Our Grandfather lived with us when we were kids.  He thrived on Club Chocolate, sipped a nip of brandy in warm milk at bed time and rolled his own Drum ‘rollies’. He died at 95 fit as a fiddle. Pa, as we called him, also planted, tended and grew the most spectacular and productive gardens that surrounded our house.

The back yard was the place for the large veggie garden, the pumpkin patch and the potato patch. In the centre of the garden grew passionfruit, winding up over trellises that would be laden with the deep purple fruit of summer. (One year a herd of stray dairy cows wandered in during the night and ate the lot). The front of the house was formalised with gardens of dahlias, camellias and lilies and bordered with mass plantings of pansies.


The pansies, with the purple, yellow, burgundy and mauve colours and soft velvet textured petals were my favourites.   I would bob down to the borders of pansies and find the butterflies painted in the center of the flowers.  I was totally in love with these flowers. Pa would let me pick some every now and then and they’d go into a special, brass vase with the wire squares on top which supported the delicate pansies, so they could be shaped into a perfectly rounded presentation for the table.  Viola!  Purple has always been my favourite colour.


So when PANTONE announced the colour of the year  – Pantone colour of the year 2018 – ULTRA VIOLET 18-3838 

I was excited!


Each year since 2000, Pantone has created a colour that sets the trend for graphic designers, printers, painters, interior designers and any industry working with colour.  Ultra Violet was selected for this year by Pantone as it represents originality and ingenuity.  Their reasoning was that with increasing global interest in our universe, planets and exploration, Ultra Violet and other purples communicate the language of the cosmos and stimulates us to think about our future.

Click the pansy icon to Read more about PANTONE and how it creates the universal language of colour.


Flowers and their colours also evoke meaning and emotions and have a language of their own, known as floriography.  The deep purple colour of my childhood pansy is believed to evoke spirituality and sparks a touch of fame and ‘royalty’.  It is energising and pop star PRINCE used it well to promote his individuality and charm. The pansy flower itself is known as thoughtful and ‘pondering’ and in early Victorian times, pansies were often wrapped in a bundle of spices and herbs to be given to a loved one as a coded message as ‘words unspoken”.

And whilst you tell me you don’t follow trends,  last year saw a significant shift of art-based greenery, leaves, landscapes, palm trees, plants and nature coming in to be framed at the framing table.  The 2017 Pantone colour of the year was ‘Greenery”.  Trendy or not, we live in a complex world and we follow what we see and desire what others have.

From now on, take note of all the Ultra Violet advertising, bill boards, fashion, graphics, magazine articles that are featuring Ultra Violet.  Before long, you will be loving this colour!!


Click the pansy icon to learn more about the psychology of TRENDS



Here’s my tips on how to (easily) incorporate Ultra Violet, or any colour you love, into your home décor.


Focus on Accessories that are relatively inexpensive and can be changed around. Small amounts of the same or similar colour spread throughout your home offers the design element of ‘harmony’.


  • Look for pots and vases, cushions, bathroom towels, tea towels, rugs and throws, table settings, outdoor umbrellas, flowers, bowl of passionfruit, and most effectively, ART work. Prints on line, gallery walls, artists, nostalgic photos or art work you already have can be reframed with a little ‘colour pop’.


  • Visit our showroom for inspiration: We’ll be creating ongoing displays that highlight this theme over the next few months.  Everything showcased is available for you, or you may like to create your own custom order to size and colour to suit your home décor.


  • Consider my library of my photographic prints and art works that show diversity and offer a range of styles. I’ve included a range of black and white art works that look sensational teamed with ultra violet and purples. Images can be printed and framed to your required size.


  • Have fun at our framing table with your framing designs: We will be showcasing the latest releases of copper, silver and the metallic mouldings that accompany the richness of ultra violet.  Mat boards in shades of mauve and purple can be accented under white and gorgeous textures can be added for a professional designer styling.  The options are only limited by our imagination.


My mother, (now at 91 years of age and born in the same year as Queen Elizabeth 11), continues to  bring me joy when I visit her in Ballarat.  Each winter she grows the rich, purple and violet pansies in little black plastic pots on her back patio.  I have a photo of them, (the one on the click icon), that I will now print, frame and hang on my apartment wall.  Easy.


I invite you to have fun with colour, any colour that you love, in a way that is joyful and will enrich your life.


Click the pansy icon to find Pinterest Inspiration Interior Design with Jen

Your Truly and Trendy,


Let your Art Talk .. and Walk ..

The art work you hang on your walls shouts your personality. It tells you and others about your style, what you like, where you’ve been, what is important to you.  It adds colour, fun, memories and delight to walls that could otherwise be bland and uninteresting.  So over the summer, when the kids, parents or friends come to stay, is a great time to revisit your art work.


Read on for my story..


Its that time of year again but this year its just a bit more special.  Our two sons, wives and granddaughters are migrating from Melbourne up to us on the coast for a family celebration for the Christmas season.  Yay…..Rex and I are pretty excited as it will be the first time in 4 years we’ve had Christmas up here on the coast.


With that of course comes the excitement of cleaning up the apartment, renovating what we can and swapping, de cluttering and ditching what we deem ‘junk’. Then we can do a few Christmassy things to make the place look like we mean business.


