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

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

piccies & a reminder

My Stitches samples came back today, so I'm posting some pictures here as promised. If you're coming along to my demonstration at High Legh garden centre this Saturday you'll be able to take a closer look at these and more. 
The reminder is don't forget to leave a comment, if you haven't already, after my blog candy giveaway post from last week. There's still time to be in with a chance to win it as I'll be randomly picking a winner on Friday morning. Well, it may be Heather, Thomas or Tara, who picks somebody! I'll post the winner's name on Friday evening, so don't forget to call back and see if you're "it"!! 
Welcome to new followers and hope you'll enjoy my ramblings, both creative and not as it were.
So, here are a few pictures with some brief descriptions of what I used.
This tag was made using my Doo Lally Pip stamp set "All steamed up". The background on the tag was made using Distress Stains including metallic to give a slightly rusty, verdigris effect. I roughed up the edges and inked them with Rusty Hinge Distress ink. The flowers are simply punched out from Kraft Resist papers that I scrunched up before spraying with Dylusions inks and heat setting. I added Idealogy gears using little brads to link them to the steampunk theme. Here's a closer look at the details....
I layered up the images and added Glossy Accents to the rivets to give dimension to the tag and the "ribbon" is just tissue tape that I've folded and inked with Stains. I like the odd juxtaposition (!) of flowers with the steampunky theme!
Here are a couple of whimsical Easter tags....
....the left one is made using my "Peep Peep" stamp set and my Glue n Seal technique to protect the images before inking the background. I coloured the chicken using Dylusions sprays to give a speckled hen look. 
The right hand tag features the egg branch and sentiment from the Peep Peep set as well as two of my Tinchie stamps - Bunny Behind and Rabbit Warren. I used inked dictionary paper to create the hillside - love that technique!
Finally for today, this little canvas was probably the piece that most people liked at the show! It seems my Moochin' character reminds almost everyone of their grandson, son, nephew etc! The canvas was simply sprayed with inks (no prep to the canvas) which I then smooched out with tissue until I liked the effect. I went rond the edges with Distress ink and the black splats were made using the Black Soot Stain in "bingo marker" fashion - such a satisfying method! I inked though the number stencil to add some extra interest in the background and stood the character on kitchen towel that I'd used to wipe up my inks with - I splodged Multi Matte Medium onto the tissue and scrumpled it onto the canvas adding more medium to allow me to clump it up. You probably can't see it here, but I sprinkled some Rock Candy Distress glitter over the "grass" too. 
My favourite bit of this canvas are his clothes. I picked a couple of sheets from my pile of used, inky paper towels and stuck them down onto thin card using a glue stick. It's best to glue the paper towel down then peel back the top layer if it's a two ply tissue before adding more adhesive and smoothing the top layer back into place - otherwise it might just come adrift later. I then stamped the character onto the two different coloured pieces before cutting the jeans and tee shirt out and adhering in place over the original image. I love the way this gives texture to his clothes - makes them quite touchy feely!
Of course, he had to have the crown at a jaunty angle and the words from my "I've Had Enough" stamp set just suit him perfectly.
I'll post photos of more samples in the next few days but here's one to finish that shows just how much respect Tara has for her mums work.....
...not sure if she was picking out her favourite or deciding which one to chew first!
The work that Tara is so casually playing with almost came at a rather high price. I had to have the plumber round again this week as the lounge radiator had sprung a leak....I still feel really strange having to call "a man in" for these things, as David would have been able to fix just about everything. I guessed that the valve screw thread had stripped when I was bleeding the radiator and so it proved to be - but I had no way of sorting it out myself besides permanently sealing the valve. 
Anyway, I digress. I'd been having bad headaches along with a dodgy tummy for a few weeks before Stitches and I was sure that it was a bad reaction to an increased dose of one of my tablets. I was all set to ask the doctor to try me on a different one. Then, a couple of days before the show, I realised that the symptoms had stopped. It was only then that a thought came to me about an alternative explanation.....I'd been working in my Doo Lally room for hours and hours each day and, with the freezing weather, I'd had the gas wall heater on as well as the radiator...it's a chilly room otherwise. The symptoms had stopped when I'd finished working in there in the last couple of days. Mmmmm....I thought....suspicious! So, I asked the plumber to check the heater and he said that I'm lucky that I didn't fall asleep and never wake up! He's turned the gas off to it for me and I will now have to pick up a halogen heater to top up the heat in there instead.
Thank goodness I twigged what the cause could be though. To think, I've been working away in there and breathing in gas fumes the whole time! Yikes. It pays to check these things out.
Okay, that's me signing out for today and....don't forget....leave a comment on the blog candy post. 

