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, 29 April 2010

Scotland here we come!

Hello everyone, just a really quick reminder that I'll be at Kitty Krafts in Broughty Ferry, Dundee on Saturday and then in the craft department at Mayfield Garden Centre in Kelso, on Sunday. Hope to see you there - including you Hazel!
Sorry to be absent this week but I was struck by a nasty bug this week (not a wasp, which would have been preferable!) which laid me low, so I have been playing catch up. Isn't it always the way that you fall ill when you have the most to do?! Stress makes us prone to these things I suppose.
I have erased the last paragraph of this post as that yellow spellchecker thing was driving me nuts! Lindsay

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Nature Watch

Hello all, no photos today as I didn't take my camera with me to Bury St Edmunds this weekend - too many things already in my bags! It was a beautiful Friday and I caught the morning train down to Ely from where I then had another twenty five minute train trip to Bury itself. So, a long trip, but a straightforward one. I knew it was going to be a good nature watching day so I settled myself into a seat with a big window. It was also a very quiet train so I was able to shake of my sandals and put my feet up (on my jacket I hasten to add - I hate it when people put their feet on seats!) so that I could concentrate on the views.
The first thing I noticed is that all the bird's nests, crows, magpies and the like are really high up in the trees this year, about as high as they could be without being actually on top of the trees. So, looks like we are in for a fine, warm and dry summer if the birds are to be believed, and they are usually right. This journey has a really beautiful section on the way towards Sheffield and Chesterfield, with sweeping, dramatic hillsides, trees and streams. So much going on and so much more interesting than reading a newspaper or even a novel! My first notable sighting was a lingering view down onto a sparkling river and just at the water's edge was a swan curled up on it's large nest, it's long neck swooped over it's back with it's head tucked up beneath it's feathers. Gorgeous sight! He/she was evidently looking after the eggs and keeping still in the heat whilst the "other half" was feeding. I spotted another nest high in a tree a short time after this, but no idea what had made it - it seemed massive compared to the other nests though.
Amidst sightings of countless rabbits...I love watching them dashing about...I also saw lots of lambs, I guess these might be a second "brood" as they were tiny. I always look at them with mixed emotions - they look so innocent, helpless and darned cute and yet we know what fate awaits them in such a short time. I'm not a vegetarian, so I may be a hypocrite really, but I draw the line at eating lambs.
My next notable sighting was a comical one as the train slowed and stopped for a couple of minutes whilst waiting for signals to change. There was a small farm and in a little field there was a Border Collie trying his best to round up a large horse who, needless to say, was completely ignoring him and just carrying on chewing the grass! The dog was running in circles around him and even dashing between his legs and at such a rate of knots that he really cut a hilarious figure! Too soon the train was on its way again and Collie and horse were left behind - very funny though!
The landscape changes so much on this journey, from the rolling hills to a very flat landscape, and the wildlife changes too. I always see scores of Pheasants scratting about the edges of the fields when the countryside flattens out. And I had what was the most exciting, if fleeting, sighting not long after Ely. This was a Roe deer running across a patch of field and then leaping over a hedge - a really breathtaking sight.
Well, plenty of lovely nature watching kept me very entertained on my journey and when I arrrived in Bury St Edmunds I changed tack completely and had a wander around the shops! My hotel room was lovely and I had a really good night's sleep, so I was all set for my day at The Stamp Hut where we had the "world exclusive" of new Personal Impressions stamps! These should be available in stores nationwide from early next week. Here are a small selection of my new designs.

From left they are Zoo Animals, Patch Sending Kisses, Background Fun, Prince Frog and Knotty & Friends. Sorry about the small pictures - I couldn't enlarge these off the PI website, but may try again later! I met some lovely people at the Stamp Hut, including some young crafters who were very enthusiastic which is always good to see. It was a scorching day so my Mini Misters came in handy for more than spritzing inks with!