I was thinking that once upon a time, as newly marrieds, we did the same when our parents came to visit.  We’d make sure things were in order as we aimed to prove that we were on top of things in the domestic arena.


Now this practice has flipped, and its when our own grown up toddlers and “no care” teenagers come to visit with their gorgeous wives and kids, that we continue the natural desire to have our home looking its best.  Our parents are now too old to care.


But in the fun of it, we do realise, that at the end of the day, its not what the place looks like but rather the warmth, the feeling, the connection to place and space and the love that oozes from when the family step into our home.  And it’s your art work that can help achieve this.

Here’s a few tips on how to get it all happening…


I was talking with the famous photographer, Ken Duncan recently and he was saying, quite prophetically, that changing your art work around should be like changing the sheets on your bed. I took that as just do it regularly…Here’s what we do.


First things first:  Stand back and look – really LOOK at all of your art work and other collections you have on your walls.   How long have you had it in the same place?

Like my aged mothers said when her washing machine broke down recently. …”I just bought that machine.. It’s not that old.”  And then the date, written on a band aid on the side of the machine recording the year of purchase, 1994!!  Good one Dad!


So back to the art work – Take ALL of the art work off the walls from your entire home, apartment, and place it in one space so you can see it.  YES!  ALL of it.


Next wipe away the dead, and live spiders, the webs and gecko bits from the walls behind the art work. Check the backs of the art to ensure tapes are secure and while you’re at it, clean the art work with glass cleaner and a soft cloth or paper towel.  Don’t spray directly on the art work but onto the cloth, then buff.


Now, look carefully at your collection and HIDE anything you don’t actually like.

Be Brave!!   Less is More. Go on, set it aside so its OUT, at least for now.  You may consider re-vamping it later with new mat boards, a new up to date frame and new glass.  A January project!!


Now here’s the fun bit.  Swap your art work around.  Have a PLAY.  Its about putting the love back into your walls. Just try placing it in different settings.  Place the art on the floor, hold it up, take a phone photo, just play for a while.

Zoom down to Bunnings for those few extra hooks.  WallMates are the bests for gyprock walls or you may consider the kit form, ArtiTeq gallery system that we stock.  This Arti Teq system is easy to install and will allow you to change your art frequently, adding in and replacing without hooks or holes in the wall.  Its ideal for a rental property.


Learn More


Then there’s the ultimate:  Consider leaving a spot for one or two new pieces of art work.

Here’s what I’m doing to add the love.


I’m printing off 8 family photos that I’ve taken over the past year and popping them into ready made, off the shelf frames from Coastal Framing and placing them on a shelf in the spare bedroom.

The kids will love this.  The photos are not in their face on a large wall but something to start a conversation with in the guest room.


I’m printing two of Rex’ favourite and quirky USA photos as 400mm x 600mm to add to the wall in the family area, and framed in oak. I was thinking of a photo wall but have run out of time for now. That will be a January project for us.


And because I can, I’m printing a large 1400mm x 500mm of my favourite beach photo collection from Casuarina, to frame with Perspex to hang over the bed as a ‘bed head’ in our newly painted bedroom.   I think I’ll print it in black and white.  And I’ll probably sneak two of my ‘Beach Shack” photos from my collection that are hanging in the Gallery from the Bubble and Browse exhibition. (If they don’t sell).


So with our existing art and a few new pieces, the whole place looks fresh and inviting.


If you would like to add original, local art to your walls, or a print ready to purchase off the wall ready for Christmas, visit our showroom and Gallery for a selection of art work for your home. Our recent Bubble and Browse exhibition has had additions, ready for you to buy for Christmas.


View the BUBBLES AND BROWSE exhibition photos
Click here to View Art in our Gallery


Now to find the Christmas tree, the lights and the Nativity scene that we’ve had in storage somewhere over the last 4 years.


Rex and I wish you a Happy Christmas Season and whatever you believe and whatever you do, be grateful for what you have. Feel the love of friends and family and enjoy this annual celebration time given to us via the first Christmas from ancient times, so long ago.


Enjoy the season, get your art talking and celebrate with happiness.


Rex and Jen.







How to Nail the Perfect Gift

During the year, we have opportunities to give the people we care about gifts.

How do you give something different, clever and more meaningful than the gift you gave last year?

Let me share the secret. We can help you create that unique, personalised and ‘tear jerking’ gift that holds a memory, looks great on the wall and becomes so personal that tears are almost guaranteed!!!


Let me share a story from around our framing table, of how this can happen for you.


Sharing stories from around the framing table can be both joyful and sad. However, in recent weeks many have given me a great insight into how people celebrate at this time of the year. The common thread is that families have needed to evolve in the way they celebrate Christmas. Our families grow with new generations, we may need to accommodate blended families and many of us have to think of ways to overcome distance and isolation as adult children move overseas and away from home.


Last week I was sharing one of these stories with a customer as she collected a beautiful art work we had refurbished for her home in readiness for Christmas.


Every year for the last 2 decades or so, her family has two traditional celebrations.

One where her offspring get together as siblings, over a weekend near to Christmas.  They meet without their partners and children, and have a ‘free for all’ down right earthy no secrets, get together.  Brothers and Sisters unite!  It may be a dinner with a sleep over, and sounded to me like a very ‘fun’ grown up kids ‘play date’.  This is referred to as “The Siblings” celebration.


