Author Archive Julie Schmidt

How to Choose the Right Canvas for Your Project

We’re obviously fans of painting around here, but many beginners find themselves stuck in trying to decide how to start their first “big” project. Maybe you’ve played around with painting for fun on paper, or you’ve taken a few classes, and now you want to create your first piece that will be framed and displayed around the house. Naturally, you want to step up and put this painting on canvas, a far more elegant choice, but how to choose? To help you choose, there are a few factors to consider

Material

Canvas comes in a variety of materials, but the most common are linen and cotton. Linen is more expensive, but is typically a higher quality. Cotton is more affordable, but may feel rough when it comes to some fine detail work. Cotton is generally going to be the best choice for your first piece.

Weight

Canvas is sold according to the “weight” which is an expression of how dense the fibers are in the canvas cloth. Think of this like the thread count in high end bedsheets. The higher the weight, the more fibers are in the given canvas. A higher weight, much like a higher thread count in sheets, indicates a higher level of quality. The more densely packed fibers in a heavier weight canvas will make painting easier and let you have more fine detail in your piece. It’s worth noting though that some painters prefer a lower weight canvas for some pieces as bolder and bigger brushstrokes have more impact.

Priming

Canvases come in either primed or unprimed varieties. The priming is done with a material known as gesso, which allows for the paint colors to be absorbed properly on the canvas while still be visible. You can paint on unprimed canvas, but the colors will be duller and softer, which may fit for some styles or pieces. The priming is done with gesso, and you can add additional priming if you desire, but preprimed canvas will usually work well for a beginner.

Size

Finally, the size of your canvas needs to be considered. Have a general idea of your piece before you start. Stretched canvas comes in a variety of sizes, so you’ll have the freedom to pick one that suits you best. Keep in mind, with custom framing you have the freedom to choose any size, as we can craft a frame to fit any size of canvas. You’ll also want to consider the depth of your canvas. Some canvas is sold in deeper sizes so that I can be displayed as a stand alone piece, but slimmer depths are easier for framing.

Once your piece is completed, we’d love to see it! Bring in your piece to our showroom for a quote on custom framing to make sure your piece is displayed in a way that allows all the beauty and creativity you’ve invested in it!

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How to Display Your Wedding Photos

With spring here, it’s a time of year many folks might be considering taking the big leap into marriage, or at least beginning the process of wedding planning. Of course, for us that means thinking about your wedding photos! While getting a nice 8 by 10 to put on a nightstand is always appreciated, there’s some other ideas to keep in mind when it comes to displaying wedding photos we hope you’ll consider!

Give some thought to what you’ll do with the photos beforehand. If you’re planning on using your wedding photos for scrapbooking, that’s going to give you some different photo ideas than if you’re planning on just putting some frames around the house. Don’t be afraid to incorporate larger photos into your plan, with full landscapes of your wedding party or the venue taking a center place in some displays. Discuss some of your display ideas with your photographer and they may be able to make pose suggestions that fit with your theme you wouldn’t have considered!

We already covered in general how to set up a gallery wall in your home here, but there’s a few extra ideas that can help when it comes to setting up a gallery wall for your wedding photos. As we noted in that article, it’s helpful to include items beyond just the photos themselves. Adding such ideas as a shadowbox frame of your cake topper, or a copy of wedding bulletin have no doubt occurred to you, but also memorabilia from the coffee shop you had your first date at or a copy of the keys from your first shared apartment can be great accents.

Regardless of how you decide to display your wedding photos, we cannot recommend enough the beauty and preservation that you gain from high quality custom framing. Visit our showroom and learn more about what sets our custom framing service apart from the rest of the competition to give your photos the best display possible!

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How to Light Your Artwork In Your Home

Few things raise the beauty of your home quite like having artwork hanging on the walls, but hanging your piece is only the first step. In order to get the maximum impact from your art, you need to make sure it is properly lit. For many homes, this is a greater challenge than it seems, as our lighting is rarely directed to the walls, and almost never set up in a way that best highlights or flatters a piece. Some artists create works that are expressly designed for substandard lighting, but most great pieces will require some effort to ensure you are getting the greatest pleasure from your artwork on display.

