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, 24 June 2011

On the edge

Hello all, it's been a week and a half here for one reason and another, so I'm sorry not to have properly posted for the last few days. I have some snaps to share with you, though not quite as fancy as the video which Andy made for me I have to say! I've been having some trouble with my photos, or getting them to the computer at least, but David has sorted things out now so, fingers crossed, things should work properly now.
Tomorrow I'm going to be at Crafty Addicts at 58 Pall Mall, Chorley in Lancashire....it'll be nice not to be trolling across the country for a change! Here's one of the cards that I've been making today, using the Kraft Resist stash, Distress Stains and an EK Success Retro Flower punch (which is huuuge!). I punched two flowers from the Kraft stash, inked them with a few colours of Stains and crumpled them up. When I had partly "unscrunched" them, I heated them to help set the creases and then bradded them to my inked Kraft Resist background. I trimmed some thin strips of inked Kraft paper and twirled them round a brush handle to make little curly trims to pop under the petals. Of course, I inked the ribbon....I hardly ever use pre coloured ribbon. The final touch was to give everything a light spritz of Perfect Pearl Mist in Perfect Pearl (white) and add one of my verses stamped onto the reverse of a scrap of the Kraft paper. It does look very dark here, but the Pearl spritz just lifts it. Hope to see lots of you there tomorrow and I'm looking forward to seeing the new shop (Heather has moved up the road and changed the shop name too!).
On Sunday I'll be at Stampers Gallery in The Boskins, Tarleton, Preston. It's always a busy day here, and I'm looking forward to seeing some familiar faces. Here's another card that features the Pearl mist, although this one looks more sparkly in the picture due to the flash! Sue has asked me to recap my "straw blown trees", so I did a very sparse, slightly eerie one to go with some of my little fairy stamps. Thought I'd make the effort not to go all blue, pink and purple for a change! The blown trees are really easy to do but, as I haven't done any for a while, I had forgotten just how long Distress Re-inker stays wet for! Needless to say I had black ink on my fingers, hands, arm, knee (?!) as well as making mucky fingerprints on the card, my worksurface, a ruler, my scissors......oh dear, what a mess I made! If you come along this weekend you can see for yourself just how well, or otherwise, I managed to disguise most of the sooty marks on this card! Here is a peek at my latest project for Crafts Beautiful. I know that quite a few ladies who bought my Castle, Flags and Keep Smiling stamp sets in the last few weeks were wanting to know when this project would be in the magazine, so just to let you know that it's out now. I haven't seen it yet, but a friend who has tells me that it has been described as "Steampunk". This is nothing to do with me....I'm not losing the plot! Seems to be just one of those errors that occur from time to time. Anyway, if you have the stamps, this project will give you some ideas for using them. The gorgeous ribbon, by the way, is from My Mind's Eye, Lost and Found Party Collection. (I love distress looks, but I do appreciate a little bling as well!) One of the comments left after I posted the video clip was from Sonia, who asked if I could post some Journal pages. I haven't had much time to work on these, but, coincidentally, I had made the effort to alter, or finish a few that I had got to a part done state.
This first one is probably the longest running page in Journalling history (slight exaggeration I know!) as it started as one that went horribly wrong and has since been altered several times but never to my liking. There must be five layers of Gesso, half a dozen collaged images, loads of masking tape and I don't know how much paint, pen and glue on this page now! It's gone from really deep, dark maroony browns to....oh, there's a surprise....blues and purples! It's definitely going to be a rather sombre, brooding page and I'll post a picture when I have eventually finished it.
However, here's a page that I have finished at last! This was just a rough background and a very simple ink drawing with some colouring on it. I've now added more texture and movement using Neocolour II soluble crayons and am quite happy with the effect now. A simple page, but it captures what I wanted it to. I am just deciding whether to add two figures to it....I think I should, but there's no going back if I do! The last page has also taken forever to complete. I drew the designs with my ink pen when the fantastic series about Madagascar was on TV some months ago! I've always been fascinated by Madagascar, or should I say Madagascar's wildlife. Gerald Durrell was one of my heroes and he managed to convey the magic of this place through his wonderful books. The TV programme brought it all back to me and I just wanted to make a happy, colourful page. I had started colouring it ages ago, but I set to and finished it this week. I especially enjoyed making the rainbow border and trying to disguise the Chameleon! Hope you, and especially Sonia, enjoy looking at them.On the edge is the title of this post, and refers, not only to how I've been feeling this week, but also to a certain little character who has been showing off how clever he is...as well as how cheeky! We have been clad in scaffolding - which I hate, but the local wildlife has found most entertaining. Once they got over the shock, the pigeons decided that all the poles and planks had been placed there just for them, and now seem to be performing some sort of co-ordinated stage act, posing themselves at various levels in avian tableaux!
However, the star of the show has been Mr Squirrel, who took less than a day to figure that he could now get up to see what all the birds are eating. We first saw him zooming past the window along one of the steel poles at a rate of knots! I looked out of the bathroom window and, as soon as he spotted me, he shinned up a vertical pole, along a plank, up a ladder.....I wished I could have videoed it (complete with Mission Impossible theme music!) as it was quite a daring feat! As you can see, he made it right up to my eye level....
....and then moved in for a closer look and took some monkey nuts from my fingers. I even got to stroke his bushy tail and his back. So cute! Well, I hope you enjoyed this eclectic post - I do try to mix things up a bit! Before I sign off, just a reminder that my new workshops are filling up quickly, so do email me if you'd like to come along and join in the creative fun. Hope to see lots of you this weekend and for those of you further south, I shall be in Farnham next weekend - more details about that next week! Welcome to new followers and hope everyone has a great weekend.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Thanks Andy!

