Monthly Archives: January 2012

Distressed Crackle Frame

  A great guy stopped in a while back with a special challenge. He wanted something unusual to display a group of posters – “Do you have frames made of old barn wood?” Well, not exactly, but what were you visualizing? As we discussed further I came to find out he is Chris Pastena, owner of Chop Bar in downtown Oakland. He has done great projects with local artisans in many areas of the restaurant – the reclaimed wood on the walls, the bar area itself  – all utilizing repurposed materials of all sorts. This is the kind of challenge we love! We brainstormed a bit more and landed on the idea of old windows. He has posters from the monthly pig roasts Chop Bar hosts in the Spring and Summer, so something quite sizable was in order.

  Chris went to a reuse center and found a wonderful long glassed door and pretty much said, “Go to town!”  Great!

window - before   base coat   crackling medium   crackle medium setting up  

  We started with the window – cleaned it up a bit and lightly sanded the painted frame. Then came the base coat for the crackle distressed finish we had decided upon. After the paint was dry, we applied a crackling medium which goes on very thick then settles itself into odd littel circles. When that was set-up and almost completely dry, the top coat went on – then the magic happens! It begins to crackle!

                      top coat      it's crackling!       successful crackle!

After about 24 hours, the cracks get even more pronounced. We used two related shades of paint and applied them oppositely on opposing legs of the frame – dark over light in one direction and light over dark in the other direction. We think it came out pretty darn great.

To finish it off, we painted the outside and inside edges black to give the whole piece a little more depth, then mounted the posters onto an oversized matboard backing with thumbtacks. The piece hangs horizontally from the hardware that was formerly it’s door hinges.

                              finished piece with mounted posters             completed frame & happy Chris

Chris was so delighted with the way it turned out, we had to take a photo of him with his new masterpiece!

You can now see it proudly displayed at Chop Bar, and you will not regret stopping in for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or happy hour! And know that you are supporting a local dining treasure that is hosted by people who support local artists, food producers,and  the local economy! Thank you Chris!


Wonderful design from years gone by

  framed vintage labels

          Vintage ephemera are always appealing. Elida has acquired a collection of antique labels that were intended for many products from lima beans to hair oil. The lithography has a different look and feel than today’s offset and inkjet printing. The graphics, fonts, and crazy products are all wonderful links to the past. Oh how products have changed for addressing the same issues we have all faced since the beginning of time: skincare, hair care, dandruff, tooth polishing, – vanishing cream!

 framed vintage labelsframed vintage labels

               The labels have never been applied to bottles or jars and so the colors have great subtlety and clarity. Many are luxuriously gold foil stamped. Perfect for your powder room, dressing room, or any small nook that invites a lingering look.


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