Ray Street Custom Framing owner Michelle Robinson stuffs her store with one-of-a-kind picture holders. Cosset a canvas in Peruvian-leather or hand-forged metal mouldings ($40–$100/foot), or opt for a basic black-wood frame ($10/foot) to shelter a particularly eye-catching parking ticket. Prices vary, but $100 can usually get a basic 11”x14” frame with a single mat and glass, a 16”x20” frame with glass but no mat, or an imaginary frame with a zillion invisible mats. A trained artist herself, Robinson hosts a stop on the Ray at Night Art Walk on the second Saturday of every month, showcasing work by local artists that she has custom-framed.
The Art of Framing's skilled craftspeople protect and prolong the life of treasured paintings, photographs, and three-dimensional artifacts by encasing them behind thousands of frame designs. Outside of their standard framing services, technicians also stretch mats and fabrics; heat-mount delicate documents; and mend scratched, chipped, and shrink-rayed framework. More than merely preserving personal collections of photos and posters, The Art of Framing promotes the area's thriving art community, hosting a show once a year as well as selling local artists' work in the gift shop.
While trekking across New Zealand, Matt Baker and PJ Lamont stumbled upon a burger shack in Queenstown and immediately became addicted to the eatery’s organic, grass-fed beef patties. According to a profile in Beach & Bay Press, the duo often dined there more than once a day and eventually convinced the chef to both part with his recipes and train them how to make them. Upon returning home, the pair recruited PJ’s brother Martin for their budding endeavor: a gourmet burger place that would rely entirely on organic, grass-fed beef from New Zealand. After finding the right spot for their gastropub, the three put their own sweat into renovating it; PJ carved the wooden menu himself without using a woodpecker even once.
That menu quickly garnered its fair share of media buzz and awards by combining beef patties, ground fresh daily, with unique ingredients such as pesto aioli, grilled pineapple, and beetroot. Organic, local vegetables make up the condiments and the house tomato chutney, New Zealand’s hardier version of ketchup. But Bare Back Grill does more than burgers, satisfying appetites with natural chicken and lamb, tempura tofu, and seared ahi tuna coupled with a wide selection of beers and wines. Guests can gulp down Kiwi Steinlagers or sip Australian and New Zealand wines while lounging at either Bare Back location.
Aztec Graphics has adorned keepsakes and decorated bare walls with stylish prints for more than a quarter of a century. Preserve cherished memories behind the glass of a ready-made frame, in sizes ranging from 4"x6" to 30"x40" and styles from ornamental to classic black ($5–$38). Bring in a favorite football jersey, an artistic tapestry, or a pillow with a particularly expressive drool mark and let the expert framers guide you through a myriad of custom framing options, including hundreds of moulding, mat, and glass varieties ($29.95+). Those with empty walls and no memories prior to two seconds ago can search through an array of posters to find an image to claim as their past ($5+). More than 4,000 images of tropical beaches, musicians, movies, and art reproductions will provide ample inspiration for decoration schemes, and a smattering of work from local artists will provoke thoughtful conversations between your walls and your load-bearing maypole.
The framing technicians at Tony's Picture Framing know that keepsakes are often as fragile as they are precious. That’s why they draw from years of professional experience to preserve and protect photos, paintings, and 3D mementos with thousands of different framing and matting combinations. While their computerized cutters stencil out mats with robotic precision, pro photographers edit and resize digital pictures before encircling them with metal and varnished wood. In addition to enshrining flat paintings and photos, framers protect sports memorabilia, wedding dresses, and medals with plexiglass shadowboxes, or prepare canvases for landscapes and Baroque portraits of a toga-clad family dog with stretching services.