso for the background, her hair and tail. I stamped in the Gesso, added paints and some collaged images. All went well and then I added my words (which I wasn't happy with - they look too heavy, but hey ho!). Unfortunately, I thought that everything was dry when I closed my journal but, mmmm, seems not! So my poor mermaid now has blue squidges all over her! I may have to turn them into rain drops, or I may leave it as it is to remind me to wait! This next page is just a fun one that I did to show everyone in the workshop that, even if you think that you can't draw, you can create a piece of original art! It was great fun to do - another of my drawn and coloured with Promarker pages. The sentiment is true for me...I refuse to grow up and I love having that inner child alive and well! The last page has a mix of techniques and I'll give a quick run through of them specially for the ladies on my workshop! I stuck torn out book pages to the blank pages in my journal and then Gessoed over the whole double page spread...I made some areas very thin, some a little thicker. Once dry, I then swept Paint Dabbers up and down the text areas, adding various colours to build up the effect. I wanted to still be able to read some areas. I cut out various images from magazines and papers and stuck them down using Multi Matt Medium, creating the main figue from four different images collaged together. I coloured the pink edging using a Memento brush pen (rather like a Le Plume pen but with a slightly larger nib)...the Gesso texture shows up well as darker and lighter shades of pink. I drew the toadstools in with a black pen, colouring them with brush pens and a white Inkssentials pen. I painted the simple grass effect with acrylic. I added the words and the teensy spiders and finished by adding some shading on and around the characters with Promarkers. Hope you like them.David joined in with the Journalling workshop and I will post pictures of what he did as soon as I have taken them...need some new batteries! We were all impressed! However, a loose lid on a jar of Gesso caused uproar when David picked it up and the contents went flying....most of them over poor Chris! David was mortified and he and Chris spent quite some time cleaning up her bags, clothes and the table. Only later did I discover that I had a white leg and skirt as well! These things happen and thank you Chris for being very good humoured about it all. It was great to see Gez there as she has been having a terrible time suffering with vertigo - her journal pages are gorgeous. I was lucky to get gorgeous ATC's from Chris and Gez and a beautiful tag from Sheila - I'll post piccies of them soon. Thank you ladies.

Now, speaking of good humour, the afternoon workshop was an absolute hoot! We were making a plaque and two cards. The plaque had Gesso on it, to simulate snow. This caused great humour as it was variously referred to as Gessop, Gello and other strange names. Marion put her letters on back to front, so "Joy" became "Yoj" leading to more giggles, especially from the delightful Cynthia and Sharon who lit up the afternoon with their laughter. Here they are - promised I'd blog you girls!Sheila was having fun with the MS punches that just would not behave for her. So much so that David made a special notice for her...... ....thanks for being so good humoured She, you know we love you really!!! Having said that, the sign did move around during the afternoon!After making a card using MS punches and Best Creations papers we finished the session by making a secret message card (sorry, no photo of this one yet either) that opens up in different ways. This caused a few puzzled expressions but as I said, don't worry how it works, just enjoy the fact that it does!

The workshop ended and then Kath and Elaine produced a bag from under the table which they said was for me. As it wasn't my birthday or anything I was somewhat surprised to say the least! I let Kath open the carefully taped and wrapped box as they had said it was fragile....everyone was very eager to see what was inside! When I opened the tissue and carefully drew the creation out we were all amazed and I was thrilled.....it was the most beautifully decorated Goose Egg adorned with delicate fairies with shimmery wings topped with sparkling crystals and sitting on top of a gilded stand. A tiny switch lights up the egg from inside to give an even more magical effect. Absolutely stunning and made with Kath's own fair hands. Here are Elaine and Kath with me and the Eggstraordinarily generous gift they presented me with! It is something that will be treasured and the fact that it came so out of the blue made it all the more special. Thank you so much, I cannot tell you how grateful I am. Again, because my camera is "powerless" I will post a close up of this beauty very shortly - watch this space!

