When You Give a Gift from the Heart — Protect It!

(ARA) – What are you going to get your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day this year? According to the Web site, Askmen.com, designer watches, jewelry and champagne flutes will be among the most popular gifts this year.

They may be popular, but they don’t necessarily show your sweetheart how much he or she means to you. Remember, the Valentine’s theme is all about love, romance and appreciation, and you can bet that your significant other will be expecting all that and more.

So what should you get him or her? A gift from the heart of course!

Remember all the fun you had at that baseball game you went to together, and how much you enjoyed that play? How about the twinkle in her eye during that romantic trip to Cancun? Instead of putting your memories of those events – pictures and memorabilia – away in a shoebox under the bed, keep them alive by putting them on display.

“When people come into our shop asking for help coming up with a framed gift that will be meaningful, we tell them to think back to an event or trip they really enjoyed and start gathering things to frame,” says Kevin Colbert of Colbert Custom Framing in Chicago.

If you had a really good time at a sporting event, for example, he says chances are good you kept the tickets and maybe an autographed ball cap. If you have them, frame them along with a photo of the two of you together. If you went to a play on Broadway that you really enjoyed, you can have the Playbill, the napkin you saved from the bar, and maybe the gloves you wore that night framed, along with a picture of you and your sweetheart out on the town.

Once your masterpiece is complete, the last thing you want to see happen is for the pictures inside to fade, or the memorabilia to yellow, which is why Colbert and his fellow framers recommend their customers frame treasured items behind conservation quality glass.

Simply put, conservation framing employs the use of materials that have been proven to protect and maintain art in as close to its original condition as possible. Conservation quality glass offers UV protection – filtering out 98 percent of UV light rays. It also has anti-reflective properties.

“Most people would never think sunlight entering their house through the windows would cause a problem, but ultraviolet light rays are one of the most dangerous elements that your artwork can encounter,” says Kathy Carter-McLin of TruVue, a manufacturer of high performance glass products for the custom picture frame and museum industries. “Over time, they will not only cause your colors to fade to a mere shadow of their former glory, but will cause the materials themselves to begin to break down right in the frame.” In addition to helping to protect the artwork or memorabilia inside the frame from dangerous ultraviolet rays, the glass also makes viewing easier, by preventing glare.

“We see things every day that weren’t properly preserved, so we advise our customers to use conservation glass. Years from now, they’ll be glad they did,” says Colbert.

Courtesy of ARA Content