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, 31 August 2010

New stamps and a list to tick off

I'm ticking things off my to do list one by one this week! I've done the latest Crafts Beautiful project.....tick, paid some bills.....tick (& yuck!), made some samples for a forthcoming demonstration.....tick and now, finally, getting round to posting here. I'll tackle the next round of tasks tomorrow!
Talking of tomorrow (notice the smooth way that I dropped that in there!) my new stamps will be on QVC in Dawn's hour at 2pm, "crafting with colour". I hope that you like them, I have lots of ideas how to use them and have made a few samples for Dawn to show tomorrow. After the stamps have aired I'll be able to post pictures of some of the samples on here. Even though I've been designing for many years I still get a thrill when I see my artwork made up and packaged! I guess the day that one doesn't feel that excitement is the day one should call it a day.
Well, it was a really busy old few days one way or another. Hello to everyone that I met at Sugar & Spice in Billericay and at Sew Simple in Norwich. I travelled down to Basildon on Friday and was looking forward to a relaxing night before my two days of demonstrations. However, I had a bout of sickness (don't think it was anything I ate, but who knows) and hardly slept at all! Thankfully, the cramps and nausea abated throughout the next day, but it wasn't a good start to my weekend! However, I must tell you a hilarious story from my friday, pre sickness, evening. I was on the second floor in the hotel and access was via two lifts, apart from the emergency staircase. I was going out for a bite to eat so I called the lift, which took an age to come down to me. I got in and when the doors opened I stepped out, only to see that I was in the first floor as an elderly couple had also called the lift. I stepped aside so they could get in and then got in myself. I pressed for the ground floor and down we went, the doors opened three inches and then shut again. The gentleman immediately decided that we should press the alarm bell, so I assured him that all was okay and pressed the first floor button. Up we went and the doors did their three inch trick again before the lift shot down to the ground floor, then straight back up to the second floor, whereupon the doors opened. I stepped out and said that I'd call the other lift. The gentleman then said to me "When you go down, can you tell them that my wife and I are stuck in the lift on the second floor." Er.....it took a few moments for the full hilariousness of the situation to hit me! And, yes, they did stay in the lift that I had just departed! You couldn't make it up really.
Saturday was, as I said, a bit wobbly to start with, but Marion and her staff did make me very welcome in her lovely shop. It was nice to see a few men at the demonstration too...and I always think that I've cracked it if the husbands are impressed!!! Also met some familiar faces, which is always nice. Straight after I'd finished Marion took me to Billericay station and I set off to Norwich and then on to my hotel at nearby Taverham. I slept like the proverbial log and had a much needed extra half an hour lie in instead of breakfast, before the fifteen minute walk to Sew Simple which blew the cobwebs away. I had a lovely day there, enjoyed using some wooden stamps (I still love them!) and was so annoyed that I hadn't taken my camera, so will have to re make some of the cards to photograph. Duh! Then it was back to the station, a quick bite to eat and finally I was on my way home.
Not much to report in the wildlife stakes this trip....I saw a heron and some Egrets which were the highlight of the nature watch. There were some extremely pretty white cattle too, though the bulls were massive! Thankfully though, the trains were very quiet, as I notched up nine seperate legs over the three days. I was so glad to be home though.
So, yesterday, David and I went to our usual car boot haunt and, whilst rummaging in a box of old watches, got into conversation with a fellow rummager who, it turned out, was also rooting about for things to include in her artsy pieces! So, hello Chris, I hope that you found plenty more treasures. I also met someone I know through crafting, so it is a small world for sure. So, what did my rummaging bring me this time? Well, apart from the watches, I got a box of old dominoes (great as I had run out), which I am looking forward to altering. Also quite a few little treasures for the matchbox shrine workshop....mini figurines, a tin horse, some poker dice, a bottle of tiny coloured shells (they were a bit of a rip off at 10p mind you! Lol!) and a brand new ATC folder for 50p...a brand new one that has nine wallets per page, a great find! David was pretty disappointed...all he got was a belt, some miniature men's fragrances and sore feet! The weather was amazing after the previous two days and we were walking around for over four hours (it's a biiiiig field!) so we called in at a coffee shop on the way home and had coffee and a Scicilian Lemon Frappucino (guess which one I had?!), lovely.
So, that's me up to date I guess. I've been straight back to work today and feel good having ticked some things off that seemingly never ending list. I've also been catching up with everyone's blogs, so, even though I may not have commented I have been lurking! So, if you watch tomorrow's craft show, at one, let me know what you think and I'll post tomorrow with some pictures of my samples. Hope everyone had a great weekend! Lindsay

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Pictures as promised!

