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

Monday, 23 May 2011

Away days

Good evening folks, I was away from home for three days over the weekend, and was kept very busy but with plenty of smiles thrown in. I travelled down to Thame on Friday, where the lovely Christina met me at the station and unburdened me of all my heavy bags before dropping me in the town itself. I spent a good few hours having a brisk walk round as well as a bit of shopping...of the window variety anyway! I then walked to my hotel and relaxed for the evening before my busy day on Saturday at A Maze of Memories.
It was a fab day as I was demonstrating, as well as doing Make n Takes with all the ladies. Everyone was set to enjoy themselves. Here are Betty, Carol, Sue and Tina around my table and you can see some of the ladies making their cards.
Christina, her staff and helpers were kept busy helping the ladies, keeping the kettle on the go and serving homemade cakes. Everyone's cards were great and all were different from each other - here's Marilyn with her version using my I Dreamed of Castles, Laugh Often and Hoist the Flags stamp sets. Everyone who did the make n take got one of the stamp sets in their pack and were able to use more stamps and inks etc that were laid out on the tables. Here I am with Linda and Zoe, seeing how they are getting on...at this point they were trying out stamping and colouring onto gloss card. You can check out more pictures by going to www.amazeofmemories.com - which, for some reason is not coming up as a link on here...ggggrrr! Special mentions must be made of Diane and Susie J who presented me with a bag and told me that it was a gift for Thomas! Inside were some Whiskas treats and a set of two colourful catnip mice. It was so lovely of them and piccies of Thomas and one his new toys are further down. Aren't people kind? People who are fond of animals as well as crafting are probably the kindest. Thank you ladies, from me and Thomas!
It was a really fun day all round and, as soon as we had tidied everything up it was time for me to set off to reading for my demonstration at Hobbycraft in Reading the following day. Normally I would have been making my way through London and the underground....a particular nightmare at weekends. However, with great generosity, Christina drove me there, so we were able to have a good chat about the day. We also saw some Red Kites soaring above us....first time I have seen one in "real life" so that was the icing on Saturday's cake! I had been looking forward to a quiet evening watching some tv, maybe a film, after a meal at the hotel, but, as it happened, I couldn't keep my eyes open, and was asleep before I knew it! Next day I was at Hobbycraft and met some new crafters as well as more experienced ones. Hello to Diane (yes, another one!) who hadn't known I would be there and gave me a big hug! Hope you had fun with the new ideas when you got home!
Then it was a three and a half hour journey home. It was a packed train, but no yobbish behaviour I'm pleased to report. I was nodding off almost the whole way! When David picked me up from the station he said that Thomas had been out all night, no sign of him anywhere, but, as we drove in, there he was, telling us off quite vociferously! He had some of his new treats and then I gave him one of the catnip mice.......
.....although he looks asleep, he just had his eyes closed in dreamy ecstacy and was tossing the little toy around and rubbing his face all over it. Thankyou Diane and Susie J....think this was a hit! Not sure if this counts for the Crafting Buddies blog as it is really meant to be about pets "helping" us to craft, but think Joanne will like these pics anyway! So, it's been a resting day today, except for catching up with emails etc. I'll be at Crafty By Nature in Kearsley on Saturday, and then at Dainty Supplies on Saturday, so hope to see you there if you live nearby. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Oooh I do like this feeling!

