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

Sunday, 26 February 2012

A Darkroom Door Candy

I have a lovely Darkroom Door Candy on offer today, courtesy of the lovely Rachel Greig. Rachel left us some great kits when she came to Stitches and I have a set of two available here. All you need to do is to leave a comment on my blog between now and the end of February (this Wednesday) to be in with a chance of winning. I'll draw one name on Thursday 1st March. If you add a link to your own blog that would be appreciated! One pack is a complete kit, with instructions, to make a "Love Letters Accordian Book". It includes Wordstrip, Photostrip and Photochips from the Love Letters collection, as well as cardstock,lacy ribbon and Idealogy findings. The other pack has cardstock, Photostrips, tags, mesh and string for you to create anything you'd like from. Really lovely packs that I'm sure you'd enjoy using. Thanks Rachel!
I've been enjoying the lovely Springlike weather and yesterday was a really bright, sunny day if a little chilly. Great natural light for all the colouring I'm doing at the moment. Here's one of the cards that I made yesterday using one of the Gorjuss stamp sets that I'll be demonstrating at the Leigh crafts show this coming weekend.
I'll be on The Stamp Hut stand, so hope to see some of you there - do say hello if you are coming along. I love this image of the wistful girl and the soulful owls. The word is from the same wordstrip that's included in the DD candy. They're really handy to have, for odd words or to make up random phrases. The backing paper is a new MME one - I do like the MME range which are such good quality.
Yesterday morning I went into the village to do some errands and the local Church grounds were carpeted in crocusses - wished I'd had the camera with me. I had a wander along the paths and then went inside the Church, lit a candle and sat quietly for half an hour. The sun was streaming through the stained glass and it was so still in there. It really gave me an injection of peacefulness and positivity. It reminded me that we all need to take some quiet time out sometimes.
When I got back I spotted Thomas sitting in the field behind the house. As soon as he saw me he came bounding back and leapt over the fence (no going under for him!) before going for a little walk up the lane with me. I'm sure he thinks he's died and gone to Heaven after living rough on the suburban streets of Manchester!
I got a large box through the post from Personal Impressions (all the canvasses and other stuff that I couldn't carry back with me from the show) and a certain someone, called Tara, decided that it had been meant for her.... ......as you can see! She loves every box or bag that lands on the floor and immediately has to claim it, but this one really tickled her fancy!
Well, that's the end of my coffee break so I had better carry on with those cards for next weekend now! Don't forget to leave a comment to have a chance to win the DD kits!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

I've been Stitched up!

