By Frame USA

Offering picture frames, posters, art and more for over 30 years! www.frameusa.com has a great selection, low prices, fast delivery and friendly staff.

At Frame USA, we champion our craft. We make all of our art, frames, and more inside our warehouse. All wood frames produced from Frame USA are 100% made in America! We take great pride with that because not only are we able to produce everything in house, we are still able to offer highly competitive prices.

Star Trek

This Week in Pop Culture History–Star Trek

“Space–the final frontier…these are the voyages of the Starship–Enterprise…” This is the most iconic lines from all of television history. It is part of the introduction that preceded each episode of a little science-fiction program that debuted this week in 1966. That program, about a group of intrepid explorers hurtling through the furthest reaches of our galaxy on a scientific mission of discovery, would go on to spawn a media giant; a pop culture phenomenon that included songs, halloween costumes, parodies, fiction, fan fiction, a cartoon spinoff, FOUR spinoff series (that all debuted twenty years after the original was cancelled) and  12 movies (with more yet to come). I don’t think it needs said but just in case–I am, of course, talking about Star Trek.

Captain Kirk Poster from Posterservice
Captain Kirk Poster from Posterservice

A million blogs’ worth of content could be written about Star Trek and has been, so I’ll stick to the basics of the original series. In the 23rd century, Earth has managed to find peace and prosperity here at home and has made contact with several different extra-terrestrial life forms. Humankind has conquered interstellar travel and we now have a space fleet to protect us and are part of an intergalactic Federation of Planets. A science vessel, The Enterprise, is sent out to the very limits of space, “the final frontier”, to see what it can find and what civilizations it can make contact with and learn about. To, “boldly go where no man has gone before.” It framed a hopeful message: that, instead of a ruined oppressive dystopia, our society would flourish and racism and war would be put aside and we’d come together as a species to further our intellect and better the universe around us. It was made up of, what was in the 60’s, an ethnically diverse cast and promoted tolerance. It was colorful and the stories were compelling.

It was also just good sci-fi fun. Colorful costuming, exotic sets, great monsters, cool spaceships, a little bit of sex appeal (Uhuru’s mini-skirts and those green alien women Kirk was so fond of) made it something fresh amongst the courtroom dramas and westerns that dominated the airwaves. Also, William Shatner’s Captain James T. Kirk and (the late) Leonard Nimoy’s commander Spock had one of televisions all time most enjoyable bro-mances, Kirk being a brash, emotional man of action (and of the ladies) with Spock counterpointing as the Vulcan science officer whose species valued logic and subdued all emotion. They were like the Odd Couple in space and it was hilarious, touching and adorable.

The original series only lasted 3 seasons (a total 79 episodes) having its time-slot moved around by NBC, but the cultural impact secured an ongoing legacy for Gene Roddenberry’s optimistic vision of our future. It reached new heights of popularity in syndicated reruns, reaching a second audience of youngsters who hadn’t been around for its first run and in 1978 (probably boosted by the success of “Star Wars” the year before) “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” debuted as the first in a series of films that is still going strong. We won’t get into the good vs. bad films debate or the transition from Original cast to Next Gen cast to the J. J. Abrams reboot–we’ll just say that there’ve been a lot of popular, quality films in the series.

Star Trek has also generated a HUGE fandom and memorabilia is much sought after. If you’re a collector you want to take good care of those really valuable pieces. How should you store and display  your mint condition Mr. Spock action figure (complete with phaser and tri-corder)? At Frame USA we have a number of shadow box frames that would be perfect for your collectibles. Our

Shadow Box Elite in Cherry
Shadow Box Elite in Cherry

Shadow Box Elite has just under an inch of useable depth and would fit an action figure perfectly with plenty of space to mount the accessories separately (unless you want to have Spock holding them, in which case there’s room for that too). Or maybe you need a large shadow box for the carefully laid out diorama you’ve created of a space battle between the Enterprise and a Klingon Bird of Prey. Our Shadow Box Showcase comes in sizes up to 24×36 or even 30×40 and has 2 1/8″ worth of useable depth.

Shadow Box Showcase in Honey
Shadow Box Showcase in Honey

It’s a beautiful wood shadow box that is available in 4 finishes (black, white, honey and cherry) to give your Starship battle maximum gravity (haha, see what I did there? Gravity…space…ok).

