Big Fish

Blue Bijou by Denise Sirchie
Blue Bijou by Denise Sirchie

“BIG FISH!!” I was standing outside the gallery on Wednesday admiring (she says with a bit of sarcasm) all the available parking in the Village – seriously, Tuesday and Wednesday after the lunch rush there are almost a dozen parking spaces available. “BIG FISH!!” A boy of three-ish years shouted to his mom as they passed, he was jumping and pointing to the mosaic fish in our small display window.

Big fish, indeed. I thought about the movie Big Fish, on my mind because Albert Finney recently passed away. It’s a movie full of love, about a man with big stories and a bigger life. A big fish in a small pond. Kind of like our big fish, Blue Bijou by Denise Sirchie. Blue Bijou measures almost 40 inches across from whisker to tail, painstakingly pieced together from broken china and glass, metal buttons and glass beads. Much too big for our little “aquarium” out front!

You may remember some of Denise Sirchies other work in our gallery. Recently Scarlett graced our holiday window display posing as the Ice Queen in our Winter Wonderland.

Scarlett by Denise Sirchie

Denise is busy now creating mosaic flower pots, just in time for spring. We look forward to celebrating spring with her new work. Watch our windows in April and May!

Empty Parking = Empty Businesses

I’m not kidding when I say I’ve seen a dozen parking spaces available on recent weekdays. Parking can be more than a challenge in the Village, but empty parking spaces are an even bigger problem. Empty parking spaces mean your local businesses could be suffering. We all want to stay indoors during cold and rainy weather, but we also want our local businesses to be here when the temperate weather returns. So I challenge you, don’t put off your errands in the Village – visit the new cleaners, try the new restaurants and bakery, stop in at your favorite older businesses and check out the French Quarter. And don’t forget First Friday! Your local businesses work hard and stay open late to provide interesting art, entertainment and experiences. Whatever you do, think Local first. Don’t default to the internet for gifts and services you can get right here in your Village!

Big Fish Deals on Now!

To entice you to bring in those framing projects, Village Frame and Gallery is offering Big Fish deals right now. Bring in that older piece you’ve been meaning to reframe or that memory from a recent vacation. Mention BIG FISH for ten percent off custom framing! With framing solutions for almost every budget, our experienced designers can bring your vision to life!

Providing fine art and custom framing in Multnomah Village for almost 20 years, Village Frame and Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm at 7808 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219.

Keeping it in the Village – Sara Starr Medici and First Friday!

Featured Artist – Sara Starr Medici

The road that has lead to where I presently find myself has been full of rich exploration and introductions. Some continue, all contribute to the rich tapestry of life experience both formal and informal that guide and define my work. Along this path I often reflect on hours spent absorbing the beauty and lessons of classic masters during study and life in Italy. The contemporary influence of living in New York City . . . encounters with Andy Warhol and Alice Neel. Fortunate opportunities to have worked as gallery assistant on Madison Ave and studio assistant in Portland. Exhibitions in Italy, New York and Portland, along with the generous support of private collectors all add to the collective experience which continues to inspire creative process and the pursuit and evolution of the work.

My paintings are non-figurative expressions of color and image. I work with acrylic paint with the incorporation of tissue-like paper that mimics the encaustic process, but with a lighter more transparent result. Although color remains the dominant subject, the layering of paint and paper creates illusory depth through texture. Never beginning with a preconceived idea or theme, the challenge is to manipulate the medium while allowing the painting to lead where ultimately it must go.

Sara is co-owner of Casa Vaca Bistro & Bar, right next door to Village Frame and Gallery! We are pleased to feature Sara’s work during the month of February.

First Friday in the Village!

Village Frame and Gallery is hosting an artist’s reception for Sara Starr Medici beginning at 6 pm on Friday, February 1st. It’s a great opportunity to meet Sara and see her beautiful paintings. Then, perhaps you can drop in next door at Casa Vaca Bistro & Bar for a small plate and a glass of wine!