My very talented friend, Andy Skinner made this You Tube video for me as a lovely surprise! Thank you Andy, it's great!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Workshops news!

Evening everyone, well, more like night night really. We were out rather longer than anticipated due to some very long hold ups on the motorway.
Anyway, I can now give you details on the new workshops that I'll be teaching from July, in conjunction with Crafts 4 U 2 Do. They will be held in Dentons Green, St Helens, Merseyside, just up the road from the shop. The workshop area is a lovely, bright and airy room, just perfect for getting creative in, as well as having lots of fun of course!
The first three workshop dates and themes are:

Saturday 16th July: 10am-4pm
"Inky Techniques". In the morning we'll be making cards with a fantasy feel - fairies, trees and castles etc along with interesting backgrounds using various inking techniques.
The afternoon session will focus on more "artsy" cards, using up to the minute products and more techniques.
Cost for this day is £30.00

Saturday 13th August: 10am-4pm will be a demonstration day at Crafts 4 U 2 Do for the launch of their Christmas event. Followed by....
Sunday 14th August:
10am - 12.30pm "Ease into Christmas" - Christmas cardmaking with some of the latest products.
1.30pm - 4pm - repeat of the morning workshop
Cost per session is £15.00

Sunday 11th September: 10am-4pm
"Full on Christmas". In the morning we will be working with snowmen designs to create cards that everyone will appreciate receiving.
In the afternoon we'll be making an ornate Triptych card using mountboard, stamps, papers and other Seasonal ephemera.
Cost for this day is £30.00

All the workshops will include light refreshments and on the full days there will be an hour's break where you can pop down to Crafts 4 U 2 Do to have lunch at their instore cafe (and to shop of course!).
These are the first three dates but I will be posting details of more workshops very soon. If you'd like more details, or to book a place, please email me on ljm.design@ntlworld.com . Alternatively, you can call in to Crafts 4 U 2 Do, 117-119 Greenfield Road, Dentons Green, St Helens. Places will fill up quickly, so do contact me asap!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Weekend catch up