PS in reply to several queries, yes, I will be at this year's Craft Barn Extravaganza and this time I'll also be teaching there on the Friday as well.

Friday, 22 February 2013

A few more Stitches photos

Thank you for all the lovely comments on both my last post and the blog candy post (don't forget you need to comment on that post titled "blog candy giveaway" to be in the draw). It's always good to know that the stamp designs that I work so hard on have hit the right note so to speak. 
I thought I'd share a couple more pictures from the show - and I'll post more samples when I get them back as they're being photographed at PI headquarters just now.
This is a great shot of Rachel with someone that most of you will recognise - Andy Skinner who is as lovely as he is talented which is saying quite a lot! A true gentleman and one of my closest friends...annoyingly though, we hardly got a chance to catch up at all!
 Here's a picture taken at the Sizzix stand with Paula showing the beautiful flowers made from Sizzix dies. They were amazing. The Sizzix stand was so inspirational, with detailed displays which had been dressed beautifully.
 I met up with so many people at the show but didn't get photos of everyone of course. My friend Paul visited the show, so I got lots of big hugs and you can't have too many of those! I had a lot of catch ups with Lynnda and Elaine from Oak House Studio too. The whole event really did me a lot of good as everything was so positive and I was with my "second family" - the PI team, who are a great bunch of people. Lots of people told us that we had the most inspirational demonstrations at the show, so that was very good to hear. I had a couple of bad moments when two people, within ten minutes of each other, who I've not seen for quite some time, asked me how David was. I wasn't quite prepared for that and it gave me a bit of a sideways knock. I ended up feeling bad for them though as they felt so awful...it's one of those things.
I've been out with my sister Heather today, visiting our mum and then doing some grocery shopping as I was out of just about everything. I had a fresh delivery from the Beanie coffee company today too, so, once I've posted this I'm off to make a cup of double chocolate flavoured coffee - it's sugar free too, so not even any guilty feelings! It's freeeeeezing cold here today so I'm planning an evening snuggled up with Tara on the sofa - she has finally realised that it's nice to be stroked and made a fuss of. She was in a family with children who teased her, so it's taken her a long time to trust me completely. Thomas doesn't do cuddles on the sofa, he's strictly guard duty...sitting by the door when I have a shower, keeping me company in the kitchen when I make dinner and making me laugh with his charging around the lounge after his toy mouse. Cuddles with Thomas are at bed time and he's a purry, furry hot water bottle under the duvet!
Right, there's a coffee cup with my name on it! Don't forget to comment on the blog candy post by next Thursday.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

I'm all of a Doo Lally

Hello folks, I was going to write this post yesterday but Tara and Thomas had other ideas - in fact Tara jumped up and turned the laptop off with her paw to show her disgust that I was even thinking about not giving them my full attention! I had left them alone for four days with just my neighbour popping in to feed them, so they were rightfully feeling a little neglected and Tara has been like a fixture on my lap since I got back.
I decided to have a day off anyway after Stitches, which is always a brilliant few days but exhausting. Before I forget, if you click the link in my sidebar you can go to my You Tube site where I've posted a video of the demo areas on the Personal Impressions stand at the show. Look out for the quick Can Can moment at the end...not by me I hasten to add!
Here's a picture of some of my Doo Lally Pip samples up on display at the end of the demonstration counter....

