Bored? Stop staring at the walls! Enter “Stay at Home” photo contest

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020


“You just have to live and life will give you pictures.”
Henri Cartier-Bresson

For the past couple of weeks many of you found yourselves cooped up at home. This just might be the opportunity to demonstrate your creativity. Striving Artists invites you to look around, evaluate the surroundings of your secluded life, take photos, and send them to us! When this challenging time is behind us, these photos will become historical documents of how we won a difficult battle together.
Thoughtful, meaningful, or funny photos about you staying at home are accepted!
How to enter:
Send a JPG/JPEG image that is no more than 8MB to
In your email use the subject line “STAY AT HOME PHOTO CONTEST.”
Submission deadline: April 24th, 2020.
Winners will be announced April 30th, 2020 on Striving Artists Facebook page.


Striving Artists will print and frame 8”x10” of ten best photos free of charge. Winners can pick up their framed photos at our Chatsworth showroom after we reopen.

“STAY AT HOME” Photo Contest Rules:

Submitted photos must have been taken after March 19, 2020.
You have to be 18 years old or older to enter.
All photos must be original, taken by the person submitting them to the contest.
You may do minimal adjustments of the photos (like exposure or contrast).
We will accept up to three images per submission.
Winners will be selected by a panel of judges, including our local renowned photographer Bob Kent (
Please DO NOT include any copyright or watermark notes.
By submitting a photo, you are granting permission for Striving Artists to feature your photo on Striving Artists website, Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram. If you don’t want your name or initials appearing on a photo, please let us know.
Striving Artists reserves the right not to accept any photo for reasons including but not limited to: copyright and intellectual property infringement, inconsistentcy with contest theme, substantial lack of quality, obscene or offensive subject matter.
Any questions? Send them to


Interview with a frame

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

In today’s difficult situation we ask you:

Be responsible. Care for others.
We’ll come through this together.

Interviewer: Thank you for joining me today, Barrington. I don’t think many people understand how a piece of wood becomes a beautiful picture frame.

Barrington: My pleasure. I’d love to share my journey from wood to wall adornment. What are your questions?

Q. What type of wood are you?

A. I’m Cherry wood. My rich look, fine grain, and red coloring make a prized frame.

Q. At what point did you realize you were going to be a frame, instead of, say, firewood?

A. When did I know I was going to be a thing of beauty? Have you seen me in the Spring? I’ve always heard comments about how beautiful my grain was, so I knew I was destined for a bright future.

Q. Are you the best wood for a picture frame?

A. I think I am! There are many woods that make good frames. Straight, fast-growing trees are best, regardless of species. Cherry is quite popular.

Q. What are some woods used for making frames?

A. There are many woods perfect for making a good frame, so it depends on what kind of wood is needed. Some of the most common woods used are Pine, Ayous, Bass, Balsa, Spruce, Ramin, Poplar and Jelutong.

Q. You didn’t mention oak, walnut or maple?

A. These are hardwoods. Difficult to mill, but they make beautiful frames due to their gorgeous grain patterns. Oak is used for certain frames, but it is a heavy wood, and weight can be a disadvantage for a frame. Often softwood frames are given a finish that resembles hardwood colorings and grains.

Q. Is wood the best material for a frame?

A. Well, you’re asking me, so YES! But here’s why I say that: Wood is a natural product with a warm feel and look that when properly taken care of, can last forever. If it breaks, it can be fixed rather easily.

Q. How does raw wood become a frame moulding?

A. Raw wood stock is turned into a frame profile in a process called milling, utilizing special saws and routers to form the basic shape. The frame can then be carved, gessoed, gilded, veneered, or stained. For example, I was milled to have a flat profile and stained with a rich colorful finish. My beauty lies in my simplicity, but other wood frames can be quite ornate.

Q. What does a Framer do with the frame moulding?

A. Picture framers usually order pre-finished wood moulding in length. The moulding is cut down to size and its corners joined together with glue or pins to make the full frame. Artwork is put into the frame along with matting, glazing, and backing.

Q. Why are real wood frames more expensive? 

A. Wood is a natural product, and you are ordering a custom length of a specially finished material. It depends on the finish of the moulding and its profile – is it water-gilded? Oil gilded? Stained or painted? Carved? Crafting hand-finished frames can be labor-intensive, as it is a custom-built item. Building a frame and assembling its various components involves a lot of hard work by hand. I am the finest quality frame you will find, and my framer worked hard to make me look my best.

Q. What is your goal in life?

A. I have two goals – to protect the art or memorabilia that I will frame, and to enhance the room I am hung in. That’s what us Frames do!

Interviewer: Thank you so much for taking me on your journey. I hope it makes it easier for customers to choose the right frame for their art and mementos.

Month of love

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Custom Framed Handwritten Notes Make Memories Last

Thursday, February 6, 2020

In this fast-moving technical world, is there anything more valuable than a handwritten note? Writing letters is a lost art – emails and texts are easier but far less personal.  There is something romantic and beautiful about the old-fashioned penmanship, vintage postcards, and the stories they tell. Whether it’s a love letter from your significant other, a scribbled note a friend left on your desk, or a postcard from around the world, framing can help you make those memories last.

Grandpa’s Love Letters

Did your Grandpa send love letters to your Grandma while he was in the military? If your grandparents are now gone, those letters are even more precious. It gives you a glimpse into their relationship and personality. Framing a letter or two keeps them present.

