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, 31 March 2010

Ranger techniques mirror workshop

Hello folks, hope not too many of you are snowed in, like my friend Jan in Scotland. She bought a snow shovel a few weeks ago but says that it got left outside and now she can't find it....it's buried in the snow!!! Lol!
Just wanted to say that there are, at the moment, just three places left on my Ranger mirror workshop at Dawn Bibby's studio on Saturday 17th April. So, if you fancy coming along please contact Topaz Crafts directly (details are in my associated links to the left of my posts) to reserve a place. It will be a fun afternoon with lots of techniques along the way - UTEE enamelling, colourwashing with acrylics alcohol inking, creating with acrylic fragments, distressing etc plus various ways of using Claudine Hellmuth's new sticky backed canvas and gesso. I'll be in the studio all day on Sunday 18th as well to demonstrate my favourite products.
Not much to report other than that I've been making card samples today using Ink Potion no 9 and re-inkers to create backgrounds for stamping onto. No picture of my WOYWW though...too grim to take any decent photos on this particular Wednesday! Lindsay

Sunday, 28 March 2010

I'm home and it isn't even dark yet!

What a treat...it's Sunday evening, I'm already home and still light outside as well! I think we all look forward to the light evenings and when I'm travelling I enjoy it so much more in the daylight. This weekend was lovely though as I was near to home and David drove me everywhere, so no dodgy train journeys!
On Saturday I was demonstrating at Craftzone in Pontefract near Wakefield in Yorkshire. This is a huge shop which focusses on having lots and lots of stock - great for anyone who loves rummaging as you can see from the photo below and this is just one of the rooms! I had a big crowd of ladies, and a few men, all day long and it was a day full of fun and laughter as well as techniques and projects. We remembered to put the clocks forward thank goodness, so there was no last minute dash this morning! So today was spent at Crabapple Crafts in Frodsham, the shop owned by Rosemary and Nigel Merry who you will know from QVC of course. Another gorgeous day, weather wise, and another busy and fun day. I was showcasing the new Distress ink colours as well as other Ranger products and a mix of Personal Impressions and Hero Arts stamps.Everyone seemed to really enjoy the day and almost everyone was tempted into giving Ranger inks a new home! I hope everyone enjoys using them - just keep practicing the blending techniques! The card below was a popular one today - I used Bundles Sage, Tumbled Glass and Victorian Velvet Distress ink colours to create the spattery background and then used Marvy Le Plume pens onto the small flower head stamp from PICS012 Count My Blessings set, spritzing them lightly with water before pressing onto the card to create a soft watercolour effect. I sketched in soft stems and leaves and then made a hole at each side of the stems to thread my ribbon through to create the bow. This was mounted onto an alcohol inked mat and then onto the card. I coloured my ribbon using alcohol inks and, to my great amusement, this brought a round of applause as everyone loved the instant hand dyed effect! After that, we had applause every time I coloured a ribbon - very funny! The next example uses a stamp from a Hero Arts set and is a whimsical, fun card. I used all sorts of elements here, including one of Paula Pascual's lovely message stamps punched out with a scalloped circle punch. Also some weeny flowers from K&Co's Que Sera Sera range and a daisy border MS punch too.The last sample from this weekend is from the "Whoo Loves You" stamp set from Hero Arts.I really like these fun owls! This card features a Distress ink spattery background again - another simple card, and I liked the natural look of the corrugated card as a mat for this one.Finally this is a not very good photo of my project as featured in this month's, April, issue of Crafts Beautiful magazine. So, if you fancy making one of my boxes featuring a"tree" inside, then you can find all the instructions and patterns in there, plus a simple matching card. Well, that's all from me for tonight. We are going to have a takeaway dinner tonight so that we can completely relax after the busy last couple of days and make the most of the first light evening of the year. Lindsay
PS The weather forecast has just been on......snow for tomorrow! Goodness!

