Friday, June 5, 2009


What does one do with a degree in Art History, you ask? After graduating from college this art historian headed to the Museum of low-Tolerance: Hollywood. A mentally ill Van Gogh cut off his ear to spite his face (although some historians believe the ear incident actually occurred as a result of an argument with fellow painter Gauguin) and at times working in tinsel town made me want to lop off my ears so I wouldn't have to hear the nonsense anymore.Like post-impressionist Paris, tinsel town is infested with crazy people excusing their nutty behavior as “artistic expression.” My first job as a personal assistant found me navigating the rough seas of lala land in search of everything from pink wigs and African-American blow up dolls, to doggy umbrellas and pre-Raphaelite costumes. My favorite part of the job was when I’d just hang with my boss…hang pictures, that is. A hall in our office was dedicated to 8x10 headshots of our diva through the years, appropriately called “the hair museum.” Every Friday she’d bring in a new framed photo and my job (between grabbing her lunch, fluffing her pillows and delivering her daughters Girl Scout cookies) was to find a place to hang them. It was that job…on the famous Paramount lot in Hollywood…where I learned to hang a picture perfect frame!
It often drives me bonkers to see pictures hanging haphazardly on a wall so to straighten things out I use a few tricks:
1.) I tend to collect frames of the same size or, at least, the same color. Ikea is a great source for inexpensive, cool frames. If hanging photos of family, stay with either all color or all black and white.
2.) To hang frames of the same size in a line on a wall I'll lay the frames on the floor in the formation I want and measure from one end of the series to the other. I'll then place two nails, representing the beginning and end of the series (on the far left and far right). Once I've got the two nails in place (measuring from the floor to make sure both are even) I place a string from one nail to the other, giving a perfectly straight line to mark where the other nails will go.
3.) If I'm hanging a collection of photos in a hallway, I'll use painters tape to create a border between zones (like the photo above). I'll create a grid, hang the pictures and remove the painters tape when it's all done.
COST: Frames from $1.99/each at Ikea (
STRESS LEVEL: Hanging with ease: LOW