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Picture Framing Magazine Article - April 2017

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Our frame shop has made huge strides this year!  We were published in the April edition of PFM (Picture Frame Magazine) and will have another article on Custom Military Shadow Boxes published in November's issue.  

April 2017 PFM Magazine Article:

Military Memories and More of Knoxville, IL, is a family-owned business dedicated to honoring and preserving the achievements of veterans. Business Manager Ryan Scalf uses his Gunnar F1 Hybrid and the Gunnar Mat Creator (GMC) software to create unique framed shadowbox designs for each of the stories that pass through his business on a daily basis. 

Scalf says, “Most of the vets behind these stories are silent heroes, and our aim is to honor them by making every job we create unique and different, which makes our Gunnar F1 essential in helping us reach that goal.”

The shadowbox shown here was done for a Vietnam veteran who wanted to help capture the story and comradery of his tour as well as pride of his medals and achievements. 

“This guy did it all,” says Scalf. “He was a first lieutenant in the Special Forces Group. He was trained in jungle warfare and was also a paratrooper. He fought alongside a South Vietnamese Mercenary Team. His highest award was the Bronze Star for going above the call of duty.”

The best thing about the work done at Military Memories, says Scalf, “is the frequent positive feedback we get from customers. This client sent us a touching message: ‘I received my shadowbox today and absolutely love it. I’ve already received several compliments from friends and family. Thank you for all the work you put into my display!’ ”

 “When it came to cutting this mat design,” Scalf says, “the mounted and raised oval-shaped mat with the written gold 5th Special Forces description in the top right corner was the first thing designed in the GMC software, just using a standard Text template. I like to do this instead of a V-groove because it adds a little extra dimension.” 

Scalf adds, “I simply loaded a Deco extra fine gold metallic paint pen into the Gunnar T2 pen tool, which is built into the cutting head, and the machine draws the text onto the surface of the matboard. It then cuts the reverse bevel oval around the design in the same process. We also love the fact there are no blobs with the pen.”

Because of the custom shapes required for the different 30 PFM April 2017 styles of patches, medals, and objects, the integrated Draw Mode feature of GMC software is essential to creating this design. Scalf says, “For this design, I uploaded a photo of the Special Forces patch and then used a click-and-draw process to trace the shape around the patch in Draw Mode. I then did the same thing for the Green Beret. It only takes a few minutes for each shape. I use this feature a lot, and it as easy to learn from the free library of Gunnar video tutorials.” 

Scalf prefers to avoid using rectangles for openings. He says, “Rectangles can seem a bit off-the-shelf. I prefer the creative library of templates in the GMC software for opening shapes that can be adjusted to tastefully enhance the overall display without going too far.” 

Curved openings have become a signature for Scalf ’s shop. “It has helped us create an appealing point of difference customers really like. The overall matboard concept takes roughly 30 minutes to design, lay out, and cut, but there’s no way we could offer it without our Gunnar F1.”


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234 E. Main St. Knoxville, IL 61448 | USA | (309) 289-0099 | militarymemoriesandmore@yahoo.com