When it comes to lighting artwork in your home, LED bulbs is the absolute best choice. First, the light cast from these bulbs is more even in its coloring, ensuring that the shades of your piece are able to be displayed naturally, without any odd tinting that can occur with the unnatural coloring of incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. LED bulbs have the added benefit of not producing heat in the same way more common bulbs do, which means they won’t damage your piece over time. While LED bulbs can be more expensive, they are cheaper to run, which in most homes will balance out over time.

When it comes to the specific type of light to use, there are a few popular options. The most obvious is to go with is a picture light. This a smaller curve necked lamp that’s mounted directly on the picture frame and angled to provide light specifically to the artwork you are displaying. As a dedicated light, it’s a favorite for its ability to draw focus to the piece itself. That focus can be a downfall though as it may provide too much light depending on the piece and wash it out. Further, since it lights only the piece itself, it doesn’t do much else for the room. For these reasons, track lighting is often a popular choice, allowing you more flexibility. This helps if you have multiple pieces you may want to change around, or display in different configurations. Track lighting allows for light to be more diffused and give a more natural appearance to your piece. Track lighting, however, can be expensive to install and some homeowners don’t like the more mechanical look it brings. For some people, using portable floor lamps can be an acceptable compromise, particularly in cases where you are renting your home, or you may just be starting out in art collection and wish to limit your initial investment. One thing to keep in mind, if the top of your painting is lit more brightly than the bottom, your eyes will often interpret the painting as evenly lit when looking up at it, so play with different placements and looking at the painting to get a full idea of how it appears.

Remember, the artwork you have purchased is there to give meaning and beauty to your room, so having it properly lit helps it accomplish that job. This is worth putting just as much time and effort into as deciding on the piece itself. You won’t regret spending the time to have a well lit piece.

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How to Set Up a Gallery Wall in Your Home

If you’re looking around your home or office, there’s a decent chance you’ve got a section of wall that looks fairly bland and boring. While covering that spot with a motivational poster or a potted plant might seem like an easy choice, there’s a great new trend in interior design called a gallery wall that might be just what you need

What is a gallery wall?

A gallery wall is essentially taking a portion of your wall and turning it into a miniature art gallery. Rather than hanging a singular piece, you choose a number of items and display them together, creating an energy and vibrancy that an individual decoration cannot manage on its own. Creating a gallery wall in your home or office isn’t as simply as putting a few items up together though. To get the best impact for your space, there’s a few items you’ll want to keep in mind.

Consider your space - The first thing you’ll want to consider is the space that you’re working with. This will help guide your other decisions. Take careful measurements of the area you’ll use, as well as the dimensions of any objects you already know you want to have fit. You can use graphing paper to help sketch out how everything will fit. You’ll want to plan the layout carefully before you start drilling holes in your wall, otherwise you’ll be stuck with unsightly patches distracting from the appearance of your gallery. If possible, lay out the items in the rough arrangement you’ll be using to get a feel for how they’ll look together. Using temporary hanging items like painters tape is an excellent option, so you can see how they’ll look on the wall itself. If that’s not an option, you can also lay out the items in the same arrangement on the floor. This lets you have a rough draft to work with as you plan your gallery wall out. Remember that throughout this project, a tape measure will be an invaluable tool, and keep the old adage in mind, “Measure twice, drill once.”

Choose a theme- Once you have your space chosen and you’re aware of what dimensions you’re working with, decide on a theme. This keeps your gallery wall from looking like a disorganized mess, or a thrift store donation bin was thrown at your wall. You can keep the theme broad, like going with a thematic color, choosing items that have a dominant blue palate. Or you can go with something more esoteric, like “adventure” and have pictures of mountains, the Sahara desert, and jungles. You’ll want to consider the surroundings, to make sure your gallery wall matches the rest of the room, or at least doesn’t clash with it.

Consider outside the box items- Once you have your theme, you’ll be able to start picking out items to fill out your gallery wall. Chances are, you had a few items in mind before you started, but you’re likely going to be searching for things to finish your space. Consider the possibility of adding less traditional accouterments. For instance, if you go with the “adventure” theme mentioned above, you could also add a small compass, or a framed map. If you went with the blue color theme, you could add a few indigo shaded seashells. These are items that add flavor to your chosen theme, and can fit well into the remaining space between other pieces of artwork that anchor your gallery wall.

