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Cross Country Grumble Visits

wendy lang

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Wavy! Once you get really going on your trip, don't forget to stop in to the Art Corner in beautiful, historic Salem, MASS. See first-hand how we came through our horrible fire with flying colors! Yes, Virginia, there IS a Silver Lining!

Wendy
The Art Corner
264 Washington St
Salem, MA
978-745-9524
artcornersalem#verizon.net
 

The Wavy Framer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I told you'd like Santa Barbara!!

If I could sell my shop and buy a small winery or B&B, I'd be there like this Saturday!!!
WELL?!? What are you waiting for? Get your arse over here and we will partner up and have a winery with a frame shop and gallery!!!! Oh, we will be rolling in the dough (and wine)! :)

Wendy, I am looking forward to meeting you and seeing your place!!

Sarah, I had no idea you once lived in the SB area!! I wish I was traveling your way. It would be cool to catch up and see your beautiful little ones. :)
 

The Wavy Framer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Yesterday I visited Alisa Spaulding, owner of The Frame Gallery in Agoura Hills, www.daframegallery.com 40 or so miles South of Santa Barbara. She is a beautiful lady with a beautiful shop! But naturally, the reason I truly loved her shop was Kitty, a 17 year old Siamese cat who is so gosh darn cute, I couldn't keep my hands off her! Kitty's name is short for an Australian name which I can't remember. And neither can Alisa's customers, hence, the name Kitty. While visiting with Alisa and petting Kitty, my bratty cat Sabastian was in the car and I know even he, who does not get along with other cats, would have fallen for Kitty. How could he not? She is a beautiful blue eyed older gal!

Alisa purchased her frame shop from her father and has been in business for about 17 years. It is obviously successful due to Alisa's hard work and determination. I have always been a firm believer in keeping a frame shop fresh by changing things often. Alisa subscribes to this belief as well, by changing the art themes on the walls every month and half or so! Awesome!

Thanks Alisa for spending some time with me. I wish I had more time in the area so I could see your shop after the changes.

See the blog for cute Kitty pics!
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
And if you're visiting Wendy, hop over to Gloucester!!!! It's just over the 128 bridge.

I won't have a job for you,but it will be nice to chat and so on. If you know when and let me know, I'll bake cookies and we can munch!
 

The Wavy Framer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Thanks Ylva! I look forward to the cookies... uh, I mean, meeting you :)

I will be in Tucson and Phoenix for the next 3 or 4 days. I would love to see more Grumblers.... Any in this area?

Then on to Albuquerque and Santa Fe....
 

Pat Murphey

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Beckinator, from the land of the Governator,

We are watching! When you get to the East coast, we'll add some more invitations.
 

mikki

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Hi Becky, Nice to have met you at PPFA! After I got home and back on the G I remember your pic. now.

If you go I-40 through Tennessee give a holler!

Can't offer you the guest room the sonis in it and I have a cat hateing little wennie dog. ( Don't know how he go that hate unless he feels it from the BF! I love um.) But no dog at the shop so he can come in there!
 

The Wavy Framer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Last Thursday I visited grumbler John Baker (JRB) in San Diego. John posts regularly on the grumble and it is apparent he knows what he is talking about when it comes to framing, but I was often unable to understand his humor. Meaning, I did not always know if his post was humorous, or if he was just being a curmudgeon. Well, it only took about 3 minutes of being around John before I discovered his wickedly funny sense of humor. He told me, in a serious tone of voice, to be careful in his shop, as he was anal about neatness. It was visually obvious he was no curmudgeon!

John also has a soft spot for injured and homeless animals. The shop dog, Murph, was homeless and then rescued by John as was the shop pigeon. Yes, I said pigeon! John rescued an injured pigeon and gave her a home and an opportunity to get better. There is also a shop cat, Bucket, pictured above (see blog). John's little pet menagerie was fun and that alone was worth the stop, but there is more, much more.

While John, Murph and myself went for a walk along the ocean cliff side, I told John of my plans to move back East and look for a job in framing. He then told me about how he started his framing business with nothing and made a successful shop with just the determination to not starve. It is amazing how the need for food can fuel a man to find people who want something framed. Canvasing neighborhoods with fliers without skipping the run down homes and talking to people is how he started. Johns first shop sign was written on plain brown craft paper. John wasn't just telling me "I did it, so can you". It was more than that. It was encouragement. According to John, all I need is a simple mat cutter and a vise for slip joints. Along with the desire to work hard and not be afraid to ask someone to pay $5 for a custom framing job just to eat a burger.

