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, 1 April 2014

If it's broken...fix it!

More about other broken things later, but the broken thing I've fixed is my laptop! Since I got back from the NEC it has been behaving very badly or not at all and I've been getting increasingly frustrated by that little circle, endlessly spinning round with the dreaded words "not responding" coming up before the screen clouds over and everything grinds to a halt.....ggggrrrr! David was brilliant at getting things back on track, even though he was the first to admit that he was less knowledgable about computers than he was about engines and electrical appliances - he could even sew, and I once returned from a weekend at a show to find that he'd re-upholstered the sofa bed!
Anyway, I digress. Having always had to rely on David to fix the computer I've been dreading this sort of thing happening but last night I just got really cross and decided to have a go myself. Surely it can't be that hard I thought! I won't bore you with details (wake up at the back there!) but after a few hours I had cleaned up the hard drive, fracked it, or do I mean "defragged" it (!?) and generally given it a good service. I'm happy to report that it's now working better than it was before the problems started.....I'm available for £25 per hour if anyone wants me to take a look at their poorly laptop!!!!
Not so happy about the other break though : (   Last night one of my dental crowns split right down the middle! It's my nightmare scenario....right at the front and broken in half!!! So, I am now waiting for the dental surgery to open so I can, hopefully, get an appointment asap...otherwise, if you come to the Leigh show on Saturday, I'll be the one looking like a vampire! Even if I can get an appointment today it won't be a quick fix (or cheap) so I'm dreading the next few weeks. Should help with the diet though as I'll be struggling to eat anything! The surreal part is that Heather and I had a coffee and a bite to eat with two of my friends from Church on Sunday and the subject of crowns came up...I was saying how prone they are to breaking! Oh dear!
Anyway, moving on....I had a really wonderful day on Saturday at the Port Sunlight show. What a lovely setting the village of Port Sunlight makes, though I never get chance for a look around needless to say.

Thank you to the Happy Stampers show team who, as usual, made me very welcome and really looked after me. Thank you too to everyone who kindly brought me hot and cold beverages during the day - it was much appreciated. The feedback I had for the new stamps, especially the Zendoodle range, was just amazing and gave me a real boost. It's all very well sitting in front of blank paper, coming up with ideas and then drawing them - but unless people actually like the results it's a waste of time!
Well, here am I at my huuuge demonstration table, wearing the shirt of course! How I got through the day without spritzing ink onto it I will never know!
The character I was working on (above) ended up on this simple card........

.....basically machine stitched Tim Holtz fabrics and a piece of burlap from a new DCWV 12" x 12" pad (DCWV Real Burlap Fabric) that is made up entirely of burlap sheets, 15 in all. Each sheet is held within a cellophane wrap which makes it easy to cut into them without getting edges fraying - love it! 
The character is from a set called "Sartorial Elegance" from my Doo Lally Pip range. Speaking of which, thanks to Chris for letting me know that the Craft Barn are featuring my Doo Lally stamps this week on their blog. Neil Walker has created a fabulous canvas using my "Overhaul Needed" set....love it Neil!
Here are two more quite simple cards that I made for the Port Sunlight show. I kept them quite plain to just show the impact of the Zendoodle images. Two different approaches here though....
.....the left one features "Zendoodles Toadstools Ready to Go" stamped onto 300 gsm white card and left uncoloured. I then carefully painted Multi Gloss Medium over the image before blending Distress inks over the panel and buffing excess ink away from the image. Colour around a monochrome image works well with Zentangles.
The right one is the "Zendoodles Flower" stamped onto 200 gsm white card which I then doodled over using a Pigma Micron pen. I have added shading around the flower edges using a grey Promarker and also on various areas of the design. Very subtle but, again, it gives a great graphic effect. The greeting is one from my friend Paula Pascual  - to be found on her new "Sentiments Everyday Messages" set.
So, a really wonderful Saturday with so many happy people around, all enjoying the show. I had a rather dramatic start to the day though! I boarded the train for Liverpool in the morning, where I was to connect to the Merseyrail train to Port Sunlight. A partially sighted gentleman with a lovely guide dog got on the train as well and he was sitting directly behind me. It was rather nice to be able to reach down and stroke his dog which was stretched out beneath the seats and kept nuzzling my legs.
The journey went on peacefully enough until I was aware of a movement across the aisle and a lady shrieked in surprise as a rather large dog jumped up at her in her seat. Very unusual to see a dog moving around a train compartment so we were all rather startled. Of course, said dog immediately noticed the guide dog and turned towards it whereupon the guide dog began to growl and bark...protecting his owner and also feeling vulnerable as he was cornered under the seats.
The poor owner of the guide dog was terrified, needless to say, as he had no idea what was happening. I was shouting "Whose dog is this?" but there was no response. The mystery dog was a burly Staffy type and, quite obviously, a full male so it was a worry that there was going to be a full on fight inside the restricted area of a train carriage. I grabbed his collar and pulled him away from the guide dog so the owner could move away into a safer place - meanwhile asking someone to find the guard...no guard I'm afraid - he was in the second part of the train that couldn't be reached through an internal door.
The dog jumped up and sat next to a rather surprised man - he wasn't being aggressive and had been wagging his tail...the dog that is - not the man! I then set off in search of an owner with no joy until a young woman said the dog had jumped onto the train at a station a few stops back! It seems he was a solo traveller and I stomped back to my carriage expounding loudly about the stupidity of irresponsible dog owners - I was pretty angry!!! The dog then compounded the situation by cocking his leg up by one of the seats!
As the train drew into the next station someone was alighting and said they'd inform someone on the platform at which point the dog jumped off and we told the guide dog owner that he was safe to go back to his seat now. Didn't last though, as the stray jumped right back on the train and the whole thing started over! Eventually a member of staff came on board and escorted the dog off and I'm afraid I don't know what happened after that. I felt very sorry for the dog who was, by now, miles away from home - his collar had no ID tags. I also felt very upset for the man and his guide dog who had been subjected to a frightening episode. 
When I left the train at Liverpool two separate ladies thanked me for helping as they both said they were terrified of dogs. It was very nice to be thanked, but it seemed a natural thing to do to step in and help someone in a vulnerable position. Dogs are certainly viewed with much greater anxiety than they once were - and mostly down to the type of owners that this dog obviously had. It was a pretty unusual start to the day though and I wish I knew what became of the travelling canine.
I've got lots of travels coming up....Scotland, Peterborough, Yorkshire, Surrey to name a few and also Skegness where I'll be spending two days at Cutting Edge Crafts on the 17th and 18th May. I'll be teaching a full day's workshop on the Sunday, details below.......

