White home printers

White printer round up via besotted

We moved almost six months ago and with that moved we downsized considerably, which meant I lost my ‘Cloffice’ (my office in a closet). It was a fairly large closet and I had an ancient, but fully functioning laser printer workhorse. I knew that when I set-up my new work space it would need to be out in the open in a shared space so I didn’t want a giant eyesore of a printer (with no wifi capability so it couldn’t be tucked away somewhere more inconspicuous). I didn’t need anything fancy as I don’t do any professional printing at home anymore, but the convenience of having a printer? I can’t believe I went 6 long months without one! My desk/office area is all white both because I love white but also because it seems to feel like it blends and disappears more and doesn’t shout ‘hey I have an office in my living room’, I was on the futile hunt for a simple white printer and let me tell you it was no easy feat to locate. I thought maybe others might be looking for one as well and so I did a quick roundup of some. There is nothing fancy about these printers (although most have wifi and print from tablet or mobile, and they are all under $100), the one I bought was $50USD, the ink replacement is about the same price! I hope you found this useful, links below to the printers featured and our current fave printer paper.


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More white printers to peruse

Michelle’s fave printer paper (it’s so nice)

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.




Besotted with :: Watercolor Markers

winsor newton watercolor pen with brush review via besotted blog

Have you ever tried watercolor markers yet? We were recently introduced to watercolor markers and have been duly impressed! The one featured in the photo is by Winsor & Newton and is professional grade, it was the first we tried and we wanted to give you our first impressions. The one we purchased is a dual tip, one for detail work and a brush tip for covering larger areas. As you can see from the photo you do get a beautiful even wash of color that is very true to the original watercolor medium. For sake of convenience, we are putting together a quick PROS + CONS, this is by no means extensive as we have only tried this one brand but we are eager to try more!Read More

Vintage stock photography resource


This weekend I was searching for stock photographs, sometimes you may need that sort of thing, especially if you aren’t privy to hopping on a plane and getting an epic aerial photo of some secluded beach in Portugal or what not.  Stock photography has come a long way and now there are many talented artists even providing images gratis in exchange for exposure. This may irk the pros but I for one am grateful that we have access to such talent, I don’t think it takes away from paid stock, in our work if Michelle and I can’t create the image ourselves, it’s nice to know we have access to great gratis images but we are more than willing to pay for a high quality image if it fits our need. Btw, a quick tip here, if you are scratching your head on how to make money in photography and aren’t interested in the traditional methods, there is a market for good stock images! Creative Market has a thriving business for styled stock and there’s companies like Stocksy, just thought I would throw that out there!

Back to my stock search, I came across a wonderful site called New Old Stock by Cole Townsend, it’s a site for curated copyright free vintage images and they are terrific! Michelle and I started an image bank in our Google Drive (free digital storage!) last year to collect great images and I may need to start a vintage image bank as well, because you never know when inspiration will hit! Just thought I’d pop in and share this resource with you, we hope you find it useful!

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.

Authentically + Organically Monetize your blog

organically monetize your blog and finally make money doing it via besottedblog.com i

We asked the question a few months ago, ‘is blogging ending?‘ and it would seem that way with so many bloggers just getting up and closing shop, but what if blogging is not dying but evolving (like all good things should)?  I think it’s time in the blogging evolution to discuss how people are actually making a living (and a good one at that) from their blogs. It may not be what you think. Being the pragmatic girls we are we thought it might be better to give you a real world example of someone that is making it happen.  Our lovely friend Sanae Ishida, as promised, is going to share how she went from 2 readers and making pennies on affiliate links to a 4 book (yes 4!) deal, a thriving passive income revenue stream and an ongoing consulting-authentically + organically monetizing her blog (and so can you!).

‘All of my current income has been generated because of my blog’.

We wanted to share this with you because I think a lot of people define success, especially with their blogs differently than they would any other business. Some bloggers are attached to the numbers, how many people are visiting each day/month and are waiting for sponsors to find their little slice of the internet, which in this blogging climate is probably not the best plan for blog success, but hopefully Sanae’s experience and pearls of wisdom will give you an ‘aha’ moment.

B: We know that in the blogging world numbers are king, can you tell us a little bit about your stats?

S: I actually don’t know how many readers I have since I don’t check my analytics anymore. I noticed that I started to try to create posts that would get more readers when I got obsessed with stats and I wasn’t as “genuine”. I never intended the blog to be a money-maker. It was and continues to be my happy place and trying to create content for numbers wasn’t a happy thing for me.

B: How are people finding you?

