The best things in life are free!Today we are going to share some secrets just in time for the holidays! Did you know there are thousands of free high-resolution images available for download? With thousands of stock photos and images online there is sure to be something to pique your interest. TheFrame Room can print any digital image in-house and frame them for one-stop gift-giving. Consider printing on a host of interesting papers such as metallic or pearl. Better yet, add more pop with a printed canvas!
Some think adding art to our home or office is expensive or simply daunting and are clueless where to start. Gifting art to someone else can feel even more terrifying, but it doesn’t have to.I’m here to ease those worries! Here are some great ideas to get those creative juices flowing and stay on a budget.
It’s all back to business now that summer is drawing to a close and schools are back in session. Are your office walls looking a bit bland or sparse? Maybe the same picture has been hanging on the wall for 13 years and you’re a little tired of looking at it. This indeed calls for an office makeover. Here are a few ideas to get that dreary office from funky to fabulous.
A Wedding Dress: Old, Tattered, Generational, and a Birthday Surprise
This was a long and fevered process but with a dynamic and meaningful ending. It involved a lot a pre-planning, over- the- phone designing for a garment that was old, tattered, and fragile. This was also meant to be a surprise for their wife/mom for her upcoming birthday and her daughter’s subsequent wedding. The original plan was for the daughter to wear the wedding dress during the ceremony but considering the age, color, and fragile state of the garment it was best to preserve the dress inside a frame. The dress was about 75 years old being handed down from generation to generation. The father and daughter really wanted to do something special to prevent further deterioration and to present the dress in a way that future generations could proudly view and appreciate a family heirloom. I noticed right away that there would be some issues in mounting and handling but nothing that proper planning and the right materials couldn’t fix.
A South African tapestry with painted birds: Beautiful, comfy, and educational
When I first saw the tapestry it looked like a nice comfortable blanket you’d want to wrap yourself in on a cold winter evening. It was obvious that this particular blanket was not intended for cuddling or keeping warm but rather for displaying and viewing. The blanket was nicely painted with indigenous South African birds, a simple and engaging design, and subdued but vibrant colors. The initial thought was to treat this blanket like most tapestries and rugs which is to float them on a mat board in a shadowbox frame. Considering how squared up the blanket was it seemed unnecessary to make a shadowbox, other than personal desires and aesthetics. The customer was adamant about protecting and preserving the blanket as best as we could without compromising the overall look and feel of the blanket. Most conventional fabrics need to be sewn down in a methodical manner to ensure it will not fall and bunch up over time, resulting in unflattering wrinkles and shadows. Because this blanket measured well on all sides it was decided that we should “sandwich” the blanket between a UV protected acrylic and an acid-free backing which would enclose the blanket in an optimum environment. This would also help the blanket stay flat and clearly visible with the acrylic firmly pressed against it on all sides. There was no worry of sticking or possible damage because we were using a framer’s grade acrylic which is fairly unbreakable and flexible. If we decided to go with a UV protected glass, the glass could potentially damage the fabric because of possible condensation and breakage.
Encapsulation is an excellent method one can use when framing a piece of artwork that is fragile, valuable, or unsuitable for traditional top mounting. It usually involves many layers, mat windows, and rigid backings as well as some type of transparent film to cover the artwork being protected. There is a lot of designing and preparation involved in an encapsulation, if the artwork is to be properly protected and viewed. Objects and artworks that tend to be encapsulated are: magazines, baseball cards, paper cuts, very old paper, dried flowers, coins, and of course valuable fine art. The film which holds the artwork is usually a strong, durable, acid-free clear film known as Mylar. Other films, acrylics, and sheer fabrics also can be used, but Mylar is the best film for most encapsulations because of it durability and transparence. Some encapsulations can be two-sided; to get a better view of the artwork both front and back and to make sure it’s properly sealed. This is sometimes done out of necessity but usually is a desired aesthetic effect. The whole process of encapsulation can take some time and involves quite a bit of labor and high-quality materials. If done properly, the artwork being sealed will stay protected for decades to come and the integrity of the artwork will remain true with little to no deterioration.
The Peruvian Hat: a fragile, colorful, sequenced accessory coming out of hiding
The hat was from Peru and it was quite becoming. The customer owned the hat for some time and finally decided to properly display it for herself and for her new apartment. It was a very interesting hat, which had a black cap for the top of the head, covered in a myriad of colorful sequence and patterns surrounded by a faded reddish brim which was made of a feathery cotton material. The underside of the hat was a very soft material perfect for wearing hours on end or possibly for a traditional ceremony. The customer was keeping the hat in storage for some time and wanted to finally display it in a more fashionable/presentable way to show off its craftsmanship and to help preserve it from further deterioration. When it came to the design, the customer didn’t have any preconceived notions about color and feel, she just wanted it to look nice, simple, and complimentary to the colors and style of the patterns and design.
In Memoriam: A Horse Biddle, a shadowbox, and a bittersweet story
When the customer came in with what look like a small horse saddle, I started to get a little anxious and a bit worried about finding a substantial frame and the adequate materials for such an ambitious frame design. I was mostly concerned about the possibility of design complications, proper securement, debris collection, and feasible execution in a timely manner. I’ve framed many intricate, heavy, unconventional, and bulky objects in the past but nothing quite like this. When the customer set the small saddle down and asked if it was possible to frame it within a few weeks, I was immediately reticent and unsure if it could be done in a timely manner with quality materials and execution. But after some examination and asking a myriad of questions, it was becoming more and more clear that this saddle would be a good candidate for a shadowbox.
Peruvian Rug Shadowbox: mounting something old and something beautiful
When I saw the rug the first thing I noticed was the size; it was pretty big with a lot of crazy fringe and illustrious colors surrounding the entire perimeter. It was fairly big for a personal custom frame job, like something you would see in a nice gallery or art museum. Other than its size, the rug was pretty meaningful and sentimental to the customer, so I had to design and handle the rug with great and intimate care. The customer bought the rug years ago in Peru when traveling around South America and for some time was hanging it on his wall unprotected and not properly mounted. The customer knew if he wanted to preserve the rug for decades to come he would need to properly mount the rug in an enclosed acid-free, UV protected environment. So after a few discussions it was decided that a simple shadowbox was the best route to properly preserve and present the rug in an appealing fashion.
The flag at first glance was very interesting and appeared to be very old and a bit fragile. The colors and the look of the flag were very specific to a Maryland state flag or possibly a Baltimore city flag. The design of the shadow box was very clean and bright, which was ideal for displaying the flag with good complimentary colors and adequate space. Before I even started mounting the flag onto the textured mat, I wanted to be sure all my materials were ready to go and the initial design requirements were being met. If I were to rush into the mounting or rush into gluing materials in place, a simple design oversight could ruin the whole process or compromise the integrity of my work. When sewing a flag or any garment for that matter, you want to be sure that you have the right threads, needles, and tape to properly execute the job. You’ll also need some type of awl or thumbtack to puncture the mat board so the sewing needle can easily pass through the flag and the mat without bending or breaking. Once your materials are set and you’re completely clear about the design and layout, you’re ready to sew.