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, 20 November 2013

Quick catch up

By gum it's cold! I keep turning the heat off and having to give in again after a while and crank it back up again. The spicy scented candles and the Patchouli incense have re-appeared, the zesty shower gels have been replaced by cocoa butter and honey ones and the fluffy socks, hot water bottle and fleecy pj's have been brought out again. All that, and I've still managed to catch a cold! Oh well, a couple of days dosing up on paracetamol should see me right.
Hello to everyone that I met at Crazy About Cake Craft in Chesterfield on Saturday. I hope you're all enjoying your "spends"! I was busy on the ground floor section of the shop and it was only when I paid a visit to the loo in the afternoon that I ventured downstairs and was amazed by the vast array of baking accessories - everything from edible glitters to cake toppers and lots of things that looked quite mysterious to a non baker like myself!
This Saturday I'll be in Oldham, at Sophie's Crafts. I'm teaching a Luminary workshop in the morning and then demonstrating in the afternoon. We'll be making something along the lines of one of these....
....so it should be a fun class. I think there are one or two places left...the cost of the workshop includes one of the Luminary dies....and if you fancy joining us, just contact the shop directly.
In the afternoon I'll be demonstrating various Sizzix dies as well as a few of my Christmas stamps.
I tried to blow the cobwebs of my cold away this morning by planting some shrubs in the garden. It's got very overgrown, weedy and almost jungle like again lately! I may be a proud owner of a lawn mower now, but I've yet to use it as the grass has just been too wet. However, all the Sweet Peas and Nasturtiums have finally died back from around my bench, so I pulled them all up yesterday and prepared a few holes with gravel, compost and bone meal. So, all I had to do this morning was to put the plants in and fill around them. I'd been waiting to clear the area around the bench as one of the plants is a climbing rose which I've tied in to the arch to train it up there. I've also planted a (hopefully!) beautiful silvery lilac cutting rose in the area of the garden that I'm "trying" to give a blues and purples colour theme to. Two other roses have gone in between the bench and David's rose - one is a pinky red with white streaks and the other a mix of yellows through pinks and reds. They look like bits of twig at the moment so I'm keeping my fingers crossed! The last shrub is a Berberis which has berries on at the moment and lovely multicoloured foliage. Hopefully I'll be able to get on top of the weeds again once December is in full flow!
Speaking of December, I decided to have a "pre-Christmas sale" on my Etsy site, so I've reduced the prices on all of my paintings. I'm hoping to get time to create some new pieces before too long, though my planned days off never seem to quite work out that way!
Well, Thomas is curled up asleep and snug in the chair by the radiator, Tara is snuggled on a blanket on the other armchair and I'm in my usual spot on the sofa but I'm going to get ready to venture out into the cold night air shortly. I'm off to the Vicarage for part two of a four week Bible study course, though I missed last week's so will have to catch up tonight. The last course we did was really interesting and provoked lots of discussion, so I'm looking forward to some good conversation.
So, that's all for now, just a quick sign in this evening! Keep warm folks.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Show time!

