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, 25 November 2014

Normal service

Hello blog followers and apologies for my absence...a combination of being really busy, very tired and an annoying advert thing that keeps popping up when I come to my blog page that has been driving me crazy. It seems to have stopped coming on quite as much now so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
What's been happening since my last post? Gosh, I have to stop and think - don't know about you but the days very easily run one into another. Mainly it's been me at home, in the Doo Lally room, making as much as I possibly can for the Christmas Market and my last two demonstration days of the year. I'll be at The Craft Range in Burnley this Thursday when they have their craft event in the evening from 4.30pm until 8pm.
It will be a great evening with lots going on as you can see.
On Saturday 29th I'll be back at Card-io in Wigan where I'll be working with Viva Decor products as well as dies, stencils, modelling paste etc. Hope to see lots of you at one or other (or even both!) of the events.
I'll have another few days after that to get the last things made for 5th December when I have my stall at Poulton-Le-Fylde Christmas Market. I'm really looking forward to it but I'm hoping that the weather will be kind and stay as sunny and dry as it has been lately - I can cope with the cold (just!) but wind or rain would be another matter! As well as lots of festive stalls there will be fairground rides, the lighting of the Crib outside St Chad's Church, Carol singing and the event will finish with the arrival of Santa Claus in the square!
Other than head down, full production in process not a great deal else has been happening. 
Last week though, Heather and I went into Blackpool to do some window shopping and we both needed some footwear - boots for Heather and a pair of shoes for me...my only pair of black shoes had become peep toes which they were not intended to be! We also chose to go into town that day so that we could visit HMV where Alfie Boe was making an appearance to launch his new album, Serenata. Although we weren't buying the CD we were able to get a good look at him (Lol!) and take a few photos....
 ....definitely worth a good look at I think!!! He really is a lovely, smiley man. We saw him in concert last year and he's not a bad singer either! ; )
Last week I had a little visitor to the garden - I know there are hedgehogs about as they leave tell tale presents for me - but they don't normally trot about in the day time. This little chap was very bold and made no attempt to roll into a ball or scurry off when I went near to him.I put cat food down for him whilst I took his photo but he wasn't interested and he just carried on snuffling about in the autumn leaves. I keep putting food out in the evenings but I don't know whether Hedgy is eating it or if my two are just thinking it's an extra treat for them!
I'm trying not to put the central heating on too much, but it's getting too cold now not to give in! I'm always aware of the meter in the cupboard clocking up the pound signs as well as being concerned that the country doesn't run out of power as they very nearly did last winter apparently. It's tricky when I work at home though, especially working with my hands which just don't do what I want them to if they're cold! I trade off having the heat on in the day with turning it off when I stop work in the evening - then I snuggle on the sofa with socks and a cosy fleece. We really are having a very mild November so far though, certainly here in Lancashire.
Well, I'm going to take a look in the kitchen cupboards now and figure out what I can cobble together for dinner later on! Then it's sofa time with Thomas next to me and Tara on the footstool...well, at least they are getting nearer to each other bit by bit!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Full pelt

I'm just about recovered from the show at the NEC and now busy making things for my Christmas market stall. The show was busier than ever, and Wendy and myself were demonstrating for the entire four days. Thank you to everyone who came to the stand and for all the wonderful comments about our demonstrations and samples - makes all the hard work worthwhile!
Of course, Wendy was showing how to use her beautiful Majestix stamp range....the cards she was making were just stunning and everyone was very inspired. 