 ....I do like a black background to show off the strong colours. I was really pleased with all the positive reaction to my new Doo Lally designs which seemed to make everyone smile.
Here's me with one of my best mates, the lovely and super talented Rachel Greig of Darkroom Door fame.....
..... Rachel and I were sharing one demonstration booth and here's Rachel with Dyan Reaveley who was demonstrating on counter on the other side of our stand. Dyan's new colours in her Dylusions ink sprays are gorgeous and a must have......
At the opposite end of the PI stand we had Ken Oliver from Spellbinders who was demonstrating the new Media Mixage range and the Artisan Explorer machine. Here he is with Jan from Personal Impressions....
Here's a nice shot of Rachel demonstrating and you can see some more of our samples as well as getting an idea of the size of the PI stand which is one of the best at the show (I know, I'm biased, but it is!).....
Another piccie of me here, this time with my lovely friend, Paula Pascual who was demonstrating on the Sizzix stand.......
 .....can you tell we love each other?! I wish I could smile without squishing my eyes up though!!!
We also had a lot of fun and our traditional Monday night at the Wing Wah Chinese restaurant was as bonkers as ever, with "happy birthday" sparkler topped, ice cream filled fruit bowls being brought to two unsuspecting recipients at our tables. This year it was the turn of Ken and also Patrick from DecoArt to wonder why they were being sung to when it wasn't even their birthdays! 
 .......daft, but fun! 
The show was three days of non stop talking, standing, perching on a high stool, teaching and demonstrating and meeting up with people, some of whom I only see once a year. I'm always really sad when the show closes and the stand, that took hours and hours to set up and dress, is ripped down in no time at all and everyone says their farewells. It was especially poignant this year as David always used to help to pack things away and he always took a "Team PI" photograph of us all. 
Thank you for all the texts and emails that I got from so many of you while I was away - I will get back to everyone I promise!
Well, I will post some pictures of more samples from the show in a few days as they are being photographed for Personal Impressions before being sent back to me. Don't forget to check out the You Tube clip and also to read the post below this one to enter my blog candy giveaway! Remember you need to leave a comment after that post to be in with a chance.

Blog Candy giveaway

Time for a little candy! I have three stamp sets from my new Doo Lally Pip range to give away, along with a fun tag that was a Darkroom Door Doo Lally combo made by Rachel Greig and myself at Stitches! The brilliant suitcases image is from one of Rachel's new stamp sets called Nomad (DDRS115). The little character is from my Piffy on a Rockcake set and the quote is from the Happiness set that's one of the three in the candy.

The three stamp sets all feature my latest quotes and are ideal for both cards and journal pages etc. They are Create, Don't Be Afraid and Happiness and they're all A6 sized. Hope you like the new packaging!
Rachel and I have both signed the back of the tag.....
Anyway, for a chance to grab the goodies, just leave a comment (on this particular post please) by February 28th - that's next Thursday. I'll pick a random winner from the list of "commentees" (?) on Friday 1st March, so be sure to check back to see if you're the winner. If you can give the candy a mention on your own blog it would be appreciated, but everyone's welcome to enter.
Good luck!

Friday, 15 February 2013

A Stitch in time

Well, everything that's going to be done for Stitches has been done now and Thomas and Tara are both looking increasingly fed up as they've watched me putting things into my case - a sure sign that I'm "abandoning" them. I just about managed to cram my clothes in there but have had to leave out a beaded jacket and a second pair of shoes! The case is bursting at the seams and weighs a ton but that's par for the course - thank goodness for wheels! My Tim Holtz bag is also full, so if it isn't in there already it won't be going!
Anyway, I'm just signing in to say thank you for all the lovely comments and the good wishes for the show - it's always an exciting few days even though it's hard work. I've ticked off all the jobs from my list of things to do...boring stuff like cleaning so I don't come back to housework
My neighbour is looking after my two terrors while I'm away, but they'll sulk nevertheless! So, all set for my train journey tomorrow followed by the trek through Birmingham International into the NEC - there are lifts and travelators but it always takes an age to get there. Time for a few hours relaxing now then before a reasonably early night and, hopefully, a good night's sleep.
I'll have plenty of pictures and tales to share next week I'm sure!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Colour full

