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

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Spring has not really sprung

Hope everyone's having a decent weekend despite the freezing weather. What a rotten start to Spring this is! The noise of the wind is really starting to bug me now...and Thomas and Tara have almost put aside their differences just so they can keep an eye on everything that keeps flying past the windows whilst still keeping warm.....
 .....they really aren't happy and are keeping their little legs crossed till the last possible moment before dashing out and back in again sharpish!
I'd really hoped to make a start on tidying up the garden. It's looking a real mess now after all my hard work last year. There are weeds and grasses coming through. Long, straggly remains of Nasturtiums and lots of unidentifiable bits that need sweeping away and clearing up so that I can get on with the fun part of planning, planting and enjoying some colour with a bit of luck. It looked so sunny the other day and I ventured out only to change my mind when I felt the force of the cold winds. 
So, I spent the morning planting seeds instead and now the conservatory has taken on the appearance of a greenhouse....
....as you can see! I've planted lots of Sweet Peas, including a really beautiful variety called Memories, Giant Pansies, three types of Sunflowers including a "pom pommy" type called Teddy Bear, some Poppies and, of course, my favourite Nasturtiums. There's also an Erica ready to be planted out and a tray of little Violas - they were a real bargain at £1.49 for a tray of twenty plants! 
Hope you like the toilet roll pots! I read about this but I ran out of loo rolls so made my own as well from cheap cardstock rolled and secured with staples. There's a sunflower seed in each one and the idea is that, when they're ready for planting out, they can be put into the ground still in their tubes so there's no disturbance of the roots. The tubes just rot down and the roots can grow through them. Hopefully it will give them some extra slug protection too....last year was a real baptism of fire regarding those slimy pests! Needless to say I have been checking the trays every morning for signs of activity...so far there are fifteen Sweet Peas and ten Nasturtiums sprouting up - I did plant two trays a couple of weeks ago, my fingers aren't that green!
I have my new garden arch that was a lovely Christmas gift, so I've decided to erect that behind my bench so that it will eventually give me some extra privacy when I'm sat there with a cuppa in the Summer - fingers crossed! I'm not quite decided, but I think that a climbing rose (or two) might be perfect to grow over it, as David really wanted lots of roses and thought that a garden wasn't really a garden without them. The Sweet Peas are going to give it some quick cover meanwhile - once these icy temperatures have passed of course!
I thought you might like a little nosey at Country Love Crafts studio where I was last week. 
I was with some of my colleagues from Personal Impressions and we were having a training day with new products from Deco Art. There are some fantastic new paints and I'm really looking forward to making a start on projects with them. 
In the background of the photo you can see the displays of wonderful pieces that Andy Skinner has made using an array of mediums. He's a creative genius! We were making frantic notes as Andy gave us lots of ideas and technical data. 
I had an up and down week with the trip to the training event definitely being the "up" part. Unfortunately I wasn't well on Thursday and Friday so I feel pretty drained today. Nothing major, but I occasionally get something called Gastroparesis which makes me feel as if I've been punched in the solar plexus. That, coupled with how cold it's been, led me to retire to my bed at nine o'clock last night. I decided I'd get snuggled in and watch some telly for a couple of hours before going to sleep....however, after no time at all I'd drifted off and I slept right through till seven when Tara and Thomas chasing each other around the house woke me up! Guess I must have needed the sleep!
Well, I'm going to make a light dinner now (still a little fragile in the tummy department!) and I'll probably have another early night. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday and we are having a real live donkey in church! I will be taking my camera and hoping to get chance to stroke his ears - I do love donkeys and it's a sad fact that they are the single most badly treated animal on earth. This one is from a nearby sanctuary, so I'm sure that he is well looked after and happy despite whatever his previous life might have been like.
Here's hoping for a raise in the temperature tomorrow!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Gosh, it's been too long since I last posted, and this is going to be a rather short and boring (picture less) post at that. I've had a few calls and emails asking if I was okay - thank you all for being concerned - so I thought I'd better just "report in"!
I'm fine but have just been working hard, head down and getting things done and really not had much time to be at my computer.....I don't know about you, but when I'm busy I have to be careful as the internet can be so distracting and time can seem to have flown by when all you were meant to be doing was checking the availability of a product, a shop address or booking a train journey!
My demonstration and workshops list is only a small part of what I get up to so it often looks like I should have plenty of time to spare when, in fact, I'm racing against the clock to meet deadlines. I'm not complaining though...I love a deadline! I've also been away on some product training days which are something I always enjoy...it's nice to be on the other side of the table sometimes!
So, this is just a quick "hello" and I will be back with a more interesting post soon...promise!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Doo Lally Pip stamps