The gallery is free and open to the public, Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm at 7808 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219.

Turning Scraps into Art: What to do with Antique or Vintage Textile Fragments

Scraps of antique fabric framed artistically

Even wee bits of antique fabric can become a striking exhibit with proper framing.

Scraps of antique fabric framed artistically

What’s in your attic?

Lace from your grandmother’s wedding dress …

Sections of an antique sampler …

Bold scraps of hand-woven cloth brought from overseas decades ago …

Do you have textile fragments you love tucked away? Little remnants that are too precious to throw out and too fragile for their original use? Frame them!

Antique and vintage fabrics, needlework, and clothing are often truly works of art, as well as beloved keepsakes. Creative layout and conservation framing lets you showcase and preserve these pieces. Opt for glazing with museum glass and their texture will still be clearly visible and dust-free.

Old textiles not only make beautiful household decor, they become conversation starters — tiny bits of history that catch the eye and tantalize the imagination.

Framed antique embroidered sampler
For Best Results, Hire an Experienced Textile Framer

Not every frame shop will or can handle textiles well. Fabrics and fibers require special handling to block, stabilize, and conserve each piece, which is dependent on the type of material. The more valuable the textile fragment, the more important it is to choose a framer with these specialty skills.

Village Frame & Gallery has been trusted by textile artists and conservators since 1999. If you have a fabric or fiber piece you want to liberate from your attic, bring it to our shop for a free consultation.

3 Things You Won’t Believe We Framed!

Font of Hatari by Henry Mancini in frame

Did you ever want to exhibit something rare or special? But you couldn’t because it would get destroyed unless it was kept hidden away in a storage box. You might want to revisit that idea when you see what three of our clients had framed recently.

Check out this groovy vintage LP we framed

Front of Hatari by Henry Mancini in frame

This album got lots of play in the 1960s, but it’s over 50 years old now. It’s owner wanted to enjoy it, but also protect it. Properly framed, the cover is a great piece of vintage art that can be displayed, with a little secret …

We used an open-style back so you can not only read the back of the cover, the record can be removed on special occasions. How fun is that?!

Back of vintage LP framed so the record can be removed.


Don’t want to walk on your antique rug? Frame it and hang it!

This is a 78″ x 44″  hand-knotted silk Persian rug we framed recently. I guess you can see why it’s owner didn’t want to lay it on the floor. Framed, it’s a stunning piece of wall art in a gorgeous, heavily carved frame.

Rug with 1700s party scene depicting a room crowded with colorfully and elegantly dressed men and women.


There’s more than one way to frame a window

A lot of people buy antique stained glass windows as art for their homes, but then just contend with the fragility of their old frames, thinking they have no choice if they want to keep the original, distressed sash. If you have a piece like this, we can frame it with the original sash in place, like we did this next piece.

This was actually part of a door.  We used a chunky hardwood frame and distressed decorative fillet to complement the original framing, which brings a lot of visual interest to the finish piece.

Framed stained glass window with light blue squares around the perimeter and a multicolored square in the center


Like a sleeker look? The old framing can be removed entirely, updating and refreshing the look of your stained glass art as we did here with a new Art Deco frame. This is going to look great hanging in a bathroom window!

Framed stained glass with a flower on a dark red background.


Have a project idea, but not sure if we can frame it? Bring it in!

Just about anything you can imagine hanging on your wall can be framed, so don’t be shy about asking. We enjoy using our creativity to help you find ways to display and protect your treasures.

We’re open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm or by appointment, at 7808 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219.

5 Tips for Traveling Art Collectors

Brightly colored string art image of sun, moon, medicine wheel, maize, birds, and animals

We frame a lot of artwork our customers bring home from their travels. For art lovers, is there any better way to bring a special trip or place to mind? We think not! If you agree, here are a few things to keep in mind during your next vacation.

