Q: I own some watercolor paintings. Is it really necessary to have a mat cut for them, in addition to the frame and glass?
A: Art dealer and framing expert Susan Calloway: Yes, you need a mat if you care about the art! The glass should never lay directly on the art. If any moisture ever gets in there, mold is likely to grow on the art, and often the art will end up adhering to the glass over time. This is a big no-no unless the art is worthless, but then why would you want to frame it? You could float-mount the art and use spacers to keep the glass off of it, but that would not save any money. The lesson here is that although works on paper are often less expensive than canvases, the cost of framing is almost invariably higher because there are so many more steps and materials involved when framing paper.
Cut back ornamental grass
Remove the overwintering tops of last year’s ornamental grasses. The grasses should be cut close to the ground in advance of this year’s new growth. String trimmers work on soft grasses, but thicker types such as miscanthus need heavier equipment. Sharp hedging shears are a safe and effective tool. The old stalks are too unwieldy for the compost pile and are best trashed.
Steps for selling a house
• Pressure-wash sidewalks and decks.
• Clean windows.
• Clear gutters and downspouts.
• Remove weeds, mulch; plant flowers.
• Clear cobwebs, leaves from porches, patios.
• Re-grout bathtubs and faucets.
• Paint trim, baseboards and nicks if needed.
• Clear counters, tables, bookshelves.
• Organize closets and storage areas.
• Clean carpets.
• Ask a friend to give an honest assessment of smells, paying particular attention to places such as basements.