That sounds much more interesting than it is! But the feeling that I have just now is of jobs being done. My stamp designs are on their way to Personal Impressions today, which always feels great. I have made samples for this weekend and my bags are packed apart from a couple of clothing and my specs! It does feel nice.
Tomorrow I'll be trolling down to Haddenham & Thame via Leamington Spa which should give me some lovely scenery to look at on the way. I'm planning on a tootle around Thame, well more of a long walk really, with window shopping thrown in! Then I'll be at A Maze of Memories all day on Saturday where I'll be demonstrating and hosting Make n Take sessions. I'm looking forward to it as Christina, her staff and customers are really lovely, friendly and enthusiastic.
On Saturday evening I'll be carrying on down to Reading for my Sunday at the local Hobbycraft, where I'll be doing a Ranger demonstration as part of their discounted papercraft weekend. So, a busy few days ahead but I know it will be a lot of fun.
Talking of fun, as promised, her is a closer look at one of the cards that I made for the workshop last Sunday. This card used a fair few techniques! The main card was covered with a Distress Stained sheet from the Kraft Resist paper stash....I used Broken China in this case.
I then used PI's fabby dabby cardstock (gloriously named PIP300CWH) as the base for the panel - if you haven't tried this card, do ask your craft shop to order some for you...it's incredible stuff. I stamped some areas with Snow Cap acrylic paint using a Tim Holtz foliage design. I mixed up several Mini Misters with Distress Re-Inker and a scoop of Perfect Pearls powder, added water, shook (lid on first of course.....I know you were trying to catch me out there!) and spritzed these, one colour at a time, over the card. I lightly dabbed each layer to remover the ink from the painted areas. Next I smudged Distress inks over the card and used a damp tissue to remove the ink from the acrylic again.Next came stamping, and I used a scroll stamp and the words stamp from Tim Holtz, before matting onto book paper and attaching to the card front.
The Tim Holtz bird and Darkroom Door butterflies were stamped onto white and Distress inked before cutting out. I "Glossy Accented" a Charm Fragment over book paper and attached a pearl bauble before sticking to the card with 3D foam and sticking the bird and butterflies into place. A simple cord tied round the spine was the finishing touch.
This next card is just a bit of fun (?) really!! Doing the "bingo splats" with Distress Stains gave me the idea for Vampirish red ones, so I combined my Castle stamp with images from Andy Skinner's Gothic stamp set. I used Stains again for the background but also to colour the images. Some enthusiastic splatting added the blood stains! I used Tissue tape around the card as well as letters cut from one of Tim's stashes.
It's not a great card, but as I said, just a bit of fun that might appeal to the Vampire fans! I'm sure I'll come up with a better design on the same theme when I have some more time to think about it!
Well, just a quick post really to say that I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. Looking forward to seeing some of you of course. I'm off to relax a bit now!

Monday, 16 May 2011

What a busy weekend!

That really was a busy old weekend, though there wasn't too much travelling for a change! On Saturday I jumped on the train to Port Sunlight - I've never been there before and what a pretty place it really is....must go back there for a leisurely look round sometime. I had a busy day there, though not at the stamp fair itself (sorry to those of you who have emailed to ask where I was......but I had the wrong information!) I was in the social club down the road! Here are just a few of the cards that I made for the day......a simple new home card using the row of houses from my "Hoist the Flags" stamp set. I made the cloudy background using Distress Stains with a spritz of Perfect Pearl Mist to give a shimmer. It's matted with a MS punched panel that I've inked with Mustard Seed Distress ink. I'm in a bit of a flouncy ribbon phase I think, with bows hanging off the edges of my cards! The next card is using a combination of "Magic Happens" and "Silhouetted Fairies" stamp sets which I have used over a Distress Stains background. I punched a circle out at the top and then layered the panel over white card to reveal the moon, which I added Stickles to for a more twinkly effect. I smudged my Archival black ink pad along the bottom of the stamped panel to give a fairly smudgy base and then sketched some simple grasses in with a fine black Le Plume pen. If you look closely, you'll see that I used a white pen to add a few highlights along the edges of the images nearest to the moon...it just helps to bring them to life. The stars were added with white pen too. Next is another card using my "I dreamed of castles" stamp set. This one has been stamped over book paper and lightly tinted with Le Plume pens. The Distress Stain background came out really well, and gave just the ethereal look that I wanted. I used the Stains to colour the ribbon too. A little blue shading below the castle just grounds it (even though it is meant to be floating!). Sunday was a fun day! Myself and Amy Shaw were teaching workshops in Darwen and there was much laughter throughout the day - and a good amount of crafting of course! Amy taught in the morning, making cards with a flower theme and showing the ladies how to create tissue Carnations which everyone impressed themselves with! Sheila is showing her enjoyment in her usual way as you can see! Before we got started, as everyone was arriving, we had time to congratulate Joanne's husband "Peg Leg" on his 70th birthday (I know....he looks far too young!) and their wedding anniversary which were on the same day the week before. Terry has been having a very extended celebration and here he's posing with the giant cigar that David thought he might enjoy! Two of our favourite people, Joanne and Terry are a delight to be with and Joanne is such a talented crafter. After a break for lunch and a chance to tidy up and reset the tables, it was time for my workshops. I'll post photos of what we did as soon as I can, as I somehow managed to not take any! The first card was mainly about making a background using Acrylic paint, stamps, Distress inks, Distress re-inkers and Perfect Pearl powders which became the focal point to which were added stamped butterflies and a bird. The card panel was covered with Distress stained Kraft resist paper. Here are some of the part finished cards..... and some more here..... The ladies made two more cards, one using alcohol inks and Andy Skinner's "Back to nature" stamp set, and then a card featuring a MS punch all over the page butterfly which caused some jumping in fright when the magnets clanged together! Everyone made fantastic versions of all the cards and, as you can see from the pictures, they all looked quite different.
It was a lovely day and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. I'm not sure when I'll next be teaching workshops, but do keep an eye on my dates and in my posts of course, as I'll be sure to let you know what, when and where!
So, today, unfortunately, was still not a day off as I am in the last few days of getting designs finished, as well as prepping for the coming weekend's events. However, it's been nice to be at home all day, and David has kept me going with coffee and toast!
For those who have been asking, our new little friend is really settling in now. He did blot his copybook last week, as he is definitely nothing like our dear little Cherry, and is quite the hunter. He has been pouncing at our regular bird visitors and one pigeon did leave a few feathers behind in a flurry of claws and wings! There has been a grisly moment with a mouse too, but I won't dwell on that one. So, we seem to have Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde living here, as he swings from being purry and cuddly to a miniature lion! Hopefully he'll learn that the birds are off limits - fingers crossed! He is still wolfing food down, ate half of david's sandwich when he put his plate down for a moment and, last night, I even found him chomping on the skins that I had removed from my broad beans and set at the side of my plate! I guess he has been a hobo for so long that he thinks he had better fill up while he can.
He has been to the vet who pronounced him fit and well and missing his "boy bits" - no microchip and, despite posting his details on animal lost & found sites etc, nobody has claimed him. His name has been "pusscat", "oy", "ccchhh, ccchh" etc and I was wavering towards the very original "Tommy". A lady who was at the vet's with her two beautiful Shelties, thought he looked like a Thomas, as did the nurse, so, Thomas it is. It suits him. So, that's the state of play at the moment. We have been battered into submission by him really! Will keep you posted!
I'm going to get back to some work again now.....Christmas verses are calling!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Look who's crafting already!

