Tag Archives: custom framing

Sharing the Season of Gratitude

Sometimes analogies are the best reflection of life. We just received an incredibly thoughtful letter from one of our frame suppliers and want to share it with the world. It’s these small gestures that connect businesses to the real human beings behind them. The letter was an open reflection on the nuanced lessons learned from the material they work with every day: wood. What interesting insights! Reading the letter was a great reminder of the things we can learn from this unprecedented year and from our everyday lives. In this week, especially, we are giving thanks for the small, ordinary moments that center our lives.

James Thorpe, Picture Woods Director of Operations, makes the connection that humans are very much like wood in that they “take as long as they take” to transform into something beautiful. He notes that compromise and cooperation is key in nature as in life.

Here is the letter in its entirety. We thought you’d love to read every word:

Giving Thanks

Dear Picture Woods Family,

Here at Picture Woods, we have the good fortune of spending our time working with the wonderful framers, artists, designers, and craftspeople we are lucky enough to have as customers. But we also have the joy of working with a more inanimate, yet essential, colleague: wood. As this difficult and outrageous year draws to a close, I have been contemplating the straightforward magic of wood. Wood has a lot of wisdom to offer, and not just about the virtues of being silent (I’m still practicing that one). So as the holidays approach, and we turn inward in the spirit of growth and reflection, I hope you’ll allow me to share some of the things I’ve picked up from spending my days, and recently a lot of my nights and weekends, with hardwoods.

Wood has a natural beauty, but it needs to be coaxed out, with patience and hard work. Perhaps milling reveals a hidden burl, or the third coat of oil uncovers and shade of gold swirled into the grain; you can’t know until it’s ready to be revealed. The transformation takes exactly how long it takes, and if you rush it, it’s pretty easy to tell. But at the same time, there’s no need to rush because things take exactly as long as they take. In this way working with wood is like working with human beings, except wood generally requires more sandpaper.

Everything in life involves some sort of compromise, and wood is nature’s compromise between earth and water. It needs both to grow, and it embodies the qualities of each: strong and resilient like the earth; flexible, malleable like water. Consider maple, which is a very hard wood. Its famous curly figure is literally a ripple effect caused by the force exerted by a branch coming off the trunk. If, like a tree, we’re able to be strong and flexible at the same time, perhaps the extra emotional weight we’ve all been carrying this year will ripple out to create something beautiful.

Wood moves. It swells and shrinks with the seasons in predictable ways. In order to avoid cracking and splitting, skilled woodworkers know how to with within this movement rather than against it. Just something to consider while you’re eating pie.

There are so many beautiful, ordinary things about our world that are just waiting to be appreciated. I, and all of the Picture Woods team, feel so grateful to be able to spend our days making a beautiful product that we hope brings joy to you, our customers, and to your customers as well. In that way, our shared connection is like a forest. So from one tree to another, I hope you plant strong roots, grow toward the sun, drink enough water, and give the world more clean air than you take in.

In appreciation, James Thorpe, Director of Operations at Picture Woods, Ltd.

Many small businesses have been adapting at a record pace to serve their communities. For us as a small business, the support from our clients, artists and vendors is deeply cherished. On both a personal and professional level this year has become a unifying moment in which we are all doing our best to take the next step forward.

A big “thank you!” to Picture Woods Ltd. We are grateful to be in business with you and share your gorgeous hardwoods and thoughtful words with our valued clients/friends.

Wishing you health, peace, cooperation, understanding and gratitude this unique 2020 Thanksgiving!

Ideas for Decorating Your Home with Repurposed and Salvaged Items

Chemers Gallery is proud to be featured in this article which was originally published on Redfin.

As we prepare for winter and spend more and more time indoors, many of us will look to the interwebs for fun ways to spruce up our interiors. That being said, not everyone has the resources to launch a full-scale renovation. The good news is that you don’t need to. In fact, the perfect centerpiece for your family room could be collecting dust in the garage right now. A unique piece of art to fill the gap above your fireplace could be in the corner of your storage closet, or even sitting on the curb ready to be discarded as garbage. Whether it’s an old bicycle wheel, an unused picture frame, or your great grandmother’s lamp, repurposed and upcycled items can be transformed into unique, iconic decor for your home. We’ve rounded up experts from Springdale to Duluth to help show you how.

Take a moment to observe your surroundings

Think before you throw. Take a look at the world around you and you will see something, most things that can be repurposed for the greater good. Utilizing an excessive amount of one item in a repetitive manner allows for the eye’s perception to change. – Minarc Living

New doesn’t always mean better

Upcycling items in our clients’ homes is always something that we try to do to help our clients save money! From repurposing old or unused books into styling a shelf, coffee table or open storage to turning an old TV Console or shelf into a bench with storage below. From turning an old car tire into a chic outdoor ottoman using a rope to repainting existing vanities and kitchen cabinets and changing out the hardware and countertops can really make a space feel brand new. Saving a few dollars for our clients really goes a long way not only for them but also for the overall design which can sometimes add value to your space. Everything does not always have to be new but simply using a bit of imagination, an old item can become such a beautiful focal point and usually gives our clients a bit of pride knowing that second life has been breathed into an item they already own. – Island Home Interiors

Photo courtesy of Sana Shaw Art

If you enjoy spending the weekend with your friends over a bottle of wine, don’t rush to throw away wine bottles! They can be useful for you as a unique decoration for your home. You can make your bottles amazing and extraordinary with the help of special molds and self-hardening clay! This is one of the most spectacular options for decorating bottles, vases, etc. You can see examples in my photo. Get inspired by them and start your project soon! – Sana Shaw Art

