VINTAGE BOOKPLATE DOWNLOAD

If you like/use this download, won’t you please consider buying me a cup of coffee so I can make more of these in the near future for you? You can donate to my tip jar here.  Thank you kindly!
I originally had another vision for this download, more modern + graphic patterns (thanks to Michelle P. a pattern genius); but I am currently re-reading the classics and am deep into Jane Eyre so my inspiration is currently of another era. I wanted to take some of my lettering practice and incorporate it into the download, the middle one is one of the fab realistic calligraphy fonts I shared with you last week (Jacques & Gilles).  I love to read and I love collecting books, nothing can compare to the feel and smell of a paper book but I am reading (and loving) Jane Eyre on my Kindle. Almost all the classics are available on the Kindle for free. Do you have any idea how this delights me? I love my Kindle because I never lose my place and I can look-up words on the fly.  It amazes me how many words I can look up in a single reading where as if I was reading a ‘real’ book I may have made a note or two to look something up, but may or may not have actually gone the extra mile to do so. After every reading session I feel a bit of accomplishment. That being said, these bookplates are for your paper book collection.  You don’t have to listen to me, but my suggestion is to print them on textured paper and use archival glue (okay or one of those archival tape thingies) to paste them in your books.  You could print out a bunch put them in a glassine envelope or muslin bag and give as a gift. Of course you can always go the easiest route and just print them on a full label sheet. Scissors will give you a more homemade look, but a nice Exacto knife, straight edge ruler (make sure it has a cork back) and cutting mat will give you beautiful, professional results.  Just click here to download, enjoy!

P.S. Any suggestions for my next classic tome I should read?

DROP CLOTH BEDSKIRT

My husband and I recently moved cross country, we arrived safe + sound our bed frame didn’t– it was in dire straits (it cracked in half). Instead of replacing the frame the mattress and box spring have sat on the floor looking like they belonged in a frat house instead of my abode. To remedy this situation on a budget I tried a few traditional bed skirts but they were ill fitting and useless; I even tried a fitted sheet on the box spring which looked equally as unkempt then came my light bulb moment.  I initially was going to just upholster the box spring (which I still may do), but I am a decor commitment-phobe so I started with this super easy, no-sew bed skirt project. Let’s start with the supplies you will need to get started:
I chose the drop cloth because I wanted a linen fabric, but since I didn’t know if this was going to be a d.i.y. gone wrong I figured I would use it as my ‘dry run’ material.  It’s great to get the linen look without the linen price. I also chose it because all the ends are finished (they are hemmed) and that would mean I wouldn’t have to sew anything.  Sharp fabric scissors are your friend, especially when working with thicker cloth. Upholstery pins look a lot like tacks but have twisted bottoms, if you don’t know about them, they will change your d.i.y. decor life, you will be ‘re-upholstering’ everything you can get your hands on. The iron you can use or not, I did as I wanted my drop cloth to look crisp.
I wanted this project to be quick + easy, I didn’t even bother to measure! I held the drop cloth where I wanted it to hit on the floor (the finished edges on the floor side) and cut it straight across just to where you wouldn’t see it when the mattress was on top. I repeated this step on three sides. I had my ‘skirt’ just touching the floor, because I wanted to give it a really polished look. The upholstery pins twist easily into the wood frame of the box spring and you can remove them just as easily without any visible damage. I just twisted them along the edge of the inner box spring (but far enough back that when the mattress was on top you wouldn’t see them). The corners were a little bulkier, but I folded the edge over and added a couple more pins to keep it in place and keep it looking finished.
This is a super easy fix to an ugly box spring and just think of the possibilities! You could do faux pleats, add a sleek ribbon trim border, do stripes or florals or…?  You will never buy an ill-fitting bed skirt ever again. You could take this one step further and use furniture staples to wrap the cloth all the way around the front of your box spring for a faux upholstered bed look. I like the idea that I can change this out at my whim.  Enjoy!
photo by tristan b.
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. 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.

