As summer approaches I felt it appropriate to talk about one of my favorite pastimes, baseball. Baseball is definitely my biggest ongoing hobby throughout my life. From the time I started playing tee ball up until playing softball in my late twenties, baseball has been a constant for me throughout the years.
As a kid and still as an adult I love going to Reds games. Growing up a Ken Griffey Jr. fan I was definitely excited to see him come to the Reds organization. I have been fortunate enough to see live some of the most exciting games the Reds have played in – from walk off homeruns to playoff games to Opening Day.
There’s a different mood when it comes to baseball in the city of Cincinnati, and the fans can’t get enough of it. Opening Day here is more of a holiday or celebration than it is just the start of the baseball season. It is common for people to take off work, ditch class, or just call in sick to go down to partake in our Opening Day Parade. If you’ve never been you definitely need to check it out sometime soon.
Post by Lindsay Allen, Inside Sales Representative for Frame USA
I recently had the opportunity to join a class at Painting With a Twist. Let me tell you, this was by far THE BEST Wine and Canvas workshop that I’ve been to (if you aren’t familiar with these workshops I HIGHLY recommend them to anyone)! Now, I am an absolute novice when it comes to painting, but at the end of the class I felt like Van Gogh (metaphorically speaking of course)! So, when I brought the canvas home, I was so excited to find the perfect spot to hang it but something just didn’t seem right, it was almost naked on my wall. Something was missing on my beautiful canvas, but what?
A frame of course!
I used our sleek Build-A-Frame feature on Frameusa.com to upload an image of my piece and, voila! I found the perfect picture frame for my one of a kind canvas! For those who have stretched canvases at home, and love to frame your pieces, here are some quick framing tips!
Always make sure you order frames with no materials (shell only)
Since the canvas is painted, this actaully seals the fabric and prevents deterioration of the fibers. So glazing is not a necessity when it comes to framing canvas. This will save you money rather than having to pay for a frame that comes with a bunch of materials that you don’t need. However, make sure that you have hardware to install the canvas on your own. Off set brackets can be found at any frame shop, or hardware store.
Make sure you pay attention to the depth of the “rabbet” in comparison to the depth of your stretcher bars.
For example, if your stretcher bar is ½ inch deep, the rabbet of the frame must be at least ½ deep. Otherwise the canvas will not be flush with the back of the frame.
Make sure you have the appropriate hanging hardware for the size of your framed canvas.
The biggest mistake a lot of people make is attempting to hang their canvas on too thin of wire, or anchors that are not compatible with the weight of the frame. This is very dangerous, not only for hanging a framed canvas, but for hanging any type of frame. If you are unsure of what type of hanging hardware to use, please ask a professional to assist.
Also, if you’re one of those crafty people who like to step out of the norm when it comes to framing, another great frame option is our Floater Series! What makes this frames stand out from the others is that it is a front loading frame, making your canvas appear to be floating inside of the frame. It also has a ¾ deep “rabbet”, which is deep enough for most stretched canvases.
I am so excited to get my canvas framed and hung on my wall! It will truly be a work of art!
To mat or not to mat? That is a valid question when putting art and photos into picture frames. When should you use a mat? What color mat should you use? Do I need acid free matting? There are no wrong answers (well, when it comes to mat measurements there can be wrong answers) to these questions but there are some typical things that people tend to do that might be helpful if you’re wondering what you should do about matting your piece before framing it. So let’s do a quick, easy-breezy run down of some common mat ideas.
WHEN SHOULD YOU MAT?
Not every picture you put in a frame needs a mat. If you just want to pop in one of the kids’ 5×7 or 8×10 school photos into a picture frame of the same size, and you’re just going to change it out the following year–those probably don’t need matted. Matted photos are usually ones that you plan on keeping framed indefinitely and that you want to give a little extra oomph to. The purpose of a mat is to give the picture some extra space in the frame so that you can use a larger picture frame to add dramatic weight to whatever the artwork is that you’re framing. A family portrait that you’re hanging in the living room, or a special art print that you’ve purchased and want to put in a nice, righ frame. These are the typical kinds of pictures you want to mat. Of course, you can mat anything you like but if you’re wondering, “Does this need matted?” this is a good rule of thumb.
Also, when you have a piece that is an unusual size but you’d like to try and get it into a standard sized frame–that is a time you’d want to get a mat. The mat will go to the inside edges of the frame and the opening then can be centered and made the size of the piece. The only caveat with this is that the vertical sides of the mat may be different than the horizontal so that one dimension has more space than the other, but this is a solution to that problem.