That is to say that Stitches is over for another year and I'm now in the relaxed, slightly tired (!) state of mind that always follows the show. It's such a busy few days that it flies by every time and, after all the hard work that everyone does to make it such a great event, it's always hard to believe that it can go so fast. It was such a whirlwind that I hardly even took any photos this year.
I travelled down to the NEC on Saturday morning and spent an hour or so helping the Personal Impressions team to get set up....well, I say "helping", but they have it down to such a fine art that I usually feel that I'm more of a hindrance! Here's our stand on Saturday afternoon...it always astounds me how it goes from looking as though it will never be ready to looking pristine by the start of the show the next morning. This year we had a new bright aqua shade along with the classic PI colour, so the stand really did "stand" out even more than usual - groan!
I then scurried along to the Ranger workshop which I was really looking forward to - a chance to try new products and to be on the other side of the table for a change! In the first session, with Tim, we made a really neat little hanger based on two teeny canvasses and using various TH products. In the second session, with Dyan (Reaveley) we made a journalling page using the new Dylusions inks and masks. Just check out these hands after the second session! This is me with the lovely Dot, from the Stamp Hut in Bury St Edmunds and the ladies from Two Cats Crafts !It was then time to go back to the hotel for a bite to eat and a catch up with everyone from PI before getting a good sleep in preparation for the busy day ahead. First job for me was to get my demonstartion area ready and put samples up. This was my extraordinarily long counter - the whole stand had been revamped and there was much more room for working on - I needed elasticated arms really! Just to the left, on the wall, you can see the boards showing new PI stamp designs. Next to them are Gorjuss designs, Hero Arts and then Petaloo flowers. I took this photo on Saturday night - hence the ladders in the background! I then had to hightail it up to the workshop area to get everything ready for my first class of the show at 9.30am. I had some help getting ready as the turn around is so fast at the show - one person clearing up after a class whilst the next one is itching to get in and get prepped! My workshop was using the Build a Scene stamps and we did lots of masking and colouring - a gentle start to the show.
Then it was back to the stand where I was demonstrating for the rest of the day. Joanne was at the show as I had given her one of my tickets as a thank you for helping me with samples. I think she enjoyed herself! Here she is posing by Tim's demo area and looking very glam! I managed to get some shots of Joanne with Mario and Rachel Grieg which I'm emailing to her so I'm sure they'll be up on her blog quite soon.
On Sunday night, after the show, it was our traditional meal out at the Wing Wah. This is always a fun evening with the whole PI and Ranger team as well as any other overseas guests we have on the stand. This year Alex from Martha Stewart as well as the Spellbinders team joined us. I did take some pics there but they haven't come out well enough to share. Then it was back to the hotel for a few hours in the bar lounge (no rabble rousing though!) before another good sleep - comfy beds!
Monday brought another workshop which I was teaching along with Andy Skinner This time it was focussing on Martha Stewart paints. We were merrily setting up the class until we realised that we couldn't find the canvasses that were pretty integral to the whole thing! Panic stations ensued and I was reminded of Basil Fawlty looking for the missing roast duck inside the trifle! The PI team searched everywhere back on the stand and the canvasses eventually turned up in a cupboard which they had somehow found their way into! So, ten minutes late we got started and, thankfully, everyone was very understanding and all went smoothly (if a little rushed!) from there. Could do without that kind of excitement though!
That afternoon team Ranger were off down to QVC for the launch of the TSV that night, but I did get a quick pic with Tim and the lovely Rachel from Darkroom Door. What a titch I look! Rachel has designed lots more beautiful stamp sets, so I'll be looking forward to working with those soon. All too soon it was the final day and I spent my time demonstrating, arranging new dates for the coming year for various stores and I had a final stamping workshop at the end of the day. Then it was time to pull the stand down which takes hardly any time compared with setting it up! I always find it really sad - a bit like taking the Christmas decorations down in January. Then it was time for goodbye's and the trek home which took me five hours due to points problems at Birmingham New Street station.
As always, we worked hard and played hard! I didn't get much chance to look round the other stands but there were lots of wonderful products and samples everywhere I looked as I rushed through the aisles to the workshops etc. I think the craft appetite will be catered for for another year! Must sign off now as I have to get some new samples made in readiness for the craft show at Leigh at the beginning of March. I am going to do some gentle colouring in to start with after all the heavy schedule of the last few weeks!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Canvasses & Tags