Hello all, just a quick post to link with the lovely Joanne's Crafting Buddies blog, where you can post piccies of your pet helping you to craft....or not as the case may be!
I have had a new helper this week, as well as someone who really wanted to come inside to join in the fun!Here's Mr Squirrly, offering to come and act as a model in case I wanted to do any squirrel stamp designs.
When he realised that I was working on Christmas designs and that I didn't really need any paper being nibbled round the edges he hopped off in a sulk! Cute little fellah isn't he, and as you can see, quite bold.

However, for some really dedicated help, how about this..... ....he's only been with us for a few days, but he thought he'd check out what I was up to..... ......and it didn't take him long to join in and help. He even had a go at some cutting out for me!

Well, I must get back to work now, but do take a look at http://craftingpets.blogspot.com/ to see what other help is being given to creative people.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

feline fine after my trip!

Hello folks, I really hope this post works, as everything is going bonkers with blogger (for me anyway!) since David had to change the feed...I think that's what he did anyway! Last week I couldn't publish what I'd written and now, after I uploaded all my pictures, everything that I typed came up bright blue and underlined! So...I have deleted the pictures (hoping they are still on my computer somewhere!) and am now doing the text and will try to insert the pictures afterwards. The only clue I can find about the underlining is that it's somehow connected to photos, so we'll see. What a palaver!
Anyway, I had a great trip to In 2 Crafting in Wickford, near Basildon. This is Basildon's version of the Hollywood sign, though it's somewhat smaller....quite a bit smaller! See Heather - I told you there was a Hollywood style sign there! I had a trot round the town and then went to my hotel which is on an entertainment park with restaurants and a big cinema. It was a much quieter night than usual there as they have closed down the nightclub through noise complaints! I had a stroll around the lake and fed a few birds, then it was a bite to eat and a relaxing night in. The hotel has recently upgraded their rooms and this included HD tv's. I've never watched anything on HD before and have to say that I was very impressed - I watched an animated film called The Legend of the Guardians (all the characters are owls) and hardly followed the plot as I was just transfixed by the amazing picture! Lol!

