Fear of framing, conquered
So, you'd like to save a little money and frame a piece of art yourself? Or perhaps you're just looking for the artistic satisfaction of choosing the framing components yourself? The Great Frame Up, a franchise store in Cockeysville catering to do-it-yourself framers, offers these tips:
* The purpose of the framing treatment is to draw your eye to the art. If your eye goes to the frame or mat, the combination needs to be toned down.
* Frame the art for itself. Don't match frames with drapes or rugs, but don't clash with surrounding color schemes either.
* Pick a mat that has similar textures or colors found in the art. Coordinate the top mat with the picture's dominate color. An inner mat accentuates interesting features of the art.
* Make mats twice the width of your frame. Or, cut side or bottom margins narrower to emphasize the vertical or horizontal orientation, respectively. Double or triple mats to boost its depth.
* Choose simple, elegant frames for refined art. Try a frame that repeats the art's line motifs.
* Pick light wood frames for pictures with warm tones and dark wood or metal frames for cooler tones.
* Use regular glass if economy is important, non-glare costs more. Select light Plexiglas for frames larger than 3 to 4 feet. Never hang art in direct sunlight.
@ If you've been involved in a major residential rehabilitation project in the past five years, you might feel it's time to get rewarded for all your hard work.
Rehabbers are invited to enter the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Great American Home Awards contest.
Presented annually, the award recognizes outstanding rehabilitation efforts in these categories: exterior, interior, additions, landscape design and bed and breakfasts. Both homeowners and professionals may enter. Winners will receive gift certificates and will be featured in Historic Preservation magazine.
The deadline is Aug. 31.
For entry forms, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Home Awards, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1785 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, or call (202) 673-4283.
Yesterday's rustic furniture made of tree branches and roots is influencing innovative "twig" items in today's back-to-nature trend.
The furniture, originally made in the Adirondacks and mountain regions of Tennessee and Kentucky, was once relegated to America's front porches. Now, the rustic look has been uprooted and taken inside the poshest homes. From beds to flatware, designers are using arboreal items throughout the home.
Raiders of this lost art include designer Ralph Lauren, who offers a new line featuring rustic-style rattan and wicker pieces plus accent candles encased in wood bark.
Locally, Meadows Antiques sells hard-to-find rustic pieces from about $225 for a chair. (A catalog of furniture from the same era lists the pieces for $5 to $8 brand new.) You can also find picture frames, end tables and a ladder made of tree trunks or branches.
Other twiggy items on the market include baskets interwoven with sticks at Frank's Nursery; hanging pots using twigs instead of rope at Pier One Imports; bronze or silver faux twig flatware, and twig-shaped brass-plated drawer pulls and knobs, all available at the Pottery Barn.
J.L.K For more than 40 years events in Russia have dominated our nightly news, but their homes have remained a mystery.
Now a new book, "Russian Houses" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, hardcover, $65) by Elizabeth Gaynor and Kari Haavisto, takes us behind those closed doors for a tour of more than 40 Russian dwellings.
The book begins with an essay by Darra Goldstein on the provincial log cottages called izba. Then the authors visit the island of Kizhi where the famous timber cathedrals are located, Peter the Great's cabin, the timber houses of Novgorod and the stationmaster's house in Vyra, now a museum, which was the inspiration for a story by Pushkin.
The second chapter includes photographs and descriptions of six opulent imperial palaces; the third includes the homes of Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky, Anton Chekhov, Maxim Gorky, Feodor Chaliapin and Boris Pasternak.
The final chapter shows the interiors of more than a dozen contemporary Russian homes.
Linda Lowe Morris