Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Open For Business!

      Well it was a very stressful last week, but we are up and running in our brand new location (1860 Rio Hill Center) The official Grand Opening Party will be October 9th from 12:30 till 7.  Stop in and see us, because these photos don't do the stoer justice!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Week 2 (and a half) progress at the new store!

So this was a busy week and a half at the new store! We finished the brick wall (thanks Dad!), and laid down the cork flooring in the front room (thanks Dad again!).  We also moved over the first piece of actual framing equipment (the drymount press:big gray flat thing on the fabric fronted table) and stained the work table a dark walnut to increase contrast when we're working on projects. Only one week left until our projected opening, fingers crossed!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Week 1 Progress at the new store!

     This past week was super busy at the new location, and we did make some noticeable progress.  In the front room we did most of the painting, the electricians installed the rail lighting system, and we are half way done with the brick wall.  In the back, most of the custom built work tables are in place.  I can't wait to see what happens next week!

Friday, August 31, 2012

It Starts With A Key...

This is the key to what in four short weeks will be our brand new store!  We are excited and terrified at the same time, but the new store will feature better lighting for design, new products, and a more efficient work area.  Follow along for updates on our buildout, but here is a peek at what the new space looks like right now!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Finds from The West Coast Art and Frame Show (The Final Installment)

This set of cornersamples is the coolest I've seen in years.  They are wood frames covered with actual steel plates! These frames come in shiny, oxidized, and even rust finishes and some have welded corners and bolts. The perfect frame to hang in your downtown loft, or your engineers offices.

Monday, April 2, 2012

New Finds from The West Coast Art and Frame Show

(Part Two)

Check out these acrylic frames! This line of frames is the epitome of custom framing, available in a huge array of colors, matte and clear finishes, and even molded backgrounds.  Go fun with brights, classic with neutrals, even preppy with red, white and blue.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New finds from the West Coast Art and Frame Show        (Part One) 
So, back in January Mike went to the West Coast Art and Frame show in Fabulous Las Vegas.  Before he left, he asked me what to look for (aside from all new backroom equipment) and I said find me ‘the new hotness’ or ‘the next big thing’.   I was nervous to see what he actually brought back, and the wait is finally over.  All of the new corner samples finally arrived, and WOW, they are awesome! Here’s a sneak peak:
These are the 'Car Finish' frames by Direct Moulding: glittery, glossy, and available in a range of neutrals, these would look great on a bathroom mirror, a photo of your sports car, or could even be a modern take on a diploma frame!
Trust me when I say these look even cooler in person, so stop by and check them out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Choosing mat colors 101

I think a lot of people are intimidated by choosing mat colors for their artwork, and it can be scary. The wrong mat can call attention to the wrong part of your picture and look terrible in your house.  Here are some tips for choosing the perfect matting every time!
Match the mat colors to something in your picture:  I know this seems pretty obvious, but it’s probably the most important rule. The whole project may not look bad with mats that don’t match the picture, but you will notice something off about it and it will bug you all the time.
Make a decision about which part of the picture to highlight: Photos like the one in the examples here are very colorful and calling attention to a portion of the picture will take focus away from another.    Again, seems obvious, but take a look at the bright green/orange/purple matting example, it’s really hard to see Monticello in the background because you are focusing on the garden. In the brown and green example, Monticello stands out more, as it does in the examples with white top mats.
Choose your colors in proportion to how they appear in the picture.  Sometimes your favorite part of a picture is the smallest, like a tiny flower or a streak in water or a shadow that is the perfect color.  Choosing a top mat to match a small feature will often feel like it doesn’t match, because the ratio of that color in the art and the mat isn’t the same. Top mats need to be either a neutral, pleasing color (white, black, gray) or a color that appears in a large part of the artwork.  The color of that perfect feature will work as an accent mat!
When all else fails, choosing a neutral mat will always work! White or light colored matting works on all pictures because they don’t call your attention to any specific part of the picture and they will look good in anyone’s home or office. The example with the double white mat would be perfect for a gift too because its use won’t be limited by its matting colors.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Respectable art for kid’s rooms that doesn’t break the bank

     My daughters taste in artwork is a little different, and maybe a little less sophisticated than my own. So how do you decorate a kid’s room in a way that they like but you can live with, both visually and monetarily? As a picture framer, I’m a bit of a frame snob, so I don’t like the idea of putting up posters with thumbtacks or painting the walls with bright colors or murals. But I still want attractive pieces that I won’t have to throw away in three years when my daughter doesn’t like orange anymore.  Here are some of the things that are in her room, and how they can be modified for the future:

Magnet board: This is a fun project for any room, but especially good in a kid’s room. The frame is a standard size, and the middle is made of sheet metal covered with fabric.  Choose a neutral frame, and change out the fabric when the room’s d├ęcor changes.

Stretcher bar: In the shop we do a lot of canvas stretching, and we use stretcher bars.  This particular one was a miss-cut that I took home and stapled on some ‘Very Hungry Caterpillar’ fabric. Again, in the future you can change out the fabric for instant art.  This is also a good piece for over a bed or crib because it’s light and has no glass!
 Photo Frames:  We see “new works of art” produced almost daily  in our house and some of them are way better  than others.  They can all look good in a very fancy black frame, just like in a museum.  This piece was done on printer paper with dry erase markers!
What you end up with is the perfect compromise. Your child gets art they actually like, and you get pieces that are well framed, don’t cost a fortune and can be changed for very little investment. Now all I have to worry about is convincing my daughter that the next fabric on her pieces should not be ‘Cars 2’.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Jen here from The Great Frame Up in Charlottesville, Virginia. As a small business owner, my life is pretty interesting. I'm a picture framer first, so some days I'll be cutting mats, mounting items into shadowboxes, or helping customers design great framing treatments. But I also research the home decor, fashion, and picture framing trends to keep our customers' projects current. I go to marketing meetings where I get to design print ads or record radio spots, and some days I do boring stuff like pay bills.

Follow along to get a behind the scenes look at the coolest frame shop in the world...mine!