My visit with John will not be forgotten. I left his place with some new confidence and excitement for returning home and beginning a new chapter in framing. Weather or not I start a business out of the garage, as he suggested, will remain an unknown for now, but the important thing that came from this is the belief that I can do it, if I want to. Thanks John, for all the encouragement, ideas and the time you gave so freely.

As it turns out writing is therapeutic, but also very time consuming. I'll save my visit with Rob Markoff and the 2 shops in Arizona I visited yesterday for the next entry. Stay tuned..... one of the shops in Arizona actually had a great 2009!

Thanks Pat and Mikki, I am hoping to see you soon. I am in Arizona for at least one more day, maybe two. Then off to New Mexico. After that I should be putting the miles behind me very quickly.

I am still hoping to hear from more grumblers in the Southwest!


-Becky
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
I hope we don't have to wait another five days! I LOVE the blog.

How far did you make it after you left my shop?
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
Becky, I love it too! What a nice story you wrote about your visit with me, thank you. I enjoyed your visit and chatting with you, it was fun. I also appreciate you not messing up my shop, you were very careful, good job!

I will show your portrait of Bucket to her tomorrow, I an sure she will approve.

John
 

The Wavy Framer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I hope we don't have to wait another five days! I LOVE the blog.

How far did you make it after you left my shop?
Well, at least it wasn't five days this time! After I left your place, I did drive to Indio and wanted to stop there, but it was too early, so I kept on going to Blythe. Pretty boring, but it was an hour or so closer to Tuscon.


Becky, I love it too! What a nice story you wrote about your visit with me, thank you. I enjoyed your visit and chatting with you, it was fun. I also appreciate you not messing up my shop, you were very careful, good job!

I will show your portrait of Bucket to her tomorrow, I an sure she will approve.

John
Thanks John! :)
 

The Wavy Framer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
My visit with Rob Markoff at his business Artageous! was fabulous. If there is ever a frame shop that is a destination, it is Rob and Barbara Markoffs place. So, if you are in the area call and arrange a visit. You will not regret it, you will take away many great ideas on shop design and organization, as well as a lesson or two on successful business practices. One of the things I liked the most the was how they have arranged the liner and fillets behind the design counter using what I would describe as a low wall of book shelves and drawers. Finding a particular fillet or liner would be quite easy. I have always valued good organization in a frame shop, as that is how I am most productive and happy, and Artrageous takes it to a new level. By the way, there is not only a design counter, but also a few free standing design tables with chairs. Very nice.

One thing stood out far above all of the business and that was Rob himself. I can't imagine a nicer or more accommodating person. He was very gracious in showing me around and made me feel as though I was a visiting friend, not just a framer stopping by to say hello. It was a very nice feeling.

Then there is Robs vast knowledge of framing, building and installing art. I am waiting for some one to invent a way to download a human brain into another. I here by put my request in to be first in line for a copy of both Rob and Barbara's knowledge.

Rob was kind enough to buy me lunch. I wish I could remember the name of the burger joint we went to. It was one of the best burgers I have had in while! It was just Rob and I at lunch. I hope it wasn't too obvious that I was nervous. In a previous blog entery I mentioned how I felt I was in the presence of celebrity when among the instructors at WCAF and the PPFA convention. Well, Rob is among them. So yeah, I was nervous, at first. Though it wasn't but a few minutes before he made comfortable again. What a NICE guy!

So, thanks again, Rob. Your kindness was very much appreciated.

Last Monday (I think it was Monday, all the days seems to run together now), I visited the Fast Frame in Chandler, Arizona owned by Tracy Morse www.fastframe109.com. I am, once again, very glad I stopped in to say hi. Tracy was welcoming of a traveling framer and very willing to take time to talk. I was very happy to learn that Tracy has been busy. Her shop has been progressively better with each passing year. Yes, that means she had a great 2009! It was so refreshing to hear a frame shop owner who could say business has been good. For that alone was well worth my time to stop in. I left her shop feeling good knowing that if one person can do it, so can many more. The business is there, it just takes more effort to get it.

A good part of Tracy's success is due to the corporate art market. She is a disciple of Barbara Markoff and actually had a pre-press copy of Barbara's soon to be available book "Becoming A Corporate Art Consultant". Read more here: http://www.healthcarefineart.com/2009/12/interview-with-art-consultant-barbara-markoff-.html The funny part of this was that we had been talking for a while before I mentioned my visit with Rob Markoff. It was then that Tracy said she needed to show me something. It was the book! I love how one visit to a frame shop can tie to another. The framing community seems so small at times.