This could be quite a long post......it's been a week since the first day of the show at the NEC already - ridiculous! I've been up to my elbows in inks, papers, dies, glitter, stamps and glue.....nothing new there then! I'm quite looking forward to being able to take a couple of days off next week - hopefully - but, till then, it's as hectic as ever.
Working at the show over the four days was really good fun, hard work but fun. Each show day began at 9am and finished at 5.30pm so, with little time to take breaks, it was full on. I was on the Card-io stand and, while Wendy was demonstrating her own beautiful Majestix stamps, I was working with Sizzix dies. This was quite a change for me and it took me a while to adjust to not being covered in purple and blue ink! I really enjoyed showing how to construct the dimensional creations such as the Luminary and Birdhouse. These Treat Poppers (crackers to you and I!) were a big hit too....
....I made lots of them at the show. The great thing is that the crackers themselves are quite quick to make so you can afford to spend lots of time decorating them.
Here's a table decoration made from two Sizzix dies - the Reindeer and the Sleigh. The sleigh is very cleverly thought out and fits together beautifully. It's ideal for holding little sweet treats!
I hope everyone who bought the dies is having great fun using them....I know I did!
I had forgotten how drying the air in the NEC can be and so had omitted to take any lip balm with me. By day two I felt as if I'd been traipsing through a desert! Diane (Thomas and Tara's unofficial auntie!) paid a visit and took this photo of me trying to do a running repair with my lipstick...nowhere near as effective as lip balm I have to say!
Diane also brought pressies for T & T.....beautifully stamped and decorated.....
.....their names were even stamped on the reverse of the labels! Thank you Diane, they loved them! If you click on Diane's name (above) you can see some more piccies of the show.
On day four I was back to stamping and getting covered in inks. My Doo Lally Pip stamps raised a few smiles which is just what I intend! It was a day of contrasts with everyone having great fun and then the two minutes silence which is always marked at 11am on the Sunday of the show at the NEC and I found it especially moving this year.
Then, before I knew it,  the show was over - unbelievably quickly it seemed. It was quite a trek back home and, thankfully, my neighbour had put the heat on for me so I could have a hot shower before an early night. I was pooped!
I mentioned last week that I was a bit worried about the weight of my case and how I'd get on carting everything down to Birmingham. My poor case was just not up to it, so I have had to have a complete change and am now getting used to a new one. Of course, this hasn't gone unnoticed and a certain someone decided to check whether it was suitable.......
.....by the way, that's not a real mouse on the carpet - just a toy that has been mostly ignored by both Tara and Thomas!
There wasn't really much time for a rest as I was up in Durham yesterday, so I had to prep more samples for my demo there in Crafty Nook. On Monday though, I spent some time with Heather - I've passed on all the good wishes that were sent her way last week...thank you from both of us. We called into St Chads to lay a rose on the memorial book of remembrance as it was two years since our dad passed away and his name was on the page for that day.
I had a lovely time at Crafty Nook, once again working with Sizzix dies and also decorating some candles too....
...this one was made by cutting a Sizzlits die (Woodland Deer) from Graphic 45 paper which I edged with Gathered Twigs Distress ink before warpping it round the candle base. I wrapped greaseproof paper around the candle and heated it gently to melt the paper into the wax. I used the same technique to add the Martha Stewart punched fern around the top. You can't really see it here, but I also added some Rock Candy Distress dry glitter over the surface for a little bit of twinkle. 
Today I've been getting more things made for my demonstration this coming Saturday in Chesterfield at Crazy About Cake Craft who have now expanded into papercrafts as well as their established baking supplies. 
A certain someone always worries when he sees me getting my case out as he knows it usually means that I'll be trolling off again. 
I think he figured that if I was going away then he was coming too! As you can see though, he's a big boy and there wouldn't have been much room left for anything else! Bless him!
Here's a non Christmassy wreath that I made this afternoon using the Sizzix Prima Gulien die....
...the flowers are quite large so I didn't need too many to cover the card circle beneath. I used quite muted paper and edged them with various ink colours. If you look closely you might be able to see the Glossy Accent dew drops here and there.
Well, time to put my dinner in the oven and then a shower while it's cooking. Lots of ink and glue on my hands, so washing my hair should get rid of that lot! I'm a bit sore and stiff too, and it's really cold here, so some hot water and spicy shower creme is just what the doctor ordered!

PS It's amazing what they sell in supermarkets these days. We have a Booths store here and look what's in one of their carrier bags.....
This picture is specially for my friend Paul, who has a soft spot for Tara!

PPS before anyone reports me to the RSPCA I didn't ram Tara into a carrier bag for the sake of a cute photo! She is obsessed with climbing into things and has taken to running into this bag and skidding across the carpet as if she's on a snow slide!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Donkey wanted!

Just a quick post tonight. My broadband was down for most of the day so I haven't been able to catch up on my emails I'm afraid and it didn't leave much time to write a decent post either.
I'm all set for my trip to the NEC tomorrow for the Hobbycraft show. All I need now is a donkey to carry all my gear for me! The case is stuffed to the gills with Sizzix dies, card stock, stamps, inks and sprays etc etc etc, so it weighs a ton. I've carefully packed my dimensional projects into a box and that's in a large carrier bag ("please don't leave this on the train" is my new mantra) and I've a hessian bag too, just so I can take a few clothes and toiletries....and my heat gun, a Sizzix die that wouldn't fit in the case and a roll of kitchen paper. I just hope my battered old case can take the strain!
Anyway, hope to see some of you at the show - do say hello if you are coming along. I won't be taking any photos as I just can't afford to take anything non essential with me, so the camera is staying at home this time.
So, it's time for bed now....I need all my strength for the journey tomorrow!!!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

AWOL agaaaiiiin!