Friday, 26 March 2010

This weekend's demonstrations

Just a quickie reminder that I'll be demonstrating tomorrow (Saturday) at Craftzone, Skinner's Lane, Pontefract and on Sunday at Crabapple Crafts, Lady Heyes Centre, Frodsham. I've got plenty of techniques to share using Distress inks, Alcohol inks, Glossy Accents and glitter, MS punches.....etc etc! Pictures will be posted after the weekend! Lindsay

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Where does the time go?

The old question.....but it does seem to go extraordinarily quickly these days. Possibly because of things like the shops having Easter Eggs on the shelves two days after Christmas or TV credits not being allowed to roll before the screen is chopped in half to advertise the next programme....does anyone else find that as infuriating as I do? I often want to check the name of an actor but the screen shrinks and the names are too tiny to read - aaargh! All of it contrives to make time seem to fly past.
All this is a preamble to me realising that I didn't post since last Friday - oops! No photos today either, but will add some shortly. Last Saturday at Crafts 4 U 2 Do was a lovely day with lots of frindly and enthusiastic crafters and, as ever, Sue, her family and staff really looked after us. It's a great shop with a little cafe on the premises which serves lovely home made soups, sandwiches etc and even freshly made crepes! David was with me as he was running me straight to the station afterwards for my journey to Chester-Le-Street and he was dashing about the shop finding various punches etc for the customers! It was a busy day and everyone loved the punches - of course! It was generally agreed that seeing the punched designs really is far better than just seeing them on the packs. Some which I have not been that excited by have become my favourites once I've punched them out....although I am very fickle and keep changing my mind about which ones I like the best!
My journey up to the North east was quite eventful. My train to York was fine and arrived in good time for me to get my connection...well, it would have been if my next train hadn't been cancelled with no explanation. The next train was an hour later so I was really fe up as I just wanted to get to my hotel in time to have a few hours to relax. I asked around and was told to get on an Edinburgh train that was about to leave and then ask the guard which stop to get off at. So, once on board I waited and waited for the ticket collector who never arrived. It was a really loooong train, so I set off to look for him but to no avail. We got to Durham so I asked some passengers if I should get off here or Newcastle to get a connection and they thought either would do. So, I plumped for Newcastle as it's a big station so I guessed there would be more trains. Oops! When I alighted I was told I should have got off at Durham after all and that the next train to Chester-Le-Street was not till just before 10pm, two hours away! I think they took pity on me when they saw my look of horror because I was told to see the station manager who immediately organised a taxi for me - which they paid for. Apparently this is a common thing and they had taxi'd over 100 people up to Edinburgh the previous week...no wonder tickets cost so much!
After my eventful trip I was at Dainty Supplies the following day where I was using my favourite inks and a mixture of stamps including the Hero Arts sets as seen in the samples in my previous post.
This week I've been finishing work on a new project - lots of colouring which I love doing and a lot of measuring too, which I don't love quite so much! It's also been one of those weeks where the phone keeps ringing, the doorbell keeps buzzing, texts keep coming and emails need answering! Still, I am ploughing my way through everything steadily and surely. Right, coffee break over (including a delicious toasted hot cross bun!) so I will get back to work now and will post new photos as soon as I can. Lindsay

Friday, 19 March 2010

Hello folks, thought I'd sign in and do a post before the weekend is upon me. I spent the first two thirds of this week working on new designs, including an exciting project that is well and truly in the pipeline now. Then I got onto making samples for this coming weekend's demonstrations. It's a pretty busy weekend as I will be Crafts 4 U 2 Do in St Helens tomorrow, which I know from past experience will be a well attended day - hope to see lots of familiar faces there and some new ones too! I'll have to pack up about ten minutes early tomorrow as David has to take me straight to the station from there so that I can travel up to Washington (Tyne & Wear...not USA!). I won't get there till around 8pm, so it will be just a few hours to relax before bed time and then on Sunday I shall be at Dainty Supplies on Phoenix Rd.I've been using some lovely Hero Arts stamps to create some of my samples. The above was made by stamping the tree, squirrel, owl and hearts onto acetate and then turning it over. I then painted the images using Ranger pens filled with alcohol inks. These are great fun to use as you can keep changing the effects by adding more ink. I mounted the acetate over some new Neatnix paper (these will be available soon - check them out on the PI website) with a strip of torn green paper at the base. Some natural coloured card, a touch of Distress ink and a little circular message stamp brought all the elements together and an alcohol inked ribbon was the finishing touch.
The above card was a quick and simple one using alcohol inks direct to Gloss paper - picked up from my craft sheet. I stamped the Hero Arts images using Archival black ink and added a little extra colour using a Le Plume pen. The border is the Hearts edger and corner punches by Martha Stewart - the effect is so delicate that it almost looks like laser cut work. I kept this card simply matted onto white and lilac with rounded corners.