David and I have said many times that we have met so many wonderful people over this last two years, it's been a very heartwarming time and helps to counteract those days when one feels down.

On Sunday I was back at Dawn's studion to demonstrate for the day. I was using some of my wooden backed rubber stamps for a change and they were mostly my whimsical designs. I was challenged to combine "cute with distressed" by Karen, and my Leaping Robins were chosen as the stamp for me to use. I made this quite simple tag by inking the background and stamping the robins with Archival black. I then bleached them with water so that I could colour them against the dark background using more Distress inks. A bit more faux bleaching and an alcohol inked ribbon was the last touch. Sheila and Joanne had come along to my demonstration and everyone gave a thumbs up for the "distressed cute combo"! Now, of course, if Joanne was there then you can bet that the phantom cat burglar was there too! (For new blog readers, it's a standing joke, Terry - Joanne's lovely husband - isn't really a burglar!) Just look how shifty he looks here...did he really think he could get away with my Tim Holtz paper stashes? Oh, and is that a MS punch I see there as well?! Good try Terry! Lol! As I said, such a fun weekend, I was hoarse from laughing. I shall also be posting photos of the ATC's I got on Sunday too...blinking batteries, gggrrr! I'm ending with a picture of my littlest best friend Alicia, who is just adorable. You may recall that I mentioned a few weeks ago that Alicia had seen a "tap" being made on a tv programme, and was convinced that I could make one. None of us had seen the tap, so we were a bit clueless really. However, I managed to track down what it was and made the basic tap for her on Sunday morning. It was made from paper cups and cardboard, but look what Alicia showed me at the end of the day..........she and Rena and Gill had gone to town with the decoration and had added silver leaf and ribbon etc. Lovely! Look at that big smile - makes it all worthwhile doesn't it?
I'll post again as soon as I have the batteries in the camera and can show add the other piccies. Lindsay

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

This weekend's workshops

I've been busily working on some of next year's stamp designs this week, along with getting everything ready for the two workshops that I'm teaching this Saturday at Dawn Bibby's Design Studio. The afternoon class (Christmas Cute but Clever...or is that Clever but Cute?!?!) is completely booked up, but there some places on the morning class which is an introduction to Art Journalling. If you fancy coming along to join in the creative fun, then just give Topaz Crafts (website in my sidebar) a call to book a place. We'll be creating backgrounds and working on loose pages that comprise doodling, words, drawing and collaging. Here's one of mine at the drawing stage - no prizes for spotting the blank space where a word is missing! It's now been filled! I'll post a picture of tyhe completed page, plus some others, after the weekend.
For those of you who are already booked on this workshop, if you have any of your own colouring mediums (Promarkers, Copics, Brush pens, coloured pencils etc) please bring them with you, as well as a pencil, ruler and eraser. If you have any drawing pens then bring them along as the more the merrier. Don't worry if you don't have any of the above as I will be bringing things of course. I'll also have some glossy magazines and book pages with me, but, again, if you'd like to bring some with you, that would be great. We'll be altering some magazine images and using book pages as part of backgrounds. If you want to start a full on journal, feel free to bring a plain notebook that you can work in, otherwise, we'll be creating single pages that you can make up into a journal by adding more pages later. Hope all that makes sense! In other words, you can come with nothing, or you can bring any of the above!
On Sunday I'll be in Dawn's Studio all day and will be concentrating on Halloween and Christmas themes...I'm sure that I'll be making a few tags!
I have recovered from my spooky hotel stay, and now looking back on it as a rather exciting experience....even though, at the time, I was pretty nervous! I did, as a few people have suggested, ask whatever it was to let me have a peaceful night's sleep, so maybe I had a quieter night than I could have done! The bathroom light at home has still been going out, but only when I'm in there....odd, even though I know it is just a loose fitting!
So, I shall look forward to seeing everyone at the weekend and will be sure to show you what we get up to. Best, uplifting wishes to those who I know are not feeling great just now. Lindsay

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Things that go bump....

