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, 26 October 2012

Feel like a giggle? Read on....

I had one of my rather sleepless nights last night, dropping off quite easily then suddenly waking up at 3am and tossing and turning for hours before finally drifting off again. I never set my alarm if I don't have to be anywhere as I almost always wake very early anyway, and, if not, my Tara and Thomas soon let me know it's time to get up!
However, today they must have decided that their mum needed a lie in, so I was suddenly woken by the sound of the doorbell ringing several times at 7.40am. I hopped out of bed and realised my PJ bottoms were on the floor...I must have been too hot and kicked them off in the night! So, more hopping ensued as I tried to coordinate my legs with the legs of the PJ's! I stumbled to the front door, hair everywhere and eyes still bleary, and could see the postman through the small glass panel.
I opened the door a little and peered round, saying "Sorry, I'd overslept, so thanks for that". He smiled and proffered a package. I opened the door fully and he thrust the little computery gadget for me to sign. I was mumbling apologies and thanks again and he just sputtered something before dashing off down the drive. He didn't close the gate which is pretty unusual for the posties around here.
I shut the door and wandered back through the house. As I put the package on the sofa I glanced down and......my left boob had escaped from my pyjama top!!!!!! I was mortified. I shrieked "Oh my god!" and then started laughing! I mean, I haven't exactly been short changed in that department and the poor man must have a right eyeful....or should I say a left eyeful
Doubtless the story will have gone round the sorting office now, so I'll either get no post for weeks, or a queue of posties ringing the bell depending on his description! I'm just glad it was one of the postmen I don't really know, if it had been my "nice little man" who always has a chat with me, then I really would have been embarrassed!
Anyway, I thought you might like a laugh at my expense! I know that David would have absolutely laughed his socks off at that one and I even have a sneaky suspicion that he caused it to happen to make me giggle as I had one of my down days yesterday and this certainly set the day off with a hilarious tone. Was the package worth the embarrassment I hear you ask. Well, here are the main items that were inside....
Some tapes, labels, notes and a date stamper to use with my Smash book...I already had the book, but I've included it in the picture anyway. The notepad has pages with lists that you can fill in.....top ten this or that. I think many of us who were brought up on Enid Blyton books have a "thing" about lists.....picnic descriptions were a long list of sandwiches, cakes, bicuits and, of course, lashings of ginger beer! (If that means nothing to you then just be grateful you're still very young!)
The other new products were these sparkly lovelies.....
 They are the Stickles dry glitters from Ranger. The big jar on the left is the larger grained clear rock candy glitter which has a rather more vintage effect. I'm just missing the Eucalyptus green to make up the full set but I'm sure there are enough shades there to keep me happy. They are incredibly fine so I can see I'm going to be leaving sparkly trails wherever I go. 
Thought you might like to see what happens when I put the laptop down.......
.....a certain mister Thomas lets me know that he thinks I've been paying far too much attention to it rather than him! He is a comic.
The third and final part of my stint as guest designer for Darkroom Door is on their blog now if you want to take a look at the last of the projects I made. They were great fun to make and hope you like them.
Well, lunch break is over now so I must get back to the drawing board. It's been so cold here today that I've had to keep stopping to warm up my frozen fingers! And, by the way, you can stop laughing now thank you!

PS I nearly forgot to say that I'll be at Samuel Taylor's at Kershaws Garden centre, Brighouse, West Yorkshire all day tomorrow. So do do pop by if it's in your vicinity...I promise to do a full wardrobe check so as not to scare anyone away!  

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Darkroom Door

Hello folks, it's been over a week since I posted and I just do not know where the time went. It must have slipped silently past me while I was concentrating on something else. So, time for a catch up now.
I had an email from the lovely Rachel Grieg late last night to say that she has now posted the first of several projects that I've done for Darkroom Door as their guest designer this month. I was very honoured and delighted to be asked, especially as I'm a huge fan of DD stamps. 

If you're lucky enough to have met Rachel you'll know why she's one of my favourite people. We only meet up once a year at the Stitches trade show, but we always have a lot of fun and she's a hugely talented photographer and designer. If you'd like to take a look at my creations, just check out the Darkroom Door blog. There will be more added later this week.