Hello folks, that is, if anyone is even reading this....after going awol for a couple of weeks it wouldn't surprise me if nobody is there now! It's been a very fraught few weeks, with the death of my brother in law, Graham, and, along with having to get lots of work done, it has led to me having a break from blogging and emailing - retreating into my shell for a while as I do when life becomes overwhelming. 
It's time to get back on track though. It's Sunday and I'm heading back to church shortly for a special All Saints day memorial service so I thought I'd take the chance to share a few photos. Talking of church, I've set up a new blog now, called My Rambling Spirit, which you can find a link to in my left sidebar. I sometimes feel uncomfortable talking about the more spiritual side of life on this blog...after all, I know that some people visit just to see what I've been making and maybe read a few exploits of my two pusscats or the garden! So, the new blog is where I can just ramble on about how I feel about things.
Anyway, back to this blog! Hello to everyone who I met at recent demonstrations at the Leigh show, Card-io and The Paper Warehouse. A special thanks for all the lovely messages and cards for Heather and myself which were very much appreciated. I'm getting round to thanking everyone slowly but surely.
For the month of November I'm concentrating on demonstrating ideas for Christmas decorations and gifts - with a little stamping thrown in too along the way! I've been really enjoying working with the WRMK envelope punch and a range of Sizzix dies. I didn't expect to be so bowled over by an envelope maker but it really is terrific and makes much more than just envelopes. I've been making boxes and shaped tags too.

Not the easiest thing to photograph and the background doesn't help! The papers I used were from the MME Vintage Christmas range, along with some Bazzill card stock.The envelope punch has certainly proved to be a big hit and it does mean that you can make odd shaped cards which is good if, like me, you often decide to make something using bits and pieces of cardstock that are lying around.
All inkiness has been put to one side this week and I've moved from the Doo Lally workroom and into the lounge where I have been spreading card, papers, dies, embellishments and my Big Shot over the floor with a "me" sized space in the middle! I just needed the extra space to work in and I've been watching the old classic films in the afternoon while cutting and sticking which has been rather enjoyable.
Two new favourites have to be the TH Luminary die and the 3D Birdhouse Scoreboard die. The scoreboard dies allow you to cut and score heavy weight chipboard or mount board in one pass, though you can also use them with standard cardstock too of course. Below is one of the bird houses made up and decorated...I used a natural twig to push through the base of this one, so it could be used within a festive floral arrangement.
The dies are really easy to work with and I like the fact that they can be used throughout the year, not just for Christmas projects. Although Halloween is now over, I couldn't resist making a spooky, gothic Luminary with one of Tim's battery operated lanterns inside....

I used Graphic 45 papers for the Luminary itself - it's amazing just how strong this piece is even when made from paper. I cut out a few bats and cats and added some black gem spiders with wire legs as well as some wispy fibres - all great fun!
A certain someone has been keeping me company whilst I create, albeit from behind the net curtains at times....he still likes to keep an eye on me though....
....what a cute button nose! He won't be very happy, nor Tara, when I leave them for most of next week while I'm at the NEC though. My neighbour will be coming in twice a day to feed them and let them in and out, but they don't like their mum not being here at their beck and call. Poor little sweeties!
At least I haven't been missing out on nice sunny weather whilst I've been chained to the Big Shot machine! The view through my front window has basically been like this....
 .....but at least nothing has been blown down or swept away...yet! 
Heather and I were lucky on the day we had in town last week and we spent a sunny day wandering around the art gallery and shops for a good many hours. It helped to blow some of the cobwebs away and did us good. The exhibition at the gallery "creeped me out" though, much to Heather's amusement, as it was based around fairgrounds and Coney Island in particular and featured, amongst other things,  lots of images of weird waxwork figures accompanied by old soundtracks of music hall performers and slightly eerie laughter. Made me shiver!
I was glad to get into the "normality" of the streets and shops again and we had a nice lunch followed by some retail therapy where some new fleecy pj's were one of the must have purchases to combat the increasingly cold evenings. Don't let me get started on the cost of fuel and the fuel companies though.....and since when did it become the norm for them to harass customers by phone only a week after sending a bill? Gone are the days, it seems, of the polite reminder letter a couple of weeks after a bill - now it's straight onto demanding money over the phone....swines! Sorry, I did say don't let me get started!
So, I hope to see lots of you in Birmingham next week. I'll be on the Card-io stand and both Wendy and myself will be demonstrating - Wendy will be using her wonderful Tapestry stamps and I'll have my Christmas stamps, various inks and mediums and the gorgeous dies. I'll be there for the whole show from Thursday to Sunday inclusive.
It's now going dark - how miserable at 5pm! So, I had better get myself organised for my second trip to St Chads of the day. Take care everyone and keep warm!