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

Monday, 31 December 2012

New Year good wishes

Just a quick post to wish everyone all the best for the new year.
I know that many of you, like myself, have, for one reason or another, had a really bad year. I just hope that this coming one will be kinder to all of us.
I'm not looking forward to the bringing in of 2013 itself, as it will be so sad to stand and watch the fireworks from the back of the house without David wrapping me up inside his big coat and wishing the best for each other with a hug and a kiss. I'll still watch them though and I'll raise a glass to my lovely man.
I hope you all enjoy tonight in whatever way you're spending new year's eve.
God bless.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Memories and wishes

Today would have been dad's 90th birthday as well as Christmas Eve. He just loved the whole birthday/Christmas experience and would have a big smile on his face that would put a nine year old to shame. This is dad with mum last year.
Heather and I will be going to spend time with mum today at her care home and open some of her presents with her. She will be full of smiles as always, especially when she opens any of the "eats"! There are some pink and white marshmallows, Thorntons cakes and fruit jellies so she will enjoy those.
We're then going back to Heather's and will be having a Chinese takeaway just as we always did for dad's birthday. I'll be coming home and then going to the midnight service at church which is something I've not done before but am looking forward to. I'm going with my neighbour so it will be a late night for us both.
I've decided to have Christmas day itself on my own so I can just spend a quiet time. I'm going to cook a proper dinner with (most of) the trimmings which will keep me occupied for a while. Heather wanted me to spend the day with them, but I think this first Christmas without David is one that I need to be on my own for. 
Well, I just want to wish everybody a very happy and peaceful Christmas. I'll sign off with a picture of my tree with one the two new Bambi decorations that I got last week....they are flocked and I added ribbon bows and bells as well as some white spots to their rumps - ever so cute. There are also some vintage baubles that I picked up for a snip in a charity shop. Hopefully they will survive Tara's growing interest in the sparkly, shiny ornaments that are tantalizing her!

Happy Christmas everybody.
PS I tried scheduling this post to come on yesterday whilst I was out but it didn't work! Oh well, happy Christmas again!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

What a wash out

Goodness it's rained today. I'd been going to go into the village to join in the singing in the square this morning - the same band that Heather and I saw at the theatre were playing. It was so dark, wet and windy though, that I just didn't relish standing outside for an hour or so!
I decided to take the bus to Blackpool instead....I must have been mad. The water was running through the streets and it was really cold. I ventured into M & S food department which was completely manic but I did get the bread sauce that was on the top of my shopping list! It was always mum's favourite bit of Christmas dinner. I had a voucher to spend at M & S and had planned to use it against my food shopping. It was only as I was coming home that I realised I'd forgotten to use it - duh!
By the time I got back I was frozen and soaked through so after huddling by the fire with Tara I decided to run a bubble bath - it's the only way to really get warm again after a soaking. Then it was a bowl of papardelle pasta with mushrooms (yum) as I settled down to watch Strictly. I have so enjoyed the whole Strictly thing - isn't it nice to have proper, old fashioned entertainment on a Saturday night? 
I really didn't have a particular favourite to win from the final four as I thought they were all brilliant. I was very pleased with the result though - I won't give anything away as I know some people may be watching it on catch up or recording! Saturday telly will be much duller now.
I'm off to church in the morning and will be doing my last bit of food shopping before walking home...it does seem odd going shopping straight after church but half the congregation seem to do the same thing! I just hope it's a bit dryer tomorrow.
Welcome to new followers and thank you for all the cards that I've received both real and virtual! I'll be back for a last pre-Christmas post tomorrow. Sleep tight everyone.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


