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, 13 July 2013

Summer brings cricket bats

The British summer is certainly making up for lost time now and at a cracking pace too! Every morning brings fresh delights in the garden with glorious colours and tasty crops.
Today I was greeted by this cheery Sunflower amongst the Sweet Peas and Nasturtiums. I've grown quite a few of them but this one has beaten the rest to open first. I've got three vases full of Sweet Peas filling the house with their lovely perfume and still masses of them in the garden. And some of these little belters were on my plate tonight!
I was away from home for a couple of days this week, meeting up with my colleagues for a day at Sizzix HQ, looking at the forthcoming new releases and learning more about how some of the products work. It was a really interesting day and gave me lots of inspiration. 
Yesterday, I was performing duties at another funeral....I'm feeling much more confident about what I'm doing now. Heather met me in church afterwards and we drove up to see mum. There were some other people visiting a relative too and we all ended up having a sing song! Michael started us off with "It's a long way to Tipperary" and most of the residents joined in....it's wonderful just how strong our memory of songs can be. People who cannot remember who they are, who their family are, or who hardly speak at all, can suddenly recall all the words of a song. It was a lovely moment, though, sadly, mum wasn't able to sing along as she once would have done.
Last night I watched the first night of the Proms which had a sea theme. I was transported by the Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony which I've only heard snippets of before, but I'll be listening to it again, it was wonderful. It made me think how permanent music is. Of all the arts, it's the only one that's never effected by time. Paintings can fade or crack, statues can crumble and for sure, all our inky creations will be lost, but music is there forever. Mmmm....it gave me something to ponder.
When I got home I spotted something on the floor in the conservatory and I got some good photos of it.....
  .....isn't he amazing! I was only thinking that I hadn't heard the grasshoppers or crickets in the field this year, and then this chappie turned up. It's normally the duller, brown "versions" that I see, but this one was the most brilliant green. Just ignore the Tara hairs on the carpet by the way! I managed to pick him up without him leaping further into the house.....
.....and snapped this picture before I set him down in the garden. So, he was the cricket of my post title and the bats, well, sadly, I haven't been able to take a picture despite my best efforts, but I've been treated to them swooping really low over the garden for the last few nights. They have been coming really close to me but they do such fantastic aerobatics that I just cannot get one in frame! Fascinating creatures and I'd love to get a really good look at them. NB....see end of this post for update!
I finished another canvas today, and, at first glance it may look as if I used my Robot stamp which was released last year...or was it the year before now...eek! However, this one is an original robot which I drew onto the canvas.....
 .....he's a little more relaxed, with his bent knee, than the one on the stamp set! The canvas has a wire hanger that's hard to see in the picture, but it was more suitable than the ribbon hangers that I often add to my canvasses. He's now up in my Etsy shop and you can see some closer photos of the canvas there.
It's been too hot for T&T today! Thomas has been asleep on my bed for the majority of the day and Tara has been mostly lying amongst the long grasses at the edge of the field. She joined me on the bench late this afternoon though when it had cooled down ever so slightly....
 ....thought you might like this cute picture of her! I'm very lucky that I now live somewhere that I can happily leave every door and window open, so I've been working in my Doo Lally room but I've been able to get the breeze coming through from the back of the house. It's been so quiet here all day - I think everyone has taken the advice to keep out of the sun whilst it's so hot. I had a cold shower earlier...my technique is to get into a warm shower and then slowly trun the temperature down until the water is really cold - not so much of a shock that way! If it gets too hot in the night, my top tip is to soak a bath towel in cold water, wring it out and use it instead of a duvet - works a treat!
Oh, before I go, after a rather long and rather rambly post....I decided to make a bread and butter pudding last night. Don't ask me why! I replaced the sugar with a little Splenda and it looked great when I lifted it out of the oven....

 .....unfortunately, it was a real disappointment and tasted nothing like it looked! I think it needed more liquid, but never mind. So, no recipe for this one until I do a better job! It will still get eaten of course!
Tomorrow I'll be helping between services at church and then it is the Hog Roast in the vicarage garden which I'm really looking forward to. I'll take my camera!
Hope everyone is having a brilliant weekend and not getting overheated....any top tips for keeping cool?

Bats update! Well, after saying I'd like to get a better look at the bats, I had a couple of lucky shots tonight! I go outside at around 10.15pm and tonight decided I would sit on the bench as the bats like to swoop quite low over my lawn (for lawn, read more like a meadow at the moment!). The joy of digital photography....I was able to keep snapping away and, instead of trying to follow a completely unfollowable bat, I just pointed in the general direction and carried on clicking. I didn't think I'd caught anything till I loaded the pictures......
 .....and this one is a corker......
.....though you'll need to click the image for a better look. I don't think I'll be getting a job as a wildlife cameraman any time soon, but these pictures gave me a thrill anyway. The bats came so close tonight that I could feel the movement of their wings as they flittered past, though, of course, they didn't touch me. Doorstep wildlife....fabulous!

1 comment:

Paul Browning said...

You certainly are enjoying the wildlife where you live - love the cricket i your house. Lucky you going to see Sizzix, sounds like fun. Brilliant canvas, your robot drawing is wonderful :) Pxx