Even if your Star Trek stuff only consists of autographed photos you’ve taken with the cast–your treasured picture of yourself with Nimoy doing the Vulcan “live long and prosper” gesture–you want to keep those in nice picture frames that you can put on your wall. In keeping

Black Narrow Picture Frame
Black Narrow Picture Frame

with the modern feel of the series, our Black Narrow series is a sleek wood picture frame with a stylish bevel that would show off your framed photos in style.

If you don’t have any Star Trek goodies but are looking to start collecting, you could start with posters and poster frames. That’s an easy and affordable place to start. Posterservice has some fun Star Trek posters to choose

Budget Saver 24x36 Poster Frame
Budget Saver 24×36 Poster Frame

from. And once you have your posters picked out, you can bounce right back over to Frame USA to choose some posterframes to mount your new 24×36 posters in. Our Simply Poly poster frames in black or our Budget Saver poster frames would be ideal choices for framing your poster art.

Star Trek "Homeland Security" Poster from Posterservice
Star Trek “Homeland Security” Poster from Posterservice
Star Trek "USS Enterprise" poster from Posterservice
Star Trek “USS Enterprise” poster from Posterservice

 

 

So as you seek out new life, and new civilizations this week, set your phasers to stun, turn off your communicators and kick back to enjoy some hopeful, high-adventure space travels. And whatever you do, don’t get tangled up in a swordfight with Commander Sulu–he is good at that.

Kids room Wall Cluster with frames from Frame USA

Clusters of Picture Frames

Sometimes you want to reinvigorate the interior design of a room that’s maybe gone stale. Maybe you still like the color scheme and the furniture but it feels like it needs a little…something. Something to give it some new life. One trend that’s hot right now in decor is Gallery Walls or frame clusters. This is a method of grouping picture frames of varying sizes and profiles, though similar in style, on a wall or in an area to give that spot a theme. The idea for your frame cluster can be broad or specific. You can use framed posters, art or photos to create a sort of mini-environment that feels like a special part of the room. Using frames this way helps to give the room a bit of purpose and personality.

Maybe you don’t have a spare room to set up as a home office, so you’ve pushed a small desk into a corner of your bedroom or dining room from which to do some work. It just feels a little out of place and intrusive just stuck in there like that because it’s so solitary. Use the two walls that form the corner you have it in and put together your Office Gallery Wall. At Frame USA we have a number of different wood picture frames that would be perfect for creating this effect. Three frames that would be ideal for this would be our

Diploma Wide Windsor Mahogany
Diploma Wide Windsor Mahogany

Diploma Wide in Mahogany, our Classic series in black and our Executive in Library Mahogany.

Making sure to choose different sizes and orientations (some portrait, some landscape) choose images that are calm and neutral. Maybe black and white photos of landscape and architecture. Illustrations and line art in muted colors are also good for creating an office feel, and of course, any business certificates you may have that you like to display. Then, working at about two thirds up the wall from the surface of your desk, begin arranging your cluster of picture frames. With sizes ranging from 5×7 to 11×17 (probably not much bigger than 16×20) you can put your biggest in the center and put your smaller frames along the outside. You can do the opposite approach and put your biggest frames on the outside and get smaller as you near the center. There are an infinite number of ways to arrange your picture frames. If your office is in the corner, use both walls that create the corner. This gives your spot the feel of a separate space, not just a haphazardly placed desk shoved into a room for necessity.

Using wall gallery picture frame clusters can create interest in different settings. In the kids’ room there might be a lot of posters and colorful, whimsical art. Our

Colori Medium Yellow
Colori Medium Yellow

Colori picture frames come in many fun, vibrant colors and putting a wall gallery above a child’s bed would give them a place all to themselves where they can daydream happily.

In the dining room, maybe you have a bare wall that could use a little something. A cluster of frames showing family photos in a rustic picture frame like our Appalachian Barnwood frames might be just

Appalachian Barnwood Grey
Appalachian Barnwood Grey

the thing to give it the warmth you’ve been looking for.

Picture frame clusters are a fun and easy way to turn any old room into a unique gallery that says something personal about how you like to e

Kids room Wall Cluster with frames from Frame USA
Kids room Wall Cluster

njoy that space.