Well, it's been another rather gloomy day again, but I don't let wet weather dampen my spirits, in fact I really enjoy the rain. I have to admit that the dull skies get me down when I'm trying to work though, as I hate having to put artificial lighting on during the day. Anyway, here are a couple more pictures that I mentioned in my last post. The first is of Sheila with her lovely mum who both came to my demonstration on Sunday. You can also see the stunning page that Sheila made for me.I photographed the page and these ATC's (which I received at the weekend) today...again, the light, or lack of it, didn't help! Going from the top left, with snowman, they are by Sheila, Glen, Jacquie, Jacquie again, Elaine, and the final two are also by Sheila. All brilliant little works of art and a prompt for me to add some new ones to my own swapping collection! Well, that's all for now as, once again, I am off to put the coffee on! Oh yes, and Heather, you won't believe this, but I actually made dinner last night!!! Mind you, it was only sandwiches!!! Lol Lindsay

Monday, 23 August 2010

A few photos and birthday fun

Hello all, I've had a busy, but very enjoyable weekend and have a few photos to share with you. The first ones are of the cards which I designed for the workshop on Saturday. It was, as ever, a little hectic but lots of fun too! This first one, features acetate that has been embossed with a snowflake design before being alcohol inked. I then swiped a black Archival ink pad over the surface and wiped off the ink to leave the snowflakes clear again. I simply mounted the panel onto card, added a white card "snowscape" and a few trees made with a MS punch were tucked in behind the snow. I stamped my Christmas teddy and snowman and added this, then stamped a greeting as well as punching the card corners with another MS punch (Aspen). Sorry the image looks so blue - my camera seems to like blue at the moment as every close up has a blue tinge! The next card is completely different, though still based around acetate. This time I stamped one of my favourite TH stamps (the serious faces lend themselves to adding an amusing word or two!) onto acetate, heat set the Archival ink and then painted the image from behind using Blending Solution to thin the colours. This is such a fun technique as the inks work so differently from paints - one colour will replace the colour beneath it, but, dabbling the colours on is a good way to get a very colourful look to the piece. I then mounted the piece over Personal Impressions Metallic film to give a glow behind the coloured image. Some distressed paper then seperated the image from the TH paper which I had used to cover the card blank. A distressed Adage Ticket, some TH tissue tape and an alcohol inked ribbon were the finishing touches. At my demonstration on Sunday I was asked, by a lady named Gail, what a painted acetate piece would look like over gilding flakes, so I made up a piece of white card covered with a silver and gold mix of flakes so that Gail could see the effect, which, we all agreed was pretty good and rather reminded me of a craft that I did as a child where we had black designs on glass and covered the backs with differently coloured sweetie wrappers! No picture of it I'm afraid, as the flashback was too much on the acetate. Anyway, hope you like this card. The last one was the one I wasn't sure about, but everyone on the class really liked it! The main image was created by colouring some white tissue pieces with alcohol inks in various shades. The stamped acetate was then flipped over and I piped Glossy Accents over the image, sprinkled on just a little fine glitter and then pressed small scraps of the tissue to colour the image. Once dry, I mounted the image onto the card (covered with TH paper), and added punched strips and a butterfly - these were from dull silver card that I'd alcohol inked. It's a very busy card, but sometimes I like going a little over the top! Here are a few snaps of the workshop with everyone hard at work! We also did some very simple stamping onto tissue which we then applied to candles. And you can see how everyone is concentrating very intently! At this point, I am now typing this on Tuesday evening! I started this post last night but David wanted to watch a film (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, which we've watched before, but that whole series can stand being watched a few times!) so I saved everything till today - more on today a bit later! So, back to the weekend...on Saturday night I was staying with Rena and Stephen (Amy's mum and dad). Amy and her little boy, Ben, came back with us for a couple of hours and we had another lovely dinner cooked by Stephen who is an excellent host! I had been warned that Alicia (Amy's niece) had seen something being made on a CBBC programme and that she was sure that I would know how to make it! It was some sort of tap...gulp! None of us had seen it, so we really didn't have a clue what it was that I was supposed to be making! (I have since googled it, so will be ready next time!) I decided that diversion was the best tactic, so I suggested that we make a magic card instead. We spent some time making the card mechanism, which has secret flaps, and then Alicia had great fun decorating it with lots of stickers. She showed Rena and Stephen and immediately turned to me to say "Shall we make the tap now Lindsay?"......hilarious! So, another idea had to be found, and I suggested that we make a Princess Tiara. This went down well, and involved lots more stickers, as you can see. Here's me crowning the little Princess..... .......and here she is the next morning in all her cuteness! On Sunday I was demonstrating in store at Dawn's Studio along with Mary who was showing card ideas and techniques with stencilling paste. I was showing the techniques used in the workshop as well as general ideas for Christmas cards and ATC's. Hello to everyone that came along, including Sheila and her mum - I'll post a photograph of them both tomorrow along with a picture of all the lovely ATC's that I swapped with Sheila, Elaine, Jacqui and Glen. I am going to have to sort out some more storage for my collection of ATC's soon!
Today was my sister, Heather's, birthday and we decided that, rather than me going over to see her, she would come over here and we'd spend the day in town. We have had a lovely day, looking round the shops, including an inordinately long time in Paperchase, where we stroked lots of handmade papers, picked some notebooks for Art Journalling in and generally had our eyes on stalks over all the amazing colours, patterns and textures! We ate a delicious lunch in Bella Italia and did some more window shopping...and a bit of real shopping too of course! Heather had received some cards and gifts from her blog friends and ATC swappers, so that was really lovely. I think she is having a quiet night in with a her family and a takeaway tonight after all the trudging about that we did! So, "happy birthday" again Heather, hope you had a good one!
Now, talking of Art Journalling, due to the huge interest I've had in my doodly drawings which I've shown on here recently, and mainly due to Amy requesting it, we are going to be holding "an introduction to Art Journalling" workshop at Dawn's design studio. It will be on Saturday October 23rd from 10am - 1pm, so my afternoon workshop "Christmas Cute but Clever" will now be running from 1.30pm - 4.30pm to accomodate the morning one. This will be an introductory class for anyone who wants to start journalling, doodling, drawing, and creating arty pages. You will need to bring your own colouring pens, such as Promarkers or Copics, but if you don't have these then you will be able to use my water based pens as well as paints and coloured pencils. Fine line pens will be provided for you to use. You won't be working directly into notebooks but will be learning how to create background scenes, patterns and textures as well as how to start drawing your own characters, naive figures etc. If you'd like to book on this workshop please call Topaz directly (see link in the left sidebar) and if you would like any more information then do email me.
Well, I must go, as David has been working hard this evening, so I am going to make him a lovely coffee now. I'll post again soon, Lindsay

