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

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Trade show, telly and time flies!

This could be a loooong post! Lots of pictures to share, well, a few of them anyway, and tales from the trade show and the telly studios. The time just flew by and it all seemed to be over as fast as it began. As this is the one time of the year that I get to meet colleagues and friends I always hope the time will go by slowly, but it always races faster than ever. So, the first picture is of some of the samples that I made for the shows, all piled up and ready to pack. There are cards, boxes, candles, chocolates and more! This was the first time that I had to prep QVC samples at the same time as those for Stitches, so it was a slog to get everything made.
David drove me down to Birmingham and checked me into the hotel where we met my good friend and colleague, Jan, who is Personal Impressions area manager for Scotland and North England. We then went to the NEC where the PI team were already very busy setting up the stand which is one of the biggest in the show. David and I said goodbye and then Jan and I began helping to get things ready....or so we thought! Ranger and PI had collaberated in two half day workshops for our customers and there were just two places available as the ladies who had booked had not been able to get there. So Jan and I were able to go along and enjoy the three hour afternoon session. Did we feel guilty about leaving everyone else to set up?.....er....no!! The first hour was with Suze Weinberg using the Melt Pot and we made a selection of UTEE pieces. Next was Claudine Hellmuth and we used her new range of acrylic paints, mediums and sticky backed canvas. Lastly was Tim Holtz with alcohol inks and the new yummy Distress ink pad colours. We inked, painted, melted, glued and distressed and ended up with a stack of samples which we then attached to framed mirrors which we had colour washed. As you can see, the results were fabulous and this little beauty will be accompanying me to my Ranger demonstrations. The great thing is that, even though I am a "certified Ranger educator" (no clever remarks please!) and demonstrate the products regularly, I still picked up new ideas and had my enthusiasm tweaked up a few more notches! On a more serious note, I had been concerned about a magazine project which I saw somewhere, some time ago, and have noticed people on various forums saying that they were going to try the technique themselves .....this was using alcohol inks to tint UTEE in the Melt Pot. I asked Suze about this and she confirmed that this is a complete no no. So, please, if anyone is thinking of using the Melt Pot, you must only use To Dye For inks to tint the UTEE as they have been specially formulated for the purpose. Even if other inks appear to "work" in the Melt Pot, fumes are invisible and could cause problems. Okay - back to the fun now!
Here is one of the cards I made using some of my new stamp designs - this is a quirky bird from the "Knotty & Friends" clear set, and there is another set of them called, wait for it....."Trotty Lotty Botty"! I should explain - when I design I give working titles to each drawing and sometimes the names are used but often they are given new ones. When I did the birdies I started using rhyming names and was running out by the last couple, so we ended up with the above! I like it that PI have a sense of humour though, and it was a talking point at the show! The background for this card was made with Ink Potion no 9, gloss card and dye re inkers. Lovely bright shades. I was teaching versions of this card in my workshops on Sunday and Monday and demonstrating for the rest of the time. It's when I get to see all the retailers from all over the country, and overseas, in the one place, so a lot of catching up goes on as you may imagine! yOn Sunday night was our traditional, annual night out at the Wing Wah Chinese restaurant. It's always a real hoot with around twenty five or so of us having a great buffet meal, chatting, laughing and hopefully not talking shop too much! One of the traditions is the "initiation" of any new guests at our tables...a nice, if slightly embarrassing initiation! There is a sudden burst of the Happy Birthday tune and then the waiters approach the newbie with a large ice swan filled with ice cream, surrounded by fruit and topped with a giant sparkler. Everyone joins in with singing and clapping as the recipient sits there, rather surprised as it isn't their birthday of course. Daft, but fun! This year it was Claudine (Helmuth) who was our newbie....that's me behind the sparkler! Claudine loved the surprise - I think! At our table we chatted about our pets, present and past, and Claudine and I found that we both have nightmares about our long tresses being cut off! Next day it was back to work with workshops, demonstrations and business meetings. Most of us went without lunch after the big meal and then a good breakfast, but ny 4pm we were all beginning to feel ravenous and the show goes on till 6pm. So, it was time for me to break open the emergency cupcakes! (I had made one of my boxes featuring cup cake images and there was a cake inside it, so I brought extras with me in case that one got pinched. Here are Elaine from PI and Joella who had come over from Pergamano to be with us on the stand.both tucking into a tiny cupcake each. Elaine is one of the most wonderful people I have been lucky enough to know, an absolute treasure.