Yes, indeed, there were some bumpy moments in the last couple of days! One was on my journey home last night when I was pulling my case from the storage area on the train and a silly woman decided that it was much more important for her to get hers first. The reslt was that my case's metal wheel landed on my bare toe.....ouch! I was very lady like despite the bleeding toe! However, that's nowhere near as interesting as the other tales I have for you!
As I said a couple of posts ago, I headed down to Sudbury, in Suffolk, on Thursday for a meeting and to demonstrate products for some of the staff at Personal Impressions. I got there around 4pm and had a quick meeting and catch up with everyone before myself and three colleagues went to where we were to be staying that night. I don't know if any of you have visited Sudbury, but it's a historic town, birthpace of Gainsborough and really pretty and characterful with houses painted in an array of gorgeous colours and each with their own style. No "little boxes" here! We were staying at an Inn that dated back to 1540 complete with original beams and barely any straight lines anywhere! We checked in and I got first choice of the keys and the "Brown Room". Upstairs we all trooped and my room was so unusual that I decided to take a couple of photos to show to David when I got back. The bedroom area was fairly straightforward and filled with antique Oak furniture but with a vaulted ceiling. The bathroom had a much lower ceiling, above which was what, I now know, is called a Minstrel's Gallery. This was a seperate area that you could have only reached by a ladder (there was no ladder of course!) and which I could only see part of...a little creepy I have to say!
Anyway, after a quick change we walked into the town to have a nice Italian dinner and, somehow, the conversation turned to rather spooky things as Jan told us of some of the strange things that had happened when she first began renovating their farmhouse in Scotland. My two other colleagues were quite sceptical about it all but enjoyed joining in the conversation. Eventually I asked for a change of subject as I said I would never sleep that night! We walked back to the Inn taking the shortcut through the old church graveyard (I know!) and a couple of us decided to stay up a little longer (it was only 9pm) and have a quick drink in the lounge before retiring. We were the only ones there and I said to the lady behind the bar that my friends had been telling ghost stories and spooking me. She said "Oh, you'll be fine so long as you're not in the brown room.".......well, thanks for that!!! So, came 10.30 pm I was back in the room and rang David to have a chat. I have to say that the atmosphere in the bedroom was very strange and I felt quite uneasy to say the least - and I didn't put it all down to suggestion. While we were talking I decided to look at the two pictures that I had taken earlier and I just about fell off the bed! I only noticed the anomoly in the second picture when looking at the little camera screen, and it was only when I put them on the computer that the ones in the first picture became clear. Those of you who may have an interest in this kind of thing will probably know about "orbs". If not, they are something which some people believe are manifestations of spirits that the human eye doesn't see but show up on camera. Of course, they are often explained away as light reflected on insects or dust etc, but there are some which seem to defy rational explanation. The ones that I have inadvertantly captured here seem to fall into that category. I can dertainly say that there was nothing in the room which could have reflected onto the walls or beams. Needless to say, seeing that bright orb over the bed did not improve my feeling of wariness. After I'd said goodnight I was then tidying things off the bed and, right behind me, came a long slow creaking sound. I spun round and the wardrobe door was very slowly opening! I slammed it shut and, once I'd recovered my composure, I tried recreating my movements to see if the door opened again but it remained securely shut (as it had been before). I normally have a shower before bed, but I just couldn't, so decided to have one in the morning instead. I felt, since the moment I got back to the room, that I was being watched, and I don't mean that vague, nervous feeling one can get, but a real, palpable presence that was watching me. You know when you look at someone and after a few moments they will look back at you because something in our survival mechanism lets us know that there are eyes upon us.....it was like that the whole time. I've spooked myself before after watching a scary film for instance, but this was completely different. I went to bed but I lay watching tv for a long time to try to shake the awful feeling off. I ended up with the tv on (no sound) all night and I drifted in and out of sleep every fifteen minutes or so all night. I was very relieved when it was time to get up but the feeling remained, even in the morning.
A couple more things happened before I went down to breakfast. I'd seen an open safety pin on each of the bedside tables when I'd first arrived and thought that wasn't especially good housekeeping! I had brought some safety pins with me as the top I was going to wear has a habit of gaping and a couple of pins keep it in place. I sat on the bed (which I'd remade) and put both pins down together on the cover. I picked one up, pinned it in place and reached down for the second one.....gone! I searched all over the bed and floor but it was nowhere to be seen. I had to get a third pin from my bag. A little thing but it was odd! I turned off the TV, the bathroom light, picked up my bag and left the room to go down to breakfast. As I turned the key in the door I heard voices from inside the room....opened the door again and the TV had come back on. I had turned it off at the set, not using the remote. I realise this can happen, but the timing of it was very odd.
I showed Jan my photos and she was pretty shocked! Even my sceptical friends were extremely surprised. I took a quick snap of the breakfast room and...... .......yep, another orb! Now, one of my colleagues is also a professional photographer and he could not explain the pictures. He took two more pictures of the room, right after I took that one, and there was nothing unusual at all, even though he used my camera. It's all very intriguing. Thought you might like to look at the close ups of the large orbs....in the breakfast room..... ......and these two from the bedroom......