I'm busy with my last push to get everything ready for Stitches in a few days. I'll be travelling down to Birmingham on Saturday and can't wait to see everyone from Personal Impressions - they are like my second family really, but I only get to see most of them once a year. The whole event is punctuated by lots of "hello"'s between people who only meet up occasionally of course!
I'm just about there with samples and workshop prepping now, so I'm at the "getting myself organised" stage which is my least favourite part! How to fit everything into my case, including several changes of clothes, making sure that I don't leave anything out...not forgetting the mundane things like ironing of course! I'm pleased to say that the new washing machine is behaving very well and is so fast and efficient that I'm thinking of starting a small laundry business as a sideline - not!
As promised here are a couple of photos, though I took them in a hurry so they aren't the best. This one is a canvas that I finished this morning. 
I used Tim Holtz tissue wrap to cover the canvas and a mix of Dylusions ink sprays and Distress inks to colour the surface. I stamped, coloured and cut out "Hopeful Harriet" and glued her down on top of the wings from my "Steamed Up" stamp set. I added her top hat at a jaunty angle. The phrase is from my "Happiness" set - it's one complete quote, but I decided to tear it across to form two parts as it looked more balanced. The pen nibs are TH Idealogy of course and I used Ranger's Emboss it Dabber to add some gold accents around some of the edges. You can't see it here, but I also used Perfect Pearl spray in white (actually called Perfect Pearl but I find that confusing!!) over the butterfly and I added crackle accents over the butterfly body and veins on the wings. Actually, I think it's a moth really! 
I've been keen to use lots of colour for my samples this year and this is another colourful piece. It's a journal page but not in my journal if you see what I mean. For the show it's better to have loose pages so that people can see them more easily. This one has my "Piffy on a Rockcake" images.....it's pretty much a northern saying and has always made me smile! It means that you're hanging around, with the implication that someone, or something, is wasting your time. Much easier to say "sat here like piffy on a rockcake" though!
I used Dylusions spray inks again,  stamped my "leafy borders" foliage and bleached the colour out with water. The toadstools and "Piffy" were stamped, coloured and cut out to be added afterwards. I used some spritzed dictionary paper for grass. I loved making this page with the rich colours and I can relate to the sentiment too as I very often find myself hanging about waiting for things.
Lastly is a card that I kept quite simple really. This one uses my new "He is Risen" Easter set of stamps. 
 I chose a background from the pile that I have ready inked on my table. I liked the un-inked areas on this one and I simply stamped the cross in black with the message below. I added some white gel pen dots to the cross as well as a clear gem that I tinted with a soft yellow Promarker. I made a border strip stamped with the fish from the same stamp set. Simple but striking was the effect I wanted.
Sunday turned out to be a very sad day as I had the news that one of my friends from church had passed away. He was one of the first people there to talk to me and it was Peter who "dragged" me to the church hall after one of the services for a coffee and to introduce me to other people. He always gave me a big hug and we had some really good conversations. We only knew that he was ill last week so it was a big shock to everyone and very, very sad. He'll be very much missed.
Well, time to relax a bit now this evening. It's been a pretty chilly day, so I have some soup ready to heat up for a quick and simple dinner, just what's needed after a busy day.

Saturday, 9 February 2013


Who would have thought that a line of knickers on a radiator could make one smile so much?! Yes, the new washing machine arrived and then the plumber rang on the off chance that it had come as he was in my area. So, instead of waiting till Monday to be connected up I was all systems go this afternoon.
Best of all, he cracked the door of my old washer open in five seconds flat with the aid of a crowbar and some manly muscles (you can keep feminism as far as I'm concerned!!!) and rescued my stagnant laundry. Amazingly, despite being trapped in there for almost a week, it didn't pong, but it's had a wash in the new machine anyway of course. So, smalls (well, not that small) are drying as I type, along with everything else that I'd forgotten was in there. 
I've been creating more tags and cards too of course, so it's been a pretty busy day all in all. Tomorrow  is my calm couple of hours at church (it does bring some peace into my life) in the morning, followed by a coffee at the church hall then home to get inky all over again.
Thanks for all the lovely comments and I'll post some more piccies soon.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Washed up

Hello folks, hope everyone has a great weekend planned. For me, it's the last weekend before Stitches, so the final push to get samples made and then I can have a free day to organise my clothes, bags and what have you. David always used to make sure I did as little as possible the day before going to the show, so he would launder and iron my clothes, go through my check list of things to take and generally take over so I could relax. That little bit of time off is great before such a busy few days, so I'll try to be as organised as I can. There's a lot more to take than when I do most of my demonstrations - I need more outfits for a start! - so it takes a bit of sorting especially as I'll be travelling by train of course. You'd be surprised what I can get into my old Tardis case though!
I took a couple of snaps in my workroom today. This one is of the shelf where I display some of my work, both old and new.
Bit of a blue theme going on here! No close ups of anything, but you can see the type of thing I've been up to. The disembodied head at the front is from a broken ornament and is waiting to go into a configurations box at some time in the future!
This was my table earlier when I was busy cutting out toadstools....
 .....ready to go onto the background panel that I made using Distress Stains including the metallic pewter which gives a lovely shimmer to the surface. My oil burner is simmering away on the table to keep me feeling relaxed and calm! Next to that is my favourite coffee mug...just a nice size and with a lovely bunny design. It was from M&S and I wanted to get the duckling one from the same series but they discontinued them before I got the chance...don't you hate it when that happens?!
You may wonder why I titled this post "washed up"...well, my washing is still trapped in the machine but help is at hand! I have a new machine coming tomorrow...the cheapest new one that I could find and nice and simple. They don't fit them though, so the plumber who fixed the kitchen floor is coming on Monday to set it up and to free my knickers! (He's promised not to look!) So, I'll be doing plenty of laundry after the weekend - hopefully!
The double trouble pair have been fed and gone out for a trot around the neighbourhood so it's time for me to sort out my own dinner now. Then it's an early night for me ahead of the delivery men possibly turning up at 7am! I dare say they won't arrive till much later, but I don't want another embarrassing wardrobe malfunction so I want to be ready!
Have a good weekend everyone, whatever you're doing.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


