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.
Since 1965, the family-run Ski Haus has kept customers coming back by adhering to the family motto: “Make sure we keep a fun environment and give everybody a fair deal. They get a ton of stuff for their money and we stay in business for a long time." Patrons can still expect the same low prices and see the same friendly staffers’ faces year after year while shopping for winter gear.
Racks stocked with apparel by brands such as The North Face and Marmot, skis and snowboards by brands such as Atomic and K2, and a team of skilled technicians have earned Ski Haus accolades from Ski magazine, SnowSports Industries America, and New England Winter Sports Representatives, Inc. During tune-ups, technicians polish skis, stone-grind ski edges, apply hot wax, and repair bases damaged by treacherous slopes and sharp snowman noses.
Cutie Patutie's reigns as one of New England's largest children's consignment stores, stocking scores of gently used clothing, shoes, toys, and books generally priced 50% below retail value. Guests can zigzag through aisles that brandish dozens of name-brand items, including Gap, Old Navy, Melissa & Doug, and J. Crew, to outfit any pintsize brood. While inventory constantly evolves, Cutie Patutie's maintains a list of featured items, such as teen formal dresses ($36+), educational puzzles ($2.75+), and children's bedroom dressers ($45+), and some items decline in price the longer they stay on the floor. Mommies in waiting may also deck out their dermis in a wide range of maternity selections or furnish their crib from a wide range of home décor and housewares.
Tucked inside historic Cider Mill Sterling, New Horizons Massage Therapy guides clients toward an increased state of relaxation with an array of therapeutic services. Nimble hands ease tension from torsos and limbs, deploying techniques from Swedish and Kriya massages, or lessen pain with joint, sciatic, and neuromuscular work. Services also include full-body green-tea or mud wraps, paraffin dips, and ear candling. Guests waiting for their appointment can pass the time shopping or bull-back riding within nearby antique and art shops.
After devoting years to protecting precious pictures and keepsakes from environmental harm, the Middlesex Framing crew has amassed an inventory of highly protective materials. Acid-free matting keeps photographs and certificates from deteriorating over time, UV-protection glass guards against sunlight’s discoloring rays, and museum glass deters bandits who somehow made it across the living room’s laser alarm grid. Partnering with Larson-Juhl, the crew is able to access more than 1,500 molding samples and matting combinations—ensuring that each piece is both protected and enhanced by its border.
Simplified Designs founder Melissa Airey Perkins lends a keen eye to interior design, comfort, and functionality as she spruces up living spaces. Transparently self-conscious windows can boost self-esteem with help from Simplified Designs' Hunter Douglas line, a selection of custom window treatments that assuage ailing wall-holes. The Hunter Douglas 2-inch alternative wood blinds, in either 30"x30" ($143) or 36"x36" ($176), deliver a streamlined wooden covering that blurs the line between blinds and shutters. Airy apartments or overheated hovels can find relief with the 3/4-inch Duette honeycomb shade, which traps heat and cold in three separate internal air-pockets and is available in both 30"x30" ($230) and 36"x36" ($256). Cater to safety with the Hunter Douglas LiteRise, a cordless operation mechanism designed for children's rooms and the string-phobic. Simplified Designs’ regularly priced products include a full line of fabrics and furniture to fill out barren homes.