Don't forget the Souvenirs

Photo taken on a trip to France.

Photo taken on a trip to France.

Souvenir: so͞ovəˈni(ə)r/  noun

1. a thing that is kept as a reminder of a person, place, or event. synonyms: memento, keepsake, reminder, token

A small piece of paradise fit into a shadow box frame.

A small piece of paradise fit into a shadow box frame.

I love to travel and enjoy picking up little things along the way. 

This is my most recent travel masterpiece. It's my own little Hawaiian paradise in tiny shadow box form. A collection of shells from the beach combined with a personal snapshot of the amazing view from our ocean-side accommodations. 

It's always a thrill to assist customers with their own memorabilia for framing and to hear your travel stories.  I'm sure you have your own collections and ideas about what to bring back as a souvenir. Here's some things we've framed for others or picked up for ourselves!

  • personal snap shots 
  • postcards
  • subway maps 
  • magnets for the fridge
  • collections of rocks and seashells
  • match books
  • a collection of small vials of dirt from around the globe
  • interesting foreign beer coasters
  • sugar cubes individually wrapped in colorful paper
  • gelato spoons from a tour of Italy
  • funky graphic postcards picked up for free in a coffee shop in Amsterdam
  • street art of all ilks
  • that adorable restaurant menu from Paris that somehow ended up in my mother's purse
  • plastic sushi from Japan
  • a piece of the Berlin wall


The Family Portrait of the Future…with one Set Back

Meet the family.

Have you seen or heard much about this 3D printing thing yet? They say at some point we may all have our own 3D printer for household use. Misplaced your house key? No problem…just print yourself up a new one. Sounds weird, but nobody was carrying a phone around with them 10 years ago and now we're lost without one. The future is looking quite interesting.

This happy little mini-family of figurines was created through a 360 degree digital scan which is then 3D color printed using a ceramic polymer material. It’s a whole new futuristic take on the traditional family portrait.

Our Mini Customer

Our Mini Customer

Our customer brought his mini “fam” in to design a stylish and dust-free presentation. All manner of 3-dimensional objects are frame-worthy and deserve to be protected, preserved, and displayed. We employed a little framing trick here by resting the artwork on the bottom—or actually the side—of the frame. A deep frame like this is known as a shadow box and we call that sideways place between the glass and the background the “setback”.

Watch one of these 3D “portraits” being made here and get a glimpse into your future. Remember, it may not be a traditional portrait photograph but it can still be framed! 

The finished framing project!

The finished framing project!

Fabulous Framing: The Wedding Dress

This simple adjustment gave the impression of dancing and liveliness and outlined a perfect space for all the other objects.

The customer provided some fun photos that could be used in addition to the jewelry accessories, and the final challenge was choosing the best way to lay them out.


This project begins with one of the most memorable moments in a person's life -- the wedding! Our customer, the blushing bride, wanted to commemorate her special day by framing the items she was wearing: her dress, necklace, and hair pieces. 

The first challenge was hiding a few wine stains on the front of the dress. We decided to add a twist in the dress at the waist, which created a wonderful romantic, flowing shape. 


The finished result is nothing short of stunning. 

The dress and accessories were delicately sewn into place. A warm-silver shadowbox frame was chosen for it's swirling details and the soft off-white silk background enhances the texture of the dress. 


What a fantastic way to commemorate such an important day. Projects like this are so much fun for framers, and it is a perfect example of what makes custom framing so amazing! Go here to read more about the framing of all things wedding.

Fabulous Framing: Fixer Upper

Every so often, a customer brings us art that needs a bit of TLC. Whether it's a painting with a tear, a lithograph with water damage, or an antique poster with brittle creases, we are always up for the challenge to make it look new again. The before-and-after can be stunning, as skilled conservators and restoration professionals breath life back into damaged pieces. The art itself isn't the only thing that needs a bit of fixing up from time to time -- occasionally, we also help facilitate the restoration of the frame that holds it.

When this customer came in, he was originally looking to pick out a new frame for his antique print. As we went over the options, however, we discussed how much we both liked the original frame, and how it had sentimental value for the customer, as the piece had been in his family for some years. 

Before 02b.jpg

Taking a closer look, we noticed that the main issue with the frame was that some of the ornate detailing around the outer edges had chipped away. A few chunks remained, but in some places there was nothing but an empty gap. 

We began to consider restoration. Not only would a restorer be able to reattach the existing broken pieces, but they could actually make a mold of the still intact areas of the frame, which they could then use to recreate new ornament pieces to fill in the gaps. 

Before 04b.jpg
After 03b.jpg

A triumphant return, held up with pride by yours truly! When the frame came back from restoration, we were blown away by how accurately it had been restored. 

After 01.jpg

Looking at the frame now, you would never suspect that it had been damaged, and you would also never suspect that it had been restored! The fixed areas look flawless and original, with astonishing attention to detail.

The customer and I couldn't have been more pleased with how this project turned out. It is so rewarding to have seen the entire process, start to finish! This family heirloom is now ready to serve the family for the next hundred years.