The second celebration is when the siblings’ partners and the grandchildren, and now the 3 great grandchildren, get together with her, without their partners, (her offspring) to have a hosted, themed dinner followed by a sleep over in her home. What a great way for parents to enjoy their own children’s partners, grand children and great grandchildren without the actual kids around.


This year, our customer is thinking outside the square as to how she can accommodate the family in her new, small beach apartment. For many of us, (and Rex and I included), a small beach side apartment is great for one or two, but where do the kids go when they come to stay?

(In other stories, I have learned that that some customers have the same problem and book their kids and their families into local resorts…. They say its more economical than buying a bigger house and it saves on mortgage!)

So back to my customer.  I heeded her wise words:
“Christmas does not need to be fancy.  It is full of family, memories, talk, and fun where you create another beautiful memory to keep in the hearts and minds of the people who share it with you”

That’s why this year, the custom framing of special family objects, photos and memorabilia is on the radar.

I love it!!   And the other bonus is that a custom frame can tuck into the 20KG of luggage when the kids are flying home!


So if you are looking for that perfect, unique and special Christmas gift this season, consider a custom frame around something special from your family treasure trove.

Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • A piece of child’s art work – cut into a heart shape.
  • Theatre programs and tickets
  • Special Music that signifies a special moment (buy it on line)
  • Old Wedding photos of grandparents, parents and family
  • Tea towels
  • Christening gown, ballet shoes,
  • Baby photos
  • Your own wedding photos you still have on the USB
  • Number plates off his favourite, first car
  • His first drum sticks
  • LP covers from years gone by
  • Concert tickets
  • Jerseys and sporting memorabilia
  • War medals left in the drawer
  • Needlework, doilies, handkerchiefs,
  • Money – coins or notes from a travel trip – the honeymoon
  • A photo of a pet, dog, cat……
  • A beautiful photo or print – many available in our gallery
  • A print and frame package from our print studio – family photos
  • A restoration photo of days gone by. Printed and Framed.

The perfect Christmas gift:  Celebrate with heart and soul.

Love it.  Frame it.


Jen and Rex.

The Mystery of the Jersey Number



WITH another winter season of football coming to a close, I can feel your excitement as you grab your favourite jersey and race along to the Picture Framer to get it framed. You’re about to preserve the odour, the colour, the sweat and tears of the games, and the NUMBER forever!!

So how important is the number on the back of a football jersey, a basketball jumper or cricket jumper? Once I asked the question, I found myself researching the history of the jersey number.  Here’s a summary from my internet readings.


If you have a personal number on your sporting jersey, email me your story to add to the blog.


The most famous number in sport is the 23 worn by the greatest NBA player of all time, Michael Jordan who played for the Chicago Bulls.  Both Jordan and his older brother’s favourite number was 45. Jordan said that as his brother was older, he had seniority and the option to wear 45 so

“I just figured 23 was half of 45, roughly, so 23 ‘kinda stuck with me the whole time”.


Other incredibly talented sportsmen to wear the number 23 are Shane Warne, Lance Franklin and David Beckham.

In Women’s AFL the number 23 for the Western Bulldogs goes to Lauren Moorecroft.

Position: Key Defender
Height: 168cm
D.O.B: 4/5/87
Recruited From: Diamond Creek (VFLW)
Last Drafted: Round 13, Pick 101 (2016 AFLW Draft)
Debut: -Player Sponsor: Ruth Keily


Reliable and a great team player, Moorecroft is the quintessential hard-nosed, hard running key defender. Strong in the air, great in one-on-one contests and offering wonderful support to teammates.

Why did I choose the Western Bulldogs?  Its my 91-year-old mother, Emma’s, magic team. Being a Footscray girl from way back my mother is taking interest in the women’s AFL. In keeping with the successful number 23, Emma says that Moorecroft should have a Stella career in AFL.



We did!

According to the International Federation of Football, History and Statistics, the origins of sports numbers were invented in AUSTRALIA.  They can be tracked back to an Australian Rules game in Sydney, 1911. Here’s the story and for more information, click the link.


WHEN the Victorian Football League got under way back in 1897, the players did not wear numbers on their jerseys.

Strangely, jumper numbers were not ushered into the VFL until midway through the 1911 finals series.

These days, AFL numbers are often passed on to the new star of the club or the sons of former players. Gary Ablett Jr opted not to wear the number 5 of his legendary father but rather chose his own identity.



This year was the first year that all AFL teams had Indigenous jerseys designed for the Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round played in May, 2017.

There is no doubt that sporting colours, designs and numbers are all becoming an integral aspect of the fashion industry, if not for appearance, identity, branding but corporate and industry gains. The jersey designs were amazing and when collectively viewed, stirred the soul.

SYDNEY superstar Lance Franklin was one of 10 players who changed his famous number for this game.

Franklin abandoned his usual No.23 Guernsey for No.67 to commemorate the year of the referendum that ensured indigenous Australians would be counted in the census and allowed the federal government to make laws for them.

No.67 also was worn by Brisbane Lion Cedric Cox, Collingwood’s Daniel Wells, Gold Coast co-captain Steven May, Giant Zac Williams, Hawthorn’s Shaun Burgoyne and Richmond’s Shane Edwards, who wore the number in the center piece of Indigenous Round, the Dreamtime at the ‘G match.

