DIY FLORAL ARRANGEMENT WITH MCKENZIE POWELL

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It’s a new year and a new you, better than ever!  Let’s make this a year of learning, expanding your creative skill set and enhancing your life, are you with me?  Have you ever considered trying your hand at a floral arrangement? A thoughtful arrangement can be pulled together fairly quickly, is appreciated by just about everyone, and  there is zero commitment needed if the recipient isn’t head over heels for your thoughtfully chosen florals (silly them). Floral design really is an art, so we thought it best to consult an expert to find out the best way to approach building a small arrangement.

If you aren’t already familiar with McKenzie of McKenzie Powell Designs, she is a premier floral & event designer based here in Seattle (she designs for destination events as well). McKenzie’s florals feel simultaneously lush & organic, appearing effortless but in reality, every detail is carefully considered. We are head over heels for her work (and her), and are certain you will be too!

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COUNTRY LIVING BOOKPLATE DOWNLOAD

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Wow, what an amazing way to start the new year by having Country Living magazine feature our download!  I haven’t seen it yet, but I have had many emails that people didn’t know where to find the download so I decided to put it up again so it would be easy.  You can find the download here and you can find all my downloads here.

To celebrate I am offering a 50%  discount on all monogram and custom logo stamps, just use the code HAPPY2014, the code will be available until January 6, 2014.

I am so grateful for the mention and even more excited to be able to invite new friends into my little ‘home’ on the web. I am especially grateful for all my friends (yes, that would be you) that have visited this past year and made this place such a wonderful, creative and supportive place.  I hope I can continue to inspire you to try new things, introduce you to a new skill and maybe even make you laugh out loud every now and then.  Thank you so much and here’s to an amazing new year!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they just welcomed to the world a baby girl. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

HANDMADE HOLIDAY | HERBED SEA SALT

Herbed Sea Salt Gift Besotted Blog I

Hello! As you all know, Miss B. has her hands full with sweet baby b., so I thought I’d lend a hand, and share this project with you. Tristan’s original vision for this month was to provide you with a bountiful collection of luxe homemade gift ideas (not your average D.I.Y., that’s for sure). This is one of those projects. It’s a gourmet gift that will be appreciated by culinary novices & afficionados alike (you’ll want to make extra for yourself too).

We are in the habit of sprinkling herbed sea salt on just about everything that comes out of our kitchen. Vignalta Salle Alle Erbe is what hooked us (sooo good, don’t say you haven’t been warned). Of course it was one of the first things I shared with Tristan when she moved to town, and she asked if we’d ever tried to make our own. Brilliant, the girl is brilliant! After a trip to the market for fresh herbs (a steal at $1 / bunch at Pike Place Market), the first test was under way. Two hours later we had custom blended herbed sea salt, worthy of gracing our soups, roasted vegetables, fish, meats – anything normally seasoned with salt & herbs.  Best of all, it’s surprisingly easy and gift worthy! [Read more…]

CLASSES TO STOP BRAIN SHRINKAGE

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With everything going on right now it doesn’t seem very pragmatic to be adding classes to my to-do list, but I figure I should take in a few before the baby arrives as I may not have as much time as I previously did pre-baby and also that whole shrinking brain thing has me motivated.  I didn’t sign-up for anything too challenging like advanced Calculus so maybe I didn’t prevent anything from shrinking but I am happy that I did sign-up for these classes:

CJ Nicolai’s ‘Fall in love with film’ through Clickin’ Moms.  Oh, how I cringe when I say or write that name as I feel like it turns people off, you don’t need to be a mom to participate (you could be a dad or an aunt or nothing associated with mom’s at all).  I have belonged to their forum for many years and think it’s a great resource for any photography enthusiast.  My quick review on this class, I love CJ’s work, I was thrilled to see that she has six videos on developing film at home (worth the price of the class).  I was disappointed on some of the basics like metering for film (there wasn’t a demo, or even a suggestion for a meter in this class), the concept of pushing & pulling is also still very vague to me. You do have the forum to turn to for questions though (and I did get meter suggestions). I wouldn’t recommend this class if this was your first exposure to wanting to shoot with film, BUT if you did have an interest in developing your own film someday CJ makes it seem very do able and as mentioned I think that’s worth the small price of this class.  CM has so many other classes that are affordable and not a huge time commitment (and others that look great but are more spendy), it’s a site worth bookmarking. If you are interested in film photography there’s plenty of resources in The Directory, but I recommend this book and this one and Jen Huang’s Workshop in a box.

I am having a tough time not knowing how to take more control of my blog functionality (I am on WordPress) it pains me to always have to annoy my coder whenever I need something tiny done.  I signed up for this WordPress Basics class, it’s not exactly what I was looking for but still enlightening for a WordPress newbie. For those new to Skillshare the link will get you $10 off and for those that aren’t new to Skillshare Aaron Platt the teacher is offering a 50% discount for October by using the promo code PUMPKIN. Unlike a lot of Skillshare classes that are open enrollment Aaron is very dedicated and involved and will answer your questions.  I would definitely sign-up again for any other WP class he would offer in the future.

Has anyone signed up for Mary Kate McDevitt’s class-First Steps of Hand Lettering?  It is SO good!  I love that it is a lettering class and not just a calligraphy class (where you would need special tools like nib & ink, so no excuses). All you need is a pencil, paper and some imagination.  It’s worth every penny if you are even remotely interested in lettering.

I have been wanting to take an InDesign class for a while, I was planning on signing up for this one at Nicole’s Classes but I actually hate that I can’t just sign-up anytime and I have to wait for a new session to begin. On the flip side, Alma Loveland the instructor is a great teacher and if you can wait I am sure it would be a great class! I saw that Anne Ditmeyer was teaching Learn InDesign so I signed-up!  I am an Anne fan so it seemed like a win-win.  I haven’t started yet, but I am eager too. I haven’t played around much with InDesign, but I know it is a robust program for putting together projects like books and magazines and why not add that to my skill set?

Some classes I wish I was taking/attending…

Food Photography at The Pantry with Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille. It’s sold out of course, but I am sure it would have been fabulous!

I want to take all the classes at this shop, but this shirt dress series looks especially intriguing.

What about you?  Are you signed up for any classes right now?

STAMPING PERFECTLY ON COTTON BAGS

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Technically you could use my technique to stamp on most fabrics, but for the purpose of this tutorial I will focus on the cotton drawstring bags since this is the fabric I most stamp on in my day-to-day fabric stamping adventures.  Also, with the holidays upon us I think the fabric bags make a great alternative to packaging that will be thrown by the wayside.  These bags tend to be thin and wrinkle quite easily so I always iron prior to stamping as you want to have as flat a surface as possible.  Stamping is not as forgiving as other printing techniques and you do want your substrate (what you are stamping on) as smooth as possible so start with ironed fabric without a lot of texture (so nothing nubby, ribbed, raised, furry, etc.)  My most secret of tools for ironing these tiny bags quickly and without dragging out my ironing board and iron is an old hair straightener, yes a hair straightener.  You don’t need a fancy one, just a cheapy that heats up to a nice temp (mine goes as high as 450 f) that will actually iron out your wrinkles;  I just clamp down on one end and pull it through the iron and it is perfect every time!  The iron is now dedicated for crafting, which I would suggest for yours as well.  Once you have a nice ironed bag you will want to put a piece of thick + stiff cardstock in it.  This serves two purposes 1) it makes for a nice stiff surface to stamp on and 2) it will prevent the ink from bleeding to the other side. I just cut down a piece of scrap cardstock to size and use it over and over (if there’s no ink that has seeped through). [Read more…]

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