Personalised Photo Frames

Each time you look at the personalised photo frames that you have just received or or those adorning the living room of someone’s home, you probably focus on the image in it and admire the people smiling back at you. Very few people take the time to actually notice the frame. And, the fact that the perfect frame chosen with care to coordinate with the setting and people in the picture can work to enhance the effect of the photograph. Read the engraving and you connect with the situation in which the picture was taken and its significance to the owner. Stop a minute and check the precision of the engraving and the style, and you’ll want to know more about the intricate art of creating personalised photo frames.

Photo Frame Materials

Photo frames come in an amazing range of materials and finishes. You can choose the one you like depending on the kind of photograph you want to enhance.

Wooden Frames: Frames that are made from wood such as walnut, oak, pine, ash, natural wood, or any other lend a traditional feel to the image inside. In addition, wooden frames can have different shades such as light and dark with varnishes that can give them an antique finish. Old, treasured, sepia toned pictures of your grandparents perhaps, seated beside the antique clock you still own can match very well with a wooden frame that gives it a warm, traditional look. Team these personalised photo frames with a more contemporary photograph and they’ll lend warmth to any room you place them in.

Silver-polished Frames: You can use these frames for just about any kind of pictures you want to highlight or gift. Not only do they take engraving very well, but they can also show off designs, both embossed and raised. They also give a very stylish look to any room. For instance, if you wish to frame a picture of newly-weds, you could pick out a frame with hearts and maybe, ribbons. But, if you have a baby’s picture that you want to present to his proud grandparents, choose a frame with a teddy. Or, think about a frame with pink butterflies for a little girl.

Gold-polished Frames: Just like silver, gold has a unique allure. Choose a polished gold frame or you could try a combination of silver with glittering gold in diamante finish mounting to lend appeal to the picture inside it. You can also choose personalised photo frames that have embossed or raised patterns.

Glass Frames: Typically, glass personalised photo frames are available in the classic white or the very elegant black that makes the silver engraving stand out clearly. Glass has a very contemporary and new age feel about it by itself. But, you can play around with silver beading around the edges or maybe, choose a combination frame of glass and silver that can make your picture say a thousand words.

Themed Photo Frames

As your expert, professional framer will advise you, you can pick out special frames to match the theme of the photograph when ordering personalised photo frames.

Graduation Frames: Your graduation day picture needs the correct setting to match the happy look on your face when you want to present the personalised photo frames to your parents and loved ones. They should convey the sense of achievement you feel when holding that certificate in your hands. Several factors go into the framing of this photograph. To begin with, you’ll need a frame that enhances the image, but does not draw the attention of the viewer away from the person in the image. Accordingly, you’ll need to choose a frame of wood that is either painted, varnished, stained, or in its natural feel. Graduation day photographs need to be protected from possible damage from exposure to air. This is why; you need a frame that prevents cracking, discolouring, or fading.

Certificate Frames: Certificates are the culmination of many years of hard work and perseverance, and having devoted so many years of your life to attaining it, you’ll want to do your best to preserve it. Saving it in a box may not be able to protect it from dust, heat, and dampness that can damage it. A great idea is to have it framed so that any kind of damage is prevented.

Multiple Frames: Multiple personalised photo frames are very versatile and allow you to do a lot with your photographs. Choose personalised frames that can depict different times in a child’s life like from the first toothless smile to the graduation day photograph. Or, perhaps, a couple’s first dance at their wedding to the time when they’re holding their first baby. Have them engraved with the dates and a special message and you create a cherished memento. You could also combine a graduation day picture along with the certificate itself. Or, try a completely different idea by having a stylish clock and a framed photo of a loved one combined into amazing personalised photo frames.

Multiple Framed Images: Combine images in different sizes and shapes and arrange them frames, and you can relate an entire story. Depict the family tree or talk about the growing stages of a child. Add a special engraving and turn the personalised photo frames into a precious keepsake to be preserved for years to come.

Mounting

To further heighten the appeal of your photograph, you can use the art of mounting to set it against the perfect background. Mounting is the paper that covers the extra space between the edge of your image and the sides of the frame. By using mounting, you can ensure that the image is completely visible and is not hidden in the periphery. To project the amazing effect you’re looking for, the mounting paper must be at least 1.5 microns thick. In addition, it should be free of acid so it does not damage the picture over an extended period. The 45° angle at which it is cut can also add to the optical effect. Choose from a variety of colours aside from the classic grey, black and white, or pick out other hues that match the colours in the image. You can also opt for distinct patterns that add to the charm of the photograph and gives it a modern, whimsical touch. Do keep in mind that the width of the mounting can also change the perception of the image in your personalised photo frames.

