HOW-TO USE ALPHABET STAMPS

ALPHABET STAMP TUTORIAL IHappy Valentine’s Day to you!  I have received a ton of requests on tips on how to best use alphabet stamp sets and I am happy to oblige.  I love alphabet stamps (or ‘alpha’s’ as they are also known).  My biggest tip before I get further into this tutorial is if you start using these sets a lot then you might want to invest in more than one set of the same alphabet, it will make life so much easier.  If I needed a duplicate letter in my word above, say I wanted to spell ‘lovee’ then I would have to print what I have above then go back in with the ‘e’ and there’s a major chance (if you are me) that it will come out all crooked and wonky and ruin what I was working on. Granted, using alphabet stamps does not give you a perfectly straight word, by the nature of the stamping medium you will have very organic/rustic results, but you probably still want some control of the effect, right? Step. 1-I start out by finding the letters I would like to use for my word (like the example above), once I have the word I want I set the stamps as close and straight as possible to make it easier for Step. 2.

ALPHABET STAMP TUTORIAL IIStep 2-I cut a piece of artist/drafting tape long enough to wrap around the entire word.  This is important, if your tape is not long enough the stamps can bow, or become misaligned making this whole process futile. I use artist/drafting tape because it is re-positionable and is easy to remove and does not leave a sticky residue.  You could also try washi tape which also has a low tack adhesive and in a bind you could use masking tape, but it’s a bear to remove from your stamps so I wouldn’t recommend it.

ALPHABET STAMP TUTORIAL 3Step.3-Wrap the tape firmly around the stamps and get to printing!  I tried all sorts of techniques and this is by far the easiest + most convenient way to work with the alphabet sets.  If you have any other questions or requests feel free to email me or leave the request in the comments!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She believes hand stamps are akin to owning miniature printing presses.

BLOGGING ADVICE–UNSOLICITED OF COURSE

The other day when I was visiting my new to me Tweet Deck, I saw that a few famous bloggers were lamenting the haters, the people (other bloggers) that seemingly did not like that they were getting paid for what they do (and what they do well). Blogging is an interesting industry and it may be the only one that another blogger (person in their field) would feel the ‘why not me?’ syndrome. If you are one of those I feel you, I do. I read a very heartfelt blog post the other day from a blogger that had been blogging since 2007 and she was wondering why she wasn’t making money blogging when she was spending hours upon hours editing her photographs.  In that same breath of venting she also mentioned that she did not like to do DIY, did not care for photography, food, fashion, etc. If she was going to write commentary on life she had no unique voice, she was neither charming, funny nor anything specific, she did not have a niche. Here’s my secret dear blogger (or aspiring blogger), it is the ‘information super highway’, if you want to make it as a blogger you need to give the world something they can’t find elsewhere.  No, it is not impossible.  The blogging climate has changed considerably since I started, I am the first one to admit that it is incredibly difficult to get your blog noticed these days, it is a hugely saturated market, BUT what do you have to offer that is different than what is out there?  Here’s another tip, you don’t need to blog–gasp!  No, really, if you can’t find time to blog on a regular basis, if you find yourself dreading blogging don’t do it, find another medium that you can’t stay away from be it Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Dribble, Flickr, etc. When you love something it will be effortless and not feel like a chore.
Those ‘famous’ bloggers are also successful because of time, the way the internet works is that it notices that a blog/site has a plethora of information on ‘x’ subject, it has a lot of comments making it even more relevant, the internet ‘spiders’ will crawl for what is the most relevant information.  If these famous bloggers have been blogging for years they are unfortunately going to come up more often than a blog that just started writing about the same subject. So write about something that hasn’t been written about, write about something obscure/different that you love that is not easily found now on the interwebs.  There are a handful of blogs that are superb with truly original content and it breaks my heart that they aren’t at the top of the heap too, but it’s a 5% club folks, don’t take it personally, keep plugging away but only if it makes your heart sing.  I personally am the reluctant blogger, I don’t blog to be a blogger, which I have always said sounds awful like a ‘bad jogger’.  I blog because I am addicted, blogging has saved me from dark places and lifted me to lighter ones, it is my exercise and discipline. It connects me to the wide world around me which makes me feel richer.  I am not saying if a company wanted to sponsor posts here I would tell them to kick rocks barefoot, not at all, I am just saying that I have not built this space for that, I built it for you and you are what makes me feel like a success. When I started my first blog my husband gave me the most forlorn statistic of how many views the average blog gets (and that was 6 years ago), it was something very bleak. I don’t even read my stats, it’s not quantity but quality that I am after.  BUT if you are determined to make your fortune from blogging, than don’t give up, just be original and invest in your blog like you would any new business, brand it to the nines, find a name that is clever, easy to remember and unforgettable, post on a regular basis and don’t give up, because you will know you are doing your dream if it doesn’t feel like work, if it is effortless and the only thing holding you back is more time to do it. If you have specific questions, don’t be afraid to ask them, I am here for you.