The Romance of  Travel

Postcards make excellent framed displays! Whether it’s a vintage postcard from someone, or a souvenir from your own vacation, add a picture or two to complete the story.

Precious Words

What a wonderful moment when your dear friend surprised you with poem complete with illustrations. You’ve got to frame that!

Lot For Sale

Back in the day, a handwritten bill of sale was all you needed. They were simpler times! You won’t see that again. Frame these glimpses into the yesteryear.

Just For Fun

Frame a stack of letters in their envelopes. Keep people guessing what was written.
Tip: Most letters, postcards or recipe cards are written edge to edge. We will float mount them – place them on top of the mat rather than cutting an opening in the mat. That way you don’t lose a single word.

Should I Frame My Vintage Letters Online?

‘Mail-it-in’ online framing services are tempting, but do you really want to snail-mail your cherished item and hope it arrives in the same condition as when it left you? Bring your valuable piece to us – we can help you find the best framing design and we’ll keep it under our watchful eye the whole time.

Frame of the month

A client bought an art piece for his wife to present to her on Valentine’s Day.
We used a double mat and a red frame matching color of the heart in the art. And to add an even deeper feeling, we included a cutout in the mat in a shape of a heart.

Our activities for a good cause

Our ongoing support goes to the Beauty Bus Foundation who’s mission is “bringing beauty home”.

This month we also donated to the Communities Create: “Healing & Empowering Relationships through the Arts”

Witching you happy Halloween!

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We’ll print for FREE your best Halloween photo (up to 16”x20”) with a framing order!

Whether or not you are catchin’ the Halloween fever, the clock is ticking and
you might wanna start getting your Halloween costumes ready.
Remember to recharge your phone because you’re going to take a lot of
photos and selfies.
We can frame them for you with a unique Halloween design.
Forget the candy, this deal is the sweetest one yet!

The Makers Market in Chatsworth

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Saturday 10/19/19 from 2pm to 6pm
Admission and Parking is Free

9410 Owensmouth Ave., Chatsworth


Re-framing Asian art

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

A client brought for re-framing four Asian art pieces mounted on acrylic in metal frames. We determined that frames where filled with dust and for many years old formula acrylic became yellow under UV light. Art itself also faded.

Art was mounted to acrylic the way that it could be easily damaged if we tried to remove it.

So, we suggested to keep art on original acrylic, under which we installed mixed gold-bronze color mat. We framed all four pieces in one frame with triple mat of art’s background color and a shape contouring art itself. Museum Glass was used on a top to prevent further deterioration.

A client was very happy with results.

Fine Art photography at Makers Market in Chatsworth

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Friday, March 29, 2019

Join us in welcoming local talent to the ToolboxLA on April 6, 2019 from 4pm to 8pm. Our Makers Market is in it’s third year here in Chatsworth.

The mission of the Makers Market-Chatsworth is to create a shopping experience with the highest quality, locally handcrafted goods. We love supporting our local makers & artists that we call our friends.

This is more than a chance to shop, the Makers Market offers an opportunity for the community to meet the makers. In a world where every dollar you spend could be a vote in favor of local business and against the oppression of workers in developing nations, the Makers Market offers you an important opportunity to support local small business and the arts at the same time!

Makers Market is  a collaboration between the Chatsworth Fine Arts Council & West End Arts District, produced by My Creative Outlet.

Striving Artists is one of founding members of the West End Arts District. For the first time we’ll introduce for sale fine art photography by Boris Smorodinsky, including “Lonely Journey”

Free parking!

Be sure to check in at the front door and receive a free raffle ticket for goodies supplied by our Makers.


30th anniversary of the World Wide Web

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Striving Artists custom framing celebrates 30th anniversary of the WWW

Google’s Doodle

This is not exactly a topic for a custom framing shop. But I wouldn’t be able to share this with you without internet.

On March 12, 2019 on Google’s home page was a Doodle, a special Google logo, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web.

It is a pixelated Google logo with an old fashion desktop computer from 30 years ago as the Doodle.

If you noticed the Doodle is animated and shows a slow internet connection loading a GIF of a globe on the screen.

You may read about special celebration at a place where WWW was firs introduced cann

Today we can’t imaging our lives without emails, websites, chats, Google, Facebook, Twitter, to name a few.

And all of this started just 30 years ago.

We, framers have our brick and mortar businesses presented on the World Wide Web, and we struggle for dominance on the internet.

We have our professional organisation on line, framers directories, Facebook group “Framers only”, and many-many more.

So, we celebrate this anniversary as a part of a multi-billion member community of the internet users.


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From our “Nature’s Feelings” collection, we introduce this one of a kind masterpiece photo taken in Antelope Canyon, Arizona by our very own Boris Smorodinsky. It is magnificently framed with a linen mat and Museum glass and measured 29.5” wide by 22” tall. We could think of no better name than “Obsession.” Are you as obsessed with this piece as we are? Well, it is now available for sale. Contact us for more information or set up an appointment at (818) 882-8666

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Needlepoint mounting

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

If you think picture framing consists just of moulding cutting, think again. Most difficult is a process of attaching objects to a backing board. We employ many unique different techniques to do a job. On this photo our very own Jeff attaching fabric art piece using a needle and a thimble. Can you imaging how tedious and boring this process is?

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