Saturday, January 30, 2010

ISABELLA 1860? 1767?

Fancy finding this is your barn!

This happened to a customer of mine.

A dust covered, mildew infested oil painting
wrapped in spiderwebs......crying for help.
All we know that it was painted by his great, great aunt in c.1860 who probably copied it from another painting dated on the verso 1787. The painter would have not personally met the model and at that time there would have not been any photographic reference. This leads us to think at the artist either used another painting/drawing as a reference, or used her imagination as a source. Not knowing who the model is, we are calling her "ISABELLA" , which happens to be the name of the frame we ended up choosing
to enhance her beauty.

It took me a couple of weeks to clean off the surface grime and mildew. All the dirt, dust, soot and dead insects were removed from the back of the canvas and the little pockets under the stretcher frame. We decided to keep the original stretcher since it was in a fair condition and featured hand-made nails. The canvas itself turned out to be in the better condition that I originally expected, beautifully aged, tight weaved European (?) linen. The paint film responded well to light emulsion cleaner and after two layers of new varnish ISABELLA was truly beaming! The painting has a couple of small puncture holes and some surface scrapes but we elected not to restore those at this time.
For now they will remain as souvenirs of ISABELLA's journeys.
We are still gathering more information on the artist and the model, trying to establish what the value of this piece would be.
Cleaning an oil painting is a job for a professional. You can gently brush off dry dirt, -try using soft, fresh white bread. Applying water or soap could ruin your painting: it softens the paint film, causes layers to separate and activates the grown of mildew. So: don't do it! Leave it to a professional.
For the frame we chose a traditional cassetta panel frame which would have been highly in fashion in the 17Th century. And still is today. The word "Cassetta" means "a little box" and refers to the moulding profile that features a flat section flanked by a raised back edge and sight edge. It think it beautifully brings out her complexion and the golden highlights in her hair while the antique black panel balances the solid, dark form of her outfit. And matches the somber atmosphere of the sitting. What do you think?
So, this was my meeting with "Isabella".
It was very nice to meet her.
And I am happy to know that she does not have to live in a barn anymore.
In a splendid FRAME of mind, wishing you all a great weekend,
Outi, The Frame Dame

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Heidi MacKenzie , THE TOOL GIRL

Let me introduce you to my TOOL GIRL, Heidi MacKenzie!
She has been part of our team since 1999, working as a designer and a picture framer.
Heidi has a solid background in drawing , having earned a certificate in Graphic Design from George Brown College in Toronto.
In 2006 she became a CERTIFIED PICTURE FRAMER, (CPF) a title which is only granted to those that pass the exams
set by THE PROFESSIONAL PICTURE FRAMERS ASSOCIATION. There are only about 150 of us in Canada, at PAPERMOON we have two of them.
I keep telling everyone that Heidi is one of my most precious tools, she is a perfectionist and has a keen eye for detail. Give her a problem to solve and she will give you the solution. You can absolutely trust the measurements she gives you,- they are always right to the last 1/32". She never misses a thing.
I am SO proud of her.
We are so lucky to have her.
Multi talented and maker of many things Heidi also has her own line of PET PORTRAITURE. Check out her website at http://www.heidispetportaits.com/ for examples and further details.
In this picture she is posing with one of her drawings of her own dogs.
This is a huge graphite drawing on paper, framed in a contemporary black wood frame with a double white mat. All materials used are archival. Although graphite as a pigment is not likely to fade we make sure that the paper is protected from light: this is done by using TRUE VUE CONSERVATION CLEAR GLASS. This way we can make sure that the artwork , -the paper itself and the matting around it, are protected from discoloring. And it will certainly last for the generation to come .
This type of frame is always a good choice for drawings , original graphics and photographs. It is neutral and lets the artwork itself do all the talking. It would be easily accepted to any juried art event....and if needed in the future it could still be used in a retrospective show . When it's done right in the first place it will still be up to all professional standards.
If you are planning to have a show of your own art work and need a quantity of pieces framed inexpensively but professionally come and see us.
We give great discounts on volume orders. When all the pieces are framed uniformly the event immediately has a higher profile and YOUR actual work will be the focus. YOU WILL LOOK AND FEEL PROFESSIONAL. And better yet...you can also feel good about selling your work when you know that your customer will receive a top of line product that will be cherished for ever...and if you ever need to borrow it back for a display you will know that it will be in good shape since it was treated right in the first place.
It just does not get any better than that!
Now you have met us all, it's is time to start talking about ART, seriously.
In a great FRAME of mind I will sign off now,
you all take care,
Outi, The Frame Dame

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


This is Kevin Lloyd,

a natural born woodworker who started his life-long love affair with tools about the same time he learned to walk.

The legend tells us that as a hardworking toddler he spent a day at the family cottage hammering nails into a stump...until it was completely covered. This is true; the stump is still there.

Since those days he has built furniture, decks, docks, sheds and fences. And THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF PICTURE FRAMES!
This man knows his material: In 1987 he graduated from the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO with a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry.
Not only WOOD but TREES AND FORESTS are always close to his heart.
As an environmentalist he is always concerned and interested in the health and sustainability of all forests, global and Canadian. Cutting down rainforests in South America, shipping the lumber to China where it is turned into cheapy picture frames to be sold in the box-stores in North America...is clearly.. not an option.
As a PICTURE FRAMER he pays respect to his favorite material and good, old fashioned woodworking skills, always being selective and uncompromising when quality is concerned.
We would like to encourage you to resist planned obsolesce.
Say NO to it.
A plastic frame on a large mirror is designed to end up in a landfil with 6 months of purchase.
We call that "hit and run- picture framing".
Respect yourself, respect your enviroment, refuse to buy merchandize that is robbing everyone.
To learn more please watch http://www.storyofstuff.com/.



Come and see him on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays, he is always willing and eager to talk "frame" with anyone with genuine interest!

With my best regards,
Outi, The Frame Dame

Thursday, January 14, 2010


This is our little store and workshop downtown on Victoria St W. in Alliston, Ontario. We offer expert custom picture framing done on premises, in other words:

We get to handle plenty of beautiful things..but as the nature of this business is; what happens at PAPERMOON does NOT stay at PAPERMOON, - our best creations leave us and go to live in other happy homes. This is why I am starting this blog, to let you into my shop so I can show you what we have been up to.

I am going to talk about art.
I am going to show you what a frame can do.
My intention is to share my enthusiasm, my love and my knowledge, so that you too
can feel inspired. I love my work and I truly believe that sending beauty to this world will make it a better place.

My store is open Monday-Friday 10-6pm and Saturday 10-5. The beauty of this blog is that it keeps my store open 24/7. You are so WELCOME ANYTIME!

Please come in, let's start!

Outi, the Frame Dame