Repurpose vintage and rustic finds

Looking for a unique headboard for your bedroom? Stephanie loves repurposing vintage doors or room divider screens to create a focal point on the bed wall. Hang a vintage door horizontally behind your bed for a novel headboard look. Looking for more customization? Distress the door with sandpaper for a rustic touch, or paint the door a solid color in line with your color theme. In her own home, Stephanie placed a woven screen divider flat against the wall behind her bed, to create an eye catching headboard with tons of natural texture. – Heritage School of Interior Design

We love repurposing vintage and rustic finds to create unique art! Pictured below, we got the opportunity to reuse a windmill to create a focal point for this farmhouse living room. – Lambert Home

Photo courtesy of Lambert Home

Why spend the extra money on new furniture when you can salvage the old bar cart you’ve stored away in your garage? Dust it off and let’s polish that diamond in the rough!  This multipurpose, modular piece just needs a fresh coat of paint and accessories to feel current. Help your guest room, welcome friends and family, with a delicious coffee bar or you can surprise your husband with a mobile whiskey and cigar stand! Your kids will love having all their supplies at their fingertips with an at-home study station. You also have a movable focal point with a live plant cart to freshen your interior air as well as decor. Add some baskets and create a mobile diaper changing station to keep essentials close in a cute and clever way for quick changes. We love multipurpose, modular pieces that do the heavy lifting in a home! – Indigo Interiors

I love to use wood guilt fragments: broken or separated small pieces from vintage or antique mirrors, frames or panels. The delicately carved wood can crown your favorite art piece, punctuate a gallery wall or be added to an otherwise ordinary headboard. Fragments are rarely symmetrical and often with inconsistent finish although I see tremendous decorative value in them. They are like structural abstract! – Masseria Chic

Have you ever been driving along and saw a hubcap? Turn one into a clock with all-purpose paint, jewels (if you want to get fancy) or you can even use stencils to create a unique design made by you. Another great idea is to turn those t-shirts you may have collected from different concerts or vacations into a quilt or blanket. Now all your memories are in one place and can provide warmth for you on a Fall evening! – Heights Arts

Keep it in frame

Repurposing and restyling your wall décor can instantly refresh your space.  Breathe new life into an old mirror by framing it and making it a statement piece on your wall.  Old frames can also be repurposed in a variety of unique ways, from framing succulents and plants, chalkboards, or collages to transforming them into decorative trays.  Even reframing a piece of artwork that you already have hanging at home can reinvigorate your walls! – Third & Wall

At Chemers Gallery we know framing. What’s in a frame? Well, imagine a photo of you and your friend at your favorite concert framed alongside the tickets, or your great grandmother’s sewing scissors displayed in a majestic shadow box, or even the cutest antique handkerchief in a colorful frame to highlight the stitching. Not into knick-knacks but have updated your decor? Spruce up your art with a refreshed mat or frame choice. Whether you have an unusual, sentimental, or collectible object that needs its own spotlight or you’d like to freshen your decor with artwork, Chemers Gallery is experienced and up for the challenge! –  Chemers Gallery

Photos courtesy of Chemers Gallery

Need something new for your wall? Salvage an old artwork: Take canvas painting or print and cut/divide into sections and frame each. You can create a new look by cropping a painting/print and re-framing. You can also create a “larger” piece by taking an artwork/print by doing this. You can also take a small canvas artwork or print, scan it and have it printed on a larger canvas or paper and then frame it. (Shown is painting 30” x 40” that has been cropped and reframed creating a new version | Small canvas artwork, scanned, cropped and printed at a larger size). – Abstract Art 

Photo courtesy of Abstract Art

Bring life to those special pieces

It’s a great idea to repurpose special pieces when designing a space.  When repurposing furniture by painting and reupholstering,  the client is able to keep the pieces that are special to them, while giving them a fresh new look that works well with the overall design.  Attached are a couple of examples of how we gave new life to our client’s most treasured pieces. – Pineapples Design Group

Oh, the versatility of mason jars

Whether you need a super cute storage container, a homemade candle holder, or an adorable place to plant your succulents…Mason Jars are my go-to items to use in my home decor projects. You’ll find them all over my home and office. BONUS TIP: you can paint them too or add a chalkboard label for an added touch! – Jen Peterson Photography

Don’t be afraid to move things around

When looking at your home and considering a fresh new aesthetic, give yourself permission to move larger furnishings from room to room. Just because the “dining room hutch” sounds like it should house your favorite dishes and remain in your dining space, doesn’t mean it can’t be repurposed to your den, home office or study and look just as beautiful serving as a library filled with books. Get creative with your larger furniture pieces and see them as items that have multiple uses to support your lifestyle. – Kerrie Kelly Design

Make use of old boxes as seasonal decor!

What are you going to do with ALL those moving boxes leftover after you move? I have an idea, for at least ten of them! Leave the boxes empty and wrap them up in some gorgeous Christmas wrapping paper and finish with festive ribbon.  Now you always have Christmas presents ready to go to display underneath your Christmas tree and shhh…nobody will ever know that they are empty! 😉 After the season is over, store them in a few large garbage bags and you can reuse them year after year! XO Glam Girl. – Modern Farmhouse Glam

Originally published on Redfin