Friday, 20 August 2010

The calm in the storm

That's what this evening is going to be now! I've done the samples that were needed for QVC, sorted out what I need to take for this weekend and also finished the last pages for the chunky book swap. Tomorrow it will be full pelt again with a workshop and then demonstrating all day on Sunday at Dawn's Design Studio. So, I am going to enjoy the hours of relaxation tonight. I'll post pictures of the workshop samples after the weekend, and the QVC samples in a couple of weeks, but here are my last few pages. They are not my favourites as I knew that I'd need to get them all finished by today really as I won't have time otherwise. Still, here they are! The one on the left, below, is for "With a Little Flourish" and I have simply applied some Distress inked card first then a white card over the top which I punched along one edge with an EK Success flourish border. I distressed the white card and then used my waterbrush to paint some simple swirls, dabbing with tissue to remove the colour. I used a Grungeboard flourish which has been hanging about for ages as I have used it several times as a mask and it had some suitably toning spritz already on it. I added a little glitz to it with a glitter pen and then punched out four large butterflies from silvery card which I then alcohol inked. I made them into double butterflies, slightly off setting each top layer so that the bottom ones are more visible. The antennae are the punched out swirls from the border.
The right hand page, above, is for "It's Only Words" and I'm a bit happier with this one. I brayered ink from the Hydrangea Big n Juicy pad over white gloss card. I thenstamped a selection of TH sentiment stamps over a piece of acetate, flipped it over and dropped silver and pearl Mixatives over the back before attaching to the gloss card with brads. I stamped "words" over a magazine page using a TH alphabet set. A little ink smudged over and then I cut them out before matting onto black card and sticking over the acetate with 3d foam. I attached the word key to the letter "R" using a sheer ribbon. Above are the backs of the two pages just decribed. The flourish one is a thick paper towel which I dropped alcohol inks onto. Once dried this was surprisingly strong! I simply wrapped it around the page blank (before I did the front) and then drew some flourishes and words on with a fine black pen, highlighting with a sparkly pen. The back of the words page was, again, drawn with my 0.05 pen and coloured with Promarkers - I had fun with this one!
The last page was actually the first one that I did! However, I've slightly altered it now by removing any dodgy beads (ie those that seemed likely to come off!) and adding some Micro Beads to fill in any gaps. I used some map paper to cover the board and added a vintage lady and car images, before applying some Beeswax. The Rome image was stuck to a piece of Memory Glass and dipped into UTEE in my Melt Pot, before being stuck firmly into position and edged with the beads. I used some 3d paint to add some trails around the page and finished with two metal corners. It was only after I'd done all that that I remembered about leaving space on the left where Heather has to bind the pages...oops! Hope there will be room! For the back of this one, which I did when we were "on holiday" at my parents in June, I did a simple picture, semi inspired by the yellow brick road! A bit of fun was had doodling anyway!

So, my pages are all done and I have really enjoyed making them, though I'd like to re-do a couple of them! I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished books now and I'm sure that Heather will have great fun deciding who gets which pages!!!

