About Me

I'm a freelance artist, designer and demonstrator and have been involved in arts and craft my whole life in one way or another. I design stamps for top British company Personal Impressions, under the "Lindsay Mason Designs" brand, as well as papers, templates and other crafting products. I'm a certified Ranger Educator and my first book,"Stamping", was published in 2009. I also design regular projects for Crafts Beautiful magazine and have made guest appearances from time to time on QVC. I've recently joined You Tube under the name of LindsayMason1000 where I'm posting short technique videos and you can buy my paintings and hand crafted pieces from my Etsy shop. My work takes me all around the country demonstrating stamping, papercrafts and general inkiness! When I'm not working, I love gardening, church & community activities, nature watching, journalling, music and theatre and just relaxing at home. Email me at: ljm.design1@virginmedia.com

Friday, 29 January 2010

Sharing a blog friends award

Sharon, or "Doodles" as you may know her, has created this sparkly award as a symbol of friendships forged through blogging. She kindly offered it to me and would like to pass this to anyone who feels it is appropriate and just asks that you add a link to her blog and maybe pass it on to some of your friends too.

I know I'm hopeless, but I can't actually work out how to link this to Sharon's blog! I can go into it but can't find the actual blog address....Sharon, if you read this, please can you email it to me or leave it in a comment? Anyway, for now, check out "Doodles" in my followers box and that will take you there - honestly, I think I am having a stupid moment! Lindsay

Designing and demonstrating

This post is in response to everyone who has asked me about how to go about designing stamps and/or demonstrating. I do get a lot of emails about this subject so it seemed a good idea to post some information and advice here!
There are a few ways to go about getting your designs made into stamps, depending on whether you just want them to use yourself, sell them yourself, or try to get a stamp company to use your designs. If you want them for your own use you will need to draw your designs in black onto good quality A4 white paper or card filling as much of the page as you can for the best value for money. Many stamp manufacturers, including Personal Impressions, can then make the designs into an unmounted rubber sheet for you, so that you can add Kling-On mounting foam to the back and use them with acrylic blocks. You can have them made up as clear stamps, or even into wood mounted - just ask the relevent company for a quote which may sway you as to which type of stamps you would like!
Again, if you are considering selling your designs as stamps to friends, or on a larger scale, you will need to get a quote for a price per A4 sheet and then see how much it will cost for ten, twenty etc of the same sheet as a batch.
If, on the other hand, you are thinking about approaching a stamp company with a view to them using your designs then the golden rule is to write to them first to ascertain whether they are looking for any new designers, rather than sending samples of your work out of the blue. Many companies only use their in house designers for example. Think about which companies might be interested in your artwork ie if you do cute designs then there is little point in targeting a company that specialise in altered art images! If a company shows interest, send copies of some of your work, possibly with coloured copies too, to indicate how you can see a design working. Find out how they pay their designers - this could be a one off, flat fee per design, or it might be a royalty system where you will receive a percentage of the wholesale price of any stamps sold.
Importantly, get good, unbiased feedback from other people about your drawings. Family and friends will often say that everything one does is marvellous, but some outside opinions are invaluable. Most of all, be your own biggest critic...if something doesn't look quite right, alter it or restart the whole thing! If you let something through that you are not entirely happy with then it will hit you in the eye ever after! If you do end up designing for a stamp company, you will also need to be able to work under pressure, hitting deadlines that are sometimes seemingly impossible, or working on specific themes.
If you are thinking about getting involved in demonstrating products at shows, in stores etc then you will need to think about which companies you would be happy to promote products for as well as which ones may be actively seeking new people in your area. Again, contact the company to introduce yourself and they may either ask you to come and see them or send in a portfolio of your work. Some companies only use one or two people whereas others have a full demonstration team and may well host courses to train you to demonstrate in a particular way.
Remember that where you really love being creative at home, in your own time, it is a very different thing when you are demonstrating. You will have to make samples using particular products, again, often in a short time scale, you will have lots of things to lug around and you will probably have to do a lot of travelling. You need to be able to put aside any personal worries or moods once you have your professional hat on too, so, even if you feel really low, for whatever reason, you have to smile and be chatty and cheerful with customers...people skills are as important as creative skills!
Well, I hope that has been a help to everyone who has asked me....and an interesting read to those who have not!
I shall take some photos tomorrow at Carlisle and post them after the weekend. Next weekend I'll be at Burnside garden centre in Thornton, Blackpool on Saturday when I'll be doing some inking, stamping and punching. Then on the Sunday I'll be stamping and "Rangering" at Crafty by Nature in Kearsley, Bolton. I'm off now to get my bags packed for tomorrow! Lindsay

Wednesday, 27 January 2010


Well, as Hazel has been sharing her enviably tidy table with everyone for the last two Wednesdays I decided to follow suit.....although you'll see that a/ mine is incredibly untidy and b/ it isn't exactly a worktable! I very often work on the floor as in this picture, where I was prepping some samples for my demonstration at Heart of Craft in Carlisle this Saturday.