Brightly colored string art image of sun, moon, medicine wheel, maize, birds, and animals
Huichol string art from Mexico, framed by Village Frame & Gallery.

Do Collect Art When You Travel

Skip the cheap trinkets and forgettable souvenir stand offerings. A lot of it was made in China anyway. Art you love purchased from local artists will not only bring you joy for the rest of your life, finding it may produce some of your best memories of the trip.

Alternately, if you enjoy photography, make your own art. Hunting killer images will likely help you see things you would have missed otherwise. When you get home, we can help you turn your best photographs into an art exhibit you’ll be proud to show off.

Get to Know the Special Needs of Your New Treasure

Some art is particularly fragile. Depending on it’s age or the media used, it made need special care. It’s a good idea to learn what you can about the art you buy, so you can make good decisions for it when it arrives home.

The Huichol string art pictured above was a gift from a dear friend in Mexico to a couple from Oregon during their last visit south. Familiar with Huichol string art, the couple knew it was created by laying string into beeswax. Since this art is precious to them and will live in a home heated by wood, the couple brought it straight to Village Frame & Gallery. They were concerned about protecting the yarn fibers from soot, and the underlying beeswax from heat. But, they didn’t want glazing that would interfere with seeing the texture or vibrant color of the piece. Museum Glass inside a simple, black lacquer frame provided the protection they need with the clarity they desired.

Large Art Might Not be the Best Value After All

Framed oil painting of small patio outside blue door. A chair and pots of colorful flowers are arranged on the patio.A big statement piece offered by a street vendor at a fraction of U.S. prices can be very tempting, but will it still be a bargain after you ship it home and get it framed? Anything larger than 16″ x 20″ is likely to put a serious bruise on your credit card before you get it on the wall, regardless of how cheap the initial outlay was. You might be much better off picking up a few small pieces that can easily be brought home in your luggage. You’ll save on shipping and framing and you will have spread the wealth among several artists.

Not long ago, a customer brought in this diminutive oil painting, which was purchased abroad. In the right frame, it makes a big statement and is a lovely reminder of our client’s trip.

Restretching Could Stretch Your Wallet

We often have folks come in with a rolled canvas they brought home in their luggage, only to find out it can cost more to restretch art than it would have been to ship it home stretched. Don’t end up with a nasty surprise — price shipping the canvas stretched before you take it apart. If the shipping is under $100, do it. If you have doubts after you know the shipping price, email us the size and some pictures for a ballpark estimate on restretching before making your final decision.

Don’t Wait to Bring Your Art to Village Frame & Gallery

Ever bring home a piece of art, stow in a corner for safekeeping until you can get to the frame shop, and then let it languish there for years? It happens, but when it does, you cheat yourself out of the joy of displaying your souvenir, and your art is at the mercy of the elements — unprotected from dust, light, insects, and temperature changes.

Next time, bring your art to Village Frame & Gallery before you unpack your suitcases. While you’re catching up with your inbox and sorting through your snapshots, we’ll get your new art ready to display.

We’re open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm, at 7808 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219.


Savor Your Vacation Memories

What did you do this summer? Don’t worry, this is not an essay assignment. But we would like to see your favorite pics, because they make great display pieces! So don’t tuck them away, hang them up and enjoy them. Here’s an easy way to remember — and savor — your vacation memories:

Washington Lighthouse Tour

During a recent, wonderful trip to the Washington coast with mom and dad, we purchased two beautiful souvenir travel posters. The posters cost – $5 each. Almost the same price as a postcard!  We framed corresponding pictures three-up in a matching frame so we could remember who was there with us and the fun we had.



Take a Closer Look



Three snapshots of beach trip, framed together.


Travel poster of North Head lighthouse


Want Your Own?

Bring your favorite vacation pictures, posters, artwork, and souvenirs to Village Frame & Gallery at 7808 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219. We’re open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm, or by appointment.