Recent projects

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

RECENT PROJECTS - Omar, the puppet.

This is Omar.

 He's a very well-dressed puppet, and he's recently visited our workshop to find a suitable (permanent) display in his owner's home. 

Dana (his lucky owner) says: 
"A friend of mine traveled to Burma (now Myanmar) and bought him during her visit.  That was at least 15 years ago (when it was still called Burma).  She brought him back and he's been traveling with me ever since!  Omar has lived in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Sonoma, and now Cville!  Quite a well-traveled puppet!"

The first challenge in this perfect mid-winter-storm project was to find a frame that was tall enough to accommodate his bulging little belly.
I ended up extending/building up the back on this Max Moulding vintage gold speckled 3" shadow box frame and I then re-finished the sides again to match the front.

We decided to let Omar dance inside the box. I chose to raise his arms with the help of some silk wrapped wood blocks, to add a bit more depth and movement to the composition.

I also loosened and flared his garment a bit and stitched it onto the backing, to add some extra interest and to show off the beautiful workmanship and design. He is floating on a chai colored Bainbridge natural silk backing As an extra pop, we decided to add a beautiful Marsala colored silk to line the edges of the interior of the box.

 Above, here he is, happily dancing away...

... and below, in his final new housing, looking at the world with his intense gaze.
Naturally, we used the virtually invisible Museum glass choice.
He will be living on a soft gold and coral striped wallpaper and I cannot wait to see what he will think of his new surroundings.

A great big THANK YOU to Dana for sharing this beautiful piece with everyone!

Keep bringing us your beautiful ideas - working on these special projects is such creative fun!
Thanks for popping by, I hope you are feeling inspired!


Charlottesville, VA

Recent Projects:

Flattening vintage photos

This photo was brought to us as a "test" to see if it would flatten so he and his companions could be successfully framed as a group in the near future.

Flattening artwork can be tricky if you have not done it many times, and different papers react differently to different flattening methods.

In this case, the photograph had been glued with an irreversible glue onto an acidic black paper inside of a beautiful, leather bound album in the 30's.

The glue had made the photo warp, as well as some moisture and humidity damage.

Cutting the photo loose from the backing paper was my first step.
I then used different tricks, including a heat press, to gently press the photo and the packing paper flat. Eventually, to keep the pieces flat in the future, we agreed on fusion mounting the flattened photo to an acid free museum board.

We'll now be able to proceed with framing the rest of the group to better preserve them and share them in the future.


February 7th, 2015

La Linea Bella !
Fantastic Framing & Art
McIntire Plaza, Charlottesville, VA.

copyright 2014 La Linea Bella ! Fantastic Framing and Art, all rights reserved.

Framed Jewelry Displays

What else can you do with a beautiful frame? Well, if you're like me (frames are like salt and pepper to me and belong everywhere in my home) you can find MANY ways to put them to use and they don't just belong on your wall! Recent projects include various framed jewelry displays in the showroom - take a peek at how they were born!

Framed mirror trays for the tops of your dressers or tables are a super way to display your jewelry at home as well, I have several custom sized ones in my home and I absolutely love them.
Pair them with some great mirrored knobs or handles from Anthropology and you can update even the most tired looking bed side table.

Every once in a while I come upon a frame I really love, but there is a need to re-purpose it.

Last week, this was a beautiful Larson Juhl L7 frame in karat gold.

I was in need of another jewelry display for the Fall, so I added a few custom hand finished ingredients and came up with a beautiful result.


Hand finished antique-mirrored glass.
(I added some greens, golds and black to my mirrored glass to pick up on some of the tones of the jewelry that was to be displayed.)

I lined my L-7 shadow box with the hand finished and cut mirrored glazing.

And "Voila!"
Super simple and super stunning.

This is my current KIRAKIRA display.

When this display was featured on WHERE WOMEN CREATE last year, I was thrilled!

The antique white table served as a base.
I built a 3' frame for it, re finished it in an antique white, and topped it with
Roma's vintage DECAPE CREME. (-see below-)

It is currently lined with a soft white silk and I used invisible Museum glazing to protect Suzanne's beautiful gems.

 Roma's Decape Creme. above,
LaVille's French Quarter in white and gold below.

For this display of my favorite KiraKira Antler earrings,
I chose Roma's LAVO in Electric Pewter and again, Museum glazing.

So you see, frames can be used wherever you like them to be used!
I am always looking for a new way to use a beautiful frame, 
and these displays are my obsession right now.