So Tracy had taken a class of Barbara's on corporate art and then applied the things she learned to go out and successfully get the business. How awesome is that?! Before I had met Tracy, I was very anxious to read the book, because Baer Charlton told me at WCAF that I MUST read it, and now, after seeing Tracy put the knowledge to good use, I am even more excited. Thanks Tracy, I enjoyed our visit and hope to catch up you with again sometime.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
Shucks....

Gee Becky, all along Barbara has been telling me not to be so hard on myself as there are probably people who have not met me who still like me and then you write this.........

Our visit was all too short and yes, the timing was a just bit off as Carol Graham (the FrameReady Carol) and her husband, Warren were visiting from Petrolea, Canada - after the PPFA Convention in Anaheim.

We would love to have you stay with us, so after you realize that leaving California was a terrible mistake :) and do the journey in reverse, come back to San Diego and spend more time with Barbara, me and JRB. Or if you get too cold in NH, come to warm up!

The burger joint we went to is called, Bangin Burgers, and I am glad you liked it.

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/27/1484968/restaurant/Miramar/Bangin-Burgers-San-Diego

It is too cool that you met Tracy Morse, especially following our brief time together. Talk about a motivated person! She and Barbara communicate on a regular basis and we are so proud of her success. She took Barbara's coaching to heart and found that Barbara's methods really do work!

Safe travels. I hope you make it to Albuquerque and Sante Fe. There are great framers there too!
 

Paul N

In Corner
Gee Becky, all along Barbara has been telling me not to be so hard on myself as there are probably people who have not met me who still like me and then you write this.........
C'mon Rob, it's an open secret that you have a heart of gold....:)

Thanks for taking care of our Bohemian Becky!
 

Candy

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Just wanted to let you know that I am enjoying your posts about your trip. I look for it before I go to bed.
 

JWB9999999

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
If you end up cutting across the middle of Mississippi on I-20, you'll pass right through Meridian, where my shop is. Would be happy to meet you and show you around. It's a small town, but it's home now. :)

If you take a southerly route and cross from Louisiana to Alabama along the coast on I-10 (i.e. after visiting New Orleans), there are quite a few frame shops in the Gulfport/Biloxi area of Mississippi. I've visited several myself. I don't think any of them Grumble, but I'm sure they'd be happy for you to stop in.

John
 

The Wavy Framer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Gee Becky, all along Barbara has been telling me not to be so hard on myself as there are probably people who have not met me who still like me and then you write this.........
ooops, did I let the cat out of the bag? Sorry :)
Thanks for mentioning Carol and Warren. I didn't want to say that I had forgotten their names. I need to start writing these things down, or at least not wait a week before I write my post!

Yes, it won't be long before the regret of leaving california envelopes me completely. So I'll phone you before my arrival :)



Thanks for taking care of our Bohemian Becky!
Oh, a new nick name.... I likey! :)

Just wanted to let you know that I am enjoying your posts about your trip. I look for it before I go to bed.
Thanks Candy! I don't think I will have another post until the middle of next week, after I visit New Mexico.

If you end up cutting across the middle of Mississippi on I-20, you'll pass right through Meridian, where my shop is. Would be happy to meet you and show you around. It's a small town, but it's home now. :)

If you take a southerly route and cross from Louisiana to Alabama along the coast on I-10 (i.e. after visiting New Orleans), there are quite a few frame shops in the Gulfport/Biloxi area of Mississippi. I've visited several myself. I don't think any of them Grumble, but I'm sure they'd be happy for you to stop in.

John
I'll look at the road map and see what I can do. I have not chosen a route after I leave New Mexico but chances are, I will not be going that far South :(

Thanks everyone, for all the positive comments and encouragement. It helps knowing you are interested in reading about the journey. I wish I was able to meet each of you.
 

shayla

WOW Framer
Becky, I'm glad your trip is going well.
I was following this thread and then didn't
for a few days. It was nice tonight to notice
that it's had so many posts. I read every one
to catch up, and it sounds like you're having
the kind of adventure for which you had hoped.

