NATURAL HISTORY BOOKPLATE + PRINT DOWNLOAD

BOOKPLATE DOWNLOAD

 As soon as I got back on my feet this weekend I started a cleaning frenzy of epic proportions.  My studio which I usually straighten up before I leave each night was a mess of papers, pens and other ephemera from the night I came down with influenza (yes, I like to call it that, it sounds as scary as it was). I needed to get organized and that I did. As I was cleaning out some boxes I found a stack of antique natural history plates that I have been meaning to scan for you for the longest time.  I didn’t scan them all but a nice amount (I will finish the second half soon, pinky promise), all super hi-res to use in your personal projects. For those wondering what you might do with such things, really the limit is only your imagination but since I love to read I made a set into bookplates for you to print, it’s 8 designs from botanicals to butterflies.  I have also updated all the links on the download page so you shouldn’t have any trouble downloading your heart out.  Have fun!

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 the country with her handsome husband and two pups.

ANGELA LIGUORI D.I.Y. ALBUMS

I usually don’t like to post a d.i.y. that I didn’t create myself, but this one by Angela Ligouri (if you haven’t seen it) is so simple + beautiful that I felt it warranted some attention.  This would be a perfect project for a gift (if you are stumped or stressed), it doesn’t take a long time and most of the supplies are readily available at your local art store.  I always give gifts of photographs to people that are hard to shop for or have ‘everything’ already.  I take photos over the year and get massive complaints of never seeing the images and then I gift them on special occasions.  I don’t like to frame, because I think that interior design decisions are best left to the individual, it’s so personal and I would hate to get it wrong, but an album is a great way for the recipient to re-live the experience.  I love to see the wistful expressions that emerge, when they flip through the photos (a.k.a. memories).  It’s such a thoughtful gift and if you make the album as well? Not only would it be that much more special, it will also keep you on a budget.  On Angela’s album she featured some of her vintage stamps, but I do think the addition of (shameless plug here) a custom postmark stamp would be a nice touch too. This is a beautiful and easy project (Angela Ligouri herself assured me).  You can find it in the latest issue of Martha Stewart and can also find it on the Craft’s Dept. blog.  Have fun!

Below I made a little list with links so it’s easy for you to find the supplies for the project.

//SUPPLIES//:

Cardstock
Paper for the inside
Cutter or
Sharp Craft Knife (for cutting the sheets)
Awl
Waxed thread
Needle
Bone Folder
Glue Stick

//OPTIONAL //:

Vintage Postage Stamps 
Postmark Stamp
 

KRAFT FLAG GIFT TAGS + MINI GARLAND D.I.Y.

The other night when I was wrapping gifts I was thinking wouldn’t it be so cute (I’m all about cute), to have some kraft flag gift tags? (say that 5 time fast).  I happen to be the owner of a ton (no exaggeration) of chipboard, because as you know I love me some industrial. I started to tinker, as I have a black belt in tinkering and my flags were terribly wonky at first, then I tinkered some more and had my light bulb moment and created my template. After that I was churning out chipboard flags like my own little factory.  I even got my husband in on the action.  I like working with my hands and I LOVE problem solving, it’s the way my brain works give me a problem (albeit nothing of the arithmetic variety) and I am a happy camper; thus, my little flag factory was born. My brain started firing off, the way it does, in 40 different directions and I knew what potential these had for crafting goodness.  Just so you know, I am not a great traditional gift wrapper, do not give me a piece of wrapping paper because your gift will look like it was run over by an eighteen wheeler.  I like simple + easy.  If I can do this you can surely surpass my efforts, so without further ado here are some ideas to use these new flags in your future gifting endeavors!
I cut the notched part of my flag tag off, punched some holes + used the new mini alphabet set (san serif) to create this garland.  I want to try the mini Circus alphabet set and do some embossing next time.  The best (and my most favorite) part of stamping is that I can use any color + stamp on something this tiny.  Don’t worry, you won’t ruin the other part of your tag that is remaining, just punch a hole on either side, run some twine through and you have a very cool + modern tag for your gift!