Hello everyone, and welcome to the people I met on Sunday who are new to my blog. I travelled down in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday, ready for the Suffolk Papercraft show the following day. I haven't been in Bury on a Saturday before, so I was able to have a look round the open market. The fruit and vegetable stalls were fantastic, even selling Samphire which I would have loved to have bought, but it wouldn't have been very practical! I did, however, buy a big bag of cherries which were just delicious and not as expensive as here "up north" surprisingly. Yum!
Sunday morning was a beautifully warm and sunny...who would have thought the day would change so much! I think everywhere in Britain was covered by pouring rain by the late afternoon. Anyway, I was demonstrating on The Stamp Hut stand (who organised the show) and was soon very busy stamping and inking. Here's a view of my table whilst I was getting everything laid out. Look at all those lovely Marvy Le Plume pens! (they're not mine btw!) I could have done with some of those useful boxes too, but don't think I could have managed them on the train! It was a terrific show, and I really enjoyed meeting everyone there. Here's a photo of one card which I took in my hotel room. I combined Andy Skinner's tree and foliage, from his Back to Nature stamp set, with some of my silhouette fairies, all set against an alcohol inked and Stazon Cleaner spritzed background (whew!) I am really enjoying this technique. And here is another of my little decorated boxes taken from a Configurations box. I used the spritzy technique again and stuck two pieces of the resulting card together, back to back, then cut two wings. The little frill of tissue tape hangs just below the top of the box for a slightly theatrical look. I used the separate towers from my "I dreamed of Castles" stamp set, coloured, cut them out and curved each around a pen to shape them. To attach them I made piles of 3D foam that I stuck into the box so I could stick the towers against them for stability. The box is topped by one of the Idealogy baubles stuck to some Idealogy metal Foliage. I also used a couple of my Tattered Butterflies in there too. Next weekend I'll be in Derby on Saturday for a day at Reams. I have Colourwash dyes to work with as well as the usual Ranger products along with plenty of stamps. Then on Sunday I'll be at The Craft Room in Garner's Garden Centre in Newcastle Under Lyme. That's Newastle under Lyme as opposed to Ashton Under Lyne! (I do keep getting those mixed up!) I'll be using all sorts of goodies here, including Kraft Glassine paper! Hope to see you there, and do bring some ATC's to swap if you feel inclined.
Talking of ATC's, check out my sister Heather 's blog, as she is running another swap. The theme has yet to be announced, but do check back as it's sure to be something interesting. Heather's swaps are very informal and you only need to make three cards to receive three different ones back - great fun and much nicer than getting bills in the post! (well, you'll still get the bills, but the ATC's will help to soften the blow!)
Please be sure to check back here on Wednesday evening, as I will be posting details about new workshops that I'll be running. There are just some last minute things to sort out and then I'll be able to let you know all the details of where, when and what etc!

Monday, 6 June 2011

An extravagant weekend!