Beth Kuhnell

What I frame in my Home: Beth Kuhnell Posterservice Licensing

I think it’s a fair question to ask what an employee of a great frame and poster company would choose to hang on the walls of their own home, I mean we are the experts, right? (Fun fact: We are!) Of course, what attracted me to this company in the first place was my love for art, so of course I also enjoy decorating my own apartment. I would like to share what I’ve chosen to frame on my own walls, whether it came from Frame USA and Posterservice, (which have obviously been great enablers in terms of what I choose hang up), photos of my own, or even my own artwork.

It’s tough to choose the favorite thing I have up, but ultimately I would have to pick my wedding photos, (Okay, so maybe it’s not that tough) which I had framed at our retail store earlier this year. They came out amazing and I get compliments on these all the time.

My Wedding Photos
My Wedding Photos

Wedding Photos 2 Wedding Photos 3

Above our fireplace (slash beer shrine) I have a copy of a Cincinnati skyline print that we gave away to customers and employees here at Frame USA to celebrate our retail store grand re-opening back in 2013. Besides being a stunning shot of my home city, this image is also pretty special to me personally, as I was the one

Over the Mantle
Over the Mantle

who communicated with the artist Keith Allen to get him on board from the project. Below the mantle you’ll also notice the license plate from my last car, which sadly was totaled last year (RIP Car), luckily I came out of that fine, but decided to keep a little memento, because why not?

Speaking of beer… here is the arrangement we have behind our couch in the living room. (Noticing a theme?). My husband and I really love the craft beer theme, and even homebrew our own beer.

Beer Posters
Beer Posters

I also don’t mind framing some of my own artwork, including one of my pieces from my senior thesis project

at UC – DAAP. This piece, “Fibers” is illustrated on stained wood!

Cyberpunk
Cyberpunk

Another drawing of mine is hanging in our computer room, and sports a wicked awesome wood picture frame courtesy of the Frame USA custom framing team.

This isn’t technically on a wall, but on the door to our bedroom. I cut this Legend of Zelda logo out of contact paper and placed it on the door. I really enjoy creating unique wall art like this.

Legend of Zelda
Legend of Zelda

The next one I guess you could call a combination of my own artwork, and a Frame USA/Posterservice project. I designed this ‘Shots!’ poster for the Posterservice line in 2014, since then it has taken off and can even be found in Spencer Gifts stores throughout the nation! So naturally I had to have a copy of my own.

Shots
Shots

While that is not everything I have on my walls, those are for sure some of my favorites! (And some of them would not be there had I not started my career at this company.) I think the

Fibers
Fibers

best rule to follow when choosing what to put on your walls is, have FUN!

Metal Picture Frames

Make Your Business Shine with Metal Picture Frames!

Whether you work in an office, a restaurant a garage or a factory, you’re going to have things hanging on the walls. Inspirational “Successories” posters, a  copy of your drink menu, safety guidelines and certificates, or even just prints to spruce up your decor. This isn’t a dorm room where you can just tack them to the wall, this is your business. You need nice picture frames to hang your art and photos in. You don’t necessarily want plastic poster frames but maybe you’re also not looking for wood picture frames either–you want something more sleek and modern. A perfect solution for your framing needs would be metal picture frames.

Metal picture frames are a great way to show off your business’s wall hangings. There are many benefits to choosing metal frames. For one thing, they’re versatile when it comes to styling. They have slim profiles giving them a sleek, modern look that would be at home in any office setting. Most come in a shiny or “flat” finish so you can decide how much attention you want drawn to the image being framed. You can choose a flat finish frame if you have neutral images that you want to blend into the overall decor, or you can go with shiny if you want to make sure people’s eyes are being caught and focused on your piece. Another benefit to metal picture frames is that they’re lightweight. They’re easy to move around and wall mount. In addition to their lightness, metal frames are also sturdy. Another consideration that is specific to food-service type businesses is that metal picture frames are easily cleaned. If you’ve got pictures hanging up at your tables, food particles can easily find their way up there. With metal frames it’s a snap to just wipe them down and keep them fresh and sparkling. The same goes for a garage where dust and grease are omnipresent. A good scrub with a damp cloth will have metal frames looking like new.

Metal I Picture Frame
Metal I Blue

At Frame USA we have several different styles of metal picture frame, each one having its own profile and color options. Our most basic and popular metal frames are our Metal I and Metal II series. These frames have the same profile– a 3/8″ width with a rounded face–but differ in color choices and finish. Metal I has the shiny finish with the more basic colors–white, blue, red gold and silver.

Metal II Contrast Gold
Metal II Contrast Gold

Metal II has the more flat, “brushed” finish with more elegant colors like bronze, old world and blue pewter, contrast silver, among others.

