Top 5 New Custom Framing Options We Can’t Get Enough Of

27 09 2016

We are totally crazy for custom framing.  Few things make us happier then sending a customer home with a freshly framed piece that they will love for years to come.  So when new options for custom framing show up in the store… we get a little excited.  So today let’s take a look at the Top 5 New Custom Framing Options We Can’t Get Enough Of.

Brimfield from Larson & Juhl

1. Brimfield by Larson-Juhl

This new line features 4 different profiles in 3 colors.  They are all perfect for the “shabby chic” design aesthetic with their light distressed looks.

newampf1

2. Lola by AMPF

This new line from AMPF features a colored distressed finish with splashes of metallic leafing scattered throughout.  The combination of distressed with the leafing is the perfect combination of rustic and elegance.

More Lola from AMPF

3. More from Lola by AMPF

These are some more different styles from the new Lola line.  The soft distressed colors give a great country kitchen feel.

Soft Silver from AMCI

4. Soft Silver by AMCI

Silver is always in style and these Soft Silver mouldings from AMCI are no exception.  This color is available in a number of different profiles for a soft modern look.

Brentwood by Nurre Caxton

5. Brentwood by Nurre Caxton

Finally we have the Brentwood from Nurre Caxton.  Available in classic gold and silver, these bold lines really make a statement.

 

New options always inspire us with brand new ideas, we hope the same for you! Come visit either store to see these great options in person.

 





DIY Stamped Clay Coasters

21 09 2016

DIY Stamped Clay Coasters

I don’t know about you but I always feel like I don’t have enough coasters.  I am always sitting down at the table and then having to go grab a coaster off the coffee table or vice versa. These DIY Stamped Clay Coasters are easy and fun to make, so stop hunting for more coasters and get crafting.

Things You Need:

  • DAS Air Dry Clay
  • A rolling pin
  • A knife
  • Stamp
  • Ink pad
  • Sand paper
  • Mod Podge (I used matte)
  • Felt

First you need to open your clay, and get it into a ball.  I just rolled around a while with my hands to get some of the wrinkles and air bubbles out.

Get your air dry clay ready

Next, roll your clay out with your rolling pin so it is about 1/4″ thick.

Roll your clay out with a rolling pin

After your clay is rolled out, cut a 4 1/4″ square out of the clay with the knife.  Or, you can use a coaster you already like the size of as a template.  Then you can use your first clay square as a template for the next.

Cut out your coaster shape from the clay

I was able to get 4 coasters out of my 1.1 lb bag of DAS clay.  If you cut out a square and still have lots of leftover clay, just roll the leftovers up into a ball and then roll them out with the rolling pin again.

Air dry clay squares

Once all of your squares are cut out, grab your stamp and ink pad.  Get the stamp nice and inked up.

Stamp with ink

Then place your stamp on your clay and push down lightly, but hard enough that you are making an impression.

Stamping the clay

You can play around with the placement of your stamp to make different patterns on your coasters.  Mix it up with different shapes and ink colors!

Make patterns with your stamp

Once all of your coasters are stamped, they are going to need to dry.  It can take anywhere from 24-72 hours for them to totally dry depending on the temperature and humidity.  I made my coasters on a Friday afternoon and let them dry out all weekend just to be safe.

coasters-11

When they are totally dry, sand the edges and corners down a little bit so they are nice and smooth.

Sand the edges of the coasters

Wipe the excess sanded clay away with a paper towel. Then, seal the coasters using Mod Podge.  Air dry clay is not going to hold up well with condensation on it all the time so this sealing process is really important.  I used two coats on my coasters.

Seal your coasters with Mod Podge

After your Mod Podge is dry, grab a piece of felt and cut a square that is just slightly smaller than your coaster.  Then hot glue the felt to the bottom of the coasters.  This will protect your table from getting scratched.

Attach felt to the back of the coaster

You’re all done now! Pour yourself a drink and use one of your fancy new coasters! These coasters make great gifts too, you can use a Fall or Winter themed stamp and tie them up with a ribbon for a hostess gift, gift them with a mug and some hot cocoa, or just make more for yourself! We’d love to see your coaster projects, use #DIYwithAIF on social media.  Happy crafting!

