The quadrilateral connoisseurs at the frugal framer perform all production in-house to ensure that posters, memorabilia, and artwork are encased in the finest shells. The skilled craftspeople specialize in custom framing, a process in which they design, size, and construct picture cocoons based on the dimensions, characteristics, and food allergies of the artwork. Customers have their choice of frames ($5+/ft.), mats, glazing, and moulding material. Box experts can forge a standard 8”x10” frame with matting for laundry folding certificates ($40 on average), or construct a 16”x20” edifice with a wooden frame, mat, backing, and regular glazing for prized post-it note ideas ($80 average). The frugal framer will also equip a 26”x34” piece of art, raised and floated on a rag mat with spacers ($300 average), or enshrine pieces in specialty casings such as shadow boxes with UV-blocking glass.
Certified professional photographer Gene Taylor has fine-tuned his artistic vision while working in photojournalism and portrait photography for more than 30 years. During classes at Your Photo Safari, Gene introduces students to the photographic arts and the workings of DSLR cameras. Sessions begin in classroom settings, allowing students to get acquainted with camera basics as well as advanced features such as setting white balance and reducing blur. After learning how to navigate the multiple settings and buttons on their digital cameras, students traipse to area gardens to explore the natural world through their lenses. The hands-on experience allows students to take home artfully composed shots of plants bathed in natural light or trees planking over riverbanks in a bid for Internet fame.
Handcrafted by its nimble-fingered staff, Beadles’ voluminous selection of handmade jewelry began to burst the seams of the 1,500-square-foot Chelmsford store, prompting the launch of the newly minted Rockport location. The new location broadens Beadles’ epic spread of Swarovski crystals, acrylics, and kaleidoscopic glass, allowing browsers to purchase bauble ingredients by the piece or pre-assembled bracelets and necklaces. Crafters of all skill sets can put their purchases to use during free workshops or fashion their own custom creations during parties ideal for birthday girls, girl-scout troops, and newly chosen presidential nominees.
Old Colony Furniture, which has been family owned since 1946, inspires interior-design compositions with a 30,000-square-foot show room, showcasing both contemporary and classic pieces. Upon entering the expansive show room, guests will feel as though they're walking through an expertly designed home as they peruse rich, opulent furniture from more 50 respected brands, such as Sherrill and Hancock & Moore, artfully arranged in inviting vignettes. With a collection of dining chairs ($269+), patrons can strategically seat guests in vulnerable positions should a mashed-potato fight break out. A nightstand ($449+) provides optimal access to water glasses and bedside reading materials, and an upholstered occasional chair ($475+) coddles fatigued appendages. Shoppers glance into mirrors ($225+) to admire the way a shirt complements their pants and for instant reassurance of their non-gorilla status.
The brother-and-sister shutterbug team at Related Images customizes each photo shoot to the individual or group, capturing fleeting moments with experienced aplomb and commemorating them in high-quality, retouched prints. Customers begin at the portrait emporium’s new studio location for the half-hour shoot, striking myriad poses with their significant other, offspring, or treasured friends. The photogs set camera posers at ease with a personable approach and willingness to tailor each session to the client's likes, moods, and tendency to cast gremlin-shaped shadows against the studio backdrop.
When she moved to Greenville, Marquin Campbell noted that, short of dragging your easel to the pub, there was no outlet for people to practice painting while indulging in their favorite beverage. She began Vino & Van Gogh as a laid-back art lesson for the benefit of a few friends—as they chatted and drank wine, she led them through brushstroke after brushstroke. The spirit of those first sessions exists today, and her business hosts BYOB classes for up to 30 aspiring artists at a time. Though Campbell has added several professional instructors to her staff, she preserves the low-key, social ambiance of her first session, helping students to showcase their creativity with intuitive teaching methods.
At each painting class, attendees focus on reproducing the same picture, which changes from session to session. Subjects in the past have ranged from colorful trees and blooming flowers to oyster shells holding a pearl. Each budding artist infuses it with their own personal style as they follow along with their instructor. The studio also offers classes on different art disciplines, including collage and pottery. The instructors' step-by-step process accommodates all skill levels—most pupils are first-time painters—and camps for kids encourage youngsters to construct crafts based on a certain theme, such as sea creatures or bracelets that aren't just dad's neckties rolled into a loop.