The pesky washing machine that's been messing me about for so long has finally decided to give up completely and my washing is now lovely and clean but trapped inside for eternity unless I can force the door open! It finally gave up yesterday evening after I'd been trying all afternoon to unlock the door by restarting the cycle, spinning, draining, you name it. Now the lights are on but there's just a sinister low humming that says to me that the motor has gone. I figured I'd be able to prise the door open with a few "big tools" (after unplugging first of course) but it will not budge!
It's going to have to be a new washer, so I'm not worried about breaking it now....I just want to get my clothes out! Typical for it to happen the week before I'll be going to the Stitches trade show for a few days and need to get my outfits laundered! Oh well, it's a call to the plumber after all then. Oh I really do miss David all the more at times like this...he could fix anything and he'd certainly have been able to use his "Superdave" strength to break that door.
As promised, here is a picture of the new puppet that I was working on Sunday.....
 ....he's got rather grand facial hair! It was lovely to hear the children chuckling as he (and the female character) popped up above the screen. Thankfully, I got through it with no arm aches at all as I decided that I would risk standing on a rather wobbly hassock again, even though I had to move around more than last time. It did the trick and that extra few inches of height made all the difference.  By the way, you can see my twiggy lights in the background...they really have brightened the corner of the room after taking the Christmas tree down.
I did fluff one of my lines and I interrupted poor Lynne, halfway through one of her sentences by mistake, but nobody noticed, so I got away with it. The screen also decided to try and fall apart as we were lifting it to the the front of the church too but Martin, our vicar, came to the rescue so it didn't completely collapse! The perils of being a performer...LOL!
After the service it was the parish lunch which was very enjoyable and it was good to sit down and share it with friends. So I had a pretty full day one way and another. Yesterday I finished prepping the workshops for Stitches, so I can now concentrate on getting lots more samples made for my demonstration stand...well, it's not really "mine" as I'll be sharing it with the wonderful Rachel Greig from Darkroom Door and we'll be taking turns.....I must try and keep tidy!
No more pictures of my recent makes yet I'm afraid, but I'll try and share some tomorrow. As I said, I have to keep things back for the show. I'll have lots of piccies when I come back of course!
The demonstration at High Legh garden centre, near Knutsford, on 2nd March is now confirmed (see my demo list in the sidebar) so I'll add more details of what I'll be doing there tomorrow. 
Right, time to get some dinner made now...veggie stir fry with rice noodles.... and I will try to avert my eyes from the bloomin' washing machine whilst I'm in the kitchen!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Getting messy

Still light at 5pm now...the longer evenings are creeping ever nearer - thank goodness! I don't know about you, but I am ready to trade the cosiness of curtains drawn before dinner for the joys of a few hours more sunlight. 
Heather came round again this morning to give me a hand with some of my pre Stitches prep work. We had to go to the village first though to get some groceries and we decided to call into the new Costa Coffee which is a recent addition to Poulton. The three guys behind the counter were really friendly and the coffee was good and strong. So, bolstered with caffeine we headed back with a fish n chips takeaway lunch before getting cracking.
We decided to get some backgrounds done and spent a few hours spritzing, blending, stamping etc. Although opposite each other at my table we managed to avoid spraying each other with inks!
Just a few of the messy backgrounds we created!
I'm not sharing any finished pieces tonight - I need to keep some as surprises for the show! Thought you might like this piccie of Thomas though......
 ......all cosied up inside his mum's dressing gown!
Well, this was a very quick post, just to touch base. I've got a relaxing evening of goggle boxing now before another early (ish) night so I'll be all set for a good day's creating tomorrow. Have a great weekend everyone!