Hello folks, and sorry it's taken me a few days to upload my pictures and tell you about The Craft Barn Extravaganza last weekend. I travelled down to Lingfield, a pretty village in Surrey, on Friday, where I met my friend and colleague, Andy Skinner at the shop. We had a catch up and looked around the shop before having a stroll around the duck pond (complete with duck house!) and enjoying looking at the ancient trees. I was staying at a local Inn just nearby, so I then strolled back there in the glorious sunshine and had a wander around the nearby churchyard and adjacent lanes with their characterful cottages. It was a lovely way to relax before the busy couple of days ahead. Above you can see the Star Inn...much prettier than a Premier Inn or Travelodge!
Next day it was time to set up my table at the Community Centre - the Extravaganza weekend is held in three venues plus the shop itself. This year there were visitors coming from all over the country, but also as far away as France, Canada, New Zealand and Australia! Many of these ladies were members of a Forum who got together to enjoy the event together - what a looong way to come! That's what I call dedicated! Here are a couple of pictures of my table (you should be able to enlarge the pics for a closer look) complete with my favourite fruit tea of course!
As you can see, I am still not quite over my purple, blue and pink phase, though I am trying honestly! There are some hints of orange, yellow and browns in there too. There was a lovely name sign on each of our tables as well as a beautifully wrapped bag of sweeties to keep hunger pangs and sore throats at bay. Altogether there were 24 different designers and demonstrators across the four venues. Look who was on the table adjacent to mine..... ....yes, the lovely Paula Pascual, who was demonstrating her favourite die cutting. Our styles are so different but we are a mutual admiration society! So it was good to catch up and have a smiling face nearby.
Here is a card that I made on Sunday, using a slightly different technique with Alcohol inks to create the background.
As you may know, Blending Solution must never be put into a Mini Mister because, although it's a really safe product, if you were to spritz it, it becomes airborne as particles and could be ingested. I have wanted to create a similar effect that can be had when spritzing water into Distress ink backgrounds ie the faux bleach speckly effect and it came to me, in one of those "Doh" moments, that maybe Stazon spray cleaner would do the job. Well, the great news is that it does work, as you can see from this card. I'll show some more examples of it next week. I love finding something that I can do differently with a product and this technique went down very well at the weekend. This card and instructions will be going onto the Personal Impressions website very soon. The Butterfly and Keep On Smiling cards from my previous post are on there now if you'd like to have a go at making them.
I met lots of very friendly, excited and lovely people at the event, and special thanks must go to Stella, who presented me with the lovely bracelet that you can see here. Stella said that she had seen it and thought of me....it's really lovely as the charms are things like scissors, crayon, paint tube, stapler etc...just perfect! Stella also gave me the box of chocs to give to David - how lovely, especially as we have never met before. Thank you again Stella!
On the left of them, is a gift that I was given by Glennis, who had come all the way from New Zealand. As you can see it is a handmade gift box that contained a bar of NZ chocolate...though it looks like a gold bar and seemed almost as heavy! Thank you Glennis, welcome to my blog and I hope you are enjoying all the lovely things you bought.
Next are some ATC's which were swapped with me.....
.....clockwise from the top left, they are "Aargh! Who's drinking all our water?" by Connie, "The Witch's cat" by Barbara, "Time Flies" by Michelle and "Optique" by Maggie. I think you'll be amazed when I tell you that Michelle had never made an ATC but was so inspired on Saturday that she went home and made her first one ever and I was the lucky recipient. Well done Michelle, it's really, really good.
Andy had a really busy time at the opposite end of the room to me....we hardly saw each other until about 3.30pm each day due to having crowds in there all day! Here's just one part of Andy's tables of samples, complete with Steampunk Time Machine, tea caddy, altered calendar and much more.....
......and here's the man himself, surrounded by more fabulous creations. I know that Andy had a great time meeting everyone and his fan club continues to grow! You can see lots of his inspirational techniques on his blog or on the PI website. I used some of Andy's stamps for the projects which I created for this month's Crafts Beautiful magazine. I created a false lid in the box and filled it with tickets, shells etc. The paper that I used to cover the surround was stamped with various Andy stamps. I made this matching card using the same stamps and Distress ink colours along with the Martha Stewart PAOTP classic butterfly punch and some Idealogy items. Hope you like them! Well, that was last weekend, and I have another busy weekend coming up. I shall be demonstrating on Sunday at the Suffolk Papercraft show on The Stamp Hut stand. This is in the Leisure Centre in Bury-St-Edmunds. Hope to see some of you there - don't forget to say hello!
Welcome to new followers and readers of my blog and I hope that you will enjoy my ramblings.
I am going to sign off now as Thomas will be waiting to come in for his "7pm on the dot" dinner! It's a few minutes after 7pm now, so I know I will get grumbled at!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Over a week......