Regardless of what you choose to include in your gallery wall, for all of your framing needs, we are here to help! Contact our custom framing specialists today!

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The Benefits of Having Art in Your Home

There are many moving pieces when decorating your home, you likely spend a great deal of both time and money selecting your furniture, flooring, lighting, and wall colors. But one thing you may overlook is the key place that art can have in your home. We are fortunate enough to frame a wide variety of collectibles and works of art here in our framing workshop, so we know the extensive selection you have to choose from. You may be on the fence though, so we thought we’d share a few of the benefits you gain from having artwork in your home.

First, hanging artwork in your home helps you stand out from ordinary homes by injecting a sense of character. Ideally speaking, you should be hanging pieces that mean something to you, or that you feel yourself responding to in some way. You can choose a theme for the different rooms of your home and let the artwork serve as an anchor point to those themes. Imagine a living room with a broad piece showing a sailing ship fighting through a storm, waves crashing on the sides, struggling sailors on the ropes, pitching themselves in battle against nature itself. This could then tie into a room with darker, muted colors on the walls, with brass accent pieces evoking a thoughtful captain’s cabin. Or you can have a landscape, showing rolling green hills, a windmill, and acres of flowers and grass. This piece goes well with a lighter color on the walls, brighter hued furniture, and a vase of fresh cut wildflowers set in front of a picture window facing the sunrise. Artwork creates as sense of personality and place to your room in a way the other components of your decor don’t.

Second, it’s worth noting there’s a mental health benefit that comes from artwork in your home. Having a pastoral cabin scene to sit and look at when you’re needing to relax at the end of the day, or an open sky view when the claustrophobic sense of life begins to set in, all can help you balance out the less pleasant moods you know you can become accustomed to. There’s a refreshing sense you get from using the art to serve as a counterpoint to your own struggles, a declarative statement to the mindset you choose the have, not the mindset life may try to force you into at times.

Finally, hanging artwork can have a benefit to your resale value. When it comes to showing your home for purchase, strategically placed artwork can better communicate a story to prospective home buyers, helping them see themselves as owners of the home, creating a deeply personal connection without ever needing to meet them. Artwork brings a sense of class to a home, and helps someone see that when they buy the home, that sense of class can be theirs as well!

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What is Custom Framing?

Chances are, you’ve wandered through the home decor aisle in a local department store and noticed their cheap frames and wondered, “Why would I get a custom frame when I can buy a cheap one here?” The reason, of course, is that there’s a world of difference between these low cost and low quality frames and the custom framing we create for you.

The first difference to note is that custom frames are, as the name suggests, customized to your piece. This means the frame can tailored to not only your item, but also to the room you’ll be displaying it in. You can create a theme for a gallery wall in your home, or set up a contrast that draws the eye to your artwork or memorabilia in truly unique way. A bespoke frame confers a greater sense of style than a simple, factory formed, generic frame ever could.

A custom frame will also protect your piece far better than a generic frame. By being able to fit the frame to your piece, you can rest assured that the frame won’t bend or pinch on your piece in the same way that forcing it into a factory formed frame could. What’s more, the materials we use are archival quality, meaning they won’t allow damage to your artwork or collectible in the same way a generic frame will. A custom frame ensures that your piece is not only fashionably displayed, it’s also going to be preserved as a keepsake for you through the years.

If you’re still curious about the benefits of custom framing, we’d love to have you come in and visit our shop. Our highly qualified staff have decades of experience, and we have a great deal of pride in our work. You will be astonished at the difference our custom framing can make for your keepsakes!

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Let Us Fill Your Empty Walls

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Since 2009, we have become the largest custom framer in Cincinnati and the Tri-State area.   ASM Custom Framing has established a reputation for being the top high-quality custom framing company offering great pricing and the best value overall.  The ASM Custom framing team is made up of only Master Framers each with over 30 years of custom framing experience.  Our team know how to protect your valuables and will take the greatest care while in our possession.

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