Here are two ladies that you will instantly recognise! Suze, Claudine and Tim were all demonstrating on our stand throughout the weekend, but I really didn't get much time to watch them. Managed to snap this though just as Suze was packing her things away. What dazzling smiles they both have and they are two really individual ladies.In the afternoon, as I was demonstrating, there was a hand on my shoulder and there was Tim with a gift for me....a full set of the new Distress ink pads! Can't wait until they are in all the stores so I can use them on my demonstrations
Here is a not very good picture of the Ranger gang getting ready to head down to QVC on Monday afternoon. Tim was launching his TSV at midnight, so we all promised we would saty up to watch that night and wished them all well. By the way, Mario (Tim's wonderful assistant) was actually wearing long jeans as opposed to his trademark knee length shorts....mind you, we did have 4" of snow in Birmingham!Monday evening was spent having a quiet (ish!) meal at the hotel and then lots of telling of stories and laughter to keep us going until we could watch Tim on QVC at midnight. We all huddled round a laptop as they couldn't change the channel on the big tv in the hotel bar. Hope we didn't make too much noise as we were cheering for Tim of course! Not that he needed our good wishes as, of course, his products had been so long awaited! Below is a picture from Tuesday morning which shows Malcolm, and a huuuge cake that was given to him as it was his 40th anniversary with PI! Dawn mentioned him on air and it was announced at the show too! I made a card which we all signed of course. Next to Malcolm is Kathy and behind her is one of my best friends, Jan. We are like the terrible twins when we get together! Here are snaps of a couple of the cards I made with some of my new stamps. I'll post more new images of these as and when! Thoughts of an exotic summer amidst all the snow here! On Tuesday afternoon myself, Rachel Grieg, Shari Carole and her husband Tom all set off on the train for London and QVC. Rachel and Shari were snapping away as we drove through London in the cab! Look who was in the Green room when we arrived - Tim was relaxing before going back on air. We had to sort out all our samples and get organised ready for the "All Star Stamping " show at 7pm. Here is Amy - with frog slippers! - taking my picture taking hers. I liked the way that she matched the collage on the wall! Amy is another of my favourite people - supportive, funny, kind and also a really great mum.Next you can see Shari and Rachel setting up their demonstrations very quietly! If you can imagine, there were about seven of us all, including Paula and me, setting up in silence as we were in the live studio - well, trying to anyway! As you can see, there wasn't much room!All too soon we were trying to get ready to go on air, slapping make up on....not even time to do my nails after all the inkiness of the weekend....getting changed an miked up. I was up first and, though I felt fine all day I have to admit that I did feel rather disorientated once I was on! It was a combination of the small demonstration area, everyone else being in the studio watching me, having Dawn on one side and Debbie Flint on my other side....oh well, I know I'll be able to take whatever is thrown at me next time! Thankfully all my stamps and the inks and glitters that I was using just about sold out, so that made me feel better! Dawn is absolutely fantastic as she can find the word that has mysteriously escaped one's brain, fill in the silences that you may experience and generally guide you through. I don't think that everyone appreciates how very hard Dawn works and what a lot of pressure is on her to make everything flow smoothly. This craft day was her first without Jj to help her for seven years, so it was even more stressful than usual. I know that we all were amazed at how she keeps going for a whole craft day and Tim and Mario were very complimentary about what a star she had been.
The gorgeous Paula was on after me and she had no time even to demonstrate as her stamps sold so fast. I was thrilled as these were Paula's first stamps on air, and I know how it feels when people love them. Paula primped my hair for me too just before I went on - thanks Paula! Next came Shari from Hero Arts, who was on TV for the first time...who would have guessed? And finally Rachel, from Darkroom Door who was also a TV first timer and sailed through as if she had been doing it for years! It was over very, very quickly and then we went back to the Green room to watch Tim's final show. After that we helped to clear the studio and got chance to snap a few more photos. So, here are Mario, Dawn and Tim - doing his pirate face - very sultry! And now me with Dawn and Tim.When we had all cleared up we left Dawn, Amy and Paula to carry on the hard work and the Ranger boys took Shari, Tom, Rachel and me out for a truly delicious Italian meal. We were there for so long that we had to ring the hotel to make sure that they held our rooms for us and we disn't check in until 12.40am! Well, you have to make the most of the good times and it was a great ending to a very busy few days. I'll post more sample pics as soon as I can, but I have another busy weekend coming up in Chorley and Cockermouth so have to make some more cards tomorrow. Hope to see you at one of the venues! Lindsay

