Monday, March 21

The Importance Of Framing Art

The Importance of Framing Art - French For Pineapple Blog

I've talked about buying art before, but I've not really touched on the very important subject of framing, other than when I did a little tutorial for turning a cheap frame into a box frame here.

I'm a firm believer that a frame can make or break a piece, but I'm also hyper-aware of just how prohibitively expensive framing can be. Hands up who has prints hanging around in postal tubes and card-backed envelopes because they can't spare the cash to frame them!

Let's talk about when to spend the big bucks and when not to.

It would be madness to spend £200 plus framing a print that cost you £20, but it would also be crazy to spend £40 on a frame for a print that cost £1000 or more.

It should be relative. Nearly always. But there are of course exceptions to the rule, and rules were made to be broken!

My husband and I are big art fans. For us, buying art is predominately about surrounding ourselves with pieces that we will love for a very long time. Hopefully some of these pieces will at least hold, or perhaps even increase in value if we're lucky, but more importantly our children will hopefully want to hang some of it on their walls one day too.

Framing is so important. I never buy anything without considering how I want to frame it, and how much it will cost to frame first. I learnt my lesson there years ago, when I didn't ask how much it would cost to frame a scarf, and nearly fainted when I went to collect it and they told me how much it was. Let's just say it was more than five times the price of the scarf, and the scarf was not cheap! Ouch. That said, it looks amazing, and as I said, rules were made to be broken.

If you're spending upwards of £200, then does the piece have special requirements? Does it require specialist mounting or conservation glass? Would it be best float mounted? Or if it's a textile for example, does it need to be expertly stitched to the mount board before framing?

If yes, then you really need to be talking to either your local framing shop or a specialist fine art framer. 

If you're spending big money on art then it's makes sense to spend a decent amount on framing. After all, framing is not just for looks, it's preservation and protection for years to come.

That said, a cheaper frame is better than no frame at all, so long as you're not damaging the piece, so go ahead - it's much more fun to have your art on the wall, that have it hidden away waiting, right? And you can always upgrade as and when you can.

If you're buying a piece of art for less than £100, my advice would be to put it in an off-the-shelf frame if it's a standard size. However, if you want something of higher quality, to choose from a wide range of mouldings, a mount, or if it's not a standard size, you'll need to consider a bespoke frame, and this is where eframe might become your new best friend. I buy art that I perhaps wouldn't have otherwise bought, because I know I can get a bespoke frame for a very reasonable price from them.

The Importance of Framing Art - French For Pineapple Blog

Recently I needed to fill in a few gaps to complete a new gallery wall in our living room. There were two spots that needed a piece of art, so I decided that I would design a tropical inspired abstract print for one spot, and for the other, I would re-print a photograph of my mother that my father took in the 60's (yes, a proper cliched model/photographer situation).

For the smaller print it was a standard 40x40cms size and I already had loads of white frames from my print business in my studio, however, I wanted black, so I just painted it and stuck it in. Done.

I wanted the print of my mother to be more special, and to be a specific size which was non-standard. I scanned the original print in a super high resolution because I knew I wanted the new print to be much bigger than the original. I was working with an old photograph, not the negative, and it's a bit scratched and faded, so I retouched it photoshop, and cropped it to my desired size, and had it printed on fine art photographic paper. It looks incredible and yet cost very little, and I used eframe to supply a perfect, simple black gallery style frame in the bespoke 40x70cms size. Strictly speaking, I should have a double mount to hold the glass away from the photographic paper, but it wasn't the look I was going for, so I broke that rule. Because I can.

It looks great on the gallery wall, and you honestly can't pick the difference between the high quality acrylic glazing that eframe use, and the glass of the other pieces on that wall. Nor can you tell which frames would cost £50, £100 or £200.

The Importance of Framing Art - French For Pineapple Blog

I've actually been using eframe for years, both for my personal framing and my business frames (I have a print in one of their frames in our bedroom too), so I can honestly say that they're a great choice for anything that might be either a non-standard size or a piece that you know you don't want to shove in an off-the-shelf frame. There are hundreds of frame mouldings to choose from - simple gallery style to highly ornate, as well as and a big selection of mounts. They have a great interactive website where you can upload your artwork if you want to so you can see how it will look with your moulding choice. You can even get them to print an image for you (only if it's your own artwork of course) and frame it, or just mount it. The possibilities are endless.

