The weirdest & craziest

Paul N

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Jun 10, 2005
CT, not far from the LI Sound
OK, what's the weirdest or craziest object (don't be shy now...) that a customer brought, dragged,
schlepped in to be framed, mounted or shadowboxed??

In one seminar I attended (I believe it was Vivian Kistler's) she mentioned that one customer brought in his wife's wedding night undies.... :eek:

I bet Hanna has some fine story to tell....
Football player from University of Tennesee brought in 4 years of mouthpieces he wore in his four years on the team, all orange, all labeled with the game, the date and the score. Wanted them all put in a shadowbox. Which, of course, we did.

Second strangest: Corvette pieces--hubcap emblems, gas tank caps etc.--from the wife of a man restoring a 57. Included in the shadowbox was a plastic model of a Corvette matching the year of the one he was restoring.
WE recently had an 80 year old woman bring in a thong....... they were new though - got them as a joke for her BD.

now - if you want the most pathetic thing - we once had a woman (who is notoriously cheap) who liked the front of the Sears Christmas wish book (it was an old fashioned painting of a little girl looking in a store window)and she was too cheap to buy the real thing, so she took white out and nail polish and painted over the wording.

It was absolutley awful!!! But we framed it.......

oh - and there was once this really ugly poster sized demonic thing that some guy made on his computer and had it printed at a print shop to like a 30 X 40 or something.

We had nothing but problems with it - it was the creepiest thing you ever saw. First we dry mounted it and it got creased and wrinkled (that NEVER happens) and so we had to go the printer and have it re-printed (it cost us about 100.00)

then the second one - something weird happened to it in the heat of the press - something to do with the finish (that never happens either!!)

So we had to have it printed again! The weird thing - the print shop had to print it several times to begin with - it was creepy - almost like it had some kind of curse on it or something.

When he picked it up I told him of all the problems and said "it's cursed" and he just looked at me.

I think he was some sort of demon worshipper.... creeps us out still and this was YEARS ago!!
When I worked at Micheals' many moon ago, we had a customer come and if there was any male framers that could help him. They called me from the back and there was this short,round, bald spooky looking guy with a folder in his hand. He asked me if I had a weak stomich? I told him no and what could I do for him. He pulls me off to the side and opens the folder. They were crime scene photos. Really gross stuff. One was of a human head place near the body of a man who decided to chop his own head off with the use of a train. Icky!!!!!!!!!!. He had about 20 of them and didn't leave them for us, just want the frames and mats and he would mount and hang them himself. We called the San Antonio police department after he left just to make sure he was legally allowed to posses these pictures. He was and worked for the police department and had every right to posses and frame these pictures. My questions is where do you hang images of death in the first place. I guess this guy wasn't much for dating. We'll that mine.
I had a customer come in with a collection of pewter civil war era reproduction spoons. they were very plain but so cool! the coolest thing was that my customer was blind!!!! her husband and I described the moulding samples and mat colors to her and she felt them, too. I remember describing how I thought since they were shiny, they would stand out a little more on the sued emat rather than the linen. She felt the samples and agreed- it was so much fun working with her! She came back asking for me a few times after thatm too :cool:
I framed a shirt that was worn by a man who had committed suicide by shooting himself through the heart. Very bloody exit wound. Ick.
One job lead to the others..

In 1972, a good customer was in a car crash.... totaled her 1955 small window VW. She just loved that bug, because it had a radio that was "HERS" as she drove to and from UCLA and then to work. She asked the wrecking yard if they could take the radio out for her to have... so the guy cut it out with a blow torch...

I had a shop clean it up and carefully slice off the bulk of the back and put the face and dash piece in a deep shadowbox.

Several years later at a shop in the Los Altos hill$$$$$ area, a guy brings in a white mouse that was stuffed.

"This was my favorite pet as a child and I want him enshrined. I also heard that you could frame ANYTHING."

I looked at him and said something insane like $1,500 and it will be a Greek Revival shrine; hoping to scare him off. There was just something I wasn't getting about this guy and he had his right hand all bandaged up... and was holding it up like it was pretty new damage.....

Figuring drugs or just that I would get stuck with the job... I quickly said 'Cash, up front'.

