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In this issue:

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Trade Counter Now OPEN SATURDAYS

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The DIYframing trade counter was launched quite quietly last year: in fact it coincided with our first Open Day in August 2006.  Since then it has received a constant flow of traffic with sales via the showroom increasing month on month.  It has been particularly popular when people have been on courses at Beaconsfield, because they have the chance to see a wider range of tools and have demonstrations.  It does make sense if you are making a large purchase to check out the various options before making final decisions.  Indeed, many people, looking to buy the bigger, professional tools, come and spend a morning or afternoon with us so that they will go away, knowing how to use the equipment and have an idea of how to set it all up.

We realise that it is not possible for everyone to visit the showroom unless you are prepared to travel.  However, it is quite easily accessible because of its proximity to the M40 just 1/2 mile away.  (Click here for directions)

Some of the advantages of a visit are:

  • chance to see special offer items;
  • whole range of tools on show and ready for demo (including all Pro 100 kit)
  • advice and support on hand from all staff
  • savings on postage (especially with larger sheet materials)
  • chance to see "actual" samples of mouldings and mountboards
  • actual colours of wood dyes, gilt creams etc can be viewed
  • glass - much cheaper to buy here than most glaziers (but can't be sent through the post)

So, if you are passing or need to make a bulk order, remember our showroom - sometimes it can be more convenient than mail order.
Opening Times:                                                                                                           
Mon - Fri: 9.00 am - 4.30 pm
Sat: 9.00 am - 1.00 pm

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Embossed Lines

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We often talk about adding a "wow factor" to your framing and encourage you to work with different mount styles - doubles, triples, deep bevels etc.  Often the choice of mount colour adds a real sense of drama and makes something truly eye-catching (occasionally needing a health warning and the use of darkened glasses).  This is all very well for artwork that can take it, but occasionally something a little more subtle is required: something that encourages a closer look and adds a level of sophistication to the piece.  A very simple effect is to create a series of embossed lines surrounding the mount.  It adds a slightly sculpted look that is much easier to achieve than coloured lines or a v-groove.  The two pieces of kit you need won't break the bank either (click the product for more detail): a corner gauge and embossing tools.   Make the mount and cut the aperture in the usual way.  Use the corner gauge in each corner of the mount to pin-point, on the face of the mount where the lines will run (in fact marking the corners with a pin will mean no marks pencil marks on the mount). Use a rule and one of the embossing tools to run a line between the corner marks. The embossing tools come in a kit, of varying end widths.  Each one has a polished, steel "ball end", so that when used to make a line, it does not cut through the mount surface but will make an indentation, leaving behind a "polished" furrow.
Use a series of parallel lines but of varying widths and distances apart and we think you will be really impresses with the results.

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Putting Things Right

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None of us is perfect.  We realise that this might be hard for some of you to accept having seen first hand, during our training courses, workshops and demonstrations, the very high standards we set and to which we encourage all trainees to aspire.  We also know you would find it hard to imagine any professional, swearing and hurling a frame across the workshop when a tin of paint drops off a shelf and makes an indentation in the gold, sculpted moulding that has now taken three attempts and 2 hours to get the mitres right (sorry but that happened to a friend!).

In reality there will always be a time where you need to tidy up a new frame or will even be asked to clean and tidy up an old frame for a customer.  There is a number of very useful products available that can help you.  Where there are small marks or chips in stained mouldings, you can use touch up pens.  They can be bought in individual wood tones, complete sets of wood stain pens and in sets of three for mixing and matching differing wood shades.

Similarly there are filler sticks which can be used to fill small gaps in mitres or blemishes in the gilt finish.  They have a "body" to them, which means that they will genuinely fill as well as colour.  Available in each of 4 gilt shades, they can be used singly or mixed to match the effect you are after.

For more information click on this link and scroll through the range of products available:  FRAME FINISHING PRODUCTS

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Mounting Climbing (Encounter With A UFO)


Rumours have been circulating recently about a very strange phenomenon seen early in February 2007.  Tales were brought back from the mountainside by a group of climbers, who were making an attempt on the summit of Ben Nevis in, what can only be described as, extreme conditions.  Everything had been going well until a blizzard set in, with the ensuing white-out limiting visibility to a matter of snatched glimpses of the way ahead.  Eventually, coming out from a narrow gulley between two rocky outcrops, the weather calmed and the snowfall slowed allowing the first sight of the summit just 100 metres above.  As the intrepid group started the final ascent, something halted them mid-stride, causing one to loose his footing and stumble: it was a UFO (Unidentified Framing Object). 

There was Duncan McDonald doing a piece to camera, complete with Logan mountcutter (Compact 301) and completed picture mount.  His later explanation that it was a new service being offered by DIYframing, "The complete, mounted and framed photo of your climb, ready for your descent," did nothing to allay the climbers’ fears, that madness had finally struck, brought on by snow-blindness.

This new concept of extreme framing is actually not a million miles from the underlying philosophy of DIYframing (not that we have spent a great deal of time thinking about this).  We think that doing your own framing, and bespoke framing in general, is all about making a statement and making things quite "individual".  Everybody working with DIYframing also enjoys outdoor and adventurous activities, sports and we don't really take ourselves too seriously.  Therefore taking a leaf out of the extreme ironing concept and applying it to framing seems a reasonable progression.

We hope you will be entertained by future exploits and that you might suggest some other ideas for “Adventure Framing” (framing in other parts of the world, strange places etc).  To see the video of Duncan's Big Adventure on Ben Nevis, watch this space.  Duncan Spielberg is on the final edit before posting the new blockbuster video. We hope you will enjoy this site and that soon it will fill with further exploits and travelogues (and general feats of great stupidity).

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Mind Your P's and Q's (not to mention B's and F's)


One of our trainers being flat out on his back (make your own jokes up here) with sciatica, led to staffing changes for our recent training weekend in Manchester. Alex, being his usual easy-going, flexible self, saw no problem in taking over from "the Prof", but did feel that it was only fair to warn students that the usual polite tones, used during the anticipated trainer's sessions, might slip (usually for the worse).  He warned that if things needed a bit of Anglo-Saxon clarification, the use of Scouse invective may not be ruled out.  As the group of trainees was made up of a group of reasonably well-seasoned, worldly sorts, the warning about the occasional "earthy" remark slipping out did not cause any great alarm.  Indeed, as the two days progressed and some adjustments were required to work, individuals were heard to add a few remarks of their own - although possibly not quite with the degree of imagination that Alex manages.

At the end of the two days, Alex returned to his initial warning and inquired whether he had been able to rein in his vocabulary and so hadn't taught them any bad habits. 

In response, one of the trainees remarked,
"Honestly, it was fine ... in fact no new words at all: however there were some very interesting combinations!"

Another satisfied customer!

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Thank you for your continued support.

Until next time...


March 2007

By the time this edition surfaces, we will have had a chance to meet even more of you, following the Focus On Imaging 2007 show at the NEC, our Glasgow Business week and Hobbycrafts show at the SECC.  It is the start of a very busy time for framers.  Longer days combined with the better light as we head in to spring, and the creative bug takes hold.  Loads of framing commissions start to surface with people thinking about post Christmas birthdays, Mothers' Day and the urge to redecorate (a nest building thing).  Whichever way you look at it, now is a good time to re-visit our website to see the latest product range and training options.  In the meantime here are some more items to fire your imaginations, offer some new ideas to experiment with and, hopefully, raise a smile.


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