WHAT SIZE MAT AND OPENING SHOULD I GET?
Again, with sizing, there is no one right thing to do. If you’re basing the size of your frame on the size of your mat you start with the mat width. That is how much matting you want around your photo or art. A good safe, round number is 2″. A lot of people use this number. It’s not too much matting or too little. If your photo is small-ish (5×7) and you don’t want the frame to be much bigger, you can drop this down to 1″. And of course if you’re going for a certain look where you want a lot of space, or just a thin edge, you can do those too. The thinnest you can go, however, is 3/4″ because you must account for the lip of the frame taking up a little on each side. And speaking of accounting for the lip, you will also want to take into consideration making your mat opening slightly smaller than your piece (unless your piece has already built in a border around it to accomodate matting–in which case you can make your exact image size the opening size). For this example we’ll assume your piece has no border. You need to make the opening at least 1/4″ smaller than your actual paper or whatever physical medium your image is on. This is so the piece has something to fall against when put up to the opening and can be taped to the inside of the mat. We recommend 1/2″ total (which works out to be 1/4″ per side because there are two sides). Once you have your opening and how wide you want your mat, you can come up with your outer dimensions. Again, because the lip of any frame will take up a little of the mat, it’s nearly impossible to get the exact amount of space (unless you have the frame in hand and can measure the lip exactly), So for example, if your piece is an 11×14 photo and you want 2″ of matting you would:
Take 11×14 and remove 1/2″ from each side to get 10.5×13.5. This is your opening size. Then add 4″ to each side (this is taking both sides into account) to get 14.5×17.5. This is your outside dimensions and the opening size of your frame. Or, if you want a standard sized frame, a 16×20 would give you about 3.25″ of matting all the way around.
SHOULD I GET ACID FREE?
Most paper products contain some acidic chemicals. The amounts are minute, but over time they can discolor or damage a piece that they’ve been attached to for a long period of time. If the piece you’re matting and putting in a picture frame is not particularly special to you or is not valuable or will never be removed from it’s frame then you can probably safely use any standard or premium mat. It takes a long time for any damage to occur, if it ever does. However, if the piece is a one of a kind, a limited edition or something with sentimental value, you may want to consider acid free. Acid free mats are a little more expensive and don’t come in as many colors but they will not mar or damage your piece, even after years and years. If you are going to choose an acid free mat you’ll also want to be sure and affix your piece with acid free tape.
There are a lot of other questions that can go into matting; multiple openings, double and triple mats, color choices and textured mats. When you have specific questions about matting, you can always call the customer service department at Frame USA (800-577-5920) or live chat them through the website and they will help you choose and size the right mat for your piece. You can also use our Build-A-Frame service to do a step by step process that shows you what the mat and frame will look like (and you can even upload an image and compare it against your wall color to see how it will look) to make things even easier. Or if you know exactly what you want, feel free to go straight to Mat Designers and put in an order.
Matting may seem complicated once you get into it, but don’t overthink it and always ask questions. Your framed art piece will be better for it.
Giving gifts is hard. Whether it might be for a friend or loved one that you want to give something personal to. Or maybe it’s for a school or work event and you want to give the recipient something will keep and remember. It can be tricky choosing something. A really perfect choice, for nearly any situation is custom engraved picture frames from Frame USA.
A picture frame is a gift that you can tailor to whomever you’re giving it to on many levels. First off, you have the photo or art that you’ll put into it. Maybe it’s a brother or sister and you’ve found a picture from when you were kids. It was thought lost but you turned it up. Now you can get a nice photo frame to put it in and give it to your loved one. Already this is a nice, thoughtful present, but you can take it a step further by making it a true custom picture frame. You can have it laser engraved. We are able to engrave text and logos by burning away a line of the finish or top layer of the wood on a wood picture frame to show the wood beneath. It’s a very tight, classy look. You could engrave your picture frame to say, “Me and my big bro” on the top frame rail and “Myrtle Beach, 1993″ on the bottom of the frame. Or both lines on the same frame rail. Or a line on every frame rail. There are a lot of options for how to make your custom frame and many standard fonts to choose from. This idea works well for wedding anniversaries, baby showers, anything where a date is involved that you can engrave on your frame or to commemorate an event. For friends and family, an ideal wood picture frame to engrave is our Engrave-It frame. As the name suggests, it is made specifically to be laser engraved. It has a wide profile and a rich honey finish. Text and logos show up great when the wood shows through.