Fine, I'll be right back.... 30 minutes = $1,600. "I don't want you to run short."

A month later he picked up and loved his little mouse on a Ionic pedistal in the Greek parthenon with a window in the top to light the mouse.

His bandage was off, and his small finger was missing.

He flipped down the accident photos of his Porche parked around a snow stake that had split the car to just past the gear shift-stick.... where his hand had been as he down shifted his 917a. One of 6 all aluminum bodied 911Ss.

He had it finish sliced in half and cleaned up, and was now ready for me to tell him how I was going to frame be hung in his 10 car garage. Three months, $26,000, 1,450lbs of steel I-beams embedded in the walls and ceiling of the garage. One large sealed shadowbox, vacume system and electronics.... he got his wish and threw a party.

When any of the doors were opened, the head-light came on and shown through a 2' porthole, and the radio came on playing his favorite San Francisco station.

Now I think I'll leave the big shadowboxes to Jim Miller.....

[oh, and before anyone asks... I don't remember if we used any silicone or not.... :D ]
$50,000 computer chip, pieces of a Ford Maverick, a moth, Bottle of Mrs T Bloody Mary Mix to name a few.
Many years ago there was a fasmous suicide in Buffalo where a guy jumped out of a window at City Hall and landed, most unfortunately, on the FLAG POLE - impaled on the flag he slowly bled to death. It was sensational news and the photographer who got the shot for the paper brought a vivid 8x10 print in to Kramer's frame shop - and he asked for a red, white and blue mat (but, of course!).

I was the only one working that day so not only did I have to cut the mat but I had to fit the thing into the frame.

Now I had heard about this event - and I knew what the picture was- but I DID NOT LOOK at the photo at all - I measured the matting, taped the picture into it (this was 30 years ago!) and fitted it into the frame - ALL WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE IMAGE!!!

Still gives me the willies when I think about it - and I wonder about that photographer - it was an award winning shot but good grief!
Very OLD hair wreath... Was the hair of the clients ancestors... My husband had to "groom" the wreath before we framed it (there were bug carcus's, etc in it). My husband had the ibby gibby's for a week.
You know when the stub of a newborn baby's umilical cord finally shrivels up and falls off, a shrunken piece of cartilage? Framed one of those, with the ultrasound photo in utero and a picture of the baby being born, with only its head sticking out. Yuck.

Second weirdest: Man brought in a side of a cardboard box, about 24 X 24, a big stain on the lower corner, and big red letters across the middle that read HUMAN BLOOD. He had been a medivac helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Wanted it framed in a red metal frame, and hung it on the wall behind his desk in his real estate office. Oh yeah, I'd buy a house from that guy! (not!)

Third weirdest: A "bud" of a pot plant, the really sticky purple kind, about the size of my forearm. Did that one with the blinds drawn at night!
Dead cat.

Not even a cherished family pet. It was road kill, found by the customer in a nearly mummified state on the roadside.

"Nearly mummified" is not nearly good-enough, so I got some measurements and sent the cat home with the customer. He came and got the shadowbox after I built it and I don't even care how he attached the feline in there.

(That was before Attach-EZ. Also before I had a shop dog.)
Third weirdest: A "bud" of a pot plant, the really sticky purple kind, about the size of my forearm. Did that one with the blinds drawn at night!

Sounds like a good opportunity for payment in kind. ;)
An African Weaverbird's nest.
Converted the destroyed outer rim off a clients 911 cabriolet into a frame (His girlfriend was driving and did a 4 wheel drift in downtown St. Augustine into the curb).
The skull of a Hardhead Catfish (salt water variety).
This one gets me laughing when ever I think about it. A gentleman brought in an oil painting he had painted of his former boyfriend who had passed away a few years ago. I told him I was sorry for his loss as he looked sad and longingly at the painting. He had set it down on the counter facing him, so it was upside down to me. I always make it a point to talk about the art customers bring…from my angle (upside-down) I appeared to be a man lounging on a couch with a lap dog.

