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

MICHELANGELO QUOTE

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

stamping on cotton bags besotted blog

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...]

HOW-TO (PROPERLY) CLEAN YOUR RED RUBBER STAMPS

how-to clean your rubberstamps besotted blog

I have tried many different methods of cleaning my red rubberstamps and the one above is the easiest, fastest and the least amount of mess.  My secret? I use an unscented baby wipe! It must be unscented as fragrance will deteriorate your stamp and it must be a baby wipe, as anti-bacterial type wipes or other cleaning wipes have solvents that again break down your red rubber which is a natural substance. The baby wipes have glycerin in them which not only cleans the stamp but conditions it as well. The baby wipes work really well to clean multiple types of ink but I mainly stick to pigment inks since it has such a large range of what you can stamp on. The trick here is to dab at your stamp rather than rubbing your wipe side-to-side, you want to avoid leaving any fibers on the stamp surface which could effect your future stamping endeavors. If you want to keep your stamps like new (which will result in a better stamped impression) clean them after every use, with the wipes this makes this once cumbersome task pretty effortless!

Let me know if you have any questions or if you have another way that you think might be better.  Oh, and I don’t know how this would work on clear stamps, they are made of polymer so I think it would be a trial and error situation, possibly more error. Next week I will go over how to stamp on cloth, some tricks I have learned along the way!

P.S. Looking for a little Inspiration Rx? It will be up later today!

P.P.S. Special thanks again to my model Michelle for her patience and pro skills!

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 are expecting a baby girl in December (possibly November). 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.

EMBOSSING TUTORIAL | PART II WHITE EMBOSSING ON KRAFT/CHIPBOARD

embossing tutorial 2 besotted blog

The embossing adventure continues!  These steps will work on all cardstocks but white ink on kraft/chipboard is my most requested so I thought I would oblige. The above image is what a typical white ink would look like stamped on a kraft or chipboard stock (the sample shown is industrial chipboard) it’s not horrible, it’s more rustic, not the result that I want (and I assume from the emails I get neither do you). The problem lies in the surface, the chipboard is porous and fibrous and has a tendency to ‘eat’ the ink it also is not a smooth surface which is not optimal for stamping on (again, I recommend Paper Bag from Paper Source for a nice kraft look carstock + smooth surface).  To begin embossing I highly recommend investing in an embossing buddy type tool (you can refer to the full embossing supplies list here), this tool removes static from your surface and will ensure that your embossing powder will only stick to the actual image you stamped instead of leaving globs of powder all over your surface.

embossing tutorial 1 besotted blog

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