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.
Hoping to revive the culture of the neighborhood butcher shop, with its personalized service, attention to detail, and artful products, restaurant-industry veterans Justin Rosberg and Jason Parent took a gamble on their first New Hampshire butcher shop in 2003. Dubbed The Meat House, their store quickly earned a foodie following, spawning additional franchise locations across the country. Today, The Meat House?s Mission Viejo location stocks fine cheeses, prepared side dishes, other gourmet grocery items, and hundreds of wines alongside the usual selection of traditional and exotic meats. Butchers also explain how to prepare each hand-carved cut of meat, sharing recipes, best slicing practices, and cooking techniques for giving pork chops the flavor of justice.
The creative team at Frames...with a history crafts picture frames, mirrors, and small furniture from reclaimed wood and antiques. Most weeks, the team goes on buying trips to salvage yards and antique shops, searching for the best antique woods. The older materials might have chipped paint or other unique patterns created by the passage of time.
Heritage Florist blossoms with dew-fresh, handcrafted flower arrangements in eye-catching designs created by green-thumbed growers with more than 50 years of floral experience. Pick up a Daisy Cheer bouquet ($35) to perk up a lonely table, or arrive at a host's house bearing the Yellow and Lavender Delight arrangement ($48) bursting with roses, asters, daisies, and dish-washing gnomes. The Brighten Your Day bouquet cheers up bloom lovers with red, yellow, and purple chrysanthemum and alstroemeria buds ($45), and vases filled with a dozen hot-pink roses ($55) help express intent to potential suitors. Neglected corners of parlors and living rooms transform into hospitable forests when decorated with the Dish Garden with Pinks live arrangement ($50), a wicker basket packed with such typical garden sights as ivy and neighborhood kids' baseballs.
Named for owner Paul Russo’s two dogs, Eddie and Finnegan, eddigan’s stocks upscale used furniture, antiques, and modern décor to fill empty rooms. Green thumbs can cultivate prize-winning couch potatoes on a modern leather recliner and matching ottoman ($125), while paranoid patrons can scour vintage paisley sofas and matching throw pillows for secret hieroglyphs and camouflaged CIA transmitters ($600). Decorate spaces by perusing eddigan’s supply of delicate glassware and pottery ($100–$500), still-life paintings, blown-glass bowls, and work by local artisans. A refuge for rescued cockatiels, eddigan’s is filled with the cheerful chatter of caged zebra finches, orange weavers, and society finches, which are all cloistered in an aviary, where they spend each night plotting new ways to take over Poughkeepsie.
After traveling from the end of the rainbow to the tip of the North Pole, Easter's original hippity-hoppity star is now claiming seasonal residence at the Tyson Corner Center, Arundel Mills Mall, Potomac Mills Mall, Lakeforest Mall and Marley Station. As both an adorable and educational animal, the bunny associated with Easter will be helping kids get into the spirit of egg-hunting by teaming up with professional photographers who know how to coax giggle-laden smiles out of any bundle of joy. Children can pose with the gregarious giant, embracing fluff-filled hugs, and then later enjoy their shared moments by flipping through their tangible, printed portraits and by fluttering their eyelids at their vibrant, digitally arrested stills.