Friday, 19 February 2010

Packed up - the bags....not me!

....although I nearly did! This morning I actually went out to the shops which was the first time I had ventured outside for two weeks......David has had me chained to my work area! Well, not really, in fact he has been a star, keeping me going with cuppas, toast, words of encouragement and has even put up with me being horrendously grumpy when I haven't been able to find things! This gorgeous bouquet was a lovely surprise for me this week too - not for Valentine's day.....we don't do that! The result of all the work is a big pile of cards and other projects for Stitches this weekend and for QVC on Tuesday. I know how much everyone is looking forward to this particular craft day and it's definitely going to be a memorable one. Thank you so much to Joanne and Jilly who both sent lovely good wishes cards for my second TV appearance - it means a lot and they have pride of place.
Well, I just wanted to sign in before I go to Birmingham tomorrow as I'll be away until Wednesday night. I'll have lots of photos to share when I get back, and a few stories no doubt! So, have a great weekend everyone and enjoy craft day on Tuesday! Lindsay

Friday, 12 February 2010

A correction!

Hello all, firstly, I just need to correct the details that I gave for the shop where I'll be demonstrating in Cockermouth in a couple of weeks.....I thought it was called "Just Ali's" but it is actually "Al's". Not sure if it was my brain or my ears that were out of action when I was given the details!

Well, I have been working hard all week on samples for the trade show and for the 23rd February craft day on QVC. I am receiving packets of new stamps every day or two and it's always exciting to see the new designs actually made up. There's no time for dithering and pondering about what to create, it is a case of getting stuck in and getting on with it! My pile of cards is growing higher by the day now, so I just need to keep the momentum going.

The card above is not one from my current pile but I didn't want to post without a picture, so this is one from last weekend's demonstrations. I used my Fairy Silhouette and Sue Dix's Swirl along with the Flower Vine MS punch. I wasn't sure about that one until I tried it, as I thought it might look too formal, but once I had used it I soon changed my mind! I used Versamagic ink pads to colour the paper and to stamp the images. I also used Holographic powder all over the fairy panel and then overheated it so that some of the powder sank back in - this gives a very ethereal look with some areas sparkling and others not. I inked the inside of the card to show off the punched edge and the greeting was from my Messages set 1. I'm taking pictures of my new cards etc and will post pictures of those after the shows.

Apologies to anyone that I have not replied to by email yet - I haven't forgotten and everything is on my "to do" list! I really appreciate the comments, cards, ATC's and emails that I get, they do mean a lot to me.

I got some new MS punches this week: ladybirds, bunnies, cupcakes, hearts, ornate fences and various floral borders which are for the demonstration at Crafty by Nature in a couple of weeks. I haven't had much time to use them as yet, but I'm going to start combining them with the new stamps tomorrow. They are all gorgeous and some are really cute too! Even David is impressed, and he isn't usually enthusiastic about punches! We also had another delivery here this week - more snow! It came on very rapidly, with huge flakes falling fast and thick and was covering the trees and the ground quite thickly. Then the sun came out, the snow stopped as suddenly as it started and all that was left was a dusting in the corners of the gardens. Oh well, it was beautiful while it lasted!

Talking of David, he is telling me to hurry up as dinner is almost ready, so I had better go before the Yorkshire Puddings get burned waiting for me to finish! Have a great weekend everyone, Lindsay

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

A great weekend

Thanks to all the lovely ladies (and one or two gentlemen!) who came along to Burnside on Saturday and Crafty by Nature on Sunday. It was so busy on both days and I had a great time with lots of laughter, as well as seeing everyone keen try all the techniques that I was showing. Joanne and her lovely hubby came along so it was great to see them, though we didn't get much time for a proper catch up. I did swap an ATC with her though as well as one with my sister, Heather, who also came to see me. Heather had brought some fabulous book swaps that she has been working on, but I missed out on having a proper look...well, I will catch them again hopefully.A couple of ladies came along to both days (hello to Alma!) and here are some of the keen crafters who came to see me on Sunday.