Other players, both indigenous and non-indigenous, wore No.50 to honour the 50th anniversary of the referendum.

In recent times, we have seen the power of numbers in a collective voice as the AFL players choose those numbers of political and cultural significance. As these are worn proudly on the backs of their jerseys, we discover the quest of our modern day sports men and women as they seek to celebrate history, make their voice heard and create new stories for future generations.



In the NRL, numbers are straight forward, representing a player’s position.

On the field, players are divided into forwards and backs.  The backs are 1-7 and the forwards 8 – 13.

The laws of the game recognise standardised numbering of positions. The starting side normally wear the numbers corresponding to their positions, only changing in the case of substitutions and position shifts during the game. In some competitions, such as Super League, players receive a squad number to use all season, no matter what positions they play in.

EELS change the numbers – A slight deviation from tradition.

Back in 2007, Each player to have worn the Blue and Gold jersey was awarded a unique player number as part of the Parramatta Rugby League Club’s 60th anniversary celebrations. Each year, the Eels continue that tradition whenever a player makes his debut.

I read that on 5th May, 2010 The NRL was to consider a proposal to allow players to have their own individual numbers on the backs of their jerseys.

As far as I know, this hasn’t happened as yet and the NRL retain their traditional method of allocating player numbers.



The great NBA players have come to be identified by their jersey number. For instance, we all see No. 33 when we reminisce about Larry Bird or the No. 32 when we think about Magic Johnson.

We also all may recall how Michael Jordan made No. 23 a mystical number.

Many reveal that the number they wear goes back to their first team. Others honor a relative or basketball idol with the number they wear. And some have their own esoteric reasons – birthdays, a family event, special verse, prose, book page number, lucky number….

Kyrie Irving apparently picked number 2 out of a hat. A ‘random number with no significance” he said.

But for others, the numbers they wear might hold a great deal of meaning.

In basketball, famous player, WADE chose his number for this reason:

“The No. 3 is a significant for Wade, and the number has become a common thread in his life. Wade, a devoted Christian, picked his jersey number in honor of the ‘Holy Trinity.'”

No matter the reason behind the number, quite a few No. 3s have excelled in the NBA.



In Soccer, the reason behind the printing of jersey numbers is simple: it helps referees and fans distinguish players on the pitch.  Numbered shirts were first worn in professional football by English clubs Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday in August 1928. At that time, starting players were wearing numbers 1 to 11 according to their positions on the field, and higher numbers for substitutes.

Fixed numbers assigned to each player, called squad numbers, for the duration of a competition was introduced first during the 1954 World Cup. 40 years later, The Football Association (governing body of English football) abandoned the required use of 1-11 for the starters and squad numbers became the rules during the 1993-94 English Premier League season. Nowadays most of the top football leagues in the world adopted the squad numbers system.


Because the assignment of jersey numbers by football position is a tradition and not a rule, teams are free to give numbers to their players as they want.

Assignment by alphabetical order:  During 3 consecutive World Cups (1974, 1978, and 1982) Argentina numbered the team alphabetically by surname


In SOCCER, the fans are dubbed the 12th player because their support is equal to having an additional player on the field. Some football clubs that received strong support from fans, retire the number 12 jersey to honor them.

Thus, Fenerbahce, RC Lens, Bayern Munich, Feyenoord, Portsmouth, Dynamo Kiev, Lazio or Zenith St. Petersburg are some of the clubs where the number 12 has been permanently withdrawn to pay tribute to the loyalty of supporters.



So player numbers have a range of significance. From allowing umpires and the supporters to easily identify players on a team to supporting a players story, the number means everything.





How Beautiful was my Grandmother

Inspiration for Brides  Click here to discover inspiration for the modern bride


Inspiration from Days Gone By


Last November, our son was married and his bride decided at the last minute to ask family members, from both sides of the family, for a photo of themselves on their wedding day.  Other generations were discovered in the mix as we dived around in long forgotten albums and boxes.

The bride then placed these photos in simple frames on a mantle where, as we walked into the reception venue, we were greeted by the smiling faces of present and past family members on their wedding day. Two combined families of brides and grooms!


What a cultural story – Two families with different heritages united in the similarities of their wedding celebrations. Its hard to explain the feeling but that sense of identity, belonging and the immediate interest and stories that were found in that small space during the evening connected us, wound back the clock and gave us a perspective of where we exist in time. As we stepped into the future with our new bride and groom, the photos brought joy, memories and soul to the occasion.


Keeping our family photos in good order is part of our legacy.


I particularly loved the photos that were pre – colour film (1945) which are hand painted and finished.  The subtle colours of pinks, blues, yellows and greens were often painted to show the colour of the flowers, a head piece or part of the wedding dress.


It amazes me that people bring these beautiful photos in to our showroom to be framed and don’t realize the historical value of these as an art piece, as well as a valuable family memento.


The so-called golden age of hand-coloured photography in the western hemisphere occurred between 1900 and 1940.

By the 1950s, the availability of colour film all but stopped the production of hand-coloured photographs. (Wikipedia)


Have you discovered any of these hand painted, valuable family photos in your albums or photo boxes?  Any pre digital photos need to be stored correctly to ensure they survive the generations.