Since I posted on here.....how naughty of me! Hope you'll let me off though...I was working, honestly! Well, I did take Sunday off. So, since I was last here I have been to Crafty By Nature in Kearsley last Thursday where I demonstrated and hosted two make n take sessions. Hello to all the ladies who came along - hope you all got the ink off your fingers okay!
Then, the next day I headed up to Darlington, well, I was meant to be going to Chester-Le-Street, but, due to a certain pop group doing concerts in adjacent Sunderland, there was nowhere to stay within thirty miles! I didn't know this until I was up there and was wondering why there was no room at the inn, or hotel, or guest house...anywhere! So, I stayed over in Darlington and then got the local train on Saturday to be at Dainty Supplies. Hello to all the ladies up there, and apologies for making you spend so much money...well, not really! Hope you enjoying your new stamps, Stains and punches.
On Sunday we went to the car boot as we haven't been for aaages and it's always good fun. It began to drizzle with rain as soon as we set off, but we were undeterred. Unfortunately there wasn't much of interest, though I did spot my favourite lipstick at a bargain price, so stocked up. Poor David got absolutely nothing!
After that we drove over to Redesmere to feed the birds. The lake was crowded with ducks, coots, geese etc and more swans than we've ever seen there before. We had two loaves of bread with us and they scoffed the lot! Not that they ever go unfed of course, as visitors appear on a regular basis to top them up. There's a catering van there with a great sign..."I don't do fast food, I do good food as fast as I can"...and he does too. I bought a homemade soup, Steak sandwich with onion and mushroom and two hot chocolates for the grand sum of £5! Can't be bad, and it wasn't, it was delicious! So it was a lovely day out and a real change.
Back to work on Monday and I worked on a project for Crafts Beautiful magazine. In the current issue I have a project featuring Andy Skinner's stamps which I've used to make a memory box and matching card. Hope you like them - the memory box idea is a great way of using those sturdy boxes that gifts often come in and are too good to throw away!
Myself, Andy and Paula Pascual will be at The Craft Barn "Best of British" extravaganza (along with around twenty other designers and demonstrators) down in Lingfield this weekend, so I've been busily getting samples made. More details about the event can be found on the Personal Impressions website as well as their facebook page. I'll be using my latest stamp designs and here's a card using my Keep on Smiling and Hoist the Flags stamp sets. The background is made with Distress inks blended softly over PIP300CWH card...I used Broken China and Worn Lipstick in the sky and Peeled paint for the grass. There should be instructions for this card, as well as the butterfly one further down, on the PI website before long.
Here are a few small pieces that I've made using dominoes and a Facet. The left piece is now attached to a chain. I stamped my ATC Jolly Jester onto the domino using Stazon ink, coloured him and then varnished with Glossy Accents. Not having a mini drill, I made twisted wire loops and attached them to the back of the domino with good old Glossy Accents. I added some accents of a bauble and Fleur de Lys (both Time Holtz) and the word "Fly" from another of my sets which was stamped onto Grungeboard and covered with Crackle Accents.
The top left domino was simply swooshed into alcohol inks and details added with fine black and white pens. The lower image is the stamped Jester again, covered with a TH Facet and some of the Baubles added which I tinted with alcohol ink filled pens. These last two pieces have brooch pins attached.
Whilst I was making some cards yesterday I had a little "help" from Thomas. He was checking out a work in progress as you can see....... ........but he wasn't happy with how I'd adhered the squares to my card and decided that he needed to make sure they were properly stuck by sitting on them! I'm not sure why he found this experience so drool worthy, but, thankfully, he didn't dribble on the card! His bottom did the trick anyway, and here is the finished card, which features images and words from my Tattered Butterflies set along with paper from Tim's Shabby Vintage paper stash. I had a bit of fun with the next little piece...I do enjoy filling these little boxes taken out of the Configurations. This one has the quirky girl from the Keep on Smiling stamp set and the wings are from my Fly, Soar, Soul, Dream set, which features a heart made from two folded wings. I stamped it onto Grungeboard, coloured and cut it out as two seperate wings, leaving little tabs at the top of each one. I used a combination of craft knife and pricking tool to scrape out two slots in the side of the box (I didn't want to go all the way through to the inside) into which I pushed the wing slots, held in with....ooh, what could I have used? Glossy Accents by any chance?! I added all sorts of bits and bobs to complete it. I'll have all these pieces, plus more besides of course, at the Craft Barn weekend, so please do say hello if you are a follower, or reader of my blog - it's always good to put names to faces.
I'm updating my demonstration list on the left, so do check out if I'll be in your area anytime soon...also, look out soon for news about new workshops that I'll be doing!
I'll post again after the weekend and hope to see lots of you there!