Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida book winner!


We are so happy to announce the winner of Sewing Happiness.  We always enjoy reading your answers, it makes us feel a bit closer to you and they all were certainly creative and unique, I know I personally would want to read any one of your books! And our winner is…Stacey B!

My book would be about craft gatherings – friends, food and a craft project.

Stacey, please email us with your address and we will have our friends at Sasquatch send your winning copy over!  Congrats!

Besotted Interview with Sanae Ishida


We have a special treat for you today! Pour your favorite beverage and tuck in to our interview with author of Sewing Happiness and Little Kunoichi, The Ninja Girl, blogger, and illustrator extraordinaire – Sanae Ishida!

After years of drowning in stress, Sanae received a serious autoimmune disease diagnosis. She decided then and there to take her health and happiness into her own hands. Sanae is a dear friend to both Tristan and I and her creative talents and sheer determination never fail to amaze us.  We find Sanae’s story hugely inspiring, and hope you do too!

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Successful blog secrets revealed

Secrets of better blogging

Here are some successful blog secrets revealed (shhh, be sure to only share this information with people you want to be a success…) First, let me preface this that I am quite aware that I am like the cobbler with no shoes. I have been in branding + marketing for longer than I should like to admit (without revealing my ahem age) and I don’t always follow my own advice. That being said, when I do I usually come out a winner and we so want you to be winners too, because we like you! We won’t overwhelm you with all our secrets to running a successful blog today but we think that these sweet little bons bons should really help assist with building a better blog/web presence.


So you took this great shot and you upload it to your site/blog and the name of it is–456908img.jpeg, what the what?  Someone comes to your site and Pins it and now it is living on the interwebs as 456908img.jpeg, no one knows it is your photo, no one can find who it belongs to, it is getting repinned and posted on Tumblr like wildfire and you have a big ‘ol goose egg of exposure to show for it. So, how should you name it?  We name almost all of our blog graphics with something pertinent to the image or post (like the title) and add via besottedblog for good measure. This is also great for search engines trying to help out the ‘ol Google searcher (or Bing, Yahoo, etc. or what have you…) I gave this bit of advice to a pretty huge film photographer and she said it changed her business exponentially. You’re welcome.


For years I had been coming up with what I like to believe were witty + charming blog titles, the problem with this is it mainly only amuses you and maybe your Aunt Zelda. It’s annoying to anyone actually trying to find useful information on your site and what’s worse? You aren’t relevant with those darn search engines. Write your post title so it explains succinctly and hopefully alluringly what your posts are about.


Ugh!  I had been one of the most consistent of bloggers for years and then my laptop battery died and if you jiggle the plug the wrong way the laptop dies and with a toddler I may never have time to bring my laptop to Apple and this blog may never be consistent again (wasn’t that irritating?). So do as I say and not as I do…If you are going to blog, do it consistently! You don’t have to do it every day, if you are only going to do it once a month, on the last day of the month-DO IT. Don’t apologize if you don’t or make excuses (it’s annoying, reference the first sentence), but if you are only going to write one post a month, make sure it’s an epic one (albeit it doesn’t need to be long), one that is filled with information that someone coming upon it can’t find anywhere else (at least not easily), something perhaps that will be referenced for many more months to come, something that is pinnable, something that is, dare I say useful?


That one seems obvious, but maybe you just needed to hear it. If you hate blogging don’t do it. There are other ways to have a social media presence. If it feels like a complete and utter chore like getting a root canal or doing taxes–stop!  I think blogging works best when you are authentic. I love blogging, I hate the name, but I thoroughly enjoy it. I miss it when I am not here. I am constantly coming up with things I want to share with you, that I otherwise couldn’t with other social media outlets. Besides, we don’t think of this as a blog per se, we consider it a creative repository, so maybe that takes some pressure off of it. Do whatever feels comfortable for you and your situation.

I think this is enough secret spilling for one day, but we will be back with more, feel free to send us a note if you have a secret you want mentioned in the next installment!

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. 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.

photo by roksolana zasiadko

What I wish I would have known when starting out


what I wish I would have known when I was starting out via besotted blog i

Bonnie at Going Home to Roost recently tagged us in her new series, ‘What I wish I would have known starting out‘. Her letter to her younger self is so filled with thoughtful advice and tenderness. When she asked us we froze, there is so much we are still learning all the time, but Michelle and I put together some of our top bits of advice and no, we don’t always listen to ourselves even now, it is a process and sometimes we just have to get back up and brush ourselves off and start over again. Hey, that’s not bad advice right there!