  • Keep them out of any light and air
  • Store them in a sealed space so damp and mould cannot get in.
  • Don’t let them touch any wood, paper or other acid products that can cause ‘foxing’.


These photos become fragile with light and air, so the best way to store them is in a custom frame. It covers all of the above criteria to ensure they are in good condition for future generations to enjoy.


So, to help you on your journey to save, enjoy and keep your family photos as part of your story telling, we now offer photo reproduction through digital imaging.


You may like to bring in one or two of your favourite family images to have reproduced and re framed to begin your family story.  Young children delight in pictures and stories of family occasions.


You can give your old photos a ‘lift’ with a new frame to suit your modern house décor or keep them in a more traditional look. When you choose a custom, conservation frame it will keep your photos in good condition for generations to come.


We also offer story boards of your family photos, complete with text that you may like to add. We can print these to canvas for a more casual look in your beachside home.


Keeping it in the family….about the family….for the family…

Warm regards


The Affordable Art Collection

The Affordable Art Collection

Featured Art – Latest addition to my collection:  “Cracks in the Pavement” multi media on canvas by local artist Jane Hoggard.


We’ve all thought about art collecting at some stage.  We’ve had visions of grand houses with extensive walls being adorned with masterpieces that extend from wall to wall, ceiling to floor, with ornate and layered framing that all scream out ..”Hello … I’m a famous art collection”.  And of course, we think of the security that goes with it, and the insurance policy.

Whilst some are fortunate to be able to do this, an art collection doesn’t have to be big.

Here on the East Coast, we live in a culturally enriched environment saturated with art of many forms. If you keep your eye out, art collecting can be easy, affordable and enjoyable.

Here’s a few tips I stick to:

  • The best collections start small and are gathered over a period of time.
  • Don’t be afraid to select small pieces.
  • Your collection should include only those pieces that truly sing to you. Love what you buy.
  • Choose a theme – like coastal, environment, abstract art, figurative, drawings, indigenous, female artists, male artists…..
  • Make sure it fits your space and  your walls and that it looks good in your home/office. You have to live with it.
  • Visit your local galleries, art space and places like Coastal Framing and Design to find the emerging artists whose work may increase in value.
  • Learn more about art or do some yourself – join a group, do an online course so you can articulate features about the art.
  • Set a budget – plan to spend money on art and go about acquiring the pieces you can afford.   Think limited edition prints, post cards, framed or unframed or that one, special original.


In the past, like ‘back in the day’, Rex and I have had large houses with the luxury of large art works with big frames being the feature. Living in a small regional country community, we’d go along to our local art exhibitions to feast on the scones, cucumber sandwiches and tiny quiches, washed down with bubbly.  Everyone knew each other and it was always polite, if not expected, that you would purchase a piece of art.  In some cases, you’d arrive early to get the red dot on the art work you wanted.


Our art collection is not extensive but we have a personal connection with each artist.  They include Rod Bax and Russell Morrison, two great South Australian artists, whose art is now recognised globally.  They were a good investment, affordable at the time but greatly increased in value over the years.

These works are presently in storage until we have bigger walls to hang them on and of course, a framer who has the time to update them with a conservation frame and a more modern look.  It’s a good idea to swap the art work around from time to time to allow them a ‘rest’ from your walls and a time away from the light.


These days, just like many of you here on the coast, we have a small apartment near the beach.  The walls spaces are fewer and the window spaces larger.

However, this doesn’t stop me pondering the eye catching work of our local artists. I’m not fussy about how popular or famous these artists are.  If a small piece resonates with me, I ask if I can purchase it.  Alternatively, we check out the local galleries and coffee shops as this often presents the opportunity to discover an unknown artist.  I often buy the printed gift cards, or limited edition prints that are available as these can all be framed for interesting pieces.

One of the best things about working here at Coastal Framing, is meeting many artists and experiencing their amazing work. Whether it’s photography, original art, sculpture, 3D or limited edition prints, it’s always exciting and inspirational to hear the artist’s story and learn about their journey. We are honoured to frame their art work and we have a discerning selection in our apartment.


Our art work collection includes:  Suzanne Healy, Ian Tremewan, Lorraine Abernethy, Kathryn Cleland, Rosemary Upton, Phil Barron, and Jane Hoggard.  Most of these artists have exhibited at the Murwillumbah Regional Gallery, many of them after I had recognised their talent and added their work to my collection

So if you are starting out here on the coast,  procure those art works that appeal to you for whatever reason. Support the local artists as this is their work.  For many, it is their living.  And who knows?  If you choose wisely, your art collection may increase in value over time.

When you go to your next exhibition, gallery opening or a gallery visit, do yourself and an artist a favour by just acknowledge something….whether purchasing an original, a print, a card, or simply making the time to give a comment, or add a review on social media …..

 Buying art adds personality to your home.  Always thank an artist for adding something special to your day.


Here’s a few local artists that I am keeping an eye out for:  You can Google them all for more details. 