That's all for the moment and I'll post again when I have a chance, but have a very tight schedule this week. Apologies for not leaving comments on everyone's blogs but I am reading them all. Probably silly of me but, if I haven't time to leave a comment on everyone's blogs I feel as if I shouldn't leave any at all!!! I will try though. Off up to Scotland on Friday of course, so hope to meet plenty of my Scottish friends next weekend! Lindsay

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Express yourself

Hello everyone. What a busy and fun weekend that was. On saturday I was teaching the Ranger Mirror workshop and it was three (and a bit!) hours of chaotic creativity! A great time was had by all and we "Melt Potted", stamped, Beeswaxed, inked, cut, distressed and painted up a storm. Nobody actually left with a completely finished and assembled mirror because we spent our time cramming in as many techniques as possible. Choosing some Grungeboard pieces...kids in candy store springs to mind!Take a look at the eclectic mix of goodies on the tables as I give a quick run through of the next technique.
My sister, Heather, before we got started on the workshop - yes, she had been doing a bit of shopping already!
Oodles of paints, inks, stamps and who knows what else! Here everyone was distressing stamped images before glueing acrylic fragments over the top of them. Pretty clean fingers considering the artistic mess!
And here are two partially completed mirrors. I'll post a picture of the alternative version of the mirror which I made but at the moment it is still in the boot of the car! Heather has a piccie of it on her blog though if you'd like to see it meantime. Oh yes, following from two pictures that I posted recently, there is now a running gag on here and it is entitled "Where's Terry?". Terry is the lovely hubby of Joanne (My Toby Jug) and it has become a ritual now that whenever we see each other at a demo or workshop, Terry pretends to make off with one of my samples or some of my stash! So, not much of a challenge today, but can you spot the culprit sneaking off with a pile of my paints?! Joanne and Terry popped along to see us on Saturday before the workshop started, and it's always lovely to catch up with them. I shall sneak more images of Terry on here from time to time, so keep your eye open for him!
I stayed at Dawn's on Saturday night, so we had a good catch up as we hadn't seen each other since I was on QVC in February. She looks fabulous and is feeling much better now, and really grateful for all the support that she's had from her followers. We went for a lovely Italian meal with Kelsey (dawn's niece) and her friend Chloe - dressed like identical twins! Then I had great fun playing ball with Charlie and Arnie...two of Dawn's doggies. Next day I was back in the studio to demonstrate a bit of all sorts really. A very busy day but so many lovely people came along that the day just rushed by.
My title today refers to something that I feel very strongly about and that is the way that more "mainstream" styles are sometimes regarded as being somehow less creative and possibly inferior to the altered art styles. I, for instance, hate being pigeon holed as an exponent of cute styles just because many of stamp designs feature whimsical characters. I, like many of you, enjoy many eclectic styles, techniques and genres and none should be regarded as more valuable than any other. There can be a certain amount of "snobbery" about altered art which I know, having spoken to many people at demonstrations and workshops, can be intimidating. So, my message is to enjoy whatever you are working on at the moment whether it be simple, artsy, cute, vintage, whimsical or altered. All are equally valid! This subject was sparked by a conversation that David and I were having yesterday about the elitism that often surrounds modern art, poetry or even altered art where there is often an invented mystery to keep it exclusive. I'd be interested in reading your opinions on the subject!
Well, I've been busy drawing new designs, so decided to write this post as a little break and have updated my demonstrations and workshops - think I need to learn to fly a helicopter! Better get back to work now. Lindsay

Thursday, 15 April 2010

ATC's, art, apologies and available spaces!

Hello all, I do like aliteration as you can tell from my titles! The ATC part of the title refers to the beautiful ones which I received from Heather in her butterfly & dragonfly themed swap. Aren't they lovely? From top left and clockwise, they are by Alison Brandist, my big sister Heather and Sandra Zengler. They are now going into my ever growing collection, which I often have a browse through to give myself a burst of creativity if I'm feeling a bit "flat". Heather also included a teeny tiny bag with these little beauties inside (below) which she had made for everyone who took part in her swap...I'll be using these and taking all the credit for her work....no, not really Heather!!!! But I will incorporate them somewhere along the line. Heather has a great eye for design and if you fancy getting involved in swaps then do take a look at her blog (in my blog list) as Heather's swaps don't involve having to join a group or anything, so it's simple and fun to join in. Now I need to apologise to Sheila, as I was intending to post a picture of the three wonderful ATC's that she swapped with me and I did indeed take a photo of them. However, it has now vamooshed off the wretched computer into some sort of black hole, or worm hole or whatever, so I will need to retake the picture and add it next time. They are worth waiting for though!The art part of my title is also appropriate for my WOYWW picture - though I did cheat a bit and removed what I was actually working on (if I put it on here I'd be in big trouble!). This could have been taken on Tuesday or today as well as I have been drawing all week after getting this weekend's workshop sorted on Monday.

