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

Thursday, 29 May 2014

And here you are...

Today marks two years since I lost my wonderful David. Hard to believe that so much time has gone by when, in many ways, it feels only moments ago. I have got on with life and I do strive to think of all the happy memories but, of course, when anniversaries fall, it's impossible not to relive those hard times. 
I took a while deciding which piece of music to mark the day with, and I shed a few tears listening to some of our favourites this morning, but I finally picked one. It had to be a Mario Lanza song because David adored him and because his own voice sounded a lot like Mario's. So many to choose from though, but I finally picked "And Here You Are" because I have wonderful memories of David singing it to me and there are moments in this where it sounds just like him. If you've ever been lucky enough to be held in a tenor's arms while they sing at full throttle then you'll know it's an experience that you never forget! 
I hope you enjoy listening to Mario's tender, yet passionate, rendition of this beautiful song....it's best listened to on high volume....
 Shame I couldn't find a video with a nicer picture of Mario.

Thank you for the lovely messages I've had this week and I must apologise to those who rang me...my voice was so far gone that I wasn't even picking up the phone. The root canal treatment had complications that led to a major infection which then also caused flu like symptoms, and part of my face is still numb - I don't do things by half! I was at the point of wondering if I'd have to cancel my trip to Sir Stampalot this weekend but I will be there on Saturday come what may.
Tonight there's an Ascension day service at Church so it will be good to be in my spiritual home at the end of today. 
I'll post again after the weekend and will try to get back to normal service, reply to everyone and catch up on blogs etc.

Monday, 26 May 2014

A swell time!

Morning readers! And a special welcome to new followers. It was so dank and cold when I got up at quarter to six this morning that I put the heat on to take the chill off. Now it's blazing sunshine so the doors are all wide open and Thomas and Tara are doing their rounds of inspecting the garden. No time for me to get on top of the weeds that are fast turning into triffids again though, as I need to crack on with getting samples made as well as working on new stamp designs.
I had a lovely day at Inspirations in Preston meeting lots of very keen crafters. As well as sharing our enthusiasm for all things creative we managed to fit in some chat about our cats, gardens, families and quite a few other things! It was great to see new faces as well as familiar friends...thank you again Jacqui and Christine for the cosy socks which are hilarious and will make me smile every time I wear them! Thanks too to Pam for the banana which kept me going when I didn't take a lunch break - your cat, Tiny, is gorgeous and I love the name!!! 
It was very nice to be only a fifteen minute train journey from home at the end of the day and I was back in the house by 5.30pm along with a tasty dinner from the new Chinese takeaway that's just been opened nearby - it was delicious and I didn't feel too guilty as I'd hardly eaten anything over the previous few days.
Thankfully, although one side of my face had swelled out so much that my mouth was distorted (!) the throbbing pains had lessened and Karen and her team kept me topped up with hot drinks which really helped too. I really appreciate the kind comments and suggestions that have been sent to me regarding the post root canal problems I've had. I still have a swollen, numb jaw and yesterday I woke up to find I couldn't speak! Unfortunately, this meant I couldn't announce the hymns in Church in the morning and I also had to pull out of doing the readings at a service that evening too. My voice has come back, though it's pretty croaky and intermittent...roll on Tuesday so I can get in touch with my dentist and, hopefully, get this darned problem finally sorted!
On Friday I'll be travelling down to Peterborough for my demo day at Sir Stampalot on Saturday.
Looking forward to this as it's been a while since I was at Janice and Andy's lovely store. Hope to see lots of you there!
I'll be working with my latest stamp sets including the Zendoodle range as well as using Dylusions ink sprays to create some great backgrounds and starting points for doodling. It will be a colourful (and doubtless quite messy....!) day.
Well, the morning coffee has been drunk, the antibiotic pill has been taken and it's time to get on with work, so I had better sign off for now. Enjoy the holiday monday everyone.