Allow yourself to explore, explore, explore!

Not everything you have an interest in needs to turn into commerce! Have a hobby for the sake of having a hobby, something that is your personal escape.

It’s okay to have a 9-5 job, allow yourself the freedom to explore a creative passion/outlet while you have an income, it’s much less stressful and taxing to try to start a business when their is an income flow.

If you are going to have a business partner make sure that your skills compliment each other. Ie. if you are terrible at finances your partner should have this skill set.

The minute you know you want to have a family someday (talking to you 20 year old sellf), start saving at that moment-put away $20 here, $5 there, etc. If you don’t have a family you can use all that cash to travel around the world and if you do you’ll have enough saved to hire a night nurse when you come home from the hospital to ask all those zillion of questions to and allow you to get some much needed sleep!

It’s okay to fail.And it’s okay to make the same mistake a few times before you actually learn from it. Believe me, you will eventually learn from it.

Don’t allow other people to crush your spirit. It’s okay to keep your dreams to yourself if you feel sharing them with an Eeyore will bring you down or make you doubt your ambition.

Comparison is the thief of joy. Feel free to get inspired by all the amazing creativity around, let it fuel your own, let it make your work even better. If so and so is buying a house in Bermuda and is 10 years younger than you, congratulate them and work smarter. Did you even want a house in Bermuda anyway? Focus on what you want, not what other people are getting.


You don’t have to do it alone. There are other people out there who approach life/work/creativity the same way you do AND they are interested in the same things as you-GO FIND THEM!

Just because you are a freelancer-doesn’t mean you have to do EVERYTHING yourself. Outsource, leverage the skills of others.

Pick up a camera and start shooting!

Quit tensing your shoulders and hunching over your laptop.

It’s okay to learn as you go. You don’t have to know all the answers before jumping in.

Look for collaboration opportunities to broaden your network.

Don’t let copy cats crush your spirit! Keeping moving and keep creating (you haven’t run out of ideas yet!)


If you don’t have the cash, BARTER + TRADE! You can learn new skills, make new friends/allies, acquire new to you assets.

Find a mentor/mentors either in person or individuals you just admire and would like to model your career/or yourself after. Ie. Being honest like Abe, a Bon Vivant like Maira Kalman or the baker down the street that makes the world’s most delicious pastries.

We could probably could go on for days, we are filled to the brim with advice and missteps we have taken, but we think we will stop here for now. Please visit Bonnie’s site to read what others are sharing!

Easy to use skin care for men

easy skin care for men via besotted blog

A few months ago, my husband and I happened upon the aesthetically beautiful Aesop store here in Seattle and I promptly dragged him inside so I could drool  over the packaging. The next thing I knew, he was having his hand washed, toned, and moisturized three different ways. Five minutes later, we were plunking down a card at the cash register in exchange for a bottle of the B & Tea Balancing Toner and the Moroccan Neroli Post-Shave Lotion which were presented to us in a handsome cotton bag. (Side note: 2 weeks later, a girlfriend visited this Aesop shop and couldn’t get the time of day from the salesperson – even as she was purchasing product – so if you go in and want to test out product and ask questions via the special hand treatment session, be persistent!)

My assumption was that he’d use the products for a few days, maybe a week, before letting them retire to the bathroom cabinet, but….miracle of miracles! – he just went online and re-ordered the moisturizer for himself! It’s the first time he’s ever: a) used up a whole tube of moisturizer b) ordered any sort of skin care item for himself at all.

He likes that it’s light and absorbs quickly, there’s no shiny oil slick left behind, and he can forget about it once it’s on. I like the warm woodsy fragrance that’s not overpowering, and somehow doesn’t set off his allergies. He didn’t use much of the toner, I think 2 steps is asking too much for his “routine”, but believe me when I tell you, this is a ringing endorsement for the moisturizer!

B & Tea Balancing Toner

Moroccan Neroli Post-Shave Lotion

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, and the co-creator of Foto Rx Premium Photoshop Actions. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.