A frame collage (Or “Gallery Wall”) is a HUGE recent trend in interior design. A recent Kickstarter campaign shows that, in framing, sometimes less is more.
We’ve talked a lot about frame collages in the past, and the great statement they can make when assembled in a tasteful manner. We’ve seen many of our customers take great advantage of this technique, from Bachelor winners to our tasteful twitter followers…
In recent news, however, we’ve found a great example of forward-thinking design for framing mobile photography. (Instagram lovers, this is for you!)
Meet the Fotobit: a modular framing system by Alan Yeung. This product allows you to place the frame on the wall using a single nail, balance the frame with a built-in leveler, and attach the frame to other units to create an assmblage of frames. The concept is very modern and well-received–in fact, the Kickstarter has raised over $4,000 above the expected amount! With this trend in frame collage design on the rise, it’s obvious that this style of design is here to stay.
What are your thoughts on this new product? Let us know if you’re a fan of this modular-style frame, or what you’ve done to mimic this look! (We personally thing that our Architect series could handle the challenge!)
Frame USA Offers Craft Kits for those who Love to “Do It Yourself”
We get it, we get it! Projects that start with a broken couch and an old rusted locomotive engine often DO make some of the coolest home design pieces. Just like we can’t get enough of lightbulbs turned into gardening fixtures or christmas wreaths made out of coat hangers. It’s fun, stylish, cheap incredibly creative.
We make it a point to offer a few lines of products that our customers can tweak and edit to their heart’s desire. Below, we’ll list some sources of great products that you can use to make your own custom frame designs — but first, a video that should clarify the whole DIY process for beginners!
Once you’ve gotten the hang of the inspiration – create – share phases, you’ll be churning out great projects in no time. Here are some products we offer that have inspired some great customer creations in the past — we’re sure you’ll find them useful, too!
Unfinished Picture Frames: The ultimate favorite when it comes to complete personalization, the unfinished series can be oiled, glossed or stained to create the perfect look you’re trying for.
Decorate – It Picture Frames: A favorite for the kids, the Decorate-It series has always been a great success for ourselves and customers alike. The highlight of this frame is the totally open, flat surface which you can use to decorate in any way you’d like. We’ve really enjoyed taking these to local festivals and fairs, bringing craft supplies and letting kids decorate their own frames. You really can’t go wrong with Decorate-It, as a professional or as a craft-lover.
U-Frame Kits: These metal frame kits are unique in that they do not come assembled, rather, they arrive to you in two pieces per item purchased. What does this mean for you? Total framing freedom! Our easy-to-use kits come with assembly instructions and come with two pieces of moulding per item bought. What this means is that you can buy a 24 inch U Frame Kit and a 36 inch U Frame Kit, then assemble them to create a 24×36 frame! Aside from the freedom in assembling your own way, you also have the ability to mix colors if your art piece calls for something outside of the traditional frame.
Shadow Box / Jersey Frames: Being in the home town of both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Reds, we see a pretty great amount of business from Shadow Box customers. Shadow box frames are also commonly referred to as “Jersey frames” among athletes and sports fans. These are good for many other purposes, however — dioramas, antiques, art installations and 3D assemblage pieces are among many other ways to use these frames to their fullest.
Acid – Free Mat Tape “Frame”: A relatively new method (popularity-wise) that involves wrapping the outside of the frame in tape, creating unique designs where the only limitation is your own creativity. Our mat tape is perfect for things like this! See some awesome examples here!
Custom Picture Frame Mats: We also offer custom mats to fit any frame you may already have built. Using MatDesigners, you can order mats that can fit into almost any picture frame with the exact style and opening you’re looking for.
Other fun series: Barnwood and Corporate always produce fun results for our customers, just because of their versatility and price. Barnwood is naturally a very earthy look, so this frame already fits the DIY description!
Follow us on Pinterest for more on some fun “DIY” projects. We would love to see what great things you’ve created with our frames!
A video from London Sessions Productions and Rita Konig presents “The Decorations of Houses”, A Guide to Picture Framing.
We were thrilled to see such a well-done and honest video on this subject from the New York Times. In this video, interior designer Rita Konig explains the value and versatility of a picture frame (and of custom framing in general. Rita is known in framing for her rather unorthadox views on picture framing — particularly when it comes to the art involved.
Her biggest design tip? “Each frame does something different to the picture”, she says. The art inside the frame, while obviously having an important place in the composition, is not necessarily the “star” of the finished product. Indeed, oftentimes the frame will accentuate the art in ways that significantly increase the value.