Thanks for taking a peek, I hope I inspired you not to think of frames just for the wall!

See you soon, 


La Linea Bella !
Fantastic Framing & Art
McIntire Plaza, Charlottesville, VA.

copyright 2014 La Linea Bella ! Fantastic Framing and Art, all rights reserved.

October 2013

Chinese Antique Carved Jade Shadowbox

Another wonderful piece homeward bound yesterday.

Frame by ROMA Moulding. Silk mat by Bainbridge

Museum glass is the only choice when you have a shadow box like this: 
it is virtually invisible and keeps the viewer from feeling in any way separated from the artifacts. 

I have to admit, I felt a little (!) bit nervous taking the delicate jades out of their protective case.
Framers are not immune to the jitters, don't you know...

Layout phase.

Back into the case they went after we laid out the design of the box.
Now on to stitching them one by one onto the fabric backing.
We used small pieces of clear acid free bumpers attached to the fabric
underneath the jades to space them away from the
fabric and to keep them from moving while giving them a flexible buffer.

 The more labor intensive (and more enjoyable!) part of the construction!

We chose this ROMA moulding to complement the little earth toned parts
around the edge of the jade while letting the actual carved main parts stand alone and pop from the backing.
The shadow behind the piece gives it the illusion that you can just pick it up and that there is
indeed a carved back side.

 "VOILA!" & "Bon Voyage!" to our latest project!

A clean and stunning presentation of these antique carved pieces that lets them tell their own tale vertically on a wall from now on.

Hope you enjoyed this week's project, see you soon for the next adventure in framing!


Summer 2013

My recent gilding project and my love for old prints have had a little fling this week...

I recently purchased a set of six hand colored botanical prints from the 1800's (I chose them for their unusually saturated colors for a pop on the gallery walls) and pulled out my trusty gold leaf powders.

I decided to float the prints in double glass to show them as pages that you could almost pick up. Sometimes when you float art inside of a frame I feel that just the naked page needs a little pop to make it show up on the wall and to relate back to the frame. 
In this case, I am using a simple gilded European style classic/contemporary moulding. So I decided to dip the edges of the pages into a tiny-tiny bit of gold paint. It reminds me of pages from an old gilded book. I loved those as a child. They smelled great and they held such wonderful treasures, separated by thin silk papers.

 This look is delicate and dresses up the pages without distracting too much.

So here goes: welcome back to the workshop!

The prints are hinged to an acid free rag backing that is attached to the glass to give you the illusion that the page is free floating. Voila!

Love these! Will display them in the showroom this week.
Of course we used UV protective glazing on the front. 
It would be a shame to lose these colors over the years.

See you soon, and thanks for visiting our workshop:) 

Remember that summer is an excellent time for us to put our heads together for your more creative wishes and projects since it tends to be a bit slower.


Set of intaglios from the 1800's. Summer of 2012

I am revisiting my favorite projects from last season: I am so lucky to have so many clients with wonderfully interesting projects!

This was a set of 90 intaglios that were brought back from a trip to Europe in the 1800's that we encased (or shadowboxed) in Larson Juhl's water gilded L-series moulding to echo the fine gold rims that surrounded the medallions.

The inscription enclosed in the case of intaglios was:
"Art Medallions. Brought from Italy some time before the Civil War." , and the signature.
That's amazing, really! What an incredible treasure.

We also shadow boxed the leather bound covers of the case, which held the listing of all the individual medallions and the artwork they were fashioned after.

Here the medallions are "pre-frames":

The client chose a soft but contrasting silk that we used to line and cover the inside of the box with:

I mounted the fabric to acid free boards, and lined the sides with a 1" liner covered with the same silk.
The then were floated with a drop inside the museum glass covered shadow boxes.

Voila! So simple, yet so stunning: and completely focused on the fantastic medallions.

See you soon for more creative frame projects at LLB!


Large Tibetan prayer book, July 2012

Framed in Max's large rustic silver shadow box, floated on silk, with Museum glass.
I carefully floated the selected pages (there were a lot more, but we could not fit them all into the box) on tiny squares of acid free boards and foam core to give the box a 3-D feel. The Museum glass makes you feel as if you could just reach right into the box and pick up the pieces of hand written paper that were made of leaves. The penmanship was wonderful, make sure to take a close look!
This was a really great piece to work on -- and when it was done, it was taller than myself:)

Thanks to Andrea Gibson of Gibson Design Group for bringing it in!

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