Engraved frames are particularly well suited to awards ceremonies for schools and corporate events. Again, for work anniversaries or retirment, a beautiful wood picture frame like our American Hardwoods or Coffee Bean series. These are both wide, flat frames with a slightly beveled edge and rich, dark colors that really contrast well when the finish is burned away to reveal the wood of the frame. These are great for graduation photos with the grad’s high school or college name engraved and maybe their years of attendance. Or maybe your PTA wants to present something to a particularly inspirational teacher, this is a gift where they’re name and room number–or a message of thanks, can be engraved. For corporate giveaways at tradeshows, simple logos can also be engraved as well. it is a sharp look and has the feel of a substantial promotional product but is also very affordable.
There’s no right or wrong way to create your engraved picture frames. There are so many options for text and graphics. You can get creative with it and give someone something really memorable. Engraved picture frames are made to impress.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
best rule to follow when choosing what to put on your walls is, have FUN!
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.
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 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.
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
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
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!
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
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!
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
“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)
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
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).
We started this championship with 16 different frame series to figure out which one is considered the Ultimate Picture Frame by our customers. After close games and difficult choices you have chosen the two series that will meet together for the first time to fight to the death to find out which one is the ultimate picture frame.
The Corporate Narrow picture Frame Series has been a favorite from the beginning winning the matches against Cafe Narrow, Architect, AND Glory Metal by a landslide. It’s easy to see why this frame has made such an impact on our customers! This series is quite possible the most versatile line of frames on frameusa.com. The moulding is classic and the colors are modern and fresh.
The success of the Shadowbox Showcase Picture Frame Series came as a bit of a shock to folks around the office right from the start. The first win came against the more popular traditional series, Shadowbox Elite. This was the start of the Cinderella story of this series. The fans of this series are going to really have to step up their game if they want to see it in the winners circle.
Its safe to say this is going to be one exciting, nail biting final match!
Fight for your favorite by casting your vote. The Ultimate Picture Frame will be decided on 4/2/15 at 3:45 PM EST.
The ultimate picture frame winner will receive its reward the evening of 4/3/15 so be sure to sign up for our mailing list so you don’t miss out!
There is a little over a week left to prepare for Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day sometimes can be difficult especially when it follows relatively close to other gifting holidays. So what else is left to give the people in your life that appear to have everything?! We’ve compiled a couple of ideas to help inspire your inner crafter and create one of a kind gifts for everyone special in your life.
Earlier this week we started creating a pinterest board with Valentine’s Day ideas that we came across. This board is a compilation of home decorating ideas and gifts for your child’s teacher all the way to your significant other. We will be continually putting more and more ideas into this board leading up to V-Day.
Here are some of our favorites we have seen so far.
Valentine for Your Child’s Favorite Teacher:
Frame a quote for your child’s favorite teacher. There are so many free print out sites that have quotes like this one or others. If you want something more meaningful, find a class picture, or a picture with your child and the teacher. Having your child decorate the frame will set your gift apart from the standard store bought valentine. Our Unfinished Series is the perfect frame for the job!
Valentine for Your Parents:
Handmade valentines are just so much better than store bought ones, especially when the recipient is your child’s grandparent. This idea will kill two birds with one stone! Occupy your kids by having them decorate a frame to be used for a valentine for a grandparent.
Don’t have kids? That shouldn’t stop you! Decorate a frame yourself and frame a picture of you and your parent from when you were a kid.
Valentine’s Day isn’t just for your significant others! It’s a day to celebrate your love and appreciation for all those you care about, best friends included. Everyone has a favorite picture with their best friend so rather than let it sit in some photo album never to be seen or on your Facebook, use it to make a memorable and meaningful valentine! Find a quote that is appropriate and fitting for your relationship and decorate a frame with it!
Last but definitely not least is a valentine for your significant other. The ideas for this one are endless, but we love the idea of using a shadowbox for this valentine and to make it extra special make it a custom shadowbox using our Shadowbox Elite Unfinished frame.
If you and your sweetie have a song, or a poem that you both love, why not write it out on the back of the shadowbox and use letter tiles like you find in scrabble games to write an extra special message!
If you hadn’t noticed, all of the ideas that we gave you here had one thing in common, they all emphasized creating and decorating frames. We think Valentine’s Day gifts should be much more than just a bag of candy and a store bought card. DIY gifts may take extra time, but the feeling they give your loved ones is way worth it.
To make these valentine gift ideas even more sweet (pun definitely intended) we have a sale going on with all the frames mentioned! Save on the frames you use for your V-day gifts that will mean the world to your loved ones. This sale expires 2.5.15 at midnight!