Is there some reason you can't just make the 'frames' as you call them (hint, avoid using a name for a tag to describe things) an anchor, then put the text inside the anchor? A negative margin or absolute positioning relative to the anchor would then be the easiest approach -- likewise for the dropdown just put it after the anchor, and :hover off the parent.
Though it SOUNDS like you are thinking presentation before you even have either of those, and that's not a good thing either. Lemme guess, you've got some photoshop jockey drawing pretty pictures and then having the giant set of brass to call themselves a "designer" involved in things? That's a wild guess, but it's an educated one.
But really it's hard to say without seeing some sample content -- the text and an example set of images -- since content should dictate markup, just as content and markup dictate style. that picture of five black boxes on a white background REALLY isn't telling us anything useful about what you are trying to do.