I was using Viva Decor and Deco Art products and using mixed media techniques...very messy...my default mode!
 It was so busy that the main products I was using were all gone by the end of day two, so, with another two days to go, I had to work off the cuff so to speak, and come up with new ideas, changing things as I went as more things sold out....very nerve wracking but it's good to have to think on your feet!
Here's a triple hanger that I made on day three....
....the large snowflake is made using the Tim Holtz Alterations die "Layered Snowflake" which contains a die and matching embossing folder - really like this set. I used Deco Art white modelling paste to create the snow, sprinkling it with Glamour Dust.
I didn't get chance to look round the rest of the show except for quick glimpses on the way to and from the loos! This was the display at the main entrance to the Hobbycrafts hall....
...all made from paper except for the poppy wreaths which were crocheted.
At the entrance to the Crafts For Christmas hall there was another display, this time featuring "The Snowman" - as I love snowmen I had to get my picture taken with him!
I got back from the show on Sunday evening and then spent Monday relaxing on the sofa catching up with Strictly Come Dancing and a few other TV programmes - didn't even feel guilty! I was so glad to be back home with Thomas and Tara who were very happy to see me. My neighbour told me that Thomas had been sulking for England! On Sunday night Thomas crept under the duvet with me and, amazingly, so did Tara....this is a minor miracle as usually Tara won't even stay in the same room with Tom! They do seem to be getting along a little better at last.
Yesterday was the third anniversary of dad's passing, so Heather and I went to St Chad's and laid some flowers at his resting place as well as lighting candles and looking in the memorial book which was open at the date and had dad's name written there. Being Armistice day makes the anniversary even more evocative. 
It also means that I've been back here in Poulton for three years now which seems unreal - although I also feel I've been here forever at the same time. Time....such a strange thing that seems to ebb and flow depending on what we are thinking about, remembering or looking forward to.
Well, we also did some shopping and Heather even brought me a food parcel - including plenty of cat food - so I am well stocked up now. It was so cold and dank yesterday that I was relieved to get home and look forward to some time inside without having to go out again. With a full larder and fridge I can batten down the hatches and just get busy with making things to sell on my Christmas Market stall in December. I've just finished adding texture and embellishments to some MDF ornaments which are now drying as I have this little break. They'll then be painted black before I start adding all the lustre and sparkle.
I do have to go out this evening though, as it is the town Forum meeting...lots of important issues so I don't want to miss it. The police, councillors and local MP will be there, so it's a great chance to put things to them and get things done!
There is an amendment to my demo dates as we have postponed the one at Card-io in Wigan which I was meant to be doing this coming Saturday. because all the products sold out at the show, I will now be going there on Saturday 29th November where I'll be showing the Mixed Media techniques and giving ideas for Christmas gifts and decorations. I'll be returning on Saturday 28th February when I'll be teaching Mixed Media workshops - more details to follow, but if you want to ensure a place, please get in touch with Card-io directly here.
Well, I think those decorations will be dry now, so I shall get cracking with the next stage. I need to get an awful lot of things made by 5th December!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Hi Ho, Hi Ho it's off to the NEC I go...!

This blog post title came to mind as I was watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarves yesterday afternoon whilst I was die cutting! I haven't seen it for a long time and I really did enjoy it, singing along to all of the songs...and especially "Hi Ho" - love it!
Singing seems to have been the theme over the last couple of days beginning with Monday evening when Heather and I went to see Madame Butterfly at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool. This was one of my gifts from Heather for my birthday back in July, so we were joking that I now have two birthdays like the Queen and 3rd November is now my "official" one! 
I had been so looking forward to this as I've not been to the opera for a few years now. It was the first time for Heather and she was open minded but dubious! Needless to say, I absolutely loved the whole evening and spent most of the opera an emotional wreck! The set was gorgeous, the costumes were beautiful (including some antique Japanese kimonos) and the singing was first rate - especially the soprano.
Heather's still not convinced and I don't think she'll be going to see any more opera! Heathen! Lol!
Last night I was in Blackpool again, this time at the famous Tower Ballroom - not to see strictly, but for an evening called "Light in Darkness" with the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu. In my head I'd pictured tables placed around the ballroom a la Strictly, but it was quite different....hundreds of chairs filled the dance floor, all facing the stage and it was obvious that this was going to be a huge event. Sure enough, people were streaming in and soon the two tiers of balconies were also packed - so much so that two coach loads of people couldn't get in and had to go back. This didn't go down well with the Archbishop when he found out what had happened...I'm guessing the Tower staff got into their "health and safety" mode and decided any more people would be a risk.
There was a lovely moment when the Archbishop walked onto the stage to be greeted by the Bishop of the dioscese.....
....and promptly waltzed him across the platform! What a charsimatic man he is and his talk was inspiring. There was lots of singing too and being amidst those hundreds of people in such a wonderful setting was a real joy. For any like minded people reading this, it was heartening to see that, despite what we may read in the press, Christianity is alive and well!
My throat's pretty sore this morning so I am hoping it's a result of all the singing and not the start of anything else!
Well, I'm all set for my trip to Birmingham shortly. I've a walk to the station, two trains and a taxi to the hotel ahead of me. No problem except for this "little" lot that's coming with me...
Just the bags...not the cloth covered table in the background I should add! My bags are jam packed and there wasn't room for very many changes of clothes so I shall be wearing some outfits twice I'm afraid.
Thomas is sulking big time as he always knows when I'm going away for longer than a day, even though I try to stop it from being too obvious. Tara isn't too worried as yet! They don't go into kennels when I'm away as I think they'd find that far more stressful, so my neighbour will be popping in to feed them and will put the heat on if it's chilly and the telly from time to time to make them feel less lonely. Of course, if they got on with each other better it would help! I'll be glad to get back to them on Sunday night.
Well, I had better get back to tidying up the place a bit before I leave. Hope to see lots of you at the NEC - I'm on stand A17 with Card-io. Looking forward to it!