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 skilled framers at Around the Corner use high-quality materials such as hand-painted bevels and machine cut, acid-free matting to preserve works of art within an aesthetic framework. The store’s frame-fabricators specialize in conservation techniques, assuring that important pieces are equipped to endure the torments of time. Choose from a staggering selection of frame and mat-board samples to enshrine an old portrait of relatives or pay homage to a memorable BLT. Around the Corner crafts handsome displays for 8” x 10” pictures ($85), jerseys ($250+), and frames diplomas ($95–$125), which means newly graduated can proudly present their PhD without having to worry about their kids using it as paint-by-numbers adventure.
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.
Mahoney's Garden Center beckons green-thumbs and novices alike to its sprawling facilities, which burst with a plethora of plants, blooms, and gardening accoutrements. Although merchandise varies by store, shoppers may score finds such as a knock-out rose shrub ($29.98), zinnia perennials ($4.98) or an 8-inch hanging ivy ($16.98), complete with a Rhodes Scholar application. The 6-inch hibiscus ($12.98) lends its vibrantly hued blooms to front porches or a modest giant's windowsill. Perch deserving bouquets in the 12-inch embossed teal ceramic planter ($44.99) or display 10- and 11-inch hanging baskets ($12.50) that double as hideaways for spare doghouse keys. Customers can also narrow their searches for outdoor patio furniture at the Winchester and Falmouth locations.
The Griffin Museum of Photography was founded more than two decades ago to honor Arthur Griffin, a famous photojournalist whose work appeared in Time and Life, and who was the first photographer to capture baseball player Ted Williams and boxer Joe Louis in color. The non-profit museum is comprised of three galleries, one of which is solely dedicated to displaying Griffin's own photographs.
In the main gallery, rotating exhibits spotlight contemporary photographers that have included Peggy Sirota, known for her striking celebrity snapshots, and a selection of picture curated by NY Times Magazine director of photography Kathy Ryan. Up-and-coming artists take center stage in the museum's Atelier Gallery, while Griffin's pioneering photojournalism fills the Griffin Gallery.
The museum also hosts digital and night photography workshops, where you can master being on the other side of the lens. It also sells photo books and other merchandise, including black-and-white posters of Fenway Park and souvenir mugs.