 

 

Once you get started it’s hard to stop making these mini garlands. The chipboard takes paint very well, I used both spray paint & Martha Stewart paint with equally good results. I used double-sided tape and Elmer’s glue with the glitter (the cutest tiny sequin-esque glitter you ever did see). It was all pretty effortless, I didn’t even measure, just cut wherever longer, shorter, etc. I am going with a little imperfection is charming, right?

For this Monday morn giveaway I will be bestowing one lucky + creative individual with a set of the new chipboard flags, a mini alphabet stamp set + twine.  Just pin this, or tweet it, or leave a comment, bonus if you think you have some more creative ideas up your sleeve and want to photograph! I will announce a winner next Monday December 10, 2012.  Good luck!

CLAY TAG D.I.Y. RESOURCE

I have been slammed with the holiday rush (hooray!), but I took a few minutes yesterday to photograph some of the clay tags I made the other night. I had so much fun! It was easier than I anticipated as I have never used clay in a project before and wasn’t sure what to expect.  I tried a few different ideas I had been toying with using the Besotted Brand stamps. One was creating a faux wax seal, I think it came out better than I envisioned (disclosure, I actually didn’t think it would turn out at all). I also used the banner stamp that I customized; it reads ‘handmade with love’. This was an easy one, I just stamped it on a rolled out piece of clay and cut out with a sharp Exacto knife using the stamp border as my guide. Last one I made was using the vintage postmark stamp, I love how much detail I got out of it.  I used air dry clay, mini cookie cutters for the circles and a nail to create the holes for stringing.  It took me about 20 minutes start to finish + clean-up. I let the tags dry overnight and then used an Emory board (for your nails) to smooth out rough spots (easier for me to use than sand paper on these small objects).  I was really happy with the results and have been thinking of a ton of other ideas. The clay dries hard, but not as hard as a kiln fired object, so it is still relatively delicate in my opinion, but it does have a nice raw ceramic feel to it. Below is my supply list and clay tutorial resources.
::SUPPLIES USED::
Exacto knife (you could use a disposable butter knife)
Nail
There are a plethora of great clay tutorials/resources but these are the ones that I felt explained the process well enough so I was able to have a modicum of success.
::CLAY TUTORIALS::
Post Road Vintage D.I.Y. Clay Tags Tutorial (she even makes her own clay!)
You also don’t need to stamp on them prior if you don’t want, just make any shape flat surface (circle, square, oval, etc.), let dry and then ink + stamp on the smooth surface, the clay takes the stamp impression very well.  Let me know if you have any questions!

CHICKEN WIRE GHOSTS

I thought it might be apropos to mention a very clever All Hallow’s Eve project as we quickly approach the 31st of this month. I wish I would have found this project earlier as I might have been inclined to try this myself. I love how ethereal these ghost sculptures look and I am sure that after a coat of glow-in-the dark paint they are nice and subtly spooky come evening.  A quick scary segue is that radium was the “original” glow-in-the-dark product,  it was marketed as a curative (probably because of its luminescent properties) it was put into almost everything–toothpaste, hair creams even water as a cure-all. We now know that radium is radioactive, extremely dangerous and being exposed to it causes large open sores, hair and tooth loss and diseases such as bone cancer. People were drinking this stuff! If you want to read more on radium (and who doesn’t?) this is a great article by Deborah Blum. If your interest is just getting whetted and you are dying to see more chicken wire in action visit artist Bendetta Mori Ubaldini. To get the how-to’s on making your own ghosts click the photos above. My friend Maria said her neighbors did this project, have any of you tried this or have you seen it in person? I am thinking if you had the skills you could create something that would be beautiful all year round. If I has the skills I would create a life size horse, I think it would look so serene out in our backyard especially when the fog rolled in.
 
Blog by Hello Monday Creative