learn something new every day:


I’m not sure if I want to go back to college but, after staying at the Graduate Ann Arbor, I definitely want to stay in these college town hotels which I wrote about for USA Today 10Best!

Read All Entries

get the latest from Lois

Stay connected to the Oasis!

picture this: my africa photos and an amazing offer from wemontage

Montage of Lois Alter Mark's Africa pictures from WeMontage

My favorite decorations for my house are photos and books. Both tell stories, and there is nothing I love more than looking at my old pictures and reminiscing about the moments they capture.

Like everyone else, I take a ton of photos but rarely print them out, so most of the framed pictures we do have on display are from a decade ago.

When my husband and I recently came back from Africa with memory cards filled with 2000 photos, I had no idea what we would do with them or how we would be able to make them accessible enough to enjoy and tell the real story of our amazing experience there.

Cue the music, and enter Michelle Nahom, James Oliver and WeMontage. Michelle writes A Dish of Daily Life and is a photo organizing expert, so when she introduced me to James, I knew I was about to get my answer. I just didn’t know it would be so much bigger and better than I could ever have dreamed.

James Oliver is the founder of WeMontage, and he is one of the nicest, most genuine people you will ever meet. We became phone friends immediately, gushing  over his adorable twins who happen to be the perfect models for his ingenious product. Just look at them!

montage of James Oliver's baby pictures from WeMontage

James enthusiastically told me all about WeMontage, which prints your photos onto removable wallpaper and creates a custom montage for you that, because of both its quality and size, packs quite an emotional wallop. He’s passionate about what he’s doing – and once you see the finished product, it’s obvious why. This is a really special, innovative idea that lets you display your photos in an easy and unique way.

When James offered me a chance to create my own WeMontage for free to test and share with all of you, I was already imagining my Africa pictures organized on the wall before I finished saying “yes.”

Then came the hard part: choosing the pictures to use. I want to stay on this point for a minute because it was, by far, the most difficult step of the WeMontage process for me – and it shouldn’t have been. It’s the part that could make you put off completing your order indefinitely, and what happens then is that your photos remain in the computer and you miss out on the joy of seeing them daily.

I went back and forth through my photos more times than I can count, aware that Michelle had suggested I use 12-15 pictures for a montage that’s 6 feet x 4 feet. (That’s the smallest size available but you can create bigger ones, as well.) After spending days culling down my collection, I finally ended up with 14 pictures that really told the story I wanted to remember.

Michelle Nahom's montage from WeMontage

This is Michelle’s personal WeMontage. Love it!

I had made such a big deal in my head about which lion picture to use and which elephant one, and here’s what I learned: in the end, it doesn’t matter. Once you have your finished montage, you will never think about the photos you didn’t include. You will just admire what’s there and be so thankful you have the memories right there in front of you.

After downloading my photos, which literally took about 10 minutes, the WeMontage software started shuffling them around and giving me options until I found the arrangement I wanted. Again, this is not worth going crazy over because I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. James assured me the process is idiot-proof and that the software is designed to make the optimal use of your photos, based on their size and quality. Plus, a human being looks at the arrangement before it’s actually created, just to insure that you’ll really love it.

I placed my order and headed to Chicago for BlogHer, where James held court at the Expo, attracting hundreds of bloggers with his stunning montages – and personality. Hanging out with him was definitely a conference highlight for me, and I hope Steve Harvey will take note, not only of James’ ‘stache, but, more importantly, of how he magically transforms a stash of photos.

Donning Steve Harvey mustaches at BlogHer 13

James, me, Cathy Chester and Helene Cohen Bludman.

The day after I arrived home, less than a week after I had ordered my WeMontage, I practically tackled the FedEx guy when he rang my bell and presented me with my highly-anticipated box. When I opened it and saw how beautiful my montage came out, I almost cried. In fact, it inspired me to finally clean out this room so it would be worthy of this gorgeous piece hanging on its wall. (That will be a future blog post.)

Room where WeMontage will be hung

To say that my husband and I are not very handy is an understatement, so we were a little nervous about actually installing the WeMontage. We are, however, pretty dramatic so let me assure you that, although we did get out the leveler in order to act like we had a clue what we were doing, “install” is a bit of an exaggeration. Basically, Michael and Sara got up on the couch while I supervised – “a little higher on the right” – and took photos.

How to hang a WeMontage

You definitely need two people to put it up but the “canvas” is much less fragile than you’d imagine. And it’s surprisingly easy to move around and smooth down if you make a mistake or get it bunched up a little. Once you have the top even, you can just strip away the backing and pat down as you go.

Isn’t it gorgeous?!

Lois Alter Mark creates a WeMontage of her Africa pictures

Every time I walk into the room, I am transported back to Africa. To my oasis. It makes me so happy, and I am so thankful to James for helping me get my photos out of the computer and onto my wall.

You will be thankful to James, too, because he is offering Midlife at the Oasis readers a 15%  discount on your own WeMontage. Head to his website, and use code “WEEKEND” when checking out. Don’t wait! It expires on January 26 at midnight, which is good because it will make you get this done without spending a ridiculous and unnecessary amount of time choosing your photos.

My suggestions:

* Pick a theme, whether it’s a vacation, an event or specific people. This immediately narrows down your choices and makes it easier for you to select your pictures. Don’t stress over the individual photos. In this case, it’s true that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

* Less is more. Fewer pictures mean larger images, which will give your montage greater impact.

