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In this issue:

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Courses & Training Dates

The training programme has been less hectic than last year's, mainly because we have run fewer individual sessions in favour of more block sessions like our Development weeks.  As a result almost all have been fully booked and in some cases we have had to add in extra dates.

Our newest venue in the West Midlands ( Nuneaton Heritage Centre) is also proving popular, with two very successful photography weekends taking place during April and May.

Here is the latest batch, each  with a few places left, so don't delay in booking a place as time is runniing out!

  • York - Framing Photography Weekend, Saturday 27th May & Sunday 28th May
  • Cambridge - Framing Photography Course - Wednesday 31st May & Thursday 1st June
  • Cardiff - Basics of Framing, Saturday 24th June & Mount Cutting & Decoration, Sunday 25th June
  • Beaconsfield - Saturday 10th June & Mount Cutting & Decoration, Sunday 11th June
  • Beaconsfield - Business Development Week - 8th - 13th July

We have been overwhelmed with interest in the Business Development Week running in Manchester from 13th May to the 19th May and it is fully booked for each day.  It  promises to be a really exciting week.

For details of these courses and future dates dont't forget to log on to the training zone on the main website.


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The George Park Story: What Goes on At The Bottom Of The Garden - Case Study PART 2

So there’s George happily working from home, successfully creating a gallery of his own photography, tackling increasing numbers of framing projects for family and friends.  Other jobs are starting to come in from the first efforts at marketing, but still he has to work from his kitchen, using any space around the house to store supplies as well as keeping safe artwork before and after framing.  It is at this point that most peoples’ minds turn to workshops and sheds. 

In fact these thoughts hijacked George’s and his wife’s plans for a rather elegant summerhouse and combined work area.  They had been looking at plans for Colonial Barns on the internet as the ideal solution; however the anticipated building costs (0ver £10,000) led them to ideas of building their own summerhouse using a company in the UK.  This also coincided with George putting the finishing touches to his training, so he now realised the need to “spread out” so that he could take on a wider range of framing jobs.   A summerhouse would mean that they still have a space to sit out and enjoy barbeques in their garden “after hours”, but it could also provide that space for George to work comfortably on his framing.  It also addressed the dilemma facing most of us: invest in a workshop in anticipation of increased custom or manage with the kitchen until you have had enough work to afford the workshop?

Size is always an issue because the more space you have to work in, the better.  Mind you, it is also true that you will fill whatever space you have.  However, for George and his wife, it was equally important that this framing outpost did not spoil the proportions and style of their lovely garden.  In the end they have a really good sized summerhouse with an elegant porch offering an impressive 4.8 m square internal work area with a 1.5 m covered porch.

In fact all construction work was undertaken by George himself and has been finished with his trade-mark eye for detail and quality.  At DIYframing we remember hearing about him making and pegging out shuttering for a concrete base (all concrete to be transported by the barrow load into place: we did admire his stamina.  At that point it would have been so easy for us to have weakened and to have offered to lend a hand: we of course resisted because we know how important it is for George to do things for himself!!! Amazingly, the whole process, from base to having a barbecue on the summerhouse veranda, only took two weeks.

As a working environment it works well all year around.  There is an electrical power supply into the summerhouse so internal lighting has been boosted with 4 strip lights and a series of spotlights with daylight bulbs.  Heating is also easily maintained and a potential problem with damp has been avoided by using a simple de-humidifier.  Workbenches have been built to suit the space and George’s working position: without benches set at the correct height, working for long periods of time can not only be uncomfortable, it can also be very detrimental to health. Although the dehumidifier and moulding racks do mean that storage of mouldings and mountboards is not a major problem, George tends to order stock as he needs it, which avoids a build up of clutter that has to be worked around.  In all workspaces it is important to be aware of the “flow and movement” between areas as any project progresses: constantly having to clear tops or having to move back and forth between workstations can be time consuming.

Having the increased space to work in has also made George reconsider some elements of his tool kit.  He has now upgraded to a professional, floor-standing moulding guillotine / chopper (Morso) and underpinner. In fact, by coincidence, these new purchases arrived just ahead of that order from the pub for 10 framed photographs, making the whole undertaking much more manageable. 

Occasinoal customers make it to the bottom of George’s garden, although like most people working from home, visiting customers in their own homes is part of the service package. But those that do make it there enjoy their visits and comment on how ideal a place it is to work in.  Cats on the veranda, hi-fi switched on, fresh air, cup of coffee, a hobby turned into paid work and your own boss. Perfect? George would certainly say so.

To see the illustrated version, use the following link:  What Happens At The Bottom Of The Garden.

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DIYframing Open Days

This is a new "adventure" for us and one which we hope you will enjoy.  On Friday 4th August 2006 and Saturday 5th August 2006, we will be holding open days at "Headquarters" (Woodlands Studio, Beaconsfield).  During the two days, the usual suspects will be on hand to help you try out new equipment, help you to pick up bargains and offer you all sorts of advice (... but just be wary of what you ask for!).  Here is a more more detailed list of what will be happenning.