Engraving the Photo Frames

A simple thing as getting the frame engraved involves a great deal of thought and creativity. To begin with, you need to make sure that you get the spellings, dates, and message absolutely right. A lovely message using the ideal font can touch a cord the viewer’s heart. It can make you smile or it can bring a tear to your eye. It can evoke a fond memory or fill you with nostalgia for a long gone moment in time. The finishing with which the engraving is done can also make a world of difference in the appeal of the message. Engravers use various tools to display the message depending on the material of the frame. For instance, the diamond-tipped stylus that provides precision and finesse to the writing on your personalised photo frames.

Choosing the Right Glass

The glass you choose for the personalised photo frames you order is another important factor. You can choose from anti-glare glass, museum glass, and conservation glass. You can also choose from glazed glasses that have a special coating on them to further protect the image behind them. Should you use plexiglass, you can expect that it is unlikely to break even if you were to ship it over long distances.

The Art of Creating Personalised Photo Frames

Creating personalised photo frames is a work of art. Talk to the professionals to whom you entrust your precious memories and you will be impressed with the questions they may ask you about your particular taste or the likings of the recipient of your gift. You can choose to send in your images online in the JPEG, TIF, GIF, and Bitmap formats. In case the images are blurry, too large or too small, your framers will adjust them accordingly before printing. If they need changes in the contrast, colour, or brightness, that can be managed too. Take care not to crop the photograph and leave it to the experts to adjust the size.

With so many factors to keep in mind, you can safely say that a simple task of choosing the perfect personalised photo frames to match your picture and the actual framing is an intensely creative task. It needs a great deal of care and precision so that the appeal of the photograph is enhanced and the message conveyed clearly. This is why; you must rely on the specialised expertise of professionals that can understand the sentiments behind your order and bring alive the emotions with which you’ll present the personalised photo frames to your loves ones.

DIY Butterfly Release

Imagine a Butterfly Release. The bride is holding the top of the release container, and the groom is holding the bottom. The bride then pulls the top of the release container away and suddenly the bride and groom are standing in a cloud of colorful butterflies. Some of the butterflies land on the bride and groom. Some fly away, and some land on other members of the celebration. It’s an unforgettable moment and results in amazing memories and beautiful photos!

Before You Start

  • Temperature – To have a successful butterfly release, the temperature must be at least 60° F, and preferably 65°+ F. If the air is colder than that your butterflies will not be able to fly.
  • Rain Rain Go Away – If it rains at your wedding, cancel your butterfly release unless it’s a light rain. A light rain will cause them to land right away. A heavy rain could kill them. Just wait till the rain is over and release them then.
  • USDA regulations – Warning: release butterflies in the same state you collect them in. USDA regulations require a permit to release butterflies in a different state from the one they were collected in. This is a very important law that protects not only the butterflies but also farmers. For example if you collect a pretty white butterfly called the pieris rapae and release it near a cabbage farmer you could cause problems for him/her. They know pieris rapae as “that caterpillar that will try to eat my entire crop”. The common name of that butterfly is the “Cabbage White”. Be responsible and only release butterflies reasonably close to where they were collected and never across state lines.
  • Expired Butterflies – Even if you do everything perfectly, you will still end up with some expired butterflies. This is because most butterflies have a short lifespan. Some species live as little as two days as an adult. Most butterfly species have an adult lifespan of roughly four weeks. Because you are not raising your butterflies from caterpillars like butterfly farmers you cannot know how old they are. If you happen to catch a 23 day old butterfly it probably will expire before you release them.
  • How Many Should I Collect? – We recommend at least 1 dozen butterflies. 2 or 3 dozen is better. By law you may not release more than 250 butterflies of one species at one event.
  • Ants and Sunlight – The two biggest dangers to your butterflies will be sunlight and ants. Always keep both in mind when you’re moving your butterflies. From the second you start collecting make sure you keep your butterflies out of direct sunlight and away from ants. Simply placing a box of butterflies on the ground near an ant nest or in direct sunlight can result in dead butterflies. I recommend placing your butterflies in the ice chest (more on that later) as soon as you catch them.
  • Bug Spray and Frontline – Another thing to be aware of is bug spray. Butterflies are bugs, and most forms of bug sprays will kill them. Don’t spray anything in the same room as your butterflies, and don’t place your butterflies in a room that you have used bug spray in within 2 weeks. Frontline deserves a special notice. If you use frontline on your pets, keep your butterflies at another house. Frontline will kill the butterflies even if your pets do not get near them.