Let’s say you like the look of the Metal I and Metal II but you want something a little thicker and heavier. Our Heavy Metal picture frames give you the same rounded face but with a 5/8″ width and a heavier build. It comes in four colors, shiny black, flat black, gold and silver and is ideal for more labor oriented shops that need to display safety regulations and certifications.

Heavy Metal Black
Heavy Metal Black

Maybe you aren’t a huge fan of the rounded face, though. You want something flat and you want some different colors choices for your frames. We’ve got you covered

Glory Metal Purple
Glory Metal Purple

there too. Our Glory Metal picture frames have a 5/8″ profile with a flat face, and in addition to the normal black, silver, gold and bronze also features a purple, evergreen and a steel grey. These picture frames would do well holding menus and specials or even posters in a theater lobby.

All of these frames come complete with glazing, backing and hanging hardware, all pre-assembled. “That’s all fine and good,” you say, “but I’ve already got a guy that cuts plexiglass for me and I use special backing. Do you have something I can just put together myself?” As a matter of fact we do! Our U-Frame-It kits come in two different styles; a 7/8″ depth and a 1″ depth, both feature the same colors. These include two frame sections in a certain size (so if you want to build an 11×17 you would buy one kit of 11″ and one kit of 17″) that start at 8″ and go all the way up to 51″. You can mix and

U-Frame-It Kit I Red
U-Frame-It Kit I Red

match to build any combination of sizes for your framed art.

So when you’re thinking about dressing up your business and you’re wondering what kind of frames you want to use, consider metal picture frames. They’re a solid solution that rocks!

Travone Hall Customer Service Supervisor

The Big Frame Machine

Summer time in the good ole’ USA means baseball is in full swing. And we here at Frame USA are fortunate to work in one

Travone Hall  Customer Service Supervisor
Travone Hall
Customer Service Supervisor

of the greatest baseball cities in America: Cincinnati, Ohio, the home of the Cincinnati Reds. If you’re a baseball fan, you know that the Cincinnati Reds had one of the greatest dynasties in all of sports, The Big Red Machine. In the 1970’s baseball greats such as Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez (among others) came together to win five National League pennants, and two World Series titles! Wow, what an accomplishment! But I’m sure you’re asking, what does any of this have to do with picture frames?

Well, we have an equally great team in place here at Frame USA. Just call us The Big Frame Machine. Only instead of winning pennants and World Series titles, we’re working hard every day to create raving fans. Any customer who logs onto the FrameUSA.com site to purchase any of our American-made products can be sure that a lot of time and care will go into each order; you’re going to have a team full of Peter Rose’s and Joe Morgan’s in our warehouse cutting and assembling your frames, making sure each one is a winner for you. And if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, or can’t decide between one of our awesome wood or metal frames? Don’t worry, just give us a call and your own personal Johnny Bench or Tony Perez (including yours truly) will be ready and willing to get you from first to home safely. We’re always happy to interact with our fans; you’re the reason we get out of bed each morning!

At Frame USA we understand how important the photos and memories you’re looking to preserve are to you. So whether you’re purchasing a poster frame for your kid’s college dorm, buying a wooden frame for your recent family photo, or ordering a set of metal frames to decorate your new office, you can be sure that whatever you order will be a home run. Now go hop on the website and knock one out of the park. Happy shopping!

Travone Hall

Frame USA Customer Service Supervisor

Summer Vacation Photo

One Last Summer Craft: Cheap, easy, fun project before the kids go back to school!

Summer vacation is almost over. For some of you there may be a scant few days left before the kids head back to school. You feel like you’ve done it all; amusement parks, road trips, the zoo, the aquarium. You’ve played games together, seen movies together, the whole gamut of activities has been run. You’re all a little tired but you don’t want to just sit around and do nothing, but you don’t have a lot of time (and you don’t want to spend a lot of money). What can you do?

A fun and

Decorate-It 1.5"
Decorate-It 1.5″

relatively easy activity is decorating unfinished picture frames to commemorate all the special things you and your kids did over the break. If you’re lucky enough to be home with your children over the summer, you know that it’s fleeting and you want to have something that you, and they, can hold on to. At Frame USA we have a frame that is specifically made to be crafted and decorated. It’s called the Decorate-It frame and it comes in 3 widths (1.5″, 2″ and 3″–for when you need a lot of room–).