Hello folks, sorry to have been awol for a couple of weeks, and thank you for the emails that I received from several people asking if I was okay - it was very thoughtful. I've been caught up with various things, including getting the kitchen floor and washing machine fixed as well as feeling a bit low, but am okay. Everyone seems to be really busy and running out of time to get things done...it's almost like Christmas has suddenly loomed large and fitting everything in requires some juggling.
Having the kitchen problems sorted out at last is a real weight off my mind though as I was literally standing on lino with no floorboard under it when I was washing up! The washing machine pipes that had been slowly leaking have been replaced and the floor is now solid beneath my feet. I'm hopeful that the intermittent "door not opening" problem will have resolved now too as it seems the leaks were fooling the machine into thinking it hadn't emptied. So, one major job done and with very little mess too.
I've sent all my Christmas cards off - and apologies to those who I have no address for. Thomas was doing his best to help me finish a few last week, though he was more of a hindrance if truth be told.....
 .....bless him!
I spent last Saturday putting decorations up which gave me a bit of a lift - and took ages! Thomas has completely ignored all the tinsel, the trees and fairy lights, but Tara has been quite fascinated by them - far more than last year. I have had to keep a bit of an eye on her.....
  .....she has been sitting on the back of the armchair gazing at the baubles as if she might launch herself into the tree branches at any second! In this picture she just looks as if she's wearing a bauble on her head though!
Yesterday was the day that I finally felt as if everything has been done that needs to be done as it were. I had a surprise visit from one of my best friends whose timing was perfect as the plumber had finished and left half an hour before. So we were able to have a good catch up and some hugs of course. Later in the afternoon I got the bus into Blackpool and met my sister, Heather, for a wander around the shops prior to our night at the Grand Theatre. We went to Nandos for dinner before the concert - neither of us had been to one of their restaurants before and we really enjoyed both the food and the excellent service...we were really looked after and one of the waiters gave us a bag containing a selection of all their sauces to take home!
We then made our way into the theatre for a carol concert by Poulton-Le-Fylde band. There was a really bizarre twist to the evening too. One of the ladies at church had mentioned going to the concert and I'd said that I was also going. Heather commented that I might spot her but I doubted I would. How very odd that we were sat at the end of an empty row when Debbie (and several other people from church) all trouped onto our row and sat right next to us! All of us had pre booked our seats months ago so I cannot imagine what the chances of that were - very strange!
Anyway, what a wonderful evening it turned out to be. Just being in the Grand is an experience to savour...

 ...I took this picture in the interval when the safety curtain was down, but you can see how ornate the interior is.The evening was full of traditional carols, including some sing along ones, as well as more contemporary festive music. The music was interspersed with banter from rev Bottoms who was as funny as any stand up comedian. 
Heather and I were fascinated by the three percussionists who were playing an array of drums, triangles, bells, cymbals etc and were very obviously enjoying what they were doing. At one point three band members plus "an audience member" asked the conductor if they could sing the next piece (all very "impromptu"!) and they performed a really memorable acapella version of "the Christmas song" (Chestnuts roasting on an open fire) which brought the house down.
What really finished the night perfectly was as we were coming down the staircase and heard singing in the foyer below - the four guys were entertaining everyone as they left. Heather and I decided to linger and listen to them and I asked if I could take a photo. They were laughing and saying they had a groupie! Heather did take one of me with them, but I'll show you the one without me in it as it's a much nicer one!
 They then said they'd sing one just for us and serenaded us with "the Irish Blessing" which brought a tear to our eyes. A very special end to our evening.
Well, it's late, so I'd better sign off for tonight. Thank you to everyone who has sent me a card or a message - they have been much appreciated and, again, apologies to those whose addresses I don't have (or have lost!). Take care everyone.

PS I forgot to mention that Heather and I were both texting each other at 5.15pm last evening to tell each other to watch Celebrity Pointless as our cousin was on one of the four teams! He's Simon Hickson who some of you may remember as one half of Trevor and Simon - from children's telly. We haven't seen him for years but it was fun watching and seeing how well (or not) they would do. He and Trevor got knocked out in the second round but they didn't disgrace themselves! 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

I'm pooped!