I complemented the gentleman on how well he painted the piece and asked what kind of dog was on his boyfriends lap. He was startled…and announced that there was no dogs in the picture. I apologized, took a much closer look only to find out the painting was a greatly exaggerated semi nude. All I could think to say was “You must really miss him” He laughed and that broke the ice.

To my defense it was poorly painted, greatly exaggerated and upside down it really did look like a Shitzu.
A kidney stone in a micro shadow box to be worn on a chain around his neck. It was in Palm Springs so we didn't think it was strange at all.
Once when I was working for a multi-location company we got a broadcast email to the sales staff. Someone had written up a job that included the home-pregnancy test showing a positive result. The email explained that it was considered biohazardous waste and no one in the production plant should be expected to handle it, and none of us should have handled it...(It was brought in to a different location.)

I can't imagine, regardless of how thrilled I was to be pregnant, walking in to a store and handing over a stick I'd peed on. Bleah.

Frome reading this thread I've concluded that my craziest frames have been pretty tame by comparison. One fun one that comes to mind was a baseball cap. It belonged to a 13 or 14 year old boy and he wore it ALL THE TIME. His mom pleaded with him to give it a rest, but he wouldn't. Finally she could stand it no more. She somehow snuck it away, just to wash it and it shredded in the machine. She had the remnants shadowboxed. She felt so bad. My heart really went out to her.

and I'd like to thank ArtimisArtWorksfor the story I'll be telling several people. Too funny.
Originally posted by TheDoctah:
Third weirdest: A "bud" of a pot plant, the really sticky purple kind, about the size of my forearm. Did that one with the blinds drawn at night!

Sounds like a good opportunity for payment in kind. ;)
LMAO! My thoughts exactly! :D
Someone I worked with framed a guy's hip joint when he got it replaced. He was a golf fanatic, so she set it up like a golf club, with a ball on a tee. He loved it.

I once framed a chunk of old plaster wall from a house someone was restoring. It was attractive, with some victorian wallpaper still clinging to it, and horsehair sticking out all over. It stank, though, and I worked with gloves and mask.

I have framed home-made porn, guns, and artifacts that really should have been reported when found.

Then there was this llama fur thing. It was like a little round quilt, and the patches of different colored fur made a picture of a llama. I pointed out that people visiting her home would want to feel the fur, so instead of shadowboxing it, I mounted it on a firm backing with a hanger. I pulled it a little bit around the edges, so all you saw was fur, it looked nice.
I'm so glad I didn't have to put it in a box, the thing shed something awful. Every night I worked on it, when I got home, my cats would sniff me over critically. "What the heck kind of animal have you been stepping out with?!"
Oh, I wanted to tell about the Wimbledon thing. It wasn't weird, just cool.

The lady came in with some photos of her husband with some of the players, and assorted small items from the gift shop. The idea was to put them all in a frame togeher for her husband, who had been thrilled with the trip.

We laid everything out, and were deciding on mats, and things, when she said, "Oh, there's one more thing, if you can use it." and pulled out the tissue paper that the gift shop had wrapped things in. It was white, and had the Wimbledon logo printed all over it in grey. I spread the sheets out carefully, and there was just enough to make a mat from. When I told her what I had in mind, she actually started bouncing up and down.

It came out wonderful, and when I called her to tell her it was ready, she came right over. I had it on an easel for her to see as she came up to the counter, and she started bouncing up and down again. We gift wrapped it for her, and she bounced out with it.

About an hour later she called back, and said her husband LOVED it, thankyouthankyou. I could hear her bouncing on the phone.

It isn't often that a customer is so openly enthusiastic about an order, so this one really stuck in my mind.
Boy, some of those stories are amazing, amazingly gross, and amazingly funny too!!

I haven't framed anything really strange yet, but the day ain't over yet...
Wow, I hope someone is keeping track of all of these for a book! Unbelievable! :eek: I had a college student bring in toilet tissue and photos of the stadium being "rolled" for a shadow box. Different but not too strange. BUT, my cat got into the toilet paper and destroyed it! What was strange - I carried a piece of toilet paper into the supermarket and stood in the aisle holding it up to the different brands to make sure the replacement matched the original! The looks I got! :eek: :eek:
My strangest was framing a rooster. And, it actually turned out really nice.