Finished Stamped Clay Coasters





How Gregory Wiseman Invented Gallery Magic

15 09 2016

We recently began carrying Gallery Magic in our framing department and it is a huge game changer for the framing market.  Because we love Gallery Magic so much, both A.I. Friedman stores are offering a promotion; with a $100 purchase of any wall frames you get a FREE Gallery Magic Kit!  Gregory Wiseman, the creator of Gallery Magic, was nice enough to do a little interview with us.  So take the time to read about him and how he invented this awesome product before taking advantage of our sale!

Gregory Wiseman creator of Gallery MagicTell us a little bit about yourself, what were you doing before Gallery Magic?

Greg: I’ve always been interested in figuring out how to do things differently and better.  As a little kid I figured out how to make a watering device for a houseplant.  We were going on vacation and I was worried the plant would dry out and die.  So, I rigged up a plastic milk jug with a tiny tube poked into the side that would dispense slow drops of water for the plant.  More recently, I worked in Research and Development at Kraft Foods for 24 years where I developed lots of new things and received three patents for my inventions.

 

So what is Gallery Magic anyway?

Greg: Gallery Magic is the easiest way to hang framed art.  Instead of making multiple holes in the wall when you’re trying to get the frames level and evenly spaced, Gallery Magic lets you move the frame in any direction you want after you mount it on the wall.

Instead of the normal nail or hook that attaches to the wall, you attach a super-strong magnet to the wall with one screw about where you want to hang the frame.  No measurements or math needed.

Then, instead of the wire on the back of the frame, you attach a 3×3″ steel plate. Simply put the steel plate in contact with the magnet and it’ll grab the steel to securely mount the frame on the wall.  Now you can move the frame in any direction within the dimensions of the steel plate to get it perfectly positioned.


How Gallery Magic Works

Have you always want to be an inventor, or did it just happen?

Greg: Yeah, I’ve always tried to figure out different ways of doing things!  It’s part of my curious and geeky nature!

How did you get the idea for Gallery Magic?

Greg: It was one of those moments of intense frustration that we’ve all experienced when trying to hang art.  I was so frustrated trying to get the nail in the right spot.  I knew there had to be a better way so I started doing some brainstorming in my head.
Within just a few seconds I thought about a magnet.  How could I use a magnet….?  Within a couple of minutes I had the basic idea of using a magnet and a steel plate.  From there, It was many months of refining and testing different approaches in my basement.

What was the most difficult obstacle to overcome when creating Gallery Magic?

Greg: The biggest thing I focused on was to make it secure so that the frame doesn’t come off the wall.  I worked really hard on optimizing the design to make the magnet and steel connection veryy strong and secure.  Plus, we built in some safety features into the design so the frame won’t fall if somebody bumps the frame and the magnetic connection is temporarily lost.

We know that Gallery Magic is Made in the USA, was that very important to you when going to production? 

Greg: Yes, that’s something that was really important to me.  My dad worked in a General Motors factory as an electrician.  Because the GM cars were being made in the US, he had a good job and our family had a good life. I want to help create solid jobs in the US so that somebody else’s family can have a good life too.

What is the best tip you can give to aspiring inventors?

Greg:  Don’t give up!  There will be so many obstacles and challenges that at first you have no idea how to overcome.  But, be tenacious and get help from anybody and everybody.  My friends and family have been so incredible in helping me.  I’ve tapped into that network for everything from graphics development to filing the patent application.  Tell your friends and family what you need help with.  Everybody knows somebody and those 2nd and 3rd removed connections might be the perfect resource to help you!
Since you invented an art hanging system, are you an art fan?  Who is your favorite artist?

Greg: I do enjoy art and my favorite painting genre is abstract expressionism.  One of my favorite artists in the genre is William de Kooning. In addition, we love to buy art that we find when we travel.  Those pieces are both beautiful and remind me of the great time we had on the trip whenever I see them!

