Not So DIY

August 17, 2016


No.  This is not a picture of my DIY project. But it is a story about listening to your talented, artistic friends when they say they can help you with your DIY project.  But let me start at the beginning.

I met my now good friend, Katherine Dietzel DuTremble, at the Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition a few years ago.  We had a few things in common besides love of art.  Like me, she was the daughter of a football coach and also the daughter of ailing parents.  Unlike me, she is an amazing internationally recognized artist.  She had painted a couple of pieces for us in the past and now we needed something in a different size and color scheme to help complete the space. The blessing and curse of an artist friend is they know what looks great in your space and they will hand deliver art “on approval” to let YOU see how great it looks in your space.   The end result was a significant stretch to my art budget and a gracious payment plan (she wanted me to have it that bad).  To ease my financial pain and guilt, we agreed she would come over at least once a month for happy hour and to collect a payment towards this beautiful piece of art titled, No One Home. Now that’s a friend.

On her first visit, I happened to be in the middle of a DIY project.  In an effort to finally be budget conscious, I had an idea to fill the beadboard walls of the quirky powder room with family photos. I got this idea from the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.  On a recent visit, I saw beautiful historic photos, in black frames and black mats with photo mounting corners, depicting the journey of immigrants through Ellis Island. I was inspired!  I had bins of historic family photos and this project was a great way to reconnect the house and my ancestors that built it.

I began to gather the limited supplies I needed:

  1. Frames from Hobby Lobby and Target – nothing fancy, very affordable, always discounted.
  2. Acid free mats cut to size for each of the frames – Karen’s Korner is a great framing resource.
  3. Photo mounting corners from Artist & Craftsman Supply – these add to the historic look.File Aug 17, 12 26 42 PM

It was not a complicated project, but DIY and I are not that compatible.  I pondered this project for days. How would I lay it out? How would I meticulously get the pictures even and squared on the mats and in the little photo mounting corners?  How long would it all take, hours? Maybe even an entire weekend?

File Aug 17, 12 29 22 PMThen my artist friend Katherine came over.  She saw my “layout” and work in progress (more like work in ponder).  She casually commented she would help. “No, it will take forever”, I declared.  She continued to drop hints and finally she said, “You know I do this kind of stuff for a living right?  I really can help, it might take 20 mins…”.  I looked at her like she was crazy. I couldn’t impose and there was no way it was going to take 20 mins.  She just started doing it at that point.  And timing herself I might add. So with me as her “assistant”, and after days of pondering this DIY project, I learned when I friend says they can help you, take their advice!

Twenty minutes later we were toasting our project with a Cheers!

File Aug 17, 12 25 33 PM





Professional photography by Gillian Ellis.

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