Hello folks, I can't figure out how to do a sidebar thingy that you can press for a list of stores that are stocking my Doo Lally Pip stamps. If you just type "Doo Lally Pip stamps" into google you will find them though! 
Anyway, as I'm such a technophobe, I will just add some details below of a few places that are stocking them as well as my stamp sets in the general Crafty Impressions range - if anyone wants to add to the list, please let me know. 

A Maze of Memories - Unit 2e, Woodway Farm, Long Crendon, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP18 9EP
                                   tel: 01844 208996

The Glitter Pot - Marchants Way, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 8QY tel: 01444 247644

Samuel Taylors - various stores in the Yorkshire area

Crafts U Love -  Unit 1, Westcoats Farm, Stan Hill, Charlwood, Surrey, RH6 0ES tel: 01293 863576

The Craft Barn - The Craft Barn are in the process of moving. At the moment they are in Lingfield, Surrey, 
                           but from 6th April they will be at Priory Farm, Sandy Lane, South Nutfield, RH1 4EJ

Craftie Charlie - Online sales only

That's Crafty - Online sales only

Those are just a few.You can also get my stamps from the craft shops within Strikes/Klondyke garden centres.
Hope that helps those of you who've been struggling to find my Doo Lallies!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Just a quick hello

No clever title for this quick post! I'm just signing in to say hello really. I also wanted to show you the gorgeous ATC that my friend Chris and her granddaughter Em made for me. I was going to take a photo of it the other day but have to confess that I thought I'd lost it! However, when I was unpacking all my gear from Saturday's demonstration there it was....safe and sound and placed in a safe spot in my case - always a bad idea for me to put things in safe places! Anyway, whew, and here it is....
 ...isn't it lovely. The lace is very "on trend" just now too but my favourite thing are the dangly beads and crystals. Thanks Chris and Em!
After my busy time on Saturday...six hours of travel made it a very long day....I had been feeling really tired and kept dropping off in the evening. I hate it when you're enjoying watching a good tv drama and keep missing bits when your head starts lolling. After a bit of a shivery shake on Sunday night I woke up on Monday morning feeling rotten, so a sofa day was called for. I always refuse to be poorly, so I rested, dosed up on paracetamol and dug my heels in! Yesterday I felt much better and it was such a lovely sunny day that, after I'd prepped everything for my day at Samuel Taylor's this Saturday, I went into the garden and sat on the bench for a while. The sunshine and fresh air really did the trick and I even spent an hour trimming the lavender bush and pulled up some dead foliage from last year's annuals. I'm looking forward to getting the garden tidied properly as soon as the warmer days are really here and I'm all set to start potting up seeds. The conservatory is going to be like a greenhouse this year!
I took my camera with me when Heather and I called into the village today as St Chad's church is noted for the stunning display of crocuses and snowdrops which completely carpet the grounds at this time of year. The display only lasts a short time, and last year I didn't get a picture. Unfortunately it wasn't sunny today so the flowers were all closed up. There aren't nearly as many as usual either, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to get some better pictures next week. Still, they do look cheerful...
 ....if a little sparse yet! I have a total of eight crocuses (crocii?!) in my garden so far - whoopie doo!
I've had quite a few emails asking where you can get hold of my Doo Lally Pip range of stamps. Any store that sells Personal Impressions products can order them for you if they don't have them in stock and all of the shops that I'll be demonstrating in will have them. I'll try and set up a link to a list of shops that I know definitely carry them though, so watch this space.
Ohhhh ggggrrrrr!!!!! I just spent ages typing the rest of this post and then blogger went daft and decided to dump it all except for the above! Darn, I hate it when I have to re write things. So, this is now a shorter version.....basically....I'll be at Samuel Taylors in Brighouse on Saturday....another really looong day due to rail disruptions so I have to get up at 5.15am! Daft o'clock as David would have called it. Six hours travel again makes it a very tiring work day indeed.
I also went on to say that the beef curry I cooked the other night was absolutely....delicious! Also that I think David must have been guiding my hands as I added things to the pan as I've never managed to cook a really good curry like that before - he'd have enjoyed it.
Other than that, I was just bemoaning that supermarkets do all those two for one, three for two offers which are rubbish if you live alone (can we just have lower prices please) but that the new grocer in the village is now selling single eggs! So, I was able to buy three today instead of half a dozen that I never seem to manage to eat before the sell by date.
Anyway, thank you blogger for ruining the end of my post and I'll sign off now and get my dinner sorted!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Out and about