So, onto available spaces! There are just two left for my Saturday afternoon "Ranger Mirror" workshop at Dawn Bibby's design studio in Church, Accrington, where we will be using the Meltpot, Claudine Helmuth canvas, and lots of Tim Holtz products. If you do fancy coming along then give Topaz crafts a call on 01254 356051. If you want to get my sister to sign a copy of her Beading book pop along anyway, as Heather is coming to my class - she'll be the one causing trouble in the corner ! LOL! I'm stopping over with Dawn on Saturday night and then I'll be back in store on Sunday to do a very eclectic demonstration with lots of techniques to share. I'm looking forward to the weekend very much and I'm sure I will have plenty of good photos to share next week - as well as Sheila's ATC's!

For those of you in the Bury St Edmunds area, I'll be down there at The Stamp Hut on the following Saturday, and then the weekend after that I'll be up in Scotland! David is taking me as it is a 600 mile round trip and my Sunday venue is in Kelso which has no railway stations within reach. I'll be at Broughty Ferry, Dundee at Kitty Krafts on Saturday and at the craft shop within William Strikes Garden Centre in Kelso on the Sunday, so looking forward to seeing my friends north of the border once again.

Well, that's all for the moment, so will say cheerio and hope everyone has a great weekend. Lindsay

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Evening all! Just got back from a busy weekend of demonstrations. Hasn't the weather been gorgeous? Especially today so David took the scenic route home so we could enjoy the spring daffodils, early blossoming trees and the gorgeous shades of green intensified by the sunshine...makes one glad to be alive!
On Saturday I was at Reams in Derby city centre, a fabulous shop which sells artists materials as well as craft products and well worth a visit if you are in the area. Jill and the staff are a really lovely and friendly bunch so there was lots of fun and banter with the regular customers. It was a smashing day that seemed to just fly by! And look what Jill handed to me before I left....
.....isn't it a beautiful bouquet? So big that I couldn't take a picture that showed the lovely wrapping and bows as well as the flowers! Thank you Jill, it was lovely of you, and the flowers have been arranged and look stunning. Well, carrying on the purply pinky colour theme - here is a card which I made using a stamp from my Teddy Bear's set no 3 and the MS punch around the page set "Flower Shower". That particular punch is so pretty and the amount of flower confetti that comes out of the punched card is great...lots of different sizes and shapes too. The way that I coloured the teddy here gives a gingham effect which really suits this sort of image. All I did was a sort of loose "cross hatching" technique....just scribble the brush pen one way and then scribble it the opposite way. Doing very fast strokes means that you leave white lines between the strokes. A really simple "technique" but looks cute!This next card is one that I made a few weeks ago, using a Hero Arts set that features this hilarious bird! I stamped the bir onto white card and then smudged Distress ink over and around the outline. I then stamped him (her?!) again onto K&Co Que Sera paper, cut the image out and stuck over the inked bird. I like the way this gives a hazy shadow. I embellished with some gorgeous Que Sera sequin flower adhesions and stamped some spirals from the same Hero Arts set. This one made me smile!This next picture shows the huge tables I had to work on today at my demonstration in Northwich. It was so nice to have space and room to put all my punches and card so that I didn't knock half of my display over every time I went to pick something up! These are two background papers that I made using the wonderfully named Ink Potion no 9 with Distress ink pads. The left one was Broken China rubbed over gloss card followed by Dusty Concorde, I then spritzed the Ink Potion over and heated the surface...the effect doesn't really show until the card is heated. The one on the right uses Tumled Glass and Stormy Skies inks for a very soft effect. I keep banging on about PI's premium gloss card but it really is amazing quality, standing up to whatever you throw at it. I love working with gloss card as it takes silhouettes stamped images so well, giving really crisp coverage. If you haven't tried the Ink Potion do give it a go as the effects are stunning. For a more bold look use it with any water based liquid ink (Impress re inkers or Distress re inkers both work well).Finally, this is a card which I made using the wonderful MS Ladybug (American product!) corner and edger punches. Rather than creating them in plain black or red I punched them once in black and then again in red. Look away now if you are of a nervous disposition as you have to cut the red Ladybird heads and legs off! I use a glue pen to then stick the red bodies over ther black images to give a more dimensional effect - aren't they cute as a bug!?! I punched the corners of the card itself - with MS punches you can punch the inside corners too and attached red paper triangles to the inside of the card to show up the white ladybirds, sorry lady-bugs! The flowers in the centre are Petaloo Colour Me Crazy. These come as plain white and you can then colour them with chalks, inks, pens whatever. Here I went for really rich colour by drizzling alcohol ink onto my craft sheet and dabbing the petals into the ink. I used a greeting from one of Paula Pascual's lovely message stamp sets as the centre of the large flower and some black gems for the remaining ones. Everyone seemed to like this one - I think it is just a cheerful card!Well, that's all for now - I will post photos of the ATC's I got in Heather's swap and the lovely ones which Sheila sent me as soon as I get photos taken: hopefully tomorrow. Apologies for the less than crisp photos of the cards tonight, but my camera seems to be misbehaving. Or it may just have been my bad photography!!! Lindsay