I feel very relaxed at this moment, as I have put everything away except the kit that I'm taking away with me this coming weekend - samples are all done, workshops are prepped and, today, I finished some drawings that I am taking down with me for Personal Impressions. Feels good. Tomorrow is going to be a day to forget about work, except for packing everything in the evening, and relax a bit before the busy few days ahead.
I'll be demonstrating on the Personal Impressions stand as usual, as well as teaching three workshops - one with my friend and colleague, Andy Skinner. We have a really large stand with several demo counters. As usual myself and Tim Holtz will be on the stand as well as the lovely Rachel Grieg. Dyan Reaveley will also be on the stand to demonstrate her new Dylusion ranges. So there will be lots of techniques to watch and lots of new designs to look at. It's the annual chance to catch up with everyone, though it goes by in a whirlwind and often there's not much chance to have a proper chat. I will take as many pictures as I can before my camera batteries run out!
I'm not showing any more of the new stamps until after the show now, but thought you might like to see a few more of the things that I've been making. This canvas started as a background made with Martha Stewart paints that my sister Heather
created. She then made a pattern using the MS stencil film (I love this product as it's easy to cut and to peel the backing off and sticks really well until you want to peel it away) and dabbed black paint through and around it to create a somewhat abstract building effect.
Heather's idea had been that "Humbert & Spider Boy" could be added to the canvas...sort of a Gothic street gang! I stamped, coloured and cut the characters out and adhered them using Multi Matte Medium (another must have product) which I also used to seal them as well. I moved some of the elements round (the dog and the bats) and drew extra details, such as the dog lead, back in with a fine pen. I drew the moon and stars with an Inkssentials white pen and added my favourite spiders using a fine pen to draw the silky thread and their legs before placing black gems on as their bodies. Mad and bad but fun!
Next are some more of the tags that I've been having loads of fun making. They have been a real treat to make. The tag on the left features a fairy with Zentangled wings and a Zentangle heart - both from a set that I haven't posted details of yet. Next is Melissa. The third tag is using two of Andy's new sets - the background set is really useful. I've added Glossy Accents over the fish for a really wet fishy gleam. The righ hand one features my Building Blocks set and words cut from my Creative Thoughts stamp set.
By the way, I've photographed all these against sheets of MME Kraft Funday "papers" (card really!) which I am becoming very keen on! Next is another collaboration between Heather and I - I cut these funky spirals from the stencil film and Heather painted the background and added the stencilled colour. I used Gwendoline (without blackbirds) and added words using my Alphadigit block stamp. Two TH Gamespinners finished this one. The last canvas I'm sharing baffled me a bit to begin with as Heather decided to go for a heart design and surprised me by painting a large one that almost filled the canvas! She added MS glitter paint dots (there are great nozzles that attach to the paints to allow you create dimension) and rubbed more of the glitter over the edges with her finger. I think that Heather decided I needed a challenge! After a bit of thought, two Corked Vials filled with sparkle, a little white pen work, a touch more MS glitter paint, a Word Key and some ribbon this became one of my favourites of the canvasses! Heather hasn't seen the finished article yet, so I hope you like it sis!
Well, that's all from me for today. I am going to put my feet up now as I have a sore bum from sitting on a fairly hard bench for the whole day!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Another preview...

Just popping back again to share some more previews of the new stamps, but the first picture is of a card that Joanne made when she came to help me with sample last week. You might just be able to make out the spider that we made to put into the Corked Vial, along with the ubiquitous string that seems to be a necessary part of a boy's collection of bits! The flash on my camera has rather eclipsed his boots, but hope you can make out the rest of the card okay. Joanne made a great background with lots of swooshy inks and Picket Fence Distress Stain. The card itself is made using My Minds Eye Kraft Funday paper - although it's such a great weight it really is a cardstock. Fabulous paper as there are resist areas that show up when you ink over them. Again, you can check the range out on the Personal Impressions website.
The angry boy is called Humbert, and the set he's from is "Humbert & Spider Boy" (PICSA6279) which features two little horrors! Great fun for boys and teenagers cards, or journalling of course. I wanted these to be real scruff bags with a touch of the Gothic about them. Hope you like these two...I have a soft spot for them!!!
Next is another words set, this one being "Love that Binds" (PICSA6273) which is a set of dictionary style definitions. I wanted a distressed, old book feel to these, so the words are rather soft focussed and bleached out in areas. Another useful one! The last set that I'm sharing tonight is called "Building Blocks" (PICSA6288) a set of six houses that can be built into street scenes, set on top of hillsides etc. I went for a slightly Zentangled look that lends itself to lots of colouring in and highlighting with white pen work. I'll post a picture at a later date of what I did with them. Meanwhile, here's a frame that I made from scratch and painted with Martha Stewart acrylics after creating the texture with MS Stucco. The MS range is really extensive - it even includes magnetic paint! Once I'd dry brushed metallic gold and copper over the base colours I then added the central image behind the aperture. I made the background with Scattered Straw and Pumice Stone D inks and stamped steampunk images from two of Andy's new sets. I then added "Steampunk Sarah" after I'd stamped, coloured and cut her out. I added more stamped images and a selection of TH Idealogy items that I had altered with MS acrylic paints. This was a really fun piece to work on and I'll explain how I made the frame itself at a later date.
Well, that's all from me for tonight. I've got two more days to get everything finished for the show. The excitement of Stitches is approaching rapidly! Take care everyone.