GETTING HOLIDAY EDITORIAL + MORE SUPPLIES

I was emailing one of my cyber friends last night (that is a person that I don’t know in ‘real life’ but have become friendly via the interwebs) and mentioned that I have SO many new items to reveal for the shop. I seriously went on a little spree, but in my defense I need to be gearing up for holiday now, as holiday nearly killed me last year, I was seriously so not prepared.  For those that have shops/products this is the time when you need to be sending out your press kits to print magazines (they work on 3-6 month lead times). Me? No, I have not designed a press kit, nor can I even fathom doing so right now, do you know how long it takes me to make even the most minute decisions?  Ages. When I do I will photograph it and you will get a glimpse when I finish (maybe in the new year?) I was a fashion publicist for ions before I got into graphic design + branding (I have lived a long life), but what I know about fashion PR does not necessarily translate to what I am doing now.  Once I launch the apothecary + accessories I will be on sure footing but this totally odd concept of Stationery Stamps and the like, well it’s a hard sell. My outreach to blogs the other day made me feel about *this* big.  The most humiliating outreach was a girl with a now popular blog that had emailed me years ago to feature her line on my former blogs (I had two fairly large ones) which I did and she didn’t even write me back.  The internet is not always diplomatic, no she is not on vacation and I doubt it went to spam. I am assuming she doesn’t remember hocking her line before it got popular and that I had a hand in getting her there.  She is now on my mental ‘black list’.  You want to know what added salt to the wound?  Twitter recently recommended her as a ‘like you’ suggestion.  Like heck she’s not, I wanted to yell at the Twitter bots, I would never ignore anyone that ever helped me out, ever.  BUT back to your press kit for print media, it’s a simple premise really (even if you can’t put together cohesive sentences) you should be able to answer these questions: WHO / WHAT / WHERE / WHEN / WHY.  Once you do answer these simple questions put it on sheet of paper add your line sheet with RETAIL pricing and send it off to the editor of your favorite magazine.  Okay, I know you have more questions, but that will have to be for another lesson, you haven’t even put together your press kit right? Once you do than we can talk and hopefully you will get it together much sooner than I will.
P.S. The cardstock shown is limited edition double-sided stock, jet black on one side, bright white on the other, clever! You can get it here while supplies last.

HOW-TO CENTER YOUR RUBBERSTAMPS

This has been a much requested tutorial and for such an easy process it was surprisingly a lot of steps  to photograph!  I assure you this is the easiest way that I have found to be able to stamp an impression in the middle of my stationery flat.  I tried other equipment made specifically for stamping in the center of your cardstock, but found it a little complicated. I am also of the camp that believes less is more, if I don’t need to purchase any special equipment I won’t. So let’s gather our simple supplies. You will want to have the following supplies at your ready, we are going to create a template:
  • Piece of blank paper larger than the cardstock you want to center stamp on.
  • Writing utensil, preferably a pencil in case you make a mistake and need to erase.
  • A ruler
  • The cardstock size you want to be able to center stamp on.
Neatly trace your chosen cardstock onto your paper.  You are going to be using your template over and over again so if you want to use a weightier paper or even a thin cardstock as your template by all means go ahead.
Remove your chosen cardstock and there you have the very beginning of your template, which I know just looks like a penciled rectangle, but it shall become much more with a little tweak.
Now comes the hard part (I jest).  Find the center and draw a vertical 1″-2″ line. You have now created your center guidleline!
Ink your stamp, put your chosen cardstock on top of your template and you will see your center guideline clearly. Gently, but firmly press your stamp where in the center you would like your artwork to be, lift up (do not rock or jiggle). You should have a beautiful + centered impression!
ALTERNATE GUIDELINE CREATION OPTION:
For those of you who don’t want to use a ruler to find the center, just bend your cardstock in half and then use the folded center crease to create your guideline.
As always if you have any questions just ask them in the comments and I am happy to answer away.

PINTEREST PINNING TIPS

The other night I was in bed with the computer, my husband beside me watching the Olympics, at the commercial he looked over my shoulder and asked if I was going to ‘Pin’ that, that being some image that was on the screen.  I looked over at him and asked him how he knew what pinning was.  He said that he heard me explain it before and that it was proof that he listens to me, then he proceeded to ask me to pin a tennis racket that he thought was cool.  I explained to him that my pins were highly curated and there wouldn’t be a good place on my boards for his racket, “ok”, was his answer. It seems that my secret pinning passion is no longer secret, since the cat is out of the bag I figured that I would just be honest and let you know that I spend an inordinate amount of time that I could use sleeping on pinning, it’s both mindless and mindful, a relaxing pastime that I find infinitely more enjoyable than some of the other social media outlets.  I am very visual and therefore this medium works very well to satiate my need for constant visual stimulation. I am also an organization freak which Pinterest is able to sate that need as well.  I am sure a lot of you are pinning already, but for those starting out here are a couple tips–
  • You don’t need 8 million boards, it’s more manageable to have less and add to one category/board that makes sense.
  • If you pin a photo or artwork try to add the name of the artist and link in your description so they get full credit, don’t worry if you re-pin it will let the pinner know you re-pinned and others know where you re-pinned from.
  • If you re-pin one pinners pins a lot, give them some love by leaving a comment, it’s nice to know people appreciate your great taste.
  • If there’s a diy you like and you click and it takes you to the blog instead of directly to the blog post, maybe you can help a pinner out and pin to the exact post that way people lazy like me won’t give up and leave, your fellow pinner can find the diy right away.
  • When you find someone’s pins you can’t get enough of why not follow them? I love feeling like I discovered a great new ‘curator’ like my pal Michelle P. she’s fairly new to pinning on a regular basis but her pins never disappoint.

I hope this helps and please feel free to ask me questions if you have any confusion about the above.  I included a link below that goes into more detail on getting started–

Pinterst::Getting Started

Blog by Hello Monday Creative