Gallery wall using Gallery Magic
Are you an artist yourself? (If so, what mediums are your favorite?)

Greg: Unfortunately, I’m more of a “left brained” kind of guy which means that I’m great at the logical problem solving stuff.  That’s what helps me be an inventor.  While I love and appreciate art, I’m not so great at creating it myself.

One creative medium that I do enjoy is photography.  I’m good at spotting something that could be a good subject for a photo and then framing the image in an interesting way.  My favorite place to find subjects for my photography is NYC.  There’s a great photo opportunity on every sidewalk and in every park in the city!

What’s next on the horizon for you and Gallery Magic?

Greg: We’re working on additional designs that will hold even heavier frames and also a design that will work with metal frames.   At the same time, we’re growing our distribution network in both the US and in Canada!

How can readers find out more about you and Gallery Magic?

Greg: Please check us out at mygallerymagic.com.   We also have Facebook and Pinterest pages where we share tips and ideas.

Thank you, Greg, for taking the time to talk with us!  Don’t forget to head to one of our stores to get your FREE Gallery Magic kit with any $100 wall frame purchase for the rest of September.





DIY Popsicle Stick Bracelets

30 08 2016

DIY Popsicle Stick Bracelets Tutorial

We haven’t done any kids crafts yet for DIY With A.I. Friedman and it’s time to change that.  Kids will have fun designing their own bracelets and it’s cool to see the popsicle sticks bend over time!  You don’t need that much:Materials needed for DIY Popsicle Stick Bracelets

  • Jumbo Popsicle Sticks
  • Glasses or cups
  • Craft paint
  • Paint brushes
  • A pot to boil the sticks in
  • Time:
    • 15 minutes to boil
    • 24 hours to set

You are going to want to supervise young children because we are going to be bringing the water to a boil and retrieving the sticks from it.  If you have super young kids you could boil the sticks ahead of time and just let them paint the finished bracelet shapes later!  Go ahead fill your pot about half way and bring it to a boil.

Boiling water for DIY Popsicle Stick Bracelet Craft

Grab your popsicle sticks and pop them in the boiling water. You are definitely going to want to boil extra sticks because some WILL break in the bending process. If you are somehow a magically perfect being who doesn’t break any sticks, then bonus; you have extra bracelets.  Let the popsicle sticks boil for 15 minutes.

Boiling popsicle sticks for DIY Popsicle Stick Bracelets

When the 15 minutes are up have your glasses or cups (they should be around the same size as the wrist you want the bracelets to fit!) ready and take the sticks out of the water with kitchen tongs. Shake of the extra water a little bit. Because wood is such a poor heat conductor the popsicle sticks will be ready for you to hold with your hands right after coming out of the water.  This is the hardest part, gently bend your sticks into a round shape and slip them inside of the cups.

Popsicle sticks inside of glass

Broken popsicle sticks

Like I said before, don’t be too concerned about breaking a few popsicle sticks, it’s going to happen.  Those sticks just couldn’t live up to the high pressure fashion world.  I had a few popsicle stick casualties myself.

The key is: don’t get frustrated just take it slow.  I found it easiest to start getting a bend going at the middle and then slowly bringing the ends closer together.  As soon as you can fit your bracelet in the glass, slip it in there, it will help you bend the stick!  Once you have all your sticks inside the glasses, pat yourself on the back, then let them dry for 24 hours.  It’s really important to leave them to dry for this amount of time so they hold their shape when you take them out!

Drying popsicle sticks in glasses

After all of your patient waiting, it’s time to get painting. Paint them however your want and get creative!  I used a pencil eraser as a “stamp” to make some polka dots on a few of my bracelets.

Using a pencil eraser as a stamp to make polka dots

After your paint has dried your bracelets are all set to be the perfect kids fashion accessory! Because this is such an easy project, it’s a great one to make again and again. Share your bracelet creations using #DIYwithAIF and happy crafting!