The decorate-it is made from real, unfinished wood so that it can be painted on, glued on, have wood-burning pens used on it–anything you can think of. In addition to coming in three different widths, the decorate it picture frame also comes in a ton of standard

Summer Vacation Photo
Summer Vacation Photo

sizes, including 8×10, 11×17 all the way up to 24×36. But hey, maybe you bought some nifty piece of art at the Summerfest art fair that you all went to and it’s not a

Decorate-It 2"
Decorate-It 2″

standard size. That’s okay because the decorate it also comes in custom sizes as well.

You can sit down with the kids, take your decorate it frames, and maybe pick out pictures together of the fun stuff you did over the summer. Maybe when you were running around the museum, or at the bacon festival. You can paint the frame with your favorite colors and even glue decorations onto it. Did you happen to keep the movie tickets from when you took the kids to see “Avengers: Age of Ultron”? You can glue those to the frame that has the selfie you guys took together in the lobby that day. And even if you didn’t take a lot of photos (because you were too “in the moment” to worry–a good thing to be) you can sit down with the kids and talk about their favorite memories from the summer and have them draw pictures of those days. Paint the frame to match the weather that was happening (lots of blues if it was rainy,

Decorate-It 3"
Decorate-It 3″

oranges and reds if it was hot and sunny). This way you can sit and enjoy reliving those memories with your children as they talk about how much fun they had at the splash park and the time you saw a skunk on the nature trail. And afterwards, you’ll have a beautiful reminder of each and every one of those little moments.

So get out your paints and feathers and glitter and beads, gather the kids around the table, on one of these last long afternoons before school starts. And don’t forget to order some unfinished, decorate-it wood picture frames from Frame USA, to help you get every last ounce of quality time you can.

Star Wars: Episode 4

Today in History: STAR WARS Strikes Back (again and then again)

We all appreciate the impact “Star Wars” has had on pop culture. It can’t be overstated. Whle “Jaws” may have been the first major

Star Wars: Episode 4
Star Wars: Episode 4

“summer blockbuster” in 1975, “Star Wars” came along and nearly doubled it’s lifetime box office (and I’m just talking about the very first Star Wars movie, now referred to as “Episode 4″ in the franchise canon). It’s soaked into our identity and vernacular. Everybody knows what a lightsaber is–even kids who’ve never even seen one of the movies. If you go up to someone and say, “Long ago….” there’s a good chance they’ll come back with, “…in a galaxy far, far away.” It both influences other media and infiltrates it. There were a ton of no-name knockoff space operas in the years that followed, trying to cash in on the Star Wars fever. Of course, without the talent and passion behind them they were easily forgotten. And Star Wars is routinely mentioned in music (Weird Al has at least two or three songs about Star Wars), been the central theme of TV shows (remember when Leonard and Sheldon broke into Skywalker Ranch on “The Big Bang Theory”?)…it’s one of the most ubiquitous films of all tme. Maybe THE most.

The original theatrical run of Episode 4 was just not enough for people. VCR’s and movie rentals were still a few years ahead of the mainstream and people wanted to see this movie over, and over again. So on August 13th, 1982, two years after the seconf film (The Empire Strikes Back!) was released, Star Wars burst into theaters again, blasters blazing. It included the trailer for the third (and supposedly final) film, “Return of the Jedi.” During this run it grossed over $15 million. A five year old movie that everybody had already seen. People just couldn’t get enough of Luke Skywalker, stanring off into the burning Tatooine sunset. They needed to relive Han Solo asking, “Who’s scruffy looking?” And everyone needed more R2-D2 and C-3P0 in their lives (we still do).

That would be amazing enough except that Star Wars got ANOTHER WIDE THEATRICAL RELEASE! Almost twenty years after the original run George Lucas gave us the (fan-loathing and overly retconned)

The Empire Strikes Back!
The Empire Strikes Back!

Special Editions. These were digitally remastered, had a ton of extra scenes added, other scenes and musical cues tweaked, it made a ton of money, I don’t care for them at all. So let’s move on to the release of the VHS Special Edition Boxed Set. This happened, AGAIN on August 13th, the summer of 1997. This was where George Lucas and  the fans he’d given so much to broke up. The Special Editions were released with no plans to offer the original theatrical versions (the ones that he didn’t mess around with). Star Wars fans were (and still are) furious. They mostly did not like the additions and changes and didn’t understand why they couldn’t get cleaned up restorations of the originals (evenutally they were included, bare bones

Return of the Jedi
Return of the Jedi

and with no re-mastering as secondary discs with the special Edition DVD release). Star Wars fans are passionate, to say the least, and were crestfallen. There’s even an entire documentary about the rift between Lucas and his fans (The People VS. George Lucas).