What a super day it was at High Legh garden centre yesterday. It took a sight longer than it normally would to get to Knutsford due to the engineering works on the line, so three hours there and the same back! From the back of the house I can see the massive crane and the various trucks and so on that are helping to lower the bridges to allow for full electrification of the lines - don't ask me what's powering the trains at the moment! They are working pretty much through the night so it makes for quite a dramatic floodlight scene at night - as well as being a little noisy!
Everyone was very keen yesterday and my attempts at making a nice display of my samples were soon given up in favour of everything being passed around the table instead! Hello to everyone that came along and I hope you're all going to have great fun using the stamps and the ink sprays. It's always good to see familiar faces and Chris took some photos for me...being watched by her very crafty granddaughter Em....
...this was me inking up the edges of a tag that I'd covered with Tim Holtz tissue wrap and spritzed with Dylusions ink sprays. The tissue has a slight coating so I always dab at the inks with kitchen towel to blend them into the surface. This is the tag that I was working on....
 ......I used kitchen towel at the base, scrunching up a piece that I'd used to clean up the spare ink from my craft sheet, and glueing it to the tag with Glue n Seal. I just kept brushing more of the medium to the paper until it was saturated and then sprinkled it with a touch of Rock Candy Distress glitter. I've stamped, coloured, cut out and stuck down the character from my "My Fragile Heart" set. The flower is just two circles of Kraft Resist paper that I screwed up, spritzed with ink and then heat set. I added a small metal flower to the centre with a brad and then inked a ribbon to co ordinate.
Here's a piccie showing more of the table....
 ....and after I'd had a tidy up by the look of things! It's always tricky to balance displaying samples and obscuring everyone's view of what I'm doing, hence the rather flat appearance of everything.
Here's a last photo of a card that I put together on the day....
 .....the background of the panel was made using Distress Stains in various shades including the Tarnished Brass metallic stain - this creates some lovely marbled effects. I used the scrunched up inky kitchen towel technique again to form something for the character to sit on. She's from my Piffy on a Rockcake stamp set. The flower was made like the one on the tag, except that I used two scalloped circles instead of plain ones. I made the stalk from twisted kitchen towel and the leaves were simply torn from the same sheet. The text is from my "Don't be afraid" stamp set and the butterflies are from my "Hope Blooms" set - I just added a couple of shades of ink and misted with water lightly before stamping down. I often don't get to finish cards on a demo day as it's more about techniques, but this one just came together nicely.
I was so tired last night after such a long day, that I fell asleep on the sofa after dinner and woke up there after midnight! Of course, just the act of getting myself ready for bed then woke me up again! Today began with going to church and some hearty singing which always lifts my spirits. Then I had coffee with some of my friends from church before the "Lent Lunch" in the church hall - this is a symbolic simple bowl of soup and a piece of bread. It was very good soup though - all homemade and with a choice of five flavours. I had to buy a few groceries before coming home and I've spent this afternoon peeling and chopping vegetables for a curry that is bubbling on the hob as I type. 
David's curries were always one of my favourite treats and, though I've made some simple veggie ones, I decided to be more adventurous and make a beef one, following as many steps from David's "recipes" that I could. So I've been sealing and simmering the beef, frying off the spices, cooking lentils to thicken the curry and adding an array of veg, ground almonds and coconut. Goodness knows what it will be like but it smells pretty good at the moment! I have to confess that it has had quite a bit of butter added to the mix as well but, as I said, David's curries were a treat so I don't feel too naughty having it once in a blue moon. I'll let you know if it's any good!
I've had the final episode of the amazing penguin "spy in the huddle" series on in the background - I'd seen it last week but it certainly deserved a second viewing. Have any of you been watching it? Can you think of anything more appealing than those penguin babies? And wasn't it a nice change to watch a wildlife programme that didn't keep showing things being killed or eaten? 
Well, I'd better check that my curry isn't burning, so I'll sign off for now. Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Friday, 1 March 2013