S: A lot of traffic comes from Pinterest, and a small percentage of that number turns into actual regular readers. But the vast majority of people are finding me organically, usually from other sewing/crafty blogs or Google searches about Japanese sewing books (which I’m obsessed with).

B: Can you tell us about your book deals?

S: The publishers did approach me BUT I had to come up with the book proposals/concepts. It wasn’t a given that I would get a deal, I think this is a common misconception that you get approached and just get a deal. It’s a collaboration that requires coming up with a concept that you’ll love to work on and that a publisher believes has market potential.

B: What would be one of the most important things you learned about your blog?

S: I think the main thing for me is the connections I’ve made and the community that’s formed around the blog. The kindest, funniest, smartest and most creative people have become a part of my life because of this online adventure.

Also, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to put yourself and your work out there. I won’t lie, it was scary for me. I know so many people doing brilliant, beautiful things, quietly perfecting their craft in a vacuum with the conviction, “if I make it, they will come,” but it rarely happens that way. I don’t think it’s about selling out or doing icky things to market yourself, but about engaging with people outside of your immediate circle with things you really care about. The book deals wouldn’t have happened if my editors hadn’t read my content and seen my illustrations.

I try to push myself to get out of my comfort zone and I strive to always, always be honest. One of the posts that seemed to have the most impact was the series I did about getting out of massive debt. It was terribly embarrassing to reveal that information but I trusted my readers, and I believe they trusted me in return — I still get emails about that series!

B: We love that you have taken a blog with no ads, no sponsors and organically grew an income generator. For those that are rolling their eyes thinking they couldn’t get a book deal I would love to discuss some of your other blog revenue streams that someone might be able to implement for themselves.

S: Knowing that I either had to start generating an income or stop blogging all together (my husband was very confused as to why I was spending so much time on the blog), I developed a monthly membership newsletter that has additional content, downloads, discounts, interviews and whatever creative content that I feel might be relevant/beneficial that month. I like to think of it as a more “deluxe” version of the blog. The idea popped into my head intuitively as a way to provide value using skills that come naturally to me.

B:  Could you please share the price of the membership and what you have generated from it thus far?

S: It is $10/month, in a little over a year it has generated an additional $6,000 towards my income (which up until the book deals was zero from the blog). I am still humbled and so grateful each month that someone would want to be part of the membership.

B: We know that you have managed to develop other income streams from the blog could you tell us more?

S: Because I have a focus on sewing content + sewing projects on my blog I was approached by an Asian publisher to review a translated craft book. I then actively pursued the publisher to do translations, letting them know I was fluent in Japanese if they ‘ever needed a translator…’ I kept mentioning it until finally they contacted me  (I think they were ‘alright already!’), it has become a fruitful relationship. I have translated 3 books so far, they take me about a week and I get $1,500/book. I have also had the opportunity for the occasional art show where I have sold my art directly and I am planning on teaching workshops! I started an etsy shop too, but that’s still in its fledgling stages.

B: I think it’s safe to say that it’s about thinking ‘outside the blog’ on potential monetizing opportunities. Thank you Sanae for allowing us to pick your brain!

In essence what we wanted to get at with this interview is that you can (and should) use your blog as a vehicle to showcase your work, your products and skills. It is a valuable platform that could generate you either an additional income or like Sanae become your means of generating your sole income.  You don’t need a monster following to do so either. We know of one blogger with a mailing list of 4 people that was able to sell over $5,000 in design consults to just those 4 people, she had built up enough trust and shared enough of her work that people were interested and willing to partake in her offerings when she was ready.  If you are wanting to take your business and blog to the next level we so hope that Sanae’s story and unusual opportunities got your wheels turning on who you might be able to approach for your blog/business.


If you have a special skill use your blog as a portfolio to showcase your work, this could garner the attention of someone in need of your particular skill set!

Don’t let the numbers cripple you. It’s better to have an engaged readership of 100 than a flighty one of one off visits from 100,000 individuals.

Is there premium content you could offer? Ie. Tutorials, courses, downloads, etc.

If you see a potential opportunity from a company that has reached out to you–go for it, make it known you have a specialty in ‘X’, even if you get rejected at first your skill set may be needed at a later date. They won’t know if you don’t tell them!

If you want a book deal, research how to put together a book proposal so you will be ready when either opportunity knocks or inspiration!

If you have any questions for Sanae or us feel free to leave them in the comments and we will try to answer them as best as possible!

P.P.S. If you like this watercolor graphic (it’s a Photoshop brush!) We will be giving it away soon when we announce our next Foto Rx launch. Sign-up to be notified and in on the download!


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