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In this issue:

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Ghost in the Machine


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Many thanks to all of you, who spent a few moments trying to find the image where "Arty" the ghost was hiding.  Five intrepid ghost busters had found the page within the first week and have now been sent their £25.00 gift vouchers: a list of the winners is featured on our home page.  If you want to see where he was then follow this link: ghost in the machine. 

Of course you can still have a search for yourself - but seriously, if you do feel the need to, we would, respectfully, recommend counselling.

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Summer Specials Newsletters


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You will already have received our first Summer Special Newsletters.  This is a series of special offers that we will be releasing during August.  Each week there will be a new promotion, offering some brilliant savings. Be warned though, each promotion will only last as long as we have stock and for a maximum of one week, so you will need to act fast to make sure you don’t loose out.  For latest offers click SPECIAL OFFERS and scroll through to the most recent additions.

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Training Updates


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Remember that there is one training weekend remaining in August: 18th & 19th in Beaconsfield.  There are still some places available.  For more courses, don't forget that you can visit the Training Zone from our home page.  Also, by scrolling down the home page news you will find the next 6 weeks' training programme listed, with direct links from dates to the relevant course and bookings pages.

Two rarities to draw your attention to are our Custom Framing days and Adding Decorative Finishes to Frames workshop.  Each of these courses is significant, not only because both provide you with a wide range of ideas for creative, bespoke framing but also because the dates listed are the only ones available before 2008.

Custom framing takes you through ideas for designing and completing some original and uniquely creative framing projects.  We often talk about adding the Wow Factor to your work - this session gives you the chance to discover some new skills and then use those along with your usual repertoire to do something individual and extraordinary.  If you like trying "off-the wall" ideas then Custom Framing will be right up your street.  The only session this year is in September 2007 so you will need to book soon. For more details click: Custom Framing

Adding Decorative Finishes to Framing has run on three occasions in the last 12 months and has proven highly successful.  It has a bit of a "Ronseal" approach, showing you how to use a whole range of available products to add colour and protective finishes to bare wood mouldings. There is the chance for you to get creative and messy, using combinations of colours, creams and finishes to achieve the look you want.  For the real addicts, there is also a thorough demonstration of leaf metal gilding.  Most importantly, it gives you a chance to try things out without having to buy everything for yourself.  Once you know what you like using, you can then make the right choices for buying the necessary products.  Click Frame Finishes to see the individual products and kits we have in stock.  To read more about this course click: Adding Finishes

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Summer Open Day


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Our Open Days have become a very popular feature of the calendar.  Our summer open day will be September 15th 2007, at our Woodlands Farm headquarters, Beaconsfield. It will run from 10.00 am - 4.00 pm, with free parking available on site. As always there will be a number of special features and attractions:

  • Seminars in the training room: Practical ideas for giving your framing a stunning look ( adding coloured lines, creating shadow mounts, using slips in your mounts).Places at the seminars are free, but they must be reserved by contacting, Judy, either with email: judy@diyframing.co.uk (marked OPENDAY SEMINARS) or telephone 0800 801061
  • sales showroom - open with 10% off many of our catalogue prices (offer applies only to direct sales at the Open Days)
  • bargain and clearance sales - mouldings from as little as 50 pence per metre and ex demo tools.
  • demonstration area - next to the sales showroom,
  • surgery for solving problems

We look forward to seeing you here.

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Exhibition and Trade Shows


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From September onwards, the show calendar starts up with a vengeance.  We will be attending a whole range of exhibitions, backing several of them up with complete training weekends or workshops within the exhibition itself.  In fact, we are going to more shows than ever before which means we could be at a place near you before the end of the year. 