Looking forward, too, to seeing everyone tomorrow at the workshop. I've tried to come up with a few different styles to suit everyone, so I really hope that you'll all enjoy the afternoon. I'll be working you hard...just for a change! We'll have some fun though of course. So, I'll be back after the weekend with photos. Lindsay

PS As I write this, there are several pigeons lined up on the windowsill...I think they are pestering for food, but maybe they all want a pedicure after seeing Limpy getting the treatment!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Quick update

Just to let anyone who is interested know that Limpy (see post below!) was nowhere to be seen today. All the other birds were here but no Limpy, so I decided that he must have either been so traumatised that he pegged out, or his leg had been bleeding more badly than I thought.
Anyway, the good news is that I spotted him sitting on the windowsill late this afternoon looking none the worse and at least his right foot was not being cut into anymore. Hopefully he will be able to perch okay even if he loses more of the toes on his other foot. I gave him some peanuts to aid his recovery! It made me smile anyway! Lindsay

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A tangled mess

One of "our" pigeons has been hobbling about lately as he had managed to get his feet tangled up in something fibrous a few weeks ago and it has been slowly, but surely, cutting off the circulation to his little feet. He's already lost a couple of toes but all my attempts to grab him have failed miserably.
This morning he was on the window sill, one leg tucked up beneath him and looking very sorry for himself. The usual feeding frenzy ensued when I threw out birdseed and nuts and I decided to have another go at catching him. The other birds were very happy as I was giving them more food than normal in an attempt to create a little flock so that I could move in on Limpy without him noticing! Several attempts were useless, but I felt determined today, so I kept trying and, eventually managed to hover my left hand above him whilst tossing seeds out with my right. I slowly moved my hand lower and then clamped it round him before he twigged. I had to hold tight as a one handed pigeon grab is not great! I pulled him towards me and held him gently. but tightly, until David could take him from me with his legs sticking out (the pigeon's, not David's!).
I got my smallest, pointiest scissors out and began inspecting the damage. The poor thing's feet were really hot and the fibre, which turned out to be hair (yuck!) had become incredibly tight, even embedded in some areas. Of course, hair doesn't break down, so there was no chance that it would come off by itself. I was as gentle as I could be and managed to get some of the hair off after a few minutes. I had a fright as at one point his leg started to bleed - his skin was so tight and under pressure. I managed to stop the flow and then tried again, but could only get some of the hair off.
David "threw" him outside and he flew up into the trees. We haven't seen him all day, so I am guessing that he is keeping his distance from us just now...ungrateful little thing! I hope he's okay though, knowing how birds can panic so easily and go into shock, but I think he will be alright and maybe we have managed to save at least one of his toes.
Other than that, David has been fixing a coffee grinder so that it creates powder instead of the big lumpy bits that it was doing, and I've been making samples for the September QVC show - I won't be on but some of my new designs will be. Hope you'll like them! Lindsay

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

New designs & a page

The postman called this morning with a package containing some new "things" I've been working on. They'll be on QVC at the beginning of September, so I shall be making some samples for the show. It's always a thrill to see the initial designs becoming a finished product, so I'm going to enjoy working with them now. Watch this space!
Hello to everyone that I met at the demonstrations this last weekend. It was a very busy two days, though not too much travel involved this time which made a nice change. The picture below is from Saturday's event at Crafts 4 U 2 Do....everyone was very jolly....honest! (I think everyone was concentrating!) The lady sat down is Joan, who was already there when I arrived to make sure that she got the plum spot! Lovely lady as was everyone that came along. I don't have pictures from the day at Crafty By Nature as my official photographer wasn't with me ie David! Anyway, hope everyone managed to paint some trees, blend their ink and make alcohol ink monoprints...I was thinking about you all! I've managed to complete another page for Heather's book swap and I've also done a couple of the backs as well. One is for the back of my Heart & Soul page, but I didn't photograph it. The pictures below are of "The Timekeeper" themed one. I've used three of Tim's cogs...I love this element as the cogs engage with each other properly so they all move if you turn one of them (I'm easily pleased!!!). The metal bird is also one of Tim's (sounds like I've stolen his personal stash!), as are the clock faces which are from the Lost & Found Paper Stash. The background is a mixture of Big n Juicy ink over gloss card which I'd partly covered with a large clock mask (Tim again!). I scratched some of the surface off to give texture and also added some torn tissue tape from you know who! The wizard was cut out from a charity shop book find. I added the letters and calendar scraps and glazed them all with Glossy Accents. The clock hands are just twisted wire which I bradded into place so that they can be turned to any time. Passage of time is my main theme here I suppose with the bird symbolising that time flies...how true! For the back of this page I've drawn a wizard using my 0.05 ink pen before colouring and shading with Promarkers. One tip with using these pens for skin tones is to use something other than the actual flesh colours for shading. I've used Blush to colour the face and hand and then shaded using Cool Grey 1. Using a grey or a very light green will give a much more realistic look to skin than using light, medium and dark shades of the usual flesh tones.If you are colouring darker skin tones then just use darker greys and greens in the shadowy areas. If you look at portrait paintings, or even your own face in a mirror, you'll see areas of green, blue or even purple as well as the usual peachy, browny, pinky tones. Well, hope you like this latest page!
I'm off to book some train tickets and hotel accomodation for my next trip down south now, then I'm going to carry on with some more work whilst watching Amy on QVC at 2 o'clock. Cheerio for now, Lindsay
PS Blog Candy and consolation Candy (for Jovick) has now been sent out....finally! I'll be ofering a new Candy before too long, so keep popping back.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Blog Candy Update

