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

Friday, 4 April 2014

Outdoor days

Morning peeps! It's very misty and murky here this morning. The rain has kept the Saharan dust away overnight but there's more of a smog hanging low in the sky than there has been all week. Peering into the mist first thing I spotted this visitor trotting about in the field behind my house.....
 ....the deer are quite regular visitors at the moment, probably due to the refurbishments on the nearby railway lines that are disturbing them. You might have to look more closely to spot him/her this time!
Well, I'm hoping the drizzle clears up before too long as I had planned a third day in the garden. I've been very busy getting all the necessary jobs done whilst I've got a slightly less hectic diary to deal with. Of course, being busy with work has meant that weeding has gone from a reasonably straightforward task to a real slog of a job! Lots of grassy weeds have taken hold and created matted roots that are a nightmare to get up. So, to break up the relentless task, I have been treating myself to more enjoyable projects along the way.

Yesterday I created the micro pond using an old washing up bowl. First I dug the hole that it would fit snugly into.......
 .....adding a layer of grit at the bottom to stabilise the bowl. I part filled the bowl with water to make sure it was level before removing it and giving it a really good wash and rinse.
 After sieving horticultural gravel with water, to wash away any dust, I added a thick layer to the bowl and then began setting pebbles into it.
 I carried on adding larger stones to create steps - on the off chance that anything does decide to pay a visit and needs to climb out! Some tiny pots are there for mini shelters. I laid more pebbles and stones around the outside surface.
Then it was time to fill the bowl with water - some from the hose but some that I've been collecting when it's rained.
 I decided to put a broken pot in the corner too (not sure about this yet, so I may get a terracotta one and smash it!) I also decided to move my little fairies from under the tree where they are completely hidden for most of the year. I think they look rather happy looking into the water!
The water has settled nicely now and all the cloudiness has cleared. Of course, it still looks just like a washing up bowl sunk into the soil at the moment, but once I've put one or two pond plants into it, added some more rocks around the edges and planted some small flowers between them, it should look a lot more natural! I'll show you a picture or two once I'm further on with it. Now it's just a case of waiting to see if I get any little visitors!
I did smile last night as Thomas was in the garden and I spotted him taking a good look at the new feature before tentatively dipping a paw into the water....don't think he was too impressed and he rapidly withdrew it, shaking it vigorously before running back inside!
I plan to make a few rockery areas in the garden, partly because I've always loved Alpines and partly to make the large garden a little easier to maintain. Looking at the price for lumps of rock though....crikey, they're expensive! So, I decided to start by recycling what I already have. Beneath the large Lavender bush there were a couple of biggish rocks that really couldn't be seen where they were, so I hoiked them out and then foraged about for a few smaller bits and pieces that might work.
I also decided to use a really old gnome who has seen better days....he had been broken off from his base, so he was perfect to plant firmly into the soil. I detest garish, painted gnomes, but this aged one is very characterful. 
Once I'd decided what to put where, I dug the soil and firmed everything in. I need to get some Alpines now (what a treat!) but, for now, I've just transplanted a few little cuttings. There's also a stone toad that has been transferred from another corner of the garden....you can just see him creeping in from the right....
The rockery is just below my front window and I planted up three tubs yesterday too to brighten everything up. The miniature daffodils are gorgeous and there are bulbs and plug plants that will add more colour as they grow.
Yesterday my new fence panel arrived and, as the delivery driver was too mean to help me to drop it in, I used my feminine charms (?!) and asked the two men who are removing rubbish from a garage across the road! They were only too happy to help (there are still some gentlemen around!) and after a lot of pushing, shoving and bashing the concrete posts with a mallet, they managed to get the panel in place. It's as solid as a rock now, so I can crack on with putting a deeper edging around the bed, adding more soil and then getting my three climbing roses in. Looks like the drizzle may be dissipating now, so I may be able to make a start soon.
Well, this has been very much a gardening post but it is my week off after all! I'll be back at work tomorrow, starting with the Leigh Show on the Card-io stand. If you haven't been to this event, you can find all the details here. I'm only there on the Saturday but it will be a busy couple of days.
On Sunday I am performing in one of our puppet shows at Church. Last rehearsal was yesterday evening and, hopefully, everything will go smoothly on the day. 
When I looked at photos from this day last year I remembered what I'd been up to.....

.....make n takes with the local WI group! We made bookmarks using alcohol inks and Darkroom Door stamps.
Well, I am going to take a chance on the weather now and get my gardening gear on - two pairs of old leggings, one of David's old sweatshirts and my old boots. Plus my hair in pigtails...and what did I say before about using my "feminine charms"?!


Christina Doré said...

That mini pond will be a perfect home for a couple of frogs!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Hmmm! Frogs eh! - Newts, Toads yes, but Frogs..............scream!!! Have to agree though it will look lovely when plants grow around it! Lucky you spotting the deer! Hope you had a good day! Chrisx