I am still bearing the stained hands from the weekend, as I used just about every type of ink known to man I think! I was also using Martha Stewart punches which everyone else seemed to love as much as me. My friend Jan and I made quite a lot of the samples for the Martha Stewart TSV which starts at Midnight tonight on QVC and which I am betting will not last for very long going by how popular they are!

This is the card which I promised to put up on here so those who bought the Versamagic inks and the Swirly Birds stamp set could remember how it looked! I stamped the birds with Sepia Archival ink and used Cut n Dry foam to smudge different ink colours over them . The paper down the side is from the Blossomwood paper pad from K&Co (gorgeous) and I used the Lattice Arch MS edger punch on matching brown paper which I slipped underneath the Pussy Willow paper. I added some tiny gold gems to the bird's eyes, and layered flowers and a large gem as a finishing touch.
Personal Impressions have now put some of the new stamp designs up on their website which you can check out under "coming soon". There is a whole mix of styles and themes by myself, Sue Dix and other designers. If you want to know who designed any particular image, or set, just click to enlarge the image for details. The images which I have been working on for the last couple of months are not up there yet, as they are for release later in the year.
Well, I have been busy all day, so am now going to relax a bit! Lindsay

Friday, 5 February 2010

Blackpool and Bolton

Just a reminder that I'll be at Burnside Garden centre in Thornton, near Blackpool tomorrow and at Crafty by Nature, 11 Bolton Rd, Kearsley, Bolton on Sunday. I know I'll be seeing some familiar faces so am really looking forward to both days.

I've been working with Ink Potion no 9 and dye based re-inkers for some really great background effects, combining them with stamps and Martha Stewart punches. This first card (above) is rather busy, but I like it! I do like the clever way the MS corner punches have been designed so that you can shape the inner corners as well as the outer ones which gives a very different look. I especially like this Deco Fan design.

The second card features K & Co Blossomwood paper and the Poppies are so vibrant that I thought it might be good to combine them with black and white as a contrast. The MS Edger punch I used here is the Doily Lace one and I stamped the butterflies with Midnight Black Versamagic ink then smudged it with some Cut n Dry foam to give some movement to them. I used the same ink to blend onto the punched strip too. I have lots more samples to share but they will ahave to wait until after my demonstrations!

I Alcohol inked some dominoes today (as you do!) - they can then be overstamped using Archival ink, or used as a base to add beads etc to. I thought you might like to see this one though.

The way the colours came together made me think about a wild, rainy sky, so I added the details of the cottage, tree and road using a fine nibbed drawing pen. I edged the domino by dipping it into Silver Mixative (alcohol ink) and when everything was bone dry I coated it with Glossy Accents to varnish it. These particular dominoes are quite large and thick, so I decided to just use this one as a brooch.....needless to say, I couldn't find any brooch backs (though I know I have some!) so I have improvised and "Glossy Accented" a large brad on the back and am hoping that this will work rather like a badge button. I think these might make a good combined project between me and my sister.....I could make the landscapes and Heather could bead them and turn them into pendants. I shall see what she says tomorrow as she will be coming along to Burnside!

Oh yes, Amy (Simplicity in Scrapping in my blogs link) will be offering some Blog Candy from monday, so I'm sure that will be worth checking out. I am hoping to have some new things to put up as Candy soon too, so watch this space! Well, it has been another long day, so I am going to sign off now and will be back after the weekend. Lindsay

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Another cubic foot has gone "poof"!

....Or, in other words, I have to find space for some more tools! I received a package of Martha Stewart punches today - Edgers, Deep Edgers and Punch Around the Page. They really are stunning punches and they go through pretty heavy duty card as well as paper. I also got some inks and potions and papers and they are all for my demonstrations this coming weekend. So, tomorrow I will be putting together some cards, tags, ATC's and other ideas to hopefully inspire! I made the projects for my Stitches workshops today, so that is another task ticked off my list - they are very bright and cheerful, so I had a lot of fun making them. I'll post pictures of them after the show.
Just a quickie post tonight...now, where shall I put those punches?!! Lindsay

Monday, 1 February 2010

Anyone know where I can get an artistic octopus...?