Monday, 13 February 2012

More new stamp sets

Hello folks, hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was a busy one - I got all my masks cut out and am almost finished with cutting out messages and greetings - yay! They are the boring jobs that have to be done so I can carry on with the fun part of prepping for the show!
I started this post this morning but got caught up with phone calls and then Heather came up to the house to give me a hand with painting some canvasses which I'm going to be adding some stamped images to. Lovely to have a different take as we all are naturally drawn to certain colours so mixing things up like this is great! So, it's now late afternoon and I thought I'd finish this while I have a much needed coffee.
So, here is Arabella (PICSA6281) along with bird silhouette and sketchy butterfly as well as the quote of course.
The next set includes my personal favourite of my new "Off the Wall" characters, called Emily. She's also been, from messages I've had, everyone else's favourite too! The set is called "Emily & Steampunk Sarah" (PICSA6285). I'm adding Sarah to a piece I'm working on at the moment and below is a canvas that features Emily with added Martha Stewart Glitter paint juggling balls! Heather painted the canvas (aren't the colours fab?) and I added the stamped images and words - the letters are from another new set called "Alphadigit Block" (PICSA6278) which has letters and numbers in little boxes. It is one stamp, so you can make up sheets of the characters then cut them out and colour them as and when you need them. Of course, there's no reason that you can't cut the stamp up instead if you wish! I have been using this set in lots of my samples as they are so versatile. Last preview tonight is another useful set called "Occasion Tags" (PICSA6271) which I used on the Build a Scene cards that were on QVC. The tags can be stamped directly onto a card or stamped and cut out....some fancy finger work will enable you to cut round the faux threads, or just snip them off, punch a little hole and add real ones instead. This is another set that I'll be coming back to time and again.
As you can see, I've been working on quite a few styles for this Season's releases, partly in response to requests for some of the images that I like to create for my journalling. Let me know what you think anyway! Just a few days now before I troll down to Birmingham so I had better finish those canvasses!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Three more stamp sets

It's another very dull day here, but at least it's not as cold, so there's always an upside! Returning to the coast, though we can't see the sea from where we are, is wonderful - hearing Seagulls every morning reminds makes me pinch myself to make sure I'm not just dreaming! I absolutely love anything to do with the sea, so it's no surprise that I have included some watery designs in the new stamps sets.
Here are three more, starting with "Melissa" (PICSA6284) a Mermaid with a couple of her watery friends as well as some seaweed, wavy lines and an appropriate phrase. I'll be using this set a lot, I know!
Here are some tags I made using the Melissa set, as well as some of the images I shared last night and some that I haven't posted yet. I've been really enjoying using lots of luscious colours. The words are either the phrases from the sets, or using my two new alphabet sets. The next set is simply called "Seaside" (PICSA6287) for obvious reasons! If you're on a beach can you resist picking up a shell and having a listen?! The third set is nothing to do with the sea! This is an A5 set called "shelves" (PICSA5277) which includes the craft shelf, toy shelf and gardening shelf which were released originally as wooden stamps. I've been asked at various demonstrations whether I'd be doing any more shelf designs so I have taken note and we now have the kitchen and teenage/mens shelf designs too. Here are two cards made using the Gardening shelf and the Kitchen version - hard to see in the pictures, but the shelves are 15 mm deep, so there's a lot of dimension. I'll try and get a better snap of them. I'll be writing instructions for how I typically use them - I'm sure these will be going up onto the PI website.
S0, there's another little preview and I'll share more later. The stamps will be available from March from anyone who stocks Personal Impressions products.
Right, I'm off to make some more show samples - I'm using Martha Stewart paints today and I've also got to cut out 80 post it note masks, stamp and tear out 30 phrases and stamp and cut out 50 assorted greetings for my Stitches workshops! My thumb is aching at the very thought!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