With Disney having taken over the franchise and the first film under the new regime due out this Christmas, hopes are high that the movies will get back to their glory days. It’s doubtful though, that they’ll ever be able to recapture the magic of that first run, of that first film (or that second run for that matter). So while you’re thinking nostalgic thoughts about enjoying Star Wars with your dad as a kid, playing with your action figures and making the little guns go “pew pew!” why don’t you head on over to Posterservice.com and check out our selection of Star Wars posters. Maybe pick one (or all of them) up, frame them with posterframes from Frame USA and relive those Alderaan days and Tatooine nights (and get ready for the onslaught of new movies).

Fancy Frame

LET’S GET FANCY

Iggy Azalea isn’t the only one who can get fancy around here. Occasionally we all want to show off with a bit more pizazz and panache. This applies to our home and office decor as much as it does to our clothes, and specifically, the frames we hang. Sometimes, depending on the art we’re framing, a modern or rustic look just isn’t enough. Those styles are both very fashionable and can be utilized more broadly, but when the picture is something extra special, you have to go big or go home with your picture frame.

For those art pieces that you want to treat like royalty, Frame USA has a number of picture frames that are ornate enough to give

Modena Antique Gold
Modena Antique Gold

you that “wow” factor, without overpowering the image it holds. Perhaps you’ve picked up something at an antique shop, like an old map, or print. It’s unique but not something that holds a lot of sentimental value (yet). A good choice might be our Modena frame. These frames have an “aged” look and are available in “Antique Gold,” “Antique Bronze,” and “Antique Silver.” They’re perfect for something that has an air of history to it.

But maybe what you need is something with a bit more grandeur. A picture frame that doesn’t just compliment the art, but

Presidential Aged Pecan
Presidential Aged Pecan

also tells people how important that art is to you. Family portraits or pictures of loved ones who are no longer with us deserve to be framed in something more regal. Our Presidential picture frame is an excellent choice for these kinds of pictures. The Presidential series has a 2″ wide profile with a steeply sloped outer edge and curled “rope” along the inner edge. It comes in three colors, “Aged Gold,” “Aged Bronze,” and “Aged Pecan.” It’s a picture frame that demands respect for both itself and the artwork cradled within it.

“Both of those are beautiful, American made picture frames,” you might be saying, “but what I have needs something that says, ‘all eyes on me.'” You want a frame with a lot of intricate detail that stops just short of going over the top. For the original watercolor you commisioned or the limited edition print, signed and numbered by the artist, you want people to “ooooh,” and “aaaah.” We have you covered with two different frames. The most ornate in our collection. The first is our Napoleon picture frame. The Napoleon, much like it’s namesake,

Napoleon Antique Gold
Napoleon Antique Gold

is a conqueror, taking charge of any room it’s placed in. It combines the beading of the Modena with the rope of the Presidential and adds a flourish with a striking inner scoop. Like the other two series it has three colors, “Antique Gold,” “Antique Silver,” and “Black with Gold.” However, if you want to crank the fanciness level up to 11 while still staying tasteful, we have one more picture frame for you to consider. For maximum drama try our Victorian picture frame. With a delicate intertwining of carved embellishments, the Victorian

Victorian Walnut with Gold
Victorian Walnut with Gold

stands above the rest as a frame that leaves no doubt that you are making a deliberate, bold statement. Luxurious and maybe a bit aloof (but still alluring) the Victorian frame comes in “Antique Gold, and “Walnut with Gold.”

So even if your usual style is more low key and laid back, it doesn’t hurt to get a little fancy every now and then. After all, you deserve it.

The Beatles-Abbey Road

Beatles Begin!

On this day, August 7th, 1957, a rock and roll band, The Quarrymen (missing one of their guitarists who was at scout  camp) played their first gig at a local Liverpool jazz

The Beatles
The Beatles

club called “The Cavern.” This moment in time may have come and gone without note, except that this band would someday change their name and also the world. Just a few short years after this show, the Quarrymen would become The Beatles, and because this first show at the cavern would be a milestone for them–it became a milestone for music, pop culture and everything else.