Hazel, I can relate far more to your workroom with the dodgy drawer! In case anyone hasn't seen the pictures on various blogs, WOYWW means "What's on Your Worktable Wednesday" (I hope that's right anyway!) so, a bit of fun for everyone to share their mess with the world!

As you can see, I had been making a Grungepaper flower, which proved trickier than it should have done as I discovered I had no paper clips! I had one bulldog clip and David provided his fingers and thumbs to hold the other elements for me as they set!

I have promised to do a post about advice for anyone thinking about designing rubber stamps because it is probably the thing I get asked about the most in emails and when I am chatting to people. I have been a little delayed in doing it, but it will definitely be my next post!

Anyway, hope my shockingly messy "workfloor" has made some of you feel less guilty about your own untidy work areas! Lindsay

Sunday, 24 January 2010

The busiest time of the year

I know, it's been over a week since I posted.....dreadful! Still no new photos to share at the moment either, but it really is the busiest time of the year and everything that I'm working on is under wraps for now. I will take some pictures at next Saturday's demonstration though, so will have some images to make this blog look more interesting! I'll be up in Carlisle at Heart of Craft, which is in the town centre, using my favourite Distress inkpads, alcohol inks, grungepaper, stamps....and a few other bits and pieces! Hope to see some of you there - especially Helen who sent me a beautiful card this week...thank you Helen, it was a lovely surprise!
I got my belated Christmas gift from my sister Heather this week - check out her blog if you didn't see the pictures and guidelines as to how she created the Guardian Angel lantern which is now hanging from a ribbon in a corner of my bathroom (I know it seems an odd place to put it in, but it's the most relaxing, and least cluttered room here!). I have to say that it looks even better in "real life" and is a very special piece of work...I keep saying this, but she is getting just too good!!!
Well, as Dawn mentioned this on her show on Wednesday, I can say that I'll be going back onto QVC in February. What is more is that it is going to be a really special craft day with lots of very special guests including Tim Holtz and Suzie Weinberg. First of all is the big three day trade show, so I am snowed under with making samples for the workshops and demonstrations that I'm doing there...I always really look forward to this show as it's extremely busy and I get to spend time with all the people that I rarely see. Then straight after the show we will be travelling down to London for QVC, so I am also making lots of samples for that too. I'm not allowed to say anything about what is on the shows, and I don't even know everything that is on, but I can say that I have been using some great products this last couple of weeks! It's really going to be a cracking day!
I'm also working on more stamp designs and pulling my shoulder (which I did on Friday....by sneezing - I kid you not!) has not helped! Ah well, these are the little obstacles that life throws up and they just have to be worked through.
Thank you so much for the emails that I've had since my last post (that sounds ominous!) asking if I was okay - they are much appreciated. Yes, I'm fine, just too many things to do and only one pair of hands! Lindsay

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Coming up for air!

I feel a little bit like a terrapin swimming my way to the surface of a tank to grab a lungful of air before diving down again! The most recent batch of stamp designs that I have been working on are finally complete, in the presentation folder and ready to send off in the morning....whew! It's always a lovely feeling when a set of designs are finished and I'm especially pleased with these ones, which is quite unusual for me. I can't give any details about what they are of course...there are spies everywhere.....lol! There are more designs in the pipeline soon, but, at least for the moment, I can lay my pencil and pens down.

I had two very full boxes of new products delivered to me in the last couple of days and am now going to spend the next week making samples and a magazine project from them - needless to say all with unfeasibly short deadlines! There are some gorgeous new K&Co papers and embellishments as well as Martha Stewart products.....all scrumptious!

Unfortunately the demonstration at Crafty Corner in South Shields has been cancelled, so, if you were planning on popping along there to see me, I'm afraid that I shan't be there. Well, more time to work on these deadlines!

The snow around here has been thawing quite slowly but surely and the snow that was falling today hasn't stuck, so I'm guessing that we may have come throught the coldest of the winter now - I hope so anyway, as I am due to go up to Carlisle for a demonstration in a couple of weeks and I know it has been bad up there.

Well, this was just a quick pop in to keep in touch with everyone! Sorry that there are no photos tonight, but hope to remedy that soon. If you haven't checked out my sister's blog recently, have a look at the gorgeous post Christmas present that she has made for me.....aren't I lucky? (She is really getting far too clever

Tuesday, 5 January 2010


Although it was snowing last night it was still a wonderful moment when I looked outside this morning and saw the fairyland of white, powdery snow that had completely transformed the landscape. Everything was hushed and peaceful and perfect. I love the way that this depth of snow makes even the most urban views look magical. This picture came out better than I'd hoped, even capturing the falling snowflakes - heavenly! The BBC were talking abot 3" of snow where we are, but it was more like 9", as you can see from the picture of our car as we began to free it from the igloo that was surrounding it! It was David's birthday today and we ventured out for a bit of sightseeing. The main roads were largely fine as they had been salted and gritted. There were lots of children and adults alike having fun with sledges - either cascading down hills or using them to pull toddlers or shopping along the pavements! Brilliant!
We finally called into a garden centre which has all the usual things plus a miniature railway and lots of vintage signs as you can see. I think we were the only people there this afternoon, which just added to the atmosphere of a silent fairyland.