Friday, 23 May 2014


Hello all, hope to see some of you tomorrow at Inspirations in Preston for a demonstration of Zendoodle stamps and Ranger inks. Rather than my usual bubbly self, I may possibly be more of a "blubbery" self as, at the moment, I look rather like this.....
The completion of my root canal treatment yesterday was completely painless but, by the evening, I was in agony with a relentless throbbing and a swollen jaw. Typically these things flare up out of hours! Unfortunately my own dentist was not at the practice today (also typical!) so I had to see one of his colleagues who didn't exactly have his caring manner! So, I'm on antibiotics and strong paracetamol - I can't take the type of painkillers that might actually bring some relief as I'm allergic to aspirin - but, so far, they're not really helping.
Apparently it's down to an infection that is now trapped in the newly capped tooth - nice! I've been told I just have to ride out the pain but I have an emergency number should it not start to improve by tomorrow. 
After a sleepless night I thought I'd get into bed after taking my pills at 3.30 this afternoon...then I gave myself a real fright by waking at 6.15pm and thinking it was Saturday morning! Isn't it weird when you wake up with no sense of time or place?!
Anyway, as I'm "a tough little cookie" as David always described me, I shall be at Inspirations tomorrow - but please excuse my fat face!!!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Back from the seaside

Hello all, or I should really say "evening all" as it's now 10.45pm! It's been a mixed up kind of day here with hot sunshine one minute and torrential rain the next. However, it was wall to wall sunshine when I was in Skegness at the weekend and it was certainly heaving with holiday makers enjoying themselves. After the long journey over to the East coast my first port of call, after checking in at the lovely guest house I was booked into, was Natureland. This is the sanctuary where they rescue and look after orphaned and sick seals and they also have penguins, meerkats, birds and butterflies to name just a few. Needless to say I was in my element!
Here's one of the seals that was in the special sick bay area - they are really well looked after and nursed back to full health before being released back to the sea.
This cheeky chappy was in the large pool where the seals spend their time once they are fully recovered....
In the butterfly house I was thrilled to see this Atlas moth - the largest moth in the world! Behind it you can see cocoons that are hung up waiting for their occupants to emerge.
Despite the numerous unusual creatures I spent the longest time at the aviary that was the home to Mac and Millie, two African Grey parrots. They were quiet to begin with but after I'd stood there bobbing my head, whistling and talking to them (I'm sure I looked a little mad!) they began to have a chat with me and then started wolf whistling, talking and making a really extraordinary range of sounds. Not sure if this was Mac or Millie...