This last piccie is of my Ranger "Bible" which I made when I was at Ranger U a couple of years ago. The tags all feature different effects and on the back of each is a typed label describing the technique used. It's an invaluable tool that acts as a prompt when I feel low on creativity and a reminder when my memory is having an off day! I always have the tags with me when I demonstrate, so if you do come along to one of my days you can check it out.
So, my bags are all packed up now and I have my pencil and sketch book in there too so that I can carry on with my nw designs whilst I'm on the train! Lindsay

Monday, 15 March 2010

Cream Crackered!

For some reason, that's how I have felt since Friday. I went down to Sudbury by train...just a mere four and a half hours, and, as this was my first visit to this lovely Suffolk town I would have liked to have a good look round whilst it was still light. However, as I didn't arrive until nearly five o'clock, all the shops were closing and it was such a gloomy day that I only had an hour of daylight. Anyway, I made the most of it and explored the mix of shop lined streets and small residential lanes. It's always fascinating to see the difference in architectural styles from town to town. Here I noticed that front doors seemed to be smaller than the norm - or maybe I was still dreaming about Fairy Doors!!! It was too dark to take any pictures unfortunately. I had a good wander and ended up walking around Waitrose as I didn't want to spend all evening in my hotel room! Still, I can happily browse the aisles for quite a while, and I bought some Belgian Paté de Fruits (posh fruit jellies!) for my mum - her favourite sweeties! I felt really tired, sore feet and heavy eyelids, so I had a lovely shower and then snuggled down for a really good sleep thanks to some cloudlike pillows and a comfortable mattress. Next day Roselyn (on the far right of the picture) picked me up and we went to her shop, Inspirational Crafts. I was teaching a morning and afternoon workshop with a demonstration in between. The first group of ladies made a card using stamps with Distress inks and Martha Stewart punches - no photos of this session I'm afraid as we were so intent on the project that I forgot to take any! However, here is the card which the second group, in the photo, made. Alcohol inks of course and some more punching - I am getting quite hooked on MS punches as they are just so simple to use, go through card and acetate as easily as anything and they are such lovely designs. I just received a pop up butterfly edger today which I am very eager to use as every other butterfly's wings can be lifted for a dimensional look. I shall post pictures once I have used it!
Many thanks to Roselyn who looked after me, fed and watered me and even gave me a slice of her daughter's home made coffee cake - very nice. Before I knew it I was back on the train - no chance of catching the wrong one as Sudbury Station has only one platform. I had three changes including going through my beloved (!) underground (mmmm...right) so it was a looong journey.
Next day I didn't wake until 10.30am which feels like the middle of the day to me, and I felt really stiff and tired - too much sitting in cramped seats on trains methinks. We then went over to mum and dad's - Heather had already taken them out for lunch, so we didn't go anywhere, just had a natter and gave mum her jellies, sorry, Paté de Fruits (!) and a bowl of Hyacinths. Little Tara kept us entertained with her antics too of course. Heather had left me the boards for my pages in her chunky book swap, which I am looking forward to getting on with in any spare moments. I do like to have a reason to do something for myself from time to time!
I am just about back to normal now - I don't often get that exhausted feeling, so I hate it when I do!
Below are the front and inside of the pop up card which I showed when I was on QVC on craft day, using my Boys Toys sets of stamps. I can never resist doing a pop up with a new set of stamps and these ones leant themselves to it very well. The metallic thread on the yoyo goes right through the front of the card to the inside. I like to do a fairly simple outside to these cards so there is more of a surprise when
you look inside!
I'll be updating my demonstration list soon, as I have more dates booked now, so do keep checking if you want to see if I'll be in your area. The places on my workshops at Dawn's Studio are filling up fast, so do give them a call if you fancy coming along to join in the fun! Heather is coming to three of them....there'll be trouble if she heckles me!
Well, I am going to watch David Dimbleby's "Seven Ages of Britain" now, as I missed it last night and it is an absoloutely excellent series. He's a great presenter of art and history as his enthusiasm and delight at the objects he's looking is really infectious. A real TV treat for a change! Will add more photos and dates soon, Lindsay