I set aside today for having a really good pre-Christmas tidy, clear out and clean. It was a very gloomy morning with very little sunlight peeking over the yard arm until well after nine. Anyway, I set to work and carried on till mid afternoon when I decided to call it a day as I was desperate for a coffee and a bite to eat.
I am an absolutely awful housekeeper, partly due to the fact that David did all the domestic side of things while I cracked on with what I have to do. I've had such a busy few weeks that I really let things slide so there was quite a bit to get through today.
Anyway, I've completely done the workroom/vestibule that I never know what to call...Heather and I have started calling it the Doo-Lally-Pip room now, after my new stamp range and it seems like a good choice! Everything got cleared off the table, all the bits and pieces sorted through and lots of rubbish thrown out or into the recycling bin. I finally made a decision to clear all the drawers and cupboard space that was filled with David's clothes. I really struggled, but I went through everything and chose certain items that are extra special to me and have put those all neatly away. Everything else will go to the charity shop now. It was tough, but I know that David would have told me to stop being silly and use the space - he wasn't sentimental about objects and "things". 
So, I've now put my work materials in the drawers - inkpads in one, dies in another etc. I don't know how long they will stay in any kind of order, but it's a start. After a good clean I put some cheerful fabric over my table and along the shelf that I place my canvasses and altered art pieces on. I've upset a few spiders, but I think they will soon make themselves at home again!
I then tackled the lounge, made a huge pile of old paperwork to recycle, dusted, polished and tidied and threw another big bag full of rubbish out. Where does all the mass of accumulated nonsense come from?
I'll have to have another day of h*!**!!k tomorrow to tackle the two bedrooms, kitchen and conservatory, but I feel like I achieved quite a lot today so it won't seem such a chore tomorrow. I'll change all the bedding too, though I think it's going to take a long time to dry any laundry out at the moment and the thought of damp sheets over the radiators makes me shiver!
I'm just waiting for the plumber to arrive any time now as there is a problem in the kitchen - one of the floorboards has gone "squashy" which is a bad sign and I think there's either a slow leak from under the sink, or something to do with the temperamental washing machine. Hopefully it won't be anything too major and the florboard will dry out - eek! It's so weird to have to have "a man in" as, again, David always took care of any problems...he really could do anything.
Anyway, that's been my day so far. I'll share some more sneaky peeks of my new designs now - hope you like them. This first one is from the Crafty Impressions (a new range that PI are doing) All Occasions section and I designed this set with several ideas in mind - they will work well stamped in Glue n Seal, or using the new Ranger sticky embossing powder and dry glitters. I'll also be using them stamped in Archival black over alcohol ink or Dylusions ink sprayed backgrounds.

The set is called "Hope Blooms" (CICSA6012).
Next is a set called "Don't be afraid" (CICSA6023) which is from my Doo-Lally-Pip collection and has lots of useful quotes for cards or journalling.
The next set is also from the Doo-Lally-Pip range. This one is "Time Travel" (CICSA6029) and works really well with the Steamed Up set that I showed on last night's post.

The main character is quite androgynous - with or without the top hat! This was another set that took hours and hours to draw.
To complete tonight's little peeps, these last two are Tinchies (small single stamps) and are both from the Easter range, though they can obviously be used at any time of the year. They are both bunnies  - why do we call rabbits "bunnies" by the way?

This one is called "Bunny Behind" (CICST001) for obvious reasons - though I don't give them the names!

And this one is called "Rabbit Warren" (CICST005)

Well, hope you like them! If you didn't catch last night's post you can see more of the new designs there.
I'll post a few more tomorrow as well.
Well, I'm going to relax for the evening now. I decided on the chicken fried rice last night - it was more like a chicken kedgeree really and very tasty. I added some curry powder to the onions and then lots of different vegetables (it can be hard to get that five a day and now "they" say we should have seven!) before stirring an egg into the pan, adding the rice, soy sauce and finally the pieces of chicken. Yummy! So, it will be spaghetti tonight I think - unless I wimp out and just slam a lasagne ready meal into the oven. Must go and feed my two mischievous moggies first though!