For us, some venues will be completely new, which adds an exciting extra dimension to our diary.  These shows are very important to us because they help to keep DIYframing ahead of the rest, as the first port of call for all of your framing needs ... but they also work for you.  Here are 5 reasons why you should come along:

  1. a chance to pick up all sorts of tips, direct support and general, expert advice
  2. always offers to be had with bargain prices on much of the stock
  3. opportunities to see kit demonstrated and make direct purchases
  4. chances for you to have a go through workshops and trying out the kit on our stand
  5. get to meet DIYframing staff in person (always a pleasure).

Ok, so that's really 4 good reasons...and a fifth one.

You can pick up details of these shows from our training zone where they are featured as part of the training programme.  Below is a list to get you started:

  • EXETER: Hobbycrafts 27th - 30th September
  • HARROGATE: Hobbycrafts 5th - 7th October
  • CARDIFF: Hobbycrafts 16th - 18th October
  • SECC, GLASGOW; Hobbycrafts  26th - 28th October
  • NEC, BIRMINGHAM: Art Materials LIVE 8th - 11th November
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La Petite Galerie


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This is a case study with a difference.  There are no sheds, photographers and very little framing.  The shed becomes a small, art gallery; the photographer a young mum with an eye for artwork; framing? .. learning the basics to know what works well, but then sub-contracting that out.  And all of this is set in Switzerland...a long way from Beaconsfield and DIYframing, you might think. 

The idea of selling artwork at affordable prices, was something that had appealed to Sharrin for some time. After leaving South Africa for Scotland in 2001, having 2 children and being a "stay at home mum" for 4 years, she was desperate to try something different.  The intention had been to open a gallery in Edinburgh, but after extensive research it was clear that there were a number of issues that needed to be sorted for it to be a risk worth taking.  Anyway, within a year the family moved to Switzerland.

Far from that being an end to Sharrin's grand plan, the idea of opening a gallery was firmly rooted.  Being in the right place at the right time always helps; for Sharrin it was spotting empty shop windows in a local village that she loved to visit.  Talking to the owner revealed that there were no clear plans for the property.  After a bit of constant pestering over the next few weeks, he relented and let Sharrin have a 1 year lease as a trial run.

La Petite Galerie is situated in the village of Lutry near to Lusanne. The gallery also offers a service where people can have their photographs turned into oil paintings on canvas.  Once that takes off, then will be the time to take the framing service further.  In the meantime, the framing equipment is kept simple so that funds can be prioritised and spent on marketing and advertising.

The gallery is aiming to bring affordable artwork to all people: Sharrin recognises that every home and office space have walls that need decorating.  By keeping prices down and sourcing decorative pieces there is no reason why anybody can't afford artwork - even in Switzerland. Ideas Sharrin has used to market the gallery so far:

  • website (own design, which gives a readily available presence especially for a wider market)
  • brochure (also helps with providing French speakers with more information)
  • La Petite Galerie ( a shop front to entice the casual passer by)

This is still a new venture so there are a lot more ideas to run with. Quite rightly, Sharrin feels pretty chuffed that she has managed to start her own business and in a country where speaking the language (French) remains her biggest challenge.

Any advice for beginners? One: make sure that if you intend to work abroad, being able to understand what people are saying is helpful. Two: watch out for start-up costs they have a nasty habit of quickly mounting up. Three: get organised but keep it clear and simple.  Finally, if you are pestered by, "Cheeky men seeking exotic women", always pretend you don't understand the language. Not that many of us at DIYframing have had the same problem as Sharrin in that last point (although those of you who have met us won't be massively surprised).  But Judy says she totally understands!

For the complete article and more photos click: Sharrin Joos.  To visit the website click: La Petite Galerie

 

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Thank you for your continued support.

Until next time...

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August 2007

In this country we are always told we talk too much about the weather.  The way the last couple of months have been, it would be almost impossible to think of anything else as a general topic for discussion.  This newsletter is different.  We will not mention the rain, floods, lack of Summer etc again!  Instead, we are going to look forward to some impending courses and exhibitions we will be attending, some updates on recent DIYframing projects and a new case study.

Duncan

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