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.
Renaissance Framing Gallery revivifies worn art and frames using careful, artisanal restoration techniques. Employ skilled framesmiths to enshrine a memory-encrusted jersey ($250) or diploma ($115), or have them carefully restore an 8"x10" oil painting ($150) or the gold-leaf frame surrounding it ($85 per hour including materials). Before and after photos show how restoration services make the Dark Ages skies brighter, Victorian skin alabastier, and dramatic gilds more dramatically gilt.
The Apple-certified technicians at iFixYouri bring broken smart phones and tablets back to life with swift turnaround. Techs can piece together shattered screens on devices including the iPhone 3G ($49), and rescue waterlogged phone books from smart phones by HTC, Droid, and Nexus ($29.99–$39.99). An iPod classic repair ($49.99–$59.99) fixes fledgling batteries, dimming LED screens, and broken click-wheel axels. In addition, the staff aids in the restoration of computers, videogame consoles, and tablets, though prices vary depending on the severity of digital diagnosis.
Fast Frame originated in Europe and now has more than 300 locations worldwide. With the understanding that people are prone to changing their minds, the teams at these 300 Fast Frame stores back up all their custom-framing projects with a 30-day design guarantee, giving patrons a month to decide if they want to swap their memorabilia for one of more than 2,000 other frame styles, paying the price difference if applicable. For each project, a team with more than 60 years of combined experience performs the work onsite, generally completing designs in less than a week and sometimes on the same day. In addition to photos and diplomas, customers can commission shadowboxes or framing of bulkier items, such as jerseys or baby’s first rap sheet. For all finished projects, Fast Frame secures its craftsmanship with a lifetime warranty.
As the owner of Harvard Art & Frame, Tony Tisei carries on what the original owners started in 1938. He's been manning the old Boston shop for the past four decades, overseeing the staff as it crafts custom frames using acid-free materials. After the artisans help clients select mattes and frames from hundreds of options, including products from Omega Moulding, they encase pieces ranging from maps, prints, and paintings to antique 3-D objects. They also restore old photographs so you can always look fondly upon the scowling face of Great-Grandpa Earl.