Each day, as well as having products on show and for sale, we will be running workshops: Creating a Canvas Stretcher;  Creating Deep Bevel Mounts using Foam Bisceaux Strips.  We will also be running a couple of seminars probably along themes such as; How to Create An Income From Framing; Hints and Tips for Creating A Workshop; Being Creative With Framing; How to Market Artwork / Photography.  However, these titles have not been finalised and we would welcome your thoughts on what you would like to find out about.  If you have any ideas for the subject of a seminar, please contact Richard Buttle using email richard@diyframing.co.uk.  We will publish titles and times for the seminars in our June newsletter.

Other special features of the days will be a second-hand, framing tool sale and special offer moulding clearnence, with some styles on offer for as little as £0.50 per metre!

Our full range of tools will be displayed and demonstrated so that should you wish to see and try what is available before parting with your hard-earned cash you will be able to do so.  This is something that we are rarely able to do, even at the largest exhibitions that we attend, so it is an opportunity not to be missed.

If you are having problems with framing or have a particularly challenging project to undertake, we will also be operating a "surgery" with our highly trained technical team (actually still the usual suspects!) on hand, not only to talk you through ideas, but also, in many cases, to demonstrate possible solutions.

Finally, we also want to help you get the best from your tools (now, now no sly sniggering!).  We would be the first to admit that the instruction manuals are often highly informative.  However,  it is only when you start to use equipment on a regular basis and find cunning ways to work with them that, not only do the results improve, but you also extend the range of what something can actually do.  We would love to hear your handy hints for specific tools and equipment and will share those at the Open Days along with our own little gems. Any ideas, again please contact Richard Buttle using email richard@diyframing.co.uk

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New Products

As part of our Framing Fabric days, we are now including demonstrations of how to stretch and attach canvas onto stretchers.  In fact, if it is a particular interest for you, we can arrange to let you follow that as your framing project during the Framing Fabric day.  However it is helpful to make that clear to us when booking. 

In fact many of you will already be used to working with stretchers anyway, but are not always sure where to buy appropriate supplies and stretching equipment.  DIYframing can now offer a whole range of stretcher bars (with wedges) for sale, along with stretching pliers and staple guns for fixing the canvas / textile to stretchers.  This makes the claim of DIYframing being a one stop shop for framing even more complete.  For more details of the prices and product details visit the "Stretcher Bars and Accessories" section of our on-line store. 

We have started researching a complete range of tools for those of you aiming to move ahead as professional framers.  We already supply top of the range mount cutters in the form of the Logan Framers Edge.  The latest additions to the suggested workshop range are the series of mitre cutters & choppers made by Hansen of Denmark.  These offer professional quality mitre cuts in mouldings, at affordable prices, and in 3 different sizes.  Each one is either hand or foot operated, meaning that you will not have to have power in the workshop.  In short, within the series,  there is something to cater for the professional framer (or framing artist, photographer, collector and needlecrafter) no matter what space you have available to work in.

For more information, click on the names below and you will link to our products page:

Hansen Maxi Chopper
Hansen Mini Chopper
Hansen EZCut

In the very near future we hope to finalise details for a professional underpinner to complete the main part of our professional workshop range.

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Arists & Illustrators Show - Early Warning

The next exhibition we will be visiting is the Artists' & Illustrators' show:
"... an unmissable event for anyone interested in art or illustration. It is Europe's largest practical art show, bringing together more than 150 art material manufacturers, and more than 16,000 artists and illustrators of all abilities under one roof. This is your chance to meet other artists, buy art materials at competitive prices, get expert advice from top artists and art product manufacturers, and try out the latest art materials. Come along and be inspired!" ... from BDC website

DATES:  Thursday, 20th July - Sunday 23rd July

VENUE: The Design Centre, Islington

We will be there showing an extensive range of resources, equipment and materials including some product launches and unique special offers.  Our team of advisors will be on hand to give you practical advice and demonstrate mount cutting and framing equipment.  One visit to our stand and you could find everything you need to produce top quality framing for your artwork, in the style that you choose.

In addition, there will be a full programme of workshops and seminars run by DIYframing in one of the balcony seminar / training areas.  Early booking is essential as these sessions filled very quickly last year. 

Full details will be published nearer to the event, in the meantime we have set out below basic information and links to relevant organisations.


Opening Times: 10am - 6pm daily except Sunday 10am - 3.30pm
Ticket Prices: advance standard ticket: £7.00 on door: £9.00
advance Concessions: £5.50 on door: £8.00
advance Subscribers: £5.50 on door: £8.00
Manga convention ticket: £10 in advance, £12 on the door 

Business Design Centre: www.businessdesigncentre.co.uk
Artists & Illustrators Magazine:  www.aimag.co.uk

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Forum up and running

The Diyframing framers forum is up and running. This was particulary sucessful on the old site but unfortunately it was not compatable with the new one so we have lost all the comments.

 Lets get it going again with any of your ideas and questions which will educate, inspire or just be of interest to people who visit on a regular basis. Home framing is a great business or hobby, Diyframing are doing everything to help you get the best results possible so post a question today and ye shall get an answer tomorrow.

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Thank you for your continued support.

Until next time...


May 2006

What a busy couple of months! After several exhibitions dotting the i's and crossing the t's on our new web site (not a typing error - that is what it has felt like) and travelling back up to Scotland, we are only just catching up with some things. Hopefully, however, the monthly Newsletter is back in full swing, using the full potential of our new web-based system.  In the May issue we have updates on vacancies on the latest batch of training days, the long awaited PART 2 of the George Park story, a whole range of new product releases and our very first open day at Beaconsfield.


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