For Catching Butterflies you will need…

  • 1 Package Glassine Envelope w/ungummed flaps – Glassine Envelope w/ungummed flapsYou will need one per butterfly. The envelopes should be roughly 3″ X 2″ with the flap on the long edge. As you catch butterflies you can slide them into these envelopes to protect them. You will probably need to order this online.
  • 1 Butterfly Net – Butterfly NetThe butterfly net should have a handle that is about 2″ – 3″ long. The opening in the net should have about a 10″ diameter. The net’s “pouch” needs to be at least twice as deep as the diameter. Please read the “Catching Butterflies” article before buying your butterfly net. You will probably need to order this online.
  • 3 Cold Packs – Cold Packs3 cold packs or 3 bags of frozen vegetables will work perfectly. Do not use ice. Ice melts and bags leak. If the butterfly’s container touches water they will probably die.
  • 1 Small Box – Any small box that is at least 3″ deep and at least 4″ on the longest side will work. A shoe box would work perfectly.
  • 1 Towel – Any towel will work. This is to cover the cold packs so that moisture cannot reach the butterflies.
  • 1 Ice Chest – Ice ChestThe ice chest must have room for 2 ice packs covered by a towel and the small box. It’s nice if the ice chest has a strap so that you can easily carry it with you when your netting butterflies.

For The Release Container you will need…

  • 1 Ruler
  • 1 Pair of Scissors
  • 2 Packages Tissue Paper – Tissue PaperThis the gift wrapping kind of tissue paper, not toilet tissue.
  • 1 Low Temp Hot Glue Gun – Low Temp Hot Glue GunMake sure it’s the low temp version.
  • 1 Small Box – Small BoxIt is very important that this box is the right size. You need to have a box that is at least 1″ deep and between 3″ and 4″ square. If it is to big the butterflies might damage their wings, or slide out of place. Please read the “Building An Instant Butterfly Release Container” article before making this purcahse.

Building An Instant Butterfly Release Container

If you are going to be painting your butterfly release container, make sure you paint it at least 2 weeks before placing butterflies in it. Fresh paint may harm your butterflies.

Some types of glue may harm your butterflies. Hot Glue is safe, but if you are using any other kind of glue we recommend waiting 2 weeks before placing butterflies in the container just to be safe.

Each butterfly release container can hold a maximum of 4 butterflies per fold. Make sure you have enough release boxes for the number of butterflies you plan on releasing.

Before you make your butterfly release container take the time to decorate it. Please remember that if you are going to use any glue other than Hot Glue, or any paint we recommend waiting two weeks before placing butterflies in the release container.

  1. Stack 4 sheets of tissue paper with the edges lined up. Then place the butterfly release container against the top left edge of the paper, and mark a line against the edge of the release box. Then do the same with the bottom left edge.
  2. Using a ruler or other straight edge connect the two lines.
  3. Use a knife or a pair of scissors cut along the line marked.
  4. Check and make sure the tissue paper fits snuggly against the edge of the release container. It is very important that the tissue paper fit tightly against the edge of the container. If you leave a gap the butterflies may slide into the crack. It’s OK if the tissue is slightly folded along the edge.
  5. Glue the edges of your cut tissue paper end to end to form a ribbon about 2 to 3 foot long. To do this you first run a line of hot glue down the edge of one piece of the tissue paper.
  6. Then place the second piece of tissue paper on top of the first with about 1 inch of overlap. Then run you finger down the paper pressing the two pieces together.
  7. Fill the container to about a 1/2 inch from the top with loosely packed tissue paper.
  8. Place the tissue paper in the box, filling edge to edge. You should not have gaps along the edges.
  9. Fold the tissue paper back from the edge, creating layers of tissue paper. Continue creating layer after layer till only have about 4 inches of tissue paper left.
  10. Using your Hot Glue attach the edge of the tissue paper to the top of the box.
  11. Put the top on the instant butterfly release container.
  12. Make sure everything is working by doing a practice run. Hold the bottom of the box in one hand, and the top of the box in your other hand. Then pull the top away from the bottom unfolding the tissue paper ribbon. Fold the tissue paper back into the box and your release container is ready for decorations. We will cover how to place butterflies in your butterfly release container later.