Meanwhile, nearer to home, I had a lovely couple of days meeting everyone at C J Crafts in Edgeley and at Card Crafts in Lancaster. Lots of familiar faces and, talking of faces, my friend Paul came along to see me and later in the afternoon he decided to do a bit of altered art on one of my photo cards! 
I love it and it's going into my new Smash album as a special memory of the day and my bonkers mate! Coincidentally, Rachel took the photo that PI used for my cards though she might not recognise it now!
Well, I don't have so many pictures of the weekend to share with you as I'd hoped because a/ I didn't have much time to take any, b/someone half hinched some samples (gggrrrrr) and, at Lancaster, just before I packed away I managed to spill water over a pile of my cards and tags completely ruining some of them......my lovingly blended skies ended up with giant bleached out clouds floating over them! Oh well, these things happen. 
Here's a card that seemed to appeal to a lot of folk though
 I used my new Winter Country Scene stamp to create the landscape with some masking and inking to make the evening sky. I used one of the little shrub images in the set to frame the scene - just stamping with Archival Coffee, adding red dots to accentuate the berries and finally dotting Diamond Stickles over to add a touch of sparkle. I placed the hills low down on the card so I'd have room for the main element which was created using the Tim Holtz Bigz Die "Hanging Sign"with one of my new Christmas messages stamped into the centre. I used black bazzil card spritzed with gold Perfect Pearl mist for the hanger and a khaki shade edged with Vintage Photo distress ink for the sign. 
As I was discussing with everyone over the weekend, I (yet again!) forgot about the distress ink coming through the white acrylic paint I added to the sign to represent snow! Even when I'd gone back over it with Enamel Accents in white and then more paint, the Vintage Photo crept through....it's darned good stuff! However, I have come up with a cunning plan to avoid this in future (it's not like I don't know it does this but I always get so involved in what I'm doing that it slips my mind every time) involving....Glue n Seal...what else?! Anyone who's seen my demos recently will know that I can't stop harping on about what a great and very versatile product this is. So, next time I will cut the sign out and then paint Glue n Seal where I want the snowy effect to be. Once dry I can then do my distressing around the edges as normal but I'll now be able to wipe the excess away from the Glue n Sealed areas so there will be no ink to bleed through the white paint - brilliant! (The Glue n Seal that is!).
Oh yes, I used four Idealogy jump rings and some brass coloured chain from my bits and pieces box to connect the hanger and sign. The hanger was attached with 3D foam and this allows the sign to "swing" below it - you could add another message behind the sign of course. I really like this die set...could make a nice pub sign for mens cards!
Monday was spent with Heather, visiting our mum and then having soup for lunch at one of the local garden centres which had their Christmas displays up....
 ....this was in the entrance.....the deer were animated, the lights were twinkling, the snow was glistening and, never mind the kiddiwinks, I was entranced! We both love looking at all the decorations and Heather likes to add a new bauble or two to her tree every year so we did quite a bit of oohing and aahing. I couldn't resist picking up a cuddly polar bear and trying out the Venetian mask though I evidently don't even know where my own eyes are!
Sadly, the polar bear didn't come home with me and, in fact, we both resisted buying anything....for now! 
I hadn't really ever done much decorating at Christmas (as an adult) till last year as there really wasn't room in our little flat for trees and such like. So I absolutely loved putting the festive touches to the house in 2011 and we got a second tree to add to the one that mum and dad used every year. I bought a few fresh decorations for the new tree and they will bring back some very special memories when I hang them this year. I think this is what makes these baubles, little figures and ornaments so treasured by us all - they each have a story to tell when we bring them out every year. I know there are some really old, battered and faded ones in the boxes in the attic, but they will take their place on the tree along with the sparkling new ones, each reminding me of Christmases through the years, from childhood to now.
Well, that was Monday and yesterday was a drawing day. Though at times it felt more like a blank paper day and the eraser was in use more than my pens. Still, I made some progress and the artistic equivalent of writer's block comes and goes. The trick is to press on regardless and work through it.
This morning I was up early to go for a blood test (nothing but water all evening and this morning - miserable!) and arrived five minutes after the start of the walk in session only to find the waiting room absolutely chock full of people. So I had about an hour and a half of hanging around before my two minutes with the nurse! Then back home to get on with doodling again before having this break to post here. 
So, having chatted about my week so far, it's time to feed my two tearaways before getting back to the drawing board for a while longer.