More new stamp designs

Oh I love this time of year! Stitches is just around the corner and new designs are on the verge of being released. As Personal Impressions have now loaded details of the latest ranges, including my new stamps, I can safely share some with you. I am just uploading three for now, but if you'd like to check out the rest, then please go to www.personalimpressions.com, click on "coming soon" and, in the drop down suppliers list, click Lindsay Mason Designs.
As well as the Build a Scene stamps which I showed samples of in my previous post, there are tags, buntings and messages, some A5 sets and a brand new range called my "Off the Wall Collection" which are a little more quirky and ideal for journalling as well as card making etc. This first set from the Off the Wall range is called "Gwendoline" (PICSA6282) ......
......and this set is called "Gabrielle" (PICSA6280) - she's the one on the right and the character on the left I named "Kitty & Kitty". There's also two phrases to go with them as well as "Scrat" the cat. These are both A6 sets. The final set I'm giving sneaky peeks of as it were, is an A5 set that I know I am going to find useful for cards, jounalling, canvasses etc. It's called "Creative Thoughts" (PICSA5324) and has eleven sayings with an artsy theme. Apart from using them as they are, you can also cut out individual words to build new phrases of course. Hope you like them and I'll post some more images before Stitches and, if I can, I'll post photos of some of the samples I've been making for the show. Can't wait to share the ideas with you!
It's really exciting when all the work over the last few months finally comes together. Ideas turn into doodles, then sketches, then drawings, then into stamps and then into finished creations!
Hope everyone is keeping warm and cosy and no broken bones...it's been so icy here but so far no unwanted trips!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

At last!

....I can share pictures of some of the work I've been busy with over the past few weeks. It's been very frustrating not being able to post any pics!
I've had some lovely emails since the QVC hour finished this evening - many thanks. It's always good to get feedback on new designs, especially when it's been so positive. For those who didn't see the programme, or for those who didn't get a proper look at the samples that I made, here are the cards using my new scene stamps.
The first two are using the Rustic Seat set. I just used Vintage Photo Distress ink on the top one and then brushed out the colour with a waterbrush. The bottom one was stamped with permanent black ink and then coloured with Distress inks picked up with the waterbrush. In both I used masks to create the depth of the scene.
This next pair feature the Garden Chair set and again, masking was the key to making these. The birdhouse doesn't have a pole so that you can position it anywhere and then simply either sketch the pole in and colour it, or just paint some ink coming down from it. On the left card I masked around the birdhouse, chair and bonnet before blending Distress inks around for the background. I used watered down Peeled Paint DI to add simple shrubs behind the chair and then added more detail using the birds, basket and flowers from the set. Next is the Old Jetty Set which I kept to very muted tones in the left card. The masking is very simple on these two examples, basically just the jetty really! The next two cards are made using the Cottage Set. I just wanted to show the very different looks that can be created with either full on colour (this reminded my sister and I of the painted mirrors we had in the family home - crinoline ladies missing here though!) or in monochrome. The next cards use the Cliff Top set which, from the emails I've had, seems to be the favourite at the moment! Two very different looks - a simple, clean look on the left. I brayered some Stormy Sky DI across the card after removing most of the ink on crinkled up paper to get the sea effect. The cliff and lighthouse were stamped, cut out and layered on top.
The larger card has a background made using Colourwash Dyes (an underrated product in my opinion!). I added simple stripes to the lighthouse with a fine pen before colouring.
And here's another lighthouse created with masking, DI background and some faux bleaching. Lastly, here is the Watering Can set which has lots of little stamps of flowers, leaves, pots, tools and birds so allows you to make very different versions with a little imagination! By the way, the messages, bunting etc that I've used on the cards are from new sets that will be available soon - sneaky peeks there! If you'd like to see more details of the stamps themselves, please check out the QVC website...if you put my name into "product search" it will lead you to the page where there is a video presentation and pictures of the sets themselves. They are available in two sets of three.
I've been working on more cards and tags today but took a short coffee break this morning and had a wander outside accompanied by Thomas. I do wonder how they manage to walk on the frosty ground without freezing to the spot! It was cold but very pretty and has been a lovely sunny day with a real feel of Spring in the air. Well, it's been a long, busy day and I still have to type up some project instructions so I will say goodnight and sign off for now.

Monday, 6 February 2012

me & my Elves...