I know that Washington wasn't on the way,
but consider yourself hugged from this girl, too.
I've met one Grumbler so far, Dawn Stendin,
and we had a great time. What you said about
not knowing how to take John Baker reminds
me of the visit we had. After Dawn and I had
been with each other for about half an hour,
she told me that she hadn't been quite sure
how to take me in the months since I had
joined. Then she said, 'Now that I've met
you and can see who you are, please don't
change a thing about yourself. Just keep being
you!' That comment did so much to help me
feel accepted and understood.

I'm smiling to think of you, John and Murph
on that walk. :)
 

Smile with Style

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Great meeting you!

Becky,
I'm sorry that Warren and I got the 'guest' room at Chez Markoff (and in the same breath, we were so lucky to stay there! The room is absolutely wonderful; as is their entire home!) So, if you are ever up in Canada - in little old Petrolia, Ontario - you will have a room waiting for you in our little house. We'd be happy to have you!

I agree with you on the great ideas we picked up from seeing how Barbara and Rob are using their space. Warren was fascinated with the design tables and how easily they could be altered to any height. I really liked the suspended, moveable display walls - so versatile!

Have a safe and happy journey!
 

The Wavy Framer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Shayla, thanks for the virtual hug. Traveling alone gets lonely sometimes. So having my grumble friends say kind words and give hugs has been so wonderful. All of my grumble friends keep me company during my hotel stays. I can't imagine my nights without the G.

Carol, I am happy you and Warren had a lovely time at Chez Markoff! It would have been nice if my timing has been different, but it all worked out really well anyway. If it had been any different, I would not have been able to see my friend in Tucson, as the day I saw her was the only day I could have. My mom always says, things work out the way they are supposed to. Thank you for the offer to stay in Canada! Maybe the next trip I take will be a cross Canadian one! :)

Before leaving Albuquerque I met another Grumbler, our very own Goddess of the Sheep, HannaFate. I am happy I was able make this stop happen. Hanna's art is very interesting, and her coloring books are lot of fun. I also got to ride in a very cool Buick station wagon as Hanna bought me lunch at Twisters. We both ordered a breakfast burrito. YUMMY!! Thanks Hanna for lunch and the buttons!

I am going to plan another trip to the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area someday. This area deserves a week or two to explore. The art and culture is well worth seeing.

I am in Eastern Oklahoma this morning and should be in Tennessee later today, and Richmond, Virginia by Saturday. There must be several Grumblers in these areas. I would love to stop and say hi, although time may keep that from happening. I want to be in Richmond by Saturday evening so I can spend Sunday with a friend.

I plan to stay in the Richmond and Washington DC area for a few days to explore.
 

mikki

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Here till 5 or so if you are on 40....Crossville/ Jamestown exit, right, 2or 3 miles to 70 E, left at light, one block on right! Here tom. too. Hour and half out of Nashville, top of the Plateau. I think I gave you my number in an earlier post. Hope you get to stop!
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Sure!!

I was just thinking you must like Rijsttafel as much as I do!!
Missed this post.... have been busy!

I loooooooove rijsttafel! My (step) grandmother was Indonesian, and I can still remember all the wonderful things she made. So many dishes to pick from.
I have a great Indonesian cookbook, so have made quite a few dishes to present for the rijsttafel. It's just so much work though.

As you know, the Indonesian kitchen doesn't really have deserts. One exception; spekkoek. But it takes hours to make.... have you ever had it????
 

mikki

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Boy am I not gonna be posted for the food if she makes it here! Usless she really like southern cooking...biscuits and gravy maybe or peanut butter pie?

Nothing exotic to eat here....might be able to find some peach moonshine or tenderloin. Grits?
 

Paul N

In Corner
As you know, the Indonesian kitchen doesn't really have deserts. One exception; spekkoek. But it takes hours to make.... have you ever had it????
I don't think I did Ylva. But sounds like cake with Bacon (Isn't "Spek" Dutch for Bacon??)

It is in German...(Speck)....:)
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Oh, your dutch is great Paul!!!

Yes, spek in dutch is a kind of bacon. The cake is not made with that though! It must have gotten its name because of the look (although I still don't see it)

Anyway, what it is; You make two different batters. One is colored (dark brown), the other is white. I can't remember what goes into it, lots of flavorful spices though.

You poor in one layer, 1/8" 'thick'. Put in oven, bake. Take out. Next layer in the other color, 1/8" thick. Put in oven bake. Take out.
Repeat above about 20 times....

It takes a whole day to make this!!! And I know because I've been silly enough to do it.

When I worked in Amsterdam in the art supply store, we had a customer who made this for us, regularly.