  • Helen McCullough – Fenton and Fenton
  • Leah Thiessen (Art Piece Gallery) Dirt Music latest framed art work.
  • Jane Hoggard – Murwillumbah Art Trail and Coastal Framing and Design
  • Phil Barron – Murwillumbah Art Trail
  • Trish Callaghan – Murwillumbah Art Trail
  • Rosemary Upton – D Bar Gallery
  • Jo Biles (Banana Lounge)
  • Barbara E Bear – Illustrator Tyalgum
  • Matt Ottley Limited Edition Prints – Illustrator of books- Teacup/Suri’s Wall Uki


MURWILLUMBAH ART TRAIL – Get started with your collection!   May 25th – May 30th.

Trish Callaghan in the Sugar Beat Cafe and Coffee Shop

Jane Hoggard in the Pink Tavern

Phil Barron – M-Arts .. ‘quirky artist’s studios that are created in an industrial shed where art lovers can come view and buy art”. 

Jo Biles –  M-Arts

Yellow Brick Studio is also a great supporter of our business. 



And then there’s the photographers… I’ll talk about them in another blog.


Happy Collecting for now


Dancing in the Moulin Rouge

Can Can anyone?  Learning the ‘Can Can’, surviving the Paris street bombing, living away from home and learning the French language was all part of the journey for our Coastal Framing customer, Holly.


I did a double take when I rolled Holly’s signed poster out on the Framing Table.  Moulin Rouge?  Sydney?  No.  Paris of course.  This vivacious young lady had just returned from Paris for a home visit between jobs as a dancer at the real, totally authentic and exciting, Moulin Rouge.

A farewell gift from her dancing colleagues in Paris, Holly was having it framed up so memories could be fresh and relived.  I had so many questions to ask Holly as we designed the simple frame that she agreed to email me her story.


So read on, imagine the colour, the music, the shapely long legs and the stage as you share her experience and indulge yourself in a real life story of a young, local girl, her travel, working life and adventure.


My first impression of Paris wasn’t a nice one. I didn’t start to fall in love with the city until I learnt my way around and found the shops I would like and use. I didn’t get use to that until after the rehearsal period. Moulin Rouge on the other hand I loved. The building was so much bigger then I thought… actually everything in Paris was so much bigger, especially the Eiffel Tower, which was by far my favourite place. I watched the show for the first time on my 2nd day of rehearsal and I fell in love instantly.


The first month or so was just a giant blur. Everything went so quickly and before I knew it, I was performing with the other 40 people in the cast. I was the youngest by about 3 years. There were dancers there old enough to be my parents. That was strange. I was very lucky in the fact that about 45% of the cast were Australian so I was surrounded by people who were also so far away from home and understood the struggles. It does take a little while to settle in with the cast. Some people have been in the show for 20 years so they just get in a do their job. But its just like a huge family. Every birthday they throw a little party and all holidays are celebrated to the fullest even though most of the time you are working.


I have been training hard core since I was 3 years old, In all styles and all around Australia. So I was so ready for this adventure. It was the next step.  It made sense. Performing on stage feels like home. So just moving onto the Moulin stage felt comfortable and a little surreal.


A typical day for me was waking up around 12pm. We wouldn’t finish our shows till 2am so that’s why our days start then haha, no judging. If we didn’t have rehearsals that day I would do the daily chores like anyone would- like grocery shopping, cleaning and just hanging out with friends. At 7:30pm I would go into work and begin my makeup and warm up. At 9pm the show would start. At 11pm the 2nd show would start. We would have around a 20min break in between while the audiences swapped over. Sometimes my friends and I, after we finished, would go out for drinks or a late snack. We needed to wind down, always high on adrenaline at 2am. And Paris is a night life city which was lucky for us with our schedule. Then would have a nice long sleep to get ready and do it all over again.


Learning the Can Can and all the technique has been the hardest thing stamina wise I have done in my career so far. Every kick and jump spilt is so precise and the movement is so fast. Also having a group of 14 girls staying together with correct timing requires lots of rehearsals. Your body obviously gets tired and sore and things snap and break but its just part of the job. Most professionals have been working at this their entire lives so its nothing new to us. Just have to keep your body strong and make sure you look after yourself. That alone is a job in itself.


There are over 30 different costume changes among us during each show. Each costume is hand made by dressers that work around the clock and are worth a fortune. Most are covered in real Swarovski crystals. Also all the hair/head pieces and big feathers we wear on our backs for most numbers which weigh around 5kgs each.


The hardest thing for me living in Paris was the language. Trying to sort out apartments, bills, banking, tax etc., all in a foreign country was hard. Let alone doing it for the first time ever in my life. For the first year I lived on my own and in my 2nd year I moved in with one of the Male dancers in the show. Also the winter time is just miserable.


The best thing about living in Paris besides having my dream job and being surrounded by amazing people and friends I have for life, is that everything in Europe is so close so I got to see a lot of different countries as well. I loved travelling and having little holidays with friends.


This didn’t happen often but the greatest nights at work were when things went wrong. When music stuffs up and everyone is on stage not knowing what to do, when people don’t make it on stage in time and everyone is in the wrong positions, When the lighting goes all wrong. Little things like that make it very entertaining for the dancers on stage. Doing the same show two times a night does get a little boring so we like to play little games onstage just to keep it interesting and for a laugh. But the best fun always happens back stage. I always say it should be a reality TV show. What happens in the dressings rooms is always so entertaining with millions of pranks and really bad singing?


Next I am travelling on a cruise ship with my Sister, ready to dance our way around the ocean.


I’m looking forward to this and will give you an update at a later stage.



