Category: Framing

Happy Holidays from Valerie, John, and Clare. We are grateful for your business and friendship, and look forward to seeing you soon! In the meantime, sing along…

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…my precious family memories beautifully preserved and ready for display.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…my sports fantasies framed!!

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…a Tiffany style lamp and an exquisitely framed mirror to decorate my space.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…my priceless child’s artwork to remind me how special life can be.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…a beautiful Motawi art tile, handmade in Michigan. These tiles are mountable and framable, or simply ready to display on an easel.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…an acrylic art print by a local artist. Stop in to see what we have for sale, OR ask us to make you a custom #acrylicprint!

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…my cell phone photos immortalized as art for my walls! We print ready to hang, high quality gallery wraps from your images, or choose your art online at

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…my special mementos displayed so I can see them every day.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…original artwork. We have ready-to-hang pieces as well as original acrylic paintings, sculpture, and signed/numbered art prints for sale.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…a kitschy piece of artwork that brings me happy feelings, and reminds me that someone is thinking of me…

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…some high quality ready-made frames that won’t fall apart, are backed by a quality guarantee, and will preserve my holiday photos.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…a fantastic gift certificate so I can have some FUN framing and printing with the ONLY #masterframer in Minnesota!

We were honored this past August to have a hand in preserving a very significant and special piece of history. The letter, dated 1920, contains a seal that holds pieces of lead from the “bone box” which held and transferred the bones of “probably thirty Pilgrims who died in Plymouth two hundred and fifty years ago.” The writer eloquently stated, “In looking at this piece of lead you will visualize the entire compass of American history starting with a handful of stalwart men on Plymouth Rock, to a nation of 110,000,000 people.”


These relics were brought to us by a passionate historian to be framed for display by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and more importantly, preserved for coming generations. The piece will initially be exhibited at the Mayflower Society House for the 2017 Pilgrim Congress. This assembly meets every four years to elect its Governor and officials and honor its 30,000 members across the globe.

Our MCPF Valerie Becker considered the aesthetics of the display venue in the design process. It was suggested that the finished piece should be quite grand, and we were excited to deliver! The design features an exquisite Larson Juhl Biltmore Collection frame, and a complementary Nurre Caxton fillet surrounding each mat opening. Two solid and pure cotton base mats add support and depth, further highlighting the significance of the relics.

Our Master Framer left no stone unturned when it came to considering the archival preservation of this piece and the materials involved in the project. Extensive care was taken to ensure that these historical objects will remain protected from dust, UV light, acid producing papers, material gasses, and other elements that cause deterioration.

We are humbled to be given this opportunity and experience. Our customers’ passions are OUR purpose, and we are grateful to have such wonderful, interesting, and meaningful projects to share.


Our customer (center) posed with the Curator and Assistant Curator at Pilgrim Hall Museum.

One of the most common questions we receive from customers during the design process is “Should I have a mat?” followed by, “How much mat will show?”

The answers depend on several factors, including the type and size of the artwork, archival and mounting requirements, current trends, and of course, customer preference. Our design team, led by Master Certified Picture Framer Valerie Becker, is experienced in crafting the perfect mat design for each custom project.

Some artwork requires matting so that it may be properly mounted for museum quality preservation within a frame (yes, we do that). Delicate artworks with holes, torn edges, or unsightly borders may look incomplete without matting. Art prints with wide paper borders may be improved with a single or double mat. Sometimes a mat is unnecessary, even being a detriment to design. This sweet needlework for example was completed with a border that served the framing composition perfectly without a mat.

According to industry expert Chris Paschke of Designs Ink, professional framers and designers typically follow proportion and ratio guidelines such as maintaining mat margins that are wider than the width of a frame, avoiding “stripes” by using wider mat margins and by varying widths of extra mats and art borders, and ensuring “breathing room” for matted artwork (2001). Paschke suggests that contemporary designs demonstrate wider mat dimensions

The first image below represents a “gallery style,” with a wide and thick white mat—plenty of breathing room for the little fox. To make more sense of this concept, consider the wide mat as a wall in a room with the fox image hung on the wall. Would you look first at the plain wall, or the fox? A little Photoshop magic shows the fox again with a thin mat. Although the image is larger, the thin mat and frame start to look “stripe-y” which can be distracting to the eye and add a subtle confusion.