PS I seem to have more or less got to grips with daft new bloggery whatsit, but am still baffled by the text size. Even more so that one paragraph in this post refuses to stay the dark blue I use but keeps reverting to light blue even after several attempts to correct it, and is also, very bizarrely, the text size that I want - even though the whole post is done using the same setting! I give up.

PPS Of course, as soon as I added the PS, the rogue paragraph righted itself colour wise and went back to the miniscule text of the rest of the post just to make me seem like a mad woman.

PPPS!  More of my projects on the Darkroom Door blog now.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Bobby Dazzlers

Yes, check out these little beauties! Heather came over today and the first thing she did was to hand me a bag containing this pair of scrumptuous socks. She has been knitting away and told me that as many as five needles are needed at once which rather made my brain hurt...I can knit a plain scarf and that's about it.
So, not only are they a perfect fit, comfy and wonderfully warm, they are also in my favourite colours. It was a pure coincidence that I was wearing my "new" sweater and that I was so very nattily co-ordinated! Thank you Heather, I love them and so do my tootsies!
We spent much of the day together, went to visit our mum and then called at a nearby carvery to have lunch. It was a mixture of sunshine and dark gloomy skies but now the temperature has dropped like a stone and it's bitterly cold. At least my toes are warm even if my fingers are cold. Isn't it awful that we have to weigh up being reasonably warm with the worry over whether we can afford to keep the heat on? Don't get me started on that one! I've come down with a bit of a cold now, so I'm definitely more inclined to leave the heat on at the moment. Fingers crossed that the paracetamol and hot drinks will do the trick and send the sneezes on their way.
Thank you for all the comments about the garden progress. I'm terribly impatient and always want instant results but I'm learning to think about the long term - though I have got some little Pansies to brighten up the expanses of brown soil everywhere! 
In response to Mark - sorry I don't have your email to reply personally - and the queries about my journal....I really don't worry too much about what I use in there. The Moleskine papers (in the lilac banded one anyway) are pretty tough and are, as you said, very smooth. If I use Promarkers they show through on the reverse of course, and the options are to either stick two pages together (waste of a page!) or to disguise the bleed through. I coat the page with Gesso, paint it with acrylics or glue book paper over it...any of those work well. If I use book paper I sometimes spread a little Gesso over the surface leaving some areas exposed to show certain words or images. Then some inks sprayed over or I'll use acrylics or Neo Colours to add colour to the surface. I don't usually have much of a plan! I'll often make a background and then decide where to go with it - other times I know what I want to do and then do a background to suit. I do like a smooth clean page though, so I can sketch onto it and then work the drawing up into a completed page. Hope that helps! Any gardening tips would be welcomed by the way!!! Lol!
Well, the heat's on but I'm still cold, so I think it may be time for a bite to eat and another hot drink to get warmed up from the inside out.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Crafts Beautiful project