.......what do you think?
I came home on Friday evening and, after a quick bite to eat, I went to the bathroom for a shower. I had been in there a few minutes when there was a slight flicker and the light went out! My immediate reaction was to shout "Don't mess about" and I opened the door expecting to see David, but he wasn't near enough and didn't know what I was talking about. Needless to say, I went back in but left the door open.....I was in the shower and, you guessed it, the light went out again! As it turns out, David checked and once he adjusted the light fitting it came back on. I know it was just a coincidence but for a fleeting moment I thought maybe I had come back with "someone else" in tow!!!!
Well, let's leave the strange events now and I'll share a picture that Jan took of me beside some of my stamps in the PI warehouse....not looking my best after the previous night's events! It was great to catch up with everyone and get the guided tour of the warehouse, offices and packing areas etc. Unfortunately it was such a busy day that I really didn't have chance to grab anything for my Blog Candy. However, I'll gather some things together and post details asap. I have some exciting new projects to work on now too, so will be letting you know about those as and when I am able (allowed!) to!
Okay, I am off to get dinner now so will sign off and, as Nick Ross used to say "Don't have nightmares" !!!!! Lindsay

Thursday, 14 October 2010

The human spirit

Just a short post to celebrate the rescue of all the miners in Chile. What a perfect example it has been of how wonderful the human spirit can be. Amidst all the usual bad news, atrocities and violence that seem to bombard us every day, witnessing the way everyone worked together to bring those courageous men home was so uplifting...no pun intended!
No doubt, as Heather said to me, the film companies are already planning the blockbuster movie, but nothing could equal seeing all the real joy as each man was reunited with his family.
As one of the miners said - God was with them, there were 34 down there, not 33.....I think he was right.
Well, now I'm off to the station to catch the London train for the first leg of my journey down south today. I'll catch up with everyone at the weekend. Lindsay

Monday, 11 October 2010

This coming week and a teaser!