Hello all. Well, the Blog Candy saga continues! Jovick, my second winner has not contacted me, but Miss D did, to say that she had been ill and that was why she hadn't emailed me before. So, what I'm going to do is to send Miss D the original Candy and I'll send Jovick a little "consolation" candy if she does contact me.
I hope everyone thinks that's fair. Who knew it would be so hard to give things away! Lol I'll organise another Candy soon and hopefully it will go a little more smoothly!
Anyway, card samples are awaiting my attention, so I had better get on with things. Lindsay

Thursday, 12 August 2010

A few cards and a little rain

Hello everyone, I've been making some samples for this weekend's demonstrations so thought I'd share some with you. They are whimsical cards using a mixture of my Christmas character stamps, brand new Christmas cardstock and lovely papers from Best Creations. Unfortunately the photos seem to have come out rather wishy washy, probably due to the dullsville day it's been here - more of that later! Anyway, the first card is my Santa Teddy and the card is backed with the Blue Snowball paper (I say paper, but it's cardstock really) from my new collection. Although you can't tell from the picture, the snowballs have a glitter effect over them. I punched the trees with a DIY Christmas Tree punch M232297 which also punches out little baubles to decorate them with. I left them off here though and just tucked the trees into torn white card strips across the card. I used the corner punch from the MS Aspen set to create three snowflakes, each topped with a pearl adhesive gem - again from Martha Stewart. The greeting is from the same stamp set as the teddy, PICSA6133. The next card features Finlay the frog! The background is the green version of my Snowballs cardstock which I've decorated with the baubles punched from the DIY tree, using my Lilac Christmas plaid card. I've used this as the strip across the card too. Finlay himself is stamped from the PICSA6129 with the sentiment being from PICSA6128. I coloured Finlay with Promarker pens and suspended him with silver thread that I overlaid onto an acetate strip so that he would hang over in front of the card rather than just dangling. Finlay is a quirky character, suitable for men's cards or quirky friends! Great for some terrible puns too! Next is Vanilla the teddy again, this time bringing home a tree. He is from the same set as Santa teddy. The background is from one of my Christmas topper sheets backed onto Blue Christmas Plain cardstock. The message is from PICSA6124 (Christmas Words Let It Snow set) and I stamped it using the Hydrangea Big n Juicy ink pad. I added some Diamond Stickles around the scene to complete it. Lastly is Vanilla Sledging from a different stamp set, PICSA6131, and I've set him against a background of the Trees paper from Best Creations - love this paper! The snowflakes are punched using MS Simple Snowflake M42-20005. I made each a double layer and then added some Stickles to the centres. Hope you like them - they are simple cards as I wanted to let the images and papers do the work! And, of course, Seasonal cards often need to be made more quickly than at other times!
Talking of Seasonal, and the fact that I am showing Christmas cards in August (!), the weather here has been phenomenal today. It has rained harder harder than we can remember. I looked out of the window and saw a canoe, a shoal of mackerel, two sealions and a pelican going past...well....that's a slight exaggeration...it was only one sealion! However, when David and I thought about the terrible floods in Pakistan it certainly put the weather here into persepective.
Well, in case I don't post tomorrow, I hope everyone has a great weekend, and hope to see you in St Helens or Kearsley. Lindsay

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Page five & a half!

I've completed the front of my sixth page, for Heather's chunky book swap, so that's why it's number 5 1/2! I'll get the back made and stuck onto the reverse when I am sitting and doodling of an evening. I've used soft shades of aquas and lilacs for this one, the theme of which is "Heart & Soul". Possibly my favourite of the ones I've made so far. I sketched the figure in pencil whilst I was on the train to Norwich last week and inked her with my .005 pen before colouring in with Promarkers. I tore a small heart shape out of her (!) and stuck her down over my backing board, after attaching a TH metal heart, coloured with a Promarker and a bit of music paper and the word "soul" behind the torn out area. I then drew around her onto tracing paper, held it against a piece of TH paper and cut the shape out before sticking the paper over my page so that it surrounded the figure. I then stuck individual letters and words in place before Beeswaxing the area surrounding the figure...bar a couple of wax drops on her hair and arm! I dipped some cut out butterflies into UTEE in my Melt Pot and then stuck them down with Glossy Accents and extra Beeswax under the wings to strengthen them, and added wire antennae at the same time. I also dipped some flowers and added these, along with some undipped ones, to add a different texture, each topped with a bead. Some Stickles smudged around was the final touch, though I have added a few more small flowers since I took the pictures. Here is the page with the metal heart swung upwards to see the area behind. Hope you like this one as much as I enjoyed making it!

