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Jacob loves to ride on the interstate. The speed, the semi's that join us on the road, the absence of traffic lights... he loves the interstate. So this morning after his swimming lesson, I drove him to downtown Des Moines and we visited the Art Store. I wanted to get a few more brushes and possibly a mat cutter for framing my paintings.

We browsed around and I found more Princeton brushes like the ones that I bought recently. Their tips are very springy. They're just excellent.

And I did indeed buy a mat cutter: the Logan 450.

My mom recently gave me a ton of mat board that she found at a garage sale, so I figured I would shave money by doing it myself.

Later this afternoon after the boys leave to go back to Jackie's I'll give it a try. I'd like to frame the smallish Maine Shore painting I did and put it on my desk at work.

Yesterday, a friend of mine at work came up to me. She's known that I've been offered permanent work at Wells and she saw photos of my family on my desk. That's a new development. Normally, I don't bring pictures to work because as a contractor, I'm more like a mercenary. I get in, do my thing, and then leave to serve someone else. But since I'm moving in, so to speak, pictures are essential. So Ellen asked me:

"Pictures? Plan to stay a while?"
"Yes," I replied. "I'm nesting."

I've noticed a recent change in my mindset. I now find myself more concerned with my image. Either position that I choose would be a step toward upper management, so gosh - should I ride my bike? Should I still paint at lunch? I've never really been concerned with such thoughts, which I think is linked to my having been a contractor, but I'll soon be *an employee.*

These have been fleeting thoughts, but ferchrissakes, what a bunch of hooey. My job shouldn't change me. As long as my work is done as expected, who cares? Such an attitude of moulding to the "corporate" image reminds me of a picture from Orbiting the Giant Hairball, where it shows the progression of the large-hearted, expressionsitic free spirit to the graph-papered, small-hearted, rigid automaton cut into the shape of a suited business person.

That's crap. People who worry too much about their image will never achieve great things for long, in large part because they'll ultimately be unhappy and they won't know who the hell they are. It's not a sustainable presence.

Besides, the business world needs more free spirits.

"You must do the things you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

I'm with her. She might have meant that in the context of achievement, but I also think it's true in the context of bending the rules. "Best practice" is never where new money is made. "Best practice" is simply an encapsulation of the rules as we have known them to be, which increasingly doesn't apply to now/today. The world is changing, and we need to be open to that and breathe it all in and know it for what it is, not what it was.

So I'll hang a sign that says, "LUNCH" over my desk when I paint while munching grapes. That should lead the expectations of others appropriately.

I also plan to bring all of my business books to work. Between the two, it might be a good conversation starter.

And of course, if I ever make it high enough in the organization, I plan to find a decent place to park my steed, rather than leaving my bike's seat and components to the elements. Now if I could only find a way to the dang thing through the turnstile security doors...

ETC: I've never cut a mat before and found it remarkably easy, even for all-thumbs me.

And the finished product...

4 x 6 Frame: $2.47 on sale at Target
Mat Board: Free, due to a thoughtful mother
Cutting your own mat and framing your own painting: priceless


by Brett Rogers, 8/27/2005 3:41:21 PM


All right, I'm gonna help you out a little on this matting thing you're trying.
The top and the two sides should be of equal width, and the bottom should be about 15% wider. Eyeball it, but that's the general rule.

Nice cutter, BTW.



Posted by Stefanie, 8/29/2005 5:46:29 PM

Nice to see you, Stefanie :)

Good info, I'll try that on the next one. (You've used one in the past I take it?)



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 8/29/2005 8:26:23 PM

Years ago I worked at an art gallery/framing & matting shop/photo studio.



Posted by Stefanie, 8/30/2005 3:00:27 PM

I like how your first try came out. Nice tool!



Posted by Anonymous, 8/31/2005 10:09:35 AM

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