TDS 31 Angela Williams Jackson: The Perfect Frame, The Perfect Meal

Angela Williams Jackson of The Great Frame Up

Angela Williams Jackson of The Great Frame Up

I opened by asking her if she dreams about matting and framing in her sleep. Angela Williams Jackson of The Great Frame Up in West Des Moines claims her sleep is unencumbered, but admits to an occupational tick that surfaces at events like the Des Moines Art’s Festival. You’ll want to hear Angela explain the phenomenon that takes over in the art booths at these events.

This week on #thedeliciousstory, we talk with Angela about the art of the perfect frame and the thrill of supporting artists, and finish up with celebrating a special octogenarian and a memorable meal.  


Our home’s walls are primarily decorated by my husband David. He’s the artist and the photographer of our duo, and appreciates determining where to place what piece. I don’t ever have a strong opinion, and have willingly handed over domain of the walls to his expertise. It’s a win-win because he likes making selections and deciding where they fit best, and I just get to enjoy.

It’s one single example of how we are perfectly paired. I would probably never get around to hanging anything on my walls if left on my own, and my life would be unadorned. Bursts of images, paintings, drawings, and favorite family photos contribute to the cozy energy that makes our house a home.  

Interior design, like other design specialties, is an artform we reap life benefits from and yet largely take those benefits for granted. Wall art surrounds us with beauty and provides us pleasure and comfort, but of course there are many times we don’t give those feelings much thought.

However, the images we select for our walls say a great deal about who we are and influence other aspects of our surroundings. In fact, interior designers often start with signature art for the walls before determining furnishings. In her post, “The Importance of Art in Interior Design,” Emmaj over at Smooth Decorator explains how the wall décor drives decisions about the style of items selected to complete the look for a room based on colors and overall style.

For those of us without the benefit of an interior designer, we make our intuitive choices with a sense of our tastes. For example, David does a lot of pixilated ink drawings which are quite involved with a collage of images. We also have paintings and pastels which are family heirlooms. And our tastes tend toward the eclectic from traditional furnishings to a few contemporary things, probably because our wall hangings are that diverse and our budget humble.


Our walls reflect our love of family photos, David’s work and heirloom art. Some pieces have been up for decades while others have changed out more frequently. For permanent treasures, we’ve utilized Angela’s expertise at The Great Frame Up.

Angela explains how framing can enhance or diminish art and shares the special care required for items that are family keepsakes. She also relates a story of one of the more unusual pieces she helped a client frame at her shop. Everyone has something treasured lurking in their collection, and if it isn’t framed or preserved carefully, we know it is at risk.


Angela’s tenacity and diligence have shined through over the years since she first opened her store in 2005. She explains what drives her and how she manages to stay alive and thrive as a small business owner. For those with ideas of owning a brick-and-mortar establishment, Angela has tips and ideas to share. In fact, mentoring is something she is known for in the community.

One of her most passionate and significant contributions has been working to support local artists via the gallery space in her shop. Each month, The Great Frame Up features and artist’s work and often those pieces are for sale.


Angela finishes up with the description of a memorable meal that has all the elements of the feast featured at the end of “The Big Night,” starring Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci. You’ll want to hear her story of how the family came together to celebrate a major milestone for her dad.

She does mention family-style dining in a restaurant setting. What a treat that is for those lucky enough to be sitting at the table! As a guest, there is no pressure to figure out what to order, and the concept merges restaurant and home together in a lovely way.

Years ago, David and I annually made trips to the Amana Colonies and the Ox Yoke Inn to eat family style that, for me, meant loading up on the sides rather than the entree. I prefer the mashed potatoes, salads and even the cottage cheese with chives.

Apparently, the trend of family-style is expanding as an offering in restaurant markets per the article, “Family-Style Restaurants on the Rise,” at Restaurant Hospitality by Liz Barrett. The outlay can go one of two ways with either larger portions of a select few menu items or multiple offerings in smaller but sharable servings. I would gladly go for the latter.


I never get enough of talking about comfort food, and Angela appeases that interest with her choice of chocolate and ice cream. Just thinking of the duo provides me solace. Mostly though, what’s lovely about this conversation with Angela is how we tie it all together, just like a perfectly framed piece of art. Beauty for the eye is akin to warm brownie and cold vanilla ice cream for the soul…or stomach.

Alexandra and Sherry, 2016

Alexandra and Sherry, 2016

Sherry is the founder of Storied Gifts a personal publishing service of family and company histories. She and her team help clients curate and craft their stories into books. When not writing or interviewing, Sherry spends loads of time with her grandchildren and lives in Des Moines, Iowa.


Need a beautiful infusion of inspiration for your storied life? Please check out the Storied Gifts Shop where we offer Wearable Wisdom & Daily Inspirations.

The shop is a mother and daughter venture for Sherry and Alexandra Borzo of Content In Motion. They both work to help their client's stories sing. The shop is there effort to inspire a focus on healthy minds for everyone through positive thought.


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