Friday, 9 April 2010

Still here!

Hello all, I just realised that I haven't posted for a whole week - how naughty! So, what have I been up to this week....well, on Saturday I was in High Legh, demonstrating at the craft shop in Strikes Garden centre. I met some lovely ladies (and gentlemen) including Anne, Glenys and the very talented Sheila who swapped three gorgeous ATC's with me. Even more special, Sheila sent me a beautiful card and another ATC which came in the post today - thank you Sheila, you are such a generous crafter. It was great to have a catch up with everyone and to meet new people and share some different techniques.
In my post yesterday I received my three Butterfly ATC's from Heather's swap...more beauties to add to my increasing collection. As Heather said, lovely to get something nice in the post as a change from bills (anyone else noticed how you just finish paying one round of the darned things when the next lot start arriving?!?!?! Gggrrrr) and Heather also included some tiny tags that she had made so they will be added to future ATC's. If you haven't joined in a swap before, take a look at Heather's blog and take the plunge - it's great fun.
I finished some new stamp designs this week, which means I can tick another job off my list. Mind you, I no sooner tick one off than another task gets added! Then I started on some additional designs to go with stamps that are in pre production stage. It always feels as if I won't get the work finished in time but somehow it does get done!
Yesterday I was making samples for demonstrations this weekend. Tomorrow I will be in Derby at Reams which has a great range of art materials as well as craft products. On Sunday I'll be at Strikes again, but this time at the branch in Weavervale, Northwich. Hope to see you there.
I will take photos this weeekend and post them when I get home, inclusing pictures of the lovely ATC's and card from Sheila and the AtC's from Heather's swap. So, till then, I am just waiting for the postman to arrive with, hopefully, a couple of stamp sets which I am expecting for tomorrow's demonstration day. Fingers crossed! Lindsay

Friday, 2 April 2010


Hello all, just a reminder that I'll be in the craft shop within Strikes Garden Centre at High Legh, Knutsford, Cheshire tomorrow from 10am-4pm if you are in the vicinity. There's a coffee shop, so you can always park the non crafters in the family for half an hour!
I also wanted to share something which I was told about yesterday by a very nice man that I spoke to about my phone bill yesterday! I often have to ring those 0845/0870numbers which, even though I have a phone plan which includes free calls, I have to pay at least 10p per minute for. They appear on the bill as NG which stands, apparently, for "non-geographic". What the companies who use these numbers don't tell us is that there are alternative, ordinary ones that we can dial and will not cost an arm and a leg - especially when they are normally the ones where we have to hang on in a queue for twenty minutes or press this, that or the other button to actually speak to a real person. So, I checked it out and, yes, I could get through with no problem. If you want to find the cheaper (or free, depending upon your phone plan) then go to http://www.saynoto0870.com/, look at the top left where it show "search for an alteranative number", click that and then type in the number the number that you would normally use and a list will come up of the alternative ones. I already got a free number for rail enquiries and one to get straight into the queue to speak to an advisor instead of pressing seventy two buttons first! I also got a new number to call my bank for balance enquiries which normally costs me 10p per minute. Sorry if I am giving old news here, but I had never come across this before and the lovely man I spoke to yesterday said that the companies don't want us to know because they are making so much money with the 0845 system. No point in lining their coffers I say!
Well, I have done my samples for tomorrow and David has made me an egg and bacon sandwich and a coffee, so I am going to go and enjoy that now. Hope everyone is having a lovely Easter break...shame the weather is typically Bank Holiday'ish! Lindsay