Hello again, see I'm trying to make up for being absent last week! Thank you for the good wishes by comments and emails, they are almost as good as having a holiday.....er, well, no, not really! Lol! Seriously though, your good wishes are much appreciated. I'm trying to relax a bit today but I do have work to get done as well. I'm not demonstrating out and about this next weekend, but I am going down to Personal Impressions to do some product demonstration for them. I'm looking forward to it and will be sure to let you know if I see any "hot off the press" goodies of course!
Speaking of goodies, I will be hosting another Blog Candy giveaway very soon. I have a couple of items already and will add to them when I am in Sudbury this week, so will post details on my return. I'm going to be a bit more specific about dates for claiming the Candy after all the confusion last time....I never knew it could be so hard to give stuff away! Lol
The weather is gorgeous yet again, more like Spring than an Autumnal October day. The birds sound really cheerful so I think they are enjoying the unseasonal warmth on their backs too. The squirrels are still burying the monkey nuts that I throw out for them...often with Magpies creeping up behind them and pinching the stash as soon as the squirrels have set off to look for another treasure! Did I tell you that I saw one squirrel setting off a car alarm a few weeks ago? He was pushing peanuts into the gaps in the wheel hubs and, boy, did he jump when it set off the alarm! Who needs a telly eh?
I'll try and post again before my trip, but if not, do pop back after the weekend to take a look at the Candy. Lindsay

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Not gone, just resting!

Hello all, and apologies for my absence this past week and to anyone who I still owe an email reply to. It's been a week or so of meeting some deadlines, combined with both David and myself having a nasty bug...well, he is very generous, so, of course, he had to pass the bugs to me! So, thank you to everyone who put up with my sniffly nose and croaky voice at this weekend's demonstrations! Last weekend I was away in Carlisle and it rained...quite a lot! I had a wander around the city centre for a few hours then back to my hotel room for a good night's sleep before my day at Houghton Hall Garden Centre. I had visitors from north of the border as well as the local area, and must say a special hello to Helen...good luck with your new venture and hope it all goes well. On Sunday, well, you may recall that the rain was even heavier, to say the least. We set off driving to Northwich in Cheshire and the roads were more like canals. Thankfully, almost everyone was being sensible and driving carefully. When we pulled onto the Garden Centre entrance it was like a massive log flume! Needless to say, it was a fairly quiet morning as everyone waited to see if the rain would ease up. So, I busied myself making some extra cards and tags. I have really been enjoying making tags just lately, as you can see....The day did brighten up I'm happy to say, so I got to meet plenty of ladies who were keen to be inspired!
So, this week I had a Crafts Beautiful project to complete which took some time as there were problems getting some of the products that I needed. The yucky bugs took hold of me too, so I really felt like just doing nothing at all, but deadlines have to be met! Thankfully I got everything done and after feeling awful all week I began to feel more human again on Friday night. So, yesterday I was at Crabapple Crafts (Rosemary Merry's shop)in Frodsham. There was a clue that I was going to be there due to the giant sized posters that had been displayed, and I do mean giant sized! I'd hardly set up when everyone began arriving and it was the start of a really enjoyable day that just flew by. I saw friends old and new and hope everyone has been trying out the white card with Distress inks? Let me know how you get on with the trees and the faux bleaching. Thank you to all the Crabapple staff for keeping me supplied with fruit tea all day - it was most appreciated!
Today was a demonstration at the Garden Centre at High Legh in Knutsford, not too far away, so not much travelling today. Hello to Chris and Hazel and the lovely lady from Congleton whose name I don't know, but who I was tempting with punches and papers....sorry! Talking of which, take a look at this sweet snowman.... .....he is made using the MS DIY snowman punch and is so easy to create from just a few colours of card and a little shading. The punch has the elements for the main body, hat, scarf, buttons and twiggy arms. I drew the face in but, guess what, the confetti from the punch that I've used on the mat (PATP Deco fan) are just right for the carroty nose if you punch them from orange paper! Anyway, I used the reverse of a sheet of Best Creations Frosty Christmas paper (Snowscene) to partly cover the card blank and then punched a 5" x 3 1/4" panel of white card with the Deco Fan which I softly blended Stormy Sky Distress Ink over. I then added a panel from the fronts of the Snowscene paper to the centre of the punched mat, having rounded the corners first as I think this looks better. My little snowman is wearing a scarf punched from my Lilac Snowballs cardstock which I also used for his hatband. The greeting is from the matching greeting toppers. I then cut a 3 cms wide strip of white card and punched each side with the Deco Fan before wrapping an alcohol inked length of ribbon around it and fixing to the card to complete. This was a deceptively quick and easy card to make but I like it....mainly because of that so cute snowman! I have it in mind to make a card featuring a whole row of them, all posed differently and facing in both directions....I'll post a picture when I get round to making it!
Well, I just wanted to sign in and show that I'm still in the land of the living, so am off now to enjoy dinner that David is cooking as I type. I am feeling much better but poor David is now suffering from a Neuralgic after effect. Think we need a holiday, hmmm, some chance! Lindsay

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Backwards and forwards!