.....looking forward to it!

Well, it is now several hours since I wrote the previous part of this post! I had to down tools this morning as the dental surgery rang me back to say there had been a cancellation so I had to dash round there. Unfortunately I have to wait almost a month for my next appointment and my tooth won't even be fixed then! So, I'm feeling pretty fed up about it...my split crown is being held precariously by a bit of cement which I am sure won't last until I see the dentist again. I'm also struggling to eat as the cement is stopping me from biting and chewing properly. I've a lovely long list of things the dentist has planned for me too...some root canals, replacing another crown that he's not happy with and a filling....can't wait! I think it will be around July when he actually fits the new crowns for me so, if you see me meanwhile, please forgive the less than dazzling smile! I have always said that God made a brilliant job of creating us until he got to our teeth and then he obviously ran out of time!

This was the view from the back of the house first thing this morning and, though you can't see them, there were rabbits hopping around the field. A bit of wildlife watching is a great start to the day!
After the dentist, I met up with Heather and we went down to her house for a while before going to a nearby garden centre. I was after a five foot fence panel to replace the one that blew down a few weeks ago. Unfortunately it seems that half the country also needs to replace their fence panels and they are like hens teeth.....ouch....why did I mention teeth!?!
Well, I didn't waste our outing and got myself some bark chipping, some top soil, three climbing roses (all at a special reduced price!), two pots of miniature daffodils, four plug plants and a packet of Rainbow Chard seeds! On the way home with that little lot we stopped off somewhere else and I got some wooden edging to lay along a border where the fence panels are - I'm going to build up the soil depth so I can plant the roses there along with my usual Sweet Peas and Nasturtiums. I've managed to locate a fence panel now too, so that will be arriving on Thursday and then I can get on with my little project!
I've decided to make a mini pond too - and I do mean a mini pond! Just a big bowl sunk into the soil and with gravel and pebbles for any little creatures to use as steps. It won't be big enough for anything major, but I might attract some dragonflies!
Here's a random piccie for my "this time last year" spot......
.....I might well make a couple more of these canvasses using some of the new Doo Lally characters!
Well, this was a rather looong post! Think I will get to be now as I am planning a day in the garden tomorrow...just hope it's as sunny and warm as it was today. Night night folks!


Christina Doré said...

Love all your samples Lindsay, and thanks for the inspiration on different ways of colouring and using the Zendoodle stamps. The train journey sounds very scary. Thank goodness you were there to help xx

Paul Browning said...

Oh No!!!! Your poor tooth!!! I can sympathise with the misery and dread all things dental can conjure up. My brother has just had a little windfall and how's he planning to treat himself? Trips to the dentist!!!! What with your tooth and train adventures, it's seems all go. Let's hope your upcoming workshops around the country are less eventful lol. Beautiful samples (as always) - I'm another fan of your zen-doodled stamps - you're such a talented artist :) And I know where to come if my computer breaks down too :D Pxx

Diane said...

My word Linsay....when you do a blog post boy do you do a blog post !! Good thing I'm eating my breakfast !!

Your stray dog sure had an adventure,
lets hope he got taken to the local rescue and not the dog pound !!

Just wear a straw hat and a bit of straw in your mouth and keep saying "OOh arr" and you'll get away with the broken tooth !! he,he

Hope you have loads of fun at all your events sweeite !!

hugs Diane xx

Lindsay Mason said...

Thanks for the comments everyone - I'm trying to keep a sense of humour about my tooth! I'll show some more Zendoodle samples after the weekend!

Jason Dew said...

That is certainly a very righteous ethos that you are promoting. Don't wait and don't skimp on responsibility to keep the things around you and of you in proper shape. Especially your teeth, which tend to let the damage and linger when left unabated. Take care!

Jason Dew @ Metro Dental Associates