This is a new series by the New York Times that will hopefully be an ongoing project between Rita and the best-selling media publication. Rita Konsig is best known for her work as an interior designer, so we look forward to seeing what she has in store.
To receive a custom framing quote for your own images, or just to get some consultation on framing your own art piece, fill out our custom quote form.
97 year-old Nancy Cole of Spartanburg, Kansas recently opened up her first art show in… Well, ever. In a story of true inspiration, Nancy began her pursuits in art at the age of 90 and never looked back. It tooks seven years of practice and creating piece after piece, but eventually she was ready for the big time. Her instructor, Bailie, saw something special in her work and stories, eventually calling up a local gallery for an official art show featuring Nancy’s work. The resulting art show hailed in great responses from the community and beyond, selling two art pieces within the first 13 minutes of the show.
As artists ourselves, this story is truely inspiring. To be able to create art at such an advanced age is really special! Nancy’s age only adds to the charm of her colorful work. Nancy recalls knowing “historic figures from seemingly different worlds – Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. and artist Georgia O’Keeffe”, and taking wild adventures such as “hot air ballooning in Africa with the Philadelphia Zoological Society.” Nancy believes that life is what you make it, if you take hold of it and live to be your best. We can’t help but agree and take that advice to heart!
“This has been quite an experience… I feel very grateful and very humble about all of this,” she said.
Do you have a gallery show that you’re preparing for? Fill out our custom quote form and we’ll help you out!
Etsy Artists and Craftsmen are Welcomed to Help Promote Small Business Saturday with Frame USA
Saturday, November 30th is small business Saturday. While Frame USA is a pretty small business with about 70 employees, a good chunk of our customers are artists and crafty creators that also sell online or in a shop of their town. At Frame USA, we want to show our support to these small businesses and support local economies by offering a great deal to these customers. However, you don’t have to be a Frame USA customer for us to feature your shop! Check out the rules below our promotional image.
As our poster says, we are mainly looking for Etsy art, craft and design creators. Frame USA is an online business and it’s what we know best, so customers with an Etsy account (or other online shopping place) will probably see the most benefit from this initiative. Simply send an email to the address in the image above to get started! If you know anyone who would benefit from a promotion like this, feel free to send it their way.
Thanks for sticking with us, and remember to shop small and shop local!
Frame USA’s Annual Charity Campaign Gains a Great Community Ally for Fill The Truck 2013
This holiday season, Frame USA is continuing the annual FillTheTruck.org campaign, where we pick a few outstanding charities around the Cincinnati area that help a wide range of people who are down on their luck. Around the holidays, these situations are made worse by the drop in temperature and the need for food, warm clothing and supplies to get through the winter season. That’s where Frame USA and Fill The Truck come in. Springing from a company-wide charitable initiative started four years ago, Frame USA CEO Dan Regenold decided to keep filling supply trucks for charities all around the Cincinnati area.
Fill The Truck initially started as one of Frame USA’s monthly charitable initiatives, where we donate $1 for every online order (and ask our customers to join in.)
This year, Furniture Fair is joining the Fill The Truck 2013 initiative to spread the good cheer to even more charities. Our first year running, we mainly focused on supporting one charity. In our second run, we expanded to eleven charities and eleven businesses supporting those charities. Last year we supported six, and this year we’re planning to help a total of seven charities. Furniture Fair’s multiple locations in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area will be hosting storage units, ensuring that each charity will be receiving the means necessary to keep stocked during the winter season.
How to get involved
Helping “Fill The Truck” is actually very simple, and anyone can do it! Here are three ways that YOU can make a difference:
1. Visit FillTheTruck.org and donate to your charity of choice. Frame USA is donating to The Healing Center, but you can choose which of the seven chartities you’d like to support. On each “product” page, we have a list of supplies that are requested from all charities. Simply purchase any of these items and we will organize and distribute them. If you’re not sure what to buy, that’s okay! You can select “donate cash” and we will allocate the money into whatever that specific charity needs the most.
2. If you’re a Cincinnati local, you can drop off the listed donations at any of our truck locations. You can find information on locations by visiting FillTheTruck.org.
3. We understand if the holidays aren’t a great time for you to donate. The poor state of the economy is the reason we run Fill The Truck (as well as spreading some holiday cheer, of course.) If you “like” Frame USA and Fill The Truck on Facebook and even follow us on Twitter, that is a great way to help us out. Share our posts with your friends and help us spread the word that NOBODY should be cold or hungry this holiday season. We’d love to see as many families as possible have good food, warm clothes and the supplies they need for this season.