The story of how John Lennon and Paul McCartney formed their band as teenagers still in high school is well known, as are the bandmembers who came and went before the group found its true fame (Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best). What’s special about this story, though, is the way these kids took the stage and did what they wanted, despite the bad reputation that their beloved rock and roll had at that time. They were primarily known as a skiffle band (a british style of folksy The Beatles rhythm and blues–think the UK version of rockabilly) and this was a more accepted musical style than the more raucous American rock.

The Cavern was a tiny little jazz spot, really just a basement room, in Liverpool, catering to sailors, dockworkers and their girlfriends. When the Quarrymen went on to play, it was allowed that they’d be playing skiffle, but understood that this was not the place for hip-swinging rock and roll. And so the show went on just as expected till about halfway through their set. Then the spirit of rebellion grabbed a hold of John Lennon and he began shredding his way through Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” and basically told this club–and the world–that they did as they pleased. Remember, these were just kids–George Harrison was 14–playing to a room of hard, working class men and women, early in their career as a band. Really this was one of their first professional gigs. It would have been easy to let the pressure keep

The Beatles--Timeline
The Beatles–Timeline

them in the box of acceptable music but their passion and confidence were too great to let them be held down. Of course, the story goes that the Cavern Club owner sent a note to the stage for them to quit it with the rock and roll and the show went back to harmless skiffle. In that one moment, though, they showed that fiery, defiant thing that would drive them to become the greatest rock band of all time.

So as you go through your Friday, play some Beatles tunes and celebrate the first club show that would lead to a revolution in art, music and ultimately pop culture as a whole. And while you’re doing that, maybe pop onto Posterservice.com and grab a couple of our Beatles posters to put up in your office and share a little bit of that defiance and creative joy.

Appalachian Barnwood Grey

Barnwood is Beautiful!

Sleek and modern styling for decor has been in fashion for a while now, but recently a return to a more rustic approach has been gaining popularity. A lot of people are finding that the homespun, outdoorsy look helps them relax better after they’ve spent a long day at an office where the surroundings are all straight lines and neutral colors. This has led to a boom in the business of “reclaimed” wood–wood taken from demolished farmhouses, outbuildings and barns–to create furniture and decorations. And of course, here at Frame USA, our interest lies in one particular form of home decoration: Wood picture frames.

There are different kinds of reclaimed or “barnwood” styles on the market. The most well known is the kind that is actually reclaimed from those old farm buildings. The planks are taken away and stripped of paint and checked for errant nails and splinters before being collected and sent to the artisans and manufacturers who will create picture frames out of it. What lends it so much charm are the imperfections that come with it. The slightly warped or uneven edges, small knotholes and chips. This lets you know that it is real and has its own unique history.  The one problem with truly reclaimed barnwood is that, sometimes the imperfections can be too imperfect. It’s impossible to catch every knothole that’s just a little too big, and sometimes those chips are big chunks to noticeable to overcome.

To get around that, some suppliers have created a barnwood look, made from regular fresh lumber, but distressed to give it that reclaimed, country look. This ensures that, while the style is reminiscent of true barnwood (sometimes impossible to tell from a distance) it has a more consistend finish for those who are looking for a material that’s easier to work with.

At Frame USA, we currently have two different barnwood style frames that are made in the USA. Both of these are of the second, barnwood-style type (though we are planning on carrying the true reclaimed barnwood frames again in the near future–we’ve had great success with them). The first kind is our Appalachian Barnwood picture frames which are the closest to our old style reclaimed wood frames.

Appalachian Barnwood Grey
Appalachian Barnwood Grey

These come in four different colors (Grey, Whitewash, Rustic Black and Rustic Brown) and all of our standard sizes up to 24×36. They have the distressed and “stripped” look of true barnwood and feature a “double frame” style build. These are ideal for putting up in a den, family room or living room.

Our other current style of barnwood frames is our Farmhouse Barnwood series. These have a simpler build, with a flat profile and come in two different colors, white and charcoal. These picture frames also have a distressed finish, and with their simple profile

Farmhouse Barnwood White
Farmhouse Barnwood White

would go well in a kitchen, bathroom or bedroom (though either of these wood frames would work perfectly in any room of your house).

So if you have photos and art you want to hang in frames that remind you of a time when things moved a little slower and lives were a little less hectic, think about picking up one of our barnwood frames. True beauty that’s found within imperfection.