Monday, 8 March 2010

Fairies and Friends

What a lovely weekend that was! I was teaching the Fairy Doors workshop at Dawn's shop on Saturday and I had made fours different examples of them to inspire the ladies. For those of you who have not come across them before, they began in a small American town called Ann Arbor where little doors began to mysteriously "appear" on the skirtings boards, cupboards and walls in homes and stores to the delight of local children and adults alike. If you google the town you can read more about them. The ones in Ann Arbor are beautifully constructed from wood just like full sized doors, but, as the whimsical idea caught on, people have been making them from all sorts of materials, including those readily available to paper crafters. They can be attached to skirting boards or hidden inside a child's cupboard for them to discover, but are equally enchanting for adults who, like me, refuse to grow up! This first example was inspired by Tolkien's Hobbit homes with its round door set into a stone framework. The window has an orange glow behind it hinting at the cosy fireside within. This next one was a more "prettified" version, though the photo doesn't show the pinky lilac tones very well. I used inked tissue to make the foliage around the door, but the ladies on the workshop had Flower Soft to create shrubbery and flowers. The third one was, I have to admit, my favourite one to create as it was a more Gothic style and I had great fun adding the torn posters and graffiti! This last one utilised a Martha Stewart punched owl and cat and the crackling on this one shows up really well. The cauldron looks rather odd in the picture as the Glossy Accents hadn't fully dried when I took it!
All of them began by drawing around a simple shape onto Grungeboard before cutting it into sections to represent boards. These were coloured with Tim Holtz Crackle paints which, once dry, I inked to emphasise the cracks. The doors were re-assembled and stuck into place on cardstock. This could be cut larger than the door to allow for a framework of stones or foliage, or, as in the Gothic door, it can be the same size if no surround is needed. Embellishments such as hinges, door knobs, windows etc are all then added using punches, scraps of Grungeboard, charms and brads. I use Glossy Accents to attach everything for a very strong bond.
Here are the ladies all working hard on their doors. David was helping me and dishing out brads and charms to everyone as well as taking snaps of us all. Some finished doors.......
A closer look......
And even more......note how different they all look!
And this picture shows them more clearly.......
It was a really lovely workshop which everyone seemed to have lots of fun with. It's nice to concentrate on the child within all of us every so often so I hope the pictures might inspire you to have a go and make your very own doorway to fantasy land!
As we were packing things away we spied Joanne's husband, Terry, who was at it again - this time trying to sneak off with my new Neatnix bag filled with my pens and tools! Lol! We had a real giggle and I had to take another picture!