I've been pretty rubbish at blogging this week what with no creative pictures to share. So, I thought I'd show you the project that I did for this month's Crafts Beautiful magazine.     
I used a selection of Darkroom Door stamps with various techniques to get the rich autumn colours that I wanted. If you'd like to check out the magazine, it's the November issue.           
I'm no happier with this "new improved" blogger thingy than I was. The pictures just won't play ball and keep skitting around and instead of going in the centre they go to the side...gggrrrr! So please ignore the bad layout of my posts these days. I do try.
Hello to all the ladies who came to see me at Weavervale on Saturday. It was a busy old day and I'm still finding glitter everywhere!
My work in the garden has been stopped again due to the wet weather we've had here. Well, it's rained on the days I had free and been okay on the days when I have to work - of course! It's getting pretty chilly up here lately too and, as I have a definite shortage of warm clothes, I decided it was time to get a couple of things. Being the inveterate bargain hunter that I am, I did the round of charity shops in the village and, as Monday is market day, I checked out the stalls too. I did pretty well, and for very little money indeed I came back with two cardigans (Per Una ones at that!), a sweater and a warm jacket for when I'm travelling...I don't really like thick coats but I've spent some very chilly times waiting for trains in cold stations.
I picked up a couple of new shower cremes as well....with the colder weather I like to abandon the fresh, zesty limes and lemons in favour of Shea butters, ginger and warm spicy aromas. Psychological nonsense really!
I also got my new diary which is always something of a  ritual. It has to be just the right kind with the layout I'm used to, with enough room for all  my scribbles and able to stand up to lots of crossings out when work dates get changed. Mind you, having said that, I've gone for a slightly smaller one than usual so I'm being a bit daring! I've got lots of dates to write in there for 2013 already and I was having trouble scrawling them into the back of this year's diary - I always start writing everything in very neatly but it will soon descend into a scribbly mess as usual.
One of my neighbours brought some plants over for me too, after he'd been tidying his garden and digging a few things out. So I've got a fairly large daisy type bush (very specific!) to find a spot for, as well as some Irises and another anonymous plant that I know has a lovely purpley blue flower. Hopefully there will be a sunny half hour tomorrow for me to get them planted out. 
Tara is getting much more relaxed at last, though not with Thomas I'm sad to say - she still despises him! However, she's been lying next to me on the sofa with her little, short legs pressed up against me and has been purring quite loudly. Good to know that she's feeling happier even if she does hate having the feline version of Jethro Clampett living in the same house! (Giving my age away there!)
Well, I'm feeling quite warm now, snuggled in my PJ's, woolly cardigan and fluffy socks - that conjures up a glamorous image I know. So, I think I'll sign off now and get a reasonably early night for once. I dare say this post will look like a dogs dinner again thanks to the newly improved nonsense, but never mind.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A few days R&R

Having finished my current workload after a very busy few weeks I haven't felt guilty about having a few days of just relaxing. Monday was spent with Heather visiting our mum and doing some general shopping for food supplies - mainly for my two terrors of course! We also called into the garden centre so I could pick up some grit and I also got a bulb planter and a new pair of gardening gloves. I have great difficulty finding small sizes and I can't work with them if the ends of the fingers are flapping about!
I thought I'd get into the garden later as it was such a nice day, but after a night of very little sleep, I sat down and, before I knew it I was dozing away until Tara woke me up to complain that it was time for dinner! Oh well, I must have needed it.
So, when Tuesday dawned and then turned into a gorgeously sunny day I was determined to make the most of it. What with the workload and the torrential rain the garden has got away from me again, so there was lots to do just to get back on track. My first job was to finish laying the weed suppressing fibre and get the rest of the bark chippings down. I secured the matting with a random mix of bent wire, large headed nails and screws and assorted washers - I'm sure it's not exactly how it's meant to be done, but I find my own way! I added a few more stepping stones as well.....which will please Tara and Thomas too as they do like to tippy toe along them.
Next was the nice job of putting my new bird table (a birthday gift from Joanne and her hubby) in position. I knew I'd need to secure that too, so I had bought some metal tent pegs for the job. I had to use the drill to make holes in the bird table legs, so that was fun! I've always been a bit intimidated by power tools, but must admit that I enjoyed this simple task. So, the bird table was then positioned and the tent pegs hammered through into the ground to make it wind and seagull proof - you wouldn't believe how much they shake my other bird table when they land! 
Last job in this area was to paint the top of the low wall with white paint. It looks very starkly bright now, but it will soon weather down a bit. Here's a picture of the patch as it looks now. I'm sure it won't take long for my avian friends to spy the new feeding station!
Next I had to do some weeding and the final job of the day was to put my bench out. Heather and I put it together a few weeks ago - it was an absolute bargain that cost less than £20! It's not the best quality bench in the world, but it has got wrought iron sides and it doesn't collapse when I sit on it! I had been going to put it on the lawn but someone advised against that, informing me that the grass underneath it would die and it would be a faff to mow around, so, after much moving it around the place I finally plumped for a nice spot and it has really made the garden look more homely straight away.  