Anyway, after a comfy night's sleep (this one made up for the horrors of the Eastbourne hotel!) it was down to work on Saturday. RĂ©ne and John have new premises now and the shop is really bright, airy and spacious. I was busy all day and the ladies and I had so much fun, with lots of giggles all day, just how I like it! I was showcasing stamps as well as Distress Stains, Tissue Tape, My Mind's Eye papers and more. The Stains are becoming more interesting each time I work with them. Here I dragged them over my craft sheet, spritzed on a little water and a few sprays from the Perfect Pearl Mist (ie the "white" one) and then dragged white card through it. This gives a hazy background with a lovely shimmer. I used this with my "I dreamed of castles" and "Hoist the Flags" stamp sets, before matting onto card that I'd punched with the MS PATP Vintage Lace. Once punched I coloured it with the Spun Sugar Stain. The message is from my "Happy Anniversary" stamp set which has four assorted verses on it. I coloured the castle and the four extra towers using pale pink and blue Memento pens before assembling them and finishing with Crystal stickles on the roofs. The bunting was stamped directly onto the card and then, again, onto white gloss card. I coloured each bunting flag with Memento pens, cut them out and layered over the ones on the card. The Castle stamps can used to create cards for anyone - pink and glittery for little girls, masculine colours for men, Gothic style for teens etc. This, however, was everyone's favourite card on Saturday! It's made using my "Rose Galore" stamp set, which has the rose background, single rose and row of borders. The sentiment is from my "Sending words of love" set. The background roses were stamped with black Memento ink and then coloured with a solvent based pen. I stamped the row of flowers onto seperate white card and then joined the two pieces together, hiding the join with ribbon that I'd dyed with Distress Stains. I stamped and embossed the verse with detail silver. Tissue tape down the side of the card and the single rose stamped, distressed and cut out, was the finishing touch. Here's a large 8" x 8" card which I covered with MME Lost & Found glittered paper before embellishing with stamps from Andy Skinner's Stitch in Time set. I added a pleated Tissue Tape band down the side, an acrylic fragment, needle threader and some thread which I formed into a mini skein and held in place with more Tissue Tape. The "pretty" panel is from another Lost & Found sheet and I edge it with dyed ribbon. The Lost & Found papers are really pretty but have that distress touch as well.
Several of the ladies at In 2 Crafting asked me what was happening with the puss
cat who seemed to be in the process of adopting us! Well, at the moment, he is luxuriating on David's lap! We will be taking him to the vet to check if he has a microchip or to see if they know of anyone who has lost him. He has, meanwhile, well and truly made himself at home! Here he is on the first day that he came inside....along with all the bits of grass and earth that he stomped in with him! He now stays in overnight and goes out in the morning, whereupon, after about half an hour, he yowls as if he has been treated most cruelly and continues until he is let back in. He's no trouble though......very happy to just sit on a vacant (or otherwise!) lap, or cuddle beside me on the sofa. He has become a bit of a kitchen doorstop though, parking himself there at the merest hint of food being prepared! Not surprising really when he had obviously been fending for himself for some time. He does dribble a lot though - I think it's because he has a slightly wonky mouth. One very contented pusscat! Shame you can't hear the purring which I think could possibly be heard from three miles away at it's loudest!
Do you think he's decided that he's landed on his feet? He hasn't got a mucky nose by the way, that's just his markings! He's a big cat, but he has a very loving personality and is a real softie, though he has nipped me a couple of times....his way of telling me which parts of his legs are "off limits"! I have also rediscovered the joys of cat hairs on black skirts and pinprick holes in skin due to kneading from feline feet!

So, that's where things are at the moment. He doesn't have a name yet - though Joanne named him Naan straight away! I like a two syllable cat name and am waiting till we know for sure that he hasn't got someone pining for him and to see what suits him. Will keep you posted of course!

So, it's a busy week ahead just for a change! I'm still working on those new designs with an ever looming deadline and have to make samples for Saturday when I'll be demonstrating on Crafty's stand at the Port Sunlight show. Then, on Sunday I'll be teaching with Amy Shaw at our joint workshops day. We have just a couple of places left if you'd like to come along and join the fun - just contact either of us for more details.