You just put in your artwork dimensions, and when your frame arrives, remove the protective plastic from the acrylic, and pop in your artwork. Make sure to add mounting tape to your basket if you're using a mount, and backing tape to tape up the back of the frame. This is particularly important with larger frames that may warp without the tape support, but it also makes for a professional finish which makes all the difference.

The Importance of Framing Art - French For Pineapple Blog

Be mindful of dust and stray hairs, as there is nothing more annoying than thinking your art is ready to be hung only to find a hair or piece of fluff right in the middle of your image and you have to start again, so check before closing the back!

And if all of this sounds too hard, they offer a full framing service too, where you send them your artwork and they'll frame it according to your choices so you just have to hang it when it arrives.

Now you have no excuse not to frame those prints!

Disclaimer: This article is posted in conjunction with eframe, but as always I only post about companies that I genuinely like.


Friday, March 11

Oh Beni You're So Fine

Do you ever feel like everyone else has the one thing you really want and don't have? I feel like that about a Beni Ourain rug. I know that's incredibly shallow, spoilt even, but lovely things make me happy, and that can't be so bad, surely? And I've wanted one for such a long long time.

I hadn't been a massive fan of these rugs until a few years ago when I was doing some research for someone who was overseeing the major refurbishment of a big name photographers London home. She asked me to research vintage Beni Ourain rugs (I had to compile masses of inspiration images for various things from rugs to mirrors and everything in-between. Yeah, it was a pretty tough job.) and they just got under my skin, and that was it. I've tried to ignore it ever since, but IT JUST WON'T GO AWAY, and lately the urge has come back with a vengeance.

I've stalked them on eBay, and considered every single one I've seen from online and High Street stores, from as low as a hundred for a cheap knock-off, to a few hundred for nice Beni tributes, a few hundred more for an authentic new piece, and as high as a few thousand for a swoony vintage one. Sometimes it's fun to consider a rug that costs a few grand even if you know it's not actually going to happen - it's a bit like adding everything you fancy to your virtual shopping cart, knowing you have no intention or means of actually checking it out. Good for the soul and a bit therapeutic. Oh. Just me?

I had really wanted one in the living room, but I knew that economic reasons aside, it would get completely trashed in our house, so I gave up on that idea, but not the idea of having one somewhere in the house. I now think a big Beni (see what I did there?) would be utterly perfect in the bedroom or my studio. Or both. Oh yes, I would.

Sadly it's just not on the cards right now - there are too many other things that are WAY further up the list than a rug for the foreseeable future, so please allow me to do a little day-dreaming here today instead okay?

Because I need to get it off my chest, and you've probably already got one.

These are my current faves ranging in price from £85 to £720. See? I'm not so fussy, it doesn't have to be vintage...

Beni Ourain Rugs - French For Pineapple Blog

1. Plantation Rug Company - Benni
2. Maroc Tribal - Berber Carpet
3. West Elm - Souk Rug
4. Wayfair - Nomadic Area Rug
5. City Cows - Moroccan Berber Rug
6. Trend Carpet - Moroccan Berber Rug
7. Benuta - Beige Berber Rug
8. Benuta - Shaggy Ethnic Rug

Some of these rugs are on sale at time of publishing, so you could bag yourself a total bargain if you're in the market.

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, March 8

My 'New' Bed

Bed Hack - French For Pineapple Blog

Well I have to say I'm pretty damn pleased with how my bed pimp turned out! 

I didn't do a tutorial for this because what I did is very specific to my bed frame, but I'll give you the run-down on what I did just incase you want to adapt it to your needs.

I made two slip covers out of 8oz wadding which was very simple - I just draped it over the frame so that it touched the bed base on the mattress side and the floor on the other side. This meant I just had to sew a seam on the each side, and because it's wadding, no hemming was necessary.

I then slipped them onto the foot and head of the frame and re-measured for the fabric.