That is to say, I could do with another two or three pairs of hands at the moment! I have a list of work to be done and I keep ticking things off one by one so that I can feel some progress happening and keep track of what I am up to.
Anyway, on Saturday I was up in Carlisle and had a very early start to the day, a really chilly old day it was too! Unfortunately I got there a bit too early so I was frozen. Thankfully it was warm in the shop (Heart of Craft) so I busied myself getting ready for my demonstration. This shop has only been open for a few months but they are already hosting workshops and have a great range of products, so worth a visit if you are in the area.
It was great to see everyone, including Helen and her husband....Helen had sent me a beautiful card and letter the previous week and we swapped some ATC's last year - well, I took an age to send mine, but I got there eventually! As you can see from the picture, Heart of Craft is under one of the railway arches so we had the sound of an occasional train going overhead! Mind you, it could have been my tummy rumbling as I'd had no breakfast and thought there was a cafe nearby - there wasn't - so I had no lunch either!

I was using my favourite Distress and Alcohol inks and a mixture of my stamps and some Darkroom Door ones by Rachel Grieg. I was also demonstrating how to make Grungepaper flowers, so hope everyone went home and made one! Don't forget to check Tim's blog for a step by step guide on making these lovely roses.

The bird card has not photographed very well as the image was stamped and embossed onto acetate then laid over an alcohol inked background, so there is a lot of glare. You can't really see the colours inked onto the brads either. Oh well! The second card was just a quickie that my friend Jan caused me to make. I was mounting a set of DD stamps onto Klingon when she rang me and during our conversation she mentioned the mosaic technique that she had seen, using the offcuts of rubber that are normally thrown away. Needless to say I rummaged in my bin and retrieved mine! It's not a great card, but I just wanted to try the technique...really easy of course, just cut up the waste rubber and stick it onto an acrylic block before inking and stamping. I used Distress inks and stroked them across the rubber to give a textured tile effect. I didn't have that much rubber left over, I just kept re inking and stamping till I'd filled a larger area. I shall be doing this again with more forethought to creating a particular design maybe. Interesting though - thanks Jan!

Well, before setting off home I called at a fish n chip shop to get a bag of chips as I was feeling almost faint by now! Got home late evening so it was a very long day indeed. Yesterday I had a lot of samples to make but I woke up feeling terrible and was forced to spend most of the day doing not very much...aaarrrgh! David said it was a combination of being frozen and not eating all day. Anyway, I felt 95% better today so I have been pushing on and catching up with myself and have now got a pile of things ready to post off tomorrow - phew! The samples are for the craft day on QVC on the 23rd February (I think I am on at 7pm) but are needed ahead of time for some promotional filming.

Some of my new stamps arrived over the weekend, so tomorrow I'll be designing some card projects with them that I'll be teaching at Stitches (trade show) later this month. I've more or less decided on the techniques but until I start using them with the new stamps I can't be sure!

After that I'm starting on some new samples for the demonstrations in Thornton and Bolton next weekend. On Saturday I'll be at Burnside Garden Centre in Thornton, near Blackpool and I'm going to have lots of Martha Stewart punches, stamps and various inks to show everyone...and guess what? No Ranger in sight! Well, maybe a bottle of Glossy Accents! I have some background ideas using Ink Potion no 9 and liquid inks - great fun and very messy! I know that my sister Heather will be popping in and will have some ATC's to swap, and I'm sure that Joanne will be calling too, so if you want to grab a great ATC, do bring some with you! On Sunday I'll be at Crafty By Nature in Kearsley, Bolton and I'll have Ranger inks with me, as well as stamps, Grungepaper, punches and a host of other goodies. So, hope to see lots of you this weekend and I'm looking forward to showing you lots of things.

I am supposed to be relaxing after dinner now, so I am going to sign off before I get told off! Take care everyone, and will post again soon, Lindsay