Monday, 3 December 2012

New stamp sets

I should be feeling more relaxed now, as Saturday's demonstration, at Suzi Crafts in Stockton, was my last outing, work wise, for this year. Somehow, I feel just the opposite though, and my head is swimming with lists of things to be done, things to buy, things to send and, of course, bills to pay. The last being the one causing the most stress needless to say!
I'm also feeling very irritated just now as I decided that, before I put up any Christmas decorations, I must sort out the dreadful state of part of the ceiling in my work room come vestibule. The flat roof had been leaking very badly throughout the summer and, although it was fixed, I still hadn't redecorated the ceiling. It looked a sight really, big blobs of expansion foam coming through where some holes had been filled, paper coming away and lots of water marks of course. 
So, full of great confidence (!) I found some suitable wallpaper in a drawer in the garage, along with adhesive and a big brush. My confidence evaporated as quickly as the wallpaper unstuck itself from the ceiling! I couldn't even get it to hold up long enough to attach more than a few inches - what a disaster! I'm sure that the neighbours were very entertained if they were watching my Norman Wisdom like attempts - good thing they couldn't hear me...I don't swear as a rule, but I was getting pretty fed up!
Eventually I decided that this was just not a one woman job and....gave up. I switched plans and found some paint which I've daubed on for now. It looks frightful to be truthful - but will have to do for now. I think I'll get some textured paint which will cover the uneven surface but it will have to wait till new year now. It's hard with no one to help, though David always managed to work wonders with only my occasional assistance. So, although I might get some odd jobs rebuilding garden walls, I don't think I'll be picking up any work as a decorator!
Hello to everyone that I met on Saturday and thanks for all making me so welcome. It was a really fun day and what an enthusiastic bunch. Thanks too, to Tom and Sue for keeping me warm with a heater and coffees - as well as the chips and gravy for lunch....naughty but nice....they know how to make good gravy in the north east! I hope I'll be back there next year.
Yesterday was a good start to getting into the Christmas spirit. As well as the normal Sunday service at St Chads, there were two other special events that I attended. First was a late afternoon Christingle service which involved oranges decorated with sticks, sweets, ribbon and candles. The lights in the church were all turned out and the vicar told the story behind the Christingle oranges before lighting the first candle. Everyone came forward to take an orange and form a huge circle of people around the inside of the church and the flame was then passed from person to person. A really beautiful service and I loved the fact that even the children were holding the candles....nuts to the health and safety bureaucrats!
I then braved the cold and spent an hour or so browsing the village shop windows and having a coffee until the evening service which was an Advent celebration with music from the choir and lots of Carol singing. I walked home through the park (so nice to be somewhere that I feel safe walking in a park at night) and had a lazy evening on the sofa watching the box and getting warm again.
Well, that's been my weekend, and now, as promised, here are a few of my new stamp sets that will be available early next year. They are all  from my new "Doo-Lally-Pip collection"! I'll share more over the next few days. Here goes....
 .....this set is called "My purrfect pal" (CICSA6022) and I hope will appeal to other feline fanciers like myself. Being in the Doo-Lally-Pip series it has to have a quirky touch of course. Next up is....
 ....."Steamed up" (CICSA6025) which is one of my favourites of the new designs. I can't describe just how long this set took to draw! I don't use my computer to design with, except for some of my quotes and messages, so it does take hours for some very detailed images. Of course, when designing stamps, everything is literally black and white ie no grey shading allowed! So, any shadows have to be created with fine black lines which is what takes the time. I hope this will be a really useful set for journalling, altered art and cardmaking too of course. The next set is.......
...... "Behind the mask" (CICSA6028) with the Pierrot and Venetian mask. I really enjoyed drawing this set and I'll be using these images in my own journal I know. Here's a new quotes set.....
 .....this one is called "Create" (CICSA6026). My Creative Thoughts A5 set has been one of my most popular designs this year, so we have got several A6 quote collections this time. You will have to turn your necks round to read some of them I'm afraid, but we like to pack them onto the sheets! I'll share some of the other quote sets over the next few days. Finally for tonight......
 .....this is "My fragile heart" (CICSA6024) which will work for Valentine cards of course, but for journalling, tags and general cards too. 
That's all the sneaky peeks for now. The sets I've shown are all A6 size and are in the new Crafty Impressions section of the PI website. They'll be available from any store that stocks Personal Impressions products.
Well, it's time for me to go into the kitchen and rustle something up for dinner...not sure what yet, but I've really been trying to do some "proper" cooking lately, instead of relying on ready meals and cans. I actually made a vegetable curry last week that was pretty good if I say so myself, and Nigel Slater inspired me to make a fruit crumble (I did a sugar free version) that turned out really well. It's going to be either chicken fried rice or meatball spaghetti tonight depending on how I feel when I open the fridge!
I know I keep signing off like this lately, but do keep warm everyone.