HANK + HUNT

This is Jenny Batt the mastermind behind the blog Hank + Hunt.  You may have already pinned a zillion of her D.I.Y.’s she’s pretty clever + crafty (and busy).  I have wanted to recommend her blog previously, not that I am in the habit of recommending blogs, but Jenny’s got a great voice and is just so darn creative.  When I went to do this last time it looked like Jenny was going to stop blogging and then I thought, what horrible timing I have.  She since has continued her blogging journey and I am so glad she has! Look at that photo, why wouldn’t you want to read a blog by such a pretty, happy lady?  One of my favorite things about her blog is how honest she is; she shares her sources, her secrets and frustrations and it makes her so much more real and accessible. It reminds me of the bloggers of yore who let you in on their lives so you didn’t feel like they had everything perfectly ‘together’.  I have no idea why this industry has become about the ‘Jones’ who can do bigger, better more whatever, but Jenny brings it back, makes the D.I.Y.’s easy enough that even the novice crafter can partake and have success. I read an interview recently from a big blogger that said blogging is dying, that it’s a chore for her and the blogging world is over saturated, she wouldn’t recommend anyone start a blog now.  When I read a blog like Jenny’s I am glad she doesn’t subscribe to this ‘big bloggers’ philosophy, because I think everyone has a unique perspective and I am grateful that people like Jenny are taking the time to create interesting and exciting content.  It’s fun to discover a new favorite blog and want to Pin or (bookmark for the old school) every.single. post.  I hope you go visit Hank + Hunt and add it to your weekly reads, it sure would be nice to have her stick around a wee bit longer.
P.S. Jenny just added a visual search to her blog for her amazing DIY’s!

HAND LETTERING TIPS + RESOURCES

Happy Thursday!  Another week that has flown by, for you too?  I wanted to introduce you to some of my favorite lettering artists but then I found (and received) some really great hand lettering resources and tips for you so I decided to save those artists for another post.  In regards to the brush lettering of last week Christine H. (a wealth of knowledge) had sent me this great bit of advice:
Here’s the tip:  for “brush” calligraphy…before ANYTHING…mix some sugar and warm water (like 1T sugar/2T of water), dissolve, cool and dip brush in until bristles are completely saturated (don’t just leave sitting in the container with bristles resting, curved and keep the hilt as dry as possible). Squeegee bristles between thumb and forefinger to get rid of the water, but do so while “shaping” a perfectly flat, square/rectangle (depends on brush shape) “nib”. Hang or put on pen rest and let dry completely. Repeat several times till the bristles “remember” the form when dipped in ink and excess ink is removed on inside edge of ink bottle. By training your brush in this manner, you will have greater manual control over the animal bristles. Oh, and use a brush with soft-ish natural fibers not synthetic. Store after cleaning, repeating the sugar water and shaping, allow to dry completely. Keep in a suspended holder type of box so the resting bristles don’t get smooshed one way or another. Make sense?

“I’m actually not the best at it. I do a lot of referencing myself using fonts and I correct a lot of the shapes digitally! There isn’t really any type of brush I use. But I do like to use  translucent grey prisma markers on paper to get that slanted tip effect and paint it in!”

I found this wonderful post from Sean McCabe (an amazing lettering artist) it’s an introduction to hand lettering and it answers a lot of questions. If you are just interested in improving your handwriting Lettergirl offers a downloadable workshop to help here.

In my experience this week I accidentally found that a ‘soft’ nib could mimic a brush type stroke and I could get a nice wide stroke that could mimic a brush stroke.  It’s very hard to work with when you have only been working with pointed pens for a couple of weeks (like myself), but if you are open to experimenting, what the heck? I am working on creating a page on the blog that will be an easy reference for everyone for lettering artists, resources and classes, but if you can’t wait you can always visit my Hand Lettering Love Pin board for inspiration.
P.S. Here’s the chalkboard texture I used above for you to download and use in any way you would like, it’s nice and hi-res for you;)

HOW-TO HAND LETTER WITH A BRUSH::RESOURCES

It’s Thursday and I am going to try to stay on topic as promised and bring you more hand lettering resources + how-to’s.  The lovely top image above is by Quill & Fox,  a very nice specimen to discuss the currently wildly successful lettering trend of brush lettering (I don’t know if that is its ‘proper’ name). I am sure you have heard of a little company called Rifle Paper that utilizes this ‘painted’ script very well, as does Meg Gleason of Mogela. I think this sort of imperfect hand adds a wonderful charm to your project.  I searched the interwebs hi + low and had a very hard time finding what types of brushes, paints to use etc. I even tried some samples of my own with less than favorable results.  Then I came across a wonderful resource for you from the Open Library a book (available to view for free on line) called The Art of Show Card Lettering. The book is copyright 1922, so it is a bit older, but it still has great specimen charts like the one on the lower right, with stroke direction (very helpful). It also has tips on brushes and how to hold them to get the most desirable outcome. It’s not modern by any stretch, but it’s still a wonderful resource for those wanting to delve into script with a brush. Amanda of Wit & Whistle has been trying her hand at hand lettering with gouache (the same medium Rifle Paper uses) and she chronicles her results here. I am all for trying new lettering techniques and this is definitely one of the styles that I would like to be able to master. If you are looking for more inspiration I have a TON on my hand lettering board on Pinterest, where I have been pinning away like it’s my job (wouldn’t that be a cool job?).  Let me know if you have any tips on this style of lettering, I would love to know more!

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