Thanks for the comments on my new "rant" blog - please keep them coming! I will be adding more rants soon, once I can decide on which particular thing to focus! Well, that's all for the moment, except to say where I'll be demonstrating this weekend. On Saturday I'll be at Crafts 4 U 2 Do in St Helens for the start of their Christmas Craft Extravaganza. I'll be using my new Christmas character stamp sets plus a range of lovely Best Creations papers, MS punches and other paraphernalia! On Sunday I'll be in Kearsley at Crafty By Nature, with various stamps, Big n Juicy ink pads, punches etc etc. Hope to see you there if you are in the area. My good friend Paula Pascual will be at Topaz Crafts this weekend, but I won't be able to catch up with her as we are both working! Paula has some lovely new additions to her incredibly versatile stamps - check out her blog for details. Oh yes, before I forget, if anyone is coming to the afternoon workshop (Matchbox Shrines) at Topaz on Saturday, 18th September, please note that we have changed the time to 1.30pm-4.30pm because of adding a morning workshop, so I needed time to re-set the tables for the afternoon. Okay...I think that's all for now! Lindsay

Monday, 9 August 2010

New blog started!

Hi folks, as I mentioned in my previous post, I was thinking of starting a Rant Corner. Well, it's up and running and the link is in my sidebar on the left. If you feel like joining in with me then do leave your thoughts on there. It will be a mix of serious topics and more lighthearted grumbles about life in general! Lindsay

Candy & Pages

Hello all, well, we've had to re-draw a blog candy ticket as the original winner didn't contact me. So...I sprinkled all the folded tickets into a pile, as you can see....

......then, with Peggy the cat as the official scrutineer, to ensure fair play, David delicately plucked one name out...... ....... and unfolded it to reveal that the new winner is..... Jovick. Well done to you. Please email me on ljm.design@ntlworld.com with your name and address and I'll get the Candy sent out to you. Hopefully, Jovick will see this, as we don't want to have to draw a third name! I'll organise some more Candy before too long.Meanwhile, I had a lovely time in Norwich. I got there on Friday afternoon and had a wander around the city centre shops and looked at the many churches and old buildings. It's a really lovely city with a very positive atmosphere. Unlike many of the places I visit, which can look very similar...same chain stores etc...Norwich has lots of small, independent shops which makes for an interesting few hours of browsing. Next day I was in the craft department of Jarrold's department store where I was using lots of Tim Holtz and Ranger products as well as my clear stamp sets. Hello to everyone that I met there. I'll be back down in Norwich (at Sew Simple, in Taverham) in a few weeks time, so hope to see you again soon.
The journey down was very uneventful, especially as I didn't have to change trains...hoorah! I spent some time drawing, but also a lot of time wildlife spotting. There wasn't a great deal to see though...all the animals seemed to be sleeping in the undergrowth as they were very scarce indeed! However, about ten minutes from Norwich station the train stopped beside a stream and I noticed some dragonflies zipping about. I was just admiring them when a flash of electric blue came into vision and, yes, I had a grandstand view of a Kingfisher as it flew down the length of the stream and out of sight. It was a most marvellous sight and, because of the position of the train, I was looking at him from above and for his full flight. It made the whole journey for me - anytime I see the Fisher King I feel very privileged indeed.
Coming back, the weather was a little weird, with a misty rain combined with sunshine which created some unusual light effects. I wished that I had taken my camera, as one part of the journey was just so other worldly. The rainy mist created a strong haze and. looking through it to the trees and shrubs beyond, the landscape transformed into a fairy tale one, complete with what looked like castles, turrets and magical creatures. It really was a breathtaking sight, but, with no photograph, you will just have to imagine it from my description!
The spell was broken once the train got to Nottingham where a group of males boarded...a real mixture of ages, but they acted like one entity, rather than individuals. It was the good old footie fans needless to say...the bane of my travelling life. The smell of booze was heavy in the air and it wasn't long before the swearing started. Across the aisle from me was a mother with her small daughter who was laying across her lap. The mother had her hand over the child's ear. This was too much for me to stand, so I went over to the seats where the "herd" were, and, quite politely, asked them to tone down their language as, not only did I find it very offensive, but there was also a small child right behind them. "Oh sorry love" came the reply, but no sooner had I sat down they started up again, and then began to chant at such decibels as to make one's ears hurt. Well, thought I, I'm not telling them again, let someone else do it this time. Of course, nobody did and even the offended mother didn't acknowledge me when I caught her eye. Thankfully they alighted at Sheffield, but, of course, my wonder at the landscape had been shattered.
David thinks it would be a good idea for me to have a "Rant" corner on my blog, to get out all the frustrations which I have...such as why the train guard was completely absent after those guys (I won't honour them with the word "men") got on, or why other people don't back one up in these situations, or why train companies allow their passengers to be subjected to all these ingrates. I may well give the rant corner a go - at least it would feel as if I was getting my opinion out there to like minded people. Well, back to more arty things. Several of Heather's book page swappees have posted pictures of their progress, or, in some cases, completed pages...the swines! So, here are some of the ones that I have done so far, though the pictures are not very good, maybe the poor light today. The first one, above, is Heavy Metal. I've used TH paper to cover the board and attached cletter charms to a chain as well as a dictionary definition. I applied Claudine Hellmuth Multi Matte Medium around the edges and in "drips" before using PI Pewter Shimmer powder to emboss it. The bottom left is a few layers of the powder just very casually stamped into to give texture.