I stayed over at Rena (Dawn's sister) and Stephen's home that night where we had a lovely three course meal prepared by Stephen himself. It was delicious too! Then, after a good catch upand a restful night's sleep, we were back to the shop on Sunday morning where I was giving a demonstration - quite an eclectic one showing various techniques. It was a lovely day, meeting keen and eager crafters.
Rena and I also sorted out which workshops I am doing on what dates, so, as promised, here are the dates and descriptions of what I'll be doing:
Saturday 17th April - "Ranger Framed Mirror" - you can see an example of this on my last but one post. We'll be colour washing the frame and then using different techniques to create the decorative items to embellish it.
Sunday 18th April - this will be an all day demonstration.
Saturday 15th May - "Fairy cards & a fairy in a jar" - a selection of magical cards and a jar with your very own caught fairy.
Sunday 16th May - this will be an all day demonstration.
Saturday 19th June - "A secret canvas" - we will be decorating the front of a canvas and then turning it over and creating a collection of secrets in the recess....this is one for those with a romantic imagination!
Sunday 2oth June - this will be an all day demonstration.
Saturday 17th July - "Ranger techniques & ATC's" - a great way to learn lots of techniques with Ranger products and then use them to create a collection of ATC's - swap them or keep them as an aide memoire when you need inspiration.
Sunday 18th July - This will be an all day demonstration.
There will be more workshops to come so I'll post details nearer the time. All the above workshops cost £20 and are from 1pm - 4pm. To book, call the Dawn Bibby Design Studio on 01254 356501.

For anyone has seen my boxes at demonstrations and wanted to make one, I have a box project in this month's (April) issue of Crafts Beautiful magazine which gives full instructions and diagrams.

So, it's Monday again now and that's my morning off finished for another week! Back to work now with a long list of things to catch up on - just for a change! Many thanks for all of the lovely cards, emails and comments which have winged their way to me in the last few days. I said to David yesterday that we have met so many genuinely kind and lovely people in this last year or two, it has been really special to have such great support. Lindsay

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Last weekend....this weekend

Had a great day at Handmade Heaven in Chorley on Saturday. My, everyone is really keen in Chorley! Some of the ladies were outside the door twenty minutes before opening time! Lovely to see many familiar faces as well as ones I hadn't seen before. Thanks to Heather and Sandra for looking after me and keeping me supplied with drinks. I'll be going back there on 10th July. The lovely Joanne and Terry came along and look what I caught Terry trying to smuggle out under his jacket......my Ranger mirror frame! Lol! Not really of course, but it made us all laugh! Nice try Terry! It was great to see Jilly too and I must say to both Joanne and Jilly that, although I couldn't display your cards when I was on QVC this time, I did have them with me, just under the counter, for luck! Thanks again ladies, you are both treasures.Here are a couple of snaps of the box that I made using my new Easter stamps for the QVC show. There was a chocolate egg inside, but it appears to have vanished! I liked the fresh colours of the Martha Stewart papers that I had been sent to use, and it made a nice change from using Christmas designs at last! Apologies for the very dark picture of the inside of the box.Below is a card featuring the scribble cat from my Nature and Flowers triple stamp set which I combined with K&Co Blossomwood papers and Distress inks. The Blossomwood range is gorgeous, very rich and sumptuous but with a very natural feel.

On Saturday evening after the Chorley demonstration David and I drove (well David did!) up to Cockermouth, passing the awe inspiring Bassenthwaite Lake as we neared the small town. We went out to eat but most of the shops and restaurants were, of course, closed up after the terrible floods of last year. An eerie red glow was coming out from the interiors which turned out to be the heaters drying out the buildings. We ended up carrying a takeaway back to the hotel! On Sunday I was demonstrating at Al's, whose original shop had been flooded out and Alison had taken a new shop in Lowther Went shopping centre - a lovely spacious area. Alison and her family were lovely, even serving us home cooked Cottage Pie for lunch! Hello to everyone that we met there, and hope you are all having a go at those Distress backgrounds! That's Alison on the right of the photo below.This coming weekend I'll be at Dawn Bibby's Design Studio - my Fairy Doors workshop on Saturday is fully booked, but I will be confirming details about new classes there, so will post these as soon as possible after the weekend. I'm looking to do more unusual projects in some of the up coming workshops, so do check them out if you fancy coming along and trying something a little different. All the workshops can be booked directly through the shop. I'll also be there all day on Sunday to demonstrate a selection of stamps, Ranger products and Martha Stewart punches...a bit of everything really!
Meantime I'm working on new designs (for a change!) for Personal Impressions and QVC, so lots to keep me out of mischief!
On a more serious note, some of my good friends are going through really rough times just now, so I want to let them know that they are being thought about and that positive things are being sent their way. Lindsay