Monthly Archives: March 2013

Not your average Easter eggs

Ah, the smell of vinegar and boiled eggs first thing on Easter Sunday morning. The little colored tablets of food dye. That pesky wire dipper that was supposed to “hold” your egg while you drowned it in ultramarine blue. Pffft, that thing never worked – you always had to steady the egg with your other hand anyway. Thanks, Paas. Who else remembers a plastic tool some kits included? – it held a marker in place while you turned your egg and was supposed to make lines all the way ’round the surface. Invariably, the lines would end up jagged, appearing to indicate a crack in the shell. For those of us who are haunted by that annual failure, there’s the new and improved solution: the Egg-Bot. This contraption goes for $200, but you’ll never again be shamed by that know-it-all Susan Meriwether and her paisley egg designs at the neighborhood Easter egg hunt. If the Egg-Bot intimidates you, there are still plenty of old world solutions to expressing yourself with chicken embryos. These Ukrainian women are making Pysankas. Pysaty means “to write” and Ukrainian Easter eggs are decorated using a wax-resist method called batik. Batik is more commonly seen used in decorating fabrics. But many Easter European countries have long used it for writing on eggs with beeswax, rather than painting them. What’s the biggest pysanka ever made, you ask? Easy – it’s in Vegreville, Alberta. It’s three and a half stories high and was commissioned in 1975 as an acknowledgment to Canada’s Ukranian culture. If you’re looking for something a little smaller (and easier), you could always pass off some pop art designs with acrylic paint, rather than dyes or wax. Here’re some Roy Lichtenstein-inspired eggs – equally satisfactory to the comic book nerd in the family. We hadn’t seen this before, but evidently using silk neck ties to transfer the patterns onto eggs is an easy short cut to some fancy designs. If after all this, yer still not inspired to let your artist’s flag fly this week, well, there’s a little box you can buy that’ll practically do the work for you. And if they don’t come out gallery-worthy, you can always eat the results.

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Cardboarders unite!

Cardboard workshopHow many of us give a discarded product a second life by repurposing it? Recycling an item by using it again in a way that was not intended is the whole idea behind Cardboarders, a website about “people with a fetish for cardboard.” Cardboarders seeks to promote “playfulness, inventiveness and other experimental and creative behavior.” On it, you’ll find music videos, cardboard-intensive crowd events, art installations, and a wide range of different events where the material is featured. If you think you’ve seen wearable cardboard before, trust us – nothing compares to some of these wardrobe examples. There’s even a town built out of cardboard, called Cardboardia! Here’s a sampler of what you’ll find, including a music video from their library of films that use cardboard.

CardboardiaOxfam Where the Wild Things Are festivalwearabletown

Wire these drawings so amazing?

CW Roelle wire drawing 6Take a look at these drawings by Providence, RI based artist CW Roelle. We were intrigued just as much by the unique choice of medium and the effort involved as we were by Roelle’s unusual choice of subject matter. “What, drawings made out of wire? Oh, okay. What, drawings made out of wire of a guy moving his lawn? Whaa-?!”
You can see more of his intricate work in our very own neck of the woods at 13FOREST Gallery in Arlington, MA – many of the pieces are for sale.

CW Roelle wire drawing 4

CW Roelle wire drawing 2

CW Roelle wire drawing 5

CW Roelle wire drawing 3

CW Roelle wire drawing 1

CW Roelle wire drawing 1 detail

To custom frame or not to custom frame?

Quick! You need a frame for that sports photo so you can give it as a gift when you get to the birthday party – what do you do?! Grab a ready made frame off the shelf at Target on your way, right? Wrong-o-mondo! It certainly seems like the way to go because they’re cheap and accessible, but that knee-jerk reaction is only going to bring heart ache and headache, either in the future or as soon as you try to put your image in the frame. We’re going to give you the ins and outs of custom vs ready made frames so there won’t be any guess-work when you’re getting ready to display that special picture.
The 4 ways that store-bought frames fall short of custom frames are appearance, size, construction, and versatility. These 4 qualities may sound highfalutin for your typical snapshot. We often hear the phrase, “It’s not like it’s a piece of art.” Well, maybe it’s not going in a museum, but you made it important when you decided to display it in your living space or give it to someone to hang in theirs. So rather than waste $20, spend a little more to do it right. Here’s why…

Appearance

Ready made frames are going to look like just that. They don’t look unique and that laminate finish just gave it away like free perfume samples at Macy’s. You’ve got a better selection when you go with a custom frame and therefore a better chance of finding something that looks great with the image you’re displaying. A custom choice also means you’ll get the right…

Size

When we say “size”, what we really means is “shape.” Sure you can find a frame big enough for whatever you’re framing, but is it the right shape? Frames on the shelf come in predetermined shapes. You may get lucky and find your image is already a standard shape. But be careful – if you use a frame that’s the same size as your photo or art, that means there’s no room for a mat. Our customers have already learned that a mat is important for more than just looks. The mat is what keeps the glass from touching your art. Glass can stick to or otherwise damage what you’re framing and it starts to look bad. A custom frame allows for a uniform amount of mat space all the way around your art. Ready made frames that come with a mat are disproportionate – there isn’t the same width of mat on the sides as there is on the top. That’s weird – no one would ever do that by design. Next time you see one, check it out.