....I really fell for them though!
On Saturday, after a great night's sleep, I was at Cutting Edge Crafts for the demonstration day. Check out the display board that David and his team had set up behind my tables!
It was a busy day of Zendoodling, Doo Lally Pipping and generally making a bit of a creative mess! Having said that, several ladies commented that I was a very neat worker......I've just about finished laughing at that one! 
Saturday evening was spent wandering along the beach and promenade before fish and chips and then a night in front of the TV and another good sleep before Sunday's full day workshop. A fun day was had by all. Kath and Janet busy working on their Steampunk Birdhouses.....
.....Ann and Margaret putting the finishing touches to their wall plaques....
.....and Ann's plaque with shimmering gold ribbon to match the Viva Decor Inca Gold wax that highlighted the corrugations.....
Everyone made a birdhouse, plaque, Doo Lally Pip tag and a Zendoodle stamped card and we even had a lunch break! Thanks for your company ladies - it was a fun day, and thanks to David and the team at CEC for making me so welcome.
Well, as I didn't get home until around midnight on Sunday I didn't feel guilty about having a day off yesterday! I did mow the lawn (which has now become one of my favourite jobs!) pull out some weeds and generally did a bit of garden tidying - as well as a bit of lying around on the freshly cut lawn with Thomas! I caught up with a couple of episodes of Gardener's World, watched the Chelsea Flower show and generally chilled out.
Today I sorted out my case and decanted what I'd need for the next demo into my lighter tote. I'll be at Inspirations in Preston this coming Saturday so it will be a stark contrast to last weekend's long haul train journeys as it will take less than twenty minutes each way! 
I wheeled everything into the conservatory where it was really warm and sunny, so I had the company of my two four legged pals as I worked - although Thomas did keep stretching diagonally across my craft sheet which slightly got in the way of things!
Here are a few of today's creations which I decided to photograph amongst the jungle of plants in the conservatory! This was an idea using Distress Stains to create a splodgy background which I then stamped my Zendoodle Fungi image onto before using a black pen to outline around the patterns created by the inks. This was a different way of creating the doodled patterns than traditional Zentangling.
I cut the design out and pasted it onto white card which I'd already stamped the same design onto...life's too short to cut round fiddly fronds!
Here's a close up of the doodling...
....and I also drew some stripey tendrils coming down from the top.
I added a couple of my Zendoodle Fish to a small corrugated card hanger after painting it and rubbing over some Inca Gold waxes.
I coloured the fish using a combination of Distress Markers and Promarkers along with the Tim Holtz Spritzer tool. Promarkers work really well in the Spritzer but you do need to remover the inner barrel of the holder that screws down to hold the pens in place - otherwise they won't fit. I highlighted the fish with a white gel pen and cut slits in them  so I could add a second fin to each one. The ribbon has been dyed with the Stains too of course!
Lastly, another Zendoodle card. This one features the Toadstools set and I began with a Distress Stain and water background using soft shades so that I could stamp over it and still add further colour with Distress Markers.
Here it's nestling amongst the Courgette plants! I highlighted with white which makes all the difference to the designs. The message is from a Paula Pascual set...Everyday Messages.
Well, that was a very photo heavy post and it's now just gone midnight so I had better push off and get to bed. Tomorrow Heather and I are off to the Grand Theatre again, this time to see Robert Powell in Agatha Christie's Black Coffee. Should be really good.
Time for one more photo though - one in my occasional series of this time last year pictures. This one shows that we had a similarly sunny day and Tom was enjoying the lawn just as he did today....
...no tulips or daffodils today though - mine have all gone over now but there are some beautiful deep red roses blooming on one of the three new climbers that I planted a few weeks ago and they smell wonderful too.
Right, that's definitely it now! Time for bed!

Thursday, 15 May 2014


Hi folks, I just have a free ten minutes before my cauliflower cheese is golden brown and ready to eat - yummy! So, I thought I'd add a few more photos of the Bijou House Masterclass project that I'm teaching at the Craft Barn on Friday 6th June. It's a full day of lots of techniques and materials and we'll be creating a detailed, dimensional house that will start from chipboard pieces cut from a Sizzix die. You also get to take home two extra die cut sets!
Here are some more views of the completed project....

 ....if you'd like to join me in creating a bijou house of your own, please contact the Craft Barn directly here. The cost of the workshop is £35.00 which includes all materials of course. Hope to see you there!
Right, I've eaten the cauliflower cheese, which was delicious, and now I'm settling down to watch Masterchef ahead of a reasonably early night and a fairly early start for my five and a half hour train journey to Skegness tomorrow. I just hope there are no delays this time!
Have a great weekend everyone, especially Sioux who is marrying her beau on Saturday - hope everything goes wonderfully Sioux!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