What I mean is having a look back over the last few days and a look forward to the next few! It's been an unusual one for me as I normally work at home during the week and get out and about at the weekends, but this week I was down in Oxfordshire, but more of that later.
Last Saturday was so enjoyable. I was at Crafty's in Liverpool and the day just flew by because it was so busy and so much fun. I was mainly demonstrating Martha Stewart punches but with lots of inks and stamps thrown into the mix as well. Everyone was really enthusiastic but thankfully no fights broke out when certain punches were running out! Thanks to Elaine and her lovely staff for making it such a fabulous day.
On Sunday we went over to Thornton, near Blackpool and I must apologise to those who came along wanting to buy the products I was using, but there had been a delivery problem and things hadn't arrived in time - ooops! Hopefully you have all picked up the things you wanted now. Hello to everyone I met at the weekend anyway - familiar friends and new faces.
So, on Tuesday I travelled down to Abingdon for a special trade event the next day. Although it was only for trade customers I thought you might like to see what we got up to! The day was organised between Personal Impressions and Country Love Ceramics and was to show how inks, stamps etc can be used with bisque, paints, texture mediums, various varnishes and non-fire glazes to create exciting results. I was working alongside Andy Skinner who is their resident ceramic artist and expert. It was a very inspiring couple of days as Andy had some amazing samples and lots of tips and techniques. We are still discovering the different effects and what works with what. Do check out Andy's website http://www.andyskinner.org/ and have a look ate some of the terrific things he's made. Anyway, here I am teaching one of the make n take workshops yesterday afternoon - the picture was taken by my lovely friend Paula Pascual who took a moment off from creating a plaque to be the official photographer! Thank you to Paula for helping me to get set up and handing things out too. Here's a picture of one of the projects that we made on the day. The Script Robin was coloured with Le Plume pens, spritzed with water and then stamped onto the bisque tile. You may also recognise one of my favourite MS punches, the Pine Forest edger and Best Creations gorgeous Snowflake paper from their Frosty Christmas range. Here's the corner of one of the tables...look at all that lovely creative "mess"! But have a look at some of the things which Andy has been making over the last couple of weeks..... ......none of these have been fired, although you would never guess. Andy's used Gesso, Texture Mediums and Varnishes to create these pieces which he's coloured with Distress inks, Perfect Pearls etc and embellished with stamps. Aren't they fabulous? Here are a few more of the pieces that Andy made..... .....watch this space as I will also be bringing some Bisque ware into my samples.
I got back late last night feeling pretty tired so have spent today catching up and preparing for the coming weekend. So, on Saturday I'll be at Houghton Hall Garden Centre in Carlisle and on Sunday I'll be at Strikes Garden Centre in Northwich. I'll have Christmas themed stamps, my seasonal cardstock and toppers as well as MS punches, inks, Best Creations papers (sumptuous!) and Spellbinders dies, so there will be plenty to peruse!
I'm not sure if I'll have chance to post tomorrow, so will wish everyone a great weekend and am off now to colour in some stamped images ahead of my demonstrations. Lindsay