It's been a busy, but fun day here. This morning I was joined by my sister, Heather and our good friend Joanne, who both came along to help me make samples for the trade show in a couple of weeks. We all sat in my workroom so you may imagine how much chattering went on amidst the creativity!
Joanne was busy inking, colouring and cutting out whilst Heather got busy with paints and canvasses and I supervised....no! Not really! I was stamping images to adhere to the canvasses. Good team work! My two elves' hard work and great company were much appreciated and made the task of making numerous cards, tags, journal pages and canvasses seem less daunting. Thank you girls! Heather brought a pack of crumpets round and David kept us supplied with hot drinks... I think he was keen for us to have the crumpets so we would stop talking, even if for only ten minutes or so!
Not quite sure why I was pulling this face, but it seems to work at disguising the extra chins, so I may well be pulling it again!
Here we are, posing at our workstations and Joanne (who doesn't even have any extra chins) suggested we do the old "face resting on hands" pose, though Heather didn't have much room to rest her elbows on the table as you can see! We had a great time and got lots of work done too. What a lovely way to spend the day.
Tomorrow I'll be making more samples, working my way through all the new stamps, then breaking off at 5pm to watch the QVC hour - Crafting for Men. Tomorrow evening I'll post pictures of the cards I made for the show and would love to know what you think of the new stamps - good or bad! (but hopefully good!)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Frighteningly cold......bbbrrrr!!!

David walked to the village shops this afternoon. It was drizzling with rain and sleet and he came back soaked and icily chilled. A hot water bottle, a cuddly throw and a hot coffee, plus a warm towel hair rub just about thawed him out. Thomas decided that the throw was too tempting to resist and nabbed David's spot as soon as he moved - comfy chair, furry throw and a radiator close by....one happy cat!A couple of hours later and I decided to put some things into the recycling bins outside. I put my foot onto the first of the two steps and just managed to stop myself from going "A over T"! The steps were completely covered in black ice, despite the fact that it's pouring down. I put a bit of salt on the steps and scrubbed the ice off before tentatively going outside again. I thought I might freeze on the spot and then spotted these.....
......icicles hanging from the bottom of the conservatory window surround! So it's time to batten down the hatches, draw the curtains and snuggle in for the night. Thomas and Tara are definitely not being allowed out or they'll have frost bitten toes!
Just to prove that I have actually been working (what with all the lack of photo evidence lately!) here is my table from this afternoon. Not too messy for me really! The bottle of sparkling water is not there for me to drink but for my brushes! I discovered (one day when I was too engrossed in work to get tap water for my painting pot so I poured in some of my sparkly soda) that if you pop brushes into sparkling water it fizzes through the bristles and gets them clean with very little effort - top tip there! And here's a very naughty, sneaky peek of the new stamp sets that arrived yesterday. They will be in clear Polymer when they are in the shops, but I am using the pre-production rubber versions. It took hours to attach the KlingOn cushioning and cut round them all and I had a very sore thumb by the end of it! There are loads of them, as you can see..... and lots of samples to make. Right, time to sign off now. Keep warm and cosy everyone!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Early night

Time to touch base again. Who can believe that we are in February already? I certainly can't. I've been chasing my tail for a few weeks now, so not much time to post here. And no photos either I'm sorry to say! I will make up for that in a couple of weeks though.
All my new stamps were delivered today, which was very exciting...after all this time I still get a thrill from seeing my drawings become actual stamps. I now have all sorts of ideas and projects spinning around in my head ready to make into samples for Stitches trade show. I am bursting to share images of the new designs with you, but will have to wait until after they are officially released. I'll be able to post a few of them next week though, once they have been on QVC on Tuesday (7th Feb at 5pm).
Meanwhile, it's been freezing here again - there was actually ice on the inside of the windows in one room this morning! It's not conducive to drawing when one's wearing woolly gloves Lol! No, just joking about the last part! I think the heat will have to be left on tonight otherwise my planned early work start will be delayed until my workroom warms up.
Well, I will sign off as so I can get an early night in preparation for a productive day ahead, but just wanted to say hello to everyone. Now I'll say goodnight!