Our poster division, Posterservice Inc., is very fortunate to have such a diverse customer base. Music stores, museums, smoke shops, poster distributors, Spencers, college book stores and educational resource vendors all depend on Posterservice for the hottest images in poster printing and publishing.
One service that our customers particularly enjoy is a service offered by Posterservice called plaque mounting. Plaque mounting is a display option that allows you to preserve your image my mounting an image on wood, followed by laminating the image in a transparent seal that turns an ordinary wood mount into… well, a plaque! Chances are, if you’ve visited any home decor shop, you’ll find a great assortment of beautiful art prints inside of a plaque.
Kandy Myny – artist, entrepreneur and our number 1 plaque customer – has used Posterservice for just a short period, since February 2011. In this time she has placed an average of 6 orders a month, each order totalling a substantial amount of plaques. It’s customers like Kandy that any business is proud to serve. She loves our wood mount product so much that it is one of the main items she sells showcasing her beautiful art!
About the artist:
“I am a self taught mixed media artist creating original paintings, collages and reproductions. I love to express the whimsical side of things by using a rich and colorful color palette. My whimsical mixed media style is created using paint, paper, charcoal, and a variety of textural elements to create unique, one of a kind pieces of art. Whenever possible I enjoy using recycled materials both new and old to incorporate into my work. My portfolio includes a whimsical world of colorful neighborhoods and landscapes with trees that resemble lollipops, birds with stilt like legs, owls, quirky homes and girls with inspiring messages. In just a few short years I have created Bit O’ Whimsey Design Studio, travel to juried art fairs, sell to galleries and boutiques, manage an Etsy shop and I have created a wholesale line. My art has been well received and is in homes across the country and the world…”
That’s right! Well, conditionally of course. We can’t just GIVE away our frames…
But we are holding an art blogging contest on our Facebook page for artists, interior decorators and designers of all kinds. This is a chance to not only receive FREE Frame USA gift cards of at least $25, but to also gain additional exposure as an artist/designer.
The contest rules are as follows:
“Submit one blog entry related to art, interior decorating, DIYprojects, art framing or galleries. Successful articles will have at least 250 words, at least 2 images (bonus points for original images, if taken offline, must provide link to image), and an optional artist bio section with 2 links to their portfolio/facebook page. We want to encourage sharing when the articles hit our blog!”
Articles that follow our guidelines receive greater chance of winning. We are seeking quality articles and also to credit the artists/designers/authors. We encourage sharing as this increases the pool of winners. Artist bios should be submitted with every entry. One entry per person only please.”
Over the past year, we have had several customers or clients send us images of how they are using our picture frames, poster frames, and shadow boxes. We love seeing these images.
We have seen our frames in use for custom birthday messages and certificates. We have seen our shadow boxes used for three dimensional artworks. We’ve seen our wood frames series and metal frames used for 27 x 40 movie poster collections. We’ve seen alot, but we haven’t seen it all.
Do you use any of our products in your home or business? Are you an artist or photographer using our frames for your finished pieces? We would love to include your pictures in a future post! You can visit us on Facebook and upload them there: https://www.facebook.com/frameusa
We can’t wait to see what you guys come up with next!
If you are looking for some great frames for your art or photography, be sure to check out the following links:
Remember, if you need any help with any picture frames, please call 800.577.5920 or click here if you have custom framing needs.
1) Jobs – Every dollar that we spend on American-made products can help boost the economy and keep our fellow Americans working by creating AMERICAN jobs. This is extremely important as jobs are being outsourced overseas and more and more Americans are losing work.
2) Labor/Environment – Production that occurs overseas is often void of human rights and regulations that we have in the U.S. including fair labor, wage, and safety. Sweatshops contribute to child labor, slave labor, and many other human rights violations. Buying American helps avoid these barbarous labor conditions. Moreover, there are many standards within the U.S. that help regulate processes to promote environmentally responsible manufacturing. These standards include reducing energy use, pollution, and other effects that overseas manufacturing can have on the environment. Frame USA offers many benefits to its employees and has an ongoing green initiative to help support the environment.
3) Local Businesses Give Back to Their Communities – American businesses tend to invest in their local communities through various community outreach initiatives and volunteer efforts because they want to see them prosper. By shopping American, local companies are able to increase their community involve through funding, volunteerism, activism, and more! Frame USA has many different community outreach initiatives that you can read about here.