I've also framed nudie pictures of very VERY young girls who worked for, ehm, a "call girl" company.

I'm waiting for that one person to come in with... dildos.
Not strange but I thought it was sweet. I had a man bring a taxidermied fish in in November. It was the first fish his grandson had caught while out fishing with grandpa. He had had it preserved and mounted on a cross section of log with a little brass plaque but he was afraid his grandson might accidently break it so he had me make a shadowbox for it. Kind of reminded me of a museum display when it was done.
I just started at a new frame shop years ago and one of my first project was this huge shadow box of animal becks, claws, hides, and feathers all with photos of the dead animals. Some rich guy had gone on safari and from the looks of it shot everything that moved. The molding was some expensive molding from a tree that only grows in Africa or something like that. I believe in hunting for survival, but if your not going to eat it, don't shot it. Anyway, it was finished and the client came by to pick it up. Just as I expected, huge Ford350 pulls up and this Umpa Lumpa sized guy in suit climbs down from his truck. You think he was compensating much?
Just last week a 20 x 16 photo of a Caesarean birth. Brought in by the proud father who insisted on showing it to everyone in the shop. He cleared the place!
A slab of Berlin Wall, about 8' x 2' weighed a ton (figure of speech but took 4 men to lift)

(No I didn't even suggest glass and spacers!) Very wide unfinished wood frame, which the customer (The sergeants' mess of an Infantry regiment) covered in photos of their tour in Berlin. Hanging wasn't a problem, they had a stand built for it.

My old regiment, I was there when the wall came down.
My weirdest was a bladder stone from a german shepard. It was about the size of a grapefruit. It was going in the office of the vet who removed it.
A bladder stone? Casesarean birth? Animal beeks, claws, hides, and feathers?? Placenta stained pillow??

This is a horror show, worthy of Frankenstein's gallery!!

I should be prepared by now I guess when someone brings in a "slightly severed head" of his dear mother-in-law....
I just thought of another weird one....lady brought in a Leroy Neiman print, signed and numbered, of a sidewalk cafe scene in New York. She and her since-deceased husband had lunch there once and it was sentimental. She had kept it under her bed between two pieces of cardboard box for "several years". Apparently her cat lived under the bed too, and thought that print was his. Peeee-yew!!! Cat fur stuck all over it, and stained badly. Male cat. I jacked up the framing cost so high, hoping she'd decide not to do it, but she insisted. Wanted a red and purple suede mat and purple frame to match her couch, and uv glass. I did it. She loved it. The mat covered up the stains, so she didn't care. Guess she got used to the smell. Not me. Wonder how ammonia affected that print?? Whew!!
well, if you just want disgusting, someone brought in a stack of stuff that was damaged when their storage unit was flooded... months before. It was all muddy, mildewey, moldy, and had things living in it. To make things worse, it was all stuff that was faded or abused before the damage, which I would have just thrown away.
Craziest-A mangled hub cap from totaled car the driver walked away from

Bizarre-A grainy B/W of the person's spouse taken with another person in a Motel 6 type setting. Taken by a Private Detective and was Exhibit A at the Divorce Hearing

Saddest-A Japanes Battle Flag from WWII. The flag was given to the client's father that was stationed in China at end of war. The Japanese troops fought like thedevil to get through the Chinese lines so they could surrender to the USMC troops. The Japanese made a formal process of the surrender, but by protocol, the Marines ad to turn the Japanese over to the Chinese who immediately shot and killed all the Japanese

Honorable Mention-Dress Blues of a young Marine recently killed in Iraq

Scariest-A signed picture of Hillary Clinton

Okay, that part was good natured humor and you can fill in the politician of your choice

Merry Christmas
I've posted about this before, but this takes the cake for me. Lady brings in a Ruthven print of White Tigers that has been shot through the glass, print, backings, presumably into the wall. She wants it patched and fixed. Needs it ASAP. (I didn't ask for details, but I assumed it had something to do with her husband coming home soon...
We accomplished the repair, and I saved the remnants as a souvenir for the shop. The weird(er) part is that this happened on Nov. 22, 1983-- twenty years to the day after the Kennedy assassination. Coincidence? YOU be the judge!