Well, I finished Barney and, for the first time, did my own framing. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. The frame was a custom frame that I ordered on-line (along with the mat and the finishing kit). It wasn't very hard to frame it, and I think the frame and mat selection were a good choice.
I gave it to Ralph today (it is a birthday gift - his birthday isn't until February 8th, but I THOUGHT he and his wife were going to Indonesia for the month of February) and he was THRILLED. My friend Ralph is a macho big guy - about 6' 1" or 6' 2" and a heavy set guy...but he is a sentimental softy, and he got choked up when he saw what I gave him. And to make it even nicer, his wife looked at me and said "Where did you get the picture of Barney?" because it looked just like him. And....after they got home, Ralph called me to say they had hung it up and the first thing they noticed was that the green fabric it's stitched on matches their walls almost exactly!
Of course...as it turns out, they aren't going to Indonesia after all. Dientje (Ralph's wife) is from there, and that's why they were going. But there are all sorts of security warnings against Americans going to Indonesia right now because of all the turmoil in the middle east. They are saying that IF Americans have to go, they should keep a low profile....Ralph's comment was that at 350 pounds and a foot taller than most of the residents, it would be REALLY hard for him to keep a low profile! LOL Fortunately, for some reason, Ralph hadn't yet bought their tickets (he said he didn't know what prevented him from doing so, but......maybe it was intuition or something). So...no harm no foul.
He told me (before he opened it) that I could wait to give it to him until his real birthday (since he's going to be in town after all) but I told him I wanted him to have it (I don't think I could wait to give it to him! LOL).