Finding Butterflies & Knowing your local laws

You need information before you can start gathering butterflies for your butterfly release. The first thing you need to learn about are your local laws. If there is an endangered butterfly species in your area you need to know what it looks like so you can avoid it. You need to know where you can legally find and collect butterflies locally.

Fortunately there are two groups that you can contact that are able to help you find butterflies. Both will know the local laws, and both groups tend to be friendly and helpful. The first is your local college’s Entomology (study of insects) department. The second is any local lepidoptera (butterfly) clubs.

How to catch a butterfly

Take your butterfly net and swing it horizontally a few times. If you look at the net as you swing it you can see that the pouch forms a “cave”. Near the end of your swing twist your wrist 45 degrees clockwise and you close the “cave”. The reason you want to have a deep pouch is so that you are able to close the “cave” and still have lots of room for butterflies in the bottom of the net.

When you are in the field and see a butterfly, walk slowly near it and wait for it to land. Then swing the net horizontally “skimming” the surface the butterfly has landed on. After near the end of the swing, just before you slow down, twist your wrist to close the net. Keeping the net closed carefully reach into the net and get the butterfly.

How to hold a butterfly

Butterflies do not have teeth or stingers, so you are in no danger of being hurt by a butterfly. The reason you don’t want to just grab a butterfly is because you can hurt it, not because of any danger of it hurting you.

Holding a butterfly without harming it is easy as long as you hold it correctly. A person can accidentally kill a butterfly by squeezing to hard, you can also rub the scales off the top of a butterflies wings with your fingers.

To hold a butterfly without hurting it “pinch” the wings closed between two fingers. Holding the butterfly this way will protect the scales from being rubbed off by your fingers, and you can hold it tight without worrying about crushing it.

Placing a butterfly in a glassine envelope

Holding the butterflies wings pinched closed, slide your fingers into the glassine envelope. When you have the butterfly all the way in the envelope, release the butterfly and close the envelope. With some practice, this is easy to do.

Going to collect butterflies

Check the butterfly release supplies page for a list of the gear you should have.

Before you leave, place an ice pack in the bottom of your ice chest and then cover the ice pack with a towel. Then place a small box on the towel. You will carry this with you when netting butterflies. After you catch a butterfly and place it in a glassine envelope, place the envelope in the ice chest. This will keep the butterflies cool while you collect more.

Make sure you never place your butterflies on the ground unless you are watching them. This is because of ants. Keep a close eye on your ice chest when you are not carrying it.

WARNING: Never leave butterflies in the car! Even in an ice chest they can quickly overheat and die!

WARNING: Never let the glassine envelopes come into contact with water! This includes condensation on ice packs. That’s what the towel and box is for.

Find out which fold to start at

Before you start you need to know how much of the tissue paper will be pulled out when the butterflies are released on the release day. Have someone (preferably whoever will be doing the actual release) hold the bottom of the box in one hand, and the top of the box in the other hand. Then pull your hands far apart quickly unfolding the tissue paper.

Spread your hands as far apart as you can comfortably reach. Then take the bottom of the tissue paper and fold one layer back into the release box. This fold is where you need to start placing your butterflies. Do not place them any deeper than this point so that you can get a full release with one pull.

Place your butterflies in the release container

Count and see how many folds have available. You need to stop one fold from the top of the release container. Now divide the number of butterflies you have by the number of available folds. This will let you know how many butterflies you need to place in each fold. For example, If you have 24 butterflies and 6 folds you will need to place 4 butterflies in each fold. (note: 4 is the maximum number of butterflies per fold.)

Having an extra pair of hands is really helpful for this part. Take a butterfly out of it’s glassine envelope and hold it flat against the inside edge of the bottom fold. If you are placing more than one butterfly per fold, then have your partner place the next butterfly on top of your butterfly while you release the butterfly you are holding. This way they are holding both in place and you can add another butterfly to the stack.