North to East

Hello all and a special welcome to new followers and readers. I'm back from my trip to Scotland but will soon be off again, this time to Skegness on the East coast.
The journey up to Hamilton took rather longer than expected due to a late train and then a further delay caused by someone putting a huge freight train in front of the one I was travelling in....something of an error from the way it was announced! Honestly, I could have walked from Carlisle quicker!
So, I arrived later than I'd hoped and that didn't give me much time to take a look around the town. I've been there twice before, once with David, and neither time did I get to see anything. I recalled David telling me that there were lots of modern art installations and sculptures and I did manage to see a few of them this time. I particularly liked this one of a man's head and shoulders looming up from the ground with a whimsical looking dog on his head......
....I couldn't see any information about the artist or a title, so I was left wondering about the meaning of the piece. I just liked it anyway and I did think it might have looked quite good in my garden! I ate at a Chinese buffet restaurant that evening that David and I had dined at when we were there together....just for old times sake.
I was staying in a hotel just around the corner from Inkspot so I didn't have far to walk in the morning and soon had the workshop underway. A special hello to all the ladies that attended and hope that you have all got your plaques proudly on display now! I received a gift of a pair of handmade earrings from one lady, so a special thank you for those - they're lovely.
Sorry...I couldn't fit everyone on! In the afternoon I was demonstrating and then, in what seemed like no time, I was off again to catch the train to Glasgow and then onto Gourock on the West coast. This was a beautiful part of the journey with gorgeous scenery that I would have photographed if my camera had not somehow managed to drain itself - gggrrrrr! Suffice to say that the Scottish coastline did not disappoint.
Next day I was demonstrating at Cardwell Nurseries (oh how tempting were all the plants but I couldn't have carried anything else - whew!) and had a lovely day with lots of very friendly people that came along to the event which also included two other demonstrations and a craft fair with people selling their handmade goods. It all made for a very enjoyable time.
Needless to say that I got back quite late on Saturday night and was still nursing an aching tooth that had suddenly flared up on Friday evening. Ouch. Plenty of paracetamol kept it bearable until my dental appointment on Tuesday where my dentist performed a virtually pain free root canal treatment. Last time I had one of these done was excruciating - partly because I was at the dental hospital being treated by students! My dentist at the time couldn't see me until a few days later and I had been in such pain that David drove me to the hospital instead....turned out fine but it was pretty horrendous whilst I was enduring their administrations! I've still got a "missing" tooth until my crown is remade and fitted, so, if you're visiting one of my demos in the next week or so, please bear with me....I can't say my "f"'s properly apart from looking like a pirate!
This week I have been getting ready for my trip to Cutting Edge Crafts this coming weekend. I'll be there for two days with a demonstration on Saturday and a full day workshop on the Sunday. I believe that there may be a couple of places left on the class, so do contact the shop if you'd like to book one. We'll be creating a range of projects.....a steampunk birdhouse using some gorgeous Graphic 45 papers along with all sorts of paraphernalia, a Doo Lally Pip tag, a wall plaque and, if time is on our side (!) a Zendoodle card. It will be all go but great fun!
Needless to say, I have been prepping kits so all I can really show you is.....
...just a few of the packs I've been making up. Not a great deal of room for working in the conservatory at the moment due to the expanding number and size of my plants and "crops"!
Everything from tomatoes to Sweetcorn, French beans to courgettes and Chard as well as lots of Pansies, Violas, Nasturtiums, Carnations, Dahlias and Sweet Peas! It's a veritable greenhouse and there are more to the side that you can't see!
The house has two definite sides really....the front of the house where the lounge is just doesn't get the sun and the back of the house gets more than its fair share. So, I like to work in the conservatory to get the sunshine until it gets so hot that I can't bear it anymore. I have to keep popping out to my garden bench with a cool drink every so often and can almost guarantee that Thomas will come and join me as it's one of his favourite spots. Today however, he decided to stay in the conservatory and foil my attempts to pack my case! 
Little monkey! He always senses when I'm getting near to going on a trip and he really doesn't like it. I'm sure that one of these days I'll open my case at the other end and Thomas will jump out having sneaked in there!
Oh yes, I have a project feature using my Zendoodle stamps and Viva Decor products in the June issue of Crafts Beautiful which is out now.
I loved using these cheerful colours and the Viva Decor products gave me some great textures to contrast with the graphic look of the stamps.
You may see the following advertisement in some of the craft magazines that are out at the moment....
....promoting the event at the Craft Range, Burnley on 14th June. This will be my first visit to this store and I'm really looking forward to it, especially as two of my great friends will be there - Andy Skinner and Mark Gould. Clare Horner will also be there for Indigo Blu....Clare and I met several years ago at one of my demos and she's one of my blog followers. This year she was demonstrating across the aisle from me at the Stitches trade show so it will be good to catch up again.
So, it's pretty hectic here one way and another. I watched the film musical version of Les Miserables last night (and cried almost throughout the entire two and a half hours!) as we are using it as the basis for one of the courses that are run through Church. It should be very interesting as we will be concentrating on a different character each week and discussing them in depth...their motivations, weaknesses, strengths etc. Something a little different! I loved the film and Eddie Redmayne's singing voice was a revelation!
When I get back from Skegness Heather and I will be going to the Grand theatre again, this time to see Black Coffee by Agatha Christie starring Robert Powell as Poirot. Really looking forward to this as I do like a good who dunnit. This was Agatha Christie's first play and, I think, is the first time that Poirot put in an appearance - but don't quote me on that!
Well, that's all from me for the moment. Hope to see loads of you at Cutting Edge Crafts in Skegness this weekend - if I haven't melted...it looks set to be a bit of a scorcher!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