Other than that, the Indonesian kitchen does not have any special deserts. I don't mind, after rijsttafel I really don't want any desert!!!
 

blackiris

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
HEY BECKARONI!!!!!! I'm telling ya girl...........if you come NORTH a bit I SWEAR
I'll have a bed for you!!!!!!! ;)

Plus we have AWESOME MARGARITAS up here!!!!!

Hope you keep safe chickie! ;)
 

Paul N

In Corner
You poor in one layer, 1/8" 'thick'. Put in oven, bake. Take out. Next layer in the other color, 1/8" thick. Put in oven bake. Take out.
Repeat above about 20 times....
Oh man.....that brings back memories!

I made that cake (or something VERY similar!!) myself actually a few times when I was living in Germany. But it's called Baumkuchen (Tree Cake...because when you cut it, the layers look like a cut tree trunk).

And it does take a few hours to make.....and for best results it should rest in a cool place for a day or 2 (if you can wait that long!). But it's incredibly rich and delicious!!





Sorry Becky, I won't make that cake for you,. but I will cook something as good!!

;)
 

The Wavy Framer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Today I made it further than I thought! I am in Nashville! Drove over 500 miles... the most miles I have driven during this trip. So Mikki, I'll call you in the morning, I'd love to stop by for a bit.

Nicole!!!! That would be an expensive margarita..... Nashville to you.... 523 miles...... in the wrong direction! Not that you aren't worth it, you certainly are. But I gotta arrive in New Hampshire with something in my pocket other than lint and cat hair! :icon21:

OK, 600 miles on Saturday, hope I can make it. :icon45:
 

The Wavy Framer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I am not sure yet, but you know I am gonna stop to see you, if you are around! :thumbsup:

One of the things I love and hate at the same time during this trip is the "un-planned" part of it. So far it has all been played by ear. :eek:
 

Framar

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
By now you must be far better acquainted with the map of the USA than I am, but if you find yourself nearing Western New York - please let me know!!!

(Although I have been looking at maps lately because I would love to attend a wedding in New Orleans at the end of May and I am not willing to fly and I had this romantic notion of taking the train - including the "City of New Orleans" but discovered this would take almost three days each way) (*sigh*)
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Yes Paul, it looks very similar, but spekkoek is darker layered. Same amount of labor.... I would only make it again if I would be bored out of my mind with nothing better to do....

Same here Becky, I will bake cookies for you! When are you planning to arrive in NH? Or no firm plan? The weather has been okay, but not great. Except last weekend, when we sipped wine on our front porch.
 

mikki

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Becky just left a little while ago...couldn't talk her into any food! LOL!
But she gave me chocolate! I had hoped to talk her into framing with me for a day but she is off and away.

Brat is a beautiful cat!

Great visit..that was fun we should all plan trips and stop in at grumblers places!

Glad I was on the way!
 

The Wavy Framer

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Come on, Paul, make that cake for me...... :)

Ylva, as it looks right now, I should be in your area next weekend. But things change! Hopefully I will be able to give you a few days notice to get those cookies ready!

How about all of us grumblers play "Musical Grumble" and switch shops for a week? Sounds like fun, eh? Any grumblers in Hawaii? :)

Yes, Mark, I have been "stepping on it". Drove another 600 miles yesterday to Richmond, VA. I am a bit tired, I lost 2 hours with the time zone change and setting the clocks forward for Eastern Daylight Savings. Ugh!

One of the draw backs to stopping to visit grumblers, is that they are all such nice people. I find myself liking them enough to want to stay around and get to know them better, like being friends for real, not just on the grumble or facebook. So was the case with Grumbler, Mikki, from Crossville, Tennessee. I wish I had more time to spend with her. There must be some common traits among most framers that make us compatible.

Mikki has one of the cutest frame shops I’ve seen. Filled with many nice gift items and several framed pieces she designed which shows off her creative talent. I don’t know what happened to my brain while I was there; I left my camera in the car and never thought to get some pictures! I also can’t remember the name of Mikki’s friend who stopped in to say hello while I was there. Between the two of them and their Southern accents, I had a hard time NOT speaking with an accent myself. The urge was so strong! When I was about 7 years old my cousins from Savannah, Georgia came to live with us for a few months. I managed to pick up their accents and got teased for it at school! The accent felt natural to me.
Thanks Mikki, for taking the time out of your busy day to talk with me. If you ever want to sell that beautiful Chronomat mat cutter, call me first!
 
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