One alternative to the “wider mat” guideline is when a piece of artwork is float mounted. This type of design is characterized by an artwork that sits on top of, rather than under, a mat. In these designs, it is standard practice to maintain a small mat margin as seen to the left in this pastel by a customer’s little granddaughter.

Extra mats and specialized fabric mats use color and texture to enhance the framing design. The print below by Andy Warhol is matted with bright base color that accentuates the artwork’s “Pink Lips.” The dramatic blue suede mat atop the ship draws the eye to the artwork by gently contrasting the art’s highlights.

The most important rule of matting, however, is that there are no hard and fast rules. The overall goal of framing is to enhance the artwork, and to draw the eye to the artwork or object(s) being framed. Much discretion on how that is done is left to the eye of the designer(s). As Paschke notes, “Some framers have a natural eye for identifying a design that fits, and this is often why some designs appear much more successful than others” (2001). Experience, training, and a discerning eye for aesthetics is a large part of the formula for “right” matting. (We’ve got those covered.)

We are happy and excited to compose your project with you, and we guarantee our designs. Stop in or call to schedule an appointment to work with MCPF Valerie and her team!


Paschke, C. A. (2001, June). The essence of design: Proportion. Retrieved April 30, 2017, from DIP Online website:


In 1918, an upside-down biplane was mistakenly printed on the 24 cent airmail stamp. Only 100 of the original stamps were sold, and they are valued among philatelists at around $100,000 per stamp. Normally, a print inspector or postal clerk would have caught the misprint immediately. However, the clerk who sold the original sheet of inverted jenny stamps said, “How was I to know the thing was upside down? I never saw an airplane before.”

In 2013, the USPS reprinted the famous and rare inverted jenny to the chagrin of hardcore stamp collectors. According to USPS policy, “Postal Service employees should refrain from intentionally creating philatelic rarities.” Agency watchdogs suggest that the post office violated its own code by recreating rare stamp in order to make money.

We aren’t really philatelists, but we know a good framing subject when we see one. Our inverted jenny sheet is floated and matted with TrueVue museum glass and a Superior Moulding frame.

Read more: HERE and HERE

Valerie Becker of Red Wing Framing & Fine Art Printing was appointed to the International Framing Competition Board by the Board of Directors of the Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) at the annual PPFA Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in January 2017.

This is a three year appointment and the International Framing Competition Board is responsible for all framing competitions, approval and accreditation of judges and the review and updates of the framing design standards and judging criteria.

Valerie commented “I am excited to be working with creative framing experts from all over the world. This is a professional honor for me and I will be a better framer from this experience.”

Valerie Becker is a Master Certified Picture Framer as designated by the PPFA. She owns and operates Red Wing Framing & Fine Art Printing and Rochester Framing & Fine Art Printing.

The Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) has been the industry trade association for professional custom picture framers, art galleries, museums and framing manufacturers for 35 years. PPFA has more than 3,500 members and helps maintain industry standards, education and promotion.

In the framing world, a fillet (typically pronounced “fill-it”) is a super small frame with a reverse lip that fits inside a traditional frame or under a mat. Fillets can provide extra flair or dramatic enhancement to a frame, or incorporate an additional level of showcasing to a piece of art.

You may notice that the ornate fillet around pastel madonna adds a touch of elegance to the rustic style frame. Our 1st place chapter winner featured a blue frame fillet matching the bold blue in the needlepoint. Finally, the beautiful Belle is displayed with a bold mat rimmed in a delicate fillet, giving her design the right amount of sass to match her personality, per the owner.


Fillets exponentially grow the creative possibilities of framing design, and as we always say, the more creative options the more fun to be had!

“A hundred thousand welcomes” is the English translation of this Gaelic salutation. This cross-stitch was laced over an archival board, matted, and framed with a perfectly patterned moulding. These projects showcase the time, talent, and creativity of needle artists, and we are experts at helping our customers achieve their finished piece. I wonder how one might express “a hundred thousand stitches”?



Many years ago we decided it was important to try and be as good as we can be in what we do.  That was our business plan.

Valerie became the first Master Certified Picture Framer (MCPF) in Minnesota in 2014.  This was a big deal for us and has opened up many opportunities as well.

Valerie has continued to contribute to the framing industry and this January she will compete in a national framing competition in Las Vegas in January 2017.

These efforts help push us to be better at our job.  And this is only the beginning.

There once was a framer named Valerie.
Who framed art that hung in a gallery.
It was beautifully done,
and the process was so fun.
And it was only a small part of my salary.


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