And the winner is......

......drum rolls please, then eyes down to the little video clip below.....

 .......or not! For some reason, the clip won't work here, so I've frozen a frame and added it as a picture......and the winner is...Chell. If you'd like to see the whole video clip, just check out my You Tube channel - the link is on the left.
Chell - well done and please email me your details so that I can post your prize out to you. Hope you enjoy using the stamps and I'd love to see anything that you make with them.
I'll catch up with everyone...emails, calls etc very soon but I had a total time out yesterday and met my sister in town then had a sleepover, before coming back here today, visiting our mum and then doing a few errands in the village. It's nice to have a complete switch off occasionally.
Both Heather and I needed new phones (landlines) - ours had both packed up and I've been trying to pursuade Heather that she needed a cordless one for years now so I helped her choose one...no curly telephone cords in sight! I've been struggling with the old "emergency" corded phone for a few weeks now, but have got so sick of hardly being able to hear anyone and pulling the cradle onto the floor when I picked it up (forgetting the cord) and no answer machine that I thought I'd get one at the same time. So, my new one is on its first charge and I'll be good to go when I get back home tomorrow - hoorah! I'm not really a technophile, but I do hate being rooted to the spot when I'm on the phone!
We called in at The Works bookshop and I picked up a very inexpensive copy of a lovely book called "Pretty Little Felts" which has all sorts of mixed media ideas in it. As we were looking down at the craft section we spotted some familiar covers...yes, it was Stamping by Lindsay Mason and Beading by Heather Fenn-Edwards.....our books! There were two guys smiling at our reaction so I had to explain that we'd written them. They were smiling even more when I then said, with great indignation, "99p - what a cheek!". Still, I guess you haven't really experienced having written a book until you find yourself on the shelves of The Works for less than a pound! It gave us a real giggle - though I was tempted to buy the copies myself! Heather was keen to point out that there was only one copy of her book mind you!
Anyway, I hope I'll see some familiar (and new) faces tomorrow when I'm at High Legh garden centre. I have an early start as the dreaded bus replacement service is in place which adds a great deal of time to the journey. If you are coming along, please ignore the state of my hands as I've not only got the usual scratch marks from some rough and tumble playing with Thomas, but I managed to burn myself getting something out of the oven a couple of days ago, so I look as if I've been dragged through a thorn bush. I've got lots of great techniques to distract your eyes from my raggedy hands though!
Oh yes, in answer to some more queries, I will be at the Port Sunlight show in May (the 11th) so I know I'll be seeing lots of you there.
Right, time to finish sorting my things out for tomorrow now. Chell, don't forget to email me your details and your goodies will be winging their way to you very soon.