Friday, 24 September 2010

Liverpool and Blackpool

But first, I wanted to let you know that Personal Impressions are now supplying the white card which I use with Distress inks in my demonstrations....hoorah! This 300 gsm cardstock is a superior quality which can take plenty of water being brushed onto it, making it perfect for the faux bleaching technique that I use to creat skies, trees, snow and general bleached out effects. I get lots of emails about the card I use, so I can now give a definitive answer! If you are interested in purchasing the card, ask your local craft shop if they can get it for you...the product number is PIP300CWH and any store that sells Personal Impressions products will be able to get it for you. Not only is it the perfect surface for Distress inks, it's also ideal for stamping onto as it is very smooth. It also works perfectly with Big n Juicy rainbow ink pads - I like to stamp a collage style image using Hydrangea, Vibrant Primary or whichever colourway you prefer, heat set the ink for a few seconds and then waterbrush over the surface to create a softly blended image. Imagine getting so excited over plain white card! Lol! (You know how it is though!)
Anyway, tomorrow I shall be at Crafty's in Liverpool, and have been busy with samples for this demonstration as well as for the Sunday at Burnside Garden Centre, Thornton, near Blackpool. I got a few new Martha Stewart punches and have a couple of quite simple cards to show you how pretty the punched designs are. This first one has a double border of the Four Petal Flower punch (punched through Best Creations adhesive glitter paper....how good are these punches?!). The new punch, though, is the Large Flower, M42-30004. I cut a strip of white card to fit down the right hand of the card (after placing a strip of my Red Gingham card and two thin strips of the red glitter paper) and punched a flower at either end before punching the centre one. This is a pop up style punch, so it only cuts part way through. I edged the petals using Barn Door Distress ink (I put paper beneath them to keep the rest of the card clean) and then stamped the sweet, delicate floral circles into the centres using Paula Pascual's stamp set "All Year Round" PPCSA6007...I couldn't believe how perectly they fitted! Paula's stamps are "just so". As I said, this is a very simple card as I wanted to show off the punched flowers - the effect is so pretty once the petals are lifted up. This punch is not a Christmas one, but I immediately thought that it would work as a Poinsettia type of embellishment. I punched six of them (Large Chrysanthemum Flower M42-30008) from white card and then gently swooshed with Fired Brick Distress ink. I made double flowers by adhering the centre with Glossy Accents (I recommend this when Distress ink has been applied to a surface as the ink tends to repel 3d Foam, DST etc) and I moved each top flower around a few mm to ensure that the petals didn't line up. A few spots of gold Stickles in each centre and a few upward flicks of the petals really gave them the festive feel. The card has my Holly cardstock, Vanilla Teddy topper and message from my "Ggggreat Christmas Words" stamp set. I smudged some more Fired Brick around too...well you have to really! I have more new punches, so I'll try to get some snaps of them this weekend. Lastly, here are a couple of Christmas tags that I made yesterday. The left one has Pine Needles and Fired Brick Distress inks blended over the tag (made from that brilliant card!) which I lightly spritzed with water for the snowy effect. I used two more of my new MS punches (nearly forgot about them!) the Postage Stamp M283006, and Medium Holly and Berries M232316. I love the dinky stamp punch. I cut two little festive images to fit within the stamps which I had lightly darkened with ink. I applied Crackle Accents once they were on the tag. I used a little piece of Tim's Symphony Tissue Tape to wrap around the tag near the base. An Adage Ticket, which I inked and spritzed and the numbers were some 3d card stickers which I applied red Stickles to. The holly was punched from Glitter adhesive paper from BC again. The words are stamped using an image from a lovely stamp set by Marion Emberson, which I will be using on Sunday - amongst other things! The main image from the set is the lovely swirling tree on the blue tag, as well as the message which I curved to fit the edge of the tag. The stamp set is called "Christmas Wishes" PICSA6160. I added punched holly again. Both tags have ribbons which I dyed using alcohol inks. Hope you like them! Well, time to relax for a while now. My bags are packed, I'm ready to go.....oh oh, I'll be bursting into song in a minute! So, I'll be back after the weekend with more photos - if I remember to take any! Have a great weekend whatever you are up to. Lindsay