* Don’t overthink it. This is an amazing offer, and you will never regret having ordered one of these fantastic conversation pieces. Buy gifts now, too — for family members, friends, kids’ teachers and coaches. I guarantee you will be the hero of the holidays.

* Email me at lois@midlifeattheoasis.com if you have any questions at all. You can find James on Facebook and Twitter, and he will always get back to you. If you’re lucky, he may even share a new picture of his babies!

* Please send me a photo of your own WeMontage when you make it! I’d love to see it!


  1. Oh, Lois, it looks absolutely fantastic! I am thrilled for you and your husband. (You two look adorable in that pic.)

    I love this post. I love James. I love anything to do with photographs and memories and capturing moments in time.

    But this? This is absolutely remarkable. The offer? I hope many people take advantage of it.

    Oh, yeah, one more love. I love you, Lois! You are very dear to me.


    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      I love you right back, Cathy! I’m so happy you got to meet James, and I’m so excited about how beautiful my WeMontage turned out. It is truly my new favorite thing in my house! xo

    • Cathy, you’re the best!

      Thanks, Lois, for making me smile with this article.

      • Lois Alter Mark says:

        You are awesome, my friend, and I hope everyone will take advantage of the amazing opportunity you’re giving them here to own a truly unique piece of art. And I hope Steve Harvey calls you, and you take me with you on his show 🙂

  2. Wow! This is beautiful. I love the concept and loved meeting James at BlogHer13.

    Would love to work out a deal like this for our Mothers & More members.

  3. What a great idea for a birthday gift..to give to a newly minted BA50! Think I will have to put it on one of my Gift Guides!! (And again, why did I spend so much time with the Snickers guys when I could have been visiting James )

  4. Lois, your WeMontage is truly a work of art — what a trip that must have been!! I would love to go to Africa someday! Definitely let me know when you are in NYC…I would love to meet up in person!!
    PS. I already have plans to make another WeMontage! I absolutely love my first one!

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      Michelle, I love your WeMontage too, and am thinking of doing a beach one next — would be perfect for me in San Diego! Will let you know when I’m coming to NYC so we can definitely make plans! Thank you so much for introducing me to James and WeMontage. Lunch is on me! xo

  5. It makes me so happy seeing my photography behind you at BlogHer! I love what you did here. I’ve never been to Africa (or even close) but I would devote a whole wall to photos from there. A whole room!

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      Thanks, Tamara! Are those your kids behind us in the montage? Beautiful! Trust me, I’m ready to transform my whole house into an African WeMontage!!

  6. Barbara Cargill says:

    Oh Lois! I love this! Super idea….this is a wonderful read and and great idea. I enjoyed your pictures! (PS…I love reading everything you write. You speak from your heart…and that’s why we all love you!)

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      I love you, Barbara! You are the best, and I can’t wait to see you in Boston hopefully in October! xo
      P.S. Imagine some of our camp pictures in one of these!

  7. Hey! Who says I’m not handy? I got the piece up and didn’t get any blood on it. 🙂 It was really easy to put up – even with all the very helpful supervision like ‘a little higher, now lower than that – split that by 3/8 and you got it.”
    The loving clumsy hubby

  8. This couldn’t have come at a better time! My daughter gets home tonight from a 5 week adventure spanning 5 countries. This will be a perfect way for her to display some of her favorite memories!

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      You have to send me a picture after you do it! This is seriously my favorite piece of art in my house now, and you won’t believe how beautiful it turns out. I think it’s ideal for travel photos.

  9. These montages are absolutely beautiful! Your pictures look amazing!

  10. I love your collection of African photos. How awesome!

  11. We just went on vacation and this would be awesome. Thanks for letting me know about WeMontage. Great way to showcase your trip!

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      It’s perfect for vacation pictures, and now is the time to order at 50% off! Hope you had a great trip!

  12. Your collage is wonderful! I like the idea of sticking to a theme.

  13. Oh my goodness. What amazing pictures. Africa is on my travel bucket list. One day! Yes, one day!

  14. Gorgeous! Do you kow how light affects the photos? Do they fade in the light? What kind of paper or is it canvas? Does it have tio be attached to the wall like wallpaper?

    What are you going to do after Jenny Craig to keep the weight off?

    • James Oliver says:

      Hi Sandra, we use UV resistant ink, so it won’t fade in the sun light. It’s actually not paper at all, but fabric made from polyester, but it looks and feels like cotton. This is great because it absorbs the ink really nicely and causes the colors to pop.

      Not sure I understand your question about does it need to attach to the wall. It will need to adhere to something. Can you please clarify?

  15. I missed this blog. Love your montage.

  16. Cat Freemire says:

    Hello Lois,
    I am a relatively new reader and JUST READ about the montage!
    It looks great 🙂
    I see that the deadline has passed for the discount. Is it possible
    to ask him to extend the deadline for your readers?

    Thanks for your consideration,

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      Cat, I just fixed the deadline — it’s supposed to be tonight! And James is one of my favorite people in the world so if you have any questions at all (including an extension) just call or email him and tell you I sent you. He will definitely help you. And please share your WeMontage when you make it. You will LOVE it! P.S. Thanks for joining the Oasis! xo

Speak Your Mind