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

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

There and back again...and off again!

Fellow Tolkien fans will recognise "There and back again" as the alternative title for The Hobbit, and I certainly feel quite Bilbo Baggins like with all my travels lately! It seems I'm no sooner back than I'm off again....well, tomorrow anyway.
So, last Friday I took three trains down to Haddenham where the lovely Christina from A Maze of Memories met me and we then drove to the park and ride to pick up a bus into Oxford. This was something that I had been really looking forward to and I certainly was not disappointed. What a marvellous day it was. The shiveringly cold weather that began the day had given way to cloudless skies and sun that actually felt warm and made me squint....who knew I should have taken sunglasses?!
On the way into Oxford I spotted something that made me look twice and is, I now know, a famous landmark.....
...yep, a shark in the roof of a house! I didn't take this photo, but I did want to share the delight that this gave me! Bet the birds like to perch on that giant tail!
However, as we rode further into the city, the sights became rather more traditionally breathtaking....
Once we alighted, Christina and I began our tour of the colleges, chapels and Churches. We climbed the 127 steps up St Mary's church tower...we were both huffing and puffing a bit (!) when we reached the top but it was well worth the effort...
....just one of the magnificent views. We spent some time gazing over the panorama and also at the various gargoyles and carved characters that adorn the tower....
....isn't he/she wonderful?! Not very often that you get so close to such lofty figures.
One of my favourite parts of the afternoon was looking around the Cathedral and college grounds of Christchurch. The walled gardens were just my cup of tea.
The Great Hall was one of the inspirations for Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, when he was writing Alice in Wonderland. As one of the expert guides told us, he was sitting by the great fireplace and the long necks of the firedogs on either side gave him the idea of Alice growing when she ate the cake! One of the stained glass windows has depictions of various characters from the book. The hall in the Harry Potter films was based on this room too.
 The walls are filled with portraits of former students - it must be quite intimidating for the current students as they dine at the long tables!
There were amazing windows and carvings in the Cathedral itself but I really felt drawn to this ancient tomb chest....
One of the bowler hatted guides was kind enough to take a picture of Christina and I in the grounds....

.....sadly, I do rather resemble a hobbit beside my elegant companion! We finished the day by having a much deserved plate of warm scones, jam and clotted cream....naughty but nice! I bought a small souvenir from Christchurch Cathedral....
.....a tiny Icon Diptych which will always remind me of a lovely day.
So, after a rather exhausting afternoon I slept really well (until 5.45 am, when other hotel guests decided it was perfectly okay to stand outside my room talking...ggrrrr!!!) and it was soon time to get the show on the road at AMOM. I was demonstrating my new stamps and there were also three make n take sessions. This was the sample that I had made to give the ladies their inspiration.
I used thick corrugated card that was coloured with Distress paints and then rubbed with gilding wax. The image is one of my Zendoodle stamps - the ladies had a choice of the three different toadstool sets in the collection. Once doodled and coloured it was adhered to the panel and then embellished with Tim's tattered florals.
Needless to say, everyone put their own spin on the project. This was Trudy's version....
...and here's some great colouring from Louise....



.....and here is a picture that shows what a busy day we were all having!
You can see more of the fabulous work that the ladies did by clicking here. So, I must give a wave to everyone that came along and especially to Diane for the treats for my two terrors and honey for me, also to Julie who I hope to see at the NEC and to Miriam, Mary and Christina for all their hard work in making the day so special.
Well, I've been busy getting ready for my next trip since I got back. I'll be leaving for Birmingham International rail station tomorrow ahead of the Hobbycrafts show at the NEC on Thursday to Sunday. The worst job was definitely trying to pack everything into something like a manageable amount of luggage to haul! Here's what I've ended up with....
One extraordinarily heavy suitcase (those Sizzix Bigz XL dies weigh a ton!), my Tim Holtz bag, filled with everything from socks to die cut flowers, and my canvas bag filled with my dimensional Sizzix samples. Wish me luck...I think I'll need it!
This morning the postie brought me a jiffy bag filled with these....
....my "Ready to Go" Zendoodle stamp sets complete with their new packaging design....
....the drawings around the edges of the insert are there to give some ideas for different Zentangle designs.
Wow, that was a rather picture heavy post! I'm going to get myself into my PJ's now so I can watch the Sewing Bee in comfort with a hot coffee and a yogurt (strange combination I know!). 
Thomas is already picking up on the fact that I'll be leaving them again, so he will be getting some extra cuddles tonight! Tara doesn't seem to worry as much so long as she gets her grub, although she always goes mad with excitement when I get home...Thomas usually lets me know that he's very annoyed with me!
I hope to see lots of you at the show over the next few days. I'll be on the Card-io stand where you can also see Wendy working magic with her own range of stamps. 
I'll report back after the weekend. Finally, welcome to my latest blog followers and hope you will enjoy my ramblings!

6 comments:

Artyjen said...

Have a great time at the show....hard work I know....wish I was going...maybe next year!
Xoxo sioux

Paul Browning said...

Wow! So glad you had a great time in Oxford. It's one of my favourites places to visit - I have such fond memories of the place. You saw some fantastic buildings. Have a great time at the upcoming show. Pxx

Diane said...

Great to see you as always Lindsay and your fab samples !! Have a super time at the NEC !!

hugs Diane xx

rachel said...

wonderful to see the photos of Oxford = I was lucky enough to be an undergraduate there and it brought back lots of memories for me - thankyou. Love your new stamps too - glad you gave a mention to Diane - she's such a kind lady xx

Josie said...

You're such a talented teacher, I love the work your ladies produced with your inspiration and they're all so different! Thanks also for sharing the picture of your milk carton, it's super cute!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Love Oxford! Getting a bit excited about seeing your new stamps - I'm back in time for Happy Stampers!!!! Have fun at the NEC, Chrisx