In the previous post, I discuss a mitred frame. This frame is an example of a "butt-joined" frame, using a mortise and tenon type joint, with out nails.
For the tenons, I use a double biscuit. Biscuit joinery is a fairly new addition to joinery, requiring a machine to mill the mortises, then using a compressed wooden "biscuit" as a tenon. The biscuits swell from the moisture in the glue, making for a solid and durable joint. Very quick to do; faster than dowells, and I think stronger.
Joining frames this way allows me great freedom in the design and execution; the above frame was roughed out with a bandsaw as I did not need to worry about nails.
My initial design work is done on paper; once I have the joined frame, I draw directly on the frame with charcoal, rough cut the outer shape, and begin carving.