Construction

This is a big one, because it’s probably the quality that’s going to fail the fastest and in the biggest way. Ready made frames simply aren’t made as well as a custom frame. We can’t tell you how many times customers have brought us broken glass because the ready made frame fell off the wall. Or it fell for a different reason and the frame itself didn’t survive. This can be because of the way they’re hung on the wall. Store-bought frames rarely take a wire on the back. Instead they use one of the metal clasps shown below.A true wire that can be attached to a custom frame is going to not only make it more secure, but much easier to hang.Whether it’s wood or metal, custom frames are joined differently at the corners. Take a look at the back of this custom frame’s corner. It’s made of real wood and there’s enough of it so that several nails can be used to hold it together.Custom frames are more sturdy. The nice thing about that is that you can put lots of different kinds of art in them – they have more…

Versatility

If you ever have to frame something that’s not just paper or a photograph – something thicker or heavier or not made of paper – you’re not going to have much luck with a store-bought frame. Typically, they’re too shallow. Look at the channel of the metal frame on the left vs the open back of the custom wood frame on the right. That metal channel has to hold the glass, your art, and the backing at least – your art, a mat, and any additional support might take up even more space. Even if you pick a ready made off the shelf that’s wood, it’ll likely have a closed back with clasps or springs that limit how much material you can fit inside the frame. Often times, when photographs are printed, they’re mounted on a board. However thin that board may seem to you, fitting it in one of these frames is gonna be all but impossible.

There ya go. A crash course in why most ready made frames are probably the last thing you want to put your art in. If you keep this in mind, you’ll be impressed every day you look at it hanging on your wall.

Photography: It’s all in the timing

seagull-takes-ice-cream-perfect-timingNow that everyone is a world-class photo editor thanks to programs like Photoshop, it’s hard to believe anything we see online. But there are still photographs out there that are captured naturally and look more amazing than anything someone could “cut” & “paste” together. The fine folks over at Twisted Sifter put together the 50 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Ever. Several of them are internet classics, but some were unknown to us and too impressive to not share them. We picked a handful of our favorites, both beautiful and hilarious.

soccer player balances the sun

kite-surfing-with-whale-below-aerial-shot-from-above

perfect-timings-swimmer-water

just-a-pinch-buddah-perfect-timing

bird berry

moving-car-with-hand-from-above-perfect-timing

underwater-fish-photobomb-animal-photobombs

waves-wilma-hurskainen

ladybug-dandelion-perfect-timing

woman falls into pool

It’s made out of paper!

paper-shirtThis shirt, the Eames chair, that bench – all of these items are made out of paper. Vincent Tomczyk crafts them by hand, creating amazing details and textures that completely disguise the paper, making you think you could wear it or sit on it – the jean shorts even have functioning pockets. As amazing as the clothes are, we kinda get them. It’s the furniture that’s mind-blowing. It has such weight & substance to look at.

paper-eames-chair

paper-wallet

paper-shorts2

paper-shorts1

paper-chair

paper-bench

Here’re some photos of a grandmother & her chicken

Mamika and Bob working outWe thought you deserved to wrap up the week with some whimsical photos that’ll take your mind off the winter weather. Photographer Sacha Goldberger produced this series that features his 94-year old grandmother “Mamika” with her friend, Bob the chicken. As you can see, Mamika’s age and Bob’s fowl nature do not stop them from getting around town and living life to its fullest.

Mamika and Bob photography

Mamika and Bob in car

Mamika and Bob at lunch

Mamika and Bob with rose

We’ve got the best deal for framed movie posters

A lot of our customers bring us movie posters to frame. Sometimes it’s the finishing touch in their new man cave/home theater. Sometimes it’s for a kid’s room. And sometimes it’s the perfect finishing touch on a wall that needed some extra pizzazz. But rather than bring us a movie poster that you paid full price for elsewhere, did you know that we can order them for you at 60% off?
Go to our website here to take advantage of our 60% off posters and custom framing offer. You can choose from an enormous inventory of images. If we order it for you and custom frame it, you save 60% off the price of the poster and 60% off the framing! Not only will you have some slick new wall art, but you’ll have money left over to actually go out to the movies.
Here’s just a small sampling of what’s available –