It's at the side of the cherry tree and you can see David's rose which has flowered again now. The soil looks very bare as I've just weeded it all today but I've planted bulbs so there will, hopefully, be some lovely spring flowers to come.

Having the bench there has made that area seem more cosy and secluded and a little bit magical (I have a good imagination!). Can you spot my little fairies under the tree at the back? The hare has been in the garden for a long time and he looks just right by the bench. As the fern I planted has done well there, I think I'll plant some more as I think ferns have a bit of a fairyland look about them.
Anyway, after spending the whole day in the garden yesterday I was all set to do it again today but the weather wasn't quite so kind, in fact it was bloomin' freezing! I managed to do some weeding (the outdoor equivalent of dusting I think) and plant some bulbs. I've planted up some indoor Hyacinths and Tete a Tete too, so not too bad a day. Bbbbbrrr it was cold though!
Of course, all this means that I've no crafty goings on to share with you just now, especially as I can't show any of the designs I was working on of course. So, hope you don't mind seeing the garden progress instead.
Here's a rare picture of my two tearaways in the same photo - given that Tara hates Thomas it really doesn't happen much. This morning a very large United Utilities waggon parked outside the house whilst they did something or other to something or other in the road. Needless to say the two T's were not impressed and scurried over to their mum for safety! I love Tara's filthy looks!
 Well, that's more or less been my week so far. On Saturday I'll be at Weavervale garden centre in Winnington, near Northwich, so do pop by and say hello if you're in the area. I'll have my new Christmas stamps with me as well as some stencils and Tim Holtz dies and all my usual inky bits and pieces.
Heather has decided to redress our recent lack of theatre going so she's been booking tickets for us at the famous Grand in Blackpool. It's a magnificent, traditional theatre so it makes any production even more special. So far we have got tickets to see a ballet based on Dicken's Christmas Carol and a traditional evening of Carols. Looking forward to both of those and I haven't seen a ballet for years.
Okay, time to put the kettle on and let Thomas and Tara back in...they should come running as they know that there is still some cooked chicken in the fridge! 
Keep warm everyone.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Harvest weekend

Well it's been a very nice weekend with the weather and I've had a good couple of days too. I was working on designs - trying to make up for the enforced abandonment of my work the previous day and then I walked into the village at around six in the evening. I was en route to the Harvest Supper and we'd been advised to bring our own drinks. I'm not someone who drinks much alcohol at all, hardly ever in fact, so I bought a bottle of flavoured water and some fruit so that I'd have something sweet to indulge in when everyone else was tucking into pudding! Then I thought, "what the heck!" and picked up a miniature (and I mean miniature!) bottle of sparkling rosé wine...I know, how decadent am I!
I walked round to the church hall where people were starting to arrive and there was an inviting smell of potatoes roasting in the ovens. The Céilidh band (I can't tell you how many times I just had to check the spelling of that!) were getting ready on stage and it looked like it would be a fun evening.
And so it turned out to be. I've taken lots of photos and a few videos to remind me of the night, so I'll share some here.....  
......a bit of an action shot there with some enthusiastic hornpipe moves from the men, including the vicar in grey. I'm on the left in this next picture, listening to the instructions on what we were supposed to do in this particular dance.   
Supposed to being the operative word, as it soon descended into something like a cross between the Generation Game and Ann Widdecombe in rehearsal on Strictly! 