Finished popsicle stick bracelets

 

 

 

 





Frame Headboard Project

24 08 2016

DIY Framed canvas headboard

This week we are mixing it up a little for DIY With A.I. Friedman to show off one of our Custom Framing employee’s own DIY home projects!  Heather teaches a weekly painting class on Mondays at the Port Chester store. She used her painting skills and ingenuity to make a very unique headboard for herself!Bracketing the frames to the crown molding

Everything she used to make the project:

This project looks amazing but is actually very simple to do on your own! After painting the canvases Heather placed them inside the frames, then she just bracketed the frames to each other.  And finally, she bracketed the crown molding and side rails to the frames to build the headboard.

This is such an original way for to display art as a part of your home decor!  We also love the idea of using ready made frames as building materials. Thanks for the awesome idea, Heather!

DIY headboard made from canvas, frames and crown molding

 

 





Paintings by Peter Jerry

23 08 2016

 

Bahamas Boat Painting by Peter JerryThis September we are excited to be welcoming local artist, Peter Jerry, into the A.I. Friedman Gallery! Peter Jerry grew up in NYC and attended the High School of Music and Art as well as Pratt Institute.  He earned his Masters of Art Education from NYU.

Peter is obsessed with the rapidly disappearing machinery of the early industrial age, particularly the age of steam.  The subjects of his oil paintings draw inspiration form the 17th through 20th centuries.  He enjoys exploring the coasts of the United States, painting harbors and the commercial shipping process.  His paintings focus on industrial and maritime culture.

The photorealism and attention to detail really draw us into his work.  You can see a love of the subject matter with every delicately painted rigging line.

Tugs at Portsmouth by Peter Jerry

The paintings will be up in the gallery for the entire month of September but we will have an Opening Reception on September 10th from 1-3pm!  You can see this incredibly detailed work in person and you can meet the artist. Check out more of our upcoming events on the Event Calendar.





Mason Jar Apple Pencil Holder Teacher’s Gift

17 08 2016

Mason Jar Apple Pencil Holder Back to School Teacher's Gift

I know it’s going to send some of you running and screaming, but there is no denying it, it’s time to go back to school.  I’m going to try to help you out and check one of the million things you need to do off your list; teacher’s gifts.  It can be hard to come up with a thoughtful gift that a teacher will actually like year after year. Teachers always need extra pencils (students have a tendency to pocket them), then tie a little bonus gift card to this apple and your student’s new teacher will be very appreciative!

What You Need:Materials Needed for Apple Mason Jar Craft

  • Round short mason jar
  • Red paint (Americana Multi-Surface Satin: Dark Scarlet)
  • Green paint (American Multi-Surface Satin: Turf Green)
  • Green felt
  • Green string
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors
  • Fresh pencils to go inside
  • Time: 30-45 minutes

After gathering all you materials, go ahead and start painting! Paint the bottom glass part of your mason jar with the red.

Apple-2

Since the mason jar is clear, it will take you 2-3 coats to get good coverage so no light peeks through.  Below is a picture at 1 coat, see how all those patches are visible?  A couple extra coats fixes this problem.

Painting a mason jar

Next up is the lid,  mason jar lids are two parts, a disc and a ring.  You only need to paint the ring.  We don’t use the disc in this project, so save it for later or get rid of it.

Mason Jar Lid Parts

Grab the green paint and paint that ring.  You can skip the inside part of the ring, it won’t be visible.

Painting the top of the mason jar apple pencil holder

While your paint is drying, cut out a couple of leaf shapes from your felt. Poke a hole at the bottom of them either with your scissors or a sewing needle and string them on the green string.  Once everything is totally dry, tie your leaves around the lid of your jar.

Apple-6

Now all you need to do is screw the lid to the base, stick your pencils in and you are totally done!  It’s perfect for back to school, Teacher Appreciation Day, Christmas or end of the year teacher gifts.  We would love to see any apples you make, use #DIYwithAIF and share them on social media.  Happy crafting!

Mason Jar Apple Pencil Holder Back to School Teacher's Gift