Colorful fabrics, strings of neon beads, and heaps of yarn of all textures adorn Ben Franklin Crafts and Frame Shop's sprawling, dazzlingly colored store, a family owned business for 39 years. Brimming with supplies for any project imaginable, Ben Franklin Crafts and Frame Shop outfits guests with rubber-stamping kits for custom-made stationary or sheets of chevron paper to decoupage ready-made frames. The friendly staff circulates the store, and, armed with creativity and know-how, assists guests as they try to pick out the proper washi tape.
Yuen Lui Studio, a family-owned photography business specializing in individual and family portraits and wedding photography, creates visual heirlooms in a tradition of quality it has upheld since 1947. With several area studios available, each boasts a multitude of backdrop options for portraiture sessions, or photographers may take sessions outdoors to add natural scenery to the frame. Wedding and engagement shots come to life under the careful eyes of each photographer as they seize rare moments and trap them in frames to be displayed like trophies from a hunt. High-school, child, baby, and family portraits keep precious memories locked in time for clients, who can peruse an online gallery of their images after their session.
Despite having more than 10 years of experience and 1,200 photographed locations under their shared belt, Alex Studio's ten photography teams continue framing subjects from early in the morning to late at night. They capture lasting images of families, children, and engaged couples at on-location shoots around Puget Sound or sessions held at the studio. Their wedding work often takes them worldwide, with pending RSVPs including ceremonies in Hong Kong and Japan. Retouched nuptial shots can be assembled into a custom album made entirely in-house, and clients can also collect their favorite images as retouched digital files stored on DVDs or a set of 50 Commodore 64s.
The purveyors behind Bellevue Art & Frame and The Toy Place have been honing their artistic eyes and skilled craftsmanship since 1962, when they launched Bucket & Brush—their original paint and home-decorating store. Through the transpiring decades, they elevated Bellevue Art & Frame into a full-fledged behemoth of all things artistic and creative, compiling a diverse collection of art supplies including paintbrushes, clay, and stationery. They work alongside skilled frame designers, who enlist high-tech software to help customers to visualize what custom enclosures will look like when filled with a family portrait or Jackson Pollock’s baby bib.
In 2007, Bellevue Art & Frame opened The Toy Place to meet the needs of the budding artists who kept frequenting the children’s arts-and-crafts department. Inside the toy emporium, tots peruse a bevy of specialty toys, books, and games in a kid-centric space that also hosts frequent art workshops for little ones. Craftspeople of all ages can head in for adult classes, during which knowledgeable artists and sentient _Mona Lisa_s divulge wisdom in such techniques as calligraphy and mat cutting. The shop also organizes regular community events, including gallery showcases that spotlight local artists.
The craftsmen at New Dimensions Frame & Mirror do not mess around when it comes to custom framing. Not only do they handcraft each frame in-house, they use museum standards and conservation materials to protect prized pieces. They also boast a constantly rotating collection of artwork to fill empty frames, as well as custom mirrors that range from ornate to contemporary.