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Archive for July, 2009

In Memorium

There are another two members of the family that I haven’t talked about here. Since they don’t do much involved with the store, they just haven’t come up.

Beethovan 1992(?)-2009

Beethovan 1992(?)-2009

They would be the cats: Beethoven and Brahms. They were adopted as adults by Mom and Dad over 15 years ago so, however you view it, they qualify as elderly cats. Beethoven (generally called Bozo, and it didn’t really matter what you called him since he was completely deaf) had been slowing down in the past few years, and clearly found the move to be a bit of a shock. Yesterday morning, when he wasn’t interested in his breakfast we knew he wasn’t doing well. By mid afternoon, his breathing was looking labored and we were able to get him a vet appointment for around six. I closed the store a bit early and we took him in the The Romeo Pet Hospital. We knew things were bad when he didn’t put up a fight going into the carrier and the vet confirm that he had gone into a steep decline. There was only one thing to do, at that point and so he was euthanized around 8:30 last night. Not how any of us had expected to spend the evening. Everyone at the Pet Hospital was great, they stayed open and rushed the tests needed to confirm his situation so his suffering was as short as possible. He was a cat that was always a challenge and a constant source of amusement. He will be missed.

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We’ve been keeping our eyes open for things in the theatre theme. I haven’t had much luck tracking down prints.

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

There are some great ones of Oscar Wilde out there, but so far I’m still looking for suppliers. Shakespeare prints are also hard to find. I’ve talked to a few of the large print houses in London and still nothing! We have a couple of prints of the Anne Hathaway house but they are both signed and one is vintage, the other is framed so they are a bit more expensive than a souvenir postcard/mass market print. In other mediums mother did find this pretty little statue of Romeo and Juliet on her balcony. It has a “made in Italy” tag on it and seems to be cast stone, instead of actual carved marble. I’d guess it was made in the 60’s or 70’s. The detail is very good and it has that slight translucence you see in real marble. There was another one of them standing, but it’s already found a home. I’m sure this one will too.

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Raspberries

This is the very first ripe raspberry, just before it was eaten.

the first raspberry

the first raspberry

The plants have filled in well and the first wave of berries is starting to ripen. What’s more exciting is that the second wave of flowers (and they just keep coming until the frost, with this variety) is starting to develop and it looks like there will be a surprisingly large crop. We had very low expectations, with this being the first year, so we’re glad for any that we get. I was told that it was pretty tasty as well. (the odds that I’ll get to actually try one any time soon are really low, but they were mother’s b-day gift, so I guess she gets first dibs)

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Part of the fun for me as a framer, is when people bring me different things to frame and this was something new.

coffee bag

coffee bag

Actually, this is the second one I’ve done for the same couple. They have the outdoor cafe, across the street, Brew Garden. One of their suppliers likes to ship things wrapped in used coffee bags and they have scored a couple of lovely ones! This one had such a great, clean graphic that it was an easy decision to frame it up! (the first one was vertical and had more writing on it, a more standard look) It is stretched around acid-free foam-core and has regular glass.

coffee bag in frame

coffee bag in frame

With something as rustic as this, you don’t have to put glass on it, but the glass keeps it both flat and clean. If reflection was a problem, we would have left the glass off. The frame is a little formal, but it ties to the black and gold one that is around the first piece without being the same and there is a feather detail that we liked with the picture. I think it’s just a perfect, and still different, art piece for the decor of a coffee shop!

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Growing things

We got up early today and went to the farmers market before opening the store.

balcony tomatos

balcony tomatoes

It was so great to go and get fresh, local produce. The peas and peaches are my favorites. Mother plans on making a vegetable bake and some veggie curry tonight! We haven’t been able to harvest much yet from our garden but the cherry tomatoes are doing well. Most get eaten right off the vine! The rest of the tomato jungle is filling in, but it will be a while before any get ripe, especially if the sun stays away like it has the last few weeks.

scarlet runner flowers

scarlet runner flowers

The other exciting garden development is the scarlet runner beans I put in along the fence are starting to flower. The tasty beans they produce are almost a side benefit because the flowers are really pretty. (and the fence needs all the help it can get as it’s kinda boring) They can also attract hummingbirds, so I’ll be keeping my eyes open for any.

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This little print was one of the few I put a double mat on.

"Rocky Mountain Trail", Stanley Turner

"Rocky Mountain Trail", Stanley Turner

It has the signature printed with the picture so it’s not a limited run print, but the quality of it and the press-plate marks show that it was a step up from the mass market ones. The frame is one of the vintage ones and I like how the slightly country look of it goes with the image. (and I love how the little hatted figure on horse-back has a red jacket, so I’m sure he’s a Mountie!) The mats are all acid-free and archival backings were cut as well. The tough call with doing this sort of thing is the issue of the glass. Vintage glass has far more character than modern. The slight wave and bubbles help the period feel, but it doesn’t block UV very well. These pieces were being done for the store so I decided, in the end, to use the original glass. It keeps the cost down and it can be replaced by UV, at any point. A few of the frames needed a bit of stabilization, but that is why an underpinning joiner is a framing “must-have”!

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The next step was to pick mats that would bridge the two and calculated the openings.”

"Notre Dame", Reidel

"Notre Dame", Reidel

Not all of them needed mats. (like the Scottish one from yesterday) This is another of the pieces that didn’t get a mat as it fit perfectly into the frame. It’s small, the image size is only around 3”x 4”. There is pencil signature and a title that’s part of the print, at the bottom. It’s of the front of of Notre Dame cathedral, in Paris, from the other side of the river and has an amazing amount of detail. I wasn’t able to find anything for certain on the artist, unlike this other little print.

"La Place de la Concorde", Leopold Robin

"La Place de la Concorde", Leopold Robin

It’s also a litho, but is in colour and is around the same size, but is longer and narrower. It shows the Place de Concord, also in Paris. The signature, L. Robin, I was able to match to a Leopold Robin (1877-1939) His name is in the etching as well as being signed below in pencil. It’s a shame that the photo doesn’t show all the detail in the frame since it has a lovely pattern to it. There was enough room in the frame that it needed a mat so I went with a single one that is a very close match to the paper colour.

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