I think I was a bit worried where the tall lady in green was going to land as she galloped past...galloping was something we were instructed to do quite a lot!
We had a nice supper of baked potatoes and chilli and even my tiny bottle of wine left me a tad tiddly - I know, I have no staying power! Then it was back to the dancing (or pounding around the floor might be a better description for some of us!) which was rounded off by a very enthusiastic and exhausting Hokey Cokey. The final thing was everyone linking hands to sing Auld Land Syne which, I have to admit was the one point in the evening when I shed a tear. However, I pulled myself together and put my smile back on before making my way home. It was 10.15pm, so it had been a good few hours of jolly company. I got back feeling shattered, a tummy aching from laughing and a good thing that I set my alarm this morning or I think I'd have overslept.
 Thankfully I did wake up in time to go to the Harvest Service this morning. The church had been beautifully decorated by the ladies who do all the floral arrangements, so I was glad that I had taken my camera. This is the font with a really sumptuous display of flowers, fruit and vegetables. You can see just one of the stained glass windows that are a feature of St Chads. The flower baskets had all been made up in readiness to be delivered to the sick and housebound tomorrow.
This is the view looking towards the altar and the choir section on the right. Again, filled with beautiful flowers. The service was lovely, with all the usual harvest hymns and  everyone taking their offerings to the front of the church for distribution to the homeless and needy.
I felt very sentimental thinking back to childhood days of this same service.  One year I was chosen from class to give the reading at the huge St John's church in Blackpool and remember feeling very honoured and a bit small....I couldn't even see over the lecturn! Today I also had a strong sense of history watching everyone bringing food to the front. The hymns and the traditions haven't really changed for centuries and I could imagine the farmers and labourers fom the 1700's doing exactly what we were doing today.
Well, I was already having a good couple of days and then Heather put the finishing cap on the weekend by asking if I'd like to go and see Alfie Boe in concert next April - not only that. she then informed me today that she has booked the tickets! Woohoo! So, we are going to be going to see him in at the Opera House in Blackpool  - now that's something to look forward to! I love the theatre - plays, musicals, opera, concerts but can't remember the last time I went.

The other finishing touch to the weekend (literally) was that I completed my new designs this afternoon which always feels good. I had some tears this evening too. I think there were lots of good moments over the last two days and some "memory lane" ones which just set me thinking and feeling a bit low. It's the first time that I've done new designs and not had David to show them to which is so sad. Well, enough melancholia for today.

Friday, 5 October 2012

The best laid plans

Today didn't quite turn out the way it had been planned! I was finishing a set of drawings this morning and Heather was coming over for an hour or so for a spot of lunch and a catch up before I carried on with more work.
The day started okay... I finished the set of designs I'd started the night before and Heather arrived. We were just having a chat when Heather noticed a police car go by - quite an unusual event here, unlike when I lived in Manchester! I went to the window and saw a second car with a police officer just getting out of it. One began ringing the doorbells of the houses opposite, though most of my neighbours were out. We were getting quite curious as we could hear sirens in the distance too. 
One neighbour returned home in her car at that moment and, on seeing the police, she beckoned to me to ask what was going on. So, we went out to ask the lady police officer and were told that there was a suspicious package on the nearby industrial estate (which used to be an unspoilt meadowland, but that's another story) and that they were taking it extremely seriously. We were then informed that we all had to evacuate the area - they were trying to get a "place of safety" for everyone, but meanwhile we should go away from the area and ring 101 for more details later. 
Heather suggested we go into the village, so we did a quick switch off in the house, I grabbed my jacket and off we went. It was strange to see all the neighbours driving off in a convoy or scurrying up the road with dogs in tow. Poor Thomas and Tara just had to stay home of course!
We certainly didn't feel as if there was any real threat as it's a quiet village and not the sort of place you'd expect to be targeted by anyone - but you never know these days of course. Poor Heather didn't even have a coat with her as we hadn't intended to be going out and it was pretty cold. We ended up having lunch in one of the local cafes and wondering how long it would be before I could go back home.
I needed to buy a card ...oops, should I confess that here?! Well, I don't always have time to make them to actually send! We still didn't know what was going on until word went round the shops that the emergency was over and that it was safe to return.
It seems that someone had taken their car to a garage on the industrial estate and when the boot had been opened they found a "bomb" in there. It transpired that the car owner had been to a "bad taste" fancy dress party and had forgotten about the "bomb" in the boot. So, not only were all the nearby residents evacuated, the workers on the industrial estate sent home, police and bomb squad called out but the trains were also cancelled as the line goes past the end of the lane. 
Still, it's reassuring to know that they take our safety so seriously, even if it did feel more like being back in Manchester today and I lost several hours of work time this afternoon. The police were back again this evening, but this time they were just pushing a letter through each door to explain what had happened and to reassure everyone that everything was back to normal. Good service!
Well, I watched Strictly Come Dancing tonight, something I've hardly done for a good few years. We watched the first two series but David got fed up with the public voting for favourite celebs rather than good dancers, so we didn't follow the later ones. I have caught the odd programme when I've been working away from home, but that's about it really. By the way, it's not that Strictly was "banned", but we liked to watch programmes that we both enjoyed so we had give and take...David watched all "his" programmes while I was away too. Anyway, I quite enjoyed Strictly tonight, though I'm certainly no judge of good dancing, never noticing things like hands, rise and fall (whatever that is) etc. Still, I hoped I might pick up some tips for the Harvest Supper barn dance tomorrow night! I don't expect I'll be doing much, if any, dancing, but I'll let you know.
Sunday is Harvest Festival and Heather and I were recalling when we were little that we used to walk from school to the Church for the service carrying baskets filled with fruit and other goodies. Nowadays, needless to say, it's changed and the donations have to be tinned or dry food and toiletries. Not quite so visually delightful, but the end result is still as worthwhile of course. So, I've got my carrier bag (!) filled with soups, cereals and tinned fruit ready for Sunday and I'm sure it will be a lovely service.
So, that's been the different sort of day here and what I've got planned for the weekend. Hope you had a better day and have something good planned for yours. Take care everyone.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Just a few pictures