I'm taking the high road!

Just waiting for Heather to arrive and then we're off to visit our mum, so I thought I'd take the chance to add a short post in the meantime. I think we'll be calling at the garden centre on the way back so I can get some more (even more) compost....where does it all go? I have lots of things waiting to be planted out and potted on....Rainbow Chard, Courgettes and Sweetcorn plus tomatoes and quite a few flower seedlings. I'd like to get some of them done later today before my trip tomorrow.
Yesterday was so hot here that I had to water everything in the conservatory several times throughout the day and, as I was working in there, I felt quite faint and wilted myself by the afternoon! Last night I went to a special service at a Church in a neighbouring parish where the new Bishop was visiting to officially welcome and instate the wardens from the various churches in the area. It was a really lovely and uplifting evening and the organist was playing in a very uptempo way that made that made us all think we were listening to a Wurlitzer! Really jolly! I'm not a warden but I've just been made a member of the PCC (Parochial Church Council) so we were all welcomed as well. I'll be attending my first PCC meeting tonight, so it will be very interesting!
Anyway, the last couple of days have been spent in getting more samples made and prepping things for a short workshop that I'll be doing on Saturday.
Here's one of the cards I made yesterday, using my Zendoodles ready to go Mushrooms stamp set and one of the owls from the Owl Buddies set - this set features two owls on branches but no reason not to separate them! I kept all the colours in brown tones and a simple layout which I think makes it ideal to send to a man. The greeting is from one of Paula Pascual's sentiments sets - very useful!
 So, tomorrow I travel up to Hamilton, in Scotland, before my day at Inkspot where I'm teaching from 10am till 12pm and then demonstrating from 1pm until 4pm.     
Once I finish there I'll be travelling on up to Gourock where, on Saturday, I'll be demonstrating at Cardwell Garden Centre (good thing I'll have too much to carry to be tempted by the plants!) all day.
Here's another Zendoodle card, this time using my Toadstools ready to go set which I stamped twice so I could add a second layer of the toadstool caps.
Finally, a picture of a card featuring one of the owls from my Zendoodle Owls set which I doodled and then coloured using just grey Promarkers and a twinkly gel pen for his eyes. The background is made using Distress inks and Tsukineko Shimmer Spritz in Sparkle which I swirled my card into.
I punched a circle out of the top corner with white Shimmer spritzed card underneath. The branches were simply drawn using a black fineliner and a white gel pen and I added a handwritten phrase to the top. 
Right, Heather is here now so I must dash!
Hope to see lots of my Scottish friends over the weekend!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Poignant times

Hello all, I've been busy today with last minute prepping for my trip to the Southport Craft Centre on Lord Street tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing everyone on the morning workshop and then I'll be demonstrating in the afternoon.
It's been a low key day for me as it's exactly two years since David was taken into hospital after he collapsed at home. The whole of May brings back many poignant memories, so it's a month that I know will be a tough one.
I read an interview with someone who had lost someone very special and he said that "you never get over it, you just get around it.". I think that's it in a nutshell really. Okay days, good days and then suddenly...bam...it can be as raw as it was when everything happened.
I do keep wondering where that two years has gone to though. So much has changed and yet so much has also stayed the same.

Well, a certain furry princess keeps nudging my elbow to let me know that she's hungry, so I had better feed my two little pals. They certainly know how to break through my melancholic moments and they do make me smile