Next is "I dreamed a Dream" which I really enjoyed doing. This one features TH paper again and a vintage lady image (from Heather) which I then beeswaxed within an inch of it's life! I've added some alcohol ink dyed velvet ribbon, an adage ticket and some broken jewllery. The little frame has a vintage photo added to it (someone asked me on Saturday if that was Tim Holtz, which tickled me!) with Glossy Accents over the top.

Next is "Take Flight" and, well, I couldn't resist doing a distressy sky for this one! I stamped my fairy silhoutte in one corner and Tim's tree stamp below. Water bleaching just adds some stars and some atmosphere. You can't tell here, but she has a second, acetate wing to give more dimension. Lastly, this is "Ghost in the Machine" which I never thought I was going to get done! Again, it's a rubbish photo! I've used film strip ribbon with a ghostly face behind, an old gramophone image that I found and the ghost is from a Best Creations Halloween paper - it was white, but I decided to grunge it up a bit! The backing paper is another of Tim's. Oh, lots of Beeswax again - love it!
I have also finished "Vintage Journeys" but forgot to take a piccie!
We are supposed to put a flat backing on the pages, and I haven't been able to resist decorating them with doodles and colouring etc. I like some of them more than the fronts! Anyway, hope the recipients will like them...everyone seems to be very nervous about their creations but they all look so different and so creative that I know each book will be treasured by its' owner.

Well, I had better sign off now....oh, except to say that we went to the car boot sale again yesterday and I had some luck in finding mini treasures for the Matchbox Shrine workshop that I'm teaching next month. I found mini bottles, some little ornaments, old brooches etc which those of you who are joing me will be able to choose from. However, if you do have any tiny treasures that you'd like to use, or even donate to the pile, then do feel free!

Lastly, "Peggy" the cat was a birthday gift from Joanne and Terry and I named her that because, as some of you will know, Terry has been named "Peg Leg" after several mishaps. So, Peggy the cat it had to be in honour of a lovely gentleman! Cute isn't she?!Lindsay

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Fast, pre-bed post!

Hello all, and almost goodnight! Just thought I'd post a couple of quick things before I retire - up early to get the train down to Norwich in the morning. It's a long journey but a straightforward one with no changes, so I may well be able to get some drawing done as well as my usual nature watching. As it won't be one of the tilting trains, I should be able to draw without my hand slipping too much!
Anyway, I'll be in Jarrold's department store in Norwich city centre from 10am-4pm on Saturday - pretty sure that the craft department is on the third floor. Last time I went there was just before Christmas, so I'm looking forward to having some daylight time to look around the city this time. I have lots of inks, some stamps, Tim Holtz Ideaology bits and bobs, paints etc, so I have lots of tips and techniques to show everyone.
Oh, guess what? I have completed five of my pages for Heather's book swap....no one is more surprised than me that I got them done! I'm pretty happy with them, mainly, although I could think of other ideas as soon as I had committed myself to one or other. Only four more to go! I'm taking four of the pages with me this weekend as they utilise much of what I'll be demonstrating.
Well, my Blog Candy has still not been claimed, so, if it is still unclaimed after the weekend I will draw it again and post a new winner on Tuesday. So, Miss D needs to email me by Monday night or you'll all be in with a chance to win again!
Couple of questions I was asked in comments and emails, so I'll answer them here quickly if I may...My men's silhouette stamps are ref number PICS061 and are available from all PI stockists (check the PI website through my link below my photo to see your nearest stockist). My sister's blog is Heather Fenn-Edwards and is in my blog list in the left sidebar - check out Heather's latest ATC swap with a seaside theme. Places are filling up for the workshops that I have coming up before Christmas, so do be quick if you did want to come along - if you're already booked and haven't been to one of my classes before, do wear an apron! You can bring any of your own tools like scissors, knife, pens etc, but we'll have craft sheets, inks, stamps etc that you need, so don't worry too much. My Christmas toppers and cardstock will be in the shops soon - they co-ordinate with the Christmas character stamps and you can see them on the PI website.
I think that is just about everything, so I am going to have a shower and retire now. Have a great Friday and weekend everyone. Lindsay