Once you have filled the a fold, simply flip the tissue over and use it to hold the butterflies in place while you fill up the next fold. Once all folds are filled put the top on the box.

Package your butterfly release container

Now that you have your butterflies loaded into the butterfly release container, you need to package it for travel. To do this place an ice pack or two (depending on how big your ice chest is) in the bottom of the ice chest. Then cover it with one of the hand towels. Place your butterfly release container on the towel and close the ice chest.

As the air in the ice chest cools the butterflies will go dormant and act like they are sleeping. One and a half to two hours before the release you need to remove them from the ice chest and let them warm up to room temperature.

5X7 Photo Album – For Keeping Your Memories Intact

Photo albums have a special place in the lives of all of us. This is because they are the treasure troves of the memory that are so dear to us! Thus it is important to have good photo albums for keeping these photographs. In every retail and online store you would find 5×7 photo albums which are the most popular among the albums. If you are searching for a unique 5×7 photo album for keeping your photographs then here are some options for you:

Terra Traditions Butterflies: This album is a unique creation by the Italian design studio Terra Traditions. With the help of lamination process the beautiful butterfly images are crafted into the album and it has made this album a great option for gifting. Kraft pages are used in this album and the insert sleeves are acid free. Here you can keep about 100 photographs.

Flashpoint Proof Album series: In these albums you can hold about 200 5×7 photographs and over the white cover of the album you would find a 4 inch by 6 inch window. The pages are also white so that the colored photographs look more beautiful when kept in them.

Personalized Silver: This photo album is ideal as a wedding gift or as an anniversary gift. It has an aluminum frame with silver polish and you have a 5×7 picture frame over the cover in the front. If you want you can also engrave lines of your choice in the picture frame.

Pioneer Mini Fabric: In one album you can have 24 photographs and for each photograph there is one page that is covered with bright cloth. The pages are made of acid free material and in the front there is a photo frame where you can keep any photograph of your choice. The pocket in each page has a black mesh background so that your photographs have a brighter look.

The Photo Safari

The photo safari is above all else an opportunity take photographs. It can come in many forms. A vacation to Thailand or Jamaica. A cruise to the Bahamas. Taking the dog for a walk. Any of these become a photo safari if you have a camera with you. South Florida is a beautiful place to live. Hollywood, has beautiful houses and great looking seascapes near the water. Riding around Hollywood on a motor scooter taking pictures was one of my favorite pastimes. Then I had an idea. All these beautiful scenes and houses could become a Photographic essay that a local newspaper might publish. It became a project. I spent many afternoons riding through the neighborhood searching for beautiful photographs.

We moved to a house 17 miles from Hollywood. The Woodlands had beautiful landscaping throughout the development. I rode the motor scooter around and started photographing foliage and tropical flora. There was even a waterfall a mile and a half away. I started tweaking these photos and some of them are extraordinarily beautiful. These safaris were spontaneous. I put a camera and a bottle of water and a tripod in my pack and out the door I went. You could do it differently. Plan a sightseeing excursion and involve the family. They would love it. How about a trip to Butterfly World or a picnic by the lake.

Any adventure is an opportunity to find interesting subject matter. It could be people working, the street you are walking down, or any of a thousand things you find visually exciting at any given moment. Always keep in your mind the elements of a good picture. Composition, color balance, repetition of form is good design. Does your eye follow a natural path viewing the picture?

Is the photo safari a good idea that will improve our skills make us better photographers? Yes it certainly will improve your skills. I will even tell you how and why it works. Artists and photographers are visually oriented. After they learn color and design, composition and color balance. They start using these elements in their work. Every photo we take, or picture we paint adds to our body of experience. I learn something from every picture I paint and every photo I take.

The painter is criticizing the painting all the while he paints it. What does it need? What should I do now? Sometimes he will just look at a painting for half an hour or so. Eventually, the painting tells him what should be done. The photographer works a little differently. He works while setting up the shot. He is moving around, looking for the right place to shoot, set his composition by zoom, camera height, angle, and optimal setting for exposure.

Then he pushes the button and it is done. He does the same thing for every picture he takes. The photographer goes back to his studio, and uploads his photos to his photographic software. Then he will criticize and tweak every shot he took. This self criticism by both the painter and photographer provides a new learning experience with each new work. Your body of experience and knowledge grow with every work you complete. How could you possibly do anything but improve your skills and results.