Hope to see some of you at the weekend. I'll be posting some pictures tomorrow to join in the fun on Joanne's Crafting Buddies blog, so please do pop by to take a look. Lastly, welcome to new followers and hope you enjoy my ramblings!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Quiz results and winner!

Hello folks, thankfully I can put the quiz results on at last after some Windows upgrades messed up my ability to post blogs, transfer pictures from my camera and decided to get rid of Wordpad completely! Good thing David knows about these things! All I need to do now is to get rid of the spellchecker which is peppering my post as I type, with wiggly red lines to underline all my mistakes......excuse me....I am spelling them correctly (it's an American spell checker which wants me to type "color" as opposed to "colour" for instance...gggrrr!).
Well, back to the quiz. I have added the answers to the original quiz post, so look back at that to check those that gave you a headache! I must say that the majority of you got them all right, so I think I'll have to make the next one a tricksier one again!
Because there were a lot of 100% right entries, I wrote the names onto papers, folded them, and popped them into one of my famous Personal Impressions workshop slippers! For those of you who haven't seen them, the whole PI team wore pink leopard print fur slippers at the trade show last year and I now wear them at workshops where I have to stand all day - they became a bit of a talking point! So...here's David picking one from the slipper (not exactly as romantic as Cinderella's glass slipper, but they are clean - honest!)..........
..........and here's the winning name......... .........Elaine - it's you! Well done! Just send me your details and your prize will be on its way - I'll post the prize details in my next post. Not sure when the next quiz will be, but I do have a long trip this weekend, so I may have chance to whip my braincells into coming up with some more clues.
I'll be on my way to Basildon, which means going through London, where I have to troll round from Tower Hill to Fenchurch Street. I usually take a little break to eat a sandwich in the garden nearby, overlooking the Tower of London - I'd love to visit it, rather than just look, but this is where dragging bags around is a pain in the neck. Haven't been round any London sites since family holidays with mum, dad and Heather. Anyway, I digress! I'll be heading to Basildon on Friday for my demonstration at In 2 Crafting in Wickford. They have changed prem
ises now, so I'm looking forward to my first visit to the new shop. I'll be highlighting new stamps from myself and Andy Skinner, along with some of my favourite inks, sprays and papers. Hope to see some new and familiar faces there.
Talking of new faces, this one has been looking up at me lately! Whilst feeding the birds and squirrels I have seen this pusscat under the tree, or hanging about near the fence. She wouldn't let me approach her and just ran off if she saw me.
After seeing her for a few weeks now we decided that, despite having a collar, she appears to be homeless. On Sunday we had a takeaway Indian meal after a long day of teaching workshops. The portion sizes defeated us both, so I threw some Nan bread and rice out for the birds. When I next looked out there was a strange sight of a squirrel, magpie and the pusscat all tucking into the tidbits very close to each other! However, the sight of a cat munching a Nan bread convinced me of her homelessness. I threw out some of my remaining chicken and she wolfed it down.
Needless to say that in the last couple of days I have been putting food out for her, and yesterday evening I decided to have a shot at looking at her collar. I took some food down and she came nervously out of hiding, quickly scoffing the lot! Rather ungratefully, she snarled at me when I tried to touch her, but I persevered, only to be rewarded by seeing an identity free, worn and very old collar. I sat down to have a better look at her - she looked quite mature and pretty mucky too - and she suddenly began to purr, before coming over to me and butting her head against me. She went from grizzly to friendly in a matter of moments!
Needless to say she came inside, visibly shaking with nerves still, and settled herself in for the night! She had obviously been missing human company and affection and was determined to make up for it. So, she stayed all night - snoring very loudly amidst the purring! This morning I took her out again after a good breakfast, but she howled so loudly that, after an hour or so, I couldn't take any more and she has been inside all day.
In typical cat fashion, she has been insisting upon lap sitting, whether the said lap is empty or not, and is purring loudly beside me as I type this! So, she is definitely deciding to adopt us. I will put out some feelers as to whether she has an owner who is missing her. Having to be away from home quite a bit is not really compatible with having a pet, so I am hoping that she does have a pining owner, but, somehow, I think not. Oh, and by the way, she is a he! Lol! I will keep you posted!!!
So, congratulations to Elaine once more, and look out for the next quiz!