Monday, 2 August 2010

What a wonderful weekend

I regard myself as being very fortunate in that I love my work, and a large part of the enjoyment it brings comes from meeting, and getting to know, so many warm and wonderful people at demonstrations, workshops and shows. This weekend was a case in point. I was demonstrating at Topaz Crafts alongside the very talented Jo, Gill, Mary, Jane, Brenda and Lindsay. Here is a bad photo of a stunning card, made by Mary, using stencil paste which she has cleverly glittered so that the sky shades through blue to white. The photo doesn't do it justice as the shaded glitter looked just gorgeous. These sumptuous, glowing cards were made by Jane and Gill, and Gill was also making some of Heather's beaded dragonflies - her book is on the left of the picture.And here are some of the cards which Jo was making on Saturday, building up "flowerscapes" to create these fantastic scenes. Again, my picture doesn't do them justice!Here are some pieces that I was making using the Paint Dabbers Acetate Transparency technique. It's really simple, but the effects can be gorgeous. Simply stamp your chosen image onto acetate - if using Black Archival ink you'll need to heat set it to stop it from smudging, so heat resistant acetate is preferable. Once the image is set begin applying paint over the image on the inked side. You can't be too pernickety about where the colours go as you need to work fairly fast here so that the paint stays wet for the next stage. Just dab the colours on, quite thickly, in the general areas that you want them. Now take a piece of white card and lay it on top of the painted acetate. Press it down and flip it over to see the coloured image. I like to use a brayer roller to smooth over the acetate to ensure that it sticks to the card. Simply leave it to set properly and the paint will have acted like a glue, adhering the card and acetate together. You can cut the image out, use as a basis for an ATC etc. I love this technique as you look through the acetate to the paint, so it has a very glassy appearance. Do give it a try if you haven't already.Here's my table looking less cluttered than it actually was! Nice cup of fruit tea there too! I stayed with Rena and Stephen (Amy's mum and dad) on Saturday night and they are two of the most special people that we have got to know in a long time. Over the two days so many people came along to pick up tips and techniques and we shared lots of smiles and laughter - great fun! Sheila came on both days and left me speechless (and David will tell you that this doesn't happen very often!!!) by bringing me a whole set of goodies for my birthday - along with some relaxing bathing treats she had made me a card, ATC's and three amazing book pages as you can see below. Aren't they gorgeous? Btw, the Alice ATC was from Sheila on Sunday as a bribe to go through Grungepaper flower making with her! (Not that I needed bribing I hasten to add!). So, along with all the generosity last week I felt very fortunate indeed!Next you can see the other ATC's which I received - clockwise from the top left they are by Elaine, Joanne, Sheila and Chris. Elaine had only just begun making ATC's so I got one of her first two - great fun isn't it? Joanne and Sheila's ATC's both had the same sentiment which was a weird coincidence. Chris has just decided to join in Heather's swaps, so I feel a bit guilty in choosing her beach hut card now, as Heather posted her latest swap theme is "Beside the Seaside", and I'm sure this one would have been perfect! So, thank you to all of you, including Paul, who I got several big hugs from! (they are always welcome!) It made for a special couple of days.
We have added two new workshop dates of Saturday 18th September, 1pm - 4pm "Matchbox Shrines" - this workshop will include Ranger techniques such as beeswaxing, distressing, gesso etc and we'll be creating a piece to hang on the wall.
On Saturday 23rd October, 1pm-4pm (and by request!) the class will be "Christmas Cute & Clever" featuring a range of my whimsical stamp designs. We'll be making cute cards with some interesting techniques thrown in!
Both of these workshops cost £20 - ring Topaz on 01254 356501 if you'd like to book. If you are interested, I am also hoping to run two extra workshops in the mornings of both of the above dates. The first being a repeat of the Ranger Mirror class, and the second being a repeat of the Fairy Doors class, as I have been asked specifically for these. Again, please call Topaz to enquire about these extra workshops. Should be fun!
What else has been happening? Well, many of you will already know, from reading my sister's blog, that my brother in law was attacked on Saturday afternoon whilst simply going to his local corner shop. Thank you for all the concern you have shown - Heather and Graham were both badly shaken by the incident, needless to say, but thankfully the yobs concerned were caught and are being prosecuted. I won't say what I would like to do to them. The week before that our mum had a very nasty fall which left her looking like something from a Crimewatch report, with her face all purple and swollen. Miraculously, she didn't break any bones and is as cheerful as ever - David calls her the "comeback kid"! I'm hoping that we have had our share of such incidents for the moment, fingers crossed.
I'll be adding new demonstration dates shortly, but this coming Saturday I will be at Jarrold's Department store in Norwich city centre. I'll be featuring Paint Dabbers, Alcohol inks, Distress inks, clear stamps and various "acoutrements", so hope to see you there if you live nearby. Well, this post has taken me ages, so I had better sign off for now. Lindsay
PS in case you miss the post below this one - my Blog Candy is now closed, and was won by MissD.