The Power of Papyrus


FROM AROUND THE FRAMING TABLE  I’ve always been fascinated by papyrus which is an ancient version of what we know as paper.  It’s made form the pith of the papyrus plant, Cyprus Papyrus and is first known to have been used in Ancient Egypt. It’s a wetland plant that was once abundant in the Nile Delta of Egypt.  The Ancient Egyptians used papyrus as a writing material as well as in the construction of other artifacts such as reed boats, mats, rope, sandals and baskets.

Due to what’s been happening in the Middle East over the last few years, framing papyrus has been few and far between.  However, last week I was excited to have the most exquisite piece brought in by Carmel Glenane, a local spiritual, tour guide leader who takes groups of people into Egypt so they can experience this ancient civilisation and hopefully, bring back their memories in a beautiful papyrus to frame.  Carmel’s business is ‘Atlantis Rising Healing Centre” in Coolangatta, where you can experience her work, along with viewing other papyrus framed by us in previous years.

I welcomed the opportunity to ask Carmel to explain to me the significance of the art work, entitled “The Last Judgment” and here is Carmel’s explanation.


“The Last Judgment” is considered the most important belief in Ancient Egypt. It follows the journey of the deceased, who is to be finally judged by the great God Osiris.

Ancient Egyptians believed in the sacred “Law of Maat” where the deceased weight of his/her heart was considered the final verdict of how an Egyptian life was lived.

The heart is the oracle and its measurements carefully and precisely weighed. Paradise was available if the heart was as “light as a feather,” (you can see the feather on the scales).

For the ancient Egyptians, living a balanced life was essential to remind them to keep their hearts “feather light” for the weighing.

I feel today we must remember what the ancients teach us. The mind wasn’t weighed, only the heart.

Feed your heart love, every day. Remind yourself to be truthful, and say “Heart I Love You”.


Read more from Carmel about her enlightening, spiritual tours and what she can offer you with your own Egyptian journey…In her own words…..


Blessings Jen and thank you for inviting me to share the story of the Ancient Egyptian Papyrus.    Here is more to the story.




Witnessing exquisite Egyptian artwork on papyrus as it demonstrates the extraordinary precision in nature, architecture, every day and Temple life of the Ancient Egyptians, becomes reborn again as the detailed, hand painted papyrus is carefully rolled and brought home from its land of birth.

I am a spiritual tour leader, and have lead fourteen journey with groups to Egypt next since 2001.


I am grateful to draw on the journey and relive my transformative experiences when Jen patiently and lovingly delves into her treasure trove of glorious frames and mouldings, breathing new life into the exquisite artwork.


We replicate the detailed, geometrically perfect artwork as our papyrus reveals even more magic when hung in our homes, and in my case, my business.

Immortal art deserves the best, as it reflects a civilisation which creates peace, order, and balance in all of life.  This philosophy is called the Law of Maat.  Meaning a system of justice bringing order and harmony in all of life.

Ancient Egyptian art was an honoured craft. Highly trained scribes, Priestesses and Priests gave instructions to artisans to relive the vision of a civilisation, which was known as the mightiest in the ancient world.

When you gaze lovingly on a Temple masterpiece papyrus, its meaning can effect a profound shift in consciousness.  For myself, just reflecting on the symmetry, the balance between the masculine and feminine, brings me peace. There is a feeling of awe, tranquility and belief that a society was able to create a vision of such “Justice”.

Our relationship with art is personal as it reflects our heart’s message to us through the visual medium.

Reflecting on artwork in a person’s environment, lovingly framed, enables you to get to know the person intimately, and how they bring to their world what is important to them. You understand their world and make the energetic shift to a shared consciousness.


Earthing our art with inspirational framing brings joy not only to ourselves, but others.

In November, as I prepare for my next tour taking groups into the mysteries of this ancient civilisation, I know the power of witnessing this civilization. It reveals itself again and again bringing the miracle of the mysteries alive in my heart, and in the hearts of those who travel with me.

Feel the surrender as you relive the power of ancient Egypt in her transformative healing artwork.

Join me in November to see and feel this ancient civilisation.

Full details on my web site:


Carmel Glenane

Atlantis Rising Healing Centre

Coolangatta Queensland Australia



African Gallery Wall for Casuarina Home


How exciting and rewarding was it to create this collection of photos for Jeanette’s African Gallery, now hanging in her entrance lobby in Casuarina.  It was such a pleasure to hear Jeanette’s stories of adventure and create her African photo wall with her.


A photo wall is a fabulous way to relive memories of special events, holidays, family occasions, baby and children photos and even your favourite landscape images.

I’ve done a few now and every one is unique, exciting and rewarding.  Read on to relive her African adventure story in her own words.  It’s fascinating and it makes me want to go to Africa.


Jeanette’s Story as told by her……..From around the Framing Table. 

My trip to Africa was eighteen months in the planning.  My cousin and his mate worked in Africa for three years after completing their engineering degree in the early 70’s.  They decided to put together their tailor- made tour of Africa.  They contacted a travel agent in Sydney who specialised in custom made tours.  After much deliberation, they came up with the trip of a lifetime. There were only eight of us in the group. When my cousin Bob told me about the trip he was planning, I was so envious and then he told me, there is one spot left.  So there I was…on my way to Africa.