Here are the birdhouses, feeders and benches which look more like a tiny village in the snow!

Here's the little snowman that had been built by the staff (we guess) who had a really cute expression on his face!
This picture could well inspire me to create something distressy and arty! Very Tim Holtz don't you think?!
Well, hope you enjoyed my snow scenes and hope that everyone is safe and warm tonight. Don't forget to feed the birds some extra scraps tomorrow...we've stocked up on all the seeds, nuts and fatballs today - honestly...they eat better than we do! Lindsay

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Christmas, Cats & Community Spirit!

Firstly, Happy New Year to everyone and a huge thank you for all the wonderful cards and gifts that I received, they were all very much appreciated...including the "e-cards"! I will get around to contacting everyone individually, but wanted to say thanks on here meanwhile. I hope that everyone had a lovely, peaceful Christmas and was able to enjoy the snow without too many problems!This was the view outside my mum and dad's house over Christmas - very unusual as they live near the coast at Poulton-Le-Fylde, so they don't get snow that often. It soon turned very icy which caused a few problems as my dad couldn't get his car up the slight incline on their road, so he wasn't able to get into the village to pick up the Christmas food supplies that he had ordered in! Here came the first festive good samaritan however, and a neighbour offered to go and collect the groceries for them. We travelled over on the day before Christmas Eve and, thankfully the motorways were pretty clear. It was dad's birthday on the 24th and he got a gift from my auntie which he, surprisingly, loved....his first ever flat cap! Here he is doing his Victor Meldrew impression a little too well.....what a scary picture! Mum hates the hat and said he had better not wear it when he is out with her - however, he has, quite rightly, ignored her comments and is wearing it at every opportunity! David had trouble getting our car up the side road that day as the snow had turned to glass like ice and consequently caused the car to slide and skid all over the place. My dad and I were pushing and I got an ice shower - most of which shot right down my boots - lovely! We got some old carpet pieces to shove under the wheels and then the neighbours came out to help with rubber mats and shovels - team work!
In the afternoon we went to my sister's for a birthday meal (thank goodness for taxis!) from the local Chinese takeaway, which has become something of a tradition in the last few years. Little Mia (Heather's new kitty) provided plenty of entertainment...this is her posing in a tissue box with her very own little glass of water beside her...cute or what?! Christmas day started a little later than normal this time as, instead of getting us up at 6.30am as he usually does, my dad actually "overslept" and I was the first one up at 8 o'clock! We always have a quiet day, opening gifts in the morning and then getting the Christmas meal ready for about 3pm. This year we had the extra company of Tara, mum and dad's new pussycat, so she kept us entertained with her antics! We had a large chicken, as opposed to turkey, this time, and I was doing all the cooking - I know.....scary thought! When I opened the oven to do the first basting, Tara came tearing into the kitchen before standing stock still whilst staring at the bird as if to say "Look at the size of that!". It was then that we discovered that she is a roast chicken junkie! Here she is in a close up that makes her feet look enormous! She is a little madam with the attutude of a rather snooty hotel guest who looks down on all the staff! She is also a bit of a biter, but is getting more used to being stroked although she still will not sit on anyone's lap and has yet to purr! As with all rescue pets though, who knows what has befallen them in their previous homes so patience is the key. Have to say that, after a week in her company, I am missing her now that I'm back home.

We had more of the community spirit during the week as other people got stuck in the ice and snow - it was lovely to see everyone helping each other and it definitely gave a more true feeling of Christmas than everyone staying in their own homes and keeping themselves to themselves. After it had all cleared up we had snow again overnight, so here we go again!
So, after a week off, I am now back home and I'll be getting back into work tomorrow with new designs to draw (would you believe I am designing Christmas things already....aaarrgh!) samples to make with new products and a workshop to prepare for next weekend. At least I am mainly working from home this week apart from a trip down to Suffolk, so will be staying cosy.
I've added my latest demonstration and workshop dates to the blog now, and will give more details about each nearer the time as well as updating with new ones. February is mainly taken up with the big trade show of the year which is always one of my favourite events and a chance to catch up with everyone.
Well, I shall sign off now and leave you with one or two more photos. Lindsay Mum posing with Mia on Christmas Eve.

"Where is my Christmas dinner?"

"Am I going to get any Christmas cards?"

And finally, I couldn't resist sharing this picture that was in the free newspaper today within a round up of local news stories from the past decade. This was the 2007 story of Trevor, the Turkey chick who had deformed feet and was unable to walk. A local animal veterinarian specialist hospital decided to help him out and made him some rather trendy shoes! Happily, he was able to manage very well wearing them and was then given a home for life by one of the hospital's business partners!

Good old Trevor.....one turkey who made it through Christmas!