I used a taupe coloured linen from a local haberdashery. Currently the walls are off-black and we have mostly grey bed linen. I wanted to stick to a neutral colour because there is every chance the wall colour will change within the next year (let's be honest!), and I didn't want everything to be grey.

I used the same technique as the wadding for the covers so there is no seam along the top, just a seam down both sides. As the fabric is longer on the outsides where the fabric reaches the floor, I did a double-fold hem where the back of the fabric is exposed so that it looks neater, and to stop it fraying as I don't have an overlocker.

Bed Hack - French For Pineapple Blog

Bed Hack - French For Pineapple Blog

I slightly rounded the corners which I could probably re-do as they're a little wonky (as I said, my sewing skills are basic!).

Then I cut two panels for the sides which I also double-fold hemmed and sewed Velcro pieces along the top side of each piece.

I attached them to the metal bed base using sticky Velcro and that was it!

I decided that I wanted to pad the head out more, so it looked fuller (like my inspiration image) and had some cushioning to lean on. I spent the weekend just gone lying in bed with a nasty cold so I had plenty of time to think about this!

I didn't want to spend any more money on this project and decided to use what I had already in the house - I have a stash of feather pads from my cushion business, so I used three large 60 x 60 cms pads and attached them to the bed frame by attaching tabs of fabric with press studs (which I also already had) to wrap around the bed frame and hold them in place. This took me less than half an hour and I really wasn't sure if it would have the desired effect, or just look like I shoved a couple of pillows under the cover, which of course, is exactly what I did!

Bed Hack - French For Pineapple Blog

Bed Hack - French For Pineapple Blog

I put the covers back on - both the wadding and the linen have a fair bit of give so it wasn't a problem to stretch it slightly over the pads, and thankfully, it looks great. Exactly what I was after.

This has been a total transformation and super satisfying too. No more ugly cream metal frame to complain about, and I did this for around £150. 

I know that's not pennies, but we have a super king bed, so I needed six metres of fabric, four meters of wadding, and one metre each of sticky and sew-on velcro. 

You could achieve something similar for much less by choosing a cheaper fabric (you'll save if you have a smaller bed too!), but I am a bit obsessed with linen so for me there was no other option. I'm annoying like that.

My husband is very pleased that I'm not longer angling for a new bed, and even though he dislikes upholstered beds, he likes this because it looks really contemporary (he fears bad 70's versions), and I suspect he also likes it because it didn't cost an arm and a leg.

Here's a before and after for you, and if you didn't read me rabbiting on about my plans to do this, you can read that here.

Bed Hack Before And After - French For Pineapple Blog
Add caption

This has spurred me on to finish the rest of the room now, and I have a plan! We're going to relocate the gallery wall to the wall behind the bed, and bring back the Eternity neon which currently isn't hung. Oh yes, the decorating domino effect continues in full force!

Keep your eyes peeled as I'd really like to tick this room off my list sooner rather than later, and let me know what you think of the 'new' bed!


Tuesday, March 1

Artist Crush - Maisie Cousins

How I've only just discovered the divine work of artist Maisie Cousins is beyond me, but thankfully I have, and I'm sharing it with you today. Because you know, it's good to spread the love, and it would be selfish to keep such a great discovery to myself.

Smudging the boundaries between what's perceived as beautiful and ugly whilst giving it some serious Lachapelle-esque gloss, takes talent, which Maisie clearly has in abundance. Her work speaks for itself - graphic and unapologetic. And the colours. Oh the colours! One little peek and I knew I was going to love it.

I've chosen a few of my favourites to share here, but you must check out her website for more.

Artist Crush - Maisie Cousins - French For Pineapple Blog

Artist Crush - Maisie Cousins - French For Pineapple Blog

Artist Crush - Maisie Cousins - French For Pineapple Blog

I'm now desperate to own some of her prints and I know exactly where I'll hang them. You can buy a small selection of Maisie's work (including the gorgeous Orchid one above) via her shop and I believe she'll be adding more soon.

Keep your eyes peeled because I think you'll be seeing a lot more of Maisies work.

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