We flew from Sydney to Perth to Johannesburg to Kigali, the capital of Rwanada.  Kigali was totally different to what I imagined as it was so clean, no graffiti and no rubbish on the street. We then travelled to the Virunga Mountains.  We hiked for a day into the Mountains to find the Silverback Gorilla family.  As they are endangered, only 8 people per day are able to visit a family.  We had guides who led us through the bush for two hours before we found a family of about twenty gorillas, led by a magnificent Silverback.  They were having a rest in a clearing and we joined their party.  We had strict instructions as to what to do when approaching.  I found them totally overwhelming as they are so human- like and so peaceful. an unbelievable experience. We were only able to spend one hour with them.


A three week old baby gorilla, (which is one of my favourite photos, Jen popped into the second row of my collage), was being watched very closely by his older brother. The baby is fascinated with my shoe laces and every time he gets close to my shoe, his brother pulls him back. When the hour is almost up, our guide tells us quietly that we only have two more minutes.  The largest Silverback seems like he has a time watch.  He gets up, stretches, beats his chest and runs off into the bush and the others follow.

In my collection, I have one of the Silverback, and two of the baby.  Jen recaptured the Silverback’s magnificence by placing this image in a larger box frame.  He sits in the top row holding court and overlooking to the other animals in the collage.

The next day, another hike into the area of the Virunga mountains to discover the Golden Monkeys.  These are even more endangered than the Silverbacks. They are here in the hundreds and are much more difficult to photograph on my old Canon 1300D,  as they are moving so quickly.

From Kigali we caught a small plane via Mwanza to Kogatende airstrip in Serengeti.  Most of my photos are taken in the northern part of Serengeti when we went on a Game Safari.

We witnessed the gathering of the herds of wilderbeast on the banks of the Masai Mara and the experience of seeing nearly every other African species was spectacular.  We stayed in a ‘tent’ camp on the edge of the Mara River and went to sleep with the sound of the wilderbeast.

We visited Ngorongoro Crater which hosts nearly every African species, then onto the Tarangire National Park where my favourite of favourites, the photos of the leopards were taken.

The trip also took me to Zanzibar, Okavango Delta, Zambia, Livingstone and Victoria Falls.  We finished our trip in Capetown where I purchased a large canvas painting of a leopard.

On my return to Casuarina, I needed a good framer.  Coastal Framing and Design was recommended by a friend.  Good Choice. The leopard hangs in my stair well, and this was when I decided to make my entrance hall below it, my African Wall Gallery.

Jen listened to my stories, designed my wall with care and imagination. She has made my average photos into a work of art.  The framing is superbly crafted and I’m so happy with the finished job. I can look at the wall of photos and relive every moment of my time in Africa. My theory is proven.  If you take enough photos, some of them have to turn out alright!

Thanks Jeanette for sharing this wonderful adventure.  I look forward to the next story from Around the Framing Table. 


Around the Framing Table – Stories to be Told

The framing table in our showroom is a table full of stories, memories and adventures that are shared by those who come in to frame up their art works, travel pieces, memorabilia and keepsakes.  The timber is not only scratched, etched and marked with time, but holds stories

and memories of days gone by, local history and exciting adventures.  Each day we learn something new about the world as people come in to chat, share their favourite holiday places, family events, family history or something exciting they want to preserve.

Today an upbeat, baby boomer couple came in to collect their refurbished, magnificent limited edition print of Brett Whitely’s.  It was a gift from Whitely to his father many years ago. The customer shared the story of how, as a young lad, he went around in a van selling cigarettes.  One of his regular customers was Brett Whitley.  Needless to say, the couple were ecstatic with the ‘make over’ as Brett was transformed and preserved in deep Mahogany and beautiful Museum glass.  That art work was going ‘straight to the Pool Room…”

An incredible link in this Sydney based story was that in the same week, we were treated to the opening night of the Sydney Opera House.  A very ‘stately’, elderly couple came in with two pieces of memorabilia showcasing a series of black and white photos and newspaper clippings featuring themselves performing at the Opera House Theatre. Hawaiian shirts and sombreros were a feature, along with sailors and minstral themes.   Here’s a little of the headlines:

“Opera House Lights up for a Party”… “Gala at the Opera House”….”Ladies and Gentlemen, please take your seats, the show is about to commence…”  “The ceremony began with a fanfare of trumpets and ended seven glittering hours later with ‘cheek to cheek” dancing on rich, purple pile…”    (The SUN Wednesday July 18, 1973).

We are constantly reminded of how unique our business is as it contributes to the preservation of memories, the sharing of knowledge and experiences that make up the lives of people from all walks of life who come into our shop every single day. We connect people, and in a place like Tweed Heads, so close to the Airport where people come and go as they travel near and far, connections have proven to be sometimes surprising.  Conversations strike up as people chat and compare their art works making our showroom a happy place.


Art can be many forms, but to surround the art you love with a well designed custom frame that becomes part of the story is the BEST art you could possibly have.


So on that note, we welcome you to our first blog and hope you hang around for the next story shared at our framing table.  Maybe it will be yours!


Photo:  The old Brett Whitely ready for a make over.  The same day…A Ken Done ready for a make over.  It was definitely our ‘Sydney’ artist week! 


From Around the Framing Table

Jen and Rex