The Dog Ate My Artwork

Gertrude is a loving, inquisitive and intelligent pup, but she's in the dog house now! 

Bad dog!

Bad dog!

When not chasing squirrels, enjoying long tummy rubs or licking her chow bowl clean, Gertrude's favorite hobby is dragging special items to her under-the-bed laboratory and chewing them to bits.  A recent evenings peace was disrupted when Laythen's girlfriend shrieked "Get out from under there!!". Seems Gertrude had found the one and only copy of a precious photo and in a matter of seconds had shredded it into a dozen pieces.

Laythen's girlfriend was devastated. The photo is a rare childhood image of her and her brother. Laythen was smart enough to collect all the pieces and bring them to us for a digital restoration. Luckily, everything was there except one corner which may or may not have been ingested! Gertrude isn't telling.

We were able to scan all the pieces and fit the puzzle back together again. All of the damage from bite marks, cracks and missing areas was painstakingly repaired, refilled and recreated. 

Laythen surprised his girlfriend with the newly restored photo print in a lovely desk frame - which will now be stored on a shelf well above dog height! Gertrude is still allowed to visit the apartment, but has to follow new strict guidelines. She's a keeper despite her taste for mischief!

Maybe we can help you be a hero and digitally restore something you thought was a goner. We're up for a challenge and are happy to help! Learn more about our digital services! 

It's Bunny Season!

Chicago has such a rich and interesting past and we truly love seeing and framing bits and pieces of that history. The original Playboy Club opened at 116 E. Walton in 1960. Within a year it was listed as the world's busiest club. Members of the exclusive club had to adhere to a strict dress code and present their bunny-logo key at the door for access to the lush and lascivious world within. 

Our customer's father was a key carrying member and lifelong fan of Hef and his bunnies. The pieces they brought to us for framing are an addition to an already large room of Playboy memorabilia. The items are a small brass plaque from the club and a little working doorbell. The challenge is to frame them along with a hidden working speaker that plays a little risque jazz number when the doorbell is pushed. 

We had to use our special bunny-eared thinking caps for this one! The speaker had to be hidden behind the fabric but with the mechanics in the right place so it would function when the doorbell is pressed. And the back needed to be accessible for changing the batteries from time to time. The project was completed with red plush velvet fabric and a mirrored finish frame to replicate the swank Playboy Club 60's decor. 

I think we have another thrilled customer! Take a closer look at the finished piece.....

Are you nesting?

Art is in the eye of the beholder and artists come in many sizes, shapes and species!

Our customer brought us this amazing structure built by a pair of birds on her window ledge. She immensely enjoyed watching the daily progress of construction and then spying eggs, watching the parents care for little chicks who eventually flew away. The birds returned the next season, built on an addition and raised another brood. It's only after being sure the nest was not visited again that our customer removed it and brought it in to us for a display and preservation option. 

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It's really an amazing piece of architecture made from twigs with plastic bits, packing tape, cigarette butts and random paper scraps interspersed.  We built a frame to sit flat on a table and acrylic case to cover and protect the nest. 

Sometimes custom framing is more "custom" than "framing". Have an odd object you'd like displayed and protected? We can help! View this gallery of interesting things we have had to contend with and please challenge us!!

Knotty and Nice: Reclaimed Wood Frames

Urban Ashes Frame Collection

Urban Ashes Frame Collection

We pride ourselves on our large selection of elegant, Italian-made frames. But sometimes, something a little different is called for. Like the Urban Ashes line of frames made in Detroit, Michigan.

Urban Ashes is the brainchild of furniture designer Paul Hickman, who in 2008 noticed a great deal of homes and trees falling victim to blight - both the urban blight of depressed Detroit and the blight of the Emerald Ash Borer bug wreaking havoc on local trees. Inspired  to create a product that would utilize the multitude of waste trees and lumber in his community, Paul created these beautiful frames.

Knotty and nice!

Knotty and nice!

The collection features frames made from Ash trees felled by the Emerald Ash Borer beetle, as well as various other hardwoods like cherry, walnut, maple, and pine that for one reason or another would normally be discarded as waste wood. We’re particularly excited by the frames made from timber reclaimed from old Detroit homes and buildings. Each frame has unique characteristics like knots and nail holes that speak to the history and former purpose of the wood. All the frames are assembled from pieces chosen for character and finished with hand-rubbed, petroleum-free finishes.

A ketubah framed with an Urban Ashes knotty pine.

A ketubah framed with an Urban Ashes knotty pine.

Come in to see the selection and frame your special something with a locally-sourced, hand-made reclaimed product. To learn more about Urban Ashes, check out this news story.