Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.
The nonprofit organization ETTA Art Studio splashes the Amherst community with artistic spirit flowing from the brain brushes of its experienced local artists and teachers. The master masterpiece makers pass on their creative tutelage via classes that cover clay working, drawing, puppet making, theater, and other artful subjects. On July 25–29, kids can swing by the studio for Fantastic Fairylands (ages 5–11) or Giant Puppetmaking, Improv + Movement (ages 8–12). And August 1–5, Collage, Diorama, and Painting (for ages 8–10) empowers pupils with the ability to construct fan mail for Vincent van Gogh.
Armed with hundreds of different fabrics and leathers, Fly By Night’s upholstery experts drape custom designs onto a vast selection of American-made furniture. Courtesy of brands such as Lee, Norwalk, and American Leather, sofa designs range from the British elegance of the Notting Hill sofa ($989.95+) to the sleek napping surface of the Dorset apartment sofa ($959.95+). Chairs are available in either fabric or leather, from the gleaming red Myers chair ($699.95+) to the cushy Theo rocker recliner ($669.95+). Although delivery is not included in today's deal, Fly By Night also delivers five days a week throughout western Massachusetts with moving practices inspired by Sisyphus, who was forced to carry a heavy sofa up a hill while resisting the urge to sit in it.
Imex Furniture supplies everything needed to furnish a home, from furniture basics to stylish accents. The company's specialists set up home-living scenes with armchairs, sofas, beds, and tables by makers such as Vaughan-Bassett and Restonic, making it easy to see how each piece will fit into the home. Shoppers can also personalize living spaces with mirrors, lamps, and artwork made by having high-definition photography printed onto canvas using the giclée technique.
From owning previous restaurants in Central America and Southeast Asia to appearing on the Food Network's Chopped, award-winning chef Kristen Davis is no stranger to staying busy. At Popcorn Noir Restaurant & Bar, she draws on her seemingly endless reservoir of energy to craft completely new menus of her New American cuisine every season. Her cinema-themed menu includes "trailers"—appetizers like local Vermont tofu with sweet chili – and "feature presentations"—mains like P.E.I. mussels by the pound with a choice of sauce.
The menu's movie references don't come out of nowhere—Popcorn Noir hosts a film series for its members, as well as occasional screenings for the public. Besides cinematic entertainment, Popcorn Noir's weekly events include trivia dinners, open mic nights, and mixology classes where bartenders teach three cocktail preparations. Outside of the classroom, the mixology team showcases its skills by crafting cocktails mostly made with house-infused liquors, such as gimlets with house-infused cucumber vodka.