This really is a rushed post whilst I'm having a (well deserved lol!) coffee break. Every time I finish a set of designs I have a little break to rest my eyes and fingers which often get a little tensed up through concentrating so hard.  
So, I just wanted to share a few more pictures of some of the samples that I had on my table at the Port Sunlight show. If any of you have been thinking about going but haven't yet managed it, I would urge you to make space in your diary to go to the next one as there were so many really inspirational stands there. Anyway, here are some of my efforts! 
This is a very simple card, though you can't really see all the faded details in the background too well. I made a softly blended distress ink background, leaving the centre fairly un-inked. I blended out some fir trees using water and a fine brush, then stamped the message into the middle using Archival Coffee. The greeting is from my Friends at Christmas set (PICSA6371). I then used one of the twiggy plant images from my Winter Country Scene set - the same one used in last night's card - and stamped them around the edges using the Coffee ink pad. I simply dotted the berries onto the twigs using a Poppy coloured Promarker. It's a simple design but I think quite effective. 
The next picture is of two cards both made the same way. I stamped snowmen (have I ever mentioned how much I like snowmen?!) from my Christmas From All of Us set (PICSA6362) coloured them in and then painted them with Glue n Seal. Once dry, I placed a Crafters Workshop template over the card - the one I used here is Aspen Trees - and blended distress inks over the card being carefull not to move or damage the template. It's easier to tape the card down really. Once the template is removed the snowmen look stripey! So, simply use a damp tissue to wipe the excess ink away from them and buff with a dry cloth. Easy peasy! 
Next are some tags...not Christmassy this time. These feature backgrounds made with distress inks and/or Dylusions spray inks. Glue n Seal was used in the same way as on the snowmen cards so that I could have fun making some really vivid backrounds. That's Gwendoline in the centre and Gabrielle on either side. I used CW templates on them too - I love this technique as it really does look as if the stencilling was done first and it's much the easiest way I have ever found of masking off an image. 
Lastly, here's a simple card using three of my Christmas Tinchie designs. The background is Dylusions ink sprays with faux bleaching through a CW harlequin template. I added some simple swirls with  Stardust Stickles and just layered up the images - I said it was simple! 

Well, hope you like them. I'll have these, and more besides, with me when I'm at Weavervale garden centre near Northwich on the 13th of this month. I would have been at Samuel Taylors in Brighouse this Saturday coming, but there was a bit of a mix up and the date is now the 27th October. Still, it means that I can now go to the Harvest Supper in the Church hall so I'm looking forward to that. Well, sort of, as it is also a barn dance which I'm not quite so sure about! I'll be taking my camera though, so may have some amusing sanps to share!
Okay, coffee break is well over now, so it's back to the drawing board.

 PS I am still hating this new blogger thing and frustrated about the font size. The last but one post just came up in my usual sized text even though it was on the same setting as this and the last one. No matter what I try it comes up as either microscopic or massive! I have no logical explanation but